And this, friends, would be an example of an AHubb meal. Or, an AHubb meal following a couple of weeks of BHubb meals, multiple food-centered editorial assignments, and a day-long photoshoot involving roughly 800oz of potato chips. Which, yes, we kept and distributed [mostly] to friends and family. With the fast approach of the holiday season and even heavier meals for impending Winter days, I've decided to challenge myself to create an interesting salad each week. To keep me on track, grounded, and hopefully in my current jeans. Not that I'll share each of them here. I know...you all really enjoy recipes more closely aligned with orecchiette carbonara and peach cakes. Who doesn't? But I thought, maybe, some of you might appreciate a few healthier options sprinkled here and there.
We all have those days when our jeans fit just a little tighter than the last, when we are craving something complex and hearty and cheesy for lunch but know we should choose the green salad instead. This recipe is my compromise. With a healthy dose of greens and apples, and a modest sprinkling of blue cheese and candied walnuts, it satisfies without the guilt. Make it lighter by omitting the candied walnuts and just sprinkling them on raw...but gosh, they sure are tasty.
Never fear...I'll be back tomorrow with a recipe for apple torte. :)
The combination of apples, blue cheese, and candied walnuts is well-loved and known for salads. Sometimes you just need a little reminder about an old favorite.
Autumn Salad with Apples, Blue Cheese, + Candied Walnuts
4 cups fresh spinach
2 cups fresh arugula
1 tart apple, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Candied Walnut Ingredients
1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
large pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups halved walnuts
Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 tbsp grain mustard
4 tbsp golden balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar if you can't find golden balsamic)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
First, candy the walnuts. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a heavy skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking, and allow to boil for 1 minute. Add the walnuts and stir to coat. Continue tossing until the syrup forms a glaze on the nuts, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to sheet of foil and quickly separate them with forks.
Second, make the vinaigrette. Combine the mustard, vinegar, and honey in the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil to emulsify, processing for about 1 minute.
Toss together the spinach and arugula. Place in a shallow serving dish. Add the apples and walnuts evenly across the top of the greens, then the crumbled blue cheese. Dress the salad on individual plates.
Have I mentioned how much I love this community? Because I do. You all are so kind! Thank you for all of your sweet comments and concern - you have no idea how much I appreciate it.
I'm sorry for my doom and gloom post yesterday, and for leaving you all hanging. I've spent the weekend going over things with my hubb and am feeling much better about the whole situation. I should know more tomorrow or Tuesday and can share then, but I'm starting to see the positive side of things and do believe that everything will be for the better.
Most of my eats this weekend weren't that exciting...some leftover red beans, some Five Guys (I know...shocking!!! My once every 6 months burger...), banana pancakes and lots of Ben + Jerry's. Can we say comfort food?!?!? But I did spend this afternoon in the kitchen making my hubb's birthday cake (which I will share with you tomorrow!) some potato salad for a pot luck dinner (which I will also share sometime this week) and this yummy cabbage + apple slaw, which paired perfectly with the bratwurst my hubb pan-fried for sandwiches.
I haven't done much with cabbage in the past...mixed it with greens in salads, boiled it down with potatoes, carrots and ham for a New England Boiled Dinner, shredded it up to make a filling for potstickers. Although slaw is an obvious use for cabbage I have somehow managed to escape these last few years without ever experimenting with it.
I've seen a few cabbageslawrecipes pop up in the blog world over the last couple of weeks, but decided to try out my own. We had some bratwurst in our freezer from Babes in the Wood, and my hubb was just saying that we don't make sandwiches for dinner often enough. I grabbed a couple of apples from our fruit bowl and the open bottle of cabernet on the counter. I was hoping for something sweet and tangy, a nice compliment to the spiciness of the brats and the dijon mustard I knew my hubb would pair with them.
Oh sweet [and tangy] success. This sandwich was so delicious and satisfying, and the slaw was the star of the show. I suggest a ciabatta roll and butternut squash fries on the side...YUM.
Cabernet + Apple Slaw
3/4 head of red cabbage, about 2 pounds
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt + pepper
Remove all tough outer leaves. Quarter cabbage through stem, remove core of cabbage. Slice cabbage into thin strips.
Heat oil in large soup pot. Add onion and saute until tender and golden, 5-6 minutes. Add sliced apples and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute an additional 1 minute.
Add cabbage, cover and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add wine, cover and saute for an additional 10 minutes. When cabbage is tender, remove lid and turn up heat to cook off the last of the liquid.
Remove from heat and toss cabbage mixture with vinegar and salt + pepper to taste.
Top with toasted pine nuts.
Tomorrow is my hubb's birthday and we're having a little party at his office. I am so excited to try the cake I baked today...my first ever from-scratch, made on my own cake. Only the best for my love. Here's a little preview...
That's raspberry puree' oozing from between layers of decadent chocolate cake. And right after I took this picture I covered the whole thing with chocolate ganache. Oh yes I did. :)
Have a lovely Monday, everybody!
Thank you ladies for your kind thoughts regarding my BSI and your faith in me in the kitchen! I hope I don't disappoint you but, BSI pumpkin attempt #1 was definitely a disaster. However, my goal for myself with these BSI entries is to try something new for me, which I did, and I feel like I learned something, which is good. So that is why I am still going to share the recipe + experience with you all (but Lindsay, please don't submit it! I have another recipe that I am going to post in the morning...). So, here goes.
Pumpkin Creme "Disasters"Ingredients:
8 oz of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 roll of frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 apples, cored and sliced thinly
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp turbinado sugar
Combine all pumpkin cream ingredients together.
Combine apples with cinnamon and turbinado sugar in separate bowl.
(this step has many modifications as evidenced by the photo above, but this is what seemed to work best...) Unroll phyllo dough. Take two sheets and lay them on cutting board. Cut in 1/2 down the length of the sheets. Spread pumpkin cream across one of the strips of dough. Pile a couple of spoonfuls of apple mixture at one end, and roll phyllo dough to form a little packet.
Place packets on greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg white (I used butter, which was not good. I think an egg white would be better.) and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 375* for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
pumpkin cream cinnamon apples
They all look different because I was having a lot of trouble with the phyllo dough and was trying different methods of wrapping/rolling. I realized that what I really needed was puff pastry (lesson #1) and that phyllo dough doesn't work well with more liquid fillings because it gets soggy and the filling seeps through (lesson #2). I was pretty bummed because the flavor was good, the form however was not. This photo pretty much sums it up...
Oh well. I'm over it now and have moved on to a new BSI recipe which I will post tomorrow. It satisfies another goal of mine, the "healthify classic favorites" challenge I set up for myself last weekend, so I'm pretty excited about it.
On to the food diary.Dinner: Brian and I met a friend at our favorite Indian cuisine restaurant in town, Maharaja (sorry, no website). I LOVE Indian food. This restaurant gets me so excited because I know I am always going to have a great meal there with plenty of leftovers for the next day. Our meal tonight definitely brought the food dance out of me (reserved only for stellar eating experiences.) Sadly, the pictures are pretty awful (iphone + dark restaurant = grainy photos). I'll have better ones tomorrow when I eat my leftovers for lunch.
I had the Dal Saag (lentils and spinach in a cream-based sauce) and Vegetable Masala (veggies and chickpeas in a spicy tomato sauce) along with 2 pieces of naan (nobody can resist the naan!) and some white rice.
I had double what you see on my plate below, about 1/2 the total entree you see in the picture above.
And 1/2 this glass of wine. Brian finished the rest for me...
We went to Whole Foods afterwards, nice and full so we didn't buy the whole store. We did manage to spend a stupid amount of money per usual... It really got me thinking about all of you bloggies that are participating in the Thanksgiving Challenge. I am SO IMPRESSED with all of you and can't wait to see your final numbers. When we got home I looked through our freezer and pantry and realized that we have A LOT of food. I am hoping to next month adopt a similar challenge for Brian and I, even if just to cut our grocery bill in 1/2 for the month. It seems like great timing to clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry before going home to Florida for Christmas, and the perfect time of year to be saving money and giving thanks for what we have.
Here's our loot for the trip. We decided to do a separate Thanksgiving trip on Tuesday (hello crowds!!!) to get the veggies and other miscellaneous items we need for the big dinner.
whole wheat bread for bri's lunches
whole wheat pizza dough (should be in the newbies)
clif mojo and clif z-bars (we got clif builders for Brian b/c he LOVES them)
fancy cheese for fancy grilled cheese sandwiches one night
canned beans for chili
canned tomatoes for tomato soup
raspberries (not in season here, but 2 for 1...can't resist that!!!)
whole wheat pizza dough
cinnamon roll Larabar! (still no pb cookie or coconut!!!)
adriatic fig spread!!!
new tea - honey vanilla chamomile for night time and nutcracker sweet for work
I'm sipping on the honey vanilla chamomile right now and it is yummy! It also means that I'm about ready for bed...chamomile is the perfect evening relaxer for me. I will post my official BSI entry in the morning, along with some preliminary Thanksgiving plans! I can't wait to hear what you all are doing for Thanksgiving!
Ok, sorry this will be quick. I think I have a BSI disaster happening in my oven right now and Brian is pacing the house ready for our Saturday night dinner and grocery shopping date.
B and I skipped the group run this morning because it was only 23* when my alarm went of at 7:30. Instead we slept in a little (lovely!) and had a leisurely breakfast, nap and snack before finally going for our run at 1:30. It was a balmy 35* by then...at least the sun was shining brightly. We did 1/4 mile warm-up, 1-3/4 mile run and 1/4 mile cool-down. My legs felt great and I wasn't too winded despite the fact that the route we took was hillier than what we've been running. However, my tendonitis in my left foot started to flare again. :( And, because my foot hurt I could feel myself compensating for it and by the end of the run my right knee was sore. Bad news. So, I'm going to the running shop on Monday to chat with my coach and probably get a new pair of shoes. I'm determined to nip this from the beginning so that I don't screw up my training again.
After our run I made a lovely breakfast for Brian and I of Apple Cinnamon Oats w/ Dried Cherries. Yum! Never tried this combo before and I was quite pleased with it, as was Brian.
One serving contained
1 cup prepared rolled oats
1/2 chopped apple sprinkled with cinnamon
2 heaping tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
After breakfast I blogged for awhile, then took a lovely 90 minute nap after I walked in the bedroom and saw this...
Just too comfy to resist!!! You can barely see Lucy because she's so dark...look behind Brian's back...
After our nap I had a Z-bar before our run...
Then came home and heated up some leftover veggie stir fry and jasmine rice for lunch.
With a Wallaby non-fat mango lime yogurt on the side.
These yogurts have more sugar in them than I like, but they have great flavors. And, I'm out of Oikos. :(
And now I am waiting for my BSI disaster to come out of the oven. No high hopes for a win this week, folks! I'll post about it after our dinner and grocery date...
Happy Sunday evening! Sorry I haven't posted all day...it was a busy one! :)
This morning I woke up craving cereal, as is usual lately. I mixed 1/2 cup Kashi Heart to Heart with 1/2 cup Back to Nature Maple Nut Medley. I topped it off with the golden raspberries I got from my garden yesterday, pom seeds that I slaved over this morning and Silk plain soymilk. These were my first pom seeds of the season....so yum!!! (and pretty!)
Brian and I decided to go apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, about 10 minutes from our house. Its so beautiful at the top of the mountain, the perfect place to go in the fall for an overlook of Charlottesville.
I love fall in Virginia!!! [but am angry at the black speck on my lense :( ]
The best part.......we picked Pink Ladies!!!!!!!! My FAVORITES!
13 pounds of beautiful Pinks.....I am a happy happy girl. :)
And of course I had to eat one while we were picking...who could resist?
We also gathered 5 pounds of granny smith apples from the bin so that I can make Brian's Nana's famous apple crisp.
After a lovely morning apple picking trip I had a vinyasa yoga class at Studio 206. Hilary is my favorite instructor and the class was WONDERFUL. I felt so loose and gushy and fabulous afterwards. :) I snacked on a chocolate chip Clif Z-Bar immediately after class because I was starving! This was my first Z-Bar and I LOVED IT! It tasted just like a chocolate chip cookie. Now, it could have been my ultra-serene, after-yoga state of mind, but I'm pretty sure I will love these bars no matter the situation!
Unfortunately I had to work for a few hours this afternoon, so I packed my lunch this morning before our apple picking trip. A veggie wrap with
whole wheat tortilla
2 tbsp roasted garlic hummus
red bell pepper slices
And a side of leftover quinoa.
It was yummy and filling and got me through my afternoon of work.
For dinner I wanted to try a Mushroom Barley Risotto recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop. I love that he substitutes barley for arborio rice in the risotto because barley has much greater nutritional value and was a wonderful, earthy compliment to the mushrooms. FYI, the barley takes a bit longer than arborio to cook.
Brian made lacinato kale as a side dish...another of my favorites!
I also had 2 small glasses of wine...
The meal was great, but risotto is very time-consuming and not something that I cook very often.
Whew! I'm beat!!! And...today I was tagged by Amy at CoffeeTalk! Which means that I have some interesting facts to come up with about myself....I will post tomorrow on that.