Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: peppers

Ingredients

Make this sauce ahead and refrigerate it. This step will save you time when you cook the meal.

Sauce
Half a medium yellow onion minced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
One 28 oz can of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
Sea salt to taste
8 leaves of basil torn

Additions
8 oz Italian sausage, sliced thin
1 cup diced onions
2 cups diced green bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
17.6 oz package of Calamarata Italian pasta {Large oval pasta rings, see photo} or any short pasta you like
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large heavy-bottom saucepan heat the olive oil and saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let them cook only for a few seconds until you can smell them and don’t get any color on them.

Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and partially cover it with a lid. Allow the sauce to simmer away on low flame for about 1 hour until thick and concentrated in flavor. Make sure to stir often, every 10 minutes or so, making sure the sugars in the tomatoes do not burn.

Turn off the flame and season to your taste with the sea salt. Stir in the fresh basil leaves.

In a deep skillet or dutch Oven, heat the oil and saute the sausage until brown and cooked thoroughly. Agg the peppers and onions and saute until tender. Add the prepared sauce and heat the mixture until completely hot.

Cook the pasta until al dente, about 12 minutes. With a large spider, scoop the pasta up and place it in the sauce. Heat the pasta in the sauce for about 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese and spoon it into individual pasta bowls. Serve with breadsticks and a green salad.


 

Prosciutto-Wrapped HFish fillets with Lemon Herb Butter

Ingredients

Lemon Garlic Butter
1 stick unsalted butter softened
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Zest of 1 small lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fish fillets
2 (6-8 ounce) white fish fillets such as haddock, halibut, cod, etc. fillets skin removed
1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, cut in half
4 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Combine the Lemon garlic butter ingredients in a small bowl.
Spread a piece of plastic wrap out on the counter or on a cutting board.
Place the butter in the center and roll it into a cylinder. Refrigerate until needed.

Season the fish with salt and black pepper.
Place a slice of roasted red pepper on each fillet.
Place 2 slices of prosciutto over each fillet and wrap around the fish.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or saute pan.
Place the fish, top down in the skillet.
Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 4 minutes or until you can see the edges of the fish turn opaque.

Carefully turn the fish and continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Place the fish on serving plates
Add 4 tablespoons of the butter sauce to the skillet. Heat until melted. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets and serve with Basil Pesto spaghetti and sliced tomatoes.

 


 

Skillet Ravioli

Ingredients

9 oz pkg fresh deli spinach ravioli
2 cups Marinara sauce
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat the marinara sauce in a medium skillet. Gently place the ravioli on top of the sauce. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to low and simmer the ravioli until tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Zucchini Sausage Saute

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
2 Italian sausage links, cooked and sliced thin
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

Heat the oil in a small skillet. Ass the onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the sausage slices and seasonings. Saute until all the ingredients are hot. Serve with the ravioli.


 

Stuffed Eggplant

I served this entree with corn on the cob.

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

2 small eggplant
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ground beef
2 garlic cloves. minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup green pepper; chopped
1/4 cup onion; chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

Cut a thin slice off the top of each eggplant. Set the tops aside. Scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving 1/2 inch shells. Chop the flesh into small
cubes. Lightly salt the inside of the eggplant shells.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet.
Add all the ingredients except the mozzarella and saute until the meat is cooked and the eggplant is tender. Pour the mixture into a small bowl to cool slightly. Stir in the mozzarella. Fill the two eggplants equally with the mixture. Place the tops on. Place the stuffed eggplant in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake in a 350-degree oven F for 45 minutes or until the eggplant shells are tender.


Mediterranean Cantaloupe Salad

Serve with heated pita bread.

Ingredients

¼ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoon honey, or more, depending on the sweetness of your melon.
½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon  each salt and pepper                                                                              Half a cucumber, peeled and diced
1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, halved, seeded, and cubed (3 – 4 cups)
1 small orange bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped,
3 tablespoon green olives
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Combine red onion and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let stand while you prepare the cantaloupe.
Add honey, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the red onion mixture.
Add cantaloupe cubes and the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
Toss to combine all ingredients.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Breasts

Leftover chicken makes a delicious chicken salad.

Ingredients

1 cup Greek Plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 wholes clove garlic, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
2 whole bone-in chicken breasts

Directions

Combine Yogurt, lemon peel, juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a dish large enough to contain the chicken.
Add the chicken, turn it in the sauce and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Place chicken on a rack in a baking pan and bake in a preheated 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes or until cooked.


Egg Batter Pan-Fried Flounder

Ingredients

½ pounds boneless flounder or sole fillets
Salt and pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
Mild olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

Directions

Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Make the egg batter by whisking together the egg, a pinch of salt,  and milk in a shallow bowl.
Submerge the fish in the egg batter.

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil into a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil looks wavy, lift the fish from the egg batter one piece at a time, allowing excess batter to drip off. (Discard remaining batter.) Carefully lay each fillet in the pan and let fry gently until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and blot briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a warmed serving platter.

Sprinkle with parsley, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Sauteed Corn

Ingredients

4 cups corn kernels
1 small onion dice
¼ of green bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Directions

Combine onion, bell pepper, and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add thyme.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Homemade Coleslaw

Prepare the day before serving.

Ingredients

Slaw
Half a medium head of green cabbage
Half a medium head of red cabbage
1 large garden carrot or 2 regular-sized carrots
2 scallions

Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
/21 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Finely shred the cabbages and carrots. Finely chop the scallions.

Add the dressing and stir well/ Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Stir well before serving


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.


Looking for something different for Meatless Mondays, give this dish a try.

Easy Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

2 cups elbow macaroni
Salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup shredded Mexican Blended Cheese plus ¼ cup
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard powder
¼ cup panko crumbs
4 ounces processed Velveeta cheese, diced
4 roasted and peeled poblano peppers

Directions

To roast and peel the poblanos, broil the peppers until charred, then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag, seal the bag and let them sit for about 20 minutes. Remove them from the bag and peel off the skins. Remove the seeds. Cut one long side of the pepper so it lays flat.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain. In the same pot over low heat, melt the cheeses in the milk, butter, and mustard until smooth. Stir in the drained macaroni.

Heat oven to 350ºF.

 

Spread the peppers in a baking dish, so they lay flat. Spoon about ½ cup of macaroni down the center of each pepper. Fold the sides of the peppers up onto the filling. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cheese on the topos each pepper, followed by 1 tablespoon of panko crumbs on each.

Bake 15 minutes or until the peppers are heated through.

If you don’t use all the macaroni and cheese in the peppers, you can reheat it as a side dish for another dinner..

Serve this dish with a green salad or a vegetable.

 


 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup water
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 pound tender steak{beef tenderloin tails, ribeye, or flank steak} trimmed, cut into 1-inch squares
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
3 tablespoons dry sherry or Chinese rice wine, divided
3 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
2 ½ teaspoons packed light brown sugar, divided
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares
6 scallions, white parts sliced thin on a bias, green parts cut into 2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Directions

Combine 1 tablespoon water and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sherry, 1½ teaspoons cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon sugar together in a small bowl. Add soy sauce mixture to beef, stir to coat, and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

Stir-fry Sauce
Whisk remaining ¼ cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons sherry, remaining 1½ teaspoons cornstarch, remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and ½ teaspoon pepper together in the second bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of the beef in a single layer. Cook without stirring for 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown on both sides, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining beef and 2 teaspoon oil.

Return skillet to high heat, add 2 teaspoons peanut oil, and heat until beginning to smoke. Add bell peppers and scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are spotty brown and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl with beef.

Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, scallion whites, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Return beef and vegetables to skillet and stir to combine.

Whisk sauce to recombine. Add to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice


Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy

2 servings

Ingredients

8 large fresh sea scallops
2 Tablespoons. chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Chinese chili sauce
2 teaspoons. soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons. cornstarch
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 Tablespoon. minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
One medium head bok choy, trimmed and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 thin carrot, sliced on the bias
3 large crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped scallions

Directions

Rinse the scallops under cold water, remove the muscle and any visible bits of shell or grit, and set on paper towels. With more paper towels, pat the scallops dry.

In a small bowl combine the broth, chili sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact.

Swirl in 1 Tablespoon of the oil, add the ginger and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry for 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant.

Push the aromatics to the sides of the wok. Carefully add the scallops and spread them evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, letting the scallops begin to sear. Sprinkle on 1/4 tsp. of the salt and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until the scallops are opaque but not cooked through.

Transfer the scallops to a plate.

Swirl the remaining 1 Tbs. oil into the wok, add the bok choy, carrot, and bell peppers, sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the bok choy just begins to turn bright green. Add the mushrooms and scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds

Stir the broth mixture, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Return the scallops with any juices that have accumulated to the wok. Cook until the scallops are just cooked. Serve with rice.



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