Summer Salad Recipe

During the hot summer days it's great to just take a look in your fridge and create a summer salad for lunch.  I served this summer salad with one hard boiled egg as my protein.  

bowlful of romaine lettuce - washed and torn 
1/4 orange pepper - chopped
2 strawberry tomatoes - chopped

Toss everything together and drizzle balsamic glaze on top and you have a healthy summer salad for lunch.  

Of course you can add spinach, cucumber, carrot, or whatever is in your crisper.  I love the colours of summer.  

Baking - Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe

Initially we bought a few bananas for smoothies, but as the busy work week came and went, every day the bananas were neglected.  Then it comes a point when the bananas become too ripe that they start to spread their banana spores throughout the kitchen where you have to pay attention and do something.  You can throw them away, freeze them for a rainy day, or bake banana blueberry bread.  That's exactly what I did!  


I found a recipe for Blueberry Banana Bread on Allrecipes.com and followed the instructions. Now I didn't have three small loaf pans so instead I put all the batter into one loaf pan.  This definitely increased my baking time and it almost tripled the baking time.  Instead of 30 minutes, my banana blueberry loaf took about one hour and fifteen minutes to bake.  It was worth the wait to have nice loaf with lots of juicy blueberries in middle.  My husband cut up the loaf into bite sized pieces and warmed it up in the microwave before putting ice cream on top for a banana blueberry bread dessert. 


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 3 small loaf pans.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add 1 egg and allow to blend into the butter mixture before adding the second egg along with vanilla extract. Beat mashed bananas thoroughly into the mixture. Add flour mixture in small increments while beating until just combined into a thick batter. Fold blueberries into the batter; pour into prepared loaf pans.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Paleo Recipe - Sausage Casserole Recipe

Before when I was trying to lose weight, I somewhat had success when I decided to make paleo dinners.  So I decided to do the same this summer.  I can never seem to give up wheat completely so I try it with dinners first.  

Paleo Leap is a wonderful website and resource for recipes and where I found this simple sausage casserole recipe.  I didn't have all the ingredients so I used what I had and make a sausage casserole with the following.  I was surprised at how tender the yams turned out and I really loved the flavours that my bratwurst sausage brought to the vegetables.  I would make this again and feel that is is completely a recipe that you can make your own.  Here's what I used for this simple sausage casserole recipe to make it my own.

4 bratwurst sausages
2 yams, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh lemon thyme sprigs from the farmer's market

I think it would have been lovely as in the original recipe with a red onion but my onion that I had was rotten so what's more important is to have fresh healthy vegetables.  

Directions:  All the vegetables in a baking dish.  Brown the sausages on all sides.  Top with fresh lemon thyme and bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.  




Brown Bag Lunch - Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Dill

I've been pretty good at bringing a brown bag lunch to work this week.  I am trying to eat healthy and keep fit and one way to do that is to bring a quick lunch to eat so the rest of the lunch break I can take a brisk walk instead of sitting in the lunch room.  

What this means though is that even if I eat out for dinner, when I get home, I am cooking up a little something for my brown bag lunch the next day.  

Tonight I was inspired by an Orzo Salad with Chickpea, Dill and Lemon from MyRecipes:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/orzo-salad-with-chickpeas-dill-lemon


I gathered up my ingredients and noticed white mold on my lemon.  I thought about it.  But I like my healthy stomach much better and decided not to chance it.  Yes, normally you would think that the sight of mold itself would make me think twice.  I guess I really wanted to follow the recipe as is.  Instead I made the recipe my own and it turned into Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Dill.

1 cup orzo
1 tbsp dill (I had dried in my pantry so I used that, if you have fresh, fabulous)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can 19oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup feta cheese

Cook the orzo until al dente or to taste.  Rinse with cold water.  Mix orzo in a mixing bowl with the dill, olive oil and chickpeas.  Add the feta cheese.  

Enjoy the light refreshing Orzo Salad with simple ingredients.

Blueberry Scone Recipe

This morning I decided to bake up a fresh batch of scones.  I found a Blueberry Scone recipe on the Food Network and decided to give it a try.  Of course, I didn't know that I only had 2 cups of flour left which meant that I did not have any extra flour to help make the dough pliable to roll out into a circle.  So instead my sticky dough scones were dropped onto the baking sheet in rounds.  The scones turned out well with blueberries bursting from the seams.  I used 1 cup of frozen blueberries which was quite generous.  I still have the last frozen batch of blueberries from last season.  Luckily August is just around the corner.  It's been a lot of fun baking with blueberries.  I didn't use a glaze as we found the blueberry scones were delicious without one and when they are fresh from the oven, we couldn't resist or wait to taste one.

The Blueberry Scone Recipe is Here:  

Blueberry Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/blueberry-scones-with-lemon-glaze-recipe.html?oc=linkback


Meatless Monday - Olive Garden Copycat Inspired Minestrone Soup Recipe

It's Meatless Monday and I was inspired by an Olive Garden Copycat Recipe for Minestrone Soup.  I turned a minestrone soup into my own by using the vegetables I had on had and less beans.  This is how my recipe turned out.  Enjoy!  

Ingredients

1 diced white onion
1 diced zuchinni
1 diced celery
6 chopped baby carrots or 1 chopped carrot
3 tbsps olive oil

4 cups vegetable broth
1 can white beans 
1 can diced tomatoes with italian seasoning, drained
dash pepper
sprinkle thyme

4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups egg noodle
2 cups water

1.  Saute onion, zuchinni, celery, carrots in olive oil until the onions are translucent.  
2.  Add the vegetable broth, beans, drained diced tomatoes, pepper, and thyme.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes
3.  Add the baby spinach leaves, egg noodle, and an additional 2 cups of water.  You can look at the consistency of your soup and add enough water to cook the noodles but still have it as thick or thin as your preference.

Serve in soup bowls and you can sprinkle cheese on top (optional).  Delicious hearty vegetarian soup for you #MeatlessMonday.  Bring it for your brown bag lunches.  

Pioneer Woman's Recipe - Baked Ziti

Rhee Drummond is the Pioneer Woman and her rustic comfort food is the opposite of Jamie Oliver's healthy meals.  After a week of trying out Jamie Oliver's healthy recipes, I decided to switch it up and make some hearty comfort food from the Pioneer Woman.

Baked Ziti (make with penne) recipe made enough for the entire week.  My husband could have friends over and not have to spend money on dinner.  The casserole was great for taking to work for brown bag lunches and provided meals for two all week long.  

Find the easy to follow recipe here:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/baked-ziti/