Recipe: Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Okay the people who are like “Mmm yes dahling balsamic reduction” as if it’s some kind of delicate culinary masterpiece are FULL OF IT because it was so easy to make. I felt v sophisticated, and you can, too. You can also, like me, dance around the kitchen to Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff, wave around a spatula as a dancing accoutrement, and then hit yourself in the eye with a flying drop of balsamic vinaigrette reduction.*

This salad is perfect for summer in it’s ingredients, of course, but also in it’s simplicity. It’s crunchy, tart, sweet, addicting, and, perhaps most importantly, easy to make.

Ingredients

1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1 c strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1/3 c loosely packed basil leaves, chiffonade cut
1 1/2 t olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
 (or regular sea salt) to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 T toasted sesame seeds
1 T chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Bring vinegar to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for ten minutes, uncovered, until it thickens and reduces in volume by about half. Set aside.
  2. Add strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, and basil to a large, shallow bowl for serving.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on salad and gently toss until just coated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and briefly toss again.
  5. Top with sesame seeds and pecans.
  6. Finally, drizzle all balsamic reduction over the salad.
  7. Serve immediately – best enjoyed fresh!

Serves two.

Look, not everything I make is awesome, so I’m gonna start giving you my honest opinion. Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad: 10/10

*Just kidding about that last bit, my eyes are fine. But if that did happen, I wouldn’t mind. I’d do it for Donna.

Adapted from Avocado Strawberry Caprese.


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Recipe: Parmesan Garlic Orzo (Vegetarian + Gluten-Free)

Orzo is my favorite pasta. I learned that today after looking for it in the grain section at the grocery store… where I found out it’s a grain-shaped pasta! Of course this means that traditional orzo is made with wheat, but I found a highly rated gluten-free option here.

This recipe is fast and delicious to even the most selective of palates (see: Rick). While I don’t have kids to test recipes on, Rick… kind of… counts in terms of food.

Ingredients

1 c orzo pasta
1/4 c butter (I used organic Earth Balance)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 T milk (I used organic coconut milk)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh black pepper, ground

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to boil. Add orzo to boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through, about ten minutes. Drain orzo and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir orzo, Parmesan cheese, milk, parsley, sea salt, and pepper into garlic mixture.
  4. If desired, top servings with more fresh grated Parmesan.

I made it and it was eaten immediately. No leftovers for the fridge, folks! Although this would make a really good lunch at work, hot or cold.

Serves two for a main dish, four as a side.

Adapted from Parmesan Garlic Orzo.


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Recipe: Spinach Fig Salad

First and foremost, your favorite bummed out baker (I hope that’s me) is PUBLISHED! I tied for third place in a flash memoir contest (750 words or less) put on by Writer Advice. I wrote about the last time I saw my brother, which was about ten months ago. I visited him under the bridge he was living under. Read my piece called “The Bridge” here.


Greetings! If you live in NYC you know spring has semi-sprung, but who knows. I’m actually still bummed out about the fact we didn’t get a terrible, north-of-the-wall-type winter including several feet of snow that requires staying indoors for unending weeks of darkness and the family golden retrievers to high step around in the snow shoes they hate, (deep breath) but I’m trying to get on board with sunny weather.

I know I’m a bit premature on the fig scene (optimum time = summer), but this salad is so simple, lovely to look at and tasty and can inspire your salad creations for months to come. It’s an easy, healthy recipe and the dressing is so good it makes me mad. I licked the spatula. :(

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/3 c walnuts, roasted
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T dijon mustard
1 t maple syrup
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 big, giant handfuls fresh spinach
4 figs, halved
1/2 avocado, sliced
~1/4 red onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and roast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for five minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, maple syrup, sea salt, and pepper in a blender and set aside.
  3. Assemble salads, dividing ingredients evenly between two plates: spinach, figs, avocado, onion, walnuts and, finally, drizzle it all with dressing. Serve immediately.
undressed (just like that MTV show from the early 2000s)
dressed to impress
tastebuds will be wilin’

Serves two, or perhaps one ravenous person.

There will be leftover dressing, which is something to rejoice about. Keep it in the fridge for up to a week for future salad concoctions, or drink it straight.

Adapted from Spinach Fig Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.


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Recipe: No Chicken Noodle Soup

April fool meat eaters with this delicious no-chicken-noodle soup. No one’s actually gonna be fooled, but it tastes good enough that no one will care.

This recipe is great to throw together for someone with a cold, including yourself – prep is v easy and the soup comes together in about 20 minutes. Sluuuurp. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 T tamari
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 t dried thyme
4 c vegetable broth
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 zucchini, spiralized

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic, chickpeas, and tamari for about four minutes, until onion starts to soften.
  2. Add carrots, celery, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, and vegetable broth.
  3. Bring soup to boil, then lower heat and cover pot with a lid. Let soup simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini noodles and stir about 1-2 minutes, until zucchini is wilted and tender.

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge.

Adapted from Vegetarian “Chicken” Noodle Soup.


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Recipe: Shredded Broccoli Salad

This recipe is one of those mystical, magical gems that is both easy to make and addicting.

Ingredients

1/2 red onion
1 head of broccoli
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c Organic Vegenaise
1 T lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 t sea salt
black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Using the grater disc in a food processor, shred onion and broccoli, including the stalks.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together shredded mixture, cranberries, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
  3. Whisk together Vegenaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, sea salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and stir to combine. For flavors to mingle, allow salad to sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.

Adapted from Shredded Broccoli Salad.


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