Cauliflower & Chickpea Soup

“A hearty soup, full of immune boosting nutrients”

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 head large cauliflower, cut into small florets

3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

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Jalapeno’s: Removing seeds & light green membrane, reduces heat

2 serrano/jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1 piece ginger root (3 inches long), peeled & minced

1 tbs. ground cumin

1 tbs. garam masala

1 tsp. turmeric

2 – 15oz. cans of chickpeas or 2 cups fresh

1 – 14.5oz. can, diced tomatoes, with juices

1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

3-4 cups vegetable/chicken broth

salt & pepper

Directions:

Place olive oil in a large, heavy pot, over medium heat. Add onion, sauté 3-4 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Next in,  the chilies and ginger, sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle cumin over onion and chilies and sauté 1 minute.

At this point, add chickpeas, tomatoes, lime juice, 1/2 of garam masala, and turmeric. Increase heat & bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Incorporate cauliflower, potatoes, and 2 cups of broth into the pot. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes (adding more broth as needed).

Taste.

Add additional garam masala, salt and pepper if needed

Enjoy!

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Toasted Pine Nuts

This method works for all types of nuts. The most challenging part is not burning them! Once your nuts are roasted package in an airtight container and refrigerate. I find they taste best when used within a day or two.

Directions:

Place a small frying pan over medium-low heat, add pine nuts. Keep nuts in a single layer, this allows for even cooking. Allow nuts to cook for about a minute, then gently shake the pan, continue alternating shaking & resting until pine nuts turn a golden brown (5-8minutes).

A word of caution these go from golden brown to burnt quickly, so pay attention during the last few minutes.

Try Toasted Pine Nuts in the below recipe:

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes

Baked Spaghetti Squash

Contrary to popular belief, spaghetti squash has a taste completely different from spaghetti. This said spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta; as it plays well with many of the same ingredients.

If you are looking to change things up, perhaps to eat fewer carbs; then spaghetti squash is a lighter alternative.

How you cook your spaghetti squash makes all the differencecooked spaghetti squash. I find that if you boil it or bake it at a low temperature it is very watery! Not a nice consistency for adding other ingredients.

I prefer to bake it at 460° for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size. For smaller squashes, you’ll want to pierce it with a fork, thru one of the thicker sides. If the fork slides into the flesh without much resistance, it’s done.

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash

Olive oil to coat

1Tbs. Butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 460°. Oven Rack should be set closer to the bottom than on top.

Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half, lightly coat the cut sides with olive oil. Place cut side up onto baking pan or oven-safe dish. Bake until squash can be easily pierced with a fork 30-60 minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly; using a fork, scrape the insides of the squash to remove the spaghetti strands.

Add a little butter, salt & pepper and Enjoy!

Try Baked Spaghetti Squash in the recipe below:

Baked Spaghetti Squash w/Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed​ Cherry Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

Sounds complicated, but it’s not! This dish comes together quickly, and it’s a great way to use those garden fresh tomatoes.

Toasted pine nuts add crunch, and energy boosting nutrients; including monounsaturated fat, protein, and iron.

Ingredients:

1 medium Baked Spaghetti Squash

10-12 Cherry or any small tomato, quartered

2-3 Cloves garlic, minced

diced onion
Diced Red Onion adds sweetness; reducing the need to add sugar.

1/2 Small Onion, diced

2tbs. Olive oil

1tbs. Oregano

1tbs. Basil

Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup water, vegetable or chicken broth

1/4 cup Toasted Pine Nutscooking August 28th 029

Grated Parmesan/Reggiano  Cheese

Directions:

Place Olive Oil in a medium fry pan over medium heat. Add onion; saute until onion becomes lighter in color 3-4 minutes, add garlic, cook for 1 minute, add tomatoes, if pan becomes dry, add small amounts of liquid (water/broth), continue cooking until tomatoes soften (skins starts to wrinkle) and release their juices.

Add oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute or two, taste and adjust seasonings.

Place Baked Spaghetti Squash in a bowl, pour tomato mixture over it. Combine well, top with toasted Pine Nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy as a side dish with baked chicken or fish, can also be a meatless main dish.

Suggestions:

  • Pine Nuts can be toasted a day or two in advance, refrigerate
  • Baked Spaghetti Squash can be made a day or two in advance; if you choose this method, add the spaghetti squash to the tomato mixture while it’s still in the pan, toss for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

A great habit to get into is thinking ahead; often while cooking one dish you can pre-cook ingredients for another meal. For instance, if you’re making a meal that doesn’t require the oven; cook your spaghetti squash. I toast my pine nuts or other nuts while I’m cleaning the kitchen or doing the dishes. One less step for my next meal=time saved.

Chickpea Salad

This is a quick low fat, high protein salad that is both versatile and loaded with nutrients. Its high fiber content will satisfy your appetite and your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredients:

Chickpea salad 003.jpg
Outer shell of chickpeas

 

2- 15oz can chickpeas (rinsed well)

1/4 cup mayonnaise (low fat optional)

3-4 tbsp. 2% milk

2 stalks celery, cut into bite size pieces

1 teaspoon dill

salt and pepper

 Instructions:

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise and milk, mix well. In a larger bowl add chickpeas, dill, celery. Pour in mayonnaise and milk mixture, give it a good stir to combine, season with salt and pepper.

I find that this salad tastes best when allowed to sit in the refrigerator for 4-6 hrs. This gives the chickpeas time to soak up the sauce.

Chickpeas have an outer shell to them (see above picture), while they are eatable, they can be chewy and unappealing. If you’re serving this salad to guests, you may want to remove them! Keep in mind, these outer shells contain a lot of fiber, so there is a trade-off.

Options:

  1. omit dill and add sliced cherry tomatoes and oregano or Italian seasoning
  2. add red bell peppers
  3. decrease amount of milk and add lemon juice
  4. omit dill and celery, add cumin, cilantro, diced red onion, and lemon/lime juice

The possibilities are endless, be creative that’s what cooking is all about!

 

 

Shrimp-Stuffed Roasted Poblano Pepper with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

 

Roasted Peppers
Roasted Peppers

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites!  While it does take a little work; it can be prepared over a couple of days.

Roast the peppers a day or two ahead, I usually add them to the grill while cooking another meal. Once roasted,  place roasted peppers in a paper bag; let cool, peel, and refrigerate or use.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Ingredients:

2 large red peppers

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

chicken or vegetable broth as needed (optional)

 

Shrimp Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:

001
Sauteed Shrimp

8 medium to large poblano peppers

 

8-10 ounces cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped6 ounces goat cheese

2 tbsp shallots, chopped

3 tbsp cilantro, chopped (or herb of choice)

Instructions:

For the sauce:

Remove the stem, inner vein, seeds and coarsely chop red peppers.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and jalapeno pepper; sauté until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer mixture to blender or food processor; add chicken or vegetable broth if needed. Puree until smooth.

(Sauce can be made a day or two ahead. Cover and refrigerate, rewarm over low heat before serving.)

For the stuffed peppers:

Preheat oven or grill to 350°F

Using a small sharp knife, carefully slit the poblano pepper along 1 side. Removing seeds, leaving stems attached.

Mix shrimp, goat cheese, and cilantro in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill poblano with shrimp mixture, dividing equally. Pull up the sides of poblano pepper to enclose filling. Place stuffed poblano on a baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate)

Bake peppers uncovered until heated through, about 15 minutes.

To serve, place 3 tbsp. Red Pepper Sauce on a plate, place 1 stuffed pepper on top of sauce and serve!

If you have leftover red pepper sauce don’t let it go to waste! You can use it as a dip by adding sour cream or plain yogurt; thin it out with olive oil and broth for a delicious salad dressing, or spread it on a sandwich instead of

Not a fan of shrimp? Try using ground beef, turkey, or salmon instead. Just make sure to cook the protein you are using before stuffing the peppers.

Lettuce Wraps

The bigger the leaf, the better the wrap! I usually create a wrap using at least 3 leaves of lettuce, slightly overlapping each one. Any sandwich filling will work, the key is  not too much filling.

 

Example Lettuce Wrap 014 (2)

salmon lettuce wraps 021 (2)

 

In the interest of keeping this fast & fresh, I used a pre-made  Salmon Burger from my local fish market.

Ingredients:

6 Lettuce Leavessalmon lettuce wraps 006 (2)

1 Salmon Burger

1oz. Goat Cheese or whatever you like

4 Slices of Tomato

 

Instructions:

Over low flame cook Salmon Burger on the grill or in a frying pan with a little olive oil to keep from sticking. Just before the burger is cooked through add goat cheese. Remove burger from grill/pan, cut in half.

Take 2 leaves of lettuce place them together overlapping slightly, put 3rd  leaf in the center, place 1/2 of salmon burger in center of lettuce towards the bottom, top with tomato slices. Fold in edges, and begin to roll up, tucking in edges as you go.

Options:

Chicken/tuna/egg salad

Mock Lobster Salad (will post recipe)

grilled shrimp/chicken/steak kabobs.

Basically,  anything that would normally go between two pieces of bread.

 

 

 

 

Green Bean Salad

The key to this recipe is using a really good quality red wine vinegar. The flavors need some time to come together, so make a couple of hours ahead of time and refrigerate. 030

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. green beans
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced thin
  •  1/4 cup ground sun-dried tomato (see note below)
  • 3-4 tbs. olive oil
  • 2-3 tbs. red wine vinegar or more to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • slivered almonds (optional)

Instructions

Steam green beans in large pot of boiling water 4-5 minutes or until beans tender, not mushy.  I prefer to use a steaming basket on the bottom of the pot, with water below.

While beans are cooking, slice red onion and red bell pepper as thin as possible.

Remove beans from stove and place into a bowl of ice water: once the beans have cooled drain them. Place drained beans in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients, except for the almonds. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning. Chill for an hour or two, taste and adjust seasonings one more time before serving. Add sliced almonds just before serving

*note: sun-dried tomato recipe– use 1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes; place in small food processor and process until ground, add additional olive oil as needed. Mixture should be wet but not soupy

010
Ground Sun-Dried Tomato

 

Tomato & Zucchini Frittata

Fast, fresh and Deliciuos 053

Ingredients

  •  3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  5 eggs
  •  3 egg whites
  •  1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  ½ teaspoon salt (optional)

    Fast, fresh and Deliciuos 001 (2)
    Use what’s local and in season
  •  ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  1 small zucchini, thin rounds
  •  1 small tomato, thinly sliced
  •  1 teaspoon dried herbs (Italian or whatever you like)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (feta, goat,Parmesan)
  • 1 cup packed kale leaves (in bite-size pieces)
  •  ½ avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or ovenproof nonstick skillet over low heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, garlic, salt, and pepper until frothy.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Turn off the heat.
  4. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer over the eggs. Arrange the tomato slices in a layer over the zucchini. Sprinkle with the herbs. Top evenly with the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  5. Toss the kale with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Arrange the kale on top of the frittata and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until the eggs are fluffy and the kale begins to get crispy and brown.
  6. Serve garnished with fresh avocado slices.
Helpful Hint: To keep the leftover avocado from turning brown, remove pit, rub a little lemon juice on the exposed side and place in a plastic baggie, store in the refrigerator.
Be creative use whatever veggies are in season! In the above picture, I add some scallions and used yellow zucchini instead of green.
  • Not a fan of kale, substitute with spinach.
  • When cooking the Kale be sure to let it get very brown, or it won’t be crispy.
  • Like onion?  Be sure to cook it first, this recipe doesn’t allow enough time for a raw onion to cook down on its own.
Fast, fresh and Deliciuos 009
Example of kale cut into bite size pieces
Makes 4 servings Preparation time: 8 minutes Total time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Calories: 238 Protein: 16 g Carbohydrate: 7 g Dietary Fiber: 2 g Total Fat: 17 g

Corn & Zucchini Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette

 

 

Ingredients

Salad:

2 ears of corn
2-4 tbs. water
2-3 large zucchini, spiralized with the smallest blade
½ large red onion diced
1/2 medium red pepper, sliced thin
Queso Fresco or Cojita (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro (or fresh herb of your
choice)
Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette:
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
½ teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic crushed or powder
1 teaspoon honey

Directions:

Husk the 2 ears of corn and remove corn from
cob (see note below). Place corn kernels in a small pan, over medium heat with water. Cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette; combine all ingredients and mix well. Toss with zucchini noodles, red onion, and cheese, if using.

When corn is done and cooled slightly. Mix corn into salad and serve!

I find that this dish tastes best when allowed to sit for a couple hours in the fridge or even better over night!

(Tip: to slice corn off the cob for a salad, try this technique to keep the kernels from scattering everywhere. Arrange an ear of corn vertically so that the thicker end sits over the hole of a Bundt pan. (If you don’t have a bundt pan, use a large bowl and set a smaller bowl turned upside down inside the larger bowl.) Using a small, sharp knife, slice the corn off the cob, turning the ear as you go. Capture more of the corn’s milky juices by scraping the cob with the knife )