terça-feira, 29 de junho de 2010

Easy Pasta Salad

A super-easy salad recipe I came up with using whatever I had at home. A major hit at my book club meeting over the weekend and a great idea for a hot summer afternoon. Buon appetito!

Easy Pasta Salad

2 boxes shell pasta
1 cup dried raisins
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups green leaves
1 package fat-free ranch dressing
Salt and pepper
Cook pasta in water, olive oil and salt according to package instructions (approx. 15 minutes). Let it cool. Add ingredients and serve it cool.

quinta-feira, 24 de junho de 2010

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

Back in the days I was an English teacher, I worked for many years at a private school where we used this unique methodology - which I loved! Its core was drilling from day one. Of course, the more advanced a student got in the course, the less drilling and the more interaction there is. So yesterday night, as I tasted this pesto chicken, I just felt like coming up with a drill that would probably go somewhat like this: This chicken is delicious... tasty... this chicken is tasty... recipe-delectable... this recipe is delectable... food-amazing... this food is amazing... yummy... this food is yummy! And so on... I won't to the whole BUT-AND-OR thing here (sorry, private joke for Brasas English teachers). Anyway, this is just to say that this recipe is delicious and super easy to make. And of course, healthy too. Comment: Enjoy!

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

Grilled Pesto Chicken

1 tray of chicken breast - skinless and boneless
1 package spinach soup
salt and pepper

Add the soup powder to a bowl and add water. Add pieces of chicken and marinate overnight. Add more water if necessary - there should be enough to cover all the chicken.
For this recipe, I used my stove-top grill. With the help of a silicone brush, coat both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken on the grill and pour some of the pesto sauce at the bottom of the grill - don't use it all, leave some pesto sauce for the next recipe. If you have a gas stove, grill chicken for 15 to 20 minutes. If it is an electric stove - like mine - the grilling will take at least 50 minutes.
You can also use a bbq grill or bake the chicken in the oven.  

Tip: the stove-top grill is great, easy to use and by adding water, wine or any other sauce to the bottom of the grill, the meat always turns out to be tender and juicy. And the fat is gone!   

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
1 package of spinach soup - use what was left over from the chicken
2 tbsp garlic
olive oil

Cook spaghetti squash in water with salt until tender - don't cut it or make holes. If you use a pan, it will take probably was long as the chicken. I usually use my slow cooker for this. I fill it with water and add salt. Then I eave the spaghetti squash in there on slow for 6 hours. That makes cooking really easy and fast. Actually, since the squash will be cooked, all you have to do is add the seasoning.
When squash is tender, cut it in half and remove seeds. Toss the outer layer. Add a little bit of oil to a stir-fry pan. Add garlic. When garlic is golden brown, add pesto sauce and the spaghetti squash. Cook it for a few more minutes - as I said above, just so the seasoning blends well with the squash.

Place the squash on a tray and the chicken on top of it - see pictures.

Serve with green salad and brown rice. For dessert, peaches and cream.
Again! And again! And again!

quinta-feira, 17 de junho de 2010

A refreshing Summer treat

Here is a delicious and super easy treat for summer time. Whether you are serving a banquet for 20 people or just hosting a get together for a few close friends, you can't go wrong with this simple recipe.

Fruit salad

1 cantaloupe, cut into chunky pieces
2 types of grapes, red and green
1 small box of strawberries, sliced
1 small box of blueberries
1 tbsp brown sugar or sugar substitute

Wash all the fruits and mix them in a large bowl. For more flavor, add brown sugar or sugar substitute - if you are counting calories!!!

Ai que delícia!

segunda-feira, 14 de junho de 2010

The Pampered Chef 2

And the pampered chef strikes again... with an equally delectable recipe for the weekend. The perfect dish for a chilly afternoon in... June! Yes, you heard it right, June is usually rainy and cloudy but I don't remember a month of June this cold since I got here in the U.S. But instead of complaining that I can barely wait for summer time and for long afternoons just laying by the pool working on my tan, I decided to enjoy the bad weather indoors. Hot cocoa for dessert and 'My Fair Lady' on dvd make for a perfect evening.

Alfredo's Pasta with His sauce (lol!)

1 package of durum wheat pasta (approx. 400g)
1 polish sausage - sliced
1 can of cheesy Alfredo sauce
1 small package frozen bell pepper - chopped
1/2 package cauliflower

1. Cook pasta according to instructions on the package in large pan.
2. While pasta is in hot water, cook or fry sliced polish sausage on vegetable or canola oil. Use stir-fry pan.
3. Add frozen bell peppers and cauliflower to sttir-fry pan. When no longer frozen, add Alfredo sauce.
4. When pasta and sauce are ready, mix them together.

Serve with salad, toasted french bread and fruit or chocolate for dessert. 


Frango e Abóbora ao molho de leite de coco

I believe most of you know how much I like.. love... adore... am hopelessly devoted to... my slow cooker!!! It did indeed change my life. Isn't it wonderful that we can prepare pretty much everything we want to that requires a pressure cooker in a slow cooker? Part of my amazement comes from the fact that I am actually afraid of pressure cookers - ok, I said it! And this is not easy for me to admit, there are very few things I am afraid of - cockroaches, bridal/baby showers and mom when she's angry are equally scary to me! Putting all those things aside, the slow cooker is indeed one of the best inventions of the 21st Century. Now that I am done bearing my slow-cooker-mony, let's talk about recipes! Browsing thru the shelves of my fridge and cupboards, I came up with this amazing recipe that deserves to be shared if all of you. Bom apetite!

Frango & Abóbora ao molho de leite de coco - Acorn squash & Chicken Casserole with coconut milk seasoning

1 tray of chicken - any cut, from chicken breast to drumsticks
1 acorn squash, cut in chunky pieces
1 cup brown rice or bulgur
1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup onions. chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups of water - approx.
3-4 bouillons of  Maggi's coconut milk seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
Pepper to taste

1. Cut acorn squash into chunky pieces. If you have a good knife, you can easily do it without cooking the squash first. If you find it too hard, cook it it in very hot to boiling water for approx. 20 minutes or until soft enought to cut - but not too soft. You don't want to cook it entirely.
2. Cook pices of chicken on olive oil using a stir-fry pan until slightly brown.
3. Add ingredients in this order to slow cooker: onions, bell peppers, squash, rice, chicken, seasoning.
4. Let it cook on high for 4 hrs or slow for 6hrs.

Serve with green salad and french bread toast.

Any changes?
New ideas?
Keep me POSTED!

quinta-feira, 10 de junho de 2010

Summer Jello

This is a very refreshing and colorful idea for dessert in the summer. And may I add, super simple too.
All you need here is one seedless watermelon and 4 packages of cherry jello (or any other flavor like strawberry or raspberry).
      Cut no more than 1/2 inch from the bottom of the watermelon so that it can stand on its own. You will use it to serve the dessert in it. Cut the top part of the watermelon and toss the cap. Take the pulp out of the fruit. Put it aside. Make the jello according to instructions on the package. 
Add fruit to jello and then pour mixture into the watermelon. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Stir mixture every 15-20 minutes. Best if done overnight.
Serve with angel food cake.
     Ahhh, so refreshing!
     If you want to count down on calories, use fat free jello. The result is the same.  

segunda-feira, 7 de junho de 2010

Egyptian Salad

Every first Sunday of the month we have a Break-The-Fast lunch after Church. And every month, we have a different theme. This month the theme was Egyptian food. I had never actually stopped to think about what kind of food they serve in Egypt - though I have dreamed about going to Egypt several times. As I googled 'egyptian food', I found a website with amazing recipes and was extremely surprised. The Egyptian cuisine is very rich in flavor and very close to the Middle Eastern cuisine - having been to North Africa and the Saharan desert, that shouldn't have surprised me at all! The website contained mostly recipes of salads, soups and spicy or curried meat. Since I had signed up to bring a salad, I chose this recipe and it was a delicious treat for a hot summer-like afternoon - it's still spring! Several other ingredients can be added such as feta cheese, olives, cucumbers and celery.  Here is the website: http://www.touregypt.net/recipes.
Bom apetite! (bil hana wish shifa'!) بالهنا و الشفاء!


1 cabbage, sliced
1 can chickpeas
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup bell peppers, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fat-free cranberry salad dressing

Just mix all the ingredients and toss with the dressing. Serve it fresh!


terça-feira, 1 de junho de 2010

Mom's Black-Eyed-Beans-and-Tuna Salad


2 bags of frozen black eyed beans/peas
2 cups bulgur or steel-cut oats
2 cans tuna in water
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tbs garlic
2 cups non-fat mayo
Salt and pepper
Olive oil


In a small pan, cook bulgur and/or oats according to instructions or just like rice - see The Amazing Bulgur.
In a large pan, cook beans according to package instructions.
Let bulgur/oats and benas rest for at least an hour or untill cool.
In a large bowl, add other ingredients in the order above and mix them well.

Servings: 3-4. Serve with green salad and bread or crackers.

A great recipe for a light summer dinner or a fancy picnic. Mangia che te fa bene!

Gnocchetti de Camarão ao Molho Branco da Luana

I would like to thank Luana for her collaboration and participation in my blog and for sending me this amazing-Oh-My-Gosh recipe that I just can't wait to try out! Thanks, Luana.

Gnocchetti de Camarão ao Molho Branco da Luana
300g de Gnocchetti (Tipo de massa de macarrão )
1 Litro para cada 100gr de Gnocchetti .
Molho Branco:
1 Colher de Sopa de Margarina
1 Cebola picada em cubinhos
Pimenta do Reino
1 Caixinha de Creme de Leite
1 Xicara de Leite
1 Colher de sopa de maizena
Queijo parmesão ralado
Preparando os Camarões:
1 kg de Camarão descascados
Tempere com 1 limão , Alho , Sal e Pimenta do Reino
Reserve e deixe pegando o tempero.
Modo de Preparo :
1. Massa: coloque 3 litros de água em uma panela e leve ao fogo. Espere ferver. Ao ferver, acrescente 300g da Massa Gnocchetti. Mexa cuidadosamente até voltar a ferver novamente. Após fervura, comece a cronometrar o tempo de cozimento.O tempo de cozimento da massa é de 8 minutos aproximadamente .
2. Molho Branco: derreta em uma panela a margarina. Em seguida, acrescente a cebola, o sal e a pimenta do reino. Deixe dourar. Quando a cebola estiver ficando transparente, acrescente o creme de leite e mecha para que encorpe junto a cebola e a margarina. Logo em seguida, dissolva a maizena no leite e acresente junto ao creme de leite na panela. Mexa até ficar no ponto de molho (não se esqueça que o amido de milho - maizena - encorpa rapidamente e endurece rapidamente, caso fique muito consistente acrescente mais leite e retorne a mexer com o fogo já desligado). Com o molho ainda bem quente, acrescente o queijo ralado e mexa até ele derreter.
3. Em uma frigideira a parte com um pouco de azeite de oliva, cozinhe os camarões e junte ao molho branco e cozinhe mais um pouco.

Saboreie e bom apetite!