Caprese Salad

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Caprese Salad


Description

Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese – 

My favorite summer entree salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. It is quick, easy, healthy and very satisfying.

This salad was created in Italy in the early 1920s. It is a patriotic reflection that visually incorporates the tricolors of the Italian flag red, green and white.


Ingredients

Fresh mozzarella: I like to buy the pre-sliced to make the assembly go faster.

Extra virgin olive oil: Make certain your olive oil says “extra virgin” which will be less processed with more flavor.

Fresh tomatoes: Garden grown tomatoes are the best.

Balsamic vinegar:  Place full bottle of vinegar into a pan, heat on low 15-20 min. to reduce it  down and it becomes thickened. I keep the extra balsamic glaze in my refrigerator to have ready for my next salad.

Salt and pepper:  add to taste to bring out and compliment the flavors of the dish.


Instructions

Assemble salad:  Layer tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic glaze and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Easy Broccoli with Almonds and Feta Cheese

Even when life gets busy, I try to make nutrition a priority for my family.

Whether it’s the case that we did not make it to the grocery store or forgot to thaw the chicken or we are just in a rush, I always try to have a backup option for those busy nights.

Frozen vegetables are an easy and convenient option. While it depends on the freezing and storing method, most commercially frozen vegetables can keep for 8-10 months in the freezer.  Frozen broccoli is a go-to in our household. My favorite way to prepare broccoli is by roasting it in the oven. 

We like to mix it up and add flavor with different seasonings and toppings. One of our favorite options is to add toasted almonds and feta into the broccoli. Here is an easy, delicious meal, snack or side in less than 30 minutes. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it. 

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Easy Broccoli with Almonds and Feta Cheese


Ingredients

Scale

1 bag of frozen broccoli

1/2 cup of slivered almonds

1/4 cup of feta cheese


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  2. Follow the instructions on the bag of frozen broccoli to steam.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  4. After the broccoli is done steaming, lay it in an even layer onto the foil.
  5. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  6. During the past 5 minutes, add the slivered almonds onto the same baking sheet and let it cook with the broccoli.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the feta and enjoy!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looking for a way to utilize what you have during the madness. Making your own salad dressing is one of the easiest things to do in the kitchen. Our RD Michelle shares her balsamic vinaigrette.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette


Ingredients

Scale

2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 tablespoon Olive oil

pinch salt and pepper


Instructions

  1. Mix vinegar and Dijon mustard
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste
  3. Whisk in oil until smooth and creamy
  4. Enjoy with your favorite salad!
  • Prep Time: 5

Aquafaba Meringues

What if I told you this delicious looking meringue contained no egg white whatsoever??
That’s right!

This vegan meringue is made using aquafaba. Aquafaba means bean water it’s the viscous liquid leftover in your cans of beans. Appetizing huh?! The best beans to use are garbanzo beans due to their neutral flavor. When I discovered the magic of aquafaba, I had to try it for myself.

The kids and I made a batch and it turned out so well on the first try. The aquafaba acts exactly like egg white. It whips up into hard peaks with the addition of cream of tartar.

You could create really delicious flavors with the addition of cocoa powder, coffee, lemon zest, flavor extracts, or chocolate chips.

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Aquafaba Meringues


Ingredients

Scale

1 can No Sodium Garbanzo Beans, using liquid only

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F, line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Strain chickpeas from 1 can and reserve liquid (aquafaba) in a bowl. You can use chickpeas for another dish.
  3. Get out an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  4. Add your cream of tartar into the aquafaba and beat on medium speed until you attain soft peaks (3-5 minutes).
  5. While continuing to beat the mixture, gradually add in your sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  6. Add vanilla to mixture, continue beating on medium (5-8 minutes more). The meringue is completed when you have stiff peaks (the mixture stands up straight when the whisk or beaters are lifted).
  7. Use a piping bag or spoon to create 1-inch rounds on the parchment paper- should allow for 36-40 meringues.
  8. Bake until dry to the touch, about 1 hour. If you choose to make a larger meringue, bake for 1-2 hours.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool before storing in a tightly sealed container.
  10. Enjoy!

No-Knead Bread Adapted from NYT Recipes

It’s only a matter of time before I’ve used up all the flour in my home. Breadmaking has been quite a hobby for me during this pandemic. Last week, I purchased a KitchenAid mixer which has helped save some time in the breadmaking process. There’s honestly something so rewarding about making bread from start to finish, don’t you agree?
Today, I want to share a simple no-knead bread recipe adapted from the NYT No-Knead Bread Recipe. 
I use a kitchen scale because you get the most accurate measurements that way.
Did you know you to properly measure flour, you should FIRST use a spoon to fluff up the flour within the container, and THEN use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup?
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No-Knead Bread Adapted from NYT Recipes


Ingredients

Scale

430 g all-purpose or bread flour

1 g instant yeast

8 g salt

345 g water


Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 12-18 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  3. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.
  4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  5. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour and put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.

    Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

  6. A half-hour before dough is ready, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy oven-safe covered pot in the oven as it heats.

    When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up.

    Shake pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Summertime Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Feta, and Blueberries

Do you know what you are making for the fourth of July celebrations? This is a great one to take to an outdoor cookout or other Summer events! It is booming with colors – RED, WHITE and BLUE! It is juicy, flavorful and refreshing.

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Summertime Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Feta and Blueberries


Ingredients

Scale

4 cups watermelon, cut into cubes

1 cup fresh blueberries

1.5 cups cucumber, diced

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Mind and basil leaves to your liking, chopped

Honey lime dressing:

Juice of 1 lime

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp honey

Salt to taste


Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients of the honey lime dressing vigorously until well combined.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine cubed watermelon, blueberries, diced cucumber, feta. Toss with the honey lime dressing.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15

5 Quick, Tasty Marinades

Instead of buying premade sauces and marinades, try these tasty, quick marinades at your next cookout! If you’re tired of eating the same old chicken recipe, these marinades are a great way to add flavor to your meals with some pantry staples.

These marinades work with all kinds of protein and taste awesome baked or pan-fried too. You can make them ahead for meal prepping or to marinate and freeze until you are ready to cook. I like to marinate my protein the night before I cook to get as much flavor as possible in the protein.

Pro tip: For easy cleanup, I like to make my marinade in a ziploc bag and then add my chicken or pork in!

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5 Quick, Tasty Marinades


Ingredients

Scale

Cilantro Lime Marinade

1 Lime

1/2 cup of Cilantro

3 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Pepper

Spicy Gochujang Marinade

1/4 cup Gochujang (Spicy Korean Pepper Paste)

1 tablespoon Honey

2 Garlic (Crushed)

2 Green Onions

1 teaspoon Fish Sauce

2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

Teriyaki Marinade

1 tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Sake

1 tablespoon Mirin

1/2 teaspoon Ginger (Minced)

1 teaspoon Sugar

1 teaspoon Pepper

Chimichurri Marinade

2 cups Cilantro

1 cup Parsley

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

3 Garlic Cloves (Sliced)

2 Shallots (Sliced)

1 teaspoon Salt

1/3 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Honey Garlic Marinade

3 Garlic Cloves (Minced)

2 tablespoon Soy Sauce

1/4 cup Honey

2 tablespoon Neutral Oil like vegetable or canola oil


Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a gallon bag or container with 1 pound of your choice of protein. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour, up to a day.
  2. Grill and enjoy!

 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

When you’re carving pumpkins, don’t throw away the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are nutritious and so tasty. They are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium and high in antioxidants and omega-3s. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great snack and they are super easy and fast to make. You can sprinkle them on your soup for some crunch or toss them in your salad.

The great thing about pumpkin seeds is they can be sweet or savory! My favorite way is to use cajun seasoning or with paprika, cumin, and garlic powder. Nutritional yeast is also a great option for a cheesy flavor.  To make it sweet, just add sugar and cinnamon.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Ingredients

Scale

1 cup of Pumpkin Seeds

2 teaspoons of Olive Oil

Paprika

Cumin

Tumeric

Garlic Powder

Salt


Instructions

  1.  Put all the seeds in a bowl of water. Clean off all the pulp and remove the seeds from the water. Let dry on paper towels for at least an hour or two. You want to make sure that the pumpkins seeds are as dry as possible so they will crisp up in the oven.
  2. Set oven to 350 degrees. Once the pumpkin seeds are dry, place them on a baking tray. Make sure they are spread out and are not crowded in the tray.
  3. Dizzle 2 tsp of olive oil. Add salt and spices of choice. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you will get a different yield of seeds. Add more oil and seasoning if needed. You want to make sure that there is enough oil to roast the seeds.
  4. Bake for 15- 20 minutes. Shake and turn the baking tray halfway of baking time to make sure that all of the seeds are getting roasted. Roast until pumpkin seeds are golden brown.
  5. If the seeds are soft after resting for a few minutes, put them back into the oven for another five minutes.
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 20

Mix & Match Autumn Salad

Making the perfect autumn salad doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, some of the ingredients listed below might already be a part of your other holiday dishes which means more time and money spent on other things – something that is always welcomed this time of year.

Nutrition-Bonus:  
With cold and flu season now in full swing, it is even that much more important to do what we can to strengthen our immune system. Greens like spinach and kale pack a powerful punch of beta carotene and vitamin C while healthy fat sources such as nuts and seeds add vitamin E for enhanced immune support.
Have a safe and joyous holiday season!  ~ AS
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Mix & Match Autumn Salad


Ingredients

Scale

Green Base

4 cups of Spinach

4 cups of Arugula

4 cups of Kale

4 cups of Romaine Lettuce

Vegetables  

1 cup of Brussel Sprouts (shredded)

1 cup of Cold or Roasted Beets (chopped or sliced)

1 cup of Roasted Squash (chopped or sliced)

Fruit

1/2 cup of Pears

1/2 cup of Pomegranates

1/2 cup of Apples

Protein 

1/2 cup of Garbanzo Beans (rinsed and drained)

1/2 cup of Cheese of Choice (Fall Favorites – Feta & Blue Cheese)

1/3 cup of Toasted Almonds/Pecans

1/3 cup of Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Dressing (2 tbsp per serving recommended)

1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup of Apple-cider Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Honey Mustard


Instructions

  1. Pick ONE (or two) item from each group listed below (Tip: IF including two items from one group, use 1/2 servings for each)
  2. Toss all ingredients EXCEPT the dressing together (Tip: add nuts and seeds right before serving for more crunch!)
  3. Encouraged guests to pour their own dressing so that each guest can add the amount that is just right for them!
  • Prep Time: 20

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

Oven Roasted Baby Bakers

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Oven Roasted Baby Bakers


Ingredients

Scale

2 lbs of baby potatoes (we used baby multi-colored potatoes), scrubbed

1/2 cup of olive oil, divided

1/2 cup of chopped parsley

1/4 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded

Kosher salt, to taste


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a pot, add potatoes and cover with cold water. Season with salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender, 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a sheet pan and toss gently with ¼ cup of the olive oil and salt. Roast, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, 35-40 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together parsley with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and toss with oil mixture, top with Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.