Aka fancy salad.

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This salad is so Giada. You know Giada de Laurentiis? One of my all time favorite chefs/idols/inspirations. Seriously that woman just rocks. I have never made one bad recipe of hers and all her cookbooks are beautiful. Not just beautiful photos but all around beauty. Her varitey and ingredients are always on point, fresh and have great flavor. To me she represents balance and delicious meals to be shared with your loved ones.

I am just dying to go to her new Italian restuarant in Vegas. Someone puh-lease take the hint and get me reservations. As well as a sample from everything on the menu…

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So my Aunt Diane shares this mega-chef-crush on Giada as well. Last week at our summer bbq we talked Giada, recipes and pantry organization. My Aunt totally gets me. And she totally gets the whole cooking thing because she made this roasted potato + orange vinaigrette salad which was well beyond Giada-worthy.

I tend to be that annoying person at bbq’s where I talk food and food adventures the whole time and beg for certain recipes that made me drool and go back for seconds. Does anyone else share this same annoying (aka amazing) quality?

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Basically I begged my Aunt Diane for the recipe everyday until she emailed it to me then immediatley adapted it into TNK a few days later.

I didn’t really change much because it was SO delicious as is; The original called for gorgonzola cheese and that got swapped for goat cheese and I added some dried orange flavored cranberries. Awesome decision.

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You will also add some maple syrup to the vinaigrette because it needed a little something sweeter in my opinion while I was whisking it together. Make sure you use freshly squeezed orange juice from an actual orange and GOOD quality balsamic vinegar. I reccomend checking out Bluff Cove Olive Oil Co.. I will swear my their balsamic till death. The strawberry is my favorite!

Anyways the recipe overall is super simple, healthy and makes for a tasty lunch for the fam. you will almost forget you’re eating an actual “salad”. Giada would be proud.

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Roasted Potato, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Print
Potatoes
  1. 1 lb baby russet potatoes
  2. 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. sea salt + pepper to taste
  4. basil or seasoning of choice
Orange Vinaigrette
  1. 1 Tbsp extra virigin olive oil
  2. 1-2 Tbsp fresh orange juice*
  3. 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 tsp maple syrup
  5. Sea salt to taste
Salad
  1. Lettuce blend of choice (preferably one with arugala)
  2. Roasted russet potatoes (see above)
  3. Goat cheese
  4. Toasted walnuts or pecans
  5. Dried cranberries
  6. Orange vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and toss with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and seasoning of choice. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet, lying on flat side.
  3. Bake potatoes for 35-40 minutes until tops become crispy and golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
  4. To make vinaigrette whisk together all ingredients until fully mixed. You may need to double to recipe if making for a large group.
  5. Assemble the sald by combining lettuce, goat cheese, toasted nuts, dried cranberries and roastred potatoes. Toss with dressing and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Use fresh orange juice from a real orange for optimal flavor
  2. Serves 4
Adapted from Aunt Diane
Adapted from Aunt Diane
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

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Confession: I have been addicted to oreos lately. My Cabo bathing suit has been giving me evil glares every time I dive into the box of Trader Joe’s Jo-Jos. Jo-Jo’s are oreo knock off cookies and I equate them to being healthier than regular oreos because they are sold at Trader Joe’s.

Don’t you love my logic? You know you suffer from the same thing. So like cookie butter is healthy cuz it’s from TJ’s right?! So I can totally demolish their latest cookie butter ice cream guilt free?

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Yeah…I know what’s really up but let’s just eat our secret dessert stash in peace shall we? In reality news, Fall quarter begins in about 4 weeks and I know most of the high school/younger grades are already starting which means we are suppose to say goodbye to summer…and I am SO not ready.

Well I sort of am. A new school is enticing for me and the idea of moving on with my life never sounded so decadent. Decadent like cookies and cream protien bars. That taste like oreos + peanut butter in bar form. Yaaaas that is what heaven sounds like.

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Back to school = healthy back to school snacks. Aka bars. Aka whiskey on the rocks? Just kidding…not those kind of bars. Although a stiff drink always sounds good during finals week. But until we get to finals lets stick to the healthy snacks. The healthy yet decadent snacks in bar form. Which happens to be the theme for the Recipe Redux this month!

These cookies and creme protien bars are no-bake making your time in the kitchen that much easier and less tempting to opt for store-bought, over-priced, over-processed, guilt-filled bars.

The base of these bars consist of:

Chocolate Protien Powder (whey protien, any plant based protien will not work)
Oat flour (oats grinded into flour)
Peanut Butter (all natural)
Honey
Granola (any kind will work! I have a ton of homemade options under “snacks”)

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How easy is that? The topping is a concoction of melted white chocolate and crushed oreo cookies. Well I actually used Trader Joe’s Jo-Jo’s because they’re healthier right? Don’t answer that. You only need a few of the cookies for a cute crumble topping and true cookies&creme flavor. You gotta live a little!

Once these harden in the fridge for about an hour or two they make the perfect bars for your kids lunchbox or you own! I also enjoyed them as dessert at night when my sweet tooth craving kicked in. Either way, they are delicious, easy and healthy. Fall quarter I am so ready for you.

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No-Bake Cookies&Cream Protien Bars
Print
Protein fudge layer
  1. 1/2 cup oat flour (oats grinded into flour)
  2. 1/2 cup chocolate whey protein powder
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
Middle layer
  1. Crunchy granola of choice (optional)
Creme layer
  1. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  2. Oreo cookie sandwiches, crushed
Instructions
  1. Combine oat flour and chocolate protein in a large bowl.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, mix together peanut butter and maple syrup until a thick mixture has formed.
  3. Pour peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough has formed. You may need to use your hands for this part to really get the flour and wet ingredients combined. The end result should resemble cookie dough.
  4. Press dough into an parchment lined 8x8 sqaure dish. You will need to spread it out to fill the dish evenly. Press granola or crushed oreo cookies into your dough.
  5. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second increments until fully melted, careful not to burn. Pour over the fudge/granola layer and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle crushed oreo cookies over white chocolate then place in the fridge for 2 hours. Cut immediately into 12 sqaures. Pack some into you lunch box and be happy!
Notes
  1. Makes 12-16 bars. Store bars in the refrigerator for up to a week.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/


T-minus 3 weeks and I will be officially moved into my new apartment in San Luis Obispo. Exciting stuff guys, my whole life is about to change and do a 180.

And I could not be more excited about it! This past week I went to San Luis to visit the apartment and attend Transfer Student Orientation at Cal Poly. It was a quick trip but I only fell more in love with the town that will soon be my home and the school that is going to transform my life!

Okay, that may be a little over-dramatic of me to say but in a way it’s true. Gone are the days of junior college, feeling lost with my life and living at home. FINALLY. One thing that is extremely intriguing about SLO is the awesome farm-to-table food. All my fellow foodies out there would go ecstatic exploring SLO’s restaurants, farmers markets and fresh ingredients. It’s probably one of the things I am most excited about!

This past week I had my fair share of delicious food in SLO and decided to give you a post that doesn’t involve a recipe but a little insight into my food travels. I did my best to get photos of my favorite meals in SLO and links to these restaurants.
Oh and p.s. San Luis is in the heart of wine country, right off the coast. Have I convinced you to move there yet?

First night: We went to this great place in downtown called Mothers Tavern. Aka MoTav (what the locals call it). After 5 hours of traffic and unpacking, we were STARVING. I ordered the Ahi Tuna Sandwich on whole wheat with a side salad and shared parmesan garlic fries with my dad. The fries might have been my favorite part. Their drink menu and atmosphere was awesome as well. Can’t wait to go back!

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Second night: Ancho Chili Glazed Salmon with wild rice, and fresh vegetables at Big Sky Cafe. I haven’t been into salmon lately but this might have been the best I ever had. No exaggeration. This is my favorite restaurant in SLO so far and always has the freshest menu options. This will definitley be a go-to place for me once I move up there. Oh and there breakfast looks to-die-for.

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Third Day: Coffee and homemade fudge in Avila beach at the cutest little cafe/cottage called Hula Hut . We came here after our early morning four mile run and it was just the perfect place to wind down from our runners high. P.s. BEST fudge ever in my life. Also Avila beach is 10 minutes from my apartment and I can totally see myslef living there one day. I mean look at that view…

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Before we left we had lunch in Pismo Beach at steamers. This place is known for their seafood and is right on the water. Their lunch menu is a little cheaper than dinner but has a lot less options. My dad said their dinner is the bomb. We both ordered the fish tacos (shrimp) and gourmet potato chips. I could eat fish tacos the rest of my life and be happy so this really hit the spot.

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You can expect to see more of these sorts of posts, as this summer has been full of travels and yummy food. I have also been debating posting once a week about my weekly eats or some kind of “what I ate Wednesday” themed posts just to give you guys more insight into my day-to-day meals. I hope you all are having an fun and indulgent summa!

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Egg salad never exactly sounds appetizing. It just sounds like a smelly idea. Which is so ironic because egg salad on toasted bagels is like one of my favorite things ever. Along with deviled eggs. I may even liked boiled eggs better than regular eggs. Have you tried them chopped up with avocado and lemon juice on toast? Life changing.

And apprantley boiled eggs are healthier since there is no frying required. Not that I am, or you should be against scrambled/over easy eggs, because that stuff is the bomb and the perfect cure after a late night of one too many wine tasting extravaganzas.

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Did I tell you Joey got me wine tasting for my brithday? This is why we’re together. He gets me vacation gifts where we get to drink wine all day and laugh over silly things, all while in a drunken happy daze. Yeah, he just gets me. We also went to Vegas. See what I’m saying? Our adventorous relationship is what keeps me sane. And I need that sanity in my life.

So this recipe is part of my whole “staying sane” thing while I get through the busy work week…day dreaming about summer-vacationing.

Refreshing lunches are a life saver in the summer heat, especially when your training patients all day and need a delicious lunch to look forward to.

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The ingredients are easy, healthy and super tasty. I mean there’s bacon invovled so you know I’m not playing you. And dont fruh-eak out over the bacon being unhealthy or even think about leaving it out! First off, I used turkey bacon and you should do the same.
Second off it adds the best flavor and crunch to the egg salad that most lack.

Overall the recipe is healthy and probably healthier than most you would order at a fancy restaurant. I used some Chobani greek yogurt and veganese to get a creamy texture without sacrifising taste. For the hot sauce, use Franks red hot brand. Way better than siracha in my opinion, and I have been living off Franks since childhood. Thank me later.

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Spicy Bacon Egg Salad Sandwiches
Print
Ingredients
  1. 8 hard boiled eggs*
  2. 2 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crispy (chopped)
  3. 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp veganese
  5. 2-3 tsp franks red hot
  6. sea sat + black pepper to taste
  7. cayenne pepper to taste
  8. 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
  9. 2 Tbsp chopped cucumber
  10. 1 tomato, chopped
  11. 8 whole grain bread slices, toasted
  12. Handful of arugula or lettuce blend
Instructions
  1. Slice boiled eggs in half and set the boiled yolk aside. You can choose to use half the yolks or all the yolks depending on how healthy you want to get! Combine the greek yogurt, veganese and boiled yolk. Use a fork to mash the yolk into the yogurt mixture and vigorously mix until fully combined. Stir in the rest of your ingredients except bread and arugula.
  2. Chop up the boiled egg white and stir in as well. Layer mixture onto toasted bread with arugula and extra bacon and extra cayenne pepper if desired.
  3. Store leftover egg salad in the fridge for up to four days.
Notes
  1. Serves 4
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

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I was really excited for this recipe. Let me start by saying I am obsessed with oats. And obsessed might even be an understatement. My daily breakfast always involves any form of oats possible. Overnight oats, hot oatmeal, oat pancakes, oat smoothies, yogurt with oat granola…the list is endless and the flavors are always changing. But the oats always stay the same. They’re just my thing.

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The Recipe Redux is hosting a sponsored contest featuring Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and The National Dairy Council. Right up my alley. Not only am I ecstatic over oatmeal, but my love for greek yogurt may even override that. The good news about all this? Oats and dairy are good for y’all!

Fiber + Protein in a nutshell.

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Combining these two lovers of mine calls for an excellent source of nutrtion which can always be appreciated on The Nutritious Kitchen. The oats keep you full and fuel you with whole grains while the dairy helps get in that calcium and muscle building protien.

The best way to eat all this nutritious goodness is with peanut butter. Peanut butter is always the answer in my book. Instead of a basic biscuit recipe, you will add peanut butter to the mix. And use a little less butter. This actually ends up making these doughy treats a healthy alternative to the average store bought biscuit.

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You will also create your own homemade buttermilk by whisking fat free milk with honey flavored greek yogurt until a frothy, thick mixture forms. This method has worked for me in oh so many recipes and it’s the best kept secret around. Welcome to the dark side my friends.

So make time to combine all my favorite things and form them into biscuits. Fluffy and hearty peanut butter oat biscuits. Then slather melted dark chocolate on them and more peanut butter and more greek yogurt.

Who knew a biscuit could be so dessert like? And yet so healthy.

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Peanut Butter Oat Biscuits
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  2. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  4. 2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  7. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  8. 3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes (extra cold)
  9. 1/2 cup nonfat milk + 1/3 cup honey greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whisk milk and greek yogurt together until a thick mixture forms and set aside.
  3. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Crumble butter into flour with a fork until the flour becomes crumbly.
  4. Combine peanut butter and milk mixture in a separate bowl until fully combined. Add this to your flour mixture and stir until everything is just combined. Be careful not to over mix!
  5. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead the dough a few times.
  6. Roll dough out into a 1 inch disc; be careful not to overwork the dough though.
  7. Using a round cookie cutter/dough cutter push down into dough and lightly twist. Repeat until dough is used up and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Brush the tops of each biscuit with a little melted butter then bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  9. Let cool on cooling wrack for 5 minutes and serve warm with butter, jam, chocolate or more peanut butter!
Notes
  1. Makes 9-12 biscuits.
  2. Biscuits stay fresh covered in an airtight container at room temp. for a few days. These also freeze well too.
  3. These are best served warm, re toasted in the oven with apple butter or cream cheese on top!
  4. **These biscuits are very hearty and meant for peanut butter lovers!
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/