Zucchini Parmesan (low fat)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is e8e3b1d8-7f75-481e-bc37-562a1f1b328a_1_201_a.jpeg

Adapted from NYT Cooking.

This is a delicious dish that will make a zucchini lover out of anyone. Serve alongside pasta to make it a complete meal.

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1-28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably SM brand pictured below)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

For the Zucchini

  • 2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

For the sauce:

  1. To make tomato sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and basil sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. When tomatoes are bubbling briskly, stir and simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

For the zucchini

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.
  2. Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
  3. Place sliced zucchini in a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  4. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the underside and tender (it’s ok if it doesn’t get browned).
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.

To assemble:

  1. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of dish.
  2. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce.
  3. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  6. Drizzle on little bit of olive oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is large_8d20e0ec-99a0-4717-a0a7-a4203df92a06.jpg
This is my favorite brand for canned tomatoes

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Chickpeas

This is a delicious, nutritious, and hearty salad that lasts for days in the fridge.

Inspired by Ina Garten’s Farro Tabbouleh with Feta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, halved, seeded, and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (if you like parsley, use the entire bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces feta, 1/2-inch diced-not crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • Pitted Kalamata olives, drained

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the farro and place it in a large saucepan with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. I highly recommend cooking farro the way it is prepared in Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumbers, chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. 
  3. Drain the farro and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add the warm farro to the vegetables and herbs and add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Carefully stir in the feta and olives.

*I have found with most beans and grain salads that much less oil is needed in the dressing than typical green salads. Therefor typical oil to acid ratios don’t apply.


Blue Zones Kitchen Black Eyed Pea Salad with Mint & Onions

Adapted from The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound black-eyed peas (or four 15-ounce cans, drained) (pinto or white beans work well too)
  • 3 green onions, tops removed and coarsely chopped (I chop the tops as well)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated (I use 2 carrots)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup greens like spinach, baby kale, or sweet dandelion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (at least 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt)
  • Dill (optional for garnish)

The following are ingredients I like to add.

  • Juice of 2 lemon (I don’t think the vinegar adds nearly enough acid so I like to add lemon juice)
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Directions

  1. If using dried black-eyed peas, place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid, tilting lid slightly to let some steam escape.
  2. Cook for an hour, or until peas are tender.
  3. While peas are still hot, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. If using canned black-eyed peas, just drain, rinse, and heat on a stovetop over medium heat with all other ingredients until warmed through (5-6 minutes). (I usually use canned beans and don’t bother heating them).
  5. Garnish with dill, if using.
  6. Serve warm or cold.

Soba Noodles with Swiss Chard

This is a simple, nutritions, and surprisingly delicious dish that comes together in about 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 servings Soba noodles, 110g (I like Eden Organic)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced or minced
  • 1 medium bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken (or vegetable flavor)
  • Freshly cracked pepper 
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package.
  2. Drain the soba noodles, reserving a little cooking water.
  3. Optional: Stir the noodles with a little butter and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a little oil or butter in a large saucepan or pot.
  5. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until fragrant.
  6. Add bouillon and 1/4 water; stir.
  7. Add chard and cook until soft and wilted, approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chard and soy sauce to the noodles and toss well. If the noodles seem dry, add a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid.


Orzo with Everything

This is a no-recipe. Add as much or little of these as you like. For ideas of other ingredients to add, see Ina Garten’s wonderful recipe for Orzo with Roasted Vegetables.

Ingredients

  • Half a package of orzo
  • Dash of cayenne or pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons or more pine nuts, pan toasted in 1 tablespoon of butter (until butter and pine nuts are browned)
  • Golden raisins, chopped into pieces
  • Garbanzo beans (start with 1/2 cup)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
    Dressing:
  • Lemon juice to taste (start with 2 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil to taste (start with 3 tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (start with 1 teaspoon salt)

Directions

  1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
  2. Toss the orzo with browned butter and pine nuts.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well.
  4. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; taste and adjust as needed.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Za’atar Oil

Recipe adapted from Milk Street’s Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon salted butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch-dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils (picked over and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • kosher salt

For Serving

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (I use za’atar)
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. I briefly use an immersion blender to slightly cream up the soup.
  3. Meanwhile (if using Aleppo pepper), in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. If using za’atar, no need to heat the oil.
  4. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper or za’atar oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.

page2image43457856
page2image43458048
page2image43458240
page2image43458432
page2image43458624
page2image43458816
page2image43459008
page2image43459200
page2image43459392
page2image43459584
page2image43459776
page2image43459968
page2image43460160
page2image43460352
page2image43460544
page2image43460736
page2image43460928
page2image43461120
page2image43461312
page2image43461504
page2image43461696
page2image43461888
page2image43462080
page2image43462272
page2image43462464
page2image43462656
page2image43462848
page2image43463040
page2image43463232
page2image43463424
page2image43463616
page2image43463808
page2image43464000
page2image43464192
page2image43464384
page2image43464576
page2image43464768
page2image43464960
page2image43465152
page2image43465344
page2image43465536
page2image43465728
page2image43465920
page2image43466112

01

02

03

DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.

Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.


White Beans in Tomato Sauce

My son’s favorite meal – a very simple dish that comes together in 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (2/3 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce (preferably Hunts)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I like to use 1 tsp better than boullion with 1 cup water)
  • 2 cans cannellini, great northern, or navy beans (or 1.5 cups dried beans)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot, Dutch oven or stovetop pressure cooker.
  2. Add onions, salt, and pepper and cook, partially covered, until the onions are completely soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, and beans; bring to a simmer.
  5. Cover and let cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer the sauce to be thicker, uncover and simmer until desired consistency is reached.

Pressure cooker instructions: Sometimes, rather than using a regular pot, I’ll prepare this in my stovetop pressure cooker. I let it come to pressure for about 5 seconds and do a quick release. It’s amazing how much of an impact that makes on the final result.

Serve over rice.


Dr. Weil’s Tuscan Kale Salad

Adapted from Dr. Weil

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Lacinato or dinosaur kale (the flat leaves), chopped into small pieces (I also like curly kale)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (I use 2 tablespoons)
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed (I use half of a clove)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread (I use Panko)
  • I like to add currants or cranberries

Directions

  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
  2. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well, using your hands, gently massage the dressing into the leaves. This step is very important as it tenderizes the leaves.
  3. Add most of the cheese and toss again.
  4. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.

Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

This is one of my favorite Ina Garten recipes. It is loaded with vegetables and full of flavor. It makes a great side dish, pot luck dish, or even a meal on its own. It’s great cold or at room temperature, and holds up beautifully in the fridge. I modified the recipe slightly to reduce unnecessary oil. I have also simplified the directions. The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1.5 teaspoon kosher salt (I use 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 pound feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled) (I use 1/2 pound)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (I use 2 tablespoons – there is plenty of oil already on the vegetables)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425-F.
  2. In a large bowl toss the bell peppers, onion, and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper.
  3. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into long slices (approximately 1/2 inch thick).
  4. Lightly brush the slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper.
  5. Cut the eggplant slices into one vertical slices and then into 3/4 inch cubes.
  6. Add the eggplant to the bowl with the other vegetables. (The reason I add oil to the eggplant separately from the other vegetables is because eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge and will prevent the other vegetables from getting coated).
  7. Pour the vegetables onto a sheet pan (two sheet pans may be necessary to prevent the vegetables from being over crowded).
  8. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
  9. Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to the package.
  10. For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  11. Drain and transfer the orzo to a large serving bowl. Toss with the dressing.
  12. Add the roasted vegetables and toss.
  13. Allow to cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pine nuts, feta, and basil.

Quinoa Salad with Feta, Grapes & Walnuts

This nutritious salad is a meal in itself. I love all the different textures and flavors. This salad is great in a packed lunch and holds up really well in the fridge. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup red or green grapes, halved
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (or use slivered almonds)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped up
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if not using feta, increase salt)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallot or 1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced (If salad will be stored for leftovers I omit the onions/shallots. They get stronger tasting as they sit and overpower the salad).

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa and then bring to a boil with 1 3/4 cups water. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Allow the quinoa to cool completely.
  3. Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well.
  4. Add all the ingredients, except feta, into a salad bowl. Add dressing and toss well.
  5. Sprinkle the crumbled feta on top and gently toss.