Nectarine and Tomato Salad

nectarine and tomato salad

Nectarine and Tomato Salad

2-3 nectarines sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)

2-3 tomatoes sliced into wedges

4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped (I like to slice them with a scissors)

¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic)

¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts

Salt and Pepper

 

Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices in a circle on a round platter overlapping them slightly.

Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

 

Note: you can also serve this salad on individual plates if you prefer.Nectarine and Tomato Salad

Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad

mango black bean quinoa salad

Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lime zest, lime juice and salt and pepper and set aside.

 

Salad:
In a large bowl, combine quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro (hold the mango for now).

Stir up dressing once more and drizzle over quinoa salad. Toss to distribute evenly.

Then add mango chucks and toss gently. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Chill and serve.

Stir-Fried Thai Noodles

Pad Thai,  is a savory, saucy, stir-fried noodle dish that I adore. Though the dish itself is said to have originated in China, it spread throughout Thailand in the 1930s and 1940s as street food. Using local ingredients and produce, Thai cooks transformed the dish’s flavor profile into what we recognize today. With peanuts, lime juice, ginger, chile sauce and coconut milk, this simple stir-fry has an array of harmonious flavors.  I stumbled upon this yummy vegan dish by Blue Apron chefs. It’s easy to make, and a quick and delicious meal perfect for any season.

Ingredients

Stir-Fried Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Gai Lan & Snow Peas ingredients
  • 8 Ounces Rice Noodles
  • 2 Scallions
  • ½ Bunch Gai Lan
  • 1 Lime
  • ¼ Pound Snow Peas
  • 2 Teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1 1-Inch Piece Ginger
  • Cup Peanut Butter
  • ¼ Cup Peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk Powder

Instructions

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Trim off and discard the snow pea stems; pull off and discard the tough string that runs the length of each pod. Halve the snow peas on an angle. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Trim off and discard the ends of the gai lan stems. Quarter the lime. Peel and mince the ginger. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk powder and ¼ cup of water.

 

Cook the aromatics:

In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the white bottoms of the scallions and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Add the vegetables:

Add the snow peas and gai lan to the pan of aromatics. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the gai lan has wilted. Turn off the heat.

Cook the noodles:

While the vegetables cook, add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Make the peanut sauce:

While the noodles cook, in a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, sweet soy sauce and as much of the Sriracha as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Whisk in ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish & plate your dish:

Add the peanut sauce and coconut milk powder mixture to the pan of vegetables; stir until thoroughly combined. Add the cooked noodles and the juice of all 4 lime wedges. Cook on medium-high, stirring to coat the noodles, 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished noodles and vegetables between 2 dishes. Garnish with the peanuts and green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

NOTE:

Coconut milk powder is an ingredient in most Southeast Asian cooking and is not the liquid inside a coconut. Coconut milk is classified as thick, thin, or coconut cream.  Canned coconut milk separates naturally and the top layer is the coconut cream.  This top layer is dehydrated to make coconut milk powder.  In a pinch, you could use canned coconut milk to replace the coconut milk power and the 1/4 cup water that the recipe calls for.

 

 

Red White and Blue Kabobs

Red white and blue kabobs
These are an easy, patriotic addition to your Memorial Day, Veterans Day or Fourth Of July BBQ table

Fruity Pizza

Fruity PizzaCan’t wait until summer to have this pizza!  Packed with vitamins and minerals, this Fruity Pizza is the bomb.

The Watermelon “crust” is full of nutritious benefits. It is a high lycopene food. Lycopene is especially important in cardiovascular health and an increasing number of scientists are finding that it is beneficial in bone health too.  It also has amino acids known to promote strong kidneys and other organs.

The Kiwi  topping is one of the healthiest foods.  It has the equivalnet vitamin C of an orange  and its available year round.  The California crop is from November thru May and then we get them from New Zealand.  Their crop hits the market June thru October.  Kiwis are a great source of dietary fiber and also provides great antioxident protection.

Blueberries are full of nutritious benefits as well.  Chock full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, potasium and magnesium, these colorful fruits make a great pizza topping that is good for you and your body.

Dried  shredded coconut not only adds fiber, it adds iron which helps with healthy circulation and tissue maintenance.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

watermelon (large slice) cut into eight pie slices
kiwi, peeled and sliced
strawberries, cut in fourths
nectarines, sliced
green grapes, cut in half
whole blueberries
shredded cocunut

Vegetarian Jambalaya

vegetarian jambalayaMy sister recently sent me a subscription to Blue Apron and a box arrived right to my door.  I was intrigued.  The company sends you all the fresh ingredients to prepare three delicious meals for your family during the week, along with the recipe (including photos) to help you prepare it.  It was Mardi Gras this week so the meals all seamed to have a creole/cajun theme.  I decided to start with the Farro Jambalaya. Full of fragrant vegetables, this hearty meal was a hit with my family.  I have included the recipe here so I can make it again.  Yummy!

Vegetarian Jambalaya

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Simple Salad

simple saladThis is my go to salad. It compliments any meal and is so light and simple.

Favorite Vinaigrette Dressing

½ cup cider vinegar (or your favorite vinegar, I like lemon or grapefruit-infused vinegars)
1T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced shallot
½ tsp. honey
6 T EVOO
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients but salt and pepper in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Salad

Mixed greens (any mix of red and green romaine, red and green oak leaf, kale, frisee, and spinach)
Thinly sliced red onion (just a few)
Shredded carrots (handful)
Sliced tomatoes (homegrown are the most flavorful)
Fresh ground pepper to taste

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Holiday Brunch Citrus Salad

Holiday Brunch Citrus Salad
My friend Andrea shared this recipe with me years ago.  I made it this holiday as part of Christmas brunch.  It looks so festive and is tasty and refreshing too.

 

Holiday Brunch Grapefruit Salad

2 white grapefruit

2 pink grapefruit

6 navel oranges

½ cup fresh mint leaves

¼ cup sugar

dried cranberries or pomagranate seeds

 

Directions:

1. Peel and cut between membranes of citrus to remove sections. You can do this the night before.

2.  Cut the mint leaves with kitchen scissors into thin strips.

3. Mix the mint  in with the sugar and add pomegranate seeds or cranberries.

4.  Sprinkle over the fruit and stir lightly.

Enjoy!

Psst!  I sometimes cheat and buy the fresh citrus already peeled, cut and sweetened.  Del Monte markets it in a glass jar that can be found in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores.

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Guilt-Free Cookies

simple, healthy and satisfying

simple, healthy and satisfying

Guilt-Free Cookies

 

Slice an apple into 1/8 inch discs ( I like Granny Smith)
Spread thinly with creamy peanut butter or almond butter
Drop 4-5 chocolate chips on each apple slice
Add 3-4 raisins on each
Sprinkle with shaved or shredded coconut
Optional (add finely chopped walnuts)

Enjoy this guilt-free little slice of heaven!

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Tasty Grilled Vegetables

tasty grilled vegetables

Grilled Vegetables

You can use any combination of vegetables below to whip up a super easy, tasty, healthy, and colorful  side dish for any meal.  

2 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
2 peppers (red and green), seeds removed and sliced lengthwise into 1-2 inch wide slices
1 large onion sliced into ¾ -1 inch rounds
1 large portabella mushroom sliced ½ inch thick

In a measuring cup, add approx. ¼ cup olive oil and 2-3 cloves of finely minced garlic. Mix and set aside.

Place sliced veggies in a shallow pan (8X8) and drizzle with oil mixture. Gently toss. (You can also brush vegetables with a pasty brush generously dipped in oil and garlic mixture if you’d like).

 

Place on a medium grill and cook until slightly charred and softened.

 

Remove from heat and place on platter and serve.  Yummy!

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