When it's too hot to cook cozy food, start the season with autumn-inspired salads!
Down here in Southern CA we’re sweltering under the heat dome. Cozy autumn recipes aren’t even remotely on the radar yet.
Sadly, for sweater/jeans/apple/pumpkin-spice/hot-coffee/fall-color loving people like myself, autumn doesn’t even exist in LA. We go straight from heat dome to winter.
“Winter” is 70 degrees and lovely, but still, it’s a long, hot slog to get there.
So what am I eating? Salads! With autumnal flavors.
All of these salads go well with chicken to make a full meal. Roasted or Rotissiere chicken, grilled chicken or store-bought cooked chicken breast strips are all good options.
Kale Apple Slaw with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
This lemon poppy dressing has just a hint of sweetness and can be used on any type of slaw. What I love about this kale slaw, though, is that it lasts for days in the fridge. Kale is so hearty, it’s a perfect green for make-ahead meals and lunches. Sliced apples and pecans add autumn flavor.
*Bonus! This recipe includes an easy way to prevent sliced apples from turning brown.
Kale Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
Another kale salad, but this time with a creamy poppy seed dressing made from Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, shallot and poppyseeds. The flavors are a perfect balance of creamy, savory, sweet and tangy. You can add any combination of nuts and dried fruit.
Black Lentil Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Maple Dijon Dressing
This black lentil salad with sweet potatoes can be a main course salad. It’s colorful, hearty and keeps well for several days. If you have little ones, consider roasting extra sweet potatoes for their meal. Also, if you don’t feel like making this whole salad you should just make the maple-dijon dressing. It will bring fall flavor to any salad you throw together!
Dinner Last Week
I’m always curious about what other families are eating. Aren’t you? Here’s what my crew ate last week.
Monday: Chicken schnitzel, coleslaw and roasted potatoes. We always make enough schnitzel for chicken sandwiches the next day. Chicken schnitzel is usually a “Dad dinner” at our house, but he had to work late so I took over. Buying thin chicken breast cutlets makes this meal easier.
Tuesday: I tried a new baked tofu recipes but it was bland. Anyone have a good baked tofu recipe? Served it with white rice, quinoa (for me), plus grated carrot, shredded cabbage and scrambled egg to make tofu bowls, plus frozen potstickers.
Wednesday: I had half a box of pasta shells, half a jar of marinara sauce and half a bag of shredded pizza cheese, so I boiled the pasta then baked it all together for 25 minutes in an 8x8 pan. I combined a can of drained garbanzo beans and leftover cherry tomatoes in another baking pan with garlic and olive oil for a side dish. Served both with a green salad.
Friday: My baby turned 8 (sniff!) and she wanted to celebrate with sushi. We often make simple sushi rolls at home using toasted nori, white rice, lox, avocado and cucumber. Even easier are salmon sushi rice bowls for kids.
Share Your Favorite Muffins and Muffin Recipes ( I need suggestions!)
This school year, my kids are into muffins. Or as I like to call them, “cupcakes without frosting.” They’ve never really been into muffins before, so I don’t have many muffin recipes. The internet has endless muffin recipes but it’s hard to know what’s good.
I’ve been buying mini chocolate chip muffins from the grocery store, which they love (of course) and are easy to pack in their lunchboxes. But I’d like to start making muffins at home. Any suggestions?
What are your favorite types of muffins, or your favorite muffin recipes?
Why I Enjoy Substack More Than Social Media
Lately, I’ve almost entirely quite scrolling through social media sites and instead I read Substack newsletters. I love that I can curate my own list of newsletters on topics I’m interested in. I love that the newsletter writers aren’t focused on looking fabulous or promoting themselves or trying to get more “likes” than the next person. They’re genuinely interested in sharing information and stories, and building a friendly and supportive community of readers.
I subscribe to quite a few Substack newsletters and I read them all on my phone using the Substack app. I’m much more likely to read the newsletters on my phone, usually while my kids are at sports practice or I’m waiting in the carpool line. When newsletters go to my email inbox, they often get lost forever.
The Substack app is available only for iOS devices at this time; Substack for Android will be coming soon. Just open the App Store and search for "Substack Reader. Find out more by reading Substack App FAQs, which includes instructions for turning off email newsletters so you can just read on the app.
You can see some of the newsletters that I’ve been reading lately on my recommendations page.
That’s it for this week! Hope you have a relaxing and not-too-hot weekend.