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Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Barley Salad

This salad has become my new food obsession. It is just plain wonderful! You can eat it as a side dish, main dish or serve it as an appetizer with some tortilla chips. The recipe makes a TON, but don't worry - it won't go to waste! **Warning** The barley takes about an hour to cook so allow enough time to make it!

1 1/2 cups  uncooked pearl barley
1 cup  fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup  diced seeded plum tomato (about 2 small)
1/2 cup  chopped green onions
1/4 cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
20  kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (I used an entire container)
5 tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons  olive oil
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1  garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup  (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (also used a whole container here)

Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt.
Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Cool completely.
Combine barley, corn, and next 4 ingredients (through kalamata olives) in a bowl.
Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic), stirring well with a whisk; drizzle over barley mixture. Toss to coat.
Sprinkle with cheese.

recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

I had these at a cookout recently and they blew my mind! So delicious with the perfect amount of spice. We have had an abundance of jalapenos from out garden this year so I decided to make these for a snack one evening. We definitely needed more people to help us eat them but hopefully they reheat well!

1 pound ground pork sausage (you can substitute with turkey sausage)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pound large fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch dressing (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place sausage in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown.
Drain grease.
In a bowl, mix the sausage, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon sausage mixture into each jalapeno half.
Arrange stuffed halves in baking dishes.
Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve with Ranch dressing.

recipe courtesy of all recipes

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Veggie Pasta

We are leaving for vacation in a few days and I needed to get rid of some of these wonderful summer veggies that I have sitting around.   I was craving carbs so I thought why not add them to pasta?  We had this for dinner but it would be great served as a side dish too in a small portion.  I bet it would pair wonderfully with fish.  And you could use whatever veggies you want for this... I was missing something green.  Next time I think I will add asparagus. 

1/2 box linguine noodles
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4-5 eggplant slices, peeled and cut in small chunks (we had some leftover from the Grilled Chicken Parmesan Subs with Eggplant)
2 cups squash, peeled and cut in small chunks
1 TBS italian seasoning (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (more or less to taste)
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese (more or less to taste)
dash salt & pepper to taste (optional)

1.  Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain well. 

2.  Heat a large nonstick pan on medium heat.  Add the  EVOO to the pan.  Swirl to coat. 

3.  Once pan is heated, add the veggies.   Sprinkle the italian seasoning over them and stir gently.   You can optionally add s&p here too.  Let saute for 4-5 minutes or until slightly tender, stirring gently every minute or so.  Be careful not to overcook or else they will get mushy.   Immediately remove from heat once done BUT LEAVE IN THE PAN THEY WERE COOKED IN.

4.  Add the well drained pasta to a mixing bowl.   Pour in the veggie EVOO mix.  Make sure you get all the veggie sauce out of the pan.   Then sprinkle with the dried basil, Parmesan cheese and s&p (if desired).    Mix well.    Enjoy.