Italy at Home

We decided to go vegetarian a couple days a week for a handful of reasons. Day one was successful and this recipe helped tremendously! The recipe says it serves 4-6 people… it served 2 in our house 🙈. I highly suggest making his for your next gathering. This bruschetta is slathered with a rich layer of goat cheese, topped with mouth-watering roasted tomatoes, and drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic reduction. If you’ve never had bruschetta like this before, your life will instantly be changed after trying one bite.

Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 carton of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 loaf of French bread, sliced

4 oz. goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Basil, fresh or dried

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice tomatoes and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

3. Lay sliced French bread pieces on a baking sheet and spread with olive oil.

4. Bake tomatoes for 20 minutes or until well roasted. Halfway through baking the tomatoes, place sliced French bread in for 10 minutes.

5. In the meantime, place goat cheese and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix with a hand-held mixer until well blended and creamy.

6. To make balsamic reduction, place vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high until boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Vinegar is done once it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

7. Spread a thick layer of cheese on bread. Top with tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Sprinkle basil on top.

8. Serve immediately.

NOTES

Adapted from Joyful Healthy Eats.

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Thai Lettuce Wraps

After my husband got back from Thailand he could NOT stop raving about the food.  I never thought much about Thai food but he insisted that it was delicious and that I should A. Learn how to make his favorites and B. Find an authentic Thai restaurant to go to. We went to a Thai restaurant and I very much enjoyed it!

In high school I used to enjoy lettuce wraps so I figured I’d recreate them!

Ingredients for wraps:

  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • Lime
  • Carrots
  • 1 package Ground Chicken
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
  • Rice paper

Directions:

  • Chop scallions, chop mint, chop cilantro, chop cucumbers and carrots into small pieces.
  • Add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder to the ground chicken, sauté.
  • Towards the end of the sauté, zest the lime over the chicken.
  • Soak each sheet of rice paper in a shallow container of water for a minute or two, I used a 9×9 baking dish. It is ok if they are still wet after taking out of the water as the water is absorbed quickly as the roll is made and becomes easier to fold.
  • Fill the rice paper with the ingredients and wrap it like a burrito! My rice paper wrapping skills are NOT stellar… but it was delicious nonetheless. You can dip it into the peanut sauce or line the wrap with peanut sauce before you add the ingredients to it…or do both because its yummy.

Ingredients for peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 drops of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Directions: Mix all together thoroughly until there is a creamy consistency.

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Summer Salad

If you’re looking for a DELICIOUS, refreshing, light salad  — see below!! This salad is full of color and full of flavor.

(Image is a different variation of this salad)

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR DRESSING:

1 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves

1 clove Fresh Garlic

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil

FOR THE SALAD:

Spinach

a handful of grape tomatoes, quartered

Any color bell pepper, diced

2 cups grilled yellow Corn (about 2 ears)

2 Avocados, diced

1 medium Red Onion, diced

1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw & Lime Crema

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This meal is delicious — it is not something I would’ve ever thought to make for myself because I’m generally very picky but I have to say this pleasantly surprised me!

Time: 40 minutes

Recipe makes enough for 2

*Nut Free & Spicy*

Ingredients:

– 2 chicken breast

– flour tortillas

– 1 lime

– 2 Tablespoons of sour cream

– 1 bunch cilantro

– 1 mango

– 1 avocado

-1 red onion

– jar of Chipotles in Adobo

Let’s do this:

Chop the cilantro, zest and halve the lime. Halve, peel and finely chop 1/2 of the red onion. Peel the mango, cut around the flat seed, then into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the slices into thin strips to create matchsticks.

Make the lime creme: in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the mango slaw: in a medium bowl, toss the mango, red onion,  cilantro, juice of remaining lime and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Halve, pit and scoop out the avocado flesh into a small bowl, mash with fork and season with salt and pepper.

Salt & pepper the chicken on both sides.

Rub or brush both sides of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of adobo (the sauce in the jar of chipotle peppers).

Heat olive oil in large pan, add chicken – cook until slightly charred.

Heat tortillas in the oven or microwave.

Thinly slice the chicken. Spread the mashed avocado onto tortillas and top with chicken, mango slaw and lime creme.

Serve tacos with the remaining mango slaw to the side. If you make it, let me know what you think. Enjoy! 

Bison Burger

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The last time that we were in Colorado we had Elk chili and Bison burgers. Now, if you know me you know that I’m not a huge meat eater, never mind meat that is ‘out of the norm’ but I cannot deny that both were good! Since we moved to the middle of nowhere in North Carolina without great grocery stores I have made even LESS meat… but then I found my new favorite store – Harris Teeter! Some people may think, ‘oh, just a Harris Teeter?’ but clearly you’ve never seen my other options- yuck! This place doesn’t have 19 year olds with 3 kids running around the store, you don’t find deodorant in the dairy section because someone just up and thought, ‘hmmm deodorant? who needs it’ when looking at yogurt. This place plays soothing music, has LED lit aisles to save $ and energy AND their produce is not only locally grown but SO fresh and beautiful.

Anyway, back to the Bison Burger. I found some very lean very organic bison and decided to try to reproduce the bison burgers I saw in Colorado- here it is!

1 pound Ground Bison*
4 Gluten Free Buns, split and toasted, try these: http://udisglutenfree.com/products/classic-hamburger-buns/
Salt and pepper

1. Shape Ground Bison into four 1/2 inch thick patties.

2. Heat your pan with olive oil, do not add your patties until the pan is hot.

3. Pan fry, turning once, just until the pink has disappeared.

4. Toast your buns in the oven.

**I added, two pieces of turkey bacon, a slice of tomato, provolone cheese and a small amount of chopped onion to each burger**. 

Serves 4.
Per patty: 156 calories; 9.1 g fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium.

Recipe of the Day

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, which will fill you up and kick your unhealthy cravings to the curb. Plus, it’s easy to make.

Ingredients: Millet (can substitute for cous-cous or rice) Salt Onions Assorted vegetables Tomatoes Garlic Cayenne pepper Parsley Basil leaves

Steps:

1. Pour 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt into a pot and bring to a boil

2.  Add the millet to the pot and cook until all the liquid is absorbed In another skillet, sauté onions and your favorite vegetables in little olive oil until soft About 5 minutes before your vegetables are cooked, add fresh tomatoes to the mix for extra flavor

3.Then, mix the millet and cooked veggies together

4. For seasoning, add garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley and basil leaves

Now, go ahead and enjoy your healthy eats! This recipe is so simple and it’s a great option for lunch or dinner. Try making your vegetable millet the night before, refrigerating it, then packing it to throw over a salad at school or work the next day.