Texas Caviar

I cannot take credit for the catchy name or the tasty combination of ingredients; I know quite a few home cooks who have their own version of this recipe on file! However, I can tell you how I make it as well as list a few unique ways to repurpose your leftovers!

Ingredients: Serves 10 – 12

  • 24 oz frozen corn, thawed
  • 1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro (loosely packed), chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (plus extra)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus extra)

Directions:

  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the last six ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add the liquid to the corn mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Adjust seasoning to your personal taste preferences by adding additional salt and/or pepper..
  5. Let chill 2 – 3 hours, allowing flavors to develop.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

Leftovers:

IF you have them… consider the following (drain any liquid that accumulates first):

  • Add it to eggs in a scramble or a quiche, or use it in egg cups (search site for recipe).
  • Fold into corn bread batter to jazz up your corn muffins/corn bread.
  • Top grilled chicken or fish with a scoop.
  • Toss it with a green salad.

Kale and Berries Salad

An Instagram follower (you know who you are;) asked me to post this recipe, so here it is! It’s the perfect homage to summer!! Enjoy!

Ingredients: Feeds 2 – 4

  • 4 cups torn kale, ribs removed (I use organic red leaf)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. In a large serving bowl, mix torn kale with lemon juice and salt. Massage kale with your hands to tenderize it.
  2. Drizzle massaged kale with olive oil and season with fresh cracked pepper.
  3. Toss kale with strawberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Top with goat cheese crumbles and almonds.

Suggestions:

Add protein to this salad to make it a complete meal! I’ve used grilled teriyaki pork loin but I think blackened chicken, salmon or even shrimp would pair nicely!

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Shrimp Fried Rice

Why order take out when you can make it (better) yourself at home?! This tasty shrimp fried rice is easy to make and satisfyingly delicious! If shrimp aren’t your thing, substitute with chicken or leave the protein out all together… it makes an excellent side dish!

Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice (I use Jasmati)
  • Kosher salt
  • cooking spray
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb raw medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into thirds
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

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Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot with a tight fitting lid, bring 2 1/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the rice. Once the water is boiling, add the rice, stir, cover and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow 10 – 12 minutes for rice to steam. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Spread out and allow to cool.IMG_3052
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tbsp of canola oil until glistening. Add the shrimp and stir fry over medium/high heat until pink and almost cooked through (approximately 3 minutes). Use a slotted spoon and remove shrimp and set aside. Drain any remaining juices.
  3. Add the rest of the oil (4 tbsp) to the wok and return to the heat. Once the oil glistens, add the beaten eggs and cook (scramble) over medium/high heat until almost done/dry.
  4. Add the rice, sugar, pepper, and a pinch of salt to the eggs and stir fry until rice is re-heated and incorporated.
  5. Add the shrimp, peas and carrots and soy sauce and stir fry until shrimp are fully cooked and veggies are heated and tender.
  6. Season to desired taste with additional salt, pepper and/or soy sauce.IMG_3056

*Originally adapted from Food and Wine

 

 

Corn and Blueberry Salad

This is a tasty summer salad that pairs well with everything from hot dogs and hamburgers, to ribs, pulled pork, tacos or carnitas! If you’re short on time, use left over corn on the cob or defrost a bag of frozen corn if you’re truly desperate! No matter how it comes together, it’s always a crowd favorite! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 6-8

  • 6 ears sweet corn, cooked and cut from the cob
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 small cucumber peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl combine cut corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and jalapeño.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, cumin and salt.
  3. Toss corn mixture with dressing to coat.
  4. Chill before serving, can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.

*Original recipe from Paula’s Pantry

 

Mediterranean Farro Salad

I love this salad! Mostly because it’s so versatile (see substitutions) but also because it’s a delicious crowd pleaser and can be made ahead. It’s the perfect side dish or can serve as a main if you add protein. So get to it and come up with your own flavor combo and let me know how it goes by posting your comments below! Cheers!!

Ingredients: Feeds 6-8

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked farro, rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup packed flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 oz haloumi cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups baby arugula

Directions:

  1. Cook farro according to package directions and let cool. Toast pine nuts and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine grape tomatoes, parsley and mint. Add haloumi, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and mix gently to incorporate.IMG_2983
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper.
  4. Combine farro and tomato mixture with 2/3 of the dressing, tossing gently to coat.
  5. Pour the remaining dressing into the bottom of a large shallow serving bowl. Top with arugula.
  6. Layer the farro salad on top of the arugula.
  7. Chill* and toss before serving.

*Salad can chill overnight.

Substitutions:

The best part about this salad is making it your own! The original recipe was adapted from Food and Wine magazine but I change it up every time I make it!

  • barley or orzo for farro
  • walnuts or almonds for pine nuts
  • ricotta salata or feta for haloumi
  • grapes for grape tomatoes
  • blueberries/raspberries/strawberries for pomegranate seeds
  • add protein like grilled chicken, steak or fish for a complete meal

 

 

German Eggs

I first tasted German Eggs while staying at a B&B on Martha’s Vineyard a few summers back, called the Outermost Inn. The Outermost is a magical place which literally sits on the outermost edge of the Vineyard, up-island as they say. The inn is owned and operated by Jeannie and Hugh Taylor. Hugh just happens to be James Taylor’s brother and although they look alike, you’d never make the connection because Hugh would never solicit that kind of attention. They are lovely people living a simple life on the edge of one of the most beautiful cliffs in the world (while running a five star B&B). But I digress… German Eggs changed my life and solidified a tradition which now involves spending a week or so every summer on the Vineyard at the Outermost with Jeannie and Hugh. When I first asked Jeannie how she makes her eggs she couldn’t really tell me amounts; she rattled off a bunch of ingredients and ended with, “just google it”! So I did! And since then I’ve been making German Eggs for my family and most recently for a great group of yogis from NYC on a yoga retreat upstate! My yogis raved and so I knew it was time it went on the blog! Enjoy!!

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German Eggs

Ingredients: Feeds 12

  • 15 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour melted butter into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 casserole dish.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl slightly whisk the eggs. Continue to whisk while adding the flour and baking powder. The dry ingredients should be incorporated but the egg mixture should not be overly whisked.
  4. Add the cottage cheese and shredded Monterey Jack cheese and mix well.
  5. Pour egg mixture into the casserole dish. The melted butter will be pushed to the sides. Do not mix even though you’ll be tempted to do so!
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until eggs are firm and the top of the dish is bubbly and lightly browned.

*Adapted from cooks.com

Turkey Veggie Lasagna

This is what you get when you’re torn between making meat lasagna and veggie lasagna; an omnivores delight! There’s something for everyone in each layer of this delicious no-boil, oven-ready casserole.  The ground turkey and pepperoni satisfy the carnivores in your family while the veggies please the herbivores at your table. It’s cheesy, it’s flavorful, it’s easy to make and will feed a hungry crowd with leftovers to spare.

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Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • cooking spray
  • 1, 25 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Lidia’s Organic)
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barilla, oven-ready)
  • 30 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (packed loosley)
  • 16 slices (thin) turkey pepperoni (I use Hormel, low sodium)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a frying pan, brown the ground turkey over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and Italian seasoning half way through the cooking process.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, Parmesan, oregano and a pinch of both kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the marinara into the dish and spread it out to cover the bottom.
  5. Line the dish with 3 of the lasagna noodles. They do not need to touch.
  6. Spread about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the three noodles.  Top with half of the browned ground turkey using a slotted spoon to drain off any fat. Layer turkey with   half of the shredded carrot, spinach and pepperoni slices. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of mozzarella on top of everything.
  7. Repeat steps 3 – 5, starting with the marinara and layering three more lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta, the remainder of the turkey, carrots, spinach and pepperoni and 1/3 cup of mozzarella.
  8. Pour 1/4 cup of marinara over the top, layer with the last three noodles, spread the remaining ricotta on the noodles and sprinkle with the mozzarella.
  9. Bake covered for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until top is bubbly and lightly browned.
  10. Let rest approximately 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Don’t worry, it’ll be plenty hot!!

Suggestion:

When covering a dish topped with cheese with tinfoil, I usually lightly spray the underside of the foil before covering the dish.  This way even as the cheese melts, the foil can be removed without sticking to the top layer which is arguably the best part!