Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Healthy Italian Cooking

Salmon Cakes

Ingredients

One 6-8 oz skinless salmon fillet
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
½ teaspoon seafood seasoning
⅓ cup bread crumbs
1 tank; teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Directions

Poach the salmon in one inch of simmering water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and flake.
Combine the salmon with the vegetables, seasoning, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice until well mixed.

Divide the mixture in half and form two patties. Coat the patties in panko. Refrigerate for several hours before cooking, if you can.
Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the patties until golden brown on both sides, about

Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Creamy Vegetable Pasta

Ingredients

14 oz pkg of vegetable-flavored noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoon butter
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta about 2 minutes less than al-dente – the time listed on the package. Drain.


In the pasta pot, add the cream, cream cheese, and butter. Heat over low until the cheese and butter melt. Add the pasta and simmer for several minutes in the sauce. Add the Parmesan and parsley and pour into a pasta serving bowl/

Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 lb of very thin green beans
Salt to taste
½ cup Italian salad dressing

Directions

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling. Add the green beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain.
Place in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing, cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time. Toss gently before serving.


 


Oven Fried Cod Fillets

2 servings

Ingredients

2 skinless cod fillets, each about 6 oz
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Tatar Sauce and Lemon Wedges for serving
2 servings of frozen French Fries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Spread the breadcrumbs on a large flat plate. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each fillet. Place the mayonnaise side down on the breadcrumbs. Brush the remaining mayonnaise on the fillets. Turn them over in the breadcrumbs until completely coated.

Place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet covered with a piece of foil. Spray the rack with cooking spray and place the breaded fillets on the rack. Place the pan in the oven and bake the fish for 20 minutes. Serve with Tartar Sauce, French Fries, and Coleslaw.

For the Fries
When you turn on the oven to preheat, place a clean baking sheet with sides in the oven to heat at the same time.
When you place the fish in the oven, put 2 servings of French Fries in the hot pan. Bake with the fish for 20 minutes.

Quick Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
2tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles, plus 2 teaspoons pickle juice
1tablespoon drained capers, minced
2teaspoons lemon juice
1teaspoon minced shallot
1/2teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Whisk mayonnaise, pickles, pickle juice, capers, lemon juice, shallot, and Worcestershire in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Homemade Coleslaw

Ingredients

Slaw
Half a medium head of green cabbage
1 large garden carrot or 2 regular-sized carrots
2 scallions

Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
/21 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Finely shred the cabbages and carrots. Finely chop the scallions.

Add the dressing and stir well/ Cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving.


Great breakfast muffins but if you want to turn them into a dessert, add a cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, bran, and salt in one bowl. In a second bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, and carrots. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Add walnuts.

Using a muffin scoop fill the muffin tin cups to the top of the rim of each center of a muffin that comes out of the cup. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then move the muffins to a rack to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 oz cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup (half a stick) of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

While the muffins cool, make the glaze. Combine all ingredients in a mixer with a whisk attachment;
whisk until creamy and smooth.
Once the muffins are cool, glaze each muffin with Cream Cheese Glaze.


Classic Manhattan Clam Chowder

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sprig of thyme
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 bay leaves
15 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cups of seafood broth or clam juice
2 10-ounce cans of diced clams, drained with juice reserved
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley
Saltine crackers for serving

Directions

Heat the oil in a dutch Oven, Add vegetables and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Add drained clam broth, seafood broth, thyme and celery seed, and bay leaves.

Partly cover the pot, and simmer gently until potatoes are tender approximately 10 minutes.

When potatoes are tender, stir in tomatoes, and heat them through. Add chopped clams, stirring to combine. Add black pepper to taste. Let chowder come to a simmer, and remove from heat. Fish out the thyme and the bay leaf, and discard. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

The chowder should be allowed to sit for a while to develop flavor. Reheat it before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers.

Homemade Shrimp Po-Boy Sandwiches

3 servings
You can buy the creole seasoning or make your own. See recipe.

Shrimp Seasoning
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1tablespoon olive oil

Rémoulade Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
1 Tablespoonsweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 tsp. tarragon or Champagne vinegar
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
A good sprinkle of paprika

Sandwich
½ lb medium shrimp shells removed and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
Creole seasoning
Sliced tomato
Shredded lettuce

3 French bread rolls, about 6 inches long, warmed

Directions

Make the creole seasoning and the Remoulade sauce and set them aside. Preheat the broiler to high.

Place the shrimp and creole seasoning in a ziplock bag. shake and then add the oil. shake again. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the shrimp in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side until curled and light pink. Remove to plate.

To make the sandwiches

Spread some of the Remoulade sauce on both sides of the inside of the rolls. Add sliced tomato and shredded lettuce. Top with 1/3 of the shrimp. serve with a cup of soup.


These rolls are perfect for dinner or breakfast. They are also good for small sandwiches.

Yield 8

Ingredients

2 cups water, lukewarm
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
1 tablespoon salt

Directions

Place the dough ingredients in the large bowl on a mixer fitted with a dough hook, and mix the dough at medium speed for 8 minutes. The dough should form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a minute or two.

Lightly coat the mixing bowl with cooking spray or olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour.

After the first rise, deflate the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces shape each piece into a ball and cover it with greased plastic wrap.

If using a roll pan, spray each of the mold sections with cooking spray.
If you do not have a roll pan, then cover a baking sheet with parchment p[paper.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape it into an oval to fit the mold sections of the pan. Or shape each piece of dough into a 4-inch oval and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Cover with greased plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat to 375°F.

Place the pan in the oven and bake them for 30 minutes, or until they’re deeply golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a rack.


 

Pork Seasoning

2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced dried onions

Combine all ingredients in a jar and stir well. Store in an airtight container.
To use: Stir 4 teaspoons of seasoning into 1 pound of lean ground pork and set aside for the recipe below. Save the remaining seasoning for another recipe.

 

Pasta Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 lb seasoned pork, see recipe above
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz can of whole cherry tomatoes {Cento}
28 oz can fire roasted red pepper strips, undrained
5 fresh basil leaves,
2 pinches of sea salt

Pasta
1 lb bucatini pasta
Parmesan cheese

Directions
For the sauce
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large, deep skillet with a cover.
Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook until lightly brown. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 mi ute. Add the remaining sauce ingredients.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, with the cover ajar cover cook the mixture until it thickens for 2 hours.

For the pasta
Cook the pasta according to package directions to just the al dente stage. Using tongs transfer the pasta from the cooking water to the pan with the sauce and cook gently for 2 minutes Serve in pasta bowls topped with grated Parmesan. add a green salad and bread if you want a fuller meal.

 


 

Spiced Tuna Fillets

2 servings

Spice Blend:
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Tuna:
2 tuna fillets 1/2 inches thick
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges

Directions

To prepare the spice blend, grind all spices in a mini-food processor or spice grinder until they are powdery. Spread the spice mixture evenly on a large plate.

Rinse the tuna fillets and pat dry. Place one side of each piece of tuna into the spice mixture. Shake off any excess.

 

In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully place the tuna fillets, spiced side down, into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Cook another minute. Using kitchen tongs, turn over the tuna, lower the heat to medium, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes to the desired doneness. Swerve with lemon wedges.

 


Easy Three Cheese Mac & Cheese

You can prepare this dish early in the day and refrigerate covered with plastic wrap without the breadcrumb topping. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before baking and add the breadcrumb topping.

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces fusille pasta
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup diced Velveeta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter an 8-inch baking dish.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain.

In the empty pot, combine the cream, Gruyère, cheddar, Velveeta, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the hot pasta and stir well. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine the panko crumbs with the butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Baked Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini trimmed and cut into ½- inch cycles
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1! 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Oil a baking dish. Bake the zucchini in a 400-degree F oven with the dish of macaroni and cheese.
Combine the zucchini slices with the seasonings. Mix well. Arrange the slices overlapping each other in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with the oil. Place the dish in the oven after the macaroni has baked for 15 minutes. Bake the zucchini for 15 minutes/

 

 


 

Ingredients

2 16-20 ounce skin-on, bone-in split chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
`/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1- 9 oz package of fresh butternut squash ravioli
1 medium zucchini
Sauce
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, combine the oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place the breasts in an oiled baking dish, Rub seasoning all over the chicken on both sides. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a 9-inch pie plate, alienate the ravioli and zucchini slices. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour over the ravioli;i. Place the side in the oven with the chicken and bake both dishes for 20 minutes.


 

Ingredients

5 cloves garlic
1 medium or 2 small shallots
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
2 (10-ounce) or 3 (6.5-ounce) cans of chopped clams in juice
8 ounces of dried linguine pasta
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Finely chop the garlic and shallots (about 1/4 cup), and place both in the same small bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep 12-inch frying pan over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add 1 cup dry white wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half about 3 minutes.

Using a strainer over a bowl, empty the cans of clams. Add the liquid to the skillet.

Reserve the clams for later. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate the oil into the broth fully. Reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer while you cook the pasta.

Add 8 ounces of dried linguine pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than the package directions for al dente, about 7 minutes.

Using a skinner or tongs, transfer the linguine directly into the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing the pasta often, for 4 minutes. If the pan is dry, add the pasta water a tablespoon at a time as needed. Add the reserved clams and gently toss until fully combined and the clams are just warmed through (do not overcook), about 2 minutes more.

 

Remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and the parsley. Stir and toss vigorously until the butter is melted and the parsley is evenly distributed.

Serve this dish with a salad made of mixed greens, shaved Parmesan cheese, and Italian dressing.


 

TORTA DI MELE (TUSCAN APPLE CAKE)

Ingredients

2 x large apples, peeled, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup honey
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment cut to fit the bottom of the pan.

Toss the chopped apples into a bowl with the lemon juice and zest.

Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of sea salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, extra virgin olive oil, and eggs together to combine.

Mix the extra virgin olive oil mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth thick batter.

Fold the apples into the batter. then pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean when tested. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar before slicing. You can serve it with honey yogurt. {Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of Greek plain yougurt}


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