Recipe

Healthy but Yummy

I’m such a foodie.  I’m a foodie that desperately wants to eat healthier.  But I find that some healthy recipes just aren’t great tasting.  Feels like I’m settling.  These recipes don’t make me feel that way.

HEALTHY ASIAN LETTUCE WRAPS

Source: Apple of my Eye

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Recipe

Argentine Dinner

My brother-in-law is from Argentina, close to Mendoza.  He makes some amazing chimichurri sauce that we eat on steak or Argentine sausages when we have a cookout at their home.  Always a fun time, and he was the inspiration for tonight’s dinner.

Key West Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, Potatoes and salad with grilled naan

Key West Flank Steak

  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Key lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 Key limes, halved
  • 1 beef flank steak (1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. In a small bowl, combine onion, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and 2 tablespoons oil until blended. Pour 1 cup marinade into a large bowl or shallow dish. Add lime halves. Rub steak with remaining oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to bowl; turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
  2. Drain steak, discarding marinade and limes in bowl. Place reserved marinade in a food processor; process until chopped chopped.
  3. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°), 6-8 minutes per side. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade. Let stand 10 minutes before thinly slicing steak across the grain.

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

PREPARATION

Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Source: Epicurious

 

Bacon and Pancetta Potatoes

4 thick-cut slices bacon, roughly chopped

2 (1/4-inch thick) slices pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon and pancetta are brown and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and pancetta pieces to paper towels to drain. Add the potatoes and garlic to the pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are golden and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the thyme, cooked bacon and cooked pancetta to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl and serve immediately.

Source: Giada DeLaurentis

Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (combination of parsley, chives, chervil, savory, dill or celery leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

directions

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe

Summer Grilling

The one thing I love about summer is all of the grilling we get to do and the eating al fresco (that means outside, right?).  Even if you have those indoor grill pans, nothing beats the carcinogens of an actual grill.  I mean the grill marks.

Our dinner tonight was grilled chicken pitas.  I’m going to give you the recipe for the grilled chicken (super easy) then you just assemble with your favorite toppings.  Mine has lettuce, Ranch dressing, and red onion.  Yum!

Grilled Italian Chicken Breast Fillets

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 chicken breast fillets007
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

Place chicken in bowl; return to refrigerator. In a separate bowl mix together lemon juice, salt, garlic and red pepper; gradually whisk in olive oil. Stir in dried oregano. Pour marinade over chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, turning chicken occasionally. Preheat grill to medium-hot. Remove chicken from marinade and discard. Grill until tests done.

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ChickenSoftTacos_zpsdd9d0c98

Grilled Taco Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • nonstick cooking spray

directions

Preheat grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning mix, chili powder and salt. Spray each breast with cooking spray and sprinkle with spice mixture. Rub evenly to coat well. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes or until no pink remains in the chicken and the juices run clear.

KRISTI’S DAD’S BASTING SAUCE

Funny story with this sauce. My college dorm mates and I took turns cooking for each other because we hated eating at the school cafeteria.  A friend had a secret sauce that she used to grill burgers with, and they were delicious!  Naturally, I asked for the recipe.  She said “no, it’s a secret.”  We waited for her to go to the bathroom and set up watches, while I rummaged through her desk.  Two seconds later I found the sticky note with the info.  Devious yes?  Delicious?  Also yes.

Ingredients

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Bring to a boil slowly. Baste on meat liberally.

Recipe

Recipe: 5 Minute Tomato Salsa

Mexican food is my favorite.  And the one thing I love about Mexican food above all others is the salsa.  This one reminds me of the salsa at one of my childhood favorite haunts: Pancho’s in Ft. Walton Beach Florida.  Easy to make, and very fresh tasting!

5 MINUTE TOMATO SALSA

Very fresh, make as spicy as you want by leaving seeds of jalapeno in if desired.
Source: The Best Quick
1/2 small jalapeno, minced
1/4 small red onion, peeled
1 small garlic clove, pressed and minced
2 tablespoons packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime juice
14 1⁄2 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
Pulse all ingredients except tomatoes in food processor until minced, about 5 times.
Add tomatoes and pulse 2 times. Transfer to fine mesh sieve and drain for one minute.
Recipe

Mixing it up

The other night I found myself with all of the makings for tacos, except for a packet of taco seasoning.  Ugh!  No way was I going back to the grocery store for one ingredient.  I searched the web, and found this delicious alternative…and the plus side?  Yep, I had all of the ingredients right in my spice cupboard.  I decided to look up other spice mixes that I can keep on hand to jazz up dinners and found some other fine ones.  Try one tonight!

Taco Seasoning Mix   Taco Seasoning Mix Zaar

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons instant onion, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, Crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, Ground

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well.
  2. Spoon mixture onto a 6-inch square of aluminum foil and fold to make airtight. Label as Taco Seasoning Mix.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 6 months.
  4. Using the above recipe as a guide you can increase the amounts to make any number of packages.
  5. Taco Filling: Brown 1 lb lean ground beef in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; drain the excess grease. Add 1/2 cup water and the seasoning mix.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Daddy’s Hot Chocolate Mixtumblr_nu02ji4efs1s8fz55o1_500

  • 30 ounces Nestles Quik
  • 11 ounces coffee creamer
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 25 ounces powdered milk Cafe1 Mix all this together.

2 Store in container.

3 When ready to use fill mug or cup with half mix and then fill with hot water.

 

 

CAFE MOCHA MIX

12  cup instant espresso instant coffee granules or 12 cup instant coffee granules

14  cup unsweetened cocoa

14  cup non-dairy coffee creamer

6  tablespoons powdered sugar

In small bowl, comine all ingredients, mix well. Store in airtight container. To serve, spoon 1-2 tablespoons mix into cup. Add 3/4 cup boiling water; stir to dissolve.

Recipe

A good life

When I’m planning a trip somewhere, I do my research.  I am a list maker from way back and I get joy from checking things off of one.  I was thinking of taking a trip to Kitty Hawk in NC.  Mary Ashley and I do these “Discovery Days” where we take a city in our area and discover all there is to know about it.  Fun, and she shares stuff.  We tight.

OK, so I found this restaurant people talk about called The Good Life there.  Knocking around that website, I see that they cater.  They are custom caterers, meaning they’ll do exactly what you want.  Even your favorite FAMILY recipes.  That idea is so cool to me!  I checked the menus they had online and found one that seemed really delicious for a beach side barbecue.

 

And then I thought…I can do that!

Here’s the plan.  I’ve tested most recipes, and the rest I will end up testing before summer so I can have everything just right!

CHEESE AND CRACKER ARRAY

So for my cheese tray I’ll use a nice herbed goat cheese log from Montchevre.  I got mine at Wal-Mart of all places!  To go with the soft goat cheese, I’d also choose a sharp cheddar from Ashe County.  Pricey perhaps, but worth it.  Also, I’d include this Chocolate Lab from Asheville’s Looking Glass Creamery that uses a local beer and is rubbed with French Broad Chocolate companies own cocoa nibs. Finally, I’d use a harder cheese from the NC dairy farm Three Graces Dairy like the Goldie, which is raw aged cow’s milk cheese much like gouda.  The crackers have to be Root & Branches Seeded Wheat Flatbreads.

HUMMUS AND PITA POINTS

This hummus is life.  It just is.  It’s a recipe I got out of my New York Times Cookbook, meaning to monkey with it.  No need, perfect as written.

HUMMUS BI TAHINI

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
    • 5 tablespoons chicken broth
    • 3/4 cup tahini
    • 1/2-3/4 cup lemon juice
    • salt
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put chickpeas in food processor and add broth, tahini and lemon juice to taste. Blend until smooth. Add salt if needed. Add garlic and pulse to mix.
  2. Spoon hummus into wide, shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita chips.

DEVILED EGGS

I’ve tried a million recipes, but you know what?  The simplest one is the best one.  It reminds me of those my mom used to make and she makes the best, that’s that.  So, here’s my recipe for that: Deviled Eggs

NC PULLED PORK BARBECUE

There are better methods I’m sure.  But, I’m not great on the grill.  It’s on my to do list, so for now, I’d cook the shoulder in a large crockpot with sauce on low for 8 hours, shred and serve with leftover sauce.  Done and done.  The trick is in the delicious sauce!  So for that you need to use: Spicy Barbecue Sauce.

ROLLS

I’m not making these when I can buy something sweetish and soft in the store.  Try these:

COLE SLAW

Purists may not like this idea, but this slaw that I made from Blue Apron is my favorite.  And that’s what I’d have with my BBQ sandwiches.  If that offends you, the next best thing is to go to Lincoln Seafood and pick up some of their slaw.  It’s the best around here.

CREAMY CONE CABBAGE AND RED ONION SLAW

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 head cone cabbage, thinly sliced ( or 1/4 head of cabbage)
    • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
    • 1/4 cup Mexican crema or 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
    • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. In medium bowl, combine cabbage, crema, sugar, juice of 3 limes and as many of the red onion slices you’d like.
  2. Toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Allow to sit 10 minutes before eating.

 

BBQ CHICKEN PIECES

I know this sounds like a lot of ingredients, but you have most of it right in your pantry.  Very flavorful!

FOIL BAKED BARBECUED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

    • 3 lbs chicken, cut up
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/3 cup catsup
    • 1/3 cup vinegar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

DIRECTIONS

  1. Salt and pepper chicken. Combine all remaining ingredients. Dip chicken into this. Seal tightly with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes at 400. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, basting with remaining sauce.

 

CORN PUDDING

I recently made this recipe from the Pioneer Woman for a Christmas party and it was a huge hit.  You have to try it for the corn pudding! Fresh Corn Casserole

 

GREEN BEANS

Sounds easy, right?  Wrong.  Green beans are easily one of the most bland vegetables you can eat.  You have to doctor them up to make them palatable.

COUNTRY GREEN BEANS

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans green beans
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped cooked ham
    • 1/4 cup butter or 1/4 cup margarine
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 garlic clove ( minced)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.

 

Recipe

Party Menu: Bruschetta Bar

With so many people going with the trend of tapas or “small plates”, what could be easier for entertaining than a Bruschetta Bar?  I resolve in 2018 to entertain more because I love it!  And this simple menu allows guests to informally relax and make their own bruschetta, or choose from the few baked varieties I include.

This idea came to me from What’s Gaby Cooking.  She’s got the goods on what you should put on your board, what is essential for the party and even recipes for some delicious toppings.  Just click the link to check her out.  This is her picture, doesn’t it look scrumptious?

In addition to Gaby’s bountiful spread, I’m sharing some of my favorite bruschetta recipes.  I love anything artichoke, and this first one is yummy.

ARTICHOKE BRUSCHETTA

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
    • 1/3 cup minced onion
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • mayonnaise
    • 16 -18 slices of a small baguette ( 1/3″ thick)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chop artichokes well.
  2. Mix artichokes, onion, and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Add just enough mayonnaise to make spreadable.
  4. Add garlic powder, mix well.
  5. Spread baguette slices with artichoke spread and place on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until topping starts to bubble and brown.

 

Here’s another favorite of mine.  Originally it was from the Olive Garden website.  Really delicious and simple to make and keep in fridge ’til party time!

BRUSCHETTA CANNELLINI

INGREDIENTS

    • 0.5 (15 ounce) cans white cannellini beans, drained
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream
    • salt & pepper
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 loaf Italian bread
    • extra virgin olive oil ( to drizzle)
    • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
    • 1 small plum tomato, diced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley ( to garnish)

DIRECTIONS

  1. MIX drained beans, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar and sour cream in blender or food processor until smooth. Add olive oil slowly with blender or processor on. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate approximately one hour.
  2. DRIZZLE both sides of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Grill bread on both sides.
  3. RUB grilled bread with cut half of garlic to infuse with garlic flavor.
  4. PLACE bowl of chilled cannellini mixture in center of large platter. Stagger grilled bread slices around bowl. Garnish with tomatoes and parsley.

Now for the most traditional version.  I love this, and I’m not even a tomato lover.  That’s how yummy it is.  Another prepare-ahead marvel!

TOMATO AND BASIL BRUSCHETTA

INGREDIENTS

    • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
    • 8 slices Italian bread, cut about 1 inch thick
    • 2 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together chopped garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil.
  2. When combined slowly drizzle in oil.
  3. Add tomatoes and let sit for 20 minutes at room temp.
  4. Meanwhile back at the bat cave, toast the bread.
  5. This can be done either in the toaster (if it’s got really wide slots) or under the broiler (if using this method watch closely so it doesn’t become a briquette).
  6. When the bread is toasted rub each piece, on one side, with the whole garlic pieces.
  7. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and top with tomato mixture.
  8. Sprinkle on a little cheese and broil till the cheese melts (you can skip that last broiling bit and it’s equally as wonderful).
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. The tomato mixture also makes a wonderful vinaigrette for an antipasto salad.
  11. Enjoy!