Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pasta Salad

So the days have finally gotten warm in Toronto, so when I ask "what do you want for dinner" I get "I dunno ... something cool and easy". Well, it is always easy if you don't fix it, but that is another story. Anyway, this pasta salad was so easy and so good.

I started with about a pound bag of spiral pasta ... egg free and whole wheat. Cook to the directions.
Once cooked run it under cold water to stop it from cooking more ... don't over cook it!
Next I added some bite sized broccoli pieces, some sweet red bell pepper cut into small pieces, a large jar of artichoke hearts with the seasoned oil they come in, a can of mixed been salad (these are for protein but so yummy), a couple green onions (or scallions) chopped up, some roasted red bell peppers in oil cut into strips, some sun dried tomatoes cut up and some whole sweet grape tomatoes. The topper was to pour over a bottle of Newman's Own Balsamic Dressing ... add salt and pepper and baby you got a meal! You could also add some toasted almonds, cashews or pine nuts for even more protein, but if all the salad isn't eaten they will go soft on you.

We are still eating it. It grows in the bowl.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chocolate Banana and Peanut Butter Shakes!

So one thing I missed immediately was the decadence of rich, smooth milkshake! Not anymore!!! I call this my Elvis shake because of the peanut butter banana element. You can leave the peanut butter out too if you want.

I took a bunch of ripe bananas that were sitting on my kitchen island and sliced them up, dropped them in a freezer proof baggie and popped them in the freezer. When I want a shake, I pull them out, drop a decent amount in the blender, add a scoop or two of peanut butter and then add enough chocolate almond milk to cover it, blend, pour and drink! This is so good and definitely hit that spot that felt kind of empty. You won't lose weight on this one, but it sure tastes good on a warm summer day!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

EASY Golden Chickpea and Artichoke Salad

I love the easy part of this .... so simple.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and brown a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the oil for about 8 - 10 minutes until they are nice and golden brown in color. How hard is that ... really? Remove and place in a decent sized bowl.

Next you take a small jar of artichoke hearts and slice them up breaking them up a bit ... add them to a little more oil in the same pan and saute until browned on the edges. Remove from heat and add to the beans.

Take about one third cup of toasted almonds (I used whole raw almonds that I toasted in the pan before the beans without oil) and grind them in a food processor, blender or by hand (not to a flour consistency, but kind of like crushed nuts). Add to the bean and artichoke mixture and stir to combine.

Take a couple of tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped fairly fine and mix it into the mixture. Add more if you want more of that Mediterranean taste.

Squeeze one lemon over the salad mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill and enjoy.

This was so easy and absolutely delicious. You get extra protein from the almonds, so it can be a one dish meal or you can use it as a side dish. I considered adding more olive oil, but it really didn't need it. Some chopped sweet red pepper or even some red pepper flakes might be interesting too.

I need to learn the Japanese equivalent of "eat up and be healthy" LOL!!!!!