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Taco Salad

I made this salad to try something different. Because I made more protein than called for in the salad I was able to make a planover meal later in the week. I like two for one meals.

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  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Smokey Southwestern seasoning
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, divided
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c cashew cream
  • 1/4 c favorite salsa
  • 2 tbsp lime gremolata, divided
  • cheddar cheese, optional
  • lime wedges, garnish
  • jalapeno,minced, optional

In a large skillet over medium heat warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic; cook until translucent. Sprinkle Smokey southwestern seasoning over onion mixture Add ground beef and brown. Add more seasoning and tomato. Cook another 10-15 minutes. Set aside

Halve romaine heart and roughly chop into bite size pieces. Place romaine on plates.

Mix together cashew cream and salsa. This will be your dressing.

Sprinkle taco meat on top of lettuce. Add cherry tomatoes, cheese, gremalata, jalapeño and dressing. Serve with a lime wedge. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Lime Gremolata

I love to make gremolata. The traditional ingredients are parsley, lemon and garlic. It is a wonderful combination. This is a twist to the traditional recipe, and just as good. I like this recipe for southwestern and asian recipes. Remember, this is good on salads, soups, and flatbreads. I like to keep both kinds in my refrigerator to jazz up a dish.

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  • 1/2 c cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Just like the traditional gremolata, this version only has three ingredients. All you have to do is mix and refrigerate.

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Parsnip and Cauliflower Puree

This dish came about because I was basically on a scavenger hunt looking for something to make for dinner. I found half a head of cauliflower and a bag of parsnips. That will make a puree. I used the microwave for this, however, you could steam these if you prefer.

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  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into bites
  • 1 lb. parsnips, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 c water
  • 4 tbsp butter, or ghee
  • 3-4 tbsp chicken broth
  • pinch of sea salt

Add cauliflower, parsnips and water to a microwave bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave on high about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are easy to mash with a fork.

Transfer cooked vegetables to food processor. Add butter. Pulse, adding chicken broth to make a creamy puree.

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Pan Seared Chicken with Mushroom Pan Sauce

I do not know about you, but sometimes when I open the refrigerator and look in I am dumbfounded because I do not know what I am going to make for dinner that night. I think I went to the refrigerator 3 or 4 times hoping for some inspiration to jump out at me. The final time I looked , really looked. I even checked the vegetable drawers, and you know that can be scary if you do not check them often enough. This final check gave me the inspiration I needed: Chicken with a Mushroom pan sauce, Parsnip and Cauliflower puree, and Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries, I think I was successful.

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  • 2 chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Mediterranean seasoning (see website)
  • 1 shallot, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 2 tsp gremolata (see website)

This chicken dish will make you look like you went to a lot of trouble, even though it is super easy.

Between to pieces of plastic wrap pound chicken to an even thickness. This will help the chicken to cook evenly. It does not have to be pounded thin, just to an even thickness.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast generously with mediterranean seasoning.

In a large skillet over medium heat warm oil. Add chicken breast and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add lemon juice to pan scraping bits off of the bottom of the pan. You may need to add some of the chicken broth to help with this process. The bits are what is going to make the pan sauce so good. Add shallot and garlic let cook until shallot is softened. Add mushrooms to shallot mixture. Stir occasionally; add chicken broth. Cook sauce until it is reduced to half the liquid and thickens. Spoon over chicken. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Gremolata

Gremolata ? If you have never had gremolata then you are missing out on some spectacular flavor. Gremolata is a great way to top a dish with freshness and flavor. I try to keep a container of this goodness in the refrigerator. I use it on salads, omelets, oven potatoes, and flat breads. As you can see it is extremely versatile and yummy. It is amazing that something so simple could punch up your dish to the next level.

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  • 1/2 c flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

Only three ingredients, that is it. Combine all the ingredients. That is all you have to do. Now that is easy.

Top. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mediterranean Crackers

This recipe was intended to be something else and turned into something better. My husband loved them at first bite. He is a chip kind of guy. Whereas, I am a brownie kind of girl. I am going to have to keep these in stock. They are that good, and if it makes my honey happy I am all for it. I am surprised how easy these are to make, which is good because I am going to be making these a lot.

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In a food processor pulse flour, mediterranean seasoning and xanthan gum. Pulse until well combined. Add water until dough comes together.

Wrap dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes to a couple of days.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll dough out between two waxed paper sheets as thin as you can. I tried plastic wrap first. The dough did not release from the plastic wrap – big mistake. With a pizza cutter cut dough into 1-1inch squares.  You could make them larger so that they could accompany a dip. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake in oven  until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.  Turn over about half way through baking time. Let cool about 5 minutes. That might be difficult. My husband was eating them off the hot baking sheet.

Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Chicken Parm

This is not your everyday Chicken Parm. Usually Chicken Parm is heavily breaded, fried and a very heavy dish. This is a light and tasty dish you could serve to your family and feel proud you made them something easy, healthy and delicious.

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  • 2 chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 c almond meal (grind in spice grinder for a finer flour)
  • 1 tsp mediterranean seasoning (see website)
  • 2 tsp olive oil, olive oil divided
  • 2 zucchini (make zoodles – see website)
  • 1/2 c marinara sauce (see website)
  • 1 small ball of buffalo mozzarella, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp basil cut into strips, garnish

In a spice grinder pulse almond/date meal and mediterranean seasoning to make a fine flour. Pour flour mixture onto a plate.

In large skillet over medium heat warm 1 tsp of olive oil. Meanwhile, dredge chicken cutlets in almond-date meal mixture. Place into skillet and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining olive oil and zoodles into skillet; stir. Add marinara sauce to zoodles and heat through. Return cutlets to skillet. Place cutlets on top of zoodles and layer mozzarella slices on to cutlets. Turn heat down to low; cover skillet with lid and let the mozzarella melt.

It is ready to serve when the mozzarella is melted. Garnish with basil strips. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Deviled Eggs

I really like deviled eggs. I like them for breakfast, for a snack, for an appetizer, for just about anytime. When I make a batch, if we are good and limit ourselves they will last a couple of days. You have already seen the Chipotle-Lime Deviled Eggs, now I bring to you Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Deviled Eggs. I like the plain deviled eggs, but sometimes it is just fun to go to the wild side.

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  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 c homemade mayonnaise (see website)
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil- it adds more flavor), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper

In a medium sauce pan add 8 eggs and cold water and cover.  Turn heat to high. When the eggs come to a boil (large bubbles) for about a minute, turn the heat off. Keep covered and let set for 10 minutes. This method will give you perfect hard boiled eggs.

After ten minutes put the eggs in an ice bath. An ice bath is just lots of ice and water. The ice bath will shock the eggs, which will make it easier to peel.

Peel eggs. Slice eggs in half; remove yolk and place into a medium bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork; add salt, pepper and mayo. Mix well, until yolk mixture is creamy. Fold in sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

The easy way to fill the deviled eggs is to fill a quart size ziplock bag; remove the air, then snip an end to pipe out the mixture. I use this method the most. Pipe mixture into egg cavity. Voila, you are done. Try not to eat them right away. I “try” to chill these for at least 30 minutes, but sometimes it is too hard to wait. Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Marinara

I think you should have two really good red sauces in your repertoire: a meat-sauce and a marinara. I know they are both red sauces. However, I use the meat-sauce for something that is hearty. I use the marinara sauce for a lighter touch. This marinara is great for pizza.

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  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, large, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Mediterranean Seasoning
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 26.46 oz. can/box diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 29 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 bay leaves
  • basil, garnish

Add onions, garlic, and sprinkle a generous amount of mediterranean seasoning to a large dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, add vegetable broth as needed to keep onion mixture from sticking. Add tomato paste to onion mixture. Stir in tomato paste, working the paste into the onion mixture. This takes only 2-3 minutes. Add some more mediterranean seasoning. You want to layer flavor at every step.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, maple syrup, bay leaves, and some more mediterranean seasoning. Stir occasionally. Turn heat down so the sauce is at a low simmer. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

To store in freezer, let sauce cool and transfer to gallon ziplock bags. Make sure you get out the air, close and lay flat. Remember to date your bag, and first in is the first out.

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Pan Seared Salmon Salad with Thai Dressing

I have mentioned before that I like seafood and salmon is one of my favorites. It is hard not to like seafood when you live in Florida. There is so much seafood to enjoy. I made this for a quick lunch. The salmon literally took minutes to prepare.

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  • Thai Dressing (see website)
  • 2 salmon filets, skinned
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • 1 romaine heart,chopped, divided
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, quartered, divided
  • 2 tbsp slice almonds, toasted, divided
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped, divided

Prepare Thai Dressing if you do not have any on hand.  Prepare plates with a bed of lettuce.

Pat dry salmon filets with paper towels. Season both sides of filet with salt and pepper. Melt coconut oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Place show side (the side that you want to look at when it is on your plate) down. Leave salmon filet alone and let it get a pretty seared color. This will only take 3-5 minutes. Turnover filet and only cook it for a bout 1 minute. That is all it takes to have a perfectly cooked salmon filet.

Place cooked salmon filet on top of greens. Scatter tomatoes on greens. Sprinkle cilantro and toasted almonds on top of salad.

I like to put the dressing on the side. It lets you control the amount you want to use on your salad. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.