Recipe Quick Takes

Nancy’s Chopped Salad – This is one of those delicious green salads that has cured meat and cheese on it. Yum! The way this salad is constructed, it keeps well in the fridge and would travel well for lunch. Everything but the tomatoes and greens are folded into the dressing – if you stop there, you can easily keep the components separate until it’s time to serve, and you’ll have a nice crunchy salad to enjoy. The dressing is an easy and tasty Italian, suitable for all your Italian dressing needs. I of course made changes and tweaks: fresh thyme instead of dried in the dressing, omitted the pepperoncini, used romaine instead of iceberg. The radicchio added a nice note of bitterness to balance, but I think you could skip it if you can’t find any, particularly if you’re using romaine. I also skipped the whole “salt the tomatoes” thing.

Miso Maple Sweet Potato Tacos – I tried to make this a couple of times in the spring, bug various things got in the way. I made them a few weeks ago mostly because I had a lonely sweet potato and I just couldn’t get these out of my head. These were pretty easy to put together and also tasty, don’t let that weird seeming flavor combo scare you off. The dressing on this would be good on a regular green salad as you wait for it to be sweet potato season again – it’s nice and herby, with a coconut milk base.

Toasted Oat and Coconut Muesli – Some summers I go straight through eating my regular steel cut oats, other summers they do not appeal, and this is one of those summers. So, I thought I’d try this muesli. I’ve made my version of it twice now and it’s quite tasty. To run you through my changes: sliced almonds instead of chopped, which are toasted with the oats; dried apricots instead of cranberries; walnuts instead of chia seeds; omit the spices, salt, blueberries and maple syrup. I serve up 1 cup of the mix (it makes about four servings) with just enough milk to cover. It’s fine if it soaks overnight, but it really only needs about 20-30 minutes in the morning, so I’ve switched to making it up in the morning. The nuts give it a nice texture, and the flavor profile is nice and light and bright. Note that this is not a particularly filling breakfast, though.

Thai Quinoa Bowl – Ultimately I used this recipe as more of an idea than anything else. First off, I used a block of tofu instead of chicken. Second, I jettisoned the whole “salad” portion. I’m sure it would have been delightful with some veggies, but nothing I had on hand seemed like it would go. Anyway, the tofu and the quinoa were yummy, I’ll make this again.

Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini – This is absolutely delicious, as is to be expected with a Smitten Kitchen recipe. I was lazy again and used a frozen pie crust, which worked fine. If your partner complains about using the stove in the summer, just wait until they’re out one night. (Or come make it at my house and share, that’s fine too.)

Black Bean, Zucchini and Olive Tacos, from Appetite for Reduction – Super yummy and super easy. Basically you saute two zucchini and two jalapenos; then add some cumin, garlic and chopped kalamata olives, and saute a couple minutes more; then add some black beans and salsa verde and cook it just until it’s not runny. Serve in corn tortillas with something creamy – I didn’t make the sauce the book suggested, but threw some goat cheese on top, which was  good choice. Avocado would probably also be lovely. Super fast and another great way to use up some of your summer squash.