Making Your Own Vinaigrette

Don’t worry, this just sounds impressive and like it will require a lot of effort.  It won’t.  (But other people will think it did and that’s okay.)

A few weeks ago, I gave you a recipe for homemade balsamic vinaigrette on my post for roasted vegetables.  Then I made a video of how to make it.  And forgot to post it.

So just ignore the part where I said I shared this recipe with you last week, because it was actually a month ago.  Better late than never.  Go make yourself some salad dressing, people.

Don’t Get Crabby! Make These Cakes!

Ever since living in Baltimore, I have become enamored with crab cakes.  However, most of the time when you order them in a restaurant they tend to be more filler – mayo and bread – than actual delicious, good for you crab meat.

But, I’ve got good news for you: you can make them at home, they’re quite easy and they can be healthy and delicious.

(And by the way, if you can’t eat shellfish, you can buy imitation crab which is usually another white fish, like Alaskan Pollock.)

Assemble the ingredients: 1 pound lump crabmeat, 4 egg whites, 1 piece whole wheat bread, Old Bay Seasoning, olive oil.

Mash up the crab meat with a fork, breaking the pieces up.  The smaller they are, the easier your cakes will hold together – although I personally love crab cakes with bigger pieces!  So this is up to you.

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Add the 4 egg whites.

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Pulse 1 piece of whole wheat bread in a food processor or blender and add crumbs.  *You can also skip that step and use 1/2 cup of bread crumbs or panko.

Add in Old Bay seasoning.  This is a must! Ok, if you don’t have this on hand, you can add salt, pepper, a pinch of paprika, mustard and celery seed.  But really… if you’re going to make crab cakes, you should have Old Bay seasoning.

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Shape into patties.  The smaller they are, the easy they will be to flip in your skillet.  Using a pound of crab meat should make about 6-8 patties.

Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a hot pan, and add the crab cakes.  Cook on each side until golden brown.

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I love to serve these on a bed of green lettuce.  They are the perfect complement to greens!

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You can also serve them the old-fashioned way with tartar sauce, but try mixing in some greek yogurt to your mayo to cut down on the mayo.  Once you add in the pickle relish and a squeeze of lemon juice, you won’t pick up on the yogurt at all.

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Then, sit back and enjoy!  I like to pretend I’m sitting at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, about to get ready to go see the O’s play at Camden Yards!

megs and dad at camden Dad & Meg, Camden Yards, 2005

(Stats: I use 2 Tbsp of olive oil total, a Tbsp for each batch of 4.  That’s included in the stats.  Each patty is 100 calories, 4 g fat,  10 g carb, 6.5 g protein.)

Goat Cheese Salad

As I’ve confessed, I like to rip off restaurant favorites and try to healthy them up a bit. One of my favorite meals here in town is a salad with fried goat cheese patties in it. Two places here serve it: 6th & Vine in downtown Winston and Riverburch Lodge. It’s a toss-up as to which one I like better. 6th and Vine might win solely because I usually eat it on their gorgeous back porch, and for better or worse, ambience is half my taste buds!

Anyways, I figured “Fried” + “Cheese” were probably two things I shouldn’t go too crazy with BUT on the other hand, goat cheese is one of the lowest in calories and fats. A few months ago, my Everyday Food magazine featured a recipe on how to make them using panko and it was way easier than I imagined.

I went to work and was so delighted with the results I had to share it. The key is to start with REALLY cold goat cheese, so it slices into nice disks. Then, you just drop each disc into a little bit of egg WHITE. After the egg white bath, they flip over to a bath of either panko crumbs or grind up a slice of WHOLE WHEAT bread.

After that they can go into a pan with just some spray olive oil and abt 1 tsp of oil oil per little disc. They don’t take long to crisp up before you need to flip them. The stats will depend on how much olive oil you use, and how many discs you put on your salad per person. Here’s a quick way to tally it all up.

I put three goat cheese discs on a salad with blueberries, a few chopped almonds, 1 T of olive oil and fresh ground pepper. It was words-fail-me delicious.

Goat Cheese Salad

Goat Cheese Salad

Meal Plan Follow Up: Chef’s Salad and Black Bean Tostadas

Wednesday was supposed to be Chef’s Salad, but I ended up going to a Charity Chicks event last minute with some lovely ladies (skirtini’s for a cause, yes please) and I left Matt to his own devices with salad and sandwich basics. Thursday night, Matt was catching up on some sleep after a long shift at the hospital so we didn’t have a sit down dinner.

But, that’s the reality of meal planning:

Summer Salad

I really thought I had nothing left in the fridge and that I was desperately overdue for the grocery store. BUT, I also had a really anxious doggy on my hand and I wasn’t really in the mood for all the structure that crating him requires right now. So I started digging in all the drawers of my fridge and came up with this really lovely meal:

Salad greens with an apple, piece of cheddar cheese (sandwich slices) and a few almonds sliced. Sprinkled with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and some fresh ground pepper. Accompanied by Fage 0% with 1 T honey and a few more almonds.

Fresh Summer Lunch

Fresh Summer Lunch

Sometimes desperate times force you to get creative! My fridge wasn’t half as Mother Hubbard as I thought!

Walnuts, Wild Rice and Feta – Oh My!

I was working on a class I’m teaching on whole grains and I guess that inspired this salad.  It was made from leftovers but it was absolutely delicious.  It was 1 cup of cooked wild rice (cooked with chicken stock the night before), about 4 toasted walnuts chopped up and 1/2 oz of feta cheese.  The combination of the oil in the nuts, the salt in the feta and the starch of the rice was perfect.

Wild Rice with Feta & Walnuts

Wild Rice with Feta & Walnuts

293 calories for the rice salad, plus I had a salad with my own homemade dressing which is 63 calories per tablespoon.  I usually count 10 calories for a straight up veggie salad, so total count was 356 calories.  I didn’t end up finishing it all, it was so filling.