Not-your-average Spinach Strawberry Salad

Fruit in salad instantly elevates the salad. I wanted to uplevel the traditional spinach/strawberry/poppy seed salad by adding some cute tiny bowtie pasta and avocado. I used this balsamic fig dressing from Trader Joe’s but think shaking up some fig jam with some balsamic vinegar together in a jar would do the same thing!

The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad

Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1 1/2 cups mini bow tie pasta
2 cups baby spinach
4-6 strawberries
1/2 avocado
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons fig balsamic dressing (or 1 tbs fig jam and 1 tbs balsamic whisked together)

Directions:

Boil the pasta, cook, drain, and let cool.
Mix together the spinach, pasta, strawberries, avocado, pasta, and poppy seeds. Mix gently.
The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad
Add in the dressing and mix again.
The Three Bite Rule - Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad
This was a fun one! We thought red onion would have been tasty in here too. I allllmost swapped the poppy seeds for everything bagel seasoning but didn’t in the end. Some shredded chicken would add some protein to turn this into a substantial meal. Spinach is pretty delicate so keep the dressing separate until serving.

Farro & Arugula Salad with Blueberries & Watermelon

This salad lunch has all. the. things. After the buffalo chicken nachos, we were due for something healthier and summery, right? Balance is the name of the game.

It has a grain to be really filling and some greens for freshness and fruit for a pop of summer. I’m not enthused about meal-salads with just a bunch of greens. An hour later I’d be hungry.  I made a batch of farro to also use in a dinner and it could easily swap with brown rice, cracked wheat, lentils, quinoa, or whatever you like/have leftover! Swap the greens for your favorite too, the arugula just holds up so well.

This salad works great as a meal – mine was lunch, or it’d be a great side or even a snack for those times you’re starving and know you’d like to make a good choice.

The Three Bite Rule - Farro & Blueberry Salad

Farro & Arugula Salad with Summer Fruits

Ingredients: (for 1 meal or 2 sides)

3/4 cup prepared farro (or grain of your choosing)
1/2 cup blueberries
2 cups arugula (or greens of your choosing)
~2-3 slices of watermelon
2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing (I used my fav Italian Dressing)

Directions:

Chop the watermelon into bite size pieces and the arugula just once through.
The Three Bite Rule - Farro & Blueberry Salad
Mix the farro, arugula, blueberries, and dressing to coat, then lightly toss in the watermelon.
The Three Bite Rule - Farro & Blueberry Salad
Enjoy!

This has great balance. I used allllll the arugula I had or I would have loaded in more. This was so fresh and actually filling. With so few ingredients this one is a winner to me. I’d pack this for lunch at work, keeping the watermelon & dressing separate until actually eating.  I really wanted radishes in here but I didn’t find any at the grocery store and my farmer’s market is just opening. That super crunch would be great! I purposely went meatless but I can’t help but think grilled chicken would go well too!
The Three Bite Rule - Farro & Blueberry Salad

 

Broccoli & Cheddar Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Anything inside puff pastry is delicious (and easy) but broccoli and cheddar are such an ideal match. I roasted the broccoli for those delicious roasty bits with some gooey cheddar. Yum. These were some lunches for me and I think they’d be a good brunch addition or a heavy app.
The Three Bite Rule - Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels

Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels

Ingredients:

1 sheet of puff pastry (sold in a tube by crescent rolls or folded frozen by pie crust)
1 large broccoli head
~1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 teaspoon Mushroom Umami seasoning (optional)
Salt & pepper

Directions:

(Defrost the puff pastry if frozen, or open to get to room temperature if using refrigerated dough)
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Chop the broccoli into florets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for ~10-15 minutes- until a little brown and toasted and cooked through.
While the broccoli roasts, roll out the dough. Spread cream cheese onto the dough, sprinkle cheddar on top, and add broccoli. Sprinkle with umami seasoning (if using).
The Three Bite Rule - Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels
Roll up keeping the roll really compact.
The Three Bite Rule - Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels
Cut into 2 inch slices using a sharp or serrated knife to not squish the roll too much.
Place onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
The Three Bite Rule - Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or start with the timing and temperature on the package. Add more time if needed to cook to golden brown.
The Three Bite Rule - Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels

Enjoy!

I loved these. The roasty broccoli is perfect and gives a nuttiness. They puff a bit while baking but aren’t enormous. I packed 2 to be lunch at work with some salad. Do not pack if microwaving these beauties. That would destroy all the crunch and microwaved broccoli is not good. Broccoli and cheddar puff pastry pinwheels neeeed to be baked or toasted to warm up. These could easily be dinner alongside something else or these would be great as an appetizer too!
The Three Bite Rule - Broccoli & Cheddar Pinwheels

#Meatless Monday Recap #2

Back in January I instituted #MeatlessMondays into our weekly menu plan, though it isn’t always on Mondays. Since the last update, the name of the game is speed and ease. The little one is more into grains, veggies, pasta, and cheese than he is into meat at the moment so meatless is never a challenge for him.

Some of my favs have been the no-brainers, because that’s helpful for speed now that I’m verrrrry pregnant. I followed a few recipes that were great! I made a Roasted Veggie Lasagna from What’s Gaby Cooking with a cream sauce and I roasted butternut squash, zucchini, and grape tomatoes as the veggies.  Another recipe we loved was Peanut Rice Noodle Bowls with Curried Peanut Sauce from Eats Well With Others.

I made Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls with White Beans and it was so good!
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

We had a white french bread pizza and risotto and ravioli which are all fan favorites here.

This Tart with Potatoes, Gruyere, and Caramelized Onions was a hit for me, less so for everyone else.
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart
I put chopped veggie burgers into tacos with a little taco seasoning and voila, veggie & filling taco!

We had a few soups: Broccoli & Cheddar Soup  and grilled cheese with tomato soup.

One of the most fun meatless meals I made was waffle fry nachos with queso, avocado, shredded cheddar, peppers & onions, and salsa. So fun!

I’m fully willing to admit that my meatless meals are also serving us as the no-brainers I really appreciate to keep it easy. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and through my entire pregnancy I’m not “glowing” or whatever people say who enjoy this. I’m glad to get meals together quickly so we can all eat together, and keep it varied. They might not all be my most creative moments, but it is a good way to keep us varied.

Potatoes, Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Tart

Call it a galette and feel fancy or call it a tart and feel cute. Either way, this sucker was delicious. I used sweet potatoes, white potatoes, gruyere cheese, and caramelized onions tucked inside a not-fussy crust. This #MeatlessMonday plan was hatched when I was inspired after seeing some other posts around like a flaky crust when Eats Well With Others posted a galette with Asparagus & Gruyere  and I wanted all the cheese and potatoes when Bev Cooks posted these Cheesy Skillet Potatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart

We ate this on a drizzly night with a quick arugula salad. It absolutely hit the spot for me. The cheese is the perfect splurge and has perfect nutty meltyness for this. The rest of this is so super cheap so go for the good cheese! Shred it yourself, or slicing/dicing it is fine too!

Potato, Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Tart

Ingredients: (for 1 small tart, feeds ~3 for a meal, or ~6 for a side)

1 sheet pie crust (mine was a roll defrosted from the freezer)
1/2 – 1 small onion
1 sweet potato
1 white potato
~4 oz/1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (sometimes labeled Alpine style if not imported from Switzerland/France)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon each rosemary, thyme, garlic powder
salt & pepper

Directions:

Bring the pie crust to room temperature.
Slice the onion and add to a skillet over low heat with a drizzle of olive oil/butter. Stir regularly and cook for ~30 minutes until caramelized. (I did this the night before).
Peel the potatoes and cut in thirds. Boil for ~5-8 minutes, until the outsides are getting soft but not cooked all the way through. Then slice into thin disks. A mandolin made this faster (that was my tactic). Or, peel and slice into thin disks and roast in the oven for ~10-20 minutes at 350-degrees.
While the potatoes cook, shred the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart
Melt the butter and mix in the rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, and salt & pepper.
Spread out the pie crust onto a sheet of parchment paper, baking mat, or baking sheet well sprayed with non-stick spray.
Leaving 1-2 inches around the outside, layer half of the potato slices, half the cheese, and a quarter of the onions. Sprinkle cheese over and drizzle half the butter/herb mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart
Repeat for another layer reserving a few potato slices to be the very top.
Working around the tart, fold crust inward then turn and fold more crust inward and repeat all the way around.
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart
Bake 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. (I baked ~20 minutes when prepping in advance and baked another 10-15 before serving.)
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart
Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Potato Tart

I prepped this in advance, I know, story of my life. It comes together quickly but getting home on a weeknight with a toddler and two hungry dogs means dinner is really nice when mindless. I baked 20 minutes when I prepped it and another 15 to heat through before serving. I literally partially baked it and kept it on the parchment and covered it in the fridge for the day. Then I uncovered it and slid the parchment back onto a baking sheet that night.

Should we do a cost breakdown? Let’s! I haven’t in forever!

Cost Breakdown (for what was used)

Potato, Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Tart
1 frozen sheet pie crust = $1.59
onion = $0.89
white potato = $0.75
sweet potato = $1.10
Gruyere = $5.99 (used half) $2.99
= $7.32 or ~$2.44 for about 3 servings

Does that sell you on making this for dinner or your next gathering? It is so cheap!

Marsala Mushroom Toasts

I’m back! I had a few dishes I wanted to make and blog last week but I didn’t quite get to them. Now they’re all ready so buckle up! Today’s toasts were such a fantastic and balanced lunch and would also be great on little toasts for an appetizer.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushroom Toasts

Marsala Mushroom Toasts

Ingredients: (for 2)

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons marsala wine
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 slices of thickly sliced bread
1 cup greens, chopped (I used a spinach & kale “juicing blend”)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 teaspoons ricotta (or cream cheese)
salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat a pan to medium heat and melt the butter. Add in the mushrooms and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Stir to caramelize on each side for about 3 minutes. Add in the marsala and worcestershire sauce. Stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushroom Toasts
Toast the bread, ensuring it gets brown but soft enough to bite through. Bake in the oven if making a whole batch.
While the bread toasts, remove the mushrooms from the pan and use the same one for the greens. Saute the greens in a drizzle of oil for about 2-3 minutes with the garlic and some salt until just wilted then remove from the heat.
Spread the ricotta onto the toast, then add greens, then add mushrooms.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushroom Toasts
Finish with kosher salt, sea salt, or a drizzle of oil. I had truffle sea salt.
Enjoy!

The marsala flavor here was so great with garlicky greens, and creamy ricotta. I liiiiive for ricotta but if it isn’t your jam, go for cream cheese, or goat cheese, or whatever you like. Any kind of mushrooms would be great here. Marsala could get swapped with cooking sherry or a touch of balsamic vinegar- go for big flavor, the mushrooms will soak it up with the butter. Yum! I had this for lunch but would also go for a little more subtle flavors to be a fun savory breakfast too.

This was a great little lunch using a bunch of ingredients I already had around. The greens are a mix I use for smoothies. Once they’re on the verge of hanging out in the fridge too long I pop them into the freezer. Then I break them off in chunks. I found really awesome rosemary olive oil bread in the discount area so I knew it had to be toasts. Earlier I took the little one to the zoo and had a banana and cheese stick at our zoo picnic so when I got home I was ready for something more.

Pesto Flatbread in 15 minutes

I don’t know if there’s a legit definition or distinction between what constitutes a pizza versus a flatbread. To me, I use flatbread means fewer toppings, it might not have a sauce, or is on a puffy dough/crust. This flatbread has only a few ingredients and is on naan to be the crust. It also comes together in no time at all, but that’s just a bonus. Get ready, this recipe even will track the time for you!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Flatbread

Ingredients:
~1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
2 naan
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
3 tablespoons pesto

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
First 5 minutes: roast the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in the oven for 5 minutes. They should burst and be juicy.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Flatbread
Pop the naan into the oven for a few minutes too…maybe 3 minutes to warm through and begin to toast.
Take the naan out and spread with tomato sauce onto them, then top with shredded mozzarella and dollops of pesto.
Add the tomatoes on top. (you’re at about 7 minutes in at this point…we’re timing here!)
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Flatbread
Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese, warm the pesto, and ensure the naan has crisped a bit….this brings you to ~14/15 minutes!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Flatbread
Serve and enjoy!

I didn’t count your oven preheating time, but depending how crunchy you want the naan to be, or not to be, then there you have it, 15 minutes! Mine took longer for a few photo ops, and I’ll pop it into the toaster oven for lunch-time reheating, but it was a fantastic reminder how just a few ingredients can make really great food. I whipped 2 of these up to pack for lunch for work but I’d definitely eat them for dinner or as an app for a party!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Flatbread

If it isn’t snowing where you are (#overit) “roast” the tomatoes on the grill in a cast iron pan and grill these flatbreads! I had some jarred pesto, but I love this roasted kale pesto I’ve made before if you want to use that! Another alternative is to spread pesto all over instead of tomato sauce and just have tomatoes be the topping!

Caprese Sliders

These little veggie sliders are so fun for an app or as lunch. They’d be great for a vegetarian option to build-your-own-slider bar. I can see these going quickly a a party as a filling appetizer or on a lunch spread. Little sliders are perfect alongside a few soups!

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider
Swap the pesto for basil leaves, or mix the pesto with a touch of mayo for a lighter flavor. I love pesto all the time, so I went full out, on each side of the bread. The tomatoes could be roasted in advance to speed it up even further. I only made a few so I popped my tomatoes into the toaster oven and melted the mozzarella in there too.

Caprese Sliders (for 2 sliders)

Ingredients:

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 slider rolls, or dinner rolls
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 fresh mozzarella ball

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Add the tomatoes and vinegar to a baking dish with a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and roast for 5-10 minutes until they split.
Slice the mozzarella and slider rolls.
The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider

Spread the pesto onto the inside tops and bottoms of each rolls.
Spoon the tomatoes onto each roll and top with a slice of mozzarella onto each.
Bake for 5 minutes until melty.
The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider
Add the top roll and enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider

Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

I hadn’t anticipated what a hit these would be for the little one. He ate so much that he ate what would have been my leftovers for lunch the next day! The base is canned tomatoes, white beans, spinach, and basil topped with a polenta cake and melted cheese. It was an easy meal to prep in advance for a quick #meatlessmonday !
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
I liked the warm & comforting nature of this dinner, especially for a cold night. I imagine it would have reheated nicely, but some three-year-old I know ate about 4 servings-worth. Seriously, what am I going to do when he’s a teenager?

Ok, onto my soap box: go get some Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes. Not sponsored- they have no idea who I am. These are the best for pizza sauce and as an everyday tomato sauce. I looooove that there isn’t any sugar, check out your go-to tomato sauce. It likely has tons of sugar, and prob a surprising amount of sodium. Jazz it up however you like but I promise you’ll love it!

Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

Ingredients:

~2 cups Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes, or tomato sauce
1, 15 oz can of white beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups spinach, chopped
6-8 basil leaves, chopped chiffonade
1 cup instant polenta prepared, or 1- 18 oz tube sliced into disks
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
salt & pepper

Directions:

If using dry, instant polenta, prepare according to directions and pour into a baking dish. (I used instant and prepared it the morning before serving. I covered and refrigerated until dinner time.)
Add Kitchen Ready Tomatoes, white beans, chopped spinach, salt & pepper to a large pan over low heat. Cook for ~10 minutes to warm through, stirring occasionally. Add in basil at the end.
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
In a small skillet, pan fry disks of polenta in a drizzle of olive oil, just until crisped and warm. (I used instant polenta that I cut out with a biscuit cutter- or maybe it was a slider ring, who knows.)
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
Flip and top with shredded cheese. Pop under a broiler for just a minute to melt.
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
Serve polenta cake on top of the bean mixture. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

Guest Post: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

I’m so psyched to share this guest post with you today! I’d totally order this if I saw it on a menu too! This is such great timing because winter calls for flavor and decadence. These photos have me drooling. Sign me up. About the author: Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about food and drink for lazy chefs at The Online Grill. Here you go!

I’m an easy meal obsessive. Some people interpret that as ‘lazy’, and they might be right, but I prefer to say that I’m just more efficient. I like my recipes quick and simple, and today’s recipe is no exception.

Lately I’ve been going through a stage of trying to reimagine popular recipes for vegetarians. From breakfast egg pizzas to spicy quorn avocado wraps, I’ve been adamant to prove that meat-free options are in no way inferior to their non-vegetarian counterparts. Perhaps this recipe today is the best example of that: Portobello mushroom burgers.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

I tried these at a restaurant in London last week, and at the time the only reason I chose it is because it looked like the only thing on the menu that wouldn’t give me a heart attack. I was right, and having survived I knew that I wanted to recreate this recipe as soon as possible.

It’s been a week and I’ve already made it twice. I’m completely hooked. This recipe is my favourite thing to cook at the moment, and pretty soon it will be yours too.
So what makes this so good? Its beautiful blend of spice, herbs and honey makes it a tangy and sweet blend of pure awesomeness. Plus it packs in haloumi – my favourite meal cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys, so do please let me know what you think! I’d love to know if any of you have made any variations of it, and I’m keen to find out if any of you don’t like haloumi… because I don’t think that such a person exists.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Portobello & Haloumi Burgers

Serves 4

You will need…

1 large avocado
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms, stalks trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 thick slices of haloumi
4 burger buns, cut open
Wild rocket leaves, to serve
Mayonnaise, to serve

The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Let’s Make This Thing!

Heat up the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. While it’s heating up, mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork or (my personal favourite) a potato masher. Once it reaches a good consistency, drizzle it with half the lemon juice and set aside or in your fridge.
Add the mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through, or until slightly softened.
Add a little more oil to the pan (still with the mushrooms in) and add the thyme, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and remaining lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes, coating the mushrooms in the ingredients.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers
Add the honey, vinegar and ½ tsp salt and cook for a further minute, ensuring the mushrooms are as coated as possible. Then remove the pan from heat and set to one side, heat up a second frying pan to a medium-high heat and add the haloumi. Turn frequently and cook for between 2-4 minutes, until golden.
Lightly toast the buns either in a toaster or under the grill. Add the avocado between the bun bases, and top with a mushroom each, as well as the haloumi, rocket, mayo and bun tops.

The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Yum. Now, do you want to be a guest blogger? I’d be glad to have you! Feel free to reach out at emily@thethreebiterule.com