Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup

For this recipe, I used a ham bone I had in the freezer from my Easter ham. If you do not have a ham bone, use two ham hocks

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups water
1 large ham bone
1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight (see below}
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

The day before
Soak the beans in cold water for at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours) before cooking.

Directions

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, water, hocks, and beans. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are completely tender and soup is slightly thickened, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the ham bone from the pot to cool, then shred meat and add to soup.
Stir in thyme, pepper, and vinegar. Serve for lunch or dinner.

Fresh Pear Loaf

Fresh Pear Bread Recipe

Ingredients

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (about 4-5 medium)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Grease and line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add the chopped pears and fold them in gently.

In a second mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the walnuts.

Stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. (batter will be thick).

Divide the mixture evenly between the loaf pans. I use a scale to make sure they have even amounts.


Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans using the parchment to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

CLASSIC CIOPPINO

CLASSIC CIOPPINO

For 4 servings 4

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 onion, finely diced
6 oz seeded and chopped fresh plum tomatoes
4 cloves crushed garlic
14-16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups seafood broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs of fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 extra-large shrimp peeled and deveined
8 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
4 lobster tails, 4-5 oz each, shells removed
4 firm white fish fillets cod, halibut, haddock are all good choices
12 small clams, washed well

Directions
The sauce can be made ahead and reheated just before serving time. When the sauce begins to boil add the fish as described below.

Make the stew base.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet with a cover. Add the onions, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well. Add the canned tomatoes, seafood broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer. Add all the seasonings. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook the sauce until thickened.

Uncover the pan and turn the heat to medium, Add fish in the following way> place the cod fillets in the middle of the skillet and cook for two minutes. Add the lobster tails and cook two more minutes, Tuen the cod and lobster over in the sauce. Add the shrimp and cook for two minutes. Tuenmn the shrimp over and add the scallops and clams, Cook for 2-3 minutes until the shells open, the shrimp are pink and the sea;;p[s are firm. Don’t overcook the fish.
Serve in individual pasta/soup bowls with crusty bread.

Greek Spinach Frittata

Greek Spinach Frittata

Ingredients

12 large eggs
¼ cup olive oil
16 oz frozen spinach defrosted, raw or canned, and drained
1 onion finely dices
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove minced
2 plum tomatoes, cut into thin slices
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Heat the broiler.
In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs. Add the spinach, onion, garlic, and oregano. Mix well.
Heat the oil in an omelet pan. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until set, lifting the edges and letting the eggs run under the omelet. Top the egg mixture with sliced tomatoes, and fetta cheese. Place the pan under the broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes until the top is no longer runnun\g and beginning to brown.
Serve with pita bread and Tzatziki Sauce.

Homemade Banana Pancakes

Homemade Banana Pancakes

Perk up your Sunday morning breakfast with these homemade pancakes. I like to mix the ingredients together the evening before and refrigerating the dough overnight. Saves time in the morning when everyone is waiting for pancakes.

Ingredients

2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
1⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large ripe banana. chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil
Topping
Maple Syrup or honey
Mixed berries

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in the chopped banana.
In a large measuring cup combine the melted butter, oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

Heat a large buttered cast-iron griddle or skillet. Working in batches, drop batter by 1⁄3 cupfuls 1 inch apart over hot oil. Cook until edges are dry and bubbles form in the center of pancakes, about 3 minutes; turn, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes more. Use remaining oil as needed. Serve with bananas and syrup.

Chicken And Peppers Over Pasta

Chicken And Peppers Over Pasta

Ingredients

For 2 servings. Double for 4.

4 chicken tenders, pounded this
7-8 oz mini peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
Half a sweet onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup flour1 cup panko crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Pasta
8 oz fettuccine
¼ cup butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Directions
Bring a large p[ot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Dredge in flour, egg, and panko crumbs. Set aside.
Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onions, peppers, garlic, and basil. Saute the mixture until tender. Remove to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the chicken until brown on both sides. Spread the chicken with the peppers and onions, Top with the mozzarella and cover the pan, turn the heat down to low, and let cook until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta. Place the drained pasta and butter in the empty pot. Stir gently over low heat, until the pasta is coated in butter. Add the parsley. Place a portion of pasta on each of the two serving dishes. Top each with two pieces of chicken with peppers and cheese. Serve.

SOURDOUGH POTATO SANDWICH BREAD

SOURDOUGH POTATO SANDWICH BREAD

This bread is delicious especially for making BLTs. The bread makes excellent toast and compliments soups.

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast or instant yeast
6 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Mashed potatoes (enough for 2 servings) 1 1:3 lbs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup sourdough starter, room temperature

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the bread dough ingredients with the paddle attachment until the dough gathers around the paddle. Push the dough off the paddle and switch to the dough hook.
Knead the dough for 8 minutes until completely smooth, Place dough in a greased bowl, turning over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1 1/2 – 2 hrs.)

Punch dough down. Knead briefly to release air. Divide in half.
Shape each half into a smooth ball and then into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pans.
Cover loaves and let rise to the top of the baking pans.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 35-40 min. or until loaves are richly browned.
Let cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 large loaves.

AIR FRYER BONE-IN BREADED PORK CHOPS

AIR FRYER BONE-IN BREADED PORK CHOPS

Looking to save on calories but love fried pork chops. The air-fryer method of cooking sill does that for you.. I was amazed at how crispy the chops were, yet the meat was moist. Delicious.

Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, center-cut (thin OR thick)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup Italian flavored Pablo crumbs
½ teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F and spray the basket with cooking spray.

Trim any fat on the pork chops as needed. Sprinkle the chops with salt. Spread the mayonnaise over all sides of the chops. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Press on the panko crumbs. Refrigerate for several hours, if you have time.

Place breaded pork chops into the air fryer in one layer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through cooking. If cooking thicker pork chops, cook for 14-15 minutes.
Remove pork chops from the air fryer and serve with your favorite sides.

My Sides:

 

Eggplant Parmesan

This is not a dish that can be prepared quickly, but with some of my make-ahead tips, you can enjoy this entrée for dinner and have several leftovers for future use without spending all day in the kitchen. Eggplant freezes very well in all stages of its preparation. Additionally, I do not fry the eggplant, but bake it in the oven to reduce the calories.

For each one pound of eggplant, you will need:

1 pound eggplant, peeled
1/2 to 3/4 cup refrigerated egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters) or egg whites
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat two large baking sheets with nonstick olive oil cooking spray.

Cut peeled eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (no thicker). You want them to be thin.

Place the egg substitute in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs mixed with the cheese in another.

Dip the eggplant slices into the egg substitute, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-15 minutes longer.

To assemble the casserole, you will need:

Spray an 8 inch or 9 inch or 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

2 ½ cups Marinara sauce (see recipe above)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 recipe breaded and baked eggplant
Directions

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until the sauce bubbles, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Sauteed Green Beans And Onions

Ingredients

1 pound green beans trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, place beans and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Boil green beans for five minutes, then strain and set aside.
Add oil. add sliced onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are lightly browned and begin to turn translucent.

Add green beans to sauté pan, stirring to combine. Cook for one additional minute before removing from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.

Jumbo Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
½ cup brown sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425º Fahrenheit. Oil a 6-jumbo muffin pam.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combien the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup including the marmalade. Stir the date and nuts into the flour mixture. Add the wet mixture just until combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into the six cups. Sprinkle with each top with brown sugar.

 

Bake at for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375º Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 


Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

 

Dinner Is In The Oven

Roasted Swordfish and Potatoes with Caper Aioli

Ingredients

12-14 oz baking potato, cut into eighths
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick (about 1 pound in all)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Caper Herb Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1teadpoon fried chives
1teadpoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon drained and chopped capers
1 teaspoon wine vinegar

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the oil, half the garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 15 minutes; stir once.

Meanwhile, coat the swordfish with the remaining 1/4 cup oil, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper, and the rosemary. Put the fish on a baking sheet and put it in the oven along with the potatoes. Cook, stirring the potatoes once until the fish and potatoes are both done, 10 to 12 minutes for 1-inch-thick steaks.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with parsley, capers, and vinegar. Serve the roasted swordfish and potatoes with the caper mayonnaise.

Parmesan Asparagus

Ingredients

1bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Wash the asparagus and cut it into 3-inch pieces. Place the oil in a 12-inch baking dish and add the asparagus. Toss. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss again. Place the dish in the oven when you add the swordfish. Cook 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with the swordfish and potatoes. 


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