Tofu Panzanella Salad

It seems I can’t go to the store or farmer’s market without buying way too many tomatoes. Good thing they’re good on and with just about everything. My favorite way to consume tons of tomatoes? Probably on a sandwich with a swipe of mayonnaise. Incredible. I love them on their own too, with a bit of salt and pepper. And of course, I love them in every salad ever because they’re never not welcomed, especially during the summer months of August and September.

This salad is a tofu twist on an Italian classic: the panzanella. Bon Appétit asked me to create a recipe highlighting tofu to compliment Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Collection. If you flip to the back of September’s issue of Bon Appetit, there’s a lil’ link highlighting this recipe. If you’re interested in getting a free sample of the products in the mail, click here.

Tofu Panzanella Salad [click to continue…]


Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco, Pickled Onion and Cilantro

I’m not sure if you’ve heard but watermelon salad is the new kale salad. It’s everywhere. So, here I am being a super basic b providing another iteration, but one that, in my humble opinion, is superior to the others. Or at least slightly different.

There’s no feta or balsamic vinegar or parsley. Instead there’s shaved queso fresco, pickled red onion, lots of cilantro, slice of jalapeño and a bunch of lime juice. It’s a refreshing punch in the face during the most hot time in our year.

Watermelon Queso Fresco with Cilantro, Queso Fresco and Pickled Red Onion

These are officially the dog days of summer. Days have been slow in my corner. I’m not that busy. Or as busy as I’m used to being. But that’s ok because it’s a nice slow down before a crazy hectic fall and holiday season. While summer is usually not my season of choice, I’m enjoying the slowness right now. I’m eating lots of bbq, hanging out with Amelia and reading. It’s been a lovely break from the madness.

Oh can we talk watermelons for a second! I’ve gone through a ridiculous amount of watermelons over the course of this summer. I don’t know why (I mean I know why) but I can’t go to the grocery store and NOT buy a watermelon. I usually don’t incorporate it into meals, instead I just eat it plain. I’ve also had a ton of bad watermelon.



Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips on selecting a watermelon to bring home with you:

1. Tap the watermelon. I should give off a deep but hollow sound. If it sounds a bit dullish, more like a boring thump, then it’s overripe. Eeeesh!



2. The weight of a watermelon matters. It should be heavy for its size.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll open up the watermelon and it’ll be yellow! That was a good day.

Watermelon Queso Fresco with Cilantro, Queso Fresco and Pickled Red Onion

Watermelon Salad (w/ Queso Fresco& Pickled Onion)…That Isn’t Basic

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Watermelon Salad (w/ Queso Fresco& Pickled Onion)…That Isn’t Basic


    Quick-Pickled red onion:
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Watermelon:
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 small seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds), cubed
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, shaved or crumbled
  • 1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves


  1. To a small bowl or mason jar, add the red onion. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil then immediately turn off the heat and pour over the onions. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Transfer to the refrigerator. Pickled red onions keep in the fridge for 3 to 6 months.
  2. In a serving bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly cracked pepper. Add the watermelon, sliced jalapeño, cilantro and toss gently until everything is evenly coated in the dressing. Top with shavings or crumbles of queso fresco, pickled red onion and more cilantro.


Plum Watercress Salad with Ricotta Salata

This past weekend I ate ribs, two hot dogs, one s’mores, slices of ribeye, a few slices of bread, two spoonfuls of cookie dough ice cream, a few (?) watermelon mojitos, nachos…and I feel like if I really tried, I could find more things that I consumed. But whatever, I’m past it. It happened and it was glorious.

My favorite part of the weekend was spending time with friends and family and watching Amelia swim her little heart out. I need more weekends like this one. I bet you do too. They remind you what’s important. And hot dogs are important!

Plum Watercress Salad with Ricotta Salata

This is a recovery (ish) salad. There’s fresh and spicy watercress, sliced yellow plums, sliced squash and buckwheat groats (!!).

Can we discuss buckwheat groats? Buckwheat groats are a toasted grain. I toasted these up in about 5 to 6 minutes and they were delicious on a salad. They add great crunchy texture to lots of dishes like vegetables, salads or even pancakes.

Plum Watercress Salad with Ricotta Salata [click to continue…]


Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

I’m on my way to Chicago for no reason at all other than to hang out. How amazing is that?! I wish I could bottle up the feeling right before a trip. You’re running errands, packing, washing clothes, and while normally those are really lame things to do, it’s actually ultra fun when they’re for a vacation vs. normal life.

This salad has Memorial Day written all over it. It’s large format or whatever you want to call it. Basically, it’s a big-ass salad for hella ppl.

Do you have cherries yet? I feel like LA/California gets produce weeks (sometimes months!) before the rest of the country so it’s hard for me to gauge if this is a useful recipe or totally pointless. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh

Cherry Purslane Salad with Lebneh and Crispy Freekeh [click to continue…]


Celery Butter Bean and Pepita Salad w/ Winter Citrus |

I read a really depressing article the other day.

It was part of Joy’s Sunday round-up (I love her Sunday reads). Oh man is was depressing. This article is all about dating and being dissatisfied and feeling like there are so many options out there so why would we settle when something better might be around the corner?!

I really think this is why it can be so hard to date in big cities. A lot of people are always in search for the next best thing. That search, that need for constant stimuli, the need for something even better than what you have makes people’s attention span thisbig. Good gracious, how terrible.

Celery Butter Bean and Pepita Salad w/ Winter Citrus |

I’m convinced that the fastest way to lead a miserable life is to go around constantly wishing you have more. To compare your happiness to another’s and thinking it doesn’t measure up. I know this all too well. It’s a gnawing feeling. It’s the rat race and I’ve recently realized it doesn’t just pertain to our work lives. It can seep into parts of our personal life, too.

For all my single friends, I FEEL YOU I LOVE YOU STAY STRONG! To people who are in good relationships questioning, Are they good enough?! They probably are. Let’s talk about salad. (Don’t worry, I’ll have a cheese dish soon.)

Celery Butter Bean and Pepita Salad w/ Winter Citrus | [click to continue…]



In the last three days I’ve had one:

One delicious bowl of ramen.
Three slices of pie.
A quarter of a Mast Brothers chocolate bar.
Three slices of pizza.
Two chocolate croissants.
And probably more that I’m forgetting about.

I’ve been craving something healthy and light but still food that’ll make me feel full. I cracked open Claire’s new book, The Kitchy Kitchen, and found the perfect fit. The farro is nutty and delicious and works beautifully with the squash and sweet pomegranate. This dish is a breeze in preparation and the vinagrette gives a

ClaireSalad [click to continue…]


Moroccan Carrot Noodle Salad with Golden Raisins, Harissa and Goat Cheese

I feel like I’ve been on a bout of straight indulgence. In the last week’s there’s been a hash I ate all by myself for dinner, soft serve dripping with honey, my favorite burger in LA and don’t get me started on last week’s pimento cheese situation, which also transitioned into pimento cheese chilaquiles.

I need a reset button in form of some carrots. And probably a spin class because I mean, it’s been a little reckless over here. Straight reckless livin’.

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Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad //

I’m a bit on a grilling kick. I don’t own an outside grill so instead I use my big griddle that has a side that is like a grill pan. It’s almost like reversible sheets. Or reversible shirts, which were popular for a very short while in the 90s. I think they should come back because seriously, how useful! I also had a shirt that would change different colors if you breathed on it. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to work like mood ring but it failed completely.

Anyway, grilling…fruit. The two surprisingly go hand and hand, AND grilling cheese is an even better idea. The requirement is that the correct cheese be used. A lot of cheese can easily be coated in breading and fried but not many cheeses can be grilled. If you’ve never cooked with haloumi, I can assure you that it’s really really good and super easy to grill. It won’t get all melty and crazy, it’s really hard to mess up AND it’s delicious and salty. I love to pair it with something sweet and something smokey.

Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad //
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Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing //

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.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing //

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.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // [click to continue…]


Winter Citrus Watercress Salad with Avocado and Beets //

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!

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