I know summer isn’t completely over yet but I’ve already found a pretty good meatless dish for the Fall. It’s a light salad with roasted vegetables and is full of protein from baked chickpeas.
Salads often get a bad rep cause they remind people of “rabbit food” as my roommate likes to say. It can be hard to find a good balance of flavor and texture without adding too many unhealthy additives like croutons and creamy dressings. Our dining hall has a great salad station that students love, but it can get repetitive since it’s the only good salad bar on campus.
I’ve made this salad in my kitchen about 3 times this week and I’d say its a couple steps up from “rabbit food.” It has a lot of flavor and crunch and is very simple to make. You’ll need an oven for roasting the vegetables, but you could also use a toaster oven, stir-fry them, or steam the vegetables in a pot or microwave.
ROASTED VEGETABLE SALAD
1/3 butternut squash, diced into small cubes
1/3 head cauliflower
1 cup chickpeas
2 handfuls mixed salad greens
1/2+1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut butternut squash into bite-sized cubes and cauliflower into small florets. Place veggies into a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown.
Drain chickpeas and pat dry. In another baking tray, toss chickpeas with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Coat evenly and roast for 30 minutes, also stirring once halfway through.
For the dressing, mix 2 tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp lemon juice.
To assemble the salad, mix the greens with roasted vegetables and the dressing. Sprinkle on the chickpeas.
adapted from To Her Core
Brie is awesome. Its ooey-gooey creaminess makes us melt with delight as we spread it on crackers at dinner parties. But it can be spread on much more than crackers. For a light snack in the Spring or Summer, try making these blackberry brie bites. It’s the perfect combination of a burst of fruit and cheese, wrapped in a buttery, flaky blanket.
These are perfect crowd-pleasers for parties, meetings, or just for fun. They are literally bite-sized so they won’t make a mess but enough to impress your friends and leave them wanting more. Of course, they’re best served warm, right after you take them out of the oven. If they do get cold, you can simply warm them up in the microwave and get the same taste.
I spontaneously made these after school one day because I had leftover brie and wanted to bake it in with puff pastry. These are actually very similar to the Cuban Guava Pastries I made last year, which were made using guava paste and cream cheese. There are soo many variations of puff pastry+fruit+cheese. Next time, I’ll try using other fruits like figs and maybe add some honey!
BLACKBERRY BRIE BITES
1 pkg puff pastry, thawed
1 quart blackberries
5 oz brie cheese, cut into cubes
3-4 tbsps blackberry jam
1 egg, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the thawed puff pastry into equal squares.
Place a cube of brie in the middle of a square, spoon 1/4 teaspoon of jam onto it, and place blackberry on top. Fold two opposite corners into the middle and pinch corners together. Then, pinch the other two corners to meet in the middle so all 4 corners come together. Repeat for each square.
Beat the egg until mixed. Brush egg wash on the outer parts of puff pastry surface.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Something I never foresaw when I started this blog was being featured nationally. Shortly after the article from my university, a reporter from NPR contacted me for an interview and published an awesome article about my blog. My mind was blown away as I saw the number of viewers increase exponentially and especially when friends from high school were telling me they stumbled upon the article on NPR’s website.
As more attention has been directed to this blog, I’ve been thinking about the direction that it’s going in. Most people are fascinated by the fact that I strive to create recipes that are healthy, something that many people aim to be and what college meals are not exactly known for. I’ll admit that a lot of the desserts I make are not healthy on their own, but rather are healthier alternatives to what they could have been. As much fun as it can be to make desserts healthier with all kinds of crazy substitutions, I’ve started to try to cook more healthy, quick dishes for lunch and dinner.
I’ve gotten quite a few requests for vegan/vegetarian dishes. Well, here is a dish that is actually downright healthy, requiring few ingredients and can be made in minutes. Vegetable pastas have been becoming very trendy in the foodie world. I first made this “zucchetti” in my dorm when I was studying abroad. Sometimes after traveling and eating my way through Europe, I would feel the urge for a detox/cleansing period where all I wanted to eat was vegetables. This is an excellent way to eat lots of vegetables and for a low-carb diet. I was actually inspired by a small food booth in Copenhagen called PALÆO, which had a delicious vegetable spaghetti with meat sauce.
The easiest tool for making zucchini spaghetti is a spiralizer but I used a julienne peeler, which worked just fine. I sauteed the zucchini in a pan, but you can also eat it raw if you want more crunch. I liked the zucchini spaghetti with just pesto; however, you can add meat or vegetables to it!
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
- salt and pepper
- Using a julienne peeler, peel zucchini vertically in strips all around the zucchini until you reach the seeds. (Toss the seed core away).
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the strips of zucchini and quickly sautee for about a minute (until just tender).
- Turn off the heat and add pesto. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.