4th of July Recipe Ideas for Your Celebration!

fourth-of-july-picnic-table-1

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes the foods that come with certain celebrations leave a lot to be, well… celebrated.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good grass-fed, organic burger with all the trimmings like pasta and potato salads but what if you want something other than the usual sides?

How about a nice salad to start ? I have those!  Or another type of main dish? Yep, got those too!

And let’s not forget about dessert! Here, I’ve compiled some of my blog’s most popuar recipes in one post so you can have it all at your fingertips for your celebration. And one bonus recipe for a refreshing drink at the end of the post!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Salads:

Watermelon with Spinach, Argula and Pistachios Salad: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-fe

Spinach Salad with Chicken, Strawberries and Honey Mustard: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-eG

Kale Salad with Red Pepper Flakes and Parmesan: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-ep

Spinach Salad with Cayenne Chicken, Avocado, Pistachios and Pomegranate: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-be

Grilled Romaine with Avocado, Tomatoes and Green Goddess Dressinghttp://wp.me/p1yrfx-7x

Poppyseed Citrus Salad: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-44

Main Dishes Ideas:

Big- O Bacon Burgers with Coconut Pineapple “Rice”http://wp.me/p1yrfx-j6

Honey Orange BBQ Chicken:  http://wp.me/p1yrfx-7B

Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Red Pepper and Feta: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-dp

Smokey Chicken with Potatoes and Peppers with Lemon & Garlic:  http://wp.me/p1yrfx-9K (this can be made in a foil boat and put on the grill too.)

Side Dish Ideas: 

Summertime Pasta Salad: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-3M 

Corn Fritters: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-3W

Succotash: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-h0

Wild Rice Salad: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-7I

Creamed Cucumbers: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-g9

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-gW

Desserts:  

Grilled Peaches: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-7r

Lemon Cake with Lemon Glaze: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-gk

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice cream: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-fz

Strawberry Parfaits: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-8S

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-dw

Bonus Drink:

Watermelon Cooler: http://wp.me/p1yrfx-fk

Let me know if you decide to make any of these and if so, which ones made you see fireworks! LOL! ;)

Oooohhhh! Awwwwww!

happy-4th-of-july-2012-fireworks-flag-usa

 

Beef, Mushroom and Red Pepper Stir Fry Noodles

Beef, Mushrooms and Red Pepper Stir Fry Noodles

Beef, Mushrooms and Red Pepper Stir Fry Noodles

My husband took me to WholeFoods last night for date night (I know, I’m a weirdo… but I love that place!) and I found some brown rice noodles by Annie Chun I wanted to make for dinner sometime. It had this recipe on the back so I made it for dinner tonight.

My husband said it tasted like something we’ve had a P.F. Chang’s before and I have to agree. (Another place I love!) It was so tasty and much less salty than I thought it would taste. I omitted the leeks, because I used mine for another recipe and was out. Feel free to keep it in or leave it out. It was still fabulous without it. I hope you like it as much as we did!

Ingredients: 

1 package- Annie Chun’s Marifun Brown Rice Noodles, or any brand you like

1 Tbsp.- sesame oil

2 Tbsp. – peanut oil

3 cloves- garlic, minced

3/4 lb.- beef tenderloin, cut into strips, or buy stir-fry beef for ease

1- leek, white and light green parts, cleaned and cut up into slices

1 cup- mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1- red bell pepper, cleaned, seeded and cut into strips

3-5 Tbsp. – Teriyaki sauce

1/2 Cup- Soy Ginger Sauce, I used this kind.

Directions: 

Boil water for pasta noodles and bring to a rolling boil

Add pasta and cook for 2 minutes and drain.

Toss pasta with 1 Tbsp. sesame oil and set aside

In a skillet or wok, add 2 Tbsp. peanut oil and cook meat pieces for 5-6 minutes

Add your red peppers, mushrooms (and leeks if you use them.) Cook for approximately 5 minutes stirring constantly

Make sure your meat is fully cooked to your liking but make sure not to cook vegetables till mushy

Add Teriyaki sauce to your pasta and warm, tossing to mix (they tend to cool off quickly because they are so thin.)

Add your meat and vegetables to noodles and toss (or do as I did and keep both separate, like spaghetti with sauce…) Each person gets their noodles then tops with the amount of veggies and meat mixture they like.)

Top with soy ginger sauce.

Enjoy!

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze

This is a vegetable side dish that’s a staple in the Paleo lifestyle and it’s in the Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook. I had never made it till the other day and it was absolutely amazing! The original recipe in the book talks about broiling under high heat for only a few minutes, but I was using my oven to make chicken at that same time so I just baked it till the prosciutto was crisp and for this reason my cooking time varies greatly from the original in the cookbook.

I tried to eyeball it as much as possible through the glass of the oven due to the delicate tips of the asparagus but I set off the smoke alarm anyway around the 25 minute mark (give or take a few minutes). I took it out and it was perfect with just a slight browning to some of the tips that was emitting a small amount of smoke. (I must have a really sensitive smoke alarm…lol!) The finished product had the perfect texture; a slight snap to the asparagus and a crispy prosciutto. YUM!

Ingredients: 

1- bunch of asparagus, cut off 2 inches at bottom, rinse and dry

2- packages of prosciutto, depending on the amount of asparagus you’re making. (I only had one package and it wasn’t enough and some of them remained unwrapped.)

Avocado oil, drizzled on top of asparagus (you can use any oil you have on hand; olive, ghee, etc.)

Salt, very small amount because the meat is salty on its own.

Balsamic glaze. (I use this kind.)

Directions: 

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Lay dried asparagus in a dish and drizzle with some oil

Lightly salt

Open package of prosciutto and cut each piece in half, or thirds depending on size of piece

Roll each piece of meat up along each asparagus piece and put back in the oven-proof dish.

Place in oven for approximately 25 minutes or until your smoke alarm goes off. ;)

When done drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Enjoy!

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

Sometimes I just want breakfast for dinner, but instead of plain ole eggs n bacon, I made these. Thanks to Pinterest for the never ending ideas when I am plumb out of them.

Super easy, really tasty and good for you too. Hope you like them as much as we did.

Ingredients:

4- eggs

1- leek, cleaned, using white and light green parts, sliced into thin pieces

1 – pat of butter

1 – Tablespoon Olive Oil

1- carton (approx. 1 lb.) cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1/4 cup- red cooking wine

1- Tablespoon soy sauce

1- carton (5 oz.)- organic spinach, washed and patted dry

Salt & Pepper to taste

Toast for dipping, if you like.

Directions: 

In a skillet add 1 Tablespoon olive oil on medium heat

Add cleaned and cut up leeks and saute’ for several minutes.

When leeks are softened, add pat of butter and cleaned and sliced mushrooms.

Add your red wine and soy sauce

Cook until the mushrooms are reduced and soft.

Add spinach (I had to add a few Tablespoons of water at this point to get it to wilt down.) Stir till spinach is incorporated and wilted throughout.

Turn off heat and divide mixture into fours

Spoon into 4 greased ramekins (use butter, spray or oil of your choice)

With spoon make a deep center for the egg to lay

Crack open each egg into a separate small dish then gently lay it on top of the mixture

Put on a cookie sheet or any kind of pan and bake at 350 for 16 minutes. (Longer if you don’t like runny eggs.)

Note: Original recipe suggested 10-12 minutes, I tried this and they were snotty, no thank you. Allow them to sit for 2 minutes once removed from the oven for the eggs to set. At 16 minutes ours were perfect for dipping with fully cooked whites.

Make with toast and bacon and you have a tasty brunch or dinner.

Leeks n Shrooms

Leeks n Shrooms in olive oil

Add wine and soy sauce

Add wine and soy sauce

Add Spinach

Add Spinach, continue to stir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divide among ramekins

Divide among ramekins

Divide among ramekins and top each with an egg

Divide among ramekins and top each with an egg

Eggs done

Bake at 350 for 16 minutes. Eggs done!

Cheesy Broccoli Bites

Cheddar Broccoli BitesLight, crunchy and healthy for you, but a bit bland. Great for a healthy snack idea, appetizer or for a side dish to dinner. Add other seasonings that you may like and/or add hot sauce. Easy peezy!

Ingredients:

1 large head- broccoli

3- eggs

1 cup- Italian seasoned bread crumbs, (I was out and used Panko instead, so that’s probably why it was a bit on the bland side too.)

1 and 1/2 cups- cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper – to taste

(Other spices you may like- perhaps, garlic, onion, chives?) Live on the edge.

Oil – of your choice to fry them. I used olive oil.

Directions: 

Cut up and wash your broccoli and pulse in a food processor until pieces are small

Add to a large bowl

Add your other ingredients and mix well with your hands

Make patties and fry in a hot skillet with oil until brown and crunchy.

Another Pinterest find.

 

Pasta e Fajioli

Pasta e Fajioli Two days ago when I made this it was 51 degrees with a brisk, chilly wind and was a good day for a thick, hearty soup. Today, (two days later…), it’s 86 degrees with high humidity. Ugh! Yes, this is Ohio where the saying is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.”

If you’re like me and like soup anytime, this is like Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fajioli. It’s great paired with warm crusty bread or corn bread. Thanks for Pinterest for the recipe which was linked to this blog.

P.S.- Her recipe is for the crock pot, mine is for the stove top. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. – mild sausage, casing removed, browned

1/2 lb. – lean, organic ground beef, browned. (Note: I didn’t have to drain my skillet because my meats were lean. If there is a lot of grease in the bottom of the skillet, then drain before adding to the rest of the ingredients.)

1- green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small pieces

1 – 15 ounce can- kidney beans

1- 15 ounce can- white beans

1- small can- corn, with juice

1- 15 ounce- can stewed tomatoes

1 can- heart healthy tomato soup with 1 can full of water

1 teaspoon- garlic powder

1 teaspoon- celery salt

1 teaspoon- basil

1 teaspoon- oregano

1 teaspoon- thyme

1 Tablespoon- Worcestershire sauce

1/2 box of small shells, dried pasta

Directions: 

Boil a pot of water for your noodles and prepare according to box instructions. (Boil noodles aldente so any re-warming of leftovers won’t result in mushy pasta.)

Brown your meats in a skillet and drain if needed.

Transfer meat to large soup stock pot when done cooking, add all other ingredients (except noodles)

(Drain and rinse both types beans with water and leave liquid in your corn.)

Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer. At this point it’s done and you can add your pasta or keep it on the side to cover with the soup.

I like extra noodles so I made a half a box, putting some in the “soup” and left some out to just add on top. You do what you want. Texture can be like soup if extra liquid is added or a thick stew or chili. You make it your own and can add more or less spices and/or vegetables to your liking. This makes one full soup stock pot. There’s two of us and we have leftovers.

My tip: Re-warm any leftovers with V8 juice. Voila! ;)

 

 

 

Chocolate Cake with ButterCream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with ButterCream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with ButterCream Frosting

Today is my husband’s birthday. My husband’s favorite thing ever? Chocolate. Enter left: The Best Chocolate Cake, ever. Thank you Pinterest for the idea and the blog Add a Pinch for the recipe.

Seriously. If you need a cake for a birthday for someone who loooooves chocolate, this is it. Rich, decadent, chocolatey heaven on a plate. The cake is moist, the icing is light. And with my hack of adding Starbuck’s Dark Roast Instant Coffee, in place of the espresso powder, it’s over the top robust.

My husband said it tasted like something he would order in a restaurant and I agree. However, in a restaurant, we would have split a piece. (Splitting a piece for me means a few bites and that’s it, I’m so glad I don’t eat like this on a regular basis.) But, here at home, I “almost” ate a whole piece and to be honest, that was way too much. I feel terrible right now and am crashing from the sugar buzz… Thank goodness my hubby is taking the rest of it to work tomorrow for his co-workers to enjoy. Hope you like it as much as we did. Note: Highly recommend cutting small pieces if you make this. Go back for seconds if you dare.

Ingredients: 

2 cups- flour

2 cups-  organic sugar

3/4 cup- unsweetened cocoa (I used Ghiaradelli Cocoa Powder)

2- teaspoons- baking powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoons – baking soda

1 – teaspoon salt

1 – teaspoon espresso powder (Note: I looked everywhere within my small town to find this with no luck. I googled a hack and found that I could substitute a dark roast instant coffee in place of it since espresso powder is hard to find. So, I went to our Starbuck’s and got an Instant Italian Dark Roast that worked perfectly.)

1 cup – milk ( I used coconut milk)

1/2 cup- vegetable oil

2- eggs

2 teaspoons- vanilla extract (I used the pure Madagascar stuff) – yum!

1 cup – boiling water

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your 2 – 9 inch round pans with cooking spray then flour lightly.

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder (or instant coffee) and salt to a large bowl. Mix with a spoon.

Add your wet ingredients: Oil, eggs, milk, vanilla and beat on medium till well blended. Add your boiling water and continue to beat until smooth.

Pour batter evenly between the two round pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes or longer.

Frost with your Butter Cream Frosting. (See recipe below)

Butter Cream Frosting:

1 and 1/2 cup – butter (yeah… I can hear myself getting fatter… lol!)

1 cup – unsweetened cocoa

5 cups – confectioner’s sugar (Oy!)

1/2- cup milk ( I used coconut milk)

2 teaspoons – vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon – espresso powder (or instant coffee)

Directions:

Cream together butter and cocoa in a large bowl by hand

Then add sugar one cup at a time with 1 Tbsp. of milk and mix till smooth and beat with a hand mixer. Repeat with the next cup and the next cup and the next… till the milk and sugar are gone and mixed together well.

Add vanilla and espresso or instant coffee. Mix well.

If frosting is dry, add more milk a little at a time. If it’s too wet, add more sugar a tsp. at a time till it’s easy to work with.

Happy Birthday Honey! Tomorrow, we start juicing! LOL! :)

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!

 

Enjoy your ketoacidosis!

Enjoy your ketoacidosis!