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)


Stephanie said...

Oh Happy Happy Birthday to you! Hope you have the best day")