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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs

This is a delicious side dish. Fresh and light. The recipe says you can make it 4 hours ahead of time, but I found that the chickpeas and cheese absorbed some of the juice from the lemon and olive oil. I would prepare everything ahead of time (all dry ingredients) and then toss with liquids and parmesan cheese right before serving for absolute freshness.

Serves: 2Ingredients:

1 15 to 15.5 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 Tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pressed garlic clove
1/3 Cup packed freshly grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with fresh parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad

This was yet again, another recipe from my mom!  This reminds me of so many poolside summer BBQ's.  It instantly makes me happy!  It is very simple, but everyone has always loved it. 

Note - I am using some "estimates" with the ingredient amounts.  Use your judgement.  ;)


1 Box rotini pasta
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dry salad dressing mix (and ingredients to make the salad dressing; olive oil, white vinegar, water)
3 Tbsp Salad Supreme seasoning
1 Can small pitted black olives, sliced in half
About 3 - 4 Cups chopped tomatoes (chopped about 1" pieces)
About 2 1/2 Cups blanched broccoli, cut into small pieces


Cook pasta according to package.  I like mine al dente.  Rinse, drain and set aside.

Mix salad dressing in jar and shake vigorously.  Set aside.

Slice olives, chop tomatoes.  Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute, until slighly cooked but still crisp and bright green.  Rise with cold water and drain.

Add in large tupperware pasta, olives, broccoli, tomatoes, salad supreme and dressing.  Shake vigorously to mix.  Chill for at least one hour, tossing regularly.  Serve chilled.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thai Chicken Salad

Yum!  I love these kinds of salads, but believe it or not I've never actually made one until I tried this!  It's so easy too!  I shredded the lettuce and added some napa cabbage for extra crunch.  :)

4 Servings

6 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded skinless rotisserie chicken breast
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded napa cabbage (optional)
3/4 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
2 tbsp coursely chopped, unsalted peanuts

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine coconut milk and next 5 ingredients in a small sauce pan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool for 2 minutes.  Pour warm coconut milk mixture over lettuce mixture.  Sprinkle with peanuts; serve with optional lime wedges.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Potato Salad

This recipe came from mom.  It is a light potato salad; not too much mayo.  Not everyone likes dill, but it is subtle and the snap peas add a delighful crunch!

Serves 8


1 lb tiny new potatoes, quartered
2 cups fresh snap peas (the flat kind), sliced in half and ends trimmed off
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1 Tsp dill
1 Tbsp chives


Cook potatoes in a small amount of boiling water for 8 minutes.  Add peas for 2-3 more minutes.  Drain thoroughly and cool.  Stir together sour cream, mayo, dill, chives and add a little salt.  Cover and chill.

Asparagus-New Potato Hash

Mom brought this recipe from Southern Living magazine and made it as a side dish with steaks.  It was DELICIOUS!  :)

Serves 8

1 lb small red potatoes
1 lb fresh asparagus
2 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 Cup crumbled fresh farmer's cheese (we used crumbled goat cheese)
Garnish:  lemon slices


1.  Bring potatoes and salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook 15 minutes or just until tender.  Drain well.  Cool 15 minutes and cut into quarters.

2.  Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus.  Cut asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. 

3.  Saute shallots in hot oil in a large non-stick skillet 1 minute.  Add asparagus, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Saute 2-3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender.  Add potatoes, and saute 3 minutes or until mixture is thoroghly heated.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese.  Garnish with lemon slices.

***We put it in the fridge and served it cold like a potato salad.  It was delicious ***

Lemon Bars

Wow!  It's been a while since I've posted something - sorry!  I've been working a lot lately so unfortunately haven't had much time to cook.  My parents came to visit this weekend, so it was a nice chance for mom and I to get in the kitchen.  My mom has always loved sweet things in the morning with coffee, such as pastries, so I decided lemon bars might be nice.  I altered them to make them a little healthier (of course) with Smart Balance margarine and Splenda, and I thought they were great.  My mom said that when you bake, you're supposed to BAKE.  Meaning, load up on the butter and sugar.  Well, you know me, I like to be healthy and I rarely bake.  Suffice to say, these were delicious!!  :)

yield: Makes 24


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in large bowl. Add butter and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture into bottom of 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Maintain oven temperature.
Beat eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour and lemon peel in medium bowl to blend. Pour into crust. Bake until mixture is set, about 20 minutes. Cool.
Cut into 24 bars. Sift powdered sugar over top before serving.