Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

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Eggs and Peppers with Avocado Salsa

Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 large red bell pepper
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 small lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil,
4 large eggs
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

Slice off the top and bottom of the bell pepper… Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Finely chop the top and bottom end. Slice the pepper center into four 1/2-inch-thick rings.

For the salsa
Combine the diced pepper ends with the avocado, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper rings, then crack 1 egg into the middle of each ring.

Cover the pan and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are firm.
Spread ½ cup of salsa on each serving [late and place two pepper rings on top.


Sicilian Potato and Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 ½ pound {about 5} unpeeled red new potatoes, steamed
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato strips packed in olive oil
Salt

Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 hard-cooked [steamed} egg, steamed and mashed
¼ cup olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips

Directions

How to steam the eggs and potatoes

I don’t boil eggs in water, instead, I steam them and they come out perfect every time. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a pot with the steaming basket in it. When the water is boiling add the eggs to the basket, cover the pot, and set a timer for 12 minutes. When the timer goes off, put the eggs in a bowl of ice water until completely cooled.

ill a pot with one inch of water and put a steamer basket inside. Place the potatoes in the steamer basket and bring water to a boil. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, thinly slice the potatoes.
If you do not have a steamer basket, you can cook the eggs and potatoes in the conventional; way.

In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine green beans and enough salted water to cover. Bring to boiling over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour or until cool.

For the dressing

Finely shred peel from lemon; measure 2 teaspoons lemon peel. Juice lemon; measure 3 tablespoons of juice.

For the salad

in a salad bowl combine oil, 2 teaspoons lemon peel, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the capers, anchovies, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mash the egg and stir it into the dressing.

Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

2 lbs {5} chicken thighs
5 teaspoons lemon pepper
5 tablespoons Dijon Honey Mustard
1 cup unseasoned panko crumbs

Ingredients

Season the thighs with lemon pepper and refrigerate for several houses.

When ready to cool:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and oil a baking dish.
Brush the chicken with mustard on all slides and dredge in panko. Place in the baking dish.

Cook for 45 to 50 minutes and the chicken is crispy and registers 165 degrees on an instant meat thermometer.


Suggested dishes to serve with the casserole: baked ham, sliced tomatoes, muffins, fruit salad.

8 servings

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch Tuscan kale {spinach/swiss chard}
1 large baking potato, peeled
1 garlic clove, minced
6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Coat a medium baking dish with vegetable spray.
Remove the stems from the kale. Wash the kale well. Chop and dry the leaves.
Shred the baking potato on a box grater.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and mustard. Add the garlic, shallot, and, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the shredded potato, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Stir the kale into the egg mixture, Mix well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top the casserole with the remaining mozzarella cheese,
Cover with foil. and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake,
uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the top is lightly brown. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

 


Springtime Vegetables and Eggs

6 servings

Cut all the vegetables into ½ inch cubes

ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced
1 cup diced red onion
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
½ teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil1/4 teaspoon drie4d oregano
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup leftover cooked asparagus {see recipe}
8 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the broiler and move the rack down to the center of the oven.
In a large 12-inch ovenproof skillet or omelet pan, heat the oil.
Add the garlic. potato. Bell pepper android onion. Cook over medium heat until soft, 10=12 minutes. Add the seasonings, zucchini, and asparagus. Cook until heated through.
Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetable and cook over medium until the eggs are set on the bottom. Distribute the cheese evenly over the egg mixture.
Place the pan on the oven shelf under the broiler and cook until the cheese is completly7 melted and the eggs are set on top.
Let the frittata rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.


America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland. True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

The earliest known reference to French toast is found in the Apicius, a collection of recipes dating to the 1st century, where the dish is described as simply “aliter dulcia” (“another sweet dish”. The recipe says to “Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] fry in oil, cover with honey and serve”.The usual French name is pain perdu.It may also be called pain doré, “golden bread”.

An Austrian and Bavarian term is pafese or pofese, from zuppa pavese, referring to Pavia, Italy.The word “soup” in the dish’s name refers to bread soaked in a liquid, a sop. In Hungary, it is commonly called bundáskenyér (lit. “furry bread”)

French toast was served in railroad dining cars in the early and mid-20th century. Santa Fe was especially known for its French toast.

So, if the French did not invent this breakfast treat, who did? According to some, it was a man named Joseph French. He created the dish in 1724 and advertised it as “French Toast” because he forgot to add the apostrophe to his name.

Still, others say that there are recipes from the early 5th century AD and the dish we now know as French toast existed as early as the Roman Empire/ Romans would soak bread in a milk and egg mixture, then fry it in oil or butter.

Others believe that French toast was created by medieval European cooks who needed to use every bit of food they could find to feed their families. They knew day-old bread could be revived when moistened and heated. They added the eggs for additional moisture and protein.

The phrase “French Toast” first appeared in print in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink in 1871. But it is known by a variety of names including German toast, eggy bread, French-fried bread, gypsy toast, Poor Knights of Windsor, Spanish toast, nun’s toast, and pain perdu which means “lost bread” in French.

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Make a large piece of meat (beef roast, chicken, or pork roast) one day a week and you will have lots of easy meals during the week. Last week I made a baked ham (recipe) that had been in my freezer for a few months. Having these leftovers made for some easy meals.

Ham Omelet For Breakfast

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 large eggs
4 small red potatoes, cooked and diced
1 cup diced Italian light green frying peppers
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup diced cooked baked ham
3 slices American cheese, broken into pieces

Directions

Position rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the broiler.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Heat oil and butter in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and potatoes; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ham; cook, stirring, until the ham is hot.
Pour the eggs over the vegetable ham mixture and cook, lifting the edges of the omelet so uncooked egg can flow underneath until the bottom is light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the eggs are set, 6 to 8 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes before cutting. Serve hot or warm.

Ham And Potato Soup For Lunch

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large onion diced
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
4 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced (add more if desired)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups ham broth, see recipe below
3 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt (adjust to your taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

For the ham broth

Simmer the ham bone in a stockpot filled with enough water to cover the bone halfway.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid, and let simmer until the meat clinging to the bone begins to shred. (about 1 hour).
Discard the hambone.

For the soup

Heat the butter in the stockpot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes).
Add the potatoes, cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Mix the flour through the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the ham stock, mixing all ingredients together, and making sure the flour is completely dissolved. Cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are ‘just’ fork-tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add the milk and stir over the heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). Using a hand blender, process the soup until partially pureed. Leave a few chunks here and there. Stir in the chopped ham and heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot.

Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders For Dinner

Ingredients

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Salt
1 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
¼ cup of vegetable oil
Cooking spray
6 chicken tenders

Directions

Pound the tenders between plastic wrap to ¼ inch thick

Mix the oil into the panko crumbs until combined.

Dip each tender in the egg and then the panko. Place on a plate. Sprinkle the tenders lightly with salt. (Can be refrigerated at this point until ready to cook.)

Set the air-fryer temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat the oven (takes about 10 minutes).

Remove the air-fryer basket and coat with cooking spray. Place the tenders in the basket – don’t do more than 6 at one time. Repeat the process if you have more.

Bake 6 minutes. Turn the tenders over and bake 6 more minutes. Remove to a serving platter.

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 medium tomatoes
4 teaspoons panko crumbs
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a small saucepan and add garlic; cook 1 minute
Add spinach and heat.
Make a well in the center of the spinach and add the cream.
Heat and stir until cheese is dissolved throughout the spinach. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut a thin slice off the top of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Salt the inside of the tomatoes and turn upside down on a plate lined with a paper towel to extract juices, about 15 minutes.

Stuff the tomatoes with the spinach filling, Sprinkle with the top of each tomato with Parmesan cheese and panko crumbs. Place the tomatoes in a greased baking dish just large enough to hold the four tomatoes. Bake until the filling is hot and the tops are light brown, about 20 minutes.


Ricotta Cheesecake

Makes one 8-inch square cheesecake, to serve 12

Cheesecake Ingredients

2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar substitute ( I use monk fruit)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
Zest of 1 orange

Blueberry Topping
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (10 oz)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons low carb sugar substitute
2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder mixed with 2 teaspoons water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and orange zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until set. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Cover. Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled with the blueberry topping.

Directions for making the topping:
Put the blueberries, water, lemon juice, and sweetener into a small saucepan or pot and simmer over medium heat until the blueberries swell up and are cooked through. This will take a little longer for fresh blueberries. Add the cornstarch slurry and simmer until thickened. Cover and chill.

Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 banana
11/2 cups + 1 tablespoon almond flour
3 eggs
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup low carb sugar substitute
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts plus 15 walnut halves

.Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mash the banana with a fork.
Process the eggs together with the mashed banana and the melted butter with a hand
blender or hand mixer to a smooth dough.
Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl. Pour into the bowl with the egg and banana
mixture and stir well.
Add the chopped walnuts and fold into the batter.

Line an 8-inch bread/loaf pan with baking paper/parchment with the paper extending over the ends of the pan. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Pour in the bread dough into the pan and place the walnut halves in five rows across the top of the dough.
Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Check the bread after 30 minutes. If the top is brown, cover it loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the low-carb banana bread from burning.
Let the banana bread cool and then lift out with the aid of the parchment paper. Cool completely before slicing.


 

Sprouted grain bread is made from whole grains that have begun to sprout, or germinate.
The sprouting process offers several nutrition benefits, compared to bread made from unsprouted grain flours. Sprouting changes the nutritional profile of the grains, making their nutrients more readily available and possibly easier to digest. Sprouted grain bread is lower in carbs and calories and has less of an impact on blood sugar compared to other types of bread.


Sprouted grains are higher in several nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. In addition, sprouting decreases antinutrients, making the nutrients in the grains more readily available to your body. Sprouted grains are higher in antioxidants, which help protect against chronic diseases. Eating sprouted grain bread is an easy way to increase your consumption of these powerful compounds.

Homemade Sprouted Wheat Bread

Adapted from a King Arthur recipe

Ingredients

1 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar or brown sugar substitute
2 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/4 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup any mixed nuts and seeds, (I used 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, and 1 tablespoon bagel seasoning seeds)

Directions

Stir all the dry ingredients together with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until combined. Add the water, egg, and butter. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes; this gives the flour a chance to absorb most of the water, which will make the dough less sticky and somewhat easier to knead.
Switch to the dough hook and knead for 4 minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until puffy, about 2 hours.
Line a long bread basket or a round bowl with parchment.
Place the dough on a lightly greased work surface, and shape it into a log (for a long loaf) or oval or round (for a round loaf).
Place the dough in the proofing pan, cover, and allow it to rise until the dough increases by about one-third, about 1 1/2 hours.

Begin preheating the oven and a covered oblong clay baker or round clay baker or Dutch oven to 500F 30 minutes before baking.
Use the parchment to move the raised dough from the proofing basket to the stone baker.

Cover the baker and bake at 500F for 20 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 450F and bake the bread covered for 7 minutes.
Then bake the bread uncovered at 450F for 7 minutes more.
The final internal temperature of the bread should be around 205F. Remove the bread from the baker to a wire cooling rack.

Avocado Toast With Over Easy Eggs

2 servings

Ingredients

4 thin slices sprouted wheat bread, toasted
1 avocado, mashed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Mash the avocado in a small bowl with a fork and add the lemon juice. Spread onto the slices of toasted bread. Sprinkle with a little salt.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil on a medium. Once hot, carefully crack the eggs, one at a time, into the oil and fry for 2 minutes or until the yolk is set. With a wide spatula, carefully turn the eggs over and cook for 1 minute.

Transfer the eggs to the top of the avocado covered toast then top with salt and pepper, to taste.


Potato-Crusted Quiche

The Roasted Root Vegetable recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

4 cups shredded russet potatoes
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
3 cups diced leftover roasted root vegetables
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Gently press the shredded potatoes between paper towels to dry them as best as possible.
In a 10-inch glass pie plate melt the butter in the microwave or the hot oven. Toss the potatoes with the melted butter in the pan. Add salt to taste. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Sprinkle the bacon and half the cheese on the bottom of the crust.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, and diced roasted vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the crust and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and then in the oven.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts, diced
2 carrots with green tops, diced including the tops
3 stalks celery with leaves, diced
The top of one fennel bulb with fronds, diced (save the bulb for another recipe)
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 lbs fresh plum tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
A few dashes of hot sauce

Directions

I freeze the tomatoes and then defrost them overnight. The skins slip off easily. Or you can
bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes, or until skins loosen. Carefully remove tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon. Set aside until tomatoes are cool enough to handle; carefully slip off the skins and discard. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy Durch Oven over medium-high heat; add the garlic, leeks, carrots, fennel, celery and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped tomatoes.


Add the broth and honey. Simmer for 15 minutes. Use a handheld stick blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add the hot sauce and serve with a slice of quiche.


Italian Meatloaf

12 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium sweet onions, diced
2 jarred roasted red peppers cut in small dice
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
2 pounds ground beef
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup marinara sauce, warmed
Fresh mozzarella cheese slices, about 6
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into wedges
Olive oil
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute 1 minute and then add the onions and saute until just soft. Let cool.

Place the rutabaga wedges in cold water. This helps them stay crisp during roasting.

Whisk together the basil, parsley, and eggs in a small bowl, and then add the salt and black pepper. Combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in another small bowl. Thoroughly combine the beef and sausage, egg mixture, breadcrumb mixture, the Worcestershire, vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil together in a large bowl using your hands, making sure not to overmix.

Shape the mixture into a loaf on an oiled oven tray or baking dish. Place the rutabaga wedges around the meatloaf. Sprinkle them with oregano, salt, pepper. and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the middle of the meatloaf. Top the meatloaf with the marinara sauce making sure to spread it evenly over the top and place the mozzarella slices on top of the sauce. Return to the oven until the cheese melts. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve the rutabaga wedges and kale in the side.

Sauteed Tuscan Kale

Lacinato kale or, in Italian and often in English, cavolo nero is a variety of kale with a long tradition in Italian cuisine, especially that of Tuscany. This kale has longer spear-like leaves with a pebbled appearance and a dark, mottled green color. Its flavor is earthy and less bitter than regular kale.

Ingredients

2 large bunches Tuscan kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 small lemon

Directions

Use your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
Heat the oil in large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (do not let the garlic brown).

Add the kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each addition until all of the kale is added. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and serve.



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