Greek Bake

We’ve all been there – those nights where you just don’t know what to make but have a ton of seemingly random things in the pantry. Not to mention those fresh herbs in the fridge that are about to go bad. Well, you know us a little by now, and we almost (read: almost) like those kinds of nights because that’s when we have to get creative with our recipes. Just like this one. We love our “toss ’em together” recipes that leave just enough cooking time in the oven to go peel off the work clothes and settle in with a nice glass (read: bottle) of wine.
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey (or chicken or lamb, knock yourself out)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp ground oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cup cooked brown rice (I had some white leftover from a fish & rice I had made the night before, works just as well)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, divided (I did the feta with the Mediterranean herbs, but plain feta works as well)
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ground turkey. Cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, ¼ cup of the feta cheese and the parsley. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining feta cheese. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Greek Bake

Happy Eating, XO.
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Chimichurri Sauce

So that steak recipe got my red meat taste buds wet with an appetite to add some flair to my boring protein & veggie dinners. I thought of various ways I can jazz up a steak, or another meat dish in a pinch. I thought a sauce or glaze would do the trick. And since we are watching our weight here at damn delish I thought maybe a béchamel isn’t exactly the way to go. And as much as I would heart a yummy compound butter that’s not really helping my get fit before Spain game plan either. So then I had the proverbial foodie light bulb go off and I thought: Chimichurri sauce is divine. Fresh herbs, easy to make (read: no potential to mess it up) I am sold! Let’s see if your convinced on how this will fancy up any boring old meal. Leave comments below on how yours turns out.

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (listen I’m not usually a fan but when its blended aka hidden with the other stuff its not half bad, trust me, I am an ex cilantro hater).
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I did 3 because I’m crazy)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (you know you have some leftover from the steak recipe)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (won’t add too much heat just a spiked up flavor)

Combine the parsley, cilantro, oregano and garlic in a food processor and pulse until small leaves and pieces remain. Add in the vinegar and pulse once more. With the processor going, stream in the olive oil and mix until just combined. Stir in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Taste and season additionally if needed. Store sealed in the fridge for up to a week or so.

photo

Happy Eating, XO.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Red peppers & Spinach

I am SO over red sauce. Any idiot can buy a can of marinara (Although I don’t know why you would when we have a recipe from scratch that is healthier & tastier) and throw it on some noodles and say they made “Italian” food for the night. How about the fact that most pasta dishes aren’t even the entrée in Italy and its a small portion in the primi platti course prior to your protein and vegetables which is your actual entrée. Now, as much as I wish that we could all dine on 4 course (Read: 4 hour) dinners I know that is not always possible. So here is an easy, light and yummy pasta dish that served with some grilled chicken (because god forbid I have a vegetarian meal for once) that could count as a whole meal (starch, veggies, protein). So bust out the leftover ingredients from the pancakes and kale dish and get to cooking! (See how we always save you money by reusing stuff, you love us).

  • 12 oz. fettuccine
  • 2/3 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (also known as zest)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • salt and crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper (increase to your taste level)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water. While pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl, thoroughly combine ricotta, lemon juice and rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.  (I listed 1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper, but don’t be shy, this dish is even better with a bit of a kick from the red pepper, so adjust according to your taste level). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic, sauté for 3 minutes. Add pasta, spinach, ricotta mixture and pasta water to skillet; cook about 1 minute or until spinach wilts.

Happy Eating, XO.

Eat your vegetables​.

It’s that time of year that everyone wants to eat right because they know Santa is watching to see who was a good or bad boy/girl. However, instead of hopping on the juicing band wagon, jump on the Roasting bus. I told you it was my favorite (As well as Ina Garten’s). I have done it to zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus the most. I will say I have pretty much roasted everything other than my socks. (Don’t tempt me)

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • Pinch of salt (sea salt preferably) black pepper & red chili flakes (its just a pinch, but leave out if you have no taste buds)
  • 1 tbsp. of shredded parmigano reggiano

Mix all ingredients, other than the cheese, with whatever vehicle you are roasting. For example, when you roast the sprouts, I would slice them in half and then toss with the oil mixture. Roast at 350 degrees for 15-20 min, maybe turning once for even crisping. Lastly, when cooling out of the oven (right before serving), sprinkle the reggiano over the veggies.

Happy Eating, XO.

Spiffy Spinach Cups

Ever need a quick and filling side for dinner or have you ever wanted to do homemade appetizers for happy hour? Well, your search can stop here. I have an easy and (drum roll please) LOW CALORIE recipe. These spinach cups are not only yum, but I literally keep the ingredients on hand at all times because they can be whipped up for any occasion. This dish is so versatile, I am thinking of serving under a fried egg this weekend. Obviously easy enough to recite, that is the theme here folks.

  • 1 10 oz. bag or block of frozen spinach (no sub’s: the can stuff is a) gross b) too much liquid packing)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (Kraft works, but better quality ingredients like freshly grated do yield better tasting food. I didn’t make the rule, I’m simply sharing it).
  • 1 cup low fat, skim milk ricotta cheese (hint hint, this is where the low cal comes into play).
  • 1 egg (acts as the binder so no need for breadcrumbs aka evil carbs).
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes and black pepper (Adjust according to your spice tolerance, but definitely use both, they bring different palate pleasers to your taste buds).
  • 1 tbsp. of minced/crushed garlic (use the store bought, pre-crushed kind. No one needs to ruin a manicure with your fingers smelling like garlic. Oh and also up the qty. to 2 tbsp. if you have vampire repelling taste buds like myself, but yeah for the general public stick to just 1).

Ok so now sh*t is about to get crazy hard. Take everything listed above, mix well in a bowl and pour into a muffin pan and bake. Yup that’s all of the “cooking instructions”.

As usual, spray the pan so they don’t stick. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and leave it in there for 13-15 minutes. Wait till you see the tops getting golden brown. Makes for killer leftovers and each cup is only 160 calories.

Happy eating, XO.