• Sweet Chili-Glazed Tofu

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    I picked up the America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers magazine at the store, because I am always looking for quick and tasty meals to prepare.  There were a number of recipes that caught my eye, and this tofu dish did not disappoint.  We will certainly make this dish again.

    Recipe adapted from the Winter 2010 30-Minute Suppers by America’s Test Kitchen.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
    • 1/2 c. Asian sweet chili sauce
    • 6 TBSP soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
    • 1 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 head of broccoli and/or snap peas (or any veggie), steamed or blanched
    • Hot rice

    Directions:

    1. Line a baking sheet with either paper towels or a clean kitchen towel; then place cut tofu on the towel; top with more towels; then top with another pan.  Drain tofu for about 15 minutes.
    2. Once tofu is drained, remove the towels, spray the tofu with cooking spray and bake in a 400* oven until tofu is crisp.
    3. Meanwhile steam or blanch the broccoli in salted water.
    4. Whisk chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger and cornstarch in a bowl.
    5. Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chili sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Add the baked tofu and the broccoli and toss to coat.  Serve over rice.

    Sweet Chili-Glazed Tofu:

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  • Cranberry Jello Salad

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    Jello salads and molded jello salads were all the rage in the 70′s and they still are for my family in the Pacific Northwest.  Most jello salads I don’t particularly care for, but I eat enough to be polite.  There is one exception.  My Great Aunt Arlene makes this wonderful raw cranberry jello salad every Thanksgiving.  It’s bright, cold, and refreshing, which is a nice contrast to the heavy hearty Thanksgiving meal.

    Since I’m not with my family for Thanksgiving this year, I emailed Aunt Arlene for the recipe and made it for my family.

    It didn’t disappoint.

    My son said “this is the best jello I’ve ever had.”  And he had 3 helpings!

    I think what makes this jello salad so delicious is that it has all fresh fruit…none of the canned stuff.

    Try it…you’ll really like it!

    Ingredients Option 1:

    • 1 c. raw cranberries
    • zest of 1 orange
    • orange segments and juice from 1 orange
    • 1/2 c. sugar (or Stevia)
    • 1 small box of sugar free raspberry jello
    • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
    • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced

    Ingredients Option 2:

    • 1 c. raw cranberries
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 6 oz. can of pineapple juice
    • 1/2 c. sugar (or Stevia)
    • 1 large box of sugar free raspberry jello
    • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
    • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced

    Directions for Option 1:

    1. Mix sugar, jello, and boiling water in a bowl; cool slightly.
    2. Combine the cranberries, orange zest, orange segments and orange juice in a food processor and pulse until all is ground into small pieces.
    3. Combine cranberry mixture, jello mixture, and apple pieces in a bowl.  Chill until set.

    Directions for Option 2:

    1. Mix sugar, jello, and boiling water in a bowl; cool slightly.
    2. Combine the cranberries, orange zest, and pineapple juice in a food processor and pulse until all is ground into small pieces.
    3. Combine cranberry mixture, jello mixture, and apple pieces in a bowl.  Chill until set.

    Cranberry Jello Salad:

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  • Fish Po’Boys

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    These are really good and really easy sandwiches.  Perfect for a weeknight meal.  You can either use frozen breaded fish, make your own, or forgo the breading all together.  I used frozen breaded fish…my kiddos love this!

    The spicy tartar sauce makes this dish.

    This recipe is adapted from Great Food Fast.

    Ingredients:

    • Frozen breaded fish fillets
    • 1/2 c. mayo
    • 3 TBSP chili sauce
    • 2 TBSP chopped parsley or cilantro
    • 2 TBSP grainy mustard
    • 2 TBSP chopped pickles
    • hot sauce or crushed red pepper to taste
    • Baguettes
    • Lettuce and Tomato for serving

    Directions:

    1. Cook fish as directed.
    2. Combine mayo through hot sauce in a bowl.
    3. Place fish on baguette, add lettuce and tomatoes, and top with spicy tartar sauce.

    Fish Po’Boys:

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  • Spicy Chicken Tacos

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    I so love salsa fresca, and I thought it would taste really good with some chicken tacos.  And not just as a condiment, but as part of the flavor of the chicken.

    I was right.  It was delicious!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 3 1/2 c. cooked shredded chicken
    • 3/4 c. salsa fresca
    • Tortillas and guacamole

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and salsa and simmer until chicken is nicely coated and heated through.
    2. Serve with desired taco condiments.

    Spicy Chicken Tacos:

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  • Roasted Tomato and Feta Sauce

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    This is so easy and so tasty.  It was a really good way to use up some of our fresh garden tomatoes.  The feta gives the pasta nice seasoning, so if you omit the feta, be sure to add some more salt
    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • Kosher salt, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp.)
    • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • 6 oz. crumbled feta
    • 1 c. fresh basil, chiffonade
    • 1 lb. pasta

    Directions:

    1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
    2. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the tomatoes get juicy, about 15-25 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package.  When pasta is done transfer to a large serving bowl; then add the roasted tomatoes to the pasta as well as the feta and toss.  Top with basil.

    Roasted Tomato and Feta Sauce:

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  • Mango Jicama Salsa

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    I’m always will to try a great new salsa to top chicken tacos or fish tacos.  This salsa is so summery and refreshing, and it went great as a topper for fish tacos.

    I saw a recipe for jicama salad in the March 2009 issue of Cooking Light, which was the initial inspiration of my mango jicama salsa.
    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. jicama, julienne-cut
    • 2-3 mangos, sliced or cubed
    • 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced
    • 1/2 of a red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 to 2 jalapenos, chopped
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 1 tsp. sugar (more or less depending on how ripe the mangos are)
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

    Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    2. Top your tacos, and enjoy.

    Mango Jicama Salsa:

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  • Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad

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    We had short ribs for dinner tonight, and I needed a quick side dish to go with it.  This salad came out so delicious, and I will definitely make this one again!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. whole wheat cous cous
    • 1 1/2 c. water
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • salt
    • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1/2 c. English cucumber, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 /2 of an orange, yellow, red, or green bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 c. artichoke hearts
    • Juice of one lemon
    • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
    • 1/4 c. fresh herbs, minced (I used mint and basil)

    Directions:

    1. In a covered saucepan, bring cous cous, water, olive oil, and salt to a boil; then turn off heat and keep on burner for 5 to 7 minutes.  After 7 or so minutes fluff cous cous with a fork.
    2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes through lemon juice in a bowl; then add the cous cous, and toss to combine; then add the feta cheese and herbs and toss once again. Taste and correct seasoning, if necessary.

    Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad:

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  • Pasta Salad

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    My mother-in-law started makes a delicious pasta salad during the summertime, and this is my version.  It’s super tasty, and it works well as a main dish or a side dish.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/8 to 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 8 to 10 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
    • salt
    • 1 lb. pasta
    • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, cubed
    • 1/4 c. fresh basil, chiffonade
    • 1 c. quartered artichoke hearts

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta according to package
    2. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and add some salt.
    3. Heat olive oil in a skillet; then add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes; then add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
    4. Put pasta in a big bowl, add the tomatoes and garlic with the oil and toss to combine.  Then add the cheese, basil, and artichoke hearts and toss again.

    Pasta Salad:

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  • Creamy Jalapeno

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    Chuy’s is one of the most fantabulous tex-mex restaurants on the planet.  Their sauces define d’lish.  One of their tasty sauces is a creamy jalapeno sauce.  Oh, it’s so good.  Here’s a copycat recipe that’s pretty close.  It’s tastes awesome on taco salads, fish tacos…really anything.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. mayo
    • 1/4 c. buttermilk
    • 1/4 c. chopped jalapeno
    • 1/4 c. tomatillo salsa
    • 1/4 c. cilantro
    • 1 1/2 packets (total 1 1/4 oz.) dry ranch dressing mix

    Directions:

    1. Combine mayo through cilantro in a blender untill smoth.
    2. Pour in a bowl, and whisk in rand dressing mix.
    3. Chill and serve.

    Creamy Jalapeno Sauce:

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  • Asian Chicken Salad

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    This salad is delicious!  So refreshing, tasty, and filling.  The dressing is so flavorful, that it’s now our new favorite salad dressing.  Great salad for a warm summer day.

    Adapted from Prudence Pennywise.
    Ingredients:

    • 8 fresh won ton or 6 egg roll sheets
    • cooking spray
    • 8 c. chopped romaine lettuce
    • 2 c. chopped cooked chicken
    • 2 large oranges, peeled, or canned mandarin oranges
    • 2 large avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
    • 2 c. sugar snap peas (either raw or blanched)
    • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
    • 4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1/3 c. roasted salted peanuts
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Ginger Soy Dressing:

    • 4 TBSP rice vinegar
    • 4 TBSP sugar
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
    • 2 TBSP canola oil
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • pinch of salt

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat won tons with spray and cut into strips. Bake on foil lined cookie sheet until crispy, turning once, about 8 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, chicken, oranges, avocado, sugar snap peas, cilantro, scallions, peanuts, sesame seeds, and won ton strips.
    3. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl; then drizzle the salad with dressing and serve.

    Asian Chicken Salad:

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