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May 31, 2013

Chicken and Strawberry Salad

Strawberries don’t have to be dessert—you can work them into a main dish, too. Our Chicken and Strawberry Salad is a wonderful no-cook dish that’s a snap to make, combining sweet strawberries, tangy vinaigrette, moist chicken, and rich blue cheese.

0905p126-strawberry-salad-l
image: Randy Mayor

Chicken and Strawberry Salad
cookinglight.com

Dressing:
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
4 cups arugula
2 cups quartered strawberries
1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion
12 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, sliced
2 Tablespoons unsalted cashews, halved
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Gradually drizzle in oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.

To prepare salad, combine romaine and next 4 ingredients (through chicken) in a bowl; toss gently. Place about 2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cashews and 2 Tablespoons cheese. Drizzle about 4 teaspoons dressing over each serving.

Serves 4.

May 30, 2013

Baby-Back Ribs With Honey-Mustard Glaze

This is a ridiculously good rib recipe!
ribs-honey-mustard_300
image by Tom Schierlitz

Baby-Back Ribs With Honey-Mustard Glaze
realsimple.com

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 pounds baby-back ribs (2 to 3 racks)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey

Heat oven to 275°. Make the rub: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, paprika, dry mustard, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub the ribs with the spice mixture and tightly cover the baking sheet with foil. Bake until tender and the meat easily pulls away from the bone, 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, vinegar, and honey. Transfer ½ cup of the sauce into a small bowl for serving.

Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the ribs, basting with the remaining sauce and turning occasionally, until just beginning to char, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with the reserved sauce.

Serves 4.

May 29, 2013

Thai-Style Roasted Trout

Just six ingredients and 10 minutes build big flavor in this recipe. Tangy lime and pungent fish sauce play off the natural sweetness of trout, with a nice kick of red-pepper heat. Serve this dish―rich in protein, calcium, and healthy fats―alongside a whole grain like brown rice or barley and your favorite vegetable for a nutritionally complete and flavorful meal.

0807p180c-trout-l
image: Randy Mayor

Thai-Style Roasted Trout
cookinglight.com

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 (6-ounce) trout fillets
Cooking spray
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Lime slices (optional)
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well.

Arrange trout on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Brush half of juice mixture inside of fish. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes.

Brush remaining juice mixture over fish. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro; garnish with lime slices and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Serves 4.

May 28, 2013

Feta Chicken Burgers

Grill weather is here! These chicken burgers are low carb, and great for cooking out!

Chicken Burgers with Fresh Spinach, Feta by Kitchen Parade 2011-400
image: kitchenparade.com

Feta Chicken Burgers
sparkpeople.com

1 pound ground chicken
6 ounces fresh spinach, cooked, drained, rough chopped
6 ounces crumbled feta
1 Tablespoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients well and form into 4 individual patties.

Grill or broil patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165°, or about 7 to 8 minutes per side.

Yields 4 servings (or 4 patties).

May 27, 2013

Chorizo Burgers with Manchego and Paprika Slaw

This incredible chorizo burger is mouth-watering! Over the top taste with the addition of homemade paprika slaw! For the recipe, click the image below.

20100820ChorizoBurger610image and recipe courtesy of Kerry Saretsky/seriouseats.com

May 26, 2013

Carne Asada Tacos

“The carne asada is flank steak that is marinated in a tasty Mexican style mojo with orange juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro and then grilled until a perfect medium rare, or well done if you prefer. I used the last batch of carne asada that I made in a carne asada salad but I had been dreaming of carne asada tacos ever since.”—closetcooking.com

For this incredible recipe, click on the image below!

Carne Asada Tacos 500 9444

recipe and image courtesy of closetcooking.com

May 24, 2013

Salmon and Watercress Salad

Part of this refreshing salad can be made ahead: Poach the salmon and prepare the dressing ahead of time. Refrigerate for up to 2 days until ready to use.

salmon-watercress-salad_365
image: Ken Kanbayashi

Salmon and Watercress Salad
realsimple.com

4 pieces skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 pounds total)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 seedless cucumber, sliced into half-moons
2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed (about 6 cups)
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

Place the salmon in a large skillet; season with ½ teaspoon salt. Add 2 Tablespoons of the vinegar and enough water to reach halfway up the salmon.

Simmer, covered, until the fish is opaque throughout, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until cool, at least 25 minutes. Using a fork, flake the salmon into pieces.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, horseradish, the remaining Tablespoon of vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the cucumber; toss to coat.

Divide the watercress among bowls, top with the cucumber mixture and the salmon, and sprinkle with the dill.

Serves 4.

May 23, 2013

Potato Nests with Sour Cream and Smoked Salmon

Just a small amount of smoked salmon is needed to highlight the flavor in the creamy filling of these bite-sized potato nests.

potato-nests-ay-1875352-x

Potato Nests with Sour Cream and Smoked Salmon
image and recipes from allyou.com

1 1/2 pounds large russet potatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced smoked salmon (2 ounces), plus a small amount for garnish
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
Small parsley leaves, optional

In a large saucepan, bring unpeeled potatoes and enough cold water to cover to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer potatoes until just cooked, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, let cool and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until cold.

Meanwhile, pulse smoked salmon and lemon peel in a food processor, scraping down bowl. Add sour cream and process until combined. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease 32 mini-muffin-tin cups. Peel and coarsely grate potatoes. Gently toss potatoes with salt and pepper in a bowl. Place about 1 heaping Tbsp. potato mixture into each muffin cup and press against bottom and up sides, allowing some mixture to extend above rim. (Do not spread mixture too thin or holes will form while baking.)

Bake potato nests until edges are dark golden, about 25 minutes. Cool nests in pans for 10 minutes. Carefully remove nests from pans and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to set. (Nests may be made up to 4 hours ahead; leave at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 375°. Place potato nests on a clean, large baking sheet and bake until heated through and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer potato nests to a platter. Using a small spoon, dollop about 1 tsp. sour cream mixture into each potato nest and top each with a tiny strip of smoked salmon and, if desired, a parsley leaf. Serve right away.

Yields 8 servings.

May 22, 2013

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos

These easy pork tacos get their fantastic flavor from lime juice, cilantro, and fresh jalapeño. Use the same pan to brown the pork and make the rave-worthy sauce.

pork-tacos-ck-642341-l
image: Randy Mayor

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos
cookinglight.com

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper. Add oil to pan. Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan; place in a bowl. Add onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.

Return pork and accumulated juices to pan. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup pork mixture into each tortilla; roll up.

Note:Browning the pork improves its color, and the browned bits enrich the sauce’s flavor. Add more jalapeño pepper if you enjoy spicy food.

Serves 4.

May 21, 2013

Italian House Salad

Salads make great starters or stand alone meals. Here is a great one to add variety to your weekly menu.

luciano5
image: luciano151.com

Italian House Salad
myrecipes.com

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large head Red Leaf lettuce, torn
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke heart quarters, drained
1 (6-ounce) can pitted ripe olives, drained
4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound provolone cheese, shredded

Whisk together first eight ingredients.

Place lettuce and next five ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and toss gently to coat.

Yields 6 servings.

May 20, 2013

Nectarine and Radish Salsa

Serve this appetizing, no-cook condiment with grilled chicken, pork, or fish. Or use as a topping for grilled bread or a dip for toasted tortilla wedges.

0906p92-nectarine-salsa-l
image: Randy Mayor

Nectarine and Radish Salsa
myrecipes.com

2 1/4 cups (1/4-inch) diced nectarines
1 1/2 cups radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Let the salsa mixture stand 30 minutes.

Yields 4 cups.

May 19, 2013

Flounder Mediterranean

Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with white rice and a green vegetable.

974375
Flounder Mediterranean
allrecipes.com

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water, and immediately remove to a medium bowl of ice water. Drain, and remove skins. Chop, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute onion until tender. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir in tomatoes, and cook until tender. Mix in wine, olives, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.

Place flounder in a shallow baking dish. Cover with the sauce, and top with remaining basil leaves.
Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Serves 4.

May 17, 2013

Good King Henry

I love vegetables, gardening, and the first lovelies of spring. BUT I confess to being out of the loop about a perennial plant known as Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus).

Good King Henry
image: goodfoodshops.blogspot.com

Native to Europe but brought to America by the early colonists, Good King Henry is known by a variety of names such as Goosefoot, English Mercury, Fat Hen (good for chicken feed evidently), Poor Man’s Asparagus, Smearwort (makes a poultice) and All Good, since you can use the entire plant for something. There is also, legend has it, a sprite-like helpful spirit called Good King Henry who, it is said, will help with domestic chores for a saucer of cream! Those were the days before minimum wage went up.

A member of the amaranth family like Quinoa, and a relative to Lamb’s Quarters, the first shoots are prepared like asparagus. The later leaves are very much like calaloo or…think of GKH as a perennial spinach. The seed of this versatile herb is hard to germinate, but the plants can be had from a variety of sources.

It grows easily in Maine in fertile soil with good drainage. It’s best not to harvest the leaves heavily until the third year, much like asparagus. The established plants can be divided eventually. I believe I need a few of these fantastic plants in my garden!

Thanks to my friend, Joanna Linden of Fedco Seeds, for the shout out about GKH!

SIMPLY PREPARED SPRING GREENS/USING THE POT HERB GOOD KING HENRY
Larua Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

Take as many leaves as you dare to from your established plant and rinse them carefully.

Saute several chopped spring onions in olive oil in a medium sized skillet.

Add the whole or chopped leaves of GKH, a dash of salt or soy, and saute until wilted yet bright green.

A grind of fresh pepper and you’ve got a side dish high in many important nutrients. This pot herb mixes well with other spring greens like nettle, wild cress, dandelion, lamb’s quarters and so on.

May 16, 2013

Asparagus Pesto

“There are very few ingredients needed for this recipe, which makes it a lot easier, especially when you’re in the situation where you’ve run out of the sauce and must have some in order to enjoy your meal to the fullest. You can literally whip it up in a few minutes.”—paleodietlifestyle.com

asparagus-pesto

Asparagus Pesto
image and recipe courtesy of paleodietlifestyle.com

2 small bundles asparagus stalks (about 24), tough ends removed, chopped
12 Tablespoons olive oil
8 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

In a small saucepan over a medium-high heat, bring some water to a boil. Add the chopped asparagus. Cook until slightly tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the excess water by pouring into a colander. At the same time, run cold water over the asparagus to completely stop them from cooking. Do this for a minute or two, until they are cold. This process helps to keep the asparagus crispy instead of mushy.

In a small blender combine the asparagus with the remaining ingredients. Blend until you achieve a desired texture.

Store in a sealed jar in the fridge when not using.

For added taste, you may make it a bit more of a traditional pesto by adding a few Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese if you include dairy in your diet.

Serves 4.

May 15, 2013

Watercress and Endive Salad

Watercress and Belgian endive are topped with fresh corn kernels, grated egg, and a simple lemon vinaigrette for a stunning first-course salad.

SA6597

Watercress and Endive Salad
image and recipe from eatingwell.com

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups watercress, tough stems removed
2 hard boiled eggs (see Tip), grated through the large holes of a box grater
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
2 heads Belgian endive, trimmed and leaves separated
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, and salt in a large bowl. Add watercress, egg, and corn; toss to combine. To serve, arrange about 6 endive leaves on each salad plate in the shape of a star and top with about 1 cup of the salad. Season with pepper.

Tips & Notes:
To hard-boil eggs: Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out hot water and cover the eggs with ice-cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle before peeling.

Serves 4.

May 14, 2013

Snap Peas with Cucumber and Ginger

A fresh side dish recipe for spring!

snap-peas-cucumber_300
image by Anna Williams

Snap Peas with Cucumber and Ginger
image and recipe from realsimple.com

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the snap peas, cucumber, and shallot and toss to combine.

Serves 4.

May 13, 2013

Colt’s Foot Tea

Perhaps you’ve noticed them alongside the road, rail bed, or in an area where the soil has been recently disturbed. Resembling a tall, curving dandelion at this time of the year and usually presenting in a group, like a tribe of graceful sunny sisters, this is the herb Colt’s Foot. I’ve noticed them before, as they have a great deal of presence with their naked stalks, but didn’t know their name until recently. At other times of year, they lose their distinctive flower, leaves develop, and the plant presents quite differently.

Coltsfoot-Tea
image: herbal-information.com

The botanical name of this plant is Tussilago Farfara. Long ago, this plant was called Filius ante patrem, meaning “the son before the father,” because the flowering stalk develops before the leaves appear. From a medicinal and culinary standpoint, all parts of the plant are recommended. The leaves are delicious in June, reminding one of dandelion greens. Indeed, this plant is in the same family. The flower buds are also nice in a salad. A decoction of the fresh leaves, which develop in early summer (1 ounce to one quart of water), boiled down by half and sweetened with honey makes a healthful tea and helps with cough, colds, and bronchitis or asthma. The root has different properties and can assist with shortness of breath with beneficial results.

So, take a deep breath of springtime and a cup of Colt’s Foot tea for good measure.

COLT’S FOOT TEA,  a lung tonic
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

Wait until the leaves appear on the Colt’s Foot plant and gather:

1 packed cup of fresh leaves of the Colt’s Foot Plant

1 quart of filtered water

Boil this down by half. Sweeten it with raw honey.  Drink one cup, warmed up, three times daily for lung ailment.

May 11, 2013

Simple Sangria

The name is derived from sangre, Spanish for “blood,” and this ruby-red concoction is truly the essence of any proper fiesta. Stud your pitcher with whatever fruits look good at the market, making sure to load up on sangria’s signature citrus. We love Merlot or Shiraz, but you can create a lighter punch with a crisp white or rosé. No need to spend a bundle — an inexpensive bottle will do the trick. Salud!

This versatile wine and fruit mixture is perfect for a springtime brunch. Use red or white, depending on Mom’s wine preference.

simple-sangria-lg
image: Tara Donne

Simple Sangria
delish.com

1 bottle (1.5 liters) red wine
1 1/2
cups fresh orange juice
1/3
cup brandy
1/3
cup sugar
2
(nectarines) pitted and cut into wedges
1
orange, cut in half then sliced
1
lemon, sliced
1
(Kirby (pickling) cucumber) sliced
3
cup(s) seltzer or club soda, chilled
Ice cubes

In 3- to 4-quart pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, brandy, and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves.

Stir in fruit and cucumber. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

To serve, stir seltzer into pitcher. Fill glasses with ice and pour sangria.

Serves 12.

May 10, 2013

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

“This is a very unique breakfast dish. Good for any holiday breakfast or brunch, it’s filled with the fresh taste of blueberries, and covered with a rich blueberry sauce to make it a one of a kind.”—allrecipes.com

381517

Overnight Blueberry French Toast
allrecipes.com

12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 (8 ounce) packages
cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup
fresh blueberries
12
eggs, beaten
2 cups
milk
1 teaspoon
vanilla extract
1/3 cup
maple syrup
1 cup
white sugar
2 Tablespoons
cornstarch
1 cup
water
1 cup
fresh blueberries
1 Tablespoon
butter

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast.

Yields 10 servings.

May 9, 2013

Malt Shop Ice Cream Pie

Strawberry and vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream, all held in a crust made of crushed sugar cones. It’s childhood memories in convenient pie form. And tasty to boot.

Think of this no-cook pie as a deconstructed hot fudge sundae in an ice-cream cone–crushed cones form the crust cradling the malt-flavored ice cream and toppings.

0508p130-ice-cream-pie-l

Malt Shop Ice Cream Pie
image and recipe from cookinglight.com

2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
12 sugar cones, crushed (about 2 cups)
2 cups strawberry low-fat ice cream, softened
1/4 cup malted milk powder, divided
1/2 cup strawberry topping
2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream, softened
1/2 cup fat-free hot fudge topping
1 1/4 cups canned whipped light cream (such as Reddi-wip)

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Place softened strawberry ice cream and 2 Tablespoons milk powder in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon mixture evenly into crust; spread with strawberry topping. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Place softened vanilla ice cream and remaining 2 Tablespoons milk powder in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over strawberry topping. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top with hot fudge and whipped cream just before serving.

Yields 10 servings.