Sunday, July 28, 2013

Croque Bolognese

When a dinner is truly so delicious that we are sorry it is over, David and I have a little saying "I could cry over this".  This croque bolognese is one of those meals.  When we traveled in Belgium a few years ago, I would have a croque bolognese every day for lunch.  I'm sure everyone thought I was crazy, but there is nothing better than spaghetti sauce smothered on grilled cheese.  If you try this and don't like it, we can't be friends anymore.  If you make this with a homemade spaghetti sauce you will not be disappointed.  I would like to note that we ate this so quickly we forgot to put parmesan cheese sprinkles on top, don't forget yours!

Ingredients for 4 croque bolognese

8 pieces of sourdough bread
4 slides Tillamook aged white cheddar cheese
olive oil

1. Heat spaghetti sauce in a small sauce pan on the stove.
2. Meanwhile, put cheese slices in between the bread (a la grilled cheese people).
3. Heat a few swirls of olive oil in a pan, turn the pan to make sure the oil covers the bottom of the pan.
4. Place sandwiches in the hot pan, cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown
5. Place sandwiches on plates and drown them in delicious bolognese (aka cover in spaghetti sauce).
6. Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pesto Potato Salad

This salad is basically an Americanized version of Salad Nicoise but I can't think of a way to say Salad Nicoise and still make you interested in this post because of this recipe 2 years ago .  However, I really can't express how delicious American potato salad can be when you remove the mayonnaise.  Swapping in pesto is really a great option this time of year when you want to be more figure friendly.  You can make this without the ham if you want this to be vegetarian friendly too.  What are you waiting for?  Go make this now.

Ingredients for 4 as a light dinner

6 medium yukon gold potatoes cut into sixths (or whatever you prefer)
1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed, then cut into 2 inch pieces
1 small squash, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of pesto
2-3 pieces of black forest ham, torn into pieces
1 hardboiled egg
olive oil

1. Start by making your hardboiled egg (the Rachel Ray way).  Put an egg or two in a pot of cold water, put on the stove and heat until boiling.  When boiling, turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes.  Drain in and ice bath.  You have a boiled egg.
2. Meanwhile fill another pot of water with cold water.  Add cubed potatoes and cook until water is boiling and potatoes can be pierced with a knife (about 25 minutes).  You don't want these too mushy, so keep an eye on them.
3. At the last 2 minutes of the boiling, add the chopped green beans.
4. Drain beans and potatoes and set aside
5. In the same pot, heat some olive oil.  When hot add tomatoes, onion and squash and saute about 4-5 minutes until soft.
6. Add potatoes, beans, and sauteed mixture together in a bowl and dollop pesto evenly over the veggies.  Mix carefully, using a bit of olive oil if you need to make the pesto more pliable.
7. Add crumbled hardboiled egg and evenly distribute torn pieces of the ham.
8. Salt and pepper to taste and serve while warm.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Inspired by the butternut squash enchiladas as Cactus restaurant here in Seattle, I threw together these tacos last week on a complete whim.  David was unsure about how these would turn out, but he went along with the plan (as long as I promised not to put any zucchini in as well).  These turned out to be pretty darn good and won even David's seal of approval.  Enjoy on homemade tortillas for an extra special treat.


homemade tortillas
1 shallot, diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can of black beans drainer
goat cheese for sprinkling on top

1. Drizzle olive oil into a large saute pan.  When oil is hot add shallot and cook 2-3 minutes.
2. Add potatoes and stir with shallot.  Then add broccoli and combine.
3. Let the veggies cook for at least 15 minutes.
4. After 15 minutes, sprinkle salt and black pepper on top for taste.
5. Next, stir in black beans to allow them to warm up with the other veggies
6. Once heated through, you are ready to serve.
7. Fill like you would any other tortilla and top with goat cheese and salsa as an extra treat!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Banana Coconut Kale Smoothie

I'm not one of those people who likes to "juice" but ever since my parents gave me a Nutri-bullet I have been making delicious breakfast smoothies with all the extra veggies and fruits in our fridge.  I'm convinced after sampling several smoothies that a banana is a necessary ingredient.  Bananas make everything taste yummy (even kale!) at 5:30 AM, trust me.  If you don't have a Nutri-bullet you should probably go buy one because they are pretty awesome, but a regular blender would work as well.

Ingredients for 1 smoothie

1 banana
1 cup torn kale leaves
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
1/2 cup lowfat milk or almond milk

1. Combine all ingredients in Nutri-bullet and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).  Sprinkle with a little extra coconut and serve immediately.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

We did a lemon chicken recipe a while ago, but after having some inspiring wings at a BBQ over the weekend, I decided to revisit the recipe.  There is definitely a kick to this recipe using both black pepper and cayenne pepper but the lemon mellows it out nicely.  Of course you must serve these with Bleu Cheese dip!  Make this for your 4th of July BBQ tonight!

6 medium size chicken wings
zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like spicy!)
olive oil

1. Lay chicken wings in a glass baking dish or other pan to marinate.
2. Cover evenly with lemon zest, garlic, oregano, peppers and salt
3. Drizzle again with olive oil and let marinate at least an hour
4. When ready, heat broiler or grill (depending on the weather of course).  When hot, add chicken and cook until internal temperature is 165 or juices run clear when cut
5. Serve with Bleu cheese dip