Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

21 06 2015

This pasta salad is light, fresh and super tasty – great for serving in the summer! I love taking ideas I see on in my fav cooking shows or magazines and making them my own. This recipe is a great example, thanks to the Food Network’s The Kitchen for the pineapple-zucchini salsa idea!

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

The following serves 6-8 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and The Kitchen):

  • 2 small to medium-size zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 of a peeled and cored pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 lb gemelli pasta
  • 2 small to medium-size shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger (save yourself time and use it from the tube)
  • 2 tsp finely diced jalapeno or your favorite hot sauce, use more or less depending on how much spice you like
  • 6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Champagne or Chardonnay Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro or mint
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat grill to medium. Grill the pineapple and zucchini for a few minutes on each side until beginning to char. You still want the zucchini to have a little crunch. Remove from the grill and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, diced the pineapple and zucchini and add to a large bowl or casserole dish. Toss with the cucumber, and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk the shallots, ginger, jalapeno or hot sauce, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to the pineapple-zucchini mixture and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt and cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and return to pan to cool slightly.

Add the slightly cooled pasta to the dressed pineapple-zucchini mixture. Add the cilantro or mint and toss everything well to combine. Season with a little more salt and pepper to taste if needed. You can also add more oil or vinegar if you’d like.

Store covered in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

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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.





Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

12 02 2014

I didn’t make it to the grocery store this past weekend, so meal-planning this week is all about using up my pantry/freezer, etc. I just so happen to have a little pineapple leftover from another meal, a can of black beans and some frozen cod.  Sound strange? Believe it or not, it’s delicious….and super simple!

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

The following serves 2 (adapted from Everyday With Rachel Ray):

  • 3 slices (1/2 inch thick) pineapple
  • 2 cod filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 oz mild diced green chilies (half of a small can)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange pineapple on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once. Let pineapple cool, then chop.

Season filets with salt and pepper; rub with 1/2 Tbsp oil. Arrange the filets on the same foil-lined baking sheet you used for the pineapple and drizzle with 1 tsp lime juice. Broil until opaque and flaky and slightly browned on top, 10 to 12 minutes.

While the fish bakes, warm a drizzle of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add the chiles, a dusting of cayenne and the beans. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the beans are warmed through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then toss with pineapple, cilantro and remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice and 1 Tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the cod topped with the pineapple-black bean salsa. Serve over brown rice or with an arugula salad (as pictured here) to round out the meal. You could also serve this in tortillas for taco night!





Pork Stir-Fry With Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas Over Pineapple-Ginger Brown Rice

23 01 2014

A from-scratch stir-fry sauce helps you avoid the extra sodium and sugars most bottled sauces contain. This one is easy and delicious, and has half the sodium of a typical Chinese take-out dinner. The recipe says you can get this all-natural stir-fry on the table in 30 minutes. I timed myself and it took 40. I could have shaved some time off if I had done a little prep ahead of time though.

Pork Stir-Fry With Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas Over Pineapple-Ginger Brown Rice

Pork Stir-Fry With Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas Over Pineapple-Ginger Brown Rice

The following makes 2 servings (compliments of Cuisine Lite Menus for Two):

  • 8 oz pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
  • 4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup carrot strips (run a vegetable peeler along the full length of the carrot to make long, thin strips)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced scallions
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup brown rice (10 minute rice)
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Combine pork strips and 1 Tbsp soy sauce; cover and refrigerate while preparing the rice and sauce.

For the rice: boil 1 cup broth, half the ginger (1 Tbsp) and rice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer rice until water is absorbed, 5 minutes or according to your package directions. Leave covered off heat for 5 more minutes. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and stir in the pineapple, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1/4 tsp salt (if you feel you need the extra salt). Keep rice warm and covered until ready to serve.

For the sauce: whisk together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 cup broth, sherry, cornstarch, honey, tomato paste and a pinch of pepper. Set aside.

Preheat work (or large skillet) and spray with non stick spray. Heat 1 tsp canola oil and stir-fry half the pork until cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate and stir-fry the remaining pork; transfer to same plate.

Add remaining 1 tsp canola oil, garlic and the rest of the ginger (1 Tbsp); stir-fry 10-15 seconds. Add sugar snap peas; stir-fry 2 minutes. Return pork to pan; add sauce and cook until sauce thickens; 1-2 minutes. Add carrots; stir-fry 1 minute.

Serve pork stir-fry over the pineapple rice and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.