Winter Salad

Before we even get started, let me acknowledge that this salad won’t be for everyone. But, if you have a palette for a few strong flavors, then this is the perfect antidote to those slightly depressing and less-than-fresh produce shelves. Why? Because, as you’ll see, other than the lettuce, we rely on a few key canned ingredients to prepare this uber-delicious twist on the Ceasar salad.

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While this may be the simplest recipe we’ve ever published, don’t underestimate it’s quality. I realized we had to share the dish after Calder and I ate it at least a half dozen times over the course of a few weeks!

Ingredients

  • romaine lettuce
  • hearts of palm
  • artichoke hearts
  • black olives
  • anchovies
  • hard boiled eggs (approximately 1 per person or serving)
  • grated parmesan
  • Caesar dressing (we like this creamy one)

Preparation & Serving Suggestions

  • I make this as a large side salad for the two of us, and find that I only need about 1/3 of the can of artichoke hearts and hearts of palm and about a quarter of a can of olives, but you can easily adjust those amounts to suit your taste.
  • Since anchovies aren’t for everyone, they can easily be served on the side, which is what I also do with the egg since I eat them but Calder doesn’t.
  • Finally, we think it’s fun to grate the cheese directly over our servings, so I put that on the table with a grater.
  • And what else can I say about a salad? Add your dressing, give it a thorough toss, and enjoy!

liveseasoned_w2015_wintersalad2_wmSo easy. So good. So perfect for a meal between the many holiday indulgences that arise at this time of year! enjoy*

 

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Vegetarian Pesto Pasta Salad

Summer is in full swing, which means everyone needs a picnic pasta salad recipe, including you!  Cold salads are great for lunches, beach coolers and midday hikes so mix this up, throw it in a jar and eat it in the sunshine!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 large cucumber peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow or red sweet pepper chopped
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 box of your favorite penne or rotini (I’m a big fan of this veggie pasta)
  • 2 heaping cups fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts if pine nuts aren’t available)
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

The how:

  • Put a pot of water on to boil and add a tsp of salt to it.  Once the water boils, cook the pasta according to the box.  Drain and set aside to cool.
  • Clean the basil and add it to the blender along with the peeled garlic, nuts, 1/3 cup olive oil and the parmesan.  Add more olive oil until it reaches the desired consistency.  Add a few shakes of salt and pepper to taste.  Set the pesto aside.
  • Chop up the pepper and broccoli and add them to a large serving bowl. Peel and cut the carrots.  Peel the cucumber, cut it in half long ways and scoop out the seeds. Chop up the cucumber and add it to the bowl.  Rinse off the peas.  If you’re using frozen peas, defrost them in a bowl of hot water for five minutes then drain and add them to the other veggies.
  • Add the pasta to the serving bowl and mix in half of the pesto.  Add more pesto spoonful by spoonful until desired coverage is reached.  (Save the remaining pesto to hydrate the pasta salad in the future.)  Sprinkle some parmesan on the salad if you wish.
  • Keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.

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I promise this pesto pasta salad will rival the classic mix of meat, cheese and pasta that your mother used to make.  Enjoy!

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Quinoa Salad : Variation 1 (vegan & gluten free)

Mint is our ingredient of the season. So far we’ve shared a few mojitos, perfect for sipping while using our minted foot scrub.

Have you tried quinoa yet? It’s an uber nutritious grain, or psuedo-cereal, that’s high in protein, fiber, and minerals.  Quinoa is native to the Andes, and that’s still where most of the world’s crop is grown, but with its increasing popularity over the past decade or so, it’s easy to find in most markets across the US. If you haven’t tried it before, don’t be deterred. Cooking quinoa is as simple as boiling water, and then you can eat it warm and lightly seasoned in place of rice or couscous as a side to meat and veggie dishes. Beyond side-dish status, we love to throw quinoa (warm or cold) into salads. It’s a fantastically simple use that quickly ups the salad’s nutritional content and can turn it into a hearty meal (and we aren’t the only ones singing the quinoa salad’s praises).

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Rosemary Roasted Vegtables

Rosemary is our ingredient of the season. You can see all of our rosemary posts here. Today we’re ending the series with our easiest recipe and the absolute most popular rosemary dish in our house.

 

As you’ll see, this is a dish where any vegetable goes; the only constants are my roasting and seasoning methods. For those reasons this post reads more like an instruction manual and less like a recipe. If you’re making these for dinner, be sure to begin prepping them about two hours before you want to eat. I know that sounds crazy, but I like to do a lower roasting temperature that leaves the vegetables moist and concentrates their delicious flavors. After you’ve had them once you’ll see that the prep is so easy and they taste amazing, so it’s totally worth the cooking time. Throughout this post we’ve included photos of our past roasted veg experiments, all at different stages of preparation.

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Roasted Rosemary Tomato Skewers

Rosemary is our ingredient of the season.  Sometimes we drink it, sometimes we spray it and other times we bake with it. Oh, and sometimes we water it too.

Roasted Rosemary Tomatoes are a great addition to any meal! Seriously, they’re the best.  The rosemary skewers also make presentation a breeze, which is why I used mine as a cheese plate accompaniment.

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Packed full of flavor, but not overpowering, roasted rosemary tomatoes are delicious in couscous, quinoa and lettuce salads.  They also make a yummy topping for crackers and melba toast paired with some crumbles of cheese.  Roasted rosemary tomatoes are especially delicious in fettuccine alfredo, pasta primavera and margarita pizza or as a dinner side. Enough about how they taste, let’s talk about how roasted rosemary tomatoes are prepared.

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