Thursday, December 31, 2009

Salads - Just in Time for the New Year!

If you're like me, you enjoyed every aspect of the Holiday Season including mashed potatoes and gravy, with lots of pie and cookies. Now that it's time to start another New Year, I'm reminded that summer will be here again before we know it and so will those sleeveless shirts, sundresses, and shorts. New Year's resolutions aside, it's never too early to start thinking about healthy side dishes that help to fill us up without breaking our caloric bank. Here are two such dishes that pack in the vitamins and fiber while leaving you feeling full and not deprived. These make great dinner sides or can fly solo for a light lunch.

We'll start with the bean salad. This is very simple, easy to assemble - anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can make this. The recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled. Plus, it is super healthy, low in fat, and high in fiber - great way to start your new year!

Bean Salad

1 can kidney beans, well-drained
1 can mexicorn, well-drained
1 can black beans, well-drained
1/4 cup chopped scallions (green onion)
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin. Stir in black beans, kidney beans, corn and onions. Combine well and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve chilled.

*Live-It-Up Variation: Turn this simple side into a main dish by grilling 1-2 chicken breasts, shredding with a fork and tossing into salad.


And then there's broccoli salad. Sweet and tangy with the crunchiness of bacon, helps to ensure that even the children in your home will eat their veggies...

Broccoli Salad

1 large head broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
6-12 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup Miracle Whip (can use fat-free)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Combine chopped broccoli, chopped onion, carrot, cranberries and bacon in a large bowl, toss well. In a small bowl, mix together Miracle Whip, sugar and vinegar. Pour over broccoli mixture and stir to combine well. Chill for at least an hour. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I've Been Up To - Part II

In addition to all of my cooking/caking activity, a local magazine asked to feature my cake business as their cover story. How could I possibly say no to such a proposal? Click here to read the article...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I've Been Up To - Part I

Wow! I can't believe it has been over 2 months since I've posted anything new. I've still been cooking up a storm and baking cakes galore and honestly, those activities have monopolized my time. Here's a quick peek at a few of the creations that have been keeping me busy...