Green Beans in Spicy Peanut Sauce

Green Beans in Spicy Peanut Sauce

I was looking for new side dish recipes when I came across one for a Thai style green beans . These tasty sounding green beans are covered in a creamy and spicy peanut butter, hoisin and soy sauce. I just could not pass up the chance to use a peanut sauce in a new way. Though I really like my current spicy peanut sauce recipe I was all for trying a new one and the use of the hoisin sauce sounded good. I dressed the recipe up a bit by adding some fresh chopped chilies, green onions and some lime juice. The green beans covered in spicy peanut sauce were really good! The peanut sauce went really well on the crisp green beans and the crunchy peanuts added yet another layer of texture. I would imagine that a spicy peanut sauce could be added to many vegetables to liven them up a bit.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage

Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza with Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage

The Daring Bakers pizza dough recipe made quite a lot of dough and I baked a second pizza soon after the first. The dough keeps in the fridge for a few days and even longer in the freezer. I wanted to do something more seasonal for the next pizza and I remembered seeing a few recipes around the food blogging sphere that combined butternut squash and caramelized onions. That combo sounded like a nice start for a pizza. I thought that using a tangy blue cheese, say gorgonzola would complement the sweet roasted squash and caramelized onions nicely. I also like the squash and sage combo so I decided to finish the pizza off with some crispy butter fried sage. The pizza turned out really well. I enjoyed the way that the blue cheese worked on a pizza and how it went with the butternut squash.

Thai Chicken Pizza with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Thai Chicken Pizza with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I had been thinking about using a spicy Thai peanut sauce as the sauce on a pizza for a while and the Daring Bakers pizza dough challenge was the perfect opportunity. I was thinking that shrimp or chicken would go well on the pizza and I wanted some vegetables. As I do fairly often when trying to work out new recipes I tried searching the web for similar recipes. I quickly came across several recipes for Thai style pizzas with peanut sauce and several of them finished the pizza off with julienned carrots and bean sprouts. I liked the sound of that pizza though I was a little worried that the bean sprouts would be charred to oblivion in the oven. I need not have worried as they were still in great shape when they came out. The pizza crust was nice and golden brown and the cheese was melted and bubbling and the vegetables were still slightly crisp. I really really liked this pizza!! The spicy peanut sauce worked well on a pizza with cheese and vegetables. It added a ton of flavour and a nice amount of heat to the pizza. All of the vegetables on top of the pizza were a refreshing change and of course a pizza like this would not be complete without some fresh chopped cilantro.

Basic Pizza Dough

This months Daring Bakers challenge was pizza dough. I have made pizza dough several times but I have never been quite satisfied with the results and I was looking forward to trying the Daring Bakers recipe. One of the requirements of the DB challenge was to actually toss the dough to form it rather than just rolling it; so it sounded like it would be a bit of fun as well. This pizza dough requires that you let it rest in the fridge at least over night so you have to plan a bit ahead.

I found this pizza dough to be a bit difficult to work with. It was super sticky from the get go and required constant dustings of flour and oil to keep it from sticking to everything. It was however fun trying to form the dough into a circle without rolling it. I did not manage to form perfect circles with any of my pizzas but that did not affect their taste at all. I think more practice is in order. :) In the end this pizza crust turned out to be the best that I have made at home and I quite enjoyed it.

Basic Pizza Dough

Basic Pizza Dough

ingredients
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water (ice cold)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • cornmeal (or semolina flour) for dusting
directions
  1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the oil, water and sugar and mix until it forms a sticky ball of dough.
  3. Knead on a clean surface for 5-7 minutes adding flour if it is too wet or water if it is too dry.
  4. Cut the dough into three pieces and form them into balls.
  5. Place the dough balls on a pan, spray them with oil and cover them with plastic.
  6. Place the dough in the fridge and let it rest over night or up to three days.
  7. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into discs. Lightly flour the discs, spray them with oil, cover them with parchment paper and let them rest for 2 hours.
  8. Flour (or oil) your hands and lay the dough across your knuckles. Lightly bounce the dough on your knuckles, turning it and stretching it until it reaches the size that you want.
  9. Place the dough on a baking pan dusted with cornmeal.
  10. Add your pizza toppings.
  11. Bake in a preheated 500F oven until golden brown on top, about 5-10 minutes.

Nikujaga (Japanese Beef Stew)

Nikujaga (Japanese Beef Stew)

The weather certainly has gotten cooler as of late and I have been craving heartier meals. It recently came to my attention that I have not been doing much Japanese cooking lately and I was missing it. I decided to combine the two and make nikujaga or meat and potatoes. Nikujaga is a Japanese version of a beef stew that is simmered in the classic Japanese seasonings of soy, sugar, sake and mirin. The stew ends up with a really nice blend of sweet and salty which works surprising well. Nikujaga is easy to make and tasty and because of that I make it fairly often. Recently I seem to always have some extra pumpkin lying around that just screams "use me" so I decided to replace the potatoes with pumpkin this time. I garnished the nikujaga with some chopped green onions and some shichimi togarashi. Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese condiment that is made from a blend of chilies and other things like sesame seeds, nori, etc. I enjoyed the heat that the shichimi togarashi added to the nikujaga.

Burrata Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes

Burrata Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes

I was at the cheese shop waiting in line when something green under the glass caught my attention. I looked closer and saw that the package was labeled burrata! I immediately remembered that this was the cheese that I had been looking for! I remembered reading about burrata on Proud Italian Cook and thinking that I would have to keep an eye out for it. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese that is made with mozzarella and cream where the cream is on the inside of a ball of mozzarella. I asked for some burrata right away and I was asked if I wanted Italian imported of local Canadian. Since I already had a bunch of cheese in my hands I went for the local which was the cheaper of the two. I decided to keep it simple and served it on some crostini with a roasted tomato and fresh basil. The burrata was really good! It was nice and soft and super creamy on the inside. It had a really subtle flavour which I found quite enjoyable. When served in the crostini the flavour of the burrata was overshadowed by the rest of the flavours but the texture really shone through as a winner. I will be getting this cheese again.

Swiss Chard and Cannellini Beans

Swiss Chard and Cannellini Beans

Continuing right along on my Swiss chard kick, I thought that I might beef up some simple sauteed Swiss chard to make it into more of a light meal. I recalled having seen some Swiss chard served with beans and tomatoes that sounded nice. Since I am always looking for new ways to enjoy beans this dish worked for me in more ways than one. The Swiss chard with tomatoes and cannellini beans were super easy and quick to make and they tasted great. I liked it so much that I have already made it a second time and I beefed it up even more with the addition of a crumbled Italian sausage. The Italian sausage of course brought a ton of flavour to the dish in addition to making it more filling. I am off to search for more ways to enjoy Swiss chard.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) with Greens

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) with Greens

Another dish that I saw a lot in Greece was pastitsio. Pastitsio is a Greek layered baked pasta dish that is similar to a lasagna though instead of using flat noodles it uses long tubular noodles. The pastitsio that I saw in Greece was all made with layers of a meat sauce along with the layers of pasta and covered with a layer of bechamel sauce. When I got back the first place that I looked for a recipe for pastitsio was in my collection of bookmarks and I had this recipe for a pastitsio with greens from Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska bookmarked. This "greens" version is made with layers of green leafed vegetables like spinach and chard instead of a meat sauce. Although I had been looking forward to trying a pastitsio with a meat sauce with a touch of cinnamon in it my current obsession with chard made this version irresistible. With the dill and feta in addition to the spinach and chard this recipe seems a lot like a pasta version of a spinach pie.

Muhammara (Middle Eastern Pepper and Walnut Dip)

Muhammara

I enjoy eating dips/spreads as snacks and I am always on the lookout for new ones. When I came across a recipe for muhammara I had to try it. Muhammara is a Middle Eastern dip made from peppers and walnuts. Roasted red peppers are one of my favorites foods and I liked the idea of a dip that was based on them and ground walnuts. I also liked that this recipe includes pomegranate molasses as I picked up a bottle a while ago and I hardly get the chance to use it. Many of the recipes that I came across called for aleppo pepper which I have heard good things about. I searched high and low for it but I was not able to find any so I used chipotle pepper instead. Like many dips, this one was as easy a mixing everything in a food processor. The muhammara turned out really well. It was nice and tasty and I really enjoyed the texture that the ground walnuts provided. All of the flavours mixed well and complemented each other and there was a nice heat to it. I served the muhammara with some toasted bread.

Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie)

Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie)

While I was in Greece I got to try a few new Greek treats and one of my favorites was galaktoboureko. Galaktoboureko is a custard pie that is wrapped in phyllo dough and covered with a lemony syrup. The custard is made from milk, semolina and eggs and has a surprisingly pleasant texture. I constructed this recipe from those that I found on the web while trying reconstruct the flavour and texture of the galaktoboureko that I had while in Greece. (I often find it fun to try to reproduce dishes that I have had from memory.) I was a bit surprised to find that none of the recipes called for honey which I am sure was in the piece that I had so I added some to the syrup. I also added some cinnamon to the syrup to add another layer of flavour. The rest of the recipe is pretty standard. The galaktoboureko turned out really well. The phyllo dough baked up nice and light and crispy and flaky and good. I really enjoyed the texture of the custard and its slightly sweet and lemony flavour. The layers of the phyllo dough soaked up and retained the extra syrup which added a touch of cinnamon which added something slightly exotic. The only problem that I am having is that it is disappearing too quickly.

Roasted Apple Sauce

Roasted Apple Sauce

The farmers market has been full of apples for the last few weeks and I have been enjoying snacking on them. I was thinking that it was about time that I got around to cooking with some apples and I thought that making my own apple sauce would be a great place to start. While I was searching for a recipe for apple sauce I came across this recipe for a roasted apple sauce . One thing that I have discovered while food blogging is that roasting things concentrates their flavour and makes them better so I was immediately sold on the roasted apple sauce idea. For the apples, I used half mac and half honey crisp as those were the ones that I had on hand. The apple sauce was really easy to make; you simply toss the apples with some spices, roast them and then mash them. I let my apples roast for a good long time, until they were nice and soft and caramelizing. Because I let the apples roast so long the apple sauce came out pretty dark but it was great! The apple flavour was nice and concentrated and the cinnamon gave it a nice spiciness. This was easily the best apple sauce that I have had. Unfortunately it was a pretty small batch and I am going to have to make more!

Turkey and Squash "Thanksgiving" Risotto

Thanksgiving Risotto

One of my favorite parts about holiday dinners is the leftovers. In addition to the turkey sandwiches , there are so many different things that you can do with the leftovers. I am always on the lookout for tasty ways to enjoy holiday dinner leftovers and when I came across this recipe for Thanksgiving risotto on Mike's Table I bookmarked for the holidays. The original recipe called for fresh turkey so I modified it a bit to use leftover turkey. This Thanksgiving risotto is like an entire Thanksgiving dinner all rolled into one dish. You have the turkey and the cranberries from the dinner and the spices remind you of dessert. The risotto turned out great! I really enjoy the way that the sweet butternut squash works in the creamy and cheesy risotto. All of the flavours worked well together and it really was like eating a turkey dinner. The spices added just a hint flavour without overpowering the delicate flavours of the risotto. I garnished the risotto with some toasted pecans and crispy sage leaves fried in butter. I will be making this again!

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet potatoes had been on my mind and I had wanted to work them into my holiday dinner. I thought that a sweet potato soup to start the dinner off would be a good idea. I quickly came across this recipe for a creamy sweet potato soup on Simply Recipes that caught my attention. I liked that the recipe had some spices that might be found in a sweet potato dessert and the maple syrup which might be found in mashed sweet potatoes. In the end I decided that I already had too much planned to have the soup with dinner so I just had it for the lunch before instead. I kept pretty much to the recipe though I wanted my soup to be thicker so instead of using the four cups of stock I used just enough to cover all of the potatoes. The soup turned out wonderful and before I realized it I had already finished off two bowls. It was nice and creamy and there was a nice blend of slightly sweet along with the savoury. The cinnamon and nutmeg gave it that aroma of apple, pumpkin or sweet potato pie.

Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

I don't feel that a roasted turkey dinner is complete without the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is also an integral part of the leftover turkey sandwich . I prefer to make my own and it is so simple that there is no question that I am going to make it. Cranberry sauce keeps well in the fridge and you can easily make it the day before to lighten the load on the day of the big meal. I wanted to try a new cranberry recipe and I remembered seeing one made with red wine while looking for recipes last year. When I searched for it this year I came across this recipe for a cranberry sauce with pinot noir which sounded really interesting. The pinot noir cranberry sauce was a great success! The ginger and curry powder gave the cranberry sauce an amazing aroma and nice hint of the exotic to every bite without overwhelming it. Overall it was a well rounded and full bodied cranberry sauce.

Maple Pecan Pie

Maple Pecan Pie

Dessert is an important part of a holiday dinner. It should be a climatic finish to a meal that entices those whom have already eaten too much to partake in one last sweet bite. I thought that a pecan pie would finish off my Thanksgiving dinner perfectly.

After a bit of research I found that pecan pies are pretty much a sugar/syrup custard with pecans in a pie shell. The filling is generally made with sugar, corn syrup and it is thickened with eggs like a custard. While I was searching for recipes I came across the concept of a maple pecan pie and I was immediately sold on the idea. In a maple pecan pie the corn syrup is replaced with yummy maple syrup. I used the recipe for the pecan pie filling that I found on Joy of Baking as a start and replaced the corn syrup with maple syrup.

Maple Pecan Pie
The maple pecan pie turned out great!! It was nice and sweet and I really enjoyed the maple flavour and the custardy texture. Toasting the pecans before hand is a must as it brings out their full flavour which really finishes off this pie nicely. I am still working on my pie crust technique and this one was by far my best one yet. The crust had a nice texture and it was light and flaky and golden brown. The only problem was that the edge caved in a bit but it was caught by the filling which held it up. The pecan pie was great all by itself but to make it even more decadent I served it with some maple whipped cream and drizzled it with some maple syrup and it was amazing. Just drizzling the maple syrup was not quite what I was going for so I tried reducing some maple syrup in a sauce pan for a while. The reduced maple syrup turned into a sticky, gooey maple caramel sauce which was so good! I enjoyed eating the left over pecan pie both cool from the fridge and warmed. I will savour the few slices that I have remaining but I know that I will be making this again soon!

Maple Pecan Pie

Maple Pecan Pie

Maple Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Servings: 6

A pecan pie with a maple bourbon filling!

ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup (or golden syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pie crust, chilling in the fridge until used
directions
  1. Bake the pecans in a preheated 350F until nicely toasted, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Heat the sugar, syrup, bourbon and butter in a large saucepan until it boils, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Beat in the eggs, cream, vanilla and salt.
  5. Spread the pecans over the bottom of the pie crust.
  6. Pour the liquid mixture into the pie crust.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

Another holiday dish that I came across recently was the green bean casserole where the green beans are in a cream of mushroom sauce and topped with a french fried onion topping. I had really enjoyed it the first time that I had made it and I was looking forward to making it again. Since I had started the "switching it up" theme with the pumpkin sweet potato casserole I thought that I would try a broccoli green bean casserole. The cream of mushroom sauce is my favorite part of this recipe and this time I thought that I would try adding a bit of extra flavour to it with some fresh thyme and a splash of sherry.

Pumpkin Casserole

Pumpkin Casserole

Last year during the holiday season I came across the sweet potato casserole which I really enjoyed. A sweet potato casserole is essentially mashed sweet potatoes baked with a pecan and brown sugar streusel topping. I find that pumpkin and sweet potatoes can often be interchanged in recipes and since I enjoy both I was thinking that a pumpkin casserole would also be great. Normally the sweet potato is sweetened with sugar but I decided to use maple syrup to add a bit of extra flavour. This casserole is pretty easy to make, you pretty much just mix the wet ingredients and place them in your casserole dish and sprinkle on the streusel topping and bake. The pumpkin casserole turned out to be just as good as the sweet potato casserole, which is to say that it was great! It was nice and warm and creamy and sweet and the pumpkin flavour worked perfectly. I am certainly looking forward to making this again.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread, Sliced Loaf

I really like quick breads! They are super simple to make and they always taste great. I like to make a loaf on the weekend and it easily lasts me for breakfasts for the whole week. I slice the loaf into individual serving, place them in plastic containers and store the in the fridge. Give them 40 seconds in the microwave in the morning and you have a really good breakfast that is almost as moist and warm as when it just came out of the oven with almost no effort. It is great for weekdays when you don't have that much time. I have been wanting to try a sweet zucchini quick bread ever since I made the savoury zucchini quick bread and this weekend I did. A zucchini bread is pretty similar to a banana bread in that is a really great base that you can add flavours to. I was thinking about making a dark chocolate zucchini but in the end I decided that I wanted to see those green and yellow flecks of zucchini in the bread. I added some soft raisins and chopped walnuts to the raisin bread for some extra flavours and textures. The zucchini bread with raisins and walnuts was so good that I ate it with nothing more than simple butter each morning.

Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)

Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)

One of the things that I really liked about the Greek restaurants was the many tasty appetizers or mezes (or mezedes) that they served. It was really nice when eating in a group as you could order a few mezes and try some of each. One of the mezes that I liked the most was a seafood saganaki. At first I was not sure what would come as I associated the name Saganaki with the fried cheese dish. Apparently saganaki is also the name of the two handled pan that the dish is made in. The seafood saganaki was shrimp, octopus and mussels cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and covered with feta cheese. With just one bite I knew that I would just have to try making this one at home.

Sausage on Lentils and Greens

Sausage on Lentils and Greens

A little over a year ago I tried cooking lentils for the first time and it did not go so well. It seemed that no matter how long I cooked them they just did not soften. That put me off lentils for a while but recently I have been wanting to give them a second chance. I was thinking about doing a simple lentil dish with some vegetables and aromatics to show off the lentils. I was a bit worried that the lentils would be a bit plain and I remembered seeing a sausage and lentil dish that looked nice. I thought that some tasty sausage would rescue the meal if the lentils proved to be boring. I wanted some green vegetables in the meal and having recently enjoyed some sauteed Swiss chard I thought that it would round out meal perfectly.

Savoury Pumpkin Pie (Kolokithopita)

Savoury Pumpkin Pie (Kolokithopita)

This weekend I got the chance to go back to my normal routine; I had time to make a meal plan, go to the farmers market, etc. I was just itching to try some recipes from my vacation in Greece and this was the at the top of my list. On my first night in Greece, after I had settled into my hotel room and walked around the neighborhood a bit it was about 10pm and I was hungry. I found a nice looking taverna with sidewalk seating so that you could sit down, relax and watch the world walk by. Luckily the taverna had quite the menu and I made sure to look at everything on it before ordering. I recognized most of the dishes on the list and I wanted to try authentic Greek versions of all of them. I got to the section on pies and I saw the spinach pie and the cheese pie, both of which I was familiar with, but there was a third pie in the list, a pumpkin pie. This was the first that I had heard of a Greek pumpkin pie and it was under the meal section not the dessert section so I could only assume that it was a savoury pie rather than a sweet pie. Unfortunately, when I tried to order it I was informed that that section of the menu was no longer available, I guess by 10pm they are only serving the dinner part of their menu. Oh well, not to worry, since it was my first meal in Greece what better place to start than a gyro, preceded by some tasty saganaki?

Corn, Zucchini and Chicken Pizza

Corn, Zucchini and Chicken Pizza

One last dish from before the vacation, rounding off my enjoyment of the fresh local corn. It had been a while since I had last had a pizza and I had been craving it. I was thinking that corn would work on a pizza with lots of gooey melted cheese. I also had a nice looking zucchini and I thought I would finish it off with some chicken. Instead of going with a tomato based pizza sauce I thought that a salsa verde based sauce would be really good. I sauteed all of the toppings in a pan and then tossed them with the salsa verde. Throw it on some pizza dough, top with a generous serving of cheese and bake it in an oven and its all done. It turned out to be a pretty tasty pizza. The sweet corn went well on a pizza and the salsa verde based sauce added a ton of flavour. I garnished the pizza with some fresh chopped cilantro when it came out of the oven.

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding

When I was a kid I was not too thrilled with puddings and just having the word pudding in the name was enough for me to lose interest. Now a days I have been enjoying exploring the world of puddings and when I came across the concept of a corn pudding I knew that I would just have to try it. I filed the bookmark away with all of the other corn recipes that were just waiting for corn season and I got the chance to make it just before I left on vacation. I found a lot of corn pudding recipes that called for canned corn so I guess I did not need to wait until corn season but since I had, I looked for a recipe that used fresh corn. I found a simple and tasty sounding recipe for corn pudding on A Yankee in a Southern Kitchen . Since I was not too familiar with pudding recipes I left it pretty much as it was, though since I was leaving on vacation later in the week I cut the recipe in half so that I would be able to finish it before going. The recipe below made enough for two individual sized servings. Based on the recipe it sounded pretty much like a custard with corn and that is exactly what it turned out to be. Given that I really like corn and custard the combination of the two was wonderful. The first night I enjoyed it warm from the oven and the second night I enjoyed it cool from the refrigerator. I am glad that I tried the corn pudding and I am looking forward to making it again.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Side dishes are not as exciting as main dishes or as glamorous as deserts but you have them all the time. I like to take the time to post about side dishes as it is always good to have a nice collection of them to quickly add to any meal. Side dishes are a great way to work green vegetables into your diet and I am always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy green vegetables. Swiss chard is a green vegetable that I have been wanting to use more of and there is an easy and tasty way to prepare that never fails. You simply saute The Swiss chard with some onions and garlic until it just wilts and you have a tasty and healthy green vegetable side dish that goes with almost any meal.

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

One of the things that I was just waiting to try with corn was a corn chowder and I got the chance to make one just before I went on my vacation. I was all prepared to do a standard creamy corn chowder until I came across this recipe for a more spicy corn chowder at The Kitchen Sink and I was led astray. I really liked the sound of using cumin and smoky paprika and chipotle along with the sweet corn in the chowder. Of course I could not resist making a few changes to the recipe like adding fresh jalapeno peppers and replacing the flour with corn meal. I also decided to leave some of the liquid as milk to give it a bit of the creaminess more commonly associated with corn chowder. A trick that I learned while making the sweet corn ice cream was to simmer the cob of the corn in the liquid to enhance the corn flavour and I used it while making this corn chowder. The chowder turned out good! I liked how the heat of the chillies and the smokiness played with the sweetness of the corn. The chowder was pretty hearty in addition to tasting great. The leftovers froze well and I got to enjoy the corn chowder again this week.

Corn Chowder


(makes 2 large portions or 4 small portions)

Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad

Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad

Normally I like to plan the weeks meals ahead and have recipes written and a grocery list ready for shopping on the weekend. This week however I did not have the chance to prepare and I have been winging it. At times like these it is always good to fall back on pantry staples. I always seem to have cans of tuna and beans in my pantry/cupboard and I was thinking that a tuna and bean salad would be a nice place to start. My first thought was to go with a mayonnaise based creamy dressing but I wanted something a bit lighter having just got back from my vacation and I decided to go with a simple lemon and mustard vinaigrette. Of course some fresh vegetables and herbs brighten up any salad and I picked some up on the way home from work. The salad was quick and simple to make which was nice as I have been pretty busy and it tasted good as well. Overall it was a nice light meal.