Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Author Archives: Jovina Coughlin

Serve this pasta with a mixed greens salad and Italian vinaigrette.

Ingredients

4-5 cups cooked (leftover) pasta. I used linguine
3 links of Italian sausage
2 cups Marinara sauce
11/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Directions

Brown the sausage links in a skillet and add the marinara sauce. Simmer the sausage in the marinara sauce for 30 minutes. Remove the sausage and cut it into thin slices. Set aside.
Mix the marinara sauce with the pasta. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan, parsley salt, and pepper. Mix with the pasta. Coat a 12-inch x 8-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.

Spread the pasta out in an even layer in the baking dish. Top with the sliced sausage and cover the top with slices of mozzarella.


Coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place on the top of the baking dish. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes, uncover the dish and bake for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


Coconut Layer Cake

When baking with coconut milk, I use shelf-stable boxed coconut milk.

Layer Cake
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature-very soft)
1 2/3 cups sugar
9 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups coconut flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch or two 8-inch layer pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the butter and sugar, and beat together for about 2 minutes using an electric mixer.

Add eggs in one at a time and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla while beating the eggs and butter mixture.

Combine the dry ingredients together and add one cup at a time, alternating with the coconut milk. Beat batter for about five minutes on high speed.

Spoon batter into the two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the layers from the pans. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Filling Ingredient
1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam

Frosting Ingredients
1 (8 ounces) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
Toasted or tinted coconut flakes

Prepare the Frosting: Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with a heavy-duty stand mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and heavy cream and beat until fluffy.

Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer on a serving platter, and spread jam over the layer, spreading to within 1/2-inch from the edge. Top with the second layer, and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded zucchini squeezed to remove water (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 cups Oat Flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix or cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Coat an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the paper.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, egg, vanilla extract, honey, milk, and zucchini.

Combine dry ingredients together (oat flour, spices, baking powder/baking soda, salt) and stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden and the cake tester comes out clean.

Allow bread to cool completely for at least 20 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpernickel Bagels

Bagel Dough
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ½ teaspoons molasses
2 cups pumpernickel or dark rye flour
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2-3 cups whole wheat flour

Kettle Water
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

To make the bagel dough:
Whisk 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, yeast, and molasses in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in pumpernickel flour, onions, cornmeal, caraway seeds, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in enough of the wheat flour to make a soft dough, about 2 cups.

Knead, gradually incorporating more wheat flour, until the dough is resilient and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes (the dough will remain slightly sticky). Cover the dough with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Wet the ends lightly with water. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly. Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot.

Slip several risen bagels at a time into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon or tongs and cook for 45 seconds longer. Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel and place them on the prepared baking sheets.

Place in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the bagels over and bake 5 more minutes. Cool on wire racks. Bagels freeze very well.


Trout Fillets

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small clove garlic, cut into thin slices
1/4 teaspoon dried sage or 4 large fresh leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh leaves, minced
¼ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 whole rainbow trout deboned and cut into 2 fillet halves, skin on
Chopped parsley

Directions

Light an outdoor grill or heat the broiler. In a small stainless-steel saucepan, combine the oil, butter, garlic, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Cook over moderately low heat until the garlic just starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Brush the fish with some of the lemon sauce on both sides of the fish. Grill or broil the fish skin-side down for 4-5 minutes. Pour the remaining sauce over the cooked fish. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve the fillets with the sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds total), peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

Heat oven to 400° F. Whisk together the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Toss the potatoes, oil, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in an 8-inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until just tender, 25-30 minutes. Add the butter and reserved vinegar mixture. Continue to roast, uncovered, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until the potatoes are golden brown, 15-20 minutes more.

Sauteed Swiss Chard or Spinach

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large bunches Swiss chard or spinach, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2”
pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Wash the chard well in several changes of cold water. Drain in a colander. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and half of the Swiss chard, season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often until wilted. Add the lemon juice and remaining chard and cook, tossing, just until all chard is wilted about 1 minute. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.


Grilled Steak Fajitas

Flank steaks are usually quite large. When I purchase one, I cut it in half and freeze one half for another meal.

Ingredients

1/2 pound or half of a large flank steak
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt to taste
1 red bell pepper
2 medium Poblano peppers (dark green)
1 small onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo + 1 tablespoon sauce, chopped
4 small flour tortillas or 2 large tortillas

Directions

At least two hours before dinner, coat the steak with salt to taste, the ground black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Cut the peppers into thick strips, discarding the ribs and seeds. Next, cut the onion into thick slices.
Place oil, peppers, and onions in a medium skillet and cook turning frequently until they are tender. Stir in the chipotle pepper and sauce. Keep warm.

Prepare an outdoor grill or heat a stovetop grill pan.
Place the steak on the grill and cook until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
Remove steak from the grill and cut diagonally into thin slices and add to the pepper mixture in the skillet.

Warm the tortillas on the edge of the grill, keeping them away from direct heat, so they are warm and soften but don’t dry out or turn crisp. Or wrap in paper towels and warm in the microwave.
Place a portion of the steak mixture into each tortilla, fold and serve.

Homemade Coleslaw

I like to make coleslaw in small batches because I don’t think it tastes very good after several days. I also like to serve coleslaw with Mexican entrees.

Ingredients

¼ of a large cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded
2 scallions, minced
Dressing
1 teaspoon honey or another sweetener
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

In a medium serving bowl with a cover, combine the dressing ingredients using a whisk.
Add the shredded cabbage, carrot, and scallions and stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate covered for several hours before serving.


Feeling like an old fashioned fried seafood dinner at your favorite seafood restaurant but they are closed now due to the virus restrictions, so make this desire come true at home.

Ingredients for 4

Homemade Tartar Sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 tablespoon minced scallions (white and light green parts only)
2 teaspoons chopped capers
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Fish And Fries

Vegetable oil, for frying
3 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch sticks
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup milk
2 pounds firm white fish fillets (such as hake, haddock, pollock or cod), cut into 3-inch chunks
Tartar sauce (recipe above)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

For the tartar sauce:

In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, relish, dill, scallions, capers, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the fish and fries:

Heat 1 inch deep of oil in a deep, wide skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 250°F.

Place a cooling rack onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Place fries in the hot oil and cook until golden brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Remove to the prepared baking sheet in the oven and sprinkle with salt. Keep warm in the oven while the fish fries.

In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour the milk into another shallow dish. Dip the fish in the milk, then dredge it in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess. If you like a thicker breading, repeat the process, dipping the seafood in the milk and cornmeal mixture again.

Reheat the oil in the skillet. Working in batches, lower the seafood into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Homemade Coleslaw

Ingredients
¼ of a large cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded
2 scallions, minced

Dressing
1 teaspoon honey or another sweetener
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

In a medium serving bowl with a cover, combine the dressing ingredients using a whisk.
Add the shredded cabbage, carrot, and scallions and stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Beef Tenderloin Steaks

2 beef tenderloin steaks, (about 6 ounces each)
Olive oil, for brushing
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place the steaks between pieces of plastic wrap and pound to a 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate.

A half-hour before cooking, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and preheat an outdoor or stovetop grill. Brush meat lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on the grill and cook, without moving, until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat sideways registers about 120 degrees F, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Set aside on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Steak Salad

For 2 servings

3 cups mixed salad greens
Small red onion, sliced thin
Half a cucumber, peeled and sliced
Large tomato, diced
Celery stalk, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Ranch Dressing, recipe below

Combine all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl and drizzle with the dressing according to taste.

Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, and vinegar. Add the chives, parsley, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper and whisk well to combine.

Easy, Easy Biscuits

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping the dough
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle lightly with flour.
Stir biscuit ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour flour mixture into the prepared parchment-covered pan.


Pat into a rectangle and cut the dough into six equal pieces. Separate the biscuits on the pan.

Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Serve with the steak salad.


Ingredients for 2 servings

4 oz fettuccini pasta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
2 cloves of minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 small heads (about 8 oz) broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

Boil a large pot of water, add salt and cook pasta to the al dente stage. Two minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli. Drain and set aside.


Sprinkle the shrimp with salt, pepper, and the Italian seasoning.
Melt the butter in a deep skillet, add in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Do not brown the garlic.
Add the cream, stir in the cheese and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and poach in the cream over low heat until pink.
Fold in the broccoli and pasta and cook just until warmed.

Pour the mixture into 2 individual pasta bowls and serve.



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