Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Bean & Two-Cheese Quesadillas

From: Stern, Bonnie. Heartsmart 2006 p 197.

Serves 6

  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 sweet red pepper, preferably roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T chipotle puree
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 2 T chopped fresh chives or green onions
  • 2 T shredded fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft unripened goat cheese or feta
  • 6, 10-inch whole wheat tortillas

Combine black beans, tomato, red pepper, chipotle, garlic, cilantro, chives, basil, Monterey Jack and goat cheese. Place tortillas on counter in a single layer. Spread filling evenly over half of each tortilla. Fold unfilled half of tortilla over filled side and press together. Grill quesadillas for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. You can also bake them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 400F for 7-10 minutes, or cook for a few minutes per side in a lightly oiled non-stick skillet or grill pan.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shrimp with Curried Lime Carrots

This is one of the healthier dishes I've prepared lately, but it's lacking a little flavour. If you feel like playing with it, try adding spice. Yellow peppers or eggplant added to the dish would enhance its appeal. Perhaps some curry paste might deepen the flavour too. 

From: Better Homes and Gardens - Garden Fresh

Serves 4

  • 1 lb fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground tumeric
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t ground cardamom
  • 1/8 t ground pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly bias-sliced
  • 2T chopped green onion
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/2 t finely shredded lime peel

In a medium bowl combine cumin, turmeric, salt, cardamom and cayenne pepper. Remove 3/4 teaspoon of the mixture to another medium bowl. Add shrimp to one bowl and carrots to the second bowl with seasoning. Toss each to coat.

Place a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to just below bottom of the basket. Bring water to boiling. Add carrots to steamer basket. Cover and reduce heat. Steam for three minutes. Add shrimp. Cover and steam for three to five minutes or until shrimp are opaque and carrots are tender.

Transfer shrimp and carrots to a serving platter. Sprinkle with green onion. In a small bowl combine lime juice and honey. Drizzle over shrimp and carrots. Sprinkle with lime peel.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bloody Mary Salad

While the salad was fantastic, the steak that's supposed to be served with it would up the ante. Check the recipe's link below for details on the entire meal plan.

Adapted from:

Serves 6

  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 T Sherry vinegar, divided
  • 2 lbs cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped celery hearts (inner stalks and leaves; from 1 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup chopped brined green olives plus 2 tablespoons olive brine
  • 2 T prepared horseradish
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 t celery seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar over onions in the bottom of a large bowl and let them sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will temper the onion’s bite. Add tomatoes, celery and olives. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, reserved olive brine, horseradish, Worcestershire, pepper sauce and celery seeds in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly until combined. Add to tomato salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed, and up to 4 hours in advance, if covered and refrigerated.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stuffed Steak Pinwheels

THIS is a lump of meat. Doesn't look like much... scroll past the recipe for the end result. I deviated from the instructions a bit and ended laying the bacon and rolling the steak in the opposite direction. Doesn't look like much, but the end result was a tasty steak. Anything with bacon can't be bad.

From: Better Homes and Gardens - Grill It

Serves 6

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 1/4 1 1/2 pound beef flank steak or boneless top round steak
  • 3/4 t lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 T fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 t dried thyme, crushed
  • grilled cherry tomatoes (optional)

In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat just until brown, but not crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels. Trim fat from steak. Score both sides of steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals. Cut meat in half lengthwise. Place portions of meat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound steak lightly to a 10X6 inch rectangle, working from the centre to the edges. Discard plastic wrap. Sprinkle meat with 1/2 tsp of the lemon-pepper seasoning and the salt. Arrange bacon slices lengthwise on meat.

For stuffing, in a medium bowl combine feta, spinach, bread crumbs, the dried thyme, and the remaining 1/4 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning. Spread stuffing over meat. Starting from a short side, roll each portion of meat into a spiral. Secure with wooden toothpicks at 1-inch intervals, starting 1/2 inch from 1 end. Cutting between the toothpicks, slice each roll into six 1-inch-thick pinwheels. On each of six 6-inch skewers, thread 2 pinwheels.

For a charcoal grill, grill pinwheels on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 12 to 14 minutes for medium doneness (160F), turning once halfway through  grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place pinwheels on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as directed.)

To serve, remove pinwheels from skewers; remove toothpicks. If desired, garnish pinwheels with grilled tomatoes. The end result below was served with potatoes and greek salad.