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Archive for April, 2009

tofu-eggplant

This is one of my new favorites out of Another Taste of Aloha.  Warm and flavorfull, vegetarians and meat lovers alike will love this meal!  Full of eggplantand tofu, you don’t really need to serve it with a salad or side veggie dish, but I like to steam a bit of baby bok choy topped with just a little butter and salt for added flavor.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Serves 8

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds round eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 20 ounces (1 package) firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

Instructions:

Heat oil and saute the garlic until lightly browned.  Add eggplant, water, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook until almost tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the green onions and cayenne and simmer for 3 more minutes.  Gently stir in tofu and allow to warm.  Serve with rice.

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imgp30981I first made this pizza a few weeks ago with my good friend Nancy, and it was so good that I could not wait to make it again! It’s light and healthy and a perfect summertime meal for lunch or dinner. My friend Jessica was coming over for lunch today and I wanted to make something yummy for her and thought she would love it. I love that there are so few ingredients in it, so it is fairly inexpensive to make, quick to put together, and delicious to eat! I prepared some strawberries and peaches to balance out our meal, which paired perfectly with the pizza. We had a fun and very yummy lunch and I would definitely recommend this pizza to anyone who likes spinach, goat cheese, and tomatoes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Pillsbury Pizza Dough (thin or thick crust- I like thin crust better)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (buy pre-grated!)
  • 6 oz bag fresh spinach (I used 6 cups of spinach)
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled (I just used one container)
  • Vegetable or olive oil (for brushing the dough)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Spread the dough on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and the Parmesan. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Toss the spinach with olive oil. 
  4. Top the crust with the spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese. 
  5. Drizzle the pizza with more olive oil and bake for 15 minutes more (until crust is golden brown, cheese is melting, and spinach starts to wilt down). 

Slice pizza with a pizza cutter and serve with fruit salad or side of your choice! 

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Prepared Pizza ready to bake...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All done & ready to eat!

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imgp3087I love sandwiches but sometimes I don’t want to have them for lunch because I go into a carb overload and crash. I do love sandwiches with fish though because they are lighter and in my opinion healthier! This is a healthy sandwich with lots of vitamins and nutrients that definitely won’t weigh you down or put you into an afternoon food-coma. It can be put together in just a few minutes too! Make the salmon salad in advance if you have time and put the sandwich together right before you are ready to eat it! You will get plenty of Omega-3’s in the salmon and avocado and will feel good about yourself after eating this sandwich! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 6 oz can salmon, drained
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 pieces Swiss cheese
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Drain salmon and place in a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp mayonnaise and mix in with a fork. Add in sliced green onions, salt, and pepper, and mix together.
  2. Place as much of the salmon as you want to use on one slice of bread. Depending on how hungry I am I will use half or all of it! Place avocado and then cheese over the salmon. Top with other slice of bread and cut in half.

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Serve with fruit, chips, crackers, or veggies. Enjoy!

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imgp3068Since we have been having beautiful summer-like weather in Colorado this week, I have been dying to make pasta salad! We are making hamburgers for dinner tonight and I thought what would go better with burgers than pasta salad! I got all of the ingredients this afternoon for less than $15! I was excited to make this today and load it up with colorful veggies. I like to try to get all different colors of veggies in my meals- like I always say, the more colorful, the more nutritious! This pasta salad makes a very large portion- it would be great to take to a BBQ or potluck or just make if you want lots of leftovers! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package tri-color pasta
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can sweet golden corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups grated carrots (I buy mine pre-grated)
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes, chopped in halves
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 16oz bottle Italian salad dressing (less if desired)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

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Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (will take about 10-12 minutes)
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies and place in a large bowl. 
  3. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Place pasta in bowl with veggies and mix in well. Add in Italian dressing and mix in well. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir in gently (or else it will fly everywhere!) 
  4. Place in the fridge and let chill before serving (recommended but not required).

Notes- Use as much of the Italian salad dressing as desired. After I poured it all in, I was thinking oops, maybe that is too much! I love salad dressing and my boyfriend hates it, so I am curious what he will say when (and if :)) he tries the pasta salad. Depending on who you are serving, you can use as much or as little of the salad dressing (and the veggies as you like). I also bought the fat free dressing. I honestly don’t taste a difference between fat free, lowfat, and regular dressings, and looking at the three different kinds in the store, the fat free looked the least oily and greasy to me. 

Feel free to add or substitute other veggies in- other ones that came to mind for me were fresh spinach, yellow peppers, red peppers, orange peppers, black beans, etc!

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Dinner!!

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imgp30421On Monday, my boyfriend had a big day ahead of him. After a few too many drinks the night before, I promised I would wake up early and make breakfast for him before he left the house. When 7am rolled around and he woke me up, asking if I still wanted to make him breakfast, of course it was the LAST thing I wanted to do! But I am not one to break promises, so I got out of bed and started cooking! I made his favorite- eggs, toast, and bacon. Everything was ready in less than 10 minutes too! He was energized and ready to start the day off right and I was happy to be able to contribute to it! 🙂 Here is the quick and easy recipe that anyone can make- for themselves or for someone special!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • Splash of milk
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar (or cheese of your choice)
  • 2 slices whole wheat toast
  • 2 slices turkey bacon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and cheese. Place in a small buttered frying pan and cook at low heat until eggs begin to scramble. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Stir every few minutes. Be careful not to overcook eggs!
  2. While eggs are cooking, place toast in the toaster and cook until it becomes golden brown and toasty to your preference.
  3. Place 2 slices of bacon in the microwave (we put the bacon on a paper plate in between two paper towels to absorb any grease and prevent splattering in the microwave). Cook for 1.5 to 2 minutes, until bacon is crispy.
  4. When toast is finished, butter it (or put jam on it if you like) and arrange it around the edges of the plate, as above. Place scrambled eggs in the middle and top with the bacon.

 Enjoy! This is a meal that looks as good as it tastes! 🙂

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Although today may be Earth Day, every single day we should all strive to minimize our environmental footprint.  Food products use so many packages, most of which are plastic and non-biodegradable.  Here are a few ways to reduce waste and reuse items in your kitchen.

  • Grow a vegetable garden.  Not only will the food be fresher and without all of the chemicals used by mainstream farmers, but you will cut down on the energy used to transport the food as well as the packages it arrives in.
  • Shop at the farmers market.  Support your local farmers and purchase healthier, fresher and many times more inexpensive food, all at the same time.  Make sure to bring a reusable bag so you don’t have to use their plastic ones.
  • Minimize the # of plastic bags you use at the grocery store.  Let’s face it, you can’t get everything at the farmers market, but this doesn’t mean you need to use a million plastic bags at the super market either.  I bring reusable bags and fill them with my purchases in my cart as I shop.  Not only do I not use the plastic bags at checkout, it also means I don’t need to use a produce bag for each fruit and veggie I buy.
  • Make sure to recycle all items that can be; either through a recycling center or within your own home.  I save all of the glass/plastic containers with lids that can be used again to pack lunches, save leftovers etc.  One of my favorite things to do is collect cool glass jars to use as flower vases!
  • Start a worm farm or some other type of composting system.  Not only will you reduce your amount of waste going to the landfill, the by-product of the worm farm is one of the most excellent fertilizers you can find – perfect for your garden!!!

These are just a few starting off ideas….got any others I forgot? Please share!

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Green salad, potato salad and curried rice salad were the perfect additions to the steak my dad BBQ'd!

Green salad, potato salad and curried rice salad were the perfect additions to the steak my dad BBQ'd!

For a recent family dinner my mom made this amazing potato salad (from Barefoot Contessa at Home) that was very unlike her usual, and very, very delicious.  She used the fresh dill from the produce box she gets from our neighbors organic farm and our entire family couldn’t stop talking about how yummy it was!  For your next dinner party, BBQ or potluck, give this recipe a try – I am positive you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds small red potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, milk or white wine
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 T. whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill (save some of this to sprinkle on top before just before serving)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup medium-diced celery
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion

Place the potatoes and 2 T. salt in a large pot of water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender but firm.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, buttermilk, Dijon, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 t. salt and 1 t. pepper. Set aside.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and pour dressing over them. Add the celery and red onion, 2 t. salt and 1 t. pepper. Toss well, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.

* Don’t skimp on the fresh dill – it is really what makes this salad so delicious. It looks pretty with dill sprinkled on top – so save a little to chop and add at the last minute.

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