Panzanella with Turkey Sausage

This is a great recipe to use up a loaf of day old baguette… we had some stored in the freezer and decided to give this recipe a try.  Panzanella is a bread and tomato salad, which is super easy to throw together on a weeknight.  ( It is also similar to our previously posted Roasted Carrot and Arugula Salad ( so GOOD))  We paired the salad with some Italian style turkey sausage, to finish off the meal.  Make sure you have some ripe and red tomatoes, which luckily the store had this week.  Spring produce is in abundance- hooray!

Ingredients
6 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 medium cucumber, cut into half moons
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 cups arugula
2 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small whole-grain baguette or other crusty bread (preferably day-old;
about 8 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch chunks and toasted in warm oven
1 16-ounce package Italian-style Turkey Sausage

In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the bread chunks, arugula and spinach and toss well so all the bread is well moistened.

Preheat a pan over medium-high heat, add a little olive oil.

Add the sausage and cook, turning once or twice, until cooked through (160 degrees) 16 minutes. Serve the sausage, whole, alongside the panzanella salad.

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BBQ Pulled Chicken and Easy Slaw

This was really quick and simple to throw together, and a tasty healthy meal. Perfect for a summer Sunday like we just had! Using a rotisserie chicken is a great way to make cooking faster, clean up easier and you can find one for around $6- can’t beat that! This sauce is sweet and savory, not thick and overpowering- we promise you won’t miss the fatty pork at all, dig in!

BBQ Pulled Chicken
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces low-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded into thin strips (about 4 to 4 1/2 cups)
6 whole-wheat hamburger rolls
6 large romaine lettuce leaves

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chopped chicken, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Split rolls. Place a leaf of lettuce on each roll, then pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll.

Easy Classic Coleslaw
Ingredients:
1/2 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
1 (12-ounce) bag broccoli slaw mix

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the Greek or stained yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add coleslaw mix and toss to coat.

Fennel, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fennel, Beets and Arugula are all in season springtime vegetables.  We made this salad along with some pan seared chicken breasts on a bed of wilted dandelion greens ( also in season)- obviously we are highlighting the salad because it was the star of our meal- dandelion greens, not so much ( very bitter, we welcome any suggestions to try them again, until that happens we won’t be getting them… ).  Back to our Fennel, Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad; we tossed it in a homemade dressing that had finely chopped chives and shallots, which balanced well with the variety of bold flavored veggies- fennel holds it’s crunchy bite and sweet anise flavor offset by the peppery arugula, and back to the sweet roasted beets with tangy goat cheese to top it all off…  A mouthful of flavors, this is no boring salad!

2 medium beets (red or gold), washed, tops removed, and cut in half
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced chives
1 diced shallot
1-2  fennel bulbs, top trimmed
6 cups baby arugula
2 oz goat cheese, optional

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place beets in a small baking dish. Add 11/2 teaspoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until beets are tender. Let beets cool, peel off skin, and cut into bite-size wedges.
3. Whisk together remaining olive oil, vinegar, chives, and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Add 11/2 tablespoons of dressing to beets and toss to coat.
4. Cut fennel bulb in half and remove core. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice fennel and transfer to a large bowl. Add arugula and gently toss to mix. Add remaining dressing and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Heap a mound of fennel-arugula salad in center of each plate. Scatter beets around fennel mixture and goat cheese and serve.