If you are like me and still have lots of apples in your fridge from your early fall apple picking days out in various farms and don’t quite know what to do with them anymore, then this recipe is for you. This Fall Cobb salad is a delicious healthy lunch and crowd pleaser to be shared with friends and loved ones and serves as a lighter meal in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. It makes a really impressive centerpiece and you don’t need to add anything more (except perhaps, some fresh bread and crisp white wine). You can play around and add different seasonal ingredients such as pear, apple, roast butternut squash, crunchy romaine lettuce or different nuts or seeds – whatever you might have in your pantry. The poppy seed dressing is tangy and creamy and adds a little pop to the taste of the salad. And any salad with bacon is a winner in my book!
Fall Cobb Salad
1 romaine lettuce, chopped
2 eggs, boiled and chopped
4 rashers bacon, cooked and sliced
1 chicken breast, sautéed until brown then cut into strips
10 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 apple (of your choice), diced
1 pear, diced
1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Optional extras: roasted cubed butternut squash, cubed avocado, , slices of roast portabello mushrooms, roasted sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds
Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (almond or dairy)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (to taste)
1 pinch sea salt
- Place chopped romaine in a large salad bowl.
- Arrange other ingredients in rows: bacon, tomatoes, pear, apple, chicken, eggs.
- Make poppy seed dressing in a glass jar and give it a good shake
- Pour the dressing lightly over the whole salad.
- Serve right away.
It feels as if I’ve been hibernating during this long cold winter. Eating lots of soup and stews. Heavier comfort foods. So with the arrival of a few crocuses in my front garden and a huge magnolia tree by my neighbor’s house, I can officially come out of hibernation and enjoy the spring sunshine and cheerier spring foods. I always tell my clients to use March and April to transition from the richer, heartier winter foods to lighter salads, soups and raw foods and this is a perfect recipe for that.
This coconut lime quinoa side dish is zesty and bright and reminds me of the warm tropical flavors of the Caribbean. It’s just as easy to make as regular quinoa and the lime really stands out in this recipe. I like to make a big batch and store in my fridge for 3-4 days. Eat with roasted chicken or vegetables for a delicious spring supper!
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups (1 can) coconut milk
Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Rinse quinoa with water in a sieve.
- Add quinoa and coconut milk to a small saucepan and simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.
- Stir in the lime zest and juice at the end.
My family absolutely loves roast chicken and when I first heard about this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s recipe collection, I was intrigued. Roast chicken, milk and lemon? That seemed to be a curious combination and I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out. Since we don’t consume much dairy and we love coconut milk, I decided to substitute some of my own herbs and spices and add coconut milk instead.
This fall, I’m officially in love with squash of all kinds. I love roasted rainbow slices of delicata squash, butternut squash soup and of course my old favorite acorn squash. Squash is such a versatile and easy fall vegetable and there is no reason to be intimated. In fact, you don’t need to peel squash at all when roasting. Just cut it in half, drizzle over some olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper and roast until soft. Roasting squash is kind of a miraculous event – you can’t even imagine that something so hard could turn into something so sweet and caramelized in the oven.
Even though I’m not vegetarian and look forward to my Thanksgiving turkey every year, I have many vegetarian friends and clients and they are always looking for an extra special dish for the holidays rather than being left with all the vegetable side dishes. Personally, I’m moving away from eating meat with every meal to having meat once in a while for a little extra flavor so this roasted acorn squash would be perfect for anyone – vegetarian or carnivore come Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. You can experiment your own spice mixture and add some holiday pizzazz with some cranberries or pomegranates too. Of course, you could add in a little ground pork or turkey into the stuffing mix but I think this is perfect just as it is.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberries and Pomegranates (serves 2 or 1 hungry vegetarian)
1 medium acorn squash halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
8 cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mix of cooked wild rice and brown rice – preferably cooked in vegetable or chicken stock instead of water
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- Heat the oven to 450°F.
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side up on a roasting tray. Drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just a little soft for about 30 minutes.
- Saute the onion, scallions, mushrooms and celery in the butter. Stir occasionally and cook on low heat until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are soft for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the thyme and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the rice, chopped walnuts and cranberries.
- Remove the squash from the oven and add the rice filling to each half.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
- Place squash back in the oven and roast for a further 25 minutes until the squash is completely tender.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds over the top. Serve warm.
Last weekend, I went apple and pumpkin picking with my family in beautiful upstate New York. As we were about to choose a large pumpkin to carve for Halloween, I spotted a field of butternut squash growing close by. It’s always fascinating to see vegetables growing and to pick them right then and there. It’s my dream to have an organic vegetable garden but for now, visiting local farms and selecting their produce is wonderful too. I picked the butternut squash (above) and when we got home made this simple soup. I love it when the weather cools down enough that I can eat soup for lunch every day.
Chilled soup has got to be one of the best ways to survive a hot New York summer. I love to make gazpacho when I have an excess of tomatoes but recently I’ve been experimenting with some different chilled soups. I always thought chilled soups should be tomato based so working with zucchini, celery and a few other ingredients actually surprised me. This zucchini soup is light in flavor, delicate and so cooling. Cleansing and delicious, it’s a perfect way to use up some of your excess zucchini and mix in other ingredients. I love to include this soup as part of my summer detox and it gets rave reviews every time!
COOL CREAM OF ZUCCHINI
(Makes 2 Servings)
1 medium zucchini, unpeeled and sliced or chopped
1 1⁄2 teaspoons miso
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small clove raw garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup filtered water
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Prepare all the ingredients and put them in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and serve with chopped basil or parsley as a garnish.
Greek Summer Holiday In A Bowl
Our local food coop in Brooklyn organizes monthly cooking classes with students from the Natural Gourmet Institute. It’s a fantasy of mine to attend this school one day, but for now I’m happy to attend these monthly classes and learn from the culinary masters. Recently, we were shown how to make this delicious Greek (or Mediterranean inspired) chopped salad and here’s my version of it. It’s so fresh and perfect for picnics and summer gatherings and will be sure to impress your friends.
I love this kind of summer cooking: using the freshest ingredients with the freshest of flavors. The original recipe calls for sour cream but I think it makes it too rich and I love the tangy taste of Greek yogurt here. This salad has beautiful notes of lemon and dill and tastes just like a Greek summer holiday in a bowl. Enjoy!
Summery Greek Chopped Salad
Makes 8 servings
1 tub organic cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large long cucumber, diced (you can peel it if you want to)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
6 oz feta cheese, diced into small pieces or crumbles
1 small bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 tbsp dried dill
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 large clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper
- Mix the Greek yogurt, zest and juice of lemon, dill and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes so that the flavors mingle beautifully together. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Chop cucumbers and tomatoes. Rinse the chickpeas. Chop the feta cheese. Place in a large salad bowl.
- Pour over the yogurt dressing and toss. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.