May 23, 2015

Watermelon "Caprese" with Balsamic Glaze


Watermelon "Caprese" with Balsamic Glaze

I LOVE the salty-sweet combination of watermelon, mozzarella, arugula and balsamic – a delicious twist on the classic Caprese which is usually made with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Cutting the watermelon with a star-shaped cookie cutter makes these perfect for Memorial day or July 4th.

I'm actually not a huge fan of tomatoes until late August when they are falling off my tomato plants, so watermelon is a great alternative.

Watermelon "Caprese" with Balsamic Glaze

And these are so easy to make, no cooking required. The hardest part is cutting out the shapes (which is NOT hard at all, Madison loves helping me with this). You can prep them ahead and leave them in the fridge until you're ready to serve. I buy my fresh mozzarella in a local Italian deli and they even slice it for me on their slicer which saves me time. Then when I'm ready to serve I assemble them on a platter, and finish them with  Modenacrem Balsamic Glaze from Delallo (I LOVE this stuff!!). Buying balsamic glaze is a huge time saver, the alternative is to simmer balsamic on the stove until it reduces down. Hope you have a great weekend!

May 21, 2015

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri


 Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri – this is the BEST Chimichurri recipe ever!

I've always been a steak lover, especially when it's topped with homemade chimichurri. It adds freshness and zing to grilled meats, chicken or fish, and the sauce can be made a day in advance.

In Brazil, Argentina and many other countries in South America, chimichurri is as common as ketchup is to Americans. My cousin Kat is from Brazil, and taught me how to make the BEST chimichurri, so forget all the other recipes out there, this is it! You can double or triple the recipe if you're feeding a crowd. Serve this with grilled corn or a salad on the side and you have yourself a meal!

The BEST Chimichurri Recipe

Flank steak is a great lean beef option for grilling, I make a quick rub and slice it thin across the grain just before eating. If you want to make the chimichurri sauce a day ahead, leave it refrigerated, then before serving bring it back to room temperature. 

May 20, 2015

Turmeric-Garlic Shrimp with Cabbage-Mango Slaw


Turmeric-Garlic Shrimp with Cabbage-Mango Slaw – the perfect balance of spicy, savory, sweet and sour, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Weight Watcher 6 points, low-carb, whole30, paleo and gluten-free.

Tons of flavor in this quick, shrimp dish! The perfect balance of spicy, savory, sweet & sour – and ready in less than 30 minutes.

I seasoned the shrimp with turmeric, cumin and red pepper flakes, then gave it a quick saute with garlic and finished it with some fresh lime juice and cilantro.

 Turmeric-Garlic Shrimp with Cabbage-Mango Slaw – the perfect balance of spicy, savory, sweet and sour, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Weight Watcher 6 points, low-carb, whole30, paleo and gluten-free.

To balance out the heat (it's mild, although you can make it spicier or leave milder to your taste) I served this over a quick slaw with sweet mango, red cabbage and lime juice.

Red Cabbage-Mango Slaw

My husband gave it two thumbs up! This dish is perfect for most diet restrictions: gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, whole30 and of course weight watcher friendly!

May 19, 2015

Skirt Steak, Baby Bok Choy and Zucchini Stir-Fry


 Skirt Steak, Baby Bok Choy and Zucchini Stir-Fry – a quick, low-carb one-pot dinner!

This quick stir-fry has some of my favorite foods; skirt steak, baby bok choy and zucchini plus carrots, scallions, garlic and ginger finished with a delicious sauce that has the perfect balance of savory, sweet, sour and spicy.

I wanted to make this a quick one-pot meal, so I loaded this up the veggies and skipped the rice. I adapted this from Jackie Ourman's recipe with some changes. I reduced the oil, added more veggies and changed the sauce because I wanted that salty, sweet, sour and spicy flavor combination. To do that I cut back on the ponzu, (I used Eden) which was pretty vinegary, and added soy sauce and oyster sauce for sweetness. If you don't have oyster sauce you can substitute it with more soy sauce and some honey or sugar. To give it some heat, I used chili sesame oil which gives it great flavor. If you don't have that you can use regular sesame oil and add some red chili flakes to the stir-fry. SInce it was just me and my husband eating, I made this for two, but you can easily double this for 4!

Skirt Steak, Baby Bok Choy and Zucchini Stir-Fry – a quick, low-carb one-pot dinner!

May 18, 2015

Skillet Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts


Skillet Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts - a light and easy summer dish!

Sweet peaches, basil and shallots are a great flavor combination in this light, savory-sweet chicken dish.

Once in a while I like to take a break from testing new recipes and make something from one of my many cookbooks. When I look through a cookbook, I usually like to try something I would never have thought of making which is what inspired me to try this dish from Virginia Willis' Cookbook, Lighten Up 'Yall; Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome. It's also peach season so now is the time to eat enjoy the sweetest, juiciest peaches.

The author shares a really great tip for easily peeling the peaches: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and have an ice bath ready in the sink. Using a pairing knife cut an "X" in the blossom end of the peach. Gently place the peach in the water for 15 to 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice bath with a slotted spoon. The "X" will open slightly and the skin can be removed by gently pulling with a pairing knife.

The recipe below is exactly as written in her book, I didn't make the full recipe so the photo only shows 2 breasts instead of three. I really enjoyed the flavors of this dish, it was light and flavorful and easy to make. My husband isn't a fan of fruit in his dinners so it wasn't his type of dish, but he did clean his plate. Hope you enjoy!

Skillet Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts

May 14, 2015

Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger


If you're looking for a new way to enjoy a burger, then I think you'll love this Hawaiian inspired teriyaki burger made with Laura's Lean ground beef, carrots, scallions and topped with a homemade pineapple teriyaki sauce and a grilled pineapple.

This was inspired by a trip to Disney World with my husband and youngest daughter Madison. We stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort which was a lovely place to stay. One of those nights we ate dinner at the Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Resort, where I had a delicious teriyaki steak topped with pineapple; which was the inspiration for this burger recipe.
Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger

I did a little research into what goes into a Hawaian teriyaki sauce, and after reading many recipes I came up with my own version which was so good, this will certainly be a regular. You could of course buy teriyaki marinade to speed this up, but making it from scratch tastes sooo much better.

And I just have to share this contraption that easily cuts pineapple into perfect rings. My girlfriend Gabbie bought this for me a few years ago, and I love it; it's called the Pineapple Easy Slicer. It's simple to use and it's awesome. If you prefer canned pineapple, be sure it's packed in juice and not syrup.

By the way, this is also great without the bun if you're watching your carbs, just serve it on a bed of lettuce and drizzle the teriyaki sauce on top. Without the bun, the burgers are Weight Watchers 6 points plus.