With summer around the corner, I look forward to colorful and delicious salads full of fresh berries. This is one of my favorites. It is not only full of flavor, but also nutritious and pretty too.
Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, Almonds and Feta
8 ounces fresh spinach
6 ounces fresh blueberries
3 ounces fresh raspberries
16 ounces fresh strawberries
1/4 -1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 – 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
your favorite raspberry, mango or champagne vinaigrette (or try my vinaigrette recipe* below)
Wash all fresh produce and slice the strawberries. Dump all ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing to your liking and toss lightly. Yum Yum!
Favorite Raspberry Vinaigrette*
Tilapia Meunière with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard*
2-3 Tilapia Fillets
½ Cup Black Beluga Lentils
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Bunch Rainbow Chard
1 Red Onion
2-3 sprigs of Parsley (for garnish)
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Capers
2 Teaspoons Ras El Hanout (moroccan spice blend of cardomom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric)
⅓ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
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
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.
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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Our family loves this yummy and delicious soup on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon and often during the holidays with family and friends. We first enjoyed it at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA, a lovely Mediteranean restaurant in our area. Zov, the chef and owner was gracious to share her delicious recipe with all of us. It’s a family favorite!
Golden Lentil Soup
Yield: 12 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 onions, chopped
1 pound dried red lentils, see cook’s notes
1/4 cup raw long-grain rice
12 cups water ( I use 1/2 water and 1/2 vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Garnish: fresh Italian parsley
Cook’s notes: Dried red lentils are sold at natural food stores, Middle Eastern markets and some supermarkets. When they cook, they turn yellow.
I love the robust flavors of indian cuisine but never have time to make the yummy sauces on my own. I recently discovered wonderful authentic sauces made by Maya Kaimal like Tikka Masala and Vindaloo in the refrigerator section at Sprouts Market. They are also available at Mothers and other health food stores. They are my new secret weapon to making delicious indian meals in 30 minutes or less. Sometimes I swap out chicken for tofu to make a vegetarian meal instead. Experiment to see what you like best.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes (sometimes I substitute extra firm tofu)
1 red pepper cut into 1 inch dice
1 container of Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala (approx 1 1/2-2 cups)
¼ cup cilantro leaves
In a medium-sized skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add peppers and cook for just 2-3 minutes. Don’t let them get too limp. Remove from pan and place in small dish. Next add the cubed chicken to the skillet and brown lightly on all sides.
Add the cooked peppers to the chicken and then add the Tikka Masala sauce. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes over low heat or until chicken is cooked through. If sauce becomes too thick, add water to thin.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice or Indian naan or other flatbread.
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