An Inside Look at Healthy Living...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

This salad is similar to the lemony and flavorful Tabouli salad.  It has some of the same ingredients and substitutes the bulgur wheat for cooked lentils.  This salad was created when I ran out of the bulgur wheat and had an insane craving for tabouli!  So I improvised.  The result, another tasty and healthy dish you can eat anytime!  Eat this salad with Romaine lettuce or pita bread to make it a healthy veggie meal!

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked lentils, cooled
1 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of chopped white onions
2 sprigs of mint, chopped
1/2 cup of lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup of olive oil
salt to taste

Garnish:  10 leaves of Romaine lettuce or 3 pieces of pita bread.


Instructions:

1.  Add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

2.  On a separate plate, lay out the Romaine lettuce and the pita 
     bread.  

3.  Serve and enjoy!


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dijon and Cracked Peppercorn Mayonnaise

Dijon and Cracked Peppercorn Mayonnaise

This is a mayonnaise that I love to spread on sandwiches and dip cold cuts and cheese into.  The combination of mustard and black pepper boldly enhances the flavor of any recipe you use it with.


Ingredients:

1 cup of Mayonnaise
2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
1/3 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of salt


Instructions:

1.  Add all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

2.  Serve this mayonnaise on sandwiches or with meaty appetizers such as cold cuts.


Chicken Polish Kielbasa and Sweet Bell Pepper Kabobs

Chicken Polish Kielbasa and Sweet Bell Pepper Kabobs


 I love the flavor of Polish Kielbasa sauce and found this sausage made of chicken.  I quickly realized that this sausage pairs well with sausage, onions and other veggies.   Serve these kabobs with rice or a pasta salad for a delicious, healthful meal.


Ingredients:

1 package of Hillshire Farms Kielbasa sausage,  cut into 1 inch squares 
                    1 red and 1 green pepper, cut into small pieces 
1 small red onion, cut into small pieces.


Instructions:  

1.  Add the pieces of sausage, bell peppers, and  onion and red bell pepper onto the skewers in an alternating fashion

2.  Broil or grill for for 7-10 minutes.   Turn the skewers every 3 1/2 minutes until they are cooked thoroughly.

Swedish Meatballs

The Best Swedish Meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The Best Swedish Meatballs are smothered in the most amazing rich and creamy gravy. The meatballs are packed with such delicious flavor you will agree these are the BEST you have ever had!
Author: 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and egg. Mix until combined.
  2. Roll into 12 large meatballs or 20 small meatballs. In a large skillet heat olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter. Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
  3. Add 4 Tablespoons butter and flour to skillet and whisk until it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream. Add worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lemon, Caper and Olive Oil Vinegarette

Lemon, Caper and Olive Oil Vinegarette


This lemon, caper and olive oil vinegarette is bold, tangy and delicious. It is fabulous in salads, pastas, and as a marinade for meat, poultry and fish.  


Ingredients


Directions

1.  In a small bowl, add the grated garlic and sea salt. Mash the garlic with the sea salt into a paste with the back of a teaspoon. 

2.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Use on salads, pastas or a marinade for meats. 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mexican Seasoning Blend

Mexican Seasoning Blend

Many recipes that I cook such as chili beans, taco meat, and fajitas use a blend of spices that is very characteristic of the dominant flavors of Mexico.  This seasoning is the foundation of Mexican cooking.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup of New Mexico chili powder
1/2 cup of paprika
1/4 cup of Cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of cumin
1/4 cup of garlic salt



Instructions:

1.  In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
2.  Store in a plastic bag or plastic jar.  Place in a cabinet where it will remain dry.

Chili Powder

Chili Powder


I tend to make a lot of Mexican recipes that calls for the use of chili powder.  Here is a flavorful blend of chili powders that will give any recipe a kick.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup of New Mexico chili powder
1/2 cup of paprika
1/4 cup of Cayenne pepper


Instructions:

1.  In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
2.  Store in a plastic bag or plastic jar.  Place in a cabinet where it will remain dry.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Chunky Rustic Guacamole

Chunky Rustic Guacamole

Avocadoes are not only creamy and delicious but their great for your health!  Packed with Omega 3 fatty acid, it is an excellent compliment to any dish.  This guacamole is a chunky version of the typical guacamole recipe without chili.  This is a great complement for tacos,  tostadas and burritos.  It is also great as a chunky dip served with tortilla chips.

Ingredients
1 large avocado
1/2 cup of finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup of finely chopped tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/3 cup of finely chopped cilantro
the juice of 1 lime
salt to taste



Instructions:


  1. In a small mixing bowl, add all the ingredients.   Gently mix the ingredients together.
  2. Serve and Enjoy!

Steak, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

Steak, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions


Steak and potatoes is one of the ultimate hearty dishes.  When the meat is lean and trimmed of its fat, you can create flavor-packed and healthy dishes.  Enjoy this dish with my bold and sassy steak sauce for an extra kick!

Ingredients
1/2 pound of London Broil, trim the fat and chop into small strips
3 potatoes, finely chopped into small cubes
2 large sweet bell peppers, cut into small strips
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
salt to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil


Instructions:



  1. In a large pan, add the olive oil and the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 5 -6 minutes.  Make sure to turn the potatoes over several times to ensure cooking on both sides of the potatoes.
  2. Add the meat to the pan and cook over medium heat until medium rare, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the bell peppers and the onions to the pan. Add salt to taste. Cook until the onions and peppers have softened, about 3-4 minutes.  
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

Monica's Bold & Sassy Steak Sauce

Monica's Bold & Sassy Steak Sauce


Steak sauce is a condiment that we use to enhance the flavor of steak or other beef dishes.  I love being able to create a recipe that I can make and use whenever it is needed.  I wanted a recipe that featured bold flavors of garlic and pepper, without a vinegary taste that is present in most store bought versions of steak sauce.

Ingredients
2 cups of water
2 cups of tomato puree 
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tbsp of olive oil


Instructions:



  1. In a saucepan, add the olive oil, onion, garlic and red pepper.  Sautée the onions until they become translucent, about 3-5 minutes over medium heat.  
  2. Add the water, tomato puree, and Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan.  Mix well and cook the sauce for 8 to 10 minutes.  
  3. Enjoy!