Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Vegetables

Ham and Bean Soup

For this recipe, I used a ham bone I had in the freezer from my Easter ham. If you do not have a ham bone, use two ham hocks

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups water
1 large ham bone
1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight (see below}
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

The day before
Soak the beans in cold water for at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours) before cooking.

Directions

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, water, hocks, and beans. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are completely tender and soup is slightly thickened, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the ham bone from the pot to cool, then shred meat and add to soup.
Stir in thyme, pepper, and vinegar. Serve for lunch or dinner.


CLASSIC CIOPPINO

For 4 servings 4

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 onion, finely diced
6 oz seeded and chopped fresh plum tomatoes
4 cloves crushed garlic
14-16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups seafood broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs of fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 extra-large shrimp peeled and deveined
8 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
4 lobster tails, 4-5 oz each, shells removed
4 firm white fish fillets cod, halibut, haddock are all good choices
12 small clams, washed well

Directions
The sauce can be made ahead and reheated just before serving time. When the sauce begins to boil add the fish as described below.

Make the stew base.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet with a cover. Add the onions, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well. Add the canned tomatoes, seafood broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer. Add all the seasonings. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook the sauce until thickened.

Uncover the pan and turn the heat to medium, Add fish in the following way> place the cod fillets in the middle of the skillet and cook for two minutes. Add the lobster tails and cook two more minutes, Tuen the cod and lobster over in the sauce. Add the shrimp and cook for two minutes. Tuenmn the shrimp over and add the scallops and clams, Cook for 2-3 minutes until the shells open, the shrimp are pink and the sea;;p[s are firm. Don’t overcook the fish.
Serve in individual pasta/soup bowls with crusty bread.


Greek Spinach Frittata

Ingredients

12 large eggs
¼ cup olive oil
16 oz frozen spinach defrosted, raw or canned, and drained
1 onion finely dices
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove minced
2 plum tomatoes, cut into thin slices
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Heat the broiler.
In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs. Add the spinach, onion, garlic, and oregano. Mix well.
Heat the oil in an omelet pan. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until set, lifting the edges and letting the eggs run under the omelet. Top the egg mixture with sliced tomatoes, and fetta cheese. Place the pan under the broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes until the top is no longer runnun\g and beginning to brown.
Serve with pita bread and Tzatziki Sauce.


Chicken And Peppers Over Pasta

Ingredients

For 2 servings. Double for 4.

4 chicken tenders, pounded this
7-8 oz mini peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
Half a sweet onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup flour1 cup panko crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Pasta
8 oz fettuccine
¼ cup butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Directions
Bring a large p[ot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Dredge in flour, egg, and panko crumbs. Set aside.
Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onions, peppers, garlic, and basil. Saute the mixture until tender. Remove to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the chicken until brown on both sides. Spread the chicken with the peppers and onions, Top with the mozzarella and cover the pan, turn the heat down to low, and let cook until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta. Place the drained pasta and butter in the empty pot. Stir gently over low heat, until the pasta is coated in butter. Add the parsley. Place a portion of pasta on each of the two serving dishes. Top each with two pieces of chicken with peppers and cheese. Serve.


SOURDOUGH POTATO SANDWICH BREAD

This bread is delicious especially for making BLTs. The bread makes excellent toast and compliments soups.

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast or instant yeast
6 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Mashed potatoes (enough for 2 servings) 1 1:3 lbs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup sourdough starter, room temperature

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the bread dough ingredients with the paddle attachment until the dough gathers around the paddle. Push the dough off the paddle and switch to the dough hook.
Knead the dough for 8 minutes until completely smooth, Place dough in a greased bowl, turning over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1 1/2 – 2 hrs.)

Punch dough down. Knead briefly to release air. Divide in half.
Shape each half into a smooth ball and then into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pans.
Cover loaves and let rise to the top of the baking pans.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 35-40 min. or until loaves are richly browned.
Let cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 large loaves.


AIR FRYER BONE-IN BREADED PORK CHOPS

Looking to save on calories but love fried pork chops. The air-fryer method of cooking sill does that for you.. I was amazed at how crispy the chops were, yet the meat was moist. Delicious.

Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, center-cut (thin OR thick)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup Italian flavored Pablo crumbs
½ teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F and spray the basket with cooking spray.

Trim any fat on the pork chops as needed. Sprinkle the chops with salt. Spread the mayonnaise over all sides of the chops. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Press on the panko crumbs. Refrigerate for several hours, if you have time.

Place breaded pork chops into the air fryer in one layer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through cooking. If cooking thicker pork chops, cook for 14-15 minutes.
Remove pork chops from the air fryer and serve with your favorite sides.

My Sides:

 

Eggplant Parmesan

This is not a dish that can be prepared quickly, but with some of my make-ahead tips, you can enjoy this entrée for dinner and have several leftovers for future use without spending all day in the kitchen. Eggplant freezes very well in all stages of its preparation. Additionally, I do not fry the eggplant, but bake it in the oven to reduce the calories.

For each one pound of eggplant, you will need:

1 pound eggplant, peeled
1/2 to 3/4 cup refrigerated egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters) or egg whites
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat two large baking sheets with nonstick olive oil cooking spray.

Cut peeled eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (no thicker). You want them to be thin.

Place the egg substitute in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs mixed with the cheese in another.

Dip the eggplant slices into the egg substitute, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-15 minutes longer.

To assemble the casserole, you will need:

Spray an 8 inch or 9 inch or 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

2 ½ cups Marinara sauce (see recipe above)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 recipe breaded and baked eggplant
Directions

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until the sauce bubbles, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Sauteed Green Beans And Onions

Ingredients

1 pound green beans trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, place beans and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Boil green beans for five minutes, then strain and set aside.
Add oil. add sliced onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are lightly browned and begin to turn translucent.

Add green beans to sauté pan, stirring to combine. Cook for one additional minute before removing from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.


Roasted Swordfish and Potatoes with Caper Aioli

Ingredients

12-14 oz baking potato, cut into eighths
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick (about 1 pound in all)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Caper Herb Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1teadpoon fried chives
1teadpoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon drained and chopped capers
1 teaspoon wine vinegar

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the oil, half the garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 15 minutes; stir once.

Meanwhile, coat the swordfish with the remaining 1/4 cup oil, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper, and the rosemary. Put the fish on a baking sheet and put it in the oven along with the potatoes. Cook, stirring the potatoes once until the fish and potatoes are both done, 10 to 12 minutes for 1-inch-thick steaks.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with parsley, capers, and vinegar. Serve the roasted swordfish and potatoes with the caper mayonnaise.

Parmesan Asparagus

Ingredients

1bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Wash the asparagus and cut it into 3-inch pieces. Place the oil in a 12-inch baking dish and add the asparagus. Toss. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss again. Place the dish in the oven when you add the swordfish. Cook 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with the swordfish and potatoes. 


 

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1 1/2 cups lentils
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
4 cups water, plus more if needed

Directions

Heat a large soup pot over high heat and swirl in the olive oil. Add the vegetables, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low and saute until the vegetables are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add broth, water, and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the lentils. Stir well and cover the pan. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes u til the lentils are soft and creamy. Serve hot in soup bowls.

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche

Ingredients

1 prepared 9-inch pie crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ a large sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cooked spinach
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy creak
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the onion and pepper until tender and soft/ Stir in the thyme. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl combine the spinach, eggs, and cream.
Spread the pastry on a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges.
Spread 1 cup of cheese in the bottom of the crust. Top with the onion and peppers. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.


 

Chicken Fajitas

For 2 servings

Ingredients
1 bone-in chicken breast
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
1 small sweet onion, sliced
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
2 tablespoon avocado oil
4 – 6 inch tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Directions

Poach the chicken breast in water to cover for about 20 minutes. Cool and slice.
Heat oil in a medium skillet and saute the peppers and onions. Add seasoning and sliced chicken, Cook on low until the chicken is hot.

 


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and heat the tortillas until beginning to get crispy about 10 minutes.
Fill tortilla shells with the chicken mixture and add toppings.

 

Refried Black Beans

Ingredients

2 cups cooked or canned Black Beans
2 tablespoons avocado oil
¼ cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon line juice
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons mild chile powder

Directions

Mash the beans coarsely and set them aside.
Heat oil in a small skillet and saute the onion over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the beans and seasoning. Cooker low until creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep the beans from sticking to the pan. Stir in lime juice.

 

Chunky Guacamole

Makes about 1cup

Ingredients
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ an avocados pitted, peeled, and chopped
½ tomato chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a small serving bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap until serving.


Last week I shared the ratatouille recipe that I made with the freshest end-of-the-summer vegetables. The recipe is versatile and I was able to create a number of dishes from the recipe. The first was an appetizer with brie, the second a delicious pizza and the third was a hearty pasta dish.

Here is the link to the ratatouille recipe.

Pizza

Ingredients

1 lb of your favorite pizza dough

16 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 cups leftover ratatouille

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 459 degrees F.

Oil a large pizza pan and place the dough on the pan. Using your fingers push the dough to the edges of the pan.

Distribute the cheese slices over the dough. Spread the ratatouille over the cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Pasta

Ingredients

5 Spicy Italian sausage links, casing removed

2 cups leftover ratatouille

2 cups canned Iranian tomatoes chopped

1 lb short pasta

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place the sausage in a large deep skillet. Brown the meat breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it browns. add the ratatouille and tomatoes. Heat on low for 39 minutes.

Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Do not drain. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the cooked pasta from the skillet. Stir well and let the pasta cook in the sauce, Mix well and add the grated cheese. Serve in pasta bowls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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