Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: March 2022

Serves 6-8


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
16 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup flour
2 pounds boneless round steak, 1/4 inch thick
2 -3 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large heavy, oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter.

Pound the steak until1/8 inch thick with a meat mallet. Flour the steak pieces, pressing the flour into the meat; transfer to the skillet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and brown the round steak thoroughly, turning to brown on the other side, Remove to a plate. Save the remaining flour.

Saute the onions and sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir in the remaining flour and cook for a minute or two.

Add the beef broth, stirring well. Return the browned meat to the pan. You can transfer the mixture to a large baking pan if you prefer. The broth should reach the top of the meat layer. If it doesn’t;t, add another cup.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake, covered, for 3-4 hours until the meat is very tender

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with mashed potatoes. and your favorite green vegetable.



For the cake:

1 box (15.25 oz) red velvet cake mix
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 box (3.4 oz) chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
4 large eggs

For the topping

1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into thin slices
¼ cup strawberry jelly
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a fluted tube cake pan with non-stick baking spray with flour.

Stir the cake mix, flour, and pudding mix together in a mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, oil, water, and eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow cooling in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Serve the cake sliced with strawberries and whipped cream.


The toppings can be prepared ahead of serving time. Refrigerate until needed.
Heat the jelly in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until it is melted. Stin in the sliced strawberries. Set aside to cool.
Whip the v\cream with powdered sugar.

French Onion Soup

8 servings


3 large sweet onions, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
64 ounces (8 cups) beef broth {see homemade version below}
1 tablespoon dry sherry or cognac
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme


8 tablespoons freshly grated/shredded parmesan cheese
16 slices thin swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread,1/2-inch thick, toasted


Cut onions in half, then thinly slice.
In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat and add the onions.
Saute onions for about 20 minutes, until limp and golden brown in color.

Add the beef broth and thyme and heat to boiling, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the sherry and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to broil.

Place soup crocks (the number will depend on servings) in a baking pan and ladle onion soup evenly among the soup crocks filling each ¾ quarters of the way.

Add one tablespoon of grated cheese to each crock and stir gently.

Place a slice of toasted bread and two slices of swiss cheese on top of each bread slice.

Carefully transport the baking pan with the crocks to the broiler and broil the crocks until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

Serve the crocks on separate plates.

Homemade Beef Broth


3 -4 lbs beef bones, meaty
3 carrots, scraped, broken in several pieces
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
3 stalks celery, broken into several pieces
2leeks, cleaned and cut into chunks
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 -8 peppercorns


Place the beef bones in a large heavy pot and cover with cold water by about two inches.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat and skim the sum which rises to the top–this should take about five minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and more cold water so that everything is covered by at least an inch or two.
Bring the stock to a simmer again, skimming as necessary.
When the stock is simmering (Do NOT allow it to boil), partially cover and maintain at a very slow simmer for four to five hours.
If the water level gets too low, add boiling water to the pot.
Skim as necessary.
When the vegetables and the bones have given their all to the broth, strain the broth and discard the solids.
Set the stock, uncovered in the refrigerator until the fat has risen to the top and solidified.
Remove and discard the fat.
Taste the degreased stock (remembering it contains no salt) and if it is not strong enough, reduce it over medium heat.
When the stock is cold, store it in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer.

Pasta with Swiss Chard and Breadcrumbs



4 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
8 ounces short pasta
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon chile pepper flakes
2 bunches Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn (about 8 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Parmesan or Pecorincheeseo (for serving)


Heat the butter in a small skillet over low heat and add panko to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.

Heat the olive. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic and anchovies, for about 2 minutes. Add chile and Swiss chard and cook until Swiss chard is slightly wilted for about 1 minute.

Add pasta and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to Swiss chard mixture and cook, tossing often with tongs until sauce is emulsified and coats pasta. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and lemon juice.

Transfer the mixture to a pasta serving bowl. . Drizzle with oil; top with breadcrumbs and cheese..

This dish goes well with a Caprese Salad.



For ease in cooking everything so they are hot for serving, prep all ingredients and combine sauces in separate dishes prior to cooking.

Pan Scallops With Sesame Sauce

Serves 4


16 large sea scallops
1 sliced green onion (white and green sections reserved separately)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon peanut oil
⅛ teaspoon black pepper


Remove scallops from the refrigerator, and bring them to room temperature (about 10 minutes). In a small mixing bowl, add the white onion pieces and the next 7 ingredients (through crushed red pepper); stir with a whisk to combine, and set aside.

Warm the peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the scallops; sprinkle scallops with the black pepper. Cook scallops for about 3 minutes on 1 side until golden brown. Using tongs, flip the scallops and cook for 1 minute. Transfer scallops to a deep plate, and cover with foil. Keep the skillet on the heat.

Whisk the sauce again, and add it to the pan. Cook until the sauce boils and thickens slightly (about 45 seconds); then remove the pan from heat. Pour the hot sesame sauce over the scallops and garnish with a sprinkle of green onion. Serve with rice.

Asian Snow Peas

Serves: 4


1 tsp sesame oil
½ lb fresh snow peas, ends trimmed and cut in half
½ cup carrots, shredded
¼ cup water chestnuts, canned, sliced
½ cup chicken broth, low-sodium
1 tsp soy sauce, low-sodium
1 tsp cornstarch


Add oil to nonstick skillet and heat on medium heat. Add snow peas and carrots. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add water chestnuts and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes (or until vegetables are crisp-tender).

In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce and cornstarch, stir until cornstarch dissolves. Add to vegetable mixture.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Serve immediately.

Spicy Baby Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce

4 servings


4 baby bok choy
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Trim off the ends of the bok choy and cut them in half. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the peanut oil and sesame oil. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the water, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Set this aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy; stir fry for a few minutes or until the pieces start to turn a pale green.

Pour the sauce over the Bok Choy. Cook, stirring constantly until sauce has thickened slightly, and coats the bok choy, about 3 minutes.


4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ½ lb center-cut beef brisket,
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 large onions, finely chopped

BBQ Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced


Combine the spice rub mixture and rub olive oil over all areas of the brisket. Then thoroughly coat the brisket with the chili rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 F. degrees. Place the brisket in a roasting pan and scatter the chopped onion around the brisket. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Combine the BBQ sauce ingredients in a large measuring cup. Pour the BBQ sauce over the brisket. Cover the baking pan tightly with foil .Cook for another 3 hours or until fork-tender.
Once cooked, slice the meat thinly across the grain and serve with the sauce.
Yield: 6-8 or more servings.

Serve with Boiled Potatoes
And Oven Roasted Broccoli


Roast Chicken And Gravy


1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon quartered
1 whole chicken, 4-5 lbs
1 cup water
3 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream or half&half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled


Process parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until paste forms. Combine herb paste with oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the lemon quarters inside the chicken.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and rub herb paste under the skin of the chicken, making sure to coat the breast, thigh, and leg meat. Tuck wings behind the back, and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Transfer chickens to a platter. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Arrange chicken breast side down in a roasting pan. Roast until thigh meat registers 135 degrees, 35 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven and, using a wad of paper towel, flip breast side up (meat that was facing inside should now be facing outside). Pour 1 cup of water into the roasting pan. Return chicken to the oven and roast until thigh meat registers 170 degrees, 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest 20 minutes.

Whisk cornstarch with chicken broth in a small bowl until no lumps remain. Pour pan juices and any accumulated chicken juices into a saucepan. Add broth and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced 8 to 10 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter. . Season with salt and pepper. Carve chickens and serve, passing sauce at the table.


Serve with

Whole Grain and Wild Rice

Oven Roasted AsparagusPlace one bunch of asparagus in a baking dish. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, Roast in a 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Rapini or broccoli rabe is a green cruciferous vegetable, with the leaves, buds, and stems all being edible; the buds somewhat resemble broccoli but do not form a large head. Rapini is known for its slightly bitter taste and is particularly associated with Mediterranean cuisine.

Pasta With Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Serves 6-8

1 pound orecchiette pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 2inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
Kosher salt and black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the broth and red pepper and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and simmer, covered, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly 1 to 2 minutes.
Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture and ¼ teaspoon of each salt and pepper.

Italian Style Lamb chops

4 servings

4 Large Lamb Loin Chops
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper


Mix together all of the marinade ingredients and place in a shallow casserole dish along with the lamb ensuring the marinade coats the lamb well. Refrigerate for at least two hours or up till 6 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before you are ready to cook to allow the meat to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a heavy oven-proof frying pan at medium-high heat. Sear the lamb very well on both sides until golden brown. Place the pan in the hot oven until the lamb is cooked, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Wild and whole Grain Rice

4 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup whole grain wild rice {I use Lundberg}
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 oz can sliced ounces mushrooms
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the butter in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and toast while stirring until it begins to smell nutty, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook on low until the water is absorbed about 40 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and seasonings. Keep the pot on the burner with the heat off, cover the pot, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Spinach With Garlic

4 servings


2- 15z pkg frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet over low heat. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cover the skillet. Heat the spinach until hot, turning the mixture several times.

Keeping it healthy by using the air fryer or oven to cook the chicken. Lower fat salad dressing also helps.

4 bone-in chicken thighs

Spice Mix

1 teaspoon sea salt

 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1’4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1 cup self-rising flour

To make self-rising flour, just add 1-1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4- 1/2 tsp salt for each 1 cup measure of the LC-Cake Flour.

2 cups of buttermilk

1 cup panko crumbs

Marinating Directions

In a glass dish, place the buttermilk and the seasonings. Nix well. Add the chicken, cover the dish, and refrigerate overnight.

Durian the thighs and coat in the flour mix, Dip each thigh in the buttermilk mixture again and roll in the panko crumbs.

If you have time, refrigerate the breaded chicken for several hours before cooking.

Air Fryer Directions

Preheat the air fryer to 360°F 

Place the breaded thighs in the basket and let it cook for 20 minutes or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.

When done, open the air fryer and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Oven-Baked Directions

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Place the breaded chicken on an oiled sheet pan and bake for 40 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Lower Fat Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
6 oz Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon \ mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a small bowl, mash blue cheese and yogurt together with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic powder until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator.
Makes 1 cup.

For the salad: mixed greens with added cherry tomatoes, celery, onion, and cucumber.

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