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Squash and eggplant. We have it. In excess.

The last time I made panzanella, I used these great orange tomatoes that turned the bread a nice vibrant color. I picked up another pint of those and decided that we needed panzanella this week and I was determined to make it work with all the squash and eggplant.

This recipe is very hands off, so that’s why I consider it easy. The all the basil and garlic will make your kitchen smell like heaven and it’ll be tough to resist the urge to snack on this as you’re cooking.

If you can restrain yourself, let this sit for a few minutes before serving so the bread can soak up the dressing and any juices from the veggies. It’ll be worth it. I promise.

Roasted Veggie Panzanella
1/2 loaf crusty bread, cut into cubes (I used Semifreddi’s Sweet Batard)
2 summer squash, cut into half moons
3-4 small eggplants, cut into half moons
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp red onion, minced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c kalamata olives, halved
1/2 c basil, chiffonade
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for roasting
2 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Add red onion, tomatoes and basil to vinegar mixture, toss to coat and set aside.

Lightly toast your bread, just enough to dry it out (you don’t want croutons!) and place in a large bowl.

Toss squash and eggplant in a generous amount of olive oil and roast until soft and slightly browned. Add to bread bowl and lightly toss.

Add vinegar and tomato mixture to bread bowl and gently toss to coat. Fold in olives and season with salt and pepper to taste.



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This week’s CSA box was full of these super cute Hansel eggplants. As we all know, I have a love/hate relationship with eggplant. I love eating it, but I hate coming up with ways to use it. This is one of my fall back recipes since I know the flavors and textures work well with each other. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the eggplant and tofu soak up all the delicious sauce. Mmmmm. Serve this over white or brown rice.

Soy Braised Eggplant
3 small eggplants, cut into bite sized half circles
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 block firm tofu, cut into cubes
1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1 tsp dried Thai basil
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
pinch sugar
1/4 c water or chicken broth
1 scallion, thinly sliced
salt

Generously sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes (or up to 30, if you’re patient). Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Whisk together mirin, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Set aside.

Brown turkey in a medium pan. Once turkey is almost cooked through, remove from pan and set aside. Add tofu and garlic to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tofu starts to brown a bit. Add eggplant and cook for another 3 minutes. Return turkey to the pan and pour in half the sauce mixture and thai basil. Stir to combine and reduce heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in water and remaining sauce. Cook for 3 minutes or until about half the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in scallions and cook for another minute. Serve immediately.



After a few failed dinner attempts last week, I decided to take it back to basics with a simple marinated and broiled chicken thigh, some roasted broccolini and these potatoes. I’ll admit, these potatoes were a bit of an experiment, but in the end I think they turned out pretty good. The potatoes and onions end up tasting just slightly sweet, which works well with the fragrant herbs de provence and black pepper. I’ll for sure be making these again, but I may try to get the potatoes a little crisper.

Skillet Herb Potatoes
3 yellow potatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into half moons
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tbsp water or chicken broth
coarsely ground pepper
salt to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet (cast iron would be perfect) and add potatoes. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tbsp water or broth, stir and cover. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add onion, garlic powder and herbs de provence and cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion begins to soften, stirring frequently. If pan gets too sticky, add water or chicken broth. Continue cooking until potatoes are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Sometimes I forget to go to the grocery store. This is how dinner goes down when that happens.

There was a chicken breast that had to be used. All we had was a box of angel hair pasta that was 3/4 full (wtf?). The only fresh veggies leftover from our CSA box were 1 summer squash, carrots and a ton of basil.

Woah.

I modified the recipe so you toss the sauce with the pasta because, let’s be honest. It’s just better all mixed up.

Garlicky Pasta with Summer Squash & Chicken
1/2 box spaghetti, cooked & drained
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 summer squash, cut into bite sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 anchovy fillets, minced
1/3 c basil leaves, chiffonade
1 can artichoke quarters, rinsed and drained
1/4 c low sodium chicken broth or water
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Toss chicken in a bag (or bowl) with some balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and a bit of olive oil. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.

In a large skillet, brown chicken (about 3-5 minutes). Add squash and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding artichokes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and anchovy and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth or water and let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in parmesan, basil and red pepper flakes and continue cooking until liquid starts to cook off a bit. Toss with pasta and serve.



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Ok. Have I told you that I’ve really been into halloumi recently? The slightly squeaky, salty, grilling cheese is my new dairy favorite. I’m just so fascinated by the fact that you can brown the cheese and it won’t get all goopy in the pan! Amazing!

I found this recipe while searching for happy hour bites and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t go over too well since, you know, salty cheese on sweet watermelon and all. Wrong-o. It’s a delicious combo!

I had to grill the halloumi in the morning and nuke it in the office microwave, so they ended up a little rubbery. This would be best if you served them with the halloumi still slightly warm and crisp from the pan.

Watermelon & Halloumi Bites w/Basil Mint Oil (from Spache the Spatula)
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and freshly-cracked pepper
8 oz. halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/2” steaks
cubed watermelon (The amount will depend on how many cubes you get out of your cheese. I just sliced my watermelon to fit my halloumi cubes.)
toothpicks

In a small resealable jar, combine the basil, mint, olive oil, garlic powder and some salt and pepper. Mash everything around a bit and then place in the fridge (I made mine the night before).

Heat a pan over medium-high heat and sear the halloumi steaks on each side for about 2 minutes, until golden.

Cut the halloumi into cubes (roughly the same size as your watermelon). Place a piece of halloumi on top of a watermelon cube and stab with a toothpick.

Bring herb oil to room temperature.

Arrange watermelon cubes on a platter and drizzle with the herb oil.



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This recipe was circulated among my foodie coworkers and I’ve been meaning to give it a try for several weeks now. I love cauliflower, mint AND peas!

I just so happened to have cauliflower and extra mint, so I figured why not make this a mid-week cooking experiment! I ended up turning the pea spread into more of a puree because I just don’t know how to say enough is enough when it comes to blenders and let me tell you, I would spread this puree on ANYTHING. It’s slightly sweet, just a teeny bit spicy and the best green sauce to hit my table since my Cilantro Lime Avocado Sauce

The cauliflower fritters left me feeling meh. I used regular flour because I saw no need to purchase special flour, especially since I’m a gluten gluten all the time gal. I made them and then wished they were made of corn and black beans. Oh well.

Cauliflower Fritters with Mint & Pea Puree (adapted from The Kitchn)
For the mint & pea puree:
1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp greek yogurt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
salt & pepper to taste

For the fritters:
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 c flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
2 scallions, chopped
cooking spray or oil for frying

Place peas, mint, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, walnuts and crushed red pepper in a bowl and puree with an immersion blender. Stir in greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cauliflower starts to brown. Remove from oven, cool, chop and place in a large bowl.

Add flour to cauliflower and toss well to coat. Fold in eggs, parmesan and scallions.

Heat oil in a large skillet and scoop a heaping tablespoon of the fritter mixture into the skillet. Gently flatten the mixture and repeat, fitting as many fritters in as you can. Cook for a 2-3 minutes on each side before flipping. Serve with a scoop of the pea puree.



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Potato salad…

I have this weird thing about potato salad. I’m not into mayonnaise, but if a picnic potato salad is done properly (lots of oniony goodness) I will eat it like nobody’s business. I also question the mayo-based potato salad sitting out in the warm weather. Even if it’s just for a little bit. There’s just something not right about that.

This potato salad removes the heavy mayo element and replaces it with a bright lemon dill vinaigrette. The original recipe called for preserved lemon rinds, but I couldn’t track any down, so enter the lemon zest. I really enjoyed this garlicky, tangy (and easy to make!) potato salad and I hope you will too!

Lemon Dill Potato Salad (from Set the Table)
For the Vinaigrette:
zest of 1 1/2 lemons
3-4 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the potatoes:
2 lbs fingerling potatoes (or mini yukon golds), washed and cut into bite sized chunks
1 tablespoon salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, cover with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine. You can make the vinaigrette the night before so the flavors have some time to mingle.

To cook the potatoes, place them in a pot and fill with cold water so it covers the potatoes by 1 inch.

Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, add the salt, and cook until the potatoes are just fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and toss gently to combine.

Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.



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OK. This was the most ambitious undertaking of my happy hour feast. For whatever reason, I really REALLY wanted to get all patriotic for this belated 4th of July BBQ themed happy hour and I found these AWESOME Jello flags online. I was a little nervous, but after reading the recipe over and over, I felt a little better about my project.

These were G-rated flags, but I’ve read that some folks have laced layers with some booze. I didn’t trust myself doing that since I have no idea how to successfully make Jello shots. With my luck, it would have resulted in a gross soupy mess.

I made these in two containers, one glass and one plastic tupperware, since I didn’t have one clear 9x13 pan. The plastic tupperware resulted in the best final product since the Jello practically fell out in one neat block.

American Flag Jello (from Sharon Johnson Photography)
4 (3 oz) packages strawberry Jello
3 (3 oz) packages berry blue Jello
4 packets of KNOX Gelatin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Lots of boiling water

Blue Jello:
3 packages berry blue Jello with 1 package KNOX and 3 cups boiling water. Mix until all is dissolved and then divide liquid among two plastic rectangle containers (I used the Ziploc medium rectangle, but the large will work as well). Set in refrigerator and let sit for 45-50 mins.

About 30 minutes into your blue Jello setting, prepare the strawberry Jello.

Strawberry Jello:
Mix 4 packages of strawberry Jello with 1 package of KNOX and 4 cups boiling water. Mix until all is dissolved. Set aside.

Because you’ll be using both red and white Jello over a long period of time, you’ll need to keep it slightly warm so it does not set. I filled a dutch oven with some warm water on the stove and placed my red and white Jello in measuring cups and pint glasses. I set those in the water and if the water got too cool, I just turned the stove on for a bit to heat things up again.

Remove your blue Jello from the fridge after it has set enough to not leave an imprint when you touch your finger to it. Get a sharp knife and run under hot water. Cut Horizontally across the pan, 1 inch strips. If you run your knife under hot water after each cut it cuts much more smoothly. Now….remove every other strip of jello.

Add 2 tbsp strawberry Jello to each empty strip. Carefully place dishes in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, or until the Jello passes the finger indent test.

As your first layer of red cools, prepare the white layer.

White Jello:
Mix 1/2 cup COLD water with 2 packets KNOX, let sit for 2 mins. In another bowl mix 1 cup BOILING water with your sweetened condensed milk. Then mix 1/2 cup BOILING water to your gelatin mix. Once Gelatin is all dissolved, mix with Milk Mixture. Set aside.

Add 2 tbsp of white Jello to each strip containing just red. (If this doesn’t bring it right up to the same level as the blue jello you can either add more white or place back in fridge and add another layer of red until it evens out.)

Once again, place in fridge until it passes the finger test. Once your jello is all the same level, add a layer of red Jello (I eyeballed it to make sure it looked about the same thickness as the other layers) and let set in fridge. Follow this with another layer of white Jello and let set in fridge. Continue until your Jello runs out!

Once the whole thing has set (I let it sit overnight), run a little warm water on the bottom of your dishes and invert on a cutting board. Slice flags and serve!



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Thanks to an old friend over at Stephanie Cooks Dinner, I was inspired to check out the latest food trend to hit the interwebs: Cauliflower Rice.

I’m a huge fan of cauliflower, but I struggle with coming up with fun new ways to cook it. This seemed like an easy and fast task, so I gave it a go. I’m not too sure Manfriend agrees with me, but I give this dish two thumbs up. It’s much more complex in flavor than any rice or couscous version I’ve ever made and it doesn’t leave you feeling like you have a giant pit in your stomach.

Coriander Coconut Cauliflower Rice
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, crushed and toasted
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp coconut cream
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp ginger juice (or 1/4 tsp minced ginger)
1 tbsp lime juice
salt & pepper to taste

Pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble couscous. Squeeze out any excess water with a cheese cloth or thick paper towel. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add coconut oil and cream and quickly add red onion. Saute for 1 minute. Stir in coriander seeds and about half of the cauliflower. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add half of the cilantro and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add remaining cauliflower, ginger, lime and cilantro and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue cooking until cauliflower is cooked through (you want the rice to look fluffy like rice, not dense like mashed potatoes).



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It’s amazing what a weekend of rest will do for a lady. Sometimes I feel horrible when I just sit at home and veg, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. After the past couple weekends of travel, plus busy work weeks, I embraced the weekend of nothing. Ahhhh, glorious!

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I spent my week back from Detroit prepping goodies for work happy hour. Totally worth it.

A friend of mine makes these sliders on special occasions and they are DELICIOUS. The salty, oniony, gingery beef pairs well with the sweet soft Hawaiian roll and the slaw gives it just the right amount of cold crunch. Make these for your next picnic and your guests will for sure ask for more.

Asian Short Rib Sliders with Mango Slaw (adapted from Debi Shawcross)
For the short ribs
3 lbs beef short ribs
1.5-2 lbs beef country ribs
salt & pepper
6 green onions, white part sliced thin, green parts chopped, reserve separately
1 tbsp olive oil
2 c chopped Vidalia onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 c low sodium soy sauce
1/2 c rice wine vinegar
1/2 c orange juice
1/4 c brown sugar
4 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 c water
2 tbsp tapioca starch mixed in 1/4 cup cold water
36 sweet Hawaiian rolls
Mango Slaw (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 300.
Season ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven and brown ribs. Remove ribs and place on a plate.

Add the onions and green onion whites. Cook for about 20-30 seconds. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 10 seconds. Add soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, water and reserved ribs. Bring to a boil, cover and place in the oven for 3 hours, flipping ribs at the half way point.

After three hours, remove the pot from the oven. Take the beef out, separating the meat from the bones, and breaking apart into shreds. Cool cooking liquid so you can skim all the excess oil from the sauce (I did this overnight since my liquid looked pretty oily).

Heat remaining sauce to a boil over medium high heat. Add the tapioca starch mixture and stir until thickened. Add shredded beef and chopped green onions to sauce to sauce, stirring to mix well. (The filling may be made one day ahead, covered, refrigerated, and reheated when ready to serve).

Mango Slaw
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
11 oz bag coleslaw (minus the dressing)
1 champagne mango, cut into julienne strips
1/4 c chopped mint leaves
1/4 c chopped basil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes.

Add cabbage, mango, mint, and basil. Toss together and season with salt and pepper.



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As I wandered through the grocery store thinking about what I would do with all the leftover pasta, I caught myself remembering two of my favorite summertime dishes that always made an appearance at family parties. These dishes were usually brought by relatives, so I never knew exactly what went into them or what they were called.

According to Google, I have been obsessed with Filipino Macaroni Salad (though, my mom’s recipe is way more detailed than the ones I found online) and a Filipino Russian Potato Salad. Apparently the beets make it Russian?? Weird.

I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise, so of course it’s shocking that these are two of my favorite dishes. I just love the savory/sweet/slightly tart/slightly creamy combination!

Anyway, clearly my brain is fried because I ended up making a dish that combined these two. UGH! Failure! I was so excited to share my favorite dish (or at least that’s what I thought at the time) with Manfriend and it wasn’t until we sat down that I realized I blurred the two together in my head. D’oh!

The result was surprisingly tasty.

Beety Chicken Macaroni Salad
1/2 box cut pasta, cooked & drained
6 beets, cooked & chopped (I use the package of pre-cooked beets from Trader Joe’s b/c I’m lazy)
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/3 c frozen peas
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked & chopped
handful baby arugula, wilted
2 heaping tbsp greek yogurt (I prefer Voskos for this)
1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/8 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mayo, yogurt and sugar. Set aside.

Bring a small pot of water to boil and add peas, carrot and onion. Cook until peas start to float to top. Drain and place into a large bowl.

Add pasta, beets, chicken & arugula to the bowl and about 2 heaping spoonfuls of the mayo mixture. Stir well to combine. If your mixture looks too dry, add a little more of the mayo mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*I was hoping we had some relish on hand, but we didn’t. If you do, skip the rice wine vinegar and sugar and throw some relish into the mayo mixture instead.

**You should use elbow macaroni for this. Otherwise, the name is a lie. I used trottole because we have a pile of it leftover. I may hate this shape for awhile.



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Once again, it’s a busy week in the Tasty home. Manfriend and I just got back from a long weekend in Detroit celebrating my little brother’s wedding and it appears we are going to continue playing this game of catch up well into July.

I’m going to say something I never thought I’d hear myself say. I kinda miss having a car. Yep. It’s true. I really just wish I had a car so I could whip out all these errands and not have to plan my whole week out. See, I’ve got a work happy hour to plan and it’s no small feat. Happy hours at my office are always creative and delicious, so I definitely don’t want to disappoint!

Shopping, happy hour prep and general life catch up are tough enough to make happen. On top of it all, I’m also trying to cram in a couple workouts to shake out the stiffness of traveling. It’s an ambitious week, kids. VERY ambitious.

While shopping for happy hour goods at what may be the saddest Safeway in the city, I realized I also had to find food to feed us for the week! EEKS. I only have so many arms to carry bags!

This dish was pulled together pretty quickly and I accidentally cooked a whole box of pasta. I haven’t done that in ages. A box is a lot!! You only need about half for this dish. Stay tuned to see what I do with the rest of the pasta.

Chicken & Broccolini Pasta
1/2 box cut pasta (I used trottole)
3/4-1 lb chicken tenderloins, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, chopped
6 oz broccolini, cut into bite sized pieces
3-4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp pesto
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp olive oil
3-4 slices halloumi
garlic powder
onion powder
crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Generously season chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, brown halloumi (about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, add olive oil and brown chicken. Once chicken is no longer visibly pink, add onion slices and tomato. Cook until onion starts to soften.

Add broccolini and mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once mushrooms start to soften, add pesto and oregano. Reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add pasta to skillet and stir to coat. Add halloumi, breaking up larger chunks, and stir over medium low heat. Season wtih salt & pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes.



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Manfriend and I (ok, maybe it’s just me) are on a mission to eat all the perishable food in the house before we leave for a long weekend in Michigan for my little brother’s wedding. Eeks! So much pressure to cook!

I’ve been feeling a smidge under the weather since we got back from Tahoe, so all I’ve been craving is soup and sleep. Unfortunately, those are not in the cards this week.

I mustered up enough energy to whip this easy pasta salad together and strangely enough, the briny olives and crisp veggies hit the spot. For whatever reason, I usually make my pasta salads with penne or bowties. I think this works with any cut pasta.

Tuna & Olive Pasta Salad
1/2 box bowtie pasta, cooked and drained
2 5oz cans solid white albacore in water, drained
1 shallot, minced
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 c mixed greens (I used a baby kale/chard/spinach mix)
2 persian cucumbers, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 c kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 avocado, diced

In a large bowl, whisk shallot, vinegar, mustard, olive oil and garlic powder. Stir in cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and flaked tuna to coat.

Return cooked pasta to the pot over medium low heat. Add greens and toss until greens are wilted (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and add pasta and greens to veggies. Stir to coat.

Gently fold in avocado, season with salt and pepper and let pasta salad sit for about 5-10 minutes to let dressing soak in. Toss again before serving.



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I’m embarrassed to admit this, but Manfriend and I took our very first trip to Lake Tahoe this past weekend. It only took 4 and 3 years, respectively. GAH! WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG?? Tahoe is gorgeous!

We were out in South Lake Tahoe for a wedding and I was determined to squeeze in some sort of physical activity since I’ve been on a fitness roll lately. Friends had warned me about the altitude messing with my jogging mojo, so I figured I should scrap that and find a hike instead. 

We had a few hours to kill on Saturday morning, but were still recovering from the change in altitude and many cocktails consumed the night before. This seemed like the perfect way to sweat out some of the booze and soak up all the beauty Tahoe had to offer.

Who:
Anyone. I’m pretty sure I saw a bunch of dogs and children on this trail.

What:
A fairly easy 1.7 mile hike with lots of rocky sections and plenty of steps.

When:
Any warm day, but note that it will probably be busy in the summer months.

Where:
Eagle Falls Trailhead, South Lake Tahoe, CA (on the West side of Highway 89).

How:
There’s a small parking lot at the trailhead where you have to pay a $3 vehicle registration fee. There weren’t any spots available when we arrived, so we parked just a few feet away along Highway 89.

Once you get to the trailhead, you’ll have to fill out a wilderness permit to travel beyond Eagle Falls into Desolation Wilderness. It’s really just a registration form that you dump into a bin and then you have to wear the tag on you at all times. I never saw anyone checking, but it never hurts to be safe and follow the rules.

Follow the clearly marked Eagle Lake Trail past Eagle Falls (they are much closer to the trailhead than I expected). You’ll have a great view of Lake Tahoe before heading up a bit to Eagle Lake.

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We didn’t partake in the lake or beach, but plenty of other people did. I really enjoyed sitting on a big rock overlooking the lake, though. Peaceful and beautiful. Once you’re ready to head back to civilization, return the way you came.



It’s been a busy few weeks in the Tasty household so our produce box goods have been neglected (Manfriend doesn’t seem to enjoy using them as much as I do). Somehow, we ended up with two big bunches of beets and they desperately needed to be cooked.

I love beets, but I usually end up pickling them or roasting them to toss on salads. Kinda boring. Any other suggestions??

This salad was a refreshing and filling way to close out a warm day in the city. I really liked the sweet beets paired with the creamy avocado, tangy vinaigrette and salty halloumi. FANTASTIC combo.

The photo shows curly kale, but I used it because we had it…it’s not my favorite type to use in salad since you have to massage it FOREVER. Definitely use some lacinato kale.

Kale, Beet and Halloumi Salad
6 beets, quartered, roasted and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 avocado, diced
6-8 slices halloumi
1/4 english cucumber, chopped
2 small heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
handful arugula
1 bunch kale, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

For the dressing
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch salt
freshly ground pepper

Toss beets in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper. Set aside.

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Set aside

Place kale in a large bowl and massage with 2-3 tbsp of dressing (start slowly) for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Heat a small pan over medium high heat and place halloumi slices in the pan. Cook until brown on each side (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

Add cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and arugula to kale bowl. Toss and add dressing as desired. Place in bowls and top with some beets, avocado and halloumi. Serve immediately.