Not so Greek Salad

A good friend of mine, Ann Kaar recently posted a recipe for greek salad using spiraled cucumber which of course made me drool.

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Got my cucumbers, pulled out my handy dandy spiral slicer gadget and here is are my cucumbers ready to be dressed up with some yummy flavors.

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Found some Nature Sweet Red and Yellow Cherry tomatoes which I thought would be ideal for it and looked very scrumptious!

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Greek salad usually has cucumber, kalamata olives, feta cheese, onions and tomatoes, but of course I decided that I like my goats cheese with cranberries better than feta so today my greek salad is not so greek after all.

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After adding the tomatoes sliced in half, some thinly sliced onions, olives and goats cheese, I tossed the salad in the juice of a lemon, a tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper!

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And there you have it, a delicious light salad to be eaten anytime of the day with not much guilt 🙂

Arugula Summer Salad with a garlic sesame dressing…

Nothing better after a very hot South Florida day than a nice refreshing salad for dinner!

After 2 days on a road trip visiting my not so favorite lunch and dinner establishments, its really nice to be able to enjoy something really tasty, fresh and nutritional 🙂

So here is today’s dinner salad:

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For the dressing mix all the below ingredients:

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  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped jalapeños
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic

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For the salad:

  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 nice big strawberries
  • green onions
  • 3 radishes thinly sliced

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I quartered the boiled eggs, slice the avocados ( I sliced them earlier and drizzled some lemon juice to stop them from going black).

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Sliced the strawberries, green onions and radishes and layered them all nice and pretty on the arugula.

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Finally drizzled the yummy dressing onto it and gave it a nice toss before serving.

Talk about a bite with a kick! That was one tasty and refreshing salad 🙂

Some rules are meant to be broken……

For all of you avid cooks out there you know what I mean.

There is an art to cooking and certain rules that have to be followed, but as long as we follow the basics, the rest is up to our imagination.

Years ago I was given a recipe of a delicious black eye pea salad which I thought was perfection and didn’t need any changes.

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Here is the recipe for the original salad:

  • 4 cans of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Since then I replaced the parsley for cilantro and the tomatoes don’t always make it in. Also I prefer more veggies so I only use 3 cans of peas and add extra chopped peppers.

The dressing (did I mention this is the best part)consists of:

  • 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (I use splenda most of the times)
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper

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Today of all days I was really craving this salad as it’s great on its own, as a dip (scoops work the best), on toast as a bruschetta topping and its great tossed with cold pasta turning it into the best pasta salad ever!

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Low and behold when I found that I had no cilantro, no parsley and wasn’t in the mood to put tomatoes into it……..so instead I,

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  • Chopped some watermelon
  • chopped some fresh mint from the garden
  • chopped some fresh basil from the garden

And added it to the peas, peppers and onions, and I have to say it turned into the best of the best black eye pea salad ever!

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So now you understand what I mean by rules are meant to be broken!

Let your imagination run wild, experiment and enjoy!

New Year’s Resolutions……….It’s a Portobello affair!

New Years is here, and with it come a lot of New Year resolutions, losing weight, traveling more, working less, winning the lottery, and the list goes on and on…….

One of my resolutions is to twist my menus around to ensure that each one of them is a balanced meal, more veggies, medium protein and low in carbs and calories. Guessing I will for sure slip here and there but lets see how long I can hold on to this wise resolution!

So with this in mind tonight I made:

CRAB STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS WITH A TOSSED GREEN SALAD

For this I used:

  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Crab Meat
  • Onions, Peppers, Lettuce
  • Low fat homemade béchamel sauce ( low fat milk, flour, butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper)
  • small amount of breadcrumbs

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I roasted my mushrooms in a 400 Deg F oven for 35 minutes after giving them a light toss in a tablespoon of Meyer Lemon Olive oil, salt and pepper. Took them out of the oven and let the cool down for a bit.

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I prepared my sauce by melting the butter, cooking the onions, adding the flour and cooking it out, adding the milk, salt pepper and nutmeg.

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Once the sauce was nice an thick I added the crab meat to it.

I stuffed the Mushrooms with a large spoonful of the Crab mixture, topped them off with some garlic bread crumbs and back into the 400 Deg F oven for another 10 minutes or until nice and golden.

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Chopped up my lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers and prepared a nice vinaigrette and voila, dinner is served!

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Had some crab stuffing left over so check my blog out tomorrow to see what new dish comes out of that!

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Halloumi Cheese from Cyprus

Recently I have been having a craving for some delicious Halloumi Cheese. Such cheese is not easy to come by here in South Florida but when I do find it I stock up big time!

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Tonight we had some Panfried Halloumi cheese lightly breaded in some seasoned flour served on a bed of lettuce tossed with some artichokes, garlic stuffed olives and chopped tomatoes, with a homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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This lovely light and tasty salad was of course paired with a lovely glass of Moscato which I believe is named after my sister! lol

Bon appetit!

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Cucumber Salad – Healthy, tasty and done in a flash!

I love my cucumbers (and no, no twisted mind comments allowed)! I use them everyday in my juices but at least twice a week I make my favorite cucumber salad. Its fresh, its healthy, its tasty and its easy to make.

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All you need is:

  • 1 large cucumber sliced (takes 30 seconds with a mandolin)
  • 3 tablespoons of Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste and a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds

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And that is it, see how simple it was? I find myself having this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, etc.

I even have my daughter Phoebe hooked on it, she will swing by the house, steals it from the bowl in the fridge, into a tupperware container and woosh off to school it goes!

Think its too bland for you? If so, jazz it up with some sliced tomatoes or sliced peppers. Also try adding some chopped watermelon!

Don’t like the Sesame oil/seeds, use Olive Oil instead….

Enjoy