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Recipe: Grilled Steak with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa (GF)

I love avocados and can pretty much eat them with anything. Breakfast often consists of avocado toast or eggs with avocado on the side. At lunchtime, they’re almost always on my salad or I’ll fill the avocado with tuna salad or something. And dinner…well, this is a great salsa to make as a topping for almost any grilled meat or fish.

One particular evening last week, I grilled a steak and topped it with this  salsa – a refreshing blend of avocado, cucumber, scallion and cilantro, dressed in a lime vinaigrette.

This salsa is so good on its own that, the next day, I had it with tortilla chips – kind of like a chunky guacamole. But be warned…it’s totally addictive!?

Now, go fire up that grill…

Buon Appetit,

Karen

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Grilled Steak with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to high.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, cucumber, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lime juice. Set aside.
  3. Rub the steak with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Grill steak over high heat for approximately 4 minutes per side (for medium rare).
  4. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice.
  5. Spoon the avocado salsa over top and serve.

Recipe Notes

Serves 4.

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Weekly Wellegant Find: Balsamic Glaze

For me, the presentation of the food I’m eating is almost as important as the taste. I get excited about food that looks beautiful on the plate (and despite a total lack of scientific proof, I maintain that it actually does make the food taste better!?). Presentation can be enhanced in a number of ways – lovely plates/serving pieces, garnishes, and my personal favorite…the balsamic glaze.

You know when you’re in a restaurant and the outside of the dinner plate is drizzled with a dark syrup? That’s a balsamic glaze, which is nothing more than balsamic vinegar that’s been reduced down to a syrup. It’s sweet and tangy and lends just the right pop of flavor to the dish. Not to mention, it looks SO pretty!

In the summertime, I love to drizzle a balsamic glaze over grilled meats, veggies and even fruit (it’s especially divine with strawberries and peaches!). There are several brands that can usually be found in the vinegar section of the supermarket. If all else fails, Amazon stocks it, as well. Here’s one that I like a lot. I hope you enjoy!

 

Buon Appetit,

Karen

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Recipe: Potato Salad with Radishes and Capers in a Dijon Vinaigrette (GF)

Potato Salad is one of those “old standby recipes” that has been adapted in a million ways over the years. The traditional version, loaded with mayonnaise, while tasty, just doesn’t appeal to many people, as it’s heavy and laden with fat. Those who prefer to eat lighter, are often drawn to recipes such as this one which replaces the rich mayonnaise with a tangy vinaigrette and brightens up the flavor and texture a bit.

While we continue to enjoy potatoes in a cold salad, this recipe, unlike the more traditional one, provides a lot of freshness, flavor and crunch, through the addition of crisp and peppery radishes, bright parsley leaves, salty capers and the “pop” of a quality Dijon mustard.

For a lighter alternative to traditional potato salad, try this version at your next picnic or grill-fest. I have a feeling you’ll never go back!

Buon Appetit!

Karen

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Potato Salad with Radishes and Capers in a Dijon Vinaigrette

Potato Salad is one of those “old standby recipes” that has been adapted in a million ways over the years. The traditional version, loaded with mayonnaise, while tasty, just doesn’t appeal to many people, as it’s heavy and laden with fat. Those who prefer to eat lighter, are often drawn to recipes such as this one which replaces the rich mayonnaise with a tangy vinaigrette and brightens up the flavor and texture a bit.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes I used the smaller, fingerling ones, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 radishes thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a pot, place potatoes and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 8 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, Dijon mustard and lemon juice.
  3. Once potatoes are cool, lay them onto a platter and pour half of the dressing over them (they will absorb the dressing rather quickly). Top the potatoes with the radishes and parsley leaves, then pour the remaining dressing over top.
  4. Finish by adding a sprinkling of the capers, If desired, salt and pepper may be added, to taste.

Recipe Notes

Serves 4-6.

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Recipe: Strawberry Clafoutis

Clafoutis (pronounced kläfo͞oˈtē) is a tart made of fruit that’s baked in a batter. It isn’t quite a cake and it isn’t quite a custard, but something in between the two. And it’s fabulous!

Since strawberries are in season and super delicious right now, I decided to make a Strawberry Clafoutis. Because the berries are so sweet, very little sugar is needed and, as the juicy, red berries bubbled over in the oven, I couldn’t help but think that this dish looks just as wonderful and decadent as it tastes.

Give it a try, while the berries are in season. You will not be disappointed!

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Strawberry Clafoutis

Clafoutis (pronounced kläfo͞oˈtē) is a tart made of fruit that’s baked in a batter. It isn’t quite a cake and it isn’t quite a custard, but something in between the two. And it’s fabulous, especially when made with ripe and juicy strawberries!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free flour may be used)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


  2. Place 4 individual baking dishes (1-2 inches deep) on a large baking sheet and spray the dishes with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  3. In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with 1 tsp. sugar and set aside.

  4. In another bowl, whisk the remaining sugar, flour and salt. Add eggs and whisk to combine. Add sour cream, melted butter and orange zest and continue to whisk.

  5. Divide the berries among the 4 baking dishes. Top with equal portions of the batter.

  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and just starting to brown.

  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Serves 4.

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Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup (GF)

So, you might be wondering why I’m posting a recipe for soup at the beginning of June. Yes, it’s a bit unseasonal, but if you live on Long Island you’ll understand exactly why, as the weather has been cold, rainy and altogether dreary for the last couple of weeks.

I know that summer is on its way. Occasionally, we’ve had a tiny glimpse of it (very occasionally and a very tiny glimpse!?), but the truth is…the weather has been more conducive to soups than to salads, grilling and dining outside.

So, that’s exactly what I made this past week…soup. Chicken Tortilla Soup to be exact. It was a new dish in which I tried to replicate the flavors of a chicken enchilada (minus all of the heavy sauce and cheeses). I was inspired by a recipe in the cookbook, The New Slow Cooker by Brigit Binns.The broth is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic and various Tex-mex spices. The chicken thighs are so tender they practically fall apart and the whole, hearty bowl is topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

My kids also topped their soup with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of broken up tortilla chips. We all absolutely loved it and the best part is, this soup is cooked in the slow cooker. Which means that when you come home at the end of the day, it’s ready and waiting for you!

Here’s the recipe in case you, too, feel the need to cozy up with something warm and comforting these days.

Buon Appetit,

Karen

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 (15 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes

1 yellow onion, rough chopped

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (OPTIONAL)

5 ½ cups of chicken stock (homemade or store bought) LINK

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (approximately 8 thighs)

2 limes

1 tsp. Red wine vinegar

1 tsp. Ground cumin

3 bay leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 c. Frozen corn kernels

2 small avocados, diced

2 Tbsp. Cilantro, coarsely chopped

Sour cream (OPTIONAL, for garnish)

Tortilla chips (OPTIONAL, for garnish)

In the blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic and one cup of chicken broth and process until smooth.Then, pour into the slow cooker.

Add the chicken thighs, the remaining chicken broth, the juice of 1 lime, the vinegar, cumin, bay leaves, ¾ tsp. Salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Cover and cook on the low setting for at least 5 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving, remove the chicken and shred the meat. Skim any fat from the soup (there shouldn’t be much, as the chicken thighs are skinless). Return the chicken to the pot and add the corn. Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and discard. Cut the remaining lime into wedges. Ladle the soup into bowls, squeeze a wedge of lime over top and garnish each bowl with some chopped avocados, cilantro, sour cream and/or tortilla chips.

Serves 6-8.

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

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Recipe: Frutti di Mare on the Grill

In my family, this dish is absolutely synonymous with summer! It’s a recipe that a friend shared with me years ago and I make it almost every time I entertain a crowd during the summer months. For one thing, it’s outrageously delicious and for another, it’s something that you can prep ahead of time, making it the perfect, no-fuss party food.

Mussels, clams, shrimp, garlic, shallots, grape tomatoes, lemon and fresh herbs – it’s a seafood lovers’ dream! Put all of the ingredients in a large aluminum roasting pan, cover it with foil and let the entire thing steam on the grill. In minutes, you’ve got a wonderful hot seafood appetizer OR an incredible seafood sauce that can be served over linguini. Take your pick – both are show stoppers!

My preference is to serve it as a hot appetizer with loaves of crusty bread for dipping in the tasty broth that develops when the seafood and veggies steam down. It makes a huge amount, but don’t expect to have any leftovers. I’ve been making this for years and guests always devour every last morsel. And they almost always leave with the recipe, determined to make it themselves.

Enjoy this little bit of summer on a plate! And please remember to post photos and tag me on Instagram. I love to see your creations!

xo,

Karen

Frutti di Mare on the Grill


2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
2 lbs. clams, cleaned
16-24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 shallots, sliced thinly
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 lemons, sliced
1 Tbsp. salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil

Preheat the grill until hot.

Place seafood in a large, aluminum pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, white wine, shallots, salt and pepper. Pour over the seafood. Top seafood with the grape tomatoes, lemon slices and fresh herbs, then cover with aluminum foil. Place the pan onto the grill and allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes (or until the mussels and clams open and the shrimp turn pink), stirring occasionally. Remove pan from grill and serve.

Serves 10-12.

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Recipe: Sweet and Sour Cabbage

How gorgeous is this dish? In my humble opinion, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage rocks! The flavor is incredible; it pairs well with just about any type of grilled or roasted meat; it’s purple color brings any plate to life; it’s chock full of antioxidants and phytonutrients (you know how awesome those cruciferous veggies are!). Oh, and it’s extremely easy to prepare. It truly is a culinary home run!

Here’s my mom’s recipe, which I had forgotten about until quite recently. A few weeks ago, I roasted a pork tenderloin and served them together. It was pretty fabulous and, since then, I’ve made it several times and paired it with beef and chicken, as well.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish that’s a little different from the usual suspects, give it a shot and please be sure to let me know how it turns out.

Buon Appetit!

Karen

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

2 Tbsp. butter

5 cups of thinly sliced or shredded red cabbage

⅓ c. Apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. Water

2 tsp. Salt

¼ cup of sugar (I prefer not to use sugar, so I use ¼ teaspoon Stevia instead)

¼ tsp. Ground black pepper

Place butter, cabbage and sweetener in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add vinegar and water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.

Serves 6-8.

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

Wellegant™ Mind, Body, Life: Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul

It contains my best healthy living tips, recipes and other resources to help you live your most Wellegant life. Enjoy!