Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lentil and Brown Rice Salad with Bay Leaf

This recipe turned out great, and I only added a few things
I decided to make a large batch of brown rice in chicken broth, and a separate batch of lentils with bay leaf and Herbes de Provence. I was able to freeze several cups of each after making a number of servings of this cold salad. I had never cooked with Herbes de Provence before, but had used bay leaves primarily in beef stew. I omitted the onion from this recipe, and added tuna  with tomato and bottled salad dressing--- it was delicious.
You can't really see the tuna in the photo, but it added some "zing" and tasted refreshing cold. Speaking of which, here is one of our favorite (no spices added!) refreshing desserts:
Have you used Herbes de Provence in a recipe? I'm going to try one coming up, but am undecided as to which one.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stuffed Eggs

This recipe for stuffed eggs was fun to prepare, since I’ve made it many times in the past. Though I didn’t realize until I was half-way through that the parsley qualified this recipe for a blog post! In other words, no photos of piles of egg shells.

6 eggs, hard boiled, peeled
¼ c flaked tuna, drained (about half of a 5 ounce can)
½ -1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp lemon juice
1 TBSP butter, room temperature
½ tsp Tabasco / hot sauce
1 tsp mustard
½ tsp salt and pepper
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP mayonnaise
optional garnish: lettuce leaves, paprika powder

After peeling hard-boiled eggs, rinse them off and gently cut them in half length-wise. Use a spoon to gently remove the yolk, place the yolks in the mixing bowl and the whites on the serving platter. Add all other ingredients to the mixing bowl, and use a fork to mash everything together. Stuff the mixture into the egg whites, and garnish the serving plate with lettuce and paprika.
I used the extra tuna to make a nice salad, along with the left-over egg filling, lettuce, and some avocado. If I had any more of these beauties left, I’d have added them, too!
Of course I had plenty more within days. Do you have a secret ingredient for stuffed eggs that you can share?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cucumber Dill Pasta Salad

I have always liked the flavor of cucumber dill salad, but I must admit defeat in my substitutions with this recipe. I bet the accurate following of this recipe* would result in fantastic flavors…but I had to go and add pasta, use fat free mayo and sour cream, and not enough dill (dried).
My goal was (and still is) to serve a relatively healthy pasta salad, and I had hoped that I could turn this cucumber dish into something more. I am still on the search for a pasta salad with reasonable numbers in the calorie and fat departments!
The original dill dressing was great. I made some whole wheat macaroni, cooled it down, and added it in. The tomato flavor was a nice boost, but the bland pasta needed something stronger than dill dressing. 
Help! Do you have a favorite tasty and healthy pasta salad recipe?
*when I first created this post in 2012, I wanted to respect the original source, so I did not write out the original recipe, but did include a link. In 2014, I was unable to access the link to the site and recipe, so it is included for you here:
Combine 1/2 cup sour cream, 3 TBSP mayonnaise, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/3 cup chopped onion, 6 sprigs fresh dill (chopped), 3 cucumbers (sliced or chopped), sale and pepper to taste.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Risotto with sage

When searching for sage recipes, I found this risotto, with entirely different flavorings (though equally delicious) compared with the first recipe I posted back in February 2012. I made several modifications to the directions, some “by accident”, others intentionally, so this version includes the changes from the original at

   4 cups chicken stock        2 strips of bacon                       ½ onion, chopped            2 garlic gloves, minced                 1 1/2 cups rice (I used mixed brown rice and red quinoa)          1/2 cup white wine          1 tablespoons dried sage                1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
I followed the directions from the link, and was worried that the dried sage might not be as good as fresh- it seemed to blend in and be absorbed. But in the end, the flavor was solid and interesting, definitely worth the time gradually adding liquids.
I don't think I've ever used sage for anything other than roasted chicken, so I'm grateful to other bloggers for leading the way- it's way more fun than digging through the shelves of actual cookbooks that I own! Do you have an interesting use for sage?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes with Paprika

I never had friend green tomatoes before, and couldn’t really understand what the excitement was all about. Give me a ripe tomato, preferably warm from the sun, and I’ll devour it raw, like an apple! I have also never raised tomato plants before now, and I’ve been amazed at the two gigantic green tomatoes that didn’t seem to want to turn red! The little cherry tomatoes were orange-ing up nicely, and some little four-legged critters were stealing some of the medium sized green tomatoes, so I decided to rescue the large green ones before they could be bitten by squirrel teeth and left to rot on the ground!
I combined several recipes I found on-line with modifications for health goals. Of course I was glad to find one recipe listing paprika as a spice! I used whole wheat flower as follows:
1 plate for dipping the raw tomato slices into plain flour
1 plate with an egg, beaten with milk for the second dip
1 plate with about 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup corn meal, ¼ teaspoons of salt, pepper, and paprika (I ended up adding more paprika, salt, and pepper, but don’t think it was ½ a teaspoon of each total) for the third dip.
 Way less than an inch of oil in the pan, still tasted great.
I tried the first one after it was barely cool enough to bite into, and it was super! 
Then I got to thinking that it was slightly like eggplant parmesan. That got me thinking about mixing flavors like cheese, tomato, basil, etc. Then I had a crazy idea: why not try it with slices of mango? I like my fried green tomatoes that way.
Have you ever prepared fried green tomatoes with garlic or onion? I’d like to try that, but don’t want to overpower the delicate flavor of the tomato.