Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish for Two

Salads | July 9, 2015 | By

I’ve been reading about the health benefits of avocado, in particular an article that stated this; past studies have shown that eating a lot of avocados is associated with lower blood cholesterol. In one study that involved putting people with slightly elevated levels on a diet rich in avocados for just seven days, researchers saw a 17 percent decrease in cholesterol levels.  Since my cholesterol is a little elevated I though I’d start adding more avocados to my diet.  

There is also a study that avocado has potential cancer fighting properties.  Read more about it here.  These are all good reasons to add more of this creamy, buttery vegetable to your diet!  I decided to make a salad and I didn’t want it lost in a bunch of leafy greens but instead to be the star of the dish.  This salad is bursting with nutrients and flavor.  The juicy tomatoes and the crunchy radish give it some textural contrast.   

AVOCADO SALAD WITH TOMATO AND RADISH

Go ahead and thinly slice the shallots and get them in a bowl of ice water and let them sit for 30 minutes.  Dry them in between paper towels.  Chop the tomatoes in quarters, slice the radishes and finely chop the basil.  Cut the avocado in 3/4 inch pieces.

Basil

Whisk vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a nonreactive bowl until the mixture appears milky and no lumps remain. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

AVOCADO SALAD WITH TOMATO AND RADISH

Gently toss the avocados, 1 tablespoons of the dressing, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Transfer the avocados to a serving platter.  

AVOCADO SALAD WITH TOMATO AND RADISH

Toss the shallot, tomatoes, radishes, and basil with the remaining dressing. Spoon the tomato mixture over the avocados and sprinkle with ricotta salata or feta. Serve immediately.

AVOCADO SALAD WITH TOMATO AND RADISH

Avocado Salad with Tomato and Radish for Two
Serves 2
Buttery avocado really shines next to juicy tomatoes and crunchy radish in this good for you salad.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small shallot, sliced thin
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. 1/4 teaspoon mayonnaise
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  8. 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
  9. 1 1/2 radishes, sliced thin
  10. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  11. 1 1/2 ounces ricotta salata, shaved thin
Instructions
  1. Place shallot in 1 cup of ice water and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Whisk the vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a nonreactive bowl until the mixture is well blended and no lumps remain. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil. (The dressing should appear well blended, glossy, and without pools of oil on the surface.)
  3. 3. Gently toss avocados, 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Transfer the avocados to a platter.
  4. 4. Toss the shallot, tomatoes, radishes, and basil with remaining dressing. Spoon tomato mixture over avocados and sprinkle with ricotta salata. Serve salad immediately.
Notes
  1. You can substitute feta for the ricotta salata.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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Easy Chicken Cutlets for Two with a Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Dinner, Poultry | March 11, 2015 | By

Chicken Cutlet with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

I admit it.  I’ve never really liked chicken breast.  My husband does however, so I set out to find a recipe that I could love too.  I wanted chicken breast that wasn’t bland and dry.  Cooks Illustrated had a recipe that was super simple with very little time investment and it turns out that’s the trick.  Cooking chicken cutlets should only take a few minutes or you start getting into that dry territory.  Having the cutlet tender was one thing but I still want flavor and lots of it!  The quick sun-dried tomato sauce is THE answer to flavorful and NOT boring chicken!  You can make the sauce during the weekend and just toss it in the fridge and when you’re ready to saute the chicken cutlets during the week you can have dinner on the table in nothing flat!  

This sauce is loaded with flavor and only takes about 5 minutes to put together.  You’ll start with oil-toasted bread and pine nuts which add richness and texture. Next you’ll add in some no-cook ingredients to build up the sauce and then finally add in fresh herbs and spices for a boldly flavored sauce.  

Prep for Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce 

For the chicken breast you’ll need to slice them in half horizontally and then pound them between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thickness.  It’s easier to slice the breast if you freeze them for about 15 minutes first.   All you need for seasoning is salt and pepper and then a quick two minute saute in hot oil set over medium-high heat, don’t add the chicken until the oil is starting to smoke though.  Once you place the cutlet in the pan don’t touch them for two minutes so they get nice and browned.  Flip them over for a minute more.  Remove them to a plate and loosely tent them with foil for 5 minutes before serving.  

I’m so glad I found a chicken breast recipe that I could love!  This one’s just too easy not to try, so make it for dinner and let me know what you think!  

Chicken Cutlet with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

 

Easy Chicken Cutlets for Two with a Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Serves 2
A quick and easy chicken cutlet with a sun-dried tomato sauce that delivers bold flavor!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. 1/4 slice hearty white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  3. 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  5. 1/2 small tomato, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  6. 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed
  7. 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil
  8. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  9. Salt
Chicken Cutlet
  1. 2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally, and pounded 1/4 inch thick
  2. Kosher salt and pepper
  3. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. Heat bread, pine nuts, and 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until bread and pine nuts are lightly toasted, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer bread mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil to food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, 5 to 8 pulses. Transfer to bowl and let stand, at least 10 minutes.
Chicken Cutlet
  1. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels and sprinkle each side of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place the cutlets in the skillet and cook without moving them until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sauce.
Notes
  1. Rinse the jarred sun-dried tomatoes for the best flavor.
  2. Sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in airtight container.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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Healthy Grab ‘n Go Breakfast Muffins

Breakfast, Muffins | January 24, 2015 | By

Healthy Grab 'n Go Breakfast Muffins

Do you eat most meals alone?  I know I do.

I was reading where people are eating alone more often and I always eat breakfast alone during the week.  Most weekday mornings are a rush for my husband to get out the door so eating breakfast together is definitely out, as it is I believe for most people.  I have been trying to make breakfasts easier, faster and healthier so make-ahead, grab and go meals are the perfect solution.  This healthy breakfast muffin has everything you need to feel like you’re starting your day off on the right foot!

Healthy Grab and Go Muffins

Flavorful add-ins like carrots, banana, and dried cranberries keep these muffins moist while ground flaxseed adds a gold mine of omega-3 fatty acids; just two tablespoons contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake for those heart-healthy fats. Flaxseed is also rich in fiber and lignan, an antioxidant that’s been shown to protect against breast cancer.  I threw in some toasted pecans to amp up the nutrition even more.  Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc!  Holy moly that’s a lot of nutrition!  Make a batch of these on Sunday and store them in the fridge.  Microwave them a few seconds before heading out for the day and feel really great about your delicious, healthy breakfast!  If you have to eat alone, make these and make the best of it!  If you guys have great grab and go breakfast ideas, I’d love to hear about them, just comment below!

MUFFINS WITH BUTTER

Healthy Grab 'n Go Breakfast Muffins
Yields 12
Healthy, moist muffins thanks to nutritious, flavorful add-ins like carrots, banana, and cranberries. Nutrient rich flaxseed amp up the nutrition even more.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
23 min
Total Time
38 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
23 min
Total Time
38 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  2. 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar, use light if that's all you have on hand
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  7. 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  8. 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  9. 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  10. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  11. 1 large egg
  12. 1/3 cup skim milk (I've also used lowfat buttermilk with great results)
  13. 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  14. 4 medium carrots, shredded
  15. 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  16. zest of half of orange
  17. Juice of half of orange
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, flaxseed, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Stir in oats, cranberries and nuts.
  5. Whisk together oil, egg, milk, carrots, banana orange zest and juice until blended.
  6. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry just until blended.
  7. Divide batter between muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Cool on wire rack completely before storing in an air-tight container.
Notes
  1. You can sub out the cranberries for raisins and leave out the nuts with no problem. I like the flavor the orange zest adds but you can certainly leave that off if you like.
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Quick and Easy Broiled Pork Tenderloin and Black-Eyed Pea Salad for Two

Dinner, Pork | November 19, 2014 | By

Quick and Easy Pork Tenderloin with Black Eyed Pea Salad

I love fast, easy meals during the week.  This recipe is healthy, low in fat, diabetic friendly, and you can have it on the table in 20 minutes!   I think the broiler is so under utilized.  I don’t know why I don’t use it more often, it’s so quick!  Toss the pork in the oven and in 10 minutes it’s done!  I also love the black-eyed pea salad and could just make a meal off of that alone!  I love how it doesn’t have any oil in the dressing, just fresh lime juice.  I have used bottled lime juice when I didn’t have any limes and it was great!  I have also substituted cilantro for the parsley when I had too much cilantro in the fridge. 

Pork Tenderloin with Black Eyed Pea Salad

The first thing you’ll want to do is to set your oven to broil and raise the rack in your oven to the top.  Next you’ll remove the silver skin on the pork loin, it’s tough and can cause the pork to curl if it’s not removed.  Remove any fat as well.  Rub a teaspoon of oil on the meat and then season with salt and pepper.  I like to line the pan with foil for easy clean up.  Place the pork loin in the oven and set a timer for 5 minutes to check it and turn it if it’s brown.  You’ll want to turn the pork once for even cooking.

Pork PrepWhile the pork is cooking go ahead and rinse your peas really well.  Place the rinsed and drained peas in a bowl and add 1/2 of a diced avocado, 1 scallion, and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and fresh lime juice. 

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Check the pork if you haven’t already and flip it for another 5 minutes.  Insert an instant read thermometer.  You’ll want a temperature between 140-145 degrees.  Let the meat rest for 10 min.   Slice against the grain and drizzle the pork with any pan juices.  Enjoy!

4 Pork tenderloin

Quick and Easy Broiled Pork Tenderloin and Black-Eyed Pea Salad for Two
Serves 2
A delicious, healthy and quick cooking pork tenderloin with a black-eyed pea salad.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas (preferably no salt added), drained and rinsed well
  2. 1/2 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced medium
  3. 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  5. 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  6. Coarse salt and ground pepper
  7. 12 ounces pork tenderloin, excess fat and silver skin removed
  8. 1 teaspoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat broiler, with rack in top position. In a medium bowl, combine black-eyed peas, avocado, scallions, parsley, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Rub pork with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Cook 10 to 12 minutes for medium, turning frequently (an instant-read thermometer should read 145 when inserted in center of pork). Let rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice pork and serve with salad and any cooking juices from sheet.
Notes
  1. You can double the salad easily if you want left-overs to take to lunch the next day. I also know the pork sizing seems a bit off for two people but I can never find a pork loin much smaller than 12 ounces.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Dog Treats

Dogs, Pets | November 4, 2014 | By

cookiesmissya

I didn’t want to leave Missy out of the pumpkin craze so I baked up these little dog treats!  I don’t know about your dog but Missy LOVES peanut butter!  All I have to do is unscrew the lid on the peanut butter and she wakes up out of a dead sleep and comes running.  Then she stares me down until I giver her a taste!   She was sooo happy about these treats and as you can see in the photo, she was just barely able to wait to eat one!  I made these in the shape of leaves for fall.  🙂 They are super easy to throw together, just mix everything together, roll out and cut into shapes and bake!

doughclose

Flour the surface where you plan to roll these out.  If they seem too sticky add a bit more flour.

doughcookiecutters

Cut out the shapes with your favorite cookie cutter and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  I sprayed mine lightly with cooking spray.  I wanted a dryer treat than the last treats I made.  One; because Missy likes crunchy treats and two; because the dryer the treat the longer it will last.  Keep in mind though that these are all natural treats with no preservatives so I would only safely store them in a treat jar for 5 days.  You can store them in the refrigerator for a month and the freezer for 3 months. 

cookiescloser

Show your doggie some love and bake these easy treats up today! <3

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats, cooling

Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Dog Treats
Yields 32
Easy, wholesome dog treats made with peanut butter, pumpkin, oats and whole wheat flour.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  3. 1 egg
  4. 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (only use pure pumpkin puree, not the pie filling)
  5. 1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, I used all natural smooth)
  6. 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  7. water (I used 1/8 cup of water, you may need more or less)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. (see note below for a dryer cookie)
Notes
  1. In addition to the 30 minute bake time, lower your oven to 200 degrees and bake for an hour. Check on them though to make sure they aren't getting too brown. Turn off oven and leave treats in the oven to cool.
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