Greek Couscous Salad

Ingredients:
1 bag or box pearled couscous
diced cherry tomatoes
diced kalamata olives
diced English cucumber
thinly sliced spinach
diced red bell pepper
diced red onion
feta crumbled
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper

Directions:
Cook Couscous according to box.

Chop all veggies and place in large mixing bowl. Add cooled couscous to veggies. Mix together olive oil and next 4 ingredients. Pour over couscous mixture. Add feta and toss all together. Best served room temperature.

Feel free to double dressing if you think you salad needs more.

Chicken and Beef Fajitas

Ingredients:
1 whole beef flank steak
1 whole chicken (brined overnight)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 whole Medium Onions, Halved And Sliced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced
Oil, For Frying
Flour Tortillas, Warmed
Cheese (grated Cheddar/jack Or Crumbled Queso Fresco)
Salsa
Sour Cream
Cilantro Leaves

Directions:
In a dish, mix together olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar until combined. Pour half of the marinade into a separate dish. In one dish, place the flank steak, turning it over to coat. In the second dish, place all the veggies, turning to coat. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Smoke chicken (with beer can) on grill for ~2 hours; grill steak until cooked.

Prepare tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add the veggies and cook them for a few minutes, until they’re cooked but still slightly firm and have nice black/brown pieces. Remove to a plate and set aside.

(adapted from Pioneer Woman)

Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese, low fat
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2-3/4 cup fresh blueberries
Turbinado sugar for topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center.

In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, water, lemon juice, olive oil, zest, vanilla extract and egg.

Add the wet to dry mixture and stir just until moist.

Fill each muffin cup half way. Add about 4 blueberries to each and then top it off until it’s about 3/4 or all the way full. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the muffins.

Bake for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients for Wraps:
1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey
8 scallions, white and green part chopped
1 (8oz) can water chestnuts, drained, rinsed and chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2½ tablespoons hoisin sauce, see shopping tips
1 tablespoon ginger (from a jar) or fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 large head butter lettuce, wash, dried and leaves separated

Ingredients for Dipping Sauce:
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon ginger (from a jar) or fresh minced ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon garlic (from a jar) or fresh minced garlic

Instructions
In a large pan, brown the ground chicken over medium-high heat, breaking up the pieces. Pour into a colander, in the sink and drain fat. Return chicken to pan. When cool enough to handle, break up the chicken pieces until minced.

Add the scallions, water chestnuts, red pepper, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, water, and sesame oil. Cook for a few minutes until the scallions and red pepper are soft. Keep warm.

In a small bowl, add all the dipping sauce ingredients and mix well.

To assemble each chicken wrap: Spoon about ⅓ cup of chicken filling onto one lettuce leaf and roll it up, if desired. Serve with dipping sauce on the side. This sauce is quite strong. You’ll only need 1 teaspoon of sauce per wrap. You can also set up the components on individual plates and serve family style. Let everyone make their own wrap.

Lentil and Chickpea Salad

Ingredients:
4 small handfuls of spinach leaves, divided
1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 English cucumber, quartered & sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 small handfuls of fresh arugula, divided
Shaved parmesan cheese
Ground pepper

Dressing:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons of dijon mustard (I used a dijon/horseradish mustard)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:
If you want to set this up in a mason jar, I would suggest using a smaller, but wide jar. You don’t want too tall & narrow or else it’ll be hard to get the fork in. If you don’t have a mason jars you can always layer this in a salad bowl. The other option is to have all the ingredients placed in separate bowls and have your guests build their own. You’ve got options.

One salad at a time, start with the spinach. Then layer a few spoonfuls of lentils and garbanzo beans.
Stack slices of cucumber, and then add a handful of tomato halves. Top with fresh arugula.

In case there are any dairy allergies, you can keep the cheese on the side. If not, add the parmesan and some ground pepper – ties all the ingredients together nicely.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, add garlic cloves, mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and mix together. Continue to whisk, while you pour in the olive oil. Season with salt + pepper.

(from With Style & Grace blog)

Goat Cheese and Tomato Tarts

Ingredients:
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Directions:
Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

Texas Caviar Dip

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans Bush’s black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans Bush’s pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can Bush’s cannellini beans
2 (15 oz.) cans white corn, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, do not drain
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 avocados (optional)

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix the black beans, pinto beans, white corn, green chilies, jalapeno, red and green peppers, red onion, celery, and cilantro together.

To make the dressing, stir the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, cumin, and garlic powder together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cool. Pour dressing over bean mixture and toss to mix evenly.

It is better after it has been refrigerated for an hour or two.

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:
8 oz extra sharp yellow cheddar
8 oz extra sharp white cheddar
7 oz jar pimentos
Salt to taste (I use very little)
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on taste)
Approximately 2/3 cup Duke’s mayo (I’m a firm believer in Duke’s)

Directions:
Grate cheese relatively fine

Strain pimentos and then chop. No needed to strain juice created when you chop.

Add chopped pimentos, juice created, salt, pepper, and cayenne and give a light mix.

Add mayo and continue to mix until it reaches consistency you desire.

Cheese Enchiladas

Ingredients:
Peanut oil, canola oil, or other high smoke point oil
12 corn tortillas
2 teaspoons olive oil (or peanut or canola)
1/2 onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 clove of garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
14-ounce can (about 1 3/4 cup) crushed tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
3/4 cup of chopped cooked green chiles (about a 4-ounce can), or 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapeños (more or less to taste, depending on the heat of the chiles and how spicy you want your enchiladas)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lb (4 cups) of jack cheese, mild cheddar, or a mix, grated
A handful of cilantro
1 cup of sour cream
Half a head of iceberg lettuce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large frying pan at medium-high heat add a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is shimmering and hot (not quite smoking), add a corn tortilla to the pan. Cook it for 2-3 seconds, use a metal spatula to turn it over, and cook it for 2 to 3 seconds more. Lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook the second tortilla for 2-3 seconds, lift both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath. Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding more oil as needed. This way you can brown and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat. It’s important to pre-cook the tortillas because not only does cooking them help soften them for rolling, cooking them in a little fat helps develop the flavor of the tortillas. As the tortillas brown a little, remove them to a plate.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the crushed tomatoes. Add the green chiles. Add 1/2 cup of water. Add the oregano. Bring to a simmer and taste. If the sauce tastes too vinegary, add half a teaspoon of sugar to the sauce. Remove from heat.

Put a little olive oil on the bottom of a 3-quart casserole pan. Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese, then roll up the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled.

Add sauce to the top of the tortillas in the the casserole pan. Make sure the rolled up tortillas are covered with the sauce. If not, add a little water to thin the sauce to spread it more evenly over the tortillas. Cover the whole thing with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the casserole in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Serve with sliced iceberg lettuce that has been dressed only with vinegar and salt. Garnish enchiladas with cilantro and sour cream.

From Simply Recipes