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Thanksgiving Green Salad with Lime-Dijon Vinaigrette

In Meats On November 19, 2021 0 Comments

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For Thanksgiving dinner, some guests may want a no-carbs, no-gluten, no-sugar salad or side . Here’s a delicious salad that’s easy to make because it can be prepared the morning of …. Happy Thanksgiving!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

6 cups fresh, mixed greens (Romaine, butter, arugula, spinach), washed & spun-dry
3 Persian cucumbers, peeled and thinly-sliced
1 large carrot, peeled & thinly-sliced
4 green onions, tips & dark green stems discarded, sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
Juice of 2 limes or lemons
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon white Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 of a red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place the mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots & green onions in a serving bowl; set aside, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.

2. In a food processor, combine the lime or lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic clove, vinegar and the oil.

3. Process the mixture until vinaigrette is uniform.

4. Transfer vinaigrette to a glass jar & tightly cover. Refrigerate vinaigrette until ready to serve the salad.

4. At serving time, pour the vinaigrette over prepared salad ingredients; garnish with red bell pepper pieces. Toss & serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Spook Pasta

In Meats On October 20, 2021 0 Comments

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Kids of all ages will love this orange-colored Halloween meal – Spook Pasta! Made with fresh pumpkin, it’s healthy, fast and fun!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

6 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin, boiled & drained (reserve 1-1/2 cups of the cooking liquid)
1 cube vegetarian or chicken bouillon
1 pound pasta (short variety)
1 teaspoon salt
grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese (optional, for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place cooked and cooled pumpkin cubes into a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.

2. Transfer the pureed pumpkin to a 2 to 3-quart saucepot; stir in 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid.

3. Bring the pumpkin sauce to a boil; add the bouillon cube and stir.

4. Cook on low heat, stirring often, for about 4-5 minutes. Taste and add a little salt, if needed.

5. Cover the pumpkin sauce and set aside on a cool burner.

6. Meanwhile, bring a 4-quart saucepot of water to a boil.

7. Add the pasta and 1 teaspoon salt; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is “al dente” (crunchy-tender).

8. In the meantime, bring the pumpkin sauce to a boil. If it is too thick, add a little more cooking liquid.

9. Drain the pasta and return it to the saucepot.

10. Add 2 to 3 ladles of the pumpkin sauce to the pasta; stir to heat evenly over medium heat.

11. Add more pumpkin sauce, to taste.

12. Serve the Spook Pasta immediately; garnish with cheese.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Pickled Red Onions

In Meats On August 10, 2021 0 Comments

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Make these easy and delicious pickled onions for grilled meats, poultry and seafood all summer. Once made, the onions keep for up to two weeks (refrigerated). Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 large red onion, peeled & thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup white Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

1. Place onions (tightly-packed) in a one-pint mason jar or other glass jar.

2. In a 4-cup saucepot, combine the water, vinegars, nectar, honey, salt and chili flakes.

3. Bring mixture to a simmering boil.

4. Place jar with onions in a sink to avoid splatters.

5. Pour the pickling liquid over the onions; let stand until the jar is warm to the touch.

6. Sprinkle the oregano over top of onions.

7. Cover the jar with a tightly fitted lid and refrigerate for at least one hour.

8. Serve cold as a side or garnish to meats, poultry and seafood. Alternatively, add the pickled onions to meat, vegetarian or vegan tacos and salads.

9. Pickled Red Onions will keep, refrigerated, up to one week.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Peaches, Blueberries & Oregano Salad

In Meats On July 3, 2021 0 Comments

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This salad was inspired by fresh peaches and blueberries in season. I created a lemon-dijon dressing and tossed it into the fruit. It’s perfect for our upcoming 4th of July cookouts!

Prep time: 5 – 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
4 peaches, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
salt & ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves

Directions:
1. Place sliced peaches and the blueberries in a 4-cup serving bowl; set aside.

2. In a 2-cup mixing blow, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper.

3. Pour dressing over the peaches and blueberries; toss lightly.

4. Add oregano leaves & toss once more.

5. Serve immediately as a side with meat, chicken or fish. Alternatively, serve this salad as part of a vegetarian or vegan meal.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

Carrot-Spice Cheesecakes

In Meats On November 25, 2020 0 Comments

Serve these carrot-spice cheesecakes as a perfecting ending to your Thanksgiving Day feast!

Prep time: 35 to 40 minutes
Bake time: 12 to 14 minutes
Makes: 24 mini-cheesecakes

Prepare the Crust:
24 muffin paper cups (use a solid color or cups with Fall decorations)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs or animal cracker crumbs (ground in a food processor)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
-OR-
1/2 cup sunflower or safflower oil

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Divide the paper cups among two muffin baking pans (each one should hold 12 paper cups). Set aside.

3. In a shallow bowl and using a fork, mix together the crumbs, cinnamon and either butter or oil.

4. When mixture is uniform, using a teaspoon, put some crumb mixture into each paper cup.

5. Using the back of an espresso spoon or small teaspoon, press down, into the crumb mixture.

6. Set the muffin pans with paper cups aside while you prepare cheesecakes.

Prepare the Cheesecakes:
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons regular or natural cane (unbleached) sugar
1/4 cup cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pureed cooked carrots (alternatively, use 1/2 cup baby food pureed carrots)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. In a 4-quart mixing bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with a bowl, beat together the above ingredients on high speed until mixture is creamy and smooth.

2. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture over the crumb mixture in paper cups.

3. Set each muffin pan on its own rack in oven.

4. Bake the cheesecakes for 6 to 7 minutes.

5. After 6 to 7 minutes, invert the muffin pans.

6. Bake the cheesecakes for an additional 6 to 8 minutes or until tops look puffed and slightly crack.

7. After baking the cheesecakes, set them IN MUFFIN PANS on a counter to cool completely.

8. When the cheesecakes have cooled completely, lift them out of the muffin pans. To avoid crushing the still-soft cheesecakes, use both hands to grab the paper cups and lift them out.

9. Carefully set the cheesecakes on a serving platter. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ingredients for the Topping:
1 can ready-made whipping cream
24 corn nuts candies
Fresh thyme twigs (cut into twenty-four 1/2-inch twigs)

1 At serving time, place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each cheesecake.

2. Decorate each cheesecake with one corn nut candy and a thyme twig.

3. Serve immediately.

Note: The cheesecakes can be baked up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
Text and Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real