Well Dined

30Jul/141

Greek Style Zucchini Salad

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

On Monday, I promised you a recipe for the side dish I served with the Garlic Butter Salmon with Dill.  And here it is - a Greek style salad made with shredded raw zucchini, so healthy!  The dill in this dish helps tie it in with the flavors in the salmon (plus it helps me get rid of more dill).

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

The raw zucchini - along with mint, dill, green onions, and feta - is marinated in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and garlic.  The original recipe recommends chilling for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together, but we found that 30 minutes was enough.

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

This salad is bright and fresh, perfect on it's own or as a side.  Make it all summer, take it with you anywhere, and enjoy!

20Apr/140

Spring Vegetable and Tortellini Salad

Well Dined | Spring Vegetable and Tortellini Salad

Happy Easter!  It has been a long, crazy winter.  We had just a hint of spring before a cold snap hit again, but it looks like we are on our way back and hopefully it will last this time!

herbs

I took advantage of the nice weather to plant my container herb garden.  I've got chives, French thyme, English thyme, lemon thyme, and oregano thyme in one pot.  The big one has common sage, purple sage, rosemary, spearmint, tarragon, Greek and Italian oregano, and dill.  And the last one has sweet basil, thai basil, amethyst basil, lemon basil, and parsley.

bunnies

I also cleared out and cleaned up my tiny backyard, and while I was removing dead leaves, I accidentally uncovered a nest full of baby rabbits!  I was totally shocked and didn't know what to do.  I yelled for my husband to bring me a box to put them in while I hit the internet for advice.  Leave them alone and put them back was the unanimous decision.  Mama rabbits only visit the babies 2 times a day to feed very quickly (1-2 minutes) so that predators won't know where they are.  So baby rabbits have not been abandoned and they don't need to be rescued (unless injured by lawnmower, dog, cat, etc...).  In fact, trying to take care of them yourself will likely kill them!

7Apr/143

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini

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I've been pretty lazy about blogging this past week, so I'm bringing you another vegetarian lunch with Melissa back to back with the last one.  I know that you don't mind, though, because our lunches are AWESOME.  This one, in my opinion, is one of the best we have done recently.  Lentils, chickpeas, raw onion, and feta with tahini, sesame, and herbs.  So good, so satisfying, creamy and crunchy, nutty and sharp, it's everything.  And so, so healthy.  Let's also take a second to appreciate how gorgeous Melissa's platter is.  She has the best dishware!

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The only thing that takes time in this recipe is cooking the lentils, but they are pretty hands off and you can do them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge til you need them.  This recipe has you cook them with sage and garlic to infuse the lentils with flavor - I love it.

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While the lentils are cooking, toss red onion with olive oil, lemon juice, feta, and herbs.  I was a little unsure about this at first - so much raw red onion?  But it became my favorite part of the dish.  The lemon juice kind of cures the onions as they sit and mellows them out.  They become sharp, crunchy bits of awesomeness in the salad.  Also, feta - I love feta.  I especially love Mt Vikos Traditional Sheep and Goat feta.  I swear they are not sponsoring me, but they really should (hint, hint) because I use their feta all the time.

3Feb/140

Massaged Kale Salad and Broccoli Pesto

Well Dined | Massaged Kale Salad

Remember last week when I posted about the Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza?  And I told you that I had leftover kale?  Well, here's what became of it.  I massaged with raw kale with a homemade dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper) and let it sit for 15 minutes to break down and lose the bitterness.  Then I topped it with some burrata cheese, more olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Simple and delicious.

Well Dined | Broccoli Pesto

I served the salad as an appetizer, and for dinner we had steak (here's my method) and orzo with broccoli pesto.  I actually like this version of broccoli pasta sauce better than the other version I've made, and it has a lot less fat!

9Jan/142

Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

Well Dined | Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

I'm about to get all raw food, vegan, and healthy on you.  If those words make you cringe, don't worry - these things are addictively delicious no matter what diet you follow!  Let's talk about dates - they are naturally super sweet and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  They are also low calorie compared to processed sweets.  In other words, they are nature's guilt-free candy.  Now let's talk about Barhi dates. Oh. My. Gosh.  These dates have a really short season and can be hard to find (I order them from here), but they are totally worth the hunt.  They taste like butterscotch candy or caramel, just on their own!  There is seriously a world of difference between Barhi and other dates, believe me.  And in this recipe?  Killer.

Well Dined | Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

Now that we've established that you should totally use Barhi dates because they are way more delicious than any other kind, what else do you need to make these caramels?  Tahini, coconut oil, cardamom, and that's it!  Blend it all up in a food processor and press into a lined pan.  I had trouble getting all the coconut oil to incorporate, which didn't make any difference taste-wise, but made them less pretty.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freeze until firm.

Well Dined | Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels

Once they are firm, cut them into little squares and that's it!  You have to keep them in the freezer so that they stay firm, but that's not so much to ask, is it?  They are rich, sweet, and complex with the flavors of caramel, tahini, cardamom, and coconut coming together, and the sea salt just takes it over the top.  Good for you, delicious, fits any diet, and makes great gifts - why are you not making these yet?  Get on it!

Raw Tahini Date Salted Caramels
adapted from The Kitchn
*I made double

1 cup pitted dates (Barhi highly recommended)
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp coconut oil (room temperature)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
1/8 tsp fleur de sel or other finishing salt

Combine the dates, tahini, coconut oil, and cardamom in a blender or food processor. You should have a very smooth, creamy, and thick paste.

Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined loaf pan (or another equivalent container) and use a spatula to press it down evenly. Sprinkle with salt.

Freeze until firm. Remove from the pan and cut into bite-size pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.

One Year Ago - Glazed Figs - 2 Ways
Two Years Ago - Carnitas
Three Years Ago - Winter Soups

20Dec/132

Overnight Oats

Well Dined | Overnight Oats

So I love muesli - real muesli like this, not the kind you find in a cereal box - but it takes a lot of work to put together.  When I started seeing overnight oats pop up on Pinterest, I thought it sounded pretty similar - raw oats soaked in yogurt with fruit - but with less work and made in mason jars.  Everything is cooler with mason jars, so I decided to check it out.  The recipe also involves chia seeds, which are uber-trendy right now, and with good reason!  They are similar to flax seeds, but don't have to be ground to be eaten, plus they do this super cool gel thing when soaked.

Well Dined | Overnight Oats

The base of the recipe is oats, chia seeds, yogurt and milk - places in a jar and shaken.  Then you add in whatever flavors and sweeteners you want and let it set up in the fridge overnight (hence the name).  For vegans or lactose-intolerant, simply substitute your favorite products here.  Coconut milk would be especially delicious, I think.  Of course, you don't have to use a mason jar to do this, but it's super cute and easy to transport!

Well Dined | Overnight Oats

The first flavor I tried was Vanilla Raspberry - made with vanilla extract, raspberry jam, and fresh raspberries.  Yum!

Well Dined | Overnight Oats

Next I tried Mango Almond, with fresh mango, almond extract, and a little agave.  This wasn't quite as awesome, mostly because of the almond extract, but still good.

I've also made Pina Colada with coconut extract and pineapple jam.  The options are pretty endless.  Even if you don't like fruit, you could do peanut butter, nutella, chocolate, or coffee flavors.

Packed with fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals - this is a super healthy breakfast or post-workout snack.  It is really filling, too.  Try it out and tell me what your favorite flavor combo is!

Overnight Oats

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp dried chia seeds

Combine in a container, stir in desired flavorings, and chill overnight.
For flavor ideas, check here and here.

22Nov/130

SushiKo (Chevy Chase)

I don't really know what to say about this place. The reviews were all great, and my husband really liked it, but I wasn't impressed.

Well Dined | Sushi Ko

We tried plenty of sushi, as you can see, and I thought it was just average (especially for the price).  Taro and Kushi are way better in my opinion.

Well Dined | Sushi Ko

I was more impressed with this creamy lobster and scallop dish, but not enough to make me come back.

There was nothing really wrong with any of it, but it didn't stand up to my expectations.  My husband might disagree, but I found it to be overpriced for average sushi.  The pear martini, however, was delicious.

http://sushikorestaurants.com/

23Aug/132

Summer Tartines

Well Dined | Summer Tartines

So for the past few weeks I have pretty much been living off of fresh summer produce and cheese piled onto whole grain seed bread.  It's pretty much all I want to eat.  EVER.  The French call these open-faced sandwiches "tartines".  I like that, it makes them sound fancy (when really they are super simple).

Well Dined | Fresh Tomato and Ricotta Tartine

The farmers' market has been bursting with huge, gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  This beautiful yellow, green, and red tomato made it onto pizza (which I will post about soon) AND some lovely tartines.  I wanted to eat some of this super sweet and juicy tomato raw so I toasted some bread and topped it with creamy homemade ricotta, basil from my garden, slices of tomato, high quality EVOO, high quality sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper.  Super simple and sooooooo delicious.

Well Dined | Fig, Ricotta, and Honey Tartine

Next up I paired some fresh figs with more of that homemade ricotta, black pepper, and honey.  Whether for lunch, dessert, or a snack - this tartine is awesome.

Well Dined | Broiled Tomato and Mozzarella Tartines

Lastly, I wanted to experiment with warm tartines and broiled tomatoes, so I placed sliced mozzarella and tomatoes on seedy whole grain bread, drizzled them with olive oil, and broiled them.  Then I topped them with fresh basil, salt, and pepper - yum!  Definitely very satisfying.

What are some of your favorite tartine ideas?  Leave them in the comments!

17May/130

Juicing

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About a month ago I got really excited about juicing after watching a documentary called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead."  The man in the film goes on a 2 month long juice fast, which I was definitely not prepared to do.  I wasn't even prepared to do the more standard 7-10 day juice fast.  But I did like the idea of using juices to consume large quantities of raw vegetables in a more palatable manner.  So I bought a ton of veggies and went to work.

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I started with a recipe from the doc's website and added a little to it, using carrots, bell pepper, apple, ginger, golden beet, fennel, and mango.

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Gorgeous color!  I used too much ginger, though, it had quite a kick.

6May/130

Barley Risotto With Asparagus – 2 versions

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On one of our weekly lunch adventures, my friend Melissa and I decided to try out a risotto made from barley.  Barley is a whole grain that (unless you have a wheat allergy) is better for you than rice, even brown rice.  The grains are larger and chewier than rice, but they make a very good substitute.  I actually like barley better than rice because the chewiness gives the dish more body.