No Slivers Here

June 28, 2009

Greek Orzo salad

Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 10:35 pm

I will admit that I bought some of the ingredients for this salad on a total whim!  I was in the pasta aisle in the grocery store when what should appear to my wandering eye but pasta on sale, 3 for $5.  How can I say no?  It’s like a Buy One Get One Half Off sale on shoes.  You can’t pass it up.  So I tossed the pasta I was there for into the cart and I tossed in another box of a kind I knew we would need eventually and then I decided to toss in the orzo in hopes of making this salad eventually.

I was inspired by a former coworker who now teaches at a different school.  Whenever we had potluck type gatherings she would bring this salad.  I always asked for the recipe but got the ever classic, “Oh!  It’s so easy!  I just toss a little of this and a little of that in and viola!”  Argh!  I don’t do well with that type of response when I’ve never made the recipe.  So I searched all over the internet for a recipe that sounded like it would taste similar to the fabulous salad Sue always brought.  I added a few extra ingredients to the recipe to suit my own tastes.  I thought it turned out wonderful.  I suggest making this for a large gathering rather than just two people otherwise you will be eating this for a week, like me!!

Enjoy!

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Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette

source: Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped I added this
  • 24 ounces cherry tomatoes, stemmed, halved

Preparation

Cook orzo in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well. Transfer to large bowl.

Whisk lemon juice, 5 teaspoons marjoram, mustard, and lemon peel in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Add remaining vinaigrette, cheese, onions, and olives to orzo; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate salad and remaining vinaigrette separately.)

Toss tomatoes with reserved vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix tomatoes into orzo. Sprinkle orzo with remaining 1 teaspoon marjoram and serve.

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June 23, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 8:06 pm

A few weeks ago when Seattle was just starting it’s 30 day streak of no rain, my husband and I decided to grill instead of heating up the whole apartment.  I knew we were both in the mood for chicken on the grill.  My next step was to consult one my dear friends, the Food Network website.  The most logical chef/tv show to consult was Bobby Flay of Boy Loves Grill.  Just the title of this recipe had me sold.

My favorite part of the meal was the vinaigrette.  It was so fresh and smooth.  I did choose to not roast my garlic but I don’t think it made a big difference.  I made one other change with the potatoes.  My husband and I went on a wild goose chase looking for fingerling potatoes and 3 different stores before finally settling for small red potatoes.  Why can you never find what you’re looking for at the grocery store when you need it?!  My husband said that the chicken tasted great even the next day when he had it for dinner at work.  I think that we might need to invest in a larger grill soon.  We have  small one on our patio but it definitely doesn’t hold a lot of food!

Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette and Grilled Fingerling Potatoes

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source: Food Network: Boy Meets Grill

Ingredients

For the roasted garlic-oregano vinaigrette:

  • 8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

For the grilled chicken and potatoes:

  • 12 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 4 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breasts
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Fresh oregano sprigs, for garnish

Fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish

For the roasted garlic-oregano vinaigrette:

Combine garlic, vinegar, oregano, parsley, honey and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified. Stir in the red chile flakes.

For the grilled chicken and potatoes:

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until a paring knife inserted comes out with some resistance. Do not cook the potatoes all the way through because they will continue cooking on the grill. Drain well and when cool enough to handle, slice in half lengthwise.

Heat the grill to medium.

Brush the chicken and potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. A few minutes before the chicken has finished cooking, place the potatoes on the grill, cut-side down and cook until lightly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn over and continue grilling about a minute longer. Remove the chicken and potatoes to a platter and immediately drizzle with the roasted garlic-oregano vinaigrette. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with oregano sprigs and parsley sprigs.

May 26, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:20 pm

A few weekends ago for Mother’s Day weekend we did a combination Mother’s Day dinner and a birthday dinner for my husband.  My mom and her boyfriend came down to our place for dinner.  They were on their way to the airport for their flight the next morning to Mexico for a week.  Must be rough huh!?  So the meal had to be things that both my mom and my husband would enjoy as well as her boyfriend.

I went to the Farmer’s Market the Saturday before my mom came down.  I thought that Asparagus would go well with the Baked Pasta I was making for dinner.  My husband’s friends had just told us about how much they loved roasted asparagus and how they will never boil it again after having it this way.

Amidst all my cooking, it was the busiest day ever, I assigned my husband the task of finding a recipe for roasted asparagus.  He hit the jackpot with this one!  He even prepared this recipe because I was frosting his birthday cake (recipe coming soon).

I strongly suggest you try this recipe, even if you say you don’t like asparagus, you might surprise yourself!  Enjoy!

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Roasted Asparagus

source: Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • Lemon juice

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.

roasted-asparagus-1.jpg roasted-asparagus-2.jpg

2 Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly distributed.

3 Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice before serving.

Serves 4.

May 5, 2009

Garden Harvest Cake

Filed under: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Vegetables — Tags: , , , — bettylou79 @ 12:26 pm

I’m always in the mood for new bread or cake recipes and when I spotted this one in Cooking Light I knew I would be trying it soon.  It was also a great excuse to use my stoneware loaf pan again!  This cake was so tender and moist.  I loved how sweet it was too.  It smelled just like fall when it was baking. Memories!

I did learn that I should trust the recipe.  When it says that 1 carrot shredded will equal 1/2 of a cup, believe it!  I bought double the amount called for of apple, zucchini and carrots.  So, I ended up doubling the recipe.  I kept one loaf and sent the other with my husband to his work. If you double the recipe I suggest using a food processor to shred the apples, zucchini and carrots.  It will go much faster than by hand (I know from experience)!

Enjoy!

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Garden Harvest Cake

source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 4.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  grated peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  grated carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  shredded zucchini
  • 1/4  cup  chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4  cup  canola oil
  • 1/4  cup  nonfat buttermilk
  • 2  large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add grated apple, grated carrot, shredded zucchini, and walnuts to flour mixture; toss well. Combine canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into an 8 x 4–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

April 24, 2009

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Mexican, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:52 pm

I must admit that when it comes to food I judge a book by it’s cover and it’s title too.  I saw this in Cooking Light and knew I had to make it.  Every time I picked up the magazine I was drawn to the recipe.  I think knowing that I had chicken breasts in the freezer helped me to decide that I would add this to the menu for the week.  I was looking forward to this meal the whole week!

This recipe was so easy to put together.  I loved that I didn’t feel rushed when I was prepping it.  The marinade for the chicken was wonderful and smelled great.  The salsa was so easy to toss together.  I chopped a little extra cilantro and added it to the salsa.  I couldn’t resist trying a spoonful of the salsa.  I could have eaten the whole bowl!  When the chicken was cooking I was thinking about how delicious a margarita would have been with this meal.  Too bad I didn’t have any of the makings!  Drinking by myself wouldn’t have been much fun either!  My husband is working nights right now but that will hopefully change soon!  I was so thankful that I have a great grill pan for my chicken!  It made wonderful marks.  I think this would work out great on the grill too.  I served my chicken with some Spanish rice.  I suggest you make this for your family or even company.

Enjoy!

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Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

source:  Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Chicken:
  • 2  tablespoons  minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Salsa:
  • 1  cup  chopped plum tomato (about 2)
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped onion
  • 2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  avocado, peeled and finely chopped

Preparation

1. To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl. Add avocado; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.

April 15, 2009

Linguine with Spring Vegetables

Filed under: Pasta, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:40 pm

I spotted this recipe and I knew I wanted to try it.  My mom had even shared some of her asparagus that she found on sale.  My husband is not a huge fan of it so this was a perfect vegetarian meal for me to cook for me.  I loved the combination of all the vegetables.  I ate this as leftovers for lunch for 2 days last week.  It reheats wonderfully.  I added some Parmesan cheese on top it was even better.   The only part of the recipe that took some time was cutting all the vegetables.   I suggest you try this if you are looking for a great vegetarian meal.

Enjoy!

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Linguine with Spring Vegetables

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 1 pound asparagus (tough ends removed), cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise (quartered if large) and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas (stem ends trimmed), halved
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves

Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 4 minutes short of al dente; add asparagus, zucchini, and snap peas. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta mixture, and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, bring cream and butter to a simmer. Toss in pasta mixture and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce (it will thicken as it stands). Season with salt and pepper, and top with tarragon.

April 7, 2009

Orange-Glazed Chicken with Carrots and Bulgur

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 11:00 am

Like I usually do when I’m making the weekly menu I  browsed through my newest issue of Everyday Food and looked at the recipes that I had dog eared.  I came across this one and knew I wanted to try it because I had a lot of the ingredients on hand already.  Yeah for saving money at the grocery store later!  Chicken legs were buy one get one free a month or two ago so I had a package of those in the freezer.  I also “thought” I had orange marmalade in the refrigerator.  Much to my dismay, it was apricot preserves.  Oops!  I made a quick call to my mom to ask if there was going to be a big difference or not.  She didn’t think so, so I moved forward.  You see, we have 2 grocery stores that aren’t that far away when there isn’t traffic but with traffic and everyone else just getting off of work, the thought didn’t sound too appealing!  So, when I try this recipe again I will make it with marmalade.

This was my first time preparing bulgur.  I’ve had it at my sister-in-laws house though.  Finding it in the store was a bit of an adventure.  I thought that it might be in one of 3 spots.  It might be with the pasta, who knows, or the rice, makes sense to me, or in the organic section.   Ding ding!  It was in the organic section of the grocery store.  Now, I just need to find more recipes to use up some more of what I have leftover.  I guess it’s time to consult the back of the package or maybe my collection of cookbooks! I also loved how quickly the bulgur cooked up, much faster than rice!

After looking at my pictures I think that I needed a green vegetable or even a salad to go with this.  Next time I will add something.  I was also impressed with what little time it took the chicken to bake.  The recipe was almost exact.  Most recipes usually require more time than they specify is needed.  I will make this again.

Enjoy!100_3750

Orange-Glazed Chicken with Carrots and Bulgur

source: Everyday Food and Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, arrange chicken in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes. Brush with half the marmalade, and rotate sheet. Continue to roast, brushing once more with marmalade, until chicken is browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  2. While chicken is roasting, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add bulgur and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low; cook until bulgur is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with bulgur.

March 18, 2009

Barley and Beef Soup

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:20 pm

I saw this recipe in my latest issue of Cooking Light and knew I had to give it a try.  I’ve made Barley and Beef soup but it was in the crock pot.  I found this recipe to be really easy after the prep of chopping the vegetables.  I think that I liked this recipe better than the crock pot one but I do think that this one needs a bit more spices.  I definitely will be making this soup again.  Fair warning because it does make a lot.  I put half of it in the refrigerator for dinner next month.

Enjoy!100_3700

Barley and Beef Soup

source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 1  pound  chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped peeled carrot (about 4)
  • 1  cup  chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 5  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  cup  uncooked pearl barley
  • 5  cups  fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 2  cups  water
  • 1/2  cup  no-salt-added tomato puree
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  bay leaves

Preparation

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and beef to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender and beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Add chopped carrot and chopped celery to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in barley and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until the barley is done and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves.

February 17, 2009

Parker’s Split Pea Soup

Filed under: Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 6:45 am

Another successful Barefoot Contessa recipe!  As soon as I saw this recipe in my new cookbook I knew I would have to try it.  My husband and I both love Split Pea soup.  There is often a race in our house to see who can take a can of it to work for lunch first!  This soup turned out delicious.   I will warn you that the recipe that I made out of the cookbook does make a lot. We put a large amount in the freezer for dinner  later on in the month or even next month.  I also put this into sevearl containers for us to take to work for lunches and for dinners.  I did make a few changes and didn’t add as much pepper as it calls for and I also pureed the soup because we like our smooth.

I will spare you a picture because I will assume that you know what Split Pea Soup looks like and I will also assume that you know it doesn’t photograph nicely!

Enjoy!

Parker’s Split Pea Soup

source: Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water

Directions

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

January 30, 2009

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

Filed under: Main Dish, Mexican, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:45 am

I saw this recipe in my new issue of Eveyday Food and thought it sounded good.  Turns out I was right!  I made this soup for dinner tonight and honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was to put together.  It feels strange to say but all I had to do was open 5 cans, and it wasn’t even stuff that is bad for you!  I was quite surprised how quickly this came together, I was reading the directions as I cooked and was amazed that I had put all the ingredients in and all I had to do was bring the soup to a boil!  I can handle that!  I’m hoping that my husband will like this soup.  He isn’t the biggest fan of diced tomatoes.

Even though I enjoyed this soup without meat I think it would be good with some chicken pieces or even some ground beef or even shredded beef.  I was also impressed with how quickly the soup thickened up when I added the crushed tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

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Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

source: Everyday Food

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Cook garlic and chili powder until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes (with juice), beans, broth, corn, and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add tortilla chips; cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve soup with lime wedges and, if desired, more chips.
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