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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Company Worthy Food in a Flash

I had a crowd last weekend, and with everything going on,
 I wanted to put together a good meal that would wow my guests
 and meet all the dietary needs of the throng,
such as the vegetarians.
It was also important that it pack a nutritious, high fiber punch.
And it even includes an appetizer!
Crispy Asparagus Spears

2 pounds of fresh asparagus
Cooking spray
Lemon pepper seasoning

Set the oven for 450.
Rinse the asparagus and cut off the woody ends. In a pot large enough
to immerse the spears, bring enough water to a boil to cover the veggies.
Once it's boiling, add the asparagus for three minutes.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
Lay the spears on a broiler pan, spray with cooking spray,
sprinkle lightly with lemon paper, and place in the oven close to the top element
until they start to brown slightly and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Arrange on a platter and send them out to be devoured. 

Leave the oven on.
Mini Caprese Salad
This has a bright, amazing flavor just like its more formal cousin
but without the high maintenance fuss.
 
1 pound of grape tomatoes
1 pound of golden pear tomatoes, or yellow cherry tomatoes
1 can of medium pitted black olives, drained
1 tub of buffalo mozzarella pearls, drained
1/2 bottle of fat free balsamic vinagrette
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, washed and cut into thin strips

Rinse the tomatoes. Dump everything into a bowl. Toss gently and fall in love.
Wild Mushroom Pasta
  A half hour total is all you'll need to make a gourmet dish that's creamy and 
satisfying without the high calorie consequences.

A 16 ounce box of fettuccine, cooked according to package directions
8 ounces of baby portobellas, sliced
8 ounces of shitake mushrooms
2 large portobellas
8 ounces of cremini mushrooms
1/2 a bag of fresh spinach
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
1 cup dry white wine, such as chardonnay
Olive oil
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp roasted garlic seasoning, such as Montreal
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Drain the cooked pasta, rinse in cold water, and return it to the pot.
In the meantime, in a large saute pan on medium high heat, coat the bottom with olive oil,
wait one minute, then add the mushrooms and roasted garlic seasoning.
Saute for five minutes, then add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
Toss in the scallions.
Add the milk and cheese, stirring until smooth,
then the spinach until it wilts.
Add it to the pot of pasta and toss over low heat until you're
ready to serve.
All you have to do now is make dessert.
That'll take hours, right?
WRONG.
Tropical Sauce

1 fresh pineapple
1 cup light brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream

Cut the rind off the pineapple, core and chunk it.
Lightly spritz a baking dish with cooking spray, and the pineapple
and sugar, and mix.
It makes its own sauce!
Put the dish in the oven 10 minutes before serving until the sauce caramelizes slightly. 
spoon over ice cream, and enjoy!

Sure, it's a little decadent.
Actually, it only tastes that way.
But this is a special occasion, and you still spent less than an hour in the kitchen!