Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Halloumi and Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad

I ended up taking the rest to work with me but ate it as a salad and mixed in some eggplant with pesto. It was amazing. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

Halloumi and Roasted Summer Vegetable Sandwiches

I love Halloumi and grilled veggies. So I was happy to find this recipe for Halloumi and Roasted Summer Vegetable SandwichesNigella Lawson was the first chef I saw use it. And I was hooked. This sandwich is super easy. 

Halloumi and Roasted Summer Vegetable Sandwiches

4 sandwiches


8 oz halloumi, cut into 1-inch strips
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thick strips
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
2 summer squash, sliced lengthwise
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp za’atar
salt and black pepper, to taste
8 oz pesto
4 ciabatta rolls


Heat oven to 450F.
Toss the halloumi, red bell peppers, zucchini, and summer squash with the olive oil, harissa, and za'atar. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, to taste.
Roast for 30 minutes.
Cut the ciabatta rolls in half. Spread the pesto on the cut sides of the rolls. Divide the roasted vegetables and cheese among the rolls. Serve warm.

The next day I just made a salad of grilled veggies and pan seared halloumi for lunch. So good!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Colorful Salad

I love finding new ingredients that I would never think of to put in a salad. I was inspired by the beautiful salads in Kale and Chocolate.

For my salad I just added what I had in the fridge and pantry. I roasted some sweet potatoes, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Cut up red cabbage, carrots and avocado. Also opened a can of chickpeas. I think I will try roasting them next time with some Zataar seasoning. 

The salad was colorful, delicious and healthy! A perfect salad for tomorrow holiday. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Argentine Asado Burgers With Seared Provolone and Chimichurri

This Argentine Asado Burgers With Seared Provolone and Chimichurri was one of the best burgers I have ever had in my life. It was so flavorful and easy to assemble. Honestly I didn't even put the cheese on my burger. I just wrapped a big old romaine lettuce leaf around the burger and added the chimmichurri on top of it. So very good and perfect for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.

Argentine Asado Burgers With Seared Provolone and Chimichurri


1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck, preferably about 80% lean, formed into 4 (6-ounce) patties
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (1/4-inch thick) rounds provolone cheese
8 thin slices crusty peasant bread, trimmed to size of patties, drizzled with olive oil, and toasted until lightly browned
Chimichurri Sauce, for spooning


Press a dimple into the top of each burger patty. Season patties generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add patties and cook, turning, to desired doneness (120°F for rare, 125°F for medium rare, or 135°F for medium). Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour off fat from skillet and wipe clean with paper towels. Return skillet to high heat and heat until smoking. Add cheese rounds to skillet and cook until undersides are just starting to turn molten, 15–30 seconds. Using a thin metal spatula, quickly scrape under each cheese round and flip. Cook until cheese is almost fully melted and softened throughout, then slide spatula underneath and transfer each round to a burger patty. Season with salt.

Set each cheese-topped patty on top of a slice of toast, spoon chimichurri sauce on top, and close burgers. Serve right away. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sliced Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

I love salads with kale and brussel sprouts. And this Sliced Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

did not disappoint. The almonds gave it a nice crunch and I threw lives in there as I love them.

Sliced Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
Serves 6


4 cups Lacinato kale, loosely packed
4 cups Brussels sprouts, loosely packed
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper to taste

*NOTE: If you eat dairy, sprinkle with Pecorino cheese.


Remove stems from kale. Roll leaves, and then slice into thin strips. Half Brussels sprouts, discard ends, then finely grate or shred with a knife into thin slices. Assemble kale and Brussels sprouts into a large bowl.

For the dressing, mix together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallots, lemon zest and maple syrup. Whisk until well combined. Slowly add in olive oil and mix. Season with salt & pepper. Drizzle dressing over kale & Brussels sprouts. Toss to coat. Add sliced almonds and mix.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Parmesan Ricotta Gnocchi

I love gnocchi. Little pillows of buttery happiness. Sometimes I do crave the carbs. Especially pasta. Ooooh pasta. Anyway this Parmesa Ricotta Gnocchi is quite easy to put together and amazing.

Parmesan Ricotta Gnocchi

Makes 4 servings

2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP black pepper
1/2 TBSP Salt
Your favorite sauce to serve with

Prepare a baking sheet with lightly floured parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper until the mixture is uniform.

Add the flour in two batches until the dough is soft and still slightly wet.

Flour a surface and turn the dough out of the bowl. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll each into a 1″-1 1/2″ rope. Make sure your hands are well floured as well. Using a bench scraper or a floured knife, cut rope into 1″ pieces. Place on the prepared and floured baking sheet making sure they are arranged in one layer.

If not cooking right away, make sure they are covered with a clean kitchen towel.

To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and give it a stir to make sure they are not sticking together. I recommend doing this in 2 batches. They should take no longer than 3-4 minutes to cook through. Lift out of water with a slotted spoon and throw right into the sauce or pan depending on how you are serving the gnocchi.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Parmesan Garlic Bread Recipe

I have been wanting to try a pull apart bread recipe for a while now. And well I finally succumb to temptation. This recipe felt like kismet as I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Well all but one. Probably the most important one. But my back up ingredient worked just fine. I didn't have pizza dough. Nor did I have the time to make one. So I used a store brand Pillsbury dough. I used the large tube of giant biscuit dough. It was so buttery. Really easy to put together. I threw in a three cheese Italian blend as well for more cheesiness. Very tasty.

Parmesan Garlic Bread Recipe


1 pizza dough recipe
2 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup parsley


Preheat oven to 425º F. Cut pizza dough into about 2 - inch pieces.
Melt butter in a medium skillet. Roll each piece of pizza dough in the melted butter and arrange in the skillet. Once all pieces have been arranged, mix together garlic, cheese, and parsley. Sprinkle mixture on top of pizza dough bites and bake in the oven until the pizza dough has cooked through and the cheese begins to melt, about 12 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Prep time does not include rising time for the pizza dough recipe.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I love zucchini and feta together. So I was excited to try this Israeli couscous and zucchini salad with feta, mint. It was refreshing yet filling. The creaminess of the feta worked well with the slight bitterness of the raw zucchini. Perfect summer salad.


1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked, dry Israeli couscous
2 small zucchinis
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
½ cup small cubed feta cheese
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste


In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the couscous and cook for 10 minutes or according to package instructions, until tender. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
While couscous is cooking, spiralize the zucchinis, using Blade A. Trim the noodles and set aside.
Also, while couscous is cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the zucchini noodles. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened, heated and cooked to your preference. Pour the cooked zucchini into the large mixing bowl and add in the mint and feta. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine.
Serve immediately.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai

I adore shrimp pad thai. The variety of flavors and colors. But I am trying to cut back on the amount of carbs. It is a struggle and a learning experience on how to reteach myself to eat. More protein, the right type of protein, minimal carbs, more fresh fruits and veggies. So I was very happy to find this recipe
for Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai. I've had cooked cabbage before but as a stuffed cabbage, or in borscht and of course cole slaw. The dish was easy to put together, and tasted even better than traditional pad thai.

Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai


2 oz or about 2 tbs tamarind paste
1/2 cup boiling water
4 tbs coconut sugar
3 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 small-medium bell pepper, julienned
2 medium carrots, julienned
8 scallions, chopped (white and green parts divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 medium sized head cabbage, sliced into "noodles"
3 eggs, beaten
1 lb wild caught shrimp
sesame oil, or coconut oil
salt and pepper

For serving

crushed peanuts
bean sprouts
crushed red pepper


Add tamarind paste and boiling water to a bowl. Allow to sit and soften while you prepare vegetables and peel shrimp.
Press the tamarind paste through a fine mesh strainer, scraping with a spatula or back of spoon. Discard remaining fibers.
To strained tamarind paste add coconut sugar, vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir to dissolve coconut sugar.
Heat a wok or large pan to high heat and add a bit of oil. Season peeled shrimp with salt and pepper and add to wok, cooking just until opaque. Remove from pan and reserve.
Add a little more oil, and add white parts of scallions and minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds and add carrots, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook for several minutes and add bell peppers, cabbage, sauce and green part of scallions. (add half of the bean sprouts now, if using) Stir frequently and cook until vegetables begin to soften, 8-10 minutes.
Slide vegetables to one side of wok or pan and add beaten eggs. Let set for a minute and then scramble, incorporating into the vegetables. Add cooked shrimp and toss to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve with peanuts, cilantro, lime, bean sprouts, and crushed red pepper.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fiesta Salad

This was a delicious recipe! I think the dish can be either a salad or a chunky dip. So easy to assemble. Healthy and tons of flavor. Think of this Fiesta Salad for your next gathering!

Fiesta Bean Salad


2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive
1 tsp cumin
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 medium avocado, diced


In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt.

Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomato, onion and cilantro; mix well. When ready to eat, gently mix in avocado and serve right away.

Makes 4 1/3 cups.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Carrot Miso-Ginger Cucumber Noodles with Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas, Kale, Avocado and Red Quinoa

Carrot Miso-Ginger Cucumber Noodles with Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas, Kale, Avocado and Red Quinoa is a really great and healthy salad that combines a lot of different flavors. And one of my favorite salad dressings, carrot and ginger. It is such an easy recipe. It will leave you full and happy.

Carrot Miso-Ginger Cucumber Noodles with Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas, Kale, Avocado and Red Quinoa


For the miso-ginger carrot dressing (makes 3/4 cups):
1/2 large carrot
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tsp minced ginger root
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup + 1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp white miso paste
1/2 tbsp water
For the rest:
1 large cucumber, Blade A
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 avocado, insides cubed
1/8 cup red quinoa
3 cups chopped kale


Place 1/4 cup of water with 1/8 cup of red quinoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiled, cook for about 10 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy when forked with a knife and water has fully absorbed into the quinoa.
Combine the ginger, shallots and carrots into a food processor and pulse until carrots are minced finely. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until creamy. Set aside.
Place your cucumber noodles, quinoa, kale and 1/2 cup dressing into a bowl and toss to combine thoroughly.
Put the noodles and kale into a bowl and top with sunflower seeds, avocado, and chickpeas. Enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti

I was trying to replicate my mother's recipe of pasta with meat sauce and this recipe for Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti intrigued me as everything cooks in the crockpot. I didn't have to do much work for it and the results are wonderful. The cream cheese really does make the cheesy creamy.

 Crock Pot Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti
1 lb. spaghetti noodles, broke in half
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
3 (24 oz.) jars traditional spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley for garnish

Preheat Crock Pot to HIGH. In a large skillet brown beef. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. When beef is no longer pink, drain if necessary. In bottom of Crock Pot, pour 1 jar of sauce. Lay spaghetti noodles on top of sauce. Add beef and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. With fingers, break up cream cheese over meat. Pour 1 jar sauce over top. Cook on HIGH for 2.5-3 hours. Stir. Add chicken broth and last jar of sauce. It will be very thick. If you like a thinner consistency, add more chicken broth. If pasta isn't tender, cook 1 additional hour. Stir well before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.*NOTE* My pasta was perfectly cooked after 2.5 hours. I turned the heat down to Keep Warm until serving. If it dries out, you can always add more broth and stir.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Oven Baked Salmon Recipe with Parmesan Herb Crust

Besides vegan's and allergies I don't understand how anyone can't like fish or seafood. True some fish and seafood have a stronger taste than others, but I can say I enjoy it. Plus healthy. And if one can't there are a lot delicious herbs and spices that can make eating fish and seafood enjoyable. Such as the recipe for Oven Baked Salmon Recipe with Parmesan Herb Crust. I added some onion salt and paprika for extra seasoning. We paired it with the carrot salad. It was so flavorful! A keeper.



1 salmon filet, about 2 pounds, left whole

Parmesan Herb Crust:

3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425º F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easiest cleanup.
Place salmon, skin side down, onto lined baking sheet. Cover salmon with another piece of parchment paper. Bake salmon for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove top piece of parchment paper. Top with garlic, Parmesan and parsley mixture. Return to oven uncovered and allow to bake until registers 135º F when checked with an internal thermometer probe. The Parmesan cheese should have melted and lightly browned..
Allow to rest about 5 minutes and serve.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Marakesh Carrots

When I was a little girl carrots were one of my favorite snack. I would eat the outside until I reached the sweet center. My children are a big fan of baby carrots. They eat it like candy. So I was excited to try Joy The Baker's recipe for Marakesh Carrots. I only omitted the dates. Because I hate them. Will you forgive me? I added a splash of balsamic vinegar too.  I ran out of feta(hey we love feta), but I would like to try adding it the next time I make this salad. Oh and I will!

Marakesh Carrots 


4 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
7 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
zest and juice of 2 limes
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


In a large bowl combine the carrots, garbanzo beans, chopped dates, green onions, cilantro and chopped pistachios.
In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest and juice of limes, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the feta cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Roasted garlicky brussel sprouts

I'm trying hard to pair just vegetables with protein or vegetables as a main course like a dinner salad. I saw some beautiful looking Brussel sprouts(ask me a few years ago and those words would have not come out of my mouth) and decided to roast them with minced garlic and olive oil. I combined the three ingredients and roasted at 400 for 15 minutes. It was wonderful and simple dish.