This summer will mark my third year in my small, but charming, New York City apartment.
I always have been told: "location, location location" which is perhaps why I was so drawn to my current space.
Located on a surprisingly calm, tree lined street, yet just steps away from amazing food and a public transportation system that can take me almost anywhere, it is ideal for where I am at on my journey.
Shown is a tri-colored bell pepper salad, which can be served alone, on a burger, or mixed with another ingredient, such as quinoa.
Yes, a third floor walk up is not ideal when my arms are draped in groceries, and at times I wish the walls were a bit thicker, but I realize I am pretty darn lucky and at the end of the day certainly can't complain.
With hectic work schedules and long commutes, it is no wonder the city is abuzz with delivery bikes, sneaking up behind you at all hours of the day.
Unlike most who take comfort in knowing their next meal is a mere 15 minutes and click away, my way of unwinding from a long day is cooking and baking.
In the winter, working in the kitchen is enjoyable as the heat from the oven travels through my apartment always carrying with it a pleasant smell, but the summertime is a different story.
My already steamy apartment really cannot take the oven being on for longer than about 10 minutes, which only gives me enough time to toast nuts, if that, and there is only so much you can do with toasted nuts.
Cooking in the heat of summer is an art in itself.
Perfecting icebox cakes, making foods that transport to and from cookouts easily, and treating guests to dishes that taste as though you've been cooking all day, when in reality you threw them together just 15 minutes before.
This pepper salad is just that, a perfect summer recipe.
Most of the ingredients are staples in your cabinet already and bursting with flavor, you would be amazed how quickly it comes together.
Serve a heaping spoonful on top of a burger, mix it in with quinoa for a healthy lunch, or let the flavors of the peppers shine through and eat it on its own, anyway it's served, it's sure to be enjoyed.
Tri-colored bell pepper salad
1 shallot, finely minced
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika (I use smoked)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 rounded teaspoons roughly chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
3 bell peppers, (I used a red, yellow and orange) cut in 1/2 inch dice
3/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
In a large bowl, add the minced shallot, vinegar, paprika, salt, pepper, sugar and oregano then whisk to combine.
While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify it and make vinaigrette.
Add your diced peppers and drained beans and mix to combine.
The dish can be served right away or to really let the flavors marinate and enjoy the next day.
Green was first diagnosed with gluten intolerances as a teenager. Soon after, she developed a blog to share her struggles and successes of adapting to a gluten-free life. Over the years, her passion for wellness has turned into a profession. A 2012 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in New York, she is continually networking with other gluten-free experts and expanding her knowledge. Her goal is to make gluten free an option for everyone, not just those in need. Green may be reached at email@example.com. Her column is published on the second Wednesday of each month.