CRAB AND SPINACH ENCHILADAS WITH TOMATILLO SAUCE

I didn’t set out to make enchiladas on a Monday night, the plan was crab cakes and salad, but when I told my son I was making crab cakes he looked at me and said “Mom, you know I don’t like crab cakes.” Well, I guess I really have been ignoring that, as I do believe that sometimes it takes ten or more times to try a food before you might like it. He actually used to like crab cakes, not sure what changed, but I decided why bother if he won’t eat it or just picks at it. So now what to do with the crab I bought earlier from Trader Joes. It was pre-packaged in the refrigerator section, so I didn’t have to use it yesterday, but I thought I would anyway, as I was now in the mood for it. I had a distant memory of crab enchiladas I made many years ago. I dug up the recipe and didn’t like how it looked (tastes change over time!). Then my husband and I both found a recipe online that looked pretty good for crab and avocado enchiladas, but it had a white sauce in and on it, which was not what I was thinking, I was thinking a green tomatillo sauce, so I created my own recipe. I was in a tremendous hurry and didn’t have a lot of confidence this would turn out to be worthy of this blog, so I didn’t take pictures. Nevertheless it was pretty tasty so I will post the recipe (best as I can remember). I will probably tweak it in the future and I will post that when/if I do. I have a feeling this would be just as good without the crab and just vegetables (adding a few more mushrooms and doubling the spinach).

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Crab and Spinach Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Veggie-filled crab enchiladas with a tomatillo sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh ear of corn with husk still on it
  • 1 small yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (in addition a jalapeño would be great as well if no one you are cooking for is afraid of spicy food)
  • 3 large mushrooms, diced
  • 1- 12 oz package of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or a little more of this and all spices)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz crabmeat — I used Chicken of the Sea pre-packaged lump crabmeat in the refrigerator section of Trader Joes. Fresh would be better but more time-consuming and more expensive, not to mention that crab is not currently in season here — yeah, I know this is a “seasonal” cooking blog…but I am not perfect.
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mixed Mexican cheese (1 cup for filling and ½ cup or so to top enchiladas with).
  • 8–12 tortillas — I used some corn and flour hybrid tortillas and some flour tortillas because they are easier to handle than plain corn, but enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas. The corn-flour ones were pretty small so I used about 10 tortillas total.
  • 2 cups (at least) of Tomatillo Sauce –NOTE: I knew I couldn’t make the enchiladas plus a sauce from scratch on a Monday night so I bought 2 packages of “Frontera Brand Green Chile Enchilada Sauce” (see picture below). It was pretty good actually but my son found it spicy (I disagree) — Here are links for two homemade tomatillo sauces from Cooking Light that I have made previously that I think would be very good in this recipe:http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/classic-salsa-verde or http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/green-chile-sauce 
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Microwave the corn in the husk for a few minutes until corn is tender. Cool and then cut kernels off the cob. Set aside.
  3. Chop onion, garlic, red pepper (jalapeño if using), mushrooms, and spinach.
  4. Heat a large skillet with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
  5. Sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper for 5 minutes in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook a few minutes longer until the mushroom water evaporates some. Add the chopped spinach and season with salt and pepper, oregano, chili powder and cumin. Stir well and cook for a few more minutes or until the spinach wilts.
  6. Remove the mixture from the heat and put into a large mixing bowl. Add crab and cheese and stir well.
  7. Spoon a few tablespoons of tomatillo sauce onto bottom of greased baking dish.
  8. Heat up tortillas if using corn tortillas (so they don’t crack when rolled). Flour tortillas don’t need heating.
  9. Spoon crab and vegetable mixture into tortillas. Roll them and place them seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the crab mixture is used up.
  10. Pour tomatillo sauce over enchiladas until it comes at least half-way up the enchiladas. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese over the top of the enchiladas (about ½ cup). Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown a bit and sauce is bubbly.
  11. Remove from oven and top with chopped avocado, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Serve and enjoy!

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Prepped vegetables.
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Vegetable mixture before spices, crab and cheese were added.
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Thin layer of sauce on bottom of baking dish
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Spreading the crab mixture onto the tortilla
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Enchiladas ready to bake
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Lighter enchilada casserole ready to bake

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The crab and tomatillo sauce pairs nicely with a bright citrusy white wine such as a Chablis or a Sauvignon Blanc.

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Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios

Updated Kale Salad pictures!

Healthy Seasonal Cooking

This is pretty much a straight-up Food and Wine/Andrew Zimmern recipe. Really easy and really flavorful! Original recipe included 2 scallions, thinly sliced and did not include the mushrooms or avocado (or sometimes tomatoes) that I added. I think some grilled shrimp or hardboiled egg would be really good in this as well.  I served this with Quick Brined Roasted Salmon with Lemon Garlic Oil and some simple brown Jasmine rice. Very easy and delicious meal. My son could not get enough of the salmon and the salmon’s savory sauce.

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Here is it with the tomato and as a side dish with salmon.img_3976IMG_4552

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Healthy Banana Muffins

As I was making my son breakfast I noticed that I had two perfectly ripe bananas. Too ripe for eating but perfect for baking, so I whipped up a quick batch of banana muffins. Yum! These are so delicious and quite healthy too with the whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour and almond meal, only a cup of sugar and wholesome bananas, eggs and yogurt. Try it for a quick breakfast with some fruit or a healthy snack.

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Healthy Banana Muffins

  • Servings: 12 large muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Rich, fragrant and healthy banana muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (flour)
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use non-fat, but use what you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, juice sweetened or unsweetened (watch out, these can have a lot of sugar added) or raisins
  • 1/4 cup nuts of choice (I used pumpkin seeds today)
  • parchment paper muffin liners

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine flours and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk.
  3. In a small bowl mix with a whisk the yogurt, oil, egg, banana and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the cranberries and nuts. Stir gently.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring just until moist. Will be pretty thick.
  5. Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with parchment paper muffin liners. The parchment liners don’t require any oil, they are non-stick and are an incredible find! If you don’t have these then lightly spray your muffin tins with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. I usually freeze half the batch to put in a lunch box or enjoy at a later date.

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May 16, 2017

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Mixing the dry ingredients
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Mixing the wet ingredients
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All ingredients mixed together

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Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad with Ricotta Salata

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Pretty warm day here in the Bay Area. I decided I would make crab cakes Crab Cakes and a tomato, corn and avocado salad. This was based on what looked fresh at the grocery store today. Just a quick salad that I threw together, no actual recipe, but I tried to capture it the best I could in the recipe below. Enjoy!

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Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad with Ricotta Salata

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Healthy and quick spring/summer salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters depending on size
  • 1 avocado, diced and soaked in lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (approx)
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, cooked and sliced off the cobb
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta salata cheese, very small dice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Procedure

  1. Combine the tomatoes, avocado with lime juice, corn and ricotta in a medium bowl. Try to add the corn while it is still hot or warm, it warms up the rest of the salad and makes the flavor more intense. Mix well.
  2. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well.

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May 10, 2017

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Artichoke Hummus

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So easy and so delicious! I got the recipe from Feed Me Phoebe and I have made it several times. The first couple of times I used Great Northern beans instead of Garbanzo beans and I have also used marinated artichokes instead of water-packed artichokes, but I think it is healthier with the water-packed artichokes. I have also added a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach in the past, which I would have done today, but I am out of spinach! The hummus is great any of these ways. Below is the basic recipe, pretty much unchanged from Phoebe Lapine’s recipe.

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Sublime with a Himalayan Pink Salt Lentil Chip

Artichoke Hummus

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Super quick and healthy hummus with items easily found in a pantry.

Credit:  Feed Me Phoebe 

Ingredients

  • One 15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • One 15-ounce can artichoke hearts in water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (one lemon)
  • kosher salt
  • pinch or two of paprika
  • one or two tablespoons of water
  • splash of extra virgin olive oil

Procedure

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor and puree until fairly smooth (I like it a little bumpy still). Taste for seasoning.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with crudités and lentil chips (or the more traditional pita chips). Enjoy!

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May 9, 2017

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Sizzled Shrimp and Asparagus Provençal

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I took a little blogging-break, but hopefully I am back for the next month or so. June blog entries will probably be very light if at all. But hey, who wants to cook in the summer anyway! This a a very simple and easy dish to slowly get myself back in the swing of writing again. This is a Food & Wine recipe that I added asparagus and mushrooms to. A very flavorful and nice quick weeknight dinner.

Sizzled Shrimp and Asparagus Provençal

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy+
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Healthy and flavorful dinner that combines garlic, lemon and olive oil with shrimp, asparagus and mushrooms to make a quick dish for a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (or white button), cut into thick slices
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends broken off and sliced into one-inch pieces
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (save time and buy it deveined, it is worth it!)
  • 2 tablespoon small capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Procedure

  1. In a very large skillet heat some olive oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add the asparagus and the shrimp and cook over high heat until the shrimp are lightly browned and barely opaque, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the capers and cook for 30 seconds. Turn the shrimp and add the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley. Cover and cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is slightly reduced. Transfer the shrimp mixture to a dish and spoon the sauce on top. Add a sprinkle of the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and serve. Enjoy with some crusty whole wheat bread or rice.

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May 8, 2017

Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices

Wow, ten days have passed since I last posted a recipe! My daughter was home for spring break and she was bored so she decided she would do a lot of the cooking, so Helpful! But she doesn’t follow recipes or want to participate in my blogging project, so I haven’t had much to post. Thank you again Melissa Clark and New York Times Cooking for this recipe! This is a very healthy and hearty vegetarian soup that can be bulked up further with lentils, grains or sausage (no longer vegetarian then) if one desires. We decided we just wanted a warm vegetarian soup that wasn’t too heavy, so we left it as is except we added a can of chopped tomatoes and some broth to the recipe.

Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich and Hearty vegetarian soup that has a lot of add-in options

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, oyster, etc. medium dice
  • ½ lb shallots, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (use a little less if dried)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • one 14.5 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • fresh lime juice, to taste (I cut one lime and served the wedges with the soup so people could squeeze in as much as they wanted at the table)
  • plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread out chopped mushrooms and shallots on a large lightly oiled sheet pan.  Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes and then stir. Roast for another 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have substantially shrunk and most of the liquid has evaporated. You can alternatively do this in the pot you are going to make your soup in by sautéing the vegetables.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add a little olive oil to just barely coat bottom of pot, after that is heated add the mushrooms and shallot mixture, tomato paste, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. If you like a little more spice, add a little more of all spices as I did. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in can of tomatoes including the liquid, 4 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently for at least 20 minutes. I simmered for over an hour because I had the extra time. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Using a blender or food processor, coarsely purée 1/2 of the soup and add back to unprocessed soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of fresh lime, sprinkle of thyme and an optional dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!

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March 26, 2017

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Simmering soup before spinach was added.
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Finished soup (I forgot to add the spinach).

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MUSHROOM (AND BEEF) BOLOGNESE

The only one who usually eats pasta in this house is my son, and frankly he can eat enough of it for all of us if I let him! We call him a “pastaterian.”  I came across a Food and Wine recipe entitled Spaghetti with Mushroom Bolognese that I based this recipe on.  I changed several things, most importantly I added ground beef and a little chicken breast sausage to 3/4 of the the recipe to satisfy my son who was craving a meaty Bolognese sauce but still left lots of vegetables in to make it healthier than a traditional almost all beef sauce. I also left 1/4 of it vegetarian to satisfy my daughter. The original recipe also called for eggplant but since I added meat I left out the eggplant.  Overall we all really liked how both the meat and the vegetarian versions tasted.  I noted where you can add the meat or leave it out depending on your preferences.   Note:  The quantities may look large in the pictures because I doubled the recipe so I can serve it again for a kid party in a couple of days. 

Mushroom (and Beef) Bolognese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce that can also have lean ground beef and mild chicken breast sausage added to it for a more traditional but vegetable-laden bolognese sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
  • one small onion, small dice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 3/4 lb lean grass-fed ground beef –IF it will not be vegetarian.
  • 1/4  lb mild ground chicken breast sausage —Note: This may be hard to find, at Whole Foods they made this up for me, just ask you butcher, or just use plain ground chicken breast or pre-made chicken sausage or lean ground beef. I think spicy chicken sausage would be really good except for my spice phobe… so I used the mild sausage.–IF it will not be vegetarian.
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, small dice
  • ½ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps diced
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon mild white miso (this is surprising but turned out to be worthwhile)
  • one 2-inch chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus grated cheese for serving
  • one 14.5 oz can crushed peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • one 14.5 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • 3 thyme sprigs (or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano (I probably add more, but I don’t measure)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (or honey, to cut the tomato acidity)
  • 1 package of fresh tagliatelle pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil (I think fresh is important here, dried basil really doesn’t taste the same, but do what you can)

Procedure

  1. In a small bowl, cover the porcini mushrooms with 1 cup of boiling water; soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Finely chop the porcini mushrooms, discarding any tough bits. Drain mushrooms, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms finely.
  2. In a large pot (I like to use an enameled cast-iron casserole, it cleans up easily) heat 1–2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Add additional oil if needed and then add the ground beef if using, chicken sausage if using, cremini, shiitake and chopped porcini mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste and miso and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chunk of cheese, tomatoes and their juices, thyme, oregano, sugar and reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Halfway cover the pot and cook over low heat so it simmers gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is very thick, about 1–1.5 hours. Discard the thyme and oregano sprigs (if using fresh herbs); season the sauce with salt and pepper and more oregano and thyme if needed.
  4. In a pot of boiling water (salt optional), cook the pasta until al dente. Drain
  5. Add the pasta and chopped basil to the sauce; toss to coat. Serve in bowls, topped with grated cheese.

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March 16, 2017

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Onions, carrot and garlic
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onions, carrot, garlic and mushrooms

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ground beef and chicken sausage

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Finished product! yum!

Spanakopita

I love, love, love Spanakopita, but I seldom make it because it is such a pain to deal with the phyllo dough. I made it today because I planned on making Fennel and Feta Salad with Bacon and the only cow’s milk feta I could find (my preferred feta) was giant-sized, so I decided to make some Spanakopita along with the salad to use up some of the feta. Unfortunately I still have a lot of feta left over. I usually make this the traditional way in rolled up triangles, but today I was going to make it easier and less fussy by putting it in a 8×8 baking dish and then cutting it into pieces. At the last minute I decided that it tastes so much better in individual packets, so I tried something different, muffin tins! You can see from the pictures that I am not going to win any awards for my presentation, they don’t look very uniform or very pretty, but they do taste incredible! So, I will probably not make them in muffin tins again, probably go back to rolling up triangles or trying the casserole approach. I based this off of a recipe from the Kosher Gourmet, adding mushrooms and herbs to the dish and only used 1 pound of spinach/baby kale/baby chard mix since I was adding a bunch of mushrooms.

Spanakopita

  • Servings: 6-8 depending on whether it is a side dish or a main course
  • Difficulty: medium+
  • Print

Slightly untraditional and healthier version of Spanakopita.

Ingredients

  • Phyllo Dough
  • 1 pound fresh spinach (today I actually used 2/3 spinach and 1/3 mixed spinach, baby chard and baby kale)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cremini mushrooms, small dice
  • 1 large garlic clove (or 2 small), minced
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • ~6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, minced (dry is ok, use a little less)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, minced (dry is ok, use a little less)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (dry is ok, use a little less)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs

Procedure

  1. Phyllo Dough – either thaw frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using or thaw on kitchen counter for two hours.
  2. Place the cottage cheese in a strainer over a small bowl and let it drain for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Working in bowlful batches, fill a microwave proof bowl with the spinach or whatever greens you are using and microwave for two minutes. Place cooked spinach in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside and repeat until all the spinach is cooked and squeezed out. Chop up the spinach and place in a large bowl.
  4. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and mushrooms with a little salt and pepper until soft and beginning to brown.  Add the garlic and chopped herbs and cook until fragrant, another 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  5. Mix together the pressed spinach, drained cottage cheese, cooked onion mixture, feta, lemon juice and nutmeg. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together the eggs and stir them into the spinach mixture.
  6. Lightly grease a 8″x 8″or 9″x 9″ casserole dish if making this the casserole method (highly recommended to save time!). Or if you are going to put in muffin tins grease those or if you are going to roll in triangles prepare a lightly oiled cookie sheet so the triangles have somewhere to land.
  7. Unroll the thawed phyllo dough on a large work surface.  If necessary, cut the pastry to 9- by 13-inch rectangles. Place plastic wrap over the phyllo dough with a damp dishcloth over the plastic at all times to prevent the thin sheets from drying out.
  8. Casserole Method:  Lay one sheet of phyllo on the bottom and brush it or spray it with olive oil. Continue layering five more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with olive oil. Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the pastry. Layer five more sheets of phyllo over the spinach, giving the top layer a final brush of olive oil. Lightly score the top layer of phyllo into eight squares with a paring knife. (This makes the pie easier to slice after baking.) …Or roll into traditional triangles or use the same layering technique in muffin tins.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pie is golden-brown and the top layers of phyllo are crisp. Allow the pie to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Keep them refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze. Leftovers will need to be reheated in the oven to regain their crispiness.

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March 8, 2017

 

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FENNEL AND FETA SALAD WITH BACON

I originally made this in the fall after going to the Farmer’s Market where I saw this very fresh and beautiful Fennel bulb that I had to buy as well as some super fresh assorted baby lettuces.  These are still available and looking pretty good at Whole Foods, so I thought I would make it tonight.  My recipe is inspired by Food and Wine’s Spinach and Fennel Salad with Candied Bacon . The F&W recipe uses A LOT of bacon and sugar, so I lightened the recipe by adding more vegetables, cutting out the “candied” part of the bacon and using 75% less bacon. I feel that just a little bacon adds a lot of punch, no need to go overboard. Yum! I really like the combination of the slightly sweet dressing with the very savory bacon and feta. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Fennel and Feta Salad with Bacon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Delicious and savory autumn or winter salad

Credit: Food & Wine 

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • 1 medium sized fennel bulb. Halved, cored and sliced very thinly
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the dressing plus some extra for drizzling on the fennel)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (this is very different from regular balsamic vinegar — I like it in this dressing because it is slightly sweet to contrast with the savory bacon and feta –if you don’t have any use a white wine vinegar and add a little more honey)
  • ½–1 teaspoon of honey
  • ~8 oz. mixed baby lettuce
  • 1 large heirloom tomato (or whatever is available), cubed
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Fresh feta cheese to sprinkle over the top
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, lightly toasted

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cook 2 pieces of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes or until desired doneness (I often cook more pieces and put some of it into my son’s lunch box that week). Lay cooked bacon on a plate with several paper towels to absorb as much grease as possible. Let the bacon cool and then chop into small pieces.

  3. At the same time, lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Add sliced fennel and lightly drizzle a little olive oil onto the fennel and season with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft and starting to brown a bit. Remove from oven and let cool.

  4. In a small container whisk the Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, honey, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and a several grinds of fresh black pepper. Set aside.

  5. Combine the tomato, radishes, lettuce, fennel, bacon, feta and pine nuts. Toss with the reserved dressing and serve.

    Pairs nicely with an unoaked Chardonnay or Chablis

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March 8, 2017

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