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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.
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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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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)

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!

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 Village Salad (HOREEYATIKO SALATA)


From Peaches:

I had this beautiful salad in Greece while climbing to the Acropolis in one of the many cafes on the  side of a  mountain.  The area is fondly known as the PLAKA, which means “fun” in Greek, and they are not kidding!  Many Greeks go there to celebrate special times or just for a bite.  I go where the Greeks go- as they know where the best foods are to be found.  Nobody is ever disappointed at a Greek cafe.  They compete with one another to MAKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING!!

If you are making this at home, it is important to try to buy Imported Greek Feta as the cheese makes all the difference in the world.   I have brought this to many dinner parties and everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have.  I hope you do too.  KALI  ORAXI EVERYONE!!

Note:  The ingredients are simple but it is important to select the best veggies wherever you shop.  For instance not just any tomato will do.  Of course right out of your garden tomatoes are the best but we are not there yet. Vine ripe tomatoes work perfectly as do the long English seedless cucumbers.

Ingredients ( Serves 6):

  • 4-5 vine ripe tomatoes cut into chunks (nice ripe ones)
  •  1 English Cucumber, unpeeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained well
  • about 24 pitted Kalamata olives left whole
  • 1/2 pound really good imported Feta sliced into 3 1/2 inch slabs

Layer all ingredients and top with slabs of Feta.  Dress the salad with a mixture of EXTRA virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Sprinkle lightly with oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper.


LOVELY ORZO SALAD WITH SPICY BUTTERMILK DRESSING RECIPE

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

This salad is made with orzo,  a type of pasta shaped like a grain of rice, and is kicked up a notch with a touch of chili powder and fresh lime juice.  You can use it as a side dish but it is substantial enough to call dinner.  A cut up avocado served on the side rounds out the meal.  Meant to impress.    Bring to a party and listen to the Ooohs and Ahhhhs. 

Ingredients:

      • 1 cup uncooked orzo
      • 1 cup frozen, whole-kernel corn, thawed and drained
      • 12 cherry or 24 grape tomatoes, quartered
      • 3 green onions, sliced
      • 1 (15 oz. ) can black beans, rinced and drained
    • Dressing:
      • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
      • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
      • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
      • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
      • 2 tablespoons light mayonaise
      • 1 teaspoon chili powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
      • 2 cloves minced garlic
    • Optional:
      • 1 avocado, (diced to serve alongside orzo)

Cook orzo according to package directions (Do not add salt).  Rinse orzo. Drain well.

Combine orzo, tomatoes, corn, green onions and black beans in a large bowl.  Toss.

Whisk remaining ingredients in small bowl to make the dressing.  However, do not include the avocado.   Pour the dressing over orzo, corn, tomatoes, green onions in the large bowl .

Chop cilantro.  Add 2 TBSP to large bowl.  Reserve a tablespoon to sprinkle on top of individual plates.

Dice Avocado to serve alongside the orzo salad.

Note:   Can you see the slices made into the avocado pictured below?  Just a few slices in each direction with a sharp knife makes it simple to scoop out the squares of the avocado with a spoon. 

I have heard chefs say to chill your salad plates before serving.  Who can remember? 

Let me know if you added any other types of vegetables to the orzo and how you liked it? ~Sheryl 

Adapted from Cooking Light, May 2011

 

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