blue cheese & olive pasta salad

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

(I’m bringing back an old favorite today, for new and necessary pictures and fresh words.)

If I can be really honest with you all (my closest internet friends that is) I’ve been having a hard time being so far away from our family and friends. After a super fast, unexpected trip to Wisconsin, having some of our best friends in town and spending a quick weekend in Florida with Richie’s family, I was missing everyone.

EVERYONE! Even though I’m pretty laid back, I was dramatically asking why we live in California, why we moved away, why I can’t see everyone as much as I like and every other dramatic question I could think of. Apparently even I, have my moments more often than I’d like to admit. I was, in a word, homesick.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

And this salad brings me a little closer to home. It’s one of my mom’s standard pasta salads and like I mentioned in the original post, she is the queen b. when it comes to pasta salads. Even the words “pasta salad” remind me of summers in Wisconsin, al fresco dinners (in the screened-in porch, because … mosquitos) consisting of chilled pasta salads and fresh produce.

Summers and a life when my hair turned a greenish hue from spending most of the day at the pool, biking home only for lunch. Summers and a life in Minneapolis that was packed with warm-weather rejoicing and grilling out with friends any time we could. Summers and a life in Los Angeles that’s different, but still so full and delightful.

Sometimes you just need to sulk a little bit…but homesick or not, I’ll never sulk about food and definitely not this pasta salad.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

It’s the ideal side for your grilled main courses of the summer season. It’s got bites of chewy pasta, salty olives and blue cheese, sweet, green grapes and flavorful green onions. It’s really simple, but also complex when bites include a taste of every flavor.

The dressing is also simple: just some mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt & pepper.

Simple, delicious, satisfying. Food like this is what I love about cooking.

And family + friends are what I love about this life!

nutrition facts: 333 calories, 15 grams of fat, 39 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 10 grams protein

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: entree salad side high protein sugar-free vegetarian cheese pasta spring summer

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 8 oz fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onion (about 4-5 onions)
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or any blue cheese), crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced green grapes
  • 6 oz can of black olives, drained and sliced in half

Instructions

Prepare pasta as directed.

Set aside.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper until smooth.

Prep remaining ingredients: chop green onion, crumble blue cheese, slice grapes and olives.

Toss all ingredients together until combined.

Chill for a few hours before serving.

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roasted red pepper & feta dip

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Dip | A Nutritionist Eats

One of the unfortunate side effects of being a “food blogger” is that I rarely make the same recipes over and over again. Even if there are recipes that I love, I’m on a constant quest to try new foods and recipes, and test recipes of my own before they show up here.

So I’m making a conscious effort to go back through some of these favorite recipes. It’s been way too long since many of them have touched our plates.

Even though this very recipe was one of the first on this site (though I think it’s better written this time!) I don’t remember the last time I made it. Which is ridiculous because I LOVED this dip. It was one of my standard appetizers that I made on a regular basis when I was getting into cooking. And it’s wonderful.

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip | A Nutritionist Eats

Feta cheese is combined with cream cheese and roasted red peppers. It’s ridiculously simple but so tasty. Aren’t the best things in life?

You can serve it with pita crackers (or any crackers really), in sandwiches or wraps. If you are anything like me, you’ll  want to eat it on everything! I also like to serve it with a few kalamata olives on the side…because I love them and they obviously go great with feta cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip | A Nutritionist Eats

I hope you love this dip as much as I do!

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients (about 2 cups)

  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 8 oz block of feta cheese
  • 8 oz roasted red peppers (dry weight)
  • optional: kalamata olives

Instructions

In a processor, pulse together cream cheese and feta cheese.

Add red peppers to food processor and pulse until combined.

(I prefer mine a little chunky!)

Top with kalmata olives if desired. Serve with pita bread or crackers.

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simple & sophisticated appetizers

Appetizers are, by far, my favorite thing in the world.

If I invite you over? We’re having lots of appetizers. (I think I’ve only hosted two actual sit-down dinners).

If I offer to bring something over to you? It’s always appetizers.

When I eat out, I always choose appetizers over dessert. And often, I order a bunch of appetizers instead of an entree.

So, you get the point, right? I. love. appetizers.

And this time of year, it seems there’s endless opportunities for appetizers.  Whooooowooo!

But as much as I love spending time in the kitchen, it’s important to have an arsenal of recipes that can be made ahead of time, don’t require cooking and can sit out at room temperature. These are some of my favorites!

 simple & sophisticated appetizers | a nutritionist eats

Links: prosciutto wrapped figs | wine bar nut mix | warm olives with rosemary, garlic & lemon |beet-pickled deviled eggs | smoked salmon with potato chips and lemon crème fraîche | parmesan shards (cut chunks of high-quality parmesan)

What are you making this holiday season? 

daily eats: 11.11.13

Hello, hello! How is everyone? In shock that its mid-November like me? Good because I’m in major denial. I’m back for a daily eats post, not with any theme…just a healthy day of food. :)

coffee: totally deserves its own food group, no? I had mine with 1/2 & 1/2. I tried to switch back to coconut creamer (to reduce the dairy in my life) but I just can’t. Coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures and I love it so much more with 1/2 & 1/2. So that’s what I drink it with.

Today I got up early (well, the same time I would get up to go to the gym) and instead of working out, I got ready and went to Starbucks instead. It saves me time on the commute and gives me an opportunity to write, work on the blog and create other content, it’s such a nice way to start the day.

breakfast: protein pancakes + maple syrup + creamy nutzo. This was the first time trying the banana hazelnut flavor of flapjacked protein pancakes – SO good.

lunch: chicken shawarma + greek salad (lettuce + cucumber + tomato +  feta + olives + olive oil + red wine vinegar + oregano). The shawarma recipe, though slightly involved, didn’t take too much time and was delicious. I would recommend it!

Normally I get really snacky in the afternoon, but I spent the afternoon at the doctors office so I wasn’t able to think too much about food. I did however have a smoothie prepared and ready to go. :)

snack: smoothie (vanilla tera’s whey + 1/2 banana + 1 cup frozen berries + 1 cup almond coconut milk) 

workout: now that I’m no longer training for my half marathon, I’ve pretty much stopped running. I think I’ll get back into it, but I’ve been looking forward to mixing it up again. I was still sore from two rounds of the 7-Minute Workout on Saturday (a good indication I need more lunges, squats and triceps dips in my life) so I kept it easy with 25 minutes elliptical + 25 minutes incline walking on the treadmill.

dinner: per usual, I changed our dinner schedule this week. It never fails! Steak + veggies was on the menu, but we ended up with Chipotle. I had a chicken salad + fajita veggies + salsa + greek yogurt (for sour cream) with some chips + guacamole.

dessert: two dark chocolate peanut butter cups

approximate nutrition stats: 1,750 calories, 82 grams fat (41%), 135 grams carbohydrates (30%), 28 grams fiber, 70 grams sugar, 130 grams protein (29%)

Thinking about those in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan – the destruction is heartwrenching. Give something if you can, they need it.