Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spinach and Black Grape Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I have to say, this is my new favorite salad (and by salad, I  mean the green, healthy stuff....not the mixture of candy bars and fruit...otherwise, that would still be my favorite salad). I love the juicy sweetness of the grapes that cut the acidity of the delicious vinaigrette. The parmesan cheese adds a nice salty element and the walnuts give the salad a nice crunch. All of the flavors complement each other so well. 

Spinach and Black Grape Salad
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup black grapes, sliced into thirds (be sure to use black grapes--they have the best crunch)
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped and toasted

Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all of the salad dressing ingredients except for the olive oil until well combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Drizzle desired amount over salad and enjoy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Skinny Zucchini and Red Pepper Pasta


I came up with this pasta on the fly, but it's now one of my family's favorites! It's fresh, flavorful, and filling.


Skinny Zucchini and Red Pepper Pasta
8 ounces lean ground turkey
8 ounces noodles (I used bowtie)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 large red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 large tomato
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup canned grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the water for the noodles. Before adding the noodles to the water, place the tomato in the water for 30 seconds. Carefully remove the tomato and slice a small "x" shape in the top. Peel the skin off the tomato using the "x" as a starting point. Once the skin is removed, cut open the tomato, remove the seeds, and finely dice. Cook the pasta according to the package's directions.
Over medium heat, cook the turkey, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, onion, and one tablespoon of olive oil until the turkey is browned. Add in the tomato, zucchini, and red pepper, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini and red pepper are tender, but not mushy. Mix in the grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and noodles. Stir in 3 more tablespoons of olive oil so the pasta isn't dry. Enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Tofu with Savory Asian Noodles


I've always wanted to try tofu because it's so healthy. I finally purchased some at the store, and then scoured the internet for good tofu recipes. I'll admit, the only one that really appealed to me was a recipe for fried tofu.

Fried tofu.

Isn't that some sort of oxymoron?

So I came up with my own recipe. I have to admit, I love the caramelization of the marinade on the tofu. And I also came up with some Asian-inspired savory noodles. I wanted the tofu to be the shining star in the dish, so I made the flavors of the noodles pretty delicate.

Sweet and Savory Tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/4 cup oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12.3 ounce package of extra firm tofu

Combine all of the ingredients except for the tofu in a large bowl. Slice the tofu into 1-inch thick slices. Put the tofu into the marinade and make sure the tofu is coated in the marinade. Let the tofu marinate in the fridge for at least two hours to absorb the flavors. After marinating, place the tofu onto a roasting pan or cooling rack (that's oven-safe) and broil in the oven until the marinade caramelizes on one side, and then flip and caramelize the other side. Use the leftover marinade as a dipping sauce.

Savory Asian Noodles
6 ounces linguine or fetticine noodles
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 squirt sriracha sauce (or more if you like it spicy)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 green onion, sliced

Boil the noodles according to the package's directions. While the noodles boil, mix the remaining ingredients, except for the green onion, in a small bowl. When the noodles are finished cooking, drain the water and return the noodles back to the pan. Pour the sauce ingredients into the pan and stir to combine. Serve with the sliced green onions on top.