Tag Archives: basil

Green Herb Shrimp with Eggplant Couscous

I have a long-time relationship with shrimp, and usually choose it over chicken. If you can find fresh local jumbo prawns from your local farmers market or Whole Foods, make sure you add it to your  shopping list.

This dish is great for entertaining, but also easy enough for a midweek dinner. I adapted this dish from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook, and chose it especially for the green herb citrus sauce. I like to make things that are versatile enough to recreate again and again. This sauce is no exception, you truly could serve it with anything.

Green Herb Shrimp with Eggplant Couscous

FOR THE HERB SAUCE:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 green onions, white and light green parts, trimmed

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 cloves garlic

2 anchovies (optional)

Juice of 2 limes

FOR THE SHRIMP AND EGGPLANT COUSCOUS:

1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cups diced globe eggplant (about 2 medium)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous

1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup diced feta cheese

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until fairly smooth with a few herb flecks. Put half of the sauce in a blow along with the shrimp and set aside to marinate for 1 hour, reserving the other half of the sauce.

2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a cast-iron pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and saute until the edges are browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Cook the couscous according to the package insturctions. Transfer the couscous to a large mixing bowl and add the eggplant, the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the basil, red pepper flakes, feta, and vinegar. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Cook the shrimp until they just turn pink, about 2 minutes maximum on each side; be careful to avoid overcooking them. Toss the cooked shrimp in the remaining herb sauce and serve with the eggplant couscous.

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Spaghetti Squash with Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese & Basil

Spaghetti is one of my true loves, but I rarely make it during the week. I try to maintain a healthy diet, with splurges here and there, so spaghetti is not something I prioritize.

However, spaghetti squash is another story. I swear to you – it tastes just like spaghetti cooked al dente. Healthy, simple and tasty. Once you try it, you will be hooked on the guilt-free deliciousness. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash with Cherry Tomatoes, Goat Cheese & Basil

You will need:

FOR THE SQUASH-

  • 1 spaghetti squash, remove seeds and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Brush squash with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle brown sugar on both halves.

3. Place halves cut side down on baking sheets and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

4. When cool enough to handle: with a fork, shred the pulp of the squash away from the skin and place in a large bowl.

FOR THE SAUCE-

  • 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, roasted whole for 15 minutes with salt
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cipollini onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of loose basil, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

1. Drizzle olive oil in a large saute pan. Add onions and saute over medium heat. Cook about 5 – 10 minutes, or until slightly brown. Add garlic and roasted tomatoes. Cook another 10 minutes.

Combine tomato sauce with spaghetti squash. Garnish with basil, and stir in goat cheese.

 

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Savor the “SLO” Summer

Last weekend, I aggressively sought to escape the miserable San Francisco fog, so I ventured to San Luis Obispo: the happiest place in America. Seriously.

The plan was simple: visit one of my best college friends and do nothing but relax in the sunshine. That was the only requirement. San Luis Obispo (SLO) is very near to my heart, as I went to Cal Poly and essentially was on vacation every day (learn by doing). If you ever get the chance to visit, you may find it hard to leave. We had the most relaxing weekend, complete with coastal exploring, backyard BBQs, and bocce ball.

With Labor Day weekend around the corner, I figured I’d entice you to enjoy the outdoors, relax, and celebrate life with your favorite people. Savor the summer before it’s over.

Backyard BBQ Menu

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Balsamic Glaze, and freshly picked Basil

Assorted Grilled Gourmet Sausages (Spicy Chorizo, Cinnamon Chicken Apple, and Lamb Paprika)

Smoked Tri Tip

Marinated Grilled Summer Squash

 

 

 

 

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Addicting Double Lemon Chicken

I rarely make chicken breast because the cooking process is so easy, and never considered it to be a “wow that’s so good” kind of meal. I ‘m notorious for making overly complex recipes, just because I like a challenge in the kitchen (the more steps, the better!) In my honest opinion, chicken breast is pretty vanilla.

I felt this way up until I discovered Double Lemon Chicken Breasts from Anna Getty’s Easy Green Organic; this recipe is particularly addicting. The in-season, sweet tomatoes combined with the tart chicken provides the perfect balance for your taste buds. Just try not to go back for seconds (go for it – it’s low-carb).This chicken breast recipe is perfect for any occasion. Serve it hot or cold, for dinner with friends or a picnic on the beach. It goes with pretty much everything. I’ve fallen back in love with boring, old chicken.

Double Lemon Chicken Breasts with Fresh Tomato Basil Salsa 

For the Tomato Basil Salsa-

1 pint fresh organic cherry tomatoes, quartered (use a pairing knife)

7 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

pinch of sea salt

freshly cracked pepper to taste

For the Lemon Chicken-

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

8 skinless boneless chicken breast filets, pounded until 1/2 inch thick

Grapeseed or canola oil

2 or 3 lemons, halved

1. To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

2. To prepare the chicken, combine the flour, lemon zest, and salt and pepper on a flat dinner plate. Using a fork, mix together until thoroughly combined.

3. Wash the chicken breasts and pat them dry. Dredge each fillet in the flour mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Set aside.

4. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the grapeseed oil, using just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken fillets in batches, cooking each side until lightly golden (about 2 minutes per side). Before removing the chicken from the pan, squeeze generous amounts of lemon juice over each piece. Serve topped with the basil salsa.

I could honestly eat this more than once per week; it’s hard to get sick of. Enjoy!

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Anytime Three-Cheese Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Roasted Garlic Onion Jam & Basil

This bruschetta recipe is simple, customizable and great for entertaining or anytime you feel like a fancy snack. I like to create a cheese platter with three types of cheeses and tasty accoutrements like prosciutto, onion jam and basil – this way, guests can build their own bruschetta to their liking.

Anytime Three-Cheese Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Onion Jam & Basil

You will need:

1 sweet baguette

Meyer lemon flavored olive oil (or any olive oil of your preference)

1 package good prosciutto, cut into small pieces

Fresh Mozzarella cheese

Goat gouda cheese

Triple-cream brie cheese

1 jar Roasted Garlic Onion Jam

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Slice baguette into thin, diagonally cut slices and arrange on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, or until brown and crunchy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2. Slice three types of cheeses (the ones suggested above taste best with basil) into small, equal sized pieces and arrange on cutting board to serve.

3. Create basil chiffonade, which is a technique used to cut basil into thin, ribbon-like strips. Take about 5-10 basil leaves and pile on top of each other. Then, fold leaves in half, and press down on cutting board. Chop folded basil so that little ribbon strips are formed. Add to the cutting board with cheese.

4. Use about 3 tbsp of onion jam and serve with basil and cheese. Arrange prosciutto on cutting board and serve with the toasted baguette.

5. Arrange in the following order: baguette, onion jam, cheese, prosciutto – and top with basil. Enjoy!

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