Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese

 Holiday/Entertaining, Vegetables, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
Feb 022015
 

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, dried, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (8-inch) white or whole wheat tortillas
  • 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 ounce baby spinach leaves
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Set a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add oil and ½ tablespoon butter; once melted, swirl to coat pan.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately five minutes or until mushrooms give off liquid.
  4. Increase heat to high and stir frequently until liquid has completely evaporated.
  5. Add remaining ½ tablespoon butter to pan, and stir and cook until mushrooms are tender and browned, about five minutes more.
  6. Add garlic to pan and stir constantly for about 30 seconds, or until garlic becomes aromatic but not too dark.
  7. Season mushrooms with salt and freshly ground black pepper and transfer to a plate, draining on a paper towel if they seem too oily.
  8. Lay out two tortillas on a cutting board.
  9. Sprinkle EACH tortilla with 1 ounce of shredded cheese, ½ ounce spinach, ½ of the cooked mushrooms, ½ of the sliced avocado, and final 1 ounce of shredded cheese.
  10. Lay the remaining tortillas on top.
  11. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  12. Transfer an assembled quesadilla onto the skillet.
  13. Cook for a couple of minutes, occasionally lifting edge of quesadilla to check color of underside, until tortilla begins to turn golden and cheese starts to melt.
  14. Carefully flip quesadilla over and cook for another couple of minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
  15. Remove hot quesadilla to a plate and repeat with second quesadilla.
  16. Alternatively, you may cook both quesadillas at the same time on a flat griddle.
  17. Slice each quesadilla into 6 wedges and serve hot.

 

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Side Dish, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
Feb 022015
 

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat couscous
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup shredded seeded cucumber
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup silken tofu
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups sliced or torn green leaf lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat.
  3. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine yogurt, cucumber, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Mash tofu with a fork in a large bowl.
  6. Add spinach, feta, dill, onion, pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the couscous; stir until well combined.
  7. Form into 8 patties, using about ½ cup for each.
  8. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to the lowest setting.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  10. Add 4 patties and cook, turning once, until lightly golden on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  11. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties.
  12. Serve over lettuce, topped with the yogurt sauce and garnished with tomatoes, if desired.

 

French Onion Soup Sandwiches

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Soups, Vegetarian  Comments Off on French Onion Soup Sandwiches
Feb 022015
 

French Onion Soup Sandwiches
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls, halved
  • 1 c. shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 4 c. no-beef broth, heated (you can find meatless beef broth at stores like Whole Foods)
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on low heat.
  2. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized about an hour and fifteen minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste and thyme.
  4. Heat Panini press or grill on high.
  5. Divide caramelized onions onto bottom of rolls and top each one with ¼ cup of cheese and top half of roll.
  6. Grill for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is golden-brown.
  7. Serve each sandwich with 1 cup of broth.

 

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

 Holiday/Entertaining, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
Feb 022015
 

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion for about 2 minutes, until soft.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and ginger, cooking an addition 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and cook for 2 minutes, tasting to make sure it’s to your liking.
  4. Next add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils.
  5. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Then add spinach (or kale) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Spicy Baked Cod

 Holiday/Entertaining, Seafood, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Spicy Baked Cod
Feb 022015
 

Spicy Baked Cod
 
Ingredients
  • -1 lb cod fillet, cut in half (2 pieces)
  • -salt & pepper, for seasoning
  • -2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • -1 or 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped (i grate mine with a hand grater, works great!)
  • -1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • -1 tablespoon Delallo Hot Pepper Bruschetta OR 1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce (adjust according to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Rinse cod with cold water and pat dry; set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, add olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, & hot sauce; stir together
  4. In a shallow dish, season cod with salt and pepper on both sides and pour the marinade over it
  5. Marinate for about 20 minutes, turning once
  6. Transfer marinated cod to baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray; pour any remaining marinade over fish
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until it flakes easily

 

Bacalao with Capers and Cilantro

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Seafood, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Bacalao with Capers and Cilantro
Feb 022015
 

Bacalao with Capers and Cilantro
 
Ingredients
  • 4 fresh, skinless, boned cod fish fillets, about one inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup flour, for dredging
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T capers
  • 2 limes, one thinly sliced, 1 sliced in half and juiced
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Instructions
  1. Dry the fish fillets with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk the flour and the paprika to combine well.
  3. Lightly dredge the fillets in the flour, shaking off excess flour.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and butter.
  5. Just before the butter starts to brown, add the fillets.
  6. Brown for 2 to 3 minutes, then carefully flip over to brown the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat if butter starts to brown too much or burn.
  8. When the fillets are done (they should be opaque and flaky), remove to a warm platter.
  9. Add the capers to the pan and cook for another minutes.
  10. Add the lime juice, parsley and cilantro and stir to combine.
  11. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets.
  12. Garnish with sliced lime and more cilantro and parsley.
  13. Serve immediately.
  14. Makes 4 servings.

 

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Seafood, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Garlic and Lemon Shrimp
Feb 022015
 

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • (I used 21-25 per pound size, which was good for this recipe. Buy pre-peeled shrimp or peel them when they have thawed.)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T finely minced garlic
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T lemon zest (or a little less if you're not that fond of lemon zest)
  • Sea salt to taste (I did not use much salt)
Instructions
  1. If using frozen shrimp thaw them over night in the refrigerator.
  2. Drain shrimp and pat dry.
  3. Zest one large lemon and then squeeze the juice, to yield at least 2 T juice and close to 1 T lemon zest.
  4. Finely mince garlic cloves to make 2 T minced garlic.
  5. Heat the oil over medium high heat and then melt the butter, using a large heavy pan.
  6. (I used a pan that was nice enough to serve the shrimp from, which helps keep them hot.)
  7. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook just until they start to turn pink at the edges, not more than 1-2 minutes.
  8. Turn shrimp over quickly and add the minced garlic.
  9. Continue to cook until shrimp are barely firm, probably not more than 3-4 minutes more.
  10. (Don't overcook; the shrimp will continue to cook a little in the hot pan.)
  11. Turn off heat and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt as desired and stir to coat shrimp. Serve immediately.

 

Get your party hats out and your zany glasses on—it’s time to count down to 2015!!

 Appetizers, Easy Recipes, Entertaining Ideas And Tips, Holiday/Entertaining  Comments Off on Get your party hats out and your zany glasses on—it’s time to count down to 2015!!
Dec 302014
 

 

 The cocktails are chilled, you bought a great outfit, Why cook?  Have a Happy New Year Appetizer Party!

 

Get your party hats out and your zany glasses on—it’s time to count down to 2015!!

Appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, little plates, whatever you’d like to call them are the standard party fare for the last night of 2015. Nobody is going to blame you if your New Year’s Eve party spread includes a bowl of mixed nuts, some grapes and a wedge or two of cheese. After all, most people enjoy them and are willing to nibble mindlessly on them. As long as you remember the Champagne!

 

But it is easier than you think to elevate your feast and those tired party snack clichés with a few more creative offerings. You can try treats that require some time to prepare, however, if you don’t have the time or energy, other party snacks can be assembled in less than 10 minutes. The only truly important rule is to make sure everything is neat, easy to eat and of course beautiful. After all we do eat with our eyes too…so make it pretty!

Here are a few tasty nibbles to get you started!

 

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

 

b1

 

Click here to try these delicious Stuffed Sausage Mushrooms

 

Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta

b2

How can you resist this pretty appetizer…click here

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

b3

These will be gone in a flash…click here for the recipe

Cucumber & Feta Bites

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Zesty yet refreshing…click here for the recipe

No matter if your New Year’s Eve plans include an all-night bash or a casual evening in front of the television, ring in 2015 with eats and drinks worthy of the celebration!

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Dec 302014
 

Cucumber & Feta Bites
Recipe type: Appetizer
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cucumbers (about 1 pound each)
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley or dill, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cumbers lengthwise, and remove the seeds, then cut a small strip off the bottom of one side so that the cucumber half will set level, without falling over.
  2. Use the other half of the cucumber and dice into ¼ inch pieces.
  3. Combine the diced cucumbers with feta cheese, dill, salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the mixture between the 2 cucumber “boats”, then slice into 1½ inch pieces.

 

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

 Appetizers, Holiday Leftovers, Holiday/Entertaining  Comments Off on Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas
Dec 302014
 

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas
Recipe type: Appetizer
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (about 4)
  • 16 ounces Beer (or chicken broth)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 5 burrito-size Flour Tortillas (9 inches)
  • 6 ounces Queso Quesadilla or other melting cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil, or cooking spray
  • Salsa, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F.
  2. Put the chicken thighs in a deep sided saute pan and cover with the beer and water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it.
  5. Mix together the chicken and seasonings.
  6. Pour out all but ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
  7. Add the jalapeno and spinach and cook over low heat until for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
  8. Cut the tortillas in half.
  9. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) along the long edge of a tortilla.
  10. Repeat with the spinach and cheese.
  11. Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge.
  12. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet.
  13. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  14. Brush the flautas with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for until 10 minutes, or until crispy.
  16. Serve with salsa.