Baba Ghanoush

I am a huge fan of Middle Eastern Food and Baba Ghanoush is on the top of my list. Not only is it healthy, it’s vegetarian and most diets. It is a great dip and a great spread. You can serve it very similar as you would Hummus but with less carbohydrates.

Some people add flat leaf parsley to the dip witch adds a little freshness to it. However, I love to add pomegranate seeds as they add a little sweetness. The flavor of the eggplant and then the pomegranate seed popping with a little sweetness is amazing.

You can serve with crackers or veggies to use as a vessel. I like to serve with zucchini or cucumber chips. They are perfectly round like a cracker, have very little flavor so the dip shines through. Serve this recipe at your next dinner party, your guests will thank you!

Baba Ghanoush

8

15 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

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What you will need

  • 2 medium size eggplants
  • ¼ cup Tahini paste
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup EVOO (additional for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Pomegranate seeds (for serving)

How to Make it

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Cut eggplants in half (lengthwise) and brush flesh with EVOO and then place flesh side down on the baking sheet
  4. Place on the top rack of the oven and cook for about 30 – 35 minutes
  5. In a large bowl, add the tahini, garlic, salt and cumin and stir
  6. When eggplant is ready (skin will be looked wrinkled and when you touch should sink) remove from oven and let sit for about 15 minutes
  7. Place a strainer over another bowl and scoop all the flesh onto the strainer to remove as much water as possible
  8. Transfer to the bowl with tahini mixture, repeat until you have removed the flesh from all eggplants
  9. Stir everything together well and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours
  10. Serve with a drizzle of EVOO and some Pomegranate seeds
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https://thediversifiedtable.blog/2018/09/24/baba-ghanoush-dip/

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Spinach and Cheddar, Crustless Quiche

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Quiches have always been a crowd pleaser and I love to experiment with the flavors. They are also extremely easy to put together so you can make a few different flavors to ensure that all taste buds are accounted for.

By definition a quiche is a baked flan or tart with a savory filling thickened with eggs. As long as you get the right mixture, you too can create your own flavors. Try some out and share with me your recipes.

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MUST HAVE PRODUCTS
These products are staples in my kitchen. The pie pans are great for always and now for the holidays they will come in handy. The spatulas are amazing and this I use for anything and everything, check them out.
9 inch Pie Pans
Silicone Spatula Spoons 

Spanakopita and Cheddar Crustless Quiche

8

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What you will need

  • 1 onion (small dice)
  • 14 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill (dry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (dry)
  • Nonstick Spray

How to Make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray a 9 inch pie plate
  3. In a large saute pan on medium high heat add the olive oil and the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes
  4. Add the spinach, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and oregano and saute for another 2-3 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and let cool
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and the remaining salt and pepper
  7. Add the spinach mixture and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese to the eggs and mix well
  8. Pour into the prepared pie pan and top with the rest of the cheddar cheese
  9. bake for about 40-45 minutes
  10. After a toothpick comes out clean let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing
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GuacaTuna

My husband and I came up with the silly name for the dish since that is exactly what the dish is…tuna and guacamole. Here is how it came to be.

So I was very busy yesterday on the computer, finishing my post real estate license exam and proofing my cook book but I was so hungry. These are the moments that things can go one of two ways. 1) you go to the kitchen and eat the quickest easiest thing you can find (healthy or not) and stuff it down your face or 2) take a moment and make yourself something healthy and delicious. To be healthy and delicious doesn’t require a lot of time and prepping, and that’s basically, what is this represents.

Tunafish is usually a protein on many diets and I feel it’s very versatile. Since I’m a Pescaterrian, it’s an easy way for me to get my protein in and I always have fun with the different ways I can use it. Most people will usually have some cans in the pantry. Since I don’t care for the typical mayo most people add to their tuna I always skip that. I do however love avocado. One of my first posts I have a perfect guacamole, which by the way my kids made for them selves and thought it was amazing. We always have avocado’s in the kitchen, so I simply took a version of the guacamole recipe and added the tuna… voila, Guacatuna!


Dang Good Chicken Wings

So if any of you ave ever been to the wing bar at your grocery, you’ll know that many times the wings look like they have been sitting there for a while. I guess it is a good concept for those in a hurry or when you are going to the beach to buy those as a quick and easy choice. However, you will realize with this recipe and also some of the tips below that making your own wings is just as easy and twice if not three times as tasty.

I decided to make these specific wings that are just the drummette for my husband, because he usually just picks those anyway from the bar. When I ate chicken, I personally liked the other part better, but to each his own, right. The sauce I made is my daughters favorite. It is a sauce I found in the market (picture below) and it is divine. I add a few spices to the mix but this recipe is so delicious that you have to try it. My husband actually said they were the best wings he has had.


Ingredients – serves 4-6 people as an appetizer
* Chicken wings – 30, skin on
*Marinade – “Chef Merito” chicken marinade, 1 1/2 cup
*Kosher salt – 2 tablespoons
*Pepper – 1 tablespoon
*Onion powder – 2 tablespoons

  • Set the oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large ziploc bag, add the chicken wings and the sauce and let marinade for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Prepare a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the wings uniform throughout the baking sheet so they are not over lapping
  • Make sure to sprinkle an even amount of the salt, pepper and onion powder on both sides of each wing (if you want to pre-mix the salt, pepper and onion powder first, that’s fine)
  • Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes and then turn the wings and cook for another 15 minutes, until cooked through

Tips: You can make these same wings with all kinds of sauces and then let them sit and pack them up and take to the beach. You can try to make some that are not as sticky with just spices; Italian spices, Thai spices, etc. 


Potato Pancake

OMG, this recipe is amazing. I follow a Korean lady on youtube that makes some very intersting recipes. Some of them are far out and some are very interesting, like this one. Watching her make it made my mouth salivate and I knew I had to own it. She originally made the recipe with a spicy soy sauce mix but I had different plans and taste buds for it. I took her recipe and add a few ingredients and boy was it delicious. My son could not get enough of it so I will be making this many more times.

I served it as is but there are so many ideas I have so you will have to stay tunned for additional recipes. In the meantime, I will offer a few tips below.


Ingredients – make 8 pieces

*Potato – 1 large potato, peeled and shredded
*Onion – 1/2 onion shredded
*Corn starch – 1/4 cup
*Onion powder – 1 tablespoon
*Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
*Pepper – 1/2 tablespoom
*Parsley, Dry – 1 tablespoon
*Olive oil – 1/4 cup

  • Add the shredded potato and shredded onion oin a bowl (do not drain the liquid) and mix well together
  • Add the onion powder, salt, pepper and parsley and continue to mix then add the corn starch and finish mixing well
  • In a large non-stick pan on medium high heat add the oil; when hot add the mixture and lower the heat to medium
  • Cook one side until brown on the bottom (about 5-7 minutes)
  • You then need to flip the pancake to cook the other side; I personally get nervous to flip it in the air because of the oil, so I used a large plate
  • Cook the other side of the pancake for about the same time frame or until brown on the other side
  • Place in a large plate and slice into 8 triangles

Tips: Try making this for breakfast instead of hashbrowns; you can also make it and add some seasoned salt and serve with burgers instead of fries.


Bruschetta

Talk about a staple in my home! This is actually in my cookbook but with a different herb, and like I’ve said, if you change one main component to a dish it can change the flavor profile completely. This dish I learned to make years ago and it is one of those dishes that I know completely by heart. I am sure all of you have a dish like that.

The best part about this dish, however, is how many different ways you can serve it. You can serve it as traditional brushetta and serve with crostini’s, you can serve it similar to pico de gallo or serve like a salsa. I actually served a side of this with the Spanakopita empanadas that I posted yesterday and the combination was delicious. Another great thing about this recipe is the that you can make it in advance. By making it in advance, the flavors marry more and it’s even better. But you better make enough because this will go quick!


Ingredients – makes about 4-5 cups

*Tomato – 3 tomatoes, diced small
*Vidalia onion -1 onion, diced small
*Garlic – 2 large cloves, minced
*Cubanelle pepper – 1 large, diced small
*Jalapeno – 1 medium, diced small, seeds removed
*Flat leaf parsley – 1/4 cup chopped
*Olive oil – 4 tablespoons
*Lemon – 1/2 lemon juiced
*Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
*Pepper – 1/2 tablespoon

  • Add the tomato, onion, garlic, cubanelle pepper and jalapeno in a large bowl, then add the oil, lemon, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Add the parsley to the mix and stir until well mixed

Spanakopita Empanadas

IMG_0759So I love spinach and I love to make spinach in so many different ways and since the flavor is subtle, you can add many different ingredients and spinach can adapt. I finally got my daughter to eat spinach by lightly baking spinach leaves into chips and then adding a little salt.  I also try to always add spinach leaves to the shakes I drink for the added vitamins and nutrients. If you add a small amount (about 10 leaves) the color will not change much and you will never taste it.

I also love most if not all mediterranean food. I think one of the things I miss the most about being a pescatarian is lamb (lol) but I supplement with many other great dishes, like this one. So spanakopita is usually made in Phylo dough, but I decided to make it in an empanada. This is a good way to make individual servings that I can freeze and then make later. They are great for snacks or lunch and you can even make small ones as appetizers. They are delicious!


Ingredients: makes 20 empanadas
* Spinach – 3-4 12 ounce bags, fresh
*Vidalia onion – 1 cup, small dice
*Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
*Feta – 8 ounces, crumbled
*Egg – 1 large
*Salt – 2 tablespoons
*Pepper – 1 tablespoon
*Dill – 1 tablespoon, dry
*Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
*Empanada Dough – 2 packs of 10 discs

  • Defrost the empanada dough and preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large pot on medium heat, add olive oil and onion, and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add the spinach, one bag at a time, and stir until the spinach is wilted
  • Remove from the heat and let cool. Drain the spinach to remove as much water as possible
  • In a large separate bowl, add the egg and feta cheese and stir
  • When the spinach is cooled add to the egg mixture and mix
  • Add salt, pepper and dill and mix until all incorporated
  • Separate the disks and add a large spoonful to one side of the dough and then fold the other half into a half-moon. With a fork, press down on all the sides to make sure that the edges are sealed.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes

Tips: This is a great Quiche recipe as well. You can add additional cheeses or different cheese to change the flavor.

 

 


Octopus a la Scampi

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I love to eat octopus but I have never attempted to make it. There is a great fish market near our house that sells all sorts of seafood and every time I go in, I see the octopus and say, “next time I am going to go for it”. Today was that day! It’s funny because when I went to culinary school one of my exams was to fillet a fish in 15 minutes and that never affected me. However, the octopus was a different story, especially when the tentacles started shrivelling up, it almost looked like it was moving (LOL). I knew it was going to be worth it so I kept going.  The tenderizing part is similar to brineing but you boil the brine mixture instead of chilling. You can also do this part in advance, chill the octopus over night and then cook the next day. This is such a great dish to impress guests and you don’t need to much. We bought the 2 pound octopu for about $20 and it easily feeds 6-8 people as an appetizer or 2-4 as a meal. I’ll provide some meal options on the tips section. When we move to our new house, I am going to make this on the grill for sure!


Ingredients – serving mentioned above
*Octopus – whole about 2 pounds
*Peppercorns – 1 tablespoon
*White wine – 1/4 cup
*Olive oil – 1/2 cup
*Garlic – 14 cloves, 8 minced, 6 whole
*Lemon – 1/4 cup juice and 1 whole, cut in half
*Flat leaf parsley – 2 tablespoons
*Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
*Pepper – 1/2 tablespoon

  • In a large tall stock pot on high, place the octopus and add water (make sure the octopus is completely submerged and there is about an inch of water over it), white wine, 6 whole garlic clove, pepper corns, 2 halves of lemon
  • When the water starts to boil, lower to simmer and cook for about 2 hours
  • Remove from the water and set to cool to room temperature or place in the fridge
  • In a dutch oven (cast iron) on medium heat ad a table spoon of the oil, then add the octopus, add the salt and pepper and mix
  • Add the garlic, rest of the oil and lemon and cook for about 1-2 minutes, then add the parsley and cook for about 1-2 more minutes

Tips: Serve in pre-sliced pieces with toothpicks (either hot or cold) as an appetizer; Serve on a small plate one tentacle as an appetizer; serve over some pasta and use the olive oil mixture as the sauce (you may want to add a little butter for this one); serve as a salad.

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The Perfect Guacamole

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Avocado’s are staples in my home and they go in almost everything, even our shakes.  Avocado’s are incredibly nutritious and are heart healthy. Since they have a somewhat bland flavor and are extremely creamy they are great to add to sauces, salad dressings, shakes and just alone.  My husband eats so many avocados that I fear he may turn green (LOL). I can promise you there will be many recipes within my blog that have avocado’s.


Ingredients:
*Haas avocados – 5 soft to the touch but not too mushy
*Large cherry tomatoes – 6, small dice
*Green onions – 5, small chop
*Garlic cloves – 3, minced
*Jalapeno – 1, small dice
*Cilantro – 1/3 cup chopped
*Lime – 1/2 lime juiced
*Salt – 1/2 tablespoon
*Pepper – 1/4 tablespoon

  • Remove the flesh of the avocados and place in a medium size bowl. Mash the avocado to the texture that you want. I like my avocado somewhat chunky, but mainly creamy.
  • Dice the rest of the ingredients and place in the bowl along with the salt, pepper and lime juice and stir everything together.
  • Taste it and see if it needs anything additional.

I served it with the blur tortillas that I got from Whole Foods by the company 365. They are absolutely delicious. My husband also likes to add this to any of his proteins. Today he had it with the baked chicken I made him for lunch.