Autumn Greek Salad

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Lately, my biggest fear and greatest hope are the same thing.

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Is that the opening verse of a pop song or what??? Call me, T. Swift.

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It’s true, though. It’s like I’m so terrified of this thing happening, but I also I kind of desperately want it to………….

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So I live in a townhouse and share a wall with neighbors on the left and the right. They are fine folk, kind, agreeable, all that. I work from home so I spend a lot of time inside said townhouse. While I work or do house chores or just generally live, I have music playing. The genres vary depending on my rapidly changing moods. I can go from top 40 to indie to Broadway to Christian to folk to emo jams I used to have as my MySpace songs all in a day’s work. No matter the genre or my mood, I sing along. And I only have one volume. Can you guess what it is? Basically a deafening, blood curdling scream. You would think I would have more consideration for my neighbors, but nah. I’ve got the music in me, what can I do?? I have a sneaking suspicious my neighbors have all heard me at least 39458 times and they make fun of me to their friends. The thought brings me to my knees in terror, but also….do you think they think I’m good? Like, what if they tell their friends that their neighbor is maybe a professional singer and they send recordings of my performances to them to prove my talents??? That would be neat.

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Eventually, I’m going to find a strongly worded letter in my mailbox telling me to invest in a muzzle.

 

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 cups of arugula or mixed greens
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved + deseeded
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled + deseeded + cut into cubes
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/2 a red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. of agave
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil + 2 tbsp.
  • S+P, to taste
  • Pumpkin seeds, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Arrange spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P, arrange cut side down
  • Line another baking sheet with foil + arrange butternut squash in an even layer + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + S+P
  • Bake both for 40-45 minutes, tossing butternut squash once in the middle of cooking + checking on your spaghetti squash to make sure it’s not charring
  • Once cooled, pull out the spaghetti squash noodles
  • Meanwhile, combine apple cider vinegar + garlic + Dijon + agave + remaining olive oil + S+P
  • In a bowl, combine tomatoes + cucumber + onion + olives + 1-2 tbsp. of the apple cider vinaigrette, let marinate until ready to serve
  • To serve, arrange some greens on a plate + top with spaghetti squash + butternut squash + marinated veggies + pumpkin seeds + a lil more dressing
  • Hopscotch your fork from squash to squash, getting a lil bit of everything on your utensil, then slingshot it all into your pie hole, repeat until you are full or your wrist is exhausted from slingshotting

Crispy Eggplant + Orange Salad

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Shopping is an activity I detest.

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Unless I’m with my mother and she’s paying, of course.

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But honestly moms just have this innate skill that the Lord infuses in them the moment they conceive. They can choose clothes for their daughter that said daughter would never pick out herself and they turn out to be the daughter’s very favorite clothes.

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I’m simply lost without her shopping guidance. I spent three hours shopping for a dress this weekend. Three hours of my life I could have spent doing 1.8 million other things like bingeing a show, reading a book, exploring a new hobby, learning a new language, working on my excel spreadsheet of America’s top airports, etc. I went to NO JOKE 11 stores. Everything was either a frumpy sack on me or $300. I needed Susan there to dig through the sale bins & pull out the gem among the rocks. And isn’t it the MOST typical that I was shopping v specifically for a dress, so the world conspired against me to put nothing but adorable sweaters in my path? It’s cruel and unusual!

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So, the next best thing – I made her online shop for me & ordered a dress she picked out. Boom.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups of arugula
  • 1 eggplant, peeled + cut into cubes
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. of flax meal
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • 1 orange, cut into lil pieces
  • 1/2 cup of kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Place eggplant cubes in a colander + sprinkle with some S, coating on the lil cubes – let water release + drain for about 30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a food processor, combine spinach + 1 cup of aurugla + basil + pumpkin seeds + nutritional yeast + garlic + S+P, process on low + slowly add in 1/2 cup of olive oil until well combined, refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Add flax meal + 1/2 cup of warm water to a bowl, set aside for a few minutes + add breadcrumbs to another bowl, add red pepper + some S+P to it
  • Pat dry the eggplant cubes, then a few cubes at a time, dip into flax egg bowl + then breadcrumbs, place on a lined baking sheet
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, tossing once in the middle of cooking
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a lil skillet over medium heat
  • Add shallot + S+P, cook for 4-5 minutes
  • To serve, arrange some arugula on a plate + top with eggplant + quinoa + orange + olives + shallots + pesto
  • Get a bite of every lil component on your fork + do the same for your sweetie + wrap your arms around each other like you would with champagne + then feed each other until your arms fall asleep

Corn + Avocado Panzanella

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A thing I excel at is karaoke.

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And just generally being the life of the party.

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This last statement is false except when I am surrounded by all of my friends in a foreign land like I was this weekend.

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If you consider Boston a foreign land, that is. A dear friend got married this weekend and like 15 of our closest pals descended on MA for the affair. It’s a rare occasion that we all get together considering jobs, families, spouses, babies, life, bills, etc. I cannot even put into the words the fun that was had, but I will try by summarizing our first night: We end up at a hole in the wall pub that all of the girls are like umm is this going to be OK, not sure about this aesthetic. We walk in and this place is BUMPING, man. It is THE place for young professionals on a Thursday after work. They have a jukebox playing Who Let The Dogs Out and other similar classics. Since we’re grooving so hard, we get the brilliant idea to karaoke…….at 7:30pm. Lucky us there’s a karaoke bar around the corner. We sang probably 16 of the 20 songs that were performed while we were there – everything ranging from Tina Turner to Dashboard Confessional, really impressing the crowd with our range. Of course, I concluded the evening with an Adele solo, as I do.

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I left my voice in Boston and now sound like an 80-year-old chain smoker.

 

 

Time: 45 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of whole wheat sourdough, cut in cubes
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of basil, chiffonaded
  • 4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • S+P, to taste
  • Lime, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Toss bread with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Arrange in an even layer on a lined baking sheet, bake about 10 minutes or until toasted to your desire
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining olive oil + vinegar + mustard + shallot + garlic + S+P
  • In a big bowl, combine corn + avocado + tomatoes + jalapeno + red pepper + basil + S+P, toss to coat
  • Add bread + dressing, toss to coat + serve with lime
  • Find a comfy chaise lounge to retire on and hire some cabana boys to spoon feed you this while simultaneously fanning you

 

Dressing from here!