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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Broccoli and Goat Cheese Frittata

Last week I whipped up a quick dinner using eggs, leftover vegetables and cheese. Frittata's are my favorite go-to meal when I am looking to use up a few leftover ingredients. With an egg base, you can add just about any food item and your result will be delicious, as long as they're is cheese involved! My simple frittata contained broccoli, onion, goat cheese and spices. Goat cheese has a naturally pungent flavor which works great when paired with milder ingredients such as broccoli. My frittata recipe is usful for a bunch, lunch or dinner on the go!

Broccoli and Goat Cheese Frittata
(serves about 6)

2 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thin
3 cups washed and cut broccoli
1 tbsp minced garlic
6 eggs and 4 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
Pinch salt, pepper and cayenne
1/4 cup fresh chives, or any fresh herb
1 cup crumbled goat cheese

In a large cast iron pan, add olive oil over medium/high heat. Add your sliced red onion, and cook 2 minutes. When onion begins to char, add broccoli and cook until tender and crisp. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together your eggs, milk, seasonings and herbs. Turn down cast iron pan to low/medium and add all of the crumbled goat cheese. Then, pour egg mixture on top and cook on your stove top until top begins to bubble. Now transfer the cast iron pan into broiler on high until top begins to lightly brown. Cool at room temp and serve.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Passover Dinner


Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrating the Jews liberation over 3,000 years ago by God from slavery in Egypt. Passover is celebrated through a ritual dinner called a Seder. The Seder involves the retelling of the story to liberation.
Seder customs include drinking four cups of wine, eating unleavened bread or matzo, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Seder plate and reclining in celebration of freedom (wikipedia). Monday evening, my family gathered for this yearly holiday. The food traditions run just as deep as the rituals and include such courses as matzo ball soup, matzo sandwiches with horseradish and gefilte fish. Gefilte fish is a subject of much debate, much like spam. You either love gefilte or despise it. I happen to enjoy the dish. For those of you unfamiliar, gefilte is made from a poached mixture of ground boned fish, such as carp, whitefish or pike, which is typically eaten as an appetizer. My sister made homemade matzo ball soup and my mother prepared a roast, potatoes and eggplant bake for the main meal. For dessert, I prepared a vanilla custard over strawberries. The custard was light and delicious, exactly the type of dessert you need after a heavy meal. I recommend using extra mint as garnish, as it adds a lovely bright note to the sweet dessert. I hope you try these recipes at home, as you don't need a special holiday to enjoy them!

I have posted the recipe links for you below:

Strawberries and Custard:,1813,158175-252196,00.html

Matzo Ball Soup:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sweet Pea Ravioli over Caramelized Onion and Squash Puree

Last night I made delicious ravioli using brightly colored vegetables. I liked the idea of making a vegetarian ravioli using simple ingredients. The final product turned out beautifully. The ricotta and pea mixture was very light and fluffy, almost like a pillow. I liked the depth of flavor created by caramelizing the onion alongside the squash. Chives as garnish add light onion flavor rounding out the dish. Kids would love helping make this dish because of the fun colors... something to consider cooking next St. Patrick's day perhaps?! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Sweet Pea Ravioli over Caramelized Onion and 
Squash Puree

1/2 bag frozen sweet peas, thawed 
1/2 container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 large squash, boiled and mashed
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 large yellow onion
Salt, pepper, garlic to taste
1 package round won-ton wrappers
1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp water  
Chives and/or Parmesan for garnish 
2 tbsp melted butter 

In a blender, pulse together peas, ricotta and cream cheese. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Set aside in bowl. Next, sliver your yellow onion and saute in pan with olive oil 20 minutes, or until caramelized. Once caramelized,  add to blender with mashed squash, salt and pepper. 

Set up your ravioli station with pea filling, wrappers and egg wash. Add a small dollop of pea filling into center of wrapper (as pictured). With your finger wipe egg wash along edge of wrapper, then fold into a 4 sided star. Continue until all filling is used. To cook, bring large pot of salted water to boil. Gently add your raviolis in small batches until wrapper becomes translucent, only a few minutes. Once done, add squash and onion puree to the bottom of your bowl, top with ravioli, chives and drizzle of butter. Extra cheese optional. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Quinoa Salad

(Serves 6-8)
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red onion, diced
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 can garbonzo beans, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of one large lemon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Pinch salt and pepper to taste
Once your quinoa has been cooked, chill in refrigerator to cool. Add diced vegetables, beans and herbs to large bowl. Add all dressing ingredients and toss until well combined. Add more or less vinegar/lemon depending on your preference. Once quinoa has cooled, add to bowl and toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Last night I made a great dish I found in Food & Wine Magazine. I decided to add a bit extra to the recipe by adding thin vermicelli noodles and pickled cucumber to add another layer of texture and flavor. The sweet and spicy Korean sauce pairs excellent with the briny cucumbers and fresh herbs. I loved this recipe and would certainly make it again. I recommend making a little extra Korean sauce to use later in stir-fry's for fried rice. 

Click here for the recipe!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Harvest Salad

This past week I have been seeking out healthy meals I can cook in advance and eat throughout the week. I had the idea to make a pasta salad of sorts which could be eaten either cold or hot! I used Trader Joe's amazing grain blend as my base which includes: Israeli couscous, orzo, garbanzo, and red quinoa. I also added a whole slew of ingredients to my salad to add color and texture: toasted almonds, dried cranberries, basil, and butternut squash. I made my own salad dressing to pull all of my ingredients together. I think you are going to love this recipe! Check it out:

1 package Trader Joe's Harvest grain blend
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 bunch chopped fresh basil 

Maple Balsamic Dressing:
(makes 1 1/2 cups- store extra for future use)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil 
3 tbsp real maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white sugar 
2 tbsp minced garlic

Shake all ingredients together in mason jar and refrigerate.

Cook harvest grains to package directions and set aside. Meanwhile, bring pot of water to boil. Add cubed butternut squash and cook until tender. Drain. In large bowl, toss cooked harvest blend, butternut quash, almonds, cranberries and fresh basil. Dress with about 1/3 dressing or until grains are lightly coated. Serve warm or refrigerate for later meals. Enjoy!