Tag Archives: salad

A Night in Raleigh

This morning I left rainy LA

and these snugglers

and headed to Raleigh, North Carolina for work. By the time we arrived, it was late and we were ready for food! We headed to Heron’s located in The Umstead Hotel. The restaurant serves American food made with local, seasonal ingredients (i.e. they grow their own lettuce in a garden in the back). The menu was interesting (very meat and game heavy), but they were very accommodating and catered to our requests.

For a small starter, they served two different amuse bouche: a vegetarian option with cucumbers and one with a small piece of toast topped with salmon puree. Both were light and delicious.

For my first course, I got a Farm Lettuce Salad (Local Goats Cheese, Figs, Wildflower Honey, and Walnuts). It was fresh, fresh, fresh! Another great salad was the Caesar (I loved how they plated it).

For main courses, I had the Risotto (Melted Leeks, Buffalo Parmesan Tuile, Black Truffle Cream) and another hit at the table was the Vanilla Spiced Sea Bass (Fingerling Potato, Braised Tat-Soi, Fennel Confit, Parsnip-Lobster Bisque). My risotto was very rich, so I only had a few bites and the sea bass was a little too sweet for my taste, but both were cooked well.

And finally dessert. None of us were too hungry for sweets, but the restaurant offered a few interesting options. On the left are the Sweet Potato Fritters with Sweet Brown Butter and Cream Cheese and on the right is “Cheese and Beer,” Edam, Poached Quince, Chestnut Puree, Bass Ale Ice Cream, and Hazelnuts. The fritters were basically doughnuts, but the “Cheese and Beer” was something I had never tried before and was similar to a light apple streusel. Delicious!

Leaving to head back home tomorrow night, but hoping to grab some quick pics of Raleigh tomorrow. I am loving the colder weather here in the South!



Filed under Restaurants, Review, Travel

What I Ate Wednesday 19

Well guys, another Wednesday is upon us. This past week brought a lot of fun (birthday dinners, parties, costumes, candy, and cupcakes). And Q and I are now less than 4 weeks away from seeing each other. Knowing that we are actually going to see each other in the month of November is crazy and seriously hard to believe! I have so much excitement and some nerves (something about not seeing someone for 6 months makes me a little anxious in a good way). The official countdown has begun!

And now on to the days food:

Breakfast – 8:30AM

I love that I whip out my pumpkin two days AFTER Halloween, but with the chilly weather this morning I thought I would try some pumpkin oats. In the mix: coach’s oats, water, almond milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, almond butter, a pinch of salt and some raisins.

Lunch – 2:30PM

I waited waaay too long until lunch and was starving by the time we ordered food in our meeting. I had a slice of vegetable pizza and an Italian salad from BJ’s. Both were good and I was full for a long time since I overstuffed (eating while starving = eating too much).

Dinner – 7:00PM

Din Din

Me = super excited to see some old friends

For dinner, I met a few girlfriends at Terroni, an Italian restaurant on Beverly Blvd. across from The Grove. I got an arugula salad with mushrooms and cheese to start and also had a piece of Margherita pizza. The menu was mainly pizza and pasta and I wasn’t hungry enough to enjoy some pasta, so a simple pizza was a good choice. For dessert, we split the nutella fritters which weren’t as great as I had hoped, but still a treat.

Hope everyone is having a great week, tomorrow I am back with a giveaway! See you then!


Filed under Restaurants, Review, What I Ate Wednesday

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

I love a good salad dressing, well actually I love a good vinaigrette. Now that I have mastered the basic vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper), I am always looking for new variations.

Last week I posted the recipe for these Coriander Chicken Patties, which we served on a bed of lettuce topped with this Pomegranate Vinaigrette. After finishing the chicken and the salad, we were left with almost 3/4 cup of this dressing (the recipe makes a LOT). For the next week, I had it every night and I enjoyed it more and more each time.

(The Pour)

The dressing has a great fruity, but not too sweet flavor that works well over any type of salad. I had it over plain mixed greens as well as a few fancier salads (pomegranate seeds and pistachios/ dried cranberries, goat cheese, and pecans) and it worked well with both. This recipe makes a lot of dressing, I recommend using a mason jar to make it and storing that in the fridge for future use.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Makes 1 Cup


  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (like this)
  • 1 tablespoon fruit flavored vinegar or balsamic (we used Cherry Balsamic Vinegar)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a smal mason jar with a lid, combine ingredients and shake well.
  2. Serve at room temperature. (If you refrigerate the vinaigrette, make sure to stir it with a whisk before serving as the molasses will thicken and separate in the fridge. With a little stir, the dressing mixes. If still too thick, add a little more olive oil and stir).

Adapted from 2BeSatisfied


Filed under Cooking, Dressing, Recipe

Heirloom Tomato Salad Over Cornmeal-Pepper Crust

I know I keep saying I love Fall- the pumpkins, the weather, the birthday month. But I am still holding on to Summer a little bit…

Every Summer my mom plants tomatoes in our garden. We usually get two batches of amazing fresh, homegrown tomatoes each Summer and we eat them with every meal. I’m already counting down the days until we get them again.

We had one last batch of tomatoes this Summer, so we decided to use them to make these delicious tarts (along with a few cherry tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market). We made these tarts for dinner and they were light and refreshing while also being filling. The fresh tomatoes paired with the cheesy tart was just a perfect meal and the leftovers the next day were even better.

For leftovers, I kept half of the tart plain (without the salad) and kept the extra salad in a separate tupperware. When I was ready to eat, I warmed the tart and then added the salad.

Heirloom Tomato Salad Over Cornmeal-Pepper Crust

Makes 2 9″ round tarts (or 1 9″ tart and 1 11.25″ x 8″ Tart)



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 yellow stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 8 ounces cold butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 6 cups dried beans or pie weights


  • 1 egg
  • 15 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Tomato Salad:

  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes (some cherry and some large, quartered or halved)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt/ cracked black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 cups arugula


For crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle.
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and pulse to blend.
  3. Add butter to food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse, chunky sand.
  4. Through the top of the food processor, slowly add in cold water as you pulse.
  5. Continue to pulse until dough forms and begins to gather in the middle. (Do not over mix the dough).
  6. Once ready, remove dough from food processor and divide it into two equal sized balls. Flatten the balls into two discs of equal size. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  8. Line counter with slip mat and place one of the discs in the middle. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top and roll out the dough to create a circle 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Remove plastic wrap and place your dough into a tart shell.
  10. Form the dough into tart shell by pressing gently with your fingers, remove the excess dough by using the edge of the pan as a knife and pressing the dough onto it.
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 with second tart shell. For a square tart shell, layer the disc of dough in the center and spread, using excess dough to cover your corners.
  12. Line tarts with wax paper and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for 18-20 minutes then carefully remove beans/weights.
  13. Prick the bottom of your crust a few times with a large fork. This will prevent the crust from puffing up.
  14. Place crust make into the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until center of crust is firm when tapped.
  15. Cool slightly.

For Filling:

  1. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
  2. While crust is cooling, combine egg, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, cheese and lemon zest in a small bowl.
  3. Divide mixture into two and pour each half into a tart shell.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Set aside.

For Salad:

  1. While tarts are cooling, toss heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and basil in a small bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes so tomatoes can macerate.
  2. Add arugula and mix.
  3. For serving, top the arugula salad mix on top of the warmed tart.
Adapted from 2BeStatisfied 


Filed under Cooking, Recipe, Salad, Vegetarian

Coriander Chicken Patties

After a quick work trip to San Francisco, I am back and with a recipe that I love. I have never been a red meat girl (it breaks Q’s heart). I will gladly chose fish or chicken over a steak and on a rare occasion I will eat a burger. But chicken gets boring after a little while. When my mom and I made these coriander chicken patties for dinner the other night, I instantly fell in love with their flavor, sort of a Moroccan chicken.

We paired these patties with a simple salad (baby romaine lettuce, pomegranate seeds, pistachios and oranges) and topped it with a pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe to come). The combination was light and the meal was super healthy (greens and chicken is the way to go right?). I like this recipe for an alternative choice to a burger at a red meat heavy BBQ. I would easily put these on a bun and enjoy, but just keep in mind the patties are more like the size of a slider than a burger, so make sure to grab some small buns!

Coriander Chicken Patties

Makes 16 patties


  • 1 pound ground chicken (dark meat)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, trimmed from stems and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl. combine all of your ingredients except the olive oil and mix well using your hands (the easiest way).
  3. Separate meat into 16 1-ounce balls and with your hands, form them into round patties.
  4. Heat a nonstick griddle on high and add your olive oil. Heat until oil glistens and add patties to the griddle. Cook for 3-4 minutes and flip patties. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until both sides are golden.
  5. Transfer patties to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Serve warm on a bun on over a simple salad.

Adapted from 2BeStatisfied


Filed under Cooking, Main Course, Recipe

What I Ate Wednesday Part 13

So I finally got to talk to Q this week and guess what happens? My phone line goes out. I mean what are the chances right? We finally got it fixed today, but it was a rough few days talking on my cell and dropping calls left and right (iPhone I love you, but I am not a fan of the dropped calls). Today the technician came over, fixed the phone line and found water damage on our DSL line and guess what? Now our DSL works twice as fast… everything happens for a reason right? Now, food time…

Breakfast – 10:00AM

Coach’s Oats made with vanilla almond milk and water, topped with Sunbutter, blueberries and a sprinkle of Bear Naked Granola. I really liked the addition of the granola, it gave a good crunch.

Lunch – 2:00PM

Umami Burger (the best in LA, seriously)- burger with shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, umami ketchup. Side of sweet potato fries and some regular ones thrown in too. I’m not a big beef eater, so I had half of this pup, but it was delicious.

Dinner – 6:30PM

Baby Romaine with strawberries, goat cheese and toasted walnuts with a Pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe coming later this week)! After having that burger and fries for lunch I really needed a light dinner and some greens!

Dessert -TBD

Craving a banana bread pudding from Magnolia bakery, we had one of these last weekend during a girls night and I have been dying to have another. But since I’m already in my PJs at 7:40 I’ll probably make some sort of creation in the kitchen that has lots of sugar 🙂


Filed under What I Ate Wednesday

Lentil Salad with Spinach, Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese

My first memory of lentils is on New Years Day when I was about 6 and my Uncle Ken brought over a huge pot full of them over to our house. He told me that the number of lentils that I ate on the 1st of the year was the amount of money I would make that year. I think I made it through about 2 spoonfuls before giving up. I think lentils are one of those acquired tastes that you learn to like as you grow older (like my relationship with mushrooms). I never really loved lentils until the past few years and now I love them.

Lentils tend to be pretty bland, but this recipe is filled with flavor- the nuttiness of the walnuts paired with the parmesan will knock your socks off. We ate this dish as a side to fish the first night and I’ve been eating it as my lunch for the best few days. I would make this dish over and over again. Next time I may add some dried cherries to try something different.

Lentil Salad with Spinach, Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 ounces spinach
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 ounces coarsely grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish


  1. Place lentils and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cover with 4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees) and soak for 1 hour. Drain well. (Drained lentils can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before cooking).
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Place drained lentils, 2 cups water, broth, garlic, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium saucepan (we used a Le Creuset). Cover and bake until lentils are tender but remain intact, 40 to 60 minutes.
  3. While lentils are cooking, place 12 ounces of spinach and 1/2 cup water in bowl. Cover and microwave until spinach is wilted and volume is halved, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and keep covered for 1 minute. Transfer spinach to colander; gently press to release liquid. Transfer spinach to cutting board and roughly chop. Return to colander and press again. Set aside.
  4. Whisk oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Drain lentils well; remove and discard the garlic and bay leaf. Add drained lentils, spinach, walnuts, shallot and Parmesan cheese to oil and vinegar dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish and top with slices of Parmesan cheese (I used a vegetable peeler to get the larger slices).

Recipe adapted from the September/October 2011 issue of Cook’s Illustrated

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Filed under Cooking, Grains, Recipe, Salad