The California Salad

California Salad

Light & Healthy

So light, so healthy & sooooooo delicious!  I concocted this simple, yet elegant side salad after messing around with a few different ideas.  It’s even VEGAN, and it goes with just about anything you can think of …

What’s In It?  All my favorite things!

Arugula and/or Baby Spinach – My go-to choice is Arugula, but if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll pick up some Baby Spinach instead.  OR, if you’re feeling totally rebellious, mix them together as you throw your head back and laugh manically!

Sunburst Tomatoes – For most of my life I turned my nose up at cherry tomatoes or anything that slightly resembled them.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  Holy mother of Solanum Lycopersicum, these little golden treats pack a sweet & delectable punch!  They add a unique compliment to the tangy, slightly bitter flavors of this salad.

Avocado – I mean, really, how can you go wrong with avocado?  It’s the best and most, er, one of the most versatile fruits.  (I sat here for a good 6 minutes and argued with myself about whether an avocado or a lemon is the most versatile fruit – I’m torn!)  I could eat avocado on ANYTHING & it lends some creaminess to this salad.  Growing up in Northern & Southern California, we had avocado trees & come to think of it – why don’t I have one now?  Ok, I just decided I’m going to propagate the next pit of an avocado.

Lemon – I love lemons, too.  And I do squeeze them on just about everything, so one day when I was sick of making dressing & just wanted something light & simple, I squeezed lemon all over the salad.  Hello!?  Why had I never thought of this before?  Lightbulb!

Garlic – Yep, another one of my faves … pressed & as much (or as little) as you like!  Me?  Two big, fat cloves!  (p.s. the garlic press is nice because it gets a little garlic juice in there, but if you don’t have one, just mince the garlic.)

Olive Oil – Just a little so that it all melds together nicely.

So like I was saying … You can eat this alone, or with your best buddy if you are nice enough to share.  Kidding, I mean, you can eat this as a stand alone salad, or it accompanies pretty much anything from chicken, to turkey chili, to white bean vegan soup, to grilled salmon or even barbecue!

You’re welcome … 🙂

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This Week’s Box: Red Potatoes, Zucchini & Green Bean Challenge

This week’s box is EASY PEASY! These are very well known veggies in our house & when I saw the red potatoes and green beans, I knew EXACTLY what I was making for dinner last night.

Get ready for TMI ….. I’m bleeding. Again. Isn’t it funny how that happens every 28 days???  Well, the point of me telling you this is that I have low iron, and at the beginning of my cycle it dips super low which makes me tired & crave stuff with iron. Which translates into me craving filet mignon.

So last night I made filet mignon with garlic herb butter, smashed rosemary roasted potatoes & steamed green beans. (Tonight’s dinner will include the zucchini.) I would’ve done my filets on the cast iron skillet & then finished them in the oven, but the weather is warm here & I didn’t feel like sweating for some steak, so I grilled.  And, ok, I’ll be honest, the housekeepers came Thursday & I didn’t really want to mess up my super clean range – haha.  Oh, the OCD in me is always in high gear the day after cleaning day.

Grilled Filet Mignon | The Fairly Good Mother

The Husband thinks it’s cute that I love grilling so much.  People say grilling is really a man’s job (eye roll) I love grilling. About 12 years ago I read this book: Grilling For Dummies.  I was hooked. Very helpful tips with some great grilling recipes.

Anyway … this dinner is easy.  The only thing you need to do in advance is take 1/2 a stick of unsalted butter and get it softened at room temp.  To that, add 1 clove of pressed garlic & 1/8 teaspoon of finely chopped basil & 1/8 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme.  Mix together form that into a little log and place on a small piece of wax paper and place in the fridge to harden up.

We want to focus on the grill, so prep your green beans & get your potatoes started first.  While you’re doing this, let your filets stand at room temp (20 mins & then put a little bit of olive oil on both sides with some freshly ground pepper – don’t over-do the seasonings with filets.) Wash and trim the green beans, pop them in the steamer with some sliced garlic, a little pepper & some Kosher salt in there & turn on the timer for 15 minutes when you’re ready.

The potatoes: scrub & cut out the eyes, cover with water in a covered pot & bring to boil, cook for about 10 mins or until fork tender.  Place on a baking sheet (covered with no-stick tin foil for easy clean up,) smash gently with a fork, and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper & fresh rosemary (about 1-2 tsp.)  They will take about 20-30 minutes in an oven at 350*.

So what I do is get the grill started, put the potatoes in the oven, turn on the steamer for the beans, and then head outside to oil the grill, (pour a generous amount of olive oil on a couple of folded up paper towels & use your oven mit to wipe that on the grill.)  Over medium high heat, place your filets & a slice of the herb butter on top of each filet.  For medium rare (which is honestly how you’re supposed to be eating a filet mignon,) cook for 5-7 minutes, turn and place the rest of the butter on top of the filets.  Cook for 5-7 minutes & voila!  You can see from my picture that I also grilled up some little summer onions (just put a little olive oil, kosher salt & pepper on those, too!)

An easy summer dinner made mostly on your grill.  You can do the potatoes on the grill – I’ve done it before, but they didn’t get as crispy as they do in the oven.  Pair with a nice red.  We drank a Zaca Mesa Syrah.