Getting Crabby

Crab and Pea Salad

  • 10 oz package of frozen peas (Thaw before starting the recipe)
  • 8 oz package of imitation crab
  • 8 bacon strips
  • Mayonnaise
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • 3 eggs
  • Tomato
  • Croutons
  1. Hard boil eggs.
  2. Cook bacon strips. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool.
  3. Dice tomato.
  4. Flake crab with a fork.
  5. Combine peas, crab, and bacon in a bowl. Combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 tsp of onion powder in a separate small bowl. Fold into the crab mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  6. When ready to serve, fold tomato into salad. Slice hard-boiled eggs. Place on top of salad. Sprinkle salad with a handful of croutons and then a few pinches of paprika.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad

I made this salad for a Valentine’s Day Girls Night. 

  • 15 oz can of fruit cocktail
  • Apple
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Cool Whip
  1. Drain fruit cocktail
  2. Dice apple
  3. Combine fruit cocktail, apple, 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows, and 1/2 cup of whipped topping in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce, Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing & Other Salad-Like Things

Creamy Cucumbers

Great summer recipe. If using as a side dish, cut recipe in half. 

1 cup mayo

1/4 each of cup of sugar and vinegar

1/t tsp of salt

4 cucumbers

  1. Slice cucumbers
  2. Combine mayo, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Add cucumbers. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

I wouldn’t let this salad sit for more than 4 days in the fridge. As a single person, I make all the dressing on Sunday, but only slice two of the cucumbers. Then I mix the cucumbers with half the dressing in a large container and pour the remaining half of the dressing in a small container. Wednesday evening I slice the second pair of cucumbers and mix with the rest of the dressing. This recipe makes enough for me to have 6 good-sized portions for lunches and 4 smaller portions to accompany dinner.

 

Stuffed Apple

A great thing to bring to work for lunch or with you on a hike.

2 Tbsp of peanut butter

1 Tbsp of honey

1 tsp of raisins

Apple

  1. Core the apple. I don’t have an apple corer so I just use a paring knife. The tunnel needs to be a decent size.
  2. Combine peanut butter, honey, and raisins in bowl. Spoon into the center of the tunnel.
  3. Wrap in saran wrap for transport.

 

Low(er)-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing

My salad of choice for this is: assorted baby greens, grated red beets, yellow bell pepper, blueberries, blackberries, halved red grapes, walnuts, dried cherries, assorted seeds, blue cheese

1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt

2 Tbsp of chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

4 Tbsp of blue cheese

  1. Mince garlic cloves.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, yogurt, onion, garlic, and 2 Tbsp of crumbled blue cheese in blender and process until smooth. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of blue cheese (crumbled, obviously).
  3. I also add another couple Tbsp of blue cheese to the entire salad because I love blue cheese, obviously.

 

Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce to Cranberry-Apple Salad

I wanted to make this salad for my friend who can’t have any kind of processed sugar. I originally started making this salad with store-bought canned cranberry sauce, but over the years I have learned how to make cranberry sauce at home that is WAY better (probably because my recipe entails brandy, rum, Grand Marnier, and amaretto), but it still contains sugar. This was an experimental recipe that I deemed successful! 

Bag of frozen cranberries

3/4 cup of pineapple juice (make sure it’s 100% juice and no sugar added)

1/2 cup of applesauce (again, make sure it is UNsweetened with NO sugar added)

Orange

2 apples

2 ribs of celery

1 cup of chopped walnuts

  1. Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce, and 1/2 cup of water in pot and bring to boil.
  2. Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce to a simmer. Zest the entire orange. Add zest to sauce. Cut orange in half and squeeze both halves to add juice to sauce as well. You can use a juicer if it is easier, but I don’t have one.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  5. Cool completely and then store in fridge for at least 4 hours prior to mixing with remaining ingredients.
  6. Dice apples. Don’t peel them.
  7. Thinly slice celery ribs.
  8. Combine cranberry sauce, apples, and celery. Cover and refrigerate.
  9. Chop walnuts.
  10. When ready to serve, stir in walnuts.

I’m used to things being a little sweeter, so I will probably add 2-3 Tbsp of honey to the cranberry sauce next time, but that is totally optional.

Cooking for Large Groups

Craft services for a film set cast and crew.

Total budget: $300

I bought most things in bulk at Costco. There are a TON of leftovers, but if I wouldn’t have bought in such large portions then I would have paid the same amount if not more for half the ingredients so it seemed worth it.

 

Salad: (Lunch Day 1&2)

I’ve posted this recipe before so here is the link: https://theshortchef.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/orange-pecan-salad/

I bought a box of mandarin orange cups – like the kind you put in kids’ lunches. I put 12 aside for salads and then put the rest out for the crew to eat. Instead of pecans, I tossed in toasted whole almonds, pistachios, and a mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. The mix is called Salad Topper, which I got from Costco. I also bought a box of individual yogurt cups, put aside the peach/mango flavors for salad dressings, and put the rest out for eating.

Creamy Italian Noodles: (Lunch Day 1)

Cook 2 pkgs of wide egg noodles according to pkg directions. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup of butter. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and 4 1/2 tsp of Italian seasonings. I used a mix of Italian salad dressing mix, Country Herb salad dressing mix, and Italian spice blend. Mix well. Serve immediately. Doesn’t make great leftovers.

Cheesy Squash: (Lunch Day 2)

Cut 7 small zucchinis and 2 eggplants into 1/4 inch slices. I usually use yellow summer squash instead of eggplant, but they must be out of season because I couldn’t find any. Place in two greased shallow baking dishes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 4 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately. Doesn’t make great leftovers.

Nutty Chocolate Marshmallow Puffs: (Lunch Day 1&2)

Coarsely chop 1 lb or 4 cups of pecans. In a heavy saucepan, heat 2 cups of milk chocolate chips, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme just until melted. Stir until smooth. Be prepared for the mixture to be quite thick.

You’ll have to act relatively quickly and stir often to prevent mixture from burning, so immediately dip marshmallows, one at a time, in chocolate mixture. I used a fork because i don’t have tongs, but those would probably be easier. Shake off excess chocolate. Quickly roll in pecans. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. I didn’t actually have wax paper so I used aluminum foil and sprayed it generously with vegetable spray and it worked fine. I kept the pot on the stove with it on low heat to keep it warm and easier to work with, but if it’s too hot to handle this way, you may have to throw it in bowl and then reheat it every once in a while. When all the puffs are on the tray, refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Banana Dessert: (Lunch Day 1)

Slice up 8 bananas. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and a handful of pecans. Garnish with Cool Whip.

Bacon Cheese Biscuit Wreath: (Breakfast Day 1)

In a small saucepan, melt 5 oz of Cheez Whiz and 3 Tbsp Golden Crisco. Stir until blended. Pour into a well-greased bundt pan. Cut each biscuit into quarters and place over cheese mixture.

Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes. Immediately invert pan onto a serving platter and remove. Normally I sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of minced fresh parsley but I went to 2 stores and neither had any so I settle for the fresh parsley paste they sell in the produce section. So I brushed the hot bread with 2 Tbsp of parsley paste and then with 4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon. Serve bread warm.

Cheese Biscuits: (Breakfast Day 2)

Stir 2 cups of Bisquik, 2/3 cup of milk, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Mix 2 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Brush over biscuits. Bake at 475° for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Cordon Bleu Stromboli – $2.58/serving

Loaf of frozen French or white bread, thawedphoto 2 (8)

Butter

8 oz deli ham

5 oz deli chicken

Swiss cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Shred 1/2 cup of Swiss cheese
  3. Knead on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle
  4. Layer ham, cheese, and chicken
  5. Roll into a long log. Pinch the seams and tuck the ends. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Refrigerate leftovers.

Orange Pecan Salad

2 oranges or a can of mandarin oranges

Leaf lettuce

Pecan halves

Peach yogurt

Mayonnaise

  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Peel and cube oranges or drain can of mandarin oranges
  3. Toast 1/4 cup of pecan halves on a greased baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  4. Wash and chop up a few leaf lettuce leaves.
  5. Flip over the pecan halves and toast 5 more minutes.
  6. Combine 1/2 cup of peach yogurt and 3 Tbsp of mayonnaise.
  7. Toss together oranges, lettuce, and pecans. Drizzle with dressing immediately before eating.

Variations:

  • Can also use almonds, pistachios, or sunflower kernels instead of pecans
  • Grapefruit, kiwi, apples, or grapes instead of oranges
  • Orange yogurt instead of peach yogurt
  • Plain yogurt with marmalade instead of peach yogurt
  • Add chicken salad or grilled chicken on top to make it a complete meal!

Cucumber Shell Salad

16 oz pkg of medium shell pastaphoto (9)

16 oz pkg of frozen peas

Cucumber

Red onion

Ranch salad dressing

  1. Thaw peas
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, halve and slice cucumber and chop red onion.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta in cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, peas, cucumber, and onion. Add 1 cup of ranch salad dressing. Toss to coast. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

http://youtu.be/0URAQo7KnzU

Glazed 3Fruit Salad

photo (6)1 1/2 lbs strawberries

4 bananas

2 14 oz cans of pineapple chunks

Pouch of strawberry glaze (apparently this also comes in a jar, but I’ve never seen it that way)

  1. Quarter strawberriesphoto 2 (6)
  2. Slice bananas
  3. Drain pineapple cans
  4. Gently toss fruit in a long bowl.
  5. Prepare strawberry glaze according to package directions. I buy the one from MPK Foods so I mix with 2/3 cup of sugar and then gradually add a cup of hot water and whisk vigorously until smooth.
  6. Fold glaze in the fruit. Chill for at least an hour.

Green Pepper Salad Dressing

Maphoto (2)yonnaise

Green pepper

Onion

Parsley (fresh)

Lemon juice

 

Finely chop 3 Tbsp of green pepper and 2 Tbsp of onion.

Mince 2 Tbsp of fresh parsley.

Combine 1 cup of mayonnaise, green pepper, onion, parsley, and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Great on salad or as a veggie dip!

 

Must Love Olives Salad

photo (1)2 celery ribs

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

Olives

*Either 1 can of pitted ripe ones and 1 jar of stuffed ones or get a variety from the deli section of the grocery store. My favorite combination is to get a combination of black olives, green olives stuffed with blue cheese, and green olives stuffed with jalapenos. Olives stuffed with garlic are good too, but since there is already garlic in this recipe, I usually go with something else. You will need 11 oz of olives total.

  1. Drain and chop the olives.
  2. Chop the celery
  3. Mince the garlic cloves
  4. Combine olives, celery, and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.