Grilled Peach + Avocado Salad

Summer is almost over! Soak up the last bit of summer flavors by firing up the grill for an easy and delicious Grilled Peach + Avocado Salad!

Grilled Peach + Arugula Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

It feels like summer is slipping through our fingers like warm sand on the beach… I try not to spend too much time anticipating cooler months, I have enough anxiety and depression in my life without that kind of negativity. Unlike most of my female millennial peers, I do not pine for the pumpkin months. Born in July, I’ve just always been a summer baby.

That’s why all summer long, I pack my tote bags full of fresh fruits and veggies at the weekly farmers market. There’s just nothing better than fresh, local produce. Except maybe big, sweet, juicy peaches from Georgia…

When I saw that the Peach Truck was coming to Columbus this year, I had to get in on it. (Totally not a promo for them, I just love their peaches!) Because you can only buy them in half-bushel (25 pounds!) boxes, we had a lottttt of peaches to eat through. I also picked up a pound of their fresh Georgia pecans, which I am OBSESSED with.

Grilled Peach + Arugula Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I had to get creative to use up all our fuzzy little peach friends… I asked for peach recipe ideas on IG and someone recommended grilled peached with ice cream. Yum. But with all the syrupy sweet fruit we’d been eating, I was craving something a little more savory. So I fired up the grill (ok, John actually does that because I don’t mess with fire…) and tossed on some ripe-but-still firm peaches and avocados. You don’t want the ones that are melt-in-you-mouth, fall-apart-tender juicy because they won’t hold up on the grill. Don’t worry, grilling fruit softens them, brings out their natural sweetness, and adds a bit of caramelization.

Grilled Peach + Arugula Salad | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Here’s to soaking up the last of summer’s warmth, sun, and sweet, sweet peaches.

Grilled Peach + Avocado Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Summer is almost over! Soak up the last bit of summer flavors by firing up the grill for an easy and delicious Grilled Peach + Avocado Salad!

Ingredients

  • 2 peaches, quartered
  • 2 avocados, quartered
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 small head of fennel, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • Dressing
  • 1½ Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grates of the grill with high-heat oil (vegetable or avocado). Brushing the peaches and avocados too if you are worried about sticking.
  2. Place the peaches and avocados on the grill, one of their cut sides down. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, turning carefully to char each side. Keep brushing lightly with oil if they things get sticky.
  3. Wisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, taste, and adjust if necessary.
  4. Assemble the salad: toss the arugula and fennel in a large bowl with half of the dressing. Divide greens between plates and place peaches, avocados, and pecans on top. Pour over more dressing if desired. Garnish with fennel tops.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/grilled-peach-avocado-salad/

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/

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup

As the temperature plummets, the need for warm and soulful comfort food rises! Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup is rich, filling, and comes together in less than 30 minutes- a winter wonder!

One Sunday, after tragically overcooking a batch of black eyed peas in my pressure cooker, I had an epiphany. Ok, maybe epiphany is an exaggeration, but let’s just say I had an idea…

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through my years of cooking is that there really are no failures. Take my pumpkin-pie-turned-charcoal-briquettes from last week. They looked absolutely horrendous and the crust was totally ruined but even then, the inside filling was caramelized and delightful. See that? Silver lining.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

The same happened with my mushy, falling-apart, nearly-disintegrated black eyed peas. I had planned to freeze them for salads and stews but their lack of structural integrity rendered that plan inoperative. What does one do with six cups of soggy bean mush…? Soup, of course.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

I leaned into some Caribbean flavors for this soup with allspice, thyme, and coconut milk. I think a few chunks of pineapple or some exotic dried fruit would take this soup to a truly tropical level. And if you can take the heat, a drizzle of Sriracha is divine.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Learning to cook has taught me to fail. Again and again and again you fail. Your cookies fall apart and your sauce separates and your cake falls flat and your greens turn out tough and inedible. But you learn. The phrase “no use crying over spilt milk” has become somewhat of a motto in my kitchen. Less and less these days do I find myself a crying mess on the kitchen floor after the pancakes I wanted for breakfast looked more like piles of burnt scrambled oatmeal. Instead, I just eat oatmeal.

I guess this is a lesson in resilience. Things don’t always go the way we planned, but at the end of the day you can have a pot of soggy mush or bowl of delicious soup. Up to you.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

As the temperature plummets, the need for warm and soulful comfort food rises! Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup is rich, filling, and comes together in less than 30 minutes- a winter wonder!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf?
  • 2-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cans blacks eyed peas (or 4 cups cooked- or overcooked!)
  • ½ lb. kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (I prefer full fat)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium stockpot over medium-high heat and add oil. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and sauté another 8-10 minutes, until most of their liquid has cooked out. Add garlic, allspice, thyme and cayenne for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the black eye peas and stock and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add kale and coconut milk and return to a simmer. Stir until kale has wilted, about 2 minutes.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/creamy-black-eyed-pea-soup/

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

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