Tag Archives: Cheese

Macho Salad

Macho Salad Macho salad is a recipe that I learned a few years ago. What makes it so macho? It basically means that you add everything under the sun to a huge bowl and chomp away. Here are some of my favorites to add to this salad, feel free to add other ingredients and make it your own. As always, food is about having fun!

This recipe makes 4 large salads. (When I say large, think about feeding Adam Richman from Man vs. Food.) You can always make this recipe for fewer people and customize to your tastes.

My goal as a blogger is to teach you to take recipes that you adore and make it your own.

4 cups baby spinach mix (or any green mix that you prefer)
1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup bacon, crumbled
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin slices if you can grill the pepper first, that would be amazing)
1-2 avocados, pitted and cut into thin slices (I always use 1/2 an avocado per person)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 cucumber, sliced
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup corn, freshly grilled and cut off of the cob (low-carbers leave this out)
1/4 cup black olives
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup mild cheese (I used Colby jack)
1/4 cup toasted pecans, almonds or any other nut you have on had

Dressing Ingredients
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2/3 cups great quality olive oil

Salad Directions
Combine together all of the ingredients and set aside

Combine together the dressing ingredients and blend together and toss a small amount (few tablespoons) with the salad until it is lightly covered.


Fried Vegetable and Paneer Kofta Balls

Fried Vegetable & Cheese Kofta BallsKofta Ball Ingredients
2 cups cauliflower, grated
2 cups cabbage, grated
1 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida (omit if you do not have it)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon poppy seeds lightly roasted and ground into a powder
3 tablespoons cashews ground into a thick paste
24 cubes of paneer cheese
Enough coconut oil to fry the koftas in (feel free to use any oil that you have at home)
Set aside another 1/2 cup of almond flour so you can roll the balls in the inf you want a more defined exterior coating.

Mint Chili Sauce Ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic
2 tablespoons mint leaves
1/4 piece of red chili pepper
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Kofta Ball Directions
Combine all of the ingredients together but the last two. Allow them to sit in a large bowl together for 30 minutes to allow the dry ingredients to get absorbed into the vegetables and the flour to absorb all of the liquid.

You can make the balls as large or as small as you want. I like to make them big enough so I can safely pop one in my mouth without looking like I just stuffed my face. Place a piece of paneer at the center and then roll the dough into balls. This recipe usually makes 24.

Bring the oil up to 350 degrees F.

Fry a few at a time, make sure you do not overcrowd the pan so the temperature stays up and they all brown evenly. Allow the balls to dry on paper towels. Serve with the sauce.

Mint Chili Sauce Directions
Combine all of the ingredients together in the blender and blend. Serve on the side or directly over the fried balls.

Homemade Paneer

I absolutely adore paneer (Indian cheese that is light and resembles mozzarella cheese. This is made in Indian homes and added to several recipes. I can’t seem to get enough of paneer!! Most people think that it is difficult to make cheese but it is beyond easy.Homemade Paneer

8 1/2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons white vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice (you can use either depending on what you have in your cupboards)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

Using a large colander or mesh strainer, line it with 3-4 pieces of cheesecloth.

In a large heavy-bottomed pan, bring the milk to a boil and before it begins to boil, turn off the stove and add the curdling agent (vinegar of lemon juice) and the salt. Stir the mixture and allow it to stand for 10 minutes so the curds can begin to form.

Drain the mixture through the cheesecloth and please make sure that you are draining into a bowl, you want to keep the liquid aka the whey.

You want to let this curds cool and then squeeze all of the liquid out of the cheesecloth and tie it as tightly as possible when you form a flat disc and place it in a bowl and then transfer it to the refrigerator to harden for an hour or overnight. Cover the bowl to make sure it does not take on any flavors found in your refrigerator. Once it has hardened, cut the paneer into small cubes. You can just fry them in some butter and serve once golden brown.

TIP: Use the whey in soups or any other dishes to add flavor and to thicken.

Low-Carb Thin Crust Pizza

1364933_86337463I know everyone has a recipe for think crust pizza and when you go the low-carb route, it is so hard to find something that is both delicious and something that resembles a real pizza.

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (pre-shredded cheese contains corn starch to keep it separated. Buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself.)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 eggs
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the crust ingredients together and spread over a pizza pan that is covered in parchment paper (you can also use easy release foil.) Spread the mixture out as thin as possible and all the way to the edges.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Stay close to the oven towards the end of the baking time because it will burn quickly. After 10 minutes, you can turn the oven down to 400 degrees F to allow the rest of the crust to turn golden brown. At this point, I like to blot off the excess oil, this will help your toppings stay on.

Top with pizza sauce, pesto sauce or anything else that you may desire.

Add any and all toppings from meats, cheese to veggies.

Bake an additional 3-5 minutes on the broiler setting.

Cheesy Soft Pretzels

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, it is time to start planning what snacks you want to serve at your party. Here is a favorite that is sure to please everyone. Cheesy Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 packages active dry yeast ( each package contains 1/4 ounce)
1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 120°)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, melted
10 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for the egg wash
Kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese

In the stand mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. To this, add the sugar and the salt. Allow the year to bloom or to dissolve and become foamy. This is how the yeast becomes active.

Incorporate the melted butter and flour. Using the dough hook, knead the flour mixture on medium for 5 minutes until the dough has formed and it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.

Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, grease the dough completely to ensure that it does not stick to anything when rising. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, this should take about an hour.

Bring to boil the water and add in the baking soda.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Punch dough down; divide it into 12 equal pieces.

Roll each into an 18-24 inch rope depending on how thick you want the pretzels. I like my pretzels very thick so I roll it out to 18 inches, if you like thin pretzels, roll it out to 24 inches. Twist the pretzels into the appropriate shape and pinch the ends closed to ensure they do not fall apart when cooking.

Place each pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water and place on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper.

Brush each pretzel with the egg was, sprinkle with the salt and the cheese.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.

Savory Sausage and Spinach Pillows

Savory Sausage and Spinach PillowsI love this easy and delicious recipe, when I was younger and spent a lot of time babysitting, I would always make this for the kids. Needless to say, they loved it!

1 tablespoon oil (I prefer coconut or grape seed oil)
1/3 cup onion, diced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup tomatoes

4 links hot Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
3 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 package (22½ ounces) puff pastry
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons cheddar cheese

Heat a large skillet to medium, add the cooking oil. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.

Then add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until the onions are golden brown.

Add the sausage and cook until the meat has browned. Add the spinach and allow it to cook until it wilts. Remove the pan from the heat and add the seasonings.

Mix in the cheese and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the water and egg white and set aside.

Cut the dough into 8 equal parts by cutting in half then into four equal parts. Spoon 1/8 of the sausage mixture into the middle, fold the pastry sheet in on each side like you were creating an envelope and before you fold the last side over, using a brush or the back of a fork, add some of the egg mixture to keep the folds closed then fold over the last side. Turn the pastry over and place on a baking sheet, prick each with a knife in the center to create vent holes. Continue this with the other 7 pieces.

Brush each of the tops with the egg mixture and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese, each pastry should get 1/2 tablespoon of cheese.

Refrigerate the puff pastries in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bake the pastries for 15 minutes then rotate the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Penne Pasta with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

Penne Pasta with Homemade Tomato Basil SauceI love this simple recipe. The sauce is incredibly flavorful and I make enough to can and save for the winter.  This serves 5 very hungry people.

Sauce Ingredients
1/2 cup olive oil
10 pounds tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 large onions, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Pasta Ingredients
1 pound of penne pasta cooked al dente
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil unit translucent.

Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper to the pan and allow it to cook over medium-low heat until the tomatoes are soft then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for two hours until it thickens.

Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce and add the cheese and mix.