Archive for the 'Just Recipes' Category

Best Ever Low-Fat Pancakes. Yum.


Makes six pancakes

Is that possible? Low-fat pancakes that taste good? You bet.

This is one of the best pancakes I have ever had. This recipe makes six huge pancakes that are about 60 calories each.

Of course, you’ll have to hold off of the butter to keep them low fat!  Enjoy.

Continue reading ‘Best Ever Low-Fat Pancakes. Yum.’

Couscous, Tomatoes and Balsamic Onions

Serves 4

Good food sometimes just happens. Last night we were going to have some grilled shrimp and decided to have it with couscous. I had read a recipe over the weekend that called for balsamic onions. I told my wife that I wanted to try them with the couscous and she said let’s add some canned diced tomatoes. I said, “Why not?”
We put the dish together and it was great. The combination just goes together so well. The onions are sweet and they counter the acid in the tomatoes. Combined with the light, fluffy couscous it was just the perfect dish with grilled shrimp.
I hope you give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Couscous, Tomatoes and Balsamic Onions’

Salsa and Red Bean Dip — Sometimes simpler is better

Serves 6 to 8
Adapted from Woman’s Day magazine

We had some friends over the other night and I wanted to make something new. A dip maybe?
My wife had found this recipe in Woman’s Day magazine and I decided to give it a try.
It is just store bought salsa and red beans (or black or white) mixed in a blender. What could be more simple?
The results: a delicious dip that is ready in a minute or two. Give this a try. You will not be disappointed.

Recipe follows.

Continue reading ‘Salsa and Red Bean Dip — Sometimes simpler is better’

How to cut up a bunch of strawberries the easy way

This sounds easy, and it is. And, in the past I’ve cut up pounds and pounds of strawberries. I’ve sliced them, diced them, and chopped them. And usually they leave red berry stains on my cutting board, on my counter and on my hands.
Well, no more.
Here is an easy way to cut up strawberries that is also fast:

  1. Using a paring knife, cut the stem and core out. The core is sightly bitter and it’s a good idea to get rid of it. You don’t have to go very deep, about 1/4” to 3/8” should do it.
  2. Place the cored strawberry on the cutting board sitting on its fat end.
  3. Do all the strawberries this way (see photo above)
  4. Next, take each strawberry and cut twice vertically from the top end to the bottom cutting the berry into quarters (see photo above).
  5. Grab the whole strawberry near the base and throw it into a bowl.

Once you get the hang of this technique, it goes really fast.
Because of the way they are cut, the berries stick together and you do not have to handle the cut edges of the berries so everything stays cleaner. Especially your hands.
Now, go cut up some strawberries and make some great strawberry short cake!

Tasty Japanese Cucumber Salad


Adapted from an old Internet recipe
Serves 4

I am always up for something new. And when that “something new” turns out to be simple to prepare and tasty it’s a win/win.
So it is with Japanese cucumber salad or Sunomono. It is the simplest of dishes yet is crisp and refreshing. It can accompany just about any meal.
There is not much more left to say, except be careful cutting up the cucumbers. See what happened to me here.

Recipe follows
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How to Grill Vegetables

This is not so much a recipe as it is a tutorial on grilling vegetables on a gas grill. First, it’s not hard and it makes vegetables taste wonderful.
It brings out the natural sugars and caramelizes them and also adds a smoky flavor you cannot get any other way.

Which vegetables and how do you prepare them?

Just about any vegetable can be grilled with the right equipment. Some like green, yellow, orange or red peppers can be done right on the grill. Others like asparagus will need a vegetable grate (great for shrimp, too) like this one or a grilling wok (great for shrimp or scallops, too) like this. Tongs and a large spatula are a help, too.

Below, I will list various vegetables, the perpetration and the best method of grilling:

Asparagus

There may be nothing finer than fresh, locally grown asparagus grilled.  Snap off any tough ends of the asparagus.  Toss with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook on a hot grill for a total of six to eight minutes, turning frequently.  Keep a close eye on the asparagus because when it can go from done to OVER DONE very quickly.  Do not overcook.

Eggplant

Slice eggplant into 1/4- to 3/8-inch slabs like the squash above or rings. Coat with vegetable oil or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill for 15 to 25 minutes to cook through.

Corn

Use the freshest local corn you can find. Remove all the husks except the last layer. The corn should be completely covered with husk and there may need to be two layers in some areas. Peal back these husks and brush the corn with melted butter. Place on a hot grill and cook 8 to 10 minutes total rotating the corn frequently.

Green Onions

Coat onions with vegetable oil or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill (you can use a vegetable grate if you have one) and cook for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Do not overcook.

Sweet Onions, Sliced (Vidalia, Maui, etc.)

Slice onions about a 1/4- to 1/2=inch thick. Rub with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt a pepper. Place on a medium grill and cook for three to five minutes per side (depends on thickness of the slices) until you get grill marks and the onions are just cooked. Don’t overcook. They should be just beyond crisp.

Whole Peppers

Rub the outside with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place whole peppers on a hot grill and cook on that side until the skin is charred, about two to three minutes. Rotate the pepper 90 degrees and cook that side the same way. Cook the pepper until the entire skin is blackened. Place the pepper in a paper bag and allow the pepper to cool. The pepper will steam inside the bag and make removing the skin very easy. Peal the skin off the pepper and use your favorite recipe. Delicious. Note: This works with hot chili peppers like jalapenos, too.

Pepper Slices

If you have a vegetable grill or grilling wok like this one, slice the ends off the peppers and remove the seeds. Or, place the pepper end flat on a cutting board and cut from the top to the bottom just outside the core of the pepper. This will give you four slabs and the seeds still attached to the core. Either way, slice the pepper into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Toss the strips with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat the grilling wok on high and place the pepper in the wok. Grill the pepper with the lid down for about two minutes. Open the lid and toss the pepper slices with a wooden spoon. Cook a total of about four to five minutes. Do not overcook.
If you do not have a grill wok, just place the oiled and seasoned slabs on the grill and cook until just done. Remove from the grill and cut the peppers into slices.

Summer Squash and Zucchini

Place either on a cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch slabs longwise. Coat each side with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place slabs on a hot grill and cook for about three to four minutes per side.
Alternatively, you can cut the zucchini or summer squash into cubes, coat with oil, add salt and pepper and cook in a grill wok.

Tomatoes

Thickly slice tomatoes. Coat with vegetable oil or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on a hot grill two to four minutes per side.

Button Mushrooms

Leave small mushrooms whole; larger mushrooms should be cut in half or quartered.  Toss mushrooms with vegetable or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook on a vegetable grate over high heat for about five to ten minutes.

Portobello Mushrooms

Okay, not a vegetable, but the technique is the same. Coat with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a medium hot grill. Cook for four to six minutes per side.

THE FUN PART

Grilled vegetables are great by themselves, but mix and match them and you have a party. Grill peppers and onions with grilled sausage is great. Try grilled eggplant and onions with you next Italian meal. Make vegetable kabobs on bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes. Yum. The possibilities are endless.

Good luck and good grilling.

Brad’s Fast Shrimp and Pasta with Cream Sauce

A recipe by Brad Muir
Serves 4

My wife and I are out on the West coast visiting our youngest son (our middle son came up to visit from San Francisco) and we decided to have some shrimp and pasta for dinner. Off we went to the store to get the ingredients.
This recipe is one my middle son, Brad, developed in San Francisco. It is fast, easy, and tasty all at the same time. And, you do not have to slave over a hot stove.
Basically it uses frozen shrimp (pretty much the only way to buy shrimp unless you live next to a shrimp boat, but that’s another story), a jar of Alfredo sauce, and some pasta. There are some alteration to the ingredients and there are lots of variations you can make to this recipe. Check out some of the addition and variations at the end of the recipe.
This is another of those “open a jar” recipes, but speed and taste win over slaving over a stove.
This recipe is easily doubled or upped b y one and a half to fit the number of people you are feeding. And, it’s a good recipe to have in your back pocket when friends or family show up unexpectedly.

Recipe follows.
Continue reading ‘Brad’s Fast Shrimp and Pasta with Cream Sauce’