‘Tortellini, Chicken & Arugula Salad’

Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

This is one of those radically simply recipes that after one bite makes you think: ‘Why didn’t I think of this?”  A healthy salad of store-bought cheese tortellini, peppery arugula, and shredded rotisserie chicken, all tossed with Parmesan cheese and a light lemon-shallot vinaigrette.  Wonderful as is, I decided to also add some sliced mushrooms and bitter radicchio leaves into the mix.  I can also see this salad working very well with halved cherry tomatoes and even a basil pesto vinaigrette as well.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/tortellini-chicken-arugula-salad)

Parmesan Parsnips with Sage & Pecans

A great way to liven up any steamed veggies is with cheese, crunchy nuts and fresh herbs. Take this simple side dish for example: peeled and sliced parsnips are steamed and then tossed with grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh sage, and buttery pecans.  I arranged the cooked root veggies over some radicchio leaves both for presentation and a slight bitter edge which I love, plus a drizzle of olive oil and sherry vinegar for tang.  Instead of sage, feel free to use thyme, rosemary or chives; and instead of pecans, walnuts or even hazelnuts would swap in beautifully.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

It’s becoming that time of year where soup is creeping back into our dinner menus!  A hearty soup like this one satisfies everyone’s early Fall cravings, makes for wonderful leftovers, and also freezes quite well.  If you blanched and froze any veggies this summer–anything from greens, squash, zucchini, corn, green beans, you name it–this is the perfect spot for those as well.  For this version of vegetable soup, I used a homemade beef stock, veggies, white beans and cubes of tender beef.  With this kind of soup you can also throw in your favorite whole grain from the pantry, or even orzo, rice or leftover pasta.  I did get a bit ‘fancy’ with this soup in terms of my meat choice: seared cubes of filet mignon instead of beef chuck; a leaner and pricier cut of meat yes, but it also cuts the cooking time down quite a bit.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Apple & Cranberry Granola Crisps

When I start to see fresh or even frozen cranberries in the market, I always buy a couple of bags to keep in the freezer.  A staple in Holiday menus and recipes this time of year and into the winter, cranberries add a distinct burst of tang to any recipe you wish to include them in.  With crisp Pink Lady apples on hand, I decided to combine some of the frozen cranberries with thinly sliced apples for this fruit crisp.  The cranberries pop in the oven, mixing with the apple juices and squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to make a lovely sauce surrounding the cooked fruit. The topping for this crisp is a sprinkling of store-bought granola and tiny pieces of butter for extra flavor and to help the granola crispy up nicely in the hot oven.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Stuffed Peppers with Creamy Pesto Risotto

You might recognize these stuffed sweet peppers from the photo on yesterday’s salmon post.  Sweet bell peppers stuffed with creamy Arborio rice risotto flavored with a touch of basil pesto sauce.  A dramatic presentation, and a dramatic delight for your taste buds.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Baked Salmon with Citrus Vinaigrette’

Recipe Courtesy of Fine Cooking.com

Bursting with the taste of fresh citrus and fresh herbs, this simple citrus vinaigrette is the perfect pairing for flaky, baked salmon fillets.  The idea is simple here: first, make the vinaigrette which consists of chopped shallots, oil, orange and lemon zest, white wine vinegar, and orange and lemon juices; allow this mixture to sit so that the shallots lightly macerate in the vinaigrette itself.  Once the fish is flaky and hot from the oven, you spoon some of the vinaigrette over the fish and serve it all with chopped, fresh herbs. Chervil or cilantro are mentioned int he recipe, but fresh thyme, chives or even chopped parsley work well, too.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.finecooking.com/recipe/baked-salmon-with-citrus-vinaigrette)


‘Pan-Roasted Chicken with Za’atar, Potatoes & Greens’

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Magazine

In one of the most recent issues of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, this tasty recipe was featured.  A one- pan chicken dish highlighting za’atar, a flavorful spice mixture containing ground sumac, sesame seeds, and other dried herbs.  Sprinkled all over the chicken before being baked, the chicken is served with roasted potatoes, red onions and hearty Lacinato kale, as well as lemon wedges.  Seeing that the sumac-portion of the za’atar spice blend is tart and lemony as is, the fresh taste of lemon wedges with the chicken dish really brightens things up.

‘Honey-Cumin Roasted Carrots’

Recipe Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

Further evidence that carrots really don’t need much to make them shine.  Roasting any vegetable, especially root vegetables, really brings out their natural sweetness.  On top of their natural sweetness, these roasted carrots are tossed in a mixture of honey, olive oil, sherry vinegar. and cumin seeds–along with peeled garlic cloves.  They honey lightly caramelized onto the roasted carrots and the cumin seeds add crunch and a lovely rich flavor to the orange gems.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://amp.bhg.com/recipe/honey-cumin-roasted-carrots/)


‘Pear & Watercress Salad with Cashews and Honey-Ginger Vinaigrette’

Recipe Courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine

The combination of flavors and textures in this Asian-inspired salad is simply irresistible.  Ripe, sweet pears tossed with peppery watercress, buttery cashews, and a homemade honey-ginger vinaigrette. If I were you, I would double the vinaigrette and keep a jar of it in the fridge–the dressing is a puree of fresh ginger, garlic, shallot, soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and honey.  Its thick texture really coats each and every bite of the healthful ingredients.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.finecooking.com/recipe/pear-and-watercress-salad-with-cashews-and-honey-ginger-vinaigrette)

Earl Grey & Orange Pork Tenderloin

I’ve seen a lot of different dried spice blends lately featuring tea.  One of my favorites is an Earl Grey blend from my local spice shop that also includes fennel pollen, black pepper, marjoram, rosemary and granulated garlic.  A perfect pairing if you ask me for pork; another perfect pairing with those flavoring and the pork is fresh orange zest.  And garlic never hurt anything, right? So I coated the pork tenderloin for this recipe with the spice blend, slivers of garlic stuffed into the pork itself, and the grated orange zest.  Bake and serve over peppery watercress or arugula.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)