Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Broccoli Bacon Tortellini Salad and Roasted Grape Crostini with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Tortellini Salad with Broccoli, Bacon and Pea Pods  
Cook's notes: Brightly colored vegetables mixed with cheese filled ravioli and tossed with a prepared reduced fat/lite ranch dressing make a satisfying light yet low calorie summer meal. Bacon adds a savory taste.  Chill several hours for flavors to meld. Recipe adapted from Midwest Living and serves 4-6.
To blanch pea pods place 1-2 min in large boiling pot of salted water. Drain and then transfer to bowl of ice water and drain again.
Ingredients:
  • 5 slices of  bacon
  • 1- 9 oz. package of refrigerated light cheese ravioli
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1-1/2 cups diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh pea pods
  • 1/2 cup bottled reduced fat/lite ranch salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Directions:
  • Fry bacon, drain and a paper towel, dice bacon pieces and set aside.
  • Blanch pea pods.  
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and drain again. 
  • In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, broccoli, carrots, onions, tomatoes, pea pods, bacon and sunflower seeds.
  • Add enough dressing to moisten salad.   
Roasted Grape Crostini with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
I had never thought of roasting grapes until I saw this very delectable picture. The grapes are slow-roasted and served on top of toasted baguette crostini with goat cheese, walnuts and a drizzle of honey. It is an elegant appetizer or can be served after a meal as a cheese course.
The recipe comes from healthyseasonalrecipes.com Check out the website as there are many other recipes which focus on using healthy ingredients and seasonal produce.
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups red grapes
  • 1 TB. avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 TB. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup crumbed fresh goat cheese
  • 24 slices baguette, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 TB.honey
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Stir grapes, oil, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread out in one layer on the baking pan. Roast, stirring occasionally until wrinkled and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Roll ingredients around in pan throughout roasting time to cook more evenly. Remove grapes from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over them. Stir to coat. Set aside.
  • Spread goat cheese on the baguette, dividing equally. Top with the grape mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with honey.

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