Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marinated Cucumber Salad

I first had this years ago when I was doing Weight Watchers, and it was fabulous (and 0 points!). I'd lost the recipe, and failed when trying to recreate it a few times over the years. I think I finally did it though! Yay!

1 English Cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 of a large red onion, thinly sliced
1 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c water
1 c sugar (to make it 0 WW points, use Splenda)
1/2 to 1 T red pepper flakes (depending on the amount of heat you're after!)
1 to 2 T salt

Bring the vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. Stir in the red pepper flakes and salt, and pour the hot mixture over the cukes and onion. Stir. Put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving, and stir a few times in that hour.

I think this would be awesome over a white fish (tilapia maybe?) for a light dinner!

Some variations I've seen that I'm anxious to try:
1) Instead of red wine vinegar, use white vinegar, and sub dried dill for the red pepper flakes.
2) Rachel Ray's Quick Pickled Onions and Apples sounds interesting--and somewhat similar--too!

Oven-Roasted Broccoli

After reading the reviews of Alton Brown's Roasted Broccoli, I decided I had to give it a try...especially since Wes won't ever eat broccoli, and Wesley has recently been turning up his nose at it about half the time!
I didn't have any panko bread crumbs, so I used regular ones, and I used parmesan instead of cheddar.

1 lb. broccoli
2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I think I used 3 or 4!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c panko bread crumbs (I used closer to 1/2 a cup of regular bread crumbs, but next time I'd use more like 1/4 c)
1/4 c grated parm or cheddar

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, including the stalks. Toss with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
Toast the breadcrumbs on a metal cookie sheet or cake pan for about 2 minutes in the oven. Stir into the broccoli mixture, then put it all back on the cake pan. Roast just until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes (I think it took me about 15). Remove from the oven, stir in the cheese, and serve immediately!

I'm happy to report that both Wes and Wesley ate at least 2 bites each of this. Now, I don't see either of them requesting it for dinner anytime soon, but hey, tasting it is progress, right?!

Homemade Pasta...YUM!

Okay, I'm jumping on The Pioneer Woman bandwagon. How have I not heard of this awesome blog before?? I decided to try out Pastor Ryan's Homemade Pasta the other night, and it was so fun to make...and yummy!

I did have to use a fair amount more flour than she called for, but I'd start with the listed amount, then add as needed. We had it for dinner with homemade sauce, then Wesley and I had it the next day for lunch, tossed with a little bit of olive oil and seasoning. It looks very, hmm, earthy and sloppy, but very interesting at the same tiime!

6 whole eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour (or more)

slowly mix the eggs into the flour with your hands. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead, knead, knead! Add flour as needed until the dough becomes smooth. Let the dough rest for a bit, then roll out as thinly as possible. Cut with a pizza wheel(that's what I used) or sharp knife. Make sure to cut the noodles very narrow...they'll plump up when you cook them.
Cook the noodles in salty (very salty!) water for just a couple of minutes. They'll be plump and floating when they're ready.