Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pesto Chick'n Salad

Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches Recipe

2 Tbsp Pesto Sauce (recipe here)
2 Tbsp Vegenaise dairy/egg-free mayo
2 Tbsp plain yogurt (or soy yogurt/tofutti brand sour cream for a dairy-free version, if you wish)
1/2 of a 12oz package of Quorn brand Chick'n Tenders, thawed
1/2 of a Red Pepper, roasted (see how to roast a red pepper here)
4 slices of whole grain bread, lightly toasted
Lettuce and tomato for sandwich toppings

In a medium bowl, stir together pesto, mayo, and yogurt until blended.  Stir in chicken and peppers.  toss until coated.
For a less "chunky" chick'n salad, you can place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency.

Spread once slice of toast with the chick'n salad mixture.  Top with lettuce, tomato, and another slice of toast. 

Recipe yields ~4 sandwiches

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bowtie Pasta with Arugula, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese

Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese Walnuts and Arugula

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, coarsely chopped
6 oz uncooked Bowtie pasta
2 cups baby arugula, trimmed
2 Tbsp fresh herbs (chives, basil, oregano, parsley, etc)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (optional)
3 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 Tbsp pasta water for later use.

Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl.  Immediately add arugula and tomatoes and toss well.  Cover bowl with lid or tight fitting plastic wrap.  Set aside until arugula is limp, about 5 minutes.  Stir in herbs.

In a cup, stir together vinegar, oil, reserved Tbsp of pasta water, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper in a cup.  Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss well.  Sprinkle with blue cheese.  

Recipe taken from: Weight Watchers

Roasted Tomato Bread Soup

I make this recipe at least twice every year during my abundant harvest of tomatoes from my garden.  It is SO good and my family loves it!  It makes the entire house smell delightful.  If you don't have a garden, go out to a farmer's market and load up on some fresh garden tomatoes to make this soup today.  It is sure to please!

15 medium sized tomatoes of any variety, cored and roughly chopped
1 pint grape/cherry tomatoes
1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 leeks, cleaned and roughly cut
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 small/medium heads garlic (cut tops off of entire head)
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 loaf rustic bread
4 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
1 bunch basil, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 275.  
Place all vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet.  Do not overlap vegetables (try to place in a single layer).  Generously drizzle olive oil over the mix.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 3-4 hours (your house will smell AMAZING!).  Vegetables should look nicely roasted, browned and carmely.

Once you feel vegetables are roasted, remove from oven and squeeze all the garlic from the skins.  Place all vegetables in the blender/food processor and pulse for 7-10 seconds.  Leave the mix chunky.  Put the roasted tomato soup in a large stock pot with the vegetable broth.  Bring to a simmer and add basil.  Adjust amount of stock to your taste if needed.  Let soup simmer for 15 minutes.  

Place bread in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes to dry it out.  Place soup in bowls and top with torn bread pieces and some Parmesan cheese (optional).  Serve with a tossed green salad for a complete meal.  

Heirloom Tomato Salad

This recipe was taken from Northstar Cafe.  I had their heirloom tomato salad a few weeks ago and my taste buds haven't stopped screaming for it ever since!  Well, guess what I made with my tomato harvest last week!?!  You have to try this recipe...it's perfect for a light, tasty end of summer meal!

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vinegar (I used balsalmic)
1 tsp mustard (I used spicy brown mustard because that is all I had in the frig)
1 tsp honey or cane sugar
1 Tbsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, etc).
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lbs heirloom tomatoes (mixture of colors and varieties)
salt and pepper to taste
blue cheese crumbles (optional)
fresh basil 
Serve with warm, grilled crusty bread 

Whisk or blend in a blender olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey/sugar, herbs, and garlic. 
Core the tomatoes and cut out any blemishes, then slice the tomatoes in 1/2-inch thick to 1-inch thick slices.
Arrange different colors and varieties of tomato slices on two plates, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and top with blue cheese crumbles.  Drizzle with dressing, garnish with fresh basil.  
Serve immediately with warm, crusty bread.