Garlicky Yogurt Green Beans with Walnuts

Side Angle Photo of yogurt green beans that have been blanched and tossed with walnuts and yogurt sauce.

While I have my favorite summer produce (sweet corn), green beans are a close second. I know that may sound strange but I absolutely adore fresh green beans. I grew up with mostly only eating canned green beans at holidays and even that was sparse. I didn’t fall in love until the CSA where I was able to pick my own.

These garlicky yogurt green beans are the perfect side for a cookout or picnic. Yogurt keeps a bit better than mayo and with the addition of garlic, it’s a powerful dressing. Add to that toasted walnuts and you have a perfect side. Of course, I’d gladly eat this for lunch too!

Read more and see the recipe.

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Fourth of July Roasted Tomato Salsa

I love this salsa recipe, and make it every year for Fourth of July. While it appears deceptively average, it actually delivers electric flavor with each bite. When you’re ready to move on from salsa fresca, make this. What you’ll have is a deliciously vibrant, earthy, and slightly smoky-tasting salsa. Different from salsa fresca, the deep, caramelized flavors of roasted tomatoes and onions alongside the smokiness of the chipotles make for a richly beautiful and balanced salsa. And, that color! It’s beautiful.
Fourth of July Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

Salsa Inspiration

Initially, I’d been sitting on this salsa recipe for over six months, waiting (and waiting) for tomato season. I waited through citrus season, asparagus season, and a good chunk of the stone fruits. Every few weeks I’d flip through my pocket-sized notebook and there it was, a messy scribble of black pen spanning three-quarters of a single page. The black letters were there to remind me of the deliciously vibrant, earthy, and slightly smoky-tasting salsa I jotted down while visiting friends (Hadley & Philip) in New Zealand. It is a salsa richly red in hue, accented with tiny flecks of green cilantro. We stayed with in Wellington for a week, and Hadley made this salsa for us one evening. 
Fourth of July Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

Why this Salsa?

If you are used to making or buying salsa fresca, great. I love salsa fresca and make it regularly. This salsa is an entirely different beast – the deep, caramelized flavors of the roasted tomatoes and onions alongside the smokiness of the chipotle(s) makes for a richly beautiful and balanced salsa. The other thing I love is the texture. This salsa has a rustic, hearty texture which comes from pureeing a portion of the ingredients toward the beginning of the process, and then hand-chopping the majority of the roasted tomatoes and onions. With the roasted ingredients, it is a bit more effort, to be sure, but SO worth it.Fourth of July Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

Not just for chips, this is the perfect salsa recipe for use on nachos, tacos, eggs, veggie burgers, quesadillas, kabobs…..a perfect addition of a Fourth of July spread. Other ideas? Give a shout in the comments.

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The Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower (5 Ingredients!)

The Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower (5 Ingredients!)

Behold, the whole roasted cauliflower.

This recipe, while it may seem straightforward, threw me for a loop. I roasted 7 heads of cauliflower until I got it just right! But in the end, it was totally worth the effort.

There are a couple of secrets to the whole roasted cauliflower game. Let me show you how!

This recipe is easy, requiring just 5 ingredients and simple methods to prepare!

The Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower (5 Ingredients!) from Minimalist Baker →

Refreshing Watercress Cucumber Margarita

This post is sponsored by B&W Quality Growers, the world’s largest grower and marketer of watercress. Thank you for supporting our work here at Food Heaven!  We been drankin….we been drankin… Fortunately, we’ve been drankin AND staying hydrated with this Refreshing Watercress Cucumber Margarita. (#keepingitclassy) You know all we love our Kale & Spinach & […]

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Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw

If you ask me, a great coleslaw recipe is created with good knife skills and a short list of easy-to-find ingredients. Equal importance being placed on both ingredients and the cut of the cabbage. When cabbage is cut into ribbons that are too wide, the slaw ends up awkward, heavy, and daunting on the fork. If the pieces are too long, cheeks get dirtied with dressing-soaked cabbage sticks – awkward and messy. I like to shred my cabbage into ribbons that are thin as can be, half a pencil width at most. The cabbage becomes feather light and yet each bite maintains the perfect amount of coleslaw crunch.
Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Inspiration for this Coleslaw

When Wayne and I visited Mexico City I discovered a simple snack that quickly became a favorite – salt-kissed peanuts that tasted as if they had been misted with lime. I made this coleslaw the other night with those flavors in mind. It builds on the peanut salad I included in Super Natural Cooking and is a tasty (and colorful) alternative to more typical, mayo-based coleslaws. I made it to go along with fajitas, but I suspect it would be a welcome addition to any potluck, BBQ, or summertime party or picnic – tacos, burgers, or whatever else you have planned for this holiday weekend.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Ingredients & Variations

I’ve been buying my tomatoes direct from farmers. If tomatoes aren’t your thing right now, I would substitute chopped avocado and red onion. Or, now that I’m thinking about it – shredded apple, or apple slices, or jicama. Other ideas: roasted cherry tomatoes in place of the fresh ones – would take longer but would add an entirely different flavor profile.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Creamy Coleslaw

You can easily make this a creamier coleslaw by adding a dollop of your favorite mayo or yogurt after the initial tossing of ingredients – before you add the peanuts. It’s one of those things that is all about personal preference. Sometimes a hint of creamy is perfect, but some people really like to go for it! I mean, I’ve definitely had conversations with people convinced that a good coleslaw is as much about the mayo as it is about the cabbage.
Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

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Classic Macaroni Salad

This is a fresh take on classic macaroni salad, inspired by my dad. If you invite him to a picnic, barbecue, housewarming, or block party this time of year, odds are good he’ll show up with a macaroni salad. He’ll wheel it around in a cooler and when the time is right, he’ll flip the top and pull a cornflower blue bowl from the ice. The bowl is what I notice first, ceramic with a flower detail on the inside rim, it’s part of a set of three my grandma left when she died a few years back. The one he uses is medium-sized, and makes its appearance with plastic wrap across the top, secured with a rubber band. Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
I’ve had my dad’s macaroni salad twice in the last ten days, and thought I’d share my take the classic. There are a couple of tricks I keep up my sleeve. I’ll also offer up some tips and considerations to play around with depending on who you might be sharing your salad with. For example, there’s no reason you can’t whip up a vegan version if needed. Or, let’s say you have a gluten-free friend, you can make a quick swap using chickpea pasta elbows, no problem. I’ll note tweaks down below and in the recipe headnotes!
Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

A Few Nutritious Tweaks

The mayo: Most classic macaroni salads are not-very-good-for-you mayo bombs. I’ve tried to offer up a few alternative ideas here, ways you can maintain all the things you love about macaroni salad, and make it more healthful as well. For example, this recipe calls for mayo. You can use classic, commercial mayo, but I also link to a simple vegan mayo I like to use here instead, it brings the spirit of a mayo-based salad with a fraction of the calories, fat, and it’s vegan.

The pasta: You can experiment with different elbow macaroni. I often use whole wheat elbow macaroni. I also really like chickpea based elbow macaroni (like this one), and I’m seeing it in an increasing number of stores. The later is a great option for mixed-crowd parties or households avoiding gluten.Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

Seasoning is Key

The last thing I’ll add here is this. You really need to taste and adjust as you toss this salad. I’ve shared general amounts, but keep adding pepper, or lemon juice, or salt until the flavors really pop off the pasta. It’ll happen. Under-season and you end up with a flat-tasting salad. :/

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