Monday, May 31, 2010

Quinoa, Take 2

NOTE: This photo is of the salad minus the mixed greens! Now you have a visual!
So I was invited to my friend's house for a BBQ and of course I offered to make something to bring. She said make a salad. Lately I've been eating a lot of quinoa and actually looking for it more and more on menus. I haven't had much luck finding many restaurants that serve quinoa. Oh well, I was going to make a salad that contained quinoa for the BBQ. I went with a Greek themed salad. I bought red inca quinoa at the supermarket for the salad. Now, not sure if you remember that last time I made quinoa, but if you click here, you'll remind yourself that it wasn't a big hit. I finally can say that I think I just overcooked it, if that's even possible.
I totally forgot to take a photo of this recipe, but I swear I made the salad and literally there was not a leaf left in the bowl! Everyone enjoyed it very much and my views of quinoa have changed forever. I can't wait to make this salad again!
Here's the list of ingredients you'll need to make this easy, healthy, protein-packed, light summery, and perfect-for-a-bbq salad!
Greek Style Quinoa Salad (serves 8 people)
1 cup uncooked red inca quinoa (if you prefer white quinoa that's fine too!)
1 container of mixed greens
1 red bell pepper
1 container of grape tomatoes cut in halves or quarters
1 english cucumber peeled and chopped
1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 bunch parsley chopped
1 block of your favorite feta (I used Israeli feta)
Greek Dressing
the juice of 1 and a half lemons
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1. In a pot bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Pour cooked quinoa in a sieve and then rinse quinoa with cold water to cool off. Drain and set aside.
2. Place the mixed greens into a large salad bowl. Cut the vegetables to your desired size and place in the salad bowl. Place chickpeas in the bowl as well.
3. Place cooked quinoa and parsley in the salad bowl. Break up the feta with clean hands and place in the salad.
4. To make the dressing combine ingredients and pour over salad. Toss to combine ingredients and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mozzarella Sticks

Mozzarella Sticks just like you remember them when you were a kid, or maybe you still eat them. These sound/look pretty amazing and seem easy to make! Click here for a link to the recipe...All you need is string cheese, panko bread crumbs, some herbs, eggs with a splash of milk and your favorite store bought marinara or try my really easy tomato sauce!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Fried Goat Cheese Salad
Baby Arugula
Sliced Beets (for recipe click here)
Sliced Granny Smith Apples coated in lemon juice (to prevent browning)
Fried Goat Cheese cakes (click here)
Lemony Dressing (recipe below)
I put the apples slices in a baggie with the lemon juice so that the arugula doesn't get soggy. As you can probably guess, I am going to be taking this salad to work tomorrow for lunch, hence the plastic container. So the day I brought this salad to work the beet juice kinda got all over, so maybe those should go in a separate baggie as well.
Lemony Dressing (serves 2)
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
a few dashes of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and drizzle over salad. YES, IT'S REALLY THAT EASY!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Make Your Own Tapas

So you know I love Sala 19, a tapas restaurant in NYC, well anyway there are many things that I love there. I was making an arugula, apple, beet, and goat cheese salad and wanted to make my goat cheese into fried cakes, like they do at tapas restaurants. Except I was not putting the honey on it for my salad. It turns out that it's a pretty easy tapas to make (another easy one is my other favorite, bacon wrapped dates).
If you do want to do it like they do at tapas restaurants all you need to do is follow my recipe and then drizzle honey or agave nectar on the warm little cheese cakes and there you have it, your own tapas minus the bill. Here's the recipe for the fried goat cheese....
Fried Goat Cheese
goat cheese log
panko bread crumbs
2 eggs with a little water (to make an egg wash)
pan with olive oil for frying
honey or agave (optional for drizzling)
To make the cheese cakes, cut the goat cheese log into slices that are about 1 inch thick. (If the cut doesn't come out clean it's okay. You'll just use your hands to roll them into a ball and then smoosh them down when frying them in the pan.) Place each goat cheese cake in the flour, shake the excess off, then dip them into the egg wash, then into the panko bread crumbs. Set cakes aside. Prepare a frying pan with olive oil and warm the pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot place the breaded cheese cakes in the pan to fry up. You can smoosh them down now, use a fork or small spatula. Cook each side until golden brown. Top a salad with the cooked fried goat cheese or drizzle some honey or agave for an at home tapas appetizer! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Pineapple Strawberry Mint Slush (serves 2)
1/4 cup pineapple*
strawberries* (about 4-5)
a handful of fresh mint, stems removed
8 ice cubes
2 packets splenda (omit if the fruit is extra sweet)
*Frozen fruit may be substituted for fresh fruit.
Blend ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Add more ice for a more slushier drink. OR Omit the ice and freeze the blended concoction in mold for ice pops on a hot summer day! OR Omit the ice and freeze blended concoction in a dish and make yourself a granita for dessert by scraping the liquid when it is half frozen with a fork, leave scrapings in the dish and refreeze, scrape again when it is fully frozen and scoop the ice shavings into a cosmopolitan glass to serve.
This is me experimenting and making the granita that I mentioned in the notes section above. We'll see if it turns out!
Granita in the making...
Here is the final glass of granita... It turned out delish!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pack in the Protein

Sorry for being a little MIA lately. I've been dealing with some stuff (as I like to call it) and been pretty busy. I'm here, and still cooking, but just a lot less. Now that the Summer is approaching I am going to try to focus on some light and healthy recipes. To begin, I'm starting with a very simple meal that is packed full of protein and hardly no fat, if any. For dinner last night I made broiled tilapia with tzatziki sauce and sliced tomatoes.
This is almost like a no-recipe recipe. All you need to do is get yourself a tilapia fillet from your closest fresh fish market. Sprinkle the fillet with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a light drizzle of olive oil. Place it in a baking dish or pan or on tinfoil handmade thingamajig....below is a picture of what I'm talking about.
Place the fillet into the oven about 10 inches below the broiler and broil for about 15 minutes on high. The fish should have turned from translucent to an opaque white. You can flip the fillet after 8 minutes to cook the other side. Now that the fish is cooked place some tzatziki (for recipe click here) on the fish and serve it with a side of sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper! That's it! Easy, tasty, and light and healthy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce
0% fat Fage Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped dill
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 persian cucumber peeled and finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 dashes or red wine vinegar
Mix all ingredients together and let it sit in the fridge so the flavors marry.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

Lately, I have been craving a good chicken tikka masala, however I never fulfill my craving because I don't know where to get good Indian food. I know, I know, I live in NYC where there are more Indian joints than I know what to do with, but the question is, are they good? I have no idea, so I don't attempt to order or visit any of them in fear of being disappointed or sick (haha). By the way I am no Indian food connoisseur, I have only had Indian a handful of times, and all time it has been Chicken Tikka Masala. I know you're thinking that I'm a real risk taker....sorry. I like what I like and I continue to eat what I like. Let me just say that Trader Joe's makes a good frozen dinner of Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice for those of you who frequent the frozen dinner aisle.
Anyways, a few weeks ago I had some good Tikka Masala with some friends up in Rockland County and since then I've been craving this yummy fulfilling chicken dinner! Instead of risking it at any of the restaurants around where I live, I decided I'd go ahead and make it for dinner last night! I found this recipe onThe Pioneer Woman Cooks, a blog I follow.
A few notes regarding the recipe:
1) I followed the recipe exactly with some additions. (I sprinkled salt to the chicken before coating in yogurt. And I did not add cayenne pepper for heat, instead added more serrano chile peppers, 2 to be exact.
2) I wasn't quit sure about broiling the chicken like they say to do, but I am glad to announce that this is a great way to make chicken if you want a bbq taste. I did 10 minutes on each side and the chicken came out amazing on its own!
3) The recipe makes A LOT of tikka, I didn't even know what to do with it all. I ate some for dinner and saved some for lunch the next day but still ended up with so much sauce! I ended up giving it to my parents and brother to eat for lunch at the office today. I wonder how they'll like it...
Here are some pictures that document my journey to fulfilling my Chicken Tikka Masala craving...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...