Category Archives: Quick and Delicious

1 Grocery Bag, 5 Weekday Meals

Intrigued? I know I was when I saw this on the cover of the new Everyday Food. Having to be on a pretty strict food budget I jumped at the chance to give this a try. They even give you a handy, dandy shopping list right where this section starts in the magazine and I simply just took it with me and crossed items off as I went.
This is going to be different than my other posts since I usually only cover what I like, but since the focus is here is on a short weekly shopping list, I’m going to post my reviews of all the recipes (regardless of how they taste) to really see how this nets out.
The recipe recommendation is as follows – Monday, Grilled Steak with Tomatoes and Scallions; Tuesday, Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula; Wednesday, Tomato-Pepper Soup with Ham and Arugula Wraps; Thursday, Grilled Pork Chops with Cucumber-Dill Salad; Friday; Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cilantro (sorry, can’t find some of these on the Web site and I will post here later).
I tweaked this schedule to work within my week and started with the Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cilantro. On the recipe page they mention the sauce is Vietnamese-style and features fresh ginger, garlic and jalapeno combined with brown sugar and rice vinegar in a saucepan. I have to say the sauce really made this dish, but it was also a great combination of the cool, crisp cucumber, savory chicken and cilantro and noodles. I really liked this dish and how quick it was to get on the table.
Up next, ham and arugula wraps with tomato-pepper soup. Hope it’s good!

It’s SO Easy Being Green!

I’ve been on a scallop kick lately and if these gentle magazines don’t stop coming up with delicious recipes for these tasty little suckers well then you are just going to have to get used to it!

This Grilled Scallops with Honeydew-Avocado Salsa from Food & Wine magazine is my favorite scallop dish I’ve tested so far. Not only is the ingredient list short and there are only two steps, but the flavors were out of this world. The salsa is fun twist on a traditional salsa verde with honeydew melon and fresh avocado, plus a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. I did add a smidge of honey at the end and folded into the salsa just for good measure. Then you simply grill (or grill on a grill pan inside your house…sigh) the scallops and that’s it. This was on the table in no time and I LOVED it!

Spiced Lamb and Vegetable Kebabs with Cilantro Mint Sauce

I love a good sauce of any kind and the cilantro mint sauce in this Cooking Light dish is divine. The magazine claimed this would take 40 minutes total to get this on the table and lo and behold it did. This was very simple to put together and the only difference was that since I don’t have a grill (sigh), I broiled the skewers in the oven until done. I also like the idea of a protein other than the standard beef or chicken for a weeknight meal and the lamb dipped in the sauce, “oh my goodness!” is all I can say.

I thankfully had a lot of sauce so I sliced up some fresh cucumbers and drizzled it on top and then served the skewers on top of the Currant-and-Almond Pilaf from Everyday Food which gave a satisfying crunch to the dish and rounded out the meal.
This dish rocked and I would highly recommend it for simple and different kind of weeknight meal.

Thai Salad with Pork (or the salad that made me literally lick my plate)

So I just got the new Family Circle and am dying to try some of the recipes in the June issue. First up this Thai Salad with Pork recipe, that yes, I may have licked my plate when I was done. What really made this dish amazing was the dressing. A little backstory for you. I grew up in East Texas and have been visiting Shogun’s (a hibachi grill) my entire life. They make this ginger dressing that is out of this world and this is the first homemade dressing I’ve made that reminded almost exactly of their’s. So maybe it was a little bit of delicious dressing mixed with fond childhood memories? I don’t know.

The other thing I liked about this was how quick and simple it was to make and on a good-for-you scale this one registers way up there, with cucumbers, red bell peppers and lean-pork. I didn’t have bean sprouts (which I love) so I decided to do something very un-cooking inside the lines and added fresh mango to add a sweet note (and more vitamins and fiber) to the dish and it was great.

On a random side note, I was watching Andrew Zimmern’s latest installment of Bizarre Foods last night and saw an ad that next week is his tour of Texas. Being a very proud Texan, especially of our food culture, I can’t wait to see where he ends up. It airs next Tuesday, May 26 at 9:00 p.m. CT.

Strawberry, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Exquisite is a word I would use for this pizza dish from Cooking Light. The flavors melded so well and I would highly recommend using watercress if you can find it. I just found a gorgeous bunch of it at Whole Foods Market today and I guess you could substitute its kin arugula if you wanted.

I would never have thought to put these flavors together on a pizza but it turned out beautifully and was so delicious. I couldn’t find pistachios (go figure) at H-E-B or Central Market so I used cashews instead.
This would be great for a party or a simple and quick weeknight meal that is both an entree and dessert. Go make this right now!

Sauteed Scallops with Watercress and Ginger

I was on a watercress kick last week with the world’s best pizza and all, but I also made this Sauteed Scallops with Watercress and Ginger from Everyday Food which was really good.

This recipe was so super simple for a weeknight meal and had it on the table in about 25 minutes. I did add a dash of red pepper flakes at the end for a little bit of heat. I still can’t find this recipe online so here you go.

Serves 4

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon of peeled minced fresh ginger

3 bunches of watercress (about 5 ounces each), thick ends trimmed

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 pound large sea scallops (about 12)

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add garlic and ginger and cook until garlic is lightly golden. 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of the watercress and cook until wilted. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining watercress. Stir in lemon juice and sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper. Wipe skillet clean.

Pat scallops dry with a paper towel; season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high. Add scallops and cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. turn and cook until opaque throughout, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve scallops with watercress.

Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

So after a quick but intense trip to New York and a looooong drive to and from my hometown I was super beat last night but nothing, I repeat nothing, would stop me from making this.

I came across this Strawberry-Avocado Salsa in this month’s Cooking Light and literally squealed with glee and clapped my hands together. It just sounded so good! This salsa was super easy to make and everything melded so nicely with the creamy avocado, crisp red onion, spicy jalapeno and of course delicious and sweet strawberries. I served over a sauteed piece of halibut and dinner was done in 15 minutes. I wish I had made more so I could eat with tortilla chips but I have learned my lesson for next time. Make this immediately!

Yummy Mango Napoleons

So I made dinner last night and let’s just say none of the recipes I tried were really worthy of posting here…sad. BUT, the one shining dish was for dessert, these delicious Mango Napoleons from Everyday with Rachael Ray were so tasty that they are going on regular rotation in my house.

Not only were these super-easy to make, they turned out beautifully on the plate and were so, so, so delicious. I was a little worried about the flavor of the Greek-style yogurt (I used the 2% as I eat this stuff like it’s going out of style) since it can have a distinct bite to it. However, with a little sugar and vanilla extract mixed in, it balanced out the flavors and made it very creamy.
The ripe mangos on top with a little bit of sugar were the perfect complement with the yogurt mixture and flaky puff pastry.
Try these for an easy dessert option for a weeknight dinner or these are a great to be enjoyed at a party like the magazine suggests.
I couldn’t find the recipe online so here you go:
Mango Napoleons
Serves 6
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3 ripe mangos, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a work surface, unfold the puff pastry and cut into 6 rectangles. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden-brown, about 15 minutes then lower the heat to 325 degrees and bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool.
Meanwhile, toss together the mangos and 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Mix the yogurt with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla. Using a serrated knife, halve the baked pastries horizontally. Spread the yogurt-vanilla mixture on the bottom halves, spoon the mango on top and cover with the remaining pastry halves.

Scallophobia? No Way!

I have to confess, I love scallops…when they are cooked at a restaurant. I have had a fear of cooking them at mi casa because if you overcook them they get too chewy and if they are undercooked well, let’s just not go there. SO, I was brave last night and tried the Seared Scallops with Roasted Tomatoes from Cooking Light and I did good for my first attempt!

This recipe was so fast I barely had time to do anything else (i.e. pour a glass of wine) until it was done. I wasn’t feeling pasta last night so instead I sauteed some fresh broccoli and served with the scallops and roasted tomatoes with just a smidge of fresh lemon juice.
Give this dish a try if you are looking to experiment easily with scallops – it was a very enjoyable. Do you think I’ve earned the right to wear a “Top Scallop” t-shirt now?
Also, in honor of April Fool’s Day I really enjoyed this story on Great Food Pranks. I cannot believe people really thought you could grow spaghetti trees.