Kale, Corn and Tomato Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing

29 07 2014

This is a tasty and easy salad to help enjoy the bounties of fresh summer produce. Here I’m featuring kale, tomatoes, cucumbers and shallots from our Fresh Fork Market CSA share. Serve with whatever protein looks good to you and dig in. I love easy meals like this that allow me to spend more time enjoying the beautiful day, and less time in the kitchen!

Kale, Corn and Tomato Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 small to medium ears of corn, shucked
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced in half moons
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2 Tbsp champagne wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Drizzle shucked corn with a little olive oil and grill until slightly charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. Remove corn from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle. I picked the following trick up from Rachel Ray and it works like a charm – place a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl. Stand the corn up on the bottom of the small bowl and using a large knife, cut corn off the cobs. The kernels will easily collect in the big bowl. When all the kernels are cut off, remove the small bowl.

Add the tomatoes, cucumber and shallots to the bowl with the corn. Add the pesto and vinegar, and mix well to combine.

Add the kale to another bowl. Squeeze in lemon juice and a good drizzle of olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Massage gently with your hands for a couple of minutes, ensuring the kale is evenly coated. Massaging the kale will help it break down a little and soften, making it easier to eat and enjoy, in its raw form!

To serve, divide the kale among plates. Slightly push kale to the sides, creating a hole in the middle. Divide the corn and tomato salad among plates, filling the kale hole. Serve with a protein of your choice. Pictured above is petite sirloin steak.





Pretzel and Breakfast Sausage Strata

27 07 2014

Here is another delicious, and super easy Orlando pretzel bun recipe. Serve Orlando pretzel hamburger and hot dog buns at your next cookout, then use the leftover buns the next morning for breakfast in this savory strata! These pretzel buns have between 7-9 grams of protein, making them a great addition to your breakfast or brunch menus.

Strata is a baked egg and bread dish, often with meat and/or cheese, and resembles a bread budding of sorts. My Mom has made a rendition of this strata for years, my most recent memory is for the morning of my wedding. As I made this today, I couldn’t help but think of the house filled with the smell of homemade breakfast, as all the gals ran around getting ready! Thanks, Mom, for always making sure I have a delicious home cooked meal (even well into adulthood), and for the basis of this yummy recipe!

I didn’t make this version with cheese, as I opted to top it with organic maple agave syrup instead, for the perfect salty and sweet bite. You could of course, top with a cheese of your choice before you bake instead.

Pretzel and Breakfast Sausage Strata

The following makes a 9 x 13 pan (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 leftover Orlando Pretzel Buns, split in half and cubed (I used 2 hamburger and 2 hot dog)
  • 1 lb bulk sausage, pork or turkey, or 12 breakfast patties – for my Fresh Fork friends, I used FF sausage and uncured bacon breakfast patties
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Sprinkle black pepper
  • Organic Maple Agave Syrup for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. If you’re using the breakfast patties, cube the meat up first to make it easier to break apart. Cook meat until browned and continue to crumble with the wooden spoon as it cooks. Transfer browned sausage to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up the grease.

Meanwhile, spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Cube the pretzel buns and place evenly in the bottom of the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, Worcestershire and sprinkle of pepper. Do not season with salt, as the sausage will be salty enough.

Once the sausage is cool enough to handle, sprinkle it evenly over the cubed bread and top everything with the egg mixture. Using your hands, gently press the bread down so that it’s all coated with the egg mixture.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Slice into single servings and remove with a spatula. Top with a little maple syrup and enjoy.

You can make this a day in advance and bake the morning you want to serve. Just prep it all and store covered in the fridge. Bring to room temp before baking, or, bake a little longer if you put it in the oven cold.

More This Girl recipes featuring Orlando’s Pretzel Buns:

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.





Grilled Chicken and Brie Pretzel Sandwich With a Black Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

23 07 2014

My Orlando pretzel bun recipe adventure continues with this beautiful grilled chicken sandwich, featuring their Pretzel Hamburger Bun! I think this is pretty original if I do say so myself!

The idea for this sandwich came together based on ingredients that I had and wanted to use up. I made the black raspberry syrup for brunch one Saturday after getting some gorgeous berries from Fresh Fork Market. I served the syrup on top of baked whole wheat pancakes which was absolutely delicious. I saved the leftover syrup, and waited for an idea to ferment. And of course, it did.

The sweet syrup paired with smoky chipotle makes for a perfectly tasty sauce, great for grilled chicken. You could eat that as a dinner on its own. But top it with melted brie and enjoy between a unique pretzel bun, and you’ll take this meal to a whole new level! Just don’t be dainty about eating it, OK gals? Throw your hair back, grab some napkins and just enjoy it! :)

Grilled Chicken and Brie Pretzel Sandwich With a Black Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/2 cup black raspberry simple syrup, you could also use any other jam or preserves you have – see below on how to make the syrup. For the syrup you’ll need 1 pint berries, 1/2 cup water and sugar as well as the zest of 1 orange.
  • 1 whole chipotle with a little of the adobo sauce (start with 1/2 tsp of the adobo and taste, adding more to your liking)
  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • Slices of brie, brought to room temp
  • 2 Orlando Pretzel Hamburger Buns
  • Whole cabbage or lettuce leaves
  • Sliced shallots

Preheat grill to high.

To make the black raspberry simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup water and a 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, cooking and stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Add a pint of black raspberries (you could also use blueberries instead) and the zest of 1 orange. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until berries start to thicken, about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using a strainer, strain the sauce into a jar, pushing liquid through with the back of a spoon (this will catch any seeds). Reserve 1/2 cup of the syrup for this meal, and store the rest in a tightly covered jar in the fridge. Use leftover syrup on waffles or pancakes – its delicious!

For the black raspberry-chipotle sauce, combine the 1/2 cup black raspberry syrup and the chipotle in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Season with a pinch of salt. Use an immersion blender or a small food processor to puree the sauce until smooth, and set aside.

Drizzle chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste, as well as a dusting of chipotle chile pepper. Grill on high heat until cooked through and juices run clear, 6-8 minutes per side. Remove chicken and top with a little of the sauce and sliced brie (use as much cheese as you like). Tent with foil to rest. This will also help the cheese melt.

Spread some of the black raspberry -chipotle sauce on the bottom and top of the pretzel buns. Add a few cabbage or lettuce leaves on top of the bottom bun. Next, add a piece of chicken that has the melted brie on it, next add the shallots and finish with the top of the pretzel bun. Add a toothpick to keep the sandwich together if needed.

This is a messy sandwich, so grab some napkins and just enjoy it! I recommend washing this deliciousness down with a Wild Blue beer!

More This Girl recipes featuring Orlando’s Pretzel Buns:

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.





Thai Cabbage Wraps With Chicken and Broccoli

22 07 2014

Tonight’s fantastically delicious and healthy dinner is a riff on a Pad Thai I made with chicken and broccoli a while back. I tweaked the recipe and made it low carb in order to use up some of our lovely Fresh Fork Market ingredients including cabbage, carrots, candy onion and green onions. You don’t always need a new recipe, try using different ingredients to make an old recipe, new!

Thai Cabbage Wraps With Chicken and Broccoli

The following makes 7-8 wraps (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Taylor Made):

  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Half a candy onion (or whatever onion you have), chopped
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped, green leaves removed and roughly chopped as well
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp natural creamy peanut butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for more heat)
  • Whole cabbage leaves rough stems removed, 7-10 total, depending on the size
  • Toasted sesame seeds and nuts, use whatever you have, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Green onions, chopped for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots, saute for 3 minutes or so until beginning to softened. Add the chicken and cook, tossing occasionally until cooked through. Add in the carrot greens and wilt.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add broccoli florets and quickly blanch, 1-2 minutes. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and run under cold water. Drain, and set aside.

Prepare the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, Sriracha, garlic, honey, peanut butter, juice of 1/2 a lime and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked through and the carrot greens are wilted, turn the heat to medium-low. Add the broccoli and the sauce, toss to combine and let the sauce soak into the chicken and veggies, a few minutes.

To serve, dish out the chicken mixture onto cabbage leaves. Top with chopped nuts, cilantro or parsley, and green onions. Finish with a little more lime juice, or serve with lime wedges if desired.

If you have some of the leftover chicken mixture, enjoy it the next day over some shredded cabbage dressed with a little olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper – delicious!





Pretzel Brat-Mi

15 07 2014

I’m teaming up with Orlando Baking Company again, this time featuring recipes for their awesome pretzel buns! First up is this fun, party-worthy brat that’s a riff on a classic Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich.

The zing and crunch from the slaw cuts through the richness of the brat perfectly. Pair it with this sturdy and flavorful pretzel bun which has a bit of a sweet note on its own, for one delicious summer bite!

Enjoy these for dinner, or cut them in half and serve them as an appetizer at your next cookout!

Pretzel Brat-MiThe following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 Orlando Pretzel Hot Dog Buns
  • 4 turkey brats, you can use whatever you like or have such as pork or chicken brats
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, about 1 cup packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 candy onion stem chopped, or 1/2 cup of sliced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • Juice and zest of half a lime
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp habanero hot sauce, or whatever hot sauce you like (use less if you don’t like it as spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 4 green onions, sliced for garnish

Add cilantro, garlic, vinegar, lime juice and zest, hot sauce, kosher salt and olive oil to a food processor and process until smooth. Will make about 1 cup. Toss with carrots and cabbage. You can add more carrots or cabbage to adjust the amount of the sauce to your liking too. Store covered in the fridge.

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Add some water to a large skillet. Add the brats, cover and cook over medium-high heat until plump and partially cooked, just a few minutes. Remove brats from the water and pat to dry. Transfer brats to pre-heated grill to finish cooking through and to get a char on the outside. Grill a few minutes on all sides. Remove from the grill and allow to rest a few minutes.

Place brats on pretzel buns, top with slaw and garnish with green onion. Serve with more slaw on the side if you’d like.

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.





Grilled Pineapple and Red Pepper Salsa

14 07 2014

This is a super tasty and refreshing salsa, perfect to enjoy with friends and fam on a hot summer day! I know my fam gobbled it up at a picnic we had this past weekend! Bobby Flay’s grilled pineapple relish was my inspiration for this appetizer, well that, and all the pretty produce in my fridge. Don’t be afraid to play around with the fruit and veggies in this….it’s great to use what you have on hand!

Grilled Pineapple and Red Pepper Salsa

The following makes around 3 cups (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cups grilled pineapple, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and stem removed, grilled and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2-3 medium radishes, chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3-4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (use more or less to your liking)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot sauce (use more or less depending how spicy you want the salsa, I used a habanero hot sauce which is very spicy, so a little went a long way)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Tortilla chips, great with blue corn!

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Drizzle pineapple and red pepper with a little olive oil. Grill covered, until char marks start to form, a few minutes on all sides. Remove from the grill to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, chop pineapple and pepper. I grilled a whole cored pineapple and used what I thought would be enough in the salsa and saved the rest for another meal. You can adjust the amount of pineapple used in this salsa based on your preference.

Combine chopped pineapple, pepper, radishes, green onions and cilantro. Add the lime zest and juice, vinegar and hot sauce and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning. I like the acid as it is, but if it’s too much you can add a little more hot sauce or add some olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve. This salsa can be made a day in advance. Serve with multi-grain or blue corn tortilla chips.





Beef “Kofta” Burger With Minted-Cucumber Yogurt and Slaw

8 07 2014

These burgers are a riff on the popular Middle Eastern skewered meat, Kofta, which you may often see in the form of a kabob. The spiced beef paired with the mint and cucumber yogurt is awesome! Serve with whole wheat naan and a quick slaw for a super healthy dinner! Another creative meal thanks to the wonderful ingredients from our Fresh Fork Market share!

Beef "Kofta" Burger With Minted-Cucumber Yogurt and Slaw

The following serves 2 with leftovers (adapted from eat. live. travel. write):

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 lb organic ground beef
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, shredded and liquid squeezed out through a paper towel
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  • 1 small beet, julienned
  • ½ cup julienned cabbage
  • ½ red onion, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Whole wheat naan, sliced

In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, green onions, beef, ground coriander, cumin, paprika, egg and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are combined, but don’t over mix. Form between 2 and 4 round burger patties (depends how big you want the patties). Using your thumb, press an indent into the center of each patty. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to grill.

For the slaw, combine half the cucumber, the carrots, beets, cabbage and red onion in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice. Stir to combine and store covered in the fridge. Before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill the burgers to your desired temperature. Grill the naan until warmed through and just beginning to char. Remove burgers from the grill and let rest. Remove naan.

Combine the yogurt, mint and the remaining cucumber. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve burgers on naan topped with some of the yogurt sauce and a side of slaw.







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