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I tried 4 new recipes this weekend.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Inspired by "Julie & Julia", I've joined the team "Cooking Through a Cookbook". Instead of deciding on one book to cook through, I've chosen by favorite cookbook series EatingWell. I figured there would be plenty of recipes to choose from, given that there is also a website & I already subscribe to the magazine. My favorite book in the series is "EatingWell Serves Two". Me & my fiancé have cooked through at least half that book in the past 3 years, plus recipes from a few of the other books. I was quite adventurous this weekend & made 4 recipes from "EatingWell 500 Calorie Dinners". If you don't have the book, see the website.

Saturday's Dinner Menu:
Claire's Mixed Green Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
Penne in Spicy Tomato Sauce

This was a quick dinner and didn't require any ingredients I didn't already have. The salad was delicious. We improvised & used grape tomatoes instead of cherry because they were cheaper. :) We also used a reduced fat feta. A little went a long way with the vinaigrette. Very tasty! The penne was also good, but it wasn't as saucy as I like. The leftovers on Sunday really reflected how dry it was. I should have reserved 1/8 cup of the pasta water to add back in. Maybe add some bell pepper in to up my veggie count. Now I know for next time. I still enjoyed it though...so much that I forgot to take a photo.

Sunday's Dinner Menu:
Goat Cheese & Tomato Dressing
Black Bean Soup

This was a great combo. The dressing called for maple syrup, which sounded really weird to me, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. This dressing was simple to make. I have a faux Magic Bullet blender so I just put the ingredients in & it was ready. We already had some greens, so the fresh dressing was perfect. The soup was pretty easy to make, but slightly bland. I felt that it needed more salt, but didn't want to get trapped in salt shaker mode. I just added a teaspoon more lime juice to my bowl & that kicked it up. My fiancé used a little Tabasco in his. I've added a pic of Sunday's dinner below.

All in all, this was a great recipe weekend. My sodium stayed in line because I wasn't using prepared salad dressings, so that was a bonus. I would make all four of these recipes again with the slight modifications I mentioned. These recipes were also great because the serving sizes left us with some leftovers for lunch. I can't wait to have some more of the goat cheese & tomato dressing on my salad tomorrow!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Looks great! One of my favorite things about this challenge is that it has dragged me out of my comfort zone a little bit so that I'm trying new things. I've never tried goat cheese before. It's always made me a little leery. But the salad looks great. I love black bean soup. And it's easy to spice up with very little sodium using some chili powder and cayenne pepper, and as you found, lime juice.
    3574 days ago
    @ SusieQ- None of these recipes contain meat. I'm not a vegetarian, but I tend to be pulled toward recipes that are. These books have vegetarian chapters so it makes it easy to find meatless recipes...and tasty ones, at that!
    3580 days ago
    emoticon Congratulations on making so many recipes this weekend!! They all sound really tasty and easy to make, which is awesome! I'm definitely a more-sauce-the-better person with pasta so i know what you mean, especially with leftovers needing even more! The black bean soup sounds so yummy!! I'm sorry to hear it was a little bland, but sounds like a great fix to put in some lime juice! Congrats again on cooking 4 new recipes this weekend!! emoticon
    3580 days ago
    Great blog post!! So glad for you to share your recipes that you cooked. Looks like a very tasty & gourmet weekend! emoticon That's always nice to be able to cook up a quick dinner that you don't have to shop for. I think with lots of these recipes you realize those 1 or 2 things you would change to really kick the recipe up a notch (maybe some of these you will make again and will remember what that was!)

    That picture looks amazing. Very professional & great presentation skills (now I'm hungry). The Greens with Goat Cheese & Tomato Dressing looks especially yummy and something I would expect at a fancy restaurant. emoticon Well the Black Bean Soup was missing something... it's a bit challenging to reduce sodium yet maintain taste. Great job at reducing your sodium level & awesome job at cooking 4 new recipes in a few days!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3581 days ago
    Wow, everything sounds fantastic. I've never cooked before. Well not before I joined Spark People that is! I'm soooo into cooking now. Thanks for your blog, sounds like fun and I'm going to check out "Cooking Through a Cookbook".
    3581 days ago
  • SUSIE85251
    Sounds like there might be some good vegetarian recipes for me to look into. How many of the recipes contain meat? Just wondering?
    3581 days ago
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