the rainy kitchen

cooking through the rain in southeast alaska

Category: salads

avocado and poached egg salad

As I mentioned earlier on this blog, we have chickens in our yard here in downtown Juneau. They are so much fun and they are laying eggs like crazy right now, which is awesome. Because of this, I am making a lot of meals and snacks using the eggs.  I also have a lot of cherry tomatoes that I grew in my house. So, I made this for dinner the other day. It was quick and yummy. Try it!

Poached Egg and Avocado Salad

* Makes enough for one

1 egg
1 large avocado
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 lemon
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
olive oil

Pit and slice the avocado into about one inch chunks. Put in a bowl. Slice the handful of cherry tomatoes in half and add to the avocado, squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss together. While that is sitting, poach an egg. If you have never poached an egg, there are instructions in this post. Once egg is finished place on top of salad, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Let sit to cool down for a minute or so and enjoy! The whole thing will take you 10 minutes or less. A great lunch or light dinner.


curried quinoa salad

Quinoa is a delicious grain-like seed that is a complete protein and is so good for you. It’s also super easy to cook, yummy alone with a little olive oil or soy sauce drizzled on it, and great as the base for a salad. I use it in lots of different ways. One of which is the recipe that follows. It takes no time to prepare and makes for a great lunch salad. I like the curry in this recipe cause it gives it a little kick.

Curried Quinoa Salad

.75 c. dried quinoa
2 zucchini’s
.75 c. dried cranberries
olive oil
sea salt
fresh flat leaf parsley
good curry powder

Start with cooking the quinoa. If you’ve never done this before it’s very easy and only takes 10-15 minutes or so. You cook quinoa the same way you cook rice. Put two parts water to one part quinoa in a small pot over high heat. Once the water boils, turn it down to very low. Turn off when all the water has evaporated, the quinoa will more than double in size in the pot. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the zucchini up into small pieces and saute in a pan with a little olive oil. When the quinoa is cooked, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the cooked zucchini and the dried cranberries. Mix in approx. one tbs of curry powder and a handful of chopped fresh parsley. You can eat right away, or refrigerate and enjoy later. This is great to bring to work for lunch. If you double the recipe you can have lunch all week. Healthy and so easy!

we’re back!

It’s been a very busy few weeks. It has been all I could do to get food on the table, let alone blog about it! Life is still charging along, but I still have things to say about tomatoes! One of my favorite ways to enjoy them in late summer when they are so sweet and perfect is in a tomato and cucumber salad. Fresh cucumbers are also a super treat! Try it, you’ll love the fresh taste of summer it leaves in your mouth!

4-6 heirloom tomatoes (or whatever the sweetest, freshest tomato variety is that you can find)
2 cucumbers
good olive oil and good balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Cut up the tomatoes and the cucumbers and put them in a bowl. Lightly toss with flavorful olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. This is a very simple salad, so each ingredient needs to be good, it will make all the difference!

first fresh eggs!

In April, we got 6 baby chicks. The other day, we got our first little egg! It was just a bit smaller than a tablespoon in size and about the cutest egg I’ve ever seen. One of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh eggs is poached and plopped on a salad of fresh greens, especially arugula. It makes for a quick and easy lunch. YUM!

Poached Egg on Fresh Arugula

Mix a couple handfuls of fresh arugula with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, good olive oil and white wine vinegar. Poach your egg. While it’s still warm, add it to the salad and dust with a bit of salt and pepper. Cut it open and enjoy with sparkling water.

How to Poach and Egg

Simmer a few inches of water in a pot. Add a few splashes of white vinegar (this helps hold the egg together when you put it in). Crack your egg open into a small dish. This will make it a lot easier to put in the water. You can do it directly from the shell but I think it’s a lot harder. Once the water is simmering, take a spoon or spatula and create a whirlpool in the water. Gently place the egg in the center. The spinning should help the egg stay together. If it still separates, you can use your spoon to push the whites gently back toward the yoke. The egg will take anywhere from 3-5 minutes to poach, depending on the size. I think this tiny one actually took about 2 minutes, but most eggs are bigger! To tell if it’s done, you can use a slotted spoon to take it out and gently touch the top (you can also do this in the water with your spoon). You want a bit of a jiggle, and you want the whites to be white, not transparent. Poached eggs are good on so many thing and as our chickens lay more we’ll be making them in many ways in The Rainy Kitchen. Stay tuned!

a spinach potluck salad

Several years ago, a friend of mine made a salad with frozen spinach, garbanzo beans and feta cheese that I thought was so good. I have tweaked the recipe slightly over the years, and I find this quick and easy salad to be great for potlucks or for lunch.

Garbanzo Bean and Spinach Salad

5 c. fresh spinach
15 oz garbanzo beans
5 0z feta cheese
1-2 cloves garlic
olive oil
fresh black pepper
crushed red pepper
juice of half a lemon

Saute garlic in a medium sized pan coated with olive oil. Toss in the spinach and let saute till shrunk down. Ad the garbanzo beans and sprinkle with crushed red pepper (more or less depending on how much heat you like), a few grounds of fresh pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Transfer to a bowl and crumble in feta, stirring it gently. Serve alone or with a good hard crusted bread.

a salad for aphrodite

Last night I had the honor of attending my friend Patrice Aphrodite’s bachelorette party. Which, in true Patrice fashion, was a fabulous feast of food. By heritage, Patrice is Greek (thus that fabulous middle name). We were all assigned dishes to bring. One of the dishes I was asked to make was a Greek Salad. Easy enough, except when you’re making it for your Greek girlfriend! Regardless, I decided to keep it simple, use good ingredients and hope that it passed the test. Here’s what I did.

Simple Greek Salad

kalamata olives
red onion
feta cheese
dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

I used cherry tomatoes, because they were the only tomatoes I could find in town that were sweet and yummy. I used about three pints. But you could really use any kind of tomato, just make sure they’re good. This salad relies on the flavors of good fresh vegetables. Cut the tomatoes in half (if you’re using cherry) and toss them in bowl. Slice 4-5 small cucumbers and add them. Slice about half a red onion and add that. Toss in a jar of the best Kalamata olives you can find. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and about a table spoon of dried oregano, sprinkle with a little sea salt and mix it all together. Put the Feta cheese on top in large chunks.  Enjoy with old or new friends.

Cheers to many happy and food filled years of marriage ahead for Patrice and Matty. Thanks for letting us all celebrate with you!

easy saturday salad

One thing we generally have around the house is smoked salmon. It’s a great ingredient for pasta salads, among other things. Here is a quick and easy recipe, great for lunch or a side dish for a bigger meal.

Orzo with Smoked Salmon

1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups chopped baby kale
1 clove garlic
1 cup hot smoked salmon (I used king, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
juice of one lemon
two tbls capers
olive oil

Cook the orzo in lightly salted water. Drain when al dente and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
While orzo is cooking, mince one clove garlic and saute in pan with olive oil.
Chop baby kale and ad to pan, sprinkle with a small pinch each of sea salt and large pinch of black pepper. Add crushed red pepper (apx 1 tsp of crushed red pepper, more or less depending on how much spice you like).
The kale will cook quick, once it has shrunken down to half its’ original size or so, combine with the orzo and mix well to keep it from all clumping together.
Add smoked salmon, should be broken up into small pieces, you can just crumble with your hands.
Add capers.
Add lemon juice.
Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.