Appetizers, Easy & Quick, Healthy, Party Foods, Salad, Starters

Easy Tomato & Mozzarella “Flowers”

Caprese salad is probably one of the only salads I could eat every single day. Wait, I could eat the fresh mozzarella every single day. That’s what I meant!! Ha ha! Nonetheless, I still really enjoy a nice caprese salad with fresh juicy tomatoes and yummy mozzarella. I try and make it different ways. This was my take on making it pretty and playful. It’s definitely a simple salad that packs a big impact!

This salad definitely reminds me of summer, and living in Chicago I could really use that after the massive amount of snow last week. Luckily spring and summer are right around the corner. Here’s my Caprese “Flowers.”

Easy Tomato and Mozzarella Flowers

Ingredients:
4-6 camparai tomatoes (or any smaller round tomatoes)
2-4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 inch thin squares
1 T olive oil
½ T balsamic vinegar (optional)
2-3 t dried basil (or 1 oz chopped fresh)
Sprinkle Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Directions: Cut tomatoes with and X not going completely through to the bottom. Gently pull the pieces slightly apart to open them up a little. Next place 1 square piece of fresh mozzarella in the center of the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar if using. Sprinkle the basil over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 15-30 minutes before serving.

Notes: Definitely feel free to use fresh basil. I decided to make this because I had all the ingredients minus the fresh basil. Still comes out delicious with the dried. You can omit balsamic f you choose. I don’t always use it, I just like the depth of flavor it adds.

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Bacon, Easy & Quick, Healthy, Salad, Seafood

Shrimp & Bacon BBQ Ranch Salad

I’m about 2 weeks into doing Weight Watchers and I’m finally realizing that dinner doesn’t have to be a production every single night. I have a habit of over thinking a meal and then getting frustrated or discouraged. I always feel like every meal should have a a protein, a vegetable and a starch. That must be my culinary professors in my head telling me that.

So, I’m learning it’s ok to have eggs for dinner or a quick thrown together salad or something simple. With doing Weight Watchers I feel it’s easier as I can really eat anything I want.

I put this salad together this for dinner that was full of protein and very delicious. It really was super simple.

Shrimp & Bacon BBQ Ranch Salad

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
20 medium shrimp, cleaned and cooked and slightly warm
1 small avocado
½ cup no salt black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 small red onion, diced
¼ cup shredded cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and rough chopped
6- 8 cups romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
2 oz bbq sauce
2 oz ranch dressing

Directions: In a small bowl mix together bbq sauce and ranch dressing. Add lettuce to a large bowl. Add in corn, black beans, onions, cheese and dressing and mix well. Separate into individual bowls and top with even amount of shrimp, bacon and avocado. Enjoy!

Notes: Feel free to mix all these ingredients together and serve it up. I always like to make sure the main proteins or higher fat/calories items are equally distributed to both bowls especially when county calories or points. In this case, that would be the shrimp, bacon and avocado. Use any bbq sauce you’d like, mine had a slight kick and it gave a nice flavor profile. If you don’t have cooked shrimp, feel free to use raw and just cook them up. That’s exactly what I did.

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Salad

Lemon Arugula Salad

I made an arugula salad for the first time since culinary school.  I never really liked arugula as it has a peppery taste.  I decided that since my pallet has probably changed over the years I’d give it a try.  This salad really surprised me.  I really liked the spicy flavor of the arugula with the lemon.

This is very basic and easy to make.  It’s a different take on a healthy salad.  Great for lunch or served with dinner!  Give  it a try.

Lemon Arugula Salad
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
10 oz arugula, thoroughly washed
6 grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 T shallot, minced
2 T chopped candied pecans
2 T crumbled feta cheese
1/2 Lemon, juiced (more or less to taste)
2 T olive oil (Good quality) (more or less to taste)
Sprinkle: salt

Directions:  Add arugula, tomatoes and shallots to a medium bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with salt and mix well.  Separate into 2 bowls and top with feta and pecans and serve.

Notes: You can add extra toppings to this salad or use balsamic and oil. I just liked the lemony flavor with the spice of the arugula.

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Salad, Sides

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Tonight I made a black bean corn salad to go with my main entree.  While trying to be healthy I really try and make other sides that aren’t just your typically potato or rice sides.

That’s what I did here tonight.  It’s pretty basic but you can definitely add other flavors.  I used what I had on hand.

Black Bean & Corn Salad

15 oz black beans, (rinsed) (I used no salt)
1 cup frozen corn
1 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less spice)
3 T red onion, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:  Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
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#Recipes, Salad

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Growing up I really didn’t care for brussels sprouts.  They smelled horrible and tasted just as bad, even if it had bacon mixed in.  As I got older I learned to like them prepared in certain ways.  I started experimenting with different recipes.

Earlier this year I had a brussels sprout salad at a Chicago restaurant and it was absolutely delicious.  It was something I never thought I’d enjoy, especially with raw brussels sprouts.

This is my take on a brussels sprouts salad.  Take a look and next time your in the store look for shaved brussels sprouts.  You can shave them or chop them yourself, but why put yourself through that if you can buy them shaved.  This is a great alternative to a lettuce salad.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups shaved brussels sprouts
3 T blue cheese
3 T honey roasted pecans (or any nut)
2 T dried cranberries
3 T crumbled bacon
1 chopped avocado, optional

Dressing:
4 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 t red wine vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1/2 T Dijon mustard

Directions: In a bowl whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Let sit 15 minutes so the flavors can marry.  Then mix shaved brussels sprouts, toppings and dressing and toss together.  Serve immediately.

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Beef, Leftovers, Salad

London Broil Blue Cheese Salad (Leftover Dish)

I hope you enjoyed my London Broil recipe yesterday.  I wanted to quickly share with you a great way to use the leftover  London Broil.  I made a salad.  It’s a great protein for a salad.  It makes for a filling lunch and changes up the typical chicken that people use.  Here’s what I did for mine.  I love blue cheese and it goes very well with beef so it’s my London Broil Blue Cheese Salad.  Take a look!

London Broil Blue Cheese Salad
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
4 oz, left over London Broil, sliced
3-4 cups, chopped romaine lettuce
2 T green olives
1 mini cucumber, sliced
1 T + sprinkle, crumbled blue cheese
1/2-1 T Extra Virgin Olive
1/2-1 T Balsamic Vinegar
Any extra salad toppings

Directions:  In a large bowl add in the lettuce, and salad toppings above and any extra ones you’d like (minus the meat and the oil and vinegar.)  Mix the salad well and drizzle evenly the oil and vinegar and mix till all lettuce is coated.   Add to your dish and top with sliced London Broil and a final sprinkle of blue cheese then enjoy!

Note: This dish can be changed up to any salad you’d like.  It’s filling enough to be an entrée type salad.  You will fully enjoy this.  If you don’t like blue cheese change it up with another cheese.  No rules here.  I was just giving the way I made my salad.

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