Tag Archives: recipes

Pesto Cucumber Salad

Fast! This recipe is so easy, it shouldn’t really be called a recipe. But it’s so good I had to share. We eat this at least twice a week at our house.
I use the pesto sauce from Costco, but most markets make excellent pesto these days.
And what should you do with the extra pesto sauce? Mix it with rice! Delicious!

cucumber

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Frittata Recipe

Eggs! Veggies! Cheese! Healthy stuff! 

A frittata is quick-easy and, like most of my recipes, doesn’t call for exact ingredients.

I usually serve it with a salad. ( Actually, that’s a gross misrepresentation– pointing to the bag of greens while saying “You want salad? There it is!” is how I “serve”)

You might note that there’s only 1/2 the frittata in the pic below. That’s because after removing it from the oven, I left the kitchen for several moments. BIG mistake!  When I returned, a hungry 19 yr old had already descended upon it!
Note: This can also be made without cheese for those who are lactose intolerant.

frittata

 

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Roasted Beet Salad

I know! I know! Beets… But it’s time to re-think  how delicious this veggie can be if served right!

beet saladThis tasty salad recipe comes from my future daughter in-law. She always has the most wonderful  recipes for vegetables–no doubt because her family owns
Weiser Family Farms. They are organic farmers and their certified organic specialty produce is found on the menus of  some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.

Lucky for us, their certified organic produce is also  available at 18 different farmers markets in SoCal. Check their website for farmer market times and locations and also for lots of yummy healthy organic recipes.

I wasn’t a fan of beets until just a few years ago. This root vegetable is a good source of beets5glycine betaine ( good for your blood), folates, vitamin A, carotenoids, flavonoids, anti-oxidants, as well as a host of B-complex vitamins and  minerals. That’s one healthy vegetable!

Salad Ingredients
  • 4-5 small beets ( golden, candy-stripped, or regular)
  • 1 bag of baby arugula
  • blue cheese
  • optional: candied pecans or walnuts
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Dressing Ingredients
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
Directions
Place foil in a baking dish with beets. Lightly coat beets with olive oil, salt,and pepper. Wrap  beets in foil to form a packet. Bake the beets at 350 degrees until fork tender (approx 40 minutes). I use my toaster oven.  Let beets cool until warm. To remove skin, use a paper towel and simply rub off the skin- quick and easy! Slice beets and chill in refrigeration until ready to assemble salad.

Toss arugula, chilled beets, dressing, and blue cheese. Top with candied walnuts/pecans if desired.

Dressing: 2 parts lemon juice to 1 part olive oil. Season with garlic salt.

I could eat this salad every day! Thanks Steffy, for the great recipe.

See you at the farmer’s market!

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The Merkabah Recruit
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Apple Pie

Who doesn’t love APPLE PIE!

It’s comfort food!

I’m all about fast and easy recipes.  (Fast and easy also describes one of the characters in The Merkabah Recruit) Editing and rewriting consumes much of my time, so I like to get in and out of the kitchen fast!

Apple pie is one of the quickest and simplest pies to make!

Unless you’re a purest, skip the homemade crust. There are plenty of excellent crusts on the market. Check the refrigerated section–grocery stores usually keep them near the cookie dough.

 

 

Ingredients  

  • green apples, 6 or more depending on size, peeled and sliced

    This makes peeling apples a snap! Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond and most kitchen stores.

  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • a few pats of butter
  • pie dough for top and bottom crust
  • a splash of lemon juice if the apples begin to turn brown while your peeling
Mix apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Add more cinnamon and sugar to taste.

Roll out one of the dough rounds in glass pie pan. Heap apple mixture in pan–I like my pie stuffed with apples. Cover with top crust. Seal bottom and top together using thumbs and forefingers.

 

Puncture crust with fork in a pretty sunburst pattern.

Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar (adds sparkle). Bake in 425 oven for 15 minutes then lower to 325 for 35-40 minutes.  If fluted edges become too brown, cover with tin foil and continue baking.

Serve plain or a la mode. Drizzle caramel sauce over top.

Ziti

Cheesy pasta goodness! A cross between lasagna and spaghetti!
Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Ziti is one of my son’s favorite meals.

The basic no-frills recipe.

Note: For super fast prep time, I buy pre-shredded cheese and the marina sauce,

  • 1 pound al dente ziti
  • 12 oz ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4  cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 cups ( a jar and 1/2) of marina sauce
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste. ( personally I think bottled sauce has plenty of salt, so I just   add pepper)
  • Optional mix-ins
  • 1 lb cooked ground beef, or chicken, or spicy Italian sausage (remove casing and brown on stove top)
  • 3-4  chopped roasted garlic ( or saute a tablespoon of minced garlic in butter)
  • Italian seasoning like sage, thyme, basil, rosemary, or  Italian spice mix ( fresh is best but who can get to the grocery store every day?)
  • red pepper flakes ( to taste)
  • top with fresh sliced tomatoes
Combine ricotta eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan and spread enough sauce on bottom of 9 X 13-inch glass pan to prevent pasta from sticking. Layer ziti and mixture and mozzarella  Top layer should be mozzarella and remainder of Parmesan. I  top my ziti with sliced tomatoes and more mozzarella.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or  until  cheesy is melt-licious and sauce is bubbling.
Mmmmm.

Before it goes into the oven

This recipe makes A LOT of food, and without the meat, the 9 x 13 pan is brimming.

Enjoy!

Love or Hate? Turkey leftovers

One can only eat so many turkey sandwiches. My task, therefore, is to CONCEAL the turkey leftovers from the hungry, Christmas shopping hoard! My family will eat almost anything if it’s got some heat to it!

Turkey enchiladas

  • Turkey
  • 1 can large can green chilies, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • Green/red/yellow peppers, sliced
  • Flour tortillas
  • Shredded Jack cheese
  • Sour cream, guacamole or Mexican Crema (optional)

Sauté onions, peppers, and green chili, in pan. Add leftover turkey.

Wrap mixture with flour tortillas. Place in  glass Pyrex pan. Pour sauce over. Sprinkle cheese. (OR pour heated sauce over afterwards it bakes.)  Bake in 350 for ½ hr

Top with guacamole, sour cream, or Mexican Crema sauce if desired. 

Tomatillo sauce

  • 2    12 oz cans tomatillo drained            
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • Bunch cilantro
  • 1/4- 1/3 lime juice

Blend in Blender (that’s super redundant)

 Turkey soup- remember its soup, so ingredients and amounts can vary to suit

  • chopped carrots ( leftovers OK)
  • 4-5 stalks chopped celery
  • Any other leftover veggies
  • 1 diced onion
  • Leftover turkey drippings (optional)
  • 2- 3 cartoons chicken broth
  • Handful of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 can Garbanzo beans
  • Diced jalapenos ( optional)
  • Handful of rice, barley, or pasta (optional)

Heat through or until pasta,rice, or barley is cooked. Add turkey last before serving!  

 

Foodie Tuesday: Easy creamed soup

Creamed Soup in a Snap!

I love soup and so I’ve devised a few easy and FAST recipes that meet my low sodium, low fat, high flavor requirements.

For the photos, I used the ever-so–trendy orange cauliflower, but the recipe suits a few other veggies as well. Lots of calorie options in this recipe.

Creamed Vegetable Soup

  • Head cauliflower (white cauliflower, broccoflower, butternut squash or carrots are tasty substitutes) Cut into chunks. The smaller the chunks, the faster it cooks.
  • 1 carton chicken stock ( I prefer the organic kind)
  • 1-2 yellow onions
  • Minced garlic (optional)
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  • Shredded Parmesan ( optional topping)
  • Cream (optional)

Saute onion in butter, add minced garlic if desired. Toss in chopped vegetables and pour in carton of chicken stock. Cook veggies over medium flame until soft. In batches, transfer veggies and stock into blender. Blend. Return pureed mixture back to pot. Add salt and pepper to taste (add red pepper flakes if you’re a fan). Reheat.

Depending on how fat/calorie conscious you are, mix in anywhere from a teaspoon to a Tablespoon of cream to the bowl. (I have a lactose intolerant child so I don’t put any cream in her bowl.) Sprinkle with Parmesan and nutmeg.

Delicious!  

 

 

 

Foodie Tuesday:Pork & Cabbage Recipe

There’s nothin’ like the smell of a delicious meal when you return home from work! Problem is-that never happens unless I put the food in the Crockpot before I leave at 6:30 in the morning. This mom has a day job (teacher), night job (writer), and in-between job (head chef and supply clerk)! This might sound VERY familiar to the women.

So once a week, I try to make a crockpot meal—I know—I know—so suburban—but hey, I’m assured a tasty nutritious, calorie conscious (always) meal.

Here’s the recipe for the meal I made the other day. Pork & Purple Cabbage. Warning—I come  from a long line of eastern European peasant woman who do NOT believe in precise measurement, instead practicing the art of culinary vagueness!

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin (sorry future daughter-in-law)
  • Small head purple cabbage cut in about 1 inch strips ( no need for preciseness-just cut it up & trash the hard white core)
  • 2 large yellow onions chopped
  • 3 apples peeled and chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Splash of  ( good ) red wine vinegar
  • tsp fennel ( optional)
  • brown sugar (1/2 cup)

Place pork loin in bottom on crockpot on high and dump everything else on top. Cook on MEDIUM

Serve with: pasta, rice, or potatoes and some crusty bread.

I’m presently doing the no wheat thing (we’ll see how long that lasts), so I’ll fool my husband with gluten-free pasta (he’ll never know).

Hope you like it!

Time to eat!