A few weekends back, one of our couple friends invited us over for a delicious Saturday brunch. The meal consisted of a gluten-free Asparagus and Gouda Quiche, a Summer Peach Salad, and a beautiful fruit salad. It was so much fun spending time with our friends, while enjoying the fabulous food. What a treat to have someone else cook us brunch! I loved the Summer Peach Salad that my friend made so much, I decided to recreate it myself. This is the perfect go-to salad for all of your warm weather entertaining. With seasonal fresh peaches, pistachios, red onion and feta topped with an simple balsamic dressing, this salad is too good and too easy to make only once! While you’re thanking me all summer for this recipe, I’ll be thanking my friend.
(If you’re wanting a similar salad when peaches aren’t in season, check out this Harvest Salad)
My weather app says the “real feel” in St. Louis today is 95 degrees; by most people’s standards, it is not at all soup weather. But my little guy is not feeling so well, so I figured I’d try to help cure him with something warm and soothing. They say that matzo ball soup is Jewish penicillin, so these Chicken Dumplings in Garlic Broth are the Asian version of the aforementioned medicinal soup. Not only is this soup incredibly easy to throw together (hello, store-bought dumplings), it’s also perfect for Detox Monday in that it’s packed with veggies, ginger and garlic. I had chicken dumplings on hand, but this dish can easily be made vegetarian by using veggie broth and dumplings. This flavorful soup is so light, yet filling enough to act as a main course. We’ll be enjoying our soup alongside a big salad. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this soup will help nurse my son back to good health in no time!
(To see all previous Detox Monday posts, click here)
One of my good friends from growing up came to St. Louis with her husband and two girls this past weekend, and we had a blast showing them around town. We were on the go the entire time they were here, and it’s safe to say I am exhausted today! When my friend and I were out shopping during nap time, I saw a shirt that said “I need a day between Saturday and Sunday”…ain’t that the truth?! The weekend started with a picnic and live music at the St. Louis Zoo on Friday night, followed by Grant’s Farm and the kids playing on the splash pad at the park on Saturday. We also got to check out the new Jeni’s Ice Cream that just opened here. It was pretty spectacular!
Now that the weekend is over, it’s back to Detox Monday. I really wanted to make Bibimbap, which is an Korean dish consisting of vegetables, rice, a fried egg and a spicy sauce made from chili pepper paste, but I didn’t know too much about it. Although I’ve eaten this dish multiple times, it has only ever been at Mana Food Bar, a favorite Chicago vegetarian restaurant. As I started researching what I needed for the sauce, I learned that Bibimbap was originally created as a way for people to use up their leftover side dishes. Since I’m a person who hates wasting food, I loved the concept behind this dish. This means that when you make your own Bibimbap, feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand that you want to clear out. My bowl consisted of carrots, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, red cabbage, and bean sprouts. For the sauce, I did have to seek out gochujang, which is an authentic Korean red chili pepper paste. I purchased mine at an International market, but it can also be found at some Whole Foods Markets, or other speciality grocery stores. You can also purchase it here on Amazon, but it’s double the price! The paste is the most important part of the sauce because it provides so much flavor and heat. I tamed the heat by adding soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar to the gochujang. You can adjust your heat to your liking. Once the dish is assembled, finish it off with a sunny side up egg, black sesame seeds and a drizzle of sauce. You will have yourself a colorful, veggie-packed rice bowl called Bibimbap!
It’s been over two years since I’ve posted a recipe for “Detox Monday”, and today I am bringing it back. I originally started Detox Monday when I began blogging because when I was younger, my weekends were much more indulgent and consisted of drinking and late-night eating, followed by junk food the next day to nurse my hangover. By the time Mondays rolled around, I felt like I needed to get back on track and cleanse my body. I would always think of Mondays as detox day.
Now that I’m bit older and have a child, my weekends involve far fewer drinks and late nights. I still enjoy indulging in delicious food and evenings out, but everything is more controlled and I feel much less sluggish on Mondays. In additional to having a tamer social life, my husband and I recently decided to increase our focus on living a healthier lifestyle. A few months ago, my husband set out on a mission to lose 40 pounds! While I was completely supportive of him, I secretly had my doubts because I had seen him make failed attempts at this in the past. To fully support his efforts, I realized I needed to get on board with this healthy lifestyle. I began cooking healthier meals packed with veggies, fish and lean meats, and I also started making lunch for him to bring to work each day. In addition, we have been making much more frequent trips to the gym. Although this has been a lot of work for both of us, with his persistence, motivation and willpower, in three short months, my husband has lost 32 pounds! It’s so incredible to see his hard work pay off, and I couldn’t be prouder of him!
Even though Detox Monday began during a more gultinous time in my life, the idea of starting the week off right still holds great importance to me. I started Detox Monday before Meatless Monday was widespread, but the notion of having more meatless meals aligns perfectly with our new mission and my longstanding idea to start the week on the right foot. As my husband and I continue to maintain our healthy lifestyle, Detox Monday serves as a great reminder for all of us to check in with ourselves once a week to reset and make sure we’re living how we want to live.
So, for my first Detox Monday in over two years, I’m sharing a Superfood Slaw Bowl with Carrot Miso Dressing. The inspiration for this recipe came from one of our favorite St. Louis restaurants, Winslow’s Home. I loved the way the crunchy veggies and nutty brown rice paired with the tangy dressing. It was love at first bite, and I knew I had to recreate this at home. After many attempts to find a dressing that was flavorful enough, I stumbled upon this Carrot Miso dressing in one of my cookbooks that I had browsed a bazillion times. Unlike the other dressings I tried, this one included miso; once I saw this recipe, I knew that miso was the missing ingredient. This salad is so great because it actually tastes best when its made ahead. When the kale, cabbage, carrots and brussels sprouts have time to absorb the wonderful flavors of the dressing, that’s when this Superfood Slaw Bowl really hits it’s peaks.
I hope you enjoy the resurrected Detox Monday series, and I look forward to sharing more healthy meals to start your week.
To see all Detox Monday posts, click here.
Although I have a long list of foods that I’d consider to be my favorite, there are only a few that I can say have been life-long obsessions of mine. On the short list is granola. I LOVE GRANOLA. There is something about it that makes me happy. It reminds me of vacation, and relaxation, and it makes me feel totally satisfied. Granola makes my heart and my tummy sing!
Somewhere along the way I discovered that not all granola is created equally. Many packaged varieties are high in sugar and contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce. If you don’t choose your granola wisely, this deceptively healthy breakfast option could start your day off on the wrong foot. Once I began reading the ingredients on granola packages, I made sure to buy ones that only contained real ingredients. Through this granola realization, it never occurred to me that I should make my own at home. Finally, a few months ago I began experimenting with different granola recipes. The minute I saw how easy it was to make homemade granola, I felt completely idiotic that I had waited so long to make my own.
After playing around with different ingredients and proportions, I perfected and fell in love with this Vanilla Almond Granola. I used vanilla and almond extract to flavor the gluten-free oats, and maple syrup and coconut oil to sweeten and crisp them. The final product was a slightly sweet, crunchy and wholesome granola that can be enjoyed on top of yogurt, with milk, or alone, by the handfuls. Granola is so customizable, so if you don’t have almonds or prefer a different nut, change it up. Also, if you don’t have fresh fruit, add in dried fruit. You just can’t go wrong!
It’s tough to say that I’ll never buy granola at the grocery store again, but for now I’m absolutely loving this Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola. Plus, I’m addicted to the way my house smells when the granola is baking in the oven! I can’t wait to continue playing around with different ingredients and recipes to add other new varieties to my granola repertoire.
Add oats, almonds, flax meal, salt and cinnamon to a bowl
Melt coconut oil. Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract. Pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat evenly.
Spread granola mixture on a large baking sheet in a thin layer.
Baked until granola is golden brown, toasted and crunchy
Store granola for 2-3 weeks in a sealed container at room temperature.
Serve granola over yogurt with fresh or dried fruit
And before you know it, it’s going…going…gone!