I had two of my girlfriends over for dinner two weeks ago and they loved what I made so much that they begged me on hands and knees for the recipes! Ok, they didn’t beg but either way I thought I would share them with you, too. I literally copied and pasted my email entry to my friend and put it here, so that is the reason for some of the language (you’ll see what I mean when you read it).
Apple, Sweet Onion, and Toasted Walnut Salad
Gala apple – but Honey Crisp or Granny Smith would be good here, too
Sweet onion (like Vidalia), they’re at Trader Joes right now
Salt and pepper
First I put the washed and chopped romaine lettuce and spinach in a big ass bowl.
Next I chopped some walnuts and put them on a skillet on medium high heat. You gotta watch these because they go from perfectly toasted to burned in a flash! They will be brown and you will smell them when they are ready. When they are done, put them aside.
Next, I sliced one smallish onion with my mandolin so they were thinly sliced – like ¼ inch. If you don’t have a mandolin, no worries just slice them with a sharp knife. Put the onions and a good amount of olive oil – like 2-3 Tbs – in the SAME skillet that you toasted the walnuts and sort of stir fry on medium high heat until they are turning brown and caramelized, then add some salt and pepper to taste. Once they are cooked, put the skillet aside and let them cool.
Now you’re ready to assemble. Chop or slice the apple – however you want – and top the lettuce with the apple. For the dressing, add the juice to the skillet with the onions and stir a little bit with one of those rubber spatula thingy’s. Scrape the onion mixture over the salad then take tongs and toss the salad so everything is well coated. Don’t worry if everything falls to the bottom of the huge ass bowl because you’re going to plate these salads and everything will be on top again. Wait to assemble the salad until right before you are going to serve it because the lettuce will get too wilty otherwise. After you have plated the salad, top with the roasted walnuts.
*Tip* If you like blue cheese, crumble a little on top of the salad at the end. I would have done this but I just didn’t have any when you guys came over.
Rosemary Garlic Chicken
First, you should know that I took the chicken breasts and cut them in half so they weren’t so big and would cook more evenly.
Boneless skinless chicken breast – I used 6 half chicken breasts so adjust depending on how much you wanna make
Rosemary – I used the leaves from two long sprigs and chopped them (fresh!)
Garlic – two cloves, diced super tiny (also fresh!)
Olive oil – a few drizzles, depends on how much you’re making
Salt and pepper
I marinated my chicken in the rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper overnight in a ziplock bag in my fridge.
The next day, get your grill pan hot and put the chicken on. I cooked them about 4 minutes on each side. I think it helps to leave the chicken out of the fridge for 10-15 minutes so they are not super cold when you put them on the grill.
And that’s it!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Vegan Cumin Aioli
There is a difference between sweet potatoes and yams but for this just use the longish orangish potatoes that are usually called “garnet yams.”
For the fries:
Sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into fry-like shape
Chili powder (not to be mistaken with cayenne but you could use that too to make them spicy – Yum!)
Salt and pepper
For the aioli:
Veganaise (but you can use regular mayo)
Juice of half a lemon
Cumin – about 1 tsp or to taste
Once your sweet potatoes are all cut up how you like, get your baking pan ready with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray – you don’t want these guys to stick. Get your oven ready at 400 degrees so it is nice and hot and ready to go – just like your man will be after he eats these ;). Next, toss the potatoes in the oil (about one Tablespoon), and the spices. I used about 1 tsp of each spice but just eyeball-it. Once the potatoes are all coated and covered evenly with the spices, put them on your baking dish and put them on the middle rack of your oven. Timing is tricky because every oven is different so I would recommend checking them every ten minutes or so to see if they are done to your liking. Shake the pan every now and then to get them moving.
While the potatoes are baking make the aioli. Put the mayo (however much you want but I used about ½ a cup) in a bowl and add the juice and cumin. Stir and let sit. The longer you let it sit them better it will be. You could always make extra and use it for dip or a spread on your sandwich.
And that’s it!
PS everywhere I say “Olive Oil” I actually mean extra virgin olive oil