Blueberry Salsa

Red, white, and… blueberries?! Patriotic colors, plenty of crunch, a pop of sweet, and a subtle heat pack this Blueberry Salsa full of star-spangled flavor!

Blueberry Salsa | AreYouKitchenMe.com

This Independence Day isn’t like years past. I can’t say I feel the same swell of pride waving an American flag or hearing the national anthem as I used to. I debated even mentioning it publicly because I don’t want this blog to be political or polarizing. But it’s important to acknowledge what is going on in our country that used to welcome those seeking refuge and prosperity with open arms. It’s important to give voice to those who have had theirs taken away.

We used to boast the words “melting pot” when talking about our country’s ability to mix and mingle so many distant cultures. When we think of the Statue of Liberty, we think of our great-great grandparents coming from across oceans to build a better future for their family. But now families are being ripped apart or turned away simply because of where they come from. If you’re as disturbed by the news as I am, I encourage you to get involved with local activist groups, call your representatives, or make a donation- I chose the ACLU for their history and reputation.

I won’t dive any deeper into this tragic and sensitive subject but I hope you’ll keep fellow human citizens of this Earth in your hearts as you celebrate the freedom not everyone will have the chance to experience.

Blueberry Salsa | AreYouKitchenMe.com

On the topic of embracing foreign concepts in a place we already know and love, let me slowly ease you into the idea of a fruity salsa…. (Ok, that segue felt gross and distasteful please forgive me.) You’ve probably heard of mango salsa. Maybe even pineapple salsa. Why not Blueberry Salsa? Hopefully, you can hang in to hear me out. I mean, what’s not to love…

Blueberry Salsa | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Truly, this Blueberry Salsa hits all of the taste spots:

  • Sweet
  • Tangy
  • Spicy
  • Salty
  • Crunchy
  • Herby
  • Fresh

To go for the full red, white, and blue effect, I chopped up a jicama and added it to the bowl. Honestly, I just added it for the color but WOW. It added so much crunch and lightness; I honestly don’t think chips would love this dip nearly as much without it. But If jicama is intimidating (read this article to learn just how easy it is!) or if you can’t find it at your local store, I suspect some radishes would make a great peppery stand-in.

Blueberry Salsa | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Try something new this year for America’s Independence Day! Buy and peel a massive jicama. Add some blueberries to your salsa. Say hello to your new neighbors from another country. Whatever you do, do it with love. Happy Fourth, friends!

Blueberry Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Red, white, blue, and delicious! Patriotic colors, plenty of crunch, a pop of sweet, and a subtle heat pack this Blueberry Salsa full of star-spangled flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 4 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ½ large jicama, peeled and diced into cubes (or sub radishes)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalepeño, minced
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix. For best flavor, let sit for a few hours in the fridge before serving.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/blueberry-salsa/

Spinach and Artichoke Vegan Quiche

A classic brunch staple gone vegan! Spinach and Artichoke Vegan Quiche is the dish your plant-based breakfast has been missing.

Spinach & Artichoke Vegan Quiche | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of quiche. Or really any pie for that matter. I mean, I could eat pie crust (NEVER graham cracker) all day long, but fillings? Savory ones? Heck no. And when you think about it, ‘savory egg pie’ sounds pretty strange. But I guess I don’t care how it sounds because what l learned to love was the taste.

I discovered my love for quiche only shortly before going vegan so the affair was short lived. It had been years since I’d laid mouth on the eggy tart but when I saw some recipes for a vegan option, I was intrigued. I read that all it took was a little blended tofu so I set off on an experiment for vegan brunch paradise.

Spinach & Artichoke Vegan Quiche | AreYouKitchenMe.com

If you’ve been vegan or enjoy eating plant-based meals you’ve probably at least heard of tofu scramble. You know, tofu all crumbled up and sautéed with veggies and turmeric to look like eggs. We eat a lottttt of tofu scramble in our house. So making the switch to blending up the tofu with our typical scramble spices for a new no-egg texture wasn’t a big leap.

The key ingredient to getting a truly “eggy” taste from your quiche is black salt, or kala namak. This particular salt is harvested form sulfuric salt mines and has a very distinct egg-like flavor. I buy mine for super cheap at a local Indian grocery store but I know you can get it on Amazon too. I trust you can use your resources.

Spinach & Artichoke Vegan Quiche | AreYouKitchenMe.com

So, who’s coming over for (vegan) brunch this weekend?

Spinach and Artichoke Vegan Quiche

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

A classic brunch staple gone vegan! Spinach and Artichoke Vegan Quiche is the dish your plant-base breakfast has been missing.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, store bought or homemade
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp. black salt (aka kala namak), or table salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 8 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts in brine, drained

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350F. Prepare your pie crust according to package or recipe instructions. Press it into a 9-inch pie pan, crimp the edges, and set in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  2. Place the thawed spinach in the middle of a tea towel or dish cloth and squeeze all of the excess liquid out. Repeat with the artichoke. Place both on a cutting board and roughly chop into small pieces.
  3. In a blender, add the tofu, milk, and all of the spices. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tofu mixture, spinach, and artichoke. Pour into the crust and smooth out with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, covering the pan with foil after 15 minutes so the crust doesn’t burn. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/spinach-artichoke-vegan-quiche/

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette

Farmers market season is kicking into gear and I’m celebrating with a light and fresh pasta! Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette embraces the bright and warm feelings of spring!

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Allow me to walk you through my perfect Saturday morning…

Stretch in the morning sun beaming onto the cozy sheets through the skylight and rub the cat hair from my eyes. After a few morning snuggles, plant our feet into walking shoes and slide into my favorite leggings. An apple in hand and a stack of grocery bags in the trunk, head to my (second) favorite Columbus neighborhood. Even though we’re early, the streets buzz with pups on leashes and eager strawberry shoppers.

A loaf of bread, a pound of spring mix, and some juicy berries make their way into my bag. The wafting aromas from the taco stand, a few food trucks, and the local coffee shop call us to breakfast. Sit, snack, sip, and snicker at the toddlers toddling by. Pick up a handmade birthday card, a bursting bunch of carrots, and a few handful of sprouts as we meander back to the car. Leave the market full of peace and produce.

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Ahh… How I live for the warm days of farmers market season. Our favorite market is the Clintonville Farmers Market because it’s the perfect balance of size, selection, and distance. We also love the North Market, which has fewer stalls and options, and the Worthington market, which is huge but chaotic and a bit far away for us. This article has a great write-up of all the local markets, if you’re interested.

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I must admit, when we went to opening weekend of the farmer’s market this weekend, there wasn’t much by way of produce. I spent far too much money on some very young romaine and a tiny bag of sprouts, but the winner was the bunch of spring onions I picked up. Spring onions are similar to green onions but milder and sweeter. They’re great just lightly cooked and tossed in and on everything you make all week. The dark green tops are great as a raw garnish or thrown in at the end of cooking a warm meal.

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette | AreYouKitchenMe.com

When veggies are just beginning to peak their tender heads through the dirt, I like to treat them delicately and simply. But since we’re still not out of the cool evening season yet, I thought a warm pasta would be a great way to let the juxtaposition of spring shine. To be honest, I think you could also get away with serving this cool pasta salad-like lunch or side.

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I chose orecchiette because of its fun shape and knack for cradling little peas, but pick whichever small noodles are taking up space in the back of your pantry. And if orecchiette sounds fancy and expensive, you should know that I picked up this bag for $2.19 at Aldi. Ballin’ on a budget, y’all.

Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Farmers market season is kicking into gear and I’m celebrating with a light and fresh pasta! Spring Onion Lemon Orecchiette embraces the bright and warm feelings of spring!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. orecchiette or other small pasta
  • 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow squash or zucchini, chopped small*
  • 2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen + thawed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbs. butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I use Violife), plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring heavily salted water to a boil. (It should taste like sea water!) Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbs. of oil, the onions, and ¼ tsp. of salt. Sautee for 4 minutes, until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, stirring constantly. Remove the onions and garlic to a separate bowl and add the second tablespoon of oil, the zucchini, and another ¼ tsp. salt to the pan. Sautee for 7 minutes, until softened but not mushy. Add the squash to the bowl with the onions.
  3. Add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt. Once melted, add lemon zest, juice, and all the veggies to the pan.
  4. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Toss in the parsley and grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm.

Notes

When chopping the zucchini or squash, I recommend cutting out the center seedy core. It gets sot and watery and just doesn’t belong in this dish.

https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/spring-onion-lemon-orecchiette/

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