All posts filed under: healthy cooking

Through the Smoke Filled Air

I woke up this morning scratching my head, thinking while in deep sleep at some point overnight, I was shuttled up to another planet. The skies across the bay area are orange-gray dark and a bit scary. Never been in this situation before. I mean we’ve had fires across California but none this extreme. At least not in my lifetime. But then again it is 2020 and all is expected at this point so, with all lights on in the house, at now almost nine in the morning, I am staying connected in hopes to stay distracted.       featured image source and full credit

Food: Dinner Tonight – Lentil Salad

I have a bag of lentil I’ve been itching to cook up – normally I drizzle olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, chop up fresh cilantro, and dice up chives and voila a quick and easy dish after a busy day.  But today, this recipe sparked my desire to up the simple meal to this variation – I will use Halloumi cheese naturally – which is the best grilling cheese in my opinion.  Paired with a bottle of white or red (for me) and now we have a gourmet stay-in dinner. INGREDIENTS Kosher salt ¾ cup black beluga lentils 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp. honey 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided Freshly ground black pepper 8 oz. grilling cheese (such as bread, Halloumi, or paneer), torn into 2″ pieces 1 lb. sweet mini peppers, ribs and seeds removed, halved lengthwise, cut into thirds if large ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼ cup (packed) basil leaves, torn if large Flaky sea salt  {continued}     Featured image source and full credit

Fog, Puff Pastry and a Cup of Tea

I woke up Tuesday feeling out of sorts – especially when I made quick turns or bend downward. It turned out I was having a Vertigo episode – which I’ve had for several years, where the world around me turns upside down and I am unable to find a solid ground to stand on. These Seabands help for sure to alleviate some of the symptoms, but a few days of rest and calmness is best, along with this exercise, in case you find your way in the same Titanic as me. The worst I think is the inability to focus, or, in my case, sounds and quick movements around me flare up my queasiness. Nevertheless, I have responsibilities, work, caring for my mother and an aging dog – so I am doing my best to stay solid. Ginger tea and lemongrass help apparently. I read also foods to avoid during an episode. So, with that long intro, I am going to effort this puff pasty at some point, maybe tomorrow, but figured I’d share the …

Food: Side Dish 101

I live for side dishes – and with each meal plan them carefully so to use up the freshest of ingredients I purchased from the grocers. Which is what led me to this list of side dishes to consider adding the perfect to the simply meal. I normally shift between roasted tomatoes, cabbage slaw, roasted peppers, roasted potatoes and sometimes rice. {featured image and source full credit}

Food: Dinner Tonight – Chicken Caesar Salad Altered

There is at least one day a week, I serve a chicken dish to the family – my mother included. However, when I mention that dinner would be chicken related, she cringes – not sure why. I do ask her, and she says, chicken is good. You do what you think is best. So, this pesto chicken Caesar salad recipe it is with a few alterations to fit our dietary needs: INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 2 cups torn ciabatta bread (no bread for us) 2 cloves garlic, smashed 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks 1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 8 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature (this may be mozzarella instead) fresh herbs, for serving, such as chives, thyme, and basil PARMESAN TAHINI DRESSING 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil juice of 2 lemons 1/4 cup tahini 2 tablespoons dijon mustard {toss up on the dijon since family not a fan} 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1-2 cloves garlic, grated kosher salt and black pepper 1/3 cup grated parmesan {continued} Question of …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Salad with Avocado, Mango and Feta Cheese

I bought mango over the weekend – not the usual kind but Ataulfo – which I remember having a version of it in the middle east as a child. Weird I know. But I did – in the hills of Lebanon, somehow, someone had sliced and chilled a few and served it to us one very hot summer evening, seated on a terrace, chatting up with friends and family. Anyway, this is the reason I bought the Ataulfo mango and I guess the internet realizing my nostalgia, offered up this recipe for me to consider for tonight’s dinner –  and instead of feta which I don’t have at home, I will be slicing up Cotija cheese. Recipe 2 ripe mangos, cubed 1 avocado, cubed 6 oz of feta, cubed handful of mint, chopped handful of chives, chopped handful of basil, chopped 1/4 cup of pistachios, chopped juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp good olive oil flakey salt to taste fresh ground black pepper to taste {more} {featured image and recipe full credit On another note …

Food: Eggplant Pasta

Here’s how my Wednesday mornings go – at 5:30 a.m. I start with a larger chain grocery store to purchase all the essentials – which include meat. But for some reason the abundant amount of chicken is no longer the case, nor the free-range and organic versions. Quality beef is scarce and seafood is now more prepackaged.  Which might be an indication that I need to slowly get my family used to eating more plant-based, and less meat or just keep on freaking out until the refrigerator sections are filled again. So an hour ago, I announced to my mother that we are not having meet this coming week and all recipes will be mostly veggie based. She batted her eyes at me, and said – whatever you think is best. Here’s what’s for dinner tonight: Eggplant pasta with not so much spice for the little old lady I refer to as MOM 😉  and lots of Parmesan cheese  – trust me. 2 medium eggplants 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon freshly ground black …

Food: Dinner Tonight – From Taco to Chicken Skewers

I spent the entire morning in line, plus grocery shopping with not much luck in finding everything in one store. What I dislike the most about this sort of shopping experience, is that it is difficult to stick to a menu for the week, like I used to when I trekked over to my favorite Trader Joe’s and picked up the same proteins, plus the ingredients for my weekly, taco, pasta, chicken, seafood, salad and soup dish.  Not complaining hopefully, just painting the picture. Anyway, while stuffing my freezer with all the things I bought  on “I think I might need,” since we can’t just run to the store anymore on a whim to pick up missing ingredients, I had trouble settling on what’s for dinner tonight.  So, I’ve included my first and second choices just in case one stands out over the other 😉 Option One – If you are craving chicken Option two – Taco for any day of the week and then some     {recipe and photo source} {featured image source}

Food: Vegetarian Dinner Ideas For That Get Together Or A Party of One

A friend asked me what I’d be giving up for lent this year and I said – same as every year – meat. Which is what my family’s done for generations. But with that sacrifice, one must be creative in serving up mostly vegetarian dishes in a household addicted to meat. So, I went searching online for ideas and lucky for me and perhaps even for you this suggestion popped up – 117 vegetarian dinner ideas for a party – which could very well mean a party of one or two just as well 😉

Food: How to Substitude Ingredients and This Recipe

I have to admit, I switch up ingredients all the time while preparing a meal. For example – I am allergic to soy, so I use Worcestershire sauce instead. I hate the taste of fish, so I never add fish sauce to any Asian dish. So I was glad to find a list of alternatives here, for ingredients. What have you substituted, and share your experience or other recommendations Here’s a recipe for dinner tonight for the family – spicy eggplant pasta    {featured image source}