Archive for September, 2011

Pinto and Pepper Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Pinto and Pepper Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Pinto and Pepper Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

With the  Produce Geek recommending sweet red peppers and Hass Avocados among his  picks this week, I was inspired to create a south-of-the-border-style salad.

This meal has some “meat” with protein-rich pinto beans – and it has just a hint of “heat” with poblano peppers. Topping it off is a creamy avocado dressing that is worthy of a fiesta. 

Vegetarians/Vegans: No meat here…but there is dairy in the dressing. Vegans can omit the yogurt and replace it with a little extra tomato and avocado.

Gluten-conscious? You’re good to go provided your choice of yogurt is in the clear – read the label to make sure it doesn’t contain gluten.

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Sweet red peppers – 1/2 pepper, sliced
  • Hass Avocados – 1 cup, chopped (for the dressing)

    Raw materials for this week's recipe

    Raw materials for this week's recipe

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Green leaf lettuce – 3/4 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Romaine lettuce – 3/4 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Poblano peppers – 1/2 pepper, sliced very thin
  • Pinto beans – 1/2 cup

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Hass Avocado – As noted under The Produce Geek’s Picks above
  • Tomatoes – 1 cup, chopped
  • Plain Greek yogurt (or Sour cream) – 3/4 cup
  • Garlic – 1 clove, minced
  • Sea Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Course ground black pepper – grind according to taste
  • Cilantro – 1/2 teaspoon

Get cooking…

  1. Toss the following ingredients together and place on plate.
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Green leaf lettuce
    • Red sweet pepper slices
    • Poblano pepper slices
  2. Center Pinto beans on top of the veggies.
  3. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor.
    2. Blend until smooth.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  4. Place salad dressing cup on plate and grab your fork!
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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Bring On Breakfast Stir-fry

 

Bring On Breakfast Stir-fry

Bring On Breakfast Stir-fry

Lured by the wiles of the Ephrata Street Fair in our downtown last evening, I didn’t keep with my normal Tuesday night routine of cooking up my recipe of the week. Wanting to stay true to my Wednesday post schedule, I incorporated the  Produce Geek’s pick of white potatoes into a hearty breakfast stir-fry this morning. Broccoli, cheddar cheese and some high-power protein (eggs and pinto beans) give this morning (or whenever you want to make it) meal some real get up and go!  


Vegetarian/vegan version: Remove the eggs & cheese from the equation and add more beans.

Gluten Conscious: This is a gluten-free recipe. But as always, check the label on your cheese to make sure it’s in the clear.

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…

  • White potatoes – 4 medium, sliced very thinly

    Raw materials for Bring On Breakfast Stir-fry

    Raw materials for this week's stir-fry

Other ingredients…
  • Broccoli – 4 cups, cut into small pieces
  • Eggs –  4 whole
  • Pinto beans – 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • Cheddar cheese – 4 oz, shredded
  • Canola oil –  1 Tbsp for prepping pan
  • Course ground sea salt – 1 tsp
  • Course ground pepper – 4 good twists
  • Parsley flakes – a couple of pinches

Get cooking…

  1. Warm canola oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on medium heat.
  2. When hot, add potatoes & broccoli, stir often and cook until tender  (approximately 10 minutes).
  3. Add eggs, stirring non-stop, until cooked (approximately 3 minutes, give or take)
  4. Lower heat to medium low and add beans, cheese, salt & pepper. Stir until cheese is starting to melt (a minute or two)
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley on each serving.
Makes 4  servings – Eat well!

Grilled Steak & Spinach Salad with Creamy Garlic Chive Dressing

Grilled Steak & Spinach Salad

Grilled Steak & Spinach Salad with Creamy Garlic Chive Dressing

Although my personal preferences often lead me to create poultry and vegetarian meals, I firmly believe that a little bit of red meat is good for the body, soul – and sanity! This week, I took the always on-target buying advice from the  Produce Geek and crafted a steak salad using his picks this week!

The white mushrooms and broccoli that he recommended perfectly complemented the spinach and lean grilled sirloin steak that came from the grass-fed steer we bought a share of earlier in the year. Topped with Creamy Garlic Chive Dressing (my own-made!), this salad made a satiating meal fit for the most ravenous of meat-lovers.

Vegetarians/Vegans: Although this salad is carnivore-oriented, you could substitute a hearty bean (kidneys or pintos perhaps) for the steak and swap the yogurt-based dressing with a nice balsamic vinaigrette.  

Gluten-conscious? You’re good to go provided your choice of mayo & yogurt are in the clear – 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

  • Broccoli florets – 3/4 cup, cut into bite-sized pieces

    Raw materials for the Steak and Spinach Salad

    Raw materials for the salad

  • White mushrooms – 3/4 cup sliced

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Fresh spinach – 1 cup
  • Grilled sirloin steak strips  –  3 -4 oz w/fat trimmed

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Greek yogurt – plain, 1/2 cup
  • Mayo  – 1/4 cup (preferably Safflower or Olive oil variety)
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Chives – 1 tsp
  • Dill Weed – 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic – 1 clove, minced
  • Sea Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Course ground black pepper – grind according to taste
Get cooking…
  1. Place spinach on plate.
  2. Space broccoli florets around the perimeter.
  3. Top interior spinach bed with white mushrooms.
  4. Lay grilled steak on top of mushrooms.
  5. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl.
    2. Whisk until blended.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  6. Place salad dressing cup on plate and shout “Steak is served!”
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.

Go for the “Gold” Green Bean Stir-fry

Go for the "Gold" Green Bean Stir-fry

Go for the "Gold" Green Bean Stir-fry

I ventured a little on the wild side with this chicken stir-fry! Embracing the  Produce Geek’s weekly picks of fresh green beans and Ginger Gold apples, I created a dish that delivers a unique taste experience.  In the mix, are sweet red peppers, hot peppers and Chinese cabbage – fantastic in any stir-fry, and perfect as the foundation for this one. The “gold” element refers not only to sweet/tart Ginger Gold apple slices, but also to the tangy lime tequila sauce that features gold tequila (just a teeny tiny bit!). Great over brown rice or served on its own.

Vegetarian/vegan version: Substitute white navy beans for the chicken.

Gluten Conscious: You should be good to go with this recipe, but do your research on whatever type of gold tequila you’re thinking of using.

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…

  • Green beans – 6 cups
  • Ginger Gold apples – 2 apples, sliced

    Raw materials

    "Raw materials" for this stir-fry

Other ingredients…

  • Chinese cabbage – 8 cups, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Sweet red pepper –  2 large, sliced then chopped into thirds
  • Long hot peppers – 2, seeded and sliced thinly and into small pieces
  • Grilled chicken breast – 16 oz, cut into strips
  • Canola oil – 1/2 cup (plus 1 Tbsp for prepping pan)
  • Fresh lime juice – 1/2 cup
  • Gold tequila – 2 Tbsp
  • Course ground sea salt – 1 tsp
  • Cilantro – 1 tsp
  • Brown rice – 2 cups

Get cooking…

  1. First, prepare the stir-fry sauce.
    1. Whisk together the canola oil, lime juice, sea salt & cilantro in a small bowl.
    2. Set aside.
  2. Warm approx. 1 Tbsp of canola oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on medium heat.
  3. When hot, add green beans & red peppers and cook until green beans are turning tender, stirring often (approximately 10 minutes).
  4. Add cabbage & hot peppers, stirring frequently, until cabbage is tender (3-4 minutes. Note: shrinkage is expected!)
  5. Add apple slices, chicken & stir-fry sauce – stir until ingredients are well-distributed and warm.
  6. Serve over brown rice or on its own.
Makes 4  servings – Eat well!
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