Pomegranate & Apple Winter Salad With Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

This salad is soooooooo perfect for holiday parties.  It’s also sooooooo perfect for winter time.  This looks so festive and tastes so yummy too!  I first made this for Thanksgiving dinner and we’ve had it a couple of times since then.  The only ingredients that are sacred to the recipe are the apples and pomegranate arils/seeds.  After that you can totally play with the vegetables that you might enjoy in the salad.  I LOVE the sweetness and crunch that the fruit offer to this salad.  The apples and the pomegranate really compliment each other and you’ll be delighted how the tart meets the sweet.  The dressing is a cinch to throw together and it continues to highlight the star ingredients.

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious side to take to your next party, you ought to consider this one!  If you’re just looking for something to change things up at home, this may be your ticket too.  If you want to turn this into a full meal, you can easily add chicken to your salad with great success!  Enjoy!

Pomegranate & Apple Winter Salad
With Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

Mimi Original

3 cups mixed greens (I used romaine)
1 medium apple, diced (I used honey crisp)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced cucumber

Dressing:
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare salad, place greens in a serving bowl.  Pour lemon juice over chopped apple and stir to coat (this helps to prevent the apple from browning).  Top greens with apple, pomegranate seeds, and remaining vegetables.

To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 5 ingredients a small bowl; stir well with whisk.  (You can also put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.)

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information – Salad Only (Per Serving = 1/6 of Recipe)
Calories:  56.2
Protein:  1.5g
Carbs:  12.8g
Fat:  0.6g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.9g
Sugars:  7.8g

Nutritional Information – Salad & Dressing (Per Serving = 1/6 of Recipe)
Calories:  101.6
Protein:  1.6g
Carbs:  17.3g
Fat:  3.7g (0.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.9g
Sugars:  11.7g

 

Parmesan & Red Pepper Tilapia

I love changing things up for dinner with a good piece of Tilapia.  While I like it plain (with a just a little salt and pepper), I love it with a little extra flavor too and this version did not disappoint!  I loved the slight saltiness of the Parmesan cheese combined with the slight heat from the red pepper flakes.  You can totally adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your likeness and desire for spice.  This was quick, easy and delicious!  What more could you ask for?

Parmesan & Red Pepper Tilapia
Adjusted slightly from Taste of Home

2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 tilapia fillets (4 oz. each)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place egg whites in a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper.  Dip fillets in egg whites and then cheese mixture.  (I usually just coat the top and sides with the cheese mixture, leaving the bottom bare.)

Place in a shallow baking pan (a jelly roll pan works great for this) coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 10-15 miutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Fillet)
Calories:  173.5
Protein:  29.8
Carbs:  0.5g
Fat:  5.7g (2.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0g
Sugar: 0g

Russian Borscht

What on earth is Russian Borscht, you ask?  It is a delicious soup with a unique twist.  While you may look at this soup/recipe and find the combination of these ingredients odd, you must trust me when I tell you it is worth trying!  I had a great friend who spent some time with the Russians and she ate this all of the time.  She made it for me once and I was hooked!  Well, I never obtained the recipe and some how this soup came up in conversation with another good friend of mine.  I immediately asked her for the recipe so I could have me some good Russian Borscht once again.

The soup alone is good, but topping it with light sour cream and dill really makes the soup ultra delicious.  I happen to love the cabbage in the soup.  If you’re not a beet lover, you will be happy to hear that the beet flavor is kind of subtle and not over-powering.

This recipe makes enough for an army!  This is a fabulous thing because the leftovers freeze very well!  So, if you don’t really have an army to feed, then eat what you want on the night you make it and freeze the rest.  You’ll be super happy when you don’t have to make dinner on one of those nights when you’re feeling lazy (which I’m sure is hardly ever, right!?).

This soup is VERY easy to make, but it does take some time.  So, just plan to put it on the stove a good 2 hours or so before you plan to eat.  You won’t have to do much, but occasionally add an ingredient and then let it simmer that whole time.  Make this on a cold day (which is about any day around my parts).  You’ll be glad you did and you might even feel a little culturally proud while you’re eating it.  (Thanks Michal!)

Russian Borscht
Adapted from my friend Michal Serre

2 1/2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into bit-sized pieces, fat trimmed
2 onions (halved)
1 clove garlic
1 T. salt
1/2 T. pepper
6 cups water
2 carrots, sliced
1 lb. can tomatoes, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 bay leaf
1 small cabbage, shredded
2 14-oz. cans beets (diced)
Lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Sour cream
Dill weed

Put first 6 ingredients in deep pan, cover and bring to boil.  Skim off film that rises to surface.

Recover, cook over low heat 30 minutes.
Add carrots, cook 30 minutes.
Remove onions, discard.
Add tomatoes, potatoes, bay leaf, and cabbage.
Cover and cook until potatoes are tender (30 minutes).
Add beets and lemon juice.
Simmer 5 minutes.
Serve with sour cream and dill.

Serves 15.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 1 Cup)
Calories:  327.5
Protein:  24.5g
Carbs:  19.8g
Fat:   16.1g (2.1 sat)

Tropical Protein Smoothie

When it comes to easy, this might be my most favorite protein smoothie/shake combination.  I’m not hard to please, am I?  I just love the combination of this fruit (peaches, mangos, pineapple, strawberries) mixed with vanilla.  I use this as a pre-workout shake or as a snack sometimes.  Truth be known that this seriously motivates me to wake up for an early workout some days.  I’ll be laying in bed trying to decide if I should wake up and workout or sleep longer.  As soon as I think about eating this for my pre-workout meal, my decision is made, and I’m out of bed and throwing on my running shorts!  It’s so yummy I feel like I’m “cheating” every time I eat it.

By the way . . . I usually buy me a big bag of this frozen fruit at Wal-Mart.  They usually carry it and, because I like it so much, I love that it comes in a large bag.  It’s more affordable that way too.  (Here’s a picture of it so you can see what I buy.)

Tropical Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen mixed tropical fruit blend
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (about 22g of Protein)
1/2 cup cold water
ice cubes, optional

Place frozen fruit in a blender or food processor.  Blend until fruit is finely chopped.  Add cold water, protein powder, and ice (*if desired).  Blend until well mixed (doesn’t take long).  Pour unto a tall glass and enjoy!

*Note:  Depending on how “slushy” you like your smoothies, you may want to add ice to the blender when adding the water and protein powder.  The frozen fruit will offer some amount of slush, but you can achieve more by adding additional ice.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information
Calories:  145
Protein:  22.5g
Carbs:  11.5g
Fat:  1g

Bruschetta Chicken

This is a great way to use Bruschetta!  The fresh tomatoes, basil, onion, and vinegar help make this grilled chicken far from bland!  It was simple to throw together too!

Bruschetta Chicken
Adapted from Skinny Taste

3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
4 4-oz. chicken breasts
Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.

Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight.

Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper. Grill the chicken cutlets on your indoor or outdoor grill, top with bruschetta and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving =  1 Breast + Bruschetta)
Calories:  159.5
Protein:  24.1g
Carbs:  6.6g
Fat:  4.9g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.5g
Sugars:  1g

Bruschetta

I love fresh Bruschetta!  I love this recipe because it has balsamic vinegar in it and I’m a huge fan of balsamic vinegar.  I love the powerful punch of flavor it adds and it always pairs well with tomatoes, onion, and basil (in my humble opinion).  This Bruschetta is easy to throw together and can be used as a simple appetizer (I love to pair it with baked pita chips).  I’ve also paired it with part-skim mozzarella cheese which makes it a well-balanced snack.  Enjoy!

Bruschetta
Adapted from Skinny Taste

3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.

Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  59.5
Protein:  1.1g
Carbs:  6.6g
Fat:  3.9g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.5g
Sugars:  1g

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

I hope you had a Thanksgiving that was full of reflection, good food, and family/friends.  I had a great week filled with all those things, but I am back to posting some delicious recipes.

I’ve been looking for a good turkey meatloaf recipe and I finally found one worth sharing with you!  I thought this turned out so flavorful and moist. The fresh herbs gave it a powerful punch of flavor and the milk/bread paste helped to make it so moist.

The technique for cooking it may be a little different than what you’ve done in the past.  I’ve included pictures to help guide you through it.  This cooking technique allows for the greases to run off the meatloaf rather than soak back into it after it’s been cooked.

While we were eating this meatloaf Beau said, “Have I told you that meatloaf might just be one of my favorite foods?”  I’m guessing that means the meatloaf was pretty darn tasty!

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 slice high-quality whole-what sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
salt and pepper
1 ½ pounds ground turkey (93% fat-free)
1/3 cup ketchup
1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fold a piece of aluminum foil into a 10 by 6-inch rectangle, place in the center of a wire rack, and use a skewer (or sharp knife) to poke holes in the foil every 1/2 inch.  Place the wire rack on top of a foil-line baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray.  (See the following photo for what this looks like.)

Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, mash the bread and milk together into a smooth paste.  Stir in the cooled onion mixture, eggs, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined.  Add the ground turkey and mix with your hands until uniform.

Press the mixture together into a compact mass, then turn it out onto the prepared foil on the wire rack.  Press the meat into a uniform rectangle, letting the foil be your guide.  (See the following photo for what this looks like.)

Stir the ketchup, sugar, and vinegar together, then brush half of the mixture evenly over the meatloaf.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Brush the meatloaf with the remaining ketchup mixture and continue to bake until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes longer.  Let rest 20 minutes, then slice into 12 slices.  (I usually cut the loaf in half, and then each half is cut into 6 even slices.)

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Slices)
Calories:  249.7
Protein:  25.2g
Carbs:  14.6g
Fat:  10.2g (3.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.8g
Sugars:  10.8g