Archive | August, 2015

THAI STYLE CHICKEN MEATBALLS WITH GINGER COCONUT BROTH

 

chicken meatballs

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If you think meatballs are kind of boring, think again!  These Thai inspired chicken meatballs are not only super healthy, but they are soul-satisfyingly delicious.  I like to serve them over rice noodles, but brown rice is an equally great side.

INGREDIENTS:

1 #                                        ground all white meat chicken or turkey

3 ea                                      cloves garlic, minced

2 ea                                      scallions, finely chopped

1 ea                                      stalk, lemon grass

1 ea                                      bunch, cilantro

4 T                                         panko bread crumbs

2 T                                         red curry paste, available at many grocery stores

1 inch                                 ginger, peeled and grated

1 ea                                      bag baby spinach

2 cans                                 light coconut milk

½ C                                       low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

3 T                                         parsley, minced

1 ea                                         lime juice + zest

1 pkg                                   wide rice noodles, cooked to package directions or sub cooked brown rice

 

METHOD:

Saute scallions, lemon grass,  2 t minced garlic and 2 t minced ginger in a medium sauté pan until fragrant.  Remove from heat to cool.

Combine ground chicken, panko, cilantro and cooked vegetables .  Mix gently but thoroughly and form into small meatballs.

Saute in skillet over medium high heat until browned on all sides, 6-8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate, leaving 1 T drippings in the pan.  Add remaining  garlic and ginger.  Saute until fragrant.  Add curry paste and warm to release aroma.  Add coconut milk and ½ c low sodium chicken stock to pan and bring to a simmer.  Return meatballs to the broth and heat through.  Add lime juice, zest, spinach and chopped parsley.  Serve over cooked rice noodles or brown rice.

Serves 6

 

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CLASSIC WEDGE SALAD WITH LIGHT BLUE CHEESE VINAIGRETTE

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Classic Wedge Salad is kind of retro, but I’m not gonna lie, I love it.  I adore the crunch of the crisp lettuce, the smoky bacon, savory croutons and what’s not to love about blue cheese dressing?  The problem with the typical wedge salad is that it’s super high in fat and calories.  In this recipe, I use just a little bacon and sub out high fat croutons for crispy whole wheat bread crumbs.  I’ve also lightened up the traditional blue cheese dressing with Greek yogurt thinned with a little buttermilk.  The results are all that old school flavor with a lot less fat and calories.

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 INGREDIENTS:

1 clove                               garlic, finely minced

1 C                                         Greek non-fat yogurt

¼ C                                        low fat mayo

2 T                                         buttermilk or skim milk

2 T                                         extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 T                                         Dijon mustard

Pinch                                   granulated sugar

1/2 C                                   Blue cheese

1 pint                                  grape tomatoes, halved

1/4                                        red onion, slivered

2 ea                                      thick cut bacon

1 slice                                 whole wheat bread

1 head                                iceberg lettuce, quartered

2 T                                         parsley, minced

METHOD:

Make the Blue Cheese vinaigrette:  Whisk together the garlic, yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add Dijon mustard and pinch of sugar.  Mix thoroughly.  Add Crumbled blue cheese and mix gently to form a smooth but slightly lumpy dressing.  Set aside.

Make salad components: Process whole wheat bread in food processor fitted with metal blade until fine crumbs form.  Set aside while you cook bacon.

In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  When cool, crumble into bite-size pieces

In the same skillet, toast bread crumbs in rendered bacon fat.  Cook until browned and crisp.  Remove from skillet and salt and pepper liberally.

 

 

Assemble Salad:  Arrange iceberg wedges on individual plates and spoon blue cheese vinaigrette over the top.  Top with tomatoes, red onion slivers, crumbled bacon and bread crumbs.  Finish with chopped parsley and coarse ground black pepper.

Serves 4

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GRILLED CORN ON THE COB WITH BASIL TOMATO BUTTER

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This recipe showcases summer’s best produce….corn, tomatoes and basil.  The smoky grilled corn is delicious with super flavorful herb butter.  I also give some alternate compound butters so you can switch up the seasonings to match anything your serving at your next barbeque.

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INGREDIENTS:

4 T                                         unsalted butter- at room temperature

2 T                                         tomato paste

2 T                                         fresh basil, finely chopped

¼ t                                         fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

10 large                             ears Utah corn

1 T                                         canola oil or olive oil pan spray

2 T                                         parsley, minced

1 T                                         grated parmesan cheese

METHOD:

Prepare the compound butter.  Bring butter to room temperature.  Stir until creamy.  Add tomato paste, minced sundried tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Prepare the corn.  Preheat the grill to medium high heat.  Shuck the corn and remove the silk.  However, carefully leave the last few layers of husk on.  Return husks to their original position.  Submerge corn in a bowl of water.  Remove from water and place on paper toweling.  Spray lightly with olive oil pan spray or brush with oil.  Place prepared corn directly on grill and grill until nicely charred on all sides.  Transfer to a serving platter and pull back husks exposing cooked corn.  Spread a little of the compound butter on each ear.  Sprinkle with parsley and grated parmesan.

Serves 10

Tequila Lime Cilantro Butter – 4 T unsalted butter, 2 T minced cilantro, 1 t lime zest, 1 t tequila

Lemon Caper and Shallot Butter – 4 T unsalted butter, 1 T minced shallot, 1 T lemon zest,  1 T minced capers

 

 

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GREEK SHRIMP SALAD WITH LEMON VINAIGRETTE AND CRISPY CHICKPEA CROUTONS

chickpea croutons (2)

Typically Greek salads are heavy on fat and calories.  In this enlightened version, I use grilled shrimp marinated in a zesty lemon vinaigrette that doubles as a flavorful dressing.  The croutons are a unique twist to traditional bread croutons that add a delicious crunchy element to this beautiful summer salad.  By adding a little feta cheese, this chopped salad is a satisfying lunch or light dinner!

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CHICKPEA  INGREDIENTS:

1 can                                    chickpeas, thoroughly drained and rinsed

¼ C                                        cornmeal

2 T                                         olive oil or olive oil pan spray

1 t                                         ground cumin

1 pinch                              ground chipotle powder

Sea salt to taste

SHRIMP INGREDIENTS:

1 #                                        16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 C                                        parsley, minced

1 T                                         oregano, minced

1 clove                               garlic, minced

2 T                                        fresh lemon juice plus zest

6 T                                        extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 ea                                      cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 pt                                      grape tomatoes, halved

½ C                                        pitted Kalamata olives, halved

¼                                            red onion, slivered

2 ea                                      romaine hearts, torn into ½” pieces

 

1 ea                                      small jar artichoke hearts, packed in water

2 oz                                      feta cheese, crumbled

METHOD:

Heat oven to 400 degrees and arrange oven rack in the center position.

Place chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with cornmeal, chipotle powder and cumin.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove excess cornmeal.

Place chickpeas in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil pan spray.  Bake until crisp, about 20-25 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine parsley, oregano, garlic, lemon and olive oil in a small bowl.  Whisk well to combine.  Reserve and refrigerate ¼ C to dress salad.  Toss remaining vinaigrette with shrimp.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes while you prepare the grill.

Grill shrimp over medium high heat until lightly charred and just barely cooked through.  Remove from heat.

In a  large shallow serving bowl, toss remaining salad ingredients together.  Add reserved vinaigrette.  Place cooked shrimp and chickpea croutons on top and serve.

Serves 4

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WHOLEWHEAT “PIZZA FACTORY” STYLE BREAD STICKS

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OK, I’m not gonna lie.  On a recent trip to St George, my husband and I ate at the Pizza Factory and I fell in love with the breadsticks they serve.  I had never tried them before and once I did, it was all over!  I ate 3 of them.  When we got home I started researching recipes for replicating them….there are tons on the internet.  I don’t think I can improve on those stick’s deliciousness, but I think I can improve on the healthy-eating  factor.  I used a combination of whole wheat flour and unbleached white flour, swapped out some of the butter for heart healthy olive oil and made my own low sodium seasoned topping.

BREADSTICK INGREDIENTS:

3 C                                        high gluten bread flour plus extra as needed

2 C                                        whole wheat flour

2 C                                         skim milk, scalded

1/3 C                                   vegetable oil

1/3 C                                   honey

1 ea                                      egg

2 ½ t                                    active dry yeast

2 t                                         salt

SEASONING INGREDIENTS:

2 T                                         dry buttermilk powder

3 T                                         minced parsley flakes

2 T                                         powdered onion

1 T                                         dry dill

1 T                                         garlic powder

1 T                                         onion salt

¼ C                                        grated parmesan cheese

3 T ea                                  melted butter and olive oil, mixed together

METHOD:

Combine the flours, milk, oil, honey and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix on low speed until the dough is evenly combined, about 2 minutes.  Let this mixture rest 45 minutes to an hour before continuing with the recipe.  This waiting period will give whole wheat bread a lighter crumb and more even texture.  This allows the liquids to hydrate the starch granules in the flours allowing the gluten to relax.  Add remaining ingredients and knead until dough is satiny and elastic.

 

Transfer to a large bowl sprayed with olive oil pan spray and cover with plastic film.  Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough into 16 equal pieces (about 3 oz each).  Lightly roll into a 12” long stick.  Wrap the dough around a metal skewer sprayed with pan spray.  Place one end of the skewer on the rim of a baking sheet to allow the breadsticks to rise without flattening the bottom of the sticks.  Cover with plastic film and let rise until doubled in size.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine dry topping mixtures in a small bowl.  Immediately brush breadsticks with the olive oil – butter mixture when they come out of the oven.  Sprinkle with seasoning mix.

 

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