For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Mediterranean Sautéed Zucchini With Cilantro And Onions

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

z5I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who gets tired of eating the same old vegetables the same old ways. I need plenty of freshness and adventure, especially where veggies are concerned. That said, I don’t want to spend my life in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove just so I don’t have to eat another boring salad.

This recipe is the solution to all that! It takes about 15 minutes to make, and an added bonus is that is actually tastes better when you let it cool to luke warm, so it’s a great dish to make ahead of time when you’re going to have all your burners going making your main course.

Ingredients: (For Two Servings)

1 oversized or 2 smaller zucchinis

1 small sweet Vidalia onion

2 large garlic cloves

1 handful fresh cilantro

1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon paprika (or more to taste)

1 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)

1/4 cup water

olive oil

Preparation:

zChop zucchini. I cut it in half longways, third the halves, then cut rectangular pieces because I like the shape. Try to keep the pieces uniform in size for consistent cooking.

Chop onions and cilantro, wash and cut lemon, and peel garlic.

Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to a pan. (If at any point you feel you need to add more, z1do so.) Add zucchini and cook over medium high heat until it starts to brown. Turn heat down to medium and add onion, sautéing until translucent.

This next step is important. Add the paprika and cumin, and immediately (as in, have it ready at hand) add the water so the spices don’t burn. The water also helps the zucchini to finish cooking.

z3When the water is absorbed and the zucchini is cooked (you should be able to cut a piece in half easily with your cooking utensil), add crushed garlic, toss until mixed and fragrant, then remove pan from heat. Add cilantro and the juice from 1/2 lemon, stir, then plate to allow to cool.

To give you an idea of how much this recipe makes, the bowl in the picture at the top is the same size used to serve miso soup.

As always, if you make it, please let me know how you like it!

Check back next Friday for another recipe!

 

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Mediterranean Langoustine Seafood Pasta

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

m11By now you probably know that I could live on Mexican food. Or Italian. Or cheese. But my absolute favorite meal is seafood pasta.

Lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams – I don’t discriminate. Likewise, bring me your cream sauces and your scampis, your carbonaras and your marinaras, your wine sauces and your pestos, because I’ll eat them all. Happily.

But as much as I love a gooey, cheesy, thick alfredo, sometimes you want something lighter (and healthier). When that happens, this Mediterranean style pasta recipe goes well with most seafood and is a tasty, easy option.

Ingredients:

8 oz langoustines (or shrimp, scallops, etc.)

1 large shallot, chopped

4 cloves garlic, pressed

sundried tomatoes

Kalamata olives

capers

fresh basil

2 handfuls fresh spinach

pine nuts (optional)

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine (pinot grigio)

salt and pepper or Nature’s Seasoning to taste

Parmesan cheese (optional)

cooked pasta of choice

Makes 2 servings

Preparation:

m2mI’ve only ever seen precooked langoustine, so if that’s what you’re using, defrost, rinse, and wring dry to remove excess moisture. Set aside.

Chop the shallot, sundried tomatoes, olives IMG_202007201_174338and basil, peel garlic, and gather the rest of your ingredients.

m3While your pasta is cooking, add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large sauté pan on medium high heat. When butter is melted, add shallots, cooking until translucent, then add garlic. Stir, add spinach, then stir again. When spinach is wilted, add sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, pine nuts, and 1/4 cup white wine. Mix and season, allowing to reduce slightly while m4m5straining your cooked pasta.

Add langoustines to pan and stir, allowing to cook until just heated. (If you’re using a different type of seafood, add earlier and adjust cooking time accordingly.) Add pasta, mix, top with fresh basil (and maybe a little freshly grated parmesan cheese) and serve.

                         m7 m8 m10

If you make it, I’d love to know how you liked it!

For more recipes, check the archives or come back next Friday!

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Chicken Enchiladas

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

e16In all honesty, this is a recipe that takes a bit of time and effort. Are there short cuts? Definitely. You don’t have to make the sauce from scratch. You can buy pre-shredded cheese. You could even buy those bags of prepared chicken. Will it be as good? Probably not, but we’re all busy, so if you want to hack it, hack it! (It’ll still be cheesy, yummy, Mexican food goodness!)

Usually, when I make this I make it in bulk (this recipe is for 16 enchiladas, which can easily be stretched with additions). I freeze these in batches of 4, which in my house is a dinner and a lunch, plus, these enchiladas are amazingly tasty, so it’s totally worth it.

Ingredients for the Enchiladas:

2 pounds chicken breast

1 red onion

1 sweet onion

lime juice or natural margarita mix

chili powder

garlic powder

onion powder

cumin

extra sharp cheddar cheese

quesadilla cheese

Mexican cheese mix

16+ tortilla wraps

Ingredients for the Sauce:

(Here’s the thing about the sauce – everyone’s taste is different. While I like a robustly flavored sauce, you might prefer yours blander. Or spicy. Or you might want to buy a prepared sauce, or hack it by using a packet of taco seasoning instead of individual spices. If you make the sauce from scratch, start light and taste as you go to get the flavor that’s right for you.)

1 large sweet onion

1 large can tomato sauce (~ 29 oz)

1 can tomato paste (~ 6 oz)

1-2 tablespoons chili powder

1-3 teaspoons garlic powder

1-3 teaspoons cumin

1-3 teaspoons onion powder

1-3 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 – 1 1/2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips

olive oil

1-2 oz beer

Preparation:

e11e9Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a couple of baking sheets with oil so the chicken doesn’t stick. Beat the chicken thin with a meat mallet. Place on baking sheet, cover first side in either lime juice or all natural lime based margarita mix, then sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. Flip and season the other side. Bake at 350 for 15- 20 minutes.

e8e7While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce.

Sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir. Add chili powder (this is the spice I add the most of), garlic powder, cumin, onion powder and dried oregano. Mix well and bring so a simmer. Taste as you go.

e6e5Add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Add beer (just an ounce or two) and allow sauce to cook to thicken. After beer is absorbed, taste the sauce to make any final adjustments to the flavor, then set aside.

Remove chicken from oven when done. Chop the red and sweet onion and grate the cheese while chicken cools a bit. When ready, pull the chicken apart. It should be e4e12tender enough to do this without using a knife (but make it easier on yourself and use one).

(Note: You can add rice, black beans, vegetables, etc. to your enchilada filling if you want to – the possibilities are endless!)

If you’re using a glass pan, spray with oil for easy cleanup. As I said above, I freeze e13several portions of this, so this time I also bought a couple of cheap foil pans so I wouldn’t lose all my good glass Tupperware to the freezer.

Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your pan(s). Lay out your tortillas. I make two stacks and assemble two enchiladas at a time. Put chicken, red onion, cheddar and quesadilla cheese (plus anything else you want to add) on each wrap and roll. Place in pan. Continue until all your wraps are used.

e2Put sauce on top of rolled enchiladas, paying special attention to edges. Sprinkle with Mexican cheese mix, then top with sweet onion.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is starting to bubble. To make from freezer – place in refrigerator the night before to defrost. Cover with tinfoil and cook at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove tinfoil and e14cook another 10-20 minutes.

e1I like to spend the cooking time making my favorite homemade guacamole (find the recipe here). Garnish with fresh cilantro, green onions, and red onions. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole and chips.

Enjoy!

If you make it, please tell me how you liked it!

Check back next Friday for another recipe!

 

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Easy Clam Pasta

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

c5Now, I’ve got to be honest about this – if you had told me even a year ago that I’d not only be eating a recipe made with canned clams, but loving it, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s not something we had in the house when I was growing up.

But . . . life happens.

I have low B12, and was taking weekly injections to help, but I started getting the worst muscle spasms. Turns out that synthesized B12 is made with my arch nemesis (and food sensitivity) yeast. So, I had to find ways to incorporate large amounts of B12 into my diet, and guess what has a ton of B12? Clams!

Even if you don’t have low B12, it’s not one of those vitamins where excess builds up in your system causing adverse effects, and it’s great for your energy levels and metabolism, so there’s no reason not to pack your diet full of B12.

Ingredients:

1 can of clams

1 large shallot

6 large garlic cloves

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup olives oil

nature’s seasoning or salt and pepper

pasta of choice

optional: shaker or fresh grated parmesan cheese

Preparation:

cc1Chop shallot and garlic. (I save all my largest garlic cloves for this recipe.) Add olive oil and butter to a large frying pan, melt butter over medium high heat, then add shallots and garlic. Sauté until shallots are translucent.

Add drained clams, cooking until heated. Season to taste. Add pasta and mix. And that’s it. It really is so simple and even c2c3better, it tastes really good. This is one of the few recipes where I prefer shaker parmesan to fresh, but a bit of cheese really brings out the flavor of this dish!

If you try it, please let me know if you like it!

c4

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Greek Salad

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

gsI don’t know about you, but I love a good salad, especially a Greek salad. That said, with the number of lettuce recalls over the last few years, I’ve started making most of my salads without lettuce. And while I’ve learned to be rather creative, peeling zucchinis into ‘lettuce’ strips and shaving fennel, Greek salad seems to lend itself naturally to a lettuce free version. Besides that, this recipes is incredibly quick and easy!

This recipe serves makes 2 servings.

 

Ingredients (for the salad):

1 ripe tomato

1 cucumber

1 small red onion

sliced Kalamata olives

capers

feta cheese

optional: caper berries

Ingredients (for the dressing):

1/8 cup (1/2)  lemon

1/8 cup olive oil

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1-2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons sugar

1-2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper (or Nature’s Seasoning) to taste

Preparation:

gs1For the salad, chop the tomato, cucumber, and onion. Mix in a bowl with sliced Kalamata olives and drained capers. Top with feta cheese and the optional caper berries.

For the dressing, everything is to taste. Some like a sharper flavor, some a milder, so you do you!

Juice half a large lemon in a measuring cup (you should get about 1/8 cup lemon juice). I juice the lemon first because it makes removing the lemon seeds easy.

Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, pressed garlic and salt and pepper or Nature’s Seasoning to taste. Stir ingredients together with a fork.

The sugar helps curb the acidic nature of the lemon and vinegar, balancing the flavor nicely, but a little goes a long way. It’s easier to add more than take it out, so start sparingly, stirring and tasting as you go until you get the balance you want.

Dress the salad, and viola, it’s as easy as that. A delicious salad and home made dressing in less than 10 minutes!

As always, if you try it, please let me know how you liked it!

 

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavor ~ Cornbread Crab Cakes (Yeast Free)

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

cc6I LOVE crab cakes, but they’re one of those things that are hit or miss. Either they’re great, or not so much, and with the price of crab, no one wants to risk making a recipe that could turn out on the not so much end of the spectrum. But this recipe is seriously good, so do it – take the risk! You won’t regret it!

Now first, I can’t take full credit for this recipe. I had just bought a container of lump crab meat (and FYI, the most important thing is a quality crab meat) and I had cornbread on hand (because I can eat it since it doesn’t have yeast, but I’m not a huge fan of it. Once I kill my initial bread craving with it, I don’t want anymore) so I Googled cornbread crab cakes to see if it was a thing.

What I found was Lawrence Page’s recipe over at Tasty, which I used as my inspiration. I’ve made the following recipe twice now, and even though it takes about an hour (45 minutes prep, 15-20 cooking),  I can’t wait to eat make it again!

Ingredients:

cornbread: 2 cups, crumbled (If you use the Jiffy mix, 2 cups is about 2/3 of the finished product)

orange or yellow bell pepper: 1/2 cup chopped small

green onion: 1/2 cup  (slice lengthwise and chop)

celery: 1 rib, minced

mayonnaise: 1/3 cup

sour cream: 1 and 1/2 tablespoon

cilantro: 2 heaping tablespoons

garlic: 4 cloves, crushed in a garlic press

eggs: 2 large, beaten

Old Bay seasoning: 1 and 1/2 tablespoons

garlic salt: to taste

olive oil: 2 teaspoons

fresh lump crabmeat: 1 pound

vegetable oil for frying (I use Canola Oil)

Preparation:

cc2Chop bell pepper, green onion, celery and cilantro and add to a large bowl.

Add 2 cups crumbled cornbread, and mix.

Next, add mayonnaise, sour cream, and beaten eggs.

Break up the crab meat and add.

cc1Top with crushed garlic, Old Bay, garlic salt and olive oil.

Combine ingredients together evenly, mixing with a fork or your hands.

Form into patties about 2.5 inches in diameter and place on wax paper.

Heat vegeatable oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. When oil is ready (it sizzles when a drop of water is added), it’s time to begin!

ccUsing a metal spatula, transfer crab cake patties from the wax paper into the oil, working with about 4 at a time. Cook until golden bown, then flip. It usually takes about 2-3 minutes a side, but you might notice that with each batch, the cooking time gets a little shorter. I also turn the heat down a notch with each batch to keep the frying consistent.

When done, use spatual to transfer to a papertowel lined plate.

Makes 16 crab cakes at the above size.

If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think!

cc7

 

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavor ~ Mini Calzones (Yeast Free)

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

ff24Today I’m sharing another of my recipes I created to satisfy my pizza/calzone cravings. Pillsbury is kind enough to make its Crescent Rolls with baking soda instead of yeast AND – did you know that you can buy it by the sheet, without the perforations? This discovery was a game changer for me, because 1) sometimes you (or at least I) NEED a little bread and 2) there are SO many things you can do with a sheet of delicious crescent dough!

And here’s one of them!

This recipe makes 6 mini calzones

Ingredients:

1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Sheet Dough

Pepperoni

Shredded Mozzarella

Ricotta

(any additional cheese you want to add)

optional – marinara sauce

Preparation:

ff10
step 1

Per dough directions, preheat oven to 375 (or 350 depending on the bakeware you’re using).

ff11
step 2

 

 

Unroll the dough onto a baking sheet. Repair any tears or holes in the dough the best you can, then cut the dough into 6 sections.

You’ll be folding the dough in half, so place ingredients on the triangular section on one side of the fold.

ff14
step 3

 

 

Place a pinch of mozzarella on one side of each section.

ff15
step 4

Add pepperoni (I use three slices in a triangle pattern for each portion).

Drop a spoonful of ricotta on top of the pepperoni and spread it out a bit.

ff13
step 5

Add more mozzarella (and any other cheese you like, like grated parmesan).

ff12
step 6

 

Fold the dough over and press edges together, tucking ingredients inside. It doesn’t matter if there are gaps in the closed seam.

Place in oven and bake for 9-11 minutes. Enjoy!

ff9If you make this, please let me know how you liked it!

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavor ~ Guacomole

ff22Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of going to a Mexican restaurant (besides the margaritas) is when they make tableside guacamole. I LOVE avocados and guacamole is another one of those things (seems like there’s a lot of them) that I feel like I could eat my own bodyweight of everyday!

The only thing is, there are so many variations on guacamole that you can never be sure what you’re going to get. After years of experimenting, here is my favorite way to make guacamole at home.

Ingredients:

3 ripe avocados

1 red onion

1 tomato

1 lime

2 cloves garlic

1 bunch green onion

cilantro

garlic salt

Preparation:

ff18Chop your onion, tomato and cilantro. Some people like chunky, some people don’t. I cut mine fairly small. Peel garlic and slice lime.

Scoop your avocado into a molcajete or bowl. A ripe avocado should easily separate from the rind with a spoon.

ff19Mash the avocado.

Add the juice from half the lime, some garlic salt (just a bit at first), pressed garlic, a handful of onions and tomatoes, and cilantro. Mix together, mashing a little. Only you know how much of each ingredient you’ll want. (I go much heavier on the onions than the tomatoes.) Taste.

ff20Adjust flavor by adding more garlic salt and lime. When you get the flavor how you like it, add green onions and stir. That’s it!

If you try it, please let me know how you liked it!

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Pizza Stuffed Pasta Shells

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

ff4I’ll tell you – one of the hardest parts about developing food sensitivities in adulthood is that you’ve spent years indulging in all the wonderful things you’re no longer supposed to have. And while many great strides have been taken by manufacturers to eliminate certain ingredients, like gluten, all the gluten-free breads, pizza crusts, beer, etc., still contain yeast, which is a major bummer, but . . . I’m pretty determined, so I’ve created several recipes to help me feel like I’m not missing out on too much.

This one combines two of my favorites – pizza and pasta!

Ingredients:

jumbo pasta shells

1 medium sweet Vidalia onion

1 stick pepperoni (no MSG), cut into chunks

ricotta

garlic powder

nature’s seasoning

fresh basil

block mozzarella, cut into cubes

shredded mozzarella

marinara sauce (while I love a good homemade sauce, I don’t always have the time to make it from scratch. When using a store bought jar, I 1) look for a brand without high fructose corn syrup or the like and 2) doctor it by sautéing onion with fresh pressed garlic, fresh basil, dried tarragon, nature’s seasoning, pepper, and if it really needs it for flavor, a splash of cooking wine like sherry or marsala.

optional: shredded parmesan, shredded Italian blend

Preparation:

IMG_20200529_165612 (1)Preheat over to 350 and bring salted water to a boil.IMG_20200529_165724 (1)

Add shells to boiling water and cook until done. Drain and rinse shells under cold water, then set aside to cool. (Note – I decide on the dish I’m going to use, then count how many dry shells it takes to fill it. Then, I add a few extra shells, because some are ffbound to break.)

Chop basil, onion, pepperoni and block mozzarella. The size you chop, and how much you use are up to your own tastes. I used about 1/2 a small mozzarella block, 3/4 of the stick pepperoni, and a medium sized onion. (Tip – after rinsing the basil, I place the leaves inside each other and roll them before chopping. It makes it really easy to cut them into ribbons without bruising the herb too badly.)

ff1Put ricotta in a bowl (I used about 12 ounces) and season how you want. I used garlic powder, nature’s seasoning, and fresh basil. Mix well. Add onion, pepperoni chunks, and mozzarella cubes, and mix again.

Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your cooking dish (if you’re worried about cleanup, spray with a cooking oil first). Stuff shells with the pizza style ricotta mixture. I found this was easily done using a spoon.

ff3When all your shells are stuffed, cover with more sauce, then add shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce and cheese at the edges begins to bubble. Enjoy!

If you make this, I want to hear if you liked it!

Do you have any recipes that would satisfy my pizza and calzone cravings? If you do, let me know!!

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Scallop Ceviche

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Scallop Ceviche which is quick, easy, and uses only 5 ingredients. I could eat this every day and be happy.

ff6I love scallops, and I’ll be honest here – I think they taste best raw, but my husband . . . won’t even try it. Not happening. I’m a sashimi girl and he’s a tempura guy, but we both love this recipe, which makes it a perfect compromise.

Ceviche is the Peruvian method of curing or ‘cooking’ seafood by marinating it in citrus juice. The citric acid actually changes the proteins in the fish, turning the flesh firm and opaque, similar to the way heat does. There’s a great article on the process over at Chowhound.

There are endless variations on ingredients, marinating times, spices, etc. – it’s not uncommon to add bell peppers, hot peppers like jalapenos or habaneros, and tomatoes -you can also use different types of fish, shrimp, and even octopus! But I prefer to keep it simple.

I’d like to note that while this recipe is gluten free and paleo friendly, people with certain health conditions shouldn’t try it. If you can’t eat sushi or raw oysters, then, unfortunately, this recipe probably isn’t for you.

Also, you want to find dry packed scallops. This means that there are no chemical additives, unlike wet packed scallops. The flavor is better, and you know exactly what you’re eating.

This recipes makes an appetizer or side dish for 2 people.

Ingredients:

6 large dry packed sea scallops

2 limes

1 avocado

1 small red onion

1 handful of cilantro

Preparation:

Slice the scallops through the eqatorial middle to make them thinner, then cut into chunks. I usually cut a large scallop into 12 pieces. ff7

Juice the first lime into your marinating dish. You’ll want one big enough to fit all of the ingredinents. (I used a  measuring cup this time – this recipe makes about 2 cups when all the ingredients are added.) Add the scallops to the dish, then juice the second lime on top. Stir and refrigerate.

Different seafood requires different marinating times. I let this marinate for an hour and ff8a half, stirring at least twice. After the scallops have been in the lime juice for an hour, chop the avocado, onion and cilantro. Add to the scallops, and stir to coat with the lime juice. Refridgerate for another 1/2 hour. Then serve! It’s really that easy!

Don’t be scared to play around with ingredients to tailor this recipe to your tastes and make it your own! If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think! And if you have your own ceviche recipe, I want to know what you’re doing so I can give it a try!

 

 

 

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