July 31, 2011

Pinchos de Frutas

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Fruit and Chocolate... YES PLEASE. Actually I don't know when I would ever turn down fruit or chocolate, they make me smile.
Nothing makes a girl happier than fresh cut fruit dipped in some chocolate too. This dessert is so easy to put together and with or without the chocolate it will be a sweet treat everyone will love.

Sometimes it's the easier things in life that are the best and let me tell you, my girlfriends and I devoured these skewers and left not one fruit to rot. 
Yep, they're that good!
Pinchos de Frutas 
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno

2 bananas
2 apples

2 oranges 
1 pkg strawberries, halfed
2 slices melon
pinch brown sugar, optional

Chocolate Dipping Sauce
1 bag dark chocolate morsels
1 glass single cream

Peel fruit and cut into large chunks. Arrange fruit on wood skewers.

Melt the chocolate with cream in the microwave, stirring frequently as to not over cook or cause the chocolate to clump, until consistency is silky and smooth.
 Serve along side fruit skewers for dipping or drizzle over the top.


July 28, 2011

Ham and Asparagus Pasta Salad with Crumbled Goat Cheese

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This week is summer vacation for me. No trips, no cruises, no beaches... just time away from my desk to enjoy my life and my puppies.

My pug Callie isn't exactly one of those brilliant, perfectly-behaved dogs but she handles herself well enough to not get into too much trouble. I took her with me up to my father's house today to lay by the pool, run around the yard and just relax.

Dad and I were enjoying a little basil pesto capris to start off the afternoon and added some poolside cocktails to the mix while Callie and their dog Canaan ran like wild around the yard. Now Callie on most occasions goes with the flow, sniffing and smelling and mingling with other puppies but today was very different than any other day.

We were just floating around the pool talking when I see Callie DART out into meadow after this little fox and Canaan was right behind her. It took us a good 5 minutes to round up the girls and get them to a contained smaller bark. Needless to say it was a hysterical look-back to dad and I flapping around trying to get off our floats and out of the pool to call the girls and see just how far they ran.

I love that puppy though, she is too cute for words.

So I threw this pasta salad together (with a little extra cracked pepper for my heat-tooth) and it was great. Great hot or cold this pasta salad is bursting with flavor and very filling. This can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated for easy entertaining. 

Ham and Asparagus Pasta Salad with Crumbled Goat Cheese
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno


1 pound bowtie pasta
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in thirds
2 cups cooked ham, cut into small cubes
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
4 tablespoons garlic olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-ounce) container crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Add pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander and let cool.

Meanwhile, slice asparagus on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the asparagus on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 10 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove and let cool.
In a small bowl, combine shallot, garlic, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Add pasta, ham and roasted asparagus to a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss. 

Add the crumbled goat cheese on top and serve.


July 26, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Win the Special Issue Copy of Everyday Food

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Win A Copy of Everyday Food 
A Martha Stewart Magazine, Special Issue

It's almost August, my birthday month, and we just purchased a brand new beautiful Nikon camera. WOWSERS! I am bursting with excitement and can't wait to figure out what all these detailed buttons and switches are for and start taking clear and visually appetizing pictures of what I cook up in the kitchen.

I probably don't even have to tell you how excited I have been this summer. Every trip to the grocery store is like a testament to my will power because right as you reach the check out, there are the cooking magazines staring you down with bright brilliant pictures and colors of wonderful food and it just sucks me in every time. I have started to limit myself to one magazine a trip (being that on average I still make 2-3 trips to the store a week, this has helped to calm my anxiety for wanting to buy out the shelves.

So summer me all pumped up with all the delicious recipes for fruit tarts, southern pies, unique salads and honestly, what can't you grill??? So I thought to share with you all the love I have for magazines by picking up an extra for your enjoyment, free.

I want to try my very first giveaway on my blog here to continue sharing my love for cooking and giving you a free gift at the same time for your same shared love.

One randomly selected reader will win Everyday Food magazine's special full-size summer issue (pictured here).

So how can you enter to get yourself a free magazine?

Entering is simple, easy and fun. Just leave a comment on this blog post or on my Everyday Food photo on my facebook page, A Healthy Jalapeno answering this one easy question:

What's a dish that you're excited to cook this summer either from your favorite magazine or your grandmother's secret recipe box?

The randomly selected winner will need to have a U.S. mailing address in order to receive the magazine. I will be leaving the comments open starting today and run the giveaway until Sunday August 7th, 2011 at 11:59pm before closing the contest and randomly selecting the winner.

Good luck and have fun seeing what everyone else is enjoying this summer!

*NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN GIVEAWAYS. This giveaway is for one issue of A Martha Stewart Magazine's Everyday Food, Special Issue (Display until 8/29/2011).
**For more details about the single magazine issue in this giveaway please go to Martha Stewarts Everyday Food Blog on marthastewart.com. All rights reserved. Everyday Food is a trademark of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Copyright 2011.

Disclaimer. A Healthy Jalapeno Blog will not be responsible for: (a) any late or lost entries; (b) telephone, electronic, hardware, software, network, Internet, or other computer or communications-related malfunctions or failures; any giveaway disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of A Healthy Jalapeno Blog or by unauthorized human intervention; or (c) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the giveaway.

Winner Notification. You will be notified within three (3) days after the Entry Deadline Date of August 7th, 2011 if you win the prize.

July 25, 2011

White Wine and Rosemary Grilled Chicken

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Chicken... it's tuna of the land! hahaha.

Ok so I am on vacation for the week. I am not going anywhere and no really big plans other than run errands, get paperwork in line and just relax. Today Paul and I slept in and it was increadable. To not have any plans or meetings or appointments where I had to be somewhere was so nice and freeing. The pups jumped up into bed with us and we watched reruns of the office all morning.
I am also excited because I have a little more time this week to get more creative with my cooking, which is also means I am going to try my very first give-away!!! SO EXCITED!

This chicken marinade was sweet with the hint of herbs for a very light flavor, perfect for summertime. I like to leave the skins on the chicken because the natural flavors from the chicken create a nice crusted outer layer and to shed a couple of calories just take the skin off, you will still get all the flavor of the marinade soaked into the chicken.

Nice crunch with oodles of flavoring paired with a crisp glass of white wine makes this dinner one that everyone will love.
White Wine and Rosemary Grilled Chicken

3 to 4 pounds chicken pieces
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon, fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large ziplock bag, add chicken, white wine, garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper, blend ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat all burners on high, then adjust heat to moderately high right before cooking. Grill chicken with lid covered, and turning over occasionally, until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 

Ready to serve.

July 20, 2011

Crushed Tomato Couscous with Grilled Zucchini

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1/4 cup olive oil
Our good friend Josh is up for the night because his wife is away and it's a closer commute in the morning to his job-site so after he settled in and cracked a beer, the boys snuck out of the house for a couple hours to go fishing I cooked up a hearty din din.

Paul and I have begun to mold our hobbies over the past couple of years. He has grown a huge love for fishing just as I have for cooking and they are both hobbies that we both can enjoy together with one another... if you could imagine that.

Well, let's say that as long as the bugs aren't biting at my ankles I can enjoying floating in a boat with my guy at dusk while the fish bite. He on the other hand is just my supportive hand in the kitchen and has become very good at jumping up to help with the dishes... I know, he's a good guy.

Couscous, it's pasta, and I love pasta, but I am not sure I ever even ate it before except maybe in tabouli. Never having eaten couscous means I obviously have never even made couscous before but I had an idea for a delicious couscous salad and decided I was going to conjure up my own version of this dish... not really an adventure to say the least but I have to say I was pretty excited!

Aaaaaand as I expected this came out beautifully. The zucchini added just enough meatiness to this dish to actually hold it's own as a main course but we had this along side grilled Rosemary White Wine Chicken and the pairing was great.

It was a great dinner... light, healthy and flavorful!

Crushed Tomato Couscous with Grilled Zucchini
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno

1 3/4 cup water
1 box (4.7 oz) pearled couscous
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 teaspoon freash thyme 
fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 3/4 cups San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 lg zucchini, sliced long and choppy
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small heavy saucepan bring the water, olive oil and couscous to a boil. 

Reduce heat to a medium boil and stir in the garlic, thyme, parsley, and lemon juice and cook for about 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. 

Stir in the San Marzano crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and let stand for 4-5 minutes before serving. 

Meanwhile, slice zucchini lengthwise in chunks, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for 4-7 minutes.

Add zucchini to the couscous, fluff lightly with a fork, and serve.


July 19, 2011

Garlicky Green Beans

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So today I really started to get back into my workout routine and got back into Crossfit so needless to say my legs are extremely dead, sore and I am sooooo ready for bed. I am ready to get back into shape, not just by working out but really focusing on my health as well. Good snacks, healthy dinners and lots and lots of greens is my plan of attack.  
So to keep my focus during to day at work, I have been packing freshly cut cucumbers, celery and cherry tomatoes with either onion dip or garlic hummus and it's the perfect snack. Gives you that nice cool crunchy snack during the day and hold over your hunger until dinnertime.

Now once dinner planning starts, green foods are always a safe bet to go with and green beans seemed like the perfect choice for the fish we were also preparing. There were a ton of fresh veggies at the grocery store tonight and the green beans bin was overflowing so I grabbed a nice big bag and ran home to get cooking. 
Garlic green beans are a household favorite, well actually anything that has garlic added could be considered a favorite, but either way that's what I decided to throw together. Blanching the greens is a very healthy way to cook veggies because the vitamins and minerals are trapped in the water and keep the coloring to the green beans vibrant and bright.

The crunch and flavoring in the green beans were delicious. They were the perfect side dish to our fish we had for dinner tonight and gave beautiful coloring to our plate. 

Stay green!

Garlicky Green Beans 
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno


1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
black pepper

lemon slices, for garnish

Rinse green beans and cut off ends. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Plunge the green beans into the boiling water and let boil for at least 3-5 minutes. Immediately drain the green beans in a colander and plunge them into ice cold water to bring the temperature down. Drain/dry the beans well before using.
In a side pan, heat up and saute the garlic and shallots in the garlic vinegar until slightly golden, about 3 min. Pour on top of the green beans and toss.
Garnish with lemon slices and serve immediately. 

Quick and easy side dish