Ascencia Salad – Tuna, Broccoli and Bean Salad

You never know what life is going to give you, and tonight, the very first night of the New Year, I received something that made my heart leap with joy. I got to cook dinner for 40 people!

When the guest chef did not arrive, I asked if I could cook dinner, and my friend said, “Yes”. First I looked in the pantry, and was amazed to not find any of the things I usually have in my pantry, like onions, or potatoes. There was a lot of pasta, and a lot of spaghetti sauce, frozen turkey sausage, frozen garlic bread, many cans of tuna, two cans of kidney beans, one can of pinto beans, and a can of chopped tomatoes. No problem! The Good Plate to the rescue.

Continue reading

Ham Steaks with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Recipes in this Post Ham Steak with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.

When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.

Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.

Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.

Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!

Continue reading

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Olive Toast

Recipes in this PostLentil Salad with grilled peppers, tomatos, onions and celery with a light olive oil, white wine vinegar dressing

It had been so hot lately in Los Angeles, and even though the day promised to be only in the high 70′s, I still did not want to heat up the house. It was also Friday, which in our house, means no meat. We had some left over grilled sweet peppers that I wanted to use, and some remnants of other vegetables. My friend, Amber, had planted a basil plant I had brought home into two larger containers, and they had plenty of leaves to go with my vegetables. So, what kind of good, cool salad could I make and still have the protein that our bodies require? Lentils were the perfect answer!

As I was checking out at my favorite store, the Adams Supper Market in Glendale, I mentioned my plan to the cashier, and said I would be back later to get some nice crusty bread to go with it if I didn’t have any at home. As it turned out, I did have bread at home, but by the time I discovered I didn’t have any butter, Adams Supper Market was already closed. No problem, Olive Toast to the rescue!

It’s a recipe for a cool, protein rich salad on a hot day.

Continue reading

Grilled Asian Orange Cornish Hens with Asian Vegetable Medley Salad

Recipes in this PostGrilled Asian Orange Chicken with Asian Vegetable Salad

It was almost Labor Day, and in Southern California, you know that it is going to be hot through the holiday. Such days are excellent for barbecuing, but I get tired of regular barbecue sauce, and I didn’t feel like having Highway Chicken either. What to do, what to do?

I remembered I had some packets of True Orange that I hadn’t even tried yet, so I thought I would make an Asian orange glaze for the chicken. Then I thought that Asian green beans would be good – but it was too darned hot – so went to the freezer to see if we had any green beans. No luck, but we did have a package of frozen Asian mixed vegetables. Asian Vegetable Medley salad was the way to go.

If you haven’t tried the True Citrus products, you’re missing something wonderful. There is True Lemon, True Lime and True Grapefruit, as well as lemonade. The product comes in little packets, and has no preservatives, just crystallized citrus. It’s wonderful for making sauces because there is no extra liquid. All are wonderful in water, or mixed to make drinks. I have plenty of recipes, just have a look.
Continue reading

Artichoke, Avocado and Shaved Parmesan Composed Salad

Recipes in this PostArtichoke, Avocado, Shaved Parmesan Composed Salad

A very long time ago, a friend took me to a wonderful restaurant where Santa Monica Blvd meets Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, California. The restaurant was called Figaro, and my friend said I should order his favorite salad. I don’t remember what it was called, but I have always remembered how good it was.

Years later, when this same friend came back into my life, I told him I had a surprise and presented this salad. He was so happy he almost wept, saying he never thought he would have that salad at Figaro’s again – as the restaurant had closed quite some time before.

Continue reading

Marinated White Asparagus

Recipes in this Post
Marinated White Asparagus

Marinated White Asparagus

My son and I love asparagus, especially the long thin ones. We like them with butter, lemon and pepper. I’m always excited when they’re in season. Asparagus are good for you, they are have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities that can help with heart disease, diabetes, and may help prevent certain cancers. Not bad for a vegetable that sometimes makes your bathroom smell like asparagus!

When I was a child, my mother would sometimes bring home the white asparagus in the can. That was a big treat – except it didn’t have much flavor. When I saw white spears that looked a lot fresher and nicer than their green brethren, I knew I could so a lot better, so I decided to bring them home and marinate them.

One of the ingredients in this recipe is True Lemon. If you haven’t tried True Lemon yet, do it. True Lemon is crystallized fresh lemon juice and oil. It doesn’t have that bottled lemon juice flavor, and since it’s dry, it won’t affect your recipe in the way that lemon juice can. It’s also great because you can carry it with you and put it in water or other drinks as you desire. Right now, they’re even having a special promotion and will give you a free box if you spend more than $10.00.

Continue reading