Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Edamame, Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Edamame, black beans, roasted red peppers, corn, cilantro salad

Edamame, Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salad

I look at eating my Super Salad as my little nutritional insurance policy. It makes me feel like even if I ate nothing but pop tarts the rest of the day, at least I got a few servings of vegetables and nuts.  Because of this, we have some sort of salad with every dinner.  And a salad with every dinner equals salad burn out

If you too get salad burn out, try this one…my Edamame, Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Salad.  It is easy to make, and very tasty. You could even eat it like a salsa on tortilla chips.  Very healthy, very tasty, and very flexible.  You can tweak the recipe to fit your likes and dislikes.  Add more edamame, omit the green onion…any way, it will be yummy.

Edamame, Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups edamame, shelled and cooked to the package directions
  • Small can of black beans, drained
  • Small can of corn, you could also use frozen corn about 1 cup
  • Small jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped.
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon heart healty oil – canola works well (you can substitute this with Italian dressing for a little extra flavor – I like Good Seasons Mild Italian)
  • Small bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed feta cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Simply combine all of the ingredients and then season to taste.  Let the flavors come together by letting it sit for about an hour.  You can add more or less of the cayenne depending on how spicy you like it.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Topping

Friday, June 19th, 2009
Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Pecan Topping

Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Pecan Topping

Looking for a tasty, healtier alternative to mashed potatoes?  My mashed sweet potatoes are sweet, crunchy, creamy – just delicious.  They work well with most of your summer time staples…hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken – the list goes on and on. 

A tip to make this recipe even easier is to buy the pre-wrapped sweet potatoes that you microwave. There is no need to remove the wrapping, pierce or wash – just throw them in the microwave for about 5-10 minutes.  For this recipe I microwaved 4 at a time.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from the microwave and let them cool; you want them cool to the touch so you can remove the inside goodness from the skin.  Once they are cooled, slice them in half and spoon out the inside into a baking dish and mash them with a potato masher.

Mash the Sweet Potatoes With a Potato Masher

Mash the Sweet Potatoes With a Potato Masher

This recipe is not only simple, it is nutritious.  Sweet potatoes packed with vitamin A, they are also a great source of vitamin C, iron, calcium and fiber.  The recipe does, however, contain a good amount of sugar and fat in it.  But don’t worry – if you are cooking for someone on a special diet it is easy to adjust this recipe. I was cooking for my mother, so I adjusted a portion of the recipe to suit her diet; I used less of the topping (contains brown sugar and butter) on her portion.  Sweet potatoes are a good option for diabetics as they have the lowest glycemic index rating amongst all root vegetables.

If you wanted to adjust the sugar content even further to make a diabetic friendly version, I would suggest eliminating the brown sugar completely from the topping and replacing the maple syrup with sugar-free syrup.  Sweet Potatoes are naturally sweet so they don’t need much help.

I tried both the full fat, full sugar version and the trimmed version and I must say – they were both excellent.

Ingredients:

Topping:

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, I use the Pecan Pie glazed Pecans by Emerald Nuts
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

The Rest:

  • 6 prewrapped microwavable sweet potatoes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1.) Mix the brown sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Set aside – preferably in the fridge to chill.

2.) Prepare a glass baking dish with butter. I simply put a bit of butter on a paper towel and wipe. You could even substitute canola oil as well.

3.) Cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave. Remember, you have to pierce sweet potatoes before putting them in the microwave unless you buy the pre-wrapped microwaveable sweet potatoes. Cook on high for about 8-10 minutes until tender to the touch. Let cool.

4.) Once your sweet potatoes are cool, place them in a dish and mash with a potato masher.

5.) Beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes.

6.) Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.

7.) Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and the pecan topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

My Favorite Tomato Bruschetta

Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

A tomato and basil bruschetta is a classic combination. It’s simple, it’s rustic – it’s delicious.  Bruschetta is a good starter to any meal.

The key to good bruschetta is a good quality baguette.  Even when you want to save time, please don’t be tempted to by the pre-cut, pre-made crostini – they are almost always stale.  Buy a baguette and slice and toast it at home. Ciabatta can also work for your bruschetta.  Here is my favorite variation – Tomato Bruschetta.

Ingredients:

  • Baguette or crusty long loaf bread, sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, 2 minced, 1 set aside
  • Pint of tomatoes, halved, seeded and chopped ( I used a variety pack for more color)
  • Good handful of fresh basil leaves (about 1/3 cup)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling  
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.) Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush a bit of olive oil on each slice. Toast in oven for about 3-5 minutes or until light golden brown. After the bread is removed from the oven, rub a sliced clove of garlic on the toasted side of each slice of bread. Set bread aside.

3.) Place the seeded and chopped tomatoes in a bowl, add the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, a good drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Use a good quality, coarse salt – a kosher or even better, maldon sea salt. It does wonders for the tomatoes.

4.) Pile basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a log. Thinly slice basil into green confetti and loosely combine with the tomato mixture.

5.) Gently combine all of the ingredients. Place your toasts around the bowl of tomato topping. Place a spoon to scoop topping in bowl and serve.

Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad

Monday, June 1st, 2009
Corn, Avacado & Tomato Salad

Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad

No food tastes more like summer than fresh sweet corn, straight off the cob.  Small roadside stands selling their fresh harvest – really, there is nothing better especially in Ohio.  You may have heard…but you have never had corn until you’ve tried Ohio sweet corn.   I honestly believe that. 

Although we haven’t entered prime corn season, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for canned corn.  The grocery stores are already selling the season’s first corn on the cob – and it’s pretty good.   Get your corn fix early with this Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad – it’s got such bright flavor!  Dressed with a cilantro lime dressing – it too, screams “SUMMER”.   

After writing the recipe out, I have decided that a healthy addition to this summer salad would be shelled edamame – wouldn’t you agree?

Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad
Makes about 4-6 servings. 

Recipe (slightly) adapted from Paula Deen’s Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1-2 tablespoon fresh lime juice (depending on taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (reserve a bit for presentation)
  • Good pinch of salt (I use Fleur de sel)
  • Pinch pepper
  • Few dashes of Tabasco

Directions:

1.) Remove the corn from the cob. Place in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 5 minutes on high. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Drain on a tea towel thoroughly.

2.) Combine the prepared corn, sliced avocado, halved tomatoes and diced red onion in a large glass bowl.

3.) Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl and then pour over the salad. Gently toss to mix. Add some additional cilantro on top prior to serving.   Taste.  If you feel it needs salt, add some.  The corn can take a good amount of salt – it brings out all of the flavors.

“Have It Your Way” Stir Fry

Thursday, April 30th, 2009
Stir Fry with Chicken, Shrimp, Filet & Veggies.

Stir Fry with Chicken, Shrimp, Filet & Veggies.

If you are looking for a healthy recipe that can be modified to your taste- stir fry is for you. It is hard to mess up a stir fry – overcooking the vegetables, sure… but changing the amounts of any one ingredient will not make that much of a difference.  In fact, it’s probably better if you tweak the ingredients to suit your taste

My mother sent me her stir fry “recipe” – more like a long paragraph with tips on how she makes her stir fry rather than an actual recipe.  She stresses the “use what you like” concept, along with some basic sound stir fry principles.  Prep everything ahead of time; use a heavy, large pan; don’t overcook the vegetables; pick a sauce you like.  Her “recipe” has no accurate measurements just approximations, so experiment.  If you like more garlic, add more. If you go crazy for Bok Choy, go for it.  You like mushrooms, go bananas…you get the picture. 

It is made different every time, and it is probably important to say that it comes out good every time.  Remember, don’t get hung up on the measurements – do what feels right and follow the basic principles and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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Time to Break Out the Charcoal Grill!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Two Chimney Starters are Better Than One!

Two Chimney Starters are Better Than One!

I am looking out my window today and what a dreary day it is.  Why can’t every day be cook out weather

We had great weather this past weekend – perfect  for a few Corona’s and the Weber.   Ahh…the beauty of the charcoal grill.  My husband loves his Weber, he prefers it to a gas grill any day.   Most people say that it takes too long to get the coals hot enough – those people have probably never used a chimney starter.  Chimney starters eliminate the need for of lighter fluid which can taint the flavor of foods, they also get your coals extremely hot, quickly! 

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