Cucumber Corn and Radish Salad

Why my leave of absence? 10 facts about what I’ve been doing the last month.

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1. I have officially nailed down two clinical volunteering opportunities. Double win.

2. My boyfriend has been in the hospital for a partial shoulder replacement surgery. The scar is wicked. So are his staples.

3. My kitten has gotten older and finally calmed down slightly. He sleeps through the night and just turned 3mo old.

4. I realized that I love slightly sweetened iced green tea from Starbucks (and iced caramel macchiatos!) and want to try the raspberry syrup instead of simple syrup in the green tea.

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5. I got this super cool water bottle from Target for $8.

6. I tried Jif Whips S’mores and let me just tell you, “EMERGENCY ONLY” written in Sharpie doesn’t mean anything to a girl with cravings.

7. I picked up the piano again. “Go the Distance” from Hercules is pretty freaking awesome. Just saying.

8. I have officially gotten over the stress of the fact that grad school starts up in a week and am on the “let’s get cute office supplies, and super awesome smelling lotion will totally keep my hands dry and make me happy” side.

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9. I installed a ceiling fan in my room. And when I say I, I mean my boyfriend. And it’s AWESOME. Fans are addicting and amazing and allow you to super cuddle up under your winter blanket in the summer. Win.

10. I have a goal to blog twice a week during the school year. Anyone wanna help me stay accountable?

Anyway, I made this salad forever ago but it’s tasty. Refreshing, light, and great to eat on the back porch with some wine.

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Cucumber Corn & Radish Salad

2 cucumbers, chopped
1/4 c corn
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 c feta
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Optional: mango coconut dressing from Fresh Market

1. Mix all.

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Cheesy Enchilada Pasta

This is a man meal. I made this a couple weeks ago and the boyfriend actually asked for it AGAIN. Like, less than a week later, “Hey, babe? We should make that pasta dish again.”

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This is a one-dish meal. I didn’t realize how amazing those are until now. I think I got a peek into my future as a mom when there are two children running around and I’ve worked all day and the last thing I want to do is clean a million pots and pans. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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I added some arugula because 1) arugula has a massive amount of fabulous flavor and 2) the future-RD in me insists on having something green and some vegetables. Onions and black olives just weren’t cutting it. I also added corn. I was going to add black beans BUT I didn’t have time to soak the dry black beans and didn’t want to pay the extra $0.68 for a can since I already had dried once at the apartment. I know, I’m so cheap.

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This is delicious, though. And I am just brainstorming the million ways to change it. Add black beans. Add avocado on top when you serve it. Add sour cream on top. Add cilantro. YUM. I can’t decide if it’s more of a pasta or a soup.. because it gets pretty soupy. But that’s okay. Flavor doesn’t judge.

[Side note: after letting this refrigerate, it sops up for the extra liquid. Totally pasta, not soup!]

Cheesy Enchilada Pasta
Adapted from Number 2 Pencil

1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 c frozen corn
2 c vegetable broth
1 19oz can mild enchilada sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
2 1/2 c whole wheat rotini pasta
1 1/2 c Mexican cheese + more for sprinkling
1/2 c chopped olives
1 c arugula-spinach mix

1. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium-low heat in a large sauce pan.
2. After the onion and garlic is flavorful and slightly wilted, add in the broth, enchilada sauce, pasta, corn, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. After 15 minutes, take the lid off and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Add the cheese, olives, and greens. Stir to combine. Top with additional cheese.

Red Bean Salad with Feta, Corn and Cilantro

As you all know, I have been doing some serious reminiscing as I read through years of journals. I had countless sleepovers, to the extent of almost every single weekend in freshman and sophomore year in high school.

red bean salad 1

For all you 12-17 year old girls out there, I have some tips for how to throw the best sleepover. Now, things change when you get older. Sodas are replaced with wine, and talks about crushes may have changed to talks about marriage, kids, and the real world, but nevertheless, girls nights are essential for womankind.

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How to throw a fabulous sleepover:

1. Have snacks. Lots of snacks, including, but not limited to: frosting, chips and salsa, ice cream, pretzels, and sodas.

2. Take lots of pictures. And videos, if you want. My friends used to create a dating game show where we would choose contestants that were fitting to date the designated candidate. It was always a little biased of who won, according to the current crush.

3. Watch a movie. Whether you watch it, it’s background noise, or you fall asleep to it, a movie is crucial for a girls’ sleepover.

4. Create a spa situation: nails, makeup, and back massages. Have lots of options for nail color and be sure to have lotion handy for back massages.

5. Prepare to not get much sleep. The best sleepovers are the ones that end around 4 or 5am, when everyone falls asleep from sheer exhaustion from laughter.

6. Pancakes in the morning. There is nothing better than whipping up a batch of pancakes for a lazy morning after a crazy night.

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Keep the sleepovers alive, ladies. We are never to old for girl time and never too young to start remembering (and journaling!) all of these crazy memories.

Red Bean Salad with Feta, Corn & Cilantro

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 c quinoa
1/4 c corn
2 tbsp feta
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 mini bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Combine all!

Pineapple, Black Bean and Corn Salad

I read the other day in a magazine that one mom’s best advice was “It’s never too early to start using eye cream.”

pineapple bean salad 1

Hi. I’m 21. But maybe it’s time. I mean, I’m in my 20’s, for goodness sakes. Before I know it I’ll probably be 30, and then 50, and then 80 and eating cake for breakfast because my dietetic rationale will be long gone.

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Anyway, I’ve decided to investigate. After reading several articles, it sounds like it’s better to start sooner than later. So, I Googled “best eye creams.” And ohgoodgracious, these people are crazy. Prices like $47 and $90 and $200 pop up on the screen and I think No way, no how. I actually saw as high as $350, I kid you not.

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I also read the Vaseline works, too. So maybe I’ll go the cheap way out? I mean, I am pretty cheap, if I do say so myself.

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However, I still would like to try a good eye cream. Does anyone use a good, inexpensive eye cream?

PS: Healthy, summer salad. Ready go.

Pineapple, Black Bean & Corn Salad
Adapted slightly from Delight Gluten Free

Salad:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c frozen corn
1 tsp blood orange (or any) olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c chopped pineapple
3 tbsp fresh basil, julienned
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped

Dressing:
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp blood orange (or any) olive oil

1. Saute corn and garlic over medium heat in skillet with olive oil.
2. Combine garlic, corn, tomatoes, avocado, basil, pineapple and black beans in a large bowl.
3. Combine yogurt, lime juice and olive oil in a separate bowl, then drizzle and mix into corn salad.
4. Chill and serve plain, over lettuce, or with chips.

Southwestern Potato Salad

Do you ever think about curious things? Look at something and think, What a curious thing.

I was sitting in my room yesterday, waaaaiting for Wells Fargo to work (seriously??), and I looked outside at the uber gross, sleeting rainy mess outside. And there was a bird. Just.. sitting on a branch. In the freezing rain. And I thought, What a curious thing.

Do birds not mind the rain? Or the cold, for that matter? At signs of rain and/or cold, I dart inside. Get me away from that grossness. But no, this bird was just enjoying the weather.

Aside from thinking random, curious, and totally irrelevant things, I apparently make awesome potato salad. This potato salad is banging. Everyone likes it except my boyfriend. Hmph. But I took this to a dinner thing and people were either being really polite because I was the new girl or seriously loved it. This thang has a kick and says, “Bring on summer, baby!” Which is also what my heart is screaming.

Southwestern Potato Salad
Adapted slightly from Kitchen Confidante

5-6 small red-skinned potatoes
1/2 c corn
1/4 c red onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2-3 mini bell peppers, chopped
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
2-3 tbsp plain soymilk
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Cook potatoes in a pot by boiling under tender.
2. Chop potatoes and combine with corn, onions, tomato, peppers, cilantro, and avocado.
3. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, milk, lime juice, and spices.
4. Add yogurt dressing to potato salad and chill before serving.