Farro Salad

If you need something to eat for lunch this week.

If you’re out of ideas for healthy recipes.

If you’re running out of patience with your New Year’s resolution to eat better.

Then, this Farro Salad is just for you! It’s full of goodness: pecans, feta, green onion and parsley. Then, the bright dressing comes together with olive oil, lemon orange juice and zest.

It’s a bowl of health, but highlights the wonderful depth and texture that farro adds. Throw some chicken on it for extra protein. Plate it next to a nice piece of salmon. Or just eat it in a deep bowl with a fork.

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Bread & Salad

panzanella

The best things about summer are typically the easiest.

Throwing some burgers on the grill, cracking open your favorite local brew, or eating tomatoes, herbs and other veggies from your backyard garden or farmers market.

This is what good summers are made of.

Simple. Fresh. Fun.

This summer, I finally had the opportunity to make panzanella (which I can’t say without thinking of my good friend Annie, who I call by that nickname).

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Simple Saturday: 5 Easter Salads

I enjoy most holidays, but I really look forward to Easter.

It’s all about embracing the love and sacrifice of Christ, and it’s surrounded by an honor of fellowship and the table. Easter is a time to be around family or friends, to take a bit longer laughing and eating with each other, and to enjoy delicious meats, side dishes and desserts together.

This is especially true for me as I’m breaking my Lenten vegetarianism on Sunday!

If you’re anything like me, then you’re searching for easy, throw-together side dish options to contribute to your Easter feast. Whether you’re attending or hosting, it’s a great time to have a few Easter-approved salads up your sleeve.

I’m figuring that other people are making the meat and heavy dishes, so you’ll look like a hero bringing something light, fresh and tasty.

Here are my recommendations for Easter salads:

1. Grapefruit Avocado Salad

winter salad

This is one of my mom’s favorite salads to make…and one of our family’s favorite to eat. Don’t worry about the pomegranates for springs, but combine hearty spinach or mixed greens with creamy avocado slices, bright grapefruit and a tasty homemade vinaigrette, and you’re set!

2. Asian Broccoli Slaw

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This 3-ingredient slaw is what I’m taking to my Easter lunch. It’s cheap, quick to put together, and incredibly fresh and tasty. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, you’ll be set!

3. Cucumber Salad

cucumber salad

This one is clean, crisp and also low on ingredients. Cucumbers, tomatoes and rice vinegar make a fresh salad that every veggie-lover with love. Did I mention that it’s mayonnaise-free and fine to be left out during a picnic?!

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Simple Saturday: Lentil Salad

lentil salad

I find it very interesting that this was the recipe I had in mind to post today.

Lentil salad: A dish that is so French in many ways (green lentils, red wine vinegar) and one that has its Middle Eastern roots, as well.

After what happened in France yesterday, all of us are reeling with questions of why and how and how can we end all of the hate.

It’s gotten me thinking a lot about the people who have been terrorized by groups like ISIS for a long time. My heart goes out to all of the Syrian refugees, all of the Middle Eastern children who have grown up with war as the norm, all of the people in my Christian family who have had to fear for their lives because of their beliefs.

It would be so easy to live life in fear, or to think something earthly can protect us from all of it. But, at these times, I am so grateful that I have something to root me, something that is much greater than earthly hate and toil.

Today is a good reminder to take care of our fellow man, pray for them, act on each other’s behalf. As The Decemberists so beautifully sing, “And you must bear your neighbor’s burden within reason.”

A lot of people are hurting for a lot of reasons, and I believe we each have a part to play in helping them.

Maybe when you eat this Lentil Salad, you’ll think about something similar.

lentil salad

Here’s how you make it:

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Lighten it Up

cucumber salad

Southern food is so near and dear to my heart.

It’s basically for pulled pork that I can’t be a vegetarian.

And that creamy mac and cheese and crisp fried okra gets me every time.

But, I also love my greens, fresh veggies and salads — which are totally apart of my heritage, too. Hello, summer fresh tomatoes, pickled onions and clean cucumber.

cucumber salad

It’s so nice to have a few simple salad or veg recipes to whip up to add to a buffet of fried chicken, pork, brisket or whatever you’ve got going on.

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Simple Summer

tuna salad

Summer is the perfect time for simple meals.

With all of the great produce and fruit, sometimes it’s best to do less and just eat it fresh. One way that you can do that is by making a kick butt salad.

I’m talking about so much more than greens. My salad is topped with lots of colorful veggies, a tasty cheese and maybe even an easy protein.

Sometimes I turn to black, garbanzo or white beans, but recently I was craving some good old tuna salad.

There are some tips that will take your tuna salad to the next notch, including:

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Simple Saturday: A Perfect Winter Salad

seasonal salad

Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself to eat a salad this time of year.

It’s cold outside, and, I get it, all you want is a big bowl of creamy soup or a casserole piping hot with melted cheese.

Also, we’re no longer in the days of sun-ripened tomatoes or a variety of berries to choose from.

But, never fear, I have a great winter salad idea that is anything but boring. This one combines tart and sweet citrus with pomegranate and creamy avocado.

My mom has been making this Pomegranate Grapefruit Avocado Salad for many years, and it’s become a family favorite. It’s simple to throw together and always pleases a crowd.

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Salads for a Monday

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I don’t know about you, but I spent the past long weekend pigging out on amazing food (from sandwiches to tapas and beers to hot cocoa).

My husband and I were celebrating our 2nd anniversary in one of my favorite places, Asheville, NC. I am in love with this cute mountain town, and it’s so exciting that we live under a 4-hour drive away now.

We had such a good time celebrating there and eating and drinking through town. (I’ll be posting more about that in the next few weeks.)

Between the biscuits and mid-day desserts, I am absolutely stuffed and looking for some lighter lunch options to take to work this week.

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Simple Saturday: Asian Broccoli Slaw

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So, my husband and I are officially moved to North Carolina!

We still have no permanent residence (thankfully we have family to house us for now) and I’m still looking around for a job, but we’re happy to be here.

And we brought a crazy snow storm with us…oops. Sorry, ya’ll.

One of the most important things for me about moving to North Carolina was moving near a Trader Joe’s. I’m obsessed with the variety and creativity of the products at TJ’s. So, you’l probably be seeing a lot of TJ’s inspired recipes coming down the pipe.

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