My Well-Loved Recipes
just a little something
to begin your week.
During the long winter in Chicago, I decided to organize my recipes. Too many hours later, I now have a recipe scrapbook of sorts, complete with plastic sheet protectors and dividers labeled with each type of food. I have to say, it is rewarding for me to look in my binder and actually find the recipes that I am looking for!
I was flipping through my recipe book the other day and the the thought dawned on me that I should share some of my well-loved, healthy recipes. If you’re like me, I love to hear what recipes are fool-proof- family-favorites. Oftentimes I become overwhelmed when I look in a cookbook or on the internet because they are so many and what I really want to know is: Is this going to be worth all of the preparation?! So today I thought I would share a few of my go-to, well-loved recipes. This post does not include the ones I already shared in this blog post or several others that I will post some other time. I’d love for you to share yours too!
Maria’s Famous Avocado Taco Dip
[I received this one from a recipe exchange when I taught at Mason. Maria, I have never told you how much I enjoy this one; thank you so much for sharing and giving me a great dish to make for company on summer evenings!]
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 head of lettuce (I chop up spinach instead.)
- 8 oz. package of cream cheese (I get mine from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.)
- 1 small jar of taco sauce
- 1 large, ripe tomato
- 1 bag of chips
- In a large mixing bowl, mix avocado and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
- Spread mixture on a dinner plate.
- Pour taco sauce over avocado mixture and spread evenly.
- Chop or shred lettuce and sprinkle on top of taco sauce.
- Sprinkle chopped tomato over lettuce.
- Add a dash of salt to the top!
Bean and Corn Salsa
[This was served at my dear friend Bonnie's house for a party several years ago. It has been well-loved in my recipe repertoire ever since! Thanks, Bon!]
- 2 cans of corn (drained)*
- 2 cans of black beans (drained)*
- 2-3 cans of Rotelle (or other seasoned diced tomatoes) (drained)*
- 1 can olives (sliced) (I often leave this out because we are not huge olive fans.)
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 3 peppers of each color (chopped)
- Italian salad dressing**
- Stir all together and add 1/2 bottle of Italian salad dressing.
- Optional: Add juice from 1 lime, garlic salt, cilantro and cajun seasoning.
*I have been reading that there is BPA in the lining of cans so I have begun to be more careful with canned goods, especially tomato products because the acidity mixes with the BPA. I haven’t found a good alternative yet (other than cooking my beans myself) but will post when I do. If you have found a good solution, please share!
**I have also been more careful about buying salad dressings because there are many needless ingredients in them. Another recipe I have for a similar salsa adds 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
[I know, I know: when you hear Brussels Sprouts you immediately get a bad taste in your mouth. I used to too. But I was determined to find a way to like these antioxidant-packed vegetables and I found a way that makes them one of Jared's and my favorite foods. Hope you enjoy too!]
- bag of Brussels Sprouts (I found them at Costco until they suddenly went missing a few weeks ago! Thankfully Trader Joe’s carries them too.)
- 2-ish tablespoons of Olive Oil (honestly, I don’t measure it but just sprinkle it on the top before cooking!)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash Brussels Sprouts and chop off ends. Cut in half and place on jelly roll pan.
- Add walnuts to the pan next.
- Sprinkle olive oil and garlic over Brussels Sprouts and walnuts. Stir and coat evenly.
- Place in oven at 375 for 30 minutes or until golden. (Watch that the leaves don’t burn!)
- Serve and enjoy!
Roasted Summer Vegetables:
[I made this recipe a long time ago and then forgot about it until I made it for my parents when they were visiting recently. The roasting brings out the wonderful flavors of the vegetables and it's a perfect way to use the freshly-picked garden vegetables!]
- 1 zucchini (sliced)
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 1 cup of broccoli (cut into 1 inch size)
- 1 cup carrots (cut into 1/8 thick)
- 1 red bell pepper (sliced into 1/2 strips)
- olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- pinch of oregano or basil leaves
- Combine the vegetables into a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and oregano or basil.
- Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake at 425 for 6 minutes and then flip the vegetables to roast on other sides for 5 minutes. Watch carefully that they do not burn.
Grilled Portobellos with Mozzarella Salad:
[When I was visiting my dear friend, Becky, she let me look through her Taste of Home magazines to snag some recipes. I got this one from there and have loved serving it in the summer months. I am proud to say that my husband even likes the portobellos in place of meat...well, for one meal a week but it's a start!]
- 2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (cubed) (I get mine from Trader Joe’s.)
- 3 fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 large fresh portobello mushrooms (4 to 4-1/2 inches), stems removed (Costco now carries these!)
- In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; cover and chill until serving.
- Sprinkle olive oil on mushrooms.
- Grill mushrooms, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until tender.
- Spoon 1/2 cup tomato mixture into each mushroom cap.
Delicious Portobello Mushroom Marinade:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot (oftentimes I skip this because I don’t have it when preparing.)
- 1 garlic clove
- Lightly wet a paper towel and wipe off mushrooms. (Never run under water.)
- Mix all ingredients together and spoon over mushrooms.
- Grill for 4 minutes each side or 425 in oven, 7 minutes each side.
Mahi-Mahi with Black Bean and Avocado Salsa
[I haven't made this recipe this summer yet so I think I will make it tonight! It's light and fresh!]
- 1 lb frozen, skinless Mahi-Mahi fillets (I buy mine from Costco.)
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro and oregano
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded lime peel
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/4 bottled hot pepper sauce
- 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 medium avocado (halved, seeded, peeled, chopped)
- In small bowl, combine cilantro, oregano, lime peel, lime juice, oil, garlic, and hot sauce.
- For relish, in a medium bowl combine drained beans and avocado. Stir in 1/2 cilantro mixture. Cover and chill.
- Sprinkle thawed fish lightly with salt and pepper. Brush remaining cilantro mixture over fish.
- Grill on greased rack on uncovered grill over medium heat for 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness (or until fish flakes easily), carefully turning half way through grilling.
- Cut fish into serving-size portions. Divide 3/4 of relish among four dinner plates. Arrange fish on top of relish. Serve.
As I mentioned above, I would love for you to share your well-loved recipes in the comment section below. It can be our own little recipe exchange! Happy Cooking!