Monday, June 27, 2011

Garden Chicken Pasta

2 chicken breast, sliced into strips or bite size pieces
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
½ small yellow onion, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 can diced tomatoes and jalapenos
1 Tbsp flour

In a medium frying pan over med-high, drizzle with EVOO with sauté peppers, onions and garlic until tender; remove from pan and set aside. In same pan, add a little more EVOO, add chicken and brown all sides. Turn heat to low and add ½ can of tomatoes.

In a blender, add the other half of the tomatoes with sautéed veggies and flour. Puree until smooth. Add mixture back to chicken. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over bow tie pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Pork Stuffed Collard Greens

Try this recipe with turkey or beef too.

1 large bunch of collard greens
1 lb ground pork
½ small onion, minced or grated
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup bread crumbs (see note below)
Stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook collard green leaves for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine pork, onion, garlic, chili flakes, salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Divide into 4 sections and make oval shaped mini loafs. Wrap each loaf in 2-3 leaves.

Place seam side down in an 8x8 casserole dish. Add enough broth to reach ¼ of the way up the stuffed greens. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy with rice.

NOTE: If you don’t have bread crumbs, just throw some crackers into a food processor. This is a great way to use up the end slices of bread or stale crackers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Apple Banana Nut Loaf

1 large ripe banana (about one cup of mashed banana)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
4 Tbsp softened butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 apples, peeled and grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Zest from one lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a small bowl, mash banana with a fork. Beat in sugar, then egg and butter. In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon; add to banana mixture and stir just until flour is moistened. Add apples, nuts and lemon zest; stir just until combined. Pour batter into pan.

Bake uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes.

Let loaf cool before removing from pan. Wrap loaf with aluminum foil and enjoy the next day for breakfast.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lentil Salad

2-3 servings

½ lb dried lentils
4 cups water
2 Bay leaves
1-2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
½ small onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
¼ cup fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, minced
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Boil water in a pot and add Bay leaves and lentils; turn heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Drain any excess water, remove Bay leaves and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, heat EVOO over med-high heat and sauté veggies and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl, add lentil and drizzle with EVOO. Toss with sautéed veggies, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley.

Eat alone as a vegetarian dish or serve as a side. Eat warm or cold.

Coconut Brownies

I totally cheated on this one since I didn’t do anything from scratch,
but they were so good!!

1 box of packaged brownies
1 container of cream cheese frosting
Shredded coconut, toasted

Make brownies according to package directions; let cool. Spread cream cheese frosting over cooled brownies. Cut into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle each square with toasted coconut.

Fresh Vegetable Pasta Salad

A great dish for a potluck or BBQ, or as a side for any grilled meat.

Although it calls for many different fresh herbs, if you don’t have one or two of them on hand, don’t let it stop you from putting this pasta salad together.

About 3 good servings

2 large handfuls of Ditalini pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
½ small red onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3-4 radishes, diced
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp fresh basil, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh chives, minced
2-3 oz of Pepper Jack or Cheddar cheese, cubed

2 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 large clove of garlic, minced
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix cooled pasta, veggies, herbs, cheese and toss with dressing. If the pasta seems a little dry, drizzle with more EVOO and toss.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steak Taco Salad

A great meal to use up leftover grilled steak. Fast and tasty.

Grilled skirt steak, sliced (I used cold leftovers from this recipe)
Mixed greens
Crushed tortilla chips
Black beans (cold or warm)
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ avocado, sliced
Jalapenos slices (canned)
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Make salad by starting with a bed of salad then top with the listed ingredients, finishing with sliced steak. Top with a dollop of sour cream and salsa or serve with ranch dressing.

Teriyaki Pork Loin with Roasted Asparagus Pasta

This is a tasty one. The hubby said 'thank you' like 4 times afterwards. :-)

1 ½ lb pork tenderloin
Teriyaki sauce

About 10 sprigs of asparagus cut in 1” pieces
EVOO for drizzling
Salt and pepper

½ lb bowtie pasta
1/3 cup EVOO
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 Tbsp minced chives
A few dashes of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

½ cup of feta cheese or 4 oz of crumbled goat cheese

Marinate pork tenderloin in teriyaki sauce over night, or buy pre-marinated pork at the store.

Over medium heat, grill pork for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

In a medium pot, boil salted water and cook pasta for 7-9 minutes; drain and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Remove and set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine EVOO, mustard, garlic, lemon zest & juice, chives, pepper flakes and S&P; whisk together. Toss dressing with pasta salad. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in cheese and asparagus.

Plate sliced pork with pasta salad. Drizzle juice from meat over pork.

Spicy Steak Tacos with Tropical Salsa

2 lb skirt steak
Cajun seasoning
4-6 corn tortillas

Tropical Salsa
1/2 cup of diced fresh pineapple
½ mango, diced
1 small avocado, diced
½ small red onion, minced
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
Juice of one lime
Freshly cracked pepper

Over med-high heat, grill seasoned steak for a 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let rest before slicing. Grill tortillas until they are warm and crispy.

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for tropical salsa.

Make tacos with sliced steak and top with salsa. Enjoy with black beans sprinkled with Monterey Jack cheese.

Spicy Cheesy Chicken Dip

2-4 Servings

1 ½ cup of cooked, chopped chicken (great way to use up leftover chicken!)
1 8 oz. Chive and Onion cream cheese
¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese (save some for sprinkling on top)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup Frank's RedHot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Transfer to a small casserole dish, top with extra cheese and bake for 25 minutes, until top is browned and bubbly.

Enjoy dip with crackers or a sliced banquette.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pepperoni & Vegetable Flatbread

Store bought flatbread (Ambretta Tuscan Sweet Tomato flatbread)
Fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
Spicy turkey pepperoni slices
½ green bell pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
Basil and Garlic pasta sauce
Fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon pasta sauce on flatbread. Layer with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, veggies, parmesan cheese and basil.

Bake for 13-15 minutes.

Get creative by adding more veggies or different meats. Enjoy with a few different types and share with a group.

Cajun Shark with Tropical Salsa

It’s the start of summer, which means even MORE grilling and tons of fresh summer fruits to cook with. This dish uses a sweet salsa of fresh pineapple, mango and avocado over spicy grilled fish….a delicious and healthy combo!

Servings: 2

2-½ lb Thresher Shark filets
Spicy Cajun seasoning

Pineapple Salsa
½ cup of diced fresh pineapple
½ mango, diced
1 small avocado, diced
½ small red onion, minced
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
Juice of one lime
Freshly cracked pepper

½ cup basmati rice
1 cup coconut water (or 1of cup chicken broth)
1 tsp EVOO
½ tsp salt

Preheat grill to med-high heat. Drizzle EVOO over filets and rub with seasoning. Set aside.

Add ingredients for rice in rice cooker; cook until done.

For salsa, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Grill fish filets for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Plate rice and fish and top with pineapple salsa.