Posts Tagged ‘basil’

Summer’s here and so is the June Daring Cook’s Challenge!!

I was driving to work the other day and the weather forecast was being read on the radio. And this is what they said – “Cooler temperatures today, with a high of 106F”. That’s when I knew summer in Phoenix has arrived. So when the daring cooks challenge for June was announced, it fit in perfectly with the rising summer temperatures. A healthy potato salad!!! I have never been a fan of the mayonnaise laden potato salads that are so common. So I decided to create my version of a potato salad, healthy and fresh!!!

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

I chose to make a potato and chicken sausage salad with a lime-garlic-basil dressing. The chicken sausage is optional, I added it in because I found these interesting jalapeno-mango chicken sausages, which I thought would go well with the potato salad. And they added an awesome twist to the potato salad. This recipe serves 2 and takes about 1/2 hour to make (most of the time is spent in roasting the potatoes).

Ingredients:

  1. 20-25 small red potatoes (halved with skin)
  2. 1 jalapeno-mango chicken sausage (sliced and cooked)
  3. 1/2 cup chopped green onions (only the green part)
  4. salt to taste
  5. 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil

For the dressing

  1. 1/8 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup lime juice
  3. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  4. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  5. salt to taste
  6. 2 cloves chopped roasted garlic
  7. 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red chili flakes

Directions:

  • Mix the potatoes with the olive oil, salt and black pepper.
  • Roast it in the oven till the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Mix the cooked chicken sausages, potatoes and green onions.
  • Mix all the ingredients under ‘For the dressing’ in a grinder.
  • Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it warm.

I promise, you will love it. The dressing adds a fresh zing to the potato salad. And the sausage is completely optional. I loved it though as the sausage added an interesting twist to the potato salad.

Soup Time!!!

Amit (my husband) was down with a cold the other day and he so wanted to have some soup. So instead of buying the sodium loaded soups at the grocery store, I decided to try making some homemade soup. After a lot of  “you decide, no you”, we agreed on tomato soup. I then found this recipe online for tomato soup with roasted red pepper and fresh basil. The recipe just looked interesting and easy to make. And I can vouch for the fact that it was delicious too. I did make some modifications to the original recipe.

The quantities listed below will serve 3 persons if you are serving just the soup and a salad. We decided to go healthy that night and have a salad and soup for dinner.

Ingredients:

  1. Crushed tomato (15 ounces)
  2. 1 Red Pepper
  3. 2 teaspoons white cooking wine
  4. 1 teaspoon oregano
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. 1 small onion
  7. 3 teaspoons olive oil
  8. 2 cups chicken stock
  9. 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)

For the basil cream

  1. 1/2 cup sour cream
  2. 1/4 – 1/2 cup whipping cream
  3. 1/4 cup fresh basil
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Slice the red pepper into 1 inch thin slices (slivers).
  • Mix the white cooking wine and oregano with the red pepper and set aside.
  • In the meanwhile chop the garlic cloves and onion.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan and add the marinated red pepper.
  • Roast the red pepper till the edges turn brown.
  • Set the red pepper aside.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the same saucepan.
  • Once the oil is hot add the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan.
  • Saute the onion and garlic till they turn light brown.
  • Mix in the red pepper, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to boil.
  • Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
  • While the soup is cooking, mix together the sour cream, whipping cream, basil, salt and black pepper and set aside.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender and blend till smooth. (It takes me a just a couple of minutes to achieve the soup like consistency)
  • Pour the soup into bowls and add the basil cream on top. (I also added a few cut sprigs of basil to give it a very colorful and fresh feel)

This soup takes about 20 – 30 minutes to serve including prep time and cooking time. I love to serve this alongside some fresh salad with a ranch dressing.

The original recipe can be found at http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/red-pepper-soup-basil-cream-recipe?click=main_sr. I only made a change in the red pepper part of the recipe. Instead of buying a can of marinated red pepper I made my own fresh roasted pepper.