Ina-Inspired Tomato Soup

IMG_1324Easy Tomato Soup inspired by Ina Garten

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Preparation

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Skinny Chicken Parmesan

Skinny Chicken Parm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 lb. thin-sliced boneless chicken breast (or chicken tenders)
1 egg, beaten
shredded parmesan cheese (enough to coat the chicken)
1-2 tomatoes, medium diced
½ brown onion, sliced
Italian seasoning (2-3 shakes)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil

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Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons

Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons

Ceasar Salad with Seared Salmon

Makes: 2 Servings

It is rare that my oldest daughter is home and we get to cook together.  Yesterday was one of those treats.  Together we whipped up a delicious Caesar Salad and turned it into a hearty entree by adding a flakey, pan seared salmon fillet and homemade croutons. The creamy dressing is light and tangy.  This is an easy dinner prepared in less than 30 minutes.   We enjoyed it out on the back patio.  The meal together was heaven on earth!

Ingredients

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Refreshing Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad

tomato cucumber and onion salad

Easy and refreshing, this quick salad recipe is great for summer.  I love to mix up the tomatoes for a unique twist.  It takes just 5 minutes to prepare and is big on tangy flavor.  Include it at your next BBQ!

 

Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad

Ingredients

Approximately 1 pound of tomatoes (I like  small heirloom tomatoes, combined with grape and cherry tomatoes, quartered or  halved lengthwise depending on the size)
1/4 red onion (or sweet Maui Onion) peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 splashes red wine vinegar
1 splash of apple cider vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper

Directions

Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil,  vinegars, salt, and pepper.

Let stand to allow onions to mellow and flavors to blend, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.

Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles

I just recently discovered the spiralizer – a fabulous kitchen gadget allowing you to turn traditional pasta meals into healthy low carb ones using vegetables instead of noodles.  Here is my latest family favorite.

SKINNY SHRIMP SCAMPI

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 – 2 pounds (4-5 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in  lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 of chicken stock; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer; stir in zucchini noodles until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add remaining vegetable broth if it seems to dry.

Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

Seared Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Chili Oil

bok choy with garlic and chili oil

Benefits of Bok Choy

One cup  of bok choy has just nine calories  and provides protein, dietary fiber and almost all the essential vitamins and minerals you need. This Chinese cabbage is a nutrient-dense food that offers several health benefits.  Here are my top four:

1. Antioxidants

One cup of shredded bok choy has 34 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and more than a full day’s intake of vitamin A. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells from damage by neutralizing free radicals, or unstable molecules that result from vital chemical processes. Bok choy contains lutein and zeaxanthin too, which are antioxidants that protect the eyes and lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

2. Strong Bones

In addition to calcium, you need magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K to build and maintain strong bones. One cup of shredded bok choy delivers at least 3 percent of the recommended daily intake of magnesium and phosphorus, 7 percent of calcium and 26 percent of vitamin K.

3. Heart Health

One cup of bok choy provides 11 percent of the recommended daily intake of both folate and vitamin B-6. Folate and vitamin B-6 remove the amino acid homocysteine from the blood. This is important because high levels of homocysteine increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.   It also has 4 percent of the daily value of potassium, which regulates the heartbeat. The calcium and magnesium essential for bones also play a role in maintaining a healthy heart. Calcium stimulates heart muscles to contract, while magnesium encourages them to relax.

4. Cancer Protection

Bok choy has unique sulfur-containing compounds that may reduce the risk of breast, prostate, lung and digestive tract cancers. These substances may help the body eliminate carcinogens, prevent cells from turning into cancer or alter metabolism to stop the development of hormone-sensitive cancers. One cup of chopped bok choy has 38 milligrams of glucosinolates.

Here’s a quick stir-fry recipe has spicy bold flavor and is an easy side dish to perk up most any meal, while giving you all the benefits that bok choy provide.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. sesame seeds
4 heads baby bok choy, about 1 lb. total
1 1/2 Tbs. canola oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tsp. Asian chili oil

Directions:

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Sundried Tomato Pesto Zoodles

Sundried Tomato Pesto and Zoodles 
I love this dish as it replaces traditional pasta with low-carb zucchini ribbons and the sundried tomato pesto is to die for. We can’t get enough at my house!

Sundried Tomato Pesto Zoodles

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini squash, rinsed + cut in very small strips or spiralized
  • 2 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. of chopped, fresh rosemary leaves, (1/4 tsp. if you use dried rosemary)
  • 1/2 tsp. of italian seasoning
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of olive oil for pesto
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil for zoodles

Directions:

  • Cut the zucchini. (I use the Microplane Spiral Cutter because it makes pretty ribbons of healthy and delicious vegetables)spiralized zucchini
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Lay tomatoes on a lined baking sheet
  • Sprinkle with S+P and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • Roast for 6-8 minutesroasted tomatoes
  • Meanwhile, add sun-dried tomatoes, basil, walnuts, cheese, red pepper, rosemary,  italian seasoning, and S+P to a food processor
  • Sundried Tomato PestoWhile processing on low, slowly add in the olive oil
  • IMG_6971In a  large saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat
  • Add zoodles and S+P to pan + saute for 3-4 minutes
  • Add roasted tomatoes  and S+P to pan and cook another 3-4 minuteszoodles and tomatoes
  • Stir in pesto and toss gently, cooking another 2-3 minutes
  • Serve with extra parmesansundried tomatoes and zoodles

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