Melon-Arugula Salad

We should all by making the most of melons before their peak season and summer are over. This super easy Melon-Arugula Salad makes a great starter salad or even main dish salad topped with grilled chicken or shrimp. My kids have really become arugula fans (which I love). If you’re introducing your kids to new vegetables and lettuces, add an ingredient in them that they really like. Melon-Arugula Salad is the perfect example. Use any of your favorite store-bought salad dressings or add balsamic vinegar and olive oil like I did above. Melon is the feature item for this week’s Summerfest by the Food Network, so check out these other creative melon recipes below.

Jeanette’s Healthy LivingWatermelon-Mint Freeze
What’s Gaby CookingMelon and Prosciutto Salad
Cooking With EliseQuinoa Crunch With Melons, Blueberries and Yogurt
Haute Apple PieWatermelon and Feta Salad
Cooking ChannelFive Things to Make With Watermelon
Healthy EatsMelon Refreshers
Ingredients, Inc.Melon-Arugula Salad
Daily*DishinHoneydew Melon Salad With Genoa Salami and Mozzarella Fresca
Made by MichelleCantaloupe Popsicles 
Chez UsCantaloupe Lime Agua Fresca 
Napa Farmhouse 1885Mixed Melon Smoothie
Virtually HomemadeMelon-Mint Popsicles
Thursday Night DinnerCantaloupe With Figs, Basil and Kalamata Olives
Zaika ZabardastCantaloupe Soup With Cardamom Infused Cherry Syrup
Sweet Life BakePaletas de Melon
HGTV GardensGarden-to-Table: Melons
FN DishThere’s More to Melon

 

Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are a must-have in the South in Alabama, and my kids beg for me to make Fried Green Tomatoes. Since this week’s Summerfest with the Food Network is featuring tomatoes, I thought these Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes were worth sharing. These are super easy to make and make a great appetizer or side dish. My children love them dipped in a homemade ranch dressing or just on their own. Enjoy them this summer while they are at their peak. Now, be sure to check out the fabulous tomato recipes below:

Cooking With Elise: Fresh Tomato Sauce 
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Tomato Gazpacho Salsa
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato Cobbler Anyone? 
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Fresh Corn
What’s Gaby Cooking: Chicken Kebabs With Romesco Sauce
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Salmon Spaghetti With Plum Tomatoes and Avocado
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Fresh Tomato Puttanesca Sauce
Chez Us: Easy Tomato Tart
Made By Michelle: Tomato and Pesto Pizza
Ingredients, Inc.: Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes
Delicious Lean: Creamy Light Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Tomato-Tomatillo Chicken Tenders
From My Corner of Saratoga: Tomato Jam
Dishin & Dishes: Tomato Zucchini Frittata
And Love It Too: Roasted Garlic, Basil and Tomato Paleo Tart
Healthy Eats: The Fresh-for-Once Tomato
Sweet Life Bake: Pico de Gallo
Zaika Zabardast: Grilled Tofu and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sandwich
Thursday Night Dinner: Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Cooking Channel: How to Prepare Summer Tomatoes
FN Dish: Tomatoes Go Beyond Salads

Summer Squash and Kale Sauté: Summer Side Dish

It’s summer squash season, and now is the perfect time to prepare healthy side dishes using summer squash. This Summer Squash-Kale Sauté is one of our favorite side dishes, and it’s a breeze to make. Serve it with grilled fish, chicken or pork or any main dish. It’s even really fabulous stirred into some cooked thin spaghetti noodles. Summer squash is full of health benefits such as being high in Vitamin C, A, antioxidants, potassium, fiber and manganese. One cup of yellow squash contains 37 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates and less than one gram of fat. Check out some other fabulous summer squash recipes as part of Summer Fest from the Food Network from some of my favorite blogs.

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Quick and Easy Sesame Summer Squash Stir-Fry 
Cooking With Elise: Orange Summer Squash Bread
Feed Me Phoebe: Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes With Tarragon
Chez Us: Zucchini Pancakes With Minty Dill Crème Fraiche
And Love It, Too: Peter Pan Squash Spiced Oven Fries
Made By Michelle: Pattypan Squash and Tomato Frittata
Cooking Channel: Our  Top 5 Favorite Squash Recipes
Daily*Dishin: Summer Squash Confetti Salad
Delicious Lean: Summer Squash Ribbons With Feta and Pine Nuts
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Summer Squash Chips
Thursday Night Dinner: Summer Squash Medley
Sweet Life Bake: Zucchini Fried With Tequila-Spiked Avocado Dip
Dixie Chik Cooks: Fried Summer Squash Parmesan Sliders
Healthy Eats: Summer Squash Any Way You Slice It
FN Dish: Cheesy Summer Squash

Plum Recipes: Pork, Plum and Rosemary Kabobs

This week’s Summerfest from the Food Network features one of my favorite stone fruits: plum recipes. My recipe for Pork, Plum and Rosemary Kabobs is a main dish favorite at our house during the summertime. The sweet and herb flavors blend wonderfully with the pork and plums. When I grill these, the kids are so excited. I love to cut additional plums for grilling because usually the kids are arguing about who took more. Enjoy this easy summer recipe, and take a look at the other fabulous plum recipes below:

Virtually Homemade: Grilled Plum Pizza With Goat Cheese
Cooking Channel: Best Plum Dessert Recipes
BGSK: Grandma Esther’s Plum and Walnut Cake
Delicious Lean: Plum Delicious Pork Chops
Daily*Dishin: Roasted Chicken With Plum Chili Salsa
Healthy Eats: 6 Ways to Cook With Plums
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Time for Plum Cobbler?
Thursday Night Dinner: Plum BBQ Chicken
From My Corner of Saratoga: Plum Upside Down Cake
Cooking With Elise: Vanilla Plum Tart
Sweet Life Bake: Plum Pineapple Margarita
And Love It Too: Plum Pickin’ Pineapple Jam
FN Dish: Perfect Plum Recipes

Easiest Cucumber Salad

Cucumber and Tomatoes always go together naturally for me, as this was something I always ate growing up in Alabama. Cucumbers are the star of this week’s Summer Fest, an amazing round-up of recipes and ideas held by Food Network. I am so excited to be a part of this year’s collection of great recipes from great bloggers. This recipe for Easiest Cucumber Salad is simple, fresh and light. Even my 3 kids will eat it, so I think that is a true test of greatness. Enjoy summer since it seems to be going by so fast! Check out these other fabulous recipes from some other friends participating in Summer Fest:

The Sensitive Epicure: Chinese Style Cucumbers 
What’s Gaby Cooking: Cucumber, Herb and Pita Salad 
Ingredients, Inc.: Easiest Cucumber Salad
Virtually Homemade: Cucumber Strawberry Cooler
From My Corner of Saratoga: Marinated Cucumber Salad
The Cultural Dish: Pasta With Roasted Shrimp and Cucumbers
Daily*Dishin: Southern Benedictine – Creamy Cucumber Spread
Delicious Lean: Cucumber Jicama Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumber and Avocado Open-Face Sandwiches
And Love It, Too: Fermented Spicy Garlic-Dill Cukes and Zukes
FN Dish: No-Cook Cucumber Recipes
Cooking With Elise: Wedge Salad With Cucumber-Ranch Dressing

Fitness Friday: How Does Giada Do It All?

Food Network Star and mom, Giada De Laurentiis, is an amazing example of a woman who can balance it all. She films three cooking shows (Giada at HomeThe Next Food Network Star, and Giada in Paradise), writes cookbooks (six total, and five of those are New York Times best-sellers), designs a cookware line for Target, and is a regular Today Show contributor.

With a career in food, how do you stay so fit?

“I do yoga three times a week from 5:20 to 6:30 a.m. Yoga has trimmed my body in a way that the gym never could. I used to be a gym rat, but I switched to yoga and am now almost 10 pounds lighter. One important thing I’ve gotten from yoga is breathing. When I’m cooking, the top part of my body collapses down. It cuts off my diaphragm. Doing yoga in the morning expands my breath and oxygen capacity, and I carry that throughout my day. At night, I feel less run-down. I used to be able to come home from a long day and crawl into bed. Not anymore—I have to give 100 percent to my daughter and husband.”

What do you usually eat?
“For breakfast, I’ll have brown-rice bread smeared with almond butter and topped with blueberries, and a cup of juice. Hard-boiled eggs are a fabulous high-protein snack. Lunch is usually a salad with avocado, tomato, and protein—chicken or grilled salmon or tuna.

At night, I’ll have something like turkey meatloaf with sun-dried tomatoes and feta. I’ll also create themes for dinner, like Meatless Mondays or Breakfast for Dinner. My favorite treat is toast drizzled with melted chocolate and olive oil—mmm!”

Read more at Women’s Health

Alison Lewis and Paula Deen In Chicago at International Housewares Show

I had so much fun in Chicago over the past few days at the Chicago Housewares Show. I saw so many new kitchen gadget items that I can’t wait to share with you in my blog and store on this site.  While in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet Paula Deen, who was so friendly and sweet. I thought I would share one of my favorite candy recipes of hers that my kids love, and who wouldn’t?

Fajitas and Guacamole: Say No More

I thought I would start off the week with some options if you would like to cook easy Mexican dishes. Some of my friends eat Mexican every Sunday night, and I have others that have a standard Thursday which is “Mexican night” at their house. With all of the recipes I have to develop and test, I don’t really have the flexibility for a specific night of the week to be the same on a weekly basis. However, my kids love fajitas and guacamole, and they always look forward to “Mexican night” at our house. Feel free to substitute or add chicken, shrimp or more vegetables for the Fajitas below.

 

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound Ribeye Steak (May substitute strip, sirloin or shell)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 medium-hot Poblano pepper (dark green and triangular)

1 medium yellow onion

8 fat-free flour tortillas

tomatoes, optional

Preparation

1. At least two hours before dinner, dust a 1-pound ribeye steak with freshly ground black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Let sit in refrigerator so spice flavors can penetrate the meat.

2. Cut the peppers into large segments, discarding the ribs and seeds. Next, cut onion into thick slices, making sure not to pull onion rings apart.

3. Prepare grill and adjust heat accordingly.

4. Place peppers and onion slices on grill and cover. Roast peppers by turning frequently until they are covered with dark spots, but not burnt. Cook onion slices until brown, being sure not to char. 

5. Remove peppers and onion slices from grill. After allowing the peppers to cool 3-4 minutes, pull off the waxy-papery skins. Slice the peppers crosswise into strips. Next, take the onion slices and break into rings. Mix the peppers and onions in a serving bowl.

6. Place ribeye on grill, turning frequently. 

7. Warm eight fat-free tortillas on the edge of the grill, keeping them away from direct heat, so they warm and soften but don’t dry out or turn crisp.

8. After cooking, remove steak from grill and cut diagonally into thin slices. Roll several slices of steak and a share of the peppers and onions into tortillas and serve.

Cooking Tip: It is important to let the dry rub of spices penetrate the meat. It not only tenderizes the meat, but also adds extra flavor. For a short cut, peppers don’t have to be peeled.

Cooking Tip: To help keep the meat moist when grilling, use the cover on your grill during part or all of the cook time to help lock in flavorful juices. If your grill doesn’t have a cover, improvise by putting a large, disposable foil roasting pan over the food.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Laura’s Lean Beef http://laurasleanbeef.com

Best Guacamole Ever

This is one of my favorite guacamole recipes.

Prep: 15 minutes

Yield: about 3 cups

Ingredients

4 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Preparation

1. Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

 http://foodtv.com