Tag Archives: onion

Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad

Today I have a quick and easy side dish for you. While other recipes are still waiting in line to get on the blog, this one I made just last week. I wanted to share it with all of you before fresh corn becomes too out of season. The good part about now is that fresh heirloom tomatoes are cropping up in supermarkets.

I’m sure you could use thawed frozen sweet corn in this recipe, but using fresh corn off the cob gives this salad a little something special.

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Sorry the picture isn’t fantastic, I was hungry! But I promise that it is delicious! You can even eat it as a light lunch. Add some of your favorite beans for a little protein kick.

If you don’t like goat cheese (which I know a lot of people don’t), feel free to add in fresh mozzarella pieces or leave out the cheese all together.

Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad
(Serves 4-6)

4 ears of sweet corn cut off the cob or thawed frozen sweet corn (about 2 cups)
1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
5 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

In a large bowl combine corn, tomatoes, onion, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for an hour in the fridge before serving.

Just before serving, add fresh basil. Mix well. Top with goat cheese and serve cold or at room temperature.

Easy enough, right?

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Sweet and Sour Made Easy

Anyone else LOVE sweet and sour chicken from Chinese restaurants? Thought so. But don’t you feel a little guilty afterwards? Maybe.

Well, this sweet and sour chicken recipe is super easy AND healthier than the fried version. Why? Because it’s made in the crock pot. You can throw all the ingredients together in the morning before work, whip up some rice when you get home, and boom! Delicious and healthy sweet and sour chicken. And I promise you won’t miss the fried!

I found the original recipe from Cooking Classy on foodgawker. I didn’t change too much…mostly just the cooking times, increased the liquids (I like a lot of sauce) and the amount of veggies.

This dish is perfect for the summer, because the crock pot won’t heat up your kitchen. So make this recipe soon!!

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
(Serves 4-6)

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
2 c. low sodium chicken broth, plus 1/3 cup
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce OR 1/4 tsp. red pepper flake (optional)
1 c. diced fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
1 large bell pepper, color of your choosing, diced
1 large yellow or red onion, diced
1/3 c. cornstarch
Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

In your slow cooker, combine the 2 cups of chicken broth, sugars, vinegar, lemon, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, pepper and optional Sriracha or red pepper flake. Stir to combine. Add chicken tenderloins, pineapple, bell pepper, and onion. Combine with the sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. About 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to eat, whisk together 1/3 cup of reserved chicken broth and 1/3 cup cornstarch. Pour into the crock pot and gently mix in. The chicken will be tender enough to break up into smaller pieces, but don’t break it up too much! Cook until the sauce thickens, about 30-45 minutes. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

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Mmmm…Steak?

No no. Not actual steak. Salisbury steak. And not even the way you think!

A couple of weeks ago I was in the mood for some hardcore comfort food. And I remembered Salisbury steaks lurking in the back of my mind. Now, it’s usually made with ground beef, beef stock, and mashed potatoes. Of course, I had to make it healthier.

Instead of ground beef, I used lean ground turkey. Instead of mashed potatoes, I made pureed cauliflower. What? A legitimate sub for mashed potatoes? Yes. I didn’t even tell my guinea pig that it was cauliflower. He thought it was mashed potatoes! Score one for me.

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I do have to say, I made this cauliflower puree twice. One time without any potato at all, and one time with 2 little red potatoes. I think it made a big difference having the little bit of potato to make it creamy. AND it’s only 2 little potatoes for 4 servings. So you don’t have to feel guilty about it since you’re only having 1/4 of a potato, really. But feel free to leave it out if you really don’t want it! Leaving the skins on the potatoes give it extra color and nutrition.

So for all of you watching your waistlines (and those not!), I think you will really enjoy this recipe. It’s a classic that you won’t feel guilty about eating later!

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to recoup from the weekend…Feeling better so far but today I’m making some of my Greek quinoa for a light lunch. YUM!

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Salisbury Steak with Cauliflower Puree
(Serves 4)

For the Salisbury Steak:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce (or soy sauce in a pinch)
1/3 c. breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
1/2 small onion, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

For the Sauce:

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced (plus the rest of the small onion)
1/2 c. white or red wine (whatever you have on hand)
2 c. low-sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce (or soy)
2 tbsp. whole-wheat or regular flour
Salt and pepper

For the Cauliflower Puree:

1 head of cauliflower, washed & cut into florets (or 4 c. precut/washed)
2 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in halves (optional)
6 sprigs thyme, removed from stems
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. nonfat milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 c. reduced fat, shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat with just a splash (about a tablespoon) of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. The pan is hot enough when the olive oil looks wavy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the Salisbury Steak ingredients. Mix until combine. Form into a disc in the bottom of the bowl and score the turkey with your hand to create 4 even portions. Put your patties in the heated pan. Cook until each side is browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate and turn the heat down to medium.

Add your white or red wine to the pan, scraping up the brown bits (these give a great depth of flavor, especially when you’re not using beef to make these!). Add onions and mushrooms, cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Pour in 1 3/4 cup of your chicken broth and the Worchestershire sauce or soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the chicken broth starts to bubble. Mix together your flour and the remaining stock in a small bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour into the frying pan with the mushrooms and onions. Stir well. Add your turkey patties and cook through, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large microwave safe bowl, add all of the cauliflower ingredients, except the cheese and salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir and then cook in 2 minute intervals until the cauliflower is pierced with a fork easily (about 9-10 minutes total). Spoon mixture into your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into serving bowl and stir in cheese (if using). Pop back into microwave for another 1.5 minutes.

To serve, place a spoonful of cauliflower puree onto the center of your plate, lay the patty partially on the puree, and spoon over the sauce with mushrooms and onions. Or just serve them side by side!

Commence comfort.

;

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Balsamic-Braised Sausages

…in the crock pot!

Remember that Williams-Sonoma crock pot cookbook I mentioned a little while ago? Well, this recipe comes from it.

I bought this cookbook because I love utilizing my crock pot. It makes it so easy, and it’s a one pot clean-up!

This recipe for braised sausages with balsamic vinegar and fennel caught my eye because I had just bought a very large bottle of balsamic vinegar at the store. Also, I’ve become obsessed recently with Shady Brook Farms’ lean sweet Italian turkey sausage. Oh, and this recipe also has fennel too. YUM!

Never used fennel? Here’s a guide how to cut it.

I also added some asparagus to the recipe because I can’t get enough of it, and I had some lying around 🙂

I served it over whole wheat egg noodles. But I’m sure it would be delicious over any grain or pasta (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, cous cous, etc). Or just omit it all together.

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Balsamic-Braised Sausages
(Serves 4-6)

1 pkg. Shady Brook Farm lean Italian turkey sausage (or pork sausage if you prefer)
1 large shallot, or 1 small onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped or sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed off and sliced into 1″ pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine
Salt and pepper

Preheat your broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Put your sausages on the baking sheet. Broil until golden brown, turning after each side browns. About 9-10 minutes total.

Put all the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Top with broiled sausages. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 5.5 hours. Turn the sausages halfway through if possible, if not, no big deal!

Serve over pasta or your favorite grain.

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Stuff It!

Anyone out there like stuffed bell peppers? No, I’m not referring to Stouffer’s stuffed peppers! I mean homemade stuffed peppers, controlling the ingredients you put in to make a healthy version for you.

The best part? They’re easy to make. And they’re extremely versatile depending on your tastes.

For the starch of the stuffing, use white or brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro, lentils the list goes on! Proteins can be mixed up with ground turkey, sausage, beans, ground lean beef, etc. etc. And vegetables? Use all your favorites! This is definitely a refrigerator cleaner dish.

As far as the bell peppers go, use your favorite. Green, red, yellow or orange. Or mix it up to make a pretty presentation.

Top with your favorite shredded cheese, if you’d like. It adds a little something special 🙂

So basically this recipe is a guide just to get you started. Have fun!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers
(Serves 6)

6 bell peppers
1 lb. lean, ground turkey (or another protein)
1 c. uncooked brown rice, cooked according to package directions (makes 2 cups of cooked rice, use this as a guide to change it up)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c. chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. frozen corn kernels
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Any other of your favorite veggies!
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. shredded cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large frying pan, put in your ground turkey, onion and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the veggies soften and no pink remains in the turkey and it starts to brown.

Meanwhile, slice the top straight off of the bell peppers, just barely enough to get the stem off, while keeping the pepper mostly whole. Clean out the seeds and the white ribs. Then, slice the meat of the pepper off around the stem, and chop up into pieces. Add to frying pan with turkey.

When the turkey mixture is browned, add in the rice, corn kernels, and jar of pasta sauce (reserving about 1/2 cup). Turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

Spread your reserved 1/2 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of your baking dish (use whatever size will fit the peppers).

Put the peppers in the pan and stuff with your turkey mixture. Pack the mixture down with a spoon to get a lot in! Top with cheese, if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes until the peppers start to become tender. Put the baking dish on the top rack and broil under the cheese browns. Don’t walk away! This happens quick!

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving, these puppies hold onto their heat.

Enjoy!

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A Warm, Comforting Dinner

This recipe is quite possibly my favorite dinner dish I have ever made. Crazy, right? The recipe idea came from the Willams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh and Fast cookbook I bought a couple of weeks ago. I also bought their new Slow Cooker book…more on that later.

This cookbook is great because it highlights each season with in-season ingredients, which usually ends up making the ingredients cheaper and more fresh than out-of-season veggies.

This recipe is Chicken with Squash, Turnips and Shiitakes. YUM!

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I substituted a few ingredients based on what was available at my grocery store and the dish turned out great. Don’t be afraid to make changes to a recipe! For example, this recipe called for turnip greens from the turnips used in the dish. Guess what? The turnips at my store didn’t have greens on them, so I subbed for peppery arugula. I also subbed chicken breasts for chicken thighs to lighten up the dish. Feel free to also use shiitake mushrooms in place of creminis, that’s what the original recipe called for. I also added some apple cider vinegar to the dish to deglaze the pan of the delicious brown bits, along with a little cinnamon to kick up the warm, comforting flavors.

Also, take some help from the produce section when you can with precut squash. Trader Joe’s has amazingly provided its shoppers with peeled and cubed butternut squash. AMAZING. If you have ever peeled and cut butternut squash, you know it’s a pain in the butt. Thanks, TJ’s, for making my life easier one more time!

Serve this dish over rice, whole wheat egg noodles or your favorite pasta.

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Chicken with Squash, Turnips and Creminis
(Serves 6)

2 large chicken breasts, diced into 1″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8-10 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2″ pieces
3 medium turnips, cut into 1/2″ pieces
8 oz. cremini mushrooms (or shiitakes), chopped
1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. flour
2 big handfuls of arugula
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle a large frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add your diced chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until no pink remains and the chicken begins to brown.

Add onions, sage, squash, mushrooms and turnips sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until just beginning to brown and veggies start to become tender.

Pour in your apple cider vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to get up all the browned bits. Sprinkle the flour over the top of all your ingredients, as evenly as possible. Stir to coat.

Add chicken broth and simmer until the sauce thickens and the veggies are fork tender. Add cinnamon. If you want more sauce, add in some more chicken broth and allow it to thicken up again.

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Remove from heat and dump in the arugula. Allow it to wilt down and carefully stir to incorporate (your pan is probably pretty full!).

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Pour each serving over rice or noodles.

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Something New

So some of you may know that I don’t eat red meat too often. Eating chicken and pork can get a little monotonous…I like to find new dishes with legumes and beans to get my fill of protein.

It was good timing when the Kitchn posted a little article about 10 different dishes to eat chickpeas! I changed the recipe a bit so I only had to use one pan – yep that’s right, easy clean up!

They are probably my favorite bean out there. My grandma used to put them in salads with vinegar and oil with onions. So I grew up on them.

Now, my other half testing my food with me said that it wasn’t as filling as my other dishes. You may want to try this as a lunch instead of dinner (I got full on it!)

The dish is pretty light and packed with flavor. It’s definitely something new, so go ahead and be brave!

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Chickpeas with Fennel and Citrus
(Serves 3-4)

2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bulb of fennel, sliced with the fronds (the wispy top) saved
1 small red onion, sliced
6 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/3 c. Kalamata olives, halved (about 12)
1 tsp. ground coriander
Juice and zest of one orange
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 c. white wine
1 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add fennel slices, reserving the fronds for garnish, along with the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the veggies begin to caramelized and turn golden, about 10-12 minutes.

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At this point, add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the sauce reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it tastes too citrusy, add a little more honey.

Serve over quinoa or your favorite rice. This dish heats up beautifully!

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Mom! The Meatloaf!

Meatloaf has a bad rep. I personally can’t get enough of it though!

My mom and I made this recipe when my brother wasn’t around. It’s really delicious and is a comfort classic. It can also be made in a big batch, with the extra loaves frozen for later.

The mushrooms and onion keep the loaf from drying out, while the herbs of your choosing give a nice depth of flavor.

Then of course, meatloaf is not completely without the ketchup sauce! Ours recipe is just brown sugar and ketchup….it tastes incredible when it’s gone through the oven!

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Turkey Meatloaf
(Serves 2-4… Depending how hungry you are!)

1 lb lean ground turkey
6 cremini mushroom caps, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. thyme leaves and/or sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 c. ketchup
1/3-1/2 c. packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil, mushrooms, herbs, onion, garlic and sprinkle of salt and pepper until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are slightly brown. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, place the ground turkey and mushroom mixture. Mix with your hands until just combined.

In a baking dish, place the ground turkey mixture and form into an even loaf with your hands, packed firmly together.

Place in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the meat reads about 160 on a meat thermometer. Use the temp for ground turkey.

Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and ketchup. The sauce shouldn’t taste too much like ketchup when you’re done. Mostly just kind of sweet. It’ll also turn to more of a maroon color.

When the meatloaf is almost done, pour the sauce over top and cook for about 15 minutes more. The sauce will caramelize. Make sure the meatloaf has reached the proper temperature, about 170 or so.

Let it rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. There should be no pink left! Serve with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts or whatever vegetable you like!

Check back in a couple days for my brussel sprout recipe with bacon!

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The Best Pizza. Ever.

Bold statement? Yes. But if you’re a fan of great ingredients, including goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula, figs and more, you’ll fall head over heels for this pizza!

I’m also taking my first stab at writing this blog post using the app on my iPhone for WordPress. Hopefully it turns out well!

Anyways, I have quite a few friends that love to cook as much as I do. And I love it. Besides the girl friends I get together with about once a month, my neighbor downstairs cooks as well. We decided to make a delicious pizza combining all the elements of a dinner at Tria we had a few weeks before.

The result? Excellence.

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We used store bought crust from Whole Foods and their freshest produce. I don’t shop there often, but for something like this, no skimping!

If you have a pizza stone, use it. If not, whatever baking sheet you have lurking in your cabinets will do the trick. We use a square cookie sheet.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂

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Pizza with Figs, Proscuitto and Goat Cheese

1 ball of pizza dough, room temperature
6 slices of proscuitto, shredded
5-6 cremini mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
1/2 of a sweet onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3-4 oz. goat cheese
4-5 black mission figs, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 handfuls of baby arugula
Olive oil for drizzling
Some flour and cornmeal for dusting and rolling out dough

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place your pan of choice in so it heats up.

While the oven is getting hot, prepare your ingredients and your dough. On a clean work surface, sprinkle a small handful of flour. Place your dough down on top and sprinkle with more flour. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll the dough out into the approximate shape of your pan, until it is about 1/2″ thick.

When the oven is preheated, take out your pan and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal. Carefully place the dough on top.

Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until the dough is moist but not wet. Place mushrooms, onions, goat cheese and figs around the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust sides and bottom and a nice golden brown (or until your desired doneness).

Take out of the oven and sprinkle on baby arugula and proscuitto. Slice into pieces and serve!

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Cream of Pumpkin Soup

This recipe comes from Tim’s mom, Kathy. It is absolutely delicious, comforting and extremely easy!

I think by now everyone knows I’m obsessed with pumpkin. In fact, my girl friends and I had another themed get together last night! What was the theme? Pumpkin of course!

I would’ve made this soup again for it, but in the interest of giving you all as many new recipes as possible, I made a pumpkin and goat cheese dip. Absolutely delicious and mouth watering.

But that’s for another time.

Back to this delicious soup! The pureed pumpkin makes it super creamy and gives a great flavor (also sneaks in some vegetables!).

Weirdly enough, my grocery store didn’t have orzo when I made this, so I just picked up another short pasta. So just use what’s available to you!

Hope you enjoy this recipe… I know I did 🙂

Cream of Pumpkin Soup
(Serves 6-8)

3 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 14oz cans chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked orzo or other pasta
1 1/2 cups half-and-half, light cream or milk
1 Tbsp flour
1 15oz can pumpkin
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion & garlic; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in crushed red pepper; cook for 1 minute.  Add broth; bring to a boil.  Stir in orzo or pasta of your choice and simmer, covered, until al dente.

In a screw-top jar combine half-and-half (or milk) and flour.  Shake well to combine.  Stir into orzo mixture and cook & stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Stir in pumpkin and heat through.

Sprinkle each serving with cracked black pepper, if desired.

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