Just Peachy Honey-Lime Salad

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This light salad isn’t overly sweet for a hot summer evening. The almonds just add some protein and a bit of crunch — and with almonds and peaches being related, it only seems fitting to pair them here.  The peaches, blueberries, cucumber and red onion all blend really nicely with this super simple, sweet-tart honey-lime dressing.  A touch of feta would work well here too, but I don’t normally add it to the mixed salad; instead, I have it near for folks to choose whether they want to add it to their own serving (since feta seems to be a pretty love/hate sort of item).  I had blueberries on hand, but blackberries would be great too. Hope you enjoy trying all the possibilities with this easy peasy salad.

PS–I’ve tried several honey-lime dressings, but in this case, simplest is best. Can’t go wrong with fresh squeezed lime juice and honey!

~Robin

Ingredients:

5 c. fresh spinach

1 cucumber, seeded & chopped (about 1.5 cups)

1.5 c. blueberries

½ c. sliced almonds

1.5-2 peaches,* sliced

½ a red onion, sliced (I half the slices of the bigger pieces, just so not overly messy to eat)

¼ c. lime juice (about 2 limes)

2 T. honey

Instructions:

Juice 3 limes, one of them into a different container.  Then slice peaches and carefully pour the juice from 1 lime over them to prevent browning.  Set aside.

Combine spinach, cucumber, almonds, onion and blueberries.  Set aside.

For dressing, mix ¼ c. lime juice and 2 T. honey. Whisk together well and pour over salad.

Add blueberries and peaches to salad and very gently toss together, then serve.

Weight Watchers Info.:  Each 2 c. serving is only 4 SmartPoints.

*I’ll be honest, I use 2 peaches but I always end up eating half of one as I make the salad.

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Balsamic Maple Brussels Sprouts

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My son loves these Brussels sprouts.  They are tangy, sweet, crunchy, and filling.  Any vegetable that my kids will eat straight from the serving plate like finger foods, I call a winner.

͂ Erin

 

Ingredients:

3 tsp. olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. sea salt

1 T. real maple syrup

1 lb. Brussel sprouts, trimmed & quartered

Cooking spray

Instructions:

Spray a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mix all ingredients except sprouts and salt.  Toss Brussels sprouts with mixture and spread evenly on prepared sheet pan.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until they reach the desired level of crispiness. (I like mine pretty brown on the edges.)  Serve hot.

 

Weight Watchers info:  4 servings at 2 SmartPoints per serving.

Smoky Blackened Tilapia

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Growing up, I loved to fish. It was one of my favorite ways to spend time with my dad — and his parents, Mammaw and Pappaw, before they passed.  They were big crappie (important note: pronounced “croppy”) fishers, which is still my favorite fish to eat.

My dad and I have clocked many hours at my aunt & uncle’s pond, on the river (for catfish, but no noodling for us, thank you very much!), or–when we could get there, out on the lake, usually angling for bass. I am still filled with peace picturing being out on the water at Pine Creek Lake in SE Oklahoma as the sun rises with a thick mist across the water, surrounded by pine trees.  It never really matters if they’re biting on a day like that.

Having a big fish fry after a morning of fishing was almost as much fun as the fishing itself.  As I’ve gotten older I a) have less time to do the fishing myself, alas, and b) have been trying to find healthier ways to prepare it than the cornmeal frying I grew up with — though I still love a big fish fry now and then. Don’t get me wrong!

Fortunately, I also get my love of all things spicy from my dad’s side of the family, and this blackened tilapia I threw together tonight after some fiddling with different possibilities is simple to make, a really fast meal, and scrumptious!

~Robin

Ingredients:

16 oz. tilapia, 4 fresh fillets (about 4 oz. each when cooked)*

34 tsp. packed light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp. garlic salt

½ tsp. to 1 1tsp. ground cayenne pepper (depending on desired spiciness—1.5 was pretty warm, but I love spicy food so that was perfect for me)

2 T. smoked paprika (I like McCormick’s organic)

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients except fish and olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.

Pat fillets of fish dry with a paper towel.

Sprinkle seasoning on the fillets of fish generously & coat evenly on both sides.

Heat 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet on med-high heat.

Cook all fillets for about 3 1/2 minutes on the first side, then 3 minutes on the 2nd side — or until cooked through, opaque white and flaky.

Weight Watchers Info.: 5 SmartPoints for 4 oz. fillet.

*If you have frozen fillets, be sure to thaw and pat dry with a paper towel before you begin cooking.

Velvety Chocolate No-Bake Pie

 

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I live in a part of Utah where it is unusual to have air conditioning.  Water coolers and window units are about it.  In fact, I can’t think of anyone near where I live that has central air conditioning.  To those in the south, I understand that seems barbaric!  So needless to say, as the weather heats up, I try to avoid turning on my oven as much as possible.  This no-bake pie is perfect for a night when it’s too hot to cook, if you need a quick dessert for the family, or to deliver to someone else (believe me they will appreciate the gesture!).  It’s really the perfect chocolate pie for any day.  It’s amazingly easy to mix together but ultimately decadent.  Its velvety texture is irresistible.  ~ Kathy

Ingredients:

1 Pre-made graham cracker crust (I use the one that says 2 extra servings)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 T. sugar

Pinch salt

½ tsp vanilla

1/3 c. milk (whole or 2% recommended)

4 oz. German Sweet Chocolate baking bar

3 T semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed according to directions

Instructions:

In a microwave safe dish, melt chocolates at 15 second intervals, stirring between until smooth; set aside.  Stir occasionally to prevent top from hardening.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla until well blended.  Gradually add in melted chocolate and milk.  Fold whipped topping into chocolate mixture until well combined.  Spoon into crust and spread evenly.   Freeze for 4 hours, or until firm.   Store covered in refrigerator.

 

 

 

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

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I love stuffed peppers. Stuffing anything in a pepper just automatically makes it better. These Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers are easy, cheesy, and meaty. They are best grilled but great out of the oven too.

͂ Erin

 

Ingredients:

6 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms

8 oz. thinly sliced roast beef, chopped into small pieces

8 oz. (8 slices) provolone

1 medium onion, diced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. olive oil

2 large bell peppers

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 T. steak seasoning

 

Instructions:

Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom; remove seeds and veins and place pepper halves in a pan. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions, garlic, and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add roast beef, Worcestershire, and steak seasoning; cook until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the outdoor grill to medium heat or the oven to 400°F.  Line each pepper half with a slice of cheese.  Stuff the peppers with filling and top with another slice of cheese.  If cooking on the grill, place the peppers directly on the rack and cook until the peppers are tender and cheese is melted.  If cooking in the oven, place the pan of peppers on the lower rack and cook about 30 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

Weight Watchers info.:  Each stuffed pepper half is 10 SmartPoints.  This recipe makes 4 servings.

Fresh Fruit Cobbler

I have a weakness for all desserts (I may have confessed this before), but cobbler remains at the top of my list of most-loved treats!  This recipe is similar to one that I found many years ago in a magazine and it remains one of my favorites.  We have tried peach and blackberry, and both get rave reviews.

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The crust is what sets this version apart from other cobblers.  It is not a typical pie crust, but it doesn’t get too cakey like so many cobbler toppings do.  It goes great with ice cream (of course) but is also wonderful all by itself.  Try it out with your favorite summer fruit and let us know what you think! ~ Kathy

 

6 cups of your favorite fresh fruit (if using peaches use 6 to 8, peeled & sliced)

2 ½ T. cornstarch

¾ to 1 c. sugar

¼ t. cinnamon (for peach version)

pinch salt

 

For crust:

1 c. all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

¼ c. butter, melted

1 tsp. baking powder

1 c. sugar

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1 T. milk

Combine fruit, cornstarch, salt, and sugar (add cinnamon for peach version); place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.

For crust, combine the flour, egg yolks, butter, baking powder, and sugar.  Gently fold in egg whites and milk.  Spread as evenly as possible over the fruit.

Bake at 375 for about 40-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and top is golden brown.

Summer Veggie Pasta

As summer vegetables come into season, this is a wonderful way to appreciate some of those fresh flavors.  Our family has been enjoying this recipe for many years.  Even the kids love it!  It makes a great side compliment to your favorite grilled chicken or fish, but we recommend it as a tasty main dish all on its own! ~ Tracy

1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin, bite sized pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved or quartered to your liking

½ c. chopped onion

1 ½ T. extra virgin olive oil

1 t. dried basil*

½ t. dried oregano

salt / cracked pepper to taste

½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

8 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles

Cook spaghetti according to package instructions (remember to liberally salt the water).

While spaghetti is cooking, add olive oil to large sauté pan.  When oil is hot, sauté zucchini, garlic, and onion.   Continue to stir-fry the zucchini, garlic, and onions for three to four minutes – until onion begins to become translucent and zucchini softens.  Toss in tomatoes and seasonings.  Heat through.

Add cooked pasta and stir thoroughly into vegetable mixture.   Toss in shredded Parmesan.

*If using fresh basil you may want to reduce amount, since fresh basil is much stronger in flavor.

**Weight Watchers friends, this recipe is 7 SmartPoints for 1 ½ cups!  (Makes 5 servings)