Some of the most savory - and simplest - recipes come from finding abandoned treasures in the fridge. On a balmy Sunday afternoon, I found myself lusting for Greek inspired food, and I followed my craving to my refrigerator where surprisingly, I had several ingredients need to whip up a Greek Orzo Salad.
1 package of Orzo
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 medium sized tomato
1 large cucumber
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
sliced Kalamata olives
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
salt to taste
While cooking the Orzo, I sliced and removed the seeds from a ripe ruby tomato (it is best to use a ripe tomato for this recipe) and a pale green crunchy cucumber. Next I chopped the salty and slightly bitter olives and then set those ingredients aside while I collected the lemon juice and garnished the juice with the oregano, salt and pepper.
Bathing the tomatoes, cucumbers and olives in the lemon and herb mixture, I let these ingredients marinate while the orzo finished cooking. Once the orzo was done, I slowly infused the orzo with the lemon, vegetables and olives - carefully distributing the ingredients evenly with the orzo.
For the finishing touch I used my hands to break up the feta into miniscule pieces and then sprinkled the salad with the cheese.
This salty, citrus and fragrant salad can be served warm or cold, I prefer cold though, and adds the perfect Greek flavors to any summer meal.
Happy treasure hunting!
If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?
In times of despair and delight the one dish that I always crave is Muffin Bread Pudding. Taking notes from the best of both worlds - breakfast and dessert - this dish seamlessly takes ordinary day old muffins and transforms them into a scrumptious aromatic bread pudding that is irresistible at any time of the day.
6 day old muffins of any kind (can be purchased at most local bakeries)
2 cups of nonfat milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a dash of nutmeg
In a large bowl crumble up the muffins using your hands into tiny pieces. Whisk the eggs with the milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Next slowly dribble the egg mixture over the muffins, carefully mixing as you go. The muffin bread pudding should be slightly soupy when you pour it into the baking dish - if the consistency is too firm then add some additional milk. Bake the muffin bread pudding at 350 for 30-35 muffins.
The Indian spice, cumin, has the power to make any vegetable absolutely delectable. The slightly bitter taste of cumin enhances the tastes of vegetables by bringing forth the sweet and more subtle flavors of other vegetables, especially carrots, which is my favorite vegetable to coat with cumin. Roasting vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and of course cumin, is an effortless way to make savory vegetables that will provide any meal with an exotic flair.
Carrots and cauliflower (As many as you would like)
Rinse and peel the carrots, then cut them into one inch pieces but make sure to cut the carrots on a diagonal angle. Repeat with the cauliflower and cut it into tiny pieces. Set the vegetables on a baking sheet and brush on a liberal amount of olive oil. Season the vegetables by sprinkling on salt, black pepper and cumin - use your judgement for the amount. Cook at 400 degreesmfor 30 minuets.
I don’t like gourmet cooking or “this” cooking or “that” cooking. I like good cooking.
I love tossing together pasta salads like this one because it is an easy way to avoid long hours cooking in the heat and this salad also combines some of my favorite summer flavors.
1/2 package of funghini pasta or anellini pasta or both!
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of dill
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon and lemon rind for taste
1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
kosher salt and ground black pepper
First boil the water and cook the pasta(s) while preparing the other ingredients, it is important to douse the pasta is cold water after it is done cooking so the pasta does not become too soft and mushy. Cut the zucchini into small quarter size pieces and then heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. After the oil begins to heat (30 seconds - 1 min.) add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute the zucchini until the zucchini softens and turns a golden brown, approximately 7 minutes. After taking the zucchini off of the stove, put the zucchini and the oil it cooked with into a large bowl with the pasta. Add the additional olive oil, lemon juice, dill, white wine vinegar, Parmesan cheese and sprinkle salt and pepper for taste.
Another option is to substitute the Parmesan cheese with feta taste for a stronger flavor. Happy eating!
Quinoa has transformed into the trendy grain of the moment. With its many health benefits, including a good source of protein and iron, Quinoa is also gluten free. Who would have thought that one grain has all those benefits? Most importantly, Quinoa is an extremely filling grain…so move over rice.
One of my favorite Quinoa dishes is garlic and basil Quinoa with chicken. The garlic and basil provide the flavors that plain Quinoa is lacking.
1 cup of Quinoa
2 cups of chicken broth
2 pounds of chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
5 garlic cloves or 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 scallions, chopped finely
lots of fresh basil leaves
First cook the Quinoa in the chicken broth and set aside while cooking the chicken and vegetables. Cut the peppers, scallions and garlic into thin slices or bits and set aside. Then cut the chicken breasts into strips that are one inch wide and season with kosher salt ans ground black pepper. In a sautee pan, turn the heat on to medium and combine the olive oil and garlic for 30 seconds or until the garlic becomes slightly softer. After, add the chicken strips and cook for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is lightly brown. Quickly add the peppers and scallions and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the peppers have become limp, but make sure the chicken is not cooked for too long or it will dry out. Take the chicken and peppers off the heat and combine the Quinoa and fresh basil leaves and toss until the basil leaves become limp and then serve immediately!