My Favorite Kale Salad

favorite kale salad

Last night, Tim, Rocco and I returned home after a full week away, driving first to Ohio and then to Chicago to see family, celebrate my birthday and give Rocco his first experience with a real road trip. Our boy was born into a family that has to travel to see its family, so we figured he may as well start learning what that's like now, in the early days, when he's all of just two months old. The way there was broken up by a night in Ohio, at Tim's sister's house, where we ate perfectly grilled chicken and decadent chocolate mousse cake alongside Italian-style green beans and quinoa salad. In Chicago, my mom made my favorite lemon chicken and my brother baked me chocolate birthday cake, and there were a lot of days of Three Twins ice cream. I don't think I exerted more effort than scooping prepared food onto my plate the whole vacation, so you can imagine what a luxury that was. And even on our epic 10-hour trip home yesterday (because, new parent lesson!, road trips get longer when … [Read more...]

(Baked) Fried Chicken on Mango Avocado Salad + Fight Hunger with Walmart!

baked chicken on mango avocado salad-23

Even as Tim and I made these (baked) fried chicken salads last Saturday, it was with an awareness that we are remarkably privileged to be able to go to the store, pick out what we want to bring home and then, together, cook it to have something good to eat. Not everybody knows these luxuries. With that in mind, we're glad to write this post as ambassadors for Walmart's current Fight Hunger program, one step towards eradicating the real issues of hunger today, with the help of consumers and six key vendors, working towards an overall goal of providing 75 million meals to Feeding America Food Banks nationwide (and they're close!). Below, in this sponsored post, we are sharing some information about Walmart's current program along with a recipe for the killer chicken we made last weekend, set on top of salads that, in honor of the work Walmart is doing now, feature ingredients found at our local retail location. In our protected pocket of middle-class America, it's hard to … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Tomato Cucumber Salad

food loves writing cucumber tomato salad

Summer 2014 will go down in my mental history books as the summer when: Tim and I drove a friend's beat-up truck to East Nashville so we could load my old roommate's queen-sized mattress and box spring, strap it in as best we could with ropes and gravity, then truck it back down the highway like those crazy people you never want to wind up stuck behind, praying it wouldn't fly off. It will be the summer both my old roommates moved away. The summer of days so hot, sweat layers on sweat. The summer I did things like look up the owner of a property on public records, cyber-stalk him and email a "Hey, have you thought about selling your place?" The summer of sweet old ladies like Edna, whom we met this week, who lived in her house for 50+ years and whose husband worked on airplanes and who is only trying to move now because he died last year. The day after I met her, I sat at Provence with my work buddies, thinking about people who can't get out to coffee shops in the middle of the day, … [Read more...]

Peach and Corn Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime

salad ingredients

If you asked the average Joe today what he thinks about salad, ten to one he says something about “healthy.” I’m a 1980s baby, a Millennial, a product of the decade marked by thick shoulder pads and Jell-O Pudding Pops commercials with smiling Bill Cosby on the screen, and what I remember most about the salads in my childhood is that there weren’t many. My school cafeteria had Pizza Day and Hot Dog Day, and, by the time I was a senior, when I was the one running to Aldi to grab the cheapest versions of buns and chips and candy bars for us to resell, I was never picking up greens or vegetables or even fruit. (Who would buy them, especially when they could get a giant Coke for less?) Besides that, salads were rabbit food---crunchy and raw, the sort of thing you needed to chomp at before you could swallow---and they couldn’t fill you up like the burgers we made on grill day or the bread-heavy pizzas each week, right? You’d eat salad if you were dieting. Or maybe if they went with your … [Read more...]

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Caramelized Onions, Almonds and Raisins

SWISSCHARD

Last year at this time I was talking to you about sautéed beet greens. Today I’m bringing you sautéed chard. What can I say, I’m a one-trick pony when it comes to June vegetables. (Also, fun fact, I’m apparently thinking like the Italians, who refer to beet greens and chard almost interchangeably, says historian Clifford A. Wright.) While the name chard was originally a corruption of another French word, historically it’s been called everything from leaf beet and strawberry spinach to Roman kale, because it’s been considered so similar to these other greens. To a Nashville girl in 2014, carrying home bags of local greens from my CSA dropoff this past Monday night, that makes sense: because the main thing I was thinking while I washed earth off plants, cooking some and storing the rest, wasn’t how I wanted to highlight lamb’s quarters over collards or how intricate the differences were between the two. Instead it was the real and pressing need that all my greens have in common, namely … [Read more...]

Triple Berry Salad with Sautéed Shallots and Walnuts in a Cayenne-Honey Vinaigrette

triple-berry-walnutshallot-salad

This year's CSA started Monday with a first week loaded with lettuce (baskets and baskets of lettuce!)... there was so much lettuce, in fact, that our farmers were giving it away, as much as you could take, whether or not you have the larger, family-sized share (we don't). It was hard for my frugal heart to take only two heads (even in addition to the kale, pokeweed, catnip, etc.), but it was easier when I unpacked our bags at home and tried to figure out how two of us would eat so many greens before they wilt. It almost goes without saying that we've been eating salads ever since. Salads with goat cheese and pesto, salads with a hodge podge of vegetables or fresh strawberries (from our other farmer!) and salads like this triple berry one we had tonight. At its heart, this is a simple combination, but the shallots and walnuts add a more complex, savory note that reminds me of Thanksgiving, and then the whole thing gets kicked up even further with the cayenne-honey oil/vinegar on … [Read more...]