This is another installment of Adrianna Loves Butter But Is Eating Healthy-ish. Spring produce motivates me to eat greener, brighter things.
On Monday a pound of arugula (a pound!! that’s a ton of arugula) was dropped on my doorstep and I immediately went into brainstorming mode as to what to do with it. I have pesto and soup and a few other things planned for that arugula, but first, a salad!
Since we’re not exactly in full on Spring-mode yet, I wanted a salad that felt comforting. Something that you’d still want to have on a cold-ish day. There are a bit of beans that help with that, some feta for its wonderful saltiness, some mint and Italian parsley for flavor and the usual suspects of zested garlic and diced shallot.
This salad isn’t chock-full of unexpected ingredients or combinations that are unusual or particularly interesting. It’s just a good tasting salad.
The internet LOVES weird combos and cheese oozing out of the sides of things. And that’s ok, I do too. But sometimes, I like simple and familiar. This is a friendly salad.
The dressing might be my favorite part. Eating healthier has been a lot of me having to re-teach myself how to cook. I can’t do the things I did in the past (read: put butter in everything). A little cleverness goes a long way.
What do you eat when you’re sort of stressed and worried? Let me preface this by saying if you say carrots, we’re no longer friends. You’re gonna be kicked off the island. JK, I would never do that to you, ok.
I spent a solid hour last night just staring off into space, imagining all of the awesome things people should stress-eat. A whole cookbook could be written on the subject. It could be packed to the brim, giving people ideas on how to numb their anxiety with doughnuts and cheese. This type of cookbook definitely wouldn’t be have a release date in the month of January, but I bet it’d be super popular right before tax season.
Last night I chose nachos as my ammo…and it worked! I felt calmer and more relaxed after each and every cheesy chip. This salad is sort of the opposite of what I wanted last night but now that I’m done with my nacho craving and I’m a more relaxed me, bring on the pretty salad, man!
I know so many of you are so cold right now. Every few pictures on Instagram are screenshots of what the weather is like in the Eastern United States. And you guys are literally freezing. I know your face probably hurts and you can’t feel your toes because of the cold, but honestly I’m kinda jealous. I wish I had snow boots on and got the chance to take pretty winter white landscape photos. And then I’d come in the house and have one of those rooms specifically designed for taking off big jackets and boots (what’s this room called, guys?! I forget!) and then I’d proceed to light a fire and make some soup. And maybe whip up this plate of healthy soba noodles because it’s January, after all.
It took me FOREVRRR to finally give soba noodles a try. I’m pretty sure I was scarred from my childhood nightmare, which consisted of tall stacks of healthy buckwheat pancakes. Buckwheat flour has never been my favorite, so I guess it’s no surprise that once I learned that soba noodles used this flour, I steered clear. A few years ago I was at a vegan eatery that forces you to feel grateful about your life, which actually just makes me angry. Like, don’t tell me to be grateful; I’ll be grateful if I want to be, you know? Anyway, I left angry but was delighted to learn that soba noodles could be very delicious. My opinion had been forever changed.
1. If your dog is annoying you, an empty-ish (plastic) jar of almond butter will distract him/her for hours. HOURS, I tell you. Amelia sat under the couch and tried her hardest to reach the bottom of the almond butter jar. She failed, thus creating about four hours where I didn’t see her/hear her. Glorious. Pretty sure she was drunk on almond butter.
2. Pinterest will shave hours off your life. Hours. Lots of ‘em. I feel like I’m actually liking Pinterest for maybe the first time ever.
3. Bar Method, my recent workout endeavor, will seem easy and calming and girly, but then the instructor will push you to work those lil’ muscles you never knew existed. and then the next day you’ll wake up barely able to move. It’s a good thing, apparently.
3. Persimmon and salt-cured fat (aka lardo) taste soooo good when they’re on the same plate! AHH! This salad is my new obsession.
This salad makes my Thanksgiving salad dreams come true. I’m a notorious lettuce-salad-hater. It’s from years and years of being forced to make the dinner salad growing up. They were sad. They were depressing. (Sorry mama.) And they were always made with terrible lettuce.
Last winter it felt like every single restaurant I went to there was some sort of kale salad on the menu. Usually some sort of hard cheese was involved like pecorino or Parmesan. There was sometimes fruit on it. And it was always massaged. I want a massage. Good gracious, enough with the dang kale, man. The last thing this universe needs is another kale salad. And here I am throwing another kale salad in your super cute face. But, this kale salad is really good. And there’s lardon dressing involved. I mean…bacon fat dressing, c’mon!
This lardon situation was supposed to be guanciale, which is my current love, but when I headed to my local hipster super artisinal neighborhood market and they didn’t have it, I turned to bacon. I figured if I couldn’t get it, you probably wouldn’t be able to find it either. So, instead we have this bacon/lardon situation. This salad is as fall as fall can get. There’s fennel, roasted delicata squash, pomegranate and sturdy kale. The kale can easily be swapped out for another kind of green, it just needs to be able to stand up to the hot, warm dressing and not wilt and wither away.
This salad is easy with a capital E. The lardons are fried up in a pan, removed and then to that fat the dressing is made. A heavy splash of red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lots of pepper and a garlic clove are added to make up the dressing. The mixture is poured over the kale and massaged and tossed until the kale softens a bit. It’s a winner of a salad.
It’s not summer if there isn’t massive amounts of zucchini everywhere. You’re probably experiencing this too. You go to the grocery store and the zucchini is marked down so cheap that you can’t say no. And so you don’t, but then you don’t know what to do with it. One can only have grilled zucchini so many times, you know?
Also, I think it’s weird that zucchini is literally everywhere but its flower – the zucchini flower – is kinda this rare, expensive little bird that people oooo and ahhhh at. Why aren’t there more? Doesn’t each zucchini get a flower too? Is this how this works? Nature confuses me.
This salad is ribboned, which I’m obsessed with because it’s soooo pretty. And it being ribboned means you can eat the zucchini raw like it ain’t no thang. Also, I love ribbons. It’s my dream to have big organized drawers in my home full of ribbons. What I would do with them? Who cares. I love ribbons!
UGH. I hate long recipe titles but I really wanted to convey what the heck was in this thing. It’s important. This salad is an honest to Yeezus (I had no idea this was Kayne’s nickname until like two days ago so now I use it all the time) example of what I’ve been eating for the past few weeks. I’m a big fan of dinner for one, mainly because I kind of sometimes like it when no one talks to me for a few hours and I can be alone with my thoughts/latest episode of Real Housewives.
I never like my “dinner for ones” to be too labor-intensive. I can’t bother to make a mess. This salad is sooo quick and so amazing. Figs are officially in season, yet I can’t find any that really taste the way they should. I bought a big box of them last week and quickly realized that nature needed a bit of a hand, a little tap on the bottom. Nothing that a little brown sugar and a griddle can’t fix! And voila they tasted like grade-A, delicious, sweet figs.
I mixed it with bright, sweet yellow peaches, crushed pistachios and arugula. It was incredible. And since I couldn’t’ get enough of the peppery flavor that the arugula gave me, I paired it with a black pepper vinaigrette and topped it with slivers of prosciutto and ricotta salata.
When it comes to dinner I don’t often cook. I know that may seem a little crazy but it’s actually not the cooking that deters me, it’s the dang cleaning, man. I feel like I spend at least 75% of my life cleaning stuff. And things are still dirty! So, yeah when it comes to weeknight meals I don’t always cook.
My recent obsession is this restaurant in Los Angeles’ Thai Town called Pa Ord. It’s just one of those restaurants that fits the bill when it comes to price (it’s way cheap), delicious and interesting and somewhat close by (very important in LA #traffic). And every time I go it’s the same: one Tom Yum Gai (it’s spicy, incredible and somewhat healthy), sometimes a Fried Rice with holy basil and crispy pork and a green papaya salad. Always a green papaya salad.
The best? What a bratty title. I always think it’s super snobby when someone names a recipe “the best” of anything but sometimes it really is true. Sometimes your aunt’s guacamole is magical and has this one weird and unexpected ingredient that really does make it the best. Sometimes your grandmama really does know the secret to perfect carrot cake. Sometimes it’s valid. This situation here is sort of the best tabbouleh salad I’ve ever had. Like, ever. So here we are with this super pretentious recipe title. I’m sorry…but only a little sorry.
I really love normal tabbouleh salads and I really, really love fattousch salads, so I figured I’d give this tabbouleh salad fattoush-like qualities. Did I just make sense? That was a long sentence.
Sometimes I just get the urge for crazy and drastic change. Like, maybe chopping my hair all off and having a pixie cut like Michelle Williams or marching into Barney’s and buying a dream bag or moving to a new city where I know no one.
Dreaming about moving to a new city has been doing it for me lately. I’ve been thinking about how awesome it would be to eat in new-to-me restaurants, visit new parks, museums and just create a whole new routine for life. And even the prospect of making new friends in this very new town makes me really excited. Of course Amelia and my dude would come along, too. I have a feeling that Amelia would aide greatly in the whole making new friends department.
This is probably a pipe-dream. I mean, I love Los Angeles, but I’ve been a-dreamin’ lately, hard. And it’s fun.