The Recipes

Lighten it up!

After a few days of heavy eating, I wanted a light meal to balance out all of that braised meat and cheese.  And, my tired lil' body can use a break from some of the more lengthy cooking processes.  Note to self:  Just because I'm not tackling a big, bold meal doesn't mean I can't enjoy a simply prepared, delicious and economical dish.  It also is a great antipasti for a heartier meal; I just needed a light night of eating.

Grilled Vegetable Salad


- 5-6 asparagus spears
- 1/2 of a zucchini, sliced into half-moons
- 1 portabello mushroom cap, wiped clean
- 1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 T. dijon mustard
- 2 T. apple cider vinegar
- 4 T. extra virgin olive oil
- salt
- pepper
- fresh oregano, chopped for garnish

Preheat a grill pan.

Slice your veggies; drizzle the asparagus, mushrooms and zucchini in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Put the mushrooms on the grill pan first, followed by the asparagus, and lastly the zucchini.  Add each vegetable in 1-2 minute increments.  You are looking to get nice grill marks, but still have a bit of bite to the asparagus and zucchini.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the mustard, vinegar, a pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper.  Slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil.  Give it a quick taste to ensure it is to your liking; set aside.

Plate the grilled veggies, sprinkling the raw, sliced fennel over the top.  Drizzle the vinaigrette around the plate and garnish with chopped fresh oregano.  Any other herb of your choosing will work just as well, especially if you are pairing the vegetable salad with a heartier protein.

*Forgive the terrible picture!  I'm learning more from a fantastic friend and professional photographer about how to use my point-and-shoot camera to better capture my food; you should check out his work:

Don't expect much from me, but I'm trying to follow his great advice.