Black Bean Brownies – no, really!

IMG_3313 2Black Bean Brownies, a Review – The Minimalist Baker (click here for recipe)

 

I am teaching some classes helping people learn how to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets and this week we talked about beans, I thought I’d share it with you.

Bean Trivia

  1. What Day is National Bean Day?
  2. How many pounds of beans a year does the average American eat?
  3. Where is the Lima bean native too?
  4. How many people in the US are listed as having Bean as a last name (as of 201)
    1. 9000
    2. 17,642
    3. 30,483
    4. 65,217
  5. True or False, There are over 18,000 different species in the legume family?
  6. How many petals do most legume flowers have?
  7. True or false – legumes deplete the soil while growing.
  8. What distinguishes a legume as a legume?
  9. Are peanuts legumes or nuts?
  10. What resolution involving beans was passed in 1907?
  11. True or False. Ancient Romans thought so highly of legumes that the four leading families took their names from them.

Bean Trivia Answer Key

Why eat beans?  They are full of protein and fiber as well as high in antioxidants, B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and copper.  A few benefits:

  • Steadies blood sugar
  • Helps you feel more full and satisfied
  • Help lower cholesterol
  • Good for your heart
  • Burns more calories than the same amount of carbs
  • Acts as a natural anti-depressant and helps improve behavior and mood
  • Is necessary for proper growth and development

Black Bean Brownies – The minimalist Baker (click here for the recipe)

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple, but uses new concepts

Review:  I was so surprised by these brownies and my sweet tooth, sugar loving husband was even more surprised.  He was very skeptical until I popped one in his mouth; his blue eyes widened and he let out a huge MMMMmMMMMM!  Success!

These are very easy to make, but for some may feel uncomfortable the first time.  They are gluten-free and vegan and use flax in place of an egg and makes good use of your food processor.  Just relax and enjoy trying something new.  They will be a hit!


Here are some other great bean resources:

Cooking lentils:

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-lentils-on-the-stove-116321

Senate Bean Soup:

https://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_item/bean_soup.htm

colonial Peanut soup:

http://www.history.org/almanack/life/food/fdpnutsp.cfm

Lentil quinoa pancakes

http://www.blissfulbasil.com/savory-lentil-quinoa-protein-pancakes/

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/family-meals/slideshow/bean-recipes

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18236/ingredients/beans/

Kitchari – great for when you’re not feeling well or stomach is healing.  Also just yummy.

https://www.thespruce.com/ayurvedic-mung-bean-recipe-2254133

Pressure cooker beans

6 cups water to 2 cups beans.  Cook on high and let the steam out naturally – slow vent.

More Lentil Recipes:

http://cookieandkate.com/2016/16-bean-lentil-recipes/

How to use beans:

http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/how-to-use-beans

https://www.extension.umn.edu/family/health-and-nutrition/toolkits-and-resources/great-trays/docs/legumes-beans-peas-and-lentils.pdf


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


My husband and I are also Independent Shaklee Distributors to learn more visit http://lisaburbach.myshaklee.com – one of the leading providers of premium-quality, natural, nutrition, personal care, and household products.

Don’t forget to take you Healthprint !


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

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Review: Mango Salsa – Ellie Kriegerl


Mango Salsa – Ellie Krieger, The Food Network

Do you want to add more fruits to your diet, but aren’t sure what to do?  It is easy to grab a banana, orange, or apple and I highly recommend it.  They are loaded with fiber, low in calories, and packed with nutrients, an excellent snacking choice.  However, there is so much more out there for the life of the fruit.  Fruits can be used in savory and sweet dishes, but try to keep it as close to the original as possible.  The more we process it the less healthy it is.  A good example is an apple, applesauce, or apple pie.  The apple is the best choice, but by the time you get to apple pie it is just a treat; an occasional food.   Try using fruits as toppings for pork, chicken or fish, or use in salads.

Here is a mango and cucumber salsa, that is light and summery feeling.  Enjoy!


Mango Salsa(click for recipe)

Time:
 5 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Serve:  4-6 people

Review:   I was a little doubtful, to be honest, but this is a delicious salsa.  It is very light and summery.  You could jazz it up by adding more lime juice or more jalepeño, but it is completely up to you.  It is good as written.

Tip: I recommend using frozen mango.  Mango can be hard to find and they aren’t the easiest to peel and cut.  When shopping look for mango’s with a little “give” to the touch.  Peel them and slice on the widest side, watch out for the pit, then slide your knife along the skinnier sides in a curve around the edge of the pit.

Extra Recipe: Another great fruit recipe that is super easy is Banana, Strawberry “Ice Cream”.  No dairy and nothing but bananas and strawberries.  It seems crazy, but it is smooth and creamy and a great substitute for ice cream.


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


My husband and I are also Independent Shaklee Distributors to learn more visit http://lisaburbach.myshaklee.com – one of the leading providers of premium-quality, natural, nutrition, personal care, and household products.

Don’t forget to take you Healthprint when you visit.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

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Review: Orange Soup with Black Salsa – Mark Bittman VB6 Cookbook

Orange Soup with Black Salsa – VB6 cookbook, Mark Bittman

We are making an effort to eat more whole food, plant based foods i.e., nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies, and I have to say we are loving it.  After all we’ve been told “Eat food that rots, just eat it before it does” – Dr. Forrest Shaklee.  I have also been reading the Blue Zone book by Dan Buettner and learning about the longest lived people in the world, who eat meat more like a garnish or accompaniment to the main meal.  A pretty crazy concept for most Americans.  The more we learn the harder it is to deny the benefits of good, real, unprocessed, fresh food.

There are so many ways to cook foods, especially vegetables, that no one should be able to say “I don’t like veggies”.   Even if you don’t you should keep trying them,  over time your taste buds adapt and your body knows you’re giving it good stuff and starts letting you know it needs more – you crave good food!   You will also find that sometimes you don’t feel so great after a greasy, processed meal.  This is again, your body letting you know it really likes the healthy stuff.   Some simple ways to add veggies to your day: smoothies, add them into sauces, puree them, roast, bake, grilled…. MMMmmMMM.  To learn more about Whole Food, Plant Based eating visit Eating you Alive or Forks over Knives.

Another way to learn about Whole Food, Plant Based eating is through the book VB6 and the VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman He discusses being Vegan, kind of,  Mark Bittman is Vegan before 6pm and then eats whatever he would like, within reason after 6pm.  The change has still made a huge impact in his health and has become a lifestyle.  I like the concept.  During the day you get your full share of fruits, vegetables, grains etc. without all of the saturated fats, processed food and bad stuff.  If you choose wisely that is.  If you want to make a change, but don’t think you can go whole hog, eh hem…whole cauliflower,  then VB6 might be a good fit for you.

This review is of his butternut (or pumpkin) soup, a great Meatless Monday meal.


The Salsa

The Review

Time: 60 Minutes

Ease: Simple

I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out at first, just being honest.  Every butternut squash soup I’ve ever made had coconut milk or milk in it.  I was afraid it would be to thin and watery, but I was wrong!  My other hesitation was how was my husband going to handle this vegan dinner?  Before I had a chance to ask him what he thought I heard those lovely yummy noises we all love to hear when we cook for someone!  Success.

The soup was easy to make and very good.  I have a submersion blender, which I highly recommend, but you can use a blender to puree it too.  It is creamy from being blended, but is not going to have the exact same consistency as a milk based soup, but I don’t think you’ll miss it.

The salsa is tasty and went very well with the soup.  We ate it in our soup as well as with flax chips and I was tempted to top it with sour cream, but didn’t.

This recipe took about an hour, but if you used canned pumpkin or pre-cooked butternut squash you could do it in 30.

Enjoy!


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


My husband and I are also Independent Shaklee Distributors to learn more visit http://lisaburbach.myshaklee.com – one of the leading providers of premium-quality, natural, nutrition, personal care, and household products.

Don’t forget to take you Healthprint when you visit.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Review: Chickpea Shakshuka – The Minimalist Baker


Chickpea Shakshuka – The Minimalist Baker 

fullsizerender-2

Shakshuka or Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish typical cooked with pouched eggs.  The word simply means “mixture” and is typically cooked with tomatoes, spices like cumin and coriander, chilies, and onions, but ingredients vary from country to country.  It is often served for breakfast, but is popular any time of the day and especially in winter.


Chickpeas

fullsizerender

Cooked, dried chickpeas – Try cooking your own beans in place of canned beans.  It is cheaper and greatly reduces your sodium intake.  If you are riding the Instant Pot wave or you use a pressure cooker you can make these without soaking! WHAT, yes… NO SOAKING!!! Soaking is the part I always forget and used to keep me from using dried beans.  Don’t fear the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, it will quickly become your friend.

The first time you cook your beans without soaking you may feel like your can actually feel your momma staring you down, but it will be OK.  Don’t believe me? Ask the L.A. Times in this great article “Don’t soak your dried beans!  Now even the cook kids agree” by
Russ Parsons The California Cook!


Homemade yogurt

fullsizerender-3

I made my Shakshuka a liiitttlle hot and had to top it with yogurt because, well…basically I’m a wimp when it comes to hot foods!  If you too need to cool it down try making your own yogurt. It is very easy and only takes a little “active” time.  I follow Martha Stewarts guide.  You can make yogurt with some yogurt and milk or with yogurt starter and milk.  Personally I find a little individual size yogurt pot works well as a starter and my yogurt is more consistent, the only down side is the yogurt bacteria won’t hold up to use my homemade yogurt as the starter for a second batch.

A friend of mine laughed at my yogurt maker and thermometer and said “All you need is an oven and your finger.  When the milk boils pull it off, when you can put your finger in it for a few seconds comfortably add your yogurt- done!!”.  She is right, as you get more comfortable with making yogurt you will find your own way and be able to do it without thinking about it.


The Review: 

 

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Easy!  Even if you cook your own beans and make your own yogurt, this is an easy dish to make.

Review:  I can’t take credit for finding this amazing vegan dish, my daughter found it and is a major fan of Dana and John of The Minimalist Baker.  Thanks for this recipe!!

My husband and are neither vegans nor vegetarians, but I guess we are reducetarians, we are eating much less meat and far more whole food, plant based foods.  No matter what your food choices, this is a nice dish to add to your home cookbook and would make a great “Meatless Monday”.   It is protein packed and a good source of fiber with iron, B-6, magnesium, potassium, A and C thrown in!

This is easily a dish you can throw together after work or make ahead and take for lunch and you can customize the spices to your own taste.  I used tomatoes with jalapeños in mine which is great for my husband, but was a bit too hot for me, hence the yogurt.  Even too hot, I really enjoyed the flavors of this dish.  This will be a repeat dish!  Nice job Dana and John!

Tips:

  • Try making your own beans and yogurt, as mentioned above
  • Browning tomato paste – I like to brown my tomato paste before adding my wet ingredients, I find it adds a nice rich flavor and only takes a few minutes longer. Learn more at Today.
  • Try adding the eggs: Once your dish is complete carefully crack eggs into your oven safe pan on top of your tomatoes and chickpeas, season with a little salt and pepper and pop into the oven for about 7 minutes or until the eggs are just set, don’t overcook.

Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and online health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.


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Review: Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde – Forks Over Knives

forks-tacos-copy

tomatillo-salsa-copy

poblano-copy

Portobello Mushroom tacos with Salsa Verde – Forks over Knives

My husband and I are on the journey of eating a more whole food, plant based diet and I have to say we are enjoying it!  There were doubts in the beginning, but we made gradual changes, which I highly recommend.  Most people are not ready to jump in all at once into a big change, but gradual changes can often help us stay the course. Try starting with Meatless Mondays!

I am finding that it is easier to eat healthy foods than to find healthy foods.  The stores are filled with items with suspect ingredients, restaurants have sparse healthy choices at best and it can even be hard to find recipes that are easy and “normal”.  Many of the recipes I have found are pretty exotic, but with a shift in our culture towards eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes I expect the options to improve.  Today’s recipe review is a winner and even my meat loving man really enjoyed it!


Respecting Copyright laws, I don’t publish full exact recipes unless I can find an online link or have permission from the source, so I have provided the pieces of information for you to pull the recipe together.

  • Grilled Portobello mushrooms
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salsa Verde – The recipe can be fond in the Forks Over Knives Cookbook.  I have provided a link to a similar salsa below.
  • Top with lettuce, red onion or anything you see fit to use.  We also used radishes and mix of shredded cabbage with red onion, cilantro and lime juice. It provided a nice zing and texture.

Tomatillo Salsa – Food and Wine.  This recipe is similar to the one by Forks Over Knives.  Try adding lime zest and using green onions in place of onion.  Have fun with this recipes and play with the ingredients.

Time: 1 Hour marinade/ 10-15 minutes

Ease: Easy-moderate – This is really an easy recipe, but if you are unfamiliar with portobello mushrooms or tomatillos it could feel challenging.  Just relax, follow the directions, and enjoy.

Review:  As much as we are trying to reduce our meat consumption, my men folk aren’t quite on board for extreme reductions.  This week my husband and son were going to be away from home and I planned this awesome dish for myself, but then the hubs came home.  I gently informed him that I wasn’t changing the plan and he would like it.  He loved it!  The mushrooms made this feel like a more hearty dish and once we added all the other yummy stuff – don’t forget the salsa!!, the tacos felt like we had stepped into a restaurant for dinner.  Did I mention the salsa?  It is a must, it really rounds out the dish.  The recipe calls for the salsa, lettuce and red onion to top the tacos, but we found adding the cabbage and radishes gave this dish more texture and flavor.  I highly recommend this dish, it is delicious, easy, healthy, and WHPB (whole food, plant based). Be adventurous and let your meat eaters try it.

Tips: It is important to have good tools in your kitchen and two handy tools are a zester and good juicer.  My juicer (known as a fruiter in our home) was my grandmothers and the difference is significant.  Older tools like graters and juicers used thicker metal and real metal.  I find my older tools at estate sales.

Forks Over Knives offers a cooking class that I would love to take and you may want to consider.  I’d like to take it to be able to help others be more confident using grains, legumes, veggies, etc. and empower people to make health their habit, even in the kitchen.  (I am not being paid or endorsed by Forks Over Knives, I just liked the recipe)

Enjoy


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.


All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Chickpea, Avocado Spread

chickpea avocado

I have seen several recipes floating around the internet blending chickpea and avocado to make a sandwich spread and decided to play around with it and see what I thought.   I found it to be good for a sandwich spread, but not all by itself.  I recommend lettuce, tomato, red onion, and sprouts and then use the spread like a thick condiment.

This spread also works well as a hummus type dip with chips.  It is a great way to add more legumes into your diet and utilize the healthy fats found in avocado.   Check out some nutrition info below.

Chickpea (Garbanzo bean) and Avocado Spread

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  Reserve liquid in case it is needed to thin down the spread

1 avocado

2-3 cloves garlic

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup Tahini paste

1 tsp fresh Cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste

Feel free to add other ingredients like hot sauce, jalapenos, red pepper flakes etc. to spice it up a bit!

 

A little health information

  • Chickpeas are loaded with fiber and potassium.  Just one tablespoon has 2.2 grams of fiber and 109 mg of potassium (per google nutrition).  Chickpeas are also a great source or folic acid and protein and Iron!
  • Avocados sometimes get bad press because they are so fatty, but it is a heart healthy monounsaturated fat. (This doesn’t mean eat all you want, still be wise )  Avocados are rich in vitamins A, B, E, Folic Acid.  Plus Avocados are high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are healthy for your eyes!
  • Tahini is another fatty item that has heart healthy fats in it. 2% of the fat is saturated, but new studies are showing this is not as upsetting as it used to be.  One ounce of Tahini has as much iron as one ounce of liver and has significant levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and your whole day’s worth of thiamin.

So spread on this dip/spread and enjoy!  You are making good food choices!

What’s for Dinner? Pampered Chef’s BLT Ranch Salad Pizza & Vegetarian Lasagna

I have had several people talk to me about ways that their family connect and I want to take the time to say that my suggestions are just that, suggestions.  Please do not feel judged by me or unable to reach the bar etc.  The important thing is that you bring dinner back or breakfast into your lives and by this I mean take time around your meals to set aside the business of life and re-connect, get to know each other and share life.  However you do this I am rooting for you!  Relationships are an important part of life and making safe places is invaluable.  I’d love to hear from some of you about how you create such a place in your home.  Share through the comments section, on facebook or twitter and use #bringingbackdinner

This week we had several dishes with leftovers that were less exciting, but I think you will enjoy the two meals below.

Meatless Monday:

Asparagus-Mushroom Mini Lasagnas – Eating well Magazine

Asparagus Mushroom mini lasagna

I’ve made this dish before, but had a friend who was interested in it, so here you go!

Time:  1 Hour 25 Minutes

Ease: Moderate to Simple

Review: this is really a great dish.  It is a nice dish for your family and would make a great dish for company.  You could try using different ingredients and use the same method to have a little fun with this!

BLT Ranch Salad Pizza – Pampered Chef

blt ranch pizzae

Time: About 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  Pampered Chef recipes are simple, tasty and always look like you worked harder than you did.  They are not the healthiest, but good.  My family like this, over all.  My husband loved it and the kids thought it needed a little less cream cheese.  I have to agree.  I think the amount of cream cheese depends on what you like, so just adjust for your family.  When I make this again I will probably put half the amount of cream cheese on half of the pizza and the normal amount on the rest.  Keep everybody happy!

Leftovers Redone

This week we also turned leftover steak into fajitas.  I know, it sounds like a crime.  Otherwise there was not enough to share.  I also freeze any leftover spaghetti sauce and pulled some out for dinner this week.  Try making your leftovers into something else, but shhhhh don’t tell them, they will never know it.

Have a great week and I’ll see you in 2 weeks when I return from vacation.

What’s for Dinner? Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce & Meatless Monday: Bruschetta

 

 

Meatless Monday: Bruschetta and Salad

bruschettaThis is my favorite time of year as far as food goes!  There are so many wonderful things to be eaten fresh from the garden!  One of my favorites is tomatoes.  There is just nothing like a real, fresh, from the garden tomato.  It is a sad day the day I have to buy the first tomato from the grocery.  It is round and red, but that is about it.  This week we decided to take advantage of some fresh tomatoes and made bruschetta and topped it with Manchego cheese.  Served with fresh lettuce from my friends garden.  Wonderful!

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: simple

Review: This recipe from the Pioneer Woman is very simple and flavorful.  It is a great recipe if you are new to making your own bruschetta.  Very simply, brushcetta is a combination of tomatoes, garlic bread, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This recipe has a lovely addition of balsamic vinegar.  Try experimenting with infused balsamic vinegars, such as pineapple balsamic vinegar.  I think you will find this can be a great “go to” recipe.

The Manchego was our addition, you could try experimenting with different cheeses or eat it just for the joy of the tomato!

 

Sauteed Flounder with Orange Shallot Sauce

Orange Floundar

Flounder is a nice fish with a distinct flavor, but not overly “fishy” flavor making it a nice fish to cook with and don’t think that flounder only comes fried!  Try baking it, stuffing it, broiling etc.  It is a good addition to your menus.

Time: 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Note:  though simple, at the bottom of the recipe it says they “highly recommend a non-stick pan”  They mean it!

Review: Eating Well Magazine is one of my favorite magazines and has been for 20 years!  It went out of publication for a brief period of time and I mourned the loss deeply and horded my old magazines, but they came back and are going strong!  And now you can get recipes online!  This recipe meets my expectations of something from EW.  It was easy to prepare and wonderful flavors. DO USE THE NON-STICK PAN, I didn’t and had some issues, but it still tasted nice and my husband made lovely yummy noises A+!

 

Share your favorite Summertime meals with Bringing Back Dinner!  Your’s may be the next one reviewed!

 

 

 

What’s for Dinner? Fajitas and for Meatless Monday; Campalini Pomodoro

I’m sorry for the missed post this week.  I am afraid with spring and summer here cooking and therefore blogging have been less scheduled and planned in our house.  Everyone is in and out and traveling so much, but below are two dishes that hope will help give you some ideas.

Olive Garden’s Campellini Pomodoro – Olive Garden

capellini

Meatless Monday:

Time: 10 Minutes

Difficulty: Simple

Review:  This is one of my favorite quick meals.  I like it for its simpleness and full flavor.  This dish is especially good in the summer when you can use fresh tomatoes.  Try using different types of pastas, each one makes the dish taste a little different, but always good.

 

Easy Chicken Fajitas – Food and Wine Magazine

fajitas

 

Time: 30 Minutes

Difficulty: Simple

Review:  This was really tasty, but so simple.  I expected it to be a little plain; I was wrong.  I really recommend this recipe.  It can’t get much easier and is just a good fajita.  Toss in a margarita and head to the deck and you are ready for summer!

 

What is your favorite summertime meal?  We’d love to hear about it.  Just use the comment field or write about it on twitter or Facebook using hashtag bringingbackdinner!

 

 

 

What’s for Dinner? Creamy Spinach Pasta, Red Wine Braised Flank Steak Sandwiches & Black Bean Pasta Salad

Black Bean and Corn Pasta Salad 

511 pasta salad

Meatless Monday

Time: 20 Minutes

Simple

Review:  I was a little hesitant to serve a pasta salad as the main dish for dinner, but it worked very well.  It has been in the upper 80s this week here in NC and a nice cool pasta salad on the deck was the perfect dish.  There is room to play around with this dish and add other things you may like,  my husband  added olives and cheese and I added some cheese!  The Rotel gives it the perfect amount of heat.  I think you will find this a great summer dish and perfect to take to a picnic!

Creamy Spinach Ravioli (tortellini) – Pampered Chef Lite

511 spinach pasta

Keeping it Light!

Time: 30 – 40 Minutes

Simple

Review:  OK, we did meatless twice this week!  And everyone lived!  Pampered Chef has some fun and easy recipes that often look like you worked much harder than you did, that’s a win!  However, many of the dishes are loaded with fat, but this dish is from their Lite cookbook and was a healthier take on a nice creamy dish.  I made a couple adaptations; use frozen spinach instead of creamed spinach and add a little milk if not the consistency you would like and use half fat free cream cheese and half low-fat.  It is still a tasty, creamy dish.

Red Wine Braised Flank Steak with Roasted Red Peppers and Gruyere – Tom Colicchio

511 braised flank steak sandwiches

The Indulgence!

Time: 4 Hours

Moderate Skill

Review: Yuuuummmmy!  Review is complete.  OK, well maybe not.  This dish takes time, but part of the time is while it is in the oven and you can go about doing other things.  Many of the dishes by Tom Colicchio take time and loving care, but the results are well worth it.  The only change I made was the cheese, my cheese loving husband somehow doesn’t like Gruyere, so I used Cheddar.  If there are no objections I think the Gruyere is better, but it is still good no matter what.  This is a dish that will redefine sandwiches; sandwiches can be the masterpiece of your dinner!

 

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