Thursday, October 2, 2014

Autumn Salad and Rainy Day Comfort Food

Well the last 3 days have been very dreary indeed.

I managed to brave the cold, wet weather several times to run a boatload of errands and to walk Max in the sleety slushy rain. He didn't seem to like it much either, and let me know by shaking water all over me on every opportunity. 

Last night I decided to whip up something delicious as a reward for all my hard work. I figured I'd make some super healthy comfort food to help ward off any sneaky cold symptoms that may arise after my day spent in and out of the rain.

Perfect time for my delicious Autumn Salad!

For two servings you'll need:

2 cups mixed lettuce of your choice, I used sweet baby lettuce mix
1 medium pear
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles (gorgonzola is like a tangier Italian blue cheese)

And for the dressing:

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (you don't need a lot b/c of the dijon)
1/2 tbs red wine vinegar (I like mine tart, do more or less to taste)
Dijon mustard (do you have any grey poupon, sir?)

Chop up your pear into bite sized pieces, then toss into a big mixing bowl with your lettuce, pecan halves and gorgonzola crumbles. See handy dandy gif above.

Next mix up your dressing to taste in a little bowl. Pour over the salad and mix!

For the main course, I wanted something warm and comforting. In times like these I almost always turn to roast chicken and mashed potatoes, but since we're being healthy here let's go the low carb route shall we?

Enter my go-to roast chicken with low-carb cauliflower mash. So good, and so good for you. The below should be enough for dinner for two plus lots of leftovers.

For the chicken you'll need:

4 skinless chicken thighs
2 tbs dijon
1 tbs greek yogurt
minced garlic
1 lime- juice and zest
salt and pepper
dried parsley

For the mash: 

1 head of cauliflower
1 tbs miso paste
Lots of minced garlic
Big hunk o' butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. After you've rinsed and patted down your chicken, in a large bowl rub the yogurt and dijon, lime juice and zest all over the chicken, coating it well, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Either spray a baking pan or line with parchment paper and place chicken on top in a single layer. Top the thighs with the dried parsley, and bake until cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Finish under broiler for a few minutes until it's golden brown, and serve with the juices poured over.

While the chicken is cooking, whip up your faux-mash (recipe adapted from my all time favorite blogger, The Londoner).

Chop up the cauliflower into little trees (florets) and steam in a pot with some water and miso paste until slightly tender, but not mushy. Then proceed as you would with mashed potatoes- just beat it! (que Michael Jackson song). As you blend, add in butter, cream and seasonings to taste. Since we are being so healthy with the salad and chicken and cauliflower, I'd say you've earned your butter and cream, so go for it!

We whipped up some wilted spinach as a side dish for some extra vitamin A...

Just as good as the real thing! Comfort food at it's best on this cold, dreary night.


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