Archive | July, 2015

My favorite egg salad sandwich

egg salad (3)

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This delicious egg salad has an unexpected Mediterranean flair.  I came up with the recipe when I needed a quick lunch and only had a few staples in my pantry…eggs, green olives, lemons and wheat bread.  I lightened it up by using a combo of reduced fat mayo and Greek yogurt and by removing a few of the egg yolks.  I could eat this for lunch every day!

INGREDIENTS:

6 ea                                      hard-boiled eggs, peeled and mashed with a fork***reserve 3 yolks for another use

¼ C                                        green olives, chopped

1 T                                         parsley, minced

1 T                                         scallions, minced

3 T                                         reduced fat mayonnaise

1 T                                         Greek yogurt

Squeeze of  lemon juice

½ t                                        salt

¼ t                                         tumeric

pinch                                   freshly ground black pepper

pinch                                   cayenne pepper

1 ea                                      loaf rustic, hearty whole wheat loaf, sliced and toasted

1 C                                        micro greens or sprouts

METHOD:

Fill a saucepan with cold water and add eggs in a single layer.  Eggs should be covered with water by 1”.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Remove from heat and cover for twelve minutes.  Empty water from pan and gently shake pan to crack eggs.  Fill pan with ice cold water and let rest 5-6 minutes.  Peel should slip off easily.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.  Whisk yogurt, mayo and lemon together add cayenne, salt, pepper and tumeric.  Toss with egg mixture and spoon on toasted wheat bread.  Top with micro greens and serve either open faced or with top.

Serves 4

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RICOTTA, TOMATO AND BASIL PASTA

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This salad is a wonderful way to use up the fresh ricotta and tomato relish from the previous recipe.  I have to admit; sometimes I double the recipe for the ricotta and tomatoes just so I can make this simple salad the next day.  As with most pasta salads, the ingredients are flexible.  Feel free to use whatever ingredients inspire you…but be sure to add that delicious ricotta and the flavorful relish.  You’ll only need to add a quick splash of red wine vinaigrette to round out the flavors!

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 INGREDIENTS:

1 C                                         homemade ricotta

1 ½ C                                   tomato basil relish (recipe below)

1#                                          dried pasta, cooked until 1 minute before doneness, drained and rinsed

¼ C                                        pine nuts, toasted and cooled

2 T                                         capers, drained and rinsed

2 T                                         red onion, minced

1 C                                        Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

2 cloves                             garlic, minced

1 t                                          anchovy paste

1/3 C                                   high quality extra virgin olive oil

3 T                                         red wine vinegar

¼ C                                        basil, chopped

2 C                                        baby arugula

METHOD:

In a large bowl, place drained and cooled pasta, tomato relish, toasted pine nuts, Kalamata olives, and minced red onion.  Toss gently to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine minced garlic, anchovy paste and red wine vinegar.  Whisk well to combine.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk until emulsified.  Add dressing to pasta, adjusting salt and pepper as needed.  Finish with chopped basil, arugula and ricotta.

Serve 4-6

QUICK TOMATO BASIL RELISH

This is a super easy and quick relish that is delicious on grilled fish, chicken or even beef.  I use grape tomatoes for a hassle free preparation.  It’s great to have on hand for adding to pasta salads, topping crostini or adding to a salad vinaigrette for a zingy tomato taste.

INGREDIENTS:

1 basket                             grape tomatoes

¼ C                                        basil, roughly chopped

1 T                                         parsley, minced

1 T                                         garlic, minced

1 T                                         high quality white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

Place tomatoes in the work bowl of a food processor.  Quickly PULSE to rough chop tomatoes.  Place tomatoes in a stainer to remove as much liquid as possible.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Combine drained tomatoes, basil, garlic, parsley and vinegar together in a medium bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let flavors develop for 15 minutes before using if possible.

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HOMEMADE RICOTTA WITH GRILLED BREAD AND TOMATO BASIL RELISH

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This is a perfect appetizer for summer entertaining.  I usually try to cook with skim or low fat milk, but in this preparation, you’ll want to use whole milk and cream.  The lower fat content of skim milk doesn’t allow the curds to form well and you’ll miss the richness in the taste.  The ricotta can be made earlier in the day and the bread grilled right before service.  The tomato basil relish (recipe on my website) comes together in a snap.  It’s unlikely that you’ll have leftovers, but the ricotta and the tomato relish can be tossed with pasta for a great summer salad.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON KUTV2 FRESH LIVING

INGREDIENTS:

3 C                                        whole milk***not UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurized milk.  The high temp changes the protein structure of the milk and inhibits whey formation

¾ C                                       heavy cream

1 T                                         distilled white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

½ t                                        salt

1 ea                                      loaf rustic, hearty whole wheat loaf

2 C                                        tomato basil relish (recipe below)

METHOD:

In a medium saucepan, combine whole milk and cream.  Heat mixture over medium high heat until temperature reaches 180 degrees.  Remove from heat and add vinegar, lemon juice and salt.  Stir gently.  Let milk sit for 10-15 minutes or until milk has separated into creamy white curds and yellow-colored whey.  If curds are not forming, add 2T lemon juice and wait a few more minutes.

Meanwhile set a strainer over a large bowl and line with cheese cloth or a triple thickness of paper toweling.  Carefully scoop out large curd and place in strainer.  Very carefully pour remaining liquid into strainer.

Let rest for 15-20 minutes until ricotta is slightly dry but still creamy.

Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve with grilled bread and tomato basil relish

Serves 6-8

 QUICK TOMATO BASIL RELISH

This is a super easy and quick relish that is delicious on grilled fish, chicken or even beef.  I use grape tomatoes for a hassle free preparation.  It’s great to have on hand for adding to pasta salads, topping crostini or adding to a salad vinaigrette for a zingy tomato taste.

INGREDIENTS:

1 basket                             grape tomatoes

¼ C                                        basil, roughly chopped

1 T                                         parsley, minced

1 T                                         garlic, minced

1 T                                         high quality white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

Place tomatoes in the work bowl of a food processor.  Quickly PULSE to rough chop tomatoes.  Place tomatoes in a stainer to remove as much liquid as possible.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Combine drained tomatoes, basil, garlic, parsley and vinegar together in a medium bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let flavors develop for 15 minutes before using if possible.

 

 

 

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SPECIALTY SUMMER MOCKTAILS

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I love, love, love creating summer cocktails and creating one for non-alcohol drinking guests is extra fun.  I think it is so nice to greet guests with a signature drink when they arrive for a summer party.  It adds a special celebratory flare to any event!  One of the first steps is preparing a simple syrup.  Once you have that down, there are endless variations on flavorings and ingredient combinations.

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BASIC SIMPLE SYRUP INGREDIENTS:

1 C                                        granulated sugar

1 C                                        water

METHOD:

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat to just below boiling to allow sugar to dissolve.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using.  Refrigerate any leftover syrup.

VARIATIONS:

JALAPENO GINGER – to the basic ingredients add 1 halved jalapeno pepper and 1” chopped ginger.  Follow basic instructions but strain before using and storing.

VANILLA – to the basic ingredients add 1 split vanilla bean.  Follow basic instructions.  It is not necessary to remove vanilla before using or storing

CITRUS – to the basic ingredients add thick strips of orange, lemon or lime zest.  Take care not to use the white pith or your syrup will be bitter.  It is not necessary to remove zest before storing

SPICY GRAPEFRUIT CILANTRO SPARKLING COOLER

4 oz                                      grapefruit juice

Juice of ½ lime

2 ea                                      cilantro sprigs

4 oz                                      jalapeno ginger simple syrup

4 oz                                      club soda or sparkling water

METHOD:

Chill your serving glasses.  Fill a cocktail shaker ½  way with ice. Place grapefruit juice, lime juice, cilantro sprigs and simple syrup in shaker.  You want to pour your ingredients over the ice to start the chilling process.  Place top on shaker and shake vigorously.  Place several ice cubes into serving glasses and strain chilled liquid into glasses.  Top with club soda or sparkling water.   Garnish with lime and cilantro.  Enjoy!

 

VANILLA PEACH MOCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:

2 C                                        Peach nectar

½ C                                       vanilla simple syrup

½ ea                                     juice of 1 lemon

12 oz                                    club soda or sparkling water

2 oz                                      grenadine

METHOD:

Chill your serving glasses.  Fill a cocktail shaker ½  way with ice. Place peach nectar and vanilla syrup in a cocktail shaker.   Add lemon juice.  Place top on shaker and shake vigorously.  Place several ice cubes into serving glasses and strain chilled liquid into glasses.  Top with club soda or sparkling water.  Using an inverted teaspoon, slowly pour grenadine over the cocktail.  Garnish with peach slices and serve.  ****Alternately, to serve a crowd, the base can be prepared in a pitcher and The Place mocktails mixed to order, adding grenadine and soda to each glass before serving.

 

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Bahn Mi Salad with Chicken

kutv bahn mi (7)

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Typically Bahn Mi, a popular Vietnamese sandwich, is made with pork and a mayonnaise based dressing.  I lighten it up in this salad by swapping out the high fat dressing and pork with healthier chicken and a unique Greek yogurt/mayo dressing.  It has pickled vegetables, tender chicken, nutritious greens and a spicy dressing that combine to answer to “everything I wish for” in a dinner salad!

CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:

3 ea                                      boneless, skinless chicken breast, divided into paillards

2                                             eggs

2 C                                        flour

3 C                                        Whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

¼ C                                        Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

PICKLED VEGETABLE INGREDIENTS:

1                                             carrot, cut into thin strips

1                                             cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips

½ C                                        bean sprouts

1                                             red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

¼ C                                        rice wine vinegar

2 t                                         sugar

4 t                                         minced cilantro

2 t                                         sesame oil

1 t                                         soy sauce

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1                                             bag spring mix

1 C                                        radish sprouts

2 t                                         black sesame seeds

 

DRESSING INGREIDIENTS:

1/2 C                                   non-fat Greek yogurt

1/3 C                                   light mayonnaise

1 T                                         sugar

1 T                                         chili garlic paste

METHOD:

Prepare Chicken:  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Combine eggs with 2 T water in a shallow dish.  Place flour and panko on separate plates.  Dredge each breast of chicken in flour, tapping off excess.  Dip into egg mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl.  Coat breast well with panko, pressing crumbs gently onto chicken.  Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat.  Fry chicken until golden, turning once, halfway through.  Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.  Keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

Prepare pickled vegetables:  Combine all vegetable ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.  Set aside

Prepare Dressing:  Combine yogurt, light mayo, sugar and chili garlic sauce in a bowl.  Whisk until well combined.  Set aside

Assemble salad:  Toss spring mix with ¼ C dressing.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Arrange on plates and top with cooked chicken and pickled vegetables.  Top with radish sprouts and black sesame seeds and serve. Pass additional dressing separately.

Serves 6

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GOAT CHEESE STUFFED TURKEY BURGERS WITH EGGPLANT CAPONATA AND SPINACH

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Use boneless skinless turkey or chicken breasts for these burgers.  While grinding the meat yourself is an extra step, it yields a far better burger.  The addition of the bread crumbs and milk ensures moistness and the goat cheese adds amazing flavor.  These burgers are also terrific served open faced for more calorie savings.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Slice                                100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread torn into pieces

¼  Cup                                Skim or 2% Milk

1 ½  Lb                              Turkey or  Chicken  Breast

1/2                                       Minced Onion

2 Cloves                            Garlic, Minced

1 T                                         Soy Sauce

1 t                                         Cayenne Pepper

½ t                                        Ground Dry Mustard

¼ Cup                                  Minced Parsley

4 oz                                       goat cheese, cut into disks and frozen

Salt and Pepper

1 C                                         Eggplant Caponata (recipe on Petite Feast’s website or use purchased)

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

 

METHOD:

Pulse the bread in the food processor to coarse crumbs. Add milk and pulse gently.  Remove from work bowl and set aside.  Cut turkey or chicken into small pieces and pulse in food processor until uniformly chopped but not pureed.  Remove from work bowl and set aside.   Pulse onion and garlic in food processor until chopped fine.  Add to ground meat mixture.  Add soy sauce, mustard, cayenne.  Using  your hands, mix gently until thoroughly combined. Gently mix in bread crumb milk mixture.

Divide meat into 4 portions and form into balls.  Take a frozen disk of goat cheese and place in the center of each ball.  Form into a flat patty making sure the goat cheese is completely covered.  Refrigerate 30 minutes while you prepare grill.

 

 

 

Pre-heat grill to medium high.  Clean and lightly oil cooking grate.  Brush burgers with oil or spray lightly with pan spray.  Season patties with S & P.  Place burgers on grill and cook, turning only after a good sear has been achieved on the original side, 5-6 minutes.  Flip and finish cooking on the second side until internal temperature reaches 160-165 on an instant read thermometer.

Transfer burgers to a plate, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes.  Toast buns lightly.  Assemble burgers and top with eggplant caponata and spinach and serve.

Serves 4

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WHOLE WHEAT PANZANELLA SALAD

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Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan dish that typically uses day old bread, tomatoes, capers and a bold vinaigrette.  In this recipe, I switch up the bread to healthier whole wheat bread and reduce the amount of oil in the dressing by using tomato juice to moisten the bread cubes.

 INGREDIENTS:

5 C                                         whole wheat Italian-style bread, cut into ½” cubes

Olive oil pan spray

¼ C                                        pine nuts, toasted and cooled

2 T                                         capers, drained and rinsed

2 cloves                             garlic, minced

1 t                                         anchovy filet, chopped  or use anchovy paste

¼ C                                        basil, chopped

1/3 C                                   high quality extra virgin olive oil

¼ C                                        red wine vinegar

1/3 C                                   tomato juice from can or San Marzano tomatoes

3 C                                        fresh tomatoes, chopped

¼ ea                                      red onion, thinly sliced

1 ea                                      red pepper, diced

2 ea                                      cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 C                                        Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1 C                                        fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese, cubed

2 C                                        baby arugula

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the bread into ½” cubes and place on a sheet pan.  Spray lightly with olive oil pan spray and place in preheated oven.  Bake until cubes are lightly browned and crisp but not hard, about 12 minutes.  Set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant.  Take care not to burn nuts, they can go from lightly brown to burnt in seconds!

 

Mash capers, garlic, anchovies and basil with a mortar and pestle until you have a somewhat smooth paste.  Add vinegar and tomato juice to paste and mix well.  Slowly add olive oil and whisk until incorporated.  In a large mixing bowl, toss bread cubes and pine nuts with vinaigrette.

Add remaining ingredients and toss gently but thoroughly.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

SERVES 6-8

 

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