Orangeberry Smoothie + Florida OJ Tailgate Party

Orangeberry Smoothie via @runwaychef #breakfast #healthy #fruit I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Florida Department of Citrus. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Growing up, I’d watch everyone in my family start their morning with a glass of orange juice. At the time, pulp wasn’t quite my thing, so my Mom would sneak my OJ (always 100% Florida) to me in the form of a fruit smoothie, and boy am I glad she did. Do you know how much vitamin C is in just one 8-ounce glass of 100% Florida Orange Juice? Let me tell you…it’s a lot, as in ‘more than 100% of your daily value’ a lot. It also counts as one serving of fruit, serves as a good source of folate, thiamin and potassium, and is free of sodium, cholesterol, fat, and, something that is hard to find in most juices today, it is free of added sugar. Obviously I wisened up and now drink loads of OJ (pulp, no pulp, I’ll drink it all), but I still love adding it to my morning smoothies, and even more so, I love cooking with it (one of my favorite things to do is add it it to pork chops with apples and onions). The Florida Department of Citrus is working to help people (like my 5-year-old pulp hating self) to understand just how wonderful, healthy, delicious, and versatile Florida OJ is and I’ve teamed up with them to help them spread the message.

In honor of working with FDOC I wanted to share the recipe for their Orangeberry Smoothie, along with the healthy adjustments I make to it when I’m drinking it as my morning smoothie.

orange juice smoothie via @runwaychef

Orangeberry Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces Florida orange juice
  2. 1/4 cup fresh Florida strawberries, sliced (I also like using a mix of berries, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries)
  3. 1 frozen banana
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve.
Notes
  1. To make this a more decadent treat for dessert add a 1/2 cup of ice cream (or frozen non-dairy product for vegans) in place of the frozen banana, and also add in 1 cup of ice.
Adapted from Florida Orange Juice
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

OJ also makes a splash when added to sauces, salad dressings, and even soups. With tailgating season coming up, there will also be plenty of opportunities for you to sneak some healthy OJ into all those game time apps. And speaking of game time, Florida OJ is throwing a tailgating event in New York City on Tuesday, Aug. 19. Come check it out! Special guest and sports broadcaster Erin Andrews will stop by to share her top tailgating tips. You can find out all the deets and RSVP here. Not going to be in the area? Follow along on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I share live updates from the event with the hashtags #OJTailgate and #OJSelfie. Also make sure you’re following Florida Orange Juice on Twitter and Facebook for more event fun, OJ facts, and recipe ideas.

I’d love to know, what’s your favorite way to have orange juice?

Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef #vegetarian What I’m about to say is going to sound a little odd, especially since part of my job is writing recipes, buuuut……I almost never follow a recipe (don’t worry, I do test all the recipes that make it onto this blog). I have a folder full of recipes that rarely get touched, magazines that only get browsed through, and cookbooks that are used for decorative purposes. About 95% of what I cook, I just wing. I throw in a little of this, a little of that, and a pinch of this (I rarely measure things either) and it just works. This is how I’ve cooked most of my life as has my Mom. I do get inspiration from magazines and cookbooks, but the recipes that inspire me are ones that I usually follow more as guidelines than as an actual recipe. Obviously, then, for me to say I found a recipe that I like and follow almost to a ‘T’ is a big deal. Such is the case with this zucchini casserole recipe. My Mom found this recipe a while back and started making it all the time. When I moved out, it was one of the recipes I made sure to take with me. Mr. RC and I now have it on a pretty regular basis. It’s healthy and light enough for summer but comforting enough for cold winter days. And in case you’re worried about satisfying the carnivores in your life, you’ll be happy to know Mr. RC loves his meat but is constantly requesting this dish. Whether you follow recipes or you don’t, this is one I highly suggest you add to your arsenal.

Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef Zucchini Casserole via @runwaychef

Zucchini Casserole
Serves 6
A tangy and nutty casserole that is both healthy and light while also being the perfect comfort food
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup bulgur (I've also use quinoa and brown rice)
  2. 3/4 cup boiling water
  3. 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cups sliced onions (about 1 1/2-2 medium-sized onions)
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  6. 6 cups thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash (about 3 small or 2 medium/large zucchini)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  9. A dash of black pepper
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1 cup feta cheese crumbles (5 ounces)
  12. 1 cup cottage cheese
  13. 1/4-3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (depending on tastes preferences)
  14. 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  15. 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  16. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  17. 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (or a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced)
  18. 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl place the bulgur and the boiling water. Stir and set aside until the water has been absorbed.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are just translucent. Add the zucchini, dried herbs, and black pepper and continue to sauté on medium to low heat until the zucchini is tender. I sometimes cover the pan with a lead to help the veggies cooke faster.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in the cottage cheese and feta cheese.
  4. To the bulgur, add the tomato paste, soy sauce and parsley and stir until combined.
  5. To assemble the casserole, grease a 9x9" pan. Then layer the bulgur mixture on the bottome, the sautéed vegetables in the middle, and finish with the feta mixture. Top with the cheddar and the tomatoes.
  6. Cover with foil then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I usually take the foil off after about 30 minutes so that the top gets crustier.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes for easier serving. Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. This pairs nicely with a tossed salad, some crusty bread and a nice glass of red wine.
  2. To bake this in a 9x13" pan, I only double the bulgur mixture.
Adapted from New Recipes from Mossewood Restaurant
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Greek Appetizers + Bites

Greek Appetizer Plate Mr. RC and I always seem to be short on time, but we love cooking together so much that we don’t always want to eat out. Our solution has been creating themed appetizer plates, with mostly ready-made options for ease, but enough homemade parts to still get a little cooking time together. We’ve been doing these for quite some time now and have developed an array of themed app-dinners (as I like to call them) so I thought it would be fun to share them with you over the next several months. First up, our favorite Greek/Mediterranean themed app-dinner. We probably eat this at least once every couple weeks during the summer. The lighter fare and refreshing elements make it especially perfect for warm summer nights. Here’s what we like to include in our Greek appetizer spread:

  • Hummus (homemade)
  • Greek Yogurt Dip (homemade, recipe below)
  • Tahini Dip (store bought)
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves (we want to try making these but for now they are store bought…the canned ones sold at Trader Joe’s are really good)
  • Pita Pieces or Pita Chips (store bought; homemade recipe here)
  • Falafel (homemade; Trader Joe’s sells a good one too)
  • Olives (Trader Joe’s Greek Olive Mix or Fairway’s olive bar)
  • Feta and/or haloumi cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumber 
  • Roasted Red Pepper & Eggplant Dip (Trader Joe’s) or Roasted Veggie Dip (recipe here)

To make this into a bigger, slightly more complicated meal we’ll serve these appetizers alongside a Greek Salad or Spanakopita.

Hummus Greek Olives falafel Greek dips Mediterranean Appetizers Feta Greek yogurt Dip Greek Yogurt Dip Mediterranean appetizer plate

Feta Greek Yogurt Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Greek yogurt
  2. 1/3 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  3. The juice of 1 lemon
  4. 2-3 tablespoons of Za'atar (depending on flavor preferences)
  5. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  6. A large dash of garlic powder
  7. A dash of cumin
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until well-combined and serve. Store leftovers, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to a week.
Notes
  1. This does taste better after it has sat in the fridge for several hours, so if you can I highly recommend making this ahead.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

 

Blueberry Peach Cobbler w/ Lime & Lavender Cornmeal Biscuit Topping

Blueberry Peach Cobbler w/ Lime & Lavender Cornmeal Biscuit Topping || Runway Chef Last week I sent Mr. RC I text that read something like ” I can’t decide between a betty, a crisp, a crumble, a buckle, or a cobbler!”. He, of course, had no idea what I was talking about. And to be honest, I’m not so sure I had much of an idea either. I had made things with crumb toppings or biscuit topping before, but I never really knew the exact definitions of each. I just knew I wanted fruit with some kind of crunchy topping. I stumbled upon this article which helped me clarify the difference between a ‘betty’ and a ‘buckle’ and everything in between and ultimately decided biscuit topping was just what I was looking for (because then it totally counts as a breakfast food, too!). So on the one 90 degree day we’ve had all summer I got to work baking up this blueberry peach cobbler (because ovens, cast iron skillets and 90 degree days make total sense together). I think I sweated out every liquid ounce in my body, but that just meant I could justify eating half the pan of blueberry peach cobbler, obviously with lots of vanilla ice cream to cool me down!

Did you know the difference between all the different fruit desserts? If so, which is your favorite? Mine are definitely the cobbler and crumble!

fruit cobbler recipe blueberries and peaches blueberry peach cobbler cobbler with biscuit topping Blueberry Peach Cobbler w/ Lime & Lavender Cornmeal Biscuit Topping || Runway Chef peach blueberry cobbler blueberry and peach cobbler blueberry peach cobbler recipe

Blueberry Peach Cobbler with Lime, Lavender, Cornmeal Biscuit Topping
Serves 6
A fresh summer fruit cobbler with crunchy biscuit topping, perfect for dessert or morning-after breakfast
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
28 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
28 min
Total Time
1 hr
For Filling
  1. 2 pounds ripe peaches (about 6 medium)
  2. 1 cup fresh blueberries
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 tbsp cornstarch
  5. Juice from 1 lime
  6. Pinch of salt
For Biscuit Topping
  1. 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  3. Zest of 1 lime
  4. 3 tbsp sugar
  5. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 5 tblsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  9. 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  10. 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  11. 1/2 teaspoon of dried lavender
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. For the filling: Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Then cut each half into 4 slices. Spread the the peach slices evenly across the bottom of a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet.
  3. Sprinkle on the blueberries, then the cornstarch, sugar, lime juice and salt. Gently toss to coat the fruit. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, bake the fruit until it begins to bubble around the edges, about 10 minutes.
  5. For the biscuit topping: While the fruit is baking, in a food processor pulse the flour, cornmeal, lime zest, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lavender for a few seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (should need about ten 1-second pulses). Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl; add the yogurt and mix with a rubber spatula until a dough forms. (Don’t over mix the dough, or the biscuits will be tough).
  6. To assemble the cobbler: After the fruit has baked for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and spoon on small mounds of the biscuit dough, spacing the mounds about 1/2 inch apart (they should not touch). I had a total of 9 biscuit mounds on my cobbler.
  7. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 16 to 18 minutes. Cool slightly before serving with ice cream or whipped cream. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and then simply reheat a serving for 30 seconds in the microwave before eating it.
Notes
  1. I chose not to peel the peaches to save time and effort and also because I don't mind the skins, but feel free to peel them if you choose.
  2. You can also store this, tightly covered, on the countertop for 2 days, but the biscuits will get soggier more quickly and beware of fruit flies want to enjoy your dessert as well!
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
 Recipe adapted from here; Cobblers explained here

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Balsamic Peach Watermelon Salad

summer salads  I’ve always been a fan of the popular feta watermelon salad, even before it was popular. But in true Alyssa fashion, I can never leave well-enough alone, especially after something has become too popular. So when we recently picked up a hulking watermelon  (and I do mean hulking, as it did indeed look like the Hulk), I decided I had more than enough watermelon to play around with some new salad combinations. I have to say I’m pretty peachy keen (pun intended) on the peach adjustments and prosciutto additions I made to the watermelon salad and I know this healthy and refreshing salad will be regularly appearing on our summertime menu…or at least, until I get bored again!

P.S. You can find the recipe for quick pickled onions here.

Peach Watermelon Salad  || Runway Chef peach watermelon salad prosciutto watermelon salad watermelon recipes

Peach Watermelon Salad
A light and refreshing salad that's perfect for a hot summer day or night
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 peach
  2. 1/2 a medium-sized watermelon, or about 4 cups of watermelon cubes
  3. 3 slices of prosciutto
  4. 1/4 cup pickled onions
  5. 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  6. 1/4 cup grated manchego cheese
  7. A sprig of mint, chopped
  8. Balsamic vinegar
  9. Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop the peach and watermelon into cubes and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Chop (or free-hand shred) the prosciutto into small pieces. Toss the pieces into a frying pan over medium-heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the pieces turn slightly crispy, making sure to toss them a few times while they're cooking. Let the pieces cool for a few minutes, then toss them on top of the fruit.
  3. Next, add on the pickled onions, feta cheese, and mint. Finish the salad off with a heavy drizzle of balsamic vinegar, some fresh black pepper and the manchego cheese.
  4. This can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator until serving time. Just leave the prosciutto off until you're ready to serve the salad. Please note, though, that as this salad sits, it will become juicer.
Notes
  1. This salad pairs nicely with grilled chicken or steak and a crusty bread.
  2. You can also toss some crusty bread cubes or farro into this salad to make it a bit heartier of a meal.
  3. Bleu cheese can be substituted for the feta and manchego cheeses.
  4. I chose not to add any additional salt to the recipe because of the salt from the meat, the cheeses, and the onions, but feel free to add more salt per your tastes.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/