Saturday, August 28, 2010

Greek Yogurt!

I discovered Greek yogurt when I studied abroad in Greece.  At first it was strange eating plain yogurt--not something most people do stateside.  I quickly learned that it is wonderful with just a little bit of honey and granola.  

Now Greek yogurt is a staple in my diet.  I do not just eat it for breakfast though.  In fact, I have replaced mayonaise and sour cream with Greek yogurt.  While low fat sour cream may not seem like a big deal, when you replace it with non-fat Greek yogurt you also get more protein, calcium, potassium and those lovely probiotics.  What are your favorite healthy replacements?

Below is a recipe for making "mayo" out of Greek yogurt.  It is not my own creation, but Rocco Dispirito's in Now Eat This. 

6 tbs white vinegar
4 tbs cornstarch
1 17.6 oz container of Greek yogurt (you can use 16 oz, I do)
3 tbs Dijon mustard
4 packets Truvia (not a fan of articificial sweetners, but this is natural)
1 tsp salt

1) In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and cornstarch together.  Add 2/3 of the yogurt.
2) In a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  The yogurt will get very thick, and when it does, scrape it into a food processor (or a blender).
3) Blend the mixture for about 1 minute, turn off the food processor, and scrape the yogurt off the sides.  Blend about 3 more minutes. 
4) Add the remaining yogurt, the mustard, the truvia and the salt.  Blend about 1 more minute.
5) Pour contents into an airtight container and let it set in the fridge for about 2 hours until is cold and firm.  It will last about a week.

I use this as a dressing in pasta salads or a sandwich.  If you want to mix things up for a dressing, you can add spice blends to liven things up. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Go Fish!

Go Fish!

Mahi Mahi with Dill, Lemon, and Capers
Disclaimer--I have not always been a fan of preparing fish.  I will order it when I am out, but for awhile the thought of preparing it grossed me out.  However, thanks to my friend Leeann, I have gotten over that hurdle and fish is a more regular part of my diet. Fish is great for a number of reasons.  First, you can prepare it in a variety of ways, the oven, stovetop or grill all work great and it is adaptable to a number of different recipes.  Second, it is really healthy.  It is a great source of protein and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.  Fish is also healthy fast food--it cooks very quickly!

This particular recipe works great with Cod, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Halibut and Walleye.   I used 5 oz fillets of Mahi Mahi and am listing the ingredients per fillet so you can make the recipe for just yourself or for a dinner party.

1/2-1 tsp fresh dill
1/4 of a lemon cut into two pieces
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp capers
enough foil to completely enclose each fillet

1.  Lay each fillet flat on a piece of tin foil.
2.  Sprinkle a light amount of salt and pepper on each fillet along with the dill.  
3.  Squeeze the lemon wedges over the fillet along with the EVOO.  Leave the lemon wedges on the fillet.  
4.  Sprinkle capers over the fillet.
5.  Completely enclose the fillet in tin foil.
6.  Cook on a hot grill for 10-15 minutes or until fish is flaky and cooked through.  

You can also cook this recipe in a hot oven.   Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes and place the fillets in tin foil on a baking sheet.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summery Salad--Fresh from the Farmer's Market

Note: I posted this recipe late last summer, and with the gorgeous spring weather and the abundance of veggies at the Farmer's Market, I thought I would re-post this recipe that I made for a Mother's Day gathering today.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there!
First, of all—I would like to say this recipe is not exactly quick.  It involves a lot of vegetable chopping (which I personally find kind of therapeutic).  However, the salad lasts a long time in the fridge and makes a great lunch all week long.  It also makes a great dinner—I prefer to add a grilled chicken breast or some sort of protein in that case.  Another reason I love it—you can add just about any veggie you would like.  If you have something you would really like to use—it will probably taste great in this dish!  My mom gave me this recipe--and I am not sure where she found it.

1 Small Eggplant (cut into cubes)
1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
1 Yellow Bell Paper (chopped)
1 Red Onion (chopped)
4 scallions (minced)
8 oz orzo (I found whole wheat orzo, but that can be challenging)
6-8 oz crumbled fat free feta cheese
15-20 basil leaves (coarsely chopped)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Optional veggies:
1 zucchini (chopped)
1 summer squash (chopped
1 can of quartered artichokes
Kalamata olives

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (about three small lemons)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In the meantime--chop up the eggplant and put it a baking pan tossed with a little EVOO, salt and pepper.  Back for 45 minutes. (I also cooked the optional zucchini & summer squash at this point)
2) In a 2 qt pot, bring salted water to a boil, add the orzo and cook 7-9 minutes or until it is "al dente."  Drain excess water and rinse the orzo in cool water.
3) Chop up bell peppers and red onion. Set aside. (I added the optional artichokes at this stage)
4) Mix dressing. Set aside.
4) In a large bowl, combine the roasted eggplant, chopped veggies, and orzo and dressing.   Set aside and bring to room temperature.
5) Toast the pine nuts in a small pan, over medium heat, stirring constantly.  The pine nuts will be a golden brown when done.
5) Add the pine nuts, chopped basil, minced scallions and feta to the veggies and orzo.  You're done!

This salad can be served at room temperature, which makes it great for lunch when you have to be at work or school.  However, make sure to refrigerate any leftovers. 

-If you choose to add veggies that are optional--as a rule of thumb, if you like the veggie raw, then add them at step 3.  If you like the veggie cooked, add it to step 1, keeping in mind some veggies take more or less time to cook.
-Sometimes I skip the pine nuts because they can be expensive.  (They are cheapest at Trader Joe's).
-If feta cheese is a little strong for you, try crumbled goat cheese.
-If you do not want to use pasta--try brown rice.  I am sure it would be just as good!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Farmer's Market

I love the Farmer's Market for the...


Fresh produce grown by local farmers...

Veggies, fruits and spices that I have never of...

All of the interesting things that are not related to food....
And most of all, my purchases that turn into delicious recipes.  Stay tuned for the results!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cucumber Salad

I am not sure where this recipe came from, but I have made it with my mom for as long as I can remember.  I like mine on the more sour side, so if you like it less sour, don't add as much vinegar.

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 -1 tbs dill
1 Cucumber (I prefer the English kind, but the regular ones are cheaper and work just as well)
1/2 Vidalia Onion
Salt & Pepper to taste

1) In a small bowl mix yogurt, vinegar, and dill.  Add a small amount of salt and pepper and taste.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.  Also, if the dressing is too sour, add a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt.  If you would like it more sour, add a splash of vinegar. 
2) Cut the cumber in half.  Use a spoon to scrape the seeds out.  Slice the cucumber thinly.
3) Slice the onion and cut each slice in half, separating the rings. 
4) Add the cucumbers and onion to the dressing. Stir until coated.

-Make the dressing the way you like it.  The yogurt to vinegar ratio is pretty forgiving.  Just keep on adjusting until you get it to your liking. This is one recipe that I usually just look at how much yogurt I have left, and I keep on adding vinegar until I get the flavor that I want.  
-I like to let the salad sit in the fridge awhile before serving.  The cucumbers and onions absorb the flavors in the dressing this way.
-The onion can be skipped if someone does not like them, however the vinegar tends to take the bite out of the onions and Vidalias are pretty sweet to begin with.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spicy Turkey Salsa Burgers

This recipe is quick and perfect for summer grilling.  The original recipe is adapted from  I included some suggested ingredients, adjusted the amounts of a few ingredients and changed the cooking method.  Enjoy!

1 lb of ground turkey breast (I had mine ground by a butcher, but the Jennie-O stuff works fine)
1 cup mild salsa (I prefer Trader Joe's garden salsa)
1 cup finely chopped shallots (or 1/2 a yellow onion if that is what you have)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp of Frank's Hot Sauce of Tabasco sauce (you can skip this if you are concerned about the spice)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 leaves of romaine lettuce
4 deli flats or hamburger buns

1) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Thoroughly mix together.
2) Form the mixture into four patties.
3) Place the burgers on a plate, cover with saran wrap and freezer for 30 minutes.  I find this helps the turkey stay together a bit better during the grilling process, but if time is an issue, this step can be skipped.
4) Heat grill to high, and cook burgers until heated thoroughly.  Should be about 7-9 minutes. You can also cook the burgers on a George Foreman or on the stove top (make sure to add a bit of oil to the pan so the burgers don't stick). 
5) Serve on a deli flat or hamburger bun with lettuce and any extra salsa.

-I did not add cheese, but pepper jack or cheddar might be a nice addition right before they come off the grill. 
-If you like spice, try a spicier salsa or increase the amount of hot sauce. 
-The salsa I used had a lot of liquid.  If this is the case with the salsa you use, try to drain some of the liquid off before adding.  If you have too much liquid the turkey burger won't hold together well. 


Welcome to my blog!  This blog will mostly be about food and cooking and the recipes will be geared to those of us on the go.  Whether you work long hours, are in school or are trying to get a meal on the table between everyone's schedules, the recipes I include will usually be quick, easy to freeze or use throughout the week, and will almost always be healthy. I will also include time-saving and healthy eating tips, cookbook reviews and the occasional restaurant review.  Anyways--stay tuned for some delicious recipes!