Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guacamole and Mango Salsa

Guacamole (thanks Allrecipes)
2 avocados
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mango Salsa
1 Mango, chopped
1 Jalapeno, finely chopped (remove seeds)
Lime juice
Chopped Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creamy Orzo with Chicken, Mushrooms and Red Peppers

I had a craving for this pasta today and went to find the recipe in my book. Imagine my dismay when it wasn't there!! So I looked on here and it wasn't there either. Always in search of ways to avoid using your oven, here's another delicious way from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. You could also easily omit chicken and it becomes vegetarian.

Creamy Orzo with Chicken, Mushrooms and Red Peppers

*Note: this pasta is best served immediately as it tends to get less creamy as it sits at room temperature – so serve warm right as it finishes cooking! (Incidentally, it heated up just fine the next day in the microwave on low power.)

*Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 average-sized chicken breasts (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds), cut into chunks
2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound orzo pasta
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (ladling it into a small bowl is my method) and then drain the orzo and set aside.

While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (if you forgot to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature, no worries! Pop it in the microwave for one minute on 40% power) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Prize Winning Potato Salad

From the lovely Kaye Briggs. This is my momma's potato salad. I don't know that it has really won any awards, but it has been my summer go-to potluck side and I have been receiving compliments like crazy on it. I find this amusing considering the ingredients are super simple. Enjoy!

  • 3 lbs. new potatoes - cooked, peeled & cubed. (I like to chop my potatoes as tiny as possible for the salad).
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tbs. horseradish
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of green onions sliced thin
  • 8 hard cooked eggs 6-8 slices of bacon

You can top with sliced hard cooked eggs and paprika for presentation.

**I usually just cook however many potatoes I think I need to feed the number of people and add bacon, eggs, and onions accordingly. Also, lately I have been substituting or adding in Greek yogurt to the light mayo and light sour cream. So I do 1 part mayo, 1 part sour cream, 1 part greek yogurt and I eyeball the horseradish.

Smoky Potato Salad

I must confess I am definitely not one for making up recipes. I do add things into recipes, but never making it up. This one I "adapted" from Rachael Ray. She had it as a warm potato salad, which you just poured the the dressing over, but I made into the potato salad and added bacon and eggs like my mom's.

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. large red potatoes, scrubbed, chopped in cubes, and cooked (or just for however many people you are feeding again)
  • 4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1/4 cup plain or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce, seeded and minced to a paste, plus 1/2-1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro


Rub pepper with oil and grill until charred. Toss potatoes with 1 Tbs. oil and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together: yogurt, mayo, chipotle, adobo sauce, and salt.

Chop egg, bacon, cilatnro and red pepper. Add everything together and mix and toss.

**May also char corn in oil in pan over the stove to add more smoky flavor.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I LOVE chips and guacamole!! Yum!! My friend shared with me this super easy recipe and now I make it all the time (which I probably shouldn't! It's the good kind of fat, right?!!). Everyone that I've made it for LOVES it!

3 avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
about 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix the above ingredients together until desired consistency. You can also add chopped tomatoes if you want.

Bow Tie Chicken Pasta

This is a such a yummy summer salad. It's a great salad to serve at like a luncheon, reception, or shower. It does make a lot, so you can half it and be fine.

4 chicken breasts, boiled and cubed
1-2 cups grapes, cut in half
2 cups celery, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 1-lb pkg bow tie pasta
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 can cashews
16-oz bottle coleslaw dressing
1 cup mayonnaise

Mix ingredients together reserving lettuce and cashews until just before serving (they get soggy). Best if served cold. (I did the pasta and chicken the night before and then refrigerated it so it would be cold for the salad the next day).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

German Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

I went for a run this morning and then made the girls some yummy German Pancakes with Leigh's buttermilk syrup. I love Saturdays. I don't have a cast iron skillet like most of the recipes called for so I thought that this recipe worked great for me because it uses 9 inch pie tins. I only cooked them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then 5 minutes at 350. My oven is a little temperamental. This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. BTW Leigh-that buttermilk syrup is to die for! XO-Lisa

Buttermilk Syrup (Leigh Hansen)

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt buttermilk and butter together, add sugar, bring to a boil. TAKE OFF HEAT, add vanilla.

German Pancakes (Smitten Kitchen)

Yield 2 9-inch pancakes.

4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour, sifted
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons soft butter

Heat oven to 400°F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans well. Put eggs in blender container, cover and process at “stir” until light yellow in color. Push “mix” button, remove cover and add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake 20 minutes; then reduce heat to 350°F and bake 10 minutes. Slide onto hot plates. Serve with lemon slices, powdered sugar and butter if you follow recipes to the letter, raspberry syrup if you’re my mom or maple syrup and fresh berries if you’re us.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Dinner

So my hubby and I LOVE Greek food. We made souvlaki for the first time. The chicken and zucchini was awesome however; I've yet to find a Greek Yogurt Sauce that I like. (I like it thick.) So if anyone knows one please post. This recipe was easy and delish! One quick tip. Soak the skewers in water for 2 minutes before loading the kababs. It works well. :) Enjoy!

Chicken Souvlaki features the fresh-tasting combination of lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil that is so prevalent in Greek cuisine. Serve it alongside a Greek salad of chunked tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and feta cheese. Tzatziki is a traditional Greek yogurt-based sauce flavored with lemon, garlic, and crisp cucumbers.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 2 skewers and about 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
Cooking spray

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
To prepare souvlaki, combine the first 5 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to combine. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Thread the chicken and zucchini, alternately onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers.

Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add skewers; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.

To prepare tzatziki sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 garlic clove, stirring well. Serve the tzatziki sauce with souvlaki.

Nutritional Information
219 (19% from fat)
4.7g (sat 1.3g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.6g)