Sunday, July 14, 2013

Grilled Salad

I've noticed grilled salads on food blogs for years but have never tried it. I have no excuse because my husband loves to grill. So, when he fired up his new grill the other night, I ran out at the last minute with 4 leaves of romaine. He threw them on the grill...I held my breath...and they were amazing! They took on the flavor of the smoke and bit of barbecue sauce that he had been brushing on veggie burgers a few minutes prior. So I must share, if you haven't tried this before...

Grilled Salad
2 full leaves per serving (a hearty lettuce like romaine or butter)
Olive oil spray/brush

Cut or break off entire leaf (stalk and all), wash, and pat dry. Using olive oil spray or a cup of oil and a brush, lightly coat the lettuce on both sides.

Grill leaves on each side for 2-3 minutes. Top of leaves will wilt a little but will still taste smoky and amazing. Pair with a smoky dressing (Annie's Mushroom worked well) and crisp veggie toppings.

Happy eating!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Blueberry Smoothie

Matt & I went berry picking on Saturday. I've never done it before, but I was so giddy excited about it.  1)I love berries. 2)There is a collection of berry farms a mere 30 minutes from our house. 3)Picking your own is just too fun, especially for a girl who didn't grow up on a farm.

So we drove, we picked raspberries and blueberries, and I tried not to eat everyone that fell from the bushes. We came home with about 5 pounds if berries and, compared to the other darn visitors, that was nothing. One family had 50 pounds of raspberries that they picked...crazy!

So here's a simple recipe to start your day. If the blender sound doesn't wake you up, surely the refreshing berry taste will. Enjoy!

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie
10 large ice cubes (2 handfuls)
6 oz plain or blueberry flavored yogurt
1/2 cup lemonade
2 large bananas
1/2 cup blueberries
2-3 cups spinach (optional)

Blend all ingredients together and serve immediately. Makes two 1 1/2-cup servings.

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July!

It's been far too long! How was your 4th? Patriotic?

I got back from a middle school church camp yesterday so, needless to say, my energy wasn't as high as usual to pack a deluxe picnic, pick out the best spot to see fireworks and stay up late with friends. So we had a low-key, super delicious 4th at home.

On the Menu:
Hot dogs and brats with wheat and potato buns
Pork ribs (for Matt)
5-ingredient corn casserole
Super easy baked beans
Mini cherry pies with whipped cream and blueberry sauce

I won't add all of the recipes here because Matt did the grilling but these are the ones made inside in the air cond--we don't have A/C, so I made the dishes that didn't involve sweating. :)

5-ingredient Corn Casserole
Adapted from the apologetic Paula Deen    
$3 to make, serves 8

1 can whole kernal corn, drained (15 oz)
1 can cream corn (15 oz)
1 cup light sour cream
1 package of cornbread mix, like Jiffy (8 oz)
4 TB melted butter or margarine 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well blended. (Add a dash of garlic powder if you like.)

In a 'greased' 9X13 baking dish, pour the batter. Spread out evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, or until middle is cooked through and edges are slightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. (Optional: drizzle top with melted butter or honey butter for sweetness.)

Super Easy Baked Beans
A super easy way to stretch baked beans ($$), combining seasoned beans with plain cuts down on sugar, calories and salt, while adding protein and 'fillingness' to your plate. No more puddles of syrupy goo taking over your plate anymore. :)
6 servings

1 can baked beans (flavor + size of your choice)
1 can kidney beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons mustard of your choice (optional; spicy, regular, dijon)

Combine both cans and mustard into a medium pot; stir. Cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot!

I hope you have taken a moment to be thankful for our freedoms as residents of the United States. More of the 4th of July recipes to come, including the mini cherry pies...yummm!

Happy eating!