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June 12, 2019

BERRIES AND PEAR WATERCRESS SALAD WITH POPPY SEED VINAIGRETTE 

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If you have never had a watercress salad, why not start today? This Berries And Pear Watercress Salad With Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is simple, nutritious and is sure to get you hooked!

Berries And Pear Watercress Salad With Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
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Hi there!! I would like to start with a public service announcement: when writing a post that involves poppy seeds, it is imperative to proofread and to turn on spell check. I caught myself typing poopy seeds several times. They, my friends, aren't a good marketing tool when it comes to food. Haha!!


When I first made this salad, I shared it with my next door neighbors. They LOVED it! And what's not to love? There is the pepperiness of the watercress, the sweetness of the fruits; the satisfying crunch and nuttiness of pecans; and the cheesy and saltiness of Gorgonzola. To tie everything together is a honey sweetened poppy seed vinaigrette, which perfectly compliments and mellows the spicy watercress. 


I made a resolution to incorporate more watercress into my diet because it is so beneficial. Do you know that it is a superfood? It's in the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, which includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli, arugula, cabbage, and kale. Watercress has a plethora of benefits and contains over 15 essential vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is packed with vitamin K which promotes blood clotting, and in conjunction with calcium, helps prevent osteoporosis. In fact, one cup of this veggie has over 100% of RDI of vitamin K. Also in high abundance are iron, calcium, and vitamin C.

Watercress is also high in antioxidants, which prevents cell damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Also worth mentioning, watercress also has blood pressure reduction properties. You see how I need to get more of this green healthy goodness in my life?




And guess what? If you are looking to lose a few pounds, say hello to your new best friend! One cup of chopped watercress has only 4 calories! 4 calories!! Incorporating it into your diet is easy. There are so many ways to use it apart from salads: in sandwiches, in smoothies, pasta dishes, casseroles, omletes, frittatas, soups, stir-fries, pesto, or simply saut√©ed. 


HOW TO CHOOSE  WATERCRESS?
Select ones that have unblemished and unbruised healthy green leaves. 

HOW TO STORE?
Using it quickly for freshness is best, but watercress can keep up to five days when stored properly. Refrigerate, wrapped in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Or, refrigerate in a glass of water loosely covered with a plastic bag.

OTHER MAIN TYPES OF CRESSES:
While watercress may be the most popular, there are two other less known types:
  • Upland Cress (winter cress or creasy greens): Upland cress looks like watercress but with thinner stems and tender leaves. It is often sold with the root on and packaged in a bag. It has a slightly milder flavor than watercress. Like its cousin, the upland cress is also nutrient packed.
  • Garden Cress (curly cress or pepper cress): It is more pungent and peppery or horseradish like in taste. It too has many health benefits. The seeds are edible and are loaded with iron, folate, vitamin A, C, E as well as fiber and protein.



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BERRIES AND PEAR WATERCRESS SALAD WITH POPPY SEED VINAIGRETTE 



INGREDIENTS:


1 (6 ounce bunch) watercress *
8 ounce (12 large or 18 medium) strawberries, sliced 
1 cup blueberries
1 medium pear, diced
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup Gorgonzola 


For The Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise 
5 teaspoon honey
1/4 generous teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
tiny pinch of salt



INSTRUCTIONS:

Trim and discard any tough or extra long watercress stems. Add watercress to a large salad bowl. Top with strawberries, blueberries, pear, and pecans.

To make the vinaigrette, add shallot, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and honey. Whisk to combine. Slowly add oil, whisking continuously. Whisk in poppy seed and salt. Pour over salad just before serving.

Makes 4 starters or 2 main course servings.



*No need to trim stems if using baby watercress.

References:



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May 27, 2019

BLUE CHOC-A- SAURUS ICE CREAM

8 Comments

This no-churn blue vanilla ice cream with chocolate wafer candy and fudge swirls was inspired by my son's favorite childhood ice cream stand flavor. 

Blue Choc-A- Saurus Ice Cream
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Hi friends! I'm back from Arizona. I had such a great time visiting my family. It was much needed quality time with them. And the weather was heavenly! It was sunny, dry, and comfortable with the temps in the high 70's and 80's. My middle sister, who lives in up in the mountains of Colorado where it is still snowing at the end of May, couldn't get over the beautiful weather. Every single time we stepped outside the words "it's so nice out" automatically flew out of our mouths. 

May 09, 2019

EASY SALMON LEEK CHOWDER

8 Comments

Chunks of salmon and potatoes, along with tender leeks, are in this deliciously creamy chowder. Fresh tarragon infuses a delicate anise-like flavor, which compliments the richness of the base. This soup is perfect as a starter or satisfying as a meal.

Easy Salmon Leek Chowder
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Hey there cyber friends! I don't make a habit of publicly announcing when I won't be home...because there are a few bad eggs out there who ruin things for the rest of us. You know what I mean? But for all the other lovely people, I'm going on vacation in just over a week! Woo-hoo!! I'll be visiting my parents in Arizona. I'm excited because with the absence of one of my brothers, it's almost a family reunion. Three of my four siblings will be there. It's been a couple decades since that many member of my family are in same place at the same time. Yay!!

April 23, 2019

LEMONY CHICKEN ASPARAGUS PHYLLO PUFFS

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These light and crispy phyllo puffs are stuffed with a chicken, asparagus, and lemony cream cheese filling. They are perfect appetizers for springtime or anytime of the year!

Lemony Chicken Asparagus Phyllo Puffs
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Whenever I use phyllo dough, I tell myself I need to utilize it more. The paper thin sheets of dough bake up light, airy, and crispy. Phyllo elevates the gustatory experience, and the crunch factor is undeniably satisfying! Sure, you have to use a little TLC when working with this ingredient, but it's not difficult.