One of our favorite salads matched two unlikely entities together: roasted carrots and avocados. I cannot praise that combination enough. I’ve made it so many times now I can pull it together it in my sleep. Now I bring you another winner, a recipe I know it will be part of our regular rotation. It is hearty without being too heavy, it could be your full meal if you add a good amount of roasted yams, but we enjoyed it with flatiron steak. Prepared sous-vide. Medium-rare, juicy, delicious. Of course, any other protein of your choice would work great. Grilled shrimp? Oh, yeah…

(adapted from The Dude Diet)

2 yams, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8  teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces baby spring mix
¼ cup pepitas, dry toasted on a skillet until fragrant
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
for the dressing:
4 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 375 ° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the yams in a bowl large enough to toss them around, add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well, transfer them to the baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until starting to get brown at the edges, and is cooked through, when you test with a fork.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Make the dressing inside a serving bowl, by whisking together all ingredients. Add the spring mix, roasted yams, and toasted pepitas. Mix well, and add the crumbled feta on top, right before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I had never visited Serena’s blog , Domesticate Me, and fell in love with it upon my first contact. Must thank Mimi for the heads up about that site. I ended up ordering her book, The Dude Diet, and I absolutely love it. She is hilarious, but what’s even better, her recipes are great. I’ve tried a few already, and must say that her lightened up version of Chicken Parmigiana is a serious winner. It pleased my beloved, who is an expert on the subject. It is one of his favorite dishes, one he requests all the time. The whole gist of the book is making recipes that awe her guy – think cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, lasagna, enchiladas – but with a lot more restraint in terms of fat and calories. I gotta use a word I don’t care for: healthier versions. There, I said it. Without compromising flavor.  I highly recommend her book and her blog. Just keep in mind she uses very “colorful” language… If you don’t have a problem with that, get ready for a great time.

This salad is so delicious, and not at all hard to make on a weeknight. I would probably cut the yams in the morning and keep the pieces in the fridge, just to speed preparation up. Then, it’s all a matter of heating the small electric oven, roasting the yams and moving on to showtime.  I think that adding pieces of avocado will make it even better, and perhaps some hard-boiled eggs instead of cheese could work well too. The pepitas are fantastic, by the way. They kind of disappeared in the photo, but their popcorny taste and crunch is superb! Try this salad, with or without the steak. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is a winner. Winner, winner, salad dinner!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


TWO YEARS AGO: Fab Choc Chip Cookies

THREE YEARS AGO: Pumpkin-Chipotle and Kale Pizza

FOUR YEARS AGO: Enchiladas Suizas a la Marcela Valladolid

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Little Apple

SIX YEARS AGO: Majestic Sedona

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Watermelon-induced Daze








Many years ago (pre-blogging life) I had an encounter with jicama that left me traumatized.  I sliced it very thin and ate it the way Marcela often recommends it, as a refreshing, light alternative to corn tortillas.  I intensely disliked it, but through a convoluted set of events, a few days later realized that jicama that was not.  I had bought, sliced, and endured a rutabaga. Big oops moment!  I stayed away from both veggies for quite a long time, but finally made peace with them. Jicama does a reasonable job as tortilla-wannabe, and as far as rutabaga goes, it kills me that I took so long to finally cook it. I fell in love with this mashed version at the first spoonful. Creamy, smooth, with a unique flavor, perfect to showcase some Boeuf Bourguignon… or any other type of beef stew that might be calling your name.  Truth is, if you cannot make winter disappear by snapping your fingers, the alternative is to fight it with comfort food. Like this root veggie puree with a touch of coconut milk.  You will love it, I promise!

(slightly modified from A Calculated Whisk)

3 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
dash of nutmeg

Place the rutabaga and yam chunks in a saucepan with the salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until the veggies are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Place the rutabaga, yam, olive oil, coconut milk. salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth, add the nutmeg and process briefly. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If needed, adjust consistency with some of the reserved cooking liquid.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments: This meal was perfect for a snowy Saturday evening.  I cooked the beef stew low and slow for over 4 hours, it was luscious, the red wine mellowed down by the long gentle simmer in the oven.  The rutabaga puree, perhaps an unusual side dish for Bourguignon,  was quite a nice match not only in taste and texture, but also in its color, bright golden.  When we sat down to enjoy our dinner, Phil took a first bite and immediately decided it was worthy of a special bottle of wine, one we bought in France many years ago. That was a great move…  Almost made me forget the snow outside. Almost.


Life is good!

ONE YEAR AGO: Bon Bon Chicken: Light and Spectacular!

TWO YEARS AGO: Seafood Extravaganza Pasta

THREE YEARS AGO: A Pearfect Drink

FOUR YEARS AGO: Ming Tsai Under Pressure

FIVE YEARS AGO: Paris, Je t’aime