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Blueberry and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad

Blueberry and Broccoli Pasta Salad with a tangy Lemon Buttermilk Dressing ~ spring forward with this colorful and healthy pasta salad made with Chickapea gluten free pasta, lots of fruits and veggies, and an extra dose of crunch!

*Hey guys ~ I’m teaming up with Chickapea Pasta today, thanks for supporting me and my brand partners, I only work with the very best, and they help keep tvfgi up and cooking!

Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad

This salad was fun to fun to invent, and so easy to put together once I had all the flavors figured out., but honestly, when I told my husband I was making a salad with blueberries and broccoli he screwed up his face in the most annoying way.  If you’re not sure about blueberries and broccoli just trust me ~ the first bite of this wonderful salad will convince you.  It all starts with a box of naturally gluten free Chickapea Pasta, made from just 2 ingredients ~ organic chickpeas and lentils!  So you can see where we’re going here…this salad is not only yummy, it’s honest to goodness super food.  My spirals are full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals ~ no empty carbs here.

There are carbs, and then there are smart carbs ~ smart carbs like chickpeas and lentils are better for us because our bodies burn them more slowly and evenly, preventing the spikes in blood sugar that can lead to diabetes and other health issues.

Chickapea gluten free pasta ready to be made into a delicious Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing

After cooking and draining, I toss the pasta with some of my lemony buttermilk dressing ~ it keeps the pasta from sticking together, and will also soak in a bit while I prep my other ingredients.  This salad has an unusual mix of fresh veggies and fruit, along with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.  The end result is really wonderful, I love the contrast between the sweet and savory flavors

TIP: This salad is sophisticated enough for an adult palate, but also a great kid-pleaser ~ those juicy blueberries and crunchy apples can help introduce the joys of broccoli to your picky eaters,

Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing

You can make this healthy pasta salad recipe in the morning, it will hold up fine in the refrigerator.  I like to refresh it with a little more dressing just before serving.   The dressing is a tangy mixture of lemon juice, poppy seeds, buttermilk, and mayo…not as thick as most mayonnaise based dressings and so delicious  I could eat it with a spoon!  I used a similar dressing for my CHICKEN SALAD WITH POPPY SEED MAYONNAISE, but that one doesn’t contain buttermilk.  If you want to try a mayo-less version, check out my LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING recipe.

Dressing a colorful and gluten free Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing

Why are smart carbs so important?

So many of the carbs we consume in our Western diet are empty, overly processed carbohydrates like white bread and white rice.  They’re wreaking havoc with our bodies and leading to all sorts of health problems like obesity and diabetes.  But I love carbs, and I’m not about to do with out them, so I try to replace the empty ones with better choices.   Good carbs, or smart carbs, are foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.   You can instantly improve your diet by simply switching out refined flour pasta with this chickpea and lentil pasta, I love simple solutions like this!

Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing is a fresh, healthy, and gluten free pasta salad just bursting with flavor and crunchy texture!

The flavors in this salad work together so well, I hope you give it a try, I have a hunch it’ll become a family favorite.  And if you have little ones who would live on pasta if they had their way, this is a really smart choice for them.  My youngest daughter wanted ‘buttery pasta’ 24/7, I wish Chickapea had been around for me then :)

Chickapea pasta tastes just like regular pasta, I can’t tell the difference.  The texture is firm and chewy, no limp noodles here, and they hold up beautifully in sauces and salads like this one.

Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad

I’m thrilled to be working with a team of talented bloggers as part of the Chickapea influencer team ~ I hope you follow me on facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest because I’m sharing lots more easy recipes you can make with your Chickapea pasta.

Blueberry Broccoli Pasta Salad

Yield: serves 4-6

Blueberry Broccoli Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (227g) Chickapea Spiral Pasta
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets (175 grams)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (50 grams)
  • 1/2 cup diced apples (50 grams) tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (50 grams)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (40 grams)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (50 grams)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (45 grams)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (35 grams)
    dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (120 grams)
  • 3 Tbsp buttermilk (45 mL)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds (15 mL)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking. Put in a bowl and drizzle with some of the dressing, toss gently.
  2. Put the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl with a tablespoon of water and microwave for 90 seconds. Drain.
  3. You can assemble the salad in two ways ~ You can arrange the ingredients on top of the pasta, and then dress and toss at the table, or you can mix everything together, it's your call.
  4. Add just enough dressing to moisten the salad without drowning it, you can always add more later.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/blueberry-and-broccoli-pasta-salad-recipe/

Notes:

  • If you like, add some cheese to this salad, I think mild cheddar, Gouda, or Monterey Jack would work well, and cut it in a small dice.
  • You can incorporate Chickapea pasta into any of your favorite pasta recipes, like my Israeli Pasta Salad, or my Pasta Salad with Tuna.
  • If you can’t find Chickapea pasta at your local store, you can find it on Amazon, HERE.

 

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Broccoli and Blueberry Pasta Salad with Lemon Buttermilk Dressing ~ this healthy and colorful salad is made with delicious Chickapea gluten free pasta ~ |salad | gluten free | picnic | Memorial Day | 4th of July |

Traditional Irish Leek and Potato Soup

This is a simple and satisfying Leek and Potato Soup, straight from the Irish countryside. Serve it with a drizzle of soured cream, some fresh snipped chives, and a big chunk of soda bread.

This authentic and satisfying Leek and Potato Soup comes straight from the Irish countryside.  Serve it with a drizzle of soured cream, some fresh snipped chives, and a big chunk of warm soda bread.

Irish Leek and Potato Soup ~ a traditional farmhouse recipe that is simple, hearty, and satisfying.

This traditional farmhouse recipe couldn’t be easier, or more satisfying.  Soup is one of the most elemental forms of cooking, and there’s something about ladling out steaming bowls of soup to the family that is so gratifying.  This one has no bells and whistles ~ it’s based on fresh, great quality ingredients, simply prepared.

A super easy and delicious Leek and Potato Soup, straight from the Irish countryside.

Leeks and potatoes are a classic Irish pair.  Both vegetables grow easily and plentifully in Irish soil, and they find their way into so many great recipes.  Leeks can seem formidable when they’re raw from the supermarket, but once sliced and sauteed in butter they become meltingly tender and delicious.  As for the  potatoes, I use starchy russets (baking potatoes) because they provide the perfect ‘creamy’ texture to this soup without any cream.

TIP: Traditionally the Irish don’t cook with many herbs and spices and the flavors tend to be mild, so be sure to add enough salt and freshly cracked black pepper to your soup.  If you’re so inclined, some crumbled crisp bacon or finely diced ham makes a great topping!

Cooking up Traditional Irish Leed and Potato Soup

This Irish leek and potato soup is a true 30 minute meal ~ the vegetables are cooked just long enough to soften them, and then the soup is pureed and ready to serve.

You can process it to a super smooth or a chunky consistency.  I learned an interesting thing making this soup, though…when you process cooked potatoes they develop a slightly ‘gluey’ texture.  It has something to do with their starch molecules.  You’ve probably experienced it if you’ve ever whipped potatoes in a processor, blender, or with electric beaters.  Some people don’t mind this at all, and some find it not so nice.  Anyway, one way around that is to puree everything except the potatoes.  You can put the potatoes through a ricer and then mix them back into the soup, thus avoiding the problem.

This is a simple and satisfying Leek and Potato Soup, straight from the Irish countryside. Serve it with a drizzle of soured cream, some fresh snipped chives, and a big chunk of soda bread.

To go along with your farmhouse soup, I’d suggest my IRISH FISHCAKES WITH 30-SECOND TARTAR SAUCE.  And after dinner, don’t forget a nip of my HOMEMADE IRISH CREAM.

TIP: The secret ingredient that gives my soup its appealing green color is a handful of garden peas, fresh or frozen. This is a little trick I learned back when I made my HAM AND PEA SOUP ~ that soup is a gorgeous green!

~Recipe adapted from Irish Pub Cooking

Traditional Irish Leek and Potato Soup

Yield: serves 6

Traditional Irish Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large leeks, trimmed, sliced, thoroughly rinsed, and dried
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
    garnish
  • sour cream thinned with milk
  • snipped chives

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot and saute the onion, leeks, and potato for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the stock to the pan and bring up to a simmer. Cover, turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until everything is tender. Add the peas to the pot just long enough to defrost them.
  3. Working in 2 batches, process the soup until your desired consistency. It can be smooth, or chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve piping hot with a drizzle of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/traditional-irish-leek-and-potato-soup/

Notes:

  • Be sure to remove the tough outer layers and ends off your leeks, and then, after slicing, immerse them in lots of cold water and separate the outer rings to release all the dirt and grit.
  • Craving  more traditional Irish grub?  How about a Dublin Coddle, or a plate of Bangers and Mash?

 

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This is a simple and satisfying Leek and Potato Soup, straight from the Irish countryside. Serve it with a drizzle of soured cream, some fresh snipped chives, and a big chunk of soda bread. |CREAMED SOUP | LUNCH | ST. PATRICK'S DAY | IRISH RECIPES

 

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Low carb eating just got a whole lot more interesting with my Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps!  Who needs rice when you’ve got fresh crunchy lettuce leaves?  Everybody’s going to come back for seconds and thirds, and that’s ok because this meal is low calorie and super healthy!

Firecracker Lettuce Wraps ~ I made my famous Firecracker Chicken and served in in lettuce cups for the ultimate low carb meal ~ the chicken is juicy, the peppers are colorful and crunchy, and the sauce is sweet 'n spicy!

My family teases me that I’m sometimes my own biggest fan when it comes to the food I make, and I don’t deny it ~ I love to eat, and when I make something extra delicious like these firecracker chicken lettuce wraps, I’m not shy about letting everybody know about it.   This is one of those times when I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.  I mean, come on, how can you resist it ~ a sweet and spicy stir fried chicken with lots of colorful peppers loaded up on fresh lettuce leaves, it’s delicious with zero guilt.  You can eat as much as you want ~ and believe me, we did!

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps ~ a fun and deliciously low carb meal!

I adapted the filling for these lettuce wraps from one of my favorite Asian recipes on the blog, FIRECRACKER CHICKEN.  I love colorful bell peppers and this dish really shows them off.  The heat comes from dried chili peppers (you can use chili flakes if you like) and a shot of sriracha in the sauce.

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

You can translate most Chinese stir fry recipes into lettuce wraps ~ just make sure to chop everything into a small dice, and thicken the sauce enough so that it isn’t too sloppy to eat with your hands.  I had trouble deciding which classic Chinese recipe from the blog to try, and I think my KUNG PAO TOFU or my SPICY CASHEW CHICKEN would have been equally great in these lettuce wraps.

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I cut the peppers and onions into perfect 1/2 inch dice with one of my favorite kitchen tools, my Stainless Steel Alligator Chopper.  This heavy duty chopper, which is made in Sweden, is a replacement for the lightweight plastic model that I used last year.  The plastic choppers are good up to a point, but they don’t hold up to to heavy use.  This chopper is a serious kitchen tool and I love the even cut I can get on so many types of food.  For lettuce wraps this is especially important because you want everything to fit easily into your leaves of lettuce.

I even diced my chicken tenders with the chopper! (Just be sure to cut the veggies first, and clean it thoroughly after the chicken.)

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a spicy and colorful low carb Asian dish that everybody loves!

These Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a perfect choice for busy day meals, or even entertaining.  You can make the filling up to a day before, and then just heat it up when you’re ready to wrap.

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Yield: serves 4

Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cut in small, even dice
  • vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced ginger
  • 1 medium onion, cut in small dice
  • 4 bell peppers, multi colors, cut in small dice
  • 4 dried hot pepper, thinly sliced (or chili pepper flakes to taste)
  • 1 head butter lettuce, individual leaves separated
    garnish
  • sliced green onions
    sauce
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice (canned is fine)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp plum sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok until hot and stir fry the chicken, in two batches, until it is no longer pink. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add more oil and saute the onion, ginger, and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the peppers, both sweet and hot, and stir fry for another few minutes. The peppers should be bright and crunchy, don't let them get soft. Remove to a plate.
  4. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring or whisking until it thickens. Add the chicken (and any juices) and the peppers etc back into the pan and give everything a good mix. Continue heating until everything is nice and hot.
  5. Serve spooned onto the lettuce leaves and top with the sliced green onions. Or, spoon the sauce into a bowl and let people serve themselves.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/firecracker-chicken-lettuce-wraps-recipe/

Notes:

  • I like to use butter lettuce, but really any lettuce can work, just be aware that if it’s too stiff or brittle it will be harder to eat.  You can even make tiny appetizer sized bites using endive or other small sturdy lettuce leaves.
  • Don’t assemble your wraps until you are ready to eat or the lettuce will wilt.
  • For other healthy ways to enjoy Kung Pao Chicken, try this Baked Kung Pao Chicken, or my Kung Pao Tofu!

 

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Low carb eating just got a whole lot more interesting with my Firecracker Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Who needs rice when you've got fresh crunchy lettuce leaves? Everybody's going to come back for seconds and thirds, and that's ok because this meal is low calorie and super healthy!

Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad, a tangy and spicy salad made with sliced steak, fresh herbs, and a spicy garlic and ginger dressing ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Thai Beef Salad ~ it’s in a league all by itself, with ribbons of rare steak, tons of fresh herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro, feathery slices of red onion, crunchy cukes, hot peppers, and a tangy garlic ginger dressing ~ can you resist?

Thai Beef Salad, a tangy and spicy salad made with sliced steak, fresh herbs, and a spicy garlic and ginger dressing ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

This is a salad that needs to have room to breathe…spread it out on a a big platter so you don’t crush the delicate herbs or hide that fabulous steak.  The ingredients in this one of a kind salad make your mouth water just looking at them, so show them off!

The flavor lowdown~ the key elements that distinguish a Thai Beef Salad are a combination of basil, cilantro, and mint, along with lime, ginger, garlic, soy and fish sauce.  Hot peppers provide an important kick of heat.

Thai Beef Salad ~ a tangy and spicy steak and herb salad with the distinctive flavors of Thailand!

I think main course salads like this are such a great way to eat.  I go through periods where I cut carbs to drop a few pounds, and I have to say this is the ultimate way to do that.  This meal is light yet exploding with flavor, believe me, you’re not missing a thing here.  I do other main course salads that aren’t just piles of lettuce, too…my NICOISE SALAD is loaded with tuna, beans, and eggs for a ton of protein.  My CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD is another healthy but hearty salad that helps shed pounds without leaving you hungry.

Thai Beef Salad is a healthy main course salad that just explodes with flavor!

This Thai Beef Salad is a great example of a dish that might seem exotic and unapproachable for a regular family meal, but turns out to be no more trouble than any other salad.   While the flavors are layered and complex, there aren’t any hard to find ingredients in here.  Don’t have fish sauce?  You should!  It’s right there next to the soy sauce, pick some up next time you’re shopping. (You’re going to need it if you want to make my SHRIMP PAD THAI)

TIP: Take your time through the produce section and choose the freshest looking herbs ~ if you’re near a farmer’s market, all the better.  If you need to buy the herbs ahead of time, snip off the bottoms of their stems and put them in a glass of water.  Cover loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.  

A vibrant and healthy Thai Beef Salad is a zesty 30 minute meal that everybody goes wild for!

If you make this please snap a shot of it and share it with me on social media ~ use the hashtag #tvfgi!  Follow me on instagram and get sneak peeks at what’s coming up on the blog.

Thai Beef Salad is a healthy main course salad full of fabulous flavor and protein!

Thai Beef Salad

Yield: serves 4

Thai Beef Salad

Ingredients

    dressing
  • 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
    salad
  • 1 lb top sirloin steak (or any cut you like)
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 large leaves of red leaf lettuce, rough chopped
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (don't peel)
  • about 1/2 a small red onion, sliced paper thin (I used a mandolin)
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves (thinly shred them if they are large)
  • a handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 small hot red peppers, thinly sliced, seeds and all
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet or grill pan over high heat until very hot. Brush the steak lightly with oil on both sides and grill for about 3 minutes per side for rare, or until it's done the way you like it.
  3. Set the steak on a plate and cover with foil, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice it very thinly across the grain with a sharp knife.
  4. Arrange the lettuce across the bottom of a platter. Top with the cucumbers and onion slices, separating the rings as you scatter them around.
  5. Next add the steak and fresh herbs. Scatter the hot pepper rings over the top, along with the peanuts.
  6. Drizzle the dressing liberally over all, and serve immediately.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/thai-beef-salad/

Notes:

  • If you like, you can marinate the steak in some of the dressing for anywhere from an hour to overnight.  In that case, double the dressing recipe.
  • Don’t dress this salad until just before eating, the dressing will wilt the herbs.
  • Other creative Thai Beef inspired recipes to try ~ this Crock Pot Thai Steak Salad allows you to use a lesser cut of meat because the crock pot tenderizes the beef over a long slow cooking.  Rustic Thai Beef Soup is a slurpable version Thai Steak Bites are served in individual portions and perfect for entertaining.  Thai Steak and Green Bean Stir Fry is a brilliant family dinner variation.   And Thai Beef Nachos sound like something I need to make soon.

 

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Thai Beef Salad ~ a healthy main course salad with explosive flavor!

 

Muesli Toasting Bread

Mueslit Toasting Bread 8

Some bread is just meant to be toasted. Like this chunky fruit and nut Muesli Toasting Bread. When the thick biscotti shaped slices hit the hot coils the nuts begin to toast and turn fragrant, the bits of fruit get all jammy, and the smell of fresh baked yeast bread fills the kitchen.

Muesli Toasting Bread is a beautiful and healthy yeast bread chocked full of fruits and nuts ~ it makes the best breakfast toast!

I think you’re going to be very happy you stopped by today.  This Muesli Toasting Bread is to die for.  I loved it so much I made it twice this week.  It’s the world’s best toasting bread, full of all sorts of fruit and nuts, and made even heartier with the addition of MUESLI cereal.  Muesli, if you don’t know, is a kind of cold cereal made by soaking oats (or other raw, rolled grains) in milk and adding various fruits, nuts and seeds.  It was invented by a Swiss doctor at the turn of the last century to help nourish his patients, so, you get the idea, it’s healthy.  It’s got a beautiful contrast of textures, and tastes fabulous…it’s the spring and summer equivalent of my morning oatmeal.

Muesli Toasting Bread ~ a chunky fruit and nut bread that's just made for the toaster!

You can buy packaged muesli in your grocery store, make your own,or buy it online.   I’ve made Summer Berry Meusli here on the blog, but for this recipe I’d use the packaged stuff.

Muesli Fruit and Nut Toasting Bread is a chunky bread made specifically for toasting!

The muesli theme is carried throughout the bread with the heavy presence of dried fruit and whole nuts.   It brings the  experience of toast, which I eat on 95% of mornings, to a whole new level.   Take it from me, this stuff is superb.  I slice it nice and thick, so it gets crunchy on the outside and stays nice and chewy on the inside.   All it needs is a smear of butter.

Muesli Toasting Bread is a chunky fruit and nut yeast bread just made for toasting!

You can customize the fruit and nut add-ins to fit your own taste.  I used:

  • pistachios
  • hazelnuts
  • cranberries
  • currents
  • apricots.

Any combination will be great, and you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to ensure your bread is fully loaded.  The first time I made it I formed the dough into 2 loaves.  The second time I made one large loaf, and I think I liked that better.

Muesli Toasting Bread Dough Muesli Toasting Bread risingMuesi Toasting Bread uncut

This is a fairly easy bread, as yeast breads go.  Once you’ve amassed your fruit and nut bits, it’s a straight shot — minimal kneading and rising times.  The big wow comes when you slice the finished bread; the fruits and nuts make a stained glass type pattern in each slice.  The second big wow comes when you toast it … the aroma is amazing.  The third and biggest wow comes with that first bite…

You might also like my PALEO FRUIT AND NUT BREAD, it’s grain, sugar, and dairy free, and it also makes fantastic toast.  And for a quickbread version of this bread, try my CHUNKY FRUIT AND NUT BREAD, there’s no yeast and no waiting!

Muesli Toasting Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a scant cup of muesli cereal (about 7/8 cup)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 cups bread flour (375 g)
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole pistachios
  • 1/4 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried currents
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 beaten egg (for brushing)
  • rolled oats (for sprinkling on the surface)

Instructions

  1. Put the 1/2 cup milk, the 1/2 cup water, the honey, and the muesli cereal in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a regular bowl if mixing by hand. Let it soak for about 15 minutes.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm (100-115F) tap water.
  3. Add the yeast, salt, and flour to the bowl with the muesli and mix on low for 3 - 4 minutes or until the dough comes away from the bowl. The dough will be sticky,
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and form it into a rectangle. Spread 1/2 of the fruit and nuts over the surface, then fold the dough in from each side and add the rest of the fruit and nuts. Knead the dough to incorporate all the bits evenly.
  5. Put the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover well and set in a warm place to rise for an hour.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and gently form into a rectangle loaf. Push in any large bits of nuts or fruit so that the surface is as smooth as possible.
  7. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with oats. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile set the oven to 430F.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. If the crust gets too brown, cover loosely with foil towards the end of the baking time.
  9. Cool on a rack before slicing.

Notes

Recipe adapted from delicious days

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/muesli-toasting-bread/

Notes:

  • Make sure the water you blend your yeast with is at the right lukewarm temperature, about 112F.  Too hot will kill the delicate yeast, to cold won’t allow it to come alive.
  • Use bread flour, and weigh it for accuracy.  If you don’t have a scale, measure it out using the fluff, scoop and level method.  Fluff up the flour to loosen it.  Spoon the flour lightly into the measuring cup, and then level it off with the side of a knife.
  • Use whole hazelnuts and pistachios for a beautiful interior and best texture and flavor.  If you choose to use other nuts, leave them as chunky as possible.
  • In order for bread to rise, it must be in a warm place.  Sometimes that’s hard to find.  I sometimes set mine in a sunny bay window, or on top of my furnace.  An oven that has been pre-warmed and then turned off can work, too.  In a pinch, a heating pad set on low can work great.  Update:  I’ve recently purchased this Proofing Box and love it, it keeps the dough at the perfect even warm temperature, and it even makes yogurt, too!
  • I always repeat this simple rule — make sure your oven is set to the correct temperature.  I keep an inexpensive  oven thermometer hanging from one of the racks so I can check for accuracy.
  • Don’t over bake the bread, if you are unsure, take it out.  If it is slightly under baked it will finish baking in the toaster.

Muesli Toasting Bread 9

This bread was a huge hit in our house.  The thick chewy slices soak up the butter, and you get big nuggets of toasted hazelnut and jammy fruit in every bite.   A toaster oven is ideal for the long slices, otherwise you can cut them in half before toasting, or pop them down once, then flip and toast the other side.

Muesli Toasting Bread 10

*This post has been updated from an earlier post from 2014.

 

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Healthy Muesli Toasting Bread is full of fruits and nuts, and makes the world's best toast! | Breakfast | Homemade Bread | Oats | Fruit and Nut Bread | Yeast Bread

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives is a quick and healthy 30-minute meal ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives ~ this 30 minute meal will transport you to the Greek Isles with its silky lemon sauce and rich, briny olives.  The health news on the Mediterranean Diet just keeps getting better and better ~ lucky us!

Greek style Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I love Greek food.  I love all Mediterranean food, but have a special weakness for Greek flavors.  Greek cooking is sunny, simple, and so good for you.  When I think Greece I think olives and olive oil, seafood, lemons, wine, feta cheese, and lots of fresh herbs.  Any combination of these ingredients make an amazing meal!

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives is a quick and healthy 30-minute meal ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

If you google Greek shrimp you’ll come up with lots of recipes that use tomatoes and feta cheese.  That’s how I used to do shrimp all the time until I discovered this amazing lemon sauce.  It’s the same sauce I used in my Greek Meatballs in Lemon Sauce, and that recipe was sent to me by a reader who lives in Athens (thank you Alexandra!!)  The sauce is so versatile that I’ve been able to translate it into many different meals.  My Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is the poultry version, if you’re not a shrimp lover.

Fresh egg yolks for Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

The sauce is a simple, almost primal ~ it consists of stock (in this case chicken or fish) thickened with a mixture of fresh lemon juice and egg yolks.  It looks creamy, but there is no dairy in it.  The flavor and texture is pure heaven, and goes so well with the bite of the olives.  I used both Greek cracked olives and an oil cured Moroccan variety.  It really pays to buy your olives fresh from an olive bar rather than rely on jarred, there are so many to choose from and they go so well with healthy Mediterranean dishes.

TIP: It’s hard to find pitted olives in any kind of variety, so I leave the pits in and warn my diners.

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives is an example of a quick and easy 30 minute meal Mediterranean style ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I typically serve this with rice or couscous so that none of the sauce goes to waste, but sometimes I’ll just pair it with some crusty bread.  If you love the ease of cooking with shrimp, you may want to try my Chimichurri Shrimp, the sauce can be made ahead and the rest takes just minutes.  If you want something even easier, try these Salt and Pepper Shrimp Skewers, you don’t even need to peel the shrimp!

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives

Yield: serves 2-4

Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives

Ingredients

  • 1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails on if you like)
  • olive oil
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (you can use up to 1/2 cup for a super lemony flavor)
  • 1 cup chicken or fish stock
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mixed olives
  • fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until smooth and set aside.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium heat until hot. Saute the shrimp for about 4 minutes, turning once, until they are pink and cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat the stock in a medium saucepan until it comes to a boil. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot stock into the egg yolks to temper them. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan slowly, while whisking, and continue to heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture just starts to thicken and comes to a simmer. NOTE: it won't get really thick, it will just get a little thicker and glossier. Once it comes to a simmer take off the heat immediately and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the sauce into a medium casserole or gratin dish and place the shrimp in the sauce. Top with the olives and thyme. Serve immediately with rice, couscous, or crusty bread.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/shrimp-in-lemon-sauce-with-olives-recipe/

Notes:

  • Shrimp takes to all kinds of flavors really well, and sometimes I feel like spicing things up…this Chili Garlic Shrimp gets its zing from briefly marinating in lemon, garlic, and chili powder.  If you think you can handle it, take the heat up a notch further with my Shrimp Fra Diavolo, below…

 

Shrimp Scampi Fra Diavolo ~ this fiery romantic dish can be whipped up in no time with a bag of frozen shrimp and pantry staples. ~ theviewfromgreatisland.comShrimp Scampi Fra Diavolo

 

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Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives ~ this 30 minute meal will transport you to the Greek Isles with its silky lemon sauce and rich, briny olives. The health news on the Mediterranean Diet just keeps getting better and better ~ lucky us!

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai ~ a better version of take-out! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Shrimp Pad Thai is a healthy stir fry noodle bowl made with gluten free rice noodles, shrimp, and all the classic Thai flavors like ginger, garlic, lime, and cilantro ~ this meal beats take-out by a mile!

Shrimp Pad Thai ~ a better version of take-out! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Thai food can seem daunting if you’ve never attempted it in your own kitchen, but just like with so many ‘exotic’ cuisines, it’s mostly a matter of stocking your pantry with the right seasonings and condiments, the rest is pretty straightforward.  Pad Thai is one of the simpler Thai recipes, so I recommend it as a starting point if you’re new to Thai cooking.  For this Shrimp Pad Thai recipe there are really only 2 ingredients that are out of the ordinary:

  • Rice noodles ~ rice noodles are traditional for pad Thai, you’ll find them in the Asian section of your market.  Buy extra so you’ll have them on hand because trust me, you WILL be making this again!  They cook up more quickly than pasta, and some of them need only a brief soak in hot water.
  • Fish sauce ~ this is a fermented fish sauce that doesn’t taste great on its own, but adds an authentic touch to this dish.  It’s right there along with the soy sauces in your store.  The bottle will keep forever in your refrigerator.

TIP: I keep a section of my refrigerator door shelves dedicated to Asian condiments and sauces…that way I always know where they are, and I can access them easily.  As your collection grows, so does your potential repertoire of authentic Asian dishes.

Shrimp Pad Thai is a healthy and authentic version of your favorite Thai take-out ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I like to get all the components of this dish prepped ahead of time, I’ll cook the noodles, mix up the sauce, beat the eggs, and chop the veggies so all I have to do is orchestrate the stir frying.  The shrimp goes in first, then the aromatics, the sauce, eggs, noodles, and toppings.  Just make sure everything gets well tossed so all the noodles absorb those great flavors.

Shrimp Pad Thai ~ a gluten free rice noodle dish from Thailand ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

The nice thing about pad Thai is that you can eat it hot, warm, room temperature, or cold, and it’s wonderful all ways.  The leftovers make a delicious packable lunch.

 

Shrimp Pad Thai

Yield: serves 4-6

Shrimp Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 packed cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
    sauce
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
    garnish
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, rough chopped
  • a handful of fresh beansprouts, any type you can find
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Cook your noodles according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large wok and saute the shrimp until it is cooked through. Remove the shrimp to a plate.
  4. Heat the rest of the oil in the wok and saute the garlic, ginger, and hot pepper for several minutes, stirring constantly. Add the zucchini and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  5. Push the contents of the wok to one side to make room for the eggs. Add a touch more oil if necessary, and add the eggs. Scramble the eggs, stirring constantly, until they are just cooked through.
  6. Add the sauce to the pan, and heat it up, then add the noodles and shrimp to the pan and toss everything together thoroughly. When it's all icombined and hot, add in the cilantro and scallions and toss again.
  7. Serve topped with roasted peanuts, sprouts, and lime wedges.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/shrimp-pad-thai-recipe/

Notes:

 

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Shrimp Pad Thai is a healthy stir fry noodle bowl that is so much better than take out! | Asian | Thai | gluten free | seafood |

Falafel Salad Bowl

Hearty and healthy Falafel Salad Bowl is a protein rich Middle Eastern main course salad ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

My Falafel Salad Bowl is such a fabulous vegetarian main course salad, it makes Meatless Monday everybody’s favorite night of the week!

Hearty and healthy Falafel Salad Bowl is a protein rich Middle Eastern main course salad ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

This Falafel Salad Bowl is inspired by one of my favorite places to grab a bite.  I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite restaurants are the most casual, you might even call them holes in the wall.  I have a few rules, though…it has to have table service (pet peeve about ordering at the counter)…it has to have comfy seating…it can’t be too loud…needs to serve wine…and have amazing food.  That’s not too much to ask, is it?   They serve a salad like this one at one of the restaurants at our local mall, of all places, and they make the best falafel around.  Hard to believe, but true.  It’s always deep dark and crunchy on the outside ~ fluffy and bright green inside.

This gorgeous Falafel Salad makes Meatless Monday everybody's favorite night of the week! |main course salad | Middle Eastern | Vegetarian | theviewfromgreatisland.com

Falafel are Middle Eastern fried chickpea patties, or balls, and they’re a long time favorite of mine ~ I’ll eat them instead of meat anytime.  As long as they’re made right, that is.  I make mine the authentic way, from soaked (not canned, not cooked!) chickpeas, and lots of fresh herbs and spices.  I grind up garlic and herbs, then add the chickpeas and process until I get a coarse paste.  I love this recipe because it cooks up lighter and moister than falafel made with chickpea flour.  If you’ve been turned off by dry or flavorless falafel in the past, try this one.

TIP: I don’t like to make this green falafel mixture too far ahead of time because the herbs release moisture, and make it wet.

Making homemade falafel for falafel salad bowl ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I mix in the seasonings and I’m ready to scoop and fry.  You can do balls or patties, but patties allow you to use less oil because you can shallow fry them like fish cakes.

Mixing up homemade falafel for Falafel Salad Bowl ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

The patties will cook up in about 5-6 minutes, but flip them carefully, they’re delicate!

Frying up homemade Falafel for Falafel Salad Bowl ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

They’ll get quite browned and crispy on the outside, but the inside will stay bright green and soft.  Don’t be afraid of the dark color, the best falafel is quite deeply colored.

Falafel Salad Bowl is a satisfying and healthy Middle Eastern main course salad ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

The two sauces I made guarantee that you’ll have endless taste combinations for every bite.  The tahini sauce is traditional, but I also made a spicy feta dip.  The warm falafel with the cool crisp salad is just perfect, and saves you the extra carbs of a pita pocket.  I would happily eat this every night of the week :)

Falafel Salad Bowl

Falafel Salad Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 batch falafel mix ~ see recipe HERE
  • 1 small head of red leaf or romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • olive oil and vinegar of your choice
  • 1 cup prepared tabbouleh (for homemade, see recipe HERE)
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives
  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup peppadew peppers
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, diced
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
    tahini sauce
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste, look for it near the peanut butter, or in the International aisle)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • water to thin
  • salt to taste
    fire feta dip
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper or sun dried tomato in olive oil
  • 1 pepperoncini, stem removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. I like to fry my falafel in patties for this salad, as opposed to round balls like my original recipe. I use a 1 1/2 inch scoop to portion out the mixture and then I flatten it into a disk shape. This way it cooks evenly in a shallow amount of oil.
  2. Pour about 1/2 to 1 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat until the oil reaches about 325F. Gently slide the patties into the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp and deep brown. Be gentle when you flip them, I sometimes use two spatulas, one to push the patty onto the other, and then I ease the patty over. Drain on paper towels. This recipe will make approximately 20 falafel. I use 4 per salad serving.
  3. For each salad fill the bottom of a bowl with chopped lettuce. Drizzle the lettuce lightly with olive oil and vinegar. Put a large spoonful of tabbouleh in the center. Arrange olives, cucumbers, feta cheese, tomatoes, peppadews, and onions around the edge.
  4. Place 4 falafel patties on each salad, along with lemon wedges and a small container of both sauces.
  5. To make the tahini sauce, stir the tahini with the lemon juice, and then add water, a little at a time, while stirring, until you get the consistency you like. It will thicken up quite a bit, but if you want it thinner, just add more water. Season with salt to taste.
  6. To make the fire feta, put the ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil and salt in a small food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined into a rough paste. Add olive oil to thin, and salt to taste.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/falafel-salad-bowl-recipe/

Notes:

  • An inexpensive cooking thermometer is a great tool to have handy in the kitchen, but if you don’t have one, do a test falafel in your oil, it should sizzle on contact with the oil, and turn deep brown in about 2 minutes per side.  If it burns, turn the heat down, and if it doesn’t brown quickly enough, turn it up.
  • You can reheat your falafel by wrapping it loosely in foil and putting it in a 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until warm.

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This healthy and protein rich Falafel Salad Bowl is a wonderful meatless main course salad. | Middle Eastern | vegetarian | lunch | Meatless Monday | Vegan

Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart

My Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart makes a fun non-dairy breakfast treat for any occasion. Customize your healthy tart with whatever fruit's in season.

My Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart makes a fun non-dairy breakfast treat for any occasion.  Customize your healthy tart with whatever fruit’s in season.

*I’m teaming up with So Delicious® today ~ thank you for supporting me and my brand partners, I only work with the best companies, and they help keep TVFGI cooking on all four burners!

A healthy a pretty Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart ~ |gluten free | Mother's Day | Valentine's Day | Easter | Dairy Free

My Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart makes a fun non-dairy breakfast treat for any occasion. Customize your healthy tart with whatever fruit's in season.

You could wait for a special occasion to try this beautiful vegan fruit and yogurt breakfast tart, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day are right around the corner, but it’s really just a festive way to enjoy what so many of us eat (or should eat) for breakfast every day.  My granola crust is pressed into a tart pan, briefly baked to set it, and then topped with So Delicious Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative, and fresh fruit.  I’ve been eating So Delicious dairy free ‘yogurt’ for years, and I love the coconutty flavor and silky texture.  It’s perfect for this vegan tart.

Have you heard about the So Delicious 21 Day Dairy Free Challenge?

It’s a fun way to introduce yourself to the delicious world of dairy free ~ you can substitute So Delicious products 1-for-1 in any recipe that calls for dairy, so it’s super easy.  When you sign up you’ll get lots of inspiration for how to go ‘dairy free’:

  • A new coupon each week to make your next meal delicious
  • Simple Dairy Free Swaps and Tips
  • A Dairy Free Shopping List
  • A Dairy Free Snack Guide

So Delicious products are certified vegan, and they don’t use artificial flavors, colors, hydrogenated oils or trans-fats. Because their foods and beverages are plant based, they’re also cholesterol free.

Making a Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart

This pretty tart is based on my Beautiful Breakfast Tart.  The ‘crust’ is an easy oat and multi-seed granola that bakes right in the pan.  The yogurt goes right on top and then the fun begins.  You don’t have to get as fancy as I did with my patterns, you can use all berries, or all citrus, for an equally tempting result.  Even a simple spiral of sliced bananas, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of wheat germ or flax seeds would be wonderful.

TIP: If you like you can skip the crust and serve up your fruit and yogurt with a spoon.  You can make individual bowls, or fill a large serving dish for a crowd.

Making a healthy and festive Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Parfait

I used the fruit that was available in my supermarket for this tart…I always look for a variety of shape and color to keep things interesting.

  • starfruit
  • strawberries
  • mandarin orange (canned)
  • blueberries
  • mango or papaya (cut in heart shapes)
  • raspberries
  • kiwi
  • banana

Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart made with So Delicious Coconut Milk Alternative

Whether you eat dairy free for health reasons, or just want to see what it’s all about, I highly recommend So Delicious products, and don’t forget to check out the 21 Day Dairy Free Challenge!

So Delicious Coconut Yogurt Alternative for a Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart

Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart

Yield: serves 8

Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart

Ingredients

    crust
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup mixed chopped nuts and seeds (I used almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melt if solid)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    filling and topping
  • 124-ounce container Vanilla So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative
  • 1 large or 2 small starfruit, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mandarin orange slices
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 mango or papaya, thinly sliced and cup into small heart with a small cutter
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 banana
  • about 10 raspberries

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Mix the oats, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl until everything is thoroughly coated.
  3. Press the mixture into a greased 10-12" tart pan with a removable bottom (or a pie plate). Use a measuring cup to help press the granola evenly across the pan and up the sides. Depending on your pan, you might not need all the mixture.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool. You can make the crust ahead if you want to and fill it the next morning just before serving.
  5. Spread the yogurt evenly over the cooled granola crust.
  6. Beginning at the outside edge, arrange the strawberries alternately with the starfruit slices. Insert mandarin orange slices in the spaces between.
  7. Next lay down a circle of halved blueberries. Follow with the mango hearts and raspberries.
  8. Arrange half moons of kiwi next, and fill in the center with banana slices, blueberries, and a raspberry.
  9. For best results, serve right away. Remove the sides of the tart pan so that you can slice your tart more easily. Use a sharp knife to cut through the crust and ease out your slices with a pie server.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/vegan-fruit-and-yogurt-breakfast-tart-recipe/

Notes:

  • For best results don’t add the yogurt and fruit to the crust until the last minute, and serve right away.
  • Add a spritz of lemon juice to any fruit that tends to brown after cutting.

 

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Vegan Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Tart made with coconut yogurt | healthy | vegan | breakfast | fruit tart |