Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: July 2023



Beer Braised Hot Dogs and Cabbage


2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
9 oz (4-5) beef hot dogs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
Half a small head of green cabbage chopped
½ of a bottle of beer
1 tablespoon of Dijon coarse country mustard
Salt and pepper t taste



In a deep skillet, heat the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and onion. Sauté until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the hot dogs and turn the heat up to medium. Cool the hot dogs until beginning to brown on the edges. Add the cabbage, mustard, and beer. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.


Leftover Boiled Potato Patties

Makes 8 patties


2 cups leftover boiled potatoes at room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup flour
2 chopped green onions
2 eggs
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Sour cream for serving


Add the leftover potatoes to a large bowl and mash them.
Add the cheese, flour, green onion, eggs, garlic powder, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper.
Stir all the ingredients together very well until everything is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.


Form the mixture into 8 patties about 1 inch thick.


If you have time refrigerate the potato cakes for several hours.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of vegetable oil (around 1-2 teaspoons).
Cook the patties in batches (don’t overcrowd the skillet!) for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and completely cooked through.
Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream.





4 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
3⁄4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen

Crumb Topping:
¾ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extra
2-3 tablespoons milk


Combine the crumb topping ingredients and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Generously grease 12 jumbo muffin cups. Place cupcake liners in each cup.
In a large mixing bowl electric sn mixer beat the butter with the sugar and salt until creamy.
In a bowl mix together baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and lemon zest until combined.
In another bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla to blend. Alternately add to the creamed mixture with the flour mixture and gently mix just until combined

Carefully fold in the blueberries.
Divide the mixture between the muffin tins.
Sprinkle the reserved streusel over the tops of the muffins.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the muffins test is done (if using frozen berries baking time will increase slightly).
Cool for about 5 minutes in tins then carefully lift out to a rack.
Combine glaze ingredients
When cool drizzle with glaze.



For 2


Taco Bowls
2 tortillas of choice*, {burrito size}10-12 inch size
Avocado cooking spray

Salad toppings
Your favorite Ranch Dressing
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blended cheese
Pickled jalapeno slices
1 avocado diced
Hot sauce, optional

2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
4-6 ox leftover steak, diced
Half of a 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 scallions, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
⅓ of a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon mild taco seasoning



To make the bowls
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Spray both sides of the tortilla with cooking spray. Press the tortilla into an oven-safe round bowl. Pinch the edges of the tortilla and create folds, following the rim of your bowl.
Place bowl on baking sheet. Bake on the lower rack of the oven for 15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Allow to cool to room temperature before filling with taco salad. (It will crisp up more as it cools.)

For the salad mix
In a medium bowl, combine the steak, beans, taco seasoning, scallions, celery, cucumber, and tomato. Mix to combine. Add a;t to taste. Add hot sauce to taste, if desired.

To assemble
Place 1 cup of shredded lettuce in the bottom of each bowl. Divide the steak mixture evenly between the two bowls. Top with avocado, jalapenos, and cheese. Serve with the ranch dressing.




2 6-ounce sea bass fillets {branzino or other white fish fillets}
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
A couple of dashes of hot sauce
1 large egg, beaten
Olive oil, for cooking
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 clove garlic, grated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chicken stock


Dry the fish with paper towels.
Mux the egg, hot sauce,  and mustard together in a shallow dish.
Place the flour in a second shallow dish and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Dredge the fish in the flour, then the egg, and back into the flour again.

Heat enough o; olive oil in a large skillet to coat the bottom of the skillet. Heat over medium. Aff the fish and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Remove from the skillet to a platter.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the butter, chopped parsley, capers, garlic, lemon zest, and juice. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Drain any oil from the pan and wipe it out. Place back on the direct heat side of the grill. Add the stock and cook for 1 minute. Add the butter mixture and cook, whisking until the butter is melted and all the mixture comes together about 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve.


Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Chives

Serves 6


2 pounds small-medium red potatoes, unpeeled, halved or quartered
2 cups water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives


Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Add water, butter, garlic, thyme, and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and use a slotted spoon to transfer garlic to the cutting board; discard thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer the potatoes until water evaporates and butter starts to sizzle for 15 to 20 minutes.

Mese garlic to a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in lemon juice and pepper. Add cooked potatoes and chives, mix well, and serve.


Garlic Sautéed Spinach


2 10-ounce cellophane packages of spinach
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled
Freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat. Crush the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and toss them into the oil. Cook, shaking the pan, until golden, about 2 minutes. Scatter the spinach a large handful at a time into the pan, waiting until each batch wilts before adding another. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cover the pan. Cook until the spinach begins to release its liquid. Uncover the pan and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and its water has evaporated 1 to 3 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if you like. Serve hot.


2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Hot cooked rice


Make the cornstarch mixture:
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch, soy sauce, broth, and honey until blended.

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook and stir until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.


In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced red peppers, and cook and stir until crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute longer.


Whisk the cornstarch mixture, and then add it into the pan, stirring as constantly. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the pan. Stir and heat through.
Sprinkle the green onions and sesame seeds over the Garlic Chicken. Serve with rice.




6 servings


8 oz small shell macaroni
1/2 cup celery finely diced
Half a red bell pepper finely diced
¼ of a medium onion finely diced
12-ounce package of cooked medium shrimp

For the dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon dill chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook shells according to package directions, then drain.

In a serving bowl, add the celery, bell pepper, onion, and shrimp. In a separate small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, dill, and salt and pepper.

Pour over the top of the pasta and stir everything to combine. Cover the bowl and chill the Salad until serving time.

Serve with lettuce. Deviled eggs, pickled, and sliced tomatoes







I have an abundance of all types of peppers in my refrigerator right now. My CSA farm had success with them this year. Naturally, I am trying to think of ways to use them instead of freezing them all. So for this dinner, I am making a big batch of Pizziola Sauce, which contains, peppers, onions, tomato sauce, and Italian seasonings. This recipe makes a sizeable portion that you can save for other meats and fish.
For our dinner, I make pork chops.


Pizzaiola Sauce

You can use any type of sweet pepper you like. I used small-medium yellow/green bell peppers because they are tender.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 lbs peppers, seeded and sliced
1 large onion sliced
14 ½ oz container of chopped or diced Italian tomatoes.
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste.




Heat the oil in a large deep skillet and add the sliced peppers and onions. Cover the skillet and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove the cover, add the garlic, and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender about 15-20 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and seasoning. simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Serve over your main protein.


Oven Baked Crispy Pork Chops

2 bone-in Berkshire, pasture-raised loin pork chops
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
½ cup cornflake crumbs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Lightly cover a baking dish with olive oil
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chops.
Spread the chops with the mayonnaise and dredge in the cornflake crumbs.
Place the chops in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.


Oven Baked Red Potatoes


7=8 small red potatoes, cut in half
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste.


Spread the melted butter in a baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes.
Place the potatoes cut side down in the baking dish
Sprinkle with salt and pepper/
Bake in the 400-degree F oven with the pork chops for 45 minutes,



Basic Pizza Dough {see recipe}

2 tablespoons olive oil
16 oz sliced button mushrooms
¼ onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup prepared marinara sauce
16 oz mozzarella, sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese


Dor the sauce
Heat the oil in a large skillet and, them add the mushroom, onion and garlic. Cover the pan and let the ingredients simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and turn up the heat slightly and cook the mushroom until all their liqid id gone. Add the seasoning and sauce. Cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.

reheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Oil a 16-inch pizza pan.
Press the dough out in the pan to its edges.
Cover the dough with the cheese slices. Spread the mushroom topping evenly over the dough and cheese.
Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake the pizza for about 28-20 minutes. Let rest 6 minutes before cirring.


Summer Dinner For 2


For the lamb
4 small loin lamb chops, about 1 lb total
Lamb Marinade
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon Greek seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the salad
2 cooked small potatoes, cut into thin rounds
Half of a small red bell pepper finely diced
Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
One-quarter of red onion, finely diced
8 pitted Greek olives, diced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 small garlic clove grated

1 oz Greek feta cheese, cubed
½ teaspoon Greek seasoning
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley for garnish
Pita Bread warmed


Combine the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Add the lamb, seal the bag, and refrigerate for several hours.
Make the dressing. Combine the oil, lemon juice, Greek seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
In a serving bowl combine the red pepper, cucumbers, onion, olives, and feta cheese. Add the dressing. Toss the ingredients lightly to combine them.
Add salt and pepper, to taste, and stir the salad gently to mix in the seasoning.
Chill the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving it.
Sprinkle the parsley over the salad before serving
My air-fryer has a grill option but you can use any type of grill you like.
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
Preheat your grill.
Grill the lamb for 5 minutes per side for medium.
Serve along with the salad and warm pita.



Italian Sesame Squash Yeast 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


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 them 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 45-50 minutes until golden brown. The interior temp should be about 190°F. Cool on a wire rack.


Banana Squash Quick Bread

2 loaves


2 cups mashed bananas
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated yellow squash
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 350*F.
Grease two 8″ x 4″ ” loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper fir to cover the bottom of the baking pans.,

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Blend well. Stir in squash until it is well blended into the egg mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the liquids until well mixed. Add cinnamon and bananas. Mix until well blended.

When completely mixed, divide into loaf pans,
Bake for 60 minutes or until the toothpick of the fork can be inserted and pulled out clean.

Cool in pan(s) for at least 5 minutes then you may remove.


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