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green summer rolls with zero fat carrot-ginger dipping sauce

11 May

sorry i didn’t take any pictures of the process..but its pretty self explanatory..

the actual roll is basically the same as my spring roll recipe . it’s just romaine lettuce, avocado, cucumber, snap peas, thai basil, mint, cilantro and a few carrots.

for the carrot-ginger sauce:

you need:

1 cup of carrots, sliced into rounds

1 T of ginger, chopped

1/4 c water

2 tsp thai chili garlic sauce

1-2 T low sodium soy sauce

1-2 limes, juiced

saute 1 cup of round carrot slices in a pan coated with pan spray. add salt and pepper and saute about 6 minutes. add in 1 T of chopped ginger until fragrant. pour the carrots and ginger into a blender with the juice of one juicy lime (or 2 limes), a tsp of sambol–thai chili garlic sauce and about 1/4 cup of water. it should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and not at all chunky. taste it and adjust flavors! enjoy.

(sorry this wasn’t much of a recipe….)


shaved asparagus salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette

7 May

summer timeeee!!! actually though, i dont know why people are always excited about summer. everywhere i have ever lived, summer just means its over 100 degrees every day. when i got into my car yesterday my thermometer said 109 degrees. its the first week of may. oy vay.

on a positive note…summer also means more fresh produce and lots of bright, refreshing food. (if you eat anything more than a salad you may not be able to move in the sauna that is a central texas summer)

enter: shaved asparagus salad with toasted pine nuts, parmiggiano reggiano and a meyer lemon cilantro vinaigrette.

What You Need for 2 servings of Salad:

1 lb of green asparagus

1/4 c toasted pine nuts

a few nice shavings of good parmesan cheese

for the meyer lemon cilantro vin:

2 meyer lemons, juiced

1 teaspoon white balsamic vin

1 T super finely minced cilantro

1/2 T of thinly sliced green onions

olive oil for streaming, maybe about 1/4-1/3 c

salt and black pepps

lets talk about meyer lemons. different than your standard lemon? yes. really fragrant and fruity, not quite as tart. meyer lemons are actually in season in early spring but whatever, they are the

to assemble:

using a vegetable peeler, shave each asparagus into ribbons. unfortunately it’s difficult to shave once you get past the halfway point of the asparagus. i just saved all of these bits to use later in a frittata or another salad. reserve all your shaved asparagus ribbons in a bowl, tossed with the pine nuts.

to make the vinaigrette, combine the herbs, lemon juice, balsam vin, salt and pepps in a bowl. while whisking, stream in olive oil until the vinaigrette comes together and thickens. taste and adjust seasonings.

once you are ready to serve, toss the asparagus and pine nuts with enough vin just to happily moisten but not drench the ribbons. top with shaved parm!


OH AND ALSO. this salad does beautifully as an addition to your breakfast the next morning…

top english muffins or crusty bread with a bit of the salad and a poached egg. yumyumyum! (sorry blackberry photo..)

24 calorie, 0 fat raspberry thyme vinagrette

6 Mar


What You Need:

1.5 cups frozen raspberries

1 T honey

1 t brown sugar

1/2 c white balsamic vinegar (white balsamic vinegar is balsamic vinegar made from white grapes, it tastes like regular balsamic vinegar mixed with a white wine flavor–its delicious!)

1/4 c water

2 sprigs of thyme, 1 with the leaves taken off (should be about 1/4 t of leaves, the other sprig left whole/in-tact)

salt and pepps


How To:

combine the vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pot over medium heat. cook until the sugar dissolves about 2 minutes.

pour in the honey, raspberries and water.

bring up to a boil. drop in the whole thyme sprig and reduce to the lowest heat. let cook for about 3 minutes. remove from the heat and let it sit for a few more minutes to cool down and so the thyme can steep into the liquid.

pour the mixture into the blender, add a pinch of salt, pepper and the 1/4 t of thyme leaves. liquify until smooth. strain if desired to get out the seeds. and there you have it!

24 calories and 0 g of fat per Tablespoon of dressing.


edamame carrot and cucumber salad with zero fat dressing

5 Jan

i had a little bit of leftover carrot and cucumber from my spring rolls, but not enough leftover to make more spring rolls. so, i made a quick salad! really really easy.

what you need for 1 serving:

1/2 c of thinly sliced carrots

1/2 c thinly sliced cucumber

1/2 c shelled edamame

2 T of rice wine vinegar

1/2 t of soy sauce

1-2 t of chili garlic sauce

(now, if you don’t mind some fat and the vinegar is too tangy for you by itself, you can add 1/2 t of sesame oil and it will soften the vinegar and add delicious flavor! and it only adds about 2 grams of fat)

what to do:

cook the edamame following the package instructions. whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and chili garlic. toss with the veggies. enjoy!!

i know it’s almost silly that i posted this recipe but while the actual process is blatantly easy-i thought the salad was probably interesting enough for some of you to swap out your regular lunch time side salad for 🙂


simple pear and arugula salad with balsamic reduction

3 Jan

what you need for one salad:

1 pear

1 large handful of arugula

1/4 cup pecans, toasted

1/3 c balsamic vinegar


It’s really easy..

first, make the balsamic reduction. reduce the balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over low heat. until its thick and syrupy. don’t let it bubble-that means the heat is too high. it takes about 15 minutes.

slice the pear into uniform wedges and arrange on the plate in a sunburst

top with arugula, toasted pecans and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.


easy raspberry vinagrette

11 Dec

i love to make my own salad dressing because i can control how much oil goes in. and also, it just tastes fresher, and also, i just feel super accomplished when i eat my salad. so, there are two ways to make raspberry vinagrette (or rather, two ways that i use). the first way is to add fresh or frozen raspberries to some white vinegar and heat up over medium heat, whisking often until the raspberries are melted down about half way and the vinegar is red and smells like raspberries. then, you can combine this raspberry vinegar with a bit of honey and then whisk in as much oil as you’d like until the vinaigrette is fully emulsified. the second way is quicker. if i ever have fruit preserves on hand i use it to make any kind of fruit vinaigrette, its what i used this time around.

combine about 1/8 cup of raspberry preserves, 1/8 cup of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. whisk in some canola or olive  oil until desired consistency and flavor is reached!!


toss with some yummy arugula, avocado and raspberries 🙂

grilled romaine salad with white beans and holiday grapes

20 Oct
So in school we have been cooking starches (pasta, potatoes, rice) for almost 2 weeks and while I am one of the world’s biggest carb fanatics, I am 10 lbs heavier and really, really full. I wanted a healthy dinner, but when I get home from 5 hours of cooking at school I realize that I have absolutely nothing in my fridge. So this is what ensued: composed salad of grilled romaine, white beans with sage, and red grapes. I know, this sounds ridiculous and unimpressive, but its delicious, and hey, I never said my food was glamorous. Even master chef’s like myself have longs days and empty cabinets. 
Here’s a basic idea of what you need, although I added a few things while I was going:
canellini beans, canned or fresh (fresh is better but requires planning)
fresh sage
olive oil
sea salt
romaine lettuce
red grapes
as i was going i added salad dressing, i recommend italian but all i had was my roommates basil lime (thank you sheila). you only need 1/2 of a tablespoon. 
parmesan cheese would be bomb too but i’ve had no shortage of cheese this week so i deemed it unnecessary and probably inappropriate for my recently expanded waist line
You will also need a grill pan. A hot grill pan. Put it on the stove on medium heat and forget about it for a few minutes. 
First things first, drain the canellini beans and rinse them (very well-that salty yucky brine they are canned in will do you no favors today). Set them aside. 
Cut your romaine heart in half length wise, leaving the bottom in tact as that will hold all of the leaves in place. Making sure that its completely dry, brush (or pour and smear with your hand) on the italian (or any kind of) dressing. 
Now, lets discuss grilling lettuce. It sounds odd, I know. but if you are like me, eating a cold heap of vegetables for dinner after a long day just doesn’t cut it. Grilling a romaine heart is one of my favorite ways to make a dinner time salad seem heartier and more suitable for dinner. Just make sure that you have some cold companions for it on the plate, an entirely hot salad just sounds weird. Okay, so once the dressing is on the face side of the romaine, place it face down onto the hot grill pan. You should hear a VERY loud sizzle-this is a culinary symphony. Let it go for about 7 minutes until really charred. 

Next give a rough chop to that bunch of sage (by the way, its about 1/4 cup sage per 1/2 cup beans)

Add 1 T of olive oil, beans, and sage to a heated sauce pan. Stir and add some salt and ground pepper.

Put the romaine on a plate, put the warm beans on the plate. Wash some grapes and put them on the plate too. Generously sea salt the beans and romaine. 

beautiful, right? Here’s the thing. Even if you are eating a “I’m too tired to cook and I have no food at my house anyway” dinner, you should still make it look pretty. We eat with our eyes before our mouths so if your food looks vibrant and yummy you will be more psyched about eating it. This is especially important when eating weird grilled salads that don’t make much sense. Oh, and if you are lucky enough to have someone who loves you enough to buy you fancy olive oil, this would be a great time to use it, just drizzle it over the romaine and beans.