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Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

07.25.11 by Jackie

Orzo salad is an easy one-dish, summertime meal. You could add anything you like, so you can adapt the recipe to fit whatever you find at the market. The most labor intensive work involved in preparing the salad is chopping all the ingredients. For this version, I added cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, pickled carrots and canned black beans. The main event though, was the addition of the roasted beets. I prepped them in the morning and let them cool to room temperature.

We spent a very low-key, relaxing weekend and I didn't feel like cooking a ton, raising the temperature in the kitchen with the stove and oven during the afternoon, as the temperature got higher. This cold pasta dish was light, complete but still flavorful, and we got to enjoy it by the scoopful in our garden.


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Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs Recipe

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

07.04.11 by Jackie

I'm a huge fan of fall-off the bone, super tender beef ribs. My trick is to marinate them overnight with (I used an Asian pear purée and ground papaya mixture) to tenderize the meat. The following day, I cooked them, wrapped in aluminum foil, for several hours in a slow cooker. Lastly, I smothered them in barbecue sauce and place them on a barbecue grill.

July 4th isn't the same without beef ribs. I don't make them that often because I find it quite time-consuming and the result is pretty meager for the amount of work. What I mean by that is that there is very little meat falling off the bone. What can I say, I'm very greedy when it comes to eating meat! Purists will probably think it's wrong to par-boil or steam the ribs in a slow cooker because flavors are lost. But the slow cooker method guarantees that they turn out very tender.


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Black Bean Burger (Homemade Veggie Burger Recipe) Recipe

Have you started preparing your 4th of July menu? I always plan ahead, because along with ribs, burgers and hot dogs, I have come up with a vegetarian option as well. As always, there's going to be a platter of grilled vegetables, corn on the cob and fire-roasted sweet potatoes but I still wanted to make a "main course" worthy vegetarian dish that's substantial and filling.

After polling the herbivores in my house, I settled on black bean burgers. They're just seasoned, mashed black beans bound together with lecithin and xanthan gum. You could always use an egg instead if there are no dietary restrictions or allergies to contend with. A couple of minutes on the grill and they're good to go. You could also opt for other legumes such as pinto beans, chickpeas, kidney beans or fava beans.

I'll probably grill the veggie burgers first, then cook the regular meat burgers and let each guest assemble their sandwich with tomato slices, greens and onions. What could be better on Independence Day than a little freedom?


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Mango Stilton Cheese Muffins Recipe

Mango Stilton Cheese Muffins

06.29.11 by Jackie

Making savory muffins is one of the easiest fancy, light accompaniments you could prepare. The batter can even be prepared in advance. This time around, I flavored the muffins with mild stilton cheese, dried mango and fresh ginger.

I prepared a full platter of mini muffins and served them with a salad of mixed greens and another platter of rolled smoked salmon (cold sliced meat would work fine as well), crème fraîche and slices of lemons. The weather is getting warmer, so a light lunch along with sweet treats and fresh cold drinks was really satisfying.


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Potato Leek Pie Recipe Recipe

Potato Leek Pie Recipe

06.23.11 by Jackie

The concept of tarte salée ("savory pie" in French) is pretty simple. The flaky dough is made with puff pastry and the filling is usually made from vegetables with a cheese topping. This time around, I made a potato pie. The first inside layer is very similar to the leek quiches I made a few months ago. I topped the pie with gorgonzola cheese for added flavor.

It's easy to assemble once the potato slices are pan-fried. Just pair the pie with a healthy green salad. Enjoy!


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