• A Place to Sit
    A Place To Sit
  • season
    season
  • lemons_001
    When life gives you lemons…..
  • PlaceSetting
    dine with me

summer squash salad

Mixed_Salad_002

Salads! I love salads! Not because they are a “low-calorie” food because most of mine are not “low-calorie” they are just full of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts and sometimes grains. We hope you find the salads on Choppedandtossed.com to be nothing like the salads your probably thinking about ie: soggy watery lettuce, a big chunk of red onion (the kind where your breath smells the rest of the day because of it), and some fatty store bought, generic dressing. We want to re-create the “wish I didn’t have to “start” with this starter salad” and make something creative and most of all, filling! Rob and I decided that if we wrote a salad cookbook each salad would be named after a different friend or family member because they are the ones who inspire us. The summer squash salad is named after no one because it was a total accident. One of those “four o’clock… shoot better get something on the table” salads. And it worked. Beautifully. If I had an avocado I would have added it in and made this a total hit but hopefully you can do that… either way, its delicious.

Mixed_Salad_001

Ingredients

organic spring mix lettuce (I added a bit of kale but not necessary)
summer squash, roasted and cut into cubes*
dried cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
diced red onion (1/8 thinly sliced… super important otherwise it dominates in flavor)
toasted almond slivers (about 1/3 cup)
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
balsamic vinegar (about 1 tablespoon)
dash of garlic powder
dash of salt
dash of pepper
generous pinch of brown sugar (I like dressings a titch on the sweeter side so I am a bit more generous for our salads, but it definitely comes down to a personal preference)

Instructions

You will notice I did not give specifics for how much, that is on purpose… this should be adapted to your personal needs. If you are serving this as a main meal you might want to consider going a little heavier on the squash and nut side or even add chicken. If you do not prefer your salads to be too sweet use a few less dried cranberries. Really, you can make it yours. I generally always use a lot, like, almost too many “toppings” on my salad. But that is just how Rob and I like it. Play around and find what suits your families needs. Remember, to chop everything to fit the fork and thinly slice the onion… really cant stress that one enough. It makes a difference!

 

*One note on the summer squash or confession, however you want to look at it. I bought mine from whole foods because I was tired and didn’t want to put any effort into it. In their salad section they usually have already roasted (in olive oil with salt and pepper) squash. For about a cup or so it cost a couple dollars. I find it worth it. On less lazy days you can easily grab a bag of already cut but not cooked summer squash from trader joe’s for $2.99 and that is very easy to just cut the bag open across the top, add a little oil, salt & pepper and shake the bag, carefully… and throw that on a pan and roast it that way. Or of course, for those of you who just love getting your hands dirty, you can buy a summer squash, cut it open, bake it, cut it into cubes, then roast again. #notmything

gluten free, no “flour” banana bread

Grain_Free_Banana_Bread_001

So this is not “worlds best banana bread” BUT it is “worlds best no flour semi healthy banana bread”(including “gluten free” flour). This recipe is an adapted version of another grain free banana bread recipe we came across however, we felt it needed a little less coconut flour (which has a strong taste and texture!) and another banana, hence, the FOUR large bananas. We chose dark chocolate chips (from whole foods… about a buck more than their counterpart… but worth all 100 pennies!) and the dark chocolate chunks (chunks are bigger than chips) gave it the extra kick it needed. In any case, we hope you enjoy this almost awesome banana bread.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 eggs
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup almond meal/flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 large ripe bananas or 5 medium bananas
1/2 bag dark chocolate chunks (whole foods) (or 1/4 cup of walnuts, dried fruit or semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 8 1/2-by-4 1/2 inch loaf pan
In a large bowl mix the coconut oil, eggs, honey, vanilla and apple cider vinegar until thoroughly mixed.
Sift the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Then add into wet ingredients.
Mash the bananas with the coconut milk then add to batter.
Stir in chocolate chips or preferred add-in.
Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool and serve.

 

cauliflower “rice” and curried chicken

Cauliflower_Rice_002

“CauliRICE”… Confession – I did not want to make this dish. I love rice. White rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, I love it all. Why in the world would you want to change something that is perfect? Well, on days when you want to eat a few less carbs or rather, add in a few more vegetables this is the meal for you! Surprisingly, VERY surprisingly, this “cauliRICE” taste delicious. We were not afraid to add coconut milk, curry spices and a generous squeeze of lime juice but in the end, we had a delicious, healthy meal. I feel it my duty to forewarn you. As you begin to grind up the cauliflower, it stinks…something fierce. Like the kind where Rob and I looked at each other at the same time and said with our eyes “It wasn’t me!” Yep, that bad. I used room spray after I made it. But worth it! The smell lessons as you begin to cook it so hold your nose and give it a try!

Cauliflower_Rice_001

You do not need a fancy kitchen tool to make this happen. The blender works just fine. I used our vita mix on the lowest speed, doing small batches so as not to make cauliMASH and it worked. That was after grating half the head of cauliflower by hand with a cheese grader. Sigh. You learn.

Ingredients

2 organic chicken breast, cut into strips
1 head of cauliflower
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion (any amount really, just for flavor)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup of coconut milk (I used trader joes light coconut milk from the can)
2 tablespoon curry powder
juice of a lime
2 teaspoons honey
salt & pepper
cilantro (optional)
cashews (optional)
lime wedges for serving

Instructions

Mix 1/3 cup coconut milk with 1 tablespoon curry powder. Whisk together, add strips of uncooked chicken breast. Let marinate for 30 minutes or longer.
Grind the cauliflower in the blender or food processor until it resembles rice.
Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet. Add onions, 5 minutes.
Add the cauliRICE and saute for another 5 minutes.
Pour in coconut milk, lime juice, honey and salt & pepper, stir.
Let cook for about 15 minutes. You can taste the “rice” and see if it needs a little more of something otherwise, cook until softened. While the rice is cooking, saute the marinated chicken in a small pan over medium heat.
Plate the “rice” add chopped cilantro and cashews, top with chicken. Add a wedge of lime.

 

This dish takes very little time to make if you pre shred the cauliflower and marinate the chicken before hand. Also, we used the thai cashews from trader joe’s and they were delicious! They add a great kick and nice crunch!

*This recipe was inspired by Danielle Walker’s “Coconut-lime Rice” from her cookbook Against All Grain. Check it out!

marinated grilled chicken

chicken_01

There are few dinners that help you dive into summer more than the BBQ. So we did just that, we dove in…we are kicking summer off with grilled chicken salads. Simple and delicious.

chicken_02

The secret is in the marinate and unfortunately I don’t even know the whole secret… but I will give you the ingredients and maybe some of you “chefs” out there can clue us in on the proportions for a great marinate… however, I must say, it is difficult to mess up – without any measurements I even managed to make this taste five start… or maybe that was our neighbors BBQ’ing expertise…

chicken_03

Neighbors… it is not often that we know the people that we share a wall with or in our case, a courtyard with. What a shame. Relationships waiting to happen. Its never too late, it took Rob and I about 8 months to finally connect with ours but we are so glad we did. With very little effort from each of us, we pulled together this great summer dinner… we hope you will do the same.

Ingredients

organic chicken breast
soy sauce
juice of a lime
brown sugar
sesame oil
worcestershire sauce (optional)
crushed garlic
salt & pepper

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together (adding more or less of something until it taste delicious).
Pour into a bowl or baggie and add meat. Marinate for at least a half hour or longer.
BBQ it.

 

pizza and the T&T salad

Pizza_Dinner_001

Tonight we had a lovely dinner with our two dear friends, Todd and Trista. Todd is one of the most gracious people you will ever meet and his wife Trista is as funny as he is gracious. Together, they are the perfect pair. Her eye for detail and color made this such a beautiful meal to capture.

Pizza_Sauce_002

Say goodbye to pizza sauce in a jar. This stuff is delicious and so easy to make. Just as the picture shows, a few simple ingredients makes this about the best pizza sauce you have ever had.

T&T_Salad_004

The T&T… The Todd & Trista salad… inspired by these two… you have something peppery, sweet, crunchy, salty and perfectly smooth. Delicious.

Pizza_Dinner_002

Ingredients

pizza sauce

1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste (Costco sells these little cans of organic paste, great price and you can use the tomato paste in so many different recipes)
6 ounces of warm water (I use the tomato paste can to measure the water… then mix together with paste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons of Romano or Parmesan cheese (Trader Joes has a blend for only 2.49. Use the extra on the pizza!)
2 tablespoons of honey (less if you do not prefer a sauce on the sweeter side)
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Instructions

Mix all together. Let sit for at least a half hour. A few side notes… I like to use the extra sauce to dip the crust in (with a little extra Olive Oil of course)… but you can even take a step further and triple this recipe, freezing some for future meals. It freezes great and maybe taste even better because all the flavors have been married longer.

Also – must give credit where credit is due. This recipe has been slightly altered from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. Please check there for the original and other good ideas!

 

Ingredients

salad

1/3 cup avocado oil
1 juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar (lightly packed)
salt and pepper to taste

arugula
dried cranberries
shaved red onion
sunflower seeds
romano cheese
avocado

Instructions

Mix ingredients together for salad dressing (altering as your taste buds demand)
Combine salad ingredients and be sure to toss with dressing before serving… I swear it taste better that way.

 

1 4 5 6 7