Spanish Shrimp, Orange & Olive Salad

Simple and fresh, this light salad is a perfect fit
for your New Year's reslolution.

3/4 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, tails removed, and deveined
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 oranges, pealed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced Spanish green olives (optional in reality)
1 tsp. finely grated orange peel
1 bag (5 oz.) baby arugula

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pan. Add the garlic and shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally until the shrimp are opaque in the center, three to five minutes. Set aside and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette (see below).

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp, orange slices, olives, orange peel and baby arugula. Add the vinaigrette to taste, and gently toss. Serve immediately.

1 green onion, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. wine vinegar
6 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the onion, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly add the olive oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with salt an d pepper to taste. Makes about 1/2 cup.

original recipe from Experience Life magazine with minor changes

Red Lentil Stew

This red lentil stew is a hint of Bombay House in your own home. Use pita bread in place of naan for a quick substitute.

2 T. Olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garam masala
2 cups red or green lentils
5 carrots, chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
1/2 lb. spinach, chopped
Cardamom or cloves, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Carmalize onion, garlic, and ginger in olive oil. Add cumin and garam masala and cook for 1 minute more. Add lentils, carrots, and potatoes, and over with water. Bring to boil on high heat and then reduce to low heat when foaming. Simmer until lentils change to yellow and begin to "disintegrate". Scoop out most of the carrots and potatoes and blend briefly; put them back into pot. Add spinach and remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve with basmati rice.

tips: add cilantro to your basmati rice as it cooks, you can also use sweet potato in place of the potato, and a handheld immersion blender works best of this recipe but is not necessary.

recipe by Naomi Green from Loaves and Fishes & other great dishes with minor changes

Squash Quinoa Soup

A delicious quinoa and butternut squash dish for any season.

12 oz. chicken or tofu, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp. olive oil
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 5.5 oz. can apricot or mango nectar
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, halved,
seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1tsp. ground cumin
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise
and cut into 1-inch pieces

In a saucepan, cook chicken and onion in hot oil over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth, nectar, squash, quinoa, and cumin. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add zucchini. Cover and cook 10 minutes more or until squash and quinoa are tender. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

original source of recipe unknown with minor changes


Country French Bread

Nothing like the smell of fresh bread to make an evening (or a morning or an afternoon for that matter).

2.5 cups warm water
2 Tbs yeast
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
6 cups flour
1/2 oil (I like to use olive oil, but any oil works)

Place yeast and sugar in a bowl and mix with warm water. Add the salt and oil, then add the flour 2 cups at a time, stirring to incorporate it well. Knead the bread together and let rise. Stir the bread down every 10 minutes for an hour. Form into 2 loaves and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or flour. Bake at 400 degrees for about 37 minutes. This dough can also be used to make regular rolls or cinnamon rolls.

Recipe from Christine T


Eggplant with pasta

one of thee best vegetarian dishes I've made all year!

8 oz. rotini (or penne or bowtie, etc.) pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 sticks of string cheese, sliced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water, drain pasta, and return to pot.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and tender (about 8 to 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and cook, tossing, until the tomatoes are softened, 2 to 3 minutes more.
3. Add the tomato mixture to the pasta along with the sliced string cheese and reserved cooking water. Toss to combine.

Recipe based on REAL SIMPLE recipe found here.


Turkey Burgers

Forget bread crumbs! This recipe gives you a nice, juicy burger that's hard to beat!

1.25 lbs lean ground turkey (I use 7% fat)
1/4 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together with hands in a large bowl until well mixed. Form 4 thin, large circumferenced patties (remember they will shrink when cooked), and place in a frying pan. Cook first side for about 5 minutes then flip the burger and cook the other side for about 6 minutes. Serve on whole wheat buns with tomato, spinach, ketchup, mustard, and cheese, if desired.


Chocolate Bark

perfect for the holidays (easy too), but really good any time!

peppermint bark
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
22 mini candy canes, crushed

1. Line 9 x 11 pan or baking sheet with cooking spray, then line with waxed paper leaving an overhang on the ends.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler (a make-shift double boiler works well too; I use a saucepan with a smaller saucepan on top and it works superbly). Once melted, pour chocolate onto the waxed paper and spread, if necessary, with a rubber spatula.
3. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on immediately. Refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour). Remove from pan and waxed paper and break into pieces. Enjoy!

peanut butter bark
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 oz. milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup peanut butter (I used natural creamy pb and it worked superbly, I think chunky pb would be good too)

1. Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
2. Melt milk chocolate and peanut butter together in a double boiler. Drizzle mixture over semi-sweet chocolate and swirl with a toothpick. Refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour). Remove from pan and waxed paper and break into pieces. This bark will be a tad bit softer than the peppermint bark.

As you can see these are very easy recipes, so be creative, come up with your own toppings. Mint chocolate and crushed Oreos anyone?


Turkey Meatballs

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (can be freshly grated or the shakeable stuff)
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (they are usually sold in this size, so no worries)
  • 16 saltine crackers (ritz works too), finely crushed (about 3⁄4 cup)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and half the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree and paste, sugar, half the Parmesan, the oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1½ cups water. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the turkey, crackers, the remaining Parmesan, garlic, and oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Shape the mixture into about 24 meatballs.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to the sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Serve with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and oregano before serving.
For a simpler turkey meatball, make the meatballs only and simmer for 20 minutes in pre-made spaghetti or marinara sauce.

The recipe above is based on a REAL SIMPLE recipe with a few minor changes.