Kale Caesar Salad


So I finally finished this season's Homeland, and I was depressed about it all weekend.  Not only because of the ending (no spoiler alerts, don't worry), but because it was OVER, and now I have to wait however long for more of it.  Does anyone else experience this type of TV-related depression?  Don't even get me started on the finality of Breaking Bad ending...

Ok, I don't really know where I'm going with this.  I'm tired.  I've had insomnia for two nights in a row, and I'm not sure why.  Is it Homeland related?  Maybe.  Am I pondering that I'm about to turn 35, which seems like a really big number?  Probably.  It's a good thing I had yummy food to eat this weekend, otherwise I'd be a zombie.  Like this Kale Salad with the most delicious and HEALTHY Lime Caesar Dressing.  It's made with greek yogurt and Parmesan cheese and anchovy paste for that familiar, salty Caesar flavor.  It was so good and very easy to make.  I topped my salad with shredded Parmesan, sliced tomatoes and homemade croutons (and followed this recipe for everything else).  

Ok... Monday, let's do this.

Sweet Potato "Tacos"


Doesn't that look good?  It's a baked sweet potato topped with taco-seasoned ground turkey, steamed broccoli and a Mexican-blend shredded cheese.  It looks good, right?  Well I had probably five bites of it before my whining 17 month-old (who is currently on a high chair boycott) took over my lap and took over my dinner.  She's only happy these days when she's eating like a big kid, in a regular chair with a giant fork.  This is difficult, because she is teeny tiny.  Therefore, she takes over my lap, and takes over my dinner (a Real Moms Wear Grey moment for sure).    

However, the parts I did enjoy were very enjoyable... this is a nice alternative to your regular Taco Tuesday cuisine.  Inspired by this Weelicious recipe, you basically ditch the taco shells or tortillas and use a potato as your vessel!  You're supposed to dig out half of the flesh so you can easily eat it like a taco, but I was too lazy last night and frankly just wanted to eat the potato.  Top it with whatever you please!  (Click here for baking instructions, and remember these Sweet Potato Skins?!)

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower


I'm big on textures when it comes to eating, and I aim to strike a balance with each meal.  I want something smooth and creamy alongside something crispy or crunchy (like potato chips in a nice, soft turkey sandwich).  That said, it seems necessary to have something mashed with our protein.  But meat and potatoes can get boring, and heavy.  Mashed cauliflower, however?!  It's light, fluffy, unique and ALERT: your kids might eat it (2 out of 3 in my house, at least).  Of course, I add a teeeeensy bit of cream (and a good amount of cheese), but it's a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes.    

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower
(Serves 4-6)

2 heads cauliflower, florets removed
1 cup shredded white cheddar
1/4 -1/3 cup heavy cream or milk
Salt and pepper

Fill a large pot with an inch or so of water.  Place cauliflower florets in and cover, venting lid slightly to let out steam.  Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork.  Turn off heat, drain water and place cauliflower back in pot.  Using a handheld blender, puree cauliflower until smooth (if you don't have a handheld blender, place cauliflower in a blender to puree, and then place back in pot).  Add cream and cheese and stir until cheese has melted (you may need to turn heat back on to low).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.    

More creative ways to eat cauliflower:

Buttermilk Granola Muffins


Did anyone else experience the longest weekend of their lives??  Blizzard Jonas kept us inside for most of it, and even when I felt ready to bundle up and go play in the fluffy white stuff, I couldn't because our middle child has been fighting a stomach bug that just won't go away.  If I could sum up my weekend in three words it would be: Lysol, Snow and Wine.  That sounds like a song.  Listen, when they practically make it illegal to leave your home, you enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two.  Or 39.  My house is a mess.  There are forts everywhere.  I let everyone walk around in their snowy boots after one, epic tantrum (and then I let go).  I can't stop washing my hands.  I can't stop spraying Lysol.  I've given my girls 18 baths.  Anyway, let's just say I'm happy it's Monday.

Thank god I prepared for the storm and made sure I had every ingredient I would need to bake and cook.  At least for muffins and chili (more on that later).  A week ago we were upstate in Rhinebeck, NY and I bought this incredible granola from the sweet shop Samuel's.  Chunks of dark chocolate, dried fruit, nuts and coconut make it the best granola I've ever had (even if for a split second after purchasing it, the image on the package made me think I had bought dog food).  Carson had the fantastic idea of baking muffins with it, and so I googled "granola muffins" and found this recipe.  

They are delicious!  Just use your favorite granola and you will certainly enjoy these muffins.    

Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad


I have two minutes before the bus comes.  Do you think I can write about this salad in two minutes?  Well, technically it's two minutes, but when it's nice and cold outside the bus tends to run late because I think the universe thinks it's funny that moms and dads are wusses in the cold.

*Update: the bus was 10 minutes late DAMMIT.

Okay, now I'm back and I have ALL the time in the world to write about this salad.  Well, technically I have 30 seconds because after school snack, homework, dinner, tubbies, emails, wine... etc.

THIS SALAD IS DELICIOUS.  Roasted broccoli in garlic, fluffy quinoa, chopped spinach, crunchy pistachios, salty feta and all of that drizzled with olive oil and lemon.  Oh, and I added avocado.  

Truly wonderful, hot or cold.  Recipe here.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie


Holy Moly, people, you will need to try the dish I made on the Today Show this morning.  There may be a few more steps than your average "throw it all in the crockpot" meal, but I'm telling you, it's worth it.  Slow Cooker Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie will be a hit this weekend, between the blizzards and the football and the "oh come on, January is almost over and I deserve some comfort food" attitudes.  Click on the link above for the recipe, and please enjoy these photos of when Savannah and I realized we were out of time, and when Carson randomly posed with a vase of flowers...

Photos by the lovely Samantha Okazaki

Crunchy Taco Kale Salad

Day 2 of Salad Week!  I barely made it!  (By the way, you should know that 6pm is practically midnight in my world.)  Also, I'm terribly disappointed in myself, because in my "hangry" haste last night I forgot to take many pictures of Day 2 Salad.  You're just going to have to take my word that it was delicious.  We typically partake in Taco Tuesday cuisine, but rarely do salads.  However, after viewing this recipe for a Crunchy Taco Kale Salad (and in our ongoing effort to eat slightly better, at least during the week) I decided to go for it.  Homemade Chipotle Lime Avocado Dressing??  Yes please.  And it was as creamy and (subtly) spicy as you would imagine.  Drizzled atop a kale salad with chopped cilantro, black beans, shredded white cheddar and a variety of veggies... and I also roasted some shrimp for protein.  Oh, and did I mention the homemade tortilla strips??  

Mediterranean Orzo Salad


Welcome to Salad Week!  That's a thing, because I said so!  Five full days (maybe) of different kinds of salads.  Let's start with this delicious orzo pasta salad with mediterranean flavors like crunchy cucumbers, bright lemon, dill and salty kalamata olives.  I loosely followed this recipe here, adding whatever I had on hand (like yellow tomatoes and diced red pepper) and I chopped up everything into very small pieces so it would be toddler friendly.  This is a great salad to make in large batches because you'll eat it all week long... add some shrimp or chicken for protein!  Salad!  


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