Tag Archives: strawberries

Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

Yes, I’m here! It’s been way, way too long since I’ve posted anything but I’ve been traveling for the past four weeks (first London, then Chicago) and now is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and get it done. It was nice to be back in my kitchen over the weekend, making some food. I feel like my diet and exercise has taken a nosedive over the past month so it’s time to get it together again. I came across this recipe for Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa on the flight to Chicago and ended up buying the ingredients to make it when I landed. But then…I ate the avocado with eggs, the chicken with adobo seasoning, and the strawberries with ice cream. My plan failed. So, I tried it again over the weekend and actually got this dish made. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Chicken cutlets are given a boost of flavor from a vibrant salsa made with strawberries, avocado, lime, cilantro, and jalapeño. The sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and spicy jalapeño are all perfect complements to each other and then the fresh cilantro and citrusy lime really round everything out. This is such a perfect summertime dinner, especially if you are watching your waistline, and this salsa is good enough to eat with nothing but a fork. If only I’d made this recipe last weekend, maybe I wouldn’t be so worried about my waistline now.

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Combine strawberries, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; toss to combine.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

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Divide chicken among 4 serving plates, and spoon salsa evenly over each serving. Garnish each serving with a lime wedge.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta

I was traveling for work last week and had a lot going on which meant hardly any exercise and lots of bad eating. I actually don’t mind traveling for work but at the same time, I love being in a normal routine at home of making good food and hitting the gym. The one morning I actually made it to the gym? It was packed with every machine taken. I did some exercises in my room instead but that didn’t really do me much good for the rest of the week. So this week, I’m back on track. (I feel like I’m always saying that.) Salad…and more salad. Luckily, I came home to the latest Cooking Light magazine in my mailbox which had this Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta. It seemed meant to be.

Chicken breasts are marinated briefly in simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being grilled. Strawberries, arugula, and red onion are mixed with a little more oil and vinegar before being topped with the chicken and tangy feta cheese. This salad is simple and a little bit perfect. Strawberries and balsamic already pair so well together but added with the marinated chicken and spicy arugula, it just makes this salad so hearty and flavorful. I’ve been craving strawberries lately so this was a great way to enjoy them before they are perfectly in season. Salads can be good like that.

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Combine 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut into slices.

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Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add strawberries; toss to coat.

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Add arugula and onion to strawberry mixture; toss gently to combine.

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Sprinkle feta over salad. Divide salad among 4 plates; top evenly with sliced chicken.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Regular balsamic vinegar

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Summer Sangria

Happy 4th of July! With the recent humidity and summer thunderstorms (not to mention the random hurricane), it officially feels like summer finally. Some of us in the northeast are still dealing with cloudy and/or rainy skies on this Independence Day but since when does the weather keep us from enjoying a cocktail? This Summer Sangria is quick, simple, and packs a punch.

White wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc but Pinot Grigio would be good also) and flavored rum or vodka (I used passion fruit rum) are mixed with a  little simple syrup and fruit.  Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries made this summer cocktail especially patriotic for the weekend but grapes, peaches, oranges, kiwi or mango would be great additions too. Basically, use any fruit, any white wine, and any flavored spirit to make this quick sangria. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday weekend and enjoys their freedom, rain or shine.

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Combine wine, rum (or vodka), fruit and simple syrup in a large pitcher. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Add ice; serve immediately.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Strawberries and blueberries

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living magazine

 

Spring Strawberry Pie

Sorry for the long silence but I was in Chicago enjoying the awesome weather and stunning Lake Michigan up through this past long weekend and I’ve been in total vacation mode. Can you believe Memorial Day was yesterday? It seemed like the winter was never going to be over and I still worry, despite the fact that it is almost June, that there is still a lingering snowstorm somewhere. Because yesterday was Memorial Day, we like to think that the summer has started but it’s really still Spring for about another three weeks. Maybe you went to a picnic yesterday and ate a lot or maybe you just laid low and celebrated the life of a veteran but no matter what you did, enjoy life this week with something Springy and sweet like this Spring Strawberry Pie.

Strawberries are sliced and cooked with a little balsamic vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch creating a chunky, thickened strawberry mixture similar to preserves. This mixture is poured over fresh strawberries and a freshly baked graham cracker crust and topped with a quick crumble of additional graham cracker crumbs, almonds and sugar. Once refrigerated, this pie is ready to be served, especially with a giant dollop of whipped cream, low-fat or regular. Balsamic vinegar and strawberries pair so well together and the vinegar melts away leaving only a complementary flavor and not overly bold taste. This pie is light and scrumptious. My strawberries were still pretty huge so if you can find small ones, all the better (just cut bigger berries in half or quarters). If you don’t feel like making your own crust, you can easily buy a pre-made graham cracker crust to save time.  The strawberries are the real star here (even though I’m a complete sucker for any kind of crust) so if you need to take a short cut, go ahead. This pie is a perfect little treat that takes advantage of strawberries which seem to be so abundant right now. Got too many from the farmer’s market? Meet this pie.

DSC05087Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl, tossing with a fork until moist. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

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To prepare the filling, combine strawberry slices and vinegar in a medium nonstick skillet. Place the berry mixture over medium-high heat; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Cool completely.

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Arrange whole strawberries, stem sides down, in crust. Pour cooled strawberry mixture over whole strawberries. Cover loosely, and chill 4 hours.

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To prepare the topping, combine 3 tablespoons cracker crumbs, nuts, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons melted butter in a small bowl. Place crumb mixture in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until golden brown; cool.

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Sprinkle crumb mixture over pie. Top each serving with whipped topping.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Tropical White Sangria

If I could look up sweltering summer day in the dictionary, it might have shown a picture of this past weekend.  I think my air conditioner ran non-stop for three days because it just couldn’t hit a cool temperature.  Anyway, when faced with a sweltering summer day, why not have a fruity sangria to cool off, right?  I love a good sangria and I also love how they can be adapted to whatever season you are in.  With so many bright and fresh fruit in abundance right now, what a great way to get your fruit intake while also taking the edge off.  Personally, I prefer a good white sangria over a red sangria but maybe I only say that because white sangria is just so perfect on a bright sunny day in July.  (I may change my mind come next January.)  This Tropical White Sangria lived up to every expectation I had and was perfect over the past few ridiculously hot days.

A crisp Sauvignon Blanc is mixed with a little bit of orange liqueur and tons of fresh summer fruit like oranges, kiwis, grapes, mango and strawberries.  I substituted nectarines for the oranges just because the nectarines looked so good when I was buying my fruit (and after all, it’s the same color family so why not, right?).  In my opinion, use any fresh fruit that appeals to you because really, you can’t go wrong.  The orange liqueur slightly mellows out this sangria which is even better on the second day making this so easy to go down.

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 The ingredients:

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 In a 1/2-gal. pitcher, combine all fruit except the strawberries.

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 Stir in the wine and liqueur. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours.

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 Just before serving, stir in the strawberries.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Nectarines

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine

Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

I had dinner with a friend last night and as I was driving home, under an almost-blue moon (which is tonight, by the way), with the windows down and the sunroof open, I felt a change in the air.  It was the change that comes in the summer when evenings get slightly cooler and temperatures dip into the 60s for the first time.  And even though it’s supposed to get a little warmer here for the weekend than it’s been the last couple of beautiful days, I’m eagerly waiting for those nights when I can turn off the air conditioning and sleep with the windows open.  Which should be any day now.  I hope.  As I wait, I’ll just savor these remaining warm summer days and keep sipping on something cold and refreshing like this Strawberry-Mango Smoothie.

Fresh strawberries, frozen mangoes, yogurt and mango nectar are blended until creamy, smooth, sweet and tangy.  I prefer to use frozen fruit in my smoothies as opposed to ice because I like the texture of the frozen fruit but obviously you can use fresh fruit and ice instead.  Also, if you can’t find mango nectar (which I find in the international foods section of my grocery store), simply substitute orange juice or apple juice.  Really, just throw in whatever you want.  Smoothies are a sweet ending or a good accompaniment to a weekend brunch, as a way to get a couple servings of fruit in you, or just to cool off on a hot day.  Whatever your day brings you, I hope you have fun today or tonight and do something you wouldn’t normally do, something off the cuff and unexpected.  That way when you tell your kids/friends your story, you can officially say, “I did it once in a blue moon.”

Have a great weekend everyone!

Strawberry-Mango Smoothies (makes 2 smoothies)

  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup frozen mangoes
  • 1/2 cup mango nectar or fruit juice
  • 1 6-ounce carton fat-free strawberry yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for one minute until smooth.  Garnish with fresh strawberries or mango slices.

The ingredients:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for one minute until smooth.

Garnish with fresh strawberries or mangoes.

Strawberry-Chocolate Paninis

I’ve been on a little bit of a strawberry kick ever since one day last week when I went to this relatively new eatery in Philadelphia’s Suburban Station called Yoshi which sells – wait for it – yogurt and sushi. The thought of yogurt and sushi grosses out the majority of us but I finally got to a point where I just couldn’t listen to another person rave about the yogurt (not one word on how the individually wrapped sushi is selling) without trying it myself. I grabbed a co-worker and stepped into this vibrant little shop which offered several different kinds of non-fat yogurt (like vanilla, peach, cheesecake, chocolate, and mint) and all kinds of toppings. From Oreo cookies, gummy bears, and peanut butter chips to kiwi fruit, blueberries, and lychee, you can make your treat as good or as bad as you want. I was in a fruity mood so I chose peach yogurt with fresh slices of strawberries. I generally choose other berries to snack on over strawberries but that day, they seemed to go well with the peach frozen yogurt and the whole dessert was fresh, light and tasty. Now, I can’t get enough of those plump little berries.

Since then, I’ve been craving strawberries and bought a pint earlier this week that never seems to end. Looking around my kitchen and noticing some whole-wheat buns that I probably wouldn’t finish and a few ounces of cream cheese that I had nothing to eat with, I decided to make a Strawberry-Chocolate Paninis using my sweet, sweet strawberries as the star of the show. Cream cheese is spread on whole-wheat bread and topped with slices of fresh strawberries and semi-sweet chocolate chips before being smooshed and toasted in a panini press. The cream cheese provides the slightest bit of tang to balance out the sweetness from the strawberries and chocolate. Any kind of bread will do here (like sourdough or French) and dark chocolate could easily be substituted too. My ingredients below made two sandwiches but you can easily double everything to make more. This is a nice little dessert panini that’s perfect for when plain strawberries just won’t do the trick. I mean, who doesn’t like strawberries and chocolate?

Strawberry-Chocolate Paninis (makes 2 sandwiches)

  • 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns or any 4 slices of preferred bread
  • 4-6 medium sized strawberries
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, reduced-fat or regular, preferrably room temperature
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat a panini maker over medium-high heat. Spread 1 ounce of cream cheese onto the bottom sides of each bun. Layer strawberries slices over the cream cheese. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the strawberries. Top each with the remaining bun halves. Grill sandwiches in the panini press until golden on both sides (about 2-3 minutes). Halve sandwiches and serve.

The ingredients:

Spread 1 ounce of cream cheese onto the bottom sides of each bun.

Layer strawberries slices over the cream cheese. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the strawberries.

Top each with the remaining bun halves. Grill sandwiches in the panini press until golden on both sides (about 2-3 minutes).

Halve sandwiches and serve.

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