Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a tasty lunch on a gorgeous San Francisco weekend and looking out at the city with good friends.  I used a recipe I found at Taste of Home as the inspiration for this recipe.  I have to say that tarragon is a spice I haven’t explored much, but it works really well in this recipe; I can see it moving into more regular rotation on the spice rack.

I’m back on trying to bring down points values wherever possible (you know, so as to reduce the impact of serving lunch with a side of brie and honey), so I made a few adjustments: using 1/4 of an avocado instead of half and using light mayo instead of the full fat version.  The flavors are so good in this salad that you don’t even miss the extra fat.

I seasoned the shrimp with salt, pepper and red chili flakes and cooked it about 1 minute on each side.

I also dressed some arugula with a light vinaigrette and used it as a bed for the salad.  Keep it to 2 Tbsp. to preserve the points value.

WEIGHT WATCHERS PLUS POINTS: 5 per serving (not counting wine and cheese)

This one works really well with Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and divided into quarters

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine ingredients. Spoon onto avocado quarters. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

Fennel Infused Honey with Brie and Fruit

Fennel Infused Honey with Brie and Fruit

Fennel Infused Honey with Brie and Fruit

Fennel Infused Honey with Brie and Fruit

When I go out to eat, the majority of the time, I’m looking for delicious appetizers, cocktails and dessert.  Don’t get me wrong, I love an amazing main dish as much as the next person, but there’s something about small bites packed with flavor that just really appeals to me.  As I was reviewing the most recent Martha Stewart Living magazine, I saw a recipe for fennel infused honey that screamed to be made and eaten immediately.  It’s super easy and well worth it.  My Brie of choice is Saint Andre or Saint Angel if you can find it.  A nice slice of cheese on a wedge of fresh, soft bread and a drizzle of this honey served with some Fuji apples, dried cranberries and almonds and life is good.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/3 cup clover honey
  • 8 ounces triple-creme cheese, such as La Tur
  • 8 ounces soft blue cheese, such as Fourme d’Ambert
  • 12 ounces late-summer fruit, such as figs or plums
  • 1 baguette

Directions

  1. Toast fennel seeds in a small saute pan until just fragrant. Remove from heat, and stir in honey. Let cool, and transfer to a 4-ounce glass jar. Let honey infuse at least 4 hours; honey can be stored up to 3 weeks (the longer the honey is allowed to infuse, the more intense the flavor will become).
  2. Arrange cheeses, fennel-infused honey, and fruit on a serving platter. Slice bread thinly, and serve immediately.
Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

I am one of those people who really likes breakfast.  What I really mean is that I like (need) to eat in the morning.  Growing up, nothing was better than mom making french toast or grandmas pancakes on weekend mornings.  I’ve since turned on syrupy, sticky breakfasts in favor of things on the more savory side.  In fact, I most often end up having non-breakfast foods for breakfast and that suits me just fine.  Biscuits and gravy is one of Brian’s favorite breakfasts though, so we were very happy to find this recipe in Food & Wine.  Turning ground turkey into turkey sausage with some dried sage and chipotle peppers seems like magic to me.  It’s really easy, fairy healthy and has just the right amount of kick to get your morning started.

If you’re feeling slightly less ambitious, you can do what I did this morning and use the pre-made, bake at home biscuits.  The spiciness of the gravy went really nicely with a green salad and some of that most delicious heirloom tomatoes I’ve tasted in a long time.

BISCUITS

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

GRAVY

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons ground dried sage
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives, plus more for garnish

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the 3/4 cup of buttermilk just until a raggy dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead just until it comes together. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick and stamp out four 3-inch rounds. Gather the scraps and reroll; stamp out 2 more rounds. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 20 minutes, until the biscuits are risen.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the turkey; cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up, until browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the sage, chipotles, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and the flour; cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and simmer, stirring, until thick, 5 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons of chives.
  4. Split the biscuits, top with gravy, garnish with chives and serve.
Summer Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Summer Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Summer Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Summer Squash Pizza with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

We’re still obsessed with how easy and how tasty the pizzas are.  Found this recipe from Food and Wine and it seemed like a good end to summer choice.  It’s really light and the onions and pepper flakes and goat cheese make it full of flavor.  If you don’t cut the squash too thin, they come out with the perfect amount of crunch to make you wish you’d made another one.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 6 ounces pizza dough
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim-milk mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon chopped summer savory
  • 1/4 pound summer squash, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Preheat a pizza stone. In a small bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the minced garlic and let stand. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to form a 12-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the round to a lightly floured pizza peel.
  2. Leaving a 1/2-inch border of dough, brush the round with the garlic oil and sprinkle with crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Scatter the onion slices over the round; top with the mozzarella and savory. Arrange the squash slices on top in a single layer, overlapping them slightly. Dot with the crumbled goat cheese.
  3. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for about 5 minutes, until the bottom is crisp and the squash is slightly browned. Transfer the pizza to a work surface. Sprinkle with the walnuts and drizzle with olive oil. Cut into wedges and serve.