Category Archives: fruit

pancetta-wrapped peaches & vinho verde

A topic I’ve been longing to learn more about is wine and of course along with that comes wine and food pairings. While I can easily say that wine is my favorite liquid, I will admit that it is something I don’t know much about. I’ve got books, I’ve got a BF who sold wine for a short stint and yet I can barely determine if something is “oaky” or not.  But what I do know? I know that a vinho verde tastes just perfect with peaches & pancetta.

With a short ingredient list and the use of cured pork I was sold on this recipe when I came across it on the Food & Wine website. Although I’m almost convinced you could wrap anything in pancetta and it would turn out delicious.  

And until my wine palette is more refined, I’ll just have to stick with what tastes good. I think I can handle that.

Pancetta -Wrapped Peaches from Food & Wine, serves 4 as an appetizer

  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
  • a few basil leaves, torn into about 12 pieces
  • 12 slices pancetta

Roll pancetta in half. Place basil leaf and peach on one end and wrap pancetta around peach. Fasten with a toothpick if necessary.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium-high heat. Add peaches and cook on both sides until pancetta is crispy. 

Serve!

Do you know of any good wine resources to help me out?

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Filed under appetizers, fruit, herbs, in season, Uncategorized, wine

4th of July Menu

Still need some menu ideas for 4th of July celebrations? Look no further! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes along with others from the blog world!

Appetizers:

Guacamole with Basil & Shallots

Roasted Vegetable Cheese Spread

Cheese Filled Endeive Leaves from MommyRD

Main:

Chicken Satay with Coconut Peanut Sauce

Grilled Pizzas from Fake Food Free

Prosciutto Chihuahua Panini from Eating for England

Sides:

Artichoke Ravioli Pasta Salad

Greek Potato Salad

Arugula & Apple Salad

Lynn’s Cabbage Slaw with Mango from The Actors Diet

Drinks:

White Wine Mojito

Pomegranate Champagne – add some blueberries for the 4th!

Desserts:

Strawberry & Mascarpone-filled Cupcakes

Banana & Blueberry Popsicles – perfect for little ones – from Weekly Bite

What’s on your weekend menu? If you have some good recipes,  please share below with a link!  Have a safe & happy 4th!

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Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, blog friends, cheese, cocktails, dessert, entertaining, fruit, great meals, in season, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains, wine

Foodbuzz 24×24: Kids Cooking Club

Last week, I told you that there was something exciting happening soon at Camp Endeavor. My Kids Cooking Club proposal  was chosen to be a part of this months 24×24, sponsored by Foodbuzz, and our meal was Saturday night! The concept was to have a group of kids at camp come up with a menu for our Saturday night cookout. Once the meal was decided on, they would help prepare the meal for their fellow campers. Reminded me a bit of Dinner Impossible, but I was hoping for a little less stress.

Planning:

There was no problem in finding enough campers to help, in fact so many of them wanted to be involved that we decided to hold another Kids Cooking Club in a few weeks. I just can’t turn down kids who want to cook! After the group was decided on, it was time to get to work.

Armed with some cookbooks and a handout on planning a menu with a few ideas, we discussed how to build a menu, pick a theme and prepare food that everyone will like. They decided to go with an Italian theme and I couldn’t have been more impressed with the menu they decided on. Whoever says that kids will only eat mac & cheese hasn’t met these kids. The only steering I had to do was suggest a vegetable side instead of a starch – the spinach in the salad? Entirely their idea.

Menu:

  • Grilled Pizzas with Fresh Herbs and Veggie Toppings Bar
  • Romaine & Spinach Salad with Home-made Croutons & Dressing
  • Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Berries or Grilled Fruit

Shopping:

Most of the campers opted to go to the pool instead of to the store – a choice I would have made myself if given the choice – it was a hot day! Fewer people allowed for a quick and easy trip, just what we wanted considering what was ahead of us.

I even learned something new at the store from Emily! She taught me a way to tell if pineapple is ripe –  if the leaves pull out easily, the pineapple is ready to eat!

We also had an interesting dilemma in the pizza aisle. When comparing the whole wheat pizza crust vs the white pizza crust, I expected to show Emily the reasons why whole wheat is a better choice – more fiber, protein, vitamins, etc. Oddly enough, the nutrition stats were exactly the same and the ingredients? Essentially the same as well. I’m not sure if there was a mistake in the ingredient list, but the only difference in the crusts seemed to be the color. I let Emily decide which crust to go with and she decided on the Thin & Crispy because, “we’ve had enough whole-wheat.” Ahh, you can’t win them all 🙂

Preparing:

The plan of attack – with about 3 hours before dinner- was to make the ranch dressing first, in order to let the flavors meld together. We would then make the croutons, move on to the pizza toppings, which were all going to be sautéed, and finish up with the salad and dessert preparation. The actual pizzas would be prepared and cooked once we got up to the grill and right before dinner.

We chopped more fruits and veggies then I’ve ever done in an afternoon and also sampled a lot of fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits along the way. A few of the kids had never had fresh pineapple before and they were shocked at how delicious it is!

We sometimes overhear campers longing for certain foods – typically fast food and pop, but on our walk over to the grilling/lake area, I overheard them saying, “when I get home I’m going to have my Mom buy me 7 pineapples!” I can’t be certain, but I think I had a huge grin on my face at that moment. This is what I’m here for, to introduce kids to fresh foods and have them longing for pineapple, not pop.

The Meal:

When someone asks for the recipe to a salad, you know you’ve done something right. But I can’t take the credit for this one – the campers came up with this salad idea. The fresh herbs added some flavor they weren’t used to and the home-made croutons and ranch dressing made the salad a definite crowd-pleaser.

Our grilled pizzas were served along with a “toppings bar” where everyone could choose what toppings they wanted to add to their pizza slice – sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms and olives were the choices and it was up to the campers if they wanted all or nothing, and everything in between. The pizzas turned out fabulous, the crispy crust was a perfect base for a mound of toppings.

The boys were still talking about the salad the next day and while not all of them were fans of the feta or fans of the dressing, they all tried it, and most loved it.

Dessert was a hit too, I often forget how good ice cream is with some fresh berries and I was introduced to how good it is with grilled fruits as well. Grilling the pineapple and nectarines caramelizes the sugars and turns it into an amazing treat!  It truly was the perfect ending to the perfect cookout.

Will we do it again? We just might have to. I don’t want to stop introducing cooking, fresh & wholesome foods to kids, one delicious meal at a time. Thanks to Foodbuzz for a wonderful evening!

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Filed under article, eating local, fruit, great meals, grocery shopping, ice cream, lose weight, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

classic chicken salad

For some reason I’ve had a hankering for chicken salad lately – I’m not sure if it was inspired by the cherry chicken pasta salad that I recently made or the desire to find something new and exciting for lunch, but this is the perfect light lunch for a sunny, summer day. This lunch proved to be quite filling over a bed of arugula and I love the juicy sweetness that the grapes added. An added bonus? Two lunches completed on Sunday, which significantly cuts down on my normally ridiculous lunch prep. 🙂

Chicken Salad – 2 servings

  • 1 organic chicken breast
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups red grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise (I used a vegan canola oil mayo)
  • 2 Tbsp Simply Boulder Culinary Honey Dijon Sauce
  • salt & pepper

Poach or cook chicken breast. Let cool and cut into pieces. Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve over greens or on bread.


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Filed under fruit, gluten-free, great meals, protein, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods

pear, feta & walnut salad

I love salads. I’m not the kind of person who eats salad because I feel like I have to, I eat salads because I love vegetables, and they don’t leave me feeling too-full. With that said, I can always use some new salad combinations and this may be the new one to make it on my lunch menu. Not only does it not require much prep, the feta and walnuts make it satisfying enough for a main meal. I made this salad to go alongside some kebabs and it was the perfect accompaniment after a weekend of indulgent food and drink. The feta and pear combination is one that I will be using again – it was delicious.

Pear, Feta & Walnut Salad – 6 servings

  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 head bibb lettuce

Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp mint, chopped

Assemble salads in large bowl or on individual plates. Layer the feta and pear over greens. Sprinkle walnuts on top and drizzle with shallot vinaigrette. Serve immediately.


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Filed under cheese, fruit, herbs, nuts, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegetables

blueberry & basil prosecco

Whats not to love when you can combine an herb that is anti-bacterial and a great source of Vitamin A, a fruit that is full of antioxidants, Vitamin C and fiber and some prosecco to top it all off? I’m really not sure. I love when cocktails can be construed as health drinks. Next up? Kombucha cocktail. Oh yes.

Blueberry and basil may be an odd-sounding combo to some, but I’m a fan and I’ve also been thinking about this drink since I spotted it on a menu board in Denver. I figured a trip to Arizona would be the perfect opportunity to try it out – complete with a pool, sun, flowy dresses and flip flops.

Try it out, or mix it up with different herb/fruit combinations, mint & melon anyone?

Blueberry & Basil Prosecco – 1 serving

  • 1 Tbsp blueberries (organic if possible)
  • 1 Tbsp basil, minced
  • 6 oz chilled prosecco

Combine basil and blueberries. Muddle together. (We didn’t have a muddler) Pour in prosecco and savor each sip. My favorite part? Eating the blueberries and basil!

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Filed under antioxidants, cocktails, fruit, herbs, Recipes, Uncategorized

cherry chicken pasta salad

A Twin Cities chain of grocery stores has a cherry chicken pasta salad that is truly hard to resist. I don’t even know how or why I tried this – it really isn’t my style, but I may or may not get a small container of it on Friday afternoons. While it is undeniably delicious, I knew it could be equally delicious made-over.

The pasta could be whole-grain, the chicken, well, it would preferably be organic or free-range and the mayo and poppy seed dressing? Could definitely benefit from some lightening. So here it is – it may not be as creamy as the store version, but it is certainly a lot better for you and I promise you won’t miss all the mayo!

Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad  – makes a large bowl

  • 8 oz whole-grain penne
  • 8 oz chicken thighs, cooked and chopped (we grilled ours)
  • 3 oz dried cherries
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Briannas poppy seed dressing

Prepare pasta as directed. Let cool. Combine mayo and poppy seed dressing and stir until combined. Toss with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Serve over greens or straight from the bowl!


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Filed under antioxidants, fruit, pasta, protein, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains