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Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Vegetables

Chili Stuffed Peppers

Use any chili you have for this recipe but I really like my Texas-style chili for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers, washed
2 cups leftover Texas Style Chili, divided
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use the oil to coat a baking dish large enough to fit the peppers.
Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds and membranes inside.
Fill the peppers with the chili, about ½ cup in each.
Place the chili stuffed peppers in the prepared baking dish, cover tightly with foil and place them in the oven.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the chili is bubbling and hot and the peppers have softened.
Top with shredded cheese, about ½ cup for each and bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Golden Mashed Potatoes

4 servings

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Mash the potatoes, adding the buttermilk until moist and the consistency that you like. Season with additional salt if needed. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients

One 2 lb. acorn squash
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried (combination of thyme, sage, rosemary, or oregano)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut acorn squash into quarters and remove the seeds from the center of each quarter.
Slice the quarters into 1/4 inch thick pieces. In a small mixing bowl combine the melted butter, garlic and herbs.
Place the squash on a foiled lined baking pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the herb butter on both sides of the squash.
Roast the squash until tender, about 25 minutes.

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Italian Style Crab Cakes

I use Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset Blend which is a combination of basil, oregano, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper, and anise. You can also use dried Italian seasoning.

Ingredients

1 lb fresh lump crabmeat, cleaned and shells removed
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Tuscan blend seasoning or salt-free dried Italian seasoning
⅓ cup olive oil mayonnaise
2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought basil pesto
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 thin tomato slices

Lemon Butter Aioli

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove small garlic minced or grated
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Make the aioli
Whisk the melted butter with the ½ cup mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, pinch of cayenne, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl until smooth and combined, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the crab cakes
In a large bowl, mix together all crab the cake ingredients except the oil and the tomatoes. Using 1/3 cup mixture for each, shape into eight 3-inch patties.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat until hot. Add patties; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels.

To serve place each crab cake on a tomato slice and top each cake with a tablespoon of Lemon Butter Aioli.


I have family visiting, so this week I will share with you some of our main dish entrees. Complete this meal with meatballs or Italian sausage, salad and bread.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Manicotti

Makes 8-10. Double the recipe for the crepes and filling to make two dishes.

Crespelle Batter
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Butter for crepe pan

To make the crepes:

Add the flour gradually to the milk with a whisk in a medium bowl with a cover. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the salt.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the crepe pan and butter the pan.
Pour a scant ¼ cup of batter into the hot pan. Tilt the pan around with a circular motion so that the batter thins out and forms a round crêpe about the size of the pan. Cook until the edges of the crêpe become whitish and the inner portion yellow and partially solid.
Using a wide spatula, turn the crepe over and cook briefly (about 30 seconds).
Remove to a plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter, buttering the pan for each crepe. Place a sheet of wax paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together.

Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (26-ounce) cartons Pomi finely chopped tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
4 fresh basil leaves, minced

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a cover. Add the garlic and onion. Sauce for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce with the cover ajar for 1 1/2 hours or until thickened.

Spinach and Ricotta Filling
2 cups cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for baking
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine the filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the manicotti.

To assemble the manicotti:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly brush a 9×13 inch baking dishes with olive oil.
Spread a thin layer of sauce across the bottom of the baking dish.
Place 4 tablespoons of the filling down the center of a crepe. Roll it up and place it, seam-side-down the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Top with marinara sauce spreading it evenly over the manicotti and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake the manicotti for 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


Classic Texas chili doesn’t include beans or tomatoes, only beef, homemade chili paste, and a few flavorings. It’s what Texans call a “Bowl o’ Red” and tastes intensely of its two main ingredients. I like to add tomatoes, so I call this dish Texas style.

Chili

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 lb lean ground beef cup finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups beef broth
26-28 oz crushed Italian tomatoes
1 tablespoon honey
Topping Options
chopped avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, onion or scallions

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and lightly brown on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef. Reserve. Repeat with the ground beef and add to the bowl with the sirloin cubes.

Add the remaining olive oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers and jalapenos and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the browned meat and the spices and salt. Stir well. The add in the broth, tomatoes, and honey. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Cook for 3 hours until the liquid is reduced and the chili becomes thick and the meat is very tender.

Corn Muffins

12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Butter the insides and the top of a regular muffin pan.
In a large bowl thoroughly combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg with the milk and melted butter.
Combine with the dry ingredients until just evenly moistened.
Do not overmix.
Immediately spoon the batter into the muffin pan.
Bake 18 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.


For a low carb/gluten-free version:  “No-Corn” Bread Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons honey substitute (such as Sukrin Gold)
1 teaspoon Amoretti sweet corn extract
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
Combine the almond meal, salt, and baking powder.
Add the cream, water, sweetener, and eggs, stir to combine.
Add the melted butter, stir to combine.
Divide the batter equally into the muffins cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are slightly browned and the tops are firm to the touch.

 


Greek Omelet

Ingredients

8 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
10 oz pkg frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced red onion or scallions
1/4 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
A few Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
Dried or fresh dill for garnish

Directions

Chop spinach and mix well with minced dill and crumbled feta. Set aside.
Place diced tomatoes on paper towels to dry. Set aside.
Crack the eggs into a bowl with the black pepper and oregano. Whisk with a fork. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper and saute until tender. Add the spinach mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Move the outer edges of the eggs inward and cook until set and none of the mixture looks uncooked. Slide the omelet onto a serving plate. Sprinkle the top of the omelet with remaining feta, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, and dill. Cut into serving pieces.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

12 muffins

ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon. ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper baking cups; set aside.
In a large bowl combine all-purpose, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl combine egg, milk, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Fold in the cranberries and toasted walnuts. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Low Carb/Gluten-free Recipe

Makes 9 muffins

2 cups Low-Carb Baking Mix (I use Bob’s Red Mill) or Gluten-free Baking Mix
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup Low Carb Sweetener ( I use Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions

Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 9 muffin cups with baking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (Low Carb Baking Mix, baking powder, cinnamon, and sweetener). Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the eggs, water, oil and orange extract. Whisk until just blended. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Take care not to overmix.
Using a scoop divide the batter into the 9 muffin cups filling them to the top. Bake 25 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Filet Mignon

Two 4-ounce filet mignon, (1-inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper

Asparagus

½ lb asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Garlic Shrimp

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large shrimp deveined, tails removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the asparagus:

Oil a baking dish that will fit the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the dish in the oven about 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the steak.

For the steaks:

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before cooking. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Place a small heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the surface. When the oil shimmers, add the steaks and don’t move them for 3 minutes. Gently work a spatula under the steaks and turn them over. Cook for another 3 minutes and place the skillet in the oven with the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes and remove the steaks to a serving dish to rest. Let the asparagus cook for another 5 minutes.

Turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack closer to the broiler.

For the shrimp:

In a second small skillet, heat the butter; add the garlic, sauté one minute.
Pour in the white wine (or broth), and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the cream and continue simmering, while stirring. Add in the parmesan cheese; allow to melt in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Add the shrimp and cook until just pink on one side, about 1 minute; turn the shrimp over and cook until pink; about 1 minute. Place the shrimp and sauce on top of the steaks and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve the asparagus on the side.

Broiled Tomatoes

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large beefsteak tomato, halved
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat broiler. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, in an oiled baking dish.
Mix garlic, parsley, and olive oil; pour over tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
Broil 5 inches from the heat for 3 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Serve.


Depending on where you live you’ll find everything from the first apples of the season to fresh broccoli, pumpkin and other squashes, grapes, cauliflower, root vegetables, melons, and sweet potatoes to just name a few. Incorporate these foods throughout your menu: try apples in your pancakes, stuff, and roast an acorn squash, add grapes to your chicken salad, make broccoli or cauliflower soup or add roasted root vegetables to your homemade pizza. There are endless possibilities.

Salmon Saltimbocca

2 servings

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 salmon fillets about 6 oz each, skin removed
Salt & pepper to taste
2 slices prosciutto
4 sage leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle the salmon with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay two sage leaves on the non-skin side of the fillets and place a slice of prosciutto on top of each fillet.

Tuck the edges of the prosciutto underneath the sides of the salmon. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the salmon for 10 -12 minutes.

Roasted Broccoli With Creamy Italian Dressing

Ingredients

1 large head of broccoli (4 stalks)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make the dressing:

Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dried seasoning, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the parsley and cheese. (The dressing will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week.)

For the roasted broccoli:

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalk and slice into 2-inch pieces.
Place the broccoli florets on an oiled baking sheet large enough to hold them all in a single layer. Sprinkle with the salt and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and.serve with the dressing.

Garlic Butter Sautéed Rutabaga or Potatoes

Rutabaga is a great fall root vegetable to serve. If you don’t care for this vegetable substitute Yukon gold potatoes in the recipe below,

2 servings

Ingredients

1 ¼ lb rutabaga or Yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Peel the rutabaga. Trim the ends, and then cut into 1-inch cubes. Put the rutabaga in a large pot and cover with cold water.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat and cook until just tender, but not soft or mushy, about 20 minutes.
Drain the rutabaga in a colander and then place on paper towels for a few minutes to dry.


.Heat the butter in a medium skillet and add the garlic. Cook for a minute. Add the dried rutabaga cubes, salt, and pepper to taste. Saute the cubes until brown and crispy, turning them over several times, about 15 minutes.



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