all sorts of recipes, from me to you

all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Monday, July 28, 2014

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad



A salad like this, tastes like summer to me!




Orzo pasta mingling with sweet cherry tomatoes, the subtle taste of fresh cucumbers, the mildly pungent flavor of red onions; rich, fruity, meaty kalamata olives, and salty, tangy feta cheese, all tossed together with a vinaigrette dressing.

I like the taste, shape and texture of orzo pasta ~ it’s perfect in a salad, making a great side dish for grilled meat.




Try this easy one filled with mouthwatering Greek flavors; leftover, it tastes good chilled too!

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

For the orzo salad:

1 cup dry orzo pasta (approx. 2 cups cooked)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
¾ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method:

Cook orzo al dente according to package directions; rinse under cold water and drain well, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and olives.
In a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk well.
Drizzle vinaigrette over vegetables and toss.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add feta and toss lightly.
Serve at room temperature.
Serves 4

ENJOY!






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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Tilapia


Paprika is so much more than a little dusting of color for your deviled eggs and potato salad!

Smoked paprika, Pimenton de la Vera, has a smoky quality and taste I really like for a robust dish.  It’s the Spanish cousin of the more popular sweet Hungarian paprika.  
 
Smoked Paprika, Pimenton de la Vera, La Tienda the Best of Spain photo credit
Sweet Hungarian Paprika, Vspicery photo credit
                                 



Unlike Hungarian-grown paprika, in which red peppers are slowly sun-dried into a rich, fruity flavor, with no heat, smoked paprika is made from dried pimento peppers that have been smoked over an oak fire, and then ground into a fine powder for a woodsy smoky flavor.  

Smoked paprika can be sweet or hot ~ a little goes a long way ~ add it to grilled or roasted seafood, meats and stews, or ~ make sinister deviled eggs!

I saw this recipe, loaded with good seasonings, in our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald. Herbs de Provence is a classic blend of herbs from the sunny South of France, which includes thyme, savory, fennel, basil and lavender.  It’s equally good on roasted chicken and in sauces. 




This rub was exactly what the tilapia was begging for:




It gave the fish plenty of flavor that both Bill and I liked.  It’s good ~ give it a try!


Spice-Rubbed Grilled Tilapia

Ingredients:

Cooking spray
2 pounds tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Method:

Lightly spray tilapia with cooking spray.
Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
Rub spices into fish fillets.
Grill over medium heat until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serves 4

ENJOY!







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Monday, July 21, 2014

Sautéed Vegetables with Fresh Mozzarella



This is a side dish that is a big hit here in the summer ~ thanks to good fresh veggies!

Included in the dish are some of the best vegetables that summer has to offer:  fresh juicy tomatoes, woodsy-tasting mushrooms, sweet onions, mild zucchini, and colorful bell peppers. 




All sautéed into deliciousness with seasonings and served with chunks of slightly melted mozzarella cheese.  Mozzarella is perfect with tomatoes and other vegetables, tallying in at 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per ounce ~ tasty and diet-friendly!

We really enjoy this ~ summertime goodness!  I hope you do too!


Sautéed Vegetables with Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 pound fresh whole mushrooms, cut into chunks
1 large Vidalia onion, cut into thick wedges
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 each, small red, yellow, and green bell peppers, sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼” thick and cut into quarters.

Method:

Pour oil into medium-hot nonstick skillet.
Add mushrooms, cook until they begin to release their juice, about 5 minutes.
Stir in onions and garlic cook for 1 minute.
Add peppers and toss.
Add zucchini and tomatoes, sauté until crisp-tender.
Stir in seasonings.
Add fresh mozzarella to hot vegetable mixture.
Toss together so that the mozzarella begins to melt.
Transfer to a serving dish.
Serve


ENJOY!






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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Slim Potato Salad



Bill is a big fan of potato salad, and I like it too. 

If you like potato salad chock full of onions, olives and pickles like we do, you’ll like this.  And it goes with about any meat cooked on the grill!

And, even better,  it's a lighter version:
 




There’s not much more to say about it except that it tastes good!  Give it a go!


Slim Potato Salad

Ingredients:

5 medium red potatoes
1 small red onion, chopped
12 stuffed green olives, sliced
12 sweet petite pickles, sliced
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Method:

Wash and peel potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces.
Cook in boiling water until fork tender, drain well.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onions, olives and pickels.
Add remaining ingredients and toss until well-coated.
4-6 servings


ENJOY!






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Monday, July 14, 2014

Marinade for Shish Kabobs (Chicken, Beef & Pork)




Christopher Columbus was supposedly hooked on Portuguese espetadas, beef shish kabobs marinated in wine, roasted over an open fire. 

I like shish kabobs too ~ they're fun food on a stick!




This time, ours included chunks of chicken, beef, and pork, alternated with bite-size pieces of peppers, onions and tomatoes.  Seafood and mushrooms and zucchini are favorites here also.

For scrumptious, juicy morsels of meat, the key is in the marinating.  The longer, the better ~ over-night is perfect.

I was happy to come across this shish kabob marinade that was published in The Denver Post, by Marian Bassford of the Mile Hi Cowbelles, back in 1973.   Her marinade adds great flavor, while leaving the meat moist and tender.  The recipe makes a lot, and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.




Build shish kabobs to your liking ~ it’s a summer favorite that will please most everyone, and is definitely a food that is totally up to your imagination…


Marinade for Shish Kabobs
Adapted

Ingredients:

¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup sherry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Method:

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Place each type of meat in a separate resealable plastic bag.
Pour a generous amount of marinade over meat, seal and toss to coat evenly.
Allow meat to marinate over-night or at least 2 hours before grilling.
Vegetables can be marinated an hour or so before grilling, if desired.
Thread skewers and grill until cooked through.


Happy marinating!








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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grilled Salmon w/Cucumber Dill Sauce



Grilled salmon is my favorite fish recipe.  I like the flavor of it, how easy it is to prepare, and how healthy it is.  The cucumber dill sauce here only makes it better!  





The salmon is seasoned simply for the grill.  The cucumber sauce is mellow and refreshing with a little crunch.  I have used both fresh dill and dried dill, and I’ve used Vidalia onion slices as well as red onion, it doesn’t matter.  It’s the combination of it all with sour cream, vinegar and seasonings that makes for a dish good enough for company.

Bill gave this dinner a rave review and I seconded it!

It’s simply good summer-time eating!


Grilled Salmon w/Cucumber Dill Sauce

Ingredients for salmon:

4 salmon fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds


For cucumber sauce:

½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cucumber (2 cups) thinly sliced
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste

Method:

Preheat grill to medium-low heat.
Season salmon with salt and pepper.
Scatter fennel seeds over salmon and press in so they do not fall off during grilling.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Place on grill and cook about 5 minutes per side, turning once.
Meanwhile, whisk together sour cream, dill and vinegar.
Add cucumbers and onion.
Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
Serve salmon with cucumber sauce.


ENJOY!!!







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Monday, July 7, 2014

Cauliflower with Lemon Mustard Butter



This sauce really perks up cauliflower!        




For a low-fat sauce, it has great flavor and I imagine it would be good on most vegetables.  The sauce combines Dijon mustard, lemon peel and scallions ~ a little spicy, a little tart. 

It’s quick and good for a week day dinner, and I wouldn’t hesitate to serve it for company.  The cauliflower tastes delicious, and it’s not drowning in a calorie-laden creamy sauce. 

By the way, try Flora Pro-Active Spread, if you’re looking for a good replacement for butter.

Cauliflower with Lemon Mustard Butter

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Pro-Active Spread, room temperature
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
¼ cup scallions, chopped
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
4 cups cauliflower florets

Method:

In a small bowl, mix together everything but the cauliflower.
Cook cauliflower until tender.
Add mustard mixture; stir well.
Serve



ENJOY!






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