This recipe comes from my daughter, Rachel, who is an excellent cook! She made the tortillas from scratch as well as developed her own recipe for the filling. Totally delicious! You can also substitute any white fish for the halibut or even shrimp would be delicious with the sweet mango. Of course you can buy pre-made tortillas, but if you have some free time the homemade ones are really soft and fresh, nothing like store-bought tortillas.
Flour tortillas (this makes around 12 small tortillas)
2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons light oil of your choice (Rachel used safflower oil)
1/2 lb halibut
1 mango, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
2 tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cabbage as a topping
Chopped jalapeños or serrano peppers if desired as a garnish.
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda with a whisk in a large bowl.
Add the oil and mix well.
Add the warm water and mix well. Roll dough into a log and divide into 12 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a pretty thin circle. They puff up some when you cook them.
Heat pan on high heat so you can cook the tortilla quickly. She likes to use a non-stick pan so no oil is needed. When the pan is very hot, place tortilla in the pan and cook for 20 seconds or so, until it puffs and browns lightly, turn and cook the second side 10 or 20 seconds. Place on a dish and repeat for next tortilla. Set cooked tortillas aside and keep warm.
Taco filling Instructions:
Cut the mango, halibut, and avocado into small cubes. Set aside the avocado.
Toss the halibut and mango with the onions through the salt and pepper in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
Heat a large pan on medium high heat, add a little oil, and then sauté until the fish is cooked.
Remove from heat and add the avocado. Mix well.
Place the halibut mixture into prepared tortillas and garnish with the cabbage and spicy peppers if using. Enjoy!
This is a Food and Wine Recipe that I pretty much followed except I used white wine instead of vermouth, deleted the butter, and added spinach and extra mushrooms. The recipe is quite creamy and decadent tasting but with only stock, wine, olive oil and vegetables added to the rice I think it is pretty healthy and nutritious. I made this three times already, and everyone I have made it for has really liked it. The original recipe says it only takes 35 minutes, but it has taken me at least an hour each time I have made it, so it is not quick, but I think it is worth it.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, such as oyster, hen-of-the-woods and chanterelle, cut or torn into small pieces
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
7 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
4 shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (or vermouth as the original recipe was written)
10 oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnishing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the mushrooms in an even layer and roast until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
While the mushrooms cook, warm the stock in either a pot or if you are lazy like me in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (one less pot to clean).
In a large deep skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
Add the wine and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Repeat adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring constantly until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, for about 15 minutes (you may not use all the stock).
Add 3/4 of the roasted mushrooms and all of the spinach to the risotto and cook, adding more stock as needed, until the rice is just tender and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, topping each potion with the remaining roasted mushrooms and a sprinkle of parmesan. Enjoy!
Fun and healthy twist on spaghetti and parmesan dishes using spaghetti squash and a hearty vegetable ragu.
1 medium sweet onion, cut into a small dice
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into a small dice
8 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
24 oz. can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
24 oz. can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dry oregano (or fresh if it is available)
1/2 teaspoon dry basil (or fresh if it is available)
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 large spaghetti squash
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
6 oz. bag of fresh organic spinach, chopped
1 cup (approx.) shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Carefully slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds with a spoon by scooping them out and lightly scraping the inside of the squash to get it completely seed-free.
Rub a little olive oil on the inside of the squash and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender and slightly golden on the cut sides.
While the squash cooks, prep the vegetables and make the sauce by heating some olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat.
Sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are softened.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook one minute. Add the tomatoes, herbs and a little more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if desired. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible so the sauce gets thick.
When the squash is tender remove it from the oven and run the fork along on the inside so it divides up like spaghetti.
Turn the oven on to Broil.
Microwave the spinach for one minute and press out the excess water. Divide up the spinach and parmesan in half and add to each squash half. Add about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix into the squash. Top with a little more sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Place squash under broiler and cook until cheese is melted and starting to brown slightly.
Depending on the size of the squash and your appetite either cut each half again so they are in quarters or serve as is. Enjoy!
You can slice the very top and bottom of the squash to make it easier and safer before cutting it in half, or you can microwave the squash for a minute or two (poke a hole in the squash first) to soften it slightly before cutting.
You can save time by using jarred pasta sauce, but I think that the sauce plays a very important role here, so I prefer to make my own. This recipe actually makes much more sauce than you will need, so I freeze the rest for another use. Make once and eat many more times! I put mine on homemade pizza the next day!
Make it dairy-free: My daughter does not eat cheese, so I made hers without the parmesan and mozzarella and it was still very delicious.
This is based on an old Cooking Light recipe haven’t made in years but tried it recently when we were in the mountains skiing and thought it was worthy to post. It is wonderful cold weather comfort food that is also healthy and nutritious. I made it in a dutch oven but it also works well to throw it in a crock pot and leave it to cook while you go about your day.
1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
5 large cremini mushrooms, sliced in large chunks
8 cups of loosely packed torn kale (one large bunch)
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Sauté the leek for about 6 minutes or until golden brown.
Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Spoon leek mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
Place 1/3 cup of flour in a shallow bowl and dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess flour.
Heat a little oil in the dutch oven and add half of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to leek mixture and repeat with rest of chicken.
Add the wine to the pan, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits.
Combine 1 cup of broth and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Add the broth mixture, remaining broth, and mustard to the pot and bring to a boil.
Stir in the chicken mixture, garbanzo beans, butternut squash, and mushrooms and cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add the kale and simmer for 10 more minutes or until the butternut squash is tender and the kale is wilted. Garnish with crushed red pepper flakes and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
I rarely buy Trader Joes bagged salad mixes, but for some reason the Cruciferous Crunch Collection with shredded kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green and red cabbage looked really good today. Then there was the problem of what on earth am I going to make out of this? I had an “ah ha moment” when I realized that the real reason I was going to Trader Joes was to pick up some chicken to make homemade chicken soup for my sick child. Then the perfect idea came to me, Asian chicken salad with the extra chicken from the soup, perfect! This only serves 2-3, so double the recipe if you are feeding 4 adults, or use it this way if it is just a side dish for 4-6 people. I hope you enjoy this very crunchy light meal!
I braised the chicken and vegetables in a ceramic dutch oven, but the inspiration recipe cooks it in a crock pot. Either way, this is a pretty easy and healthy recipe that you can throw together the night before or in the morning and cook all day in a crock pot or for a couple of hours in a dutch oven. I made this very mild so the spice phobe will eat it and the rest of us can add chopped chili peppers at the table, but if you don’t have any spice phobes it would certainly be better with spicy peppers cooked in it!
1 quart of no-salt or low-sodium chicken stock (or broth)
1 small sweet onion chopped (or half a large onion)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large bell peppers (whatever color you like) chopped
2 jalapeños chopped (seeded if you want less heat)
2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and cut off the cob
1 – 14.4 oz. can of no salt added roasted tomatoes with the liquid
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh, use a few sprigs and pull the stems out before serving)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast meat, sliced in quarters (can leave whole if you are willing to cook a longer time or are putting in a crock pot all day)
1 – 14.4 oz can of no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 cup/person)
*Mexican brown rice (or whatever you prefer)
approx. 1 cup of shredded mixed Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar) – Optional
guacamole, diced tomatoes and a few pieced of chopped cilantro as a topping — optional
*Mexican Brown Rice: Cook rice with 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin and a shake of oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook according to rice package directions (I like to use a rice cooker).
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large dutch oven combine chicken stock, onions, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeños, corn, tomatoes with their liquid, and spices. Mix well and then add chicken.
With the lid on the dutch oven, put the chicken mixture into the the oven for an hour and stir it occasionally.
After the first hour check that it has not become too dry, there still should be plenty of liquid in there. Add the black beans and cook another 30 minutes without the lid, or until the chicken is falling apart and the liquid has mostly evaporated and the dish looks more like a stew and less like a soup.
Remove pot from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Serve by first layering a cup of chopped lettuce, a 1/4 – 1/2 cup rice, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture, a sprinkling of cheese, a dollop of guacamole, a sprinkling of diced tomatoes and a few sprigs of cilantro.
Note: This can also be put into a tortilla and eaten like a taco; or put into corn tortillas with a spicy red Mexican sauce and melted cheese to make it enchiladas; or spread chicken mixture over tortilla chips and melt cheese over it for nachos. It would also be very nice as a vegetarian dish with extra vegetables and sub the chicken stock for vegetable stock and leave the chicken out. The possibilities are endless!
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.
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (or white button), cut into thick slices
1 pound asparagus, ends broken off and sliced into one-inch pieces
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
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.
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.
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 Bolognesethat 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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
In a pot of boiling water (salt optional), cook the pasta until al dente. Drain
Add the pasta and chopped basil to the sauce; toss to coat. Serve in bowls, topped with grated cheese.
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. Update March 2018 – I made this without the phyllo dough and baked it in a square casserole dish in a 400 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Delicious!
Servings: 6-8 depending on whether it is a side dish or a main course
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
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.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the cottage cheese in a strainer over a small bowl and let it drain for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Extremely flavorful chicken and vegetable dish that can be fancy enough for company or simple enough for a weeknight meal
safflower seed oil or other high smoke point oil
3-4 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 cup of dry white wine
few sprigs of fresh thyme
handful of fresh sage leaves
few sprigs of fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped
5 spring onions (or scallions if you can’t find spring onions), bulbs only sliced thinly, green parts left long
6 large carrots, 2 peeled and cut into thirds, and the others peeled and left whole
2 cups mixed color baby potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 head of cauliflower (or more if you are serving more people), washed and cut into large chunks
2 Tablespoons capers
Heat a large dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat. Add a little oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and when sizzling add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Remove browned chicken from pan and set aside.
Wipe off any extra oil in dutch oven and then place chicken back into it along with broth, wine, herbs, carrots that have been cut into thirds, sliced onion bulbs and capers. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer.Braise the chicken for 40 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove chicken and vegetables from the liquid.
Reduce the liquid until about 1 cup or so. Set pot aside.
While chicken is braising, heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray cooking spray on a baking sheet and place potatoes on the sheet. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and some rosemary on the potatoes and roast in the oven until partially cooked, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and add cauliflower, whole carrots and sprinkle with more olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs and roast 10 more minutes, then add cooked chicken, skin side up and cook 8 more minutes or until all vegetables are tender and slightly browned and the chicken is crisped.
Remove chicken and vegetables from oven and arrange on a platter. Serve with the reduced liquid on the side. Enjoy!