Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Fresh Corn, Chicken, Brown Rice & Gorgonzola (Vegan or Vegetarian) with White Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Untitled BathingandthesinglegirlCover vromans back

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So – I made an eggplant curry the other day & it came out sorta bitter & yucky and, despite trying to sakvage it, I failed.  But, I had already made some brown rice to go with it & it needed a home.

I get deliveries from Farm Fresh to You and this week’s box had three ears of corn in it.  I typically avoid corn because the vast majority of it is GMO – but this corn came from a local farm – so I deemed it safe.

I recently bought myself some ORGANIC strawberries & spinach – and I stress organic because of information like this (from HERE):

The following “Dirty Dozen Plus” had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow them organically yourself:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes

Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as “highly toxic” and of special concern:

  • Hot peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic)

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Armed with these things, some leftover gorgonzola crumbles & some Beyond Meat chicken strips – I made this salad.   Then I shoved a bunch of it into a mason jar & brought it to work for lunch!  PS – any “hair” you might think you see in the salad is just corn silk.  Whew!

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I made the dressing from those two ingredients, Dijon & some S&P.  If you cannot find white balsamic – white wine vinegar will do.

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White Balsamic & Dijon Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS
3 TBS white balsamic vinegar

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS Dijon

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Shake that shit up in a jar.

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Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Fresh Corn, Chicken, Brown Rice & Gorgonzola (Vegan or Vegetarian) 

Serves 2 as a main course

INGREDIENTS (flexible according to your tastes)

1/2 lb raw, organic spinach – chopped

1 cup organic strawberries – sliced

9 oz vegan chicken – thawed

1 ear fresh corn – kernels cut off

2 cups cooked brown rice

Gorgonzola crumbles (or vegan alternative or other cheese of choice like feta or goat) – optional

Cilantro – chopped – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Treat a pan with cooking spray or oil & sear the chicken strips.  Set aside.

Then basically, just toss everything together & then toss with the dressing.

Easy & gorgeous.

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Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Gorgonzola and Pear

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

I saw these odd looking apple pears at the awesome Super King (the one in Van Nuys is FAR roomier than the San Fernando location & much more civilized) – and thought they would make a nice pizza topping.

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Ultimately – I burned out on pizza before using them so – using what I already had around – I came up with this pasta.  I made homemade spaghetti noodles – like the kind I used in this Salmon Carbonara.

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Homemade pasta really is a completely different experience than boxed but it isn’t always realistic.  I just happen to have invested in nearly every pasta making device there is & I really enjoy the process…so I make it a lot.

Anyway – this comes together in the same time it would take you to cook some dry pasta & it is full of surprising flavors.  The garlicky Brussels Sprouts & the sweet pear & the rich Gorgonzola – it is really yummy.

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You can control how much cheese to use.  Blue cheeses are really powerful & I recommend going light-handed with them – and then you get the added benefit of a fairly healthy dish that still tastes decadent.

Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Gorgonzola and Pears

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

1 pear – any variety – seeded & cubed

10 Brussels Sprouts – sliced thin

2 garlic cloves – minced

Gorgonzola or other blue cheese – crumbled in the quantity that suits your taste

Olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your pasta.  Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile – heat a little olive in a pan that is large enough to hold all the ingredients – including your pasta.  Saute the Brussels Sprouts over medium heat until they begin to brown – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & pear & saute another minute or so.  Stir to warm through & then add the pasta.  Cook long enough to incorporate & warm everything & then stir in the cheese.  Stir to get the cheese creamy & incorporated & then season with S&P.

Serve!  See?  EASY!

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Roasted Zucchini and Potato White Pizza with Gorgonzola and Mixed Herbs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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Untitled

vromans back

I have REALLY been underachieving here lately & these pictures of this pizza are no improvement – but – the pizza was yummy so I am posting it anyway.

I decided to make use of my bursting herb garden here & use some of the fragrant herbs there.  See my scallions there – regrown from the cut off ends?  Impressed?  You can do it, to!  Just put the white, rooted end in a glass of water & watch the tops regrow!  Then – stick’m in some dirt.  VERY satisfying!

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Anyway – pizza never really feels like a recipe exactly.  It feels like a suggestion.  So – here is the combination I am suggesting today.   Also – the quantities are up to you  – as in – how much Gorgonzola & herbs.  It is very much a matter of personal taste.

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Roasted Zucchini and Potato White Pizza with Gorgonzola and Mixed Herbs

INGREDIENTS

Your favorite pizza dough (I make THIS in my bread machine)

1 zucchini – cut into thin rounds

1 potato

Gorgonzola cheese – crumbled

Parmesan cheese – grated

Fresh chopped herbs (I used a mix of lemon thyme, thyme, rosemary, oregano & parsley)

Olive oil

1 head of garlic (optional)

Salt (I am currently infatuated with pink Himalayan salt)

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 DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the zucchini rounds with some olive oil & salt & spread on a cooking sheet in a single layer.

Peel the potato & rub it with olive oil & wrap it in foil.

If using the garlic – cut the top of the head, drizzle with olive oil & wrap in foil.

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 Roast the zucchini for about 20 minutes or until it is softened & just starting to color.  Drain on paper towels.

Bake the potato (and the garlic – if you are using it) for about 45 minutes & then let it cool enough to handle.  Slice the potato into thin rounds.  It is OK if the potato is not completely cooked through.  The baking was just to soften it a bit.  If using the garlic – squeeze the soft cloves out & mash a bit.

Raise the oven temperature to 475.

Roll the dough out, place it on a greased pizza pan or on parchment paper on a cooking sheet & assemble the pizza.  I did not add the roasted garlic but – if you are using it – smear it on the dough.  I drizzled olive oil & some salt on the dough & then topped it with circles of potato & zucchini.  Add the cheeses & herbs.

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Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the crust is cooked to your liking.

Eat it up!  🙂

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