Monday, August 30, 2010

Cucumber and Onion Salad

3 Burpless or regular cucumbers
1 sweet Vidalia onion
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar or Splenda
⅛ cup canola oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Skin cucumbers and slice very thin, I like to use a food processor. Mix together vinegar with sugar or Splenda. Add all ingredients in a large airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Serve the next day. It will keep for several days. This is a refreshing summer recipe.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grilled Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 loaf of crusty Italian bread
  • 3 Tbsp. plus 1 Tbsp. of garlic flavored olive oil
  • 3 yellow sweet bell peppers
  • 1 ½ cup mozzarella cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese (optional)
Slice bread, remove crust and cut into 1 inch croutons until you have 1 ½ cups. Saute bread in a nonstick skillet with 3 Tsbp. olive oil over medium heat until browned. Set aside.

Cut tops off of peppers and reserve for caps, remove seeds and membranes. In a bowl mix together croutons, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Mix well. Stuff peppers with mixture dividing evenly between peppers. Place pepper caps on top of pepper. If peppers will not stand up, roll up a long strip of aluminum foil and wrap around base to hold them in place.

Over indirect medium heat on your grill cook peppers for 15 minutes or until tender, you do not want the pepper to lose it's shape. When peppers are cooked remove to platter and cut in half lengthwise.

You may serve this way or you may also sprinkle on some Asiago or Parmesan cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes. I like to use a hearty grain bread.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mango Salsa

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 3 jalapeno peppers (stems removed and deseeded)
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper (stems removed and deseeded)
  • juice of one lime
Process in food processor until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips or as topping over grilled tuna or mahi mahi.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Halloumi Cheese

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 bottle Caesar or Greek salad dressing, oil and vinegar
  • ½ lb. Halloumi cheese
  • 4 pita breads
  • Vidalia onion sliced thin
  • baby spinach leaves
  • 2 (1 gal.) zip lock bags, depending on size of mushrooms
  • cooking spray
Wipe off mushroom caps if needed. Remove stem and place mushrooms bottom side up and slowly pour dressing onto mushroom gills coating evenly, but not overflowing. Place in zip lock bag and marinate overnight.When ready to grill heat up grill on high. Place mushrooms bottom side up (gill side) on grill and cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook on other side for 5 more minutes. Remove from grill.Meanwhile slice cheese into slices about ¼ inch thick. Heat up a non greased nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add cheese to skillet and cook on one side until it is golden brown then flip to other side and until brown, too. This should only take 3 or 4 minutes to brown the cheese. Take pita and slice through top and place one mushroom inside with a slice of cheese, onion and spinach into pita bread. Add 1 Tbsp. dressing if needed. 

Another variation is to top mushroom with some pizza sauce and a slice of provolone cheese for an Italian twist. I call it a Pizzabello.

This is a two person operation or if only one is cooking prepare mushrooms then set aside while you brown the cheese. Halloumi does not melt, it browns. Halloumi is an expensive cheese, but it is well worth it. I find it at my organic grocery store. Also found in grocery stores that have an extensive cheese department. I like to use whole wheat pitas. Halloumi cheese is very delicious. You must try it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Italian Minestrone

Tomatoes and zucchinis are in abundance now. Use them up in this healthy but so delicious minestrone. Garnish it with grated parmesan and you will be in love.
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrot
  • 1 cup diced green pepper
  • 5 cups cubed zucchini and yellow squash
  • 4 cups chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth or Chicken Base*
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped minced garlic from jar
  • Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
  • ½ cup whole wheat pasta (elbow or shells)
  • 1 can 15.5 oz can dark red kidney beans (undrained)
  • ½ cup Benefiber powder (optional)
In a large Dutch oven pot combine first ten ingredients. Add Benefiber at this time if you want it. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and pasta and bring to a boil again then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

If you like to chop veggies then this is your recipe. This is a healthy recipe that will satisfy and surprise you about how good it tastes. Parmesan is a high calcium low fat cheese. I like to use kidney beans with no added salt as well.

*I also like to use chicken base to make my chicken broth. Just follow instructions on jar.