Shredded Carrot Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Shredded Carrot Salad

Happy 2015!  I took a few weeks off of blogging – spent time with family and friends, enjoyed the holidays, read a few cookbooks, relaxed a lot – and now I’m back in the game with this super simple and majorly delicious carrot salad!  I’m tempted to say this is for a New Year’s healthy eating resolution, but it’s not.  It just happens to be a healthy salad that came about from me getting a new vegetable peeler that I’m in love with.  It’s got a super sharp blade, is light and easy to hold and really fun to use…plus it’s very inexpensive!  I did make one resolution this year, though, and that was to give more high fives.  Yeah!

Tomato Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

Tomato & Avocado Salad

While strolling through the farmers market I spotted this mix of heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes.  The farmer was describing them to another customer so I stopped to listen along.  He said the tiny yellow ones — yellow currant tomatoes — were nearly as sweet as grapes and offered them up for us to taste.  I happily obliged.  He was not kidding; they’re super sweet and delightfully juicy…and so darn cute!

This simple salad highlights the incredible flavor of these gorgeous tomatoes.  With just a few other salad ingredients (avocados, onions, crumbly cheese, and herbs) along with a spicy limey vinaigrette, this quick and easy salad makes for a delicious, healthy, and colorful summertime side dish.  Or, add it to any taco, sandwich or pita pocket for a complete meal.  A veggie rainbow of flavor!

Golden Beet Soup with Cumin and Lime Sour Cream

Golden Beet Soup with cumin and lime sour cream

This is sunshine soup.  It’s the the kind of soup that will cheer you up in the dead of winter.  In fact, just peeling and dicing the beets, exposing their brilliantly yellow flesh, put a great big smile on a my face.  There’s just something about that color – sunny, warm, cheerful – that will wash away all the gray, stuck-indoors feelings of a frigid January.  Smokey cumin and spicy red pepper flakes evoke the cradling heat of a dry Mexican desert while a burst of lime leaves you resting on the white beaches of a tropical getaway.  Daydream.  Forget about winter for just a moment and brighten your day with this sunshine soup!

golden beets

Preserving Citrus

I love citrus.  I use it in sweet dishes, savory dishes, condiments, sauces, salts, sugars, salsas, dressings, and of course beverages.  Rarely do I make a cocktail without the addition of either lemon or lime…booze usually needs that little bit of zesty tartness to round out the “burn” of the alcohol and to mellow whatever sweetness was added, usually in the form of simple syrup, honey or straight up sugar.