Cucumber Melon Salsa

Cucumber Melon Salsa | ourfourforks.com

When I started this blog in January, I created a blogging schedule. I committed to writing two posts a week and I’m embarrassed to say that in June that commitment was overshadowed by other commitments (like giving a speech at a best friend’s wedding, spending time at the beach with family, and just cooking without documenting). Instead of being stressed about neglecting this space for a couple of weeks, I’m telling myself I’m ok with it.

 

As Molly at Orangette put it so eloquently: a blog can be a barometer for one’s life. If I don’t post for a couple weeks it means I didn’t feel like it, I failed to properly plan, or I was doing things that trump blogging. And it’s summer, so that’s ok.

 

As I mentioned earlier this month, Josh and I are members of Stone Soup Farm CSA. Every Wednesday we get a bunch of fresh vegetables and last week cilantro was included. I usually just throw cilantro into salads or use them for Mexican inspired dishes, but this week we had melon in the fridge that I wanted to use up. I’ve always loved mango salsa, but had never tried melon salsa much less cucumber melon salsa. A quick internet search led me to this recipe, which became my inspiration.

 

Cucumber melon salsa is a refreshing new twist on summer salsa. Eat it with chips, put it on top of fish, burgers or in tacos. Fresh, sweet, slightly spicy, and healthy, cucumber melon salsa is super simple to throw together for any summer meal.

 

Cucumber Melon Salsa | ourfourforks.com

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Coconut Milk Creamsicles

Vegan Creamsicles | ourfourforks.com

It’s full out wedding season and I went to Long Island this weekend for my good friend’s bridal shower. I was responsible for the drinks, so I picked up a case of wine, a case of champagne and orange juice for mimosas. Mimosas are a drink I’ve never really thought much about – I’m not a big juice or champagne person, but for some reason this weekend they were perfect.

 

The fresh orange juice in the mimosas made me crave more, so my sister and I made these vegan creamsicles with coconut milk and orange juice. Milk and citrus is always a weird thing at first, but using coconut milk – as opposed to dairy – makes it a bit less strange and ultimately delicious. We opted to go the pretty (versus practical) route and freeze individual layers, but this takes some time and makes the creamsicles more likely to break apart at the “fault” lines. An alternative (not pictured) would be to simply mix the coconut milk and orange juice and freeze together.

 

Vegan Creamsicles | ourfourforks.com

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Roasted Green Beans with Vinegary Dill Sauce

Roasted Green Beans with Vinegary Dill Sauce | ourfourforks.com

I’ve never been a huge fan of green beans. They used to be that vegetable that I ate because they were cheap at the farmers market, not hating them but never fully enjoying them. Until these roasted green beans changed my life. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to roast green beans before, but if you’re like me and somehow missed the memo on this one, go roast some now.

 

In this version of roasted green beans, the beans are covered in a vinegary dill sauce, a type of pesto made with roasted almonds, dill, parsley and scallions. The vinegar makes the sauce taste more like a dressing, which is the perfect flavor for a summer side dish. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d imagine the dill sauce would also be the perfect compliment to grilled chicken, fish (like salmon) or even steak.

 

Roasted Green Beans with Vinegary Dill Sauce | ourfourforks.com

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Shredded Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing

Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing | ourfourforks.com

I’ve been crazy busy at work recently, which means work week meal planning is essential. Without healthy prepared lunches for the week, mornings become more rushed and workday lunch ends up being brown rice tortilla peanut butter and jelly roll-ups and string cheese. Lately, I’ve been trying to spend some time on Sunday preparing hearty salads that will hold up through Friday. This week I chose to prep shredded kale salad with tahini miso dressing; healthy, versatile and quick to prepare, this one’s a winner.

 

Kale goes perfectly with a creamy tahini miso dressing while pistachios, scallions, and sesame seeds give the salad dimension and crunch. This kale salad serves four as a side, but can easily be made a meal with the addition of avocado, a protein and/or rice, quinoa. etc.. For non-vegans, chicken or canned tuna would work well here. For vegans, try adding tempeh or chickpeas.

 

Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing | ourfourforks.com

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Arugula Salad with Portobello Mushrooms and Manchego

Arugula and Portobello Mushroom Salad | ourfourforks.com

I often get stuck in a salad rut: mixed greens, organic chicken, balsamic dressing. It’s an easy workday lunch and checks off the “something green” and “protein” boxes I try to hit at every meal. This weekend, inspired by my parents massive cookbook collection and all the amazing spring salads popping up on my food blog feed, I turned a salad corner.

 

This arugula salad with portobello mushrooms and Manchego was our contribution to this year’s Easter lunch. It is super simple and quick to throw together, yet brings something different to the salad world I’m used to. It’s perfect for spring’s finicky weather because its slightly warmed, but still fresh and bright. The portobellos mushrooms give it a heartiness while the arugula gives it a springy peppery kick. This arugula salad and shallot dressing is the perfect base for add ons: we served our with some purple forbidden rice (a latest obsession) and pork, but any chewy grain and/or protein would be amazing. We cooked our portobellos on the stove, but I can’t wait to try grilling them this summer; it would be an easy large salad to pull together for a barbecue.

 

Arugula and Portobello Mushroom Salad | ourfourforks.com

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