Thursday, March 12, 2015

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing and Toasted Cashews

Perfect Pairing:  Ready Rice


I officially have spring fever.  Just a taste of sunshine and 50+ degree temperatures here in Chicago makes me want to grill, pick asparagus, clean my garage, and wash my windows.  The coming of spring also means my wedding is getting really, really close!  I am so incredibly excited!  I have been busy with plans and DIY projects.  We will see if ALL of the DIY projects actually happen.  Somehow the list keeps getting longer, not shorter.

I can’t wait to take the cover off of my grill!  I am getting tired of indoor cooking.  Baked or roasted meat is just not the same.  I also love grilled vegetables and make them at least once a week in grilling season. 


I made this fun salad for a picnic at Ravinia, an outdoor concert venue where we attended the Food Network festival.  I wanted to have a couple “scoopable” salads that were not your standard pasta, potato, or lettuce varieties.  This was so good.  It is a great combination of grilled vegetables, rice, and a simple miso dressing.  The toasted cashews put it over the top.


I used bell peppers, red onion, and Portobello mushrooms, but you could also use asparagus or other mushroom varieties.  The veggies are simply seasoned with salt and pepper and then cooked  until they have grill marks and are just tender. 


The veggies are cut into bite sized pieces and mixed with rice and the miso dressing.  I am loving miso.  Expect more miso recipes on here soon.  I used the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice packet for this recipe.  So convenient!  Stir in some fresh basil and toasted cashews and you have an incredible salad.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Impossibly Light Pineapple Whip

Perfect Pairing:  Favorite frozen fruit


I am an adult Disney fan and proud of it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t wear Mickey ears (I may proudly wear a vintage Mickey t-shirt to bed) and I don’t wait in lines to meet characters, but I unabashedly love Disney World.  Every time I am there I truly feel like I am in the happiest place on earth.  They just do everything right!  It is magical.

I was lucky enough to go to Disney twice in 2014.  No complaints here!  The first trip was with my parents in March inspired by a free hotel stay. Then in July I had an incredible trip with my parents, brother and his family (including two little girls), and his in-laws.  I wrote about that trip in this post. 

I have some must-dos at each park, especially at Magic Kingdom.  I run a tight schedule.  I wore my parents out!  My fitbit told me I was averaging about 25,000 steps per day.  Most of the requirements are the attractions like Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, etc. but there are also some mandatory food stops.  While I am on the subject, the dining at Disney is pretty incredible.  One of the best meals I have ever had was at Canada at Epcot.  Back to the Magic Kingdom and required snacks.  One is a Mickey shaped rice krispy treat with the ears dipped in chocolate.  They make me so happy.  The other one is the Dole Pineapple Whip sold at Aloha Isle in Adventureland.


Apparently the Dole whip is only sold at Disney and at the Dole pineapple plantation in Hawaii.  Honeymoon stop??  It is a pineapple flavored ice cream concoction that you can eat solo, mixed with vanilla soft serve, or topped with pineapple juice.  It is unbelievably tasty.  When I was at Disney in March I was pretty darn bummed that the line was REALLY long and I didn’t have enough time to wait.  Remember, I was on a tight schedule.  I made it a priority when I was back in July.  It did not disappoint!


When I got home I was determined to try to make something similar.  I finally came up with an incredible substitute.  Not only is it light and delicious it is ridiculously easy and healthy. 


A bag of frozen pineapple chunks are whirred in a food processor until broken down into tiny pieces.  This will make a REALLY loud noise and will rock the processor violently.  Stick with it and it will settle down.  Then you add a single egg white and some honey for sweetness and it turns into this unbelievably light pineapple whip.

Of course, I have to add a disclaimer about raw egg whites.  Be sure to use pasteurized eggs and if you are squeamish about it, avoid the recipe.   I will let you do your own research on the egg white issue.


I have also done this same method using mixed berries and it was equally delicious. 

Guilt free, refreshing, and so so tasty. 

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