Friday, July 8, 2011

Food For Thought

It's been a little while since I've been in touch with my foodie-side.  I've missed her. :)  We had been so busy with VBSing, traveling, water-parking, traveling, recovering and laundering that we had also been scrounging, left-overing and sandwiching.  Until this week.

My aunt, uncle and cousin were in town and suddenly my dinner inspiration kicked in and I jumped back into actual cooking.  Mommy's happy slicing and dicing in the kitchen; my family is happy eating fresh and good-for-you meals ... Everybody wins!

This week, we enjoyed a few of my favorites:

Southwestern Slaw
Cold Curry-Peanut Salad
Fiery Broccoli (in place of green beans ... and equally tasty and toasty)

Now I'm back into the groove of cooking again and ready to try out some new flavors and foods.

Here are a few new salads to freshen up your main courses ... and to add a little green to your plate.

Creamy Spring Peas
(This recipe is from Food Network, April 2011, with a few tweaks to lighten it up.)

2 cups frozen peas
1 lb sugar snap peas
1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
5 slices of bacon
2 T flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Juice of one lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside.  Fill a large pot with water (with a pinch of salt) and set to boil.  When the water is at a rolling boil, add the snap peas and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the snow peas and cook for a mere 30 seconds.  Drain the peas and then dump them into the ice water to cool them quickly and retain their beautiful bright green color.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon.  Once crisp, set the bacon aside on a paper towel and then chop coarsely.  In the bacon drippings, add the flour and cook over medium-high heat until toasted.  Whisk in the chicken broth and evaporated milk.  Stir well to remove any lumps and then cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by 1/3, about 5 minutes.

Drain the cooling peas and add them to the creamy mixture along with the frozen peas.  Cook (stirring constantly) until heated through - about 5 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with the chopped bacon before serving.

In this case, it's easy being green.
Peas & Sprouts
(This recipe is something I threw together to add a little summer to a recent dinner.)

2 cups frozen peas
1 lb frozen brussel sprouts
2 roma tomatoes, diced
Rice vinegar
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

Microwave the peas according to the package instructions and then plunge them into the ice water to stop them from cooking.  Do the same with the brussel sprouts.  Once the sprouts are chilled, cut them into quarters with a paring knife.  Toss the peas and sprouts together in a serving bowl with the tomatoes.  Add a splash of vinegar, oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Simple, but scrumptious!

Broccoli Waldorf Salad
(This is an old family recipe.  And a favorite in the summer time.)

4 crowns of broccoli, chopped
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup mayonaise
1 T sugar
2 T vinegar

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, apple, onion, celery, raisins and walnuts.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayo, sugar and vinegar.  Pour this mixture over the salad and toss well.  Refrigerate for one hour before serving to allow the dressing to mingle.

Proof that it's okay to mix fruits and veggies.

Starstruck Edamame Salad
(This recipe is from Food Network, June 2011, with a few tweaks.)

8 oz small pasta (I used stelline ... adorable little stars!)
2 cups frozen edamame, thawed
1 cup cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

In a medium sized pot, prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.  During the final minute of cooking, add the edamame.  Drain the mixture and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the cilantro, green onions, oil, parmesan and lemon zest.  Mix well and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Warm and refreshing at the same time!


  1. My mom used to make something like those peas when I was a child. Creamed peas on toast . . . and it had a less polite name, too, involving a shingle. I loved it!

    Visiting from SITS!

  2. Yum- they all look good! I may have to try them soon!


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