Aunt She She’s Key Lime Pie

IMG_2735Key Lime Pie

This creamy dreamy pie is a favorite in our family.   We always look forward to Aunt SheShe treating us to this delightful and refreshing goodness.  The tartness from the key limes and the sweetness of the crust makes a perfect combination.  It just might become a family favorite for you too!

Makes one 9-inch pie serving 6 to 8

Crust:

1 ½  cups graham cracker crumbs
3  tablespoons sugar
¼  teaspoon salt
6   tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1  14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3  cup fresh squeezed Key juice or regular lime juice. (If using bottled, look for Nellie & Joe’s brand—(Ralph’s carries it.)
3    large egg yolks
1 ½   teaspoons grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
2    tablespoons sugar
¼   teaspoon salt

Topping:

1  cup chilled whipping cream (in a small carton from Trader Joe’s)
2   tablespoons powdered sugar
1   teaspoon vanilla extract
2   Key limes for garnish, sliced thinly (optional)

For crust: Preheat oven to 350. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and stir to coat well. Press crust into 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake 5 to 8 minutes until crust is set and golden brown. Cool.

For filling: In stand mixer fitted with wire whisk or using a hand-held mixer, beat egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes until very fluffy. Add sugar, salt, and condensed milk and beat for 3 or 4 minutes more. Lower mixer speed and gradually add lime juice and beat just until combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake 10-15 minutes (varies by oven), or until filling is set in center. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

For topping: Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until soft peaks form. Spread over pie and garnish with Key lime slices, if desired. (Can be refrigerated several hours ahead, or even overnight.)

Creds to Cynthia Worth  who originally adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit 1/07 and Food Network and shared with Aunt SheShe (aka Sheila Downs).

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Easy Bruschetta

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Bruschetta is and italian antipasto  that boasts a  mixture of chopped tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and garlic, spooned over olive oil brushed slices of toasted baguette or rustic bread. It’s like summer on toast!

You can  prepare the topping  and toast the baguette slices ahead of time if needed. Then you can assemble right before serving.

Easy Bruschetta 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 small slices (serves 6-10 as an appetizer)

Ingredients

  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (I like to use 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced* or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little more for brushing the toast)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Prepare the topping: Finely chop the cherry tomatoes (in 6 pieces) and place them in a medium bowl. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar. Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste. Set aside to marinate.

3. Prepare the baguette slices: Use a bread knife to slice the baguette on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil with a pastry brush and place on a baking sheet or roasting pan.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.  Place in the oven on the top rack and toast for 5-6 minutes. Check for doneness and if needed, toast for 1-2 minutes more until lightly browned and slightly crunchy.  Allow the toast to cool.

4.  Assemble the bruschetta:  Place a small spoonful of topping on toasted bread and place on a serving platter. These can be made up to 30 minutes before serving and still be crunchy due to the toasting with olive oil.

You can also serve the toasts plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for people to top their own.

Psst!   Trader Joe’s offers Bruschetta Sauce in a plastic carton in the refrigerator section and is a great substitute for making your own tomato bruschetta mixture when you are in a hurry.

 

Easy Herbed Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice

Easy Herbed Cauliflower Rice

Yield: 8-10 one-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fine diced yellow onion
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp minced  fresh parsley (or 1/2 tsp if dried)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1-2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and then use a food processor to pulse the florets into rice-like grains.*  Set riced cauliflower aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee, olive oil and onion. Sauté onion until it begins to soften. Then, add the salt, dried parsley, garlic powder and pepper. Stir well to combine the seasonings with the onion. Continue to cook onion another 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the riced cauliflower to the seasoned onion and stir well to combine. Continue stirring and sautéing the cauli-rice until it begins to soften (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the chicken stock and cover the skillet. Allow the cauli-rice to steam for about 5 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the cauli-rice reaches desired texture.
  5. Remove cover, add the minced fresh parsley (optional) and fluff cauli-rice to combine.
  6. Serve alongside your favorite healthy meals.

Recipe Variation: By changing the herbs in this recipe, you can create customized cauli-rice to complement you main dish. For example, substitute minced fresh cilantro for the fresh parsley and add about 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp chili powder to create a delicious Mexi-Style Cauli-Rice.

* Psst!  You can process a head of cauliflower into rice up to 3-4 days in advance. Store the uncooked cauli-rice in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook. Cooked rice should also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and generally tastes great for up to 2-3 days. My favorite store, Trader Joe’s offers a real time saving option – cauliflower rice in a nice little bag in the refrigerator section.  Saves time and clean up!

Note: recipe creds go to thenourishinghome.com where I first found this tasty and nutritious grain-free “rice” dish.

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 Tofu with garlic, ginger and green onions

stir fried tofu
I only recently discovered tofu and the many health benefits it offers. Tofu is a high-protein alternative to red meat. Due to its protein content, eating tofu can help you feel full while consuming fewer calories.  A 1/2-cup serving of regular tofu provides about 10 grams of protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database.
Tofu is also a low-carb food.  A 1/2-cup portion of regular tofu contains about 2 grams of carbohydrates.  When trying to lose weight, trading in red meat and chicken for tofu is a great alternative.  It takes on the flavors of whatever it is cooked with.  Here is a yummy asian-inspired recipe.

Easy Stir- Fry Tofu with Garlic, Ginger and Scallions

 

Ingredients

12-14 oz. tofu (extra firm organic)
2 T. peanut oil (use more or less, depending on your pan)
2 tsp. minced garlic (finely)
2 tsp. ginger root, finely grated ( I use cubed ginger already grated and found at Trader Joe’s in the freezer section).
1 cup scallions (sliced into 2 inch pieces, This is about 1 bunch green onions. Keep white parts separate from green parts.
3 T. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 T. soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 -2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

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Chicken Mango Salad

This is  great summer salad that's easy, tasty and good for you too.

This is great summer salad that’s easy, tasty and good for you too.

Chicken and Mango Salad

Salad

3 green onions, sliced (including greens)
2 mangos (ripe)
4 cups of shredded chicken (I use a whole roasted chicken, available in the deli section of most grocery stores and finger shred it)
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 head of red lettuce, sliced or torn into strips(approx. 4 cups)
½ cup slivered almonds

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Dressing

1/3 cup peanut oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1T Dijon mustard
3 tsp. Asian chili oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ cup Mango Chutney (I like Trader Joes Mango Ginger Chutney)

 Directions
Continue reading

Almond Coconut Granola

coconut almond granola

Almond Coconut Granola*

 

Ingredients

4 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup slivered raw almonds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

5 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil (I use canola oil + ½ tsp. coconut extract)

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup dried cherries (I use raisins if I have no cherries in my pantry)

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

½ cup shaved coconut

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, whole almonds, slivered almonds, salt, cinnamon and cardamom and stir to combine.
  3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the maple syrup, coconut oil, and honey until the coconut oil is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour the liquid over the oat and almond mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet and pour the granola mixture on top of the parchment.
  5. Bake the granola for 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet after 30 minutes and toss the granola. Place the baking sheet back into the oven for another 10 minutes to finish baking. Once the granola is done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the granola cool and add the dried fruits. Once cool, break the granola into pieces and store in an airtight container.
  6. Serve up a bowl for breakfast, eat by the handful for a wholesome snack or serve over yogurt or ice cream for a crunchy treat.

 *This is my version of a recipe I originally found at whatsgabycooking.com.

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