Friday, August 27, 2010

Fresh Herbs & A Meatless Summer Meal

Another easy, WONDEFUL, summertime meal of vegetarian sides: Black Beans with Feta & Mint, Roasted Potatoes with Olives, and Baked Garden Tomatoes ("easy" if you can have a little patience with chopping--I need my own sous chef!).

My herbs and I have a complicated relationship. They won't grow as well until I snip from them and I can't snip from them until I have a good reason to do so. Well, after spending the afternoon outside with my daughter splashing in the baby pool and enjoying the cooler summer weather, I finally found more reasons to snip....every time the wind blew, I could smell the mint, basil, rosemary, and parsley. There was dinner to make! (My basil needs some help from the aphids though and the rosemary was not used in this entry)

I highly suggest that if you cook with herbs a lot, you purchase one of these scissors made specifically for chopping herbs. It was in my Christmas stocking one year from my mother in law and these scissors have been so useful! Find them at places such as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

When we first moved into our house, the previous owners (whom we loved), mentioned their uses for the herbs left in the garden. While running across a note left by the owner, I emailed them, desperate to attain the recipes they mentioned. I am so glad I did--Laura Curlin, you are a vegetable side genius!!! The black beans and the potatoes are from Laura. Thank you! You have restored my faith in gardening again and conquering these pesky moles that have destroyed my attempts with their tunnels this year. I will prevail!

The baked tomatoes are from Gourmet magazine--something I've been dying to try. Reading the reviews though, people mentioned that they turned out a soupy--but to us, that's just a reason to use crisp, hearty bread to sop up the juices of summer tomatoes! I added basil and green onions, but here is the original recipe if you would like to see it.

This was an amazing meal for us. Hope you try these--you won't be sorry you did.


You can serve these as a side with grilled chicken, etc. or as a middle-eastern dinner when plated together with hummus, naan or pita crisps, falafels and sauteed peppers and onions...Top Falafel with Greek Yogurt

2 (15oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
½ c. red onion, very finely chopped
½ c. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ c. fresh mint leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bring to room temp. 10 min. before serving.

Serves 4


You can serve this cooled instead of traditional potato salad.

2 lbs. small red new potatoes, rinsed dried and halved or med. size red potatoes, cut in 1" cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ¼ tsp. dried Herbes de Provence or dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup pitted and coarsely chopped kalamata olives (I used a blend of Greek blend)
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin slivers
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp. malt vinegar or rice wine vinegar (I used red-wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Toss potatoes in oil and herbs. Add salt and pepper; place cut side down in s single layer on a cookie sheet. Set pan in a cold oven; heat to 450 degrees. Roast until cut side is golden brown and potatoes are tender, 20-25 min.

Whisk vinegar, yogurt, olives, onion, garlic, and parsley. Add salt and pepper and then whisk in a slowly poured stream of olive oil. Pour dressing over warm potatoes toss to coat. Serve room temp. for best results.

Laura's Note: Whenever we have these potatoes leftover, I add them to an omelet for dinner or I spread it in a single layer on a plate and top with salad greens, red or yellow sweet pepper slices, feta, grape tomatoes, chicken, olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


**You can core and seed the tomatoes if you'd like to make this less "soupy". Or serve with a slotted spoon.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 3/4 pounds fresh vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 green onion (my addition)
1 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (packed) freshly grated Romano cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Two more ways to go: Add chopped fresh basil leaves and/or small cubes of mozzarella cheese. Or use yellow and green tomatoes with the red ones to add summer color.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Mix in chives (and green onion if using); season with salt and pepper. Transfer tomato mixture to prepared baking dish; sprinkle grated cheeses over. Top with basil (if using).

Bake until cheese melts and begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with big chunks of crusty European bread.

Makes about 4 servings or so.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amaretto Peach Blueberry Crisp

Ever since my email friend, Jenn, mentioned to me a few years ago that she loved Giada's Nectarine-Blueberry Crisp, I've been wanting to try it. Problem has always been that I never had that many nectarines on hand....we like a few here and there, but we're mainly a peach household. So, why not try peaches? The best thing about this crisp is the almond flavors--so intricately woven as part of the filling (amaretto), the crisp topping (amaretti cookies), and crunch (actual almonds).

The Amaretti cookies are SOOOO wonderful! I wish I could have made them, but alas, I found my way to the International grocery store for convenience. And I was so excited to discover that one of my International grocery stores carries natural sugar (packed as in bulk) for less than half of what it costs at Whole Foods (per pound)--so I use that whenever I can; because, honestly, how much sugar do we use? Not much! It's worth it.

Of course I modified this crisp to make it slightly healthier--below is my modified version. Here is Giada's. I recommend NOT using frozen blueberries--not sure why, but I could tell the difference in texture (I used some frozen & fresh).

I hope you enjoy it. If you make it with nectarines, let me know how it varies.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar or raw natural sugar (such as Turbinado)
1 cup crushed amaretti cookies, coarsely crushed
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter, cut into small pieces (preferably at room temperature)

2 Tbsp. sugar (any kind)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
3 lbs. peaches or nectarines, pitted and sliced into thick wedges
8 oz. blueberries
3 Tbsp. Amaretto liqueur

To make the topping: Stir the flours and sugar in a medium bowl to blend. Add the cookies and almonds and mix well. Add the butter and rub in until moist clumps form. This is what the cookies look like:

To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Stir the sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add the peaches/nectarines and blueberries, and toss to combine. Stir in the liqueur.

Spoon the fruit mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the cookie topping over. Bake until the peaches/nectarines are tender and the topping is golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes. Spoon the warm crisp into bowls.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Serve with vanilla ice cream (Giada recommends mascarapone cheese, but really?!).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cami's Roasted Salmon with Peppers

My aunt is a really good cook. I mean, really good cook. She taught me to make salmon this way and it has become my favorite way to prepare salmon--especially since you can use the wild-caught, individually frozen, portions from Costco. It's so easy this way!

And remember that bit about salmon being one of the world's healthiest foods? Well, it is! The American Heart Association recommends eating 2 servings of heart-healthy fish a week. There are cardiovascular benefits associated with the Omega-3s that can be found in fish oil. I have read that apparently, fresh, wild-caught salmon has been known to have greater amounts of protein. Wild-caught salmon (like sockeye or chinook) have less calories and fat--but the farm-raised salmon has a milder flavor. This is a great article from WebMd on 'good' fats.
The lemon, garlic, wine, bay leaves, and olive oil combine to a delicious and flavorful sauce to complement the baked fish.


6 pieces of wild-caught salmon (I prefer smaller pieces if possible)
1 small lemon, sliced in thin wedges
2 medium red bell peppers, cut up in chunks
1 large onion, cut up in chunks
2-4 garlic cloves, finely minced (crushed would be best)
4-5 pieces of bay leaves
½ cup white wine (approximately)
¼ cup olive oil (approximately)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to about 425 degrees.

Arrange cut up peppers, onions, and bay leaves on a large baking sheet. Put salmon on top of all these. If your garlic is very finely minced, mix it in with your wine. If not, sprinkle the garlic on top of the fish. Pour the wine on top of all the ingredients and then drizzle all the fish, onions, peppers, etc. with olive oil. Lastly, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes—or until your fish is baked through and opaque. (Test with fork and make sure fish “flakes”.)

REMOVE the lemon before serving. The lemon is added to give flavor to the fish but is not meant to be eaten.

**It’s easier to bake it if you are serving 6 people. But, if you scale back the recipe for just 2-4 people, all ingredients can be placed in a very large skillet on the stovetop. Cook over medium heat. Don’t flip the fish over for a few minutes until the side on the heat sears evenly. Then flip and let the other side sear as well. This method seems to produce a crispier texture than baking.

Serves 6 people--and if your fish pieces are bigger, 8 people.

This entree is delicious with green beans and couscous or baked potatoes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Banana Blueberry Bran Muffins (or how to make your GI system happy)

Yes, there are a million recipes out there & most muffin recipes are good. Some are even dessert-like. And if you like sweet, cakey muffins, these are not going to fit the bill. These will, however, keep you regular (ha!), full, and healthy as they are low in fat, full of fiber—and thanks to the blueberries, contain antioxidants.

This is my all-time favorite muffin recipe that I have perfected based on many other muffin recipes I’ve tried. When I used to travel for a living (back when I had a paycheck motivating job), my breakfast on the run was a Whole Foods bran muffin, a container of raspberries, sometimes some Greek yogurt, and a black coffee. I would nibble on it all through lunch (because I only took lunch less than half the time) and this would tide me over until an early dinner.

Since then, I have sought to come close to the way that Whole Foods makes their muffins (because they do not publish the recipe)….this is the closest I’ve come—and I think mine are moister. Also, one that comes close to this is Bread & Company's (in Nashville, TN) bran muffin (yum!).

If want a plain bran muffin, omit the banana and blueberries and reduce the cooking time by about 20 minutes—but check on them at the 20 minute mark anyway. Oh, and if you're wondering where to get some of the ingredients, take a little field trip to Whole Foods--the bulk food section, specifically--definately eye-opening.

I’m really proud of these and if you try them and don’t like them—I’m sorry. Give them to your grandparents or your gastroenterologist.

BANANA BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS (triple threat muffins)

(Alternately, for a lighter colored & a bit lighter textured muffin, you can use 2 cups oat bran and 1 cup wheat bran)

2 cups wheat bran
1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup skim milk or soymilk
2/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2 small ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (wild if you can get them)

Place oven rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 375°. Grease a standard size muffin pan or line cups with paper liners (which makes clean up so much easier).

Combine wheat bran, oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Combine eggs, milk, yogurt, canola oil, molasses, and honey and bananas in a small bowl and mix well. (Note: you can use all honey or all molasses instead if desired.)

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Then add blueberries over all this and very gently mix with a rubber spatula just until combined.

Generously fill muffin cups with batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes--but check because ovens vary so much--if edges start to brown signifantly, the muffins are most likely done. Cool muffins in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy the muffins plain, drizzled with a little honey, or spread with peanut butter and a slather of your favorite jam. Store muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze. Defrost muffins at room temperature, or in the microwave.

Makes 12 very large and very moist muffins or (14-15 smaller sized ones).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rosemary Potato Asiago Pizza Bianco

If you are on a low-carb diet, walk away. Now.

Welcome to strange: Potatoes on pizza. Welcome to wonderful!

Please do not be turned away by the amount of words below--I wanted explain every step as best I could so that you would not be intimidated. Everyone can do this if they have a stand mixer--this invention has eliminated the need for kneading by hand (for me). Thank God! It's really much simpler to make dough than anyone would think!!!
I was inspired to make pizza dough....and have been wanting to try Nancy's recipe (the first one she posted), but then saw she posted another one that she raved about. So of course, I was tired of waiting on my extremely busy husband to finally make more of his famous dough (he became sort of a obsessed to find the most authentic Neapolitan pizza crust recipe after we came back from Naples/Sorrento a couple years ago). The problem, we discovered, is that none of our ovens go to as high of a temperature as is needed--but at least he got the taste down after some tinkering (he has notes on his experiments!).

This dough is very different than the one we make--much sweeter (though certainly not dessert grade!), different texture, but nuttier thanks to the addition of whole grain. This healthy crust is really good & I thought it a PERFECT pairing for some nutty cheese (Asiago), some mild and creamy onion, and potato topping. And since potatoes go so well with Rosemary, there you have it! I did one without just to be sure, and we both concluded that the Rosemary was pretty essential--provided a "clean" layer to the other sweet, creamy, nutty, crispy layers. Picture below is a pizza with JUST Asiago on it.


Pizza Dough (see recipe below)
White Sauce (see recipe below)
2 medium waxy potatoes (I used a gold potato), sliced incredibly thin--I HIGHLY suggest you use boiled potatoes like myself to make it easier & not require a mandoline or second guess the cooking time!!!!
a handful of fresh rosemary, chopped
4 oz. freshly grated Asiago cheese
4 oz. part-skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add 1/3 of white sauce recipe on pizza(s)--1/3 of sauce recipe goes perfectly for 1/3 of dough recipe--which is one dough ball (or in my case two b/c I split one out of three to make 2 smaller pizzas).

Add potato slices over sauce. Then sprinkle evenly with the cheeses and rosemary on top.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust gets golden on the outside and cheeses have melted.

Best to serve with a crisp salad (preferably something with a tart vinaigrette).

Recipe courtesy of Kelly (

2 1/4 cup hot water (110-115 degrees, but I never checked--just used hottest tap water & it was fine--then again, I have really hot tap water!)1/3 cup olive oil (Kelly uses virgin coconut oil, but I feel the need to use eevo since this is Italian)1/3 cup honey (or slightly less in my case)1 Tbsp. yeast
2 tsp. salt
6 cups flour (she recommends soft milled wheat, but who are we kidding here? How am I going to get access to that in Memphis? So I used 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 3 1/4 cups all-purpose and 1/4 cup wheat germ)Gently stir flours together.

In a (stand) mixer, add water, honey, oil, and salt and mix until combined. You may have to scrape down the sides just a bit.

Add 3 cups of flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add yeast and mix in until just blended. Then add remaining flour mixture and mix until just blended.

Turn off mixer and set a timer for 10 minutes and let dough rest.

Using a dough hook in mixer, knead for 6 minutes (or you can do it by hand).

Once the dough has finished kneading, pull it apart and divide it into 2 or 3 dough balls. It will be sticky--you want a sticky dough! This recipe makes enough for 2 thick crust pizzas or 3 thinner crust pizzas (I was actually able to make 3 dough balls & then separated the one I was using into two big personal pizzas as I was experimenting with toppings).

To bake the pizza, roll out the dough (you may need some more flour to handle it--I did NOT roll out the dough--but spread it with my hands for a more rustic presentation). Roll or stretch it out as thin as you can get it for a thin crust and leave it sort of more together for a thicker crust. We like ours a bit thinner and it ensures for more even cooking too. I liked doing this all directly on a silpat so that I didn't have to transfer the dough--but placed the silpat directly onto the pizza stone I had heated in the oven after adding my toppings.
Once your dough is rolled out, add sauce, cheese, and other toppings, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees.

Nancy has had success in freezing the dough. As she instructed, I wrapped the remaining dough balls each in saran wrap, ziploc bag, and freezer. To serve, let one thaw in the refrigerator the day you want to make it.


2 Tbsp. light butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced lengthwise into thin ribbons
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and takes on a golden shade, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook--just until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the white wine and cook, scraping any flavoring from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is almost completely absorbed. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir to completely coat the onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to a slight simmer. Continue to cook, stirring constantly (and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent flour from settling) until the mixture thickens to a sauce, about 3 minutes. You will notice it thicken and coat your spatula/spoon. Remove from heat and set aside until your pizza is ready to be dressed.

Makes enough for 2-3 pizzas.

**Note: The white sauce recipe makes 3 cups sauce, more than is needed for this recipe. The remaining sauce will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Comfort Food: Chicken Pot Pie

So after dealing with the car in the shop this week and leaving the equivalent of a small vacation in funds there, I needed some comfort. And what do you feed hungry men? I have chicken, some standard vegetables, and a pie crust. Oh wait, where is that heavenly recipe Nancy introduced on her site a while back? The one that was to-die-for amazing?

Well, friends, I have to tell you--she was right. I also adore Pioneer Woman, but I must preface with 1) This is not the fastest recipe (unless you have Samurai skills with chopping vegetables)--but it is relatively uncomplicated (with the exception of carefully flipping a store-bought pie crust on top of a pie dish & crimping edges of pastry with hands--well, for me anyway--I don't work with pastry on a regular basis) and 2) This is not the healthiest recipe the way that the Pioneer Woman makes it or any of her recipes. However, I have done my best to make it somewhat more healthy--well, SOMEWHAT is key. And you don't miss the extra fat (which I guess I added some back with cheese) or a little tiny bit of whole grain in the filling. And, I'm sure you can make it with veggie-chicken too (no boiling/roasting required).

But, it's worth making it. I highly suggest reading through the recipe in its entirety before starting. And if you're going through the effort, go ahead and make two and freeze a pie or give to a tired woman that's just had a baby :)

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Makes one 9-inch pie

3 celery stalks
3 medium carrots, peeled (I left these unpeeled, but scraped them very clean)
1 large yellow onion
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter (I only used 2 Tbsp. & a teeny bit of olive oil)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I roasted two frozen chicken breasts per pie-after sprinkling them with seasoning--Nancy boiled hers)1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup white wine (optional) (all I had was dry vermouth & it made a really wonderful addition)1 cup heavy cream (I used whole milk and it was just fine!!)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Nancy's addition that I also made-great idea!)
1 tsp. ground thyme (like Nancy, I only used 1/2 tsp.)1 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 pie crust (I also cheated and used store-bought)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (I suggest you not do this until you're about to assemble the pie--I mean, it is SUMMER after all!)
Begin by finely dicing the vegetables (celery, carrots, and onion).

Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and peas. (I waited to add the peas until I added the milk/cream--see further down--I like my peas a bit less "cooked"). Saute until the vegetables start to turn translucent, a couple of minutes.

(If you use less fat, like myself, the vegetables may brown a bit or stick to the bottom--if that happens, just add a little extra water or broth to prevent sticking).
Add the chicken and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables and chicken and stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring gently.

Pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Stir in the bouillon cube and wine, if using. The flour will combine with the chicken to create a delicious gravy.

Pour in the milk/cream (and cheddar cheese if you choose to use it--and if you waited to add peas like myself, add them now too) and stir. Allow the mixture to cook over low heat, thickening gradually, about 4 minutes.

Season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Be sure its adequately salted! (Since I did not use low-sodium broth, no extra salt was needed--however, I didn't realize this and my pie ended up a little too salty-just a warning). If you waited to preheat the oven, do so now at 400 degrees.

Pour the chicken mixture into a deep pie pan or small casserole dish.

Roll out the crust so that it's 1 inch larger than the pan. Place the crust on top of the chicken mixture and cut small slits in the top. Press the crust gently into the sides of the dish to seal. Pioneer woman says: I don't worry about making a perfect edge on my chicken pot pie because 1) it looks more rustic and B) I'm lazy and hungry, and I want to eat (Couldn't agree more!).

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Use a large spoon to serve.

Now sit back and watch those men marvel. This last part is the easiest. Especially if you're lucky enough to have them offer to do the dishes. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ole, Ole! Chicken Enchiladas & Mexican Corn

These enchiladas and corn are delicious! Sort of threw it together last minute and am super pleased. Served along with salad and chips and salsa. I first had a type of corn like this at our favorite little Mexican deli in town called Las Tortugas.
My uncle is visiting and both the boys enjoyed dinner and said "WHAT did you put on this corn? Really good!" I hope you enjoy it because it will be unlike the corn you are used to--but still wonderful!

4 ears of corn, shucked

1/4 cup melted light butter
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (you can use fat-free but I hate it b/c it's too sweet)Juice of half a lime
1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (or cayenne pepper)
1/8 tsp. salt

For serving:
4 wedges lime (optional)

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

Grill corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill.

While the ears are grilling, mix the melted butter, mayonnaise, lime juice, grated cheese, and spices together. Now, you can choose to wait and not mix in the cheese (see next step).

Spread mixture on the grilled corn when complete. If you would rather have your cheese on top of the spread, sprinkle cheese after you have spread the mixture on the corn.

Serve each ear with a lime wedge.


2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (about room temperature)
1/2 cup grated Cojita or other white Mexican cheese that is grated
1 (14.5 oz) can Rotel (diced tomatoes and chilies), drained
1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend + more for sprinkling on top of enchiladas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 (15.5 oz) can chili beans, undrained
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (I LOVE Herdez brand-mild)
12 corn tortillas, approximately

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set aside a 9X13 inch pan or two 8X8 inch pans. I did not grease my pan and encountered no problems. But, I might suggest that you do (just in case).

In a bowl, gently mix all ingredients together. Fill each corn tortilla with a small amount of mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in the pan (I prefer to do two 8X8 dishes and freeze one of them for later use).

Evenly spread the salsa over the top(s) of the corn enchiladas and cover with a small amount of cheese (your choice on how much cheese--especially depending on the results of your cholesterol labwork).

Bake until enchiladas are bubbly, hot, and cheese has melted. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro, if desired.

One 8X8 inch pan should serve 4-6 people depending on how many sides you have. A 9X13 inch pan should probably serve 10 people with 2-3 different sides.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coconut Lime Panna Cotta with Caramelized Pineapple

You Put the Lime in the Coconut.....

I’ve been dying to make panna cotta (which literally translates to “cooked cream” in Italian). I just never have heavy cream on hand…but, I did have some coconut milk that needed to be used…

This dessert should really only take you about 10-20 minutes to make depending on whether you serve it with the topping (because it's good on its own too!).


1 cup light coconut milk
4 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1 envelope gelatin (unflavored-NOT Jello—try the Knox brand)
2 containers (5.3 oz) Greek-style, fat-free, yogurt
Zest of one lime

1.5-2 cups pineapple, diced
1 Tbsp. Turbinado (natural brown) sugar
1 Tbsp. light butter

In a small bowl, mix the gelatin with the 4 Tbsp. of milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

In a saucepan, add the milk. Over medium heat, allow the milk to come to a simmer—do not let it come to a boil. Turn off the flame. Gently scrape the gelatin mixture into the hot milk and whisk to blend.

Add the vanilla extract, lime zest, and honey. Stir in the two containers of yogurt.

Gently pour the mixture into 6 small ramekins or cups. Place the containers in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Caramelized Pineapple Topping:

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the pineapple and sugar and let the sugar dissolve. Continue to "cook" and let the pineapple caramelize for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Let the pineapple cool.

To serve:
Evenly divide the cooled topping over the cold panna cottas and serve.

Creamy, sweet, tart....tropical delight.