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Caprese Salad

16 Sep

Caprese SaladMy family is Greek and Italian, therefore Mediterranean flavors are in our blood. The specific ingredient that my clan can’t get enough of is the modest tomato.

My dad is a huge tomato gardener, and has spent the past 22 years (that’s only as long as I can vouch for) perfecting the heavenly fruit — remember, tomatoes are fruits not vegetables.

I vote his Cherokee purple heirlooms best in show, but all of his varieties are delicious. So delicious, in fact, that cooking them down into a sauce or smothering them over a pizza is a waste. The only way to truly understand the perfection known as my father’s tomatoes is to enjoy them in simple form.

I’m partial to housing them down with just a sprinkle of salt, but here’s a recipe that everyone can love (even if you don’t have access to my father’s tomatoes — although he does handout seedling like frozen yogurt samples).

Caprese Salad

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Broiled Italian Flank Steak

10 May

SteakTopThis week, I took on the flank steak challenge. Well, it’s not so much of a challenge, more like me buying flank steak and having no idea what to do with it.

Luckily, I took some advice from my flank steak-loving roommate and turned a tough piece of meat into a juicy and delicious dinner.

Broiled Italian Flank Steak

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 1.5 pounds of flank steak
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • cooking spray

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Quick Dinner: Baked Potato

9 Apr
Broccoli, carrots, black olives

Broccoli, carrots, black olives

One of my favorite dinners growing up was my mom’s famous baked potato bar. My siblings and I would come home from school and load up our personal potatoes with vegetables, cheese and sour cream.

Looking back, I realize my mom probably used this dinner as a way to get us to eat more vegetables, but it was still my favorite.

Even now, I make myself baked potatoes at least once a month for dinner. The great part about them is that they are super quick and only require a microwave. What college student wouldn’t like that?Baked Potato Ingredients

Baked Potato Ingredients: (Serves 1)

  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1/8 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/8 cup cut carrots
  • 1/8 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/8 cup cabbage slaw
  • 1/8 cup grated cheese (any available)
  • 1/8 cup mini-pepperoni
  • 1 dollop sour cream (or non-fat Greek yogurt)

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Refrigerator Clearing Dinners: Roasted Chicken

10 Mar
Roasted chicken

Roasted chicken

As a full-time college student, track runner and part-time blogger, I don’t always have time to go to the supermarket. Some weeks, it’s just not in the cards, but that doesn’t mean I resort to eating frozen dinners. Even when there seems like there’s nothing in the pantry, there’s always something to make.

This week, I lucked out because my non-cooking roommate’s mom gave us a whole roasted chicken. Obviously, my non-cooking roommate does not cook, so it was up to me to figure out how to make two great dinners with one roasted chicken and a half-full refrigerator and pantry.

It was basically like Iron Chef, except I had no idea what I was doing.

After taking inventory of my food supplies, I came up with two easy, no-cook dinners. They both highlight roasted chicken and are stuffed with every ingredient that wasn’t nailed to my refrigerator.

Whatever You’ve Got Chicken Caesar Salad

Traditional Caesar salad consists of romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing. It’s simple and always a favorite. I love the standard mix, but to make it a satisfying dinner, I bumped it up by adding chicken, spinach, cabbage, blueberries and almonds. This is a hearty salad, so it only benefits by adding whatever you have in the fridge. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

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Quick Dinner: Vegetable Tofu Stir-Fry

4 Mar

For 18 years, tofu scared me. My mom would try to get me to eat it, but it always tasted like printer paper and the texture fell somewhere between a sun-baked gummy bear and solidified glue. I would watch my brother down Tex-Mex flavored hunks of the stuff, but it never appealed to me. That is, until I tried it in a stir-fry.

Over my years of forced tofu tasting, I’ve learned that tofu only tastes as good as the rest of the dish it’s in. That’s why I happen to like the stuff when it’s smothered in stir-fry sauce. If you too are a tofu un-enthusiast, here’s a great dish to get your feet into the tofu pool.

Vegetable Tofu Stir-Fry Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry

Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry

  • Tofu (Extra firm)
  • Frozen bag of stir fry vegetables
  • Stir-fry sauce (My favorite is Kikkoman)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • Garlic (Diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Step 1: Cut tofu into bite sized cubes. In a pan, add sesame oil and garlic heat on medium-low heat. Add tofu. Cook until flavors are absorbed and tofu begins to brown. Take tofu out of pan and place aside.

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