Mediterranean Plate

image

I know this isn’t the best photography in the world, but its the only decent shot I was able to get of this appetizer plate that I threw together in about five minutes using things we already had in our fridge. And I think that’s the appeal of the whole thing. If you are having company over and you have a well-stocked refrigerator, this appetizer is quick and easy! I am also including a recipe for marinated artichoke hearts, which are tangy and delicious.

Here’s what I have on my plate:

  • Salami
  • Hummus
  • Crostini
  • Olives
  • Marinated artichokes (recipe follows)
  • Stuffed grape leaves [not pictured]
  • Prosciutto drizzled with balsamic glaze [not pictured]
  • Pan-fried haloumi (this is a really cool Greek cheese that you can brown on a nonstick pan without the cheese melting!) [not pictured]

There is no method to the arrangement – I just threw a bunch of things together on a plate. Next time, I think I will put the hummus in a separate bowl to make dipping easier. Don’t forget to include a small bowl for olive pits!

Click here to read the recipe for marinated artichoke hearts and for more suggestions to add to your own Mediterranean Appetizer Plate…

Lime Fish Sauce Chicken

This chicken dish is extremely easy. And, unlike a lot of recipes on this site, comes from bottled food. I usually rally against that kind of thing, but I’m not ready to make my own peanut butter, chili sauce, or fish sauce. It’s a healthy and quick way to make a tasty sauce. I’m crazy so I check the ingredients labels to make sure my pre-packaged foods don’t contain preservatives, artificial flavors, or tons of salt and trans fat. Or maybe just contain as few of these things as possible.

I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled fish sauce, but it is pungent. I mean, that smell will tickle your sinuses, and not in a good way. But you need to power through. Once the sauce warms up, it lends a salty, well-rounded flavor and that stench disappears. The addition of peanut butter makes the sauce creamy while some lime juice adds a fresh burst of acidity.

Serve with white rice and chopped peanuts. I also like to add a steamed green, like spinach or broccoli. Drizzle the leftover sauce on top and you have yourself a simple meal!

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Chili Pork in Sweet Maple Sauce


In a desire to keep this blog (and my diet) from becoming all chicken all the time, I am making an effort to buy different cuts of meat at the store.  It’s actually been a challenge, since I am primarily a poultry and seafood eater. But in an effort to branch out, I’ve been buying pork. It helps when it’s on sale. I bought a thin-sliced pork loin, which is really lean and cooks up in a matter of minutes. I also did a pork chop loin, which is thicker and takes a while longer to cook. In both cases, I used the same sauce.

And in both cases, it was definitely a success. The sauce was sweet and complemented the pork really well. The whole recipe comes together very quickly and I recommend it for a weeknight meal. You can have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes!

I served this with a spinach side. I just sauteed some spinach in the leftover pan juices and added a some raisins and pine nuts. What a quick and easy side!
Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Really Quick and Really Tasty Marinated Steak

The weather has been so beautiful that we decided to grill. There was a steak in the fridge and we were ready to go outside to BBQ. So I had to find a quick way to add a lot of flavor. And I found this amazing recipe.  I just threw some garlic and equal amounts of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce into a shallow dish. I let the steaks marinate for 15 minutes and grilled them. They came out perfect.  The flavors are so bold that it doesn’t take long to infuse the steaks with flavor. The recipe calls for sirloin flap steaks but I used a top sirloin and cut it in half to make two thin steaks. A more tender cut would be better, but the flavors really came through in the top sirloin also.

The taste is a little sweet, a little salty, a little tangy and very delicious. In terms of ease and convenience, this recipe cannot be beat. You just throw steaks into some pantry ingredients and go! You barely need to wait for the flavors to seep through. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal when you don’t feel like running to the store. It’s also perfect for a lazy way to make a great-tasting meal. Or when you can’t wait to go outside to grill because the weather is so amazing!

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…