Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Orange, Walnut & Gorgonzola Mixed Greens Salad

Well, I'm back in my apartment in Utah now- back to my small kitchen and broken dishwasher- yep it leaked ALL over the kitchen floor today and needs to be fixed- so I will probably be cooking a little less.  Don't get me wrong, though- I will not revert to frozen "Lean Cuisines," Top Ramen, or even PB&J for every meal.... okay so maybe PB&J every once in a while...  :) but since I am only cooking for myself now, my cooking will be a lot simpler, easier, and quicker to fit my busy lifestyle!

However, I do still have some recipes from back home this summer when I cooked with my Mom almost every night for our family.  Good times that I will surely miss this coming semester. 

This salad screams summertime (whoa, way to alliterate!) and was absolutely delicious!  It's from  You must make the homemade citrus vinaigrette, though- it's super simple and really ties all of the flavors together!  

The only difference I'd make is to chop the onions into smaller pieces rather than slices so that they are not so over-powering.  I also carmelized the walnuts with a bit of sugar  which was very yummy!   This is definitely going to be one of my go-to recipes.

  • Orange, Walnut & Gorgonzola Mixed Greens Salad

  • 3/4 cup walnut halves
  • 10 ounces mixed salad greens with arugula
  • 2 large navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

  1. Place the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the toasted walnuts, salad greens, oranges, and red onion.
  3. In a large jar with a lid, mix the olive oil, vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and pepper. Seal jar, and shake to mix.
  4. Divide the salad greens mixture into individual servings. To serve, sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese, and drizzle with the dressing mixture.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition (per serving):  368 calories, 30.1g fat, 8mg cholesterol

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blackberry Peach Crisp

Oh my goodness.  THIS IS SO GOOD!

One of my favorite desserts EVER is my Mom's famous Apple Crisp- it's  brown sugary-buttery-cinnamony goodness is perfect in the fall and is oh so delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  

I was a little skeptical about making a crisp with not apples, but rather blackberries and peaches.  Do these even go together?  

Oh yes they do.  A match made in heaven.  The best part about this recipe is that it is my OWN!  I got inspiration from a peach/blackberry cobbler but I instead wanted to use the crumb topping from my mom's apple crisp.  I made a few changes though,  so I can officially, definitely say that this is my first recipe! I feel so accomplished :)

I quote my Grandparents when I say that this is "the best dessert I've ever had."  Definitely not a guilt-free splurge by any means, but surely one worth indulging in.  

I can't wait to make it again!  

Blackberry Peach Crisp

8 cups chopped peeled peaches (about 4 pounds)
3 cups blackberries (I used fresh)
1/4 cup flour
sugar for sprinkling
4 cups quick rolled oats
4 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups flour
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine peaches, blackberries, and 1/4 cup flour in large bowl.  Toss until well combined. Pour into 9x13 pan and sprinkle with sugar.  In another very large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter together with hands until crumbly.  Pour over fruit. (This crumb topping is doubled so it is very likely you will have extra)  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping, if desired. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baked Lasagna x2

My great-grandfather was an Italian chef, so sometimes I like to think that I inherited my love of cooking and all things with garlic, tomato sauce, and noodles, from him.

That would make sense, right? I mean, the tradition of cooking has kind of been passed down through my grandmother, who had an immense love for gardening and cooking, to my mother, who I am quite used to finding in the kitchen, and finally to me.  

(And I shouldn't forget my little sister, I can already tell she will be quite the cook someday; she is already constantly in the kitchen making new things, and she's only 13.)

Apparently, my grandfather was a firm believer in MORE garlic.  More is always better.  So feel free to add a couple more cloves to this recipe; it definitely would not inhibit its fabulousness.  :)

The original recipe, a family favorite, calls for full-fat ingredients, which definitely yields the richest flavor, but in parentheses I put alternatives that I used this time around.  The taste was hardly compromised with the healthier version.  


Baked Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef or sausage (or extra-lean ground beef or turkey)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes (2 cups)
2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
10 oz. lasagna noodles
3 cups creamy cottage cheese (or reduced-fat cottage cheese)
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese (or reduced-fat Parmesan)
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin (2% skim pre-sliced works great)

Brown meat slowly, spoon off fat.  Add garlic, parsley, salt, tomatoes, and tomato paste, simmer uncovered 30 minutes.  Cook noodles until tender, drain, rinse in cold water.  Combine cottage cheese with eggs and seasonings.  Spread 1/2 noodles in 9x13x2 pan, spread 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 meat sauce; repeat layers and garnish with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Let stand 10-15 minutes to set before cutting.  

Serves 12.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Healthy Meal/Snack Ideas

Well, it has been a while since I last posted.  My time was well-spent, however, in beautiful Utah, sunny Las Vegas, and then rainy Flagstaff, Arizona over the past week and a half.

I met my cheer team in Utah on the 23rd for practice, and then we left that next Monday to leave for cheer camp in Vegas.  Practices were very long and camp was pretty strenuous, but we came out alright; we won a gold bid to the NCA cheerleading Nationals competition next April- basically they will PAY US ($25,000) to go to Nationals and compete!

After I got back, I left the very next day to go to the cinders by Sunset Crater, just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona to camp out and ride quads/motor vehicles with the family.  It was a blast!

But, back to more serious matters; my new goal is to eat REALLY well these next couple of weeks before I go back to Utah for yet more cheer practice.  I have to.  I will.  This blog could even possibly become my food journal, just to keep me on track.  Just saying.

I ate pretty well today; here are the things I ate that I would recommend as healthy meals/snacks.


I had a bowl of the new Banana Walnut "Hearty Medleys" oatmeal from Quaker with a packet of Splenda sweetener and half of a banana's worth of slices.  

It was really delicious, but my only complaint is that these oatmeal packets are extremely small!  You only use 1/3 cup of water to make it, as opposed to 2/3 cup for most Quaker oatmeal packets, yet both have about the same calories.  Hence, I was a little disappointed.


I love eating eggs for lunch!  This was an Egg Beaters scramble I came up with that was super easy and really good.

Turkey & Tomato Egg-Beaters Scramble 

1/2 c. liquid egg substitute, such as Egg-Beaters
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
4-5 slices turkey breast, chopped
1/4 c. fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Heat to medium heat.  Add egg substitute and let set for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add tomato and turkey, and scramble until mostly cooked.  Add cheese, salt, and pepper, and continue to scramble until fully cooked.

Makes 1 serving

Nutrition:  approx. 165 calories 


This is so delicious, and healthy too, if portions are kept under control.

I love this brand of Almond milk; it's really tasty and only 40 calories per cup! It makes a great substitution for milk for those who are lactose-intolerant.  It is not soy milk, either, although the taste is similar.  I prefer Almond Breeze to soy milk though!
This was the first time I tried strawberries & "milk" (I had heard it done before!) and I really loved it!!

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