Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Healthy Italian Cooking



12 oz lean ground beef, formed into 2-½ inch thick burgers
Steak seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices sweet onion, cut into ½-inch thick slices
4 slices American cheese
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 hamburger bums. toasted
Ketchup or other burger condiments


In a 10-inch skillet with a cover, heat the oil over medium. Place the onion slices, whole, in the skillet and let brown slowly. Carefully turn the onion slices over keeping them whole and brown the second side.
Sprinkle the burgers with steak seasoning, salt and pepper.

Lower the heat a little place the burgers on top of the onion and cover the pan. Let cook for 6 minutes. Carefully turn the burgers over and with a wide spatula press down on the but\rgers to flatten, Cover the pan and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the cover each burger with 2 slices of cheese, cover the pan, and heat until the cheese starts to melt. Place on toasted buns and serve.

Air-Fryer Frozen French Fries

2 servings of fries
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Fill the basket with fries and cook for 10-12 minutes until crispy.



2-3 servings

5-6 oz fettuccine pasta
¼ lb sea scallops
½ lb large shrimp deveined and shell
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
A few chopped fresh basil leaves for garnish.


Cook fettuccine according to package instructions and drain in a colander. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Once the oil starts to heat up, pan-fry the shrimp for 1 minute per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
Sear the scallops in medium heat for 2 minutes per side. Turn off the heat.
In the empty pasta pan, melt the butter, and then cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the shallots and peppers. Cook until tender over low heat, about 5 minutes.
Pour the heavy cream in the pan and then stir. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes.
Add the Parmesan cheese and turn off the heat. Add salt and pepper if needed. Stir. Divide the pasta between 2 pasta bowls. Top each with shrimp and scallops. Serve immediately.


I like to make a large meatloaf because the leftovers give you lots of delicious leftovers, such as a meatloaf sandwich. A second dinner can be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, and green beans. Lots of possibilities. I divide the meatloaf into 3 portions and freeze two. Ready for use without the cooking.


4 pounds of lean ground beef or turkey
1 large sweet onion finely diced
4 eggs (beaten)
2/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3 cups Italian-flavored breadcrumbs
2`3 large baking potatoes cut into eighths


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, ketchup, and broth. Mix until combined.
Add the ground beef. Mix well.
Form into a large oval loaf in the prepared baking dish.
Place the potatoes around the meatloaf.
Roast in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F.

Serve with a green vegetable, such as spinach.



1 lb Fresh pizza dough at room temperature
12 oz thinly sliced deli Provolone cheese
12 oz thinly sliced deli mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, defrosted and dried on paper towels
1/2 cup red onion slices
20 grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
Dried oregano
Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F
Press the dough out onto a 16-inch pizza pan.
Place the deli-sliced cheeses evenly over the dough. Scatter pieces of fresh mozzarella on top. Place the vegetables evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake 15-18 minutes until lightly brown



Have some bananas turning brown- make banana muffins.


3 ripe bananas, mashed about a cup
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place cupcake liners in each cup of a jumbo muffin pan – 6 muffin cups.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, egg, buttermilk, vanilla, brown sugar, and mashed bananas with a large spoon until thoroughly mixed. Add the self-rising flour, baking soda, and nuts. Mix until combined. Divide the mixture equally among the 6 muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.


4 servings


12 ounces broad egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
1’2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cooked chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups), or use 2 cups of leftover roasted chicken
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or use 1 pkg. Chicken gravy mix that makes 1 cup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives


Cook egg noodles according to package directions.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes, until mushrooms soften. Add thyme and garlic powder. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken. Add wine and simmer for 1 minute.
In a small bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch {or 1 cup chicken gravy}, and Worcestershire sauce. Add mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Stir in cooked noodles and toss to combine. Gently fold on sour cream over low heat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Transfer to a serving platter and top with chives. Serve with a green vegetable.








2 servings


2 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
½ cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs or panko mixed with ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Lemon wedges


Place each chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until they are an even 1/4-inch thick.

Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs and thyme in a third dish and again season with salt and pepper.

Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg, and finally into the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs onto the pork gently so they have a nice even coating.
Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes to allow the coating to dry out a little and adhere to the pork.

Heat oil and butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Season with salt and transfer to a serving platter while still hot. Garnish with lemon wedges before serving.


Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 servings

2 medium sweet and potatoes
1 rounded tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons butter.
Bake the sweet potatoes in a 425-degree F oven for 45-60 minutes. Peel the potatoes and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot and add the marmalade.
Add potatoes and mash, season with salt and pepper. Serve with the pork.


Easy Corn Cakes

Makes 4 cakes


1 cup corn kernels
¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
¼ finely chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying


In a large bowl, stir together the corn kernels, bell pepper, onion, honey, and cheddar cheese.
In another bowl combine flour and the cayenne pepper.
Combine the flour mixture and corn mixture.
Stir in the eggs and heavy cream until the batter is well combined.

Heat the oven to its lowest setting and have ready an oven-proof plate.

Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with vegetable oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 2- to 3-tablespoon mounds of the corn batter into the pan, spreading it lightly into a flat, circular shape. Cook the cakes for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook them for an additional 3 minutes until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Transfer the corn cakes to the plate and place it in the warm oven.

Repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan if needed.


2 servings


1 large acorn squash
1 cup small diced day-old Italian bread
¼ cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ of a large onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 mild Italian sausage links, casing removed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place on a foil-wrapped baking sheet.

Place a medium skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, celery, mushrooms, and onion, and sauté until onion is translucent.
Add salt, pepper, and sausage, and break up with a wooden spoon, then cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add bread and mix well.


Scoop mixture into each acorn squash half. Bake the squash in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes.

Serve with green beans.


2 servings


1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup flour
1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups Italian mixed lettuce, shredded
¼ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, each sliced into 4 slices
8 slices of fresh mozzarella
Italian assorted olives
Salt and black pepper to taste


Cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place between pieces of plastic wrap and pound to about 1⁄4-inch thickness.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Cream in a second dish and breadcrumbs in a third dish. Add salt and pepper to each dish.

Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess, dip in cream, then dredge in panko; pat lightly.

Transfer to a plate for 15 minutes to set the coating.
Slice each tomato into 4 slices and place on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20 minutes.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the cutlets and cook 2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Turn and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-lined plate and sprinkle each cutlet with grated cheese.


For the salad

In a medium bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion and lettuce, toss well/Spread the salad evenly over the two dinner plates. Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices over one half of the plate and the cooked chicken cutlery on the other sice. Scatter some olives on the plate. Serve with sliced Italian bread.



Serves 4


Basil Pesto Sauce

2 cups packed basil leaves
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
⅓ cup pine nuts or walnuts toasted
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and Black Pepper to taste

Table salt and ground black pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 oz thin spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese


Combine the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly pureed. Divide in half. Use half for this recipe and freeze the other half for another meal.

In a large, 12-14-inch deep skillet, add water until the pan is ¾ full. Bring to a boil and add salt and the spaghetti. Cook the pasta until al dente as indicated on the package. Reserve½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.




To the same skillet, add the basil pesto sauce and butter. Heat over very low heat. Add the tomatoes nd sprinkle lightly with salt. Add pasta cooking water. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked spaghetti and mozzarella cubes.

Srie well until all the ingredients are incorporated. Serve in individual pasta bowls and top each dish with grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper.