Strawberry, Arugula, and Feta Salad

Strawberry Arugula Feta Spring Salad

Are you someone that automatically spends your time contemplating the past? Or do you tend to look forward, with the future always on your mind? I have always been someone that thinks more about the past--rolling over what has happened rather than leaving it behind and focusing on what hasn't happened yet.

Strawberry Arugula Feta Spring Salad

That's why my first thought, when making this salad, is to tell you about the strawberry patch that grew in the backyard of our second house, the one I grew up in. The way the strawberry plants created a web through out the whole garden, so that occasionally, you'd find a strawberry growing amongst the peonies. The proper strawberry patch was on the other side of the yard but it didn't matter how hard we tried--they'd always pop up elsewhere, even sneaking under the fence as if to escape the yard. But it feels wrong to talk so much about this past in a post about this salad, a salad so fresh and full of signs of new growth that it's begging for the future before it gets here. 

Strawberry Arugula Feta Spring Salad

I once had a boss whose entire front yard was a strawberry patch -- she forwent the idea of grass all together and simply let the strawberries take over. I remember thinking, That's genius; I am going to do that. Sometimes I still wonder what it looks like in the winter, or if all of the rabbits in the neighborhood flock to her yard. Imagine what fun it would be to walk out, and just be surrounded by fields and field of strawberries! For whatever reason that little moment in the future is one I can think about, even when the rest of my thoughts are occupied with yesterday. 

And you? Do you naturally think more about the past or the future? 

Strawberry Arugula Feta Spring Salad

Strawberry, Arugula & Feta Salad

Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

With baby arugula, tiny sprouts, and the first pick of strawberries, this salad is perfect for spring.

Serves: 6   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 ounces clover and/or broccoli sprouts
  • 8 ounces strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 1 cup feta crumbles

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onion, sautéd until translucent OR 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Toss the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.
  2. In a small jar, shake together the ingredients for the dressing. Drizzle dressing over salad to taste, then toss again. Serve!

Pork Chops with Cherry Wine Reduction

Pork Chops Cherry Wine Reduction Sauce Paleo

I always get a little antsy when it comes to waiting for things to come into season. Case in point: this recipe that boldly features cherries. And cherries are coming! They are. But right now it's May and cherry are still weeks away. 

That's the trouble with cherries--you spend so much time anticipating them, and when they finally come it's nearly impossible to make up for the rest of the year. You can eat them every day for a week straight but you still won't be sick of them. That's what waiting does -- it makes things even better than they are. 

Pork Chops Cherry Wine Reduction Sauce Paleo

But since we won't be dining on bags of cherry for months still, I made this cherry wine sauce, which used cherry preserves rather than fresh cherries and comes out of the pot sweet and tart and savory,  making you want to lick the spoon and the pot and everything else. What can I say? I'm impatient. 

Pork Chops Cherry Wine Reduction Sauce Paleo

Impatience doesn't always work out for the best, but this time it did. You know those cherries they put out at the store, loooong before cherry season begins? They're not really sweet, not quite a deep red, and not quite ripe yet? Don't buy those. You will be sad. Those no-yet cherries will spoil your appetite for cherry season early. But this sauce--oh, this sauce- it's just the beginning, and will have you licking your plate in glee. 

Serve it over seared pork chops, cauliflower mashers, a bed of spring arugula. Add a side of sautéed mushrooms. Dinner: 🙌

Pork Chops Cherry Wine Reduction Sauce Paleo

Pork Chops with Cherry Wine Sauce

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

This sauce is perfect for when you’re ready for summer before it’s summer.

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops, thin cut
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil OR 2 pats butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cherry jam (I choose one that is 100% fruit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fruity red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Optional: rosemary for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat 1 teaspoon or coconut oil (or half the butter) over medium heat until melted. Add the minced shallots and garlic, and sprinkle with the salt. Sauté until the shallots are transparent.
  2. Add the wine and honey and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the jam and the pepper until the jam is dissolved. Simmer for 10 more minutes until sauce has thickened. Sauce will coat a spoon once thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside while you cook the pork chops: heat the remaining coconut oil/butter in a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat and swirl pan to coat in the oil. Pat the chops dry with a towel, and then place in pan. Sear on first side for 3 minutes (cook time is for thin-cut pork chops with no bone — extend this by a few minutes for thick-cut or bone-in chops) and then flip and cook on the second side for 3 more minutes, or until the meat is cooker through and no longer pink in the middle (check with a knife).
  5. Serve pork chops hot and spoon cherry wine sauce over each chop. Optional: garnish with rosemary.

Citrus & Honey Braised Rhubarb (Paleo)

Braised Rhubarb Paleo

It has been a cold and grey spring, delivered with a dosed of rain and sleet and snow. This weather makes time for all sorts of time consuming activities. Board games. Turning the oven on for extended period of time. Brushing up on your old sketching habit. Curling up on the couch and watching the entire first season of Outlander

Braised Rhubarb Paleo Compote

The grey chill has made me hungry for sun and time outside, even though I admit that sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to curl up on the couch and stay in. 

On sunny days, I lap up the heat and the rays almost as eagerly as I lapped up this rhubarb compote. This compote though, doesn't care how many clouds there are in the sky: its flavors are bright and light. It's blooming with flavor in a way that's akin to the flowers blooming outside.

This, my friends, is the spring dessert. Spoon it over vanilla ice cream while it's still warm. Pile it over yogurt the next morning. Top it with toasted almonds and eat it straight. Swirl it into tapioca pudding (recipe coming soon!). You really can't go wrong.  

Braised Rhubarb Paleo Compote
Braised Rhubarb Paleo Compote

Citrus & Honey Braised Rhubarb

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Orange juice brightens the flavor of the rhubarb in this dish. Honey is used to bring sweetness, which is needed to counteract how tart rhubarb juice is naturally.

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound rhubarb (about 3 large stalks)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
  3. In a glass baking dish, toss the rhubarb in the honey, orange juice, salt, vanilla, and ginger until everything is well coated and combined. Then spread into an even layer.
  4. Place in preheated oven and bake 18-20 minutes, until rhubarb is quite softened. Remove from oven, and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve in small bowls, or with vanilla ice cream, yogurt, or pudding.