Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree From here until the end of time (ok, just the end of summer) don’t be surprised if I talk about how sad I am that summer is basically over in every single post. Guys, I’m so sad! Like, how did this even happen?! Can’t deal. Summertime sadness aside, there is one thing that I won’t be sad to see go- eating in swimsuits. I know that sounds weird, but I have to be totally honest, there is nothing that I dislike more than being dripping wet in a bikini for a cook-out at someone’s pool/beach/lake. I always feel weird, gross, and judged 10 times more than usual for eating that second cheeseburger….with bacon….with potato salad (it’s ok, I know you’re just jealous because you want to be eating that too!). Also, I find it highly comical that girls won’t eat to fit into bikinis to wear to places where they’re going to be eating. Anyone else with me on this? Obviously, barbecues in bikinis are nearly unavoidable so this grilled vegetable salad is part of my solution. It’s quite possibly one of the easiest salads you can make as it is simply grilled vegetables chopped up then topped with a light dressing made from hummus (a great base for creamy dressings when you don’t want to use mayonnaise). This salad is healthy, light and fresh and definitely swimsuit approved! And since swimsuit season is almost over, don’t worry, this salad is also clothing approved!

P.S. This would make a healthy side dish for this coming Labor Day weekend’s barbecue and cookout festivities! Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree

 

Grilled Vegetable Salad
A vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free vegetarian salad that's perfect on it's own or as a healthy side dish
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large zucchini
  2. 2 large summer squash
  3. 1 large eggplant
  4. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  5. 2 cups corn
  6. 1/2 cup hummus
  7. Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  8. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  9. 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  10. A handful of dill
Instructions
  1. First, wash and slice your squash, zucchini, and eggplant. Toss it with a little olive oil and proceed to grill as you normally would. The vegetables should take about 5-7 minutes per side. Once they're done, remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
  2. To "grill" the corn, add a dash of olive oil to a medium-sized skillet set over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until it begins to char, making sure to stir every few minutes. Remove the corn from the pan then toss the tomatoes in and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Once the grilled vegetables have cooled, chop them into small pieces. Add to a serving bowl and toss with the corn and tomatoes.
  4. To make the dressing mix the hummus, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice together. Stir until well combined.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with shredded dill on top. Toss right before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
Notes
  1. This salad is tasty on it's own for a lighter meal, but it would also be good with a nice crusty bread (almost like a bruschetta), served alongside fish or steak, topped with grilled tofu, or sprinkled with some goat or feta cheese.
  2. This recipe can easily be doubled or cut in half. The vegetables can also be substituted based on preference.
  3. The vegetables can be grilled the night before and stored in the fridge until you are ready to use them the next day.
  4. If you do not have a grill, or it's too cold outside, you could also use a grill pan or roast the vegetables in the oven.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
 

Great Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef I’m pretty positive there is no better pairing in the world than wine and chocolate. Except for maybe wine, chocolate AND cake. I mean my head can’t even wrap itself around that combination (#isthisreallife). And then there’s this cake…..are you ready for your mind to be blown? Because it will be. Because this cake is made with wine and chocolate. Like as in wine, chocolate and cake all together in one delicious masterpiece. Game. Over.  Basically, way back, when I was a wee little thing, my Mom would make this yellow cake on a frequent basis. While I wish I could say I was a smart little tyke whose flavor palette begged for me to sneak some of the wine, I was only after the chocolate frosting. Wine cake? Forget about it! Ever since Luci posted her wine cake, though, I haven’t been able to get my Mom’s favorite cake out of my mind and I knew I was long overdue for a Great Yellow Cake fix (also, I came to my senses and realized “What idiot doesn’t like wine and cake together?! Or just plain wine for that matter?!”). Now, the only difference between me making this cake and my Mom making this cake, is that I’m sneaking samples of both frosting AND wine!

Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef Great Yellow Cake made with wine & covered with Chocolate Frosting @runwaychef

Great Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
A moist yellow cake made with white wine and frosted in rich chocolate frosting
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the cake
  1. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1 cup dry white wine
  5. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the frosting
  1. 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  2. 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted (1 stick)
  3. 2/3 cup milk
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup confectioners sugar
Instructions
  1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and eggs and beat on medium speed for 30 minutes. Next, add in the oil and wine and beat for another 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and vanilla, and beat until mixed, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide the batter between the two pans. Place the pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them onto cooling racks and let them cool for at least 2 hours before frosting.
  4. To make the frosting: Combine chocolate and butter in small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat then stir in the milk and vanilla and transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
  6. Add the sugar gradually, beating the mixture on medium speed until it's smooth (it will be runny).
  7. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, beating it every 15 minutes (the icing will stiffen). If you won't be around to beat it every 15 minutes, simply refrigerate it, then when you're ready to beat the mixture, remove the bowl from the fridge, let it sit out for 15 minutes and then beat the mixture.
  8. To assemble the cake: After the cake has cooled, place the first layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread on about 1/3 of the frosting. Place the second cake on top and cover with the remaining frosting.
  9. To store the cake: Cover with plastic wrap. The cake will keep well for 2 days out of the fridge and 5 days in the fridge.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Orangeberry Smoothie + Florida OJ Tailgate Party

Orangeberry Smoothie via @runwaychef #breakfast #healthy #fruit I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Florida Department of Citrus. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Growing up, I’d watch everyone in my family start their morning with a glass of orange juice. At the time, pulp wasn’t quite my thing, so my Mom would sneak my OJ (always 100% Florida) to me in the form of a fruit smoothie, and boy am I glad she did. Do you know how much vitamin C is in just one 8-ounce glass of 100% Florida Orange Juice? Let me tell you…it’s a lot, as in ‘more than 100% of your daily value’ a lot. It also counts as one serving of fruit, serves as a good source of folate, thiamin and potassium, and is free of sodium, cholesterol, fat, and, something that is hard to find in most juices today, it is free of added sugar. Obviously I wisened up and now drink loads of OJ (pulp, no pulp, I’ll drink it all), but I still love adding it to my morning smoothies, and even more so, I love cooking with it (one of my favorite things to do is add it it to pork chops with apples and onions). The Florida Department of Citrus is working to help people (like my 5-year-old pulp hating self) to understand just how wonderful, healthy, delicious, and versatile Florida OJ is and I’ve teamed up with them to help them spread the message.

In honor of working with FDOC I wanted to share the recipe for their Orangeberry Smoothie, along with the healthy adjustments I make to it when I’m drinking it as my morning smoothie.

orange juice smoothie via @runwaychef

Orangeberry Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces Florida orange juice
  2. 1/4 cup fresh Florida strawberries, sliced (I also like using a mix of berries, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries)
  3. 1 frozen banana
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve.
Notes
  1. To make this a more decadent treat for dessert add a 1/2 cup of ice cream (or frozen non-dairy product for vegans) in place of the frozen banana, and also add in 1 cup of ice.
Adapted from Florida Orange Juice
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

OJ also makes a splash when added to sauces, salad dressings, and even soups. With tailgating season coming up, there will also be plenty of opportunities for you to sneak some healthy OJ into all those game time apps. And speaking of game time, Florida OJ is throwing a tailgating event in New York City on Tuesday, Aug. 19. Come check it out! Special guest and sports broadcaster Erin Andrews will stop by to share her top tailgating tips. You can find out all the deets and RSVP here. Not going to be in the area? Follow along on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I share live updates from the event with the hashtags #OJTailgate and #OJSelfie. Also make sure you’re following Florida Orange Juice on Twitter and Facebook for more event fun, OJ facts, and recipe ideas.

I’d love to know, what’s your favorite way to have orange juice?

Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef #vegetarian What I’m about to say is going to sound a little odd, especially since part of my job is writing recipes, buuuut……I almost never follow a recipe (don’t worry, I do test all the recipes that make it onto this blog). I have a folder full of recipes that rarely get touched, magazines that only get browsed through, and cookbooks that are used for decorative purposes. About 95% of what I cook, I just wing. I throw in a little of this, a little of that, and a pinch of this (I rarely measure things either) and it just works. This is how I’ve cooked most of my life as has my Mom. I do get inspiration from magazines and cookbooks, but the recipes that inspire me are ones that I usually follow more as guidelines than as an actual recipe. Obviously, then, for me to say I found a recipe that I like and follow almost to a ‘T’ is a big deal. Such is the case with this zucchini casserole recipe. My Mom found this recipe a while back and started making it all the time. When I moved out, it was one of the recipes I made sure to take with me. Mr. RC and I now have it on a pretty regular basis. It’s healthy and light enough for summer but comforting enough for cold winter days. And in case you’re worried about satisfying the carnivores in your life, you’ll be happy to know Mr. RC loves his meat but is constantly requesting this dish. Whether you follow recipes or you don’t, this is one I highly suggest you add to your arsenal.

Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef

Zucchini Casserole
Serves 6
A tangy and nutty casserole that is both healthy and light while also being the perfect comfort food
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup bulgur (I've also use quinoa and brown rice)
  2. 3/4 cup boiling water
  3. 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cups sliced onions (about 1 1/2-2 medium-sized onions)
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  6. 6 cups thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash (about 3 small or 2 medium/large zucchini)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  9. A dash of black pepper
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1 cup feta cheese crumbles (5 ounces)
  12. 1 cup cottage cheese
  13. 1/4-3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (depending on tastes preferences)
  14. 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  15. 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  16. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  17. 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (or a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced)
  18. 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl place the bulgur and the boiling water. Stir and set aside until the water has been absorbed.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are just translucent. Add the zucchini, dried herbs, and black pepper and continue to sauté on medium to low heat until the zucchini is tender. I sometimes cover the pan with a lead to help the veggies cooke faster.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in the cottage cheese and feta cheese.
  4. To the bulgur, add the tomato paste, soy sauce and parsley and stir until combined.
  5. To assemble the casserole, grease a 9x9" pan. Then layer the bulgur mixture on the bottome, the sautéed vegetables in the middle, and finish with the feta mixture. Top with the cheddar and the tomatoes.
  6. Cover with foil then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I usually take the foil off after about 30 minutes so that the top gets crustier.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes for easier serving. Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. This pairs nicely with a tossed salad, some crusty bread and a nice glass of red wine.
  2. To bake this in a 9x13" pan, I only double the bulgur mixture.
Adapted from New Recipes from Mossewood Restaurant
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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An Italian in Mexico Cocktail

An Italian in Mexico- a San Pellegrino Cocktail by @runwaychef Today is your lucky day! Why you ask? Well, for starters, it’s Friday, and who isn’t excited about that? Secondly, you’re getting a double dose of me today, because two posts is always better than one. Third, and most importantly, I made you a cocktail recipe, and well, there’s pretty much nothing better than a cocktail on a Friday, am I right or am I right? The best part is that this cocktail was an “off the menu” inspired concoction based on my “off the menu” experience at last week’s S.Pellegrino event. I’ll be sharing all the pictures and details (including how you can win a “Live Off the Menu” experience) from the event in today’s 2nd post (update: now live here). In the mean time, I suggest you mix up one of these refreshing cocktails…..and then mix up another one to drink while you read my second post. Don’t worry….I won’t tell anyone you’re drinking before noon!

P.S. Mr. RC, aka cocktail mixer extraordinaire, gets the credit for concocting this San Pellegrino cocktail along with its clever name!

An Italian in Mexico- a San Pellegrino Cocktail by @runwaychef San Pellegrino Blood Orange An Italian in Mexico- a San Pellegrino Cocktail by @runwaychef

An Italian in Mexico
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ounces of tequila
  2. 1 ounce of Triple-Sec
  3. 1/2 a can of San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa (Blood Orange)
  4. 1 orange peel, twisted
  5. Smoked paprika, cinnamon & chili powder ( about 1/2 tsp. of each; for glass rims)
Instructions
  1. Pour the tequila and Triple-Sec into a shaker of ice and chill for about 5 minutes.
  2. Garnish the rim of a serving glass with the paprika, cinnamon and chili powder mixture.
  3. Pour chilled liquor into the glass. Then top off with the San Pellegrino fruit beverage. Garnish with a twist of orange peel and serve.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/