Monday, August 1, 2011

Squash 101

First the Facts

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Summer Squash
Squash is summer's classic bumper-crop vegetable. Not only is it plentiful, it's also highly nutritious, versatile, and cheap. Here's what you need to know about summer squash, including some tasty ways to prepare it.

Summer Squash Facts
Summer squash offers a slew of nutritional benefits. It's a good source of magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, niacin, copper, and riboflavin. At this time of year in supermarkets and farmers' markets, you'll find a variety of summer squash, including green and yellow zucchini and yellow crookneck, straight-neck, and patty-pan. And, of course, you can find the popular types of squash like spaghetti and butternut. Select squash that are firm and heavy for their size, with bright, glossy skin. Avoid those with nicks, bruises, or soft spots. You can store squash tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Enjoying Summer Squash

Summer squash, prepared with the edible skin on, cooks quickly whether you steam, bake, grill, or saute it. For a simple and healthful dish, cut the squash in half, remove any large seeds, and bake with a little extra-virgin olive oil and the seasonings of your choice. You can also use summer squash in soups, salads, and stews.
Here are three fun ways to prepare summer squash:
You can stuff it: Cut a large zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scrape out some of the inside flesh, creating a "boat" (reserve the squash you remove to chop and use in the stuffing). Then, create a mixture to fill it.  Think reduced-fat cheeses such as ricotta, mozzarella, and/or Parmesan mixed with fresh herbs, like basil or thyme. Or, stuff your zucchini with a combination of lean ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and/or chopped bell peppers.

• You can bake it in a casserole: For a quick and easy side dish, slice summer squash of your choice and onions and toss with a little chopped garlic, cumin, and extra-virgin olive oil (you can even add some precooked quinoa  (on Phase 2 for a heartier dish). Bake until the vegetables are softened,
then sprinkle with a little chopped parsley or fresh coriander. Or combine zucchini, spinach, onion, extra-virgin olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese and bake.
• You can serve it as a dessert: Use zucchini and apples in a Phase 2 cobbler, add finely shredded zucchini to oatmeal cookies, or make a healthy zucchini quick bread.

And Now the Recipes

Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque

 1  - 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
 1  - medium  - onion  (chopped)
 1 - 14 1/2 oz. - can chicken broth
 2  - Cups  - apple sauce
1/2 -  tsp.  - ground ginger
 1/4  - tsp.  - sea salt
 1  - Cup -  sour cream

1) Mix all ingredients except sour cream in 31/2-to-6-quart slow cooker.
2) Cover and cook on low heat setting 8-10 hours (or high heat setting 3-5 hours) or until squash is tender.
3) Place 1/3 to 1/2 of the mixture at a time in blender or food processor.
4) Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.
5) Return mixture to slow cooker.
6) Stir in sour cream.
7) Cover and cook on low heat another 15 minutes or just until soup is hot; stir. 8) Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream.

Tip: Sour cream will break down and curdle if heated too long or becomes too hot.
After adding the cold sour cream, cook the bisque just long enough for it to reheat. If using reduced-fat sour cream, add it the same way.
Variations: For a delightful taste treat, serve this bisque thoroughly chilled. Garnish with thin slices of Granny Smith apples and a sprinkling of finely chopped
crystallized ginger. To add a spectacular finishing touch, spoon a dollop of sour
cream on top of each serving, then swirl slightly into the soup with the tip of a
Knife or toothpick. For a touch of crunch and color, sprinkle with poppy seed or chopped pecan. To finish out the meal serve with afresh tossed green salad and House Italian Salad Dressing.

Baked Summer Squash

A squash casserole with pecan or bread crumb topping, along with cheese and onions.
2  - pounds  - yellow squash (cut in 3/4-inch cubes)
1  - cup  - onion (chopped )
1  - teaspoon  -  sea salt
1/4 - teaspoon - freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
4  - tablespoons  - butter
1  - cup  - saltine crackers (crumbled)
1/2  - cup  - milk
1  - cup  -  Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/2  - cup  - pecans (finely chopped) or buttered bread crumbs

1) Place the squash, onion, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan.
2) Add a small amount of water.
3) Cover and cook the squash until tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.
4) Drain the squash and onions; return to the pan and stir in the butter.
5) Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper to your taste.
6) Butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish well. Stir the crumbled crackers into the squash mixture, and turn into the buttered casserole.
7) Pour the milk over the squash and sprinkle with the cheese and chopped pecans or crumbs.
8) Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the milk is absorbed and the squash casserole is bubbly.
9) Serve hot.

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

 1  - medium  - spaghetti squash (cooked)
 1  - Tbs.  - olive oil
 3/4  - Cup  - pesto sauce
 4 oz.  - smoked or plain mozzarella cheese (shredded)
 1/4  - Cup  - grated Parmesan cheese

1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add spaghetti squash.
2) Using a couple of forks, mix in pesto.
3) Cook just long enough to heat through.
4) Mix in cheeses, until everything is well mixed and cheese is beginning to melt.
5) Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Pie

 1/2  - butternut squash (peeled and cut into small pieces)
 1/2  - Cup  - flour
 1/2  - Cup  - sugar
 1/2  - stick  margarine
 2  - eggs
 2/3  - Cup  - vanilla soy milk
 1  - tsp.  - vanilla
 1  - tsp.  - cinnamon
 1  - graham cracker pie crust

1) Boil squash in pot with water until soft (and you can easily pierce with a fork), about 8-10 minutes.
2) In a bowl, mix together: flour, sugar, margarine, eggs, soy milk and vanilla.
3) Pour into blender with cooked squash and blend until smooth.
4) Pour mixture into graham cracker pie crust.
5) Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
6) Bake at 350  degrees until firm, about 1 hour.

Pumpkin Soup

 3 1/2  - Cup  - cooked or canned pumpkin
 2  -  Cup  - chicken or vegetable broth
 1  - tsp.  - curry powder
 1/2  - tsp.  - dried thyme
 3  - bay leaves
 1/2  - tsp.  - sea salt
 1/2  - tsp.  - freshly ground pepper
 1  - tsp.  -  olive oil

1)Mix together in medium saucepan and heat thoroughly over medium heat.

Yellow Squash - Garbanzo - Potato Stew

 3 - Tbs.  - olive oil
 1  - tsp.  - ground cayenne pepper
 1  - medium  - yellow onion (chopped)
 2  - Tbs.  - yellow curry powder
 1 - quart  - vegetable broth
 3  - large  - Yukon Gold  - potatoes (chopped)
 4  - yellow squash
 1/2  - head cauliflower (chopped into bite size pieces)
 2 - 15 oz.  - cans  - garbanzo beans
 1  - 8 oz.  - container  - plain yogurt
 Cilantro leaves, for garnish

1) Heat the olive oil and cayenne pepper in a large pot over medium heat, and saute
the onion until tender.
2) Season with curry powder.
3) Pour in the broth, and mix in the potatoes.
4) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender.
5) Mix the squash and cauliflower into the pot, and continue cooking 30 minutes.
6) Mash the garbanzo beans with a fork, and mix into the pot.
7) Continue cooking 5 minutes, until heated through.
8) Top with yogurt, and garnish with cilantro to serve.

Hashbrown Zucchini

 1  1/2 - lb.  - zucchini
 1/2  - tsp.  - sea salt
 2  - eggs
 6  - Tbs.  - Parmesan cheese (grated)
 2  - garlic cloves (minced or pressed)
 1/4  - Cup  - butter

1) Coarsely shred zucchini (you should have about 4 C.) and combine with salt in a
medium-size bowl.
2)Let stand for 15 minutes.
3)Squeeze with your hands to press out moisture.
4) Stir in eggs, cheese and garlic.
5) Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a wide frying pan over medium- high heat.
6) Mound about 2 Tbs. of the zucchini mixture in pan; flatten slightly to make a patty.
7) Repeat until pan is filled, but don! Crowd patties in pan.
8) Cook patties, turning once, until golden on both sides (about 6 minutes).
9) Lift out and arrange on a warm platter; keep warm.
10) Repeat to cook remaining zucchini mixture, adding more butter as needed.

Spaghetti Squash and Chicken

This spicy sauce, which makes good use of leftover chicken or turkey, is also great
on true pastas, as well as spaghetti squash. For a vegetarian version, simply
eliminate the meat. If you want a substitute, use extra firm tofu.

 1  - small  - spaghetti squash (cooked)
 2  - Tbs.  - olive oil
 1/2  - Cup  - minced onion
 3-4  - cloves  - garlic (minced)
 2  - green onions (finely chopped)
 12  - oz.  - cooked chicken or turkey meat
 2  - Cup -  crushed tomatoes
 1 - Cup -  dry red wine
 2  - tsp.  - capers
 2  1/2 -  tsp.  - fresh oregano (1 tsp. dried)
 1  - tsp.  - crushed red pepper
 3  - Tbs.  - Italian parsley (finely chopped)

1) Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté onion, garlic and green
onions for 2 minutes.
2) Add the chicken or turkey and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
3) Stir in tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for
about 20 minutes.
4) Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 5 minutes
5) Pour sauce over heated spaghetti squash and serve.

Squash Casserole # 1

 5 or 6  - yellow squash (cooked and drained ) (save the water)
 1  - pkg.  - cornbread stuffing
 2  - celery stalks (chopped)
 1/2  - small onion (chopped)
 2 - Tbs.  - butter
 2  - large eggs (beaten)
 1  - Cup -  mild Cheddar Cheese (grated)
 1 - 10 3/4 oz.  - can  - cream of mushroom soup
 1  - Cup -  chicken broth
 1/4  - Cup -  walnuts (chopped)

1) Mash squash with a potato masher and combine with stuffing mix, adding
remaining squash water if mixture is too dry.
2) Sauté the celery and onion in butter until tender.
3) Stir into squash mixture along with eggs and grated cheese.
4) Stir in mushroom soup.
5) If dry, add a little more water.
6) Add broth and walnuts.
7) Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking dish.
8) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Squash Casserole # 2

 3  - Cup -  Pepperidge Farm® Cornbread Stuffing
 1/4  - Cup -  butter or margarine (melted)
 1  - 10 3/4 oz - can  - Campbell's®  Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
 1/2  - Cup -  sour cream
 2  - small  - yellow squash (shredded)
 2  -  small  - zucchini (shredded)
 1/4  - Cup -  carrot (shredded )
 1/2  - Cup -  Cheddar cheese (shredded )

1) Stir the stuffing and butter in a large bowl.
2) Reserve 1/2 C. of the stuffing mixture and spoon remaining into a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
3) Stir the soup, sour cream, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot and cheese in a medium bowl.
4) Spread the mixture over the stuffing mixture and sprinkle with the reserved stuffing mixture.
5) Bake at 350BF. for 40 minutes or until hot.

Summer Squash and Tomatoes

 2  - lbs.  - yellow squash   (sliced, and half cooked )
1/4  - lb.  - bacon (chopped )
1/2 -  cup -  onions (chopped)
 1/2  - Cup -  celery (chopped)
 1  - Cup -  green onion (chopped, tops and bottoms )
1  1/2  - cup -  tomato (chopped)
 1/2  - Cup -  Cream Of Mushroom Soup
 1/2  - Cup -  breadcrumbs
 1  - Cup -  Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
 salt and pepper (to taste)

1) Fry bacon until crisp.
2) Add onion, celery, and green onions.
3) Sauté until soft.
4) Add tomatoes, soup, and bread crumbs.
5) Mix with the squash.
6) Place in a casserole.
7) Top with cheese. Bake for 1/2 hr. at 350.

Squash with Chiles

3  - cups  - sliced cooked  - yellow summer squash
2  - cups Cheddar Cheese (shredded )
4  - ounces  - mild green chiles (chopped )
1  - cup  - saltine crackers (crushed)
1  - cup  - milk

1) Combine all ingredients in baking dish.
2) Bake in 1   1/2 to  2-quart casserole in oven at 350° for 1 hour.

Zucchini Relish

 10  - Cups -  zucchini (unpeeled and shredded)
 4  - Cups -  onions (shredded)
 5  - Tbs.  - canning salt
 2 1/2  - C. white vinegar
 5  - Cups  - sugar
 1  - Tbs.  - dry mustard
 1  - Tbs.  - turmeric powder
 1  - Tbs.  - cornstarch
 2  - Tbs.  - celery seed
 1  - green pepper
 1  - red pepper
1) Shred zucchini, onion and peppers.
2) Place in large bowl.
3) Sprinkle with salt.
4) Mix well and let stand overnight.
5) Rinse vegetables 3-4 times and drain.
6) Place drained vegetables in a large pot and add all other ingredients.
7) Boil for 30 minutes, stirring as needed.
8) Pour into hot sterile jars/cap and place in hot water bath for 10

Stuffed Squash

 6  - small  - summer squash
 1  - Tbs.  - unsalted butter
 1  - Tbs.  - olive oil
 1  - Cup - finely diced onion
 2  - tsp.  - minced garlic
  1  -  Cup -  whole-milk ricotta cheese
 1/3  - Cup -  grated parmesan cheese
 3  - Tbs.  - dry bread crumbs
 1   - lg.  - egg (beaten)
 2  - Tbs.  - minced marjoram or basil
 1/2  - tsp.  - sea salt
 1/8  - tsp.  - freshly ground pepper

1)Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2) Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
3) Slice squash in half lengthwise.
4) Scrape out seeds and discard.
5) Slice a little off bottoms so squash rest flat, cut side up.
6) In a skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat.
7) Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add squash blossoms, if using; sauté 1 minute.
8) Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Stir in ricotta, 1/6 - Cup of Parmesan, 2 -Tbs. bread crumbs, egg, marjoram, salt, and pepper until blended.
9) Spoon into squash shells.
10) Sprinkle remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs overtops.
11) Bake 25 minutes, until sides are tender; broil 3 minutes, until tops are golden.
12) Serve hot.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cool New Recipes

A Little of This - A Little of That and Zucchini, too

Today, I thought I would post a few different types of recipes.  A little of something for every one.  I saw these in a magazine last night and decided which ones would work and here they are with just a few changes.  Enjoy !!!!  And I decided to add a few more zucchini recipes, just in case the 25 or so I posted before weren’t enough.  I really love zucchini.  Next time I’ll be posting recipes of things indigenous to North America.  Have any ideas, please pass them on to me.

Grilled Chicken and Black Bean Salsa

        1 - Box - Spanish Rice Mix
        2  1/4 cups - Chicken or Vegetable Broth
        4 - Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless) (slightly flattened to even thickness)
        1 - 15 oz. can - Black Beans (drained)
        2 - Scallions (trimmed, chopped)
        1 - Jalapeno Pepper (seeded, chopped)
        2 - Cloves - Garlic (minced)
        1 - 8 oz. can Pineapple Chunks (in juice)
        1 - 15 oz. can - Tomatoes (diced)
        1 - Tablespoon - Balsamic Vinegar
        2 - teaspoons - Olive Oil
        2 - Tablespoons - Butter (or substitute)

        1) Remove seasoning from rice mix.
        2) Use 1 teaspoon of the seasoning and sprinkle
            over both sides of chicken.
        3) Make Salsa:
            A) In a bowl, combined beans, scallions, garlic, and Jalapeno.
            B) Dice pineapple (reserving liquid), and add to
            C) Stir 1/3 cup of diced tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of rice seasoning into bean mixture.
            D) Add vinegar, and oil; set aside.
        4) Prepare Rice:
            A) Heat butter in skillet with a lid.
            B) Add rice.
            C) Sauté over medium heat (about 3 minutes)
            D) Stir in 2  1/4 cups broth, remaining seasoning
                and remaining diced tomatoes.
            E) Bring to a boil.
            F) Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
        5) Heat grill or grill pan.
        6) Grill chicken about 3 to 4 minutes per side;
            Turning once.
        7) Serve with salsa and rice.

There are a few steps to this dish but I think that the results will be the reward.  As usual, you can substitute parts of this recipe.  You can use portions of any firm fish, like salmon or tuna.  Pork would also work well, as would a lean steak.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Sweet and Sour Pork

        2 - Tablespoons - Olive Oil
        2 - pounds - Pork Loin (cut into 1 inch pieces)
        1/4 - teaspoon - Sea Salt
         - teaspoon - Black Pepper
        1 - Large - Onion (sliced)
        1 - Large - Red Bell Pepper (cored, sliced)
        6 - Mushrooms (cleaned, sliced)
        1 - 15 oz. can - Tomatoes (diced)
        1/4  - Cup - Brown Sugar (packed)
        2 - Tablespoons - Balsamic Vinegar
        2 - Tablespoons - Soy Sauce
        1/2 - pounds - Whole Grain Noodles (cooked)

        1) Spray slow cooker with olive oil spray.
        2) Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat.
        3) Season pork with salt and pepper.
        4) Add to skillet.
        5) Sauté pork about 3 minutes per side (until browned)
        6) Add pork to slow cooker.
        7) Layer onions, pepper, and mushrooms over pork.
        8) In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce.
        9) Pour mixture over pork and vegetables.
        10) Cover; cook on “High” for 6 hours, or on “Low”
            for 8 or more hours.
        11) Serve over noodles.

Many years ago, I prepared a recipe made with Butternut Squash and many spices and called it “Poor Womyn’s Chili”. This recipe is pretty close in ingredients, substituting Sweet Potatoes for Butternut Squash.  You can use many variations of spices.  You can serve over whole grain noodles instead of brown rice.  It is a recipe that can be put together fast or one that you can let sit over-night in the refrigerator to marinade the spices.  Either way, it is a good company or family recipe that will please most everyone.

Sweet Potato Chili

        3 - Large - Sweet Potatoes (peeled, cut into 1 in. pieces)
        1 - Large - Onion (chopped)
        1 - Large - Red Bell Pepper (cored, chopped)
        4 - Cloves - Garlic (minced)
        1 - 15 oz. can - Black Beans (drained, not rinsed)
        1 - 15 oz. can - Tomatoes (seasoned w/peppers, diced)
        2 - Tablespoons - Chili Powder
        1 - Tablespoon - Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
        1 - teaspoon - Cumin (ground)
        1/2 - teaspoon - Sea Salt
       1/4¼ - teaspoon - Cayenne Pepper
        2 - cups - Chicken or Vegetable Broth
        1/2 - cup - Parsley Leaves (chopped)
        2 - cups - Brown Basmati Rice (cooked)

        1) Coat slow cooker with non-stick olive oil spray.
        2) Layer sweet potatoes, onions, pepper, garlic, and black beans in slow cooker.
        3) Combine tomatoes, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, salt, cayenne, and broth.
        4) Pour mixture over vegetables.
        5) Cover and cook on “High” for 6 hours, or on
            “Low” for 8 or more hours.
        6) Stir in Parsley, just before serving.
        7) Serve over brown rice.

Even More Zucchini Recipes

I know that I posted a few Zucchini recipes recently, but I just came across more that look tasty and simple.  These are sure to please almost every one sitting around the table (or at the TV tray).  I really love zucchini.  It is one of my favorite vegetables, and it is one of 10 or so vegetables that are indigenous to North America.  I think that next time I post I will submit recipes of vegetables, melons or fruits that are indigenous to North America, and then I’ll do South America.

ENJOY !!!!!!

Baked Zucchini Casserole

         2  - lbs. - Zucchini (shredded)
         1 1/2  - cups. - Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
         1 - can - Cream of Chicken Soup
         2 - cups - Sour Cream
         1/4 - lb - Butter (melted)
         1/2 - cup - Onion (diced)
         1 - tsp - Sea Salt

        1) Shred zucchini and place in a colander.
        2) Sprinkle with salt and toss.
        3) Allow to drain for at least 15 minutes.
        4) Use your hands to press as much of the liquid out as possible.
        5) Mix all ingredients.
        6) Place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour.

Cheesy Zucchini

         1 - lb. - Zucchini (small)
         2 - Tbs. - Unsalted Butter (melted and cooled)
         2 - Tbs. - Bread Crumbs
         1/4 - Cup - Parmesan Cheese
         Salt (to taste)
         Pepper (to taste)

        1) Scrub the zucchini with a brush under cold running water.
        2) Trim the ends.
        3) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
        4) Butter a 13x9-inch baking dish.
        5) Spread zucchini slices in the baking dish, overlapping slightly.
        6) In a medium bowl, mix together the butter,
            crumbs, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.            
         7) Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the zucchini.            
         8) Bake for 30 minutes or until crumbs are golden.            
         9) Serve.       


Cream of Zucchini Soup

         4 - cups - Zucchini (thickly sliced)
         1 - medium - Onion (quartered)
         2 - cups - Chicken Broth
         1 - tsp - Sea Salt
         1/4 - tsp - Black Pepper
         1/2 - tsp - Basil (dried)
         1 1/2 - cups - Milk (or skim milk)
         1/2 - cup - Cream (or half & half)

        1) Combine zucchini, onion, chicken broth, salt, pepper and basil in pan.
        2) Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until tender.
        3) Cool slightly and pour into blender.
        4) Cover and puree at high speed.
        5) When ready to serve, add milk and cream and

Crock Pot Cream of Zucchini Soup

         1 - Onion (very finely chopped)
         4 - cups - Zucchini (grated, unpeeled)
         2 - 16-oz. cans - Chicken Broth (or 1 - 32 oz. box)
         1 - tsp - Seasoned Salt
         1 - tsp. - Dill Weed (dried)
         1/2 - tsp. - White Pepper
         2 - Tbs. - Butter (melted)
         1 - 8-oz. - container - Sour Cream

        1) In a small slow cooker sprayed with olive oil spray.
        2) Combine all ingredients except sour cream.
        3) Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
        4) Fold in sour cream.
        5) Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or just until soup, is hot.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini

         1 1/2 - lbs. - Yellow Squash (summer squash)
         1 1/2 - lbs. - Zucchini
         1 - tsp - Seasoned Salt
         1/4 - cup - Butter (melted)
         1/2 - cup - Seasoned Dry Breadcrumbs
         1/2 - cup - Cheddar Cheese (grated)

        1) Cut yellow squash and zucchini into small pieces.            
        2) Place in bottom of slow cooker sprayed with olive oil spray.
        3) Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper.
        4) Pour melted butter over squash. 
        5) Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.
        6) Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Garlic Mint Zucchini

         2 - lbs. - Zucchini
         Olive Oil
         3 -Tbs. - Red Wine Vinegar
         2 - Cloves - Garlic (finely chopped)
         1/4 - cup - Mint (chopped)
         Sea Salt (to taste)
         Pepper (to taste)

        1)Scrub zucchini with a brush under cold running water.
        2) Trim off the ends.
        3) Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices.
        4) Pour 1 inch oil into a heavy and deep skillet until a small piece of the vegetable dropped into                 the oil sizzles.
        5) Pat zucchini slices dry with paper towels.
        6) Slip about 1/4 of the zucchini into the hot oil.
        7) Cook until lightly browned around the edges,  about 3 minutes.
        8) With a spoon, transfer the zucchini to paper towels and drain.
        9) Fry the rest of the zucchini the same way.            
       10) Layer the zucchini in a dish, sprinkling each layer with some of the vinegar, garlic, mint and salt and pepper to taste.
        11) Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

Kasha with Zucchini

         Olive Oil Spray
         1/4 cup - Onion (chopped)
         2 - Zucchini (sliced into 1-inch long matchsticks)
         1/2 -cup - Raw Kasha
         1 - cup - Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
         Black Pepper (to taste)

        1) Lightly coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
        2) Add onion and zucchini and sauté over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 3                     minutes.
        3) Transfer to a plate.
        4) Add kasha to the pan and sauté over high heat to toast for 2 to 3 minutes.
        5) Lower the heat to medium.
        6) Add broth, reserved vegetables and pepper.
        7) Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
        8) Fluff with a fork before serving.

Linguine with Zucchini

        6 - Zucchini
         3 - Cloves - Garlic (chopped)
         1/4 - cup - Olive Oil
         1/4 - tsp. - Sea Salt
         1/4 - tsp. - Pepper
         1 - cup - Parmesan Cheese (grated)
         1 - lb. - Cooked Linguine

        1) Cook linguine and keep in hot water, just add one cup of cold water to stop from cooking.
        2) Pare zucchini and slice about 1/4-inch thick.
        3) Cut and chop garlic, sauté in olive oil.
        4) Add zucchini (just enough to cover bottom of frying pan).
        5) When zucchini looks transparent, turn over.
        6) When transparent again, spoon out and put into an aluminum salad bowl.
        7) Continue to cook the zucchini until all finished.
        8) Keep the oil from the zucchini in the aluminum bowl.        
        9) Once all the zucchini is done, drain the linguine (save one scoop of spaghetti water).
        10) Once drained, put into the frying pan with the oil from the zucchini along with the zucchini                 and mix all together.
        11) Once that is nice and oily, put into the aluminum bowl, season with the salt and pepper, and serve hot.
        Top it with lots of Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Zucchini with Yogurt

         Olive Oil Spray
         3 - Zucchini (cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into 1-inch pieces)
         2 - Tbs. - Plain Nonfat Yogurt
         1 - tsp. Fresh Thyme (minced)
         1 - Clove -Garlic (minced)
        1) Preheat the oven to 450 F.        
        2) Lightly coat a shallow nonstick baking pan with olive oil spray.
        3) Arrange zucchini pieces in a single layer and  lightly coat them with cooking spray.
        4) Roast until crisp-tender, about 5-6 minutes.
        5) Meanwhile, combine yogurt, thyme and garlic.
        6) Toss the roasted zucchini with the yogurt mixture and serve.

Zucchini with Bowties

         1 - lb. - Bowtie Pasta
         1/4 - cup - Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
         6 - Cloves - Garlic (minced)
         2 - Zucchini (cut into matchsticks)
         1 - cup - Parmesan Cheese (grated)
         1 - cup - Fresh Basil
        Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)
         1 - cup - Fresh Basil Leaves (shredded)

        1) Cook bowties according to package directions and drain.
        2) Reserve a couple of ladles of the cooking water.
        3) Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
        4) Add oil and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
        5) Add zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes.
        6) Season with salt and pepper.
        7) Add cooking water.
        8) Drain pasta and add to zucchini.
        9) Toss with cheese and turn off heat.
        10) Toss for 2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.            
        11) Serve with basil on top.

Zucchini Bread

         3 - Eggs (beaten)
         2 - cups - Sugar
         2 - cups - Zucchini (unpeeled, grated)
         1 - cup - Canola Oil
         2 - tsp. - Vanilla
         3 - cups - Flour
         1 - tsp. - Baking Soda
         1/4 -tsp. Baking Powder
         3 - tsp. - Cinnamon
         3/4 - cup - Walnuts (chopped)
         3/4 - cup - Raisins

        1) Mix together eggs, sugar, zucchini, oil and vanilla.            
        2) Sift and add dry ingredients.
        3) Mix well.
        4) Add nuts and raisins.
        5) Grease and flour 2 small loaf baking pans.
        6) Pour half of mixture into each pan.
        7) Bake at 325 F. for 1hr 15 minutes.
Note: After bread is cooled, it may be wrapped and frozen; keeps up to one year. Most breads can be taken out of the freezer and a piece sliced off, then rewrapped and put back in the freezer.  Just remember to wrap it tight.

Tip:  Whenever you are using baking powder and/or baking soda in a recipe, you can blend them with about 2 Tablespoons  water with 1 teaspoon of the powder or soda.  Mix it well to moisten.  When these are mixed with dry ingredients, there is often a bitter taste. You can adjust your liquid ingredients with the addition of the water.   (Example: When a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, you will need 4 Tablespoons water.  Four (4) Tablespoons water equals ¼ cup)  After blending with the water, add these ingredients with the wet ingredients.  You will notice that there is a much better taste of your recipe, but especially, with a bread or cake recipe.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Avocados and more...


One of my favorite summer ingredients is the avocado!  Flavorful, creamy, and full of healthy fats, avocados are perfect for dips, salsas, salads, sandwiches, and more!  Here’s a few tips that should make it easier for you to pick the best avocados around.

How do I pick a good avocado?
If you're looking for a ripe, ready-to-use avocado, squeeze the avocado and see if the flesh yields slightly. You don't want an avocado that feels mushy, but you want it to be soft. Generally, the darker the avocado, the more ripe it is. Bright green avocados probably need time to ripen, while dark green avocados are usually ripe or almost ripe. Avoid ones with a dark brownish coloring, as they may be overripe.  Also avoid avocados that have cracked or sunken spots. If you pick a firm, unripe avocado, it may take about 3 to 5 days for it to ripen. You can slow the ripening process by placing avocados in the refrigerator, if desired. 
How can I stop avocado from browning?
If you only use a portion of an avocado and you'd like to save the rest for later use, there are several ways you can prevent the avocado from browning. First, you can wrap the avocado tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before storing it. You can also try placing the avocado in a small dish of lemon juice to avoid browning. If you want to prevent homemade guacamole from browning, store it with an avocado pit.
What are the health benefits of avocados?
While avocados contain a great deal of fat, it is primarily monounsaturated fat, which actually lowers your bad cholesterol and raises your good cholesterol.  Avocados are also a great source of fiber and potassium.
What are some avocado recipes I should try?
Try avocados in everything from salsas and sauces to main courses!  Here are some of our favorite avocado recipes:
Avocado Burritos: This great quick no cook summer dinner is so yummy. Great to make for lunches too!
Avocado & Orange Salad: This summer salad is amazing. The mixture of orange and avocados is splendid!
Basil-Avocado Chicken Roll-Ups:  Easy and delicious, a perfect choice for your family dinner.
Avocado Toast: These avocado toasts make a great appetizer! You can use any bread you enjoy but this is especially good on whole or cracked wheat bread. The celery salt is a must!
Guacamole Dip: This classic dip is always a winner-you can not go wrong!
Avocado Mango Salsa: This refreshing salsa screams summer - bring it to the family picnic or just enjoy it on the front porch.
Avocado and Tomato Sauce: Try this yummy cream sauce over your favorite pasta!
Avocado Bean Cups: This fun appetizer is healthy and delicious!
Bacon Avocado-Grilled Cheese: A go-to meal for summer. Quick, easy and delicious!
Chicken-Avocado Wraps: A very tasty, light lunch or dinner.  They are quick and easy to prepare.
Tex-Mex Wraps:  Another easy dish to prepare.

Avocados Burritos

 8 - tortillas
 4 - avocados
 1 - 8 oz. - Tub - Sour Cream
 1 - bunch - Alfalfa Sprouts
 1 - bunch - Green Onions
 Salt and pepper (to taste)

1) Lay tortilla out flat, spread about 1 tsp. of sour cream in the middle of the tortilla long ways.
2) Cut up 1/2 of the avocado and layer on sour cream.
3) Add some alfalfa sprouts, green onions, salt and pepper to taste.
4) Roll it up and eat.
5) Serve with salsa and chips.

Avocado and Orange Salad

 1 - large - Avocado (sliced)
 1 - bunch - Romaine Lettuce
 1 - bunch - Green Onions (sliced)
 3 - large - Oranges (sectioned & cut into chunks)

 1/2 -cup - Olive Oil
 1/2 - cup - Orange Juice
 2 - Tbs.-  Red Wine Vinegar (or Balsamic)
 1/2 - tsp. - Orange Peel (grated)

1) In salad bowl, combine avocado, lettuce, sliced onion and oranges.
2) Mix all dressing ingredients. 
3) Pour dressing over the salad just before serving.

Basil-Avocado Chicken Roll-Ups

 6 - chicken breasts (skinned and boned halves)
 1  - avocado (peeled and cubed)
 1/4 - C. - fresh basil
 2 - 4-oz. logs goat cheese
 3/4 - tsp. - salt (divided)
 1/2 - tsp. - pepper (divided)
 1 - C. - bread crumbs (fine, dry)
 1/2 - stick (1/4 C.) - butter (melted)

1) Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
2) Combine avocado, goat cheese, basil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper; mash until smooth.
3) Spread mixture evenly over 1 side chicken.
4) Roll-up and secure with wooden picks.
5) Combine breadcrumbs, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper in a shallow dish.
6) Roll chicken in melted butter; dredge in breadcrumbs mixture. 7) Place in shallow pan.
8) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.
9) Remove wooden picks, and serve with avocado sauce.

Avocado Toast


Whole or Cracked Wheat Bread (toasted )
1 - Ripe Avocado (sliced)
 2 - Tbs. Hummus (any flavor)
 1 - Dash - Celery Salt
 Butter (optional)

1) Toast bread, butter lightly if desired.
2) Spread hummus and layer avocado slices on top.
3) Sprinkle with celery salt.
4) Cut in half and serve with fruit of your choice.

Guacamole Dip

 2 - Avocados (peeled and barely mashed)
 1/3 - cup - Onion (chopped)
 1/3 - cup - Green Chilies (chopped)
 2/3 - cup - Tomato (chopped)
 2 - Tbs. - Taco Sauce
 1 - Tbs. - Lemon or Lime Juice
 1 1/4 - tsp. - Sugar
 1/2 - tsp. - Garlic (granulated)

1) In a medium bowl, carefully mix all ingredients.
2) Double the recipe so you will have plenty of zesty dip for tortilla chips, and chilled fresh vegetables.
3) Will keep 2-3 days refrigerated.

 Avocado-Mango Salsa

 2 - Avocados (diced - 1/4-inch)
 2 - Mangoes (diced - 1/4-inch)
 2 - Limes (juiced)
 1/4 - cup -  Red Onion (minced)
 1 - Garlic Clove (minced fine)
 1/4 - cup - cilantro (minced)
 1 or 2 - Jalapeno Peppers (seeded and minced)
 Sea salt (to taste)
 Black Pepper (to taste) (freshly ground)

1) In a medium glass bowl (not metal), mix the diced avocado, diced mango, lime juice, jalapenos, onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper
2) Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 1 hour before serving.
3) The fruit will begin to "cook" in the lime juice and become soggy.

Avocado-Tomato Sauce

 2-3 - Avocados (ripe)
 1 -  4-oz. package of cream cheese
 1/4 - cup - Heavy Cream (or milk or half & half)
 2 - Tomatoes (ripe)
 1 - Clove - Garlic
 1/4 - cup -  Onion (diced)
 2-3 - Tbs. - Butter
 Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1) Place avocados, garlic, onion, tomato, salt, pepper in food processor.
2) Chop only, do not liquefy.
3) Melt butter in saucepan, add cream, and heat slowly until almost thickened.

Avocado Bean Cups

  1 - 15-oz. can - Pinto Beans (with Mexican spices, drained)
  1 - 15-oz. can  - Garbanzo Beans (drained)
  1 - 15-oz. can - Black Beans (untrained)
  1/4 - cup - Green Onion (sliced)
 1/4 - cup - Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing (about)
  1 - Head - Romaine Lettuce
  4 - Avocados (halved and pitted)

1) Combine all beans and green onion.
2) Toss with enough oil and vinegar dressing to coat, about 1/4 cup.
3) Arrange lettuce on a platter.
4) Place 8 avocado halves on lettuce. Spoon bean salad into avocado shells.

Bacon-Avocado Grilled Cheese

 1 - lb. - Bacon (sliced in half, cooked and drained)
 18 - Slices - Whole Wheat Bread
 1/4 - cup - Butter (softened)
 6 - slices - Cheddar Cheese
 6 - slices - Provolone Cheese
 2 - Avocados (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
 2 - tsp. - Lemon juice
 1 - tsp. - Sea Salt
 1 - tsp. - Black Pepper
 2 - tsp. - Granulated Garlic
 1 1/2 - cups - Romaine Lettuce (shredded)
 Mayonnaise (to taste)

1) Preheat a griddle or non-stick skillet.
2) Butter 12 slices of bread on one side.
3) Place 6 slices of bread, butter side down on griddle.
4) Top with one slice each of cheddar and provolone cheese.
5) Top with other 6 buttered slices of bread (butter side out).
6) Meanwhile, lightly toast 6 other slices in toaster.
7) Flip grilled cheese sandwiches when they are lightly browned and allow to cook on the other side.
8) Remove from griddle when lightly browned and cheese is melted.
9) Sprinkle avocado slices with lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic.
Sandwich assembly:
Spread outside of grilled cheese on one side with mayo, layer cooked bacon slices, sliced avocado, lettuce and a slice of toast that has been spread with mayo.
Cut in half diagonally and serve. Enjoy!

Chicken-Avocado Wraps

 1/2 - cup - Balsamic Vinegar
 1/3 - cup - Olive Oil
 1 - Tbs. - Sugar
 1 - Garlic Clove (minced)
 1/2 - tsp. - Sea Salt
 1/4 - tsp. - Pepper
 6 - Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
 1 - large - Green Bell Pepper (quartered)
 1 - large - Red Bell Pepper (quartered)
 1 - large - Red Onion (cut into  3/4-inch-thick slices)
 2 - large - Avocados (peeled and sliced)
 8 - (10-inch) - Flour Tortillas

 Avocado Mayonnaise:
 2 - small - Avocados
 1/2 - cup - Mayonnaise
 1 - Garlic Clove (minced)
 1 - Tbs.- Lime Juice
 2 - Tbs. -  Fresh Basil (chopped)

1) Whisk together first 6 ingredients.
2) Place chicken breasts in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; pour half of vinegar mixture over chicken.
3) Place bell pepper, onion, and avocado in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; pour remaining vinegar mixture over vegetables.
4) Seal bags, and chill at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally.
5) Remove chicken and vegetables from marinades, discarding marinades.
6) Grill chicken and vegetables, covered with grill lid, over medium- high heat (350* to 400*F ) 20 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.
7) Remove vegetables from grill when done.
8) Cool; cut chicken and vegetables into strips.
9) For mayo: Peel avocados, and mash in a small bowl; stir in mayonnaise and remaining ingredients.
10) Cover and chill.
11) Spread tortillas with Avocado Mayonnaise.
12) Place chicken and vegetables on tortillas; roll up.
13) Cut in half diagonally. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tex-Mex Wraps

 4 flour tortilla
 1 - 15-oz. can - Spicy Refried Beans
 2 - cups - Cheddar or Pepper-Jack (grated)
 4 - Plum Tomatoes (diced)
 4 - Green Onions (chopped)
 2 - Avocados (peeled, pitted, and sliced)
  Salsa for Dipping

1) Spread thin layer of retried beans onto tortilla.
2) Lay avocado slices in the middle of tortillas.
3) Sprinkle on cheese, tomato and onion.
4) Roll up and cut in half.
5) You can add salsa before rolling tortillas, or just dip tortillas before eating. (or both).

I hope you like Avocados as much as I do.  They are very healthy but like all things, you should not over-do the amount you eat.  As it is with most foods, 1/2 cup is a serving per person, per day.
I will post again soon.  Please email me with some suggestions.
Until next time.......

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs !!!!

Or as I promised - Frittatas.  I have been trying to find a good variety of recipes for every ones tastes.  And I think I have done just that.  I hope you enjoy trying these recipes.  They work for every meal.  Don't forget to try adding your own touch and experiment with ingredients. You will notice that in some of the recipes there are (T's) and (t's).  These stand for Tablespoon (T's) and teaspoon (t's).  I wrote them as they were written unless I made changes.

This frittata can be for any meal. I like to make it for a quick dinner and eat the leftovers for breakfast and/or lunch. It can be made with any kind of pizza fixings you want.

Pizza Frittata
12 - eggs
2 T - water (can use milk, cream, or half and half as desired)
3 T olive oil
2 medium green peppers (2 1/2 inches X 2 3/4 inches), chopped
8 oz - mushrooms, sliced
4 oz - pepperoni, chopped (I buy the pre-sliced kind which makes it really easy)
2 teaspoons oregano
• 4 cloves garlic
• salt and peppers
• 8 oz. - shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup sugar-free pasta sauce

1)  Heat oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet.
2)  Sauté green peppers, mushrooms, and pepperoni for about 5 minutes.
3) Add garlic and cook another minute.
4) Add oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
5) Whisk eggs and liquid together. Add more salt and pepper. Add mixture to pan.
6)  Heat oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet.
7) Sauté green peppers, mushrooms, and pepperoni for about 5 minutes.
8) Add garlic and cook another minute.
9) Add oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
10) Whisk eggs and liquid together. Add more salt and pepper.
11) Add mixture to pan.
12) Mix egg mixture as it cooks, so cooked "curds" are distributed throughout. In about     2-3 minutes, it should be have enough "body" to float some pasta sauce on the top. 13) Do so, and then add the cheese.
14)  Put the frittata under the broiler to brown the top.
16) By this point, the eggs should be cooked through. Check. If they aren't, turn the oven down to 300 and give it a couple of minutes more.

Colorful Frittatas
Colorful frittata is loaded with mushrooms.  broccoli, ham, and Cheddar cheese. Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Do not worry about precise measurements with the vegetables, and feel free to substitute your favorite veggies.  Turkey ham or chunk tuna may be substituted for the ham.

        1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
        3/4 cup sliced fresh button mushrooms
        1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
        2 green onions, sliced thin, green tops included
        1 Tablespoon butter
        1 cup diced cooked ham
        8 large eggs
        1/4 cup water
        1/4 cup Dijon style mustard
        1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
        1/4 teaspoon dried basil
        1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
        1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
        1 cup - Cheddar cheese (finely shredded)
         Olive Oil Spray

        1) Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a shallow 1-1/2-quart casserole dish with  olive oil spray.
        2) Sauté broccoli, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and green onions in the butter until barely cooked. They should remain firm and colorful.             
        3) Remove from heat and stir in ham. Let cool slightly.
        4) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, water, Dijon style mustard, oregano. basil, garlic powder, and salt until well-combined.
        5) Pour into prepared casserole dish.
        6) Sprinkle the sautéed vegetables and ham over the top of the eggs, then sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese.
        7) Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until center is set.
        8) Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Frittata Ranchera
Great for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner, this ranch-style frittata is a meal in one. Serve with fresh fruit on the side.

        3 Tablespoons butter, divided use
        1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
        1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
        1 can (15 ounces or 2 cups) pinto beans
       1 cup - salsa (divided)
       1 cup diced cooked ham
        8 large eggs
        2 Tablespoons milk
        1 cup shredded Jack cheese

        1)Heat a medium heavy saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, along with the bell peppers and onion.
        2) Gently saute until softened.
        3) Add beans and stir, slightly mashing about half of the beans with the back of a large spoon. Mix in 1/4 cup of the salsa and cook until heated through. Keep warm.
        4) Whisk together eggs and milk.
        5) Place a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl to coat the pan.
        6) When butter begins to sizzle, pour in beaten eggs.
        7) Reduce heat to low and let cook until eggs are just barely set.
        8) Spoon beans evenly over the eggs, sprinkle with cheese, and cover tightly.
        9) Continue to cook until eggs are firm and lightly browned on the bottom.
        10) Cut frittata into wedges and serve hot with remaining salsa as a condiment.

Greek Frittata

Fresh herbs, spinach, and feta cheese give this egg scramble a Greek flavor. Good for breakfast but hearty enough for an evening meal.

        8 large eggs
        3 Tablespoons minced fresh mint
        1 Tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
        1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
        2 Tablespoons minced scallion
        Freshly ground black pepper
        1 Tablespoon olive oil
        2 cups (packed) spinach
        1 cup crumbled feta
        1 cup diced ripe tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

        1) Break the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth.
        2)Stir in mint, parsley, oregano. and scallion. and grind in a good, amount of black pepper.
        3) Place a 10-inch skillet or saute pan over medium heat.
        4) After several minutes, add the olive oil, wait about 10 seconds, then swirl to coat the pan.
        5) Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the spinach, and saute’ for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted and turned a deep green.
        6) With the heat still at medium-high, pour the eggs into the pan, scrambling them slowly as the eggs begin to set, push the curds from the bottom to one side, allowing uncooked egg to flow into contact with the pan. The spinach will blend into the eggs.
        7) When the eggs are mostly set but still slightly wet, sprinkle in the crumbled feta.
        8) Continue scrambling slowly, allowing the cheese to melt slightly into the eggs.
        9) After about a minute, stir in the tomatoes.
        10) Cook for just a few seconds longer, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
        11) Serve right away.
    Cook's Notes:
A mini-food processor makes short work of mincing the herbs. If you cannot find fresh oregano, substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.

Herbed Frittata

Adjust the flavor by choosing your own herbs for this simple frittata sparked with Parmesan cheese.
        1 cup minced herbs (see below)
        2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
        5 or 6 eggs
        1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or other cheese
        Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
        Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
        1) Mince about 1 cup of fresh herbs -- chervil, parsley, dill, or basil should make up the bulk of them, but others such as tarragon, oregano,  marjoram, or chives may be added in smaller quantities-and stir                 them into the egg mixture just before turning it into the skillet.             
        2) Proceed as below, garnishing with whatever herb you like.
        3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
        4) Place the butter or oil in a medium-to-large ovenproof skillet, preferably non-stick, and turn the heat to medium.
        5) While it's heating, beat together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
        6) When the butter melts or the oil is hot, pour the eggs into the skillet and  turn the heat to medium-low.
        7) Cook, undisturbed, for about 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the frittata is firm.
        8) Transfer the skillet to the oven.
        9) Bake, checking every 5 minutes or so, just until the top of the frittata is no longer runny, 10 to 20 minutes more.(To speed things up, turn on the broiler, but be careful not to overcook.)             
         10) Garnish and serve hot or at room temperature.

Sweet Frittata

The frittata is an extremely tasty way to stretch eggs. Though most are savory, one can make a sweet frittata for dessert, and they were indeed quite common in the past. This sweet frittata is easy to do and quite quick

        6 eggs
        1 tablespoon sugar
        1/2 cup (125 ml) cream
        1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        6 ounces freshly made or canned fruit cocktail
        (drain an 8-ounce can)
        Unsalted butter
        • Confectioner's sugar for dusting

        1) Lightly beat the eggs with the tablespoon of sugar, the cream, and the vanilla extract.
        2) Drain the fruit cocktail, mince the pieces, and stir them into the egg  mixture.
        3) Heat a pat of butter in a skillet and add a quarter of the egg mixture;   cook it until the bottom firms up, then flip it (cover the skillet with a lid, flip the entire skillet while pressing the lid against it so the                 frittata comes to rest on the lid, and then slide the upended frittata back into the skillet) and cook a few minutes more, and then roll the frittata up and put it on a serving dish.
        4) Repeat the procedure three more times, dust the frittata with the confectioner's sugar, and serve.

Onion Frittata
Onions are caramelized to sweetness and mixed with potatoes and eggs, then topped with Gorgonzola cheese for a hearty frittata.

        Caramelized Onions:

        2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
        2 large yellow onion, cut 1/8 inch thick
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1 dash freshly ground black pepper
        2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
        1 teaspoon granulated sugar

    • Frittata:
        • 5 medium red potatoes (unpeeled)
        • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
        • 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
        • 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided)
        • 10 large eggs
        • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
        • 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (crumbled)

        To make the caramelized onions:
        1) In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
        2) Add the onions, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
        3) Cook, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the onions are very soft
            and deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
        4) Stir in the balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook until the vinegar is reduced to a glaze, about 1 minute.
        5) Keep the onions warm. (The onions can be prepared up to three days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
        6) Reheat before using.
        To prepare frittata:
        1) Parboil potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes.
        2) Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle.
        3) Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then chop coarsely.
        4) In a 9- to 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
        5) Add the potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
        6) Cook, uncovered, turning the potatoes occasionally, until they are browned and tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
        7) Spread the potatoes as evenly as possible in the skillet.
        8) Position the broiler rack about 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler.
        9) In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, rosemary, and remaining 1/2  teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well-combined.
        10) Pour over the potatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low.
        11) Using a rubber spatula, lift up the cooked part of the frittata and tilt the  skillet to allow the uncooked eggs to run underneath.
        12) Continue cooking, occasionally lifting the frittata and tilting the skillet as described until the top is almost set, approximately 5 minutes.            
         13) Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola cheese.
        14) Broil until the frittata is puffed and the top is set, approximately 1 minute.
        15) To serve, spread the top of the frittata with the warm onions and cut nto wedges.
        16)  Serve hot or warm.

Roasted Chili Frittata

Roasted Poblano chilies give a sweet, slightly spicy flavor to hearty cheese and egg frittata.


        12 large - eggs    (slightly beaten)
        1 teaspoon - salt
        1/2 teaspoon - freshly ground black pepper
        2 teaspoons - chili powder
        1/2 bunch - cilantro leaves (finely chopped)
        1 Tablespoon - olive oil
        1 small - onion (finely chopped)
        1 1/2 roasted - red bell peppers (sliced into strips)
        2 Poblano chilies (roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced)
        1 cup Jack cheese (grated)
        • Cilantro sprigs tor garnish
        1) In a large bowl, combine the eggs with the salt, pepper, chili powder, and cilantro.
        2) Whisk until evenly blended and set aside.
        3) Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 10-inch non-stick skillet over  medium heat.
        4) Sauté  the onion 5 to 6 minutes, until softened and slightly golden.
        5) Add the red pepper and poblano and cook 2 minutes more.
        6) Pour the egg mixture into the pan, swirling to make an even
        7)Reduce the heat to medium-low, scatter the cheese over the top and cook, covered, until the eggs are nearly set.
        8) (Shake the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.)
        9) Turn on the broiler and place the pan under the broiler for a minute or two to set the top.
        10) Remove from heat and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
        11) Place a round platter on top of the pan and invert to remove.
        12) Garnish frittata with cilantro, cut into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Finally ---- I'm Back !!!!

Hi everyone,

Sorry to be so long in posting this month.  I could not get it together, but I am back.......

The recipes today are influenced by the "South Beach" diet.  I am working them up for Betty, so I thought that I should just pass them along to you all..  Enjoy !!!

Stewed Tomatoes and Onions

        1/2 - cup - Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
        1/4 - cup - Celery (thinly sliced)
        1 - Onion (chopped)
        2 - Cloves - Garlic (minced)
        3 - cups - Tomatoes (chopped) (canned or fresh)
        1 - Tablespoon - Balsamic Vinegar
        Black Pepper (to taste)

        1) Coat non-stick skillet with olive oil spray.
        2) Place over medium-high heat until hot.
        3) Add bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic.
        4) Saute’ for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
        5) Add tomatoes, vinegar, and black pepper.
        6) Bring to a boil.
        7) Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes,
            stirring occasionally.


Broiled Tomatoes

        2 - Large - Ripe Tomatoes (halved horizonally)
        Salt and Pepper (to taste)

        1) Place tomatoes on a broiler pan rack, cut sides up.
        2) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
        3) Broil 7 to 10 minutes, until well-browned.


Broiled Tomatoes with Pesto

        3 - Fresh - Tomatoes (ripe)
        2 - Cloves - Garlic
        1 - cup - Fresh Basil Leaves
        2 - Tablespoons - Olive Oil
        1/2 - cup - Parmesan Cheese
        2 - Tablespoons - Pine Nuts or Walnuts

        1) Cut tomatoes in half.
        2) Combine garlic, basil, oil, Parmesan cheese, and nuts
            in a food processor or blender.
        3) Puree’ until smooth.
        4) Spoon pesto mixture onto top of each tomato half.
        5) Place tomatoes on a broiler pan and broil about 3
            inches from heat source until lightly browned,
            3 to 5 minutes.


Oriental Cabbage

        1 - Head - Chinese Napa (chopped)
        3 - Scallions (chopped)
        2 - Tablespoons - Dark Sesame Oil
        2 - Tablespoons - Rice Wine Vinegar
        2 - Tablespoons - Sesame Seeds (toasted)

        1) Combine Napa, scallions, oil, and vinegar.
        2) Toss well and chill until ready to serve.
         3) Add sesame seeds and toss before serving.



        1 - 15 oz. can - Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
        2 - Tablespoons - Fresh Lemon Juice
        1/2 - cup - Tahini  (Sesame Paste)
        1/4 - cup - Onion
        3 - Cloves - Garlic (chopped)
        2 - teaspoons - Olive Oil
        2 - teaspoons - Cumin (ground)
        1/8 - teaspoon - Cayenne (ground)
        Sea Salt (to taste)

        1) Drain chickpeas (reserving 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid)
        2) Combine chickpeas, lemon juice, Tahini, onion, garlic, oil, cumin, pepper, and salt in
               a blender or  food processor.
        3) Puree until smooth, adding liquid if needed to thin puree.
        4) Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving to blend flavors.

With hummus, you can experiment with additional ingredients to spice up your recipe.  You can use scallions, instead of onions.  You can always use extra garlic.  One of my favorites is sun-dried tomatoes and basil.  Go back to my posting of the spices, and what goes with what.  If you like one or two spices more than others, use them.  Just remember to adjust the flavors and start small and work your way up.  If you use any thing dried, like the sun-dried tomatoes, don’t forget to re-hydrate them before adding them to your recipe.  You know what you like.


Important Info:  All of the vegetables used in this recipe should be cut into bite-size pieces.  As with any recipe, use you imagination and try other things than what I suggest.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

        2 - Small - Zucchinis
        2 - Small - Summer Squash (yellow squash)
        1 - Red - Bell Pepper
        1 - Yellow - Bell Pepper
        1 - Pound - Asparagus (small diameter)
        1 - Red - Onion
        3 - Tablespoons - Olive Oil
        Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)

        1) Cut up all vegetables.
        2) Heat oven to 450 degrees.
        3) Place vegetables in a large roasting pan.
        4) Toss with oil, salt, and pepper to coat.
        5) Spread in a single layer in the pan.
        6) Roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally; or
            until vegetables are lightly browned and tender.

Hints:  Yams, Sweet Potatoes, New Red Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips, Fennel, Pearl Onions (whole), any veggie firm enough to stay crisp tender in a hot oven.  Enjoy !!!!


Roasted Eggplants, Onions and Peppers

        1 - Eggplant (peeled, halved, and sliced)
        2 - Red - Bell Peppers (cut into thick strips)
        1- Green or Yellow - Bell Pepper (cut into thick strips)
        1 - Onion (thick sliced)
        1/4 - cup - Olive Oil
        Fresh Basil

        1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
        2) Place eggplants, peppers, and onions in a non-stick baking dish.
        3) Drizzle with oil.
        4) Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes; basting often.
        5) Arrange vegetables on serving platter.
        6) Garnish with fresh basil.

Hint:  You can add extras with this dish, too.  Try whole cloves of garlic.  You might also try fresh oregano with the basil.  Yummy!!


Mock Mashed Potatoes

        4 - cups - Cauliflower
        1 - ounce - Artificial Butter Spray
        1 - ounce - Fat-Free Half & Half
        Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)

        1) Boil or steam cauliflower until soft; drain.
        2) Puree’ cauliflower in food processor; adding butter
            spray and half & half.
        3) Season with salt and pepper.

You might say, “where’s the mashed potatoes?” Trust me, you won’t miss them, at all.  I also use cauliflower to make a “mock” Alfredo sauce.  Just substitute fat-free chicken broth for the half and half.  Cook up a recipe of whole grain noodles. Drain your noodles and mix together the cauliflower with a little broth and a little “Smart Balance” butter.  Mash them together until almost smooth.  A few chunks won’t hurt.  Put every thing together in the sauce pan you cooked your noodles in.  Add fresh grated Parmesan cheese and mix well.  You can use this as a side dish or add a little extra Mozzarella and make it a main dish.  If you like garlic, add some to zip it up.


Fish Ka-Bobs  or  Just Ka-Bobs

        2 - Tablespoons - Olive Oil
        2 - Tablespoons - Fresh Lime Juice
        1 - Tablespoon - Dijon Style Mustard
        1 - Pound - Fresh Halibut, Swordfish, Salmon, or Tuna
        1 - Red - Onion (cut into 1/8’s)
        1 - Bell Pepper - Red, Yellow, Orange or Green
            (seeded and quartered)
        8 - Grape Tomatoes, or
        4 - Cherry Tomatoes (whole)

        1) In an 8 X 8 inch baking dish, blend oil, juice, and mustard.
        2) Cut fish into 16 - 1 inch cubes.
        3) Put fish into marinade and refrigerate (10 minutes)
        4) Turn to coat, return to refrigerator.
        5) Pre-heat the broiler or grill.
        6) Drain fish; reserve marinade.
        7) Thread fish and vegetables onto 4 skewers;  alternating each.
        8) Brush with marinade.
        9) Place skewers under broiler or on the grill.
        10) Cook about 3 minutes on each side; brushing
            with marinade between turns.
        11) Broil until fish is done and the veggie are browned  and crisp tender.

Needless to say,  there are many combinations to this recipe.  The most obvious one is to substitute fish for meat.  The other possibility is to leave out the fish and meat.  Add a few more veggies and spice up the marinade.  Try equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a raspberry vinaigrette.  The sky is truly the limit.

Next time "Frittatas" and More !!!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Salads Galore !!!!

I promised everyone salad recipes and now I will deliver.  I have tried to come up with a variety for everyone's tastes.  Of course, you can change up the recipe a bit to make it your own.  As always, I hope you enjoy at least a few of the recipes.  I know that people have different tastes and favorites.

A friend sent me a Steamed Halibut recipe recently and I will post it soon along with a few other Fish and Seafood recipes.  But first I will be posting a few more Soup recipes for lighter dinners.  Soup and Salad dinners go very well in the Spring or Summer.  We all need to cut back a little.  If you have any recipe that you would like for me to post, just email and I will be happy to share it with everyone.

Until next time.....
And I promise it won't be so long as it was this time.....


Black Bean and Rice Salad

 2 cups black beans, rinsed, drained                            
    2 cups white rice cooked                                       
    1 1/2 cups cilantro fresh                                      
    1/4 cup lime juice                                             
    3/4 cup oils                                                   
    1/2 cup onions chopped                                         
    2 garlic cloves, crushed                                       
    Black pepper freshly ground                                    

1) Mix the beans, rice, and cilantro together in a bowl. 
2) Place the lime juice in a small bowl and whisk in the oil. 
3) Add the onion and garlic and toss with the rice and beans.
4) Add salt and pepper to taste.
 Chile Tomato Salad

    6 tomatoes, small                                              
    1/2 bunch parsley chopped                                      
    1/2 hot green chili, chopped                                   
    1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil                                      
    2 tablespoons lemon juice                                      
    1 pinch salt & pepper                                          
    1 pinch cayenne pepper                                         

1) Quarter the tomatoes. 
2) Mix parsley & chili with the tomatoes & chill.
3) Combine the remaining ingredients & set aside to rest.
4) Just before serving, mix the salad dressing with the salad.
Creamy Pasta Salad

1/4 cup mayonnaise (no-egg)                                     
    2 tablespoons lemon juice                                      
    2 cups pasta, cooked, (any style)      
    4 green onions chopped                                         
    1 4-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, sliced                
    1 1/2 tablespoons basil fresh or dried                         
    1/2 teaspoon salt                                              

1) Stir the no-egg mayonnaise and lemon juice into the noodles. 
2) Add the green onions, artichoke hearts, basil, and salt and mix well. 
3) If the salad is too dry, add more mayonnaise and/or lemon juice.

Cuban Red Bean Salad

    1/2 pound kidney beans soaked                                  
    1 green bell pepper, cut into strips                           
    1 bay leaf                                                     
    1/4 cup olive oil                                              
    1 onion chopped                                                
    1 green bell pepper chopped                                    
    4 garlic cloves, chopped                                       
    1/4 teaspoon oregano                                           
    1/2 teaspoon cumin                                             
    3 teaspoons salt                                               
    Black pepper to taste                                          
    2 cups white rice                                              

1) Cook kidney beans with bay leaf & strips of pepper. 
2) Simmer till tender.
3) Heat oil in a pot & saute onion, bell pepper & garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes.
4) When the beans are cooked, drain them reserving 3 cups of stock. 
5) Add beans to saute.
6) Put pot over high heat & add the cumin, salt, pepper & rice.
7) Cook with reserved stock until all the liquid has been absorbed.
8) Stir the rice with a fork, lower heat & simmer another 10 minutes, till the rice is tender.  8) Discard bay leaf, adjust seasonings & serve.
Cucumber - Tomato Salad

    1 tomato                                                       
    1 cucumber                                                     
    1 onion                                                        
    1 tablespoon dill weed fresh                                   
    2 green chili peppers chopped                                  
    1 tablespoon white vinegar                                     
    Oil & lemon dressing                                           

1) Cut tomatoes into 10 wedges. 
2) Pare the cucumber; cut it in half lengthwise & then in thin slices. 
3) Cut onion in half lengthwise & then slice paper thin. 
4) Put the onion slices into a bowl, sprinkle with salt & squeeze in the palm of a hand. 
5) Rinse & pat dry.
6) On a platter, arrange in succession rows of tomatoes, cucumber slices & onion pieces.  7) Sprinkle with the dill, salt & chili pepper. 
8) Mix vinegar & dressing & pour over the salad enough to moisten it well.

Eggplant Salad

    1 pound eggplants peeled, cubed                                
    1 pound tomatoes chopped                                       
    2 teaspoons cayenne pepper                                     
    1 teaspoon salt                                                
    1 tablespoon olive oil                                         
    1 tablespoon tomato juice                                      
1) Boil eggplant in water for 30 minutes. 
2) Drain well & squeeze out excess moisture. 
3) In a large skillet over moderate heat, saute eggplant, tomatoes, cayenne & salt in olive oil & tomato juice for about 5 minutes, mashing with a fork until somewhat smooth. 
4) Chill before serving.

Turnip - Apple Salad

    1 cup turnips peeled & grated                                  
    1 cup apples peeled & grated tart green                        
    1/2 cup parsley fresh, chopped                                 
    Lemon juice from 1 large lemon                                 
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                     
    Salt & pepper                                                  

1) Combine all the ingredients. 
2) Toss well, cover, and chill.

Hot Potato Salad

    3 pounds potatoes                                              
    1/2 cup olive oil                                              
    1 teaspoon dill seeds                                          
    1/2 cup celery chopped                                         
    1/4 cup parsley chopped                                        
    3 tablespoons white vinegar                                    
    3 tablespoons honey                                            
    Salt & pepper             
1) Chop the potatoes into bite-sized cubes & boil till just soft. 
2) Saute all other ingredients except vinegar & honey. 
3) The celery should be just tender. 
4) Drain potatoes & add saute mixture. 
5) Pour over honey & vinegar, mix gently & serve.

Fried Rice with Basil  (Thailand Salad)

    1 garlic clove, finely chopped                                 
    3 chili fresh red or green, finely chopped                     
    1 cup mushrooms fresh button, halved                           
    1 onion chopped                                                
    2 cups white rice cooked                                       
    1 bundle long beans or- french/snap beans - cut                
    1 red bell pepper or green pepper, diced                       
    1/2 teaspoon sugar                                             
    3 tablespoons soy sauce light                                  
    15 basil sweet leaves                                          

1) In a wok or frying pan/skillet, heat the oil until a light haze appears.
2) Add the garlic and chili and fry until the garlic is golden brown.
3) Add the mushrooms and onions and stir quickly. 
4) Add the cooked rice and stir thoroughly. 
5) Add the long beans, peppers, sugar and light soy sauce and stir thoroughly. 
6) At the last moment quickly stir in the basil leaves and turn on to a serving dish.

Lentil and Sweet Pepper Salad

    1 red bell pepper                                              
    1 yellow bell pepper                                           
    1 orange bell pepper                                           
    1 1/4 cups lentils green, washed                               
    3 cups water                                                   
    1 onion peeled                                                 
    1 garlic clove, peeled                                         
    1 red chili pepper seeded & finely chopped                     
    1 red onion thinly sliced                                      
    1/2 cup dried apricots thinly sliced                           
    Black pepper freshly ground                                    
1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin                       
  1 lemon, juiced                                                
    2 garlic cloves, crushed                                       
    1 tablespoon coriander, fresh, chopped                         
    1 tablespoon parsley, fresh, chopped                           
    2 teaspoons cumin, ground                                      
1) Heat the broiler. 
2) Broil the peppers until charred and blistered on all sides. 
3) Tie in a plastic bag or place in a covered dish and let cool to loosen skins.
4) Put the lentils, water, onion, and garlic into a 2-quart saucepan.
5) Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still a little crunchy.
6) Drain and place in a large bowl.
7) Meanwhile, make the dressing.  Blend the oil, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, parsley, and cumin, and season with salt and pepper.
8) Drain the lentils, discard the onion and garlic, and place the lentils in a large bowl. 
9) Stir in the dressing and set aside.
10) Peel and seed the bell peppers over a bowl to catch any juices, slice the flesh thinly, and reserve. 
11) Pour any juices into the lentils and leave to cool completely.
12) Stir the bell peppers, chili peppers, onion, apricot slices, and salt and pepper to taste into the lentils and serve at once.
Noodle Salad

    1 pound spaghetti noodles                                      
    1/2 cup peanuts                                                
    2 garlic cloves, peeled                                        
    2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari                              
    4 teaspoons white vinegar (distilled)                            
    1 tablespoon sugar                                             
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper                                    
    1/2 cup water                                                  
    2 carrots (julienned)                                            
    1/2 pound snow peas (sliced)                                     
    1/4 cup sesame oil (roasted)                                     
    2 green onions (chopped )                                        
    1 cucumber peeled, (seeded, and julienned )                      

1) Cook spaghetti according to the package directions.
2) In a blender or food processor, combine the peanuts, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper, and water. 
3) Blend until smooth and set aside.
4) Steam the carrots and the snow peas until tender-crisp, about 7 minutes, and set aside.
5) Rinse the spaghetti with cold water and drain thoroughly.
6) Pour into a large mixing bowl. 
7) Toss with the sesame oil.
8) Add the peanut sauce, carrots, and snowpeas and toss. 
9) Just before serving, top with the green onions and cucumber.

Brown Rice Salad

    4 cups brown rice (cold- cooked)                                  
    1/4 cup peanut oil                                             
    1 teaspoon salt                                                
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper                                      
    1 teaspoon sugar                                               
    1 teaspoon sesame oil roasted                                  
    1 carrot peeled and diced                                      
    1/2 cup snow peas chopped                                      
    1/2 cup corn (frozen kernels)                                    
    1/4 cup rice vinegar                                           
    1 celery stalk (diced)                                          
    1/2 red bell pepper (diced)                                      
    3 green onions (chopped)                                         
    2 tablespoons parsley fresh (chopped )                          

1) Place the rice in a large mixing bowl.
2) In a small mixing bowl, combine the peanut oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and sesame oil. 
3) Stir until the sugar dissolves, then pour over the rice, toss, and set aside.
4) Steam the carrot, snow peas, and corn in or over a small amount of boiling water for 1 minute. 
5) Rinse the vegetables in cold water.
6) Drain and stir the vegetables into the rice. 
7) Add the remaining ingredients and toss to mix well. 
8) Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours and serve cold.

Spinach and Cashew Salad

    1 1/2 cups spinach raw leaves, chopped                         
    1/2 cup watercress                                             
    4 green onions sliced                                          
    1/3 cup cashew nuts                                            
    1/2 cup croutons                                               
    Vegan salad dressing - (your favorite one)                     

1) Combine the spinach, watercress, green onions, and cashews in a serving bowl. 
2) Spoon the dressing over the salad and toss. 
3) Eat immediately while crisp.

Eggplant Salad 2 (Turkish)   

    1 eggplant                                                     
    Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon                                     
    1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin                                 
    2 teaspoons garlic mashed                                      
    2 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar                                
    Tomato slices                                                  
    Onion, sliced                                                  

1) Cook unpeeled eggplant until it is charred on the outside & the flesh is thoroughly soft.  2) Cool slightly & then peel. 
3) Wipe clean & squeeze out all the water.
4) Place eggplant in a bowl with the lemon juice & salt. 
5) Mash well. 
6) Add olive oil, garlic & vinegar, blend thoroughly. 
7) Serve on a plate garnished with tomato, onion & olives.

Zucchini Rice Salad

    1/4 cup wild rice                                              
    1/4 cup brown rice                                             
    1 zucchini grated                                              
    1 tomato cut in wedges                                         
    1 red bell pepper diced                                        
    1/2 bunch spinach torn                                         
    1 avocado cut into chunks                                      

1) Cook the dry rice. (Soak the wild rice in 1/2 cup water for 2-4 hours.
2) Then cook it in 1/2 cup water for 15-20 minutes and then add the brown rice and cook together for 45-60 minutes longer.
3) Add extra water if necessary.)
4) The rices will make 1 cup cooked.
5) Cool or chill.
6) Mix all the ingredients together and toss with a favorite dressing. This makes a great main dish for two or a side dish for four.

Asparagus and Rice Salad

    2 teaspoons vegetable oil                                      
    1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)                               
    3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (1 cup)                        
    1 tablespoon lemon juice                                       
    1 tablespoon honey                                             
    1/4 teaspoon salt                                              
    1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears                                  

 1)  Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. 
2) Cook onion in oil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. 
3) Stir in tomatoes, lemon juice, honey and salt. 
4) Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 
5) Remove mixture from skillet; keep warm.
6) Wipe out skillet. 
7) Heat 1 inch water to boiling in skillet. 
8) Add asparagus.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. 
9) Cover and cook 7 to 10 minutes or until stalk ends are crisp-tender; drain. 
10) Place asparagus in serving dish. Top with tomato mixture

Bacon / Spinach Salad

For a touch of sweetness and color, use raspberry vinegar in place of the white vinegar and sprinkle the salad with fresh raspberries.

    4 slices bacon, diced                                          
    1/4 cup white vinegar                                          
    4 teaspoons sugar                                              
    1/4 teaspoon salt                                              
    1/8 teaspoon pepper                                            
    1 bag (10 ounce) washed fresh spinach                          
    5 medium green onions, chopped (1/3 cup)                       
 1) Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. 
2) Stir in vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. 
3) Heat through, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved remove from heat.
 4) Add Spinach and onions to bacon mixture. 
5) Toss 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.

Couscous and Artichoke Salad

    1 cup water                                                    
    3/4 cup uncooked couscous                                      
    6 Roma (plum) tomatoes (chopped
    1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts (drained and chopped )        
    1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers (drained and cut into thin strips)
    1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives (drained)                
    1/2 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)                          
    1/4 cup red onions  (finely chopped )                            
    3 tablespoons cider vinegar                                    
    1/2 teaspoon salt                                              
    2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)                                
    1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 1/2 ounces)                    

1)  Heat water to boiling in 10-inch nonstick skillet. 
2) Stir in couscous; remove from heat. 
3) Cover and let stand about 5 minutes or until water is absorbed.
4) Fluff couscous with fork.
5) Spread couscous evenly in thin layer on cookie sheet. 
6) Let stand 8 to 10 minutes or until cool.
7) Mix remaining ingredients except cheese in medium bowl. 
8) Add couscous and cheese to tomato mixture. Gently toss until mixed.

Hot German Potato Salad

    1 1/4 pounds new potatoes (cut into 1/2-inch slices)            
    1/3 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing                        
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon onions   (finely chopped )                          
    1/2 teaspoon salt                                              
    1/8 teaspoon pepper                                            
    1 tablespoon bacon bits                                        
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped )
   1)  Heat oven to 350°. 
2) Spray 1 ½-quart casserole with cooking spray. 
3) Layer potato slices in casserole. 
4) Mix dressing, vinegar, onion, salt and pepper; pour over potatoes.
5) Sprinkle with bacon bits.
 6) Cover and bake about 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. 
7) Gently stir before serving.  Sprinkle with parsley.

        Greens and Fruit Salad with Bleu Cheese

Toasted sesame oil is what gives this salad its distinctively nutty flavor.  If you can’t find sesame oil, you can substitute vegetable oil and sprinkle the salad with toasted sesame seed.

    1/4 cup dry sherry or apple juice                              
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar             
    1 tablespoon sugar                                             
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil                                  
    8 cups bite-size pieces mixed salad greens                     
    1 medium pear, thinly sliced                                   
    1 cup sliced strawberries                                      
    1 small red onion, thinly sliced                               
    1/4 cup finely crumbled blue cheese (1 ounce)                  

1)  Mix sherry, vinegar, sugar and oil until sugar is dissolved.
2)  Arrange salad greens, pear strawberries and onion on 8 salad plates.
3) Pour sherry mixture over salads. 
4) Sprinkle with cheese

Tangy Cole Slaw

    4 cups finely chopped cabbage (1 pound)                        
    1/2 cup chopped peeled jicama                                  
    1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)                   
    1 small carrot, shredded (1/2 cup)                             
    1 medium onion, diced (1/2 cup)                                
    6 medium radishes, sliced (1/2 cup)                            
 Tangy Dressing:                                                

    3 tablespoons packed brown sugar                               
    3 tablespoons red wine vinegar                                 
    3 tablespoons water                                            
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                     
    1/4 teaspoon salt                                              
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped                                 

 1)  Make Tangy Dressing. 
2) Toss dressing and remaining ingredients. 
3) Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

          Tangy Dressing
          1) Mix all ingredients.

Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cherries

Transform this side-dish salad into a main-meal masterpiece.  Add 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey breast and 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots.  Turn up the heat by sprinkling in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

    1 (6 1/2-ounce) package fast-cooking long grain rice and wild rice mix
    1 medium unpeeled eating apple, chopped (1 cup)                
    1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)                    
    1 medium celery stalk, chopped (1/2 cup)                       
    2/3 cup dried red cherries, chopped                            
    2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce                         
    2 tablespoons water                                            
    2 teaspoons sugar                                              
    2 teaspoons cider vinegar                                      
    1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, toasted                           

1)  Cook rice mix as directed on package--- except omit margarine.
2)  Spread rice evenly in thin layer on large cookie sheet. 
3) Let stand 10 to 12 minutes stirring occasionally, until cool.
4) Mix apple, bell pepper, celery and cherries in large bowl. 
5) Mix soy sauce, water, sugar and vinegar in small bowl until sugar is dissolved. 
6) Add rice and soy sauce mixture to apple mixture. 
7) Gently toss until coated.  Add peanuts; gently toss.