Harvest Salad with Fruit, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

salad

This time last year: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (2014)

DSC_0322

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

DSC_0329

DSC_0324

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!

 DSC_0328

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):

Strawberry Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion

quesadillas

The World’s Most Delicious (and EASY!) Chocolate Cake (2014)

DSC_0141

I don’t know about you all, or if this is just a Georgia thing, but there are strawberries Everywhere! It’s awesome!

For the last few week I have been eating strawberries like they are going out of style, and I have no intention to stop.

My normal method of eating strawberries is to slice them up and put them in my morning oatmeal or on top of a bagel. However, I have grown to really love strawberries in the main course and in side dishes. People do not expect to see strawberries in their wraps or in their salad, but I have never received a complaint!

So, if you’re feeling a little springy, healthy, and like trying something new, give these delicious quesadillas a try! Strawberries on the dinner table or in the lunchbox will make everybody happy. 🙂

Come back soon!

Love, Sarah

DSC_0143

DSC_0142

Ingredients*:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 box of button mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar (or regular BV)*
  • 1 pint of strawberries, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 5 sprigs of mint leaves, rinsed and diced
  • 6 ounces honey goat cheese
  • 10 whole wheat tortillas* (Use gluten free quesadillas if needed!)

Directions:

  1. Slice the onion and mushrooms into small strips/ bite size pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and cook for another few minutes until the onions look slightly caramelized. Remove from heat.
  3. Assemble the quesadillas by spreading a layer of goat cheese on a tortillas. Top with sliced strawberries, diced mint leaves, and a hearty spoonful of the onion/mushroom mixture.
  4. Place in a large frying pan over medium heat, and top with another goat-cheese spread tortilla. (Do not use oil or non-stick spray! The oil will make the tortilla soggy and ruin the quesadilla!). Cook for a few minutes on each side, remove from the skillet, and cut with a pizza cutter.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

 DSC_0140

DSC_0146

Notes and Tips!:

  • I made these quesadillas for a potluck, which is why there are 10 tortillas listed. Feel free to half the ingredient list to fit your own serving needs!
  • Looking for Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar? I got mine at a specialty Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil store in Kansas City, however grocery stores such as Whole Foods also carry a variety of vinegars, and any fruit flavored balsamic vinegar will have a similar affect! If all else fails, regular BV will also work well!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other spring dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below photos!):

Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

sweetpotatoquiche

DSC_0342

I love sweet potatoes. For those of you that have been loyally following this blog for the last two years, I am aware that I sound like a broken record. Sorry.

(I’m not really sorry.)

However, the leaves have officially changed color, Halloween has come and gone, sweater weather has arrived, and all of these variables make me crave the warmth and fall flavor of sweet potatoes. Tis’ the season, right?!

Thus, when I stumbled upon this delicious gluten free recipe, which just happened to include sweet potatoes, it took all of about ten minutes before I found myself in the kitchen whipping it up.  And oooooooooh buddy, it was good.

Thus, consider this my gift to you, and get cookin’! You will be so glad you did.

Also, if you happen to share in my sweet potato fanaticism, make sure you check out the ‘vegetable’ and ‘Vegetarian Dishes’ portion of my Recipe page. It is a goldmine of sweet potato lovin’.

Come back soon!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

DSC_0351

DSC_0348

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • Olive oil spray + 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch spinach- rinsed, stems removed, and thinly sliced
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 Tablespoon organic white miso
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • ¼ cup Asiago cheese (to sprinkle on top)
  • Optional:
    • Spring herbs (dill, parsley, chives) to taste
    • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F and lightly spray a pie dish with a layer of oil, set aside.
  2. Rinse, peel, and thinly slice sweet potatoes (using either a sharp knife or a food processor).
  3. Arrange the sweet potato slices evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan in a crust-like fashion. Spray the tops of the potatoes with a light layer of oil and bake for 15 minutes. After the crust has baked, reduce the heat to 375˚F.
  4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, sauté the sliced onion and crushed garlic until light brown, about seven minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, about four minutes. Drain any excess liquid from the frying pan.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the mozzarella and goat cheese, miso, herbs, and any desired salt/pepper. Then stir in the vegetable mixture until thoroughly combined.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the potato crush, sprinkle the top with asiago cheese, and bake for 40 minutes at 375˚.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

DSC_0341

DSC_0356

Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Fourteen Forty
  • Gluten free? Don’t forget to check out the gluten free section of this blog, found under the Recipe tab.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious recipes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links posted below photos!):

Harvest Peach and Cherry Summer Salad

DSC_0003

DSC_0010

There are a lot of pros and cons to moving around the country. However, one major pro to moving from Kansas to Georgia, is Georgia peaches. Holy cow, there is seriously nothing better than Georgia peaches!

Last summer my family had the opportunity to go pick peaches while on vacation, and I went a little crazy with the peach recipes. However, despite my deep love of the fruit, this ingredient combination was one entirely new to me. As strange as it may sound to combine some of these sweet and savory flavors together, the flavors beautifully compliment each other, blossoming under the dressing and making this fruit salad unique, visually striking, and delicious to eat!

If you have any summer peaches left sitting on your window sill, try whipping together this delicious fruit salad. You just might fall in love.

Not ready to be so bold and adventurous with your last sacred peaches of the summer? Try these other delicious peach recipes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! Like I said earlier, with peaches, you just can’t go wrong.

Peach Favorites:

DSC_0001

DSC_0014

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow peach
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
  • 2 Tablespoons basil, chiffonade (roll up and chopped into ribbons)
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice the peach into thin slices, and toss, along with the cherries, into a medium sized serving bowl.
  2. Cube the tomato into one-inch chunks, and add to the peach and cherry mix.
  3. Gently stir in the herbs.
  4. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, agave, olive oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly blended. Drizzle over the herbs and fruit, serve, and enjoy!

DSC_0007

Notes and Tips:

  • Yield: 2-4
  • Source: The Kitchy Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats and salads from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links below):

 

White Bean Hummus with Lime, Parsley, and Cilantro

DSC_0024

DSC_0030

I don’t know about you all, but here in Virginia, Richmond is flirting with spring. Whenever the weather starts to warm up and the sun comes back out, I start craving those fun and refreshing flavors of summer.

I generally try to shop in season, to help ensure a variety in my diet and to help protect the Earth. As a result, I should have restrained from purchasing limes or these fresh summer herbs at the moment; however, we all have moments of weakness! With spring just around the corner, I broke and had a great time pulling together this scrumptious and refreshing hummus spread. Try it with raw vegetables, pita chips and pretzels, or as a spread on your sandwich or savory bagel!

Happy Cooking!

Love, a rented kitchen

DSC_0025

DSC_0028

Ingredients:

  • 2- 16 ounce cans of white beans
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro leaves (or a handful of fresh leaves!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a large food processor, and blend until the white beans are a smooth consistency. (You may need to stop and wipe the side of your food processor with a spatula!)
  2. Add the spices and herbs to the beans and process until completely mixed in.
  3. Serve with vegetables, carrots, on sandwiches, or on a savory bagel!

DSC_0031

Notes and Tips!:

  •  Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, try this other yummy dips from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links below):