Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: spinach

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

Potato Wedges

Scrub 1 medium baking potato and cut it in half. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Place on the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake 20 minutes, then turn the wedges over and bake 20 minutes.

Crab Cakes

Ingredients

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup Saltine crackers crushed
8 oz. crab meat
3 teaspoons chopped parsley

Directions

Gently combine the crab cake ingredients and shape them into 2 patties. Brush lightly with olive oil. Place the patties on the baking sheet after the potatoes have cooked for 20 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn the crab cakes over, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until nicely browned.

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

1 large tomato
½ cup cooked, chopped spinach
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons greeted Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds and center flesh creating two shells. Mix the spinach with the onion and add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture in half and fill the tomato halves. Top each with a tablespoon of cheese. Place on the baking sheet with the crab cakes and bake for 2o minutes.

 


First Step

Poached Cod Fish

3 cups cold water
1 medium bay leaf
A large branch of fresh thyme
3 chive stalks
Salt and pepper
1 lb cod fillets
1/2 medium lemon, sliced paper-thin
3 fresh parsley sprigs, stems trimmed and coarsely chopped
Tomato Pesto Sauce for serving

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the fish in a large, shallow-sided pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low until liquid is at a simmer. Add fish in a single layer, making sure it is completely covered with liquid. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
Poach until the cod flesh is opaque and flakes easily (the internal temperature should be 175ºF). Let cool in the poaching liquid off the heat.
Shred the cod.

Step Two

Cakes
1lb cod, poached and shredded
4 cups of mashed potatoes
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
2Garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

For cooking
White rice flour
4 tablespoons butter

Directions

Combine the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Coat a large piece of waxed paper lightly with white rice flour. Measure the cakes with a 1/4 measuring scoop and drop them on the floured paper. With floured hands shape into little patties. Coat highly in a little flour to remove any sticky areas. Makes about 18

Heat the butter in a large skillet and lightly brown the patties on both sides. About a minute on each side until light gold.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment and place the patties on the pan. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes until hot.

Serve with 2 cups marinara sauce and add 2 tablespoons of basil pesto to the sauce.

Creamy Orzo With Spinach

Ingredients

11/2 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup heavy/whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Italian Fontina cheese
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a cover. Add the orzo, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer the orzo until the broth is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Melt the butter in the empty saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cream, Fontina cheese, seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the orzo and cook over low heat until all the ingredients are hot.


Make extra lemon-herb butter. It’s delicious tossed with steamed green beans or hot cooked rice or pasta.

Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto
1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Fish
2 (6-ounce) skinless haddock, halibut, or cod fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup rice or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked

Directions

Combine the ingredients for the butter sauce in a small bowl, stirring until well blended. Set aside

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off any excess.

Add fillets to pan; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Divide the spinach evenly between two dinner plates. Place a piece of fish on top of the spinach. Spread each fish fillet with basil butter mixture.

Cacio e Pepe Penne Pasta

Ingredients

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions
Cook pasta according to the package for al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.

Drain the pasta. Add the butter, garlic, and ground pepper into the pot over low heat. Add the cooked, pasta, pasta water, and cheese.

Top with a little more grated cheese, freshly cracked black pepper, and parsley.


Italian Style Lamb chops

4 servings

4 Large Lamb Loin Chops
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients and place in a shallow casserole dish along with the lamb ensuring the marinade coats the lamb well. Refrigerate for at least two hours or up till 6 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before you are ready to cook to allow the meat to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a heavy oven-proof frying pan at medium-high heat. Sear the lamb very well on both sides until golden brown. Place the pan in the hot oven until the lamb is cooked, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Wild and whole Grain Rice

4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup whole grain wild rice {I use Lundberg}
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 oz can sliced ounces mushrooms
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat the butter in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and toast while stirring until it begins to smell nutty, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook on low until the water is absorbed about 40 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and seasonings. Keep the pot on the burner with the heat off, cover the pot, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Spinach With Garlic

4 servings

Ingredients

2- 15z pkg frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil and garlic in a large, deep skillet over low heat. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cover the skillet. Heat the spinach until hot, turning the mixture several times.


Pan-Seared steak

Ingredients

2 center-cut beef tenderloin steaks {filet mignin}, about 5-6 oz each
Sea Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Pound the steaks in plastic wrap until they are an even ½=inch thickness. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a nonstick medium skillet unit, very hot, about 5 minutes. Place the steaks in the pan, lower the heat to medium. Cook 3 minutes without moving the steaks. Turn them over, place one tablespoon of butter on each steak and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.

Twice Baked Potatoes

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large russet potato, 12 ounces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 slice bacon cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Brush lightly with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet tray covered with foil until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

While still hot, cut the potato in half lengthwise and scoop the potato flesh into a medium bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell all around on the potato shell. Season the insides of the potato shell lightly with salt and pepper.

To the bowl with the potato flesh, add the sour cream and butter. Use an electric hand mixer or potato masher and mix until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mound into the potato shells and bake for 15 minutes, then turn on the broiler to high and brown the tops of the potatoes,t. Sprinkle with bacon and chives.

Spinach Salad

2 servings

Ingredients

6 cups fresh baby7 spinach leaves, washed and spinner dried
½ cup diced red onion
2 radishes, sliced thin
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
Italian vinaigrette

Directions

Combine the salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add enough of your favorite dressing to lightly coat the spinach leaves. Divide into two salad dishes and serve with the steak.


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.


Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2 to 4 servings depending on how large you like your portions.
I prefer to butterfly the chicken rather than cut a pocket. The breasts are much easier to fill if butterflied.

Ingredients

2 {8 oz} boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil,

For the stuffing
1/4 cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil

Breading
½ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg beaten
1 cup panko crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
4 slices of tomato from a large tomato, ¼ inch thick
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Make the filling. In a small mixing bowl combine the stuffing ingredients. Mix until well combined.

Pat the chicken breast dry. Place the breast on a cutting board. With a boning knife, butterfly the breast. Place it between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet to even the meat out. Repeat with the second breast.

Place half of the filling on one breast. Press down firmly on the filling to help it stick to the breast. Fold the other half over the filling and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the second breast.
Dredge the breasts in flour, then dip in the egg, and finally press in the panko crumbs. Place the breast in an oiled baking dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and top each breast with two tomato slices. Place the dish back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F.

Gnocchi With Peas

Ingredients

One 17 oz pkg Potato Gnocchi or

Homemade Gnocchi

2 pounds russet potatoes
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

Sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

To make homemade gnocchi

In a covered 8-quart Dutch oven cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover about 20 minutes or just until tender (do not overcook); drain. Peel potatoes.

While potatoes are still hot, push through a ricer into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add about half of the flour; mix well. Stir in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour to make a soft, pliable dough. Divide dough in thirds.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the top of each piece. Place on a baking sheet; chill while preparing the sauce (up to 2 hours).

Heat the butter and peas.

To cook the gnocchi

In the Dutch oven bring a large amount of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the gnocchi; cook for 10 to 15 seconds or until the gnocchi starts to float to the top. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi as they rise to the top of the boiling water, to the p of the pan with the butter and peas. Add the cheese and mix well. Serve.

 


Grilled Pork Chops

This recipe makes 6 servings but the recipe can easily be cut down to 2 or 3 servings.

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 boneless pork loin chops, about 2 lbs total, and cut 1-inch thick

Directions

Mix water, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon pepper seasoning, and minced garlic in a wide glass dish; add pork chops and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
Remove pork chops from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
Cook the pork chops on the preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

 Pan-Fried Lemon Potatoes

Ingredients

1 pound whole small potatoes
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon, cut in half
Kosher salt
Olive oil

Directions

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add garlic, rosemary sprigs, and one lemon half to the water and season well with salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well and reserve the lemon half, garlic cloves, and rosemary.

Let potatoes cool to room temperature and peel them. Cut potatoes in half. Place on a plate until ready to cook.
Zest the lemon half that was not cooked with the potatoes. Chop the reserved garlic and rosemary and mix together with the lemon zest. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and heat. Add the potatoes cut-side down to the skillet. Cook until the bottom of the potatoes are a deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a metal spatula, turn the potatoes and cook on the second side for an additional 3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and drain well. Place the potatoes in a serving bowl. Squeeze both lemon halves (cooked and uncooked) over the potatoes and sprinkle with the garlic, rosemary reserved mixture.

Sauteed Spinach 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Two 10-ounce bags of frozen spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until defrosted, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt, and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.


PanSeared Filet Mignon and Crabmeat Stuffed Lobster Tails

For the steak
2 Filet Mignons, 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
2 tablespoons butter

For the lobster
2 frozen lobster tails, 5 ounces each
1/2 cup dry white wine
Lemon wedges

Crabmeat Stuffing:
2 tablespoons butter, salted
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Pinch salt
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

Thaw lobster 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator or place in a clean bowl under cool running water until completely thawed.

To make stuffing:
Melt butter in a small saucepan or saute pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Do not brown. Fold in panko, crabmeat, salt, white pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Split top side of lobster shell down the center with scissors, keeping tail fan intact. Pull shell open; lift tail meat, leaving it attached at the end, and lay over top of the shell, “piggyback” style. Make a cut down the center of the meat 1/4-inch deep. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour wine into a small baking dish. Place lobster tails in the dish. Spoon stuffing over top of the meat. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the center of the oven, until the meat, turns from translucent to opaque (white).

Remove from the oven and drizzle pan juices lightly over the lobster. Serve with lemon wedges

To cook the steaks

Season the steaks with steak seasoning, rubbing the spices into the steaks. Let rest until room temperature.
Heat a small ovenproof skillet and add the butter.
Sear filets for 2 minutes on each side, until you see a golden-brown crust form.
Place the full skillet with filets onto the center oven rack to finish cooking. Place the skillet in the oven at the same time you put the lobster in the oven.

The best temperature for a filet mignon is, generally, medium-rare, which will give them a slight pinkness in the center. To cook to this temperature, your steaks should read 130-degrees with a meat thermometer before removing them from the oven. Shoot for 120-degrees for rare and 140-degrees for medium. After they’ve finished cooking, place the steaks on a plate and cover loosely with foil for about 10 minutes to rest.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Directions

1 large russet potato (about 10 to 12 ounces each)

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 scallion, minced

Paprika, for sprinkling

Directions

Bake the potato early in the day. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Brush lightly with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet tray until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool enough to handle.

Slice the potatoes lengthwise and scoop the potato flesh into a medium bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell all around. Season the insides of the potato shells lightly with salt and pepper. To the bowl with the potato, add the sour cream, half-and-half, and butter and mix until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the scallion. Mound into the potato shells. Place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate if not baking right away,

Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Place in the oven at the same temperature set for the steak and lobster ten minutes before the steak and lobster.

Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

Spinach Salad with Cherries, Walnuts And Blue Cheese

Spinach Salad
¼ small red onion, sliced thinly and soaked in water for 10 minutes, and drained.
8 cups clean spinach leaves
½ cup dried cherries
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
¾ cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts

Vinaigrette Dressing
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Salad
Pre-heat oven to 350F
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 6 minutes. Stir around and roast for another 3-4 minutes ensuring they don’t overcook. Let cool. This step can be done earlier in the day.

Combine the spinach, onion, and cherries n a large bowl and toss to combine.

Vinaigrette Dressing
Combine all ingredients and whisk to combine.
Taste and add salt and pepper until it’s to your liking.
Add dressing to salad and toss to coat, gently add the cheese and walnuts and serve.

 


For 2 servings-double for 4 servings

Ingredients

2 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
2 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
Marinade
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade. Place the chicken at one end of the pan.
Cut the potatoes into wedges. Toss the potato wedges in the reserved marinade, then spread them out in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are turning golden brown on the edges.
Turn the potatoes over, then bake for another 20 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Season with extra salt if desired. The chicken should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Divide the chicken and potatoes between two individual plates.

Spinach and Pear Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 medium red pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, diced
1 (6-8ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach
1/4 of red onion, sliced
Dressing
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Directions

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.
Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.



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