Archive for August, 2011

Nuts & Berries Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

Nuts & Berries Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette-8.31.2011

Nuts & Berries Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

“Hmmmm…” is what I initially said to myself as I reviewed the Produce Geek‘s buying advice this week. Some delicious produce, but not too much that I immediately recognized as ideal stir-fry or salad ingredients. BUT then the bolt of lightning hit!

With red raspberries on the Produce Geek’s pick list this week, what could be better than a salad that features their summer flavor with hearty walnuts? “Nuts & Berries” – a perfect combination. Placed on a bed of hearty lettuce with baby portabella mushrooms and surrounded by baby carrots (also among the Produce Geek’s recommendations), this salad is simple & simply divine with my Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing.

This salad is vegan, vegetarian & gluten-free. But that doesn’t mean that meat-eaters won’t love it, too!

 

 

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Red raspberries – 1/2 cup

    Raw materials for the salad

    Raw materials for the salad

  • Baby carrots – 6 cut into half lengthwise

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Red leaf lettuce – 1 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Romaine lettuce – 1 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Baby portabella mushrooms –  3/4 cup, sliced
  • Walnuts pieces – 1/4 cup, shelled (obviously!)

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp (high quality for the best taste)
  • Balsamic vinegar – 3 Tbsp
  • Orange juice – 1/8 cup
  • Honey (I prefer raw, but regular will do) – 1 Tbsp
  • Basil – 1 tsp
  • Sea salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh ground pepper – 3-4 cranks of the grinder or to taste
Get cooking…
  1. Place lettuce on plate.
  2. Top with baby portabella mushrooms in center.
  3. Add raspberries and walnuts on top of the mushrooms.
  4. Arrange baby carrots around the perimeter of the plate.
  5. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl.
    2. Whisk until completely blended.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  6. Serve up the salad & dressing and enjoy!
Make as many servings as you need to feed your family and friends! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Produce Geek’s Eat This Now blog to stay in-the-know about what to buy each week.
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Sesame Citrus Chicken Stir-Fry

Sesame Citrus Stir-Fry

Sesame Citrus Stir-Fry

Taking the Produce Geek’s buying advice this week, I found some beautiful sweet red peppers at our local grocery store. I often feature them in my stir-frys because they’re absolutely delicious and add a bold splash of color to any dish. Tossed with green and red cabbage, fresh crisp green beans and grilled chicken breast, the peppers make this creation really “pop” visually – and the sesame citrus sauce takes already great-tasting ingredients to the next level of “can’t get enough”! 

Serve this stir-fry over brown rice or whole grain linguine – or simply by itself (my personal favorite!). 

Vegetarian/vegan version: Lentils would make a super substitute for the chicken.

Gluten -conscious: The recipe is gluten-free if you use rice or gluten-free pasta.

Everyone: Dig in! And subscribe to Eat This Now directly to get the Produce Geek’s expert insight every week.


What You’ll Need For the Stir-fry:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Sweet red peppers – 2 large, cut into slices and then crosswise into bite-sized pieces

    The raw materials you'll need for the Sesame Citrus Stir-fry

    "Raw materials" for this week's stir-fry

Other ingredients…

  • Fresh green beans – 3 cups, snapped in half crosswise
  • Green cabbage –  2 cups, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Red cabbage – 2 cups, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Grilled Chicken – 1 pound, cut into strips
  • Brown Rice or whole grain pasta (optional) – 4 cups, cooked
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
  • Sesame seeds – 1 Tbsp
  • Sesame oil – 1/4 cup
  • Raw apple cider vinegar – 3 Tbsp
  • Orange peel spice – 1 Tbsp
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or light soy sauce) – 1 Tbsp
  • Sea salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh ground black pepper – 5 dashes
  • Canola oil – a little more than a Tbsp or so for non-stick cooking purposes

Get cooking…

  1. First, prepare the stir-fry sauce.
    1. Whisk together the sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, liquid aminos (or soy sauce), orange peel spice, sea salt & pepper in a small bowl.
    2. Set aside.
  2. Warm approx. 1 Tsp canola oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on medium heat.
  3. When hot, add sesame seeds & garlic until they start to brown.
  4. Add another 1 Tbsp of canola oil to the pan/wok. Then add red pepper, green beans & cabbage.
  5. On medium heat, stir until green beans are slightly tender (approximately 10 minutes).
  6. Add the stir-fry sauce and grilled chicken.
  7. Stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  8. Serve over rice or pasta (or on its own!).
Makes 4  servings – Eat well!

Edamame Salad with Bold Honey Mustard Dressing

Edamame Salad with Bold Honey Mustard Dressing

Edamame Salad with Bold Honey Mustard Dressing

After a week of vacation food, I was craving a pure and simple vegetarian salad. So the Produce Geek had perfect timing when he placed Romaine lettuce on his pick list this week! I paired it with some red leaf lettuce as the base, topped it with some other crispy veggies, added edamame for a protein boost and garnished with seedless green grapes (also featured on the Produce Geek’s blog this week). Served with my bold honey mustard dressing on the side, this salad will satisfy your voracious appetite and your taste buds.

To make this salad vegan-compatible, simply substitute a vegan alternative for my yogurt-based honey mustard dressing.  

Gluten-conscious? This salad is gluten-free! Just watch your choice of mustard & yogurt when making your dressing – read the labels to make sure neither contain gluten.

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Romaine lettuce – 1 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces

    Raw materials for Edamame Salad

    Salad "Raw materials"

  • Seedless green grapes – 6 grapes

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Red leaf lettuce – 3/4 cup, torn into bite sized pieces
  • Sweet red pepper –  4 slices, cut in half crosswise
  • Plum tomatoes – 6 slices
  • Cucumber – 6 slices
  • Carrot – 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Edamame – 1/2 cup, ready to eat

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Bold & spicy brown mustard – 1/3 cup
  • Plain Greek yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • Honey (I prefer raw, but regular will do) – 2 Tbsp
  • Dill Weed – 1 tsp
Get cooking…
  1. Place lettuce on plate.
  2. Space cucumber slices around the perimeter.
  3. Top each cucumber slice with a slice of plum tomato.
  4. Alternate sweet red pepper slices in the spaces in between the cucumber/tomato slices.
  5. In center of the plate, place shredded carrots on top of the lettuce.
  6. Place the edamame on top of the carrots.
  7. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl.
    2. Stir until completely blended.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  8. Place salad dressing on plate and arrange green grapes evenly around salad plate – Dig in!
Make as many servings as you need to feed your family and friends! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Produce Geek’s Eat This Now blog to stay in-the-know about what to buy each week.

Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken Stir-fry (perfect with – or without – pasta)

Produce Geek's picks prepared

Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette Stir-fry Features Chicken and Produce Geek's Picks

A perfect complement to whole grain pasta – or served all by its lonesome – this chicken stir-fry combines several of the Produce Geek’s weekly picks with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil & pine nuts to give it a delicious Mediterranean disposition.  Even more perfetto with just a sprinkle of grated parmesan as the finishing touch.

Vegetarian/vegan version: Substitute kidney beans for the chicken and (vegans) nix the idea of the parmesan.

Gluten Conscious: Serve it up with gluten-free pasta or simply on its own (my personal favorite!)

Everyone: Dig in! And subscribe to Eat This Now directly to get the Produce Geek’s expert buying advice every week.


What You’ll Need For the Stir-fry:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Vine ripe tomatoes – 3 cups, chopped
  • Green pepper (preferably organic) – 3 cups, chopped

    Raw materials for this week's stir-fry

    "Raw" Materials for this Week's Stir-fry

  • Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
  • Lime – 1/2 of a whole

Other ingredients…

  • Shallots – 1/2 cup, diced
  • Broccoli –  4 cups, chopped
  • Chicken breast tenderloins – 1 pound
  • Whole grain pasta – 4 cups, cooked
  • Pine nuts – 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil – 1/3 cup
  • Balsamic vinegar – 1/4 cup
  • Honey – 2 Tbsp
  • Basil – 1 Tbsp
  • Sea salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh ground black pepper – 4 dashes
  • Grated parmesan – about 1/2 cup to be shared & served on the side

Get cooking…

  1. First, prepare the stir-fry sauce.
    1. Whisk together the 1/3 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, basil, sea salt & pepper in a small bowl.
    2. Set aside.
  2. Warm approx. 1 Tbsp of olive oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on medium heat.
  3. When hot, add garlic & shallots until they start to brown.
  4. Add chicken tenderloins and stir until cooked thoroughly.
  5. Remove ingredients from the pan/wok, set aside and keep warm.
  6. Add another 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan/wok and add green pepper, broccoli & tomatoes.
  7. On medium heat, stir until green pepper and broccoli start to turn tender (approximately 10 minutes).
  8. Add the stir-fry sauce, chicken/garlic/shallots, & pine nuts.
  9. Squeeze 1/2 lime into the pan/wok and stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  10. Serve over pasta with grated parmesan cheese on the side.
Makes 4  servings – Buon Appetito!

Nearly Naked Southwestern Vegetarian Stir-fry

Nearly Naked Southwestern Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Nearly Naked Southwestern Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Yes, I completely intend to grab attention with the name of this stir-fry! And it really does capture what the dish is all about – the core ingredients are SO full of taste, you really don’t need anything more than a little sea salt and cilantro to top it off.

The Produce Geek’s buying advice this week inspired me to combine jalapeno peppers (use poblanos instead if you’re the heat-sensitive type), tomatoes, and mangos with some other southwestern staples into a stir-fry that is a fiesta of flavor. Made with black and pinto beans, this vegetarian meal has volumes of taste and texture.  

Carnivores: Feel free to substitute lean ground beef for the beans.

Vegans: Simply omit the spoonful of sour cream /yogurt.

Gluten Conscious: You’re already there, just be sure to read the label on your sour cream and yogurt.

Everyone: Enjoy! And subscribe to Eat This Now directly to get the Produce Geek’s expert insight every week.


What You’ll Need For the Stir-fry:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Jalapeno peppers – 2 medium, chopped finely w/seeds removed

    Raw materials for Nearly Naked Stir-fry

    Raw materials featuring Produce Geek's picks

  • Mangos – 2 cups chopped, preferably organic
  • Tomatoes – 3 cups chopped (mix orange and red for a splash of color), heirloom varieties if possible, but regular vine-ripened will do nicely

Other ingredients…

  • White mushrooms –  4 cups, sliced
  • Shredded cabbage and carrots (aka slaw mix) – 6 cups (you can shred your own or buy a ready-to-go bag for convenience)
  • Black beans – 1 cup, cooked
  • Pinto beans – 1 cup, cooked
  • Brown rice – 2 cups, cooked
  • Onion – 3/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
  • Avocado – 2 small – medium sized, sliced
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream – about 1 cup
  • Canola oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cilantro – flakes or fresh

Get cooking…

  1. Warm approx. 1 Tbsp of canola oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on med-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, onion, and jalapeno peppers and fry for approximately 3 minutes until they start to brown.
  3. Lower heat to slightly lower than medium and add slaw mix and mushrooms.
  4. Stir until they start to turn tender – approximately 4 minutes.
  5. Add beans, rice, tomatoes & mango, and stir until all ingredients are warmed and distributed evenly throughout the dish.
  6. Add sea salt and a few pinches of cilantro to taste – and serve it up!
  7. Top each serving with avocado slices and doll0p of Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Makes 4 spicy servings!
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