Grilled Ciabatta with Veggies, Avocado and Fresh Mozzarella Quite Possibly the Best Sandwich Ever!

sandwich

It all starts with the bread.

With bread this amazing you really can’t make a bad sandwich.

032grilled cibatta bread

Ciabatta sliced in half and drizzeled with olive oil is placed under the broiler until golden.

009frozen veggies

I opened up a bag of frozen veggies and sauteed until soft.

020srirancha

The secret sauce makes this fantastic!

021mayo

We discovered this at our favorite restaurant in town and the waitress was gracious enough to share the recipe with us!

017spicy mayo

And now we eat it on everything!

024avocado

Avocado makes this creamy and delicious

028ciabatta bread

The ciabatta bread is mana from heaven!

029ciabatta bread

Toast it just right with lots of good olive oil.

Add some balsamic vinegar.

034fresh mozz slices

I loaded this sandwich with fresh mozzarella….

040veggies on sandwich

Lots of veggies…..

048sandwich

The secret sauce…..

051sandwich with sauce

And lots of love!

054one big sandwich

Enjoy!

  

Easy and Elegant Al Fresco Dining! Quinoa Salad, Avocados and Salmon!

salmon al fresco

What do you do when unexpected guests, a limited budget and a lack time conspire to put a wrench into an otherwise beautiful summer evening?

039dinner al fresco

I had the quinoa, an avocado, some olives and cheese and the chocolate sauce!

The grocery was about to close in 10 minutes!

I ran in without a plan. Went straight to the “fish area”; I needed something fancy that would cook fast and go well with the quinoa salad I had just decided to make.

I bought the salmon; Wild Norwegian Salmon which is thick and moist which for me means easy cooking and a juicy dinner.

034dinner al fresco

I chopped the avocado and put together a deconstructed salad on a cute plate with some olives and feta cheese.

054salmon and quinoa

A handful of fresh veggies get chopped and go into the cooked quinoa with olive oil and lime juice.

047salmon al fresco

I broiled the salmon with crushed garlic and some olive oil and lemon.

A quick toss of the quinoa and veggies and plate it up! 20 minutes! Quick and Fancy!

045salmon al fresco

I bought a quart of coconut ice cream and blackberries and topped it off with chocolate syrup.

coconut ice cream with chocoltae sauce and blackberries

I was almost embarrassed by how impressed everyone was but happily took the credit!

058coconut ice cream with blackberries and chocolate sauce

  

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomatoes, Scallions, Cilantro and Lime!

030quinoa salad bowl

We love quinoa!

It is a great alternative to pasta in that it delivers the same creamy, chewy, texture but is high in protien. A complete protien, as a matter of fact.

Aside from it’s nutrtious profile it is delicious and versatile.

We love this salad!

It is a power packed meal that delivers flavor and energy for very little expense.

Get creative and use your favorite fresh ingredients to create your own quinoa delights!

022lime

I used lots of lime in this dish. It compliments the cilantro and brightens the tomatoes.

014Quinoa salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water
5 scallions
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 roasted red pepper
1 cup black beans ( canned are fine )
1 cup corn
1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
2 Tbspn olive oil
1-2 limes

Method

Boil the quinoa. 10-15 minutes

Set aside and chop all the veggies

combine and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sqeeze lots of lime on the salad!

019quinoa salad

I mix the fresh veggies in when the quinoa is still a bit warm; it seems to bring all the flavors to their peak yet not cook them at all.

021quinoa salad lime

There is always room for more lime!

025quinoa salad

Garnish with avocado for an even richer flavor!

  

Crab Ceviche with Lotus Chips, Mango and Roasted Red Pepper Puree!

001crab ceviche

Tartine Bistro never fails to impress. And the wine list has a life of it’s own; getting better all the time!

Crab ceviche with avocado, roasted pepper puree, mango, lotus chips.

This was amazing and the best part were the lotus chips! So easy and light and crispy.

These are a new favorite.

This fresh and light appetizer was fantastic with a Monterey red by Muirwood.

Avocado adds a creamy, rich texture and buttery flavor. Absolutely delicious.

009ceviche with chips

Grilled pita with chipotle hummus, cucumber yogurt, tomato-olive tapenade.

005hummus tapenade tzaziki

Ingredients

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup drained capers
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

008tapenade with sun dried tomato

Ingredients

1 pound lotus roots, peeled
Peanut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Directions

Using a mandoline or other mechanical slicer, slice the lotus into very thin rounds. Soak in a large bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration and to remove excess starch.

In a large heavy pot, heat enough vegetable oil to come halfway up the sides of the pan to 350 degrees F.

Drain the lotus completely and pat dry with paper towels. Add in batches to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on paper towels. The chips will crisp as they cool; serve at room temperature.

010chips on ceviche

  

Sardines! The New “It” Food. But how to make them Sexy!?

047sardines and avocado with brown mustard dressing on arugula PD

With more omega 3 than salmon, vitamin D and coenzyme Q, there is no denying the health benefits of sardines.

I am just trying to make them more appealing!

I can and do eat them out of the can, with mustard on toast, I’ve eaten them out of tubes and from tins of “paste”.

But I realize that most people won’t do this. And even I want to sit down and enjoy my healthy food with a little romance and the beauty of the presentation!

I threw together a brown mustard/olive oil dressing and mixed it with arugula and added 1/2 a sliced avocado to 1 can of water packed sardines and add a sqeeze of half a lemon.

The flavors worked well together to create not just a tasty but highly nutritious meal which is also quite low in calories. 360 total. Nutrient dense for sure!

Check out this article for Reasons to eat sardines

048sardines and avocado with brown mustard dressing on arugulaPD

Some have long been aware of the health benefits of eating sardines. In a 1984 issue of the Town & Country magazine, James Villas wrote an article entitled “The Unsung Sardine” in which he said that “ounce for ounce, sardines provide more calcium and phosphorus than milk, more protein than steak, more potassium than bananas, and more iron than cooked spinach.”

049sardines and avocado with browmn mustard dressing on arugula PD

Sardines are also a highly sustainable little fish which contains fewer toxins than it’s bigger fish friends.

sardines and avocado with brown mustard dressing on arugula PD

  

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