August 13, 2014

We’re going to take a walk down memory lane today. For a while I’ve been saying it would be fun for me to go back to some of my older posts and remake and rephotograph the recipes. Today is the first result of that endeavor with my sauteed spinach salad.

Sauteed Spinach Salad

It seemed natural to make this dish again, because when I say it is a staple in our household I definitely mean it. This warm spinach salad appears on our dinner table just about every other week. It’s so easy to throw together…and super tasty. I serve it with a multitude of items depending on my mood. Most often, it accompanies fish. I really love to serve this dish on top of wild rice. The flavor combination is one of my favorites.

sauteed spinach salad

This recipe first made an appearance on my blog back in November of 2010. I was taking photos with my beginner DSLR and I totally thought the pictures were stellar. Oh, how fun it is to see the difference between then and now! I was taking my food photos indoors and at night, which I think is pretty apparent in the old photos…oh the yellowish brown tint!

sauteed spinach salad 2010

Apparently I also didn’t know much about plating at the time, since I was taking pictures of the food directly in the pan…and then added a picture of the food on my dinner plate. Can you tell what was next to the spinach? Apparently, that was baked chicken.

Ok ok, enough making fun of myself for the time being. I urge you – consider whipping up this recipe soon. When I say it’s one of my favorite things to eat, I definitely mean it!

sauteed spinach salad

Sauteed Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion and saute until the onions start to become translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes to soften them slightly.
  3. Next, add the fresh spinach leaves. Saute until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  4. When the spinach has reduced, remove from heat and serve, topped with feta cheese crumbles. Enjoy!
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August 11, 2014

What do you think of when you hear the word “comfort?” For me, comfort comes in the form of food; not in quantity, but in certain types of dishes. I know I can’t be the only one out there who finds herself craving particular foods. Sometimes they are savory. Sometimes they are sweet. Annnnd let’s be honest: certain cravings tend to happen on certain days each month… Here’s the thing: I crave restaurant food at that point. I want to go out to a nice dinner and have the food prepared by someone else so I don’t have to clean up afterwards. I want to indulge in the flavors I crave. But the thought of getting myself done up, squeezing into an outfit, and shoving my feet into heels just doesn’t cut it. I don’t want to! When I think of comfort, I imagine a night in, sitting on the couch in my soft and stretchy pajamas or lounge clothes. So…how do I make both of those things happen at the same time?

Grilled pizza with mushrooms peppers pepperoni salami

Grilled pizza. It’s my go-to, always-awesome dinner to prepare during this time. Why grilled? Because that means Justin has to cook it. My job is to prep the ingredients and sprinkle them on the pizza: Justin does the rest of the work for me. I’d like to say I am a confident grill master, but I’ve pretty much left it to him ever since we met. It’s his area of expertise, what can I say? I love that we can switch up the toppings on our pizzas to keep things interesting. No two pizzas tend to be the same in our house; it’s too much fun to experiment with new combinations! However, the recipe I’m sharing today happens to be one of our all time favorites and we’ve actually gone back to this exact ingredient medley more than once (make sure to scroll down to get the details).

Grilled pizza with mushrooms peppers pepperoni salami

 

Grilled pizza with mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, & salami

Ingredients

Pizza dough

5-6 tbsp marinara or pizza sauce

6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced (more if desired)

1 pint fresh mushrooms

1 medium tomato, sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds

1 medium bell pepper, sliced or diced

6 thin deli slices pepperoni

6 thin deli slices salami

Instructions

1. Heat grill to around 500° F. As the grill is heating up, heat a skillet over medium. Rinse and coarsely chop the fresh mushrooms into bite size pieces, then add them to the skillet to cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the mushrooms on a paper towel and set aside for later.

2. Meanwhile, stretch/roll the pizza dough to about 1/4 inch thick. I like to roll my dough with a sprinkle of cornmeal on the working surface! Place on a baking sheet or other surface to transfer to the grill.

3. When the pizza dough is rolled out, carefully slide it directly on to the grill grates (you can spray the grates with a bit of nonstick cooking spray if desired). Close the grill lid and let the dough cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the bottom of the crusts are golden and some char lines can be seen.

4. Transfer the crusts back to your baking sheet, but flip the pizza crust so the bottom that was touching the grates is now facing up.

5. On the turned over pizza crusts, lightly spread the marinara sauce, then top with the sliced mozzarella and tomato rounds. Sprinkle the sauteed mushrooms on top with the bell peppers. Finally, layer the pepperoni and salami slices onto the very top. When this is complete, transfer the pizza back on to the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for an additional 4 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

6. Remove cooked pizza from the grill and on to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, slice into pieces, and enjoy!    

 

Grilled pizza with mushrooms peppers pepperoni salami 3

 

I like to serve my pizza dinners up alongside a fresh spring mix and arugula salad simply dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Oh, and a glass of wine doesn’t hurt either. Comfortable clothes, comfort food, and a watching a movie or TV episode marathon is JUST the thing to satisfy me!

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August 6, 2014

Searching for an easy and fresh weekday supper? Well, look no further, because today I really do have one for you. These black bean lettuce wraps I’m sharing are a summertime favorite in my house, and I hope they might find their way onto your table.

black bean lettuce wraps

Let’s talk about budget-friendly recipes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – buying produce that is in season is always a great way to go when you are interested in saving money on a meal. Vegetables (and fruit) that are in season will also taste much better…because they are fresh! I always get excited when summer corn season rolls around – there is something so wonderful about fresh, sweet corn on the cob. Am I right? I have been taking advantage of the fresh corn to create double and triple batches of fresh grilled corn salsa. Making a large batch allows me to utilize the salsa in a number of recipes, and today’s recipe just so happens to include it!

black bean lettuce wraps

Beans are another affordable and easy to make meal component as well. I personally love black beans; they pack a nice punch of protein, antioxidants, and fiber. However, if you’d prefer to sub in pinto beans or another type of bean, that would also work out! You can buy dried beans and soak them, but if you’re a busy family on the go, opting for canned is oh so easy and quick to prepare. I suggest rinsing and draining your beans after opening the can, then adding in some salsa and herbs to flavor them as you heat. If left to my own devices, I could probably just eat an entire pot filled with black beans, but I digress…

black bean lettuce wraps

What I love about today’s lettuce wraps is that they give the flavor and texture of your favorite burrito or taco, but the lettuce wrap replaces the tortilla for a healthy alternative. You get a lovely, cool crunch when you bite into one of these wraps, which is juxtaposed with the warm rice and beans. The corn salsa does add a bit of a kick too (assuming you add jalapenos…and I do love some jalapenos in my life…). I can completely fill up on these lettuce wraps for a meal.

And they are such a cinch to put together for a family on the go. The longest component to prepare is the rice, and if you are REALLY in a pinch and can’t wait 30 minutes for rice to cook on the stove, you can always opt for the microwave steamer bags as an easy alternative that is ready in minutes. Options: you have them.

So – are you a fan of lettuce wraps? Have you created your own style at home?

black bean lettuce wraps

Black Bean Lettuce Wraps with Grilled Corn Salsa and Cilantro Lime Rice for #WeekdaySupper #ChooseDreams

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tomato salsa
  • Juice from 1/3 of a lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Bibb lettuce leaves (or iceberg)
  • 1 cup corn salsa click for recipe
  • 1/2 cup guacamole (or 1 Haas avocado)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the jasmine rice according to package directions (bring rice and water to a boil, stir, then cover and reduce heat to low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat for 5 minutes).
  2. Open the can of black beans and pour into a colander - rinse and drain. Add beans to a small pot over low heat and add the tomato salsa. Stir to combine. Heat through, stirring occasionally (about 8-10 minutes).
  3. Chop the fresh cilantro leaves. Reserve a few pinches for garnish (if desired), then add the cilantro to the cooked rice along with the lime juice. Stir to combine.
  4. To put a wrap together: begin with a Bibb lettuce leaf Add a scoop of cilantro lime rice, followed by a scoop of the black beans, and corn salsa. Sprinkle with reserved cilantro leaves, sliced avocado, or guacamole. Fold into a taco-like shape and take a bite - enjoy!
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AmFam Choose Dreams Logo

Make sure you hop over and follow the Health and Fitness #ChooseDreams Pinterest board.  Also, take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest!

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

 

~~~~~~

 

Sunday Supper Movement

But wait…there’s more!!! Make sure you get extra helpings of Weekday Supper inspiration by checking out this week’s recipes:

 

take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest! This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. – See more at: http://rufflesandtruffles.com/2014/07/quinoa-bowls-with-grilled-vegetables/#sthash.rAesg5nE.dpuf

take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest! This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. – See more at: http://rufflesandtruffles.com/2014/07/quinoa-bowls-with-grilled-vegetables/#sthash.rAesg5nE.dp

take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest! This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. – See more at: http://rufflesandtruffles.com/2014/07/quinoa-bowls-with-grilled-vegetables/#sthash.rAesg5nE.dpu

MondayGrilled Pork Tenderloin with Couscous & Heirloom Salad by Foxes Love Lemons
Tuesday – Chick Pea Tabbouleh with Grilled Chicken and Artichokes by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Wednesday – Black Bean Lettuce Wraps with Grilled Corn Salsa and Cilantro Lime Rice by Ruffles & Truffles
ThursdayBacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
FridaySummer Veggie Medley on Polenta by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

 

 

 

August 4, 2014

What better way to take advantage of the abundance of summer squash than with a sweet treat? Today, I’m sharing a batch of blueberry zucchini bread I baked recently! It’s packed with veggies and berries, and definitely found a place in my heart (and stomach).

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

I honestly can’t believe there was a time that I would turn my nose up at zucchini bread. It is one of my favorite things to add to sweet breads, since the shredded zucchini doesn’t add flavor, but it adds moisture (and a bit of color too)! I love getting glimpses of green that let me know there’s zucchini packed into my bread.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

But oh, the blueberries definitely steal the show when it comes to this recipe. It’s funny: I’m not a huge fan of blueberries when they are on their own, but if you bake them into a dish, I am ALLLL about them! Blueberry muffins and blueberry bread have always been favorite baked goods for me on a weekend morning. Naturally, I wanted to throw a ton of these plump berries straight into my zucchini bread batter. I’m so glad I did. I definitely loaded my batter quite a bit, but the amount you add can vary depending on taste.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

The bread tastes great just sliced and served, but I have always enjoyed my sweet breads like this one with a smear of butter on top. We also happen to have a little item in our pantry that kicks it up another notch: blueberry infused local honey drizzled on top. The honey guy at our local farmer’s market is my absolute favorite stand: not only do they have the seasonal local honeys, but the array of products in addition to them is always interesting. We’ve bought kumquat infused honey as well as the blueberry infused varieties. They also have whipped honeys with cinnamon, which is the next item on my list I need to have in my life. Of course, since we live in scorching hot Florida, our farmer’s market is not open for a few months during those weeks. I’m hoping I have enough honey to last me until it reopens in the fall!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

So – what is your favorite type of sweet bread to bake?

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium squash)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until softened butter and sugar are incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, then mix well. Then, add the shredded zucchini, yogurt, and vanilla and beat until fully combined.
  4. Turn your mixer to low speed, then begin adding the flour mixture by heaping spoonful to the wet mixture. Continue adding scoops of the flour gradually until all is used and the batter is thick.
  5. Turn off the mixer and gently stir in the blueberries.
  6. Pour batter into mini loaf pans (makes 4) coated with cooking spray, then bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove loaves from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

I used mini loaf pans to create my blueberry zucchini bread, however, you can also use muffin pans or regular (larger) loaf pans. Simply adjust the baking time (slightly less for muffins and longer for full size loaves) to suit your pan type!

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