Nectarine and Berry Topped Salad with Pecans and Gorgonzola

Nectarine and Berry Topped Salad with Pecans and Gorgonzola

So I am the most awkward person ever.

Let’s start from some funny/horrible things that happened recently.

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On Tuesday, Autumn and I stopped by the house before heading into work to check on progress. Not much was happening to our house, but the house next door had a busy crew. I swung by to talk to one of the guys to see if he would be involved in our house. He was explaining that they have not yet been giving a date when they would poor the slab but he was thinking it would be Friday or Saturday. While we were chatting, Autumn was hoping around and playing around me. Of course, she thought it would be super awesome to yank up my dress HIGH UP to hide under there.

I was not wearing underwear.

Yep. Flashed one of the guys working on our house.

I basically turned purple and stopped talking to him and booked it to the car.

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Fast forward a few days, and we’re now having our slab pour on Saturday. We stopped by to check it out and of course I see him. I gave him a little wave like ‘yep…’. Anyway, things are going smoothly until we are about to leave. Price got Autumn in the car while I finished up taking the last pics we wanted.

Well, I snapped my last picture, turned, took a step and fell into a hole.

Everyone on the job site saw it.

I mean, come on now!!! I will not be able to show my face there anymore. #theworst

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In other news, this salad ROCKS!!!!

It’s such a great summer salad. It has fresh stone fruit and berries on it. The berries on there are so juicy and fresh. The saltiness from the cheese is a great contrast to the sweetness of the fruit. Plus, it’s just so pretty.

We brought this salad to a dinner with friends this past weekend because I just thought it would be a fun way to incorporate summer fruit into a salad. Plus, it’s a fun sweet contrast to the smokey ribs we had.

I did a pretty simple dressing of just extra virgin olive oil with rice vinegar. I didn’t want the dressing to over power the salad, especially the Gorgonzola. Just a rich extra virgin olive oil and a bit of vinegar will do. Don’t over do it.

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Summer is winding down, so now is the perfect time to run out and get some fresh, ripe fruit to use in this salad. Savory every last bit of summer!

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Nectarine and Berry Topped Salad with Pecans and Gorgonzola

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces of mixed greens
  • 1 nectarine, very thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup blueberries
  • 1 Cup blackberries
  • 1/2 Cup glazed pecans
  • 2-3 ounces of crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Process

  1. Arrange the greens in a large shallow bowl or on a serving platter.
  2. Scatter the slices of nectarine all over the greens. Then, add the the berries all over the salad.
  3. Sprinkle the nuts and cheese evenly on top.
  4. Combine the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Dress salad just prior to serving or dress individual portions.

 

 

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Crunchy Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders with Noodle Salad

Crunchy Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders with Noodle Salad

We’re having a stay-cation this weekend!!!

Since moving to the Tampa area in mid February (Price arrived mid March), we haven’t done too much exploring of the area. We have certainly enjoyed our time here with busy weekends at the pool and beaches, but we haven’t explored Tampa itself. In fact, aside from the walk to the parking lot to my office and my office to my favorite lunch spot, I haven’t been explored the Tampa area. I couldn’t tell you what is out of a 3 block radius from my office.

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And Price works no where near downtown, so he is just a hopeless.

But we are aiming to fix that this weekend by being tourists in the new city where we live. We have arranged to stay at Aloft in Downtown Tampa as it’s going to give us a great spot to make our home base for the weekend.

It’s just an overnight but I’m already packing. Super excited.

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Stay tuned for a recap of our adventures around Tampa. And be sure to follow me on Snap for up to the minute shenanigans. @iamahoneybee

Anyway, I was so hooked on making these chicken tenders when I saw them on Julie’s FB page that I set out to make them as soon as I had the chance. I finally had the chance recently and let me tell you, DAYUM.

  1. I insist you make them
  2. I insist you make this noodle salad too
  3. Repeat often

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The chicken is seriously good. It would be good with rice or veggies or whatever. But I think the noodle salad with it just kills it.

So you can certainly use just a regular teriyaki sauce to put on your chicken tenders but I decided to get a spicy chili one that I would add honey to. I thought it would be great to get the heat from the sauce and then just cut some of that with the sweetness of some added honey. I think it worked out perfectly!

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If you decide not to go for a sauce that has as much heat as this one does, then opt for a mellower sauce. Obviously, it’s important to create something that you will enjoy, so don’t pass on this because I say it’s going to be spicy. Just pick a sauce with less spice. Or add more honey or whatever.

Overall it’s a quick and easy meal to make. It will fill you up but still have you wanting more and more.

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Crunchy Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tenders with Noodle Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Chicken Tenders

  • 1 1/2 pound chicken tenders, 12 tenders
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the chicken tender sauce

For the dressing

  • 1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water

For the Noodle Salad

  • 8 ounces rice noodes
  • 4 Cups mixed greens
  • 1 Cup English Cucumber cut into 3″ long match sticks (about 1 cucumber)
  • 1 Cup red/orange pepper, cut into
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced scallions

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and add the milk, mix well.
  3. On a plate, combine the panko bread crumbs, garlic salt, and pepper.
  4. Dip the chicken tenders into the egg mixture, and then place on the panko bread crumbs. Press the bread crumbs onto the tenders to help them adhere to the chicken. Place on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is baking, make the chicken tender sauce. Combine the honey and chili sauce.
  7. To make the salad dressing, remove 2 Tablespoons of the chicken tender sauce and place in a small bowl with the garlic, vinegar, oil, and water.
  8. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (typ 3 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  9. Begin to assemble the salad by equally dividing the salad greens, noodles, cucumber, pepper in salad bowls. Drizzle with the salad dressing.
  10. When the chicken is done, coat with the sauce. Place on top of the salad. Sprinkle with the scallion pieces. Enjoy!

Chicken tenders is adapted from Table for Two

Monday Munchies: Bamboozle Cafe- Tampa, FL

As part of my Monday Munchies series, I will feature a different eatery for a review on the third Monday of every month. Hope you enjoy!

Bamboozle Cafe- Tampa FL

Bamboozle Cafe is one of my favorite lunch time spots to give me a chance to escape the clutches of my desk and have a great lunch. I am additcted.

I first visited Bamboozle when I interviewed in Tampa last September. I needed a place to grab lunch and was encouraged to check it out as it’s a local favorite. As soon as I dug into my Tofu topped Noodle Salad, I was hooked and have been a fan since.

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My favorite dish is the Noodle Salad. It’s a ginormous salad that is packed with green leaf lettuce, Vermicelli noodles, thinly sliced cucumber, pickled daikon & carrots, fresh mint, bean sprouts, crushed roasted peanuts, roasted shallots and a side of our zesty chili dressing. All of that together is amazing with the different flavors and textures.

The zesty chili dressing is s packed with flavor. It has fish sauce (no vegan!) so it has a nice salty umami flavor profile to it.

I typically get the salad with their lemongrass tofu or their lemongrass beef. I love the lemongrass marinade. I swear I would eat a shoe if it had that on there. Okay, I wouldn’t but you get the point.

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The Cafe Salad is just as good as the Noodle Salad, but a bit lighter and with some flexibility. You get to select 3 of their freshly prepared veggies to add to bed of green leaf lettuce, cucumber, carrot match sticks.

Personally, I suggest getting some fruit like mango in there to have some contrast in flavors in there.

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If you love super fresh, delicious, large Fresh Rolls, then you have come to the right place. I swear that that they are all so good.

They have several rolls that you can just pick from, like their BBQ Pork that is stuffed with picked daikon and carrots, cucumber, red bell peppers, and fresh cilantro.  Or their Lemongrass Beef that is accompanied with red bell peppers, cucumbers, jicama, and roasted shallots that is served with a soy sauce vinaigrette.

Or you can just pick your protein and pick whatever 4 veggies you want to add to your roll. When you have options likes mango, jacama, Thai basil, pineapple, and chives, and cucumbers, the possibilities are endless!!

All of their rolls are served with various dipping sauces like their zesty dressing and peanut sauce. So good.

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Don’t feel like a salad? Then get a Banh Mi Sandwich!

Banh Mi’s are a classic Vietamese sandwich that is served on a toasted  baguette. That bread is slathered with mayo and topped with green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, pickled daikon & carrots, jalapeno, cilantro. Traditionally it is served with pate, which they offer, but you can get it with tofu, beef, chicken (pictured), or pork.

I am always so amazing with how fill the sandwiches are packed! I think it would be great to shared a Banh Mi with sides of soup or srring rolls with a friend.

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There are a few sides that you can get to that are great to accompany your meals, if you have room. Both the Baked Vegan Spring roll and the Baked Chicken Spring roll are great. I love how they are so crisp even though they are baked. They have a great crunch to them.

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I swear, no matter what you get you will love stopping in to dine in the dark, mellow restaurant, or at the outdoor seating

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Their Pho Soup Boat is one of the most comforting soup I have ever had.

How can you resist a warm, soup that is has a broth that is made from slowly simmering star anise, cloves, and other spices for hours? That is then packed full of the protein of your choice, rice noodles, thinly sliced red onions, and cilantro, with bean sprouts, a lime wedge, slices of  jalapenos, and basil on the side. And don’t forget the hoisin & sriracha sauce!

Like the other dishes you can enjoy this with Chicken, Beef, or Tofu. My favorite is the tofu as I love the texture and flavor of it. The tofu version is vegetarian and vegan. There are so many vegetarian and vegan options for people!

Please try to say Pho correctly. I know it’s tricky since you want to say it like Faux but imagine you are about to swear F!$& but don’t say the CK at the end. Got it!?

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If you happen to want to add some heat to your dishes, then try out the different sauces they have to offer. I love a lot of heat so I will add so much that sometimes I will actually sweat from it. The heat is addicting.

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If you are looking for something great to eat in Downtown Tampa, then check out Bamboozle Cafe. And be sure to let me know so I can meet you there since I will never turn down a chance to eat there. YUM!

Bamboozle Cafe

516 N Tampa St

Tampa, FL 33602

(813) 223-7320

Grilled Steak Fajita Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Grilled Steak Fajita Salad

I need some sandals.

I have plenty of flip flips and boat shoes but I need some nice sandals.

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I am so used to wearing flats now but I need some fun wedges that are comfy to walk around in around the office and downtown. I need to grow up a bit. I got too casual after having Autumn so I need to refresh my summer shoe supply with some wedges.

Suggestions are welcome!

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Anyway, I had it in my mind that I was going to make this salad this weekend so I was on a mission to make it happen. In the end, I needed to go to 2 different grocery stores for everything, but it was so worth it. Sold out Flank Steak will get ya, but I was determined so off I went to another store and scored a victory.

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Besides the awesome flank steak, the cilantro dressing really makes this salad. But if you are one of those people who hate cilantro, then I suggest changing the dressing up- a ranch would be great. If you love cilantro, then you will love it. It’s zesty with the cilantro, citrus, and jalapeno, but still mellow with the honey. It has great balance. I want to make tons of it and pour it on everything from this salad to grilled veggies to sauteed fish.

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This salad will will satisfy your Taco Tuesday desires when you are craving a big crunchy, meaty salad.

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Grilled Steak Fajita Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2- 2 pounds Flank Steak
  • 1 Tablespoon Adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon teason chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 3 peppers
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce or mixed greens
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • cilantro for garnish

For the Dressing

  • 2 handfuls cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno, seeds removed, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Process

  1. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the dressing is smooth. Set aside.
  2. Rub the Adobo, chipotle powder, and pepper on the steak, set aside to allow the steak to come up to room temperature, at least 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high temperature.
  4. While the steak is coming up to room temperature, in a dry skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat. Set aside.
  5. Cut the peppers to make large flat pieces. Cut the ends off the onion, peel and slice into 1/2″ thick slices.
  6. Place the peppers and onion on the grill. Once charred on one side, flip over to char the other side. Remove, and set aside. Once cool enough slice the peppers into 1/4″ thick slices.
  7. Place the steak on the grill and cook until desired doneness, I suggest medium rare. Let rest for at least 5 minutes prior to cutting thin slices across the grain of the steak.
  8. While the steak is resting, slice the tomatoes in half. Half the avocado, remove the pit, and slice into 1/4″ slices.
  9. Assemble the salad by dividing the greens among 4 bowls. Equally portion the steak, peppers and onions, tomatoes, pepitas, and 2 wedges of lime on the greens. Garnish with extra cilantro. Drizzle desired amount of dressing on the salad.

New England Harvest Salad

New England Harvest Salad

This salad is my life right now.

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It’s the thing getting me through this fall. And it was my summer thing too. It can be a year round thing actually. 

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When I first came up to Boston over a dozen years ago, I stumbled across The Wrap, which was a local burrito shop. I started my love affair with The Wrap with their Buffalo Chicken burrito. Since then, they have picked up a new name, opened a bunch of locations, and expanded their menu. One of there salads is the New England Harvest.

I’ve been hooked on it every since I ordered it, skipping my usual Tofu Teriyaki burrito for the salad made with baby kale and topped with quinoa, mushrooms, squash, dried cranberries, goat cheese that is topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. A fantastic combo of textures and flavors. I love it!!

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Besides the flavors and textures, I love how easy it is to make this salad. In fact it’s all about preparing the different toppings in advance in a large batch and then you can use assemble salads. I typically prepare enough ingredients to make 4 salads so I make enough quinoa to yield 2 Cups, buy 1 pound of mushrooms, roast 1/2 a small butternut squash. The rest of it is prepared ingredients, like beets that I just dice up. Super simple.

I don’t often include the dried cranberries, but that is more about that fact that we don’t have them and not about me not liking it. I blame the toddler who can eat most of a bag in a sitting. (Goodbye money!)

When I make this for Price I omit the beets in his since he thinks they taste like dirt!

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This will be an instant favorite and will bring lovely New England into your house.

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New England Harvest Salad

Makes 1 awesome salad

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls of baby kale
  • 1/2 Cup quinoa
  • 1/2 Cup roasted diced butternut squash
  • 1/4 Cup sauteed sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cup diced/sliced beets
  • dried cranberries
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • balsamic vinaigrette/olive and vinegar

Process

  1. Layer the baby kale in your bowl.
  2. Then top with each portion of quiona, butternut squash, mushrooms, beets.
  3. Then top with dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Drizzle with dressing.