Smoked salmon salad

Smoked salmon salad
Smoked salmon salad

Michael and I had this smoked salmon salad for dinner last night, and it was delicious. It has all the components of a great dinner salad — veggies, fruit, nuts, protein, and cheese. I forgot to add avocado, even though I bought it at the store, but think it would be a great addition.

I decided to make a new category on the blog for lighter recipes (a.k.a. heavier on veggies and lighter on calories), and this is the first recipe I’ll be adding to it. I served this salad with toasted pita bread for a quick, easy, and healthy dinner.

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Cashew chicken

Cashew chicken
Cashew chicken

Tonight, I decided to make cashew chicken for dinner. Although I’d never made it before, I noticed that many recipes use a similar sauce as my beef and rice noodles recipe. So, I simply used that sauce as the base of my recipe. Turns out, it was both easy and delicious, so I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my Chinese food repertoire!

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Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar

Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar
Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar

By the time summer finally rolls around here in the Twin Cities, I’m craving fresh, delicious vegetables. One of my favorite — and easiest —  ways to eat them is in a big salad. The great thing about this type of salad is that you can vary the ingredients based on what veggies you have on hand, and you don’t need to measure anything. Sometimes I like to add some sort of cheese, but you could easily omit that to make it vegan.

Instead of making or buying dressing, I keep things light by drizzling oil and vinegar over the salad. My favorite combination right now is a peach balsamic vinegar with Arbequina olive oil — both from Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars (online store and several locations in Michigan).

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Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette
Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

I’ve made Cobb salad several times this spring (and finally summer), and it’s a great main dish salad. Wikipedia tells me that the best way to remember the ingredients in Cobb salad is with the mnemonic EAT COBB: Eggs, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, (green) Onion, Bacon, and Blue cheese.  I usually end up making a couple changes from that (like ham instead of bacon), but it’s still delicious!

The salad dressing for this recipe is also fabulous. We haven’t been buying salad dressing at the store lately — most of it has high-fructose corn syrup in it, and if it doesn’t it’s simple enough to make myself. The fresh tang of the lemon makes this a great dressing for summer salads.

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Palak paneer

Palak paneer
Palak paneer (served with chicken rogan josh and basmati rice)

When Michael and I were in Washington earlier this month, we stopped by Appel Farms in Ferndale and bought some paneer. Paneer is a delicious cheese that is used in Indian dishes — it doesn’t melt, so it is often cubed and then simmered in flavorful sauces.

The cheese made it safely back home in my carry-on bag,  and I decided to use some of it to make palak paneer, which is one of my favorite Indian dishes. In this dish, paneer is simmered in a spinach and tomato-based sauce, with yogurt added at the end for a creamy flavor. I served it with chicken rogan josh, basmati rice, and naan bread. It was delicious!

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Thai yellow curry

Thai yellow curry with chicken or fish
Thai yellow curry

This delicious Thai curry is one of my new favorite recipes. I usually make it with chicken, although it’s also delicious with fish or shrimp —  see my notes at the bottom of the recipe for modifications. Also, it’s easy to vary the amount of spice in this recipe by simply adding more or less curry paste, to taste (I prefer to use about 2 Tbsp).

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Salisbury steak with paprika cream sauce

Salisbury steak with paprika cream sauce

This recipe probably has the best sauce that I’ve ever made. It’s definitely a 10 out of 10, and we cleaned the last drops out of the pan after dinner tonight. The salisbury steaks were delicious too, and the fresh basil is a perfect garnish. We definitely recommend that you give this recipe a try for a great weekend meal!

I found this recipe in our latest Eating Well magazine, and immediately made a mental note to put it on our menu. I did made a few slight modifications so that I could use my new birthday present (a braisier!) and make it a one-dish recipe. We also served it over rice, instead of the suggested egg noodles.

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Saffron rice

Saffron rice

One of my favorite small appliances in the kitchen is our rice cooker, because it makes perfect rice every time. But sometimes we like to change it up and make a savory, flavored rice (like our Mexican rice or pulao rice recipes) instead of plain rice. This saffron rice recipe, made with raisins and cashews, is the perfect blend of savory and sweet — and it’s a snap to make in the rice cooker.

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Homemade turkey bolognese

Homemade turkey bolognese

A box of pasta with a jar of pasta sauce can make an easy pantry meal (see: vodka sauce and meatballs), but sometimes you have a little extra time or want something a little bit fancier. For those situations, I present to you this homemade turkey bolognese. While you do need some time to let the sauce simmer, there’s only about 10 minutes of hands-on time. And as a bonus, this sauce would be great to make on the weekend and freeze for a quick weeknight dinner.

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Orange chicken and broccoli

Orange chicken and broccoli

Michael and I both enjoy Chinese food, but I don’t make it at home very often. Instead, we usually get it from the (delicious) Chinese restaurant down the street.

Last week, I decided to try my own hand at making Chinese food, and I started with this orange chicken. The recipe that I used is supposed to be a copycat version of orange chicken from Panda Express. While I don’t know how accurate that claim is, I can tell you that this recipe is so delicious that I’ve already made it twice.

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