Ja cię kocham…

….simple, healthy, and with lots of love.

Archive for the ‘Side Dish’

Christmas Dinner 2009 – My First!

December 26, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Beverage, Casserole, Cookies, Dessert, Fruit, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Spreads/Dips, Vegetables

Dinner table #2

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Here is a quick peek at the gorgeous table scape courtesy of my beautiful mother, Patti.

Dinner table

Hi, Mom!

Mom

My pictures are a little fuzzy and dark because I was making sure to keep an eye on the food.  Post-picture taking, I realized that my lens was covered with steam.  So I apologize for the lack of crisp pictures.  (I am a bit of a perfectionist…)

I am so thrilled to report that dinner was a hit, and I didn’t serve cold macaroni and cheese!  My biggest fear was the timing of all of the food because I didn’t want to serve my loved ones cold ham and crusty macaroni and cheese.  With help from Ma and Papa Zigs, dinner went without a hitch!  Thank you, Ma and Paps!!

Pops

Prior to the main meal, I made some “snicky snacks” or as my Polish Poppy used to refer to them as “hordy doors”.  Ja cie kocham, Poppy!!  Miss you.

Cookie tray

A cookie display filled with Nigella’s Chocolate Christmas Cookies, shortbread, gingerbread, homemade chocolate covered pretzels, and caramel bites.  I added a little Chocolate Soynut Butter (sadly, I couldn’t find Nutella, but this work just as well) for the shortbread.

Tzatsikei

Tzatziki made with my Homemade Greek Yogurt served with Crudites lovingly prepared by my sister and Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Food blogger, Emmy.

Emily

We also offered piping hot coffee and warmed mulled apple wine.

Here is my hubby, Jay, partaking in the warmed beverage.  Hi, honey!

Jay

And here I am just loving life and my 14 year old doggie, Cricket.

Nanu and I

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And now for the main course all served on my Nana’s China:

TurkeyHam

Holiday Glazed Ham prepared by me and Smoked Turkey prepared by Papa Zigs

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Pineapple filling

Pineapple Filling

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Scalloped Potatoes

Homemade Scalloped Potatoes made by Mama Zigs

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Simply Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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Cucumber salad

Cucumber Salad (one of Poppy’s specialties)

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THANKSGIVING CIA SIDES 11/4

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Sage of which I totally forgot to take a picture!

Photo courtesy of www.jewcy.com

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Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Ginger

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Mom Mom

And also – plain green beans for Mom Mom.  She loves her green beans!

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Fruit salad

To avoid complete carb-overload, Mom made me a fresh fruit salad.

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And for dessert….

Ice cream cake

… a semi-homemade ice cream cake!

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Recipes of our Christmas bounty will come in the very near future.   For now, I am going to make a delicious breakfast with the leftovers…

Until we meet again, I again wish you health, wealth, and a big belly from good food!

The bounty

Simply Baked Macaroni and Cheese

December 24, 2009 By: kristi Category: Casserole, Pasta, Side Dish, Spicy

mac

Merry Christmas Ja cie kocham readers!

As you may know from reading my previous posts, I am the cooker and baker of this year’s Christmas Dinner!  And oh boy, this will be my FIRST sit down holiday meal for more than 6 people.  I’m not concerned about the food turning out, I’m more concerned about the timing.  I know some of you are with me on this.  Being that I’m not fortunate enough to own two ovens, I have to carefully plan how to bake several things for one dinner using one oven while keeping everything from getting cold or drying out.  I will let you know how THAT goes.

To make things a little easier for me, I’ve been prepping for the past week with a detailed schedule of things to be made so that I’m not frantic an hour before dinner.  On today’s to-do list, I made the macaroni and cheese.   This is such a tease!!!  The aroma of white cheddar and nutmeg is swirling through my home making my mouth begin to water and my tummy is now growling fiercely.  *Roar*

I have to say that this recipe was so simple, tastes so good (I HAD to test it!!), and left me with minimal dishes.  Solid deal.  Can’t ask for anything better than that!!  Plus the most of the ingredients should already be in your cupboard, and if they’re not, you can find them with no problem and spend next to nothing on them.  Merry Christmas to me!  Simple, cheap, and goooood.

I will be sure to post the rest of my holiday menu within the next few days.  Let’s just hope I remember to take pictures!

I wish you all safe travels and good eats!!

Simply Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Source: Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups milk (not skim)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked.

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use one tablespoon butter to grease a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together.  Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Weekend Food – Hazelnut Pesto & Grilled Vegetable Pizza, Loaded Nachos and more!

November 24, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Main Dish, Side Dish, Spreads/Dips, Vegetables

pizza

Hazelnut Pesto and Grilled Vegetable Pizza

I really wasn’t going to post these dishes because pizza and nachos are easy to make, and you don’t need me to tell you how to make pizza or nachos.   But I decided to pay tribute to fun, festive food consumed when I’m watching football with the hubby.

There is nothing better (well, ALMOST nothing better) than piling on the couch in sweatpants and your favorite sports team’s jersey, turning on ESPN and watching the game with real sports food – pizza, nachos, chips & dip, hoagies, etc.

Yes, I said hoagies.  I’m a Philly girl.  It’s not a sub or a hero.  It’s a hoagie.

As much as I love lazy days when I can go less than a mile down the road and order a pizza, nachos, or a hoagie, I also love the days when I can have my favorite sports meals made with a little lovin’ from my own kitchen.  And I use lotsa lovin’.

The pizza in the first picture – we’ll call it Hazelnut Pesto & Grilled Vegetable Pizza – was made using whatever I had in the fridge.  I did this before when I made my Everything But the Kitchen Sink Pizza.  I enjoy these types of recipes because I get to use up all the leftover veggies lingering in my fridge before they go funky on me.  I don’t do funky veggies.  And I get so upset when I have a few slices of bell pepper in the fridge with no purpose.  I can’t just throw it out.  I’ll just put it on my pizza…

Hazelnut Pesto & Grilled Vegetable Pizza

Ingredients:

Pizza dough
olive oil

For the pesto:
2 LARGE handful of basil leaves, stems removed
handful of hazelnuts
1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the toppings:

4 slices of bacon
1/4 cup eggplant, diced
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup orange bell pepper
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
your favorite cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Put all pesto ingredients except for the olive oil into a food processor and start pulsing it.  While pulsing, add the olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Place a medium skillet on medium-high heat.  Add bacon slices.  Cook until crispy.  Set aside.  Leave drippings in pan.

Still on medium-high, add vegetable toppings (except garlic) to skillet.  Saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened.

Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface and brush lightly with olive oil.  Spread pesto onto pizza surface.  Then add sauteed vegetables, garlic, and cheese.

Place in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until edges brown and cheese melts.

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nachos

Ja Cie Kocham’s Loaded Nachos

My family has a thing for nachos.  We’re known to order them as our main meal at a restaurant and eat the whole thing by ourselves.

What?  Nachos are AWESOME.  I bet you do it, too.

Nachos can be zapped in the microwave…. I have seen a few friends put tortilla chips on a plate with salsa and cheese and microwave them for 30 seconds, which is totally acceptable but I wanted some pizazz for these babies.

nachos 2

I wanted the works – the salsa, the fresh tomatoes, the scallions, the avocado, the refried beans, the bacon, the beef, and most importantly THE CHEESE.  I seriously made enough for 8 people for Jay and I, and we almost polished off the entire thing on our own.  I couldn’t breathe when I was done and I was even full the next morning… now that’s what I call loaded nachos!

Ja Cie Kocham’s Loaded Nachos

Ingredients:

1 bag of corn tortilla chips
4 slices of bacon
1 – 1.5 lbs. hamburger
1 15 oz. can refried beans
1 jar chipotle salsa
your favorite shredded cheese
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 scallions, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium skillet placed on medium-high heat, cook your bacon.  Once bacon is crispy, remove it and keep the drippings in the pan.  Add the hamburger.  Cook until brown.

On a large cookie sheet covered in nonstick spray, spread out the nachos.  Add the hamburger, refried beans, salsa and cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes or until refried beans and salsa are hot and cheese is melted.

Crumble up bacon that you have set aside.

Take out of oven and add the remainder of the ingredients, including the bacon that you have reserved.  Serve immediately.

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Other fun recipes for sports watching at home:

Stuffed-Mushrooms-300x400

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

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Hot Bean and Cheese Dip

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Pineapple Pizzas

Petite Pineapple and Prosciutto Pizzas

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red pepper dip

White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

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Enjoy yourself and give your sports food a little lovin’ from your kitchen…

Coconut Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

November 06, 2009 By: kristi Category: Side Dish, Spicy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

puree600

This picture that is way better than mine is courtesy of the New York Times Fitness and Nutrition section.

Ready to see mine?  Hahaha.  It makes me laugh.

sweet potatoes

AHHHHH!  The time change has made the evenings dark SOOO early that I can’t get a good picture in when it’s light out!  Dang you, Ben Franklin!!

Anyway, this side dish is a part of the pre-Thanksgiving meal that I have been talking about for 3 consecutive posts now.  OH MY LORD was this meal good.  Now I am a HUGE mashed potato-lover, but these were also really good.  It’s nice to change things up.  The coconut and cayenne definitely stood out.  Mmmmm!!

Coconut Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

Source: Clean Eating Magazine Nov/Dec 2009

Serves a huge crowd!

Ingredients:

5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tsp. cardamom, ground
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup unsalted pecan halves, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add sweet potatoes, return to a boil and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Drain.

In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), add potatoes and remaining ingredients (except pecans).  Mix on medium speed until smooth.  Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish.  Sprinkle pecans on top.

Bake 45-50 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.  Cool on rack for 10 minutes and serve

Sweet Apple Cider Pork with Mushroom and Leek Stuffing

November 05, 2009 By: kristi Category: Main Dish, Side Dish

pork and stuffing

Remember I told you that we need to move on from my crappy pictures?  Apply that thought right now.  It was dark, I was hungry, and I just took a quick pic of a fabulous dish.  Please don’t let the picture fool you!!  This portion of my pre-Thanksgiving meal along with my Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Apples with Ginger and another side dish a dessert soon to be revealed were awesome!

Again, the stuffing came from my Clean Eating Magazine.  The pork was a recipe that I created on the fly.  It is all healthy, simple, inexpensive, and has explosive flavor.  Sweet deal.   Trust me, you can’t go wrong with these recipes.  I wish that I had these ideas sooner!

Sweet Apple Cider Pork

Serves 4

4 4oz. pieces of pork tenderloin, 1 1/2 inch-thick (preferably)
2 1/2 cups apple cider for marinade + 1 cup for cooking
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. cornstarch

Directions:

In a large ziplock bag, add pork, cider for marinade, cloves, ginger, and salt.  Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Once the pork is done marinating, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and butter and distribute throughout the skillet.  Add pork and brown each side (about 2 minutes each side).  Add the remaining apple cider, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Cover with lid and cook for about 8 minutes more.  Be sure to keep a close eye on it to make sure the cider doesn’t completely evaporate.

Then add the cornstarch and stir until the cider thickens.

Place pork on a serving plate and drizzle sauce over top.
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Mushroom and Leek Stuffing

Source: Clean Eating Magazine, Nov/Dec 2009

Serves a huge crowd (enough to stuff a turkey if desired)

Ingredients:

1 680g whole-wheat sourdough bread or regular whole wheat bread
1 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 lb. portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 large leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions: You can do this one of two ways –

1 – The oven-baked traditional method – Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Decrust and cube bread into 3/4-inch cubes.  Spread bread cubes out in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Transfer to a very large bowl.

Heat 1/2 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and cooking, stirring until tender and lightly browned (8-10 minutes).  Add mushrooms to bowl with bread.  Wipe out skillet with paper towel and heat remaining oil on medium-high.  Add carrots, celery, and leeks and cook until tender and lightly browned (again, 8-10 minutes).  Add to bread bowl.

Add remaining ingredients to bowl and stir gently.  Bread should be moist, but not soggy.  Allow to cool.

Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray and add stuffing.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Them remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

OR

2 – The weeknight, I don’t have time to do all that work method – Tear bread into bite-sized chunks.  In a large skillet heated to medium, add 1/2 tsp. oil (I cheated and added a little tab of butter, too) and mushrooms, cook until tender and lightly brown (8-10 minutes).  Remove from skillet.  Wipe down skillet with paper towel.

Add remaining oil, carrots, celery, and leeks to skillet heated to medium-high and cook until tender and lightly brown (8-10 minutes).  Add mushrooms back into skillet along with the remaining ingredients.  Stir until bread is completely moist, but not soggy.  Once bread is completely moist, crank up the heat to high and stir stuffing for a minute or two until the bread begins to toast.  Serve immediately.


Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Ginger

November 04, 2009 By: kristi Category: Fruit, Sauce, Side Dish

IMG_1822

Here is a little secret for you all.

I want a Canon Rebel XSi with a 100mm macro lens for Christmas.

I know what you’re thinking – “Keep dreaming…” – I know this, but a girl has to dream, right??  I’m getting pretty tired of mediocre pictures.  I made an amazing pre-Thanksgiving feast last night with pictures that do not do the meal justice whatsoever.  Boooo.  Boooo to you crappy pictures.

Even though the pictures of my meal are an absolute eye-sore, I am posting anyway.  The recipes are too good, too healthy, and too easy to ignore.  So I say just cringe at the crappy pictures and move on.  I will try my very best to do the same.

It’s November, and you know what that means, right?  Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  I cannot wait to gorge myself with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more!!  Just the thought of Turkey Day makes my mouth water.  I decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for the hubby and I just to get into the spirit of the holiday season.  This meal consisted of recipes from the Clean Eating Magazine, which I absolutely adore.   CE Mag makes fresh food and wholesome food seem so simple and appetizing.  No bland recipes here.  They are so full of flavor that you’re family won’t know how healthy they really are.

For my first post of the pre-Thanksgiving Feast, I am sharing the cranberry sauce.  It was done in 12 minutes, and it tastes soooo much better than the canned stuff.  Oh how I love recipes that are super easy… they make my world go ’round.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Ginger

Source: Clean Eating Magazine Nov/Dec 2009

Serves: 8 (or 4-6 hungry folks)

Fresh_Cranberry_lg

A much prettier picture courtesy of The Food Network and Tyler Florence

Ingredients:

12 oz. cranberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted
1 apple, cored and chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup honey (CE calls for raw)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh ginger, finely minced
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cranberries break down, apples soften, and mixture thickens.

Stir often.

Transfer to a serving dish or storage container and allow to chill in fridge.  Serve at room temperature.

Homemade Homefries

August 09, 2009 By: kristi Category: Breakfast, Side Dish, Vegetables

homefries

Man do we love homefries and hash browns in this house!  Normally we buy the frozen hash browns and have to stand around for 45 minutes or so for them to cook.  Today was a little different.  I had some left over potatoes from another dish that I decided to use for my OWN homefries.  Boy did they turn out good.  Even with the chopping, these were WAY quicker to make than our frozen hash browns.

There are only two rules that I must share with you when you embark on homemade homefries:

1.  You MUST use butter.  I used a butter/olive oil combo so the butter wouldn’t burn in the skillet, but it is the BUTTER that turns these babies into a beautiful, crispy, golden brown.  Do not skip the butter.  Even if it’s a tiny pad of butter… it’s a must to get the best results.  (And this is coming from a girl that usually uses olive oil for everything!)

2.  When you initially put the potatoes in your skillet.  Do not… I repeat, DO NOT stir them or move them for the first 5 minutes or so.  You want them to turn nice and crispy and this won’t happen if you constantly stir them.  So… place them in the skillet, go sit by the tv for a minute with your freshly brewed coffee and relax.  Let them crisp!  We don’t want mushy potatoes!

So go ahead… make your own diner deluxe breakfast.  Toast, eggs, bacon, and homefries.  It costs only pennies per person and it tastes soooo good.

Homemade Homefries

Serves 4

Ingredients:

5-6 small baking potatoes (I used butter gold potatoes), chopped into 1-inch cubes.
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Directions:

Heat large skillet to medium-high.  Add olive oil and butter.  Once butter begins to melt, swirl it around coating the entire skillet.

Add potatoes in a single layer.  Add salt, pepper, and cayenne.  LEAVE ALONE for 3-5 minutes or until the one side is golden brown.  (Time varies depending on your stove top.)

Uncooked potatoes

Give them a good stir.  Let sit for another 2-3 minutes.  Repeat one more time.  Add garlic when your potatoes are almost done.  you don’t want it to burn.

**Once my potatoes were pretty much done, I scooted them over to one side of my skillet (mine is 14 inches) so I could cook up some eggs.**

eggs and hashies

Remove from heat once potatoes are nice and crispy on the outside and relatively soft on the inside.  Season with salt and pepper again.

My breakfast

One of the rare times that I use ketchup!

Stuffed Eggplant Wraps – Buy Fresh, Buy Local and what I did!

July 22, 2009 By: kristi Category: Food for Thought, Main Dish, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

eggplant wraps

eggplant #3

I bought all of this at a local Amish produce stand on my way home from work for $6!

For the next 21 days, I am participating in the Buy Fresh, Buy Local 21-day challenge.  Basically you just alter your lifestyle for 21 days to support local business.  The change can be as minimal or as large as you want it to be.  Buying local is good for the environment because excess fuel isn’t wasted on transporting foods from one country to another, it’s good for YOU because the ingredients are much fresher than they would be in a grocery store (do you really know how old that watermelon is in the grocery store?????), and it’s good for local business because they are getting your business!

I’m lucky because I live in an area surrounded by the Amish who are known for their local produce stands with fresh breads, homemade butters and jellies, and homegrown fruits and vegetables.  I pass a stand everyday to and from work, so it’s really easy for me to make the effort to buy fresh and local.

Needless to say, I purchased zucchini from the “bargain bin”.  It was $1.25 for 3 enormous zucchini because they were picked yesterday rather than today.  As if that really matters to me!   I also picked up some purple and white eggplants and a few tomatoes.  And yes, they were all organic.  I know, I know.  It was a sweet deal!

Then to make matters more convenient for me, Cindy, my husband’s mommy dearest, sent us home a huge bag filled with fresh herbs from her garden.  I was set!  Dinner is served!

I made baked eggplant wraps with zucchini, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.   In the past, I have used roasted red peppers instead of tomatoes.   Mushrooms would also be good in this.  Whatever works for you!

Stuffed Eggplants

Serves 4 as side dish

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 small eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tomato, thinly sliced
handful of fresh basil
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (I used shredded this time, but I normally buy the ball of mozzarella and slice it.)
salt and pepper
toothpicks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a large baking sheet, sprinkle olive oil.  Place eggplant and zucchini slice on sheet.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until slightly tender.  Allow to cool.

Place eggplant back on oiled baking sheet.  Place a zucchini slice on top of each eggplant, followed by a slice of tomato, some mozzarella, and a few basil leaves.  Salt and pepper to taste.

eggplant wraps #2

Tightly roll eggplant, placing a toothpick in them to secure.  Have patience with them as they may be challenging to roll.  Place seams face down on baking sheet.  Bake until cheese is melted (about 3-4 minutes).

Fresh Herb Salad

July 16, 2009 By: kristi Category: Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Herbed Salad

I tend to go to restaurants, order a beautiful salad, and try to replicate it at home.  Typically, I fail.  For me, I feel as if everyone BUT me makes delicious salads.  For instance, my mom always makes these gorgeous rustic salads with dried blueberries, fresh asparagus, and more!   She sprinkles it with Parmesan cheese and a homemade lemon vinaigrette.  Yum!  My other mother (Jay’s momma) puts out a fantastic display of freshly cut vegetables like avocado, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli sprouts and makes a salad bar.

How can I possibly compare??

Wellllll…. I’ve been practicing.  Yeah, I know… it sounds really silly to practice making salads, but when I mean “practice” I really mean testing out different combinations of lettuces, bean sprouts, dried fruits, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh herbs.

Let me tell you something.  Adding TONS of fresh herbs to your salads is the most incredible thing you can ever do.  I’m serious.  It’s THAT good.  For those of you out there that have already done this, you know what I’m talking about.  It adds a depth and a freshness to your salad that cannot be matched.

So this is one of my no-brainer recipes.  But it’s too good to not share with those that haven’t tried it before.

Fresh Herb Salad

Serves: 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

16 oz. organic spring mix
3 oz. shitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms (I got a package of them at Trader Joes, but any mushroom works)
a bunch of cherry or baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced
handful of chopped scallions
handful of fresh dill, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
handful of fresh basil, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste
favorite salad dressing (I used a red wine vinaigrette)

Directions:

Toss all ingredients (except for some of the chopped herbs) into a large salad bowl.  Top with leftover herbs.

Oh, and look at my homegrown cherry tomatoes (well, tomato)!  I planted yellow cherry tomatoes, but I guess they decided to be orange.  They are so fresh and sweet.  It’s like eating a piece of candy.

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Watermelon and Feta Salad with Mint

July 05, 2009 By: kristi Category: Fruit, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables

Watermelon Salad

This salad is so incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day.  You may be put off by the ingredients initially, but trust me, it is sooo good.  It’s savory and it’s sweet all in one.  I’ve had this thing lately for mint.  I just crave it.  Through this craving of mine I’ve discovered how amazing mint is with vegetables.  Try my Marinated Zucchini with Mint.  It’s awesome.  You’ll have to scroll down to the bottom of the page because this posting has a slue of recipes on it.   But while you’re on there, check out my herbed rubbed pitas.  Again, I use mint.  I’m telling ya, mint is incredible!

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Mint

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pound Campari or plum tomatoes, diced, drained
1 1/2 cups diced seeded watermelon
1 large green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1/2 large English hothouse cucumber, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1/2 cup very thinly sliced radishes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
10 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes (about 2 1/2 cups),
2 divided green onions, chopped, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves, divided
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

Toss first five ingredients and two tablespoons oil in large bowl. Add half each of cheese, green onions, and mint. Mix remaining cheese, green onions, mint, and oil in processor; add yogurt and oregano. Process just to blend (do not over-mix or dressing will get thin). Season dressing with salt and pepper; mix into salad.