Ja cię kocham…

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

Tropical Fruit Salsa

May 01, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Fruit, Spreads/Dips

tf-salsa

If my husband had to survive on anything for the rest of his life (other than Yuengling Lager), it would be chips and salsa.  I buy jars and jars of it per week, and they are gone in a few hours.  We have all types – chipotle, tequila and lime, southwestern – and they are all big hits.  This time I wanted to make something a little different.

We’ve always been big fans of the mango salsa at Costco so I took the fruit salsa to the next level – completely tropical.  It’s bright, it’s colorful, and it’s versatile.  Next time I think I’m going to be even more daring and throw a papaya in this mix.  This salsa was a crowd pleaser, and the recipe yielded PLENTY for a huge group.  If you’re a chips and salsa lover like my man, try this one out.  It’s sure to please.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Source: Party Food, p. 36

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 mangoes or papayas (or one of each), seeded, peeled, and diced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 fresh red chili, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 Tbs. sugar
juice of 2 limes
6 Tbs. fresh mint
salt to taste

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a nonmetallic bowl.  Cover and let chill until served.

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Petite Prosciutto and Pineapple Pizzas

April 30, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Main Dish

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My apologies for the not so fabulous pictures.  I was making it quick so I could serve them warm.  :o )

You will quickly notice that the pineapple is making an appearance in the next few postings.  Pineapple adds a subtle sweetness to the most savory dishes, and a little goes a long way.  It worked beautifully in my Stuffed Peppers with Pineapple Rice as it did with these delectable pizzas.

I am going to safely assume that these pizzas are incredibly tasty because no sooner did I have them on the platter, they were gone.   Nope, I didn’t get to taste them!   My family downed them in about 5 minutes or so!

If you’re having a get together and want to make something unique and popular without a lot of effort, I suggest trying this recipe out.  They will be ready in minutes – allowing you to mingle with your guests without have to stress about the food.

Petite Prosciutto and Pineapple Pizzas

Source: Party Food, Paragon Publishing, p. 227 – (One of the $5 cookbooks you can find in Barnes and Noble!)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

4 English Muffins
1/2 cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce
2 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped (mine were dry, so I plumped them up in water over night and then tossed them in oil)
2 oz. prosciutto
2 rings fresh or canned pineapple, chopped (Dole has pineapple tidbits that save you from chopping)
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I omitted this)
4.5 oz. mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper
fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Directions:

Preheat your broiler to medium.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Cut the English muffins in half and toast the cut side lightly.

Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the English muffins.  Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes on top of the sauce.

Cut the prosciutto into thin strips and place on the muffins with the pineapple and pepper.

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Carefully arrange the cheese slices on top.

Drizzle each pizza with a little bit of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place under hot broiler and cook until the cheese melts and bubbles.

Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

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Weight Watchers Berry and Cream Cheese Open-Face Sandwiches

April 21, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Breakfast, Fruit, Sandwich

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Well hello wonderful sandwich that is figure friendly, sweet, and simple.  Thank you for being so incredibly satisfying in that roaring belly of mine.  You make me happy, very happy.   I want to have you on my plate every night for the rest of my life.   Would you mind that?

This cute treat was a spectacularly light and satisfying dinner for Jay and me.  Typically this recipe is for a brunch but it worked well for us as night time.  I always have a huge craving for dessert after dinner but this sammie was nice and sweet and satisfied the Sugar Monster that visits me around 8 o’clock every night.  He looks remarkably similar to the big, hairy, orange Hunger Monster on the Weight Watchers commercials.  Sugar Monster doesn’t bother me all day, but as soon as dinner is over he throws Hershey kisses and ice cream sandwiches at my face.  Crazy monster.  Will you ever leave me be?  Probably not – unless, of course, I eat this sandwich for dinner every night.

Speaking of Weight Watchers, this sandwich is only 3 points (per full slice of bread with topping).  I recommend using the Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Raisin Bread because it is only 80 calories a slice.  :o )

Hands-on prep was all of 10 minutes and cook time was as long as your toaster takes to make your toast.

If you’re a mom or dad, Mom-Mom or Pop-Pop, you’re (grand)kids will love these!  They can be cut into hearts, stars, or whatever cookie cutter shape you’ve got!  This recipe reminds me so much of my Mom-Mom and Poppy.   I used to go on summer vacation for a week at a time at their house, and they always made me sliced strawberries mixed with sugar.  Mmmmmm…. I love the fond memories.  This takes me back to the 1980s…

I regret that I didn’t have the required raspberries for this recipe, but I definitely added some lime zest for a kick and some contrasting coloring.

Berry and Cream Cheese Open-Face Sandwiches

Source: Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites Cookbook, p. 75

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup raspberries
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar (I used turbinado)
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. fresh orange juice
4 Tbs. light cream cheese
2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
lime zest for garnish

Directions:

Combine the berries, sugar, orange zest and juice in a small bowl.  Let it sit for 5 minutes (or until sugar dissolves) while stirring occasionally.

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Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, honey, and vanilla in another small bowl.

Toast the bread; let cool about 30 seconds.

Spread 1 Tbs. of cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread.  Cut each slice in quarters and top each quarter wtih about 2 tsp. of berry mixture.  Sprinkle with lime zest.  Serve immediately.

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So cute!  Enjoy guilt-free!

Couscous Cakes

April 07, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Side Dish, Vegetarian

coucous-cakes

Couscous is an awesome food.  I have made it several times, and it always comes out perfectly, AND it takes all of 5 minutes.  The person that invented couscous deserves a kiss from all of the busy people around the world…

Normally I just whip up a batch of couscous as is…maybe adding some cheese or something, but last night I decided to try someting a little different.

I was watching Giada at Home on the Food Network, and besides sitting there in complete awe and shock of her enormous house (that I KNOW she doesn’t have to clean), her hot tub, her patio, and her KITCHEN, I was in awe of her couscous cakes.   They looked simple enough, and her recipes always taste good so I decided to give them a try.

And they were pretty fantastic tasting although I had immense trouble keeping the little buggers intact while cooking them.  As I watched Giada make them I remember thinking how messy they looked and how all of a sudden they turned out so perfectly on her plate.  That’s TV for you.  I had to add an extra egg and some bread crumbs for a more suitable stickiness, and they still somewhat fell apart.   I think it’s because I used more couscous than the recipe called for.  It didn’t stick together with one egg and one yolk.   No worries, though.  It was my oversight, and they still tasted great!

Couscous Cakes

Source: Giada at Home

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked couscous, prepared according to package instructions and cooled
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 lemon, zested
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup mild mango chutney – (I used my Homemade Pineapple Chutney)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together the couscous, cilantro, egg, egg yolk, coriander, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Mix until combined.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Form 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture into 8 patties. Add 4 of the patties to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture.

Serve the couscous cakes with mango or pineapple chutney.

White Bean & Roasted Red (& Yellow) Pepper Dip

February 22, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Spreads/Dips

White Bean & Red Pepper Dip

A few months ago, I went to a bridal shower and on the hostess’s coffee table was this beautifully displayed dip with pita chips and crudites.  Not only was it beautiful to look at, it was delicious, too!  Everyone raved about this dip.  When the hostess explained what was in it she merely said, “I just put white beans and roasted red peppers in the food processor and whirled it around a bit.”

Well, that’s easy.  Why didn’t I think of that??

Over the past few months, I have overdone the hummus thing.  I have eaten so much hummus (which I adore, by the way) that now I’m sick of it. The problem is that I love dipping my veggies in stuff.   Yes, I’m one of those people that can’t just eat a carrot as is without wanting something to dip it in, sorry.  :o )

But what will I dip my veggies in now?

Ranch dip is too typical and though I love a creamy ranch on my salads, I need something with depth to it.  I need to be FULL when I’m done munching on my veggies and dip.  Now that hummus is temporarily not doable, I need to come up with something new.

Then I remembered the bridal shower…

I found a really good recipe for the dip at Smitten Kitchen, and it was a done deal.  The hummus has been replaced.  Don’t get me wrong, I will go back to hummus one day, but the white bean and roasted red/yellow pepper dip is right up my alley.  It took 5 minutes to make and is healthy.  Sweet deal.

My dip turned out more orange than it normally would because I used roasted red and yellow peppers.  So don’t be alarmed if your dip is brighter than mine.  It is a great appetizer and pairs well with pita chips and veggies.

White Bean & Roasted Red (& Yellow) Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can of white cannelini or navy beans
1 small jar roasted red peppers, or about 1 cup, drained
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.

Tough, huh? ;o)

BLT Roll-Ups…or Flat-Ups?

February 01, 2009 By: kristi Category: Appetizer

BLT Roll-Ups

I found this recipe on Annie’s Eats.  I thought that they would be the perfect snack for the Parker’s Superbowl Party.  This simple recipe turned into an adventure!  Everything went so smoothly until the end when I had to roll them up.  If I rolled them too tightly, the flat bread ripped, and if I rolled them too loosely they fell apart.  I couldn’t win!  So here is a lovely picture of them at their finest moments.  :o )  The flat bread was dry so I’m guessing that was the problem.  They still taste delightful but their appearance is now quite unflattering.
BLT Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

3 8- or 9-inch flour tortillas (I used 2 large pieces of Lavash flat bread)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 tbsp. Ranch dressing
8 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1 large tomato, diced
Ranch dressing for dipping, if desired

Directions:

Lay all three tortillas out flat on a work surface.  Combine the cream cheese and 1-2 tablespoons Ranch dressing in a small bowl and mix until smooth.  Divide between the tortillas and spread in a thin, even layer over each.  Sprinkle bacon, lettuce and tomato over each tortilla.  Starting at one edge, roll each tortilla up tightly into a spiral shaped log.  Slice each log into 1-inch sections, and serve with Ranch dressing for dipping, if desired.

Maybe next time they will turn out as hoped :o (

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