Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: peppers

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.


 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mahi Mahi

Ingredients

3 ¼-inch slices of red onion from a large onion, cut in half

8 (6ounces) mini sweet bell peppers, seeded and quartered

1 clove garlic, grated

1 teaspoon fajita seasoning or taco seasoning

2 Mahi Mahi fillets about 5 ounces each

¼ cup salsa

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Avocado oil

1 lime

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil in a medium skillet. Add the sliced onions and peppers.

Drizzle a teaspoon of oil in the bottom of a small baking dish.

place the mahi-mahi pieces on top and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and drizzle with butter, top with sliced lemon, and sprinkle with the parsley and cilantro, cover and bake at 350 for about 30 mins or slightly firm to touch.

Black Bean And Corn Saute

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/21 a small onion, finely chopped

1 cup cooked with cooking liquid or canned black beans

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup canned green chiles, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 cup fresh corn kernels

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and very soft, about 10 minutes.

Drain the black beans, and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add the beans, the reserved bean liquid, and the remaining ingredients to the saucepan; cover, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.


Meatloaf

Ingredients

1 celery stalk chopped fine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup low sugar ketchup
2 pounds of lean ground round
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the meat, eggs, vegetables, bread crumbs, ketchup, seasonings, and parsley. Form into a loaf and put into an oiled rectangular baking pan with inch-high sides.

Bake the meatloaf in the oven for 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

Salt
3 ½ lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ to ⅓ cup heavy cream

Directions

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until very soft, about 20-25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them into a ricer and press the potatoes back into the cooking pot. Add the butter and just enough cream to moisten. Taste for salt and warm the potatoes.

Sauteed Kale

Ingredients

1 bunch kale
Salt and pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, sliced in half
¼ cup olive oil

Directions

Remove the kale leaves from the stalks. Chop into small pieces. Wash well and dry in a salad spinner.
Heat the garlic and oil in a deep skillet. Add the kale, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook the kale over low heat until soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.


Baked Stuffed Shrimp with Crab

Serves 2

Crab Filling
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 scallion, chopped
F garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon grated zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
8 ounces crabmeat, picked over for shells

Shrimp
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
Panko crumbs

Pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse ground black pepper
Teo -2o z egg fettuccine pasta nests

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the crab filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Place the butterflied shrimp in a baking dish just large enough to hold the shrimp.
Top each shrimp with the filling [about 1 tablespoon for each. Sprinkle panko crumbs over each shrimp.

Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated until the time you cook. This is a great dish for entertaining because it can be made in advance, plan on 6 shrimp per person.

Bake until shrimp are pink, 20 to 25 minutes.

For the pasta
In the drained pasta pot, melt the butter and add the cheese and pepper. Add the drained pasta and toss.
Place a pasta nest on each serving plate and top with the shrimp.

Serve with Garlic Sauteed Spinach

 


Try to buy authentic Mexican flour tortillas, for example, El Milagro. There is a big difference in flavor over supermarket brands.

Tacos with Chipotle Crema

Serves 4

ingredients

Chicken filling
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped shredded d
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Crema
2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt

Topping
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Pickles jalapeno slices

Directions
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil and cook the onion, bell pepper, paprika, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt until the veggies are soft, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato and
chicken, and cook until the filling is heated through, stirring about 3 minutes.

Warm the tortillas in moistened paper towels in the microwave for 30 seconds, or in a taco holder in a 350-degree oven until warm, about 2 minutes.

Stir the chipotle into the sour cream.

Pile the filling into the tortillas, topping with cheddar cheese, chipotle sour cream, and lettuce

Black Beans

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 lime, juiced
1 scallion, diced
1 garlic clove. Minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 jalapeno chile, sliced
2 cups cooked {see recipe below} or canned {drained} lack beans

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add all the ingredients, except the black beans. Saute over low heat until the onion is soft and the corn is cooked for about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the cooked beans and heat until hot, about 6 minutes.
Serve with the tacos.

Cooking the beans:
I use black soybeans because they are delicate and have fewer carbs than regular brands. However, they do take longer to cook than regular black beans.

Black Beans with Chiles
8 oz dried black beans or black soybeans
1 tablespoon oil
1 small red onion, cut in half
1 small carrot, cut in half
2 dried Mexican chilies, any type
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place oil, onion, and carrot in a Dutch oven. Cook until the onion is tender. Drain beans and add to the pan. Add whole chiles, cumin, and chicken broth.. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 2houses. Uncover, add salt and pepper and simmer until beans are very tender, vegetables, and about 1 1 to2 more hours depending on the type of bean you are using. Drain the beans. Remove dried chilies.

Homemade Coleslaw

Ingredients

2 scallions, minced
16 oz package of coleslaw mix

Dressing
1 teaspoon honey or another sweetener
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

In a medium serving bowl with a cover, combine the dressing ingredients using a whisk.
Add the shredded cabbage and scallions and stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Farro

One of the seven original grains cited in the Bible, farro was popular for hundreds of years until modern baking techniques left it behind.  Americans are finding it again and realizing that this savory and tasty grain has many modern uses. Italians not only like to use it in bread but also in cakes, pizza, and soups. Related to wheat but very different, this grain is friendly to the body, a great source of fiber, and naturally contains high levels of nutrients, vitamins, and protein.

Farro with Artichokes

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each

In this dish, farro stands in for rice in a risotto-like dish, full of tomatoes, artichokes, and fresh basil.

1 1/2 cups farro, rinsed
1 sprig of fresh sage
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-15-ounce can no sodium added, diced tomatoes drained well
1 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2-2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Directions

1. Place farro in a large saucepan and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add sage and rosemary. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the farro is tender but still firm to the bite, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and drain.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the farro, tomatoes, artichokes, basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
3. Add 1/2 cup broth (or water), bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until most of the broth is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining broth (or water), adding it in 1/2-cup increments and stirring until it’s absorbed and the farro is creamy but still has a bit of bite, about 10 minutes total. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and lemon zest. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

 Italy‘s Other National Dish-Polenta                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Polenta, a coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal, has been called by some the “Italian grits” and there are similarities to the hominy grits that are so popular in the southern United States. The key to the popularity of Polenta is its versatility. It can be served with nearly anything and that is why it has spread to every corner of Italy, where Italians always make use of what is locally grown or raised. Soft polenta is often a replacement for bread during a meal, or instead of the pasta course, served with butter and cheese and possibly shaved truffles. Polenta can also be served as a side dish to regional meat dishes such as Osso Bucco, chicken, and fish. Polenta in cake form can be layered with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and baked.

Italian Style Braised Pork Chops With Polenta

  • 4 boneless loin pork chops (about 1 inch thick) and trimmed of all fat
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of sliced white mushrooms
  • 1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes ( no salt added)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Dredge chops in flour.

 Heat oil in a large skillet with a cover. Brown chops on both sides. Add onions, sweet peppers, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and oregano and cover and let simmer for about an hour until tender.

POLENTA

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of instant polenta
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
Bring water to a boil and slowly add Polenta. Cook Polenta while whisking constantly for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add oil, cheese, salt, and pepper. Transfer Polenta to a lightly oiled 9×13-inch dish, smoothing until flat. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into 3 “ squares, brush with olive oil and grill, pan-fry, or broil until golden brown on the outside and heated through. Place pork chops and sauce over Polenta squares.

Extra squares of Polenta can be frozen for future meals.

Polenta Squares


Baked Chiles Rellenos

I prefer to bake these chilies instead of frying them.

ingredients

8 fresh poblano chiles {peppers}
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 eggs, beaten
8 teaspoons granular flour, such as Wondra or Cassava

Directions

Preheat the broiler. Lay chiles in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Cook about 4 inches. from the broiler until the chiles are blistering and black, about 5 minutes. Turn chiles over and broil until blistering and black all over, about 5 minutes. Put chiles in a large metal bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes. Peel the chiles and discard the skins. Cut a slit on the side of each chili. Remove the seeds. Set chiles aside on layers of paper towels to dry.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Stuff the chiles with 1 ½ cups of cheddar and place the chilies in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle each chile with one teaspoon of flour. Pour the beaten eggs over the stuffed chilies. Sprinkle chiles with the remaining cheese. Bake until the top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.


Seafood Salad Stuffed Shells

Yield: 28 Shells

Ingredients

1 box jumbo pasta shells
1/2 lb. cooked shrimp
1/2 lb. lump crabmeat
10 oz cooked lobster
1/2 cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
½ cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Cook pasta shells per manufacturer’s instructions in liberally salted water.
Drain the shells and spread them out on kitchen towels to cool.


Combine the remaining ingredients to make a seafood salad. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of seafood salad into each jumbo pasta shell. Place the filled shells on a platter. Sprinkle the shells with chopped parsley.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makeup to 24 hours in advance.

Focaccia

Ingredients

1 lb pizza dough-my recipe
Olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
Coarse sea salt
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves or rosemary
Coarse black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Oil a 4-quart baking dish or pam.
Spread the pizza dough out in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise until the dough rises almost to the top of the pan.
Top the dough with cherry tomatoes evenly spaced over the dough. Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients and drizzle lightly with olive oil
Bake 400 degrees F for 15 -20 minutes until golden brown.
Cool and cut into squares to serve.

 



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