Spinach, Mango and Curried Sweet Potato Salad

Spinach, Mango and Curried Sweet Potato Salad | Our Four Forks | #glutenfree #vegan #paleo #recipe

When I’m home in Boston, lunch and dinner always is made with a side salad: mixed greens, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. That’s it. I usually eat it first before enjoying the more creative part of the meal; the quinoa pizza, sweet potato shepherd’s pie, empanadas, etc. What I love about Yotam Ottolenghi cookbooks is that the line between the side salad and main entree is blurred. All of his salad recipes are creative and exciting enough to be the part of the meal that you look forward to.

Since my parents were going away this Easter, Isabel and I went to my parents house last weekend. They have the entire Ottolenghi library and Isabel and I always find ourselves bookmarking a lot of recipes (often adapted to be gluten free or dairy free) and making way too many grocery store trips. This past weekend we had some mangos on hand, so we went for an adaptation of the Alphonso Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad from Plenty More. Instead of chickpeas, we used roasted sweet potatoes and created an Indian-spiced coconut dressing that would be great on other salads and roast vegetables, so don’t worry if you have extra.

Spinach, Mango and Curried Sweet Potato Salad | Our Four Forks | #glutenfree #vegan #paleo #recipe

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Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl With Cauliflower Rice

Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice| ourfourforks.com

It’s full on holiday season, which means food is everywhere; Thanksgiving leftovers all weekend, treats in the office, buffets at holiday parties (mine had a candy bar, ice cream bar and cupcake station), wine at countless happy hours. It’s all so overwhelmingly bad for you (sugary, fattening, delicious), so when I’m weeknight cooking this time of year, I crave simple, healthy meals. I love the idea of one bowl dinners – I’ve been making things like pork and butternut squash stew and quick pho – and this simple garlic ginger kale bowl couldn’t be easier to throw together after work.

 

Simply chop up some garlic and ginger, stir-fry with some ground meat or a can of beans, add kale and voila; flavorful, healthy comforting garlic ginger kale bowl. The most complicated aspect of this dish is the cauliflower rice (which is not complicated at all – just throw in a food processor and pop in the oven for 20 minutes), but any grain like brown rice or quinoa would work well. I just like the idea of putting vegetables on vegetables.

 

Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice| ourfourforks.comGarlic Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice| ourfourforks.com

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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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