Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sadie's Corner - Baked Risotto

This risotto recipe looked delicious in Martha Stewart Living when I found it.  It even incorporated some of my favorite flavors to accompany pasta (lemon and lots of savory herbs).  What I learned from the experiment was that risotto should not be baked....the rice ends up undercooked.  It should always be made the old fashioned way....on a stovetop with lots of stirring, chicken broth, and arborio rice! 

I have added a couple of great risotto recipes to this blog over the years.  My favorite is Simple Risotto (recipe here).  It has very little butter and oil and pairs great with shellfish such as shrimp with a big salad.

I guess even Martha Stewart gets it wrong some of the time.  Sadie was excited that the recipe failed....she figured she would be the biggest beneficiary of the snafu!  Look....she was licking her lips in anticipation!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Carrots with Mustard Seeds & Dill

This tasty side appeared in a recent issue of Real Simple.  I served it with grilled chicken and a salad and both my husband and I liked it very much.


Recipe Notes
I could not find "young or small carrots", so I got a bunch of regular sized carrots and cut each one into at least quarters, which ended up being a good size.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)
73 calories - 3 g. fat - 1 g. protein - 10 g. carbs - 4 g. fiber

  • 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter (the recipe calls for 1 tbsp, but I used half that)
  • 1 lb. young or small carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tsp. mustard seeds (I used ground mustard seeds so that the carrots almost had a type of mustard glaze on them after cooking)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

1.  Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add carrots, mustard seeds, salt, and 3/4 c. water.
2.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender and water has cooked off (15-17 minutes).
3.  Add vinegar and dill.  Toss to combine and serve.

Tomato Salad with Avocado and Cotija Cheese

This is a super-easy summer salad - four ingredients (excluding salt and pepper) and no cooking necessary.


Recipe Notes
I've decided that it's worth it to buy organic avocados (I don't typically buy anything organic because I find it to be cost-prohibitive for just marginally better produce).  The past few times I've needed avocados, they've been beautiful and perfect and lasted several days in the refrigerator until I needed to use them.  So I guess I'll be using organic avocados from now on.

Cotija cheese is a mild Mexican cheese that is not unlike feta.  You can substitute feta, but it's better with cotija.

  • Beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • Avocados (peeled, pitted, and sliced)
  • Cotija cheese
  • Bottled balsamic vinaigrette (I used Wishbone)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
1.  Alternate tomato and avocado slices in a circular shape.
2.  Sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese.
3.  Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!  Couldn't be easier.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic & Red Pepper

Cooking Light does a nice job with really quick little sides that they include paired with larger dishes.  This was one of them.  They don't give full nutritional information, but this side dish did have less than 100 calories per serving, and I think that it has between 1-2 WW Points Plus only because of the olive oil.
Recipe Notes
I roasted mine significantly longer than the original recipe called for....you can cook these anywhere from 8-15 minutes depending on your preference.
I prefer long, very thin asparagus.  If you get more traditional, thicker asparagus, your roasting time will need to increase.  This dish serves four.
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
1.  Line a jelly roll pan with foil.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Combine asparagus, olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic, and salt and pepper on the jelly roll pan.  Toss well to coat.
3.  Roast for between 8-15 minutes, depending on preference.  I roasted mine for 13 minutes.  Toss at least once during cooking.
4.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt.