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Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

Birthday/Anniverary Dinner – Strawberry Basil Lentil Salad and Filet Mignon

June 1, 2011 1 comment

First off, thank you readers! My little blog has surpassed 10,000 views this week! Wow!

Yesterday I finally cooked a real meal again. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I did something other than boil pasta or throw some meat and veggies on the Foreman grill.

For Charles’ birthday, I promised him a home cooked dinner (AND I’d do the dishes. That was almost more exciting to him than the dinner!).

I had actually planned to make this last Thursday, but at the last minute he decided we should go out. A couple weeks ago Lauren posted this recipe to her blog and Charles saw it and thought it looked good. I was surprised. Given that he hates lima beans and quinoa, I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about lentils.

And I was right. He told me I undercooked them. I told them they were supposed to be a sort of meaty texture! I think he would have cooked the hell out of them if I let him!

I followed Lauren’s recipe to a T, except for the tuna. My grocery store doesn’t carry fresh fish, and I didn’t want to risk it with something frozen. So I went for a nice juicy steak to grill instead. Yum!

I can’t serve Charles a plate that doesn’t have something green on it. I meant to sautee some spinach and use it as a bed for the salad, but I forgot to get spinach. It would have been great though. Thankfully, I had grilled eggplant from TJs in the freezer to save the day. And a fresh loaf of challah, it doesn’t get any better.

Charles and I both thought the best part was the balsamic reduction. I think I could eat a shoe if it was coated in that.

The strawberries and basil make a perfect summery salad. And we both felt good for eating something so healthy!

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Valentine’s Day Dinner

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day is sort of hokie to me. I’ve never been all about over-sized red teddy bears or overpriced bouquets of roses. I love the sentiment, but the gifts seem really odd.

Thankfully, Charles gets it too. We give each other cards throughout the year when we seem compelled to, so getting one on Valentine’s Day is only natural. But that’s pretty much it. There’s actually no way on earth he’d be caught dead trying to make a reservation on February 14. There are just some things that people in the restaurant business refuse to add to!

Otherwise, we do what we’d normally do on a Monday night. He makes me dinner 🙂

Last night his goal was to prepare what he would order if we did happen to go out. He’s had Capital Grille on the mind…so the meal revolved around steak.

He wasn’t about to attempt calamari at home, so we began with a platter of sushi. It was hard to restrain myself from filling up on that.

Next course, the wedge salad. The best part of it, the freshly cooked bacon (no bacon bits for this guy!).

Main course, filet for me (NY strip for him), we split a lobster tail, and each had a couple of shrimp he steamed in the rice cooker. Oh, and our favorite, grands layered biscuits. Anyone who came to Thanksgiving in January knows the awesomeness of those biscuits!

Thankfully, I saved a little room for dessert. I knew he’d gotten ice cream and cookies, but what I didn’t know was that he’d gotten Ben and Jerry’s creme brulee ice cream! I’ve had the Haagen Dazs version of the same flavor, but it was no where near as good as B&Js. The swirls of crunchy caramel are amazing! I skipped on the cookies in favor of more ice cream.

 

Couscous with Mix-ins!

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Pardon the photo quality. My camera died on me 😦

I’m a fan of most any food to which you can add toppings – potatoes, ice cream, oatmeal, cake (never heard of cake with toppings? Meet my friend Gretchen), couscous!

I think the first time I ever had couscous was at Coastal Flats. Their pecan crusted trout (yum!) is served on top of a bed of couscous with almonds. What the menu doesn’t reveal, is there are also tons of other yummy bits (craisins, raisins, scallions, etc.) mixed in.

I was happily surprised when I discovered how easy couscous was to make. I thought pasta was simple, but woah! 3 minutes and it’s done!

This caused me to branch out even further, trying Israeli couscous, quinoa, barley, etc. They take a little longer, but have more “stick with you” power than the quick stuff. Especially Israeli couscous, which literally, sticks to you.

I discovered conveniently mixed “Harvest Grains Blend” at Trader Joe’s and gave it a try. In an easy, ready in 10 minutes package, they’ve combined Israeli couscous, orzo, dried beans and quinoa.

But that’s not enough variety for me. It’s still too, well, grainy. (And what do vegan zombies eat? grAAAAAINS)

Last night I whipped up a batch (or, the other half of the bag that was left) using 1/2 the water they call for and subbing lemon juice for the other half (I love lemony grains). Once cooked I added in a handful of craisins and a handful of slivered almonds (both left over from the cheeseballs!). To finish, I stirred in a tablespoon of chutney for even more fruity flavor (yet slightly spicy…also, leftover from the cheeseballs).

It was delicious! And I’m super excited to get to eat cold leftovers with my dinner tonight!

Shrimp Pasta Salad

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

For today’s lunch, I’m eating the last portion of pasta salad I made this week. I started with a recipe, but I can’t follow one to save my life and it ended up totally different!

Ingredients:
1 lb frozen peeled shrimp (this time I bought them uncooked), thawed
1 cup whole wheat rotini
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
dash of red pepper
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil

Add the rontini (or other pasta) to boiling water, cook for 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and continue to boil for another 3 minutes. Drain.

Mix pasta and shrimp with the rest of the ingredients.

Seriously? Yes. It is that easy! And the simple cilantro and lemon make it very refreshing and light tasting.

Nutritional info for this dish is about 120 calories, 2 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber.

If I was to make it again, I’d probably use more pasta.

Tasty Tuesday, Asian Chicken Salad

August 11, 2010 2 comments

Many things made me happy yesterday.

First, I got home in record time…or to the grocery store at least.

Then, when I got home my save the date for my cousin Jill’s wedding was waiting for me. YAY!

Then, my dinner was super yummy and super filling!

Inspired by Martha…and the 50th day this summer over 90 degrees, I made an Asian Chicken salad with a lemon soy dressing.

Ingredients:
Fresh Cilantro Leaves and stems, chopped (I used one whole bunch from the produce stand, about 2 cups)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
One package of Purdue Short Cuts Chicken (rotisserie chicken could be used, but my supermarket was out)
Half a small head of red cabbage, finely sliced
1 Red Pepper, finely sliced
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 hearts of romaine, chopped to bite size pieces (I hate using knives on salads)
2 carrots, shredded
Pea shoots
1/2 cup cashews, chopped in a food processor

For the dressing, I mixed the four ingredients in a blender (a food processor would work better) until it was liquidy enough.

I layered the ingredients of the salad, topping with carrots and pea shoots since I had them on hand from last week’s salad. I was also successful at using my mandolin on the cabbage and pepper without risking any fingers. YAY! For the carrots I just peeled them to death. it was much safer (I held the carrot to my chopping block with a fork while peeling).I really love a colorful salad!

I topped with the cashews and dressing, and YUM! Again, the salads were huge!!

The nutritional info for the dressing was 120 calories/14 fat/0 fiber. I listed it separately since it’s quite “fatty” with all that oil.

The salad was 164/8/2.5 (mostly just the chicken and nuts).

The makings of the salad put me back about $28…but I was also restocking on oil and had to buy a decent size of cashews (man those things are pricey!!). I also have lettuce, cabbage and scallions left over.

To end the night, I splurged on frozen yogurt while at the grocery store because I’ve been majorly craving a “dessert” lately. The stuff isn’t super all natural (and has HFCS as the second ingredient), but boy was it yummy! 110 calories, 1g fat and 0 fiber for that treat.

I’d almost forgotten I had my boopie sherbet glasses, but they make eating actual servings of frozen treats so much more fun! I paired it with one of my baby spoons to make it seem to last longer.

Tasty Tuesday – Chef’s Salad

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

All ready for prep!

Summer nights usually call for something easy that doesn’t require cooking. I’ve been craving a good restaurant salad lately, so I thought I’d try to make something better than the usual bowl of lettuce with store-bought dressing.

Thanks Martha for the inspiration and the recipe for the dressing. At first I thought it was too vinegary, but an hour later when the Boyfriend arrived for dinner, it was wonderfully mixed and tasted wonderful.

I had to purchase most of the ingredients fresh, which is probably the way it should be with salads. All I had on hand currently was the vinegar.

My shopping list for Trader Joe’s was:

  • Light sour cream
  • Buttermilk
  • Lite Provolone
  • Sliced Herbed Turkey
  • Pea Shoots
  • Romaine Hearts
  • Whole Carrots
  • Baby Roma Tomatoes
  • Clover Honey

The total was about $24, so if I really made four servings, it would be only $6 per serving, but I think the recipe makes more like 5 or 6 (neither the Boyfriend or I could finish our giant bowls of salad last night. Funny how we both picked out all the good parts…the meat, cheese, tomatoes and carrots!)

The dressing was made with 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 2 Tablespoons vinegar and 1 Tablespoon honey. I recommend letting it sit for a while to meld if possible.

Salad undressed. *GASP*

I used the whole bag of romaine hearts (three hearts); the whole container (10) of tomatoes, quartered; and made four carrots into matchsticks.

Again…WARNING…use the hand guard when using a mandolin slicer! I sliced not one, but two fingers last night. Luckily they weren’t *too* deep, but they still smart this morning!

I sliced 7 oz. of turkey and 4 oz. of provolone into long strips and layered everything on top of the salad, topping with pea shoots.

With the ingredients I used, the nutritional info came out to approx. 210 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber per serving (if you make 4). Not so bad for a really filling salad!

So now I have a carton of buttermilk to use up. What would you make with it?

Tasty Tuesday

July 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I love me some Healthy Delicious

It’s a recent goal of mine to attempt cooking at least one meal from scratch a week…optimally on Monday so I have fresh leftovers for lunch during the week. I used to LOVE to cook and did it almost nightly…I’m not really sure what happened to that.

Last night I had every intention of making Healthy Delicious’ Orzo Salad with Shrimp. But, Boyfriend wanted to go out for sushi and I wasn’t feeling so hot, so that sounded like a perfect plan.

So instead of being a review this week, Tasty Tuesday will feature my plan for tonight. I will tackle the salad, but of course I can’t follow a recipe. There will be changes!

I do 99% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and they don’t sell plain orzo. So I’ll be subbing it for an Israeli couscous/orzo/quinoa mix. And I’m sort of sick of feta so I might try goat cheese instead.

Check back tomorrow for the actual review!

UPDATE!

My abbreviated version of Healthy Delicious'

I didn’t make the full recipe last night because of a death in the family and not really feeling like stopping to get the rest of the ingredients on my way home. But the recipe was a good foundation for a salad I pulled together with what I had.

Part of the fun in making this was getting to use the great colander my mom got me from Home Goods (she got the dish there for me for Christmas too).

Cooking for one can sometimes be such a chore because of the amount of dishes involved, but when I have cute pieces just the right size for one, I find it way more fun!

I used the couscous/orzo mix and boiled it in about 50/50 water/lemon juice (any ideas how I can keep things like this and rice from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan when I boil them??).

I added about 3 servings of shrimp to four servings of couscous. I added halved grape tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and salt, pepper and dill to taste. It was pretty yummy!

Leave a comment if you tried the full recipe. It will remain on my to do list until I finally make the real version!

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