foray into the world of turned vegetables

foray into the world

My foray into the world of vegetables turned into noodles has been slow. There’s the whole textural thing happening that has given me pause. They may be shaped like a noodle, but clearly are not pasta, just like riced cauliflower and broccoli are not rice. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both, and I do adore vegetables. I guess I’m being contrary in the naming process.

Setting my little rant aside, there’s beauty and gloriousness in spinning a contraption which turns heaps of garden delights into strips and curlicues that resemble noodles, or purchasing them already spiralized at the market for a few bucks in the produce section.

Recipes are everywhere for zoodles and ziddles topped with cheese and marinara; sautéed with garlic or layered in a casserole dish with stuff. Mostly, they look like something I’d much rather have with real pasta.

foray into the world

One day, though, along came a summer salad-ish dish with roasted summer corn and tons of cilantro, all tossed together with sweet potato noodles and a chipotle dressing which was heavy with lime. Let me tell you, my taste buds perked up. What an enthralling dish, but how to pass off the sweet potato on my guy who definitely has a negative attitude toward sweet potatoes. You know, some story about eating way too many of the things while living in Africa as a kid.

Oh well, I could fix it for a potluck we were going to; he’d have plenty of other items to eat, including his beloved fresh oysters on the grill.foray into the world

Pinch of Yumyou were my muse into this foray; one of which I’m now continuing to explore with food-centric anticipation! In fact, last week we had a beet noodle salad with avocados, oranges and toasted pumpkin seeds. The sad part is I didn’t take any photos. The glad part is it was delicious.

Sweet Potato Noodle Salad

Recipe is courtesy of Pinch of Yum, slightly adapted.

ingredients

For the sweet potato salad

  • olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, spiralized (or purchased noodles)
  • 4 ears sweet corn (kernels cut off the cob)
  • 1 generous cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup pepitas

For the dressing

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 individual chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons agave or honey
  • juice of one orange
  • juice of one lemon or lime (I used lime juice in place of orange and lemon, approximately 1/3 cup)
  • generous pinch of salt
method
  • Heat a little bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potato noodles and toss for a minute or two until softened. (I cooked mine about 5 minutes.)
  • Wipe the skillet out so it’s dry. Add the corn kernels and turn the heat to medium high. Toss around in the pan every few minutes until roasted.
  • Toss the noodles, corn, cilantro, and pepitas together. Save a little of each ingredient for garnishing the salad.
  • Pulse the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  • Toss with the salad ingredients.

As for my guy, he ate it and loved it! Score one for the sweet potato.

Happy eating, my friends –

Missy

 

 

 

tonight: asparagus-strawberry chicken salad

asparagus, strawberry chicken salad
beautiful piles of fruit, meat and vegetables

There’s no AC in our house, which is ok. I’ve come up with a pretty ingenious system of opening the house up in the early evening when it starts to cool down, and turning on the overhead fan for some added air movement.

Where I live the temps usually drop at night, so this works. What doesn’t work is coming home after work and cranking up the stove to cook. When I’m trying really hard to keep it pleasant inside, I certainly don’t want any added heat forms happening.

On our lovely hot summer days, I’m a girl who is very grateful for a patio with a grill, some asparagus spears, a pint of strawberries, leftover rotisserie chicken and salad greens. Oh, and an avocado, just because.

I like composed salads. They feel more like a whole meal, while tossed salads appeal more to the side category. Composed salads have beautiful piles of meat, cheese, fruit or vegetables all artfully positioned. Don’t you like the idea of a beautiful pile, but done with purpose? Thought so and tonight’s dinner ended up being exactly that.

Asparagus-Strawberry Chicken Salad

Serves 4

ingredients

  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 lb asparagus
  • 2 avocados cut into ½” chunks
  • 2 cups rough shredded chicken
  • Olive oil for asparagus and salad
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

method

  • Heat outdoor grill to high.
  • Wash and trim woody ends of asparagus; season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a grill pan and then grill for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Toss shredded chicken on top to hit it with smoke and heat, about another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Assemble salads: place 2 cups greens on each of 4 plates. Arrange ½ cup berries, 4-5 asparagus spears, ½ of an avocado and ½ cup chicken on top of the greens. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Taste for salt and pepper.

Enjoy! And, Happy Eating –

Missy