Monday, September 20, 2010

Late Summer Eats: Salads and Simple Burgers

Head over to Foodbuzz and check out Project Food Blog! Several of my blogger friends are in the running, so go check 'em out and cast your vote. Thanks also to Maren for her shoutout today - those pancakes look awesome :)

Don't forget to check out the tail end of Tina's 30DSLR. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts and comments over the month. Without going into details, 30DSLR and other things lately have really provoked me (in a good way!) to take a good look at the way I'm seeing myself and everything else right now. Thanks for the perspective check :) We have to love ourselves first before anyone else will (or can!). Life's too short to make a big deal out of everything.

However, I will make a big deal out of the fact that yours truly is now a proud and honored Featured Publisher on Foodbuzz. I'm psyched to be part of an awesome blogger community and look forward to meeting and following more of you bloggies out there!

Okay, on to the real blog post now...

Sadly, summer has come to an end. Fortunately, the weather here in SoCal is nicer than it's been all year :) I love the change of seasons but when it's almost October and I wear shorts and flip flops every day, I'm a happy girl. See happy face below.


I love summertime food, especially all the fabulous fresh produce (especially when it's on sale!). I've taken advantage of it this year and cooked up some tasty recipes, which you'll find in a bit.

I recently finished my Master of Divinity degree at Boston University School of Theology. I transferred there my second year of seminary from Candler School of Theology at Emory in Atlanta, and couldn't have been happier with my choice (although I missed - and still do miss - my ATL peeps!). Something I loved about STH was the fact that it was part of a larger university and I felt much more connected to the university community and the city of Boston in general, than had I gone to a smaller school. There are so many diverse departments and programs BU offers, one of them being its Fitness and Nutrition Center (part of Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences). They offer free nutrition counseling for students (which I took advantage of and HIGHLY recommend if you can get it anywhere), offer a plethora of healthy dining options (Sargent Choice) on campus, and have a great website with dozens of delicious recipes. The one I chose to make most recently was their SALAD. I substituted dried herbs for the fresh herbs, and nixed the onions (since we didn't have any), and it turned out great.

Summer Tomato, Zucchini and Red Onion Salad - Boston University Sargent Choice
Serves 4

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 large red tomatoes
  • 1/4 large red onion
  • 5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • Slice zucchini, tomatoes, and onion into thin half-rounds.
  • Combine vegetables in large bowl.
  • Finely chop herbs.
  • Combine chopped herbs, vinegar and oil in another bowl. Mix well. Immediately pour mixture over vegetables and toss well.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy the next day!

The salad was light, yet satisfying, and couldn't be simpler to make. It's great paired with a heavier main course, like the burgers below!

Thanks, Real Simple, for keeping these burgers real simple to make. Seriously - all you need is ground beef and salt and pepper.

Just form the patties, and season with freshly-cracked sea salt and pepper:

Waiting for the grill:

And wedged taters combined in EVOO and dried rosemary to bake in the oven:
(Shameless plug: I lurrrve my Le Creuset grill pan!) Anyway...cook these babies for 4-5 minutes per side:

Flip once, and as my dad likes to say, wa-LA! (a.k.a. voila for all you Francophones out there ;) ).
I used 93% lean beef to cut down on the fat and they were delicious. I have to admit I had never cooked burgers before these, and I was really happy with how they turned out. It just goes to show that you don't need a lot of fancy ingredients or intensive preparation to make a delicious, healthy meal.

I enjoyed my burger on a bed of fresh spinach, and topped it with tomato slices, guacamole, ketchup and mustard. Yum! We also enjoyed roasted potato wedges and dill pickles on the side. Aaand of course our good friend Charles Shaw poured us a few glasses of Merlot with dinner. Who needs fast food when you can make something cheaper, healthier and tastier at home? Certainly not moi!

Unless, of course, we're talking In-N-Out...I'll be back in a few while I go get some :)

Other yummy eats as of late:

Using leftover burgers to make spicy beef and bean chili. I also added chopped jalapeños to Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (LOVE how easy that stuff is to make) for some tasty cornbread muffins (they ran away from the camera, but send their love from the depths of my tummy).

Spinach salad topped with tuna salad (made with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo), sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled feta and Trader Joe's Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette:

And last but not least, spinach salad topped with fresh sliced strawberries, chopped deli ham and balsamic.

Mmm...I love spinach :) Have a great week!


  1. Looks's still summer weather in Teas as well. So wish we had TJs here in Texas...I have to make do with stopping in when we're someplace where there's a TJs. I had about 15 minutes to run into one in Chicago our last day in town this past July!

  2. I love those kind of meals, looks fantastic! I think I will make that salad tonight....burger sounds good too!

  3. That salad looks delish, maybe Ill make it and put it on the burger. I'm famous for constructing burgers that are inedible without a fork. We have the same weather here in Monterey, just like 20 degrees colder so it looks like summer but you must wear a sweater... boo!


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