Stuff yourself!

Let me just say, this recipe looks beyond ridiculous.  I can NOT wait to try it!  As a part of Project: Color Wheel, Red Edition, we have a recipe using tomatoes–yum!

Tomatoes are considered a super food because of a phytochemical it contains called lycopene.  I learned two interesting things about lycopene in one of the A&P classes I took in school.  One, lycopene is released from the tomato by cooking with heat, which increases it’s absorption in the body.  Two, it is fat-soluble which means that eating tomatoes with things like olive oils, cheese or nuts increases how much your body absorbes.  How cool is that?  I love food!

Now, on to this recipe we have from myrecipes.com for Shrimp and Rice Stuffed Tomatoes!  The picture alone makes my mouth water!

Image courtesy of myrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4  cups  uncooked long-grain rice
  • 4  large ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  pound  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2  cup  hot water

Preparation

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Place 2 cups cooked rice in a large bowl; set aside. Refrigerate remaining rice in an airtight container for another use.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut tops off tomatoes, and reserve. Carefully scoop out tomato pulp, leaving shells intact; reserve 1/2 cup pulp. Discard remaining pulp.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add reserved 1/2 cup tomato pulp; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Add onion mixture, cheese, and next 5 ingredients (cheese through shrimp) to 2 cups rice.

Place tomato shells in an 8-inch square baking dish. Divide rice mixture evenly among tomato shells; replace tomato tops. Add hot water to baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and rice mixture is thoroughly heated. Serve warm or chilled.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  269 (19% from fat)
Fat:  5.8g (sat 2.5g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.8g)
Protein:  15.2g
Carbohydrate:  40.4g
Fiber:  4.2g
Cholesterol:  77mg
Iron:  3.5mg
Sodium:  535mg
Calcium:  136mg

Happy hour is any hour around here!

Especially if we are serving up drinks like this!  As a part of our Project:  Color Wheel, Red Edition we have a cocktail recipe for you guys!  I mean, anyone that knows the Pickle Sisters surely knows that we have great appreciation for the cocktail!

photo courtesy of Myrecipes.com

So, when I saw this recipe for a Slushy Watermelon Mojito on Myrecipes.com it was a no-brainer!  It involves a red fruit AND it is a slushy?  Puh-lease…… it’s a done deal!!  Don’t slushies just take you back to your childhood days?  They do me!  I can’t wait to make this ‘adult’ slushies!

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 5  cups  cubed seeded watermelon
  • 1  cup  sparkling water, chilled
  • 3/4  cup  white rum
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh mint
  • 1  (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, undiluted
  • Mint sprigs (optional)
  • Lime slices (optional)

Preparation

Arrange watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet; freeze 2 hours or until completely frozen.

Combine frozen watermelon, sparkling water, rum, mint, and limeade in a blender; process until smooth. Garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  119 (3% from fat)
Fat:  0.4g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.2g)
Protein:  0.7g
Carbohydrate:  17.5g
Fiber:  0.6g
Cholesterol:  0.0mg
Iron:  0.3mg
Sodium:  2mg
Calcium:  11mg

Break me off a piece of that!

I am super-duper excited today about this recipe I found for Project:  Color Wheel, Rowdy Red Edition!  It involves one of the most deeeelicious fruits on God’s green earth–strawberries!

One of the things that makes up for the blazing heat here in Florida is the annual Strawberry Festival.  It’s been going on since 1930 (!) and it is a must-attend event for any strawberry lover!  They even have a Miss Strawberry Queen pageant you can enter in…..   break out that vaseline girls!

Okay, okay… back to the matter at hand.  I have here a recipe for Strawberry Bruschetta from Eating Well that is going straight to my ‘must-try’ list.  Just look at how amazing it looks!

photo courtesy of Eating Well

And you will notice it includes many of the things that we should be incorporating into our diet:  whole-wheat bread, strawberries and even a little marscapone cream cheese isn’t bad since it provides that calcium we all need!  Here is the recipe, again from our friends at Eating Well:

4 thick slices whole-wheat bread
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups sliced or diced hulled strawberries
4 tablespoons mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)

1. Toast bread in a toaster.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture begins to bubble, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add strawberries and stir until juices begin to exude and the berries are heated through, 30 seconds to 1 minute more.

3. Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone on each piece of toast. Top with the warm berries.

NUTRITION INFORMATION:

Per serving: 203 calories: 5 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 153 mg sodium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (108% daily value), Selenium (16% dv).

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare the sauce (Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, microwave on High for about 1 minute (defrost first, if necessary).

Project: Pizza Pizza!

In our house, we have pizza night every Monday.  Mondays are probably my least favorite day of the week, I am still in mourning that the weekend is over.  I never can motivate to cook up a decent meal, so we eat pizza every Monday!  Nice, huh!  Don’t get too excited, it’s not some cheesy cheesy pepperoni covered pizza from the local pizza shop.  I still try to keep it healthy- we usually eat Amy’s pizzas which are organic and for the most part pretty healthy, along with a big salad.  But this pizza here looks amazing!!!  Check it out!

Photo courtesy of Myrecipes.com

So, to kick off Project: Color Wheel, Red Edition, I bring to you this great summer recipe for Spinach-and-Roasted Red-Pepper Pizza from Cooking Light magazine, via Myrecipes.com.  Who needs those greasy take-out pizzas when you can have a pizza at home that looks like this?  Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1  (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  cornmeal
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1  (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Pat dough into a 12-inch round pizza pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1/2 cup cheese, nutmeg, pepper, and spinach in a bowl. Arrange mixture over dough. Top with bell peppers; sprinkle with thyme and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  218 (28% from fat)
Fat:  6.8g (sat 3.5g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.7g)
Protein:  8.9g
Carbohydrate:  26.4g
Fiber:  1.6g
Cholesterol:  20mg
Iron:  1.2mg
Sodium:  565mg
Calcium:  256mg

Hellooo Ambrosia!

Oh my yum!  Ambrosia is one of those deserts, if it was an animate object it would be a little butterfly fluttering around!  It is just perfectly light and delicious.  As a part of our ongoing series Project: Color Wheel, Orange edition we have today a wonderful recipe for Ambrosia from the folks at All You via Myrecipes.com.  This recipe has outrageous Orange written all over it….  jam packed with tons of antioxidants from your oranges and grapefruits!

One glimpse of this beauty and I know you will be dying to run out and grab the ingredients to make it!

Photo courtesy of Myrecipes.com

Doesn’t it look so refreshing?  Perfect for a desert at a Sunday brunch or a dish to bring for a shower.  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  sweetened shredded coconut (2 oz.)
  • 4  navel oranges
  • 2  (12 oz.) grapefruits
  • 1  cup  green or red seedless grapes, halved (6 oz.)
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 1  cup  miniature marshmallows (2 oz.)
  • 4  maraschino cherries
  • Butter cookies or pound cake, optional

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut on a large baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Put 4 dessert bowls in refrigerator to chill.

Peel oranges and grapefruit, removing white pith. Working over a bowl to catch juices, cut segments from membrane. Put fruit in same bowl. (For instructions to slice perfect citrus segments, see Tip Strip, left.)

Just before serving, stir cooled coconut, grapes, sugar (adjust amount to taste) and marshmallows into bowl with oranges and grapefruits. Stir gently to avoid breaking up citrus segments.

Spoon ambrosia into chilled bowls and top each with a cherry. Serve ambrosia with butter cookies or slices of pound cake, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 250
Fat: 3g (sat 3g)
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrate: 51g
Fiber: 5g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium:  32mg

Knock knock….

Who’s there?

Orange!

Orange Who?

Orange you glad I didn’t say pea?!? haha!

Okay, okay…   that was really bad, I know.  Yet, so true- I am really glad this recipe is about outrageous Orange and not peas!  Aren’t you?  Today as a part of Project Colorwheel: Orange Edition, we bring you another summer-perfect recipe from Cooking Light for a Sunshine Smoothie that is great for breakfast, lunch or even an afternoon snack!  Just looking at the photo makes me wish I was lounging poolside with one of these puppies in hand!  (which may come sooner than later if our real estate search goes as plans….  eeeeeeee!!!!)

Doesn’t this look absolutely delicious?

photo courtesy of Cooking Light

And SO good for your too.  This smoothie is FILLED to the brim with antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C.  Just what we need to fend off that crazy swine flu….  oink oink!

Here is the recipe, again from our friends over at Cooking Light (my favorite magazine!):

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  chopped peeled mango
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped peeled apricots (about 4 small)
  • 2/3  cup  chopped peeled nectarine (about 1 medium)
  • 1  cup  chopped cantaloupe
  • 1/4  cup  mango nectar (such as Jumex)
  • 1/8  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 1  (6-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt
  • 1  cup  ice cubes

Preparation

Place mango in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Freeze 1 hour.

Combine chopped apricots and next 5 ingredients (through yogurt) in a blender; process until smooth. Add frozen mango and ice; process until smooth.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 104 (8% from fat)
Fat: 0.9g (sat 0.4g,mono 0.3g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 3.4g
Carbohydrate: 22.5g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 2mg
Iron: 0.4mg
Sodium: 36mg
Calcium: 86mg

Your SO corny!

Growing up both Lexie and I loved some corn on the cob!  Corn on the cob from the grill all summer long!  Yet one memory when thinking about corn is this one summer on vacation (when we could both count our age on two hands at the maximum) lil Pickle got on a kick where she ate corn on the cob every single day.  BUT, instead of eating it off the cob she made momma Pickle cut it off the cob in chunks.  My poor Mom would just slave away trimming that corn off the cob like she was wacking weeds from the garden, poor mom.  Hmmm…  the beginnings of my sister’s OCD possibly?  Note to little Pickle, discuss with therapist.  Kidding!!!  Anyway, I digress….

As part of our ongoing Project: Color Wheel, Orange Edition- I bring to you another deeelicious-looking recipe involving outrageous orange.  Courtesy of Mr. Bobby Flay and the Food Network, we have here Grilled Corn and Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing and Crumbled Blue Cheese.

Photo courtesy of Food Network

Who else agrees that this would be SO yummy on a hot Florida day!  I know my husband would– he is a blue cheese maniac!  And those chunks of fresh grilled corn are callin’ my name!  So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ears corn, grilled in the husk, kernels removed
  • 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint Sweet 100 tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Directions

Combine the vinegar, basil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Can be made 2 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

Combine the corn kernels, onion and tomato in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat, season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Top with crumbled blue cheese and garnish with basil sprigs just before serving. Salad can be made 1 day in advance and served cold or at room temperature.

Let’s get this party started!

I wasn’t lyin’ to ya’ when I said I was excited about Project: Color Wheel–Orange edition!  We are gonna kick things off with a recipe that is not only delicious and easy, but FUN!  The first outrageous orange recipe is Strawberry Mango Margarita Compote from our friends at Eating Well.  Take a little peek at how ridiculous this looks:

Photo courtesy of Eating Well

Now, I don’t know about you all but for the Pickle Sisters, anything that incorporates the word margarita?  How shall I put this…… honey, you had us at hello.  We are huge margarita fans, and I mean MAAAJAH.  Okay, enough chit-chatting, here is the recipe for your viewing pleasure (again, from Eating Well):

2 cups halved or quartered hulled strawberries
2 cups diced mango (2 small or 1 large)
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste, plus more for dipping
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
1 1/2 tablespoons Triple Sec or other orange liqueur

Place strawberries, mango, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, tequila and liqueur in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes for the flavors to meld. If desired, serve in margarita glasses: rub the rims with additional lime juice and dip in sugar, then spoon in compote.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 134 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 3 g fiber; 3 mg sodium; 4 g alcohol; 231 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (110% daily value).
2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Folks, it doesn’t get much easier than this.  And talk about PERFECT for summer!

Project: Color Wheel

We have an exciting anuncio for everyone!  In an effort to find fun and easy ways to “healthify” (my word) our diet and incorporate more cancer-fighting antioxidants into what we eat, the Pickle sisters will be starting a weekly series devoted to foods in the precioso color wheel.

This little blip from Eating Well explains in a much more succint fashion than I could the various benefits of eating from the color wheel:

In the last couple of decades, scientists have discovered more reasons (beyond vitamins and fiber) to pack your diet with fruits and vegetables: phytochemicals. All plants contain these compounds, which protect them from a variety of dangers—from harmful UV rays to predatory pests. We take in phytochemicals when we eat fruits and vegetables and, as it turns out, they protect us too. Some act as antioxidants, mopping up unstable “free radical” molecules that can damage cells and lead to the development of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other health issues. Others work by boosting the immune system.

To condense even more:  phytochemicals are a fool!

Here’s how it will work:  each week we will pick a different color from the wheel and work tirelessly finding delicious and easy recipes that include one or more foods from that color category.  I, for one, cannot wait to start this little project– just looking at that color wheel of delicious fruits and veggies gets me realllly excited!

So, without further ado, we have decided to kick this series off with……….drumroll please………… outrageous ORANGE!  Orange, meet your diet.  Diet, meet orange.