Archive for April 9th, 2011

April 9, 2011

Sesame Spinach Salad

Sesame Spinach Salad
Sesame Spinach Salad
1 1/2 lbs. spinach, stemmed and rinsed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
In large pan, bring about 3 cups water to boil.  Add half the spinach until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Spoon out spinach into strainer then transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Repeat with remaining spinach.  Strain spinach from ice water and remove as much water as possible.  You can use paper towers to ring the water out of the spinach.
Combine the wine, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.  Mix dried out spinach with the dressing and chill up to 4 hours.  
When ready to serve, divide spinach into 4 or 6 cylindrical bundles.  Squeeze bundles to compact the leaves.  Place bundle on plate then drizzle with some of remaining dressing and top with toasted sesame seeds.  
This dish is colorful, healthy and fairly simple to prepare.  It is a perfect side to tuna, salmon or any other light fish.  The ingredients in the spinach salad are worth buying.  They last and we will be sure to use them again in recipes to come!!  It will help make things even more simple later!! 
April 9, 2011

Poppyseed Spinach Salad

This is a simple salad that can be thrown together anytime.  We love a good, healthy salad with almost any meal.  Spinach is so full of antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial to our health.  Choosing raw spinach in a salad, rather then iceberg, romaine, etc., automatically gives you more vitamins and minerals.  I like to keep these ingredients, as well as others to change it up a bit, on hand.  This salad is perfect alone, topped with some protein, or to start any meal.  It’s so easy to make and I promise you will love it!
Poppyseed Spinach Salad
Fresh spinach leaves, washed
Poppyseed dressing, Brianna’s is my favorite
golden raisins
sunflower seeds
feta cheese
Mix all ingredients and enjoy!!!
April 9, 2011

Easy Carmelized Grilled Onions

These onions are so simple and so delicious, especially if you are an onion lover already.  The simple twist in the recipe gives the onions a flavor you can enjoy alone or to enhance any other dish.  Try them on a grilled chicken breast, a burger, or even on a salad.


Easy Carmelized Grilled Onions
1 large sweet yellow onion
1 Tbl. butter or margarine
1 Tbl. brown sugar
Peel and slice the onion.  Heat butter in a medium size nonstick skillet on medium high heat.  Add onion and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir the onions every few minutes.  Once onions are tender, sprinkle with brown sugar.  Stir around the onions and brown sugar until carmelized. 
April 9, 2011

Crab Cakes

My mom and I had a blast visiting my sister over the weekend.  Because my sister and I both love to cook, we had a good time cooking together.  These crabcakes were very good and we had a perfect meal in no time! 


1 egg
3 T. mayo
3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. tarragon
about 4 green onions, chopped
8 oz. crabmeat
1/2 c. buttery crackers, crumbled or bread crumbs
1 T. butter
Mix first five ingredients then stir in crabmeat, being careful not to break apart.  Slowly add crackers or breadcrumbs until consistency is sticky enough to shape into patties.  Shape mixture into 4 patties.  (This recipe can easily be doubled)  Heat 1 T. butter in skillet over medium high heat.  Add crabcake patties and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. 
1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. mayo
1/4 c. horseradish
seasoning (black pepper, red pepper, Tony’s Cachere)
Stir together all inredients. 
We placed a handful of springmix onto each plate.  Then layed the crabcakes on the springmix and drizzled with sauce.  This creates a pretty presentation and can be eaten like a salad or the springmix can be used just as a decoration.  Depending on how you want to eat it determines how much springmix to use. 
Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!


April 9, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash are hearty, healthy and delicious.  This vegetable is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and fiber.  This is a simple recipe I use quite often.  We usually eat the roasted butternut squash, then add the leftovers to some pasta, risotto, or even as a topping on a pizza.  If you have never bought a butternut squash before, look for a long, light orange, pear shaped squash.
Roasted Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash
1 Tbl. garlic power
2 Tbl. basil
2 Tbl. olive oil
Peel the squash.  Cut the squash lengthwise and discard the seeds and pulp area.  Chop the squash into 1 inch cubes.  Arrange squash on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle the squash with the garlic powder and basil.  Drizzle the olive oil over the squash.  Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.  Flip the squash and continue baking until they are soft or crispy. 
You decide!…Hope you love it!
April 9, 2011

Sauteed Spinach

Spinach is a great addition to so many different meals, and such a healthy choice.  Spinach has a very high nutritional value.  It is one of those bright colored, leafy vegetables that is filled with antioxidants, folate, iron, and many other vitamins.  This simple sauteed spinach can be used to enhance meals such as steaks, fish, burgers, etc.  Use it wherever and whenever you want.  You are making a delicious and healthy choice.
Sauteed Spinach
3 cups fresh spinach
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. garlic, chopped or minced
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute.  Fill skillet with spinach and toss to coat with the olive oil and garlic.  Continue tossing until spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat and its ready to eat!
April 9, 2011

Honey Balsamic Scallops over Corngrits and Sauteed Spinach

Scallops have a very light texture and mild taste so they are ready to take on the flavor of your choice.  This menu was very simple and took little time to prepare.  Scallops can be purchased fresh or frozen.  When purchasing anything pre-packaged, I always check to be sure that there are no preservatives added.  In this case, I used frozen, thawed scallops.  Although, this would be delicious with fresh scallops that are larger in size and could really soak up the flavor.  However, Brad and I thought this was a really great dinner!

Honey Balsamic Scallops
10 medium size scallops or 5-6 large scallops
1/4 c. balsamic vinegarette salad dressing
1 Tbl. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce
Wisk together the balsamic vinegarette, honey and soy sauce.  Pat thawed scallops dry with a paper towel then lay flat in small container.  Pour marinade over scallops, just enough to cover bottom of container.  Flip scallops to drench in marinade, cover container, and let marinate for at least 30minutes-1hour or more. 
Cook scallops when the rest of the meal is complete and ready to serve. They take very little time.
Heat 2 Tbl. olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat.  Add scallops, a few a a time depending what will fit.  For medium size, cook for about 2 minutes on each side.  You want them to have a glazed look. 
Cornbread Grits
2 servings of instant grits
1/3 c. Jiffy cornbread mix, dry
water or milk
garlic salt, to taste
Make grits according to package directions with either milk or water or half and half.  (You can make the grits in the microwave or on the stovetop)  When almost done, add Jiffy and garlic salt.  Remove the grits from the heat and let stand until ready to serve. 
The Jiffy cornbread gives the grits a very mildly sweet flavor and thickens the texture.  Plain grits would be perfect too!
Sauteed Spinach
3 cups fresh spinach
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. garlic, chopped or minced
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute.  Fill skillet with spinach and toss to coat with the olive oil and garlic.  Continue tossing until spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat and its ready to eat!
Quick Mushroom Sauce
This was an addition I made for this meal because I had a package of baby portabella mushrooms that I needed to use.  The meal would still be excellent without this, but we loved the extra flavor and texture with the grits. 
1 pkg. baby portabella mushrooms, cut in half
2 Tbl. butter
1 Tbl. garlic
1/3 c. white wine
seasoning (I used very little of a blend of cajun seasoning)
Heat butter and garlic over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and saute.  Add wine and cook down until mushrooms are softened.  Add seasoning to taste. 
Spoon the grits onto a plate then cover with a layer of sauteed spinach.  Top the spinach with the scallops and spoon some of the mushroom sauce along side of the grits.  Its ready to go and its delicious!!!
Hope you enjoy!   
April 9, 2011

Goat Cheese and Parsley Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I got this idea from reading Cooking Light magazine, my favorite!  I changed the recipe just a bit to make it easier for me and more to our liking.  It was even easier than I expected.

Goat Cheese and Parsley Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
2-3 Tbl. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 oz. goat cheese
4 bonless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
Heat oven to broil.  Combine first three ingredients.  Cut a horizontal slit through side of each chicken breasts. (start a thickest end)  Stuff each breast with 2 Tbl. of cheese and parsley mixture.  Close chicken breast.  Hold together with toothpick if needed.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil, heat.  Add chicken cook each piece for about 2 minutes or until browned (only on one side)  Place chicken breasts on baking sheet with browned side up.  Broil until done.
These chicken breasts look great sliced.  The center is the focal point so slice each breast evenly and arrange alongside some vegetables and couscous. 


April 9, 2011

Quinoa with Cranberries and Almonds

Quinoa is a great choice for a sidedish or a simple salad.  I used the following recipe as a side and it was great.  It can be served hot or cold.  Quinoa is a grain-like seed that is very high in protein and full of fiber.  It has a nutty flavor and a great texture.  In this recipe, I used plain, organic quinoa which I found at Whole Foods.  Most groceries should carry quinoa if you just look carefully since it is probably not something you have searched for before.


Cranberry and Almond Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
2 cups water
1/3 cup cranberries
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
Bring water and quinoa to boil in medium saucepan.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand for about 15 minutes or until seeds seem to open.  Fluff with fork and add cranberries and almonds.  You can seaon to taste with salt and pepper if you would like. 
It’s ready to serve. 
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