Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Vegetables

Pasta Aglio E Olio With Zucchini

Ingredients

8 oz spaghetti
1 tablespoon salt for the pasta
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ of a small onion, minced
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, saute the oil, onion, garlic, red pepper, and zucchini just until the zucchini is slightly softened. Toss with the cooked pasta and then with the cheese.

Arugula, Avocado, Bell Pepper, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

3 cup arugula
1 large tomato cut into bite-size pieces
1 large avocado cut into bite-size pieces
1 Cucumber cut into bite-size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion cut into bite-size pieces
Ranch Dressing

Place the arugula and vegetables in a salad bowl. Mix gently. Dress with Ranch dressing to taste.


Jewish Deli Style Pickled Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

½ serrano or jalapeno chile
1 pound firm green tomatoes about 4 green tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dill seeds
½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

Directions

Prep the ingredients. Wash the jalapeno and tomatoes. Cut the stem end off the jalapeno and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes in half and cut the big ones into quarters. . Peel the garlic cloves and slice them in half lengthwise.

Prep the bottle. Make sure you have a really clean bottle and lid. The lid insert should be new so that it has a good seal. The best thing to do is buy canning jars and lids from Ball. They are in a lot of hardware and grocery stores. Sterilize them by submerging them in a boiling water bath.

Put the garlic, dill seeds, chile, and peppercorns into the bottle first. Then cram the tomatoes in leaving about 1/2″ – 3/4″(12.7 – 19.1 mm) of space at the top.

Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan or pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes and cukes to within 1/4″ (6.4 mm) of the top. Wipe the jar top, put the lids on, and tighten.

Age. Let the pickles sit for 2 to 3 days (1 week is optimum) in the refrigerator before serving. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.

The brine will taste very salty at first, but don’t panic. The juices from the tomatoes or cucumbers will dilute the concentration of salt in a few days.

Zucchini Bread

one 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf

Ingredients

3/4 cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups grated or shredded zucchini, somewhere between firmly packed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted until golden

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. I line my baking pan with parchment paper cut to fit the pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Whisk the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the flour, then add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients in the bowl, stirring or beating gently until smooth.

Stir in the zucchini and walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it if necessary.

Bake the bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. For best results, don’t slice until it’s cool.

Store the bread at cool room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

 


Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, 6 oz each
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flout
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Half a medium onion sliced
¼ cup salsa

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, chipotle pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Press the mixture on all sides for the pork chops.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the pork chops over and transfer the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the pork chops.

Remove the chops to a serving plate. Add the remaining oil, peppers, and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Stir in the salsa and heat. Top the pork chops with the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Or make my Potato Stuffed Cabbage serve with the pork chops.


Pan-Seared Chilean Sea BassWith Asparagus Tortellini Anr roasted carrots

Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass

2 servings

Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon
2 (8-ounce) wild caught Chilean Sea Bass fillets skin removed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2teaspoonlemon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup heavy cream

Directions

Coat fish in flour mixed with salt and lemon pepper. Heat a deep medium skillet and add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Cook until fish is browned and just opaque in the center, about 6 minutes per side, lowering heat if lemons and fish brown too quickly. Transfer fish to a platter and lemons to a serving plate.

Place the skillet over low heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in butter and cream.

Asparagus Tortellini

Ingredients

Half a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
10 oz frozen mixed spinach and cheese tortellini, cooked al dente

Directions

Cook the asparagus the way you like them. I roasted them for the last 15 minutes during the time the carrots were roasting.

Combine the asparagus and cooked pasta. Add half of the creamy lemon sauce and mix well. Divide in half and place on individual dinner plates. Top with the cooked fish and pour the remaining sauce over the fish.

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

3 large carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F
Place the oil in a small baking dish
Cut eh carrots in half and then quarter each half. Place the cut carrots on the dish. Add salt and pepper. Add fresh herbs, if you like them with carrots. I use rosemary. Mix well. Roast for 30 minutes.


Filet Mignon With Mushroom Gravy

I served this dinner entre with mashed potatoes and spinach.

Ingredients

Steak
2 Filet Mignon steaks, each weighing 5-6 oz
Olive oil
Steak seasoning

Mushroom Gravy
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz mushrooms, shiitake, cremini, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon dried thyme1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef broth

Directions

Pound the steaks so they are both one inch thick. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the air-fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
Rub the steaks with olive oil and season with steak seasoning or salt and pepper.
Place the steaks in the air fryer and cook for 3 minutes, turn the steaks over and cook for 4 minutes for medium-rare.

Use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness. Although this recipe gives suggested times for how long to cook the steaks, it really varies based on the thickness of the steak. The thickest part of the steak should register 125°F for rare, 130 to 135°F for medium-rare and 140°F for medium. If you check the steaks and they’re not at your preferred temp, continue cooking them and check the temperature after two more minutes of air frying.

Remove to serving plates and let rest while you make the mushroom gravy.

For the Mushroom Gravy
Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted. Add the shallot and cook for one minute. Add the sliced mushroom and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Slowly add the broth and bring it to a low boil. Cook until thickened. Pour some over the cooked steaks.


Pizza Pinwheels

Ingredients

Overnight Pizza Dough

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Pizza Sauce
2 spicy Italian sausage links, cooked and diced
26 oz container of strained Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinwheels
Overnight pizza dough, divided in half {about 12 oz. each}
Pizza Sausage Sauce
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese

Directions

One day before making the pizza:

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pinwheels

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Lightly flour a large wooden cutting board. Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches.

Sprinkle the dough with 2 cups pf shredded mozzarella chase. Spoon ½ cup of sausage sauce on top of the cheese and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Leave a 1-inch border all around the dough.

Roll pizza width-wise (the longest side) and seal the edges.

Slice the roll into 6 pieces and place them on one of the prepared pans.
With your hand, gently press down each pinwheel. Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese.
Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans on the oven shelves after 15 minutes.
Allow thee pinwheels to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Creamy Italian Dip With Cut-Up Vegetables

Ingredients

Dip
3 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup warm water
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon salt

Vegetables Cut Into long strips: Cucumber, bell bells, carrots, celery. Radishes and cherry tomatoes are also good.

Directions

Soak the Italian seasoning, onion, and garlic powder in the warm water for 15 minutes. Sir in the mayonnaise, yogurt, and sour cream. Add the salt and mix well. Cover and chill for several hours or even overnight.

Place the dip in a serving bowl and arrange the vegetables on a serving platter.

 


Tip for crispy oven fried chicken:
Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spread 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over the foil. Place the pan in the oven and leave it there while the oven preheats to your recipe’s oven temperature.

Chicken
2 large boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half to form 4 breats
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable oil

Topping
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 8 slices
9 mozzarella balls {they about 1-inch in size}flattened slightly

Directions

Place the prepared cookie sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In 3 separate shallow bowls: pales the flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper in one bowl. In the second beat the egg with the mayonnaise and in the third place the panko, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.

Place one chicken breast in the flour, then the egg, and finally the panko/ Repeat with the remaining chicken.

With potholders, take the pan out of the oven and place the breaded chicken on the hot pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the pawn from the oven and place 2 tomato slices on top of each breast, followed by 3 mozzarella balls on each piece of chicken. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese melts about 5 minutes.

Serve with a green vegetable. I baked asparagus in the oven along with the chicken.

 


Fennel Salad

Ingredients

Salad
1 orange zested, peeled, and cut into segments
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the bias
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, drained
1/2 cup sliced red onion

Dressing
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions

Combine the salad ingredients in a medium salad bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss gently.

Air Fryer Lamb Chops

Ingredients

4 loin lamb chops 1 1/2″ wide
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of coarser sea salt

Directions

Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F

Sprinkle the lamb with salt to taste.
Combine the remaining ingredients and brush on the lamb.
Place lamb chops in the air fryer basket with some room in between.
Cook for 15 minutes for medium-rare (turning at 8 minutes.)
You can use a thermometer to test for doneness.

Serve with Tzatziki Sauce and warm pita bread.

Tzatziki Feta Sauce

ingredients
Half a large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Salt t

Directions

Sprinkle cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt. Let sit in a colander to drain for 10 minutes, then squeeze out excess water.
Combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic, oil, dill, feta, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Mix well.


 

Have you tried Sea Bream?

The ancient Greeks and Romans liked sea bream cooked with seasoned sauces and accompanied by fruit. They are most often found in coastal areas but have been caught at depths of up to 150m. Spawning occurs between November and December. Solitary fish, eat worms and crustaceans as well as smaller fish and have impressive teeth when you see them up close.

 

Interestingly, these fish start life as males and change sex at about three years of age.

With dense, moist white flesh, sea bream are usually sold whole or in fillets. With a satisfying meaty texture, a clean taste, and a delicate flavor they’re a good choice for dinner. Whole or filleted, sea bream can be baked, pan-fried, grilled, steamed, or roasted.

A good rule of thumb is not to overcook sea bream. In fact, it’s always better to undercook sea bream than let it spend too long in the pan or the oven.

Cook sea bream fillets with herbs and spices to enhance the fish. Cooking sea bream fillets only takes a few minutes on each side and they’re ready to eat for a quick dinner.

Here is how I like to cook these fillets.

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 sea bream fillets, about 6 oz each

Side Dish
20 cherry tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
A small bunch of basil, chopped
1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Potato Cakes
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 onion, diced
1 egg
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

For the side dish
Place a small saucepan over gentle heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the oil. Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper and stir over low heat for 1–2 minutes.
Add the coriander, garlic powder, basil, and lemon juice of one-half to the pan stir, and set aside to allow the flavors to infuse.

For the potato cakes

Mix mashed potatoes, flour, onion, egg, black pepper, and salt together in a bowl until batter consistency.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop 4-inch circles of batter into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To cook the bream
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Slash the skin of the fillets in 3 places. Add a dash of oil to the pan and, when really hot, add the bream fillets skin side down. Season and cook for 2 minutes. (The flesh should be opaque two-thirds of the way up the fillet.)

Turn the fillets and cook on the other side for 1 minute until just cooked through.

To serve
Pace a potato cake on a dinner plate. Top with a fillet and spoon some of the zucchini mixtures around the fish.

 


This dish makes an excellent appetizer as well as a delicious side dish.

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

1 medium head of cauliflower, outer green leaves removed, broken into large florets
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon capers
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper


Directions

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Cover a large cookie sheet with sides with foil. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan and spread the oil over the foil with a pastry brush.

Place the flour in a large ziplock bag and add ½ teaspoon salt/. Beat the eggs and add the cheese.

Place the florets in the bag and give a few shakes until the florets are coated. Dredge each floret in the egg mixture until completely coated. Lift each floret out of the egg mixture with a fork and let the excess drain. Transfer each floret to the prepared pam.

Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the florets over and bake for 15 minutes more.

In a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, chili flakes, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir well. Add the roasted florets and toss to coat in the dressing. Serve hot or at room temperature.



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