Monday, June 30, 2014

80--- Cold Chili Salad with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette

You could call this Chilled Chili if you'd like.  Sort of like the hot stuff- delicious, filling, and easy-- but colder!  And tomato vinaigrette? You could put it on just about anything and it would be delicious.

Cold Chili Salad with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette
Serves 8-9

12 cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional- to taste)
1/3 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 can no salt added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can no salt added pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can no salt added white beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/3 cup fresh chopped tomato
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

For vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until combined.  

For salad: combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add vinaigrette and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.  Serve garnished with fresh cilantro if desired.

Nutrition info per 1/2 cup: 128 calories, 3 g fat, 7 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Thursday, June 26, 2014

80--- Sweet Corn and Edamame Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

I can't waste food. I just can't do it.  And, as you see by my last recipe, I had delicious homemade tzatziki dressing leftover.

Sometimes I go to many many lengths to use up leftovers.  This is not THAT extreme.  But it IS delicious.  Praise sweet corn season!

Sweet Corn and Edamame Salad with Tzatziki Dressing
Serves 8

2 tsp corn or canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 ears sweet corn, shucked and kernels cut from cobs
2 dashes of salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 1/2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup tzatziki dressing (see recipe here, which makes ~ 1 cup)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Add corn and continue to saute until softened, 4-5 minutes.  Sprinkle mixture with salt and pepper and stir in frozen edamame.  Cook until heated through, then remove from heat.

Transfer mixture to a covered container in the refrigerator and allow to cool for 2-4 hours (or overnight). 

Mix cooled corn mixture with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and dressing.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 2/3 cup: 124 calories, 3.5 g fat, 7 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

80--- Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Tzatziki Dipping Sauce

Serve this lovely dish as an app or side dish to your next summer get-together.  You'll be the talk of the town! 

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Tzatziki Dipping Sauce
Serves 6

1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed of stems and wilted leaves
Olive oil spray
1/4 tsp sea salt
Dash black pepper

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1/4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt

Heat grill, then reduce heat to medium.  Soak 5-6 wooden skewers in water.

Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and add 1/4 cup water.  Microwave for 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.  

Remove from microwave and allow to cool slightly (for handling).  Place Brussels sprouts on skewers (through centers not stems) and spray generously with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place skewers on the grill over direct heat.

Cook Brussels sprouts for 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.  Transfer skewers to indirect heat and cook for additional 5-7 minutes, or until soft.  Remove from the grill and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes prior to serving.

For tzatziki: combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Place in a covered glass container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutrition Info per ~5 Brussels sprouts with 2 Tbsp sauce:  117 calories, 5 g fat, 8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber

Friday, June 20, 2014

80--- Beet Pizzas with Cashews and Arugula

Beets are just one of those foods.  You love 'um or you hate 'um.  But if you're in the "hate 'um" club, I really think you should give them another chance.  They are so good for you! And a pizza is the perfect chance for that second date.

Beet Pizzas with Cashews and Arugula
Serves 4

4 medium beets, washed well and sliced into 1/4" thick slices (no need to peel them!)
Dashes of salt and pepper
Olive oil spray
4- 10" tortillas
1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
2 cups baby arugula leaves
3-4 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 small shallots, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place beet slices onto a baking sheet that has been prepared with olive oil spray.  Spray beets with additional olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking.  Remove from oven when soft.

Lay tortillas on a separate ungreased baking sheet.  Spray each tortilla with olive oil, then lay beet slices evenly on tortillas.  Sprinkle each pizza with cashews, feta, and shallots, then top with 1/2 cup baby arugula leaves.  Sprinkle each pizza with salt and ground black pepper.  Place baking sheet into the 400 degree oven and bake pizzas for 5-6 minutes.  When tortillas are slightly firm (but not crisp), transfer pizzas directly to the middle rack of the oven to finish cooking for 3-5 minutes (watch closely).

Remove pizzas from the oven when crisp and lightly browned on the edges and bottom.  Cut each into quarters and serve!

Nutrition Info per 1 pizza: 304 calories, 14 g fat, 10 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

80(ish)--- Drunken Noodles and Brussels Sprouts

I just found out how drunken noodles got their name.

No booze is used in the making of this spicy dish.

The name refers to the state that YOU will be in if you drink alcohol while consuming them-- they are so spicy that you will be drinking A LOT.

I would put this version at a 6 on a scale of 1-10.  Just enough heat to remind you that you're alive.

Drunken Noodles and Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4

1/3 cup lite soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (add more to spice it up)
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into thin strips
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced.
4 green onions, sliced
8 oz rice noodles, softened per package directions

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add Brussels sprouts and saute for 5-6 minute.  Add in broth, red pepper, and jalapeno and continue to stir.  Cook for 5-6 additional minutes until sprouts have softened and broth is absorbed. 

Add sauce mixture to the pan, reduce heat to medium-low.  Add noodles and use tongs to toss noodles with sauce.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately!

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 259 calories, 11 g fat, 8 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Monday, June 16, 2014

Things That I Know.... Part Two

Here are those links to some delicious recipes (a few 80s, a few 20s) from fellow bloggers for your lovely Monday!

1.  Granola that tastes like a peanut butter cookie

2.  A slaw with a load of antioxidants

3.  A corn salad with goat cheese dressing

4. A salt with the spice of sriracha to put on..........everything

5.  Portuguese sweet bread.  Never had it but I want it!

6.  Three words: Blueberry. Lemonade. Smoothie.

You're welcome!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Things That I Know... Part One

1. Tomorrow is Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to my dad (who also turns 70 on Monday), my father-in-law, my grandfathers (yep I am lucky to still have both), my brother-in-law, and my wee one's daddy/ the love of my life!!

2. This is a fantastic little gem of a gift website that I've stumbled upon.  Lots of fantastic artisan gifts- sort of like Etsy but far less overwhelming!  Check out Scoutmob.

3. My computer is being a total loser today.  I have some fantastic recipe links for you- but it will have to wait until tomorrow!  Yes, yes, an Apple is in my near future.........

Thursday, June 12, 2014

20--- Twice Baked Breakfast Potatoes

This is such a great breakfast idea for Father's Day!  Potatoes are pretty much a dad staple.  As is bacon.  It's practically a food group with many dads that I know.  This breakfast version of the twice baked potatoes has an egg cooked right into the center.  How lovely!

Twice Baked Breakfast Potatoes
Serves 4

2 large Russet potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dashes of black pepper
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp Cholula (or another hot sauce of choice)
4 medium eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make several deep punctures in each potato to let out moisture.  Rub each potato with olive oil, then sprinkle each with salt.  Place potatoes directly on the middle rack of the oven, and place a baking sheet below them to catch the drippings.  Bake for one hour, or until cooked through.  Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat and add the chopped bacon.  Sprinkle bacon with pepper and garlic powder and saute until crispy (but not burned).  When finished cooking, stir in green onions, cover, and set aside (do not drain grease- this is a 20- we get to use it!).

Reduce heat of the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut each potato in half lengthwise and gently scoop the flesh away from the skin, leaving ~1/4" thick rim of flesh attached to the skin (I found that scoring the potato flesh with a sharp knife prior to scooping really helps).  

Place potato flesh in a bowl, along with the hot sauce, sour cream and cheese.  Add the cooked bacon and green onion mixture and mix well, breaking apart any potato chunks with a fork.

Place potato skins onto a baking sheet or cake pan prepared with baking spray.  Scoop 1/4 of the filling mixture into each potato skin and spread evenly.  Use a spoon to make a well in the mixture (approximately the size of an egg).  Break an egg into each well and sprinkle each with black pepper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until each egg is cooked to your liking (a runny yolk makes this dish uber delightful).

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

80--- Mediterranean Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes

This is a simple no-cook meal for a hot summer day.  The tuna salad is made without mayonnaise- but with a ton of flavor! Tuna is a great lean protein, loaded with healthy fats- which makes for a fantastic, easy summer meal without heating up your kitchen or lighting your grill.

Mediterranean Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes
Serves 4

4 large ripe tomatoes
2 cans chunk tuna in water, drained (6 oz cans)
1 large lemon, juiced
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 Tbsp capers (go crazy if you're crazy for capers)
3 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
14-15 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup green of your choice (arugula and spinach are nice), chopped
5-6 soft sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
Dash ground black pepper
Dash crushed red pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except for ripe tomatoes, in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour prior to serving.

For tomatoes, use a sharp paring knife to cut a 3" circle into the top of a tomato. Angle knife inward to help remove a triangle-shaped piece of tomato.  Use a spoon to gently remove the pulp and seeds from the inside of the tomato (no need to scrape close to the skin- leave some flesh.  Sprinkle the inside lightly with salt and pepper.  Repeat with remaining tomatoes.

To serve: Spoon tuna salad mixture into each hollowed tomato. Garnish as desired and serve!

Nutrition Info per 1 stuffed tomato: 186 calories, 7 g fat, 22 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Friday, June 6, 2014

20--- Ginger Lemonade Shandy

Confession: I've never been a big fan of beer.

And I'm waaaayyy beyond the point of needing to pretend to like it impress some guy in college (confession #2).

But this, THIS, I can enjoy.

And even if you're not a beer fan- the ginger lemonade would be delightful on it's own- or with a shot of something or other.

Great addition to your summer fete or camping (glamping) trip!

Ginger Lemonade Shandy
Serves 8

2 cups fresh lemon juice (I squeezed 9 lemons to get this)
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
6 cups club soda
5-6 bottles Belgian white beer

In a small saucepan, combine lemon, ginger, and sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and place in a covered glass container in the refrigerator to cool (~2 hours).

Prior to serving, combine club soda with lemonade concentrate in a large pitcher.

In each serving glass, add 4-5 ice cubes, then fill half with lemonade, then topped off with beer.  Mix gently and serve, garnished with a lemon slice if desired.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WOW Workout Of the Week-- Swing Set Fun

Our backyard has officially been christened as belonging to a toddler.

We now have a swing set, playhouse, and sandbox.

My hubby wasn't thrilled about giving up precious lawn space at first.

And then he saw our wee one play on it.

He's cool now.

I was also quite psyched with the swingset.

There's rings on it.  AKA: my own home suspension training set-up (TRX-like).

I have already had several great workouts thanks to my (her) new swingset!

Here's a few exercises that you can add into your own workout!

Swing Set Fun

1. Bulgarian Lunges on the Swing

2. Hip Lifts on the Swing

3. Hamstring Curls on the Swing

4.  Push-ups on the Swing

5.  Pike on the Swing

6.  Body Weight Rows on the Rings

7.  Overhead Tricep Presses on the Rings

There are many many more exercises-- these are just a few of my faves! No weights needed!  Add in some burpees and jump squats and you have yourself a workout!

Monday, June 2, 2014

20--- Mile High Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been working on perfecting these gems for a while now.

You see, the cookies at Discovery Basin Ski Area are the bee's knees.  I grew up skiing at this resort, and still do occasionally.  Their fresh baked cookies are always warm, thick, gooey on the inside, and in other words, perfect.  I could never figure out how they stayed so thick.  And then I played around with shortbread.

This is a smaller version, but pretty darn close.  Even if you've never had one of Discovery's cookies you can still appreciate these!  I think it's safe to say that I've found my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

And the best news ever?  There's only 6 ingredients!

Mile High Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16-18 cookies

1 cup + 1 Tbsp butter, softened (yes, the extra Tbsp makes a difference)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a mixer to combine butter and powdered sugar until well-mixed.  Add vanilla extract and salt, then sift in flour gradually and mix until combined.  Use a spoon to stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.  Place dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to rolling.

Prepare one large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll dough into 2" balls and place 2" apart on paper (they do not spread much).  Press down lightly on each ball to spread it slightly.

Bake on the center rack for 10 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

Store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container once completely cooled.