Touch of Nectar











{April 25, 2011}   Quinoa Corn Cakes

I was at the Skagit Valley Co-Op this weekend, and like always, I had to check out what they had to offer in their deli section.

They had these gorgeous quiona-corn cakes. I had to try one. Delicious! So delicious, in fact, that when I got home I decided to try and recreate the recipe. It was a bit of an adventure.

First, I was out of quinoa. Backpacking bins to the rescue! I had cooked and pre-dehydrated quinoa. So I used that. And half a can of corn. Two eggs. And half a jar of roasted red bell pepper. And a handfull of fresh cilantro that is starting to wilt in the fridge. A teaspoon or so of cumin to spice it up.

Hmmmm… it isn’t holding together like I want it to. Add some bread. Nope. Still not working. Add flour! YES!!! But now it is a little too thick. So I added the rest of the can of corn.

Success!! While it wasn’t exactly like the Co-Op’s I think I now have the base of something good for next time. Good hot or cold too. Bonus.

(photo is of my version)



{April 19, 2011}   Ham and Pineapple Kebabs

Not only does using the grill keep the hubby happy, it gets him to help me with dinner. Both he and the kidling LOVED this recipe. I served it with steamed basmati rice and green beans.

As usual, I made a few changes. I forgot to buy the Maraschino cherries and I added some sweet onion to the skewers. I also used fresh pineapple instead of canned.  Hubby says to use both the onions AND cherries next time. This is one of those recipes that now that I’ve made it once, I can make it over and over again without the actual recipe in front of me. It’s a keeper!

1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 1/2 lbs cooked ham, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
8 maraschino cherries, stemmed
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare a medium-hot grill.
Thread pineapple, ham, and cherries onto skewers, dividing the ingredients equally.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
Brush over ham skewers.
Grill kebabs until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.



The Menu this Week. April 16-22 2011

As usual, these are not in the order that I will make them. Fruit/dessert on the menu this week is pineapple, bananas, pears and oranges.  Do you see a theme with this week’s menu? Hubby brought the barbecue back from our property. It is one way I can get him to help me cook dinner. Shhh… don’t tell him I said that!

I’m super excited because the farmer’s market near my house is now open. You can expect to see lots of fresh fruit and veggies in the upcoming menus. I have asparagus to use but I haven’t decided what I want to make yet. Maybe a white bean and asparagus salad?

I bought half a ham for the kebabs, and only need a small portion of it, so I will make a ham and bean soup in the crock pot to freeze. I will also freeze a portion of diced ham for quick omelets or quiches. I love having a well-stocked freezer!

Sat – CORN/Leftovers Night

Sun – Olympic Burgers #   from 365 Grilling Recipes

Mon – Ham and Pineapple Kebabs #445833 from 365 Grilling Recipes

Tues – Chicken Sandwich with Lemon Basil Mayo #451586 from Eat Well Stay Well

Wed – Pork chops (TBD),  Dijon Parsley Potatoes from George Foreman

Thurs – Grilled Chicken Fajitas from 365 20 Minutes Meals (make double and freeze half), Salsa Fresca Mexicana from 365 Mexican Recipes, Rice

Fri – Watercress and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Tuna from George Foreman, sliced tomatoes

Breakfasts – Sunday, unless we go out to breakfast. Almond Pancakes from Beyond the Moon (didn’t get made last week) and fresh fruit
Muffins (TBD)

Lunches – (smaller portions of the recipes) Grilled Pear Salad with Parmesan from 365 Grilling Recipes
Shredded Carrot Salad # from 365 Grilling Recipes
 
Dessert – Applesauce Cake #451271 from Spices of the World (didn’t get made last week)



Rigatoni with Escarole and Sausage (link to recipe)


I love a fast dinner! This took about 20 minutes or so.

First I put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. (correction – first pour a glass of wine to drink while cooking dinner!)

From the freezer, I pulled out a package of basil-chicken sausages. I thawed them in the microwave, then sliced them into ¼ inch slices. While those were heating in the skillet, I chopped the garlic and escarole. The head of escarole I had was huge, so I only used half.

When the pasta water was ready, I dumped in the farfalle pasta that I was using.

I added the garlic to the skillet and let that sauté for a bit. When the pasta was almost done cooking, I added the escarole to the sausages. I also added a bit of the pasta cooking water to help it wilt.

When the pasta was done cooking, I drained it and then tossed it with the escarole and sausages.

Served topped with lots of Parmesan cheese.

Dessert was fresh cantaloupe.



{April 13, 2011}   Delicious Easy Lunch

Blackeyed Pea Salad
Serves 6-8

2 cups dried blackeyed peas
¾ cup diced red onion
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 T soy sauce
¾ t salt

Soak the blackeyed peas in 6 cups water for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Drain the beans, put them in a pot with 6 cups fresh water, and bring them to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 20-25 minutes, just until tender.

Drain the beans, and transfer them to a medium bowl. Stir in the red onion and garlic.

When the peas are cool, stir in the red pepper, scallions and parsley.

Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, tamari and salt. Stir the dressing into the salad and serve at room temperature.
____________________________________________________

This recipe comes from my Beyond the Moon cookbook.

And since I can’t ever follow directions… Here is what I did.

I used one can of blackeyed peas and one jar of red/yellow roasted bell peppers, drained and rinsed. I chopped the bell pepper and tossed it with the peas in a bowl.

I omitted the red onion and salt completely. I mixed the garlic, parsley, vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce together (eyeballing the measurements) in a small bowl before tossing with the salad.

I agree, this is best at room temperature. Yum! And healthy too.

Bell peppers and parsley are both high in vitamins A and C. Parsley also contains calcium and potassium. Green onions are high in antioxidants.

Blackeyed peas are rich in fiber and potassium. They also contain zinc and iron.



The Menu this Week. April 9-15 2011

As usual, these are not in the order that I will make them. Fruit/dessert on the menu this week is pineapple and cantaloupe. I’ve already messed up the menu, but tonight will be the Rigatoni. And I have some watercress to use… I’ll have to find a recipe for that.

Sat – Going hiking with the kidling, so I need a fast and easy dinner.

Sun – Chicken Athenos #330056 from 1001 More Low Fat

Mon – Pizza Burgers #445820 from 365 Grill (make double and freeze?)

Tues – Pineapple Rum Turkey Kabobs #231845 from Low Carb, Rice and Snow Peas

Wed – Lemon Herb Swordfish Steaks #452353 from Low Carb

Thurs – Rigatoni with Escarole and Italian Sausage (sausage from freezer) #334597 from 1001 Low Fat

Fri – PCT Movie night. Leftovers or pizza.

Breakfasts – Sunday, unless we go out to breakfast. Almond Pancakes from Beyond the Moon

Lunches – Blackeyed Pea Salad from Beyond the Moon

Dessert – Applesauce Cake #451271 from Spices of the World



{April 11, 2011}   An Easy Teriyaki Burger

I used a package of teriyaki sauce mix (from the Asian market) and combined it with a pound of ground beef, one egg, one slice of bread and a shredded yellow squash (shhhh… don’t tell hubby he ate vegetables!)

I made the combination into patties and grilled them on the George Foreman.

I also grilled up some canned pineapple. I layered the pineapple and burgers on buns with lettuce and sliced fresh beefsteak tomatoes.

Hubby inhaled his before I had even assembled mine.

Score!



{April 8, 2011}   Swiss Turkey Burgers

Swiss Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground turkey
6 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
1 egg white
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup bread, crumbs
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 onion rolls, split

Combine the turkey, Swiss cheese, egg, mustard, bread crumbs, pepper and salt in a medium bowl.

Shape into 4 patties.Preheat the grill and spray with cooking spray.Grill burgers for 7-8 minutes. Serve on onion rolls.



et cetera