Friday, August 29, 2014

Shrimp and avocado tortilla salad

Boiled shrimp, fresh veggies, baked chips and a yogurt dressing help make this cold shrimp and avocado tortilla salad a healthy meal that's quick to prepare.

shrimp and avocado tortilla salad recipe

Remember how I told you there might be a preponderance of quick-and-easy recipes on the blog following my move from Vermont to Kentucky?

Oh, looky looky: Here's one of those recipes now.

While other bloggers are already posting about pumpkin lattes and apple cronuts, I remain loyal to seasonality. Last time I checked, it was still August and still summer, so no pumpkin yet here, thank you very much.

In fact, it's still hot -- very hot -- unseasonably hot, lucky me -- here in Kentucky, so the last thing I want to think about is slow-roasting pumpkin flesh.

What I want is salad. Cool, crisp, not-a-lotta-cooking-involved salad. Salad that I can enjoy with a crisp white wine in a sweaty glass while dining al fresco on the porch, listening to the lazy buzz of the cicadas and tree frogs. Moving made me feel that I'd missed out on some of the lazy days of summer, so I'm keeping it going as long as I can.

Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

11 delicious ways with broccoli (CSA Share Ninja Rescue 2014)

Enjoy these 11 delicious and unique recipes for broccoli, one of the healthiest crown jewels of the late summer / early fall harvest.

eleven delicious broccoli recipes

ERMERGAHD, peeps: Where the heck has the summer gone? Labor Day is next week, which means that summer is unofficially over, kids are headed back to school and all the bloggers except The Ninj are going to start inundating you with freakin' pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin, apples and Halloween ... oh my.

Why can't we all just respect produce seasonality??!!!

One more week until Labor Day means means one last huzzah for the 2014 CSA Share Ninja Rescue, my annual summertime feature in which you tell me each week what produce from your CSA share, garden or farmers market has you at a loss for ideas and I rescue you the following Tuesday with fun, creative recipe ideas, from me and my favorite fellow food bloggers.

As we come up on fall, it's time to enjoy crisp, crunchy broccoli -- a fave of The Ninj, a nemesis of Mr. Ninj, which is why you'll see that so many of my recipes involve disguising it in a pasta dish.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Salted cardamom oatmeal cookies

Salted cardamom oatmeal cookies: the taste is sweet, savory and salty while the texture is crispy-crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle.

salted cardamom oatmeal cookies

So, I promise that we're going to talk about salted cardamom oatmeal cookies in this post and there will be a recipe, but I wanted to give you a little moving update first. 

Things are finally settling down a bit in our new home here in Kentucky. I have gotten a new driver's license (this is my ninth license and ninth good DMV photo!), paid multiple visits to a twice-a-week farmer's market in my 'hood and located a nearby organic market that sells sustainably produced meat, honey and dairy products directly from local farmers.

Booyah. I'm all set. Thank goodness it appears that the Louisville area is embracing the local food movement.

I sometimes forget that it has only been two and a half weeks since we moved. But I'm pretty Type A, in case you haven't noticed (insert sarcasm flag here). I cannot stand not having my house all set up exactly the way I want it. And it makes me positively cray cray to hunt through boxes for my belongings. When I move, I just want to get on with the moving on, full steam ahead.

One thing about moving is that it is very, very hard work. Undoubtedly, it's hard work for the movers but, once the burly movers are gone, someone has to unpack each and every one of those boxes that they hauled into the house.

Who wants to take a wild-ass guess as to who the someone is who does all the unpacking?

Anyone? Bueller?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fresh summer tomato recipes (CSA Share Ninja Rescue 2014)

Eleven easy recipes -- some traditional, some unusual, all healthy and delicious -- for making the most of prolific, fresh, sun-ripened tomatoes.

Eleven easy, healthy recipes for fresh, sun-ripened summer tomatoes

I almost can't believe it -- time flies! -- but we're nearing the end of the 2014 edition of the CSA Share Ninja Rescue, in which you can get weekly seasonal produce recipes by request all summer long (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Hopefully you've been playing along, telling me each week what produce from your CSA share, garden or farmers' market has left you stumped for ideas, and I help un-stump you with a list of delicious, healthy recipes on Tuesdays.

I think this is my absolute favorite time of year, veg- and CSA-wise, because the most prolific veggie right now almost everywhere around the country is the tomato. From the most petite cherry to the giant slicers, fresh tomatoes taste to me like nothing else on earth. And while I'm happiest eating them plain, topped with a little crunchy sea salt, I've pulled together 11 delicious recipes that call for fresh summer tomatoes from my favorite food bloggers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Asian-inspired chicken and broccoli salad

Asian-inspired sweet-and-tangy chicken and broccoli salad, topped with apricots and cashews. A quick and easy recipe, perfect for weeknight dinners.

Asian-inspired chicken and broccoli salad with apricots and cashews

Hey, hiya! The Ninj's move to Kentucky is complete.

Well, let me clarify. Things completed are the the physical moving of goods from Vermont to Kentucky in a big-ass tractor trailer and my arriving in Kentucky by pulling off a spectacular pre-murder OJ Simpson run in high-heeled flip-flops through three concourses of the Charlotte airport to avoid (just barely) missing my flight, which had been dramatically re-routed out of my way by the good folks (kidding, really, they're asshats) at American Airlines who bumped me from my original flight to Louisville from Chicago in order to give my seat to a standby "medallion" passenger (oh no, I'm not bitter -- I love being treated like baggage by people who refuse to look you in the eye or answer your questions directly), thus arriving in Kentucky -- sweaty, stressed and sans luggage -- about 20 minutes ahead of my movers.

But I made it. And then so did our stuff (oy, the stuff -- so much stuff, even after giving so much of it away before we left Vermont). So, I am currently knee-deep in cardboard moving boxes and endless reams of packing paper on this end.

More than knee-deep, actually.  Let me show you my new kitchen.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The bourbony adventures of The Ninj continue

After four years in Vermont, The Ninj is on the move -- this time, back to the South.

Handcrafted Vermont custom post and beam barn

I know it's not a very seasonal photo, but that's the custom post-and-beam barn we built on our farmette in Vermont. The farmette I've been writing about here for four years, ever since The Ninj became The Ninj. The same farmette that gave me such fodder as ugly fruit, too many zucchini and way, way, WAY too many deer  -- although the deer inspired a great venison jerky recipe, so I can't complain too much.

Well, it was our farmette, until yesterday.

If you only know The Ninj through this blog, you probably don't know that Mr. Ninj and I tend to move. A lot. About every five years or so (no joke). Work relocation, so it's always good, but still a lot of moving.

(If you need helpful tips like how to rip packing tape the way the professionals do and the benefits of box-hoarding, I'm your gal.)

So, after living in Vermont for four years, we're on the move again. The farmette is in the hands of some lucky, lucky new stewards, and we're returning to the South from whence we came but to a fun, new-to-us location: Louisville, Kentucky (a place where I can continue to say "y'all" and not be looked at judgingly and strangely).

Even if you only know The Ninj through this blog, you're probably clapping or hooting your ass off, because you just realized that the why-not-throw-a-little-bourbon-in-it Ninj is moving to bourbon country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zucchini-a-rama: 9 summer zucchini recipes (CSA Share Ninja Rescue 2014)

Just in time for national Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day on August 8, check out these nine delicious recipes for summer zucchini.

9 delicious recipes for zucchini

Yep, it's another week of the CSA Share Ninja Rescue for 2014, in which you tell me each week what produce from your CSA share (or garden or farmers' market) has you in a recipe rut, and I shower you with a list of delicious, healthy recipes on Tuesdays. This week, we're talking zucchini!

If you have ever grown zucchini, which seems to produce endlessly, you undoubtedly understand the awesomeness of national Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day, fast approaching on August 8. Mark your calendars NOW, peeps!

If you can't wait until August 8, just do what The Ninj did this year to unload my surplus: I put a giant box of zucchini in front of my mailbox with a sign that said "FREE VEGGIES." Gone by the end of the day. Because people love free shit.

If you're looking for more ideas on how to use up enjoy this ubiquitous squash, take a gander at these nine yummy recipes for some delicious inspiration.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Easy cabbage tabbouleh

Add some healthy whole grains to your summer meal salads with this easy, no-cook recipe for cabbage tabbouleh, a riff on the traditional Middle Eastern favorite.

easy recipe for healthy cabbage tabbouleh

With the onset of the summer heat, we all start looking for cool, no-cook dinner recipes, don't we? You bet we do: Just take a look at your favorite food boards on Pinterest and you'll see what I mean.

Yet "no-cook" often turns into shorthand for "salad." So we end up eating lots of salads, which, let's face it, can get pretty boring. I like to incorporate more filling meal salads like this cabbage tabbouleh into my summertime repertoire.

Tabbouleh is an traditional Middle Eastern dish, composed largely of tomatoes, parsley, mint and onion, often with a grain mixed in, and finished with a lemony oil dressing. To be honest, I don't really like traditional tabbouleh. Something about the amount of parsley in it is just a bit overwhelming for me.  A little too earthy, too tart ... oh, I don't know, a little too something.

But I do like the idea of tabbouleh -- a simple, easy grain and veg salad, cool and quick to prepare.

Since I've been expanding my whole grain horizons (I no longer immediately think of the rhyme "bulgur is vulgar" when I see a bag of it), I decided to give tabbouleh another chance when I came across this recipe that substitutes cabbage for all that too-something-something parsley. Heck yeah!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

9 craveable corn recipes (CSA Share Ninja Rescue 2014)

Enjoy these nine delicious recipes for fresh, sweet corn. In soups, salads, pastas, sides and even ice cream, corn is the sunny summer vegetable that everyone craves.

9 craveable corn recipes -- weekly seasonal produce recipes by request

We're about halfway through the 2014 edition of the CSA Share Ninja Rescue, in which you get weekly seasonal produce recipes by request all summer long. Heck yeah! Just tell me each week what produce from your CSA share (or garden or farmers' market) is giving you fits, and I talk you down from the ledge with a list of delicious, healthy recipes on Tuesdays.

This week, we're talking sweet, fresh corn. Nothing says summer quite like just-picked corn, does it?  But if you're wearying of the usual boiled corn-on-the-cob with a pat of butter, check out these nine delicious ways to enjoy this sunny summer favorite.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quinoa salad with fresh corn and tomatoes

A true summer salad -- fresh corn and tomatoes, tossed with warm quinoa, protein-packed edamame and a tangy lime vinaigrette. Enjoy it as a side or mix in grilled chicken for an easy meal.

quinoa salad with fresh corn, edamame and tomatoes in a lime vinaigrette


Now this is a summer salad, peeps. Because what comes to mind almost instantly when you think of summer veg? Corn and tomatoes, am I right?

Oh, summer tomatoes: how I love thee. How I love thee for tasting like tomatoes rather than cardboard.

And summer corn: what is there to say? Eight bajillion ears for a couple of bucks and you don't even have to cook it. That's my kind of vegetable. 

Now, toss those seasonal beauties with warm, slightly crunchy quinoa, some protein-packed edamame and a tangy lime vinaigrette.

Summer in a bowl.

I generally make this salad as a side to accompany grilled meat: steaks, chicken, ribs, whatevs. But it's extra-awesome leftover for lunch the next day, with some grilled chicken mixed right into it to make it a meal salad.