a balanced plate with room for dessert


Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

It was Blogger’s Choice for today’s recipe swap. I was assigned to Amy’s Kitchen Creations. I saw the chicken pot pies and had my heart set on making them. Then, time got away from me and I realized that there was no way I would ever have the time to prepare that dish in time for the swap reveal!

Thank goodness she has so many recipes to choose from! I came upon the corn, avocado, and tomato salad and knew that it would be perfect. I had a ton of corn to use up from the CSA and we had a bunch of ripe cherry tomatoes that were begging to be used in our garden!

I loved how easy this was to make! I ended up doubling the recipe because I had so much corn to use up. Now, I have a bunch of delicious leftovers to get me through the next few days 🙂

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
slightly adapted from Amy’s Kitchen Creations

11 ears corn, cooked and kernels cut off
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup red onion, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, zested
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Combine the corn, tomatoes, avocado, and onion in a large glass bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss gently to combine.



Pad Thai

It’s just like take-out. But better. I seriously can’t get enough of this stuff. I never bothered making it at home because I thought Mike hated it. Boy, was I wrong. I’m not sure why I ever thought that, but I tentatively brought up making Pad Thai for dinner and he enthusiastically agreed to it. I was thrilled. And disappointed that I hadn’t brought this up sooner. Like, 4 years sooner.

I purchased a large portion of these ingredients at the local Asian grocery store. I was able to find the tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, fish sauce, rice stick noodles, cilantro and mung bean sprouts there. I love the Asian grocery store because everything is so dang cheap. I can buy bean sprouts at the normal store for $2 or pay $1 at the Asian store for 3 times as much.

I opted to use shrimp for this, but I think I’m going to try chicken or tofu next time. Feel free to use whatever protein you want!!

The best part (other than the leftovers, that is)… I was able to cross of the first dish on my 11 for ’11 list!!

Pad Thai
serves 4

For the sauce:
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup tamarind juice concentrate
4 cloves garlic, minced

For the noodles:
14 ounces dried rice stick noodles
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups shrimp
2 eggs
2 cups carrots, match stick
1 cup green onion cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup cilantro, optional
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges, optional

  1. Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar if you would like. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Boil noodles 5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and immediately run around cold water. Cut noodles in half with scissors.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoons oil in wok or large pan and cook shrimp. Remove to small bowl.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil to pan and scramble eggs. Remove to small bowl.
  5. Heat remaining  oil and add garlic and onion to pan. Stir fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add noodles and cook for an additional minute. Add 5 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce, stirring mixture until noodles are well coated.
  6. Add shrimp to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add egg and 3/4 of the following: carrots, green onion, and sprouts to pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Taste noodles and add more sauce, if desired. Cook until all additional sauce has been absorbed.
  8. Remove from heat and plate. Garnish with remaining carrots, green onion, and sprouts. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and garnish with lime wedge and cilantro, if desired.
Recipe adapted from savory sweet life.



Avocados were on sale at the grocery store and I just couldn’t pass up the chance to make some guacamole. We devoured the entire thing in about 3 days using Manny’s Tortilla Strips (the absolute best) as the mode of transportation to get from the bowl to our mouths. Soooooo good! Maybe next time I’ll actually get around to making some Mexican food to go with it.


Best Guacamole

4 avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4  pinch ground cayenne pepper

  1. In a medium bowl, mash together avocadoes, lime juice and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic and cayenne. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.


Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta

This pasta is hands down the best pasta I have ever had. It’s cheap, easy, and delicious. What more could a girl ask for? I need to find a place to buy sun-dried tomatoes in bulk so I can make this dish more often.

Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta

Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta

1 16-ounce package spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, sliced into rings
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, softened and chopped
1 8-ounce package feta cheese, crumbled (the tomato basil feta was exceptionally good!)
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot according to directions. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Saute garlic, onions and sun-dried tomatoes until the onions are translucent. Mix into the spaghetti and stir in feta, Parmesan and cilantro. Serve immediately.

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Cilantro Dip

I had a bunch of cilantro left over after making the quinoa last night, so I made this dip. It’s really refreshing and super tasty. That’s saying a lot since I’m not the biggest fan of cilantro!I served this with tortilla chips, but you can try it with whatever you see fit.

Cilantro dip

Cilantro Dip

1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 package neufchatel cheese (1/3 fat cream cheese) or regular cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 7 oz can of salsa verde

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.