Cabbage and Apple Salad

7 10 2014

Here’s a crunchy, healthy and super flavorful salad which I like to serve as a side dish. You can quickly whip it up and let it hang out in the fridge while you cook dinner – which will allow the flavors to combine. Don’t worry about the measurements, just wing it and adjust to your taste as you go. If you like salad a little on the tangy side, add more vinegar. If you don’t like it as dressed, don’t add as much liquid. Just have fun with it! 🙂

Cabbage and Apple Salad

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat:

  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
  • Apple, cored and sliced thin
  • Shallot, sliced thin
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Whisk a little Dijon mustard with some apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Add shredded or sliced cabbage, sliced apples and sliced shallots. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, vinegar or oil as needed. Add sunflower seeds and fresh parsley before serving.





Butternut Squash Penne With Bacon, Corn and Sauteed Broccoli Greens

6 10 2014

I can’t help but feel like I knocked dinner out of the park tonight with this luscious, Alfredo-like pasta dish that’s healthy to boot! I didn’t use cream, butter or flour – but still achieved the rich and silky consistency we’ve all come to love from Alfredo, thanks to roasted butternut squash puree. I recommend making the puree over the weekend (it’s super easy, just will take an hour or so)…this way you can whip this meal faster during a busy weeknight.

Butternut Squash Penne With Bacon, Corn and Sauteed Broccoli Greens

The following serves 4-6 (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • 8 strips of bacon, diced
  • Chopped broccoli greens from 1-2 heads of broccoli (alternatively, you could also use kale, about 1.5 cups worth or so)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 13 oz whole wheat penne or fettuccine pasta
  • 2 ears of sweet corn, kernels cut off the cobs
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry Marsala
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim, while the original recipe called for heavy cream – use what you have)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts
  • Grated parmesan
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet or casserole dish with foil. Lightly coat the squash halves with olive oil on both sides. Place squash, flesh side down on pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Bake squash until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Scoop flesh from the squash and puree in a Vitamix or blender, discard the skin. At this point you can cover and store the puree in the fridge until you’re ready to make this meal.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook bacon until crisp and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Discard most of the bacon grease, but leave a little in your skillet. Add the broccoli greens or kale and saute until wilted a few minutes. Season with salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season liberally with salt. Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions, cooking to al dente. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the corn kernels. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then strain pasta and corn.

To the skillet you used to cook the bacon and greens in, add a Tbsp or so of olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add shallots and cool until soft, a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze skillet with Marsala and cook until nearly evaporated.

Stir in squash puree (about 2 cups worth, but no worries if you have a little less – the sauce will still be great). Next add the milk and broth, stir to combine and season with salt to taste.

Stir in the pasta and corn, along with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add a little at first, then more as needed to reach your desired sauce consistency. Toss the pasta and corn with the sauce over heat for a minute or two. Add sautéed greens and most of the bacon, reserving a little for garnish, and toss well. If your sauce seems a little loose, remove from the heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes which will thicken it up.

To serve, dish out the pasta and garnish with toasted nuts, parmesan, parsley and black pepper to taste.





Fennel, Orange and Kalamata Olive Salad

4 08 2014

I’m not much of a fennel fan, but I really enjoy it in this dish! I had this salad at a party this summer and knew I’d replicate it once we got fennel in our Fresh Fork Market grab bag. And this past week we did….so, here’s the yummy salad! Fresh, delicious and crunchy, this salad is great as a side dish for dinner, or is a perfect addition to your picnic fare.

Fennel, Orange and Kalamata Olive Salad

The following serves 4 as a side salad (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fennel fronds, chopped
  • Zest of 1 small orange
  • 2 oranges, peeled, separated and pits removed and sliced in bite size pieces – watch out for seeds
  • 1 heaping cup of pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup of oil from the olives, or olive oil
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • Small pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2.5 ounces, or half a small container of organic arugula

Combine the fennel, fronds, orange zest, orange pieces, olives, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper in a medium-large bowl. Mix well and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Taste, and add more oil or vinegar to your liking if needed.

Dish out arugula and top with the fennel, oranges and olives.





Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza With Cauliflower-White Bean Spread and Balsamic Glaze

1 07 2014

I love making pizza out of Naan, healthy and still delicious! Last week’s CSA grab bag from Fresh Fork Market brought us beautiful green cauliflower and squash, which I knew would be tasty grilled and on a pizza. I turned half the grilled cauliflower along with beans into the spread to create the “sauce” for this pizza, then put the rest on top. Prep and grill your veggies over the weekend to save time during the week, say, for meatless Monday!

Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza With Cauliflower-White Bean Spread and Balsamic Glaze

The following makes 2 pizzas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, with inspiration from Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens):

  • 2 whole wheat naan
  • 2 small yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 small head green cauliflower (or any color you like), cut in half down the center
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat grill to medium. Drizzle squash and cauliflower with a little olive oil and salt to taste. Grill, flipping occasionally, until beginning to char. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, grill the red pepper whole until charred well all over. Remove from the grill to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam and help to peel the skin. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin and remove the seeds from the pepper – do not run under water. Slice into bite-size strips.

Place half of the grilled cauliflower in a food processor along with the beans, garlic, chicken broth, lemon zest and juice.  Pulse to combine. Stream in 1 Tbsp of oil or so. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add additional oil if needed.

Preheat oven to 425.

Place naan on a pizza stone. Spread some the cauliflower-bean dip on the naan, as if it were a sauce. Top with the remaining grilled cauliflower, squash and red pepper (if you have leftover veggies that won’t fit, no worries, enjoy on a salad for lunch the next day!). Top with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

While the pizza bakes, heat balsamic vinegar over low heat in a small saute pan, stirring often, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool, it will turn into a syrupy consistency.

Remove pizza from the oven and garnish with red pepper flakes and the balsamic glaze.

Store leftover cauliflower-bean dip in a covered container in the fridge. Enjoy as a snack with veggies, whole grain chips or use as a sandwich spread.





Grilled Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

25 06 2014

This Mediterranean dinner is quick and oh so tasty! Get creative with finishing simple grilled chicken, like thinking outside the traditional sauce. Try something rustic like tapenade!

Grilled Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped (oil reserved)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato oil
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic scapes, green onions, basil, 2 Tbsp oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with a little pinch of salt and pinch red pepper flakes. Cover and store in the fridge 30 minutes to an hour, or until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 1 Tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil, salt to taste, pinch red pepper flakes and some parmesan cheese. Spread out in a single layer on a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast for 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown, rotating half way through.

Preheat grill to high.

Season chicken with 1 Tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil, pepper and garlic powder to taste and just a little salt (don’t over salt as the tapenade will be salty). Grill on high heat until cooked through and juices run clear, 6-8 minutes per side. Remove and top with a little of the tapenade and tent with foil to rest.

Serve chicken topped with more of the sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade, garnished with feta. Enjoy with roasted broccoli.





Grilled Fish With Lemon, Basil and Garlic

3 06 2014

This technique of grilling fish on top of lemon slices is brilliant, and is my new favorite way of cooking fish! The citrus helps flavor the fish, but more importantly it prevents it from sticking to the grill. Flavorful, smoky fish that’s done fast – that’s my kind of summer supper!

Grilled Fish With Lemon, Basil and Garlic

The following serves 2 (adapted from Martha Stewart):

  • 2 boneless, skinless white fish filets, really you could use whatever fish you’d like, your cooking time will just vary
  • 1-2 lemons, sliced thick
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Preheat grill to low heat.

You don’t have to use a grill pan if you don’t have one, I just thought it was easier for transporting these stacks. Spray the grill pan with non-stick spray.

Each piece of fish will use 3 thick slices of lemon. Place 2 slices of lemon per fish on the grill pan and top the lemon with a layer of basil leaves, using however many you need to cover the lemon slices. Next, add 2-3 smashed garlic cloves on top of the basil. Top the lemon, basil and garlic with a piece of fish. Drizzle the fish with a little olive oil. Season lightly with salt to taste, and top each piece of fish with another slice of lemon.

Grill covered for about 10-12 minutes (do not turn), or until fish has turned opaque and begins to flake.

Serve with more lemon slices and roasted or steamed veggies.





Grilled Flank Steak With Lime and Soy Sauce Marinade

14 05 2014

Tonight’s dinner is for my Mom, who makes a knock-out grilled flank steak! She doesn’t follow a recipe, she just wings it – like most Moms do. So when I asked her where this recipe came from she couldn’t remember. After a little research I found it came from another Mom we all know so well….Miss Martha Stewart. 🙂

Thanks to a thin cut of meat, this lean flank steak is both healthy, and a quick fix. Serve along with grilled or roasted veggies of your choice for a yummy, all around good-for-you meal!

Grilled Flank Steak With Lime and Soy Sauce Marinade

The following serves 2-3 (Compliments of This Girl’s Mama, who adapted this from Martha Stewart):

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (save yourself time and use it from the paste from the tube!)
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes – the bigger the pinch you use, the spicier the meat with taste

In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice and zest, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, ginger, green onions and red pepper flakes. Place the steak in a resealable freezer bag and pour whisked marinade over. Seal bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour, turning the bag over occasionally.

Remove steak from the marinade and preheat grill to high. Grill steak, covered and untouched, 3 minutes per side over the hottest part of your grill. Flank is a lean piece of meat and if overcooked can be dry and tough, so be careful not to cook it too long. While you want a nice char on the outside, you also want the inside to be rare to medium-rare.

While the meat is grilling, bring the leftover marinade to a quick simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

Remove steak from the grill to a plate. Top steak with some of the warmed marinade and tent with foil, allowing to rest 5-10 minutes. Once rested, slice steak against the grain into thin slices.

Grill or roast some veggies for a quick side dish.

Divide steak among plates, top with more of the warm marinade and serve with veggies.

PS….if you happen to have leftover steak (which likely won’t happen), enjoy it for lunch the next day in a multi-grain wrap with veggies, arugula and shredded cheese.