Monthly Archives: June 2011

Ground Turkey Tostadas

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  One of the reasons I love my cookbook Simply Suppers is, well, because the recipes are just that, simple.  Let’s face it, we’re all busy and sometimes after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is make a big, elaborate dinner.  What happens to me a lot is that I find a great recipe I want to try and realize I don’t have half the ingredients.  I recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves to cook, but also loves to have a few extra dinner recipes that are simple and require few ingredients.  I adapted one of the recipes from this cookbook and made some Ground Turkey Tostadas.  These are simple to make and are versatile so you can use whatever kind of protein and toppings you want.

What is your favorite simple recipe to make when you don’t feel like cooking?

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil, plus more for brushing tortillas
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 can refried beans (I love Trader Joe’s)
  • 8 small corn, flour, or whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapenos

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil.  Add the ground beef and onion, stirring with a wooden spoon until meat is broken up and brown, about 5 minutes.  Season with cumin, sea salt, and pepper and cover to keep warm.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the refried beans over low heat and cover to keep warm.
  4. Brush both sides of tortillas with oil and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake tortillas until crispy, about 12-15 minutes.
  5. Spread 2 tbsp of refried beans over each tortilla and then layer 1 tbsp of sour cream.  Add the ground turkey and garnish with salsa, lettuce, jalapenos, and cheese.

*Adapted from Simply Suppers

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Summer Orzo Salad

This past weekend, we celebrated my mom’s birthday by having a delicious BBQ. We grilled some Jamaican jerk-rubbed chicken and some Old Bay-seasoned shrimp. I also made this Summer Orzo Salad as a delicious side. I put a little bit of everything in this salad including some oranges. The oranges not only added a beautiful color to the salad, but they also added a fresh citrus flavor that complemented the fresh lime juice well. This salad is the perfect summer salad and you can add whatever ingredients you want to it. I love using orzo as well because even though the box looks small, it makes a ton of pasta. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 1 box orzo
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2 oranges, peeled, divided into segments, and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper for seasoning

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil and cook orzo until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain orzo and allow to cool while preparing vegetables.
  2. Place red onion, oranges, pepper, and avocado in a large bowl and combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice, and cumin and pour over salad. Mix to combine.
  4. Sprinkle cilantro over salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Filed under Pasta, Side Dishes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal & Coconut Cookies

I was craving some cookies last week – peanut butter and oatmeal ones, so I decided why not combine the two?  I did and I added some shredded coconut for good measure.  Allow me to introduce you to my Peanut Butter Oatmeal & Coconut Cookies!  These cookies were perfect for subduing my double cookie cravings; they had the perfect combo of peanut butter and oats as well as the slightest hint of coconut.  What is your favorite cookie to make when you’re craving some?  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat melted butter, sugars, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla until combined.
  2. In another small bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Add the flour mix to the peanut butter mix and beat on low speed until combined.
  3. Add oats and coconut and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or longer.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Using dampened hands, shape the dough into 1″ balls.  Place balls 2″ apart on cookie sheet and using a fork, lightly press the tines into the dough flattening the cookie.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.  Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

*Adapted from WS Cookies

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Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Israeli Couscous with Lemon & Asparagus

I have a tendency to buy fresh vegetables and then forget about them until right before they start to go bad.  In a frenzy to use up my over-priced asparagus, I decided to make some Israeli Couscous with Lemon & Asparagus.  This dish is the perfect side dish to accompany grilled chicken or meat.  It’s light and perfect for a summer BBQ.

What are your favorite summer side dishes to make?

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous (6 to 7 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 14 ounces slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl; set dressing aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Add onion and asparagus and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic cloves and saute for 1 minute more.
  3. Add couscous and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add couscous to bowl and drizzle dressing over.  Add parsley and cheese and toss.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Main Course, Side Dishes

Pesto-Stuffed Filet Mignons with Grilled Tomatoes


Summer is here and that means it’s time to grill!!!  The other night, my hubby and I made these Pesto-Stuffed Filet Mignons with Grilled Tomatoes.  This recipe was so easy to make and so delicious.  This is the first time I’ve stuffed filet mignons and it definitely gives the meat an added depth of flavor.  The pesto was made from fresh basil from my little, back-porch herb garden.  Definitely give this recipe a try the next time you feel like grilling some filet mignons!

Ingredients:
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 filet mignons, each 5 to 6 ounces and about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 6 slices beefsteak tomato, each about 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. To make the pesto, add the garlic cloves, basil, and pine nuts to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. With the motor running, pour the olive oil in a steady stream to make a smooth, thick paste.  Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and stir in the cheese by hand.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.  Oil the grill rack.
  4. Using a small, sharp knife, make a horizontal cut into one side of each steak, forming a pocket almost to the edges of the steak; take care not to cut all the way through.  Using a small spoon, stuff 2 tbsp of the pesto into each pocket.  If necessary, secure the pocket with toothpicks.  Brush both sides of the steaks and tomato slices with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill the steaks over the hottest part of the grill, turning once, until nicely charred and cooked to your liking, 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  6. While the steaks are cooking, place the tomatoes at the edges of a charcoal grill where the heat is less intense.  Grill the tomato slices, turning once with a spatula, until just softened and lightly charred, 2-4 minutes per side.
  7. Transfer the steaks to individual plates, placing each steak on or next to a tomato slice.  Serve immediately.

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