Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad

If you love beets as much as I do, you’ll love this simple salad. Nice for a light lunch, or serve with roasted chicken. To keep the beets from staining your cutting board, cover with a piece of parchment paper to slice them on. Serves 4.



8 beets, tops removed and scrubbed
4 oz. arugula
1/2 c. marcona almonds, roasted and salted (I like using Trader Joe’s roasted and salted truffle marcona almonds)
4 oz. goat cheese
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. honey

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Wrap beets individually in foil, or if smaller wrap 2 or 3 in a packet. Put on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 50 minutes. While the beets are cooking, make the vinaigrette — whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey, or put in a jar and shake vigorously to blend. I usually double the vinaigrette recipe and use it for all sorts of salads.

When the beets are done, open the foil packets and let sit for 10 minutes. Peel the beets when cool enough to handle (but still warm), cut into bite size chunks and put in a bowl. Stir in a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette while the beets are warm so they absorb the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Put the arugula in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Top with the beets, almonds, and goat cheese, and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

— inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe

Fresh Herbs & Feta Quick Bread

This bread is just bursting with flavor! It’s perfect for a picnic — serve thick slices with a simple tossed green salad and a glass of crisp pinot gris or a buttery chardonnay.



1 T. butter (for greasing the pan)
2 T. sesame seeds
1-1/4 c. flour (I use King Arthur Gluten Free Measure-For-Measure flour)
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 c. olive oil
5.3 oz. Chobani plain Greek yogurt
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
7 oz. sheep’s milk feta
1 bunch fresh herbs, loosely packed, chopped (I used a mixture of herbs from my garden — chervil, tarragon, chives, mint, parsley and basil)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Butter a 9x5” loaf pan and sprinkle bottom and sides with half of the sesame seeds.

Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs for a minute. Then whisk in the oil, yogurt, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the feta and herbs and stir well to combine.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg/cheese mixture with a spatula until just combined. Don’t overmix. Pour into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then unmold and put on a rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

— inspired by a Chocolate & Zucchini recipe

Pork Posole

This Tex-Mex dish is somewhere between a soup and a stew. Flavored with peppers, oregano, garlic and salsa and thickened with white corn tortilla chips, it’s sure to be a winner in your house! It’s substantial enough to stand on its own for lunch or dinner, and once all is in the pot, it only takes 30 minutes to simmer.



1-1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 c. yellow onion, chopped (about 1 large onion)
1 poblano pepper, seeds removed, small dice (about 1/3-1/2 c. diced)
1 yellow and 1 orange bell pepper, seeded, 3/4-inch diced
1 T. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper* (or chili powder)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
6 c. chicken stock, simmering in a pot on the stove
12-oz. medium salsa verde
30-oz. white hominy, rinsed and drained
(1) 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 c. yellow corn tortilla chips, plus extra for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lime wedges
Avocado, sliced
Green Onion, sliced
Radishes, sliced
Cheddar cheese, grated (I use Trader Joe’s Mexican Blend)
Sour cream

Heat 3 T. olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sauté for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned in all sides. Don’t crowd them or they’ll steam instead of brown, cook in two batches if you need to. Transfer the pork and any liquid to a bowl and set aside. Add 2 T. oil to the pot and add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the poblano and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, Aleppo pepper and oregano and cook for one minute. Return the pork and its juices to the pot.

Add the simmering chicken stock and salsa verde and bring back to a simmer. Lower heat to medium so that it continues to simmer. Stir in the hominy, black beans, corn chips, 1/2 T. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve in large soup bowls garnished with a squeeze of lime and topped with avocado, green onion, radishes, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

*I get Aleppo pepper (Turkish) at Penzeys spices — it’s worth trying!

— Ina Garten, Food Network

Ricotta Bruschetta with Roasted Tomatoes & Spicy Honey

This slightly spicy appetizer could also serve as a light lunch with a chilled pinot blanc. Go easy on the calabrian chili paste, it’s strong and hot but balanced beautifully with the honey. Make sure the ricotta is at room temperature, as it’s easier to whisk in the oil. Depending on the size of the cherry tomatoes (and your bread slices), each slice of ciabatta holds about 6 to 7. Serves 6.



1 c. ricotta, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. olive oil
6 thick slices of ciabatta
6 fresh basil leaves

42 cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 sprigs fresh basil, torn
2-3 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Spicy Honey:
1/2 c. honey
1-1/2 tsp. Calabrian chili paste
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 T. water

To Toast the Ciabatta: Heat oven to 400-degrees. Put the ciabatta slices on a sheet pan and roast for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned – keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn (which can happen quickly!). When they come out of the oven, rub a cut clove of garlic over each piece, and then brush some olive oil on both sides. Set aside.

For the Tomatoes: These also go into a 400-degree oven. Spread the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, and salt on a small rimmed baking sheet and toss well to coat. Roast until they have popped, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

For the Spicy Honey: Combine the honey, Calabrian chili paste, salt and 2 T. water in a small nonstick skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool completely.

For the Bruschetta: Whisk together the ricotta, salt and 2 T. olive oil in a bowl. Spread the ricotta on the ciabatta slices. Add 7 tomatoes each and drizzle with the spicy honey. Top with the basil sprig (you could also chop the basil and scatter over the top).

— Giada de Laurentiis, Food Network

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

I’ve been making a lot of bread lately, and this recipe does not disappoint! It’s quick and easy to make and is the perfect balance of lemon to poppy seeds. Yum! Delicious any time of day – for breakfast, or with fruit and whipped cream for dessert. Inspired by a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi.



3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
5 T. butter
1-1/2 T. poppy seeds
3 T. grated lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)
1-1/3 c. King Arthur gluten free measure-for-measure flour or all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Grease the loaf pan and set aside.

Place the eggs and sugar in your Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until pale and frothy. Add the sour cream and whisk for 2 more minutes until combined.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat and stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl, and use a rubber spatula to fold this into the egg mixture before folding in the butter, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.

Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not open the oven door to check on the cake during the first 45 minutes of baking. Let rest for 10 minutes and turn out onto a rack to cool.

Chicken, Broccoli & Cauliflower Bake

Curry, lemon, and tarragon is a perfect marriage of flavor and the raisins add another surprising note. Since I have been limiting dairy, I used soy cheddar cheese shreds. This casserole is pretty forgiving in the type of vegetable or cheese that you may have on hand.



3 chicken breasts, cut widthways in 3/4” slices
3 tsp. curry powder, divided
salt & pepper
6 T. butter, divided
12 oz. Trader Joe Broccoli-Cauliflower heads (or 2 heads broccoli, about 3 cups)
1/4 lb. green beans, ends trimmed, cut in 2” pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 c. half ‘n half
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. raisins
1 lemon — zest half the lemon, for 2 tsp. and juice to get 1-1/2 T. 
1 tsp. dried tarragon or 1 T. fresh, chopped
1-1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil, add the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and leave in the colander to dry.

In a bowl, mix the chicken with 2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Melt 2 T. butter in a large saute pan on high heat and fry the chicken for 1 minute on each side until browned. Do this in batches if your pan isn’t large enough to hold all the chicken without crowding. Remove chicken and set aside.

Melt 2 T. butter in the saute pan on medium-high heat and fry the onion, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and remaining teaspoon of curry powder and fry for 2 minutes. Add the half ‘n half, chicken stock, raisins, lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and cook for 8 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Return the chicken to the pan with the vegetables and half of the cheese. Stir to coat, then pour into a 8x12” baking dish.

Put the panko and remaining cheese into a bowl. Melt the remaining 2 T. butter and pour over the panko and cheese, mix and sprinkle evenly over the chicken casserole. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot with rice.

– inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Coronation Chicken and Broccoli Bake recipe