Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Scrumptious Porch Dinner

pasta spinach salad
Skip the oil-loaded pasta salads and serve this lightly-dressed vegetable-rich option instead. The fresh tomatoes and spinach make it taste like summer on a plate!

6 ounces dried cavatelli or penne pasta
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
1/3 cup bottled reduced-calorie Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
6 cups torn fresh spinach
Cracked black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse pasta with cold water; drain. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes, feta cheese, salad dressing, green onions, and olives. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
To serve, arrange spinach on a large serving platter; spoon pasta mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with cracked pepper. Makes 8 to 12 side-dish servings.

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 118, Fat, total (g) 3, chol. (mg) 7, sat. fat (g) 1, carb. (g) 19, fiber (g) 2, pro. (g) 5, sodium (mg) 260, Vegetables () 1, Starch () 1, Fat () 0.5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

sweet and savory greens quiche
A springform pan is the key tool you need to bake up a seriously deep dish quiche. Stir Greek yogurt into the egg filling to make it extra-creamy.

1 recipe Deep-Dish Pastry Shell
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups torn red Swiss chard (10 ounces)
1 medium red onion, chopped (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped golden raisins
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
6 eggs
2 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded 
(1 cup)Fresh herbs (optional)

Deep Dish Pastry Shell
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cold water

Prepare Deep-Dish Pastry Shell; set aside on baking sheets. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard, onion, and garlic. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chard is just wilted. Add the raisins and pine nuts and cook until the raisins are plumped, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, tossing to combine. Remove from heat; set aside.

For custard, in a blender combine the eggs, yogurt, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cover and blend until frothy.

Place the chard mixture in the prebaked pastry shell. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour custard over. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the custard is just set (165 degrees F) but still jiggles slightly in the center. Let stand 30 to 40 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut the pastry shell flush with the top of the pan. Carefully remove the springform pan ring. Cut the quiche into wedges. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired.

Deep Dish Pastry Shell
In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the egg and water in a small bowl; add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture just begins to clump together. Transfer the mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; fold the wrap over and press the crumbs until they hold together; shape into a circle. Wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 15-inch circle. Carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to a 9x2 1/2-inch springform pan, pressing it into the sides. Trim the overhanging pastry to 1 inch and press it firmly against the outside of the ring to help prevent it from shrinking. Use the trimmings to fill any cracks. Freeze the shell for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Line the pastry shell with a double thickness of aluminum foil long enough to overhang the sides. Bake about 20 minutes or until the edge of the dough is lightly browned. Remove the foil and continue baking the pastry shell for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the pastry cool.

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 369, Fat, total (g) 21, chol. (mg) 164, sat. fat (g) 10, carb. (g) 29, Monounsaturated fat (g) 7, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, fiber (g) 2, sugar (g) 7, pro. (g) 17, vit. A (IU) 2355.89, vit. C (mg) 10.18, Thiamin (mg) 0.25, Riboflavin (mg) 0.41, Niacin (mg) 1.85, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0.16, Folate (µg) 72.96, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0.63, sodium (mg) 591, Potassium (mg) 310, calcium (mg) 218, iron (mg) 2.65, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

grilled bass with strawberry salsa

Fish is one of those quick-cooking ingredients that provides a good start on a healthy dinner. This recipe is enlivened with a fresh and chunky fruit salsa.

4 4 - 5 ounces fresh or frozen sea bass or halibut steaks, 
1-inch thick
1 small lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded fresh poblano chile pepper (1/2 of a small)*
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted**
1/8 teaspoon salt

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Finely shred lime peel. Peel, section, and chop lime; set aside. In a small bowl combine lime peel, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne pepper. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of each fish steak; rub in with your fingers.
Arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above pan. Place fish on the greased grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 7 to 9 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, gently turning once halfway through grilling time.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine chopped lime, strawberries, chile pepper, cilantro, cumin seeds, and the 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve with grilled fish. Makes 4 servings.


  • ** To toast cumin seeds, in a small skillet heat cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant, shaking skillet occasionally.

  • *Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

This post was adapted from www.recipe.com


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