Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Healthy Italian Cooking

 

Ingredients

¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 stems fresh rosemary and 2 stems fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
2 cans Undrained cannellini beans, or 3 cups cooked dried white beans with cookies liquid
2 tablespoons tomato paste
15 oz can chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1/2 lb chicken tenders, each cut in thirds

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium Dutch Oven. Brown the sausage and remove to a bowl. Add a little more oil if needed and brown the chicken. Remove to the bowl with the sausage.

 

Add the vegetables to the pot, stirring frequently, and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients, 1 at a time. Bring to a simmer and transfer to the oven, Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until thickened slightly. Remove the herbs. Serve with crispy Ciabatta bread.


Ingredients

2- 8 oz Angus Beef steakburgers
1 tablespoon butter
Beef and Mushroom Gravy

Beef Broth Gravy Ingredients
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cold water + 3 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Beef broth gravy

Directions

For the Beef Broth Gravy
In a medium saucepan bring beef broth to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
In a small bowl whisk together cold water and cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into boiling beef broth and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 cups.

Heat a skillet and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the burgers and brown the meat on both sides. Remove to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Season with salt. Add the beef broth gravy. Bring to a simmer. Add the steakburgers. Cover the pan and simmer the burgers in the gravy for 30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots.
I had leftover potatoes and kale, so I served that dish with the steakburgers and sauteed two diced carrots in butter until tender for a second side dish.

 


Makes 2 dozen

Remove the eggs and butter from the refrigerator the night before baking.

Ingredients

2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), very soft
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F, and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, butter, sugars, vanilla, and mix with a spoon until smooth.

Add the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and stir to combine.
Add the walnuts and stir to combine.

Using a muffin {¼ cup} scoop, form mounds and place on a prepared baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart (6 cookies on each sheet)

Bake 2 pans for about 20 minutes, switching pans halfway through baking.
Repeat with the second two pans. Cool the cookies on the parchment on the kitchen counter.

Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


TI cut the recipe in half because the full recipe is too much for two people. The full recipe is good for entertaining I make the entire sauce recipe and save half for another time and I used an 8×8 inch baking dish. Serve the pasta with some cooked sausage and a salad.

Ingredients

For the sauce:
1 lb Italian sausage links
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 cups canned, finely diced tomatoes (about 46 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper

For assembly:
1 pound dried ziti or penne pasta
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups), divided

Directions

For the sauce:
Heat the oil in a large pot and lightly brown the sauce links. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, stir well and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook the sauce until thickened, about 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray

Cook the pasta al dente and drain.

Cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until just tender. While the pasta is cooking, make the ricotta filling.

Make the ricotta filling. Stir the ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan,1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

Return the pasta to the now-empty pot. Add half of the sauce (about 3 cups) and stir until the pasta is well-coated. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Transfer half of the pasta into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread it into an even layer. Spread the ricotta filling over the pasta.

Top with the remaining pasta in an even layer.

Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta and spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the remaining mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan.

Bake uncovered until the edges are bubbling and the cheese is completely melted and browned in spots, about 30 minutes.


Oven Baked Fall Vegetables

Ingredients

2 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled
1 small Acorn Squash
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Honey
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

Directions

Cover a large baking sheet or pan with foil. Preheat the oven to 425°F

Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Cut the bottom and tops of the acorn squash, then cut it in half. Remove the seeds with a spoon Cit the acorn squash into wedges, and add to the bowl.

Pour olive oil and salt onto the potatoes and acorn squash and mix well Add in the honey and cinnamon, and mix again.
Spread the rosemary leaves over the foil on the baking pan.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring halfway during roasting. Bake until the potatoes and squash are tender. Serve with pork chops.

Chrispy Baked Pork Chops

Ingredients

2 center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg
Olive oil cooking spray

Directions

Place crumbs, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Mix well.
Place the flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk egg and mustard until combined.

Spray a wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of the chop with crumb mixture, pressing gently so that the crumbs adhere to the chop. Transfer breaded chop to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chop.

After the vegetables have baked for 15 minutes, place the pork chops in the over,

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 155 degrees, about 30 minutes. Let rest on the rack for 5 minutes before serving.

 

 


Ingredients

1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature
16 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sauce
14 oz container of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
12 oz fresh button mushroom, sliced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

For the dsauceSaute the mushrooms and onions in oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes/
To assemble the pizza
Spray or oil the pizza pan and spread the dough to the edges. Place the sliced mozzarella on top of the dough. Spread the tomato mixture over the cheese. Spread the squash mixture over the tomatoes. Top with shredded mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes.


 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounces) can of diced tomatoes
1-28 oz can of Fire Roasted Red Pepper strips
1 cup of corn
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno peppers and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, red peppers chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon oil and place on a sheet pan. Toast the strips in a 425-degree F oven until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Add chicken. Remove from heat. Add cheese and tortilla strips. Stir well. Return the pot to medium heat and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes.

 


 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Italian sausage or chorizo link, diced
2 teaspoons achiote paste or 1/2 teaspoon Sweet Spanish paprika,
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
11/2 cup seafood or vegetable broth
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
1/2 cup Spanish {Bomba{ or other shirt grain rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes and then drained
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large pinch of Spanish saffron threads soaked in 1/4 cup of water
Salt
1 large Roma tomato, chopped
3 oz diced bell pepper
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz bay scallops
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

In a large deep pan or cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the sausage and chopped onions. Saute the mixture for 5 minutes then add the rice, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the chopped garlic and broth r. Stir in the saffron and its soaking liquid, achiote paste or paprika, cayenne pepper, Aleppo pepper, and salt. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bell peppers. Bring to a boil and let the liquid slightly reduce, then cover (with a lid or tightly with foil) and cook on low heat for 25 minutes.

Uncover and spread the shrimp over the rice, pushing it into the rice slightly. Add a little water if needed. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add the scallops and recover, cook, or until the shrimp turns pink.
Garnish with parsley.

This is a complete meal, but you could add a salad and crusty bread if you wish.

 


 

Greek Spinach Pie

Serves 8

Filling
16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1 bunches flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
10.5 oz quality feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
Freshly-ground black pepper

Pastry
1 16 oz package Fillo Dough, thawed
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, more if needed

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Before you begin mixing the filling, be sure the spinach is very well drained, and squeeze out any excess liquid by hand.

To make the filling: In a mixing bowl, add the spinach and the remaining filling ingredients. Stir until all is well combined.
Unroll the phyllo sheets and place them between two slightly damp kitchen cloths.

Brush the bottom and sides of a 9” X 13″ baking dish with olive oil.

To assemble the spanakopita: Line the baking dish with two sheets of phyllo letting them cover the sides of the dish. Brush with olive oil. Add two more sheets in the same manner, and brush them with olive oil. Repeat until two-thirds of the phyllo is used up.
Now, evenly spread the spinach and feta filling over the phyllo crust. Top with two more sheets, and brush with olive oil.

Continue to layer the phyllo) sheets, two at a time, brushing with olive oil until you have used up all the sheets. Brush the very top layer with olive oil, and sprinkle with just a few drops of water.

Fold the flaps or excess from the sides, you can crumble them a little. Brush the folded sides well with olive oil.

Bake in the 325 degrees F heated oven for 1 hour, or until the phyllo crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Greek Salad For Two

Ingredients
Salad
¼ of a medium red onion, sliced thin
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ of an English cucumber, sliced
8 jarred pepperoncini {peppers}
20 Greek pitted Kalamata olives
1 small romaine lettuce heart, chopped

Dressing
Kosher salt, a pinch or to taste
4 tablespoons quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 tablespoon of dried Greek seasoning

Topping
4 Blocks of Greek feta cheese do not crumble the feta, leave it in large pieces

Directions

Divide the salad ingredients between two salad bowls.

Combine the dressing ingredients and pour some over each salad. Mix and top with the feta cheese blocks and serve.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
2 slices Gruyere or Swiss cheese
2 slices of baked deli ham
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1:2!teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Toss the bread crumbs with the butter, garlic powder, and thyme. Spread in a shallow dish.
Butterfly each chicken breast.
Pound each piece of chicken into a thin sheet between plastic wraps.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add a slice of swiss cheese and a slice of ham to one side of each chicken breast.

Fold the uncovered part of the breast over the ham and cheese side.
Whisk together the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Slather it over the chicken, coating it on all sides.

Press the bread crumbs mixture onto the chicken to completely coat.
Place in the prepared dish and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Fennel, Potato, and Leek Bake

Ingredients

14 oz baby yellow potatoes, cut into half
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 leek, sliced in circles
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
2 tablespoons. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Uncover and continue baking until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and the top is golden brown, 20 minutes longer. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.



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