Friday, July 31, 2015

FRESH PEA SALAD

Summer Pea Salad, jazzed up with crisp bacon and sweet cherry tomatoes is one of my favorites. It is one of those great salads that travels well and tastes even better after it has been in the fridge for a day or two.



1 pound fresh green peas (or 16oz. bag of frozen green peas)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup peeled and grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped fairly small
3 slices of crisp bacon cut up (optional but delicious)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded (I use a little more)
cherry tomatoes, cut in half (sweeter the better)
toasted sunflower seeds

Fresh green peas are the best in this salad, but when they are not available, frozen peas work very well too.  Microwave peas (covered) with 1 tablespoon of water for about 3 minutes or until slightly cooked (but not soft) then drain and cool.

In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together (except the bacon, cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds), then gently fold in the dressing.

Dressing
3 heaping tablespoons of light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons milk
Whisk the ingredients together and gently fold into salad. Cover and chill.

Just before you serve it, gently fold in the cut up cherry tomatoes, crisp bacon and toasted sesame seeds (save a few for decorating the top).


NOTE: Every microwave cooks at a different rate, so keep an eye on your peas when you microwave them. You don't want them to get overcooked and mushy.

ENJOY !!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

QUICK AND EASY TOMATO PORK LOIN CHOPS

If you are looking for a quick, easy and delicious pork chop recipe, this is it!! It is so simple.....and a DELICIOUS change for your weeknight menu.


1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
4 3/4" thick boneless pork loin chops*
1 cup chopped onion
8 ounce tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Brown the pork (I do this in an electric skillet) in the vegetable oil, then remove and set on a plate (it will cook the rest of the way later).

In the same pan, saute the chopped onion until it is soft and the cut edges turn just slightly golden. Add everything else and stir until well mixed.

Put the pork chops back in the sauce and simmer, slowly, for 30 minutes (turn the pork chops over a couple times within that 30 minutes).

After 30 minutes, top with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and put the lid back on for a few minutes (no heat) until cheese melts.

 
Sauce will be nice and thick. Serve with rice or noodles and make sure you include a nice big spoon of sauce with each pork chop
 
*Note: I buy a small 1 1/2 pound pork loin roast (NOT pork tenderloin), and then slice it into nice thick slices for this recipe.
 
 
ENJOY !!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

LOW CALORIE BROCCOLI SOUP

This Broccoli Soup, is rich, hearty, delicious, filling and easy to make...PLUS, it has only 70 calories per serving!! How can you beat that? 



BROCCOLI SOUP
1 medium size sweet onion chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cayenne (or more if you like a little heat)
1 pound fresh broccoli florets
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups good chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

Saute chopped onion in olive oil until it is soft and smells sweet. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds while stirring (so garlic doesn't burn).

While onion is cooking, wash and cut up the fresh broccoli, removing the harder/bigger part of the stalk, yielding 1 pound of florets.

Add broccoli to the onions and garlic, along with 4 cups chicken stock, chopped potato, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.

A NOTE ABOUT CHICKEN STOCK: If you are using homemade chicken stock, I suggest that you wait until the soup is almost finished before adding the salt, pepper and cayenne, so you can taste it first.

Personally, I seldom have homemade chicken stock on hand, so I use this brand of stock (I think the canned chicken broth is just too thin and tasteless).

Once the soup comes to a boil, turn it down to a slow simmer and put a lid on the pan; simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, the veggies will be very soft. Puree the whole pot of veggies and broth with a food processor, or blender.

Season and eat. This makes about 6 cups of soup. I like it topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

*70 calories per serving without the cheese.
*This would also be good with a little bacon or ham, although that
 would pretty much cancel out the 70 calories per serving.


ENJOY !!!