Avocado Dill Pasta Salad

This recipe started off as a way to use up some fresh dill that wasn’t my favorite egg salad and somehow ended up morphing into a riff of an old Summer family favorite: seafood salad. Which I can’t believe I haven’t shared a recipe with y’all for yet. I c-r-a-v-e it every tomato season.

The original (to my family at least) salad included Krab, shrimp, hard boiled eggs & lots of mayo. Sometimes, depending upon which Aunt got a wild hair, chopped up bits of lettuce. Which is weird, but good.

Anyways. I gave myself an aversion to fake crab my first Summer out of high school (reminder, kids: check your expiration dates), so that was out. I swapped with flaked salmon but kept the shrimp in this version; I also sadly forgot the egg until I was eating trying to figure out what was missing. I was also wanting a little more mustard punch, so adjust yours as necessary.

And a note on seasoning: I happen to love this salad with way too much pepper and salt, because that’s how my family usually served it. This recipe includes a normal amount of each (depending on how HAM you go with the cracked pepper); I had to go back twice for more after the salad hit the fridge.

gluten-free, pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan with substitutions

Avocado Dill Pasta Salad

Dressing:

1 avocado (mine was small and I could have gone for more)

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salad:

4 – 6 cups pasta of choice (I used rice spirals)

15 cherry tomatoes

1 smallish cucumber (about 2/3 cup chopped)

1 smallish bell pepper (about 1 cup chopped)

2 – 4 stalks celery (about 3/4 cup chopped)

1/2 shallot, minced

2 scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. celery seed (if using celery salt instead, you may not need to salt the salad – taste, taste, taste)

Loads of fresh cracked black pepper

Salt

Shrimp (I used 13 medium), peeled, cooked & chopped (optional)

Krab, crab or salmon (also optional)

2 – 3 Tbsp. your favorite mayo (optional)

Start you pasta boiling according to package directions, taking care to salt the water. When almost done, chuck your shrimp in to cook. Drain and set aside.

Pull the shrimp and chop. Add to a large bowl.

Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, celery, scallion and parsley. Add to the big bowl.

Mince the shallot and add. Halve the tomatoes and add those too. Add the celery seed.

In a blender or food processor, blitz all dressing ingredients until smooth. If you want your dressing a little runny, add more water until desired consistency is reached. Mine turned out a bit thick, which I liked, but I ended up adding 2 – 3 Tbsp. Kewpie mayo to the salad to loosen it a bit.

Add the cooled-ish pasta and dressing to the bowl. Mix well to combine. Hit with a bunch of pepper. Taste. Add more salt, lemon juice or some mayo to finish off.

Stash in the fridge for a bit to chill and let the flavors get acquainted.

Serves 4 – 6 for a meal or more if a side

Shaved Zucchini + Stone Fruit Salad

I love a good end-of-Summer savory fruit salad. It’s kind of a yearly thing with my brain, and I’m here for it.

Stone Fruit Salad

Lots of peach salad recipes

This is no exception to that rule. This salad is about as light as one would expect, but works well. I worried that the zucchini wouldn’t be great, but it was; even raw. The key here is to peel it into ribbons. I used my regular vegetable peeler. My ribbons weren’t even, but they were delicious.

So much so, I can’t really say this is more than a 1-person meal. I mean, sure, you can feed 2 if you want to throw a main in, but I managed to knock it out in a second helping at lunch.

If you can’t find the Kewpie dressing, a nice sesame would be good. So would my love pomegranate molasses. Balsamic would also work really well. Grapefruit would play nicely.

I had also meant to grab some good vegan Feta for this salad but forgot. It would be nice and would definitely help fill this out to more of a meal, but wasn’t necessary.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Shaved Zucchini + Stone Fruit Salad

1 large zucchini, ribboned thinly

1/2 shallot, minced

1 plum, chopped

3Tbsp. Kewpie no-oil Yuzu dressing

1Tbsp. your favorite neutral oil

2Tbsp. smoked almonds, chopped

1.5tsp. fresh thyme

1/4c. fresh parsley, chopped

1/2tsp. red chili flakes

Ribbon the zucchini thinly and add to a large bowl.

I tossed any ribbons that were purely peel to the pups, and stopped when I hit all-seed strips. A bit is wasted here, but can be easily chopped and chucked in a pan for a quick little pop of veggie later in the week. I ended up using mine in a breakfast zucchini & fried egg rice with browned butter and snipped chives.

Mince the shallot, de-stem the thyme, and chop both the parsley and plum. Add to the bowl.

Add the red chili flakes, along with the dressing and oil. I’d start with 2 Tbsp. dressing, toss, and see if it needs more. Hit with a few grinds salt and pepper.

When it’s time to plate, add the chopped almonds and toss quickly so they don’t go soggy.

Serves 1 – 2 for lunch depending upon what all else you have going on

Summer Roll in a Bowl

This recipe came out of a craving for veggies and color + yet another scroll through Instagram for inspiration.

Summer rolls can be made a million different ways, but this version incorporates most of my favorite elements – some sort of crunchy brassica, sweetness from carrots, the fresh crispness of cucumber, and a little kick of heat from pretty red chilis.

I also tried to recreate a slightly less suspect in color version of the sweet chili sauce often served with rolled appetizers – and then went a little heavier on the savory components because I really like to doctor my own sauces tableside.

Gluten-free, vegetarian

Summer Roll in a Bowl

The Salad

1 inch fresh ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks
1 medium carrot, shredded or cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red chili, sliced into matchsticks
2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
1.5 cups red cabbage, finely chopped
2 cups rice noodles, soaked in hot water 10 minutes to soften and drained

The Dressing

2 Tbsp. honey
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. sriracha
3 Tbsp. neutral oil (I used canola)
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Toppers

Big hand full chopped nuts for crunch and fat (I had roasted peanuts)
Big hand full chopped cilantro
Protein of choice (Simple poached chicken or shrimp would be great)

Boil water, add the rice noodles to a big bowl, and pour the boiling water over the noodles, making sure they are fully submerged. Let sit while you prep the rest o fly the salad.

Prep the salad veggies and add to a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.

Drain the noodles and add to the salad + dressing, tossing to combine.

Let sit at least half an hour to combine flavors.

Add toppers, toss again and serve.

Serves 3 – 4

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

I know, I know – another weird-sounding recipe that turns out surprisingly good despite sounding wrong.

This is a great way to sneak in a liiiiiiiitle extra nutrition (not that this already packed salad needed more greens) on weeks when you feel like you haven’t seen a real vegetable (helloooo, adulting).

This salad also keeps well even dressed and, if you’re like me and enjoy confusing your friends, is easy enough to bulk up enough to serve a crowd.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, Whole30

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

For the salad, add the following to a large bowl:

1 cup ribboned collards or kale

1.5 cups ribboned red cabbage

1.5 cups ribboned Napa cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 large red pepper, julienned

1 hand full mint, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeños, chopped

1 big hand raw pumpkin seeds

For the dressing, add the following to a blender:

1 big hand hulled sunflower seeds

1/4 cups frozen spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon your favorite grainy mustard (y’all know my affinity for Maille)

1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (I accidentally added 1.5 and it would have been too pungent on day 1 – I didn’t get around to eating a big bowl of this until day 2, so the flavor had mellowed)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

10 grinds salt

Generous sprinkle black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

50 pumps sprayable oil (or a few glugs)

A little water if needed to get things moving in the blender

Combine the dressing with the salad and either toss well or massage in.

Serves 3-4 as written; easily scaled up for more

Summer Sunshine Salad

Another potluck, another veg (pescatarian)-friendly salad. The tastes are great here, but I would caution to know your audience – I saw a couple plates of beetroot floating around after all was said and done. I loved it, though, and so did my veggie-heavy friends!

If you can find them, add toasted unsweetened coconut shavings – I think they’d add a nice subtly sweet crunch here, but couldn’t find them anywhere. If you’re in the States, Trader Joes & Whole Foods usually carry them.

gluten-free, pescatarian, paleo

Summer Sunshine Salad

2 grapefruits, cut into supremes – reserve 2 Tbsp. of the juice for the dressing
1 kohlrabi, shredded (I ribboned, but this would have been better julienned like the beets)
400g prawns, sauteed and chopped in half
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 scallions, sliced
1 c. beetroot, julienned
2 c. red cabbage, ribboned
Hand full of mint, chopped
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

Chuck all the non-wet ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk all the wet ingredients and pour over top. Toss again. Taste, hit with salt + pepper if needed.

If you have toasted coconut, top with that – pepitas would also be nice.

Serves a party 

Dilled Kale Salad

This summer salad utilizes fresh baby greens and an unusual ingredient in salad – fresh dill. Makes a great dish to bring to a potluck on short notice.

gluten-free, paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, keto


Dilled Kale Salad

Roughly 1/2 a pound baby kale

1/3 c. avocado oil mayo (I use Sir Kensington’s)

1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard (Maille is my favorite)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

2 big cloves garlic, grated

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt & black pepper

1/3 c. toasted pine nuts

1/4 c. shaved parmesan (optional)

In a large bowl, combine: mayo, lemon juice, dill, grated garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Hit with salt and pepper – taste. You’re looking for a robust dressing – something bright and acidic (maybe a hair too acidic, it’ll tone down when you add the kale).

Add the kale and toss to coat, taking care to massage the dressing into the leaves so it really soaks in.

Add the pine nuts and cheese if you’re using.

Serves 4 as a nice side; makes a good potluck dish

Plum And Cucumber Salsa

What to do with an overabundance of stone fruit? Make salsa, of course. This salsa makes a fantastic salad base for a light lunch – just throw on your favorite protein, maybe a hand full of baby spinach or some shredded cabbage, and you’re good to go.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo

_DS36020w

Plum And Cucumber Salsa

Plums – enough to total 2-3 cups when chopped
3 peaches
1 cucumber
1 red jalapeno (it doesn’t have to be red, they’re just prettier IMHO)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 inch ginger
2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt & black pepper

De-pit and chop the fruit. De-seed and dice the jalapeño. Dice the cucumber. Peel and mince the ginger and garlic. Add everything to a large bowl and toss with the lime juice, a generous pinch salt & a few cracks black pepper.

This salsa is good straight after making, but the flavors are even better the next day.

Serves 3 – 4 as part of a nice lunch

 

A Mostly Paleo Riff On “La Mitraillette” – Sausage with Potato, Pickled Fennel and Spicy Mayo

D34EF50C-0580-4373-90C9-4652EDDE3E20

Instagram. Giving me ideas again. This recipe was inspired by the insanity above created by Josh Scherer, the evil genius behind @CulinaryBroDown. The colors. So bright. Burning into my retinas. I had to try and make it myself! 

According to Wikipedia, Mitraillette (literally “submachine gun”) is a Belgian dish available in little shops consisting of a substantial bun (demi-baguette – which is roughly the size of a sub bun), some form of fried meat (sausage, burger, steak, etc.), fries, some sort of sauce (like mayo, ketchup, etc.), and often some sort of veggie (carrot, lettuce, tomato, etc.). 

My version swaps diced sweet potatoes for the fries, and drops the bun. While it’s not quite “drunk food”, it is definitely delicious.

Gluten-free, paleo 

  _DS35619w
 

A Mostly Paleo Riff On “La Mitraillette” – Sausage with Potato, Pickled Fennel and Spicy Mayo 

For the pickled fennel 

1/2 bulb fennel (about 1 cup when sliced) 
1/2 roasted beet (about 1/4 cup when sliced)
1/2 c. rice vinegar 
1/2 c. water 
2 big pinches Kosher salt 
1 Tbsp. sugar 
1 Tbsp. pickling spice 

To assemble 

1-2 of your favorite sausages (I used hot Italian from my butcher) 
1 Tbsp. aioli 
1 tsp. sriracha 
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (my favorite is Maille)
1 small sweet potato 
2 Tbsp. coconut oil 
1.5 tsp. granulated garlic 
1.5 tsp. onion powder 
Kosher salt & pepper 

First, make your pickled fennel. You’ll want to start this a day ahead (or at least 8 hours – I made mine before work). 

Slice your beets and fennel wafer thin (I used a mandolin) and add to a large jar (or bowl). Cover with the rice vinegar and water (make sure to cover) and add the salt, sugar and spice. Lid and give a good shake. Ideally, you’ll be able to shake a couple times throughout the day. 

When your fennel has pickled at least 8 hours and you are ready to serve, start by making the fried sweet potatoes. 

Peel and dice your potato (I used 1 small potato – 1/2 a cup diced – for one person).

Add to a skillet over medium high heat with the coconut oil. 

Sauté a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add a big pinch kosher salt, a few grinds black pepper, the onion powder and the granulated garlic. 

Continue to sauté, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until the potatoes are browned and cooked through, 5 minutes or so. If your potatoes seem to be getting overly brown without looking like they’re cooking through, knock the heat back to medium. 

In a separate skillet over medium – medium high heat, brown your sausages (making sure to slash first so they don’t explode under pressure) and cook through. 

While the potatoes and sausages are working, assemble your spicy mayo by stirring the mayo & sriracha together. 

To serve, lay out a nice bed of potatoes, top with sliced sausages and some of the drained pickled fennel. If you’re feeling frisky, drizzle with the spicy mayo and mustard; if not, place alongside the potatoes for dipping. 

Serves 1 as written, easily scaled up to feed more (the fennel quantity listed can feed 2-4). 

Spicy Crab Cakes with Sriracha Aioli & Pineapple Kiwi Salsa (paleo, Whole30)

This not your momma’s polite little garden party crab cake. This crab cakes sits legs splayed in a skirt, puts its cigarette out in your sweet tea, and gives you a snarl.

A note here on making aioli. For the love of all things holy, follow the instructions. Your instructions using a whisk? Break that bad boy out. Found instructions for a Vitamix? Use that. I am aioli-retarded and can’t seem to make it – ever – to save my life. Why? Because I don’t listen. I started out this meal’s mayo sojurn with an immersion blender using a recipe written for a whisk-using over-achiever – and made a runny, kinda broken mess. I then Googled ways to fix the mess – and ended up wasting another 2 eggs in the process. I threw the whole batch out, grabbed my Vitamix, Googled Vitamix-specific instructions, and went to town. I waited until the noise of the aioli whipping around the blender changed – until it sounded like slaps instead of whirring madness – and I still thought I’d screwed something up – until I let the mayo sit and it firmed up on its own. So, take it from me: calm the crap down. Calm down and follow directions and your aioli will turn out just fine. No need to use half a bottle of grapeseed oil & over half a dozen eggs in the process.

_DS34409w

Spicy Crab Cakes with Sriracha Aioli & Pineapple Kiwi Salsa (paleo, Whole30)

8 ounces crab (lump or claw, canned is perfect here)
2 tsp. brown mustard (I use Gulden’s spicy)
1/4 c. paleo aioli
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
1.5 tsp. chipotle powder
1 scallion
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Drain the crab and pick through for errant shells. Drop into a large bowl. Slice the scallions thinly and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Form into patties and place on a parchment-lined plate. Chill 30 minutes to let firm up a bit.

While your patties are chilling, make the salsa.

1 kiwi
1/4 pineapple
1 shallot
2 Tbsp. cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, seeded

Scoop the kiwi out of its fuzzy jacket and chop finely. Chop the pineapple finely. Dice the shallot. Chop the cilantro. Dice the jalapeno. Combine all in a small bowl and store in the fridge until dinner is ready – you want this to sit about half an hour, so the flavors have a chance to mingle.

While everything else is chilling, take about a 1/4 of a cup aioli and add a teaspoon or two of Whole30 sriracha to make your sauce. Set aside in a small dish.

When it’s time to cook the patties, heat 1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil over medium heat. Add the patties and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.

Serve topped with the salsa and aioli.

Serves 2 for dinner.

Caramelized Peach, Chicken & Tomato Salad with Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette (paleo, Whole30)

Yum. Yuuuuummmmmmmm. Y-U-M. This salad is frickin delicious. On a random Tuesday, I was craving grilled peaches but was too lazy to bust out the grill for a quick lunch, so tossed some peaches along with some cheater roasted chicken from Trader Joe’s and this dish was born. Peaches + heat is a match made in heaven. Why have I been eating them straight all these years?! (oh yeah, because peach juice running down your chin is one of summer’s great touchstones)

_DS34398w

Caramelized Peach, Chicken & Tomato Salad with Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette (paleo, Whole30)

1 breast roasted chicken (or about a fourth of a package pre-roasted olive oil & black pepper sliced roasted chicken from Trader Joe’s)
1 peach
1 tsp. fat of choice (I’ve used both pork fat and coconut oil, and I must say the pork fat was a touch better here. big shocker)
1 c. (or about a third of a pint) grape or cherry tomatoes
A hand full dry toasted pecans
1 scallion
A few leaves fresh mint
A few leaves fresh basil
Juice of half a lime
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 tsp. Whole30 sriracha (aka: food of the gods)
Big fat finishing salt

Cut your peaches and chicken into bite-sized pieces while you’re waiting for a medium pan over medium high to reach temperature. Add a teaspoon fat of choice to the pan and follow with the peaches. Sautee, stirring a minute or two and add the chicken. Continue cooking, stirring every minute or two to prevent too much burning until the peaches are caramelized and everything smells heavenly.

While your peaches + chicken are doing their thing, slice the scallions and herbs thin and add to a large bowl with the pecans. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sriracha, grapeseed oil and lime juice.

When the chicken & peaches are done, add to the large bowl. Toss with the dressing and finish with a sprinkle of big fat salt.

Serves 1 for lunch – there may be growling.