elevating the status of the salad

Peach Crisp

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Looking for a perfect* summer dessert? Stop googling and start making this.  This particular crisp was made from peaches purchased at Sweet Corn Charlie’s stand in Syracuse, Indiana. They were the kind of peaches that were begging to be eaten–perfectly fragrant and just soft enough that if we let them go another day they would have turned to mush.

This is a simple recipe with ingredients you might even have in your pantry and fridge. You can even make it ahead and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. The hardest part is remembering to turn on the oven before dinner so you can pop the crisp in the oven while you eat. My suggestion is to serve it with some vanilla ice cream**, but then again my suggestion is to always serve everything with some vanilla ice cream. Thanks to T for creating this with me and remembering that very important step to turn the oven on. This recipe comes from All Recipes. 

*By perfect I mean one that does not take your time away from having lots of summer fun outside.

**That is, unless you already had a root beer float 2 hours earlier because you were trying to fit an entire summer into one day.

Ingredients:

5-6 peaches, sliced

1/2 c all purpose flour

1/2 c brown sugar

1 stick of cold butter (1/2 c), cut into pieces

1 c rolled oats

1 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange peaches evenly in 8X8 baking dish.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix in the oats. Sprinkle and press topping into the peaches.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is browned.

 

Velvety Green Bean and Almond Soup

IMG_6081Are you tired of sautéing or steaming your green beans? Well, the temperature finally dropped below 80 degrees, so now is a great time to make some soup.

This is a protein-packed vegan soup with a mild flavor and very few ingredients.

Thank you to Chocolate & Zucchini for this wonderful recipe, which I adapted only a little bit based on what I had in my fridge this morning!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onions, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

12 baby carrots,  sliced

About a pound of green beans, rinsed and trimmed

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup vegetable broth

3 cups water

1.5 cups sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onions and carrots, and cook over medium heat, stirring every now and then, until softened and very lightly golden. Add the garlic and stir for minute. Add the green beans to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  2. Pour in the broth and water, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. In the meantime, pour the sliced almonds in a dry skillet. Set over medium-high heat and toast for about two minutes, stirring constantly and watching closely, until golden and fragrant. Set aside in a bowl to prevent overtoasting.
  3. When the vegetables are soft, add the  almonds to the pot and stir well. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Use a high powered or immersion blender to mix all ingredients until velvety smooth. Taste, adjust the seasoning, reheat over gentle heat if necessary, and serve.

Greek Yogurt Ice Pops

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Sometimes G goes on a ketchup, butter, and bacon diet, like at dinner last night.

Then I wake up the next morning and try to do some damage control.

Enter Greek Yogurt Ice Pops. Thanks to CB for the inspiration!

I used blackberries and peaches because that’s what was at the Carroll Gardens Farmer’s Market yesterday, but you can use any fruit/yogurt combination. Why not put in some greens, too?

We did rainbow pops last year without yogurt and those are just as delicious but in a different vegan sort of way. It depends on what you’re in the mood for. If you want to know more about these freezer molds, check out that post. 

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Greek Yogurt (We love Wallaby)

a handful of blackberries (I used 5 large ones)

1 peach, peeled

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 cup water, more as needed

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until liquified. Add more water to thin as needed. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

BONUS: If you have a toddler, this human can help you with every step of this process. G especially liked putting the handles in the molds like a little puzzle. 

Hot Sauce!

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Here’s another way to preserve the jalapeños that are taking over my rooftop. If you don’t have this problem, its worth buying a whole bunch of hot peppers so you can make your own spicy sauce, which is much better than anything you can buy in the store.  I only slightly modified yet another incredible recipe from Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It.

This recipe makes about 3 cups and the sauce will last in the fridge for 6 months.

Warning: Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when working with jalapeños.

Ingredients:

20-25 jalapeño peppers

2 large cloves of garlic, peeled

1.5 T kosher salt

1 cup distilled white vinegar

2 T sugar

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the peppers and cut off the stems. Slice them in half lengthwise. Broil, outside skin near flame, until black and charred. Check the  every few minutes as once they start charring, they turn black pretty quick.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree the garlic until minced. Add the peppers, salt, vinegar, and sugar and puree for about 3 minutes. If you have a high power blender, just run all the ingredients together for 1 minute.
  3. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.

 

Cherry Tomato Panzanella

This comes together in a snap with just a few ingredients, and it disappears even faster. It’s a great way to use day old bread. 

Enjoy! 
Ingredients:

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/2 small shallot, minced 

Approximately 15 basil leaves

2.5 cups Italian bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 T red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the cubes of bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle bread with 1-2 T olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Put bread in the oven for 10-12 minutes until croutons are toasted. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Combine tomatoes, garlic, shallot, vinegar, remaining oil, and salt and pepper to taste. 

When the croutons are cooled, combine basil leaves and bread with tomato mixture. 

Pickled Jalapeño Rings 

Here’s a quick way to preserve jalapeño peppers. Great for topping nachos, salads, in sandwiches, etc. 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

3/4 cup water 

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 T white sugar

1 T kosher salt

10 jalapeños, sliced into rings – use gloves to chop or you’ll regret it later when you take out your contact lenses. 

Directions: 

Pour all ingredients except peppers into a small pot. Once mixture boils, stir in jalapeños and remove from heat. Let sit for ten minutes and watch the color turn before your very eyes. 
Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer jalapeños  to a pint size mason jar and cover with vinegar mixture. Bottle it up, and enjoy topping your food with a kick for the next month or so. 

Super-fast Thai Cucumber Salad


Here’s a great way to get creative with your bumper crop of cucumbers, and it takes only 10 minutes from garden to plate. I used a mandolin for maximum beauty and because I like to live on the edge. Thanks to Karen Solomon and her book Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It for this and so many other fun kitchen ideas. 

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber – sliced thin 

1 small red onion-sliced thin

2 teaspoons brown rice syrup (or sugar or your sweetener of preference)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar 

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 30 minutes. It can be refrigerated for 2 days.