Category Archives: Vegetarian Options

Shrimp Mediterranean

From Rita:

Love shrimp??  I do!  Get ready for a wonderfully tasty dish.  In all honesty, I had to stop myself from overeating this and I usually do not have overeating issues.  Proud to say that this is my own creation.  I am so happy to share this yummy dish with all of you.  Note: Please be sure not to overcook the shrimp.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium to large spanish onion or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 plum tomatoes roughly chopped, if you do not have fresh tomatoes you can used canned whole plum tomatoes and chop.
  • 2 Tbls. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 of a 12oz. jar roasted red peppers, patted dry and roughly chopped. or one medium fresh sweet pepper (yellow,red,orange only) thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup dry white wine (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano, measure carefully
  • 18-20 extra large frozen raw shrimp(16-20 count bag), defrosted, rinsed and patted dry
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet put about 2 Tbls. olive oil over medium heat and swirl around to cover the bottom of pan.  Add the thinly sliced onion and stir frequently till softened.  If you are using fresh sweet pepper you need to put it in at this time.  Once the peppers and onions are softened add the rest of the ingredients, except the shrimp, and bring to a boil.  Drop to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together~ stirring from time to time.  Taste  periodically to salt and pepper the dish.

Add the shrimp and bring heat to medium.  Stay with the pan, turning the shrimp, and pay close attention to their color.  Once they are all bright orange the dish is done.  Remove from heat immediately and serve.

PS:

You can serve this a number of ways:  with slices of prepared Polenta, pan fried in a bit of olive oil till lightly browned,  or over brown rice or with pasta of your choice. If you are watching calories, serve with a large side salad. If  you are not able to eat shellfish, you can substitute with thinly sliced chicken breast,  or 1/2 “slices of pork tenderloin.  Be sure to lightly brown on both sides the chicken or pork so they do not appear steamed in this dish.  Then add to the mixture in the end as you would the shrimp and cook till done.

CLASSIC FRENCH ONION SOUP

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

French Onion Soup is one of my favs to order in a restaurant.  It always seemed to be a treat with a pound of cheese melted down the sides of the crock, and a roll (carbs!) floating in the broth.  It never occurred to me that I could make it better, and lighter, at home.  This recipe changed my mind.

If you have a food processor, use it.  Slicing the onions will take no time at all.  Please don’t pile a bag of shredded low fat cheese on top of this soup.  It won’t do it justice.  Buy a block of Gruyere and shred it yourself.  A small amount of Gruyere melted on top of a thin piece of toasted sourdough or french bread is all you need to experience a fantastic full, rich flavor with less calories.  The bread holds up the cheese so it doesn’t sink to the bottom.

I love wine but wasn’t sure what kind of wine to use in this recipe.  Well, that’s what Google is for.   The drier the wine, the less sugar in it, the less sweet ~ but with more alcohol.  Not to worry, the alcohol evaporates when cooking.  Long story short, want a good flavor?  Put in a good wine: a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc ~ and remember to pour yourself a glass. Slainte!

~Sheryl

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1-2 bay leafs
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices of toasted French, or crusty,  bread
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the caramelization.

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 hours.  Discard the bay leaf.

To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish.  Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately- or the bread will begin to soak up the broth.

Hearty Fish Stew

From Rita:

I really enjoy most all fishes in just about any way that they have ever been made.  This is a stew, and you can tell by looking at it, it is quite a healthy option compared to those creamy, buttery, milky fish CHOWDERS we find in most restaurants.  It comes together very quickly and is really tasty and who would complain about that.  I love that fast and delicious cooking as it gives me time to make more wonderful recipes!!!   Being in my kitchen is where I feel the most at home.  Funny .. I remember my mother being very much the same in her kitchen.  I guess the apple doesn’t really fall very far from the tree.  I know I fell right under hers… and am so happy for it.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  KALEE’ O’REXEE..(Greek for enjoy this meal.)

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups potato cut into small cubes
  •  2 Tbls. canola or olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced bell peppers, I used all red only,  but you may use red and green
  • 2 cups carrots chopped into small pieces ( or use bagged matchstick carrots)
  • 1 medium spanish or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, Italian style (with basil, oregano,garlic)
  • 1-8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound of any fresh white fish of your choice, cut into fairly large chunks.  Do not cut too small as the fish will simple fall apart and disappear in the stew.  I used cod fish.
  • dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Put oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add potatoes, pepper strips , onions and carrots.  Cook about 7 minutes or till tender stirring occasionally.

Add all other ingredients except the fish.  Increase the heat to med.-high and bring to a boil.  Cover and drop heat to a simmer.  Cook for another 5-6 minutes to meld those flavors.  Remove the cover.  Then gently add the fish and stir just a bit .  Do not over stir.  Add red pepper flakes here if using.  Wait about 5-6 minutes more and ladle into your favorite bowl. It is wonderful as it is but FYI …I did grate a tiny bit of fresh parmesan on top and thought it was yummy.  I thought even a bit of crumbled feta would work if you wanted to change it up!  Enjoy.

Rita’s “Mock” Caesar dressing

From Rita:

This is one of the best dressings I make ~ and I love a really good Caesar salad .  I have shared this recipe with many friends with nothing but rave reviews from everyone that has stepped up and made it!

Be sure not to omit any of the ingredients because you may have not used them before (like the anchovy paste).  It is essential to stay with the ingredients I have given you to make it the best it can be!!  Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/3 cup low fat mayo ( I used Hellman’s made with olive oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced very fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • canned anchovies,  (I like the rolled anchovy with a caper in the center) optional
  • croutons, optional
  • 2-3 romaine hearts, rinsed and chopped into bite size pieces.  (Note: Spin very dry.  No one should be without a salad spinner if you are a salad lover)

Simply place all ingredients into a mini electric chopper.   Chop on high one minute.  Viola!   Use dressing sparingly.

Any Veggie QUICHE’

From Rita:

I have always loved quiche.  As many of you know, quiche can be very high in calories but does not need to be.  I made this one off the cuff with no particular recipe by choosing various foods I thought would work well together and be healthy and tasty.  The best part about quiche… it’s  simple to make.  This can be served for breakfast with a slice of toasted whole grain bread, for lunch with a side salad, or for dinner with a bunch of assorted veggies.  I love lots of different roasted veggies with mine no matter what time of the day it is.   You decide, after all it is your plate.  Be sure to make it beautiful to maximize the eating experience!  I do that by adding lots of color to my plate.  Make one and see for yourself.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 -16 ounce curd of light or fat free cottage cheese ….a better brand like Hood is richer and less watery)
  • 3 cups organic baby kale, chopped well…or use baby spinach or chopped broccoli or another vegetable that you prefer
  • 1/4-1/2 cup full fat feta cheese, crumbled…or your favorite.  The amount here depends on how cheesy you’d like the quiche’..I used 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 vine ripe or plum tomato, thinly sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 375′.   Spray a 10″ across pie plate really well.  That means to spray the sides so not to have any sticking and or difficulty removing it when finished.   Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Transfer to pie plate.  Shake the pie plate to level off the ingredients or use a rubber spatula.  Arrange the tomato slices on top.  You could make a flower out of the tomatoes or just scatter them as I did.  Bake for  approximately 1 hour or until set/cooked in the middle.  Press on the center and it should bounce back easily.  Remember it will continue to cook a bit after it is removed from the oven.

Simple, Yummy ~ PASTA FAGIOLI

From Rita:

As most of you know I am a bean lover and eat them whenever I can as my source of protein and also because they keep satisfied for long periods of time.  This soup has a much different flavor than the Italian bean soup I have posted earlier.  I actually saw the recipe in a food magazine but adjusted it a bit to make it more flavorful.  It worked out beautifully and with winter on its way, this is definitely a comfort soup!   Please note:  If you are not a bean eater, because of the texture, simply, puree the beans in a little broth until very smooth and add to recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups small pasta( tiny bow ties)
  • 2  15oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
  •  1  14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until it begins to soften.  Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Add broth and pasta and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer till pasta is tender.  Stir in the beans and tomatoes and cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley.  Serve topped with parmesan.

Meatless Stuffed Peppers

From Rita:

These are so quick, easy and tasty that you will be pleasantly surprised.  You can make them ahead of time and then bake them off later.  I am enjoying many meatless meals these days and feel better than ever.  There must be something to the vegetarian concept of eating.  Top with some fat free greek yogurt or low fat sour cream.  The cold of the topping and the heat of the  pepper or tomato really work well together…or eat them plain. Try a meatless meal and see how good you feel!

INGREDIENTS:

Stuffing:

  • 1 -15 oz. can black beans,  rinse and drain well
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice  (I use Trader Joe’s cooked brown rice)
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1- 6 oz. bag of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese

Stuff ingredients into:

  • 3 large peppers – your choice of color.  Clean all seeds and white pith
  • 3 large tomatoes tops cut off and the cavities cleaned thoroughly
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. and stuff the peppers and tomatoes.  Put in a pan where they will fit fairly tightly.  Be sure to add about an inch of water to the pan so they will not burn on the bottom.  Bake at 400′ for 1 hour or until the peppers are fork tender.  I simply use a long handled fork or knife and stick it in the side of the pepper — it should be nice and soft.  Viola .. you are ready to dine.

White Beans w/ Garlic & Organic Baby Kale

From Rita:

Here I am with another tasty, meatless meal that I concocted as a result of wanting to eat more healthy greens with pasta or assorted veggies.  I thought….how can I make them as a complete meal?  Protein of some kind was needed and what better source to use but beans. They are full of fiber which helps sustain us from meal to meal.  I have loved white beans since I was a kid and decided that the combination would  be perfect.  It was!  You can put this over pasta, or a combo of steamed veggies like zucchini, summer squash,and chopped tomatoes to keep it lean and the white carbs at bay.

Be sure to have the fresh parmesan close by as it is what will make this dish complete.  Please know that cheeses you buy already grated, though easier to use, have lost much of their flavor.   A tip for having cheese at hand at all times is to buy it by the block.  Simply wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store it in a large zip lock with a  hand held grater in the bag.  When you are ready to use it,  load the grater with a small piece and grate away.  I actually put the grater on the dinner table on a lovely plate so my guests can use as much as they wish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tbls. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained well
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 4-6 cups organic baby kale greens
Place a large non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat.   Add the oil and garlic and saute’ 1-2 minutes until you begin to smell the aroma of the garlic.  Add the beans and the broth.  Simmer a few minutes until it is heated through.  5  minutes.
Add the kale and move it around with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to get it moistened with the beans and broth.
Because it is a baby kale it will cook rather quickly….2-3 minutes, much like spinach.
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Mac and Cheese

From Krisann:

This recipe is definately one that you will add to your favorite comfort foods.  I broke this recipe out at the request of my son who was home from college for the Thanksgiving weekend, I doubled the recipe and we are still enjoying it.  I must say that it tastes even better leftover.  I hope that you enjoy this one as much as my family does.

Ingredients:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni of cavatappi
  • 1 qt milk (I use skim)
  • 8 TBLS (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 small fresh tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees


Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water.  Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it.  Melt 6 TBLS of butter in a  large (4-quart) pot and add the flour.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.  While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute of two more, until thickend and smooth.  Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 TBLS salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the cooked macaroni and stir well.  Pour in a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top.  Melt the remaining 2 TBLS of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on top.

Italian White Bean Soup

From Rita:

White beans have become one of my favorite foods.  They can make great dips, soups, and salad toppings.  They are a great source of clean protein and because of their fiber content beans are known to sustain us for long periods of time without feeling hungry.  The are nutrient rich as are many beans (excluding baked beans.. . too high in sugar).

Maybe it is time for you  to give beans a place on your menus at home ?  You can use the canned varieties or buy dry in bags and soak in plenty of cold water overnight.. changing the water at least once in the process.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves “fresh” garlic
  • 3  19 oz. cans white cannellini  beans rinsed and drained well
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 6 “plum” tomatoes roughly chopped ( about quarter size)
  • 3/4 cup “fresh” basil leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Place a soup pot over medium heat and pour in the oil.  Let it warm up and put in the garlic. Stay at the stove and move the garlic around the pan until you smell it’s aromas.  This will not take more than 1 minute.  Then put in the beans and the broth.
Immediately take out 3 cups and put into your food processor or blender and puree’ until smooth and put directly back into the soup pot.  Stir well, bring to a boil, and drop to a simmer.
Set the timer for 5 minutes and put in the tomatoes and basil.  DO NOT change the heat.  Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Do not cook too long as you do not want the tomatoes to break down, but to soften only.  The finished soup has great texture and superb flavor.  Be sure to top it with some freshly grated Romano or Parmesan, whichever you prefer.  I use Romano to provide all the flavor one would need.    MANGIA!

Roasted Eggplant served over Spaghetti Squash

From Rita:

Just looking at this dish sitting in a roasting pan ready to go in the oven will make your mouth water.  All fresh veggies and a little Feta cheese makes this a special one.  I totally enjoyed it and hope you all do as well.

(Because I am  trying to not eat many white carbs these days, I opted to use spaghetti squash as the base and freely topped it with the finished product.)

I must say, this recipe  began as needing to use up some very ripe tomatoes and an eggplant.  I had to use it or loose it!  What a lovely combination of flavors  that I will not soon forget.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large eggplant, cubed, skin left on (or two medium eggplants)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion,  thinly sliced
  • 4 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl except the Feta cheese.  Toss well and place in a 9″x13″ roasting pan.  Sprinkle with Feta and bake at 375′ for about 45-50 minutes.  
 
Spaghetti squash: 
 
This can be cooked in the microwave.  Depending on the size,  it could take up to 30 minutes. I generally poke  a hole with a sharp knife in the squash so it does not explode!  Cut it open very carefully, lengthwise.  
 
It is steaming hot so use oven mitts in this step.  Remove the seeds with a spoon, or fork, trying not to drag the strings of squash with them.  Once it is void of seeds you can then use the tines of a fork to scratch the squash out of the skin.
 
 
 
Serve the roasted veggies right over the speghetti (squash).
 

Roasted Cauliflower

From Rita:

I got this recipe from an old friend many years ago and have never stopped making it as the combination of flavors is fab.  It takes little time to prepare-  which I love.  This could be prepped ahead of time if necessary and put in a large zip lock bag, refrigerated and baked later.  

We hope you all enjoy this as a new side dish to accompany any meal.  I used some of the leftovers and made an egg white and feta scramble one weekend morning and I loved it. You may also make a warm veggie wrap and add bit of goat cheese when the veggies are warm and let it melt in.  I use many leftovers so many different ways and it always becomes a treat to eat!  Those of us who love food will really will love this one!

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons jarred garlic
  • 1 big handful chopped flat leaf parsley ( not curly)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl being sure to get everything coated nicely.  Put into a roasting pan and roast at 400′ for about 45 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.  Be sure to flip over a couple of times so nothing gets charred in the oven during the cooking process.
 
 
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WARM FIGS ~ Goat cheese & Proscuitto ~ Appetizer

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

I never fully appreciated the fig.  Then, I tasted this yummy appetizer at my Aunt Madeline’s home one summer night.    Simply “a party in your mouth”….. ! These figs are served warm.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Fresh Figs, quartered
  • Goat Cheese or Blue Cheese
  • Slices of Procuitto
  • Balsamic glaze

Cut the stem off the fig.  Cut the figs in 4ths.   Cut a piece of prosciutto in half.  Smear with goat cheese or blue cheese.  Lay fig on top.  Roll proscuitto around fig.  Place in a small casserole dish.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Put under hot broiler until somewhat crispy. 5 to 6 minutes.   Cool slightly before serving with toothpicks. NOTE:  More balsamic glaze can be added prior to serving.   ~ Sheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest Spicy Slaw

From Krisann:

I really enjoy quick, simple and tasty recipes.  This recipe is all of that and this slaw packs a punch!  Plus it looks so pretty with all of the colors.  Bring it to one of you Labor Day cookouts.  I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I do.  This will make enough slaw to bring to a barbaque.  If you are really pressed for time you could replace the carrots, and cabbage heads for 2 – 16 ounce packages of cabbage and carrot coleslaw.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly gound pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced vertically sliced red onion
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of shredded carrots (so that you get long strips)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 head red cabbage (cut in half and remove core, then thinly slice, so that you have long strips)
  • 1 head green cabbage (cut in half and remove core, then thinly slice, so that you have long strips)
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, halved crosswise (these are fresh, you should use gloves when handling these peppers)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Add onion, cilantro, cabbage and carrots.

 

Thinly slice 1 jalepeno half crosswise (keeping the seeds), and remove seeds (leave the seeds in more peppers for added fire, or seed them all for  milder version) from remaining jalapeno halves.  Cut the remaining halves into thin crosswise slices.  Add the jalapenos to slaw mixture, and toss well to coat.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Vegetarian Moussaka

From Krisann:

This moussaka is a meatless version of the classic Greek dish.  The bulgar is a nice subsitiute for the ground meat.  This is a new recipe for me, but I have to say that I really do love it.  I like to double the recipe so that I can enjoy it as a leftover (It acutally tastes better the longer the flavors mesh together).  I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I did.  Let me know what you think.  Stay tuned for the classic version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 peeled eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 TBLS extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 TBLS butter
  • 2 TBLS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk (I used skim)
  • 2 TBLS finely grated fresh Romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat broiler to high.

Brush eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil.  Place half of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplent aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chopped onion to pan; saute 8 minutes.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add bulgar; cook 3 minutes or until bulgar is lightly toasted, stirring frequently.  Add ground allspice, cinnamon , and cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in vegatable broth, oregano, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium -low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.  Stir in cheese and salt.  Remove fro heat, and cook slightly.  Add egg, stirring well with a whisk.

Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange half of eggplant in an 11 x 7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread the bulgar mixture evenly over eggplant; arrange remaining eggplant over bulgar mixture.  Top with milk mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, and remove from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 475.  Return dish to oven for 4 minutes or until the top is browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 4 servings.  (Note I doulbled the recipe)

Colorful Cole Slaw

From Natalie:

My last post was a delicious cabbage dish using 1/2 of a head of red cabbage and 1/2 of a head of  green cabbage.  What do you do with the other halves?  Cole Slaw, of course!  Although my husband loves mayonnaise, he won’t find any in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head green cabbage
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 3 carrots
  • 4-5 radishes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 lime
  • Crazy Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • Celery Salt

Cut the cabbages in strips and put into a large bowl.

Peel the carrots and use the grater with the wide opening, (the one you would use to make potato chips), to make wide carrot strips.  Shred the radishes and chop the onion into small pieces.

Cover the mixture with the vinegar and oil (approximately 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/3 cup of oil).  Squeeze one lime over the salad. Add Crazy Salt, pepper and celery salt to taste. Toss well.

Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour so the seasonings and the vinegar get a chance to flavor the cabbage.

Serve cold.  The colors are a beautiful addition to your summer table. Enjoy!

Cabbage/Vegetable Medley

From Natalie:

One of my favorite side dishes is cabbage in garlic and oil.  This is an interesting twist on that recipe.  Easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Crazy Salt
  • Ground Pepper

Pour enough olive oil to generously cover the bottom of a large frying pan.  Sprinkle garlic powder to cover the oil.  Cut onion and pepper into large chunks.  Put into the pan when the oil is hot.  Cover.  With a wooden spoon, turn often.

Cut the cabbages into large chunks.  Make sure to take the hard core sections out and discard.  Once the onion and pepper start to get soft, add the cabbage to the pan.  You may want to add some more olive oil and garlic powder at this time.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  The vegetables will reduce as they cook.

Once the vegetable are soft, add about 1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar over the whole mixture.  Add Crazy Salt and ground pepper.  Continue to turn over.

Let simmer another 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tossed Salad with White Beans and Tuna

From Rita:

I believe that many of us on these hot summer nights would love to have a refreshing salad that can be made into a meal.  It is key that the salad ingredients all jive.   By that I mean that they compliment each other.  I have made this salad so many times through the years I thought would share it with all of you.  It travels well in a cooler in a seal tight container and needs the lightest of dressing to bring it all together.

Ingredients:

  •  Mix of  a bit of Romaine, Iceberg, red cabbage ( whatever was left in the fridge or you could easily use a package of mixed greens from the market.)
  • chopped celery
  • chopped cucumber
  • chopped red pepper
  • sliced red onion
  • 1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained really well
  • 1 can solid white tuna/or chunk light  whatever your preference
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
Layer all ingredients on a flat platter allowing each of them to be seen.  You may make this as large or as small a salad as you would like.  The top two layers are the cannellini beans and tuna.  You may also include shredded carrot and grape tomatoes if you like adding more colors and more flavors. Because of my Greek heritage I have added a bit of crumbled feta and a few chopped pitted Kalamata olives periodically and it is my favorite way to eat it.   This can be made ahead of time for dinner and wrapped tightly with saran wrap to keep it fresh.  Yummy and filling.  Give it a try!

Zucchini and Summer Squash Medley

From Rita:

This is a quick, easy and tasty side that anyone can enjoy all through the year.  Needless to say it would be best to have them straight out of the garden.  I think you will love the flavors that meld together in this dish.

  • 2 medium zucchini cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 medium summer squash cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 vidalia onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put the squash pieces and the onion in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and add garlic powder,  salt and pepper to taste.   Lightly coat the bottom of a large fry pan with olive oil and heat till fairly hot.  Add the squash chunks and the vidalia onion and stir fry. It is a good idea to stay close by as you do not  want them too soft.  Shut off the stove and sprinkle the feta on top of veggies.  Cover and let stand until feta melts into the hot veggies.  Squash never tasted so yummy… hope you  enjoy.

Eggplant Lasagna

From Natalie:

I am always looking for low-carb alternatives to my favorite foods and this is a great one.  It is really delicious and almost guilt free!

Ingredients:

  • One medium size Eggplant
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Jane’s Crazy Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Tomato Sauce ( you will need about 2 quarts.  I make my own…a recipe for another time.)
  • One 15 oz. container of Part-skim Ricotta cheese.
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Slice the eggplant thin, about 1/8 inch slices.  Pour olive oil on the bottom of a large frying pan.  As it is heating, dredge the eggplant in a mixture of 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk and Crazy Salt and pepper.  Turn over eggplant in mixture and put into the hot oil.  Turn over frequently, just until golden brown and tender.

Put a piece of paper towel at the bottom of a plate.  When the eggplant is brown put them on the paper towel to absorb the oil.  Continue in this fashion, layering the eggplant and paper towel until the whole eggplant is browned.

Mix the Ricotta cheese with one egg, Crazy Salt and pepper and fresh grated Parmesan cheese (to taste).

I used an aluminum pan that was 8.5 inches X 8.5 inches.

Put a little of the tomato sauce at the bottom of the pan so it is lightly covered.  Put a layer of eggplant over this sauce.  Dollop the Ricotta over the eggplant.  Put some of the shredded Mozzarella over the Ricotta.  Put about 1 cup of sauce over the cheese layer.  Do the next layer of eggplant, then cheese, then sauce.  You should have enough for 3 layers.  After the third layer of eggplant, don’t put Ricotta on it.  Just top with sauce and then Mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve hot!

Enjoy…would love to hear how you like it!

Greek Lentil Salad

From Krisann:

This lentil salad is a staple in my refridgerator.  Sometimes, I have it with my meal in place of a starch.  Often times, I have it alone as lunch.  Either way, I think it is very yummy.  This can also be served with crostini or toasts as an appetizer.  One note, it does not look as pretty on the second day, but it tastes just as good.  If you are making this to bring to a party, don’t make it too much in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pkg Trader Joe Lentils (these are found in the refridgerator section.  You can also use can lentils, but I like these ones better)
  • Grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup Scallions or red onion, chopped (red onions add nice color to this salad, but sometimes they are too strong, that is why I sometimes use scallions)
  • 1/2 English Seedless Cucumber (cut into small wedges)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Feta Cheese (I am very picky when it comes to feta cheese and will only use feta purchased from the greek international store in Brockton, MA called “Dondi” feta)
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Portabella Mushrooms

From Krisann:

This portabella mushroom recipe is super easy and very delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Portabella Mushroom Caps
  • Fat Free Balsamic Dressing
  • Gorgonzola Cheese (crumbled)
  • Balsamic glaze

Wash mushroom caps and pat dry.  Place the mushrooms in a ziplock bag and add the balsamic dressing (I have not provided any amounts in the ingredients because it depends on how many you are making).  Marinate in the refrigerator (couple of hours at least, the longer the better).  Heat grill to medium hot and spray with nonstick spray.  Place mushrooms on the grill and flip to cook on both sides cook approximately 10 -15 minutes or until cooked.  Turn the mushrooms over so that the stems are facing up and sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese.  Let cook until the cheese is melted.  This can be done on the grill.

In my picture, I grilled the mushrooms and then placed them on a cookie sheet because I was taking them to a dinner party and did not have use of a grill.  I finished them in an oven.  Once the mushrooms are done drizzle with the balsamic glaze.  Enjoy!!

Spicy Zucchini Medley

 From Natalie:

Ingredients:

  • One medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with mild green chilis (14.5 oz. can)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic and garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion (either minced dried or chopped fresh)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (canned or fresh)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Coat the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil.  Saute garlic clove (and a little garlic powder) and onions until light brown.  Add mushrooms and cook slightly.  Put in can of tomatoes and zucchini.  Simmer for approximately 20 minutes with the cover on, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve when zucchini is tender.  Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.   Enjoy!

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