Quinoa Tabbouleh

So I love finding eclectic foods and giving them a whirl! This recipe starts off with a couple of definitions because I know trying new foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating (yes as adventurous as I am there are some foods even I am afraid to try).

Let’s start with Quinoa! Yes,  it looks unusual and not many people have tried it, but it is a DEFINITE power house food! Quinoa is categorized as a grain, but it’s actually an edible seed.  It’s lower in carbs than most grains, loaded with protein, and the same caloric value as brown rice.   With all of these benefits, why not give it a try?

Then there’s tabbouleh! Tabbouleh is an arabic salad traditionally made of bulgur although sometimes bulgur has been substituted with couscous.

If you’re looking for something new to try that’s absolutely healthy give this recipe a try as a main vegetarian course or a healthy side dish!

DSCN1603

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ C. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa, ½ tsp kosher salt, and 2 cups of water to boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  4. After fluffing, spread the cooked quinoa on a large baking sheet to cool throughly.
  5. When cooled, placed quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  6. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the lemon juice and minced garlic in a bowl.
  7. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add ¼ C. of the lemon dressing.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs, and scallions to the quinoa. Toss.
  10. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serves 6

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Advertisements

Mexican Rice Bowl

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! Have I said that before? I’m sure I have but I REALLY mean it lol! The perfect combination of cilantro, lime juice, black beans and corn and you’re in heaven. This recipe is perfect as a meal topped with a fresh salsa and you are instantly transported to HEAVEN. Take a peek!

531951_382830805138891_353502694_n

Ingredients:

  • 1½ C long-grain white rice, uncooked*
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package smoked mexican turkey or chicken sausage, cut diagonally
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz chicken broth or stock
  • 1¼ C water
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C. whole kernel corn, frozen or fresh
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Crack pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine long-grain rice, onion,sausage, and extra virgin olive oil ensuring the rice is completely coated.
  3. Place the chicken broth and water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Place the rice mixture into a casserole dish or Dutch oven.
  5. Pour the broth mixture into the casserole or Dutch oven and place a cover over the container.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, stir in the black beans, corn, and cilantro.
  8. Cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Remove the casserole from the oven.
  10. Top the completed dish with fresh salsa to garnish.

*long-grain rice works BEST for this dish to avoid excessive gumminess.

Greek Pizza

Fridays are made for pizza and what’s better than pizza made at home! If you haven’t noticed many of my recipes are very versatile meaning you can add or change any of the ingredients. If you’re watching your diet, yep this pizza is for you especially since studies show the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets you can eat! Get creative and let each family member “create” their own pizza!

DSCN1550

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package flat bread
  • 2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ C. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts or pine nuts, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crushed OR 1 ½ tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed, OR 1 ½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¹⁄³ C. Red Wine Vinaigrette*recipe follows

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the flat bread on a large baking sheet.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken, tomatoes, feta cheese, nuts, and spices.
  4. Drizzle the pizza with the Red Wine Vinaigrette.
  5. Bake the pizza 10-15 minutes until the pizza is warm and serve.

 

 

 

Bacon and Eggs

On a recent trip to Nashville, the legend of the “pork belly” was made alive for me like never before. The meat was tender AND crispy, then add to the flavors a creamy poached egg and I was in heaven. Me being me, I had to recreate this dish with my own twist and voila…Bacon & Eggs!

DSCN1451

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork bell, uncut slab
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 1 bunch turnip greens, washed and torn

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Clean the pork belly by placing it under cold water to wash. Score the fatty side of the pork belly by creating diagonal markings in one direction and then the opposition direction to create diamonds.
  3. Rub the fatty side of the meat with olive oil and then rub the kosher salt into the diamonds on the fat.
  4. Season the rest of the pork belly and place the pork belly fat side up in a foil “boat” by bringing all of the edges of the foil around the meat leaving only the top of the pork belly exposed.
  5. Roast the meat for 3 hours. DO NOT baste the pork belly skin.
  6. After 3 hours, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and cook for an additional hour.
  7. Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest while preparing the rest of the meal.
  8. Add the pan juices from the pork belly to saute pan on medium-high.
  9. Place the turnip greens in the pan with the juices and saute for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a raging boil. Gently add the eggs and cook for 6-8 minutes.  The longer the eggs cook the more solid the yolk will be.
  11. Placed the cooked eggs under cold water to cool then remove shell.
  12. Prior to serving, place the rested pork belly back in the oven on 425 for 15-20 minutes to create a crackling crust.
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
  14. Remove, serve, and enjoy!

Seared Sesame Tuna with Garlic Roasted Radishes

Several years ago, I finally got brave enough to get out of my comfort zone of canned tuna and radishes from a bag. Typically, I’d eat canned tuna or tuna in the form of sushi and my extensive knowledge of radishes is pretty much limited to a salad, so imagine my surprise when I tasted an everyday radish transformed by roasting it! Yes, it’s unusual, yes it’s beautiful and it takes about 30-35 minutes tops!  Before you pass by this recipe, give it some reconsideration, all of the ingredients work well together to give you a “party” in your mouth.

DSCN1431

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of radishes, cut in half
  • ¼ c. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, base removed from each piece, but keep the garlic skin on the clove
  • 2 pieces tuna fillets
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut the radishes in half and toss with garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Bake the radish and garlic mixture for 30 minutes or until fork tender
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium high and add measured olive oil
  5. Season the tuna with desired salt and pepper
  6. Press the seasoned tuna in the sesame seeds, coating both sides
  7. Sear the tuna for a minimum of 1 minute on each side
  8. Depending on the thickness of the tuna, you may cook it longer
  9. Let the tuna rest for 2 minutes, and slice
  10. Remove the radishes from the oven and remove the garlic from the skins and mash
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and coating the radishes with the mashed garlic
  12. Place the sliced tuna on the radish mixture and top with sliced red onions and pomegranate seeds and serve

Corn Caprese Salad

DSCN1511

Doesn’t this salad SCREAM fresh, vibrant, and delicious? Ok so just a quick confession… I LOVE CORN! Cob, creamed, steamed, in pancakes (you’ll get that recipe later), in salads, you name it, I LOVE IT..whew ok I’m better.

I ran across this recipe 5 years ago by Cuisine magazine, and after a couple of tweaks, it has been my FAVORITE HANDS DOWN. I decided to share this recipe during a “‘Girls Night In” and after a couple of bottles  glasses of wine, the ladies not only cleaned their plates, but I believe they may have been licking of the plates as well. Take a few minutes to create this easy breezy masterpiece, I’m sure it will be your favorite too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh or frozen corn (fresh is always best)

2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 c. fresh mozzarella, chopped (you may also use shredded if you’re in a pinch)

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of sugar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Blanch the corn in boiling water for 3 minutes drain and cool.  Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and corn in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, sugar then toss with the corn mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

201 calories per cup

Vegetable Melange

Image

I never knew quick and easy could be so DELICIOUS and I’m sure you will agree.  I stumbled across this wonderfully simple recipe on a quest to take simple common ingredients, but make them spectacular. The thinly shaved veggies sautéed lovingly with butter and olive oil then sparked back to life with lemon!  5 ingredients later, the plates were clean and smiles were on the faces of everyone. Enjoy

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini, shaved

1 large carrot, shaved

2 large leek (white part only), cut into strips

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Shave the zucchini and carrot into ribbons using a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips. A mandolin may work but it’s more difficult to control the thickness of the strip. Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat and saute the leek in the butter and olive oil mixture for 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and carrot and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and toss the vegetables with the thyme and the fresh lemon juice.  Serve immediately.