Grilled Peach Salad with Halloumi Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Arugula

grilled peach halloumi salad

Our summer sun has disappeared briefly into the gray clouds of “Fog-ust” this month in the Bay area.  I cheated and made this salad on our grill pan inside, as grilling outside huddled in the dark in long pants and a sweatshirt doesn’t have quite the allure of grilling while relaxing outside in your shorts on a warm evening.  For those of you having a legitimate hot August, feel free to do this recipe all outside, cooking the peaches, chunks of red onion and the halloumi cheese on the grill and tossing them from the grill straight to bowls full … Continue reading

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Spicy Maple Dressing

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Fall at the farmers’ market has a whole different feeling, and while I miss the fresh berries terribly, I do love how forgiving fall produce can be.  I lugged home a heavy bag today, filled to the brim with butternut and delicata squashes, onions, garlic, a bottle of apple cider and several pomegranates.  One of my pomegranates escaped and went rolling down the sidewalk in front of me, but I just scooped it up and it was really no worse for wear. Fall produce can be just as pretty as it’s spring and summer brethren (I love the colors of … Continue reading

Pan-fried Vegetable and Tofu Dumplings

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Once I’d discovered how easy spring rolls were to prepare, vegetable dumplings jumped to the top of my list.  These are a much more significant time investment than the spring rolls, but they freeze beautifully.  I made a batch of about 60 while watching an episode of Bones on my laptop (so 45 minutes, give or take).  My first try with dumplings, I followed this recipe for golden potstickers from 101 Cookbooks.  I always trust Heidi to carry me safely through any new recipe or technique with carefully crafted instructions.  I bought gyoza wrappers at Berkeley Bowl (same aisle as … Continue reading

A Call for New Vegetarian Sandwiches

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Sometimes I just want a sandwich.  This feeling usually hits on a Saturday afternoon.  When I was swimming regularly on Saturdays, I’d leave the pool exhausted, just trying to figure out where I could pick up a good sandwich.  I’m not normally a sandwich person, but the chlorine in the pool seemed to trigger old memories of summer camp.  Right after a swim workout I’d become fixated on the idea of a grown up version of an old camp lunch.  I wanted a delicious vegetarian sandwich, a bag of Pop chips, and an Izze.  Sometimes I even wanted a peanut … Continue reading

Corn Salad with Red Onion, Epazote, and Cotija Cheese

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Summer meals can be delightfully lazy.  Buy pretty ingredients (not hard at all during the California summer), combine them in a bowl and crumble on some cheese or drizzle on some olive oil.  Serve at once, preferably outdoors with good friends. Unfortunately most of our summer meals here in Berkeley are still eaten inside.  Once the sun deserts us the temperature drops with shocking speed.  Where just 5 minutes ago we were blissfully warm clad in shorts and a tank top, suddenly the sun drops below the horizon and we speed into the house in search of sweatshirts and blankets.  … Continue reading

Blueberry and Cheddar Cereal Bowl

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Some would argue that Northern California has no seasons.  In my part of Berkeley it is 67 degrees nearly every day with just a few degrees leeway in each direction.  Somehow, my body still senses the seasons, and oatmeal and wheatberry breakfast bowls give way to green juice and smoothies.  J introduced me to this breakfast the first summer we were dating.  I, always quick to jump on any excuse to eat cheese first thing in the morning, quickly added it to my summer rotation.  It reminds him of the summers he spent in Rhode Island with his family.  I … Continue reading

Grilled Vegetables over Polenta

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Last night the ladies took over the grill.  By which I mean my neighbor did all the heavy lifting and fire wielding tasks, and I chopped some veggies.  We wrapped them up in tortillas, topped with feta and avocado, for grilled veggie tacos.  In the winter, I’ll usually make a big batch of roasted veggies on the weekend.  Butternut squash, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts are the usual suspects.  These grilled vegetables must be their summer counterparts. These leftover grilled vegetables can be re-invented in so many ways.  Tonight I had them over polenta (cooked in roasted vegetable stock) with goat … Continue reading

Buffalo Tofu, Goat Cheese and Asparagus Sandwich

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Several days ago I saw this post by (never)homemaker of an Asparagus and Tofu Sandwich.  It looked simple, and since I’m currently having a love affair with buffalo sauce I thought buffalo tofu would go perfectly with their other sandwich ingredients.  Before J became vegetarian, buffalo chicken tenders were one of his favorite things.  Without fail, if they were on a menu, we’d be ordering them.  I had nearly no spice tolerance, and sometimes the dish would arrive at the table, and I swore I would tear up just smelling it.  I never understood why you’d want to eat something … Continue reading

Tomato, Cucumber, and Mozzarella Panzanella

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So I’m not actually a salad person.  This may come as a surprise, since I’ve just offered you blog posts about salad all week.  When I go out to eat, a salad is the last thing that I ever think to order.  I like salads, but I always feel like they’re so easy to construct at home that it’s silly to order one out.  In a restaurant, give me pizza, homemade pasta, or perhaps Gather’s vegan “charcuterie.” Something that’s a pain, if not down right impossible, to make at home. When I do eat and make salads, I like them … Continue reading

Kale Coconut Salad

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When you move to California (having never even visited before), you falsely feel like you have some sense of the place.  TV and movies promise palm trees, sunshine, and surfers.  While I knew I was moving to Northern California and not San Diego, I was still surprised our first morning here (in August no less), that I needed to pull on a sweatshirt to go search out a local coffee shop.  I always find myself explaining to friends and relatives back home that my part of California is usually always 67 degrees.  Even in August.  Even in November. So this … Continue reading