You know I love Risotto, but I hate the calories that come with the typical cream and cheese - plus the preparation of it, which requires endless standing by the stove. Using Barley, and a handful of items in your fridge, you can make this delicious, healthy version of Risotto using Ancient Grains! I also topped with Shrimp for our pescatarian friends joining us. Hope you enjoy!
This is remarkably versatile - I used quinoa, radishes, green onions, grape tomatoes and jalapeños to complete this amazing charred broccoli, but you can use any grain and add any veggies you may like. I also included SoftBoiled Eggs as it's delicious to break that yolk into the bowl! I've included only the instructions for the dressing and Charred Broccoli to let you flex as wanted - would definitely include an Ancient Grain, and some crunchy veggies as you enjoy the most!
Whisk lemon juice, garlic and salt. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk in oil in steady stream, until emulsified. Is using, whisk in tahini and set aside.
Serve in bowl with all the crunchy veggies, soft-boiled egg, etc. As they say in my country, Buen Provecho!
Kalamata Olive Dip / Aioli
My obsession with this dip began with the Bistro Fries at Nordstrom's Bistro (is there a better reward after a long day of spending lots of money?) and continued with the Crudite at True Food Kitchen. Easy to make, I've tweaked over the years, and we now very much enjoy this as a snack before dinner, or sometimes, even dinner! Photographed here with sliced Radishes, Carrots, Celery, Brussel Sprouts and Purple Cabbage. You can make this vegan or vegetarian (see notes in recipe).
Serve with French Fries (as they do at the Nordstrom Bistro), or as a dip for a Crudite, or even as a smear on a sandwich - this really goes with anything!
Time: 10 minutes
Instructions: Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or using an immersion blender. To store, place in an airtight container - it should keep a few weeks. Serve with French Fries (as they do at the Nordstrom Bistro), or as a dip for a Crudite, or even as a smear on a sandwich - this really goes with anything!
Broiled Mediterranean Shrimp
This recipe is the quickest and easiest weeknight dinner ever invented! Garlic, Oregano, Olive Oil and a little bit of lemon give these shrimp a distinct mediterranean flavor that will go well with anything else you have on hand! In this case, I tossed this with slow-roasted tomatoes and served over Farro (and with a side of steamed broccoli sprinkled with truffle salt)
Time: 30 minutes
I serve this over farro or rice, and like to toss it with some chopped tomatoes (or as pictured above, caramelized tomatoes). Enjoy!
Inspired by French cooking, it combines savory herbs with the brininess of olives and the sweetness of fruit to provide a delectable explosion in your mouth! This is a beautiful addition to your rotation for a weekend dinner, perfect for a a dinner party or a holiday get-together! After the first time I made this, we have this at least once every six weeks. However, be advised you'll need to do an overnight marinade on this one, so you'll need to plan ahead. Note - this recipe came originally from “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso - but I've made my own modifications to tweak to our liking (including eliminating the sugar, as I personally prefer more savory food).
Time: Overnight Marinade; 1 + 1/2 hours cooking
I think most of you know, but I grew up in Venezuela, a country which has a rich, blended cuisine culture. One of the largest populations of immigrants were Spanish - leading to us having traditional Spanish 'tascas' spread all throughout Caracas, which means I grew up having paella. I still crave the leisurely Sunday late lunches, where it took over an hour for the paella to be prepared, and you enjoyed tapas and charcuterie boards while sipping sangria, your mouth watering just a bit more with every passing minute.
All this to say, I'm an unabashed paella snob. I don't believe throwing shrimp on microwave rice constitutes paella. I have spent years honing in on what 'my recipe' will be, starting with a bumpy combination of 2 different recipes I found in Food & Wine, then modifying and taking inspiration from sources such as NYT Cooking, Bon Appetit, and of course, the advice of a few Spanish friend's mothers. A good paella takes quality ingredients, patience, and if you can, homemade seafood broth (we go along making it throughout the year and just throw in the freezer). But, don't panic if you don't have any, as you can get some at the store. Voila, I finally feel comfortable enough to post it!
Cooking Time: 90 Minutes (prep & cooking)
I hope you LOVE this! Let me know what you think in the comments. As they say in my home country, Buen Provecho!
Deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiana
I love Eggplant Parmesan, but I know it's not the healthiest. I've created this dish, which combines the extraordinary summer flavors of summer in the Eggplant, but also combines it with lovely summer tomatoes in a healthy recipe that'll be on the table in less than an hour, without the unhealthy calories of cheese. Pictured above, it's served with a lemony simple side salad to delight your senses (and go easy on the scale!). Serve as entree or side dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
As they say in my country, Bueno Provecho!
Lemony Grilled Zucchini Salad
This salad is a perfect, ultra-healthy and quick way to get rid of summer garden vegetables! It combines the flavors of the Mediterranean with a staple of every summer farmer's market or garden! Endlessly flexible, you can add or take things out to make this your own and adjust for dietary restrictions. Let me know what you think!
As they say in my country, Bueno Provecho!
Mediterranean Lemony Baked Cod
You guys, we love Cod - its meaty consistency makes for a wonderful meal, and I love how it absorbs flavors so quickly! This lemony, garlicky preparation inspired by Mediterranean cuisine requires a little preparation, but is a healthy option that can be on the table in 45 minutes or less! As my husband often says, there's something about EVOO, Lemon and Garlic coming together to give the flavor of butter without the calories!
Note: You can skip using the eggs and panic, but I find it adds an incredible texture to the fish.
For the Dredge
1) Prepare the spice blend (mix all ingredients together in a small bowl). Sprinkle evenly over the cod, set aside.
2) Get ready for cooking the cod. In 2 bowls and 2 plates in the following order:
4) Once the oil is hot, begin preparing the cod, following these steps:
6) While the fish is searing on the other side, add the garlic and wine to the left over EVOO-Lemon blend and mix quickly with a fork.
7) Take the fish off the heat and immediately drizzle the liquid over the fish filets. Place in oven, bake for 10 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, with a side of roasted veggies and salad.
As they say in my home country, Buen Provecho! Let me know what you think in the comments.
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
A good, flavorful homemade Tzatziki Sauce is a wonderful addition to pretty much any food that has bright flavors, especially citrus-based. This is a wonderful addition to homemade shawarma, roasted potatoes, or served on the side of a fish prepared with citrus, such as salmon. Below is my starting point for making it, but you'll find over time you'll customize and make your own by adding other flavors you enjoy!
As they say in my home country, Buen Provecho! Let me know in the comments how you decide to make your own!