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Blog Archives

Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemon

If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.

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Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons

Ingredients

  • one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
  • a few sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few coarse grindings of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
  3. Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary.  I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
  4. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
  5. Serve hot with toasted bread
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Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

We likely all grew up with cauliflower smothered with Velveeta cheese. I was never quite sure that I didn’t like the cheese best? As my taste buds have matured I was willing to give roasted cauliflower a chance. I also like Thai foods. Grand slam for this recipe.  You can certainly adjust the amount of Thai red curry paste you like, but as is the recipe is not all that hot. Give it a try and stop looking at that whole cauliflower and thinking CHEESE!

Red Thai Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cauliflower head
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra to coat pan and for little pieces)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower and then wash
  3. Place the whole cauliflower head on a cutting board, with the stalk of the cauliflower facing up; then slice with a large, sharp knife into about 1 1/2″ thick slice, aiming to get 4, but if it’s a small head, you’ll get about 3. It isn’t a perfect science. Expect small pieces to break off (save these).
  4. Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or sheet pan with a little olive oil
  5. Place your “steaks” on the pan
  6. Mix together the red curry paste, olive oil and a little salt and pepper (based on your preferences – I go heavier on the pepper and wait until I taste later to add salt).
  7. Coat the cauliflower steaks on the side facing up (only) with the red Thai curry/oil mixture and then pop into the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, take the smaller pieces and put them into the bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
  9. After the 20 minutes, ip the “steaks” and add the small pieces
  10. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until soft in the middle and slightly charred. Enjoy!20190905_134246

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Shrimp

“Honey, I’m home!” (for all of those familiar with that old greeting from some TV show?) Welcome back former followers. Your encouragement is appreciated. A recent house sitter left behind some really nice frozen shrimp and (Pinterest to the rescue) I decided to thaw them out- 24 beautiful specimens which only required peeling and deveining. Once done, I put them in some cold water with a little salt and put them back in the refrigerator awaiting dinner prep.  Some fresh asparagus was also waiting to be used. Everything came together with very little prepping…

  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cocktail sauce for dipping (1/2 cup ketchup + 2 tablespoons horseradish)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with oil.

Place the shrimp in a single layer on the sheet. Evenly distribute olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss together with your hands and spread out again.

*Place the pan in the oven and roast the shrimp until just pink, firm and cooked. This should take 9 minutes. When done sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with whatever side you have chosen.

*NOTE…since the oven was on I also roasted the asparagus which was drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan. If you choose to do the asparagus, put it in the oven 10 minutes before the shrimp and leave them in until the shrimp are done.

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Creamy Cauliflower Chowder

Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!

It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!

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Creamy cauliflower chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes         Cook Time: 30 minutes       Yield: 4-5 people

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup diced Carrots
  • 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Salt to taste

Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping

 Instructions

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.

Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.

Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.

Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if  you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

New diet equals new foods! Just in at Costco – Cauliflower Rice! Pinterest has recipes for almost everything…shown here with roasted peppers, grilled salmon and avocado salsa. Supposedly all Keto friendly.

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Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower “rice” is now widely available in many supermarkets, including Costco Merida. There are many different recipes for using it, but this one is very simple!
Ingredients
5 cups cauliflower rice
3 T butter
3 garlic cloves minced
7 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil)
Chopped parsley
Directions
In a small saucepan, combine butter and garlic, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let it burn!
In a separate fry pan, skillet or wok add 1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra Virgin Olive oil OR coconut oil). Medium heat. Stir in the cauliflower rice and continue stirring until it is warmed through.
Pour I the butter mixture and stir to blend.
Top with the shredded Parmesan and mix well. Add chopped parsley! SERVE.
Instead of the butter and cheese, try pesto sauce…OR cilantro and lime…

 

Green Beans with Lemon and Feta

This is a great and easy accompaniment to a great steak and maybe a potato! Can you tell this by the photo?

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Great for BBQ season as well…

GREEN BEANS WITH LEMON AND FETA

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 to 1 pound of fresh green beans (stem end snipped off), washed
  • 4 heaping tablespoons feta cheese
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add about 1/2 inch of water to a medium-sized sauté pan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Add beans, cover and continue to cook on medium-high for 4-5 minutes or until fork tender but still crispy.
  3. Drain and return to pan. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Place green beans on a plate and sprinkle with feta, then lemon juice, then pepper (and salt if desired).
  4. Serve immediately. (But they are also pretty great cold!)

 

 

Fennel, Granny Smith Apple and Pecorino Salad

He is back! We are finally here again after our long trip away where we ate too much and drank too much wine…LOL. We did pick up some great new recipes which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. This first one was prepared by our good friend, Carole, up in Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario. I am not a great fennel fan, but this was very tasty and not strong on the fennel taste. If you are a GREAT fan of fennel use the 2 bulbs called for…we however only used one smallish one.

Fennel, Granny Smith Apple and Pecorino Romano Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 medium fennel bulbs (according to your love of fennel)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • About 1½ ounces pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (½ cup shavings)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Instructions
  • Chop off the fronds where they meet the body of one fennel bulb. Halve the fennel, then thinly slice it, using a mandolin or a very sharp, thin-bladed chef’s knife. Repeat with the other bulb. You should have 2 cups of slices. Set them aside. Chop 1 tablespoon of the fronds and set it aside separately. Discard the remaining fronds.
  • Put the fennel and apple slices in a bowl. Add the pecorino Romano, lemon zest, ¼ cup olive oil, and parsley. Toss gently. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the salad on a large, chilled serving plate. Drizzle more olive oil generously over the top, and scatter with the chopped fennel fronds just before serving.

 

  • VARIATIONS
  • If you can’t find pecorino Romano cheese, or simply prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano, by all means substitute it.
  • Crisp, sweet pears, such as Bosc, are a good autumnal replacement for the apples.

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Shrimp

Always looking for a great appetizer and this one surely qualifies. In the case of both the oregano and basil I would use fresh in place of the dried. If you are ever caught with cocktail sauce, a simple recipe blends 1/2 cup ketchup + 2 Tablespoons horseradish!

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Shrimp (http://inspiredbycharm.com)

1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I prefer fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I prefer fresh)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Parsley leaves, chopped for garnish
Cocktail sauce (optional)

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with oil or nonstick spray.

Place the shrimp in a single layer on the baking. Evenly distribute the olive oil, parmesan, garlic, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss together with a spoon or your hands.

Place the pan of shrimp in the oven and roast the shrimp until just pink, firm, and cooked through. This should take 7-9 minutes. When done, sprinkle with lemon juice.

Cherry Tomato Salad (Found on Annie’s Eats)

What happens when you buy too many cherry tomatoes at Costco? You get desperate to use them up…LOL. This salad was great!

Cherry Tomato Salad http://www.annies-eats.com/

2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 4 cups)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 medium shallot minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

ground black pepper

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch chunks

4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about 1 cup)

1-2 tablespoons parsley minced

Combine the tomatoes, salt and sugar in a medium bowl and toss. Let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a salad spinner and spin until the seeds and excess liquid have been removed (about one minute). SAVE 1/2 cup juice.

Return the tomatoes to the original bowl.

Combine 1/2 cup of the liquid with garlic, oregano, shallot and vinegar in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Whisk in the oil and season with pepper to taste.

Add the cucumber, goat cheese and parsley to the bowl of tomatoes. Toss with the dressing and serve.