Awe…Summer… warm days, sundress, sandy toes (which I actually dont care for) and peaches… the best! “The mee mee” salad is named after my dearest friend, Meehan. She is quintessential “summer”… she comes alive in the sun, she is happiest on the sand and most at peace when things are simple. Meem’s is “California” thru and thru. She is elegant. One of those gals who can be at the beach all day and then throw on a long dress and look knock out gorgeous for dinner. Effortless beauty, this one. I should add that I tried to learn how to tan from her… big mistake…I must have had a moment of forgetfulness on that day, when I chose not to acknowledge that my red headed genes and milky white skin don’t exactly bronze like her olive goddess bod does… hours later, she looked more like a model (if at all possible) and I needed an aloe bath… for about three days. In any case…Time spent with her is like a dream… you just don’t want it to end.
After a lovely Saturday morning, Rob and I picked all the finest summer goods from local farmers at our market and came up with this delightful salad. Summer in a bowl really. It is so satisfying and very very delicious. I hope you make this salad and share it with someone as lovely as my dear mee mee.
Mix all the ingredients together and toss with dressing. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY
So this may not be a “recipe” but its genius. One night, later than I would like to admit, Rob and I were laying in bed wanting a delicious treat. As we were talking about healthy options… I asked him who in the world thought of “ants on a log” (you know, the traditional celery, peanut butter and raisins and his response was, “I don’t know, someone on a diet”? It made me laugh and resonated with me deeply…celery is like a calorie free cracker for some, but for me… it just doesn’t cut the mustard. So we replaced celery with a banana and raisins for chocolate. Waa Laa… a banana boat was born.
Slice banana, spread nut butter & place those dark chocolate chunks in a row. ENJOY!
We buy our dark chocolate chunks at whole foods but if your in a bind and dont have time to make an extra trip to wf, trader joes sells semi-sweet chocolate chunks… I know from experience that those work just as well.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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!
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.
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!