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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pan Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

Light, easy and delicious!

3 center-cut bacon slices (feel free to use turkey bacon to be healthier!!!  you know I DID!)  ;)
1 1/2 Lbs jumbo sea scallops
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
1 Cup chopped onion
6 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
12 oz fresh baby spinach
4 lemon wedges (optional)

1.  Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tbsp drippings in pan; coarsely chop and set bacon aside.  Increase heat to high.
2.  Pat scallops dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt and pepper.  Add scallops to drippings in pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done.  Transfer to a plate; keep warm.  Reduce heat to med-high.  Add onion and garlic to pan; saute 3 mins stirring frequently.  Add half of spinach, cook 1 minute stirring frequently.  Add remaining half of spinach, cook 2 mins or until wilted.  Remove from heat; stir in remaining salt and pepper.  Divide spinach mixture among 4 plates; top each with crumbled bacon and scallops.  Serve with lemon wedge to drizzle over scallops.

Fresh Watermelon Margaritas

Easy, tasty, refreshing, and low calorie!!!  I tripled the recipe and filled a giant tupperware pitcher and brought these on the boat over the weekend.  I poured them over ice -  major hit with fellow boaters!

Serves 6

3 1/2 Cups cubed, seeded watermelon
3/4 Cup tequila
2 Tbsp splenda
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp Triple Sec (orange flavored liqueur)

Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.  Pour into a salt or sugar-rimmed glass (optional) over ice. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

YUM!  This was so delicious.  I used it as a side dish with shrimp as my entree.  It is so flavorful, light and scrumptious for the summer. 
Serves 4

1 Cup uncooked orzo
1 Cup whole kernel yellow corn
12 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 Green onions, chopped
1 15oz Can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 Cup lowfat buttermilk
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp light sour cream
2 Tbsp lowfat mayo
1 Tsp chili powder
1 Tsp crushed or ground red pepper
1/2 Tsp kosher salt
1/4 Tsp ground black pepper
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
Avocado and Parsley optional for garnish

1.  Cook orzo according to package.  Drain well.  Place orzo, corn, onions, tomatoes and beans in a large bowl.  Toss.
2.  Combine buttermilk, cilantro and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl.  Whisk.  Drizzle over orzo, toss well. 

Serve room temperature or chilled.  I made the sauce and the orzo mixture ahead of time, then tossed them together right before serving.  Excellent!  You could make this an entree and put a nice piece of grilled fish on top of the mixture.  Squeeze some extra lime over it and voila!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rocket Arugula Salad

This is sooooo flavorful, fresh, green and healthy.  I use it often for a side dish.  There aren't many ingredients, because arugula is so peppery and flavorful on its own. 

Serves 4

1 container Roquette Arugula
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
10 Cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 Cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Whisk together lemon juice, zest, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss lettuce into dressing.  Add tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and parmesan.  Toss thoroughly and serve.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pina Colada Sorbet

YUM!!!  Outstanding flavor, and good for you!  Perfect sweet treat for the summer. 

3 Cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 Cup coconut water
1/2 Cup sugar (I used SPLENDA!)
1 Cup light coconut milk
2/3 Cup cream of coconut

1.  Place first three ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and sugar dissolves.  Combine pureed mixture and remaining ingredients in a bowl; whisk.  Cover and refridgerate until thoroghly chilled.
2.  Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container.  Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.

Note:  I do not know what this recipe was talking about on step # 2!  I just poured it into a tupperware and stuck in the freezer.  Obviously, my sorbet didn't turn out like typical sorbet (soft), BUT, it still tastes the same.  You just have to let it thaw a bit before spooning into a bowl! Haha!

***Additional Note!***  My friend and colleague, Anne Schneider, made a fantastic point.  She said if you don't have an ice cream maker, to use popsicle molds and make Pina Colada Popsicles!!  Kids will love it too!  Great idea, Anne!!

Vidalia Onion Casserole

This sounded so good I had to try it.  I thought it was delicious.  I made it as a side dish with filet mignon and the Greens with Golden Raisins dish.  Hy husband, Adam, was in the mood for heavy sides, such as a potato dish, but I opted for this healthier version.  He liked it, but obviously not as much as maybe a potato-y, cheesy, gooey, FATTENING dish.  All in all, for a lighter version, it is a delicious and an easy accompaniment to steaks!

This recipe serves 6.  I altered my version for just two of us.

1 Tbsp EVOO
4 Cups chopped Vidalia Onions
1 Cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2/3 Cup 2% reduced fat milk
1/2 Cup (2 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 Tsp ground allspice
Cooking Spray
1/3 Cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 325
2.  Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add oil, swirl to coat.  Add onion; saute 5 mins or until tender.  Place onion in a large bowl.
3.  Cook rice according to package instructions.  Rinse and drain.
4.  Stir rice and next 5 ingredients (milk, gruyere, salt, pepper, allspice) into onions.  Spoon onion mixture into a ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.  Cover and bake at 325 for 40 minutes.  Uncover, turn up oven to broil and cook about 4-5 minutes until top gets browned and bubbly.  Top with parsley if desired.

Greens with Golden Raisins

This was so delicious!  My husband wasn't a HUGE fan, but that's because he's rather have eaten french fries instead of greens for a side dish!  Haha.  I thought it was so flavorful.  I used extra raisins - they were so good.

2 Tbsp canola oil (I used EVOO)
1/2 Cup golden raisins
1 Small white onion, halved and sliced thin
6 Ounces chopped fresh escarole (I used one bunch)
1 Lb fresh baby spinach (I used a Fresh Express bag)
1/2 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala (Indian spice found in specialty stores (I went to Whole Foods)).

1.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Add raisins and onion to pan; cook for about 5 minutes until onions are slightly browned.  Add escarole and spinach (don't worry if it is overflowing the pan, it cooks down quickly).  Mix around until greens wilt, about 3 minutes.  Stir in salt and garam masala.  Serve hot.  Yum!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grilled Corn with Roasted Jalepeno Butter

This recipe came from Cooking Light magazine.  I love corn on the cob, and this sounded so tasty!  It was so easy, and my husband and I loved it.  Although, the recipe in the magazine served 6...I followed their recipe for the jalepeno butter but just used it on 2 ears of corn.  (I like a lot of jalepenos and butter!)  Also, I shaved the corn off the cob and tossed it into the butter mix so it would spread evently.  Delish!

2 Ears of corn-on-the-cob, shucked
1 Jalepeno
1 Tsp lime rind
1 Tsp honey
3 Tbsp melted margarine or butter
Pinch of salt

1.  Broil jalepeno in oven about 5 minutes, rotating to char each side.  Immediately after broiling, place jalepeno in ziploc bag, seal and leave to steam for about 10 minutes. 

2.  Place corn on foil or grill rack and grill on medium-high for 10 minutes, turning occasionally and charring slightly.

3.  Remove jalepeno from ziploc, peel outside, remove seeds and chop.

4.  Melt butter, and mix in lime rind, honey, salt and jalepeno.

5.  Shave corn from cob, and toss in the butter mixture. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Southwest Shrimp Cobb Salad

Many of you may have seen this on the cover of Cooking Light last month.  This was OUTSTANDING!  I added some veggies and flare to my version and it was a huge hit with the hubby and I!

Serves 4

5 Slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1 Lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Tsp paprika
1/4 Tsp black pepper
Cooking Spray
1/4 Tsp salt, divided
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tsp dijon mustard
1 (10oz) package romaine salad
2 Cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Cup shredded carrots
1 Cup frozen whole corn (or canned corn)
1 Ripe peeled avocado, cut into about 8 wedges
1/2 Can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 fresh Jalepenos, seeded and chopped
1/4 Cup chopped red onion

1.  Cook bacon however desired.
2.  Coat pan with nonstick spray.  Add shrimp to pan; toss shrimp in paprika, salt and pepper.  Cook on med-high heat about 2 minutes on each side, or until pink all the way through.  Set aside.
3.  Mix salt, lemon juice, oil and mustard in a large bowl and whisk.  Add lettuce and toss.
4.  Layer lettuce with carrots, corn, black beans, shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, jalepenos, and onion.