Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mmmmmmm Summer

Well summer seems to have arrived here, finally! And with it lighter meals and many improvisations. So my words today are short and sweet....

Enjoy! :)
Monday- Cheater Chicken Souvlaki, grilled veggies, pita and homemade hummus

Lemon Hummus:

1 can rinsed chick peas
olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon tahini
salt and pepper
1 squeezed lemon
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp cumin

Garnish with a drizzle of yummy olive oil, a dash of paprika, or pine nuts

Through it all in the processor, tweak, and eat!! Yummm

Tuesday- Girls are coming over for SUSHI night! I'll post pics and recipes I promise :)

Wednesday- I will take the leftovers from Monday and toss them with some feta cheese and wrap them up in leftover pita for Greek wraps

Thursday - Tomato, Mozzarella and cherry tomato salad
Cold Grilled chicken
Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Garlic Salt
Balsamic Vinegar

Cut tomatoes, chicken, mozzarella into small bite size pieces
Grill the chicken the night before…
Grape work well…If using regular tomatoes, remove the seeds so its not too juicy.
Combine with fresh basil - you can leave the basil in leaves or chop, depending on your taste.
Add garlic salt & pepper to taste
Add enough balsamic vinegar to coat, and have some at the bottom

It is best if you make it a few hours ahead.
You have to taste it and add whatever it needs more of before you serve it. I served it with slices of baguette, but it could stand on its own or go with pita or anything else you have around. Add pasta if you want it to be heartier… but the pasta will suck up a lot of balsamic… so you will need to add more.

Friday - My new favorite sandwich

light rye bread
sundried tomato turkey
roasted garlic mayo
orange and green peppers
romaine lettuce

Saturday and Sunday we will be eating with friends, so the menu is yet to be determined!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I forgot the title....

Well my friends another week has passed. I am a year older and ok with it....i think. I didn't get my favorite cake I have had every year since I was little (angel food topped with whip cream, strawberries and cherries) but I am ok with it....i think.

I am hoping you can all share some of your favorite summer salad recipes with me! I am looking to slim down and want to make some more healthy choices. So please feel free to contribute your salad recipes in the comments section or on my facebook page!
Have a good one my friends!

Monday- Steak and Ceasar wraps, OR to cut carbs, steak ceasar salad
We are making steak instead of tacos tonight and have one extra which I will grill and slice thinly to use in wraps....

Tuesday- Lemon Dill Salmon Skewers with quinoa & kale

4 centre cut salmon fillet
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp grated lime rind
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Remove and discard skin from salmon; cut into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) cubes to make 24 pieces.
In large glass bowl, mix together dill, oil, lemon rind and juice, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Add salmon cubes and toss to coat; let stand for 10 minutes.
Beginning and ending with lemon wedge, thread salmon loosely onto 4 metal skewers, reserving marinade. Place on greased grill over medium heat; brush with marinade. Close lid and grill, turning twice, until fish flakes easily when tested, about 10 minutes.

Wednesday- Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad (can you tell I'm on a couscous kick???)

3 tbsp (50 mL) balsamic_vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) prepared pesto
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive_oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) whole wheat couscous
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green_onion, sliced
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
1 sweet yellow pepper, quartered
1 cup (250 mL) halved grape or cherry_tomatoes

In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, pesto, oil and pepper; set aside.
In large bowl, combine couscous with 3/4 cup (175 mL) boiling water; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork; fold in chickpeas and green onion.
Cut eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Place eggplant, zucchini and yellow pepper on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.
Cut eggplant and zucchini into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wide strips. Cut pepper into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Add grilled vegetables and tomatoes to couscous. Add pesto mixture; toss to combine.

Thursday- Homemade pizzas on whole wheat pitas
My favorite of the day is garlic and olive oil on the pita, topped with spinich, feta, and whatever meat I have on hand

Friday- Chicken & Veggie Teriyaki Skewers

Quick Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 slices gingerroot
1 tbsp cornstarch

Saturday- Burgers on the BBQ

Sunday- Out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Damn that girl in an Igloo.....

My friend, let's call her Square, has a ridiculously fabulous blog called From an Igloo. It is seriously cool. She kinda makes me want to be craftier, hell I even bought fabric to make her One Hour Sundress. This from the girl who failed Grade 8 sewing, a MANDATORY course at my all girls Catholic school....SERIOUSLY FAILED SEWING. But I digress.....where was I heading with this one.....oh yeah cookies!

Yesterday Square posted this recipe Best Ever Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies They were inspired by the old snack and a half ice cream treat, does anyone else remember them??? 2 yummy oatmeal cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream and covered in a thin layer of chocolate mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Well DAMN her, I just so happened to have all the ingredients to make them in my cupboard, well except the chips but when in trouble sub SMARTIES.  Now I know this is a Canadian candy but my American friends you must have SOMETHING similar!

At any rate, the cookies were made and consumed warm and out of the oven,

then again with ice cream for desert,

and well I think they were a hit......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

While perusing one of my favorite "foodie" websites foodgawker I came across some yummy looking summer salads. The first I am going to try this week is from the parsley thief there are some seriously good looking pictures of food on her website! The second is from FatFree Vegan Kitchen Now we all know I love my meat, but this recipe looks so so good!

Also I am taking suggestions for sugar free/low/no carb recipes! I need some menus to help out a friend! So please leave me comments here or on my fb page and help a sista out!

Monday- Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, "30 Minute Suppers", Summer 2010
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup {packed} fresh basil leaves
juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cups + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt & pepper, to taste
1 pound Campanelle pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces baby arugula

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta, according to the package instructions, until 1 minute less than al dente. Drain & rinse under cold water.
Meanwhile, combine the pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, basil & lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the 2/3 cups olive oil & process until incorporated.
Rinse & trim the chicken breast. Then slice them down the middle, so that you have 4 thin pieces of chicken. Drizzle them with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil & season generously with salt & freshly ground pepper. Grill for about 3-5 minutes per side {depending on how thin they are}, or until they are cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board & cut into thin slices.
Combine the pasta, tomatoes, arugula & sliced chicken in a large bowl. Add a bit of the dressing at a time & toss, until the salad is well coated with the pesto. You may not need all of it {If making ahead of time, or you end up with some leftovers, save the dressing to re-hydrate the salad later on}.
Check the salad for seasoning & serve.

Tuesday -Israeli Couscous Summer Pilaf
Make sure to use a firm, flavorful cucumber with a minimum of seeds. Hothouse cucumber is a good choice for this if you can’t get a small, firm variety straight from the garden or farm market.

1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 heaping cup cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large stalk celery, strings removed and diced
2 scallions, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh dill, or more, to taste
10 to 12 basil leaves, thinly sliced, or more, to taste
4 medium firm, ripe apricots or 3 medium firm, ripe nectarines, pitted and diced
1 heaping cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes (red or yellow, or a combination)
1 medium firm, ripe avocado, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or less if you’d like a lower fat dish)
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mixed baby greens, as needed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the Israeli couscous and cook at a rapid simmer for about 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water until the couscous is at room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, combine the couscous with the remaining ingredients except the last two. Toss well to combine.

Line a large serving platter with some greens. Mound the salad over them, letting some of the greens show along the edge. Sprinkle the top with the toasted nuts. Serve at once or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Wednesday - bbq burgers and (leftover) salads

Thursday - OUT! It's my birthday!!!

Friday - homemade pizza

Saturday- Potluck picnic with friends at "the farm"

Sunday - Tacos, or nachos (at the request of my 6 yo)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

A well stocked freezer.

First I must wish a Happy 4th of July to all my American friends! I hope you all enjoy this day! We were camping in the States this weekend and hit up my favorite box store, cause what's camping without Costco right?!?!?! Hence the title, a well stocked freezer. My challenge now is planning meals that are already in my house, well with the exception of a few fresh veggies!

So without any more grumbling, happy planning!
Monday -Adobo-Marinated Pork Chops with Grilled-Pineapple Salsa

1 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds pork chops
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooking spray
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

Combine first 6 ingredients in a 2-quart baking dish. Trim fat from pork. Place pork in dish, turning to coat; cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning pork occasionally.
Prepare grill.
Remove pork from dish; discard marinade. Brush with oil. Insert a meat thermometer into thickest portion of pork. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 25 minutes or until thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve with Grilled-Pineapple Salsa.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

5 (1-inch) slices fresh pineapple (about 4 1/2 pounds)
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 drained canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

Preheat grill.
Place first 3 ingredients on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side. Discard stems and seeds from bell peppers; dice pineapple and bell peppers. Combine pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and remaining ingredients; toss gently.

Tuesday -Hash Brown Casserole with Bacon, Onions, and Cheese

6 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded Classic Melts Four Cheese blend, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium, 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Add 1 cup onion and garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the potatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake casserole, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.

Wednesday - Buttermilk-Garlic Chicken Kebabs (From this months issue of Canadian Living)with flatbread and tzaziki

3-4 -boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1"-2" chunks
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp dried oregano
juice and zest of 1 lemon
pepper and salt to taste

Combine buttermilk, onion, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, zest, and pepper in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken and let marinate for up to 24 hours.
Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes before grilling. Preheat BBQ to high. Thread chicken onto skewers, sprinkle with salt. Place skewers on grill and reduce heat to medium-low. Close lid and cook 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice, until done.

Thursday - Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta
8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
q/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

Friday- BBQ burgers on the grill and salad

Saturday-Something curry....any suggestions?

Sunday- Steak caesar salad