Tag Archives: garlic

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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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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Veggie Dumplings with Garlic Soy Vinaigrette

love dumplings (or pot-stickers), but was intimidated by the task of homemade dough.

I recently revealed five essential kitchen gadgets for the home chef, including the food processor (I will always stress the importance of having one): a miracle tool that allows you to create restaurant quality food at home (including dough). With the touch of a button, complex tasks are made easy.

This recipe was, of course, inspired by my mother – who gave me the food processor that I obsess over today. The process was simple, albeit slightly time consuming; it was a successful effort in the kitchen and I would do it again and again.

Veggie Dumplings with Ginger Soy Vinaigrette

You will need

For the dumpling dough (makes 26 to 30 dumplings):

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cup boiling water

1/4 cup cold water

For the filling (makes two different types of dumplings):

Ginger/Eggplant/Red Pepper/Shallot/Garlic

1/2 cup minced ginger

2 cups chopped eggplant

1 cup diced red pepper

1 cup minced shallot

1/2 cup minced garlic

Leek/Mushroom/Carrot/Garlic

2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup minced garlic

1 cup chopped leeks

1 cup chopped carrots

For Garnish/Sauté:

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped green onion

2 cups white bean sprouts

Step 1: Make the Filling Ginger/Eggplant/Red Pepper/Shallot/Garlic

1. Heat a heavy-bottomed saute pan on medium heat; drizzle olive oil in pan. Add shallots and cook until translucent; about 4-5 minutes

2. Add red pepper and cook until soft; another 5 minutes

3. Add eggplant and ginger; cook until flavors combine and eggplant is soft and cooked all the way through. Season with salt + pepper. Set aside

Make the Filling Leek/Mushroom/Carrot/Garlic

1. Heat the same heavy-bottomed saute pan on medium heat; drizzle olive oil in pan. Add leeks and cook until translucent; about 4-5 minutes

2. Add the carrots; cook another 5-7 minutes and add mushrooms and garlic. Deglaze the pan with some white wine (pour in a half cup; stir…it will scrape up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan) Season with salt + pepper. Cook another 5 minutes and set aside

Step 2: Make Dough and Prepare for Filling

1. Insert steel blade in food processor; place flour and sesame oil in food processor bowl. With machine running, add boiling water. Add 1/4 cup cold water, processing until ball of dough is formed

2. Place dough in bowl. cover with a damp towel. Let stand 15 minutes
3. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surfce. cut cricles wiht a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter
4. place 3/4 teaspoon mixture on each circle. fold circle in half; pinch edges to seal. Repeat process until you have desired amount of raw, filled and sealed dumplings
Step 3: Cook the Dumplings (par-boil and fry)
 1. Using a heavy-bottomed large sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil. Gently lower in raw dumplings, and par-boil for about 3 minutes. This helps cook in the insides without overcooking the skins (you will fry them so they are crispy). Remove par-boiled dumplings and set aside on paper towels to drain
2. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet until hot. Add green onions and cook another minute. Place half of the dumplings in the pan, cook covered over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until bottoms are crispy and tops are soft. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon; repeat with remaining dumplings
3. Serve with bean sprouts, cilantro, and garlic-soy-vinaigrette. Soy delicious!
Garlic-Soy-Vinaigrette
1. Place 3 cloves of garlic, 6 tbsp soy sauce and 4 tbsp rice vinegar in food processor and blend until smooth
 

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Tribute to NYC: Tasty Moroccan Meatballs

While I truly adore the city of San Francisco, I must admit a piece of my heart belongs to New York.

I recently had the pleasure of dining at The Meatball Shop, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The LES is everything you want in a Saturday evening — every bar and restaurant overflows with lively clientele and head-turning street style.

I ordered the special, which was etched messily on the chalkboard above the bar: Moroccan Chicken Meatballs with turkish apricots, ginger, mint, and cilantro (among other goodies). I could not resist, and ordered the special along with one of many available sides: “everything but the kitchen sink”, which included an arugula salad, golden beets, and yogurt dipping sauce. This meal was too memorable not to recreate, so naturally I had to jot down the ingredients and try it out for myself.

Moroccan Chicken Meatballs with Golden Beets, Arugula Salad, and Mint Yogurt Sauce

You will need:

1 lb ground organic Chicken meat (or, you can substitute ground turkey or pork)

2 large leeks; trimmed, cleaned, and sliced into thin half moons

1 cup dried Turkish apricots; diced

1 cup of mint; chopped

1 cup of cilantro; chopped

8 cloves of garlic, diced, and separated in two piles (you will use half in meatballs; half in yogurt sauce)

2 cloves of garlic (for salad dressing specifically)

2 tbsp honey (for salad dressing)

2 lemons; juiced

zest of 1 lemon

3 tbsp fresh ginger; peeled and minced

2 eggs

1 to 2 cups of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (start with 1 cup, you can always add depending on desired consistency)

3 medium to large golden beets

1 english cucumber; peeled

1 small carton of plain Greek yogurt

1 package of arugula

1 package of pita bread (optional)

extra virgin olive oil

white wine vinegar

sea salt + freshly ground pepper

1. Prepare mint yogurt sauce: 

  • Chop cucumber in half; set one half aside (you will use it for the arugula salad)
  • Using a large-holed cheese grater, grate the half cucumber and set aside in mesh strainer over a bowl
  • Sprinkle salt on grated cucumber and let rest for 10 minutes; as the salt will extract excess water from cucumber (so your sauce is not watery!)
  • Combine strained cucumber in a small bowl with yogurt, half of the mint, half of the chopped garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, and zest of 1 lemon — stir
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve

2. Prepare the beets:

  • I initially adapted this cooking technique from renowned chef Alice Waters; it’s simple and involves very little labor
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Remove the green stem and leaves from the beets
  • Place beets in a deep baking dish (a pyrex loaf pan works famously), and fill with enough water to cover the bottom of the beets, about 1/8 inch. Keep in mind the dish should be deep enough to fully incase the beets
  • Tightly cover with tin foil, and bake in oven from 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are easily pierced with a fork
  • Remove from oven when beets are fully cooked, and place aside to cool
  • When cool enough to handle, slip skins off of beets, remove the root and bottoms, and slice into half moons. Set aside

3. While beets are baking in oven, prepare the meatballs. This dish is designed to take about an hour in total cooking time, as the meatballs should be cooked once the beets come out of the oven: 

  • Preheat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, using medium-high heat, and drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the pan (enough to cover the pan’s surface)
  • Add leeks and stir. Reduce heat to medium. Continue to stir leeks every few minutes until translucent, about 10 minutes
  • Add diced Turkish apricots to sauteed leeks mixture and stir. Continue to sauté another 10 minutes. Add ginger and remaining half of garlic, stir. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled apricots/leeks mixture with ground chicken, 2 eggs, breadcrumbs, mint, cilantro, sea salt, and pepper. Use your hands to combine the ingredients evenly
  • Roll meatballs about one inch in diameter (you can make them bigger if you wish, cooking time will be longer)
  • Use same heavy-bottomed sauté pan and preheat to medium, drizzle olive oil in pan
  • Cook about 6 meatballs at once; you do not want to overcrowd the pan
  • I like to press the meatballs down with a spatula; to make mini-burgers. I find they cook a lot faster this way
  • Flip meat patties every 5 minutes, until crispy on each side and cooked throughout — about 15 minutes total
  • Cook meatballs in batches, covering the cooked meatballs until ready to serve

4. Make lemon-ginger vinaigrette for Arugula salad (this should be done once the last few meatballs are cooking, and the beats have been removed from the oven):

  •   Combine the following ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth: 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp ginger, 1/2 cup olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, sea salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Place arugula in a large serving bowl, add remaining half of cucumber (slice into half moons) and add dressing (start with half of the mixture and add to your liking). Toss with tongs
  • This is a great go-to dressing for any salad, and goes well with the peppery arugula

5. You are ready to eat! Serve all of the ingredients family style, and assemble the following on your plate: 

  • 3 to 4 meatballs
  • a generous helping of yogurt sauce
  • arugula salad. arrange beets on top
  • warmed pita bread (optional)
  • Enjoy!!!

 

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