Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · salad

Big Mac Salad

These hot August days sometimes turn my appetite away from heavy, hot foods to cold, refreshing salads. But when you need some protein, and you want more than a garden salad, what do you do?

You add ingredients to the salad that have the taste of a Big Mac without the heaviness or the calories of a burger! This Big Mac Salad is basically a deconstructed hamburger without the bun. But it’s hearty and delicious!

Here’s how you make it:

Big Mac Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  sweetener of choice
  1. Brown ground beef, adding salt and pepper. Break beef up into small crumbles as it cooks.
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. Top with cooked ground beef. Top with dressing just before serving.
    You can also assemble each salad on the plates as I did in the photos here.
  3. For Dressing:
    Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Add warm water or oil to make it a pouring consistency .

This meal is also super fast and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – probably faster than you could run to the local fast food restaurant and get served! It’s the perfect meal on a hot day, or a day when you want something delicious, but healthier than a hamburger!

What do you eat when it’s hot outside?

salad · summertime

Summertime Salad

With summertime comes light refreshing meals. I’m going to share a salad recipe that we LOVE. It calls for pears, which are really good in this, but blueberries, blackberries or strawberries are delicious additions; we’ve tried them all!. One great thing is that it only has 6.3 grams of fat. The dressing is so good, but made with only a small amount of oil. Try it and tell me what you think! This recipe came from Cooking Light

Pear, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
You can make and refrigerate the vinaigrette up to a week ahead.
Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup orange juice (about one orange)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I didn’t have this and it was still good)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Salad:
Salad greens of your choice (anything but head lettuce is good)
2 Cups sliced peeled pear
1 cup slices red onion, sliced into rings
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
6 teaspoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1. To prepare vinaigrette, place first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stir well with a whisk.
2. To prepare salads, divide the lettuce evenly among 6 salad plates. Divide sliced pear and onions evenly among leaves. Top each serving with about 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts. Drizzle each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Yield: 6 servings
Enjoy!
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Fish · salad

Crispy Oven-baked Fish with Pineapple Ketchup

I love integrating fish into our weekly menu, in an effort to eat healthy. Cooking light created a recipe for crispy fish in the oven. This was a great alternative to frying and still gave a nice crunchy exterior! Don’t be afraid of the pineapple ketchup that accompanies this recipe! It’s merely a sweet and sour taste that is a nice change from tartar sauce!

We enjoyed this with potato wedges instead of fries. I also served this fresh Broccoli Salad, made from our garden-fresh broccoli! It was the perfect accompaniment!

What a Delicious meal!

Crispy fish with pineapple ketchup

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups cornflakes – I used crushed Rice Krispies and it worked great.
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets (I used whole pieces of Polluck), cut into 4 x 1-inch pieces (about 12 pieces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sugar ketchup (such as Heinz)
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Coat rack with cooking spray. Place cereal in a large zip-top bag; roll with a rolling pin until crushed. Place crushed cereal, rind, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish. Combine juice and egg in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.

Step 3

Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt. Dip fish in egg mixture; dredge in cereal mixture. Arrange fish on prepared rack; bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

I did not cut my fish into sticks;
I baked it as whole pieces.

Step 4

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, pineapple, ketchup, and soy sauce in the bowl of a mini food processor; process until smooth. Serve ketchup mixture with fish sticks. I left the fresh pineapple chunks as pieces and we loved the texture in the Ketchup!

This is a nice crispy fish with just the right amount of flavoring. I will definitely repeat this menu!

With love from my country kitchen,

grilling · hospitality · salad · Tablescapes · Uncategorized

Do Ahead Italian-Themed Entertaining Menu

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Crispy, char-grilled pizza crust, savory sauce, melted  cheese and toppings of choice were part of our menu for Apples of Gold this week! We added an Olive Garden Salad, and we finished with Brown Sugar Glazed Pineapple slices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly. I love this menu because most of it can be done ahead of time, so that dinner can be ready in minutes!!

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If you’re saying, “Grilled Pizza?” you’ve missed my former posts about this grilled delight!  It sounds intimidating to grill a pizza, but it’s SO simple!! As I told the ladies at our Apples of Gold meeting, you can have this finished before Pizza Hut could deliver to your door! This recipe makes 8 individual pizzas that are hearty in size!

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Continue reading “Do Ahead Italian-Themed Entertaining Menu”

picnic food · salad · summertime

Picnic Salad

With Memorial Day coming, picnic season is in full swing!  I love a refreshing salad that removes the fear of food poison!  A salad dressed with a vinaigrette is the perfect recipe!

I’ve been making a fruited green salad for several years from Cooking Light, but in my Taste of Home magazine, I found basically the same recipe, only substituting the blueberries or pears with Watermelon!  I was excited to try this.  I love the presentation; it’s served on a wedge of watermelon.

 

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

4 cups cubed watermelon
2 Cups spinach
1/2  Cup red onion, sliced
1/3 Cup Blue cheese
Almonds or cashews

To make the salad, cube up watermelon and add slices of red onion and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  At serving time, add chopped greens (I used leaf lettuce).  Place the mixture on a wedge of watermelon and top with blue cheese and almonds or cashews.

 

For the dressing, I used my recipe for  another salad I make:

Dressing:

1/2 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce

3/4 cup orange juice (about one orange)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I didn’t have this and it was still good)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a small jar. Pour over salad just before serving.

This will be a popular salad at your house this summer while watermelon is in season.  We LOVE it!

What is your favorite summer salad recipe?

denise a