Zucchini, Onion & Chickpea Side Salad with Arugula (Hello Fresh)

I thought this was a creative little side salad idea from Hello Fresh.  It actually came out super tasty.

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I can’t give you the whole recipe here, but just so you get the idea:

You start out by sauteeing the chopped onion and zucchini in olive oil, because they take the longest to cook:

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Then you stir in garlic, vegetable stock, and paprika:

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Before ultimately adding the chickpeas and chopped arugula:

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I was really impressed by this dish; the flavors really came together.

It was served a side dish to the Spanish-style cod, which was very easy to make– you pop it in the oven at 500 degrees for about 8 minutes.

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My only real criticism of Hello Fresh, after having tried it a few times, is that the meals just don’t end up being very filling.  After eating a serving of this, I was hungry again within about two hours.

However, I just wanted to remember this dish because the favors came together really well, and it has the potential to really complement a larger dish.  If I was going to make it gain, I think I would try to mix in some couscous or something, along with some extra olive oil, to bulk it up.

So, that is my somewhat mixed review, but rest assured– this salad itself was incredibly tasty!

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Cheese Tortellini with Melted Goat Cheese & Sauteed Broccoli Rabe

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In my last post, I described a pretty easy way to cook broccoli rabe (blanching it in cold water, and then sauteing it in olive oil).

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You can then use that broccoli rabe to make this dish.

It’s super simple:

You just boil the tortellini (I used an 8 oz package of fresh Bertoli tortellini, in the three cheese flavor):

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Then you drain the pasta in a colandar.

Next, slice a log of goat cheese into thin medallions and then spread them out evenly, stirring gently so that they begin to melt.

Then add the broccoli rabe, and voila!  You’re done.  Easy side dish.

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Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic

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Broccoli rabe (also known as “rapini”) is one of those vegetables I’ve been meaning to learn to cook for a long time.  I finally tackled it the other day before incorporating it into a dish with tortellini and goat cheese (that recipe is coming next!).

I have to be honest, it didn’t come out perfect on my first try, but I think I know what to do differently next time.

So here’s what I did, more or less following this recipe from Serious Eats (I omitted the chili flakes).

First, you trim off the stalks, before cutting the broccoli rabe into 3-4″ long pieces.

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Then, you blanch it– you quickly submerge it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before transferring it to a skillet.  This helps soften it without making boiling the primary cooking method.

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Then, you just chop up one clove of garlic, brown it in a skillet with olive oil, and then add the broccoli rabe and saute until wilted:

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I left mine in the boiling water for a little longer (about 5 minutes) because I was skeptical about it becoming soft enough.  It ended up too soft, so next time I will definitely limit it to 2-3 minutes.

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By the way, here’s an interesting article from the Kitchn on the differences between broccoli, broccoli rabe, and Chinese broccoli.  Although they’re all technically part of the cabbage family, they aren’t as closely related as you’d think.  Broccoli rabe is actually more closely related to turnips than these other two veggies.  Hmm, strange.

And here is a recipe I might try next from the New York Times: Spaghetti With Broccoli Rabe, Toasted Garlic and Bread Crumbs

Kale salad: avocado, bacon, apple & pomegranate (a little b. good inspiration!)

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I think it must be a well-known fact by now that I am officially obsessed with this healthy, “fast” food chain we have on the East Coast called b. good.

Pretty much everything on the menu is super healthy, and they have a really interesting way of combining ingredients in a way you wouldn’t expect, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

To top things off, they source many of their ingredients from local farms and vendors.  When you go in to a store, you can see they actually have really pretty bulletin boards up listening where the food came from.  I just love it.

Any time I go to b. good, I just have to try something new.  Today was the “Local Apple & Bacon” Kale & Grain Bowl.

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Somehow, they actually made the kale taste really good.  It was raw, but it had been marinated in some kind of lemony vinaigrette, which made it soft.

The combo of avocado, bacon, and pomegranate was over the top!

Full disclosure: the person who made the bowl apparently left out some of the other ingredients, such as dried cranberries, scallions, and sunflower seeds.  Oh well– it was still pretty good, and filling.

I’ll just add those in when I inevitably try to make this at home!

Healthy Baked Broccoli Bites

This is a quick, easy, and tasty way to prepare broccoli!  Chop into bite-size pieces:

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Then coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper:

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Spread the pieces out on a baking tray, making sure they aren’t touching each other too much (you want them to bake, not steam each other).

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  (Start checking periodically after the 10-minute mark).

When the pieces begin to turn brown and crispy, they’re done! Enjoy!

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The simplest recipe for baked sweet potatoes.

You guys, I just made myself the most amazing snack, and it was so, so easy:

I came home from the most beautiful hike, and I was hungry.

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I rinsed off a sweet potato, cut it in half, and then coated both sides lightly in olive oil.

I then wrapped it in tinfoil, and tossed it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

When I took it out, I simply added a little Country Crock butter spread and let it melt all over (it’s a good choice because it’s made with vegetable oil and no trans fats).

So delicious.  Gonna remember this one.

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Chicken, Bacon & Wild Rice Soup (from Pinch of Yum)

Pinch of Yum is a really great food blog I’ve been following a long time.  In addition to their wide range of recipes, Lindsay and Bjork also offer a lot of great advice on topics such as food photography and making an income with your blog.

Yesterday I followed their recipe for Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup.  Obviously I can’t give you the whole recipe here, but I just wanted to save a few notes for myself (and you, if you’re interested) about what it was like to make this recipe.

One thing: This recipe makes a creamy soup with a lot of liquid.  I ended up increasing some of the ingredients because I wanted more of a stew/one-pot meal.   I used:

  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice instead of 1/2 cup
  • an entire 1.25-lb package of chicken

It came out really, really good.

I really liked how easy it was to follow this recipe.  As I made it, I realized there were basically three main steps, which could be adapted to make all different kinds of soups: (Yep… definitely still a beginner here!).  Anyway: 

1. Cook chicken broth, scallions, and rice

2. Make the creamy bechamel-inspired sauce

3. Combine everything at the end.  For me, using pre-cooked chicken and bacon makes the recipe a little bit easier to follow, since I don’t have to worry about the meat getting fully cooked in the broth.

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It came out great, and I’d definitely make it again.  (I think next time I might add some chopped carrots in at step 3).

Anyway, that’s all for now!  If you want to know more, be sure to check out the original recipe!  Bon Appetit!