Here is a healthy recipe post to break up the streak of heavy meal posts. I saw a recipe for a shaved brussels sprouts salad in an issue of Womens Health a few months ago, and it reminded me of the La Grande Orange Cafe version that I love so much. I had to try it! Here is the recipe as adapted from my favorite magazine:
1 oz toasted Marcona almonds, sliced (I forgot to add them when I took the photo below)
1/4 cup shaved parmesan or manchego cheese
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
2 T water
2 T sherry or red wine vinegar
1 t dijon mustard
1 T finely minced shallot
2 t honey
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until well blended.
Using a mandolin or food processor with a slicing disk, shave the sprouts and radicchio.
Toss the sprouts and radicchio with the apple and dressing until evenly coated. Divide among plates, and top each with almonds and cheese.
Hopefully the lighting in your kitchen won’t leave that awful yellow-green tinge on your food the way it does in the above photo! I swear it looks much tastier in person.
Also, note that the dressing recipe makes WAY more than you need for the salad, but that’s okay because it’s delicious as leftovers. Just store it in the fridge and give it a good whisk when you’re ready to use it again. Brussels are so good raw or cooked, but raw is best when shaved or peeled…pain as it may be to prep them that way.
I can’t say enough how much I love those sun-dried tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. I use them in everything – salads, omelettes, sandwiches, vegetable dishes, you name it! I found a great recipe in an issue of Womens Health magazine for a sun-dried tomato pesto last year and finally got around to making it in January …and now I’m finally getting around to writing about it. Here’s the recipe:
1. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and let soak for 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and reserve the liquid.
2. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor (a blender works just fine too). Add the walnuts and garlic and process briefly to combine. Add the whole tomatoes, parsley, oregano or basil, cheese, and oil and process until smooth. Add just enough of the reserved tomato soaking liquid to form a paste; process again until smooth.
To make the pasta and shrimp:
3. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque. Sprinkle with the black pepper and salt.
5. Place in the bowl with the pasta and top with the pesto. Toss well to combine.
I really hate prepping shrimp, so I don’t make shrimp dishes very often. The de-veining process is so tedious and… well, gross. I mean really, is there nothing worse than pulling a string of poop out of a dead animal that you are about to then eat? I will say that it was so worth it at least for this recipe. I loved this dish probably more than the last shrimp dish I made (also found in Womens Health).
If I have somehow managed to not destroy your appetite with that last sentiment and you are thinking about making this, note that the pesto can be tightly covered and stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer. You can put the pesto in ice cube trays, freeze them, and thaw the cube for use as the perfect individual-sized portion of pesto for a plate of pasta!
Back to food, my favorite thing. I found this recipe in an issue of Women’s Health and made it for dinner a couple weeks ago.
According to the article, the fat in the bacon helps you absorb the antioxidant lutein from the spinach. I’m always hesitant to make things with bacon, as I cringe when I see the actual stripes of fat I’m ingesting. I used reduced sodium turkey bacon when I made this, which is a lot lower in fat than regular bacon. Hopefully, I still got a good amount of lutein absorption!
Click here to view the recipe online. If you decide to make this, I highly recommend using half an onion. The recipe calls for a full onion, but the ration of onion-to-other-stuff was just absurd when I made this and I ended up throwing most of the onion away.