Loaded Zucchini Hummus

Loaded Zucchini Hummus

Loaded zucchini hummus is a fun way to use up summer’s surplus of seasonal zucchini! Blend chargrilled zucchini into a garlicky hummus recipe, and top with a chopped Mediterranean salad of cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, Kalamata olives and dill in a lemon-olive oil dressing! Perfect served with toasted pita.

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Mustard Greens Greek Salad

Mustard Greens Greek Salad

This mustard greens Greek salad is the perfect fueling salad, packed with satisfying fats, carbs and protein! Toss mustard greens with a lemony dressing, pita chips and roasted chickpeas for crunch, juicy ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and radish and plenty of feta cheese!

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Herbed Summer Corn Pasta Salad

Herbed Summer Corn Pasta Salad

I am pleased to present to you my new favorite pasta salad for summer entertaining: this herbed summer corn pasta salad. Made with bowtie pasta (totally underrated pasta shape) tossed with juicy sweet summer corn, briefly sauteed so it maintains it's crunch, briny feta cheese, and tons of fresh herbs, it's one of those dishes that just tastes like summer.

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Summer Farmer’s Market Skillet with Pistachio-Herb Spread

Summer Farmer’s Market Skillet with Pistachio-Herb Spread

This summer farmer's market skillet with pistachio-herb spread is a delicious way to highlight summer produce! Pick your favorite veggies from the market, saute, bake a few eggs into the mix, and serve with a bright and herbaceous pistachio-herb spread. Don't forget crusty bread for soaking up the runny yolks! Easily adaptable for any season. 

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Grilled Naan Pizza with Kale Pesto, Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

Grilled Naan Pizza with Kale Pesto, Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

This recipe for grilled naan pizza with kale pesto, heirloom tomatoes and burrata cheese is my favorite quick and easy recipe for summer! Naan makes such a simple and tasty crust and perfectly ripe summer tomatoes are delicious paired with creamy burrata cheese. 

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Summer Spaghetti with Zoodles, Crispy Prosciutto and Garlic

Make the most of summer's bounty with this recipe for summer spaghetti, tossed with sauteed zoodles, burst cherry tomatoes, golden garlic and crispy prosciutto! 

Time for another round of Recipe Redux! This month's theme is Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape, all about trying creative cuts for fruits and veggies. I obviously went with zoodles, which I've been making on the reg since I was gifted a spiralizer for Christmas. In this recipe, I've tossed with whole grain spaghetti with briefly sauteed zoodles in a summery cherry tomato basil sauce infused with tons of garlic and crispy prosciutto.

Oh, and there's cheese. I love you too.

Veggies pretending to be other things has gotten quite popular lately. Certainly, I've been on board with the trend. It's a fun way to fit in more produce and experiment with different flavors and textures.

Buuuuut...I feel the need to clarify something.

Cauliflower is not rice. Zucchini is not pasta. Lettuce is not bread. Vegetables are not a substitute for carbohydrates.

Don't get me wrong. Zoodles are fun and I swear zucchini tastes better in noodle vs semi-circle form. And I adore cauliflower rice. Actually, I think I like it better than real rice...probably because I'm pretty miserable at cooking rice so that it's nice and fluffy.

But there's also a sinister side to the whole vegetables as other things trend. Rather than being a fun way to experiment with different ways of enjoying veggies, it's become a trendy and socially acceptable way to go low carb. Gone are the Atkins days of a giant hunk of meat and steamed veggies. Now you can have mashed "potatoes," "pizza," "pasta," and (gasp!), even "bread!"

Except it's not.

Zoodles are not pasta. There is an entire country that might kick your a** for claiming it to be so. Zoodles are really yummy briefly sauteed and tossed with actual pasta to add bulk and texture, like I did in this summer spaghetti recipe. They're also tasty in "noodle" soups, where they don't get gummy like pasta sometimes does. Zoodles left raw and topped with pasta sauce are awful. Just don't.

Cauliflower is not pizza. Cauliflower crust is really tasty, but nothing will compare to a thin, crispy pizza with a chewy crust and little spots of char from it's trip into a burning hot woodfire oven. But, it's still really really good, if not pizza, so feel free to try my Mexican inspired one, which still has carbs from a "sauce" of refried beans.

Cauliflower is also not rice. It's better than rice. Yeah, I said it. But you still need carbs with your meal, so top that cauliflower rice with beans or at the very least, have some fruit on the side.

Lettuce is not sandwich bread and it's most certainly not crispy crusted French baguette, savory garlic studded ciabatta or sweet and buttery Sally Lunn bread. It does make for a refreshing wrap for rich, Asian inspired fillings, like warm, soy marinated chicken and veggies or my bulgogi tofu meatballs, as long as you include some brown rice or rice noodles for carbs (and to soak up the delicious sauce).

If you want pizza, eat pizza. If you want bread, eat bread. If you want pasta, eat pasta.

And if you like, throw some zoodles into it.

Summer Spaghetti with Zoodles, Crispy Prosciutto and Garlic

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole grain spagehtti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes (I used mini heirloom tomatoes), halved
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 8 oz mini fresh mozzarella balls, drained

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, cook until al dente. Reserve a little of the starchy pasta water (~ 1/2 cup) then drain and set pasta aside until ready to use.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic, proscuitto and red pepper flakes. Cook until prosciutto is crispy and garlic is golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini and saute until crisp tender about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Toss in pasta with the veggies and add a little starchy pasta water to make a sauce. Stir in basil. Season with just a little salt and black pepper. Toss in mozzarella and serve immediately.

Halloumi Salad with Grilled Tomato Scallion Salsa

Heat up the grill to make this halloumi salad with grilled tomato-scallion salsa and lemony pesto dressing!

Hope you guys had a lovely weekend and that if you're in my neck of the woods, that you found some respite from the 100 degree weather! I spent Friday night in Greenville celebrating one of my dear friend's 31st birthday. She had her second baby a couple months ago, so we enjoyed a laid back night at her house with low country boil, wine, and of course, birthday cake.

The next day a few of us hit up the downtown farmers market and snagged brunch at Nose Dive (avocado toast for me, obviously) before heading back to Columbia and spending the rest of the afternoon vegging out on the couch with The Mindy Project.

Being around my friends kids really made me think a lot about how children eat. Her oldest, Grayson, is three and he's a total trip. Like all three-year-olds, and well, humans in general, he likes sugary foods. We caught him sneaking his fingers into the birthday cake to get little bites of frosting, which totally cracked me up. And at the farmers market, there was a minor "I want a popsicle and I want it NOW" related tantrum.

But also, there was no guilt involved in his choices. He didn't feel guilty for eating frosting off the cake and end up eating half of it before promising to "start his diet next week." Actually, after having his few bites of frosting, I don't think he ended up even eating cake with us afterwards, satiated by dinner and his finger-fulls of frosting. And at brunch, he wasn't overstuffing himself on food simply because it was a splurge meal. He stopped when he was full, leaving half his meal on the plate rather than pushing past the point to stuffed.

We all start off as intuitive eaters. As children, we eat what we enjoy while paying mind to hunger and fullness signals. There's even evidence that children will choose food that supports their health when left alone. And most importantly, children eat with joy. The smile on Grayson's face as he sucked the frosting off his fingers was priceless.

But through the years, the intuitive eater is chipped away by dieting messages, well meaning parents and a food industry that pushes us to eat more and more. One of our goals in Joyful Eating, Nourished Life is to reconnect you with that childlike joy in eating. To be able to eat the foods you love and not feel bad about it. To be able to make decisions on what to eat based on what you enjoy and how it makes you feel. To stop eating when satiated, not stuffed to the point of sickness. To be able to stick your fingers in frosting and only feel guilty for messing up the decoration :)

Our first group starting June 20th is technically full, but we decided to open up 20 extra spots because we love you and so you can take advantage of our special price for the first group! Head to the website for more details and be sure to sign up soon since it'll be closed for new signups after Wednesday.

Now, on to todays recipe. In the summer, which lasts from April-October here in Columbia, I'm determined to make as much use of my grill as possible. So even salads get the grill treatment!

Have you ever tried halloumi cheese? It's also called squeaky cheese. When you bite into it, you'll know why - it makes a squeaky noise on your teeth! Halloumi is a Greek brined cheese with a high melting point, so it's great to use for grilling and frying, like in one of my favorite Greek dishes, saganaki.

The scallions and tomatoes get the grill treatment too, where they take on a smokier, more intense flavor. And no salad is complete without carbs. If you've been making yours sans carbs, that's probably a big reason why you're hangry by 3 pm. Trust me on this one. For this salad, I used sorghum, but feel free to use anything you have on hand - brown rice, barley, farro or couscous would all be tasty! To give it a flavor boost, I tossed the sorghum with a little homemade pesto I had stored in the freezer. I was a random blend I made to use my dill, parsley, mint and basil before going out of town a few weeks ago. Feel free to substitute storebought or make your own.

Halloumi Salad with Grilled Tomato Scallion Salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 roma tomatoes
  • 4 large scallions
  • 10 ounces halloumi cheese
  • 2 cups cooked whole grain (sorghum, couscous, farro or brown rice work great)
  • 1/2 cup pesto, following recipe or store bought
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 cups arugula

Pesto:

  • 4 cups any herb (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, mint, etc)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. If making pesto, blend herbs, garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat grill on medium-high heat. When hot, place tomatoes and scallions on the grill. Grill the scallions about 1 minute per side until grill marks form. Grill tomatoes about 1-2 minutes on all four sides until lightly charred. Remove scallions and tomatoes from grill and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, chop tomatoes into large chunks and slice scallions. Toss together and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the halloumi in half lengthwise. Place on the grill and cook 1-2 minutes per side until grill marks form. Remove from heat, set aside to cool, then cut into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Mix pesto with juice of 1 lemon. Toss 1/4 cup of the mixture with the cooked whole grain.
  5. Divide arugula between 4 plates. Top with scoop of whole grains, halloumi, tomato-scallion salsa and dollops of pesto for dressing.

More vegetarian recipes for the grill: 

Grilled Peach and Vidalia Onion Salsa
Grilled Peach and Vidalia Onion Salsa
Grilled Vegetable Platter with Red Wine Tomato Jam and Caramelized Onion Buttermilk Dip
Grilled Vegetable Platter with Red Wine Tomato Jam and Caramelized Onion Buttermilk Dip
Grilled Corn, Four Ways
Grilled Corn, Four Ways

Caesar Salad Pita Pizza with Olive Caesar Dressing Recipe

Caesar Salad Pita Pizza with Olive Caesar Dressing Recipe

Combine two Italian restaurant favorites with this Caesar salad pita pizza recipe! Make this 30 minute meal by topping a whole grain pita pizza with a vegetarian Caesar salad tossed with an olive Caesar dressing made from California ripe olives!

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How to Make Homemade Fermented Pickles + 3 Recipes

How to Make Homemade Fermented Pickles + 3 Recipes

Learn how to make homemade fermented pickles, a tasty source of probiotics and a great way to preserve summer's produce. This post has three recipes for fermented pickles including spicy dill pickles, pickled green tomatoes and jalapeno slaw. 

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