12 June 2009

2 Gals Cooking Light Giveaway with Fire Seared Antipasto Platter

Fire-Seared Antipasto

Welcome to the sixth installment of our Cooking Light adventure. 2 Gals have been sharing recipes from the June issue of Cooking Light magazine with friends, family and each and every one of you all week. I hope you enjoyed Shelby's delicious Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken yesterday. Shelby (aka HoneyB) from The Life and Loves of Grumpys Honeybunch and I have always had a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. Each issue covers light cuisine and includes more than 70 delicious and flavourful recipes. It also explores food and nutrition news as well as fitness, health and beauty.

We have been Cooking Light all week to kickstart our summer by sharing some of their recipes with you from this months issue.The great thing about eating light is that you can still love your food and not give up any of the flavour... just focus on loving food that’s good for you. People like us who really adore food and flavour have a much better chance of eating well, and healthily, and enjoying every minute of it!!!
Here are some tips to make eating light even better!!!

Give your food an extra kick. If you're bored with your dinner, then you'll either eat too much of it, or eat too much of something else after it, so the best idea is to not get bored in the first place. Here are some tips I found on the Internet which is a wealth of knowledge.
  • This time of year it is easy to shop seasonally. When food is in season it is at its height of flavour and nutritional value.

  • We can also use fresh herbs and herb oils for instant flavour all year round. Add 'kapow' with chili, garlic, relishes and mustards.

  • Here is my favourite tip, cook with wine instead of fats, reducing it down and using its wonderful flavour to add depth and complexity to stews.

  • Use lemons to add a citrous tang, roasting them alongside chicken, grilling them with fish, and squeezing their juice over green vegetables and salads.

  • Infuse olive oils with your favourite spices, such as paprika, and brush the spicy oil over chicken or fish before cooking.

  • Use organic tomato juice as an instant vegetable stock for tomato-based soups and stews.

  • Lighten up a simple fish or chicken dish by turning it into a soup: the broth fills you up yet is very flavourful.

  • Buy a steamer. There are few things more boring than a plate of steamed vegetables....quick, where's the butter?.... but there's a lot more to steaming than soggy veggies. Steaming concentrates food's natural flavours, retains nutrients and leaves very little need for extra oil or fat. It's the perfect way to cook delicate food such as fish and shellfish, and is great for cooking chicken, egg dishes, Chinese dumplings, couscous, pumpkin, tofu and rice.

  • Bake instead of fry, grill instead of bake. Many foods that are traditionally fried taste better, and are better for us, if baked in the oven instead. The food absorbs much less oil or fat, and meat and oily fish will render their own fat without drying out. Potato wedges will turn crisp and golden in the oven with just the merest coating of olive oil, instead of a vat of it. Even meatballs, traditionally pan-fried in generous amounts of oil, can be baked on an oven tray instead, then simmered in a healthy tomato sauce.

  • Substitute, don’t scrap. Don't cut out your favourite foods - that will only make you miserable. Instead, find ways to lighten them. Use yogurt instead of cream to add richness to soups and fruit puddings. Use crushed avocado instead of butter as a rich, creamy topping for toasted sourdough bread.

  • Extra virgin olive oil adds a wonderful flavour to food but you don’t need gallons of it - store some in a plastic squeeze bottle and you'll use far less when cooking or adding a final flourish before serving.

  • Instead of adding cream to vegetable-based soups, blend half of it in a food processor and return it to the pan, or mash half the beans or potatoes to thicken it beautifully.

  • Stock up!!!!Make sure you're stocked up with good things like lemons, garlic and herbs, free-range eggs, canned tomatoes and beans, balsamic vinegar, tahini, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, crisp breads, lentils, chickpeas, brown rice, curry paste, canned tuna, Dijon mustard, and, of course, onions (the basis of so many good dishes), and loads of vegetables!!!
As mentioned in this weeks posts Shelby and I have been given the opportunity to give away a years subscription to Cooking Light magazine to THREE lucky readers. Just leave one comment on our Cooking Light posts all this week at The Life and Loves of Grumpys Honeybunch or right here at More Than Burnt Toast and 3 winners will be chosen by random draw in the evening of Saturday June 13, 2009. These Cooking Light Subscriptions have been generously offered to you by Aaron of Magazine Direct. Thank you Aaron!!!!! If you already have a subscription why not share it with your family or friends.

This antipasto is more of a game plan than a set recipe, this dish lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may already have on hand. For example this time of year I couldn't find the baby yellow and green zucchini or the baby eggplants that I love. The solution is always to substitute and add whatever seasonal vegetables you can find in your area. I substituted asparagus and used larger zucchini, plus found the tiniest multi-coloured peppers on the planet!!! Perfect for an antipasto!!!
If you can't find capocollo substitute salami or pepperoni. I also added some salame fillete for interest. As you can see this recipe is open to interpretation by adding whatever herbs, meats and vegetables you desire. It is limited only by your imagination. This was also delicious when I substituted the buffalo mozzarella with some Cypriot halloumi the second day around. Grilling the halloumi seemed a natural progression with this recipe since there is nothing like vegetables as well as grilled halloumi on the grill during the summer months!!!! L'il Burnt Toast and I loved it the second day since it makes a mountain of veggies. Serve the platter while vegetables are warm or at room temperature. This is a perfect starter for those hot, lazy summer get togethers!!! I am so pleased I chose this dish from this months Cooking Light!!!!

Be sure to visit Shelby at The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch tomorrow for the 7th and final segment of our 2 Gals Cooking Light series while she makes Gingered Blueberry Shortcake!!! Leave a comment for your chance to win!!!!

**Fire Seared Antipasto Platter**

Dressing:

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

Vegetables:

3 plum tomatoes, halved
2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, quartered and seeded
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray

Garnishes:

4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 ounce capocollo, thinly sliced
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons capers
6 green olives, sliced
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare vegetables, brush 1/4 cup dressing evenly over tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onion, and eggplant. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until lightly charred. Arrange vegetables on platter; brush with remaining dressing. Arrange prosciutto, capocollo, and cheese on platter. Sprinkle platter with basil, capers, olives, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Serves 4 (serving size: about 4 ounces eggplant, 1 tomato half, 2 bell pepper halves, 1/2 zucchini, 1/4 onion, 1 ounce prosciutto, 1/4 ounce capocollo, 1/2 ounce mozzarella, 1 -1/2 teaspoons basil, 1/2 teaspoon capers, 1 1/2 olives, and 1 tablespoon marinade)

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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19 comments:

  1. I love that your giving all these great tips! Love the Antipasto Platter!

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  2. Beautiful antipasto! Your tips are exceptional.

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  3. great ideas, delicious vegetables

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  4. Look amazing Vall, love it!! Gloria

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  5. A good antipasto with a nice selection of grilled veggies and my favorite cured meats is one of my favorite things.

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  6. The platter looks wonderful, Val. So seasonal and summery.

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  7. I usually don't love antipasta because of the meats, but this one is loaded with veggies that look SO good.

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  8. What a savory, fresh, delicious-sounding antipasto!

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  9. A wonderful antipasto dish!

    Cheers and have a great weekend,

    Rosa

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  10. Oh my goodness-- this looks WONDERFUL!

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  11. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful tips and ideas Val!

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  12. This dish is beautiful Val. I would serve this to family and friends as an appetizer.

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  13. This looks delicious. I love how acidic the dressing is. I've always been a lover of dressings that have more acid and less oil than the typical vinaigrette.

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  14. Wonderful summer meal. I love eating like this. Love your eating tips too - all very wise.

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  15. I love grilled veggies! Especially eggplant and squash.

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  16. The first time I had grilled halloumi was a real revelation to me! ... but then grilling is just really excellent for so many things.
    This is such wonderful summer eating. Great photo.

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  17. What a great platter of veggies! Looks delish!

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  18. Oh I just adored grilled veg!!! This looks wonderful, I think it'll be my dinner tonight :)
    Thanks for all the wonderful healthy tips! I especially like the one about using wine to replace the flavour added by fats, it's brilliant!

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  19. Inspired antipasto with something for everyone on it. I'll have it all please.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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