I’m back!!! I am SO excited to be back here with you guys, cooking and photographing and sharing recipes. It feels so good. I’ve taken quite a while off, more than it might seem. The last few posts before the wedding were meals I made a while ago and had pictures just waiting to be edited on my computer. It feels like it’s been a very, very long time since I cooked up a storm in the kitchen.
The wedding was a total whirlwind. I’ll get to that in another post but today I just wanted to talk about my bachelorette party a bit. It happened two weekends ago, when my bridesmaids and I and a few other friends went down to spend the weekend in Santa Barbara. It started off around 5 pm with multiple margaritas and a few pieces of pizza each. One of my bridesmaids, Jillian, ended up with the nickname of Brian, Elissa told everyone she was better because she is Italian, and Roxy brought out the Cards Against Humanity so we could all get a bit awkward. We had fun all night and I woke up in the morning feeling like a bit of a wreck.
But, I forced myself to go on a run with one of my friends and we suffered through it, despite the beautiful scenery. We were staying in a house in Montecito, CA, that was less than a mile from the beach. We apparently found the good spot to run because other runners were everywhere! And I wasn’t surprised.. the road ran mostly along the water, sometimes veering inland for a bit, but always finding its way back. It was really the best way to start the day, and ward off my impending hangover.
Later we found ourselves in Santa Barbara on the Urban Wine Trail, which is just a bunch of tasting rooms in close proximity downtown. As per usual, I bought zero wine but came home with a delicious bottle of basil olive oil from a local grower. So. Good. We also found ice cream, which is always amazing.
And then that night we partied again, just us girls in the house in Montecito, and it was perfect. At some point in time I played a slapping game with my friend Kathryn. It also involved Fireball. And we turned up the music as loud as it could go in the TV in the house (which as sadly not very loud) and danced until we were exhausted. As young and silly as this sounds… it was exactly that. And it felt so good, to just go kind of crazy in the comfort of a home with no boys to bother us. I loved it. It was the perfect bachelorette party, even though I had a hangover that lasted two days.
And then it was the wedding week, which will come in another post. But let’s just say it was busy. I did not cook at all. I am a stranger in my kitchen. So when I found myself over the stove last night with a few leftover veggies and salad greens from the wedding I felt like life might actually go back to normal. When AJ asked if I was going to take pictures it kind of surprised me since it didn’t even occur to me. But here they are. This is a super simple meal that takes only 15 minutes or so and is perfect for easing yourself back into the kitchen. It’s also flexible – use whatever veggies you have on hand. It’s definitely spring time here in California (is t has been for like 2 months), so the spring veggies are abundant! I used the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s because it only takes 10 minutes, but use whatever suits your fancy. Wild rice would also be delicious here, as would some farro. Make it yours. See you next week!
Grilled Veggie Salad with Tahini Dressing
This Grilled Veggie Salad with Tahini Dressing is the perfect simple dinner to celebrate delicious veggies. A bit of couscous and some salad greens pull it together.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2-3 servings
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1/2 red onion
- 6 shoots asparagus
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 bag Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend, cooked*
- 4 cups salad greens
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp sage
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the Harvest Grains Blend or alternate grain according to package directions.
- While the grains cook, wash the veggies. Cut the bell pepper into roughly 6 chunks and slice the zucchini into 1/4” strips. Peel the onion and slice into 1/4” rounds, keeping all the layers together. Rinse the asparagus and tomatoes.
- Place a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray generously with oil and let the griddle heat up for a minute. Neatly place all the veggies except the asparagus on the griddle, overlapping them as little as possible.
- Cook about 7 minutes, until lightly charred. Flip each piece individually then add the whole asparagus. Cook another 7 minutes or so, tossing the asparagus every now and then, until everything is finished cooking. The bell peppers will still be a bit crunchy; you can continue to cook them as you like.
- As the veggies cook, mix together the ingredients for the dressing with a fork.
- Place the salad greens on a plate and top with a few spoonfuls of the grains. Top with the cooked veggies and finish with a drizzle of the dressing. Enjoy!
– Use 1 1/4 cups of another dry grain such as rice or farro if you prefer.