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Monday, June 5, 2017

Flatbread with Mediterranean Burgers


My son has spent the last 10 months in Israel studying his gap year abroad.  When went to visit him and January we ate our way thru the country.  One of my favorite places to stop while in Israel is at the shuk at Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem, where you can buy different spice blends and bring home a taste of Israel with you.  This dinner is reminiscent of some of those flavors and even if you don't go to the shuk to buy spices you can still buy these at your local grocery store.







Flatbread -

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2Tbs Olive oil
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together the flour, yeast and sugar.  Add in the oil and slowly add the water.  Lastly mix in the salt. Mix together to form dough.  Allow to rise covered for 30 minutes.  Divide dough into 10 balls.  Roll each one into a small round and allow to sit for another 15 minutes.  In a hot frying pan (no oil) fry each round for 1-2 minutes per side.


Mediterranean Burgers

Ingredients
1.5 lbs chopped meat
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp Baharat - a middle eastern spice blend - you can buy at most kosher groceries of make your own using corriander, allspice, ginger, cloves and nutmeg
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients together.  Shape into oval burgers and grill in a grill pan or on the BBQ until done.


Serve with Israeli salad for a complete meal.

Enjoy!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Quinoa Salad with Apples and Sweet Potatoes

Does it Feel like November?? 

Quinoa Salad with Apples and Sweet Potatoes

Meal in a bowl!
Everyday is Thanksgiving!
Love this combination!
Easy to Prepare!

Win -Win


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 (large) Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 (medium) red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups (packed; about 6 ounces) spinach leaves 

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the quinoa and toast over moderate heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 16 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa, spread it out on a baking sheet and refrigerate until it is chilled, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until golden and softened. Let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, apples, parsley, onion and greens and toss well. Serve right away.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Blueberry Mint Juleps

This weekend is the Kentucky Derby.  This horse race is known as the 2 most exciting minutes in sports.  To be fair, we are not really into horse racing here, but we do enjoy some southern cooking.

Mint Juleps are the drink of choice for the Derby.  We thought to lighten it up a bit and bring some spring flavors in by making a Blueberry Mint Julep.  So if you are watching the race or just enjoying the spring weather, make a batch of these cocktails.  Cheers!



Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries
6 ounces bourbon
crushed ice
Garnish
mint sprigs
fresh blueberries

Directions
Over medium heat, whisk sugar and water together in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves.
Add blueberries. Cook for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about an hour. - this can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Assembling the drinks
Fill four glasses with crushed ice.
Add 1.5 ounces of bourbon and 2 ounces blueberry syrup to each glass.

Garnish with mint sprigs and fresh blueberries.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Guacamole


Since this week is Cinco de Mayo we are sharing some of our favorite Mexican dishes.  But in all honesty, do we need an excuse to eat Mexican Food :)

What's more classic than guacamole?  And you can use it is a variety of ways.  You don't only have to dip chips in it.  Try your guacamole on a burger or with fish, add some to your salad.  Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fat) so go ahead and enjoy!


Ingredients:

2 large ripe avocados, mashed
1 small red onion, chopped finely
1 lemon, juiced
dash of tabasco (or more if you like spicy)
salt and pepper to taste



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Baked Tuna Steaks

World Tuna Day




Besides being Yom Ha'atzmaut, today May 2nd, is World Tuna Day. 

One of our resolutions this year and every year was to eat healthy food and make a conscious effort to lose weight. How many of you have made this resolution? 

In celebration of World Tuna Day, here is a great dinner (thanks to poppop cooks).


INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Set the oven at 400°F. Put the steaks in a bowl that is big enough to handle a little tossing and turning. Now zest and squeeze a lemon into the bowl. Then add the salt, pepper, dill weed and olive oil.
  2. Gently turn the steaks over a few times to mix up all the ingredients and evenly coat the steaks. When that's done to your satisfaction line a baking pan, that is just big enough to handle your steaks, with aluminum foil. Use enough foil to stick up higher than the sides of the pan to save yourself some cleanup. Put the steaks and all of the other ingredients in the pan. Use a tablespoon to get the top of the steaks covered.
  3. Put that pan aside while you get the asparagus ready. Line a pan, that is just big enough to let all the of the stalks lay on the bottom, with aluminum foil. Again, use enough foil so that it sticks up past the sides of the pan. Cut the ugly end of the stalks off and lay them out in the pan. Cut the onion into strips and add it to the asparagus. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and the grated parmesan and roll the stalks around getting them covered with all that good stuff.
  4. Put the pans in the oven and check after ten minutes. The narrower the asparagus stalks are the quicker they will cook. The steaks will get cooked medium well in 10-12 minutes. Poke the asparagus with a fork and the steaks with your finger. The softer the asparagus the more done it is. The firmer the tuna the more done it is. 

Pair this dinner with: 

Chateneuf Semi Dry White Bordeaux  


Enjoy!

Shakshuka

Happy 69th Birthday Israel!

As we celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut, we love to cook traditional Israeli foods.  One of our all time favorites is Shakshuka.  In Israel, Shakshuka is synonymous with breakfast, but you can enjoy it anytime of day.  It's a delicious, flavorful dish of poached eggs in tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices.

You'll need a deep skillet for this recipe.

Ingredients:


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped plum tomatoes - about 16-20
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 - 6 eggs
  • chopped parsley for garnish






Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, seasoning and let mixture simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 - 15 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent.
  3. Serve with crusty bread to soak up all the deliciousness!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Falafel Crusted Chicken with Israeli Salad

Falafel Crusted Chicken with Israeli Salad

Happy Israel Independence Day!!!

What a great way to celebrate here in the United States by making dinner that is reminiscent of the great flavors of Israeli food.
 


Falafel Crusted Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken drumettes (shoulder-wing joint)
  • About 3/4 cup dried falafel mix
  1. Rinse chicken drumettes. Coat the chicken with the falafel mix. Place chicken on a well greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 475° oven for 10 minutes. Turn drumettes over and bake until lightly browned. about 15 minutes longer. Add salt to taste.

Israeli Salad 
6 cucumbers, diced (persian or english)
  • 4 plum tomatoes diced
  • 5 scallions sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • salt and pepper to taste 


Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and pepper, together in a bowl. 

Season with salt and pepper to serve.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Steamed Salmon and Zucchini

Steamed Salmon and Zucchini

Zucchini is my all-time favorite vegetable. I know it may be strange, but its just so delicious and versatile that it gets my vote. My closest friend constantly kids me about this but I take it in stride as its always on my shopping list and I'm known to always have it in the house. 
Its a flavorful, low calorie vegetable that can be used as a substitute for pasta. 
Below, is a great dinner that is short on prep time but long on taste and presentation. 

Try it, you will certainly appreciate the ease of the before(prep), during(eating) and after(clean-up)!



INGREDIENTS



  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 salmon fillet (6 to 8 ounces)

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fold a piece of parchment paper in half to crease it; open, and lay it flat.
  2. On one side of crease, place zucchini; top with onion.  Drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper. Place salmon on top; season with salt and pepper.
  3. To close, fold parchment over salmon; to seal the open sides and tuck the edges underneath; place wrapped salmon on a lined baking sheet; bake for 18 minutes, remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes and serve. 

Enjoy!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken in any form is always a hit and keeps them coming back for more.
The recipe below is one of the easiest crock pot recipes that is always delicious!!


Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

1 pound sliced boneless chicken 
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 garlic cloves 
2 tablespoons corn starch

Directions
Place chicken in bottom of crock pot 
In separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients except cornstarch, pour over chicken
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours
When chicken is cooked through remove crock-pot cover, stir corn starch into chicken and sauce until combined
Let cook until sauce thickens
Serve  with rice and green beans 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

My family loves soup!  It's a great way to start off any meal and sneak some extra veggies into the kids.  One of their favorites is butternut squash soup.  I love roasting the veggies first because it adds a real depth of flavor.

This recipe makes a big pot of soup, feel free to half or make it all and freeze the leftovers, they reheat wonderfully.

Ingredients:

2 32 oz boxes of cut butternut squash - I buy them at Costco
2 large onions chopped
2 green apples, peeled and chopped
64 oz of chicken or vegetable stock
8 oz apple juice
salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay butternut squash, onions and apples on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 45 minutes until edges start to brown and caramelize.  Remove from oven and put into large stock pot.  Add broth and apple juice.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and use and immersion blender to puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

3 Ingredient Dinners


Today I am just not in the mood to cook dinner, but I have a hungry hubby and starving kids to feed! So I'm going to make easy, no effort, ready in minutes food to feed the troops.


Ravioli Lasagna

Take frozen ravioli.  Layer them in a 9 x 13 pan.  Cover with 1 jar marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake in 350 oven until cooked.  DONE!!






Sausages with peppers and onions

Tonight I'm using the Trader Joe's meatless sausages.  Slice them diagonally.  Chopped up 1 red and 1 yellow pepper and 1 onion.  Add them all to a frying pan with EVOO and sauté until cooked through.
FINI!

Easiest dinner ever!


 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pesach Rolls


It seems that the family is always hungry on Pesach and looking for something to eat.  I'm an early riser, so every morning I make a fresh batch of these rolls and they enjoy them for breakfast with cream cheese, butter and/or jelly or for lunch with tuna, egg salad or cold cuts.

They are most delicious fresh out of the oven!

Ingredients

1/2 cup oil
1Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
2 cups matzo meal
4 eggs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add oil, sugar and salt and bring back to a boil.  Lower heat to low, add matza meal and beat vigorously over low heat until bater leaves the sides of the pan - I prefer to use a wooden spoon for this - takes a minute or two.
Remove from heat.
Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.

Shape into 8-10 balls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 1 hour until golden brown.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Passover Blondies

Passover Blondies - YUMMY!

Let's talk about the P word - while like to Procrastinate unfortunately there is no time left - Passover is soon approaching and we need to start cooking!

The first few years of my marriage - we were lucky enough to spend Passover with both sets of our parents in many Catskill and Pocono Passover programs - I'm sure I am dating myself because most of these programs don't exist anymore - now there are exotic places and destinations for Passover programs - such as Italy, Spain, Vienna, Africa - anywhere you can dream of and far beyond the Catskill region. While the food is both plentiful and delicious, there is clearly no place like home.

The following recipe is a staple at our house now that we have been spending the holiday at home for the past fifteen years. I can honestly say that I have made this recipe at least 100 times. I am sure it will be come a family favorite of yours as well.




Ingredients

4 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 tsp. vanilla
1 cup potato starch
3 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup ground almonds
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the eggs, sugar and oil.
Add the vanilla extract, potato starch, baking powder and ground nuts.
Pour this batter into a lined or sprayed 9x13 inch baking pan.
Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips. Push them down part way into the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes until it is done in the center.
Cut into squares when cool.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Beef & Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

The change of the seasons is here and we while wait for warmer weather, we have this last chance to share this warm, comforting, hearty soup. Somehow this soup is better made a few days in advance of serving!

INGREDIENTS
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups diced celery
2 onions diced
8 beef bouillon cubes
1 lb Flanken on the bone
1 cup barley soaked soaked for half hour

DIRECTIONS
Saute onions, carrots, celery and meat.
Dissolve bouillon cubes in broth add liquid to vegetables and then add barley.
Cook over low flame for two hours.





ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Eggplant Meatballs



I am not a big lover of eggplant but I definitely love meatballs.  These have the texture and taste of a real meatball without the calories and without a strong eggplant taste.  You wont miss the meat at all.



Ingredients
1 medium eggplant - unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups flavored breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 oz parmesan cheese
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Jar favorite marinara sauce


In large sauté pan heat olive oil and add chopped eggplant and water. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until eggplant soft.  Approximately 10-12 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once softened, put eggplant in blender and puree until chunky.  In mixing bowl, combine eggplant, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, parmesan, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.  Form into 24 meatballs and put on cookie sheet sprayed with pam.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the jar of marinara.  Once the meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce for 5 minutes.

To keep the whole meal low calories - serve over zoodles (zucchini noodles) and sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and fresh basil.

ENJOY!!