Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Summertime Pasta

Tortellini with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce And Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients

Sauce
3 lbs cherry tomatoes, stems removed
1/4 cup good-quality olive oil, plus more for roasting
1 large y onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
3–4 sprigs, fresh thyme, stems removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pasta
12 oz package shelf-stable cheese tortellini
8 slices of Prosciutto da Parma
A handful of basil leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees℉.
Toss the tomatoes with the other ingredients large baking dish. Roast for 50-60 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and are just beginning to shrivel. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay the prosciutto slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they don’t overlap, curling the edges like a nest so they don’t get too brown. Bake until the slices shrivel and turn golden, 10 -12 minutes. Set aside.

Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain.
Add tomato sauce to the drained pot and gently heat the sauce. Add the chili flakes, basil leaves, and cooked tortellini. Toss gently. Serve in individual pasta bowls. Top each bowl with grated cheese and pieces of crispy prosciutto.

 

Cooking From The Garden

 

Stuffed Eggplant

I served this entree with corn on the cob.

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

2 small eggplant
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ground beef
2 garlic cloves. minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup green pepper; chopped
1/4 cup onion; chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

Cut a thin slice off the top of each eggplant. Set the tops aside. Scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving 1/2 inch shells. Chop the flesh into small
cubes. Lightly salt the inside of the eggplant shells.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet.
Add all the ingredients except the mozzarella and saute until the meat is cooked and the eggplant is tender. Pour the mixture into a small bowl to cool slightly. Stir in the mozzarella. Fill the two eggplants equally with the mixture. Place the tops on. Place the stuffed eggplant in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake in a 350-degree oven F for 45 minutes or until the eggplant shells are tender.

Summertime Dinner

Summer Squash Potato Gratin

Ingredients

1 large sweet onion, diced
8-10 small yellow summer squash (each about 4-inches long) sliced into thin rounds
5 medium red potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
Olive oil
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF
Coat the bottom of a large baking dish with olive oil. (I used a 12×8-inch oval baking dish.)

Cover the bottom of the dish with squash slices, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle ⅓ of the onion and 1 cup of shredded cheese over the squash.
Cover the squash with potato slices, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then ⅓ of the onion and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Cover the potatoes with another layer of squash, overlapping them slightly, Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then ⅓ of the onion and 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Spray a large sheet of foil to cover the baking dish with cooking spray. Place the sprayed side down on the baking dish and press tightly to the edges of the dish.
Bake the casserole for one hour. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Butter Braised Sea Bass

Ingredients

2-6oz sea bass fillets
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped chives

Directions

In a small skillet, melt the butter, and add the sea bass. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. With a spoon scoop the butter up and over the fish. Cook for 5 minutes, turn the fish over and scoop butter over the fish as it cooks for 5-6 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Easy Corn On The Cob

Ingredients

2 fresh ears of corn, husked and silk removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 large sheets of waxed paper

Directions

Wash the corn well. Place each ear on a large sheet of waxed paper. Spread each ear with butter. Roll up and twist the ends closed. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 2 ½ minutes. Let rest for two minutes and serve.

Enchiladas With Green Sauce

Beef Brisket Enchiladas

Ingredients

8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cooked beef brisket {or any leftover beef}
1 cup fresh corn off the con
1 cup drained canned black beans
1-10 oz package red enchilada sauce
2-8 oz packages of green enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl combine the beef, corn, beans, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and red enchilada sauce.
Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour one package of green enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.

Place the tortillas on kitchen towels. Evenly distribute the beef mixture onto each tortilla. Roll each tortilla up and place it in the baking dish.

Cover the tortillas with the second package of green enchilada sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cover the yop of the tortillas with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Summer Mediterrean Dinner

Mediterranean Cantaloupe Salad

Serve with heated pita bread.

Ingredients

¼ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoon honey, or more, depending on the sweetness of your melon.
½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon  each salt and pepper                                                                              Half a cucumber, peeled and diced
1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, halved, seeded, and cubed (3 – 4 cups)
1 small orange bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped,
3 tablespoon green olives
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Combine red onion and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let stand while you prepare the cantaloupe.
Add honey, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the red onion mixture.
Add cantaloupe cubes and the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
Toss to combine all ingredients.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Breasts

Leftover chicken makes a delicious chicken salad.

Ingredients

1 cup Greek Plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 wholes clove garlic, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
2 whole bone-in chicken breasts

Directions

Combine Yogurt, lemon peel, juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a dish large enough to contain the chicken.
Add the chicken, turn it in the sauce and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Place chicken on a rack in a baking pan and bake in a preheated 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes or until cooked.

Summer Squash Yeast Bread

This recipe makes a spectacular and delicious loaf of bread.

Dough Ingredients
1 yellow summer squash (8 oz, shredded)
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Topping Ingredients
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
Sesame seeds

Directions

Place shredded squash on a kitchen towel and squeeze out any liquid you can. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the remaining dough ingredients.
With the paddle attachment mix the ingredients until they gather around the paddle Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 12″ long rope. Braid the three ropes, pinching each end to seal together, and set the loaf onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap which has been oiled to prevent sticking. Set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour until the dough has almost doubled in volume and springs back slowly when poked.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown. The interior temp should be about 190°F. Cool on a wire rack.

Zucchini Bread Two ways

The same recipe can make two different loaves of zucchini bread by the flavoring you add to the mix.

Basic Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)

For Cinnamon Raisin Zucchini Bread
Add
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of raisins.

For Savory Cheese Zucchini Bread
Add 2 tablespoons of sugar
12 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F°. Butter and flour an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs, vegetable oil, and yogurt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the grated zucchini and remaining ingredients according to which recipe you are making.

Stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the loaf rises and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool on a rack for 30 minutes before unmolding and serving.

The zucchini loaf can be wrapped tightly in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen in plastic and foil for up to 1 month.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash For Dinner

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Ingredients

5 Patty Pan Squash

For the stuffing
1 cup cooked, crumbled Italian sausage
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit/180° Celsius.
Cut the top of each squash off and reserve.

Remove the squash flesh center and hollow out further with a spoon. Dugard the what you remove because it consists of mostly seeds. with salt and black pepper.

Prepare the stuffing by combining all the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl. Place the squash into a baking dish and fill the squash with all the meat stuffing. Top with the lid. Pour water up to ½-inch in-depth into the baking dish.

Roast the stuffed patty pan squash for about 45-50 minutes at 350° F

Both dishes can be roasted at the same time.

Potato, Leek, And Fennel Bake

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only sliced into ¼-inch half moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, thinly sliced
1 large stem of fresh rosemary
1 lemon cut in half
2 pounds of small red-skinned potatoes, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables arranging them in a single layer as much as possible. Salt and pepper the vegetables. Add the rosemary, garlic, and lemon halves to the dish. Bake covered until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Let the dish rest 10 minutes before serving. Squeeze the lemon over the vegetables.

Summer Squash Pie And Air-Fryer Mushrooms

Summer Squash Pie

Ingredients

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2-1/2 cups sliced zucchini (1/4 inch slices)
2-1/2 cups sliced yellow summer squash (1/4 inch slices)

1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon Greek seasoning with salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400degrees F°
Fit the pastry into a pie pan and crimp the edges.
Spread the mozzarella cheese on the bottom of the pastry.
Mix the squash, and onion, with the Greek seasoning, egg, and milk. Pile into the pastry shell. It will look like you have too much but that is ok.


Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle the cheddar over the top of the pie and return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with tomato slices dressed with Ranch dressing and
Air- Fried Mushroom Caps

Air Fryer Crispy Breaded Mushrooms

Ingredients

6=8 large cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Clean the mushrooms and remove any long stems.
Make 3 dipping stations: a plate for flour, salt, and pepper, a bowl for the egg and milk (whisked together), and a bowl for the breadcrumbs.
First coat the mushrooms in the flour. Then dip them in the egg mixture, shaking off any excess. Then roll them in the breadcrumbs. Complete the breading process for all the mushrooms.

Place the mushrooms on a tray. Spray evenly with oil.
Set the mushrooms in the air fryer basket, spaced out a bit. Air Fry at 400 degrees F (200C) for10-12 minutes, depending on your preferred level of crispiness, carefully shaking the basket at the halfway point.

The Beauty of Locally Grown Produce

 

Easy Corn Cakes

ingredients

2 cups corn kernels
¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
¼ finely chopped onion
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

 

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together the corn kernels, bell pepper, onion, honey, and cheddar cheese.
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and the cayenne pepper.
Combine the flour mixture and corn mixture.
Stir in the eggs and heavy cream until the batter is well-combined.

Heat the oven to its lowest setting and have ready an oven-proof plate.

Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with vegetable oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 2- to 3-tablespoon mounds of the corn batter into the pan, spreading it lightly into a flat, circular shape. Cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook them for an additional 3 minutes until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Transfer the caked to the plate and place it in the warm oven.

Repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan if needed.

Zucchini Parmesan

Ingredients

2 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

heat the oil in a small skillet. Place the zucchini slices in the pan in a single layer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let for 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with cheese.

Lemon Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients
Marinade
4 6-ounce thin, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
14 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large fresh thyme stem
Salt and pepper to taste

Coating
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Combine the chicken cutlets with the marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, and swirl them around the pan.
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Durian the chicken cutlets and dredge in the flout.

Add the chicken to the pan and turn the heat to high and saute the chicken for 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.


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