Friday, June 27, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

I saw this on Pinterest - of course - I've made a few variations of quinoa salad many times - we love it. See my regulars HERE & HERE but I haven't tried it this way yet!


Just before I took this picture - this raggedy little 6 year old said "Mom - I luuuuv quinoa!"

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
Spoon the filling each each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kid Friendly Pasta Salad

I got this recipe from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond and only changed it a bit. I didn't have tomatoes on hand and I actually ran out of Cheddar cheese (GASP!) so I used Colby Jack - really any cheese will do - this would be good with mozzarella or swiss too.


Kid Friendly Pasta Salad
12 ounces fun-shaped pasta, such as radiator
8 slices thin bacon
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
4 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 pound Cheddar, cut into small cubes
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper



Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Then drain and rinse in cold water until cool. Set aside.

Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and throw into a large skillet. Saute until slightly crisp, and then remove to a paper-towel-lined-plate.

For the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.

Stir together the pasta, dressing, tomatoes, bacon, cheese and green onions in a large mixing bowl. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed.


Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing

I saw a similar salad on the Food Network site. I adapted both the dressing and the salad to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand. It was so good! Fresh and crunchy with a little heat.

Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing
Salad
1/2 head of Napa Cabbage
Shredded carrots
4 green onions, diced
Mandarine oranges
Peanuts (crushed into small bits)

Dressing
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
Few drops of Sriracha to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

You know what to do…

Let the dressing marry in the refrigerator for at least an hour before dressing the salad. Top with crushed peanuts and serve immediately.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eating Healthy: Restaurant Menu Guide

I saw this on Pinterest - it's a good one to share!! 



Friday, June 13, 2014

Grilled Caesar Salad

As I said - my husbands favorite meal includes Caesar Salad. I wanted to do a spin on it - and this is what I came up with…

Kind of a "wedge salad" idea. He loved it! Make this delicious Caesar Dressing with it!! 

I love the Tanimura & Antle Artisan Romain lettuce heads - I find them at Costco - the package they come in actually inspired me to grill the lettuce!! 



Grilled Caesar Salad
2 romaine heads of lettuce cut in half length wise 
EVOO
Parmesan Romano (I like the shredded kind - not the powdery stuff)
Asiago
Croutons
Caesar Dressing

Heat up the grill on Med/High for a couple minutes (or wait until you take the meat you are grilling off to rest and put the Romaine heads on).

Prepare the lettuce by drizzling both sides of the wedge with olive oil. My favorite is the "Mediterranean Blend Oil" they sell at Costco (I feel like I should be getting paid for all these Costco references - haha) It is a blend of Canola, Olive and Grape seed oils. It is absolutely FANTASTIC!

Grill for about 45 seconds per side.

Drizzle with Caesar dressing. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan Romano. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asiago and add those too. 

Serve with croutons (sorry they aren't pictured). YUMMY!!!

Caesar Dressing

My husbands favorite meal is steak, potatoes and Caesar Salad. 

6 or 7 years ago, I stopped buying bottled dressing and have been making dressing from scratch. As a friend of mine said - the thing that really takes a salad over the top is the dressing! I've made this a few times recently to perfect it and it is so delicious!!

I got this recipe off the Food Network site - it's a Pioneer Woman recipe.


Caesar Dressing

4 whole anchovy fillets

2 1/2 T Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar (balsamic makes it nice and rich)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled

1/2 whole lemon, juiced

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

Place the anchovies into a blender or food processor. Throw in the Dijon mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse the processor or blend on low speed for several seconds. Scrape down the sides.

With the food processor or blender on, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a small stream. Scrape down the sides. Add the Parmesan and a generous grind of black pepper. Pulse the whole thing together and mix until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the dressing for a few hours (it just gets better!) before using it on the salad.

*Note that I didn't add salt. The anchovies are salty enough for this dressing.

Jack's Favorite Salsa

My son loves to cook. He has been saying that he wants to be a chef and own his own restaurant for several years now. He is 11 and is quite the cook!!

He is always trying to think of new combinations and new recipes.

He took an after school class last semester called "cooking and baking" that was taught by my good friend Lisa Hatch, and upped his game. His Dad is currently teaching him how to use the grill. He grilled hot dogs for us the other night and they were perfect!

Anyway… this is his go to salsa recipe - he got it from his teacher! Its a good "go to" because there isn't a lot of prep work involved.

Jack's Favorite Salsa
2 14.5 cans Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes with jalapeƱo, cumin and garlic *important ingredient!!
4 green onions, coarsely chopped (if we don't have green we use 1 med yellow, diced)
1 handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 T lime juice
Pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend for 5-10 seconds or until slightly chunky.

Sometimes (like this time) he adds 1 can of green chilis
and sometimes he adds a few pinches of sugar.

Delicious!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Yes people, this is a thing - and they will blow your mind. My kids aged 11, 9, 6 and 2 AND my husband all LOVED these and asked for more. 

4 ingredients to a delicious, inexpensive, delicious meal - or side...
Roasted Cabbage Steaks
Garlic
Pepper
Salt
Olive oil
Cabbage

Cut the cabbage in one inch slices with the root side down.

Use a basting brush to evenly distribute the olive oil on every piece of cabbage. Salt and pepper one side. Carefully turn (I used good tongs) to flip the steaks over. Then, I brushed olive oil on the other side, seasoned the second side with garlic powder (bc I wanted the kids to eat it) salt and pepper.

Cook at 400 degrees for 60 minutes - carefully turning 30 minutes in. I used my trusty tongs to do the job.

We generally eat "meat free" bc my husband travels so much and he is the "meat eater" but he is in town this week and he LOVED our meat free meal. I served these "steaks" with our favorite salad - Patty's Beet Salad and I used goat cheese tonight bc that is what I had on hand. My kids eat roasted beets like candy. When I tell them I'm making this salad they all cheer!!!  http://breakingthereciperut.blogspot.com/2009/05/pattys-beet-salad.html

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