Wednesday, May 30, 2012

spinach and pasta salad

A salad that is very pretty, light and fresh.  I love that the salad dressing Amy chose was without sugar.  If you'd like to make your own dressing for this salad, may I suggest my personal favorite, simple sicilian salad dressing.

spinach and pasta salad (my friend Amy N.)
1 (8 ounce) fresh mozzarella ball cut into small squares
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in ahlf
1 (12 ounce) box tri-color rotini cooked and cooked
1 package fresh babty spinach with stems pinched off
8 ounces Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing

Combine ingredients.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

chickepea cakes with cucumber yogurt sauce

This one's for you, Erin.  Right after we got off the phone I ran to my computer to add this recipe.  I tried and tried to get a good photo of the cucumber-yogurt sauce but I just couldn't seem to pull it off.  Enjoy!

chickpea cakes with cucumber yogurt sauce (my friend Kiana)

2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and shredded
salt and pepper
1 1/4 cups 2% Greek yogurt
6 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (16 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 m3dium shallot, minced
1 lime, cut into wedges

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350.  Process bread in food processor to coarse crumbs.  Spread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 10 to 12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, toss cucumbers, 3/4 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons scallions and 1 tablespoon cilantro together in bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Whisk eggs, 2 tablespoons oil, garam masala, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in bowl.  Place beans in large bowl and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth.  Stir in bread crumbs, egg mixture, shallot and remaining yogurt, scallions and cilantro.  Form bean mixture into six 1-inch-thick patties.
Heat additional 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add half of patties and cook until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate and tent loosely with foil.  Repeat with remaining oil and patties.  Serve with cucumber-yogurt sauce and lime wedges.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

sauteed vegetables

At one of our gourmet club meetings, Dee-Anna mentioned how much her family loves her sauteed vegetables and how easy to make and healthy they are.  She made them for our meal today and they were delicious!  She uses a variety of combinations of vegetables.  I really liked the combination she chose for today.

sauteed vegetables (my friend Dee-Anna)
sliced carrots
sliced onions
sliced zucchini
sliced summer squash
sliced red and yellow peppers
olive oil
garlic powder

Heat olive oil in a grill pan.  Add vegetables and seasonings.  Sautee until the vegetables reach the tenderness you desire.

five layer flat belly dessert

Angeli did an outstanding job with this cake.  It looks even better than than the original!  It's your healthy, satisfying version which is what I like.  It's not very sweet but full of goodness-berries, toasted seeds, ricotta, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, etc.  At the end you can add some chocolate shavings!  Mmmm!  Just what I need- a flat belly!!

five layer flat belly dessert (Dr. Oz)
(makes a 9-inch trifle dessert pan)
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup water
4 cups fat-free ricotta
1 cup coconut milk, well stirred
1 cup shredded, toasted sweetened coconut
4 tablespoons agave syrup
1/2 cup toasted oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
4 cups total of any combination of fresh well-washed berries
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for shaving

Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray or butter and lightly flour each pan.

Layer 1:  In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the cake mix, yogurt and water and mix well until no lumps remain.  Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges cleanly.  Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans.
Meahwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, coconut milk, shredded coconut and agave.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold them together.  Remove the cake from its pan and place in desired glass dish with high sides.  Evenly spread half of the whipped topping mixture on top of the cake (Layer 2).
In a large resealable bag, combine the oats, flaxseeds and walnuts.  Seal the bag and shake well.  Sprinkle half of the mixture evenly over the ricotta (Layer 3), then top with the berries to cover the whole cake surface (Layer 4).
Repeat all 4 layers with the other half of the ingredients.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave the bittersweet chocolate decoratively over the top (Layer 5).  Serve dessert by scooping portions of the cake and all its layers into shallow bowls.

citrus pomegranite quinoa salad

My friend Angeli brought this salad to gourmet club today and it was so tasty!  I can't wait to try it again at home.

citrus pomegranite quinoa salad (my friend Angeli)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley or cilantro
1 cup pomegranite arils
1 can garbanzo or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked in 2 cups water or broth
1-2 avocados, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 teaspoons sugar, honey or agave (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove minced garlic
freshly cracked pepper

Whisk dressing ingredients to combine and pour over the citrus pomegranite quinoa salad.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

chicken enchilada salad wraps

These hit the spot.  They tasted fresh and crisp yet rich and creamy.  Perfect for a 72 degree day.

chicken enchilada salad wraps (idea from Real Mom Kitchen)
4 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (use the crock pot)
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 (10 ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes
2 green onions, diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chopped fresh cilantro
fresh salsa (we like Rojos)
shredded lettuce (we like bagged shredded lettuce best)
8 extra large tortillas, otherwise known as wraps

In a bowl, blend together the cream cheese, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, garlic, rotel tomatoes nad green onions.  Add shredded chicken.  If you have time to let it refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend then do so.  If not, assemble your wraps.  Place tortillas on the counter.  Divide the cheese between the tortillas.  Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas and spread over the cheese.  Top each with a couple tablespoons salsa, cilantro and a big handful of shredded lettuce.  Roll burrito-style and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

baked tilapia loins with creamy dill sauce

This dish was better than I ever dreamed.  Hall of Fame.  I made it when my husband was out of town because of the dill but I think he would've loved it.  The fresh dill made it an outstanding dish.  My oldest, who has never liked fish at all ate fish for dinner!  They all dipped their french bread in the sauce because it was so good.

baked tilapia loins with creamy dill sauce (
4 (4 ounce) tilapia fillets (use the frozen tilapia loins at Costco!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I doubled the dill) 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Season the tilapia fillets with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning on both sides.  Arrange the fillets in a single layer in the baking dish.  Place a layer of lemon slices over the fish fillets.
Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
While the fish is baking, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice and dill in a small bowl.  Serve with tilapia.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

rocky mountain salad

My visiting teaching route was recently changed so I hosted a luncheon for my new companion and the gals we will visit together.  My companion is from the Rocky Mountains and brought this delicious Rocky Mountain salad.  Even though we had soup and rolls and dessert to go with it, I about made a meal out of this salad.  My new favorite.

rocky mountain salad (my friend Lindsay)
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
1 head green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (she used marinated hearts)
1 large avocado, chopped
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons cinder vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Mix onion, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in blender.  Gradually add oil and mix well.  Set dressing aside.  In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients.  Add dressing to coat and serve immediately.