meatless monday: curried carrot and sweet potato soup, grilled sweet potato bread, Fu ManBrew from Monday Night Brewing



Happy New year, everyone! I know more most folks this was the first work day of the year (not for me!), so I wanted to treat you to a nice warm bowl of soup and a crisp, cold beer– the perfect combination for the weather today that looked like a spring day with the cold bite of winter.

The carrot and sweet potato soup here is inspired by the big box we received from The Dirt Farmers. Golden, Purple, and Orange carrots went with half of a giant sweet potato into this soup that was hit with curry flavors to give it a warm, spicy bite. The root veggies were perfect vehicles for the big spices. The other half of the potato made its way into a savory bread similar to banana or zucchini bread, but with a buttery taste (even if no butter was used). By grilling the bread, it became the perfect bread compliment for the spicy soup, with just a little sweetness and nice texture. Avocado provided a nice creamy note to counter the spice as well. The dish was very well balanced.

The Fu ManBrew was perfect compliment. A witbier from Monday Night Brewing, a star of the Peach State Ale Trail, this pairing added some crispness and ginger notes that meshed with curry and ginger flavors of the soup. The complimentary flavors let the beer pick up notes from the soup while being cooling, not jarring. Being a bright, crisp witbier, Fu ManBrew added needed lightness to the meal that would have been very heavy otherwise. I highly recommend it.

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic
1/2 large sweet potato, grated
Several sliced peeled carrots (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder (or mix of garam masala, turmeric, fennel, coriander, Cayenne, and pepper)
1 tsp red pepper flake
3 cups vegetable broth
1 dash rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the shallot and onions about 3 minutes. Add the potato and carrot and saute for about five minutes. Stir in the spices and heat another minute. Pour in the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and heat another 20 minutes. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Finish by stirring in the cream.

Savory Sweet Potato Bread

1/2 large sweet potato (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 medium shallot
1 clove garlic
Olive oil to saute
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup suger
1 egg
2/3 cup canola oil
1 avocado
1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Grease a loaf pan and heat oven to 350.

Mix flours, baking soda and powder and salt.

Saute the shallot and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes, allow to cool. Add to flour mixture

Grate the potato and stir in the egg, sugar and oil. Slowly mix in the flour until well mixed. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle can be cleanly removed.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.

Slice the loaf into 1/2 slices and place diagonally on the hot grill pan. Grill 4 minutes and rotate 1/4 turn and heat an addition 4 minutes.

Place the grilled bread in a shallow bowl and ladle soup around it. Garnish with sliced avocado and toasted walnuts.


Enjoy the warm flavors and happy new year!


lunchbox life: slowcooker smoky chicken, sweet potato, and kale soup


…with quinoa, red beans, tomatoes, and lots of spices. Once again, I ate too much over the weekend and was in want of something filling, yet nutritious for this week’s lunches. Let’s be honest, though–that’s always the goal. I don’t use our slowcooker as often as some people, but slowcookers are a great way to multitask if you have several chores around the house and don’t have time to do intricate cooking. This soup couldn’t be easier, plus it’s very adaptable–you could substitute a myriad of ingredients in or out. You don’t even cook the chicken or quinoa beforehand–they cook in the soup liquid! Here’s what it looks like going into the crock pot:

image(77)And here’s what it looks like after six hours of warmth and slowcooker love:

image(78)The protein from the chicken breast, quinoa, and red beans are a great pairing with the good carbs from the quinoa (again), beans (again), and sweet potato. The fiber from the quinoa, beans, and kale will keep you full all afternoon, too. I ate one serving of this, along with an apple, at lunch today, then ran 4 miles after school and wasn’t hungry until dinnertime.  Speaking of dinnertime, this would be a great weeknight dinner with a green salad!

Slowcooker Smoky Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 bunch kale, torn into bite-size pieces

15 oz. red beans, drained

1 cup quinoa, dry

28 oz. diced tomatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, small dice

5 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

Combine all ingredients in a slowcooker and cook on high for six hours.

lunchbox life: baked sweet potato with turkey chili


If you love baked sweet potatoes like I do, then you’re going to love this. If you also love chili like I do, but don’t want to overdo it with an onslaught of toppings (sour cream, cheese, crackers), then this is also for you.

This recipe could not be easier: wrap five small sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and bake at 400 F for one hour. While the potatoes are baking, you make the chili on the stovetop. I like this chili recipe because it’s healthy, flavorful, and has a whisper of sweetness from the addition of ground cinnamon.

I think this would also be a great weeknight meal. Once you put the potatoes in the oven and assemble the chili, you can do a few chores around the house, and an hour later, you can slice up the potatoes, ladle on the chili, and dig in.

Baked Sweet Potato with Turkey Chili

Makes five lunches. The chili makes six servings, so save the last serving for another meal.

5 small sweet potatoes

1 lb. ground turkey

1 Tbsp. olive oil

15.5 oz. kidney beans

15.5 oz. Great Northern beans

28 oz. crushed tomatoes

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cumin

green onions, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wrap each sweet potato in aluminum foil and bake for about an hour.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the ground turkey in the oil. When the turkey is cooked, add the beans, tomatoes, and seasoning to the pot. Stir to combine. Bring the chili to a boil, then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to low and let simmer.

When everything is ready, take the potatoes out of the oven and discard the aluminum foil. Slice the potatoes lengthwise and cut a crosshatch pattern into each side’s flesh. Top with chili and green onions.

tasty tuesday: chicken, lentil, and acorn squash soup with rosemary and bacon, plus bourbon apple butter


Fall is a delightful time to be in the kitchen. It’s full of warm, enveloping smells and recipes that take time, but you don’t mind. It’s fall. Braising and roasting doesn’t happen in an instant, and your olfactory senses thank you.

I must confess, however, that I look forward to each changing season and become sad at the end of each season because of the star ingredients we gain and lose. The abundance of tomatoes, peppers, and melons in the summer is so lovely, but the gourds and greens of fall and winter are great, too. The photo above is an interesting study in seasonal transition: an autumnal soup accompanied by a hunk of bread with apple butter and…roasted okra? Okra is decidedly from the summer’s bounty, and it may be the last we get of it from our CSA this year, but it came in the same box as a pumpkin.

This soup, though…this soup should be as ubiquitous as a sorority girl’s pumpkin spice latte. The decadence of the bacon, the heartiness of the acorn squash, and the fragrance of the rosemary marry together in a swirling bowl of fall. The truth about soup is that it’s a great way to remix leftovers. In our refrigerator, I found leftover smoked chicken from Sunday night, some bacon, and some chicken stock that Alex made from the leftover chicken parts from Sunday. I knew we had lentils in the pantry and rosemary in the front yard, so I went to the store, bought an onion, the acorn squash, and some bread. Voila!

Now, a word on the bourbon apple butter. Y’all.

We’re heading out of town tomorrow for my cousin’s wedding in New Hampshire, so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to use all six North Georgia apples we received in our CSA. We’re not big dessert people, so pies, cakes, and muffins were out. I finally settled on apple butter as a way to use the apples, but I could only find recipes that called for apple juice or apple cider as the liquid. Out of laziness and lack of desire to go to the store for one item, I wondered: what could I use instead? Bourbon immediately popped into my head–the flavor profile would certainly work, and it’s something that we always have on hand. I tried it and really liked the result. The flavor from the bourbon is very subtle, but I think it gives the spread a nice depth. The thing I like best about this apple butter is that it’s not sticky sweet. The sweetness is there, but it’s a natural taste that tastes like fruit more than dessert.

Chicken and Acorn Squash Soup with Rosemary and Bacon

Yields 4 large servings, can easily be doubled or tripled

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

1 acorn squash, halved, scooped of seeds, peeled, and diced

5 bacon slices, cut in half

1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons

1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup dry green lentils

salt and pepper

In a pot, place bacon slices on the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. You may have to do this in two shifts to avoid crowding the pan. When bacon is done, place on a paper towel and reserve to use as a topping. Turn the heat to medium low and add the onions. Stir onion slices in the bacon fat, then add the garlic, rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Next, add the acorn squash and stir to combine. After that, add the chicken stock and lentils and bring the liquid to a boil. When the liquid is boiling, place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to low; cook for 20 minutes. Add the chicken to the soup about five minutes before serving.  Serve in individual bowls with the crumbled bacon on the top.

Bourbon Apple Butter

6 large apples, any variety

1/3 cup bourbon

1/4 cup honey

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cardamom

Core and dice the apples, leaving the skin on. Place all of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot, give them a stir, and heat over medium-low. Let this cook for about two hours, stirring occasionally. After two hours, blend the mixture either with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Makes about 6 cups and keeps for about 1 week.

recipe remix: slimmed down chicken pot pies


Thanks to friend Jessica Northenor, colleague Jennifer Blackwell, and my mother Donna Andrews, I now have a slimmed down version of chicken pot pie–and you do, too!

The #2 recipe remix is chicken pot pie, and I hope that it will be one of your new favorites.  My first thought with this dish was dread–what is chicken pot pie without the buttery, flaky crust?  I couldn’t possibly imagine a version without it, so I decided to cheat a little bit–by putting it only on the top and not lining the ramekin with it, I could still include my favorite part without totally wrecking a healthy eating plan.  I also cut out some of the richness in the filling by using 1% milk and less flour.

Typically, chicken pot pie includes the following staple veggies: onion, carrot, celery, green beans, and peas.  I used my CSA box as a guide and included the following in my recipe: onion, carrot, peas, kale, potatoes, and parsnips.  The addition of kale helped to round out this dish’s nutritional value, and let’s be honest: I love any excuse to include kale in a dish.  Don’t even get me started on this super food: loads of vitamin K, folic acid, fiber, and we know that any dark leafy green is a nutritional green light.

Let’s get started, shall we?  First, you make the soup base:


Next, you cut out the puff pastry for the tops.  According the the Pepperidge Farm package, 1/6 of a sheet is one serving, so I cut each out like so:


Next, I rolled them out to cover the lids of the ramekins I bought today at Robinson HomeRobinson Home is a fantastic kitchen store in downtown Macon, so if you live here, you should go there…like yesterday.  If you don’t live here, you should check out their website to order all things wonderful for your kitchen.  Next, I covered the soup-filled ramekins with the puff pastry and gave them a quick egg wash, then placed them in the oven at 400 degrees until they were golden brown.


I coupled the pot pies with a simple green salad with beautiful watermelon radishes from our CSA.  They add the perfect pop of color to any salad, and just enough of a spice and crunch to compliment softer greens.

Nutritional breakdown: 13 Weight Watchers Points Plus, which roughly translates to about 650 calories.  Most pot pies are double this (1300+) because of more pastry and more full-fat dairy in the base.

Slimmed Down Chicken Pot Pies

Serves 8

5 bone in , skin on chicken thighs

6 garlic cloves

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

4 cups 1% milk

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried sage (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. dried chives (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup parsnips, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen

2 potatoes, diced

2 cups kale, cut into ribbons

1 1/3 sheets Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

1 egg

salt and pepper

Remove skin from chicken thighs and set aside.  Place chicken thighs in a large pot, add 1 tsp. salt, 3 garlic cloves, and the chicken skins, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  When the water is boiling, place a lid on the pot and turn the heat down to simmer.  Let cook for about 40 minutes.  When the time is up, drain the chicken and set aside to cool.  When chicken is cooled, discard the chicken skin and shred the chicken with your hands; discard of the bones.  Set shredded chicken aside.

Whisk together 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup flour and set aside.  In a large pot, combine chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil.  When liquid is boiling, add the carrots, parsnips, onion, herbs, and 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.  Place a lid on the pot, but leave a small vent between the lid and the pot; simmer for 20 minutes.  Next, add the diced potatoes and kale.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken.  When the chicken is added, whisk in the water and flour mixture.

Preheat the over the 400 F.  Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut the puff pastry sheets into 1/6 pieces.  roll each piece out to cover the lid of the oven-safe bowl or ramekins you’re using.  Ladle soup into each ramekin, then place the puff pastry pieces on top of them.  Whisk an egg into a small bowl and brush each puff pastry top with the egg wash.  Using a small knife, cut a 1-inch slit in the center of the puff pastry.  Place in the over for about 7-10 minutes, or until the puff pastry browns.  Plate each ramekin on a plate with a green salad and enjoy.

lunchbox life: creamy tomato bisque


Happy Valentines Day Week, everybody!  Here in Macon, we’ve have a gorgeous weekend of mid-60s sun, but I hear that the cold may be coming through yet again.  I’ve got just the remedy: this nutritious, yet satisfying creamy tomato bisque that you’ll be surprised is actually really good for you.  I’ve paired it this week with some lean turkey and cheese on a sandwich thin that I plan to heat up for around 30 seconds in the microwave–just the right companion for a warm bowl of tomato soup.  I’ve also included some blueberries as a side because (a) they were on sale, and (b) they looked so pretty at the grocery store.

This soup is the perfect blend of wintry satisfaction and a siren call to summer.  The creaminess from the milk and flour roux rounds out this soup for the chills of February, but the tomato and basil call forth the future warmer months that I think we’re all ready for.  You’ll start with a slow cooker full of veggies that looks like this:


Then, after six hours, you’ll use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to blend all of these morsels together to create a smooth, tomato-y concoction.  After creating a roux, you’ll add that to the slow cooker, cook for 30 more minutes, and then enjoy!  This would be a great dinner option for one of the colder nights this week, especially paired with a tangy grilled cheese from the broiler.

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Adapted from Skinnytaste

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped onion

1 chopped heirloom tomato

28 oz. can whole tomatoes, peeled

1 tsp. thyme

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

4 cups chicken broth

Parmesan cheese rind (or whatever remnants you have in the fridge)

1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. flour

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1 3/4 cup warm 2% milk

salt and pepper, to taste

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.  Add the celery, carrots, and onion and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetables, fresh tomato, canned tomatoes, thyme, basil, chicken broth, cheese rind, and bay leaf to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

After the 6 hours are up, remove the cheese rind and use an immersion blender the blend all of the veggies and broth together.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup (only 1/3 at the time) into a blender, blend, the add back to the slow cooker.

Next, melt the butter in a smaller frying pan, then whisk in the flour for the roux.  Add 1 cup of the warm blended soup to the roux and whisk.  Pour and whisk in the warm milk about 1/2 cup at a time.  Add the roux to the slow cooker and stir, then add the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 30 more minutes, then it’s ready!

lunchbox life: kale, ham, and cannellini bean soup


Yes, this is another soup recipe.  I can’t help myself.  Today was a dreary, overcast day that was calling for a big pot of warmth and deliciousness.  Plus, we had leftover turkey parts from our Turkey Party, so I make my own turkey stock and wanted to put it to good use!

Let me tell you why this soup is a win-win: it tastes great, and it’s going to get your system in a good place before the onslaught of creamed-cheesy-doughy-dressing-holiday cocktail-too many desserts that will most certainly come next week.  If you read the blog, you know that I worship at the throne of leafy greens (swiss chard, spinach, collards, etc.), and the queen of the pack is hearty kale.  The soup has a great combo–greens and beans–that will help get your system “moving.”  Too much?  My close friends know that I think fiber ingestion is a virtue, and while it will certainly keep your system moving, it will also keep you fuller longer throughout the afternoon.

I used ham for some protein here because I’m a little turkey-ed out from our party this weekend, but you could certainly use turkey or chicken if you don’t eat pork.

Kale, Ham, and Cannellini Bean Soup

8 cups homemade turkey stock (you could certainly use storebought chicken stock–I just had this on hand)

2 bunches of kale

2 14 oz. cans cannellini beans

3/4 lb. thick sliced ham, diced

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. dried sage

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried fennel seeds, crushed

1 tsp. oregano

Pour the turkey or chicken stock into a large stockpot and heat to medium-high heat.  Add the beans to the pot.  Tear the kale off of the stems into bite-sized pieces and put them into the pot, then add the ham and the spices.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for about an hour.

tasty tuesday: fall stew with chorizo, kale, lentils, and acorn squash


Happy Halloween!  It’s Thursday, but this crazy week has me posting this week’s tasty tuesday on a Thursday.  I think that this one is well worth the wait, though.

Tuesday was the busiest day I’ve had at work in quite some time.  Everything I worked on was good and productive, but I was totally worn out by the end of the school day.  I even forgot to each lunch!  I know that, for some people, this happens all of the time, but let me tell you something: it takes a ridiculously busy day for me to forget to eat.  After a hectic day, I headed to Kroger with a tasty tuesday assignment looming with no idea what I would make.

Then, I saw an acorn squash.  She was right in the corner betwixt a butternut and a spaghetti when I snatched her up and decided I’d been inspired.  Next, I grabbed some trusty kale and thought, “What will I do with this? Pasta, perhaps?  A baked bread pudding, maybe?  Nah…I’m going to chop everything up in a pot, add some chicken stock, and let it simmer for good while.”

…and that’s precisely what I did.  I picked up a few stalks of celery, a carrot, and did a mental checklist for the herbs and spices I had at home.  Stew was on the horizon.  But what protein would round out this meal?  A less hungry head (and stomach) would have led me to a sensible ground turkey or lean ground beef, but instead, I found a package of chorizo.  Oh yeahhh.

On my way to the checkout, I spotted a can of crispy fried onions, the kind you find atop holiday green bean casserole.  YES, I thought.  This is the crunch factor that I’m looking for, plus it will get me in the mood for my favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving.

So I went home, browned some meat, chopped some things, added some stock, brought it to a boil, turned it to simmer, then went to my Pure Barre class.  When I came back, Alex was drinking a pumpkin beer, so I dipped us up some soup, cracked open a pumpkin beer for myself, plopped down on the sofa, and sat still for the first time that day.  My my, how delightful and rewarding it was.

Fall Stew with Chorizo, Kale, and Acorn Squash

1 lb. chorizo

1 acorn squash

1 bunch of kale

2 celery stalks

1 carrot

5 cloves of garlic

2 containers of chicken stock (48 oz. each)

1/2 cup green lentils

1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds

1 tsp. crushed dry thyme

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

optional, but encouraged: crispy fried onions as a topper

In a large pot, brown the chorizo over medium-high heat.  While the chorizo is cooking, dice the celery and carrot, then put them in the pot.  Next, remove the skin from the acorn squash and cut into bite-size pieces, then add to the pot.  Smash the garlic cloves, give them a rough chop, then add them to the pot.  Add the chicken stock, herbs, and spices, then turn the heat to high.  Next, add the lentils to the pot. One leaf at a time, tear small pieces of kale off of each leaf and place them in the pot.  The pieces don’t have to be exact, but aim for a 1 inch by 1 inch square.  Bring the stew to a boil, then place the lid on the pot and let simmer for at least one hour.  Immediately before serving, top each bowl with about 1/4 cup of crispy fried onions.

tasty tuesday: chicken+avocado soup and summer squash+chive pancakes


Hello everyone!  I know, I know…it’s not a Tuesday.  Last night, I had some of my Junior League girls over and we had a great time!  Tonight, however, I committed to my new recipes and chose two yummy creations by Skinnytaste.  Skinnytaste is a superb website for lighter recipes, and each listing comes with complete nutrition facts!

Tonight’s selection was Chicken and Avocado Soup and Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes.  Warmer weather doesn’t usually inspire me to make soup, but this soup is so light and fresh that it jumped right off the screen and said “make me!”  The avocado is a lovely addition to the soup giving it depth of flavor without coming off too heavy.  The Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes are a savory dish similar to fritters or latkes.  The chives in our herb garden are abundant, so this recipe spoke to me as well as a way to experiment with an herb I don’t use often.  This recipe is a great entrance to summer as yellow squash is one of the banner crops of a Georgia summer.  I have good memories of my mom cooking yellow squash and Vidalia onions in the summer as a side dish, so this recipe reminded me of her!

In short, you’ve got to try both of these recipes.  Both are super easy to make and disappeared quickly off of our plates!

Chicken and Avocado Soup
Adapted from Skinnytaste

5 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups scallions, chopped fine
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
2 ripe avocados, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
4 lime wedges
2 tsp. olive oil
salt + fresh pepper to taste
pinch cumin
pinch chile powder

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup of scallions and garlic. Sauté about 2 minutes then add tomatoes and sauté another minute, until soft. Add chicken stock, jalapeno,  cumin and chile powder and bring to a boil. Add chicken breasts and cook in the broth.  Simmer, covered on low for about 15-20 minutes.

Next, remove the chicken breasts and shred chicken with two forks.  Place shredded chicken back into the pot.

In four bowls, fill each with, 1/2 avocado,  remainder of the scallions, and cilantro. Ladle soup over these and serve with a lime wedge.

Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes
Adapted from Skinnytaste

3 yellow summer squash
1 egg
1 egg white
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
pinch fresh cracked pepper
olive oil

Add squash to a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cover; cook until soft. When soft, drain; add to food processor and pulse a few times until chopped. Add 2 cups of squash to a medium bowl. Combine squash with remaining ingredients except oil and mix well.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, when hot spray lightly with oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter, slightly flattening them with the back of a spoon and cook a few minutes or until golden. Turn and cook the other side until golden. Set aside and repeat with the remaining batter.

tasty tuesday: salmon with marinated vegetables+salmoriglio with a side of curry chickpea soup


If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is salmoriglio?”  Well, we can be each others’ good company, because I only found out when I looked at the recipe that salmoriglio is simply a lemon and herb sauce originally from Southern Italy.  If you love the flavors of lemon, garlic, olive oil, and herbs together, you’ve probably made one before anyway.  Perhaps now we’ll both get it right on Jeopardy!?  Oh wait, are we the only ones who watch Jeopardy! under the age of 70?  Moving on…

I was searching for a springtime recipe, and this one hit all of the right notes–salmon, veggies, lemon and herbs–plus I wanted to use some of the tasty herbs in our small backyard garden.  I love the pop of color from the succulent tomato and the crunch from the thinly sliced celery!  This only-slightly-adapted recipe comes from Hugh Acheson‘s A New Turn in the South cookbook.  You might recognize Hugh from Top Chef on Bravo TV, or from his Athens restaurants (Five & Ten and The National), or from his new eatery in Atlanta, Empire State South.  Alex and I went to Empire State South for his birthday last December, and if you haven’t been, pick out a dull weekend and make it your destination.  It’s definitely worth the trip!

The soup is the warmer complement to this springtime meal.  I found the recipe on a blog called palate/palette/plate, and I am looking forward to exploring her blog more!  I started looking for a curry chickpea soup after I had a lovely cup on Saturday from Macon’s own The Rookery.  They change their soup of the day frequently, so if you go and they have the African Curry soup, definitely check it out!  I especially appreciate the broth version of a curry soup as opposed to a creamy version made with coconut milk.  I like that version fine, but I enjoy the texture of the broth version much better.  This soup has tender chickpeas and mushrooms with a slight crunch of almond.

Tonight’s Tasty Tuesday is leaving no taste bud behind!

Salmon with Marinated Vegetables and Salmoriglio

Adapted from Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn in the South

10 fresh green beans, blanched until tender

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small yellow squash, cut thin

2 celery stalks, cut thin

4 asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 carrot, julienned

1 scallion, cut on the diagonal

1/2 cup Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 (5 to 6 oz.) wild salmon fillets, skin removed

1/2 cup salmoriglio (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut the green beans into 1-inch lengths and place in a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes, squash, celery, carrots, asparagus, and scallions.  Add the vinaigrette and gently toss.  Season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and add the herbs.  Set aside at room temperature while you roast the salmon.

In a large oven-safe fry pan warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Evenly season the salmon fillets with 3/4 tsp. salt.  When the oil is just about smoking, place the salmon in the pan.  Let the salmon cook for 3 minutes, then turn it over.  Cook for 3 minutes more, turn again, and place in the oven for 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place a salmon fillet onto each plate.  Sauce with the salmoriglio and a heat of the marinated vegetables.


3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.  The sauce will also keep for a week in the refrigerator.

Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette

6 stems of fresh thyme

1 shallot, minced

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup white wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Place all ingredients into a Mason jar, shake, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Remove the vinaigrette from the refrigerator and strain the solids out of the dressing. Discard the solids and place the vinaigrette back into the jar.  Shake well before using.

Curry Chickpea Soup

Adapted from palate/palette/plate

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 tsp. curry powder
dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a medium pot, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and almonds and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add curry powder, stirring to coat; cook an additional 2 minutes.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and saute mushrooms until moisture is released; they should be browned and soft.

When the onions, almonds and curry are fragrant, add chickpeas, chicken stock, sauteed mushrooms and a dash of cayenne pepper to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Ladle into bowl and use cilantro for a garnish!