Quinoa, Corn and Edamame Salad

31 Aug

quinoa corn edamameI’ve really wanted to make something with quinoa for quite some time now, and I finally did. I adapted this quinoa, corn and edamame salad to make it more appetizing to me (lose the peppers and add tomatoes!).

  • 2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 1 green onions, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (yes, both)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash cayenne

Boil and then cool the edamame and corn.

In a big bowl combine edamame, corn, quinoa, green onion, tomato and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle over salad and toss.

You can eat it right away or cover and chill. Mine kept for a few days. It’s really good and extremely healthy — packed with low fat protein!


Tomato Pie

23 Jul

I love tomatoes. They may be my favorite food. One time a doctor told me I may have to avoid acidic foods like tomatoes and I almost started crying. Turns out I didn’t need to after all, thank goodness!

This time of summer usually brings a bumper of the fruit so I opted to make a tomato pie. I’ve made them in the past but I wanted to try out a new recipe. This year I tried Paula Deen’s version and it did not disappoint.

  • 4 tomatoes (or 3 if you’re down South; we grow ’em big)
  • 10 or 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup of grated mozerella
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of grated cheddar
  • about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup of mayo (I’m not a big mayo fan which is why I didn’t use a whole cup)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 deep dish pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes and place in colander in sink. Sprinkle with salt and allow them to drain about 10 minutes. After that, I still had pat down the maters with paper towels to sop up some more juice. This is to help keep the pie from being so runny.

Layer the tomatoes, basil and green onions in the pie crust. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine mayo and cheeses. Spread the mixture on top of the tomatoes.

Bake for 30 minutes. I put the broil on for just about 5 minutes to get my crust darker.

Slice and serve warm.


Mini Caprese Salads

18 Jun

Like most gals, I occasionally browse pinterest for inspiration. I ran across these Mozzarella and Basil Tomato Packets just in time for my Book Club meeting last month.

My basil plants are doing well this year (first time I’ve been able to grow them from seed!). It wasn’t quite tomato season here yet so off I went to the store for those and marinated mozzarella balls.The original post uses grape roma tomatoes but I found some sweet little tomatoes that I was drawn to at the grocer so that’s what I used.

  • container of tomatoes
  • container of marinated mozzarella balls
  • fresh basil
  • salt and pepper

Wash tomatoes and basil. Half and hollow tomatoes. Roll up and slice basil.

Place either an entire mozzarella ball in the tomato, or cut to fit. These were a perfect fit. Top with basil slivers and drizzle a little bit of the mozzarella marinade on top. Salt and pepper to taste.


Chickpea Salad

8 May

Most of my posts have links back to a page I used as a recipe guide, but this one, well, I pretty much copied everything from this blog post. Her photos are really good. I just love the rainbow. My wellness coaches at work are always telling us to eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies. (I am aware I’m not as good as a photographer.)

While I may copy her post, I did make this recipe my own.

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained

    The rainbow of healthy ingredients!

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Mediterranean seasoning (picked this up at World Market)
  • dash of sea salt
  • about a third of a bag of salad lettuce
  • three plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • about a quarter of a red onion, diced
  • tomato-basil feta cheese
  • balsamic vinegar

In large pan, heat olive oil over medium. Swirl in the spices. Stir in the chickpeas. Cook for about 10 minutes until they brown.

Divide and assemble lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions onto two plates. Top with cooked chickpeas. Sprinkle with feta cheese. And then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

So healthy, filling and delicious!

I added the balsamic vinegar as an afterthought because it tasted like something was missing. It was just what the salad needed. I may try adding it to the chickpeas instead next time.

Baked Salmon with Cilantro and Lime

7 May

Salmon was on sale at Publix so I picked up a filet at the end of last week. I’ve cooked salmon once before and it was rather easy, quick and quite good.

Like most things I cook, I start with a google search. I had some limes (also on sale at Publix) and thought they might pair well with salmon since lemon does. Here’s the recipe I found using what few ingredients are in my kitchen. And of course, I had to sway a little from it since I only had one large filet and didn’t feel like cracking open garlic.

  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • juice of half a lime (and make a couple of slim slices)
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 rather large salmon filet

Preheat oven to 425.

Lightly grease glass baking pan with some of the olive oil. Place salmon inside.

Combine cilantro, olive oil, lime juice and salt. Pour over salmon filet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Place lime slices on top of filet. Bake another 2 to 5 minutes.

Makes enough for two, but of course I ate the whole thing with a side of leftover chickpea salad.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

13 Apr

I stumbled across a recipe for prosciutto-wrapped asparagus on Pinterest last week and thought they’d be perfect for Easter.

All you need is:

  • a bundle of asparagus
  • a package of prosciutto (mine had six slices)
  • salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar to taste

Since prosciutto is such a fatty, salty meat, I didn’t add any salt or olive oil. But I am trying to keep things light(er). The asparagus tips got a little dry so you may want to lightly coat them with olive oil.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Divide asparagus evenly into six bundles (or however many slides of prosciutto you have). Splash with balsamic vinegar.

Wrap prosciutto slices around each bundle.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

So good! And just enough meat for a lunch meal for me.

Of course, now I can’t find the original link (the recipe was so simple I didn’t bother to pin it or refer back to it). While looking for it to include in this post, I found a lot of variations. Some included sprinkling each bundle with Parmesan cheese while others covered them in a cheese sauce using Philadelphia Cooking Creme. All sound simply delicious.

Easter lunch

I served it with a corn, avocado and tomato salad (recipe to be in a later post), deviled eggs and mint green tea. It was a perfect spring lunch on a sunny, warm Easter day here in Tuscaloosa!

Father-Daughter Built-in Bookcase

13 Mar

Time for some spring sprucing! I love this time of year, even though it’s technically not spring yet, it sure does feel like it. And it’s spring break in Tuscaloosa — even for me! Since most grown-ups have to work, I get one week to myself. I’ve dubbed it #midlifespringbreak. It’s dedicated to home improvement, cleaning, cooking, sleeping and drinking.

Before- the wide upstairs hallway

My father is retired military so I asked him to come down for a day and help me build a bookcase in my upstairs landing. It’s actually an extra wide hallway. My book collection is slowly growing, as I’m in a book club (Tuscaloosa’s Coolest Book Club or TCBC) and a lot of people are giving me books as gifts lately.  Note, I often try to use the public library for book club books but sometimes that’s not possible. Take this year. We read The Hunger Games trilogy and there were loooong waiting lists for those books.

So, I decided to turn my wide hallway upstairs into my “library landing.”

I have a spare bedroom that I have as an office (with a twin bed just in case I have lots of visitors one night) in addition to a guest bedroom. I would eventually like to turn my office into a dressing room. That sounds extravagant but I have two reasons for doing this.

One, I never use the office. I work in an office all day. The last thing I want to do is go home and spend more time in one. Because of this, it’s wasted space. And I really think you should utilize space if you have it.

Two, my bedroom is often a mess because I have clothes and makeup and hairbrushes everywhere. Your bedroom should be restful, right? Now, there will probably still be a mess, it’ll just be in a different room. 🙂

OK, so more on the dressing room later, when I can save up enough money for it! Back to the book case.

Post-building, pre-painting

It was really only about five, maybe six hours of actual work. We used a combination of reclaimed wood (the vertical support beams are from wood I had used as railings in an old bed), mdf planks, mdf base board and wood side and top molding. Sorry, I don’t have any step-by-step instructions. They would all be something like, “measure, measure, cut.”

It took us less then 24 hours to design, shop for supplies, cut the wood, mdf and moldings and build it.

Little Liam inspects the newly built book case.

Painting took a couple of days as I needed to prime and paint two coats. Most of that though was waiting for it to dry enough to put on the next coat. I had some trim paint leftover from when I first moved in and built a shelf for my TV but I needed to go to Sherwin Williams to get some more. Since I bought my house brand new and the painters used this store, they have my colors on file. This has proved helpful during the past five years.

The finished book case

The total cost for this project was less than $100. A bargain! The book case is about 8′ long and 3′ tall and looks like it’s been there forever.

I love it!

And can’t wait to build more things with my dad!