Harvest Salad with Fruit, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

salad

This time last year: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (2014)

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Never have I ever truly craved a salad. I wish that was my life, but sadly, it is not. Chocolate, bread, coffee? Yes. I crave those every day. Salad? Mmmmm not so much.

However, a few weeks ago my dear friend Rachel invited me over to her house for lunch, and we whipped this salad together. The combination of goat cheese, fresh herbs, fruit, and colorful vegetables made for one of the most refreshing meals I’ve had all season! Thus for the first time, I was truly craving salad!

As the last glimpses of summer slip away, I had to dig up this recipe and enjoy the incredible combination of fruit and vegetables! No surprise- it was just as good as I had remembered it, and I am going to be enjoying it all week long!

If you’re not a huge salad person, give this a try. If you’re a huge salad person, you’re welcome for just changing your life.

Life should be colorful. Life should be healthy. Food should taste like this.

Dig in 🙂

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed from the cob (or one can of corn- no sodium added)
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 peach, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup mixed toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pecans, walnuts, and/or pistachios
  • 1 avocado, pitted + chopped
  • 4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ -1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, corn, tomatoes, red pepper, blackberries, peach, jalapeno, and nuts.
  2. In a separate mason jar or small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients until fully combined.
  3. Top the salad off with avocado and goat cheese, toss once more, and serve with dressing on the side or drizzled over top. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Want to add more protein? Try warming up 16 ounces of chickpeas and throwing those into the mix! They are an excellent healthy source of protein!
  • Source: Half Baked Harvest
  • Like this salad? Try these other healthy and seasonal dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below photos):

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

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I’m not a big mayo fan. I’m not sure why, but something about that weird white stuff in a jar really freaks me out.

I tend to avoid mayo at all costs, including in salads and on sandwiches, which is one reason I have never made deviled eggs! That is until now of course!

I stumbled upon this recipe recently and knew I had to give these deviled eggs a try. Good news, they are super simple, scrumptious, and mayo free! By replacing the mayo with avocado you are getting a healthier version of fats that your body needs, and a whole host of antioxidants to boot! What’s not to love?

Give these little guys a try- for a potluck, for yourself, for St. Patrick’s day or Cinco De Mayo!  Whatever the occasion, I promise these eggs will be a crowd pleaser.

Enjoy!

Love, a rented kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red onion, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon diced tomato
  • Pinch of Chile powder (for garnish)
  • Optional: Cayenne pepper as desired for a little extra kick!

Directions:

  1. Once your eggs are cool after being hard-boiled, remove the shell.
  2. Cut the eggs in half horizontally, and scoop the yolks into a small bowl.
  3. Add the avocado to the egg yolk bowl, and mash until well mixed. If you are watching your cholesterol, only add egg yolks from 2 whole eggs and discard the rest. You will have enough filling either way!
  4. Add the lime juice, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, pepper, and tomato to the avocado mixture. Stir well.
  5. Taste and add cayenne pepper or additional salt/pepper/lime juice as desired!
  6. Scoop a heaping spoonful of the guacamole into the 12 halved eggs.
  7. Garnish with a sprinkle of chile powder and serve!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Skinny Taste
  • If you like spicy dishes, you are definitely going to want to add the cayenne pepper! If you do not like heat in your dish, you’re in luck, without the cayenne this recipe is pretty tame!
  • If you like this recipe, check out other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’ by clicking the recipe links below!:

Let’s Taco’bout it!: Chipotle Tofu Tacos with Cilantro Quinoa and Mango

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Well, here it is! The fifth and final taco in my series, “Let’s Taco’bout it!” Of all the tacos posted in the last few weeks, I think this was my favorite one! The flavor combination of the zesty chipotle, the citrusy lime and mango, and the sweet agave and pomegranate bits, combine to create one beautiful meal. My talented boyfriend Brian, even made homemade tortillas for these tacos, which were absolutely incredible! (Look for that recipe soon!) Although I am sure this looks like a lot of work, I promise you, this meal is not very hard, and will only take you 30 minutes! Give it a try! Seriously, there’s so much to love. And don’t forget to try the other tacos in this series as well!

Day One: Spiced Corn and Bean Tacos

Day Two: Island Tacos

Day Three: Veggie Tacos

Day Four: Tempeh Tacos with Avocado-Lime Sauce

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Lime Cilantro Superfood Quinoa

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup chopped kale
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • salt to taste (feel free to try a seasoned salt here!)

Quinoa Directions:

  1. Cook the quinoa by bringing 1 cup dry quinoa and 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the head to a simmer, top with a tight fitting lid, and allow to cook untouched for 15- 20 minutes. (While this is cooking, get started on the tofu and mango topping!)
  2. After 20 minutes, remove from heat, but allow to sit untouched for another 5.
  3. Fluff with fork and add the chopped kale, parsley, cilantro, lime juice and zest, as well as other seasonings to the pot. Stir together and garnish with lime wedges.

Chipotle Tofu Ingredients:

Yield: 12 small triangles

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu (1 block)
  • 1-2 teaspoons safflower oil (or other)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon mixed seasoning*
  • Salt (as desired)
  • Spritz of lime juice

Tofu Directions:

  1. Slice tofu into 12 triangles and squeeze dry using paper towels or a hand rag (this can take a while!)
  2. Head oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the tofu triangles.
  3. Drizzle each triangle with soy sauce, agave, and sprinkle with seasonings. Flip and repeat this on the other side. Continue to cook each triangle, occasionally adding more seasoning or sauce if desired, until crispy on the outside- about 6 minutes total.
  4. Squeeze a little lime juice over the top of the triangles and remove from heat.

Mango Avocado Topping

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 ½ avocados, diced
  • 1 champagne mango, diced
  • 2 limes, squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons dried pomegranate bits

Mango Topping Directions:

  1. Combine the fruit in a bowl, toss well, and plate.

Assemble each taco with a few spoonfuls of the quinoa, a few tofu triangles, and a scoop of the mango avocado topping! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • The mixed seasoning blend I used for the tofu was a herb and dry vegetable blend with lots of garlic, onion powder, oregano, etc. It helped to add a little more texture and flavor to the tofu. You can find these blends in the spice section of your grocery store, and pick one that seems to fit your pallet! Pay attention to whether you want a salted or unsalted version. This particular spice blend was unsalted, which I preferred since the soy sauce is relatively salty.
  • Gluten free? Try corn tortillas!
  • Slightly adapted from: Kathy at Vegan Lunchbox
  • Check out some other delicious recipes from ‘a rented kitchen,’ like these Southwestern Egg Rolls, Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Bake, and my Quinoa and Parmesan Kale Patties!

Let’s Taco’bout it!: Tempeh Tacos with Avocado-lime Sauce

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So, I’m in disbelief that I have had this blog for 9 months and this is my first tempeh recipe. Whut?! I literally just had to search “tempeh” in the search bar to confirm this. I actually do not cook tempeh all that often, that is not why the lack of tempeh on my blog is surprising. The reason it is surprising is that tempeh is a fabulous meat substitute for vegetarians that everyone should know about and I cannot believe I haven’t shared it with you already!

So here’s the tempeh scoop. Tempeh is made from soy beans- whole soy beans. It has a slightly nutty flavor that many people think tofu lacks. Tempeh is very high in fiber and is actually much firmer than tofu! Tempeh is great grilled, marinated, crumbled, pretty much any way you like it!

In this recipe, the tempeh should be marinated for a few hours at least, and then stir-fried for a quick, nutritious, and filling meal. Give it a try! It’s magical stuff.

And don’t miss the other tacos in this series, Let’s Taco’bout it!

Day One: Spiced Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Day Two: Island Tacos

Day Three: Veggie Tacos

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Avocado-Lime Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons salsa
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Gracious sprinkling of dry minced onion

Tempeh Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 6-ounce block tempeh, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon barbecue seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 small avocado
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt

Taco Ingredients (optional):

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for sautéing tempeh)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheese (suggested: pepper jack, if vegan omit)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Salsa

Directions:

  1. To prepare the tempeh: combine the olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue seasoning, and cumin in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together.
  2. Cut the tempeh into small cubes and toss in the marinade until well coated. Transfer the tempeh and marinade into a shallow dish or Tupperware, and allow to continue marinating for a minimum of 2 hours and up to a day.
  3. Sauté the tempeh cubes in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook until brown and crispy.
  4. To make the avocado- lime sauce: combine the ingredients in a blender and mix until completely blended. Add flavors or additional spices as desired.
  5. To assemble tacos: toast the tortillas for a few minutes and top with lettuce, cheese, salsa, sautéed tempeh, and the avocado-lime sauce. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

Superfood Guacamole

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Day 3 of Five Days of Appetizers for the Holidays!

Day One: Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip

Day Two: Brie, Pear, and Caramelized Onion Bruschetta

I know that health is often one thought that gets pushed to the back of our minds over the holidays, at least until it’s time for our New Year’s resolutions. With all those cookies and parties around, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet! However, with recipes like this, you don’t have to sacrifice your health to the holidays. Forget the rich cheeses and dips- this superfood guacamole will provide you with a full dosage of antioxidants and vitamin c for the day and won’t leave you feeling guilty!

With pomegranate in season over the winter, there’s no better time than now to enjoy this delicious guacamole. With only 5 ingredients, four easy steps, and a delicious taste, this is definitely a treat you’ll want to make again and again. Happy Holidays, from my kitchen to yours.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped (I used purple onion!)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Seeds from one pomegranate (about 3/4 cup)*

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the two avocados with the back of a large spoon.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mashed avocado with the onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Cut the pomegranate into quarters.
  4. Over a shallow bowl of water, begin pulling the seeds out of the pomegranate. You do this step over a bowl of water because the seeds will sink to the bottom, while the pulp will float on top. Separate the seeds from the pulp and gently mix the seeds into the guacamole.
  5. Serve with chips and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!: