Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I love a good broccoli salad and I am not afraid of mayo.

But I know many people who aren’t as in love with the condiment as I am. And that’s okay.

I settled on bringing broccoli salad to Easter dinner as my contribution. I was going to use my go-to recipe, which involves pasta, but then I found a non-mayo recipe on Pinterest. Those stalkers knew just what I would like!

My favorite thing about this broccoli salad is that there’s lots of fruit involved – apples, blueberries, and cranberries! The poppy seed dressing is sweet and tangy and a perfect compliment to both veggie and fruit. It gets bonus points for sunflower seeds.

I’m sharing the recipe today with some other Festive Foodie bloggers in honor of National Picnic Day, which is today April 23rd. I think this salad would be great for any picnic or potluck!

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large apple, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli, apple, blueberries, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and red onion with 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, remaining lemon juice, poppy seeds, and vinegar.
  3. Pour dressing over salad to taste (I had a little dressing leftover) and serve.

*This recipe is adapted from Kristine at https://kristineskitchenblog.com/no-mayo-broccoli-salad-blueberries-apple/ *

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing for National Picnic Day from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great picnic worthy recipes:

Asian Slaw by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bánh Mì + A Wine Suggestion by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chicken BLT Shaker Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Deviled Eggs with Horseradish and Dill by Palatable Pastime

Florida Stone Crab Claws with Key Lime Mustard Dipping Sauce by Family Around the Table

Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad by Books n’ Cooks

Marinated Three Bean Salad by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Roasted Corn Salad with Chile Vinaigrette by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Southern Crispy Oven Fried Chicken by Everyday Eileen

 Thank you, Ellen of Family Around the Table, for hosting this National Picnic Day event.

#EasterWeek: Whipped Ricotta Salad

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Wait a minute.

Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Am I allowed to admit I feel like I haven’t reached a level of organization for 2018 yet?

And we’re talking Easter!?

Well, since we’re talking about it, might as well cook about it!

This year’s #EasterWeek, hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, convenes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and providing you plenty of time to come up with your perfect Easter menu. (Easter is April 1st – that’s 13 days from now!)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

To start your menu, I propose a light and bright, spring-timey salad.

This salad comes from the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis and is featured in her Las Vegas restaurant.

I quite like ricotta cheese, but when I have leftovers I never know what to do with it besides make some lasagna, ravioli, or pasta sauce. I have done muffins before, which is quite delicious.

With an almost full container of ricotta in my refrigerator, I selected one of Giada’s cookbooks hoping she’d know what to do.

Guess what.

She does!

This salad is both refreshing and satisfying.

The basil vinaigrette paired with the fresh tomatoes and the creamy ricotta reminded me of a caprese salad.

Whipped Ricotta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 C packed fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta cheese, chilled
  • 3 C baby greens salad mix (I used a blend of kale and spinach)
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved

Steps:

  1. Make dressing: Place basil, toasted pine nuts, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and blend. Add in 3 tbsp of the olive oil until the dressing comes together. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the ricotta with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the salad green, peas, and tomatoes with the dressing.
  4. Plate: Spoon whipped ricotta onto a plate and top with the salad. Serves 4-6 people.

Whipped Ricotta Salad for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great Easter recipes:

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bunny Cinnamon Rolls by Family Around the Table

Bunny Mary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Carrot Roll Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Chocolate Dipped Robin’s Egg Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Crunchy Easter Bird Nest Granola Bites by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Deviled eggs with creme Fraiche and herbs by Simple and Savory

Easter M&M Blondies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Easter Mini Chocolate Rum Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes

Egg Benedict Quiche by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Orange Ricotta Pancakes by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Puff Pastry Eggs with Ham and Cheese by All that’s Jas

Sausage and Spinach Pie by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread by Caroline’s Cooking

Whipped Ricotta Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook

#SundaySupper: Small Bites Recipes for Entertaining

Ah, entertaining.

When I think about entertaining, I imagine high top tables surrounded by chatty friends holding some sort of cocktail.

Truth be told, I don’t know why that’s what pops into my mind. I think the only event I’ve been to like that is the cocktail hour portion of a wedding or my brother’s post rehearsal dinner party.

Realistically, entertaining for me involves some sort of sporting event, Thanksgiving, or a kid’s birthday party.

Elegant entertaining is not exactly in my foreseeable future as elegant and toddler boy don’t quite belong in the same sentence. Unless it’s to say, “Don’t plan an elegant party if the toddler boys are going to be around.” As much as I want to have/host an elegant gold Golden Birthday in August, I don’t think it’ll be happening.

If entertaining is in your schedule this summer be sure to check out the 20+ recipes perfect for your next party from the #SundaySupper crew! Thanks to Christie of A Kitchen Hoors Adventures for hosting this event.

Wild Mushroom and Grape Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, sliced on the bias
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 lb mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 C red grapes, halved
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp rosemary olive oil
  • 6-8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • lemon
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brush baguette slices with olive oil. Season with S+P. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake 8 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  4. Arrange mushroom, grapes, and shallot on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss evenly to coat in the rosemary olive oil. Bake 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Season ricotta with S+P and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  6. Spread ricotta onto the baguette slices, top with the cooked mushrooms and a shaving of Parmesan cheese.

*This recipe is modified from Giada at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mushroom-and-grape-crostini-3636546*

Wild Mushroom and Grape Crostini for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Small Starters

Pint-sized Protein

Demi-Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

#SundaySupper: Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

When my mom was here in April, I asked her if there was anything in particular she wanted for dinners during her visit.

Her answer, not surprisingly, was “something light!”

My brother and his wife recently bought a house in my parents’ neighborhood and are doing some remodeling. While the construction is taking place, they’re living with my parents.

My dad travels a lot for his job so my mom doesn’t tend to cook much when he’s gone. Simple salads, high protein snacks, and lots of fruits and veggies are usually enough.

My brother and sister-in-law do cook, and enjoy doing so. (From what I hear I’m going to be insanely jealous of the kitchen they’ll have once their first home is complete.) The food they cook is delicious, too! But the diet change had her craving “something light.”

“Something light” isn’t usually in my wheel house, so I took to Pinterest hoping to find something in my long list of saved pins to satisfy. I sent Mom a link for a Superfoods Salad and was met with a resounding “yes, please!”

If you’re feeling the tug to healthier eating as the summer draws near, be sure to scroll past my recipe for some more great dinner salad options from the Sunday Supper crew.

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

This salad was so fantastic, that I made it again the following week when my in-laws were visiting! Even my “meat and potatoes” father-in-law enjoyed the salad.

I know I’ll be making the salad again. It’s satisfying and filling without leaving you feeling weighed down. As a salad with a bunch of ingredients, it’s easy to assemble. Particularly if you have some leftover quinoa in the fridge already! Because kale is a hearty green, the salad will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to a week.

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)When my in-laws were here we cooked up some chicken and had pita bread, too. I forgot the Greek yogurt/sour cream in the dressing the second time around and it works just beautifully. Literally. While I preferred the touch of creaminess to the dressing it’s not necessary, and does make for a more photogenic salad.

The recipe below feeds 2-3 people. (I tripled it to serve a party of 5, which was an over estimation.)

Kale Superfoods Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C frozen edamame, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and torn
  • 1/2 C cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt

Steps:

  1. Toss kale, quinoa, edamame, fruits, cheese, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and Greek yogurt/sour cream in a small bowl. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Pour dressing over the salad and carefully toss to evenly coat.

*This recipe is adapted from Averie at https://www.averiecooks.com/2016/06/twelve-superfoods-salad.html*

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (3)

Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

Brilliant Beef Salads

Choice Chicken Salads

Superb Seafood Salads

Vibrant Veggie Salads

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower

As cauliflower continues to gain in popularity, I’m excited to say that we’re finally on that bandwagon. Though to be honest, I still haven’t been able to convince myself to try it raw. Don’t ask me why, it makes no sense.

I decided to delve into that cauliflower enjoyment and search my Pinterest account for any previously saved recipes that I’d forgotten about. Immediately this pin for Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower called out to me with its stunningly mouth-watering photography.

I made the recipe as directed the first time and while we enjoyed it, it was missing something. I kept thinking, “This needs veggies!” which is hilarious as the entire dish was veggies. That, right there, should tell you that you won’t be missing the meat at all.

We were forced to eat the prepared cauliflower cold as we were dealing with some child(ren) meltdown(s) while simultaneously waiting for the brand new rice cooker to cook some rice.

I determined that the breading wasn’t necessary and decided to try again for lunch later that week. I know it’s “honey garlic” cauliflower, but the garlic was too strong so I toned that flavor down a touch, too. And to get that “desire for something green” I added some frozen edamame to the dish.

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My version is perfect for lunch or a weeknight dinner. It serves 2.

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sriracha
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 C frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • cooked rice, for serving

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place cauliflower on a lightly greased baking sheet in an even layer. Bake 20 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat the honey, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, and onion powder until combined and warmed through.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Slowly pour into the sauce, whisking continuously. Bring to a simmer and cook a couple of minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. Toss cauliflower and edamame in as much of the sauce as desired. Serve immediately over cooked rice.

*This recipe is modified from Kirbie at http://kirbiecravings.com/2016/01/honey-garlic-baked-cauliflower.html*

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Wild Rice and Carrots from The Migraine Relief Plan

When the opportunity arose to review The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver I jumped on it. While I’ve been lucky enough, at least in these first 28 years of life, to not be a sufferer of migraines, migraines do run in my family. My grandmother, great uncle, aunt, uncle, and mom have all dealt with varying versions of them. As a young child even my brother would suffer from headaches! Thankfully he’s outgrown them. I hope that means our family history of migraine attacks ends with our generation.

My mom’s headaches seem to be the least severe of the group, but I remember not even being allowed to utter the word “headache” around her, resorting to simply calling them an “H” when I was younger. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I won’t use the word in her presence to this day. My aunt seems to suffer the most of the bunch and continues to get severe migraine attacks. These migraine attacks would result in days spent in bed and helped contribute to an early retirement. I can’t wait to share this book with her. As a doctor, I know she would appreciate the amount of research Stephanie put into developing the Plan. When I asked if it’d be okay to mention her in this blog post, I discovered that she’s already heard of the book and I look forward to giving her more information about it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Migraine Relief Plan in exchange of my honest review. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health is an incredible resource for anyone living with migraines. Stephanie is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. She has a Master of Public Health in Nutrition Education from the University of Illinois. Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. She lives in San Diego, CA.

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The book is broken down into 5 parts: Creating the Plan, The Plan, Maintaining the Plan, Creating a long-term lifestyle, and Migraine-friendly recipes and meal plans.

In Part I you’ll read about Stephanie’s story. Part II explains the 8 week Plan. Stephanie’s 8 week plan is a perfect way to completely change your eating habits and lifestyle without “quitting cold turkey.” Even as a non-migraine patient I can look to her plan for ways to improve my own lifestyle. While near every processed grocery item contains “triggers” Stephanie’s well thought out way of eating and cooking is a fantastic guide for cutting out those boxed and packaged foods. (Something we said we were going to do when we moved back in April that still hasn’t happened…) Part III takes you through months 3-6 on the Plan, focusing on adjusting your lifestyle to reduce the onset of migraine attacks. Part IV is all about how to maintain your new lifestyle by slowly, thoughtfully, and carefully introducing potential trigger foods into your diet. Part V contains over 75 recipes to make your journey along the migraine relief plan delicious. Each recipe includes nutrition facts, helpful cook’s note, budget friendly indicator, and diet indicators.

I think the biggest game changer is cooking without salt. I’ve already tried 4 recipes from this book and not once did my husband comment on a lack of salt. Honestly, I was shocked! Stephanie has really succeeded in creating recipes that are full of flavor and healthy.

I made Herbed Cheese Spread (which I used as a pasta sauce for a quick dinner), Firehouse Turkey Chili, and Peachy Pulled Pork. All three were adult and kid approved!

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The recipe I’m featuring today is Wild Rice and Carrots. We served this side dish next to simply sautéed fresh tilapia for a great weeknight dinner. I had the leftover rice for lunch the next day. It’s been a while since I’d cooked with carrots and we found them to be delectable! They’re perfectly tender and subtly sweet. Wild rice was fun to work with, too! I think I’d only ever had the grain once before and I’m looking forward to utilizing it more as a side dish option.

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Recipe photography copyright 2016 by Laura Bashar

Wild Rice and Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 2 C (500 mL) filtered water or unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 C (150 g) wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil or unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 ribs celery, finely minced
  • 1 handful fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Steps:

  1. In a medium saucepan set over high heat, combine the filtered water and rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the cover on for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the rice, parsley, and black pepper. Cook 1 minute more until everything is warmed through.
  3. Serve right away or refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days.

Vegan/Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Egg-free

Cook’s Note: Wile rice is only grown in North America and may not be available overseas. You could substitute a hearty brown rice instead. I wash the parsley, then roll it up in a clean kitchen towel to help absorb extra moisture. Finely chop just before adding to the recipe.

Budget friendly: Very

Per serving: 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 54 mg sodium, 381 mg potassium, 4 g fiber

*This recipe is reprinted with permission from The Migraine Relief Plan, copyright 2016 Stephanie Weaver. Published by Surrey Books, an imprint of Agate Publishing, Inc.*

Wild Rice and Carrots from #TheMigraineReliefPlan from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Because my carrots were smaller than the ones photographed by Laura Bashar, I used 5 little colorful organic carrots instead of 2 large ones. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly to very happy reviews. I used water to cook my rice and olive oil for sautéing the veggies.

#FoodieExtravaganza: Popcorn

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This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza theme is popcorn. TheFoodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. Thanks to Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla for hosting this poppin’ party.

There wasn’t any question about whether I’d participate in the first Foodie Extravaganza of 2017.

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. Or meals… Truth be told, one of my favorite things to do with my mom is have a dinner of popcorn while watching movies (or catching up on Once Upon a Time).

The thing I miss most about movie theater dates is 80% the movie theater popcorn and 20% getting lost in a movie plotline. We got the chance to see Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them in early December when my parents were visiting and while the theater was great with insanely comfy seats, the popcorn was a letdown. I’d be way more upset about it if it weren’t a Harry Potter franchise movie.

The at-home popcorn snack I’m sharing today is spicy and savory. It utilizes za’atar, an herbal spice blend popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. I’d heard of the seasoning watching Food Network and when my sister-in-law asked if there was a spice I wanted to try, I instantly had an answer for her. I’m looking forward to exploring more uses for it, but this popcorn pretty much hits it out of the park.

Spicy Za’atar Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • canola oil
  • 1/2 C popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

Steps:

  1. Put canola oil in pot over medium high heat along with 2-3 kernels of popcorn. Cover and stand by. Once you hear the kernels pop, add the 1/2 C of popcorn. Cover and cook over medium heat until popping slows. Gently shake the pot during the popping process so as not to burn the popcorn at the bottom. Remove from heat and remain covered until popping has ceased, unless you want to be pelted with popcorn. (If you have another method of popping popcorn, feel free to use it.) Place popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. While popcorn is still hot, add the remaining ingredients and mix to distribute flavors evenly.

*This recipe is adapted from Stephanie at http://www.thekitchn.com/vegan-party-or-anytime-snack-z-136417*

Spicy Za'atar Popcorn for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other popcorn recipes:

Hubby’s Vanilla Caramel Popcorn by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Kirsten’s Popped Corn Crack by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Parmesan Popcorn with Lemon & Thyme by Caroline’s Cooking

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn by Food Lust People Love

Popcorn Cornbread by Palatable Pastime

Popcorn Pairings (Yes, With Wine) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Spicy Za’atar Popcorn by Sew You Think You Can Cook

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Popcorn by Hardly A Goddess

White Chocolate Popcorn by Sneha’s Recipe

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.