Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ready to dig into a satisfying salad?

While this Asian chicken salad recipe isn’t the most original idea I’ve had in the kitchen, it’s still pretty satisfying.

Sesame Chicken Slaw 
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons agave syrup
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 head green cabbage, shredded (about six cups)
2 cups diced chicken breast
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thin
⅓ cup chopped green onions
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts

Whisk lemon juice, soy sauce, agave syrup, minced ginger and sesame oil together to create dressing. Combine remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl and drizzle with dressing. Use tongs to toss and serve salad.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Make-Fast Mondays: Meatball mania!

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? While handmade always beats the competition, I’m also a big fan of buying a bag of frozen meatballs when there’s not enough time or motivation to start from scratch. Simmer pre-made meatballs with a jar of your favorite marinara, serve with creamy polenta (so easy when using the technique described in this recipe) and top with fresh basil and you’ve got a delicious dinner takes about 30 minutes to make, doesn’t require much prep work and won’t leave you washing dishes all night.

Meatballs with Marinara and Creamy Polenta 
1 pound bag frozen meatballs
25-ounce jar of marinara sauce
1 cup polenta
1 quart chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Fresh basil, sliced, for garnish

Bring chicken broth to a boil in large saucepan.

While waiting for broth to boil, place meatballs and marinara in large sauté pan and cover, cooking over low-medium heat and stirring occasionally, until meatballs are thoroughly heated, roughly 30 minutes. 

Once broth is boiling, gradually add polenta and bay leaves, stirring for a minute or two, before reducing heat to low and covering the saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the polenta for a minute every 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and discard the bay leaves. Divide polenta between four dishes. Top each dish with meatballs, marinara and basil.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Make-Fast Mondays: Dill-icious Pasta Salad

Tonight’s Make-Fast Monday dinner is the end result in taking what I love about this recipe and ramping it up while scaling back the pasta. The end result is an entree-worthy pasta salad loaded with delicious shrimp, crunchy cucumber and a delightfully dilly dressing. It’s easy to prep all the components of this salad while boiling water and cooking your pasta. It’s also worth noting that I used Trader Joe’s Brown Rice  & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, a new favorite, but a whole-wheat pasta would also yield similar results. 

Shrimp and Cucumber Fusilli with Dill Dressing 
¾ cup olive oil
5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ cup chopped dill
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
8 ounce fusilli, cooked al dente and rinsed with cold water
4 green onions, sliced
1 pound Persian cucumbers, halved and cut into thick slices (English cucumber would also work)
1 pound cooked medium shrimp, tails removed and deveined
1 cup fat-free crumbled feta

Blend olive oil, Dijon, dill and white wine vinegar in a blender until smooth and creamy. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl, and stir in dressing until everything’s evenly coated.