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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grape and Avocado Arugula Salad


    Salad Ingredients:
  • 6 cups fresh arugula, loosely packed
  • 2 cups halved seedless grapes, red or green or a mix
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
  • half a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • balsamic vinaigrette (ingredients below)
  • White Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or traditional balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or agave nectar, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper


To Make The Salad:
Add salad ingredients to a bowl, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
To Make The Vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together for 30 seconds until combined.
*If you want to add some extra protein, add chicken, shrimp, or crispy tofu!  (Serves 2-4.)

FIVE Interchangeable Chicken Salads!

All of these recipes start with the Basic Chicken Salad (see below) but can also be eaten on its own! Switching out a few ingredients from the Basic Chicken Salad transforms the salads' flavors and textures.

Basic Chicken Salad:
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Almond Chutney Chicken Salad:
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad but omit the celery and mayo.  Add 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, 2 tablespoons raisins, 1/3 cup plain yogurt, and 1/4 cup mango chutney.

Waldorf Chicken Salad:
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad but omit the parsley.  Add1/2 chopped apple, 1/2 cup halved grapes, and 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnut pieces.

Mexican Chicken Salad:
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad but omit the parsley, lemon juice, and black pepper.  Add 1/2 cup shredded Mexican style four-cheese blend, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 finely chopped jalapeƱo peppers (seeded if you'd like) and 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning mix.

Lemon Avocado Chicken Salad
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad, adding 1/2 cup chopped avocado, 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 1 tablespoon additional lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic.

*Midwest Living Magazine, June 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Greek Dip Platter

6oz. plain Greek Yogurt
10oz. Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (may not use entire thing)
minced red onion
chopped cucumber
chopped tomato
chopped kalamata olives
feta cheese
chopped fresh parsley
Spread Greek yogurt on the bottom of a deep plate. Spread hummus evenly on top. Sprinkle on red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and parsley. Serve with dippers, including Triscuits, pita chips, whole-grain crackers, carrots, celery, or cucumber slices.

S'mores Cookie Cups

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut in half
  • 2 Herhsey's chocolate bars (24 chocolate pieces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  2. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough into a greased mini muffin tin. Press dough down into the muffin tin using a spoon or something round so there is a small indent in the dough. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are just getting golden brown. Remove from oven and gently press a half marshmallow, sticky side down, onto each cookie. Let cool completely. 
  3. Once all cookies are cooled down, preheat broiler. Place cookies back on baking sheets and broil for 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they don't burn. Once marshmallows are golden brown, remove from the broiler and place a piece of chocolate on top of each cookie.  Makes 24.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Glazed Lemon Yogurt Sheet Cake

so good.  if you like lemon, this is the cake for you!
(you beat me to it, amy!)

Note: If you don't have applesauce or don't want to use it, just increase the oil amount to 3/4 cup instead of 1/2; (although it hasn't been tried, you could experiment adding more applesauce in place of the oil.)  Don't forget to zest the lemons before you juice them! Also, if you don't have a zester, you can use the small holes of a box grater to zest the lemon - just take care not shred too deep into the rind of the lemon...(the white part is bitter)!
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (from about 4-5 lemons)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (coconut, canola, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup no-sugar added applesauce (see note above)
  • 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt or plain Greek lowfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon plain lowfat yogurt yogurt or plain Greek lowfat yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and sugar and lightly rub together with your fingers until well combined (this releases the oils in the zest and amplifies lemon flavor).  Do not skip that step!  Whisk in the eggs, oil, applesauce, yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla; mixing well.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined; (don't overmix!)
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  6. While the cake is baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth and pourable (I use the full 2 tablespoons lemon juice but you might want to start with the lesser amount and add more as needed if you don't want your glaze quite as runny). Let the cake rest for 10 minutes after baking and then pour the glaze over the warm cake.
  7. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. This cake, if well-covered, stays moist for several days.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Clean Green Smoothie

I promise you can't taste the spinach.  I'll be the first to admit that I gag on anything that tastes like a lawnmower.  Go green!!  and p.s.  GET A VITAMIX!!!!


  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, rinsed
  • 1 Granny Smith green apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger) *DO NOT LEAVE THIS OUT!
  • *I added 5-6 ice cubes.
  • *I added a splash of OJ.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and well-combined.  Makes about 2 cups.  (Double the recipe to store half in the freezer for another day. It actually makes great leftovers!)


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Non-Alcoholic "Mojito" Fruit Salad

4 cups chopped watermelon
1 pound strawberries, chopped
6 oz. raspberries
6 oz. blueberries
1/4 cup packed mint, chopped (NOT 1/4 cup chopped mint) *Measure first, then chop
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Add watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and mint in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, stir together lime juice and powdered sugar then pour over fruit and berries. Gently toss with a spatula then let sit in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the natural juices in the fruit to start coming out.