Quick Cucumber Salad

cucsaladI wish I had all day to experiment in the kitchen, but that is one luxury I do not have.

Between my “real” job, the groups/charities I volunteer my time to, my family, my dogs and the few other things I get to do in my free time, I rarely get as much time to create new recipes as I’d like.

Today was another one of those days.  You know, the kind with business meetings, tasks on the ever-growing to-do list, a trip to the hair salon, and a few other unexpected things, so I knew dinner time would be rushed as well.

This morning I put 2 frozen chicken breasts in a Rubbermaid container with some of my favorite marinade (Ponte’ Winery Scallion Oil Marinade/Dressing) with hopes that they’d defrost in time and then surveyed the refrigerator for what I’d be able to serve with them.

oxoI really am trying to cut back on the carbs, fat and extra calories in our diets, so a cold salad I could marinate all day would be just the right choice!  Plus, I’d get to use my new kitchen tool: my OXO slicer/grater.

Quick Cucumber Salad

  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Small Yellow Onion
  • 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 6 Large Leaves Fresh Basil
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. Using either a very sharp knife or a Mandolin slicer (I use the OXO Complete Grate & Slicer Set), thinly slice the cucumber, the tomatoes and the onion and combine in a gallon sized zip bag.
  2. Stack the basil leaves and roll like a cigar and then thinly slice into narrow strips.  Add the basil to the zip bag.
  3. Add pepper, vinegar, and olive oil to the zip bag.
  4. Seal the bag and shake the contents vigorously.
  5. Open the zip bag then push the air out and reseal.
  6. Place the salad in the refrigerator until time to serve.
  7. Before serving, open the zip bag again to allow air to enter, then reseal and shake the salad to mix before place on plates to serve.

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What Goes With Quinoa?

So my first foray into pressure cooking went off without me getting maimed or burned, so I guess I’ll be using my new toy again soon!  I made a huge batch of quinoa that turned out light, fluffy and quite tasty.  Just one problem: we aren’t big eaters of any grain at dinner time outside of rice, so I was left at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my big bowl of quinoa.

lemonchickenquinoaThe cupboards, refrigerator and freezer were rather bare due to the two week vacation we had just returned from, so I was left with very few options.  A lemon, Roma tomato, small avocado, a bag of frozen edamame, and 1/2 lb of frozen diced chicken breast were all I could salvage to throw together some kind of dinner hearty enough to satisfy my husband.

Lemon Chicken with Avocado & Tomato Quinoa

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (See yesterday’s post)
  • 1 Small Roma Tomato (diced)
  • 1 Small Ripe Avocado (diced)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Shelled Edamame (Soybeans) Cooked
  • Juice of 1 Large Lemon
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lb Fresh Diced Chicken Breast
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Dill
  • 1/8 tsp +/- Arrowroot (to thicken the sauce)
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Juice the lemon, stir in the arrowroot and set aside.  In a medium frying pan, heat 2 TBLS olive oil and the minced garlic over medium-high heat.  Add the diced chicken, season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper, and brown for about 2 minutes per side.  Add the edamame, dill, cayenne pepper and lemon juice mixture to the pan and continue cooking about 3 minutes until edamame and chicken are done and sauce is well incorporated.

Spoon about 1/2 Cup of the cooked quinoa and about 1/3 of the chicken mixture into a bowl. Top with the diced avocado and tomatoes and add more ground pepper to taste.

Light enough for my post-vacation diet yet hearty enough that 2 bowls satisfied my husband’s appetite.  Win-Win!

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Roasted Jalapeno Avocado Bacon Pie

Because Thursday is the slowest day at my “real job” I usually have time to fool around in the kitchen to try to create a new dish to serve for dinner.  This week was no different except that I needed to come up with something healthy because I am (BOO – HISSdieting i.e., not eating anything that even resembles Halloween candy or that I can pick up at a drive-thru window, have delivered to my front door, or comes out of a can or box.  No Bueno!

jabpieings Determined to stay on track, into the kitchen I went to make a healthy meal that would taste good, keep me full and make my digestion work hard (and burn calories) all night long.

aha-cartoonHappily I found some of my favorite spicy, salty, satisfying flavors there!  Bacon, fresh jalapenos, a forgotten Roma tomato (thankfully still firm), some ripe avocados from my backyard, green onions, eggs, and a wedge of aged gouda.  AHA Moment: I’d eat breakfast for dinner!

Roasted Jalapeno Avocado Bacon Tortilla Pie

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sour Cream
  • 4 Slices of Bacon (cooked crisp, drained, cooled and chopped)
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 1/2 of 1 Large Roma Tomato
  • 7 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Medium Avocado
  • 1 Cup Shredded Aged Gouda Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9.5″ Pyrex pie plate with the Olive Oil Spray.

In a small non-stick frying pan heat each of the tortillas until just lightly browned on both sides.  Lay one in the center on the bottom and then layer the rest around the pan overlapping to make sure there is a “crust like” coverage.

In the same pan roast the whole jalapenos until the skin bubbles and begins to blacken.  If you want a bit less spice, remove the seeds and stem first.  Combine both of the cheeses: sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over the bottom of the tortilla crust.  When peppers are roasted, chop them and scatter over the first cheese layer.

Chop and quickly dry saute’ the whites only of the green onions (chop the greens and set aside) and the Roma tomato with a bit of salt & pepper.  Distribute the onion/tomato mixture over the jalapenos then cover with 1/2 of the remaining cheese.

Chop the avocado then layer it with the bacon over the second cheese layer.

Mix the 4 eggs and the sour cream until well combined and beginning to thicken.  Add cracked salt and pepper then pour carefully over the pie surface taking care not to overflow the edges of the exposed tortillas on the sides. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and put pie pan in the center of the pre-heated oven.  Bake 40-45 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown and a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out with no egg mixture on it and center is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing into wedges to serve.  Top each wedge with the reserved chopped green onions.

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To make this a complete meal serve with a salad of Romaine, the reserved 1/2 of the tomato, and any other fresh produce you’d like (I chop a green apple, some jicama, and add a shredded carrot) then dress lightly with olive oil, combined with salt, pepper and some lemon juice to keep it healthy.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to:  recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. If so, visit my This Girl Loves To Eat community at:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood