Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

½ Cup Uncooked Barley – Makes about 4 cups cooked
2 Celery Stalks – Finely Diced
2 Carrots – Finely Diced
1 Med. Red Onion – Finely Diced
6 Garlic Cloves – Minced
1 Cup Green Beans – Cut about 1 inch long
1 ½ Cubed Beef for Stew
1 tsp Salt
¾ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Onion Powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 tbsp Flour
1 Cup Mushrooms – Finely Diced
1 Can Corn – Drained
1 Cup Frozen Peas
6 Cups Beef Stock

In a large ziplock bag, combine beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  Shake bag until meat is fully coated.  In a large pot over Med/High heat add enough EVOO to coat the bottom and add beef.  May have to do in batched so as to not steam but rather sear the meat on all sides.  Remove meat and set aside.

Add enough EVOO back into the pot to coat the bottom again.  Add in celery, carrots and onion.  Sautee about 5 minutes.  Add in mushrooms and garlic and cook another 5 minutes.  Add the same amounts of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.

Add in green beans, corn and beef stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer with lid on but cracked for about 2 hours.  (the goal here is to break down the meat slowly so it falls apart).

While soup is simmering, in a separate pot cook barley in 6 cups of water.  (most directions are ½ cup barley to 6 cups boiling water and cook for about 90 minutes).  I cook mine for only about 1 hour so they don’t turn to mush in the soup.

When soup has been on a low simmer for 2 hours (or until the meat is falling apart), add in barley and peas and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste if necessary and serve.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf w/ Feta & Sun-dried Tomatoes


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.
Per Serving: Calories: 329; Fat: 17g (Saturated Fat: 6.5g); Protein: 29g; Carbohydrates: 14g; Sugar: 4g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol: 213mg; Sodium: 1,257mg


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Turkey & Pork Sausage Meatballs

2 Packages Ground Turkey (about 1.25 lbs each)
1 lb Hot Pork Sausage
2 Scallion – Chopped
½ Cup Parsley – Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic – Minced
½ Red Onion – Finely chopped
4 Slices White Bread – Soaked in milk
1 Egg
1 tbsp. Salt
½ tbsp. Pepper
½ tbsp. Garlic Powder
½ tbsp. Onion Powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Cups Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs

In a pan over med/high heat w/ 2 tbsp EVOO sautee garlic and onion until soft, about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine turkey, sausage, scallion, parsley, onion/garlic, bread (squeeze the milk out first and crumble), egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and parmesan cheese.  Mix with a fork to combine but not overwork.

In a bowl mix together bread crumbs, about 1 tbsp salt, ½ tbsp pepper, ½ tbsp garlic powder, ½ tbsp onion powder.  Scoop out meatballs in about the size of golf balls.  Roll in bread crumb mixture to coat and then set aside.

In a pan over med/high heat add EVOO to coat bottom.  Once hot, add in meatballs and brown on all sides.  Probably have to do in batches so as not to crowd pan and steam instead of sautee.

Once browned on all sides set aside in a baking dish that can go in the oven.  When all the meatballs are browned, put in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Let rest and then serve.  * you could coat the meatballs in sauce before placing in the oven if going to serve w/sauce.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chick Pea Chicken Noodle Soup

2 Stalks Celery – Finely diced
2 Carrots – Peeled and Finely diced
1 Onion – Finely diced
2 Leeks – Finely chopped
5 Cloves of Garlic – Smashed and finely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – (EVOO)
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
½ cup White Wine
2 Chicken Breasts – Small dice
4 Cups Chicken Stock
4 Cups Water
1 Can Peeled Diced Tomatoes
¼ Lb. Thin Pasta – Broken
½ Cup Chopped Parsley

In a large pot coated w/ about 4 tbsp of EVOO, over med/high heat add in celery, carrots, onion and leeks. Sautee about 10 minutes. Add in garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Sautee another 5 minutes. Add in wine and cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add in chicken stock and water and bring up to a simmer. Add in diced chicken and tomatoes. Simmer about 5 minutes then add in the pasta and chick peas and cook for another 10 minutes w/ the lid slightly cracked.

Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings accordingly and serve.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Beef & Bean Chili

3 ½ lbs Ground Beef
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 Onion – Finely Diced
2 Cups Mushrooms – Finely Chopped
2 Jalapenos – Finely Diced
2 Anaheim Chili’s – Diced
5 Garlic Cloves – Minced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
¾ tsp Pepper
2 tbsp Chili Powder
2 Cans Pinto Beans – Drained & Rinsed
1 Can Black Beans – Drained & Rinsed
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Jar Tomato Sauce

In a large pot over med/high heat, brown the ground beef then with a slotted spoon remove beef and set aside. In same pot, add a little EVOO if you need to and add in onion and mushrooms. Sautee for about 5 minutes then add in the jalapenos and Anaheim chili’s. Sautee another 10 minutes on medium heat. Add in the garlic and sautee another 2 minutes.

Add in the cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder. Stir until coated. Add in beans and the ground beef. Sautee about 2 minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. Sautee another 2 minutes. Add in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir everything together.

Simmer over a low heat with a lid on but slightly cracked for about 2 hours stirring occasionally. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly. Enjoy.

Roasted Tomatillo Chili Salsa

20 – 25 Tomatillos
3 Jalapenos – Seeded & Roughly Chopped
2 Anaheim Chili Peppers – Seeded & Roughly Chopped
1 Onion – Roughly Chopped
5 Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Combine all ingredients in a large baking dish. Coat in about 2 tbsp. of EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic powder. Stir to coat everything evenly.

Place in a 450 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until everything appears roasted. Stir ½ way through. Take out of the oven and let cool. Place everything in a food processor and pulse until you get the texture you’re looking for. Can be slightly chunky.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Garlic & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

3 Cans Garbanzo Beans – Drained & Rinsed
5 Cloves Garlic
½ tsp. Cumin
¼ cup Parsley – Use the stems as well as leaves
A few drops of Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
½ cup Roasted Red Peppers
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp Pepper

Place beans, garlic, parsley, peppers in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add in cumin, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper. Turn on food processor and as it’s blending, slowly add in EVOO until a smooth blend. May be a little chunky for texture if you like. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with toasted pita chips or tortilla chips.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Zesty Sauteed Spinach

½ Onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp garlic flavored EVOO
1 tbsp Butter
1 lb Spinach
3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp Chili flakes
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

In a medium heat pan, add evoo, butter and then onion. Sautee onion a few minutes until softened, add garlic then about 1 minute later, add chili flakes. Sautee about 1 minute.

Add in spinach until wilted, constantly mixing in the pan. When almost fully wilted add salt and pepper. Sautee 1 more minute. Then add balsamic vinegar and stir. Remove from heat and ready to eat.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lentil And Brown Rice Rolls

• Butter, for greasing the baking dish
• 6 large Swiss chard leaves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
• Salt, pepper
• Mozzarella Cheese, sliced

• * 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
• * 1 cup cooked lentils
• 1 packed cup baby arugula leaves, chopped
• ½ cup goat cheese, at room temperature
• ½ cup mozzarella cheese, diced
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• One 26-ounce jar marinara or tomato-basil sauce
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, or unsalted butter diced into 1/4-inch pieces

* I cook the brown rice and lentils in chicken stock w/ 1 smashed garlic clove in each, but you can use vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian meal. I also use homemade stocks and marinara but store bought is fine, just use low sodium.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Remove the thick stem from the center of each chard leaf. Cut each leaf in half lengthwise. Trim the ends from the leaves to make each leaf-half about 7 inches long and 5 inches wide. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves and cook for 45 seconds. Remove the leaves and rinse with cold water. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice, arugula, goat cheese, mozzarella, lentils, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling onto the end of each chard leaf and roll up like a jellyroll.

Spoon 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, in a single layer on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce on top and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each roll, sprinkle with the Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil or dot the top with butter, if using, and bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are heated through, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup w/ Jumbo Croutons

2 Large heads of Broccoli
2 Celery Stalks – diced
2 Carrots – peeled and diced
1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms – diced
2 Med. Onions – diced
4 Cloves of Garlic – crushed
2 Sweet Potatoes – peeled and diced
2 Large White Potatoes – peeled and diced
1 ½ Cups White Wine
2 Cups Water
4 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cups Half & Half Cream
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese – shredded
2 Tbsp Butter
Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Heat Oven to 400 degrees. Largely chop broccoli and in a large bowl, coat with EVOO, salt and pepper. Mix well and then spread out onto a baking sheet. Roast about 45 minutes or until slightly browning. Set aside 2/3 of roasted broccoli and chop it.

In a large bowl add remaining 1/3 of broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, sweet potatoes and white potatoes.

In a large pot on medium / high heat add 2 tbsp of EVOO & butter. Add in celery, carrots and onions. Sautee about 10 minutes.

Add in the broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, and potatoes. Sautee another 10 minutes.

Add 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, stir. Add in 1 ½ cups white wine. Reduce heat to simmer and cover w/ lid cracked for 20 minutes or until almost all wine is reduced, stirring occasionally.

Add in 4 cups chicken stock (I make my own but if you buy it from a box make sure it’s low sodium). Simmer for about 20 minutes then add in 2 cups water. Simmer 1 hr covered with the lid slightly cracked.

Once all the vegetables are soft, blend in a blender or immersion mixer. Add back into the pot and add in the remaining 2/3 chopped broccoli. Simmer for about 10 minutes then add in Half & Half. Simmer another 10 minutes and then add in Cheddar Cheese.

Once cheese is melted, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer ½ hour. If the soup is too thick, thin out with a little more chicken stock.

Take a large baquette and either chop or break into about 1 inch chunks. In a large bowl w/ bread add in EVOO, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well then spread out on a baking sheet. When you put the broccoli to roast, add in the croutons too. Bake the croutons for about ½ hour or until they are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Ladle the soup into a bowl and add the croutons for garnish. Enjoy.