Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Cheese

Sausage Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 lb hot or sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 containers (2- 26 and 1-14 oz) chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tomato container filled with water

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and site until tender about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and add the sausage to the sauce. Partially clever the pot and simmer the sauce until thickened for about 2 hours. Remove the sausage to a serving bowl.

Spaghetti with Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients

1 lb whole grain spaghetti
Italian Sausage Sauce, recipe above
1 cup ricotta cheese, warmed in the microwave
1 cup grated parmesan ch

For the pasta
Heat a large pit of salted water to boiling, add the spaghetti, and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain Return it to the pasta pan and add 2 cups of tomato sauce, stir gently, and add the Parmesan cheese. Stir again. Place the pasta in a pasta serving bowl. Drop tablespoons of warm ricotta cheese on top. Serve the sausage on the side.

Italian Romaine Lettuce Salad

Ingredients

1 small head of Romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1 small red onion, cut into ring
Italian black olives to taste

Italian Dressing

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Tear the lettuce leaves into small pieces.
Place the greens, olives, and onion in a medium salad bowl.
In a jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Shake well and pour over the greens. Toss and serve.



2 servings

Ingredients

12 oz boneless ribeye steak or tour favorite steak
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups romaine lettuce
1/ 2 cup diced tomatoes
½ cup thinly sliced cucumber
¼ cup thinly sliced radish
¼ cup diced red onion
1/3 medium avocado, sliced or diced
1/2 cup blue cheese
Ranch Dressing

Directions

Dry the steak with paper towels. Heat a medium skillet until very hot. Add the steak and cook without moving for three minutes. Turn the steak over and season both sides with salt and pepper. Top with the butter,

Cook the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 to 125°F (49 to 52ºC) for medium-rare, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into ¼-inch thick pieces. Cut smaller if desired.

Arrange all the salad ingredients, except the avocado, in two large individual salad bowls. Top with the sliced steak and sliced avocados. Serve with ranch dressing and warm dinner rolls.


2 servings

Ingredients

2 flounder fillets (1 pound total)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Marinara Sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a baking dish large enough to just fit the flounder spread the marinara sauce over the button of the dish. Place the fish in the dish and season the fish fillets with salt and pepper.

Mix the Parmesan with the bread crumbs, and olive oil and sprinkle over the fillets. Press down on the breading to be sure it coats the fish.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the topping is golden.
Top each fillet with ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Return to the oven and bake until the sauce is hot and the cheese melts.

Serve With cooked spaghetti and a green vegetable.

 


Broccoli-Cheddar Mac & Cheese

2 servings

Ingredients

6 ounces penne pasta {whole wheat}
1 medium stalk of fresh broccoli, cut into small florets {about 10-12 oz]
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, adding broccoli for the last minute of cooking. Drain.

Wipe the pot dry and place over medium-low heat. Add butter and swirl until melted. Sprinkle flour over the butter; whisk until smooth. Slowly add milk, salt, and smoked paprika; cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar cheese. Add the drained pasta and broccoli, stirring to coat well.
Combine the panko and Parmesan cheese.

Transfer the mixture to an 8–inch baking dish and sprinkle with panko mixture. Bake15 minutes.

Serve with a tomato salad.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


 

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1 1/2 cups lentils
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
4 cups water, plus more if needed

Directions

Heat a large soup pot over high heat and swirl in the olive oil. Add the vegetables, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low and saute until the vegetables are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add broth, water, and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the lentils. Stir well and cover the pan. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes u til the lentils are soft and creamy. Serve hot in soup bowls.

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche

Ingredients

1 prepared 9-inch pie crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ a large sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cooked spinach
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy creak
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the onion and pepper until tender and soft/ Stir in the thyme. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl combine the spinach, eggs, and cream.
Spread the pastry on a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges.
Spread 1 cup of cheese in the bottom of the crust. Top with the onion and peppers. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.


 

2 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS

2 small eggplants, about 10 oz each

¼ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 sweet Italian sausage link cooked and diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

5 basil leaves, chopped 

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 teaspoons grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Slice a thin layer off the top of each eggplant

Hollow out the flesh of the eggplant to create a boat using a melon baller or small serrated spoon.

Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the onion. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant flesh and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, salt, and pepper to taste the tomato and the chopped sausage. Let the mixture cool. Stir in the mozzarella. Stuff the eggplant shells equally with the filling and place them into a small baking dish,

Top each with 1 teaspoon each of Pecorino Romano cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more.



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