Archives for posts with tag: vegetarian

as winter melts into spring, i get excited when the produce at farmers markets starts changing, but here in southern california it seems as though beets and kale are here year round. that is just fine by me. this salad blends the merging seasons well with earthy wild rice, sweet golden beets, and crunchy green kale.

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  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice, cooked yielding about 3 cups, let cool
  • 3 medium golden beets, roasted, peeled, let cool and diced
  • 1 bunch of kale (i prefer lacinato for this recipe), blanched, drained fully and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced small or minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


in a large bowl mix together the cooled wild rice and beets with the kale and onion. in a small bowl add a generous pinch of salt to the vinegar, and slowly whisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies. toss dressing into rice mixture. add salt and pepper to taste.

makes about 4-6 cups

tip: for breakfast the next morning, sauté a little and add to scrambled eggs with goat cheese.


i have become a fan of the grain salad as of late. while trying to explore new places for lunch, when working at warner brothers on ‘pretty little liars‘, and too lazy to bring my own, i discovered olive + thyme. it is just close enough to pick up an to go order, or sit and eat if i want to relax. well, one day i strayed from my usual beet and arugula salad, and chose the quinoa and corn. it was so refreshing and perfect for summer i needed to make it at home. so damn easy.

tonight i when i got home, and knew the only thing doing pretty well in our ltl community garden has been the basil, thought maybe i could do a spin off of the quinoa + corn salad?


this is what i came up with:

  • quinoa (1 cup dry makes about 3 cups cooked)
  • basil (7-10 large leaves, 1/4 cup once minced)
  • peas (1 cup)
  • feta (1-2 ounces chopped small)
  • red onion (3 tbsp)
  • green onion (1/4 cup)
  • lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • lime juice (2 limes)
  • olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • salt (1/2 tbsp)

i did this all to taste. i started with 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked it, chilled it (or just bring it to room temp), and went from there. parenthesis are meant to be approximations. switch things up a bit. mint for basil. corn for peas. try apple cider vinegar instead of citrus? i don’t care.

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just please enjoy summer!

note: the next day, the citrus seemed to have soaked in and be a bit overpowering, so i may reduce that in the future.

get used to lots of recipes this summer with wee little yellow orbs from dave jr. because he is producing like a mofo. this was simply another combination of what i happened to have on hand.


  • 1 medium fresh yellow beet, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 12 yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 large sprig fresh tarragon, leaves removed from stem, but not chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • olive oil (i used a little regular evoo, and some orange infused from adams’ olive ranch to give it a little more citrus flavor)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • paprika
  • black pepper

after prepping the beet, tomato, cabbage and tarragon, toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice. add a touch of olive oil and a splash of balsamic until nicely coated but not drenched. you can be generous with the paprika, and add black pepper to your taste.

i’m sure one of these days i will use the fruits of dave jr. and actually cook them, but for now i am enjoying them raw, sweet and tangy.

note: this makes enough for about 4 side servings, and is only about 100 calories per serving.

even before my first harvest of dave jr. i have been looking for different recipes to test out with his delicious sweet and tangy fruits. a friend at work brings in vegetables from her garden from time to time. this week was yellow zucchini. i am a fan of most vegetables, and although the squash family has never been a favorite, i was not going to turn down a fresh home garden grown zucchini.

doing some quick googling for recipes, i found this on i chose to use a grill pan for the zucchini, and it worked just fine. while they cooked, i cut up my yellow cherry tomatoes and herbs (i had dill, tarragon and chives on hand.) i chose an espresso balsamic vinegar from amphora to drizzle over, and tossed in the rest of the ingredients.

of course they used green zucchini, grape red tomatoes and a different mix of herbs, but i’ll bet mine turned out just as tasty. i served it to accompany cacio e pepe, but this would be a wonderfully fresh side to any summer meal.

note: i liked this zucchini recipe so much i think i’ll try out more from this list on, perhaps proving that i like squash after all.

this is stupid easy.

you will need:

  • 5 cloves of garlic, about 1/4 cup
  • 4 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
  • 2/3 cup parmesan, medium to coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil
  • juice of a fresh lemon
  • a food processor

with the food processor running, add the garlic until finely chopped. stop the motor and add the basil, parmesan, nuts, lemon juice and s+p. process until very finely chopped and looks like this:

then while motor running, slowly pour the olive oil in until smooth and completely incorporated.

yield: about 1 1/3 cups.

toss with your favorite pasta, mix with hummus for a dip for pita or chips, or use as an alternative or additional sauce on pizza.

perhaps you have been hearing about meatless mondays lately? well for those who haven’t, it is a movement to try to reduce the amount of meat we are eating by at least 15% in order to improve our health and ultimately the health of this planet. i am by no means becoming a vegetarian, and will remain an ominvore, mostly because i love all kinds of meat, but here are a few things to think about:

“going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. it can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.” – from the meatless monday website

also, as mark bittman states in a recent article meat: why bother? for his blog in the nytimes:

“in limited quantities, meat is just fine, especially sustainably raised meat (and wild game), locally and ethically produced dairy and eggs, the remaining wild or decently cultivated fish.”

lastly, michael pollan states in his book in defense of food: an eater’s manifesto even more simply,

“eat food. not too much. mostly plants.”

now being that all of those diseases mentioned above run in my family, and the fact that i love vegetables, taking meat out of my diet once a week seems completely doable. this will be the first of many (hopefully weekly) meatless monday recipes.

mattar paneer (serves 2)

  • 3 tbsp oil (i’ve been on a coconut oil kick, but you can sub canola or olive)
  • 1 cup paneer, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tsp water, set aside
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp corriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cream

heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. fry paneer cubes for a few minutes until light golden brown. remove from the pan and place on some paper towels to remove any excess oil. set aside.

blend the tomatoes and ginger together. heat remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. add in the cumin, cinnamon and bay leaf for a few seconds. then add the tomato ginger purée and remaining spices and stir for a few minutes allowing it to reduce a bit.

add the peas and 1/4 cup of water and let cook covered over medium heat for a few minutes letting the peas soften a bit.

add the cornstarch water mixture and let it thicken up. gently stir in the fried paneer.

turn the heat off. discard the bay leaf, and mix in the cream.

i suggest serving over jasmine rice, or as i did today, quinoa. sopping it up with warm naan would be delicious too.

happy mondays!

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