Appetizers and Snacks · Healthy · Recipes

grilled vegetable bruschetta

Melissa’a birthday, time for another party!  I wanted to make her something special for dinner that would be delicious, but not rediculously fattening at the same time.  I don’t know why I think a special dinner should be loaded with fat.  I feel like I need to sneak the good-for-you stuff in.  Fat does not equal love.

I decided on the vegetable bruschetta to start.  I did have a nice spread of  Cowgirl Creamery cheeses too, thanks Chik.  For dinner we had filet mignon topped with a sliver of an insanely delicious blue cheese, and served with a reduced demi-glace (I added a touch of flour to thicken).  I served that with a cauliflower and potato puree.  The vegetables for the bruschetta doubled as a side dish for our dinner.  You’ll have to check out my next post for dessert.

Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta

  • Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Fennel Bulb
  • Carrots
  • Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Basil, chiffonade
  • Baguette

Grill any combination of vegetables seasoned with salt, and pepper, drizzle with olive oil.  Let the grilled vegetables cool, chop to fine dice.  Toss with a little more olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.  Add the basil.  Sometimes I add a little crumbled goat cheese or a snow flurry of parmesan cheese on top.  Warm up the baguette and slice.

Here she is!  Happy birthday Melissa!

Sooo…..I’ve got a pizza stone for the grill that I haven’t used in a while.  It’s just waiting for a new home.  Who wants it?

Healthy · Main Dish · Recipes · Salad · Side Dish

dinner for less than a trillion calories

FINALLY!  Dinner for less than a trillion calories.  This after Chik made us ride 7.5 miles on our bikes.  That’s a lot for people who don’t ride bikes.  My legs felt like they were going to fall off.  I felt very righteous after our ride…and Sunshine kept going on about how Monday is the beginning of his week to be good and healthy…so, I guess I was inspired, or he shamed me into making this dinner.  Either way, it is delicious.

Red cabbage slaw with smokey blue cheese

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • good splash of cider vinegar
  • drizzle of good olive oil
  • 2 ounces of smokey blue cheese

Grilled chicken thighs with ancho chili rub

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Yukon gold mashed potatoes

  • 1 pound baby yukon gold potatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

For the slaw: shred cabbage and carrots and combine in a bowl.  Add cider vinegar, olive oil and smokey blue cheese.  Refrigerate.

For the grilled chicken: combine chili powder, cumin and salt.  Season chicken.  Grill for 4 minutes over medium heat.  Turn chicken and grill for 3 minutes longer.

For the mashed potatoes:  Cut potatoes into 1″ pieces and steam until fork tender.  Mash with olive oil, add steaming water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Turley has moved on from eating my shoes to spying on the neighbors.

Greg Schroeder, owner of Amazing Grapes Wine Store

Greg says:  Hi Slop!
I’ve been waiting for you to cook something that would pair well with my favorite white wine find this year – a 2008 Chilean Chardonnay from Errazuriz.
The Chardonnay , called Wild Ferment, features a complex, multi-layered nose that combines mineral notes with expressive tropical fruit aromas. This fresh and elegant white has just the right amount of toasted notes from oak ageing to cut through the ancho chili on the chicken and compliment the smokey blue cheese in the cabbage side dish at the same time. No need to open two different wines for this meal! I love the bright acidity that balances the lush and creamy texture that leads to a long, lingering, and pleasing finish.
How about an invite for this one?!?

Okay Greg…you’ve got it.  Come over anytime….but don’t forget the wine!!!  Love ya…Slop

Healthy · Main Dish · Recipes

almost instant dinner

I had a rude awakening this morning.  I stepped on the dreaded scale at the gym.  I figured it was time to face the music (or did my trainer make me?).  It’s time to get back on the healthy band wagon.  So,  here you go.

I love this almost instant dinner.   I found the recipe on Epicurious last year, and have made it several times.  I’m usually not a fan of bottled salad dressings, but Galeo’s World’s Best Miso Toasted Sesame Seed Dressing is really pretty good.  Of course you can serve this dinner with some jasmine rice, but the scale told me no.  Here is my simplified version of a simple recipe to begin with.  So easy, even a cave man can do it, right?  Sorry cave man, no offense.

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli Slaw

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver skin
  • 1-12 ounce package of broccoli slaw
  • Galeo’s World Best Miso Toasted Sesame Seed Dressing (it’s low fat!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a rack in a baking pan.  Add water to reach depth of 1/4″.  Combine hoisin and soy sauce.

Brush pork tenderloin with the hoisin mixture.  Season generously with pepper.  Place pork on rack, and drizzle with additional sauce.  Roast pork for 25 minutes.

Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  While pork is resting, combine broccoli slaw and dressing.

Greg Schroeder of Amazing Grapes Wine Store

Greg says:

With Asian food, in particular the Hoison spice, the wine that pairs extremely well is a Spatlese Riesling. Spatlese Rieslings are a bit sweeter than the everyday Kabinett’s, but not too sweet. They typically have very good acidity and are low in alcohol, making them the perfect pairing with spicy foods.

I’ve selected for you our St. Urbans-Hof 2009 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spatlese. We’re not talking a dessert wine here. There is just enough sweetness to complement this dish perfectly. The minerality in this wine is almost sparkling while the acidity is ripe but still crisp and the flavors are complex, ripe and well developed.


Paigey is trying to steal my snuggy that I stole fair and square from Sunshine, who stole it fair and square from Veronica.

Dessert · Healthy · Recipes

Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

This was a nice and light way to finish our dinner.  I served them with a little dollop of whipped cream.  Maybe I’ll try serving this with a wedge of blue cheese next time, or maybe along side a yogurt  and vanilla bean panna cotta.

Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 (1 by 3-inch) strip orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 firm, ripe pears

In a 4 quart saucepan, combine wine, sugar, orange juice and zest, cinnamon stick and cloves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  While simmering, peel pears, leaving stem end intact.  Gently place pears in poaching liquid, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turning often to ensure even color, until pears are cooked but still firm.  Uncover and cool with pears upright in pan.  Once cool, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  Remove pears from liquid and allow to come to room temperature.  Meanwhile, reduce liquid by half over medium-high flame for 15 minutes, until liquid is thicker and slightly syrupy.  Drizzle each pear with syrup and serve.

Sunshine got his new camera today!  Where’s Waldo…?

Healthy · Main Dish · Pasta · Recipes · Salad

Red cabbage for a buck

Veronica and I went to the farmer’s market Saturday morning.  We haven’t been in a while, so we really loaded up.

It’s kind of unbelievable how much stuff can fit in my little smart car.  Well, and on top too.

VJ bought a couple of zucchini from one of the farmers at the market and paid 2 bucks.  That is a ridiculous price to pay, it’s too much!  I bought a full head of red cabbage for a buck and knew just what to do with it.

I LOVE this pasta dish.  It’s awesome with a refreshing salad of arugula, radicchio, radishes and thinly shaved zucchini.  I love how the crunchy raw vegetables in the salad contrast the slow cooked cabbage in the pasta dish.

Linguini with red cabbage

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces French feta
  • 1 pound linguine

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet.  Add onions, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add cabbage, cover and cook until cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in boiling salted water until al dente.

Toss cabbage with pasta, season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to serving bowls, top with feta and serve.

Arugula, radicchio, zucchini and radish salad



zucchini, thin slice

radishes, thin slice

parmigiano-reggiano, shavings

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Season salt and pepper to taste

Slice the radishes, shave the zucchini and chop the radicchio.

Combine olive oil and lemon juice.  Season with season salt and pepper.

Combine arugula and radicchio, toss with some of the olive oil and lemon juice.  Add to the serving dish

Toss the vegetables with the dressing.  Place on top of the arugula and radicchio.  Garnish with parmigiano-reggiano shavings.

Healthy · Main Dish · Recipes

Soft Tacos with Chicken and Tomato-Corn Salsa

We made these simple, delicious and fresh tacos using a recipe from Martha Rose Shulman’s cookbook, The Very Best of Recipes for Health.  I just needed to make a quick stop at the mexican market to pick up the freshly made tortillas and queso fresco.  It was also a great way to use some of the tomatoes going crazy in our vegetable garden.  The lime juice in the tomato-corn salsa made it super fresh and bright tasting.  We poached the chicken, but it would be awesome with fish as well.

Soft Tacos with Chicken and Tomato-Corn Salsa

  • 1 ear of corn, steamed or grilled
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 4 ounces of queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled or diced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
  • Chicken broth

Add chicken to a saucepan with enough chicken broth to cover the chicken.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow to cool in broth.

Combine the corn, tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion and lime juice to create the salsa.  Add salt to taste.

Warm tortillas in the oven wrapped in foil.

Remove the chicken from the broth and shred.

Top the tortillas with chicken, salsa and queso fresco.

Turley watched me cook.  She’s a good girl, unlike others.  I’m not mentioning any names, but Paige knows who I’m talking about.