Balsamic Mushrooms Potato Egg and Cheese

Balsamic Mushrooms Roasted Potatoes with Pecorino cheese Goat Cheese Poached EggsWho doesn’t like eggs for dinner.  This recipe is a great way to highlight the egg.  It was inspired by halfbakedharvest.com. Originally made with polenta, fontina cheese and goat cheese. Sounds yummy right? :) My version is made with potatoes (thinly sliced roasted golden Dutch potatoes) since I had a bounty of these in my pantry. I also used way less butter (actually no butter) and in place of Fontina cheese I substituted *Pecorino Romano Cheese since it gives us those omega 3’s. Read More →

SOCCA (FARINATA)

SoccaThis is essentially a large chickpea pancake from Provence (and neighboring Liguria, where it’s called farinata). It’s traditionally cooked in wood ovens on copper disks, roughly cut and served hot or warm. (In the main market in Nice, it’s baked a few hundred yards away and delivered by bicycle, to be wrapped in paper and eaten on the street.) If you have no wood or copper, that’s no problem. They’re great in a cast iron skillet, non stick skillet or in a pizza pan in your oven, and totally foolproof. You can make this bread in so many varieties; tonight I chose to use some Turkish spices so it’s Europe meets the Middle East.  These wonderful Turkish spices are from Spice Madam http://spicemadam.com/   and the end results was delicious!!!

To make my Socca tonight (which was served with a Horitiki Salad find salad recipe here )I used…

1 tsp Urfa Pepper - also known as Isot pepper it is mildly spicy compared to most other peppers and has an almost raisin or chocolate-like smoky flavor.  The smokiness pairs well with cheeses like feta and makes a nice addition to a cheese plate.  In main dishes, it works well in combination with other spices.  It even works well in desserts containing chocolate, gingerbread and vanilla.

1 tsp Sumac – a beautiful burgundy spice made from the berries of the Sumac bush.  Sumac has a light, tart, almost lemony taste and is a natural antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.  In Turkey it is cooked into dishes, sprinkled on top of food right before serving, or left n the table as an alternative to salt & pepper.

1 tsp Nigella Seeds – This spice is the seed of the Nigella Sativa plant in the Ranunculaceae family and in the Middle East is called “Habbatul barakah”, meaning “the seeds of blessings”.  These vitamin-packed seeds are high in antioxidants & amino acids.  They help controld cholesterol, build the immune system and promote the growth of healthy & shiny hair.  It is also known as ‘the black seed’ and its peppery, nutty taste adds a smoky flavor to Turkish recipes, or in this case a wonderful French bread called Socca.  For the full recipe of Socca bread and to see how easy and fool proof it is to make follow the link in the title up above. Read More →

Skinny Chocolate Granola Parfait

Skinny Chocolate Granola ParfaitApparently, women think about chocolate more than men. Some scientists think this is because eating cacao helps release a cavalry of dopamine in the female brain.  Either way this delicious parfait is wonderful breakfast, especially after a 4 mile jog with your hubby or yourself.  I put this together for myself this morning and the fancy glass is not just for the photo.  I always make my parfaits in these glasses because we eat with eyes too.  This one has frozen wild organic blueberries which I thaw in the microwave Read More →

Asparagus Vegetable Frittata

Potato Asparagus Cheese FrittataThis recipe came about when I was trying to think of something to do with the lox we had in our refrigerator. Funny thing is I was so absorbed in figuring out all the other ingredients that I forgot to put in the lox, go figure. Happy to say it was still really delicious but next time I will add the lox to boost the protein and because I really do think the flavor combination will be quite delicious. Read More →

Garlic Pasta with Tomato and Myzithra

Garlic Pasta Grape Tomatoes herbs MyzithraThis pasta recipe uses a hard salty shredded cheese known as Myzithra, if in Greece, or Ricotta Salata if in Italy. This cheese is made with milk and whey from sheep and/or goats. It is milky white in color with firm texture and salty taste. The cheese is often used in salads and ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating. You can certainly use your favorite GF pasta here, we opted this evening to use an organic black bean pasta/spaghetti from Explore Authentic Asian Cuisine; it’s quite nutritious and high in protein.  A single serving of 50g contains 25g of protein and 12g fiber.
Once the entire dish comes together we like to do something which is very un-Italian, Read More →

White Pizza + Fresh Chopped Spinach and Almonds

White Cheese Pizza with Raw Spinach and AlmondsWe love white pizza, and this one has made it on to our rotation list. This pizza uses a hard salty shredded cheese known as Myzithra, if in Greece, or Ricotta Salata if in Italy. This cheese is made with milk and whey from sheep and/or goats. It is milky white in color with firm texture and salty taste. The cheese is often used in salads and ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating. My husband and I love this cheese and we wondered what it would be like on a pizza. Answer is delicious!!! This pizza crisp is assembled just like all my other crisps and bakes up golden and beautiful in your oven. Pair it with a nice buttery Chardonnay, you won’t be disappointed. Read More →

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut MilkHomemade coconut milk is the best, once you taste it and see how easy it is to make you’ll never buy the store bought variety again; which often has sugar added and other ingredients you don’t need in your body. I find using a chinois to strain the milk makes for quicker and easier work, who doesn’t like that. But if you don’t have one of these handy tools then a milk bag works just as well, just takes a bit more time and muscle. You may be asking what the heck is a chinois???? These can get expensive but they don’t need to be. I found mine in a restaurant supply store for less than a standard retail store sells them. A chinois is cone-shaped, which allows for more straining surface area, and they are used mostly for making sauces, soups, and custards that need to be super smooth and silky. The holes are extremely fine, and you can use a silicone spatula to pulverize every last drop of liquid out of the solid ingredients without mashing through any grit. Or, once most of the coconut milk has drained out you can move the remaining coconut meal to a milk bag and squeeze out the final 1/2 to 1 cup. That’s what I do since I find that to be the easiest.

Nutritional highlights Read More →

Skinny Dark Chocolate Chia Granola

Skinny Dark Chocolate Chia GranolaI found this recipe on Margaret Anne’s http://naturalchow.com/ Since this was my first time making this recipe I chose to follow the instructions to the letter but opted not to add the chocolate chips at the end; just a personal choice. This recipe is so quick and easy to make, you’ll have it in the oven in 15 minutes or less. I can’t wait to make it again and experiment by adding some spices, like cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger etc….. :) Not that it needs it, because it’s a flawless recipe. However, adding spices will bring variety and added nutritional benefits. :) Read More →

Creamy Tomato Basil with Quinoa

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with QuinoaI just discovered a whole new dish from leftovers in my fridge.  I had leftover Mexican Quinoa but not quite enough for two, and by chance I also had leftover Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, and again not quite enough for two.   Then the lightbulb went off and I realized I should put them together.  What a fantastic surprise, they play so nice together in the bowl.    I thinned the soup just a bit with some vegetable stock, probably a 1/2  to 3/4 cup, since adding the quinoa would give the soup extra body.  Reheat the soup on the stove and reheat the leftover Mexican Quinoa in the microwave.  Voila a new meal was born and it came together in 15 minutes or less but tasted like you were in the kitchen for 1/2 a day.  Sooooooooo good :)  We enjoyed it with some store bought Udi’s gluten free multigrain rolls and a little soft goat cheese.

I will have to plan these two meals again in the same week. Read More →

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Roasted Tomato BasilThis soup is exploding with a deep tomato flavor and perfect amount of sweetness that comes from roasting. It is silky smooth absolutely delicious down to the very last spoon. Just like most soups your leftovers will only get better with time. In addition to the flavor this soup delivers, you’ll find it is so easy to make. Simple rough chop on all the veggies, toss them in the seasonings and olive oil and slide them in the oven to roast. The remaining steps are even more simple. You’ll have soup on the table in no time at all. Read More →