Wednesday, March 31


Tomato basil hummus is a bold, exciting flavor of hummus that has a Mediterranean influence. Perfect with piping hot pita!

· 2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or soaked if using dried
· 1 can (15 ounce) whole, peeled tomatoes
· 2 tablespoons of tahini
· 2 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
· 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
· 1/4 teaspoon cumin
· 1 clove of garlic, crushed
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 2 ½ tablespoon basil, chopped

In a blender or food processor, blend the chickpeas. Add tomatoes, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, basil, and salt until the ingredients form a creamy, paste-like consistency. Pour the mixture into a large serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

I put this hummus on a wrap with cucumber, spinach and tomato and make a sandwich!


While mushrooms provide plenty of flavor and texture* the addition of pinto beans makes this veggie burger high in fiber & protein too. This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan!.

· 2 tbsp vegetable oil
· 1 onion, diced
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 3 green onions, diced
· 1/2 tsp cumin
· 3/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms
· 1 15 ounce can pinto beans
· 1 tsp parsley
· salt and pepper to taste
· oil for frying

Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Add the green onions, cumin and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.
Mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher, or process in a food processor until well mashed.
Add the mushrooms to the beans and add parsley, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Shape the mixture into patties. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil and cook each patty until the veggie burgers are done, about 3 minutes on each side.

*Mushroom protein is also superior to many other vegetable proteins on account of its essential amino acid content. The white cap mushroom ranks above all other vegetables, except beans and peas in this respect. Between 70-90 per cent of the vegetable protein present can be easily digested. They are an excellent source of minerals, especially potassium and a good source of vitamins, particularly B vitamins

Friday, March 26

Risotto Primavera

Delicious and veggie packed!  Addition of fried egg is not necessary but adds a nice bit of protein to the meal.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup diced carrots
1 cups diced asparagus (stalks only - no tips)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 eggs

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter 12-inch pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Set aside. Wipe pan clean.

Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add rice and stir until translucent at edges, 5 minutes. Add wine. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth. Simmer until broth is absorbed, stirring often. Add carrots, asparagus, and another 1/2 cup broth. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often,. Continue to slowly add remaining broth (about 1/4 cup at a time), until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, stirring often and letting almost all liquid be absorbed after each addition, about 25 minutes total.

Stir cheese, peas, parsley, and mushrooms into risotto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit while you fry the eggs.

Mound 1 cup risotto on each of 2 shallow bowls. Using back of spoon, make hollow in top of each mound. Top each with egg, and sprinkle with addditional cheese if desired.

Wednesday, March 17

Greek Goddess Wrap

I saw this recipe in Sunset magazine (what, my mom gets it!) and was immediately drawn to it. There was a couple of issues...the most importantly that it wasn't that healthy. But with a few changes and a MAJOR reduction in the amount of sauce used, this becomes a very tasty lunch.
Side note: This makes A LOT of dressing. If you won't use it for something else, I would reduce by 1/3-1/2. (However it rocks so I would probably find a reason to use it)
Side note part deux: I'm thinking feta would also be awesome in this!
Greek Goddess Wrap
Serves 4

4oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups shredded skinned rotisserie chicken
4oz baby spinach
4 whole-wheat tortillas
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
4 thin slices muenster cheese
For dressing:
1 garlic glove
2 tbsp each roughly chopped parsley, chives and fresh tarragon
5-7 kalamata olives, depitted (is that a word?)
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayo (light or otherwise)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (if you hate sour cream, you could use plain yogurt)
Combine all ingredients for dressing in food processor and pulse until well blended.
Make wraps: In a medium bowl, toss chicken with about 1/2 cup dressing until evenly coated. Lay tortillas flat on a work surface. Arrange equal portions of chicken down the center of each. Evenly top chicken with bell pepper, mushroom, cheese and spinach. (if you wanted to, you could add another drizzle of dressing. But honestly, you don't need it). Fold tortilla over short sides of filling, then roll up, starting from long side of filling.

Tuesday, March 16

Quesitos for Breakfast, Mofongo for Dinner

Myself and several Let's Dish ladies went to Puerto Rico last week.  While we were there we ate some amazing food - and two of our favorite dishes were mofongo and quesitos.  This is true Puerto Rican cuisine - no kidding!  Here are recipes I found for both - I haven't made them yet but hope to give it a go this weekend. 

Quesitos (Puerto Rican Danishes)
We ate these almost every morning once we discovered the little bakery across the street from our hotel.

1 puff pastry sheet package (specifically, 1 sheet)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Egg white of 1 egg

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Cut pastry sheet into 3” x 2” rectangles.

Place about 1 tsp. cheese mixture in the middle. Grab one edge and pull into the center of rectangle. Pinch tip into the middle of the sheet. Grab the edge across from it and wrap around towards the end across from it. Pinch at the bottom.

Brush with egg whites and roll in sugar. The sugar is to taste, but ideally a quesito has a nice sugary crust that crunches when one takes a bite.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until golden. Remove from oven and brush with a moderate amount of light corn syrup over each one. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

This was a really unique dish - made of deep fried, mashed plantains that are stuffed with various meats/seafood and served in a gravy.  The equivalent of Puerto Rican soul food.

Makes 25 Mofongo Dumplings

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic Clove
1/4 lb Hickory Smoked Ham
1/4 cup scallions
1/4 cup Cilantro, Fresh
1/2 cup Manzanilla Olives
1 1/2 lime yields Lime Juice Raw
1 cup Tomato Puree
1 cup Tomato Sauce
2 lb Raw Shrimp Medium
4 cup Plantains
1/8 cup Corn Oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.

Add the stuffing ingredients (olive oil, peeled and crushed garlic, diced ham, sliced scallion, roughly chopped cilantro, chopped manzanilla olives, lime juice, tomato puree, tomato sauce), except the shrimp, and saute over medium heat for five minutes.

Add the shrimp (peeled, cleaned, cut in half) and cook until they turn pink. Set aside.

Peel the plantains and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Heat the corn oil in a large skillet and fry the plantain slices until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Mash 5 or 6 plantain slices (in a mortar) with a little of the stuffing liquid. Fold in 1/2 cup of the shrimp mixture and shape stuffing onto a ball with your hands. Repeat the process five more times.

Thursday, March 4

My Favortie Brownies

If your in need of a chocolate fix this recipe never fails me!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare a greased brownie pan.

Cream together in mixing bowl:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

In seperate bowl sift together:

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Have a bag of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips near by.

Add dry mix to wet mix, and thoroughly combine. Spread evenly into greased baking dish, will be about 1/2 inch in height. Now, sprinkle 1-2 handfuls (about 1/2 cup give or take) of Hersheys Special Dark Chocolate Chips over the top of the batter in the baking dish. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes, check center to see if done, if not done cook further at 3 minute intervals.

Best served hot out of the oven with vanilla icecream and a tall glass of milk!

Sizzlin Salmon

This is a dish inspired by a recipe in momma's cookbook. Alex declares its the best salmon he's ever tasted!

For one salmon filet with skin on:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together: 1 tbsp mayo, juice of 1 lemon, dash of paprika, dash (or three) of dill, and a very generous sprinkly of MAGIC SALMON SEASONING or Old Bay or your favorite fish season.

In an oven safe pan sprayed lightly with oil and set to medium heat, place the salmon skin down onto hot pan (will crackly and simmer). Leave skin side down for at least 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile sprinkle up side of the salmon with more of your favorite fish seasoning, in my and Amanda's case MAGIC SALMON.

Now, flip salmon over to the other side, still over medium heat to brown. Here the skin of the salmon should peel easily off with the help of a spatula- if its still on tight flip over again and cook for another minute or two. If skin falls off easily, sprinkle the naked side of the salmon with more MAGIC SALMON. Cook the face down side until it has gained a nice golden brown color (usually 3-5 minutes). Once salmon top is brown, flip back over for the final time, coat generously with your special mix (totally fine if it runs onto your pan) then pop in the oven for 13-17 minutes depending on how done you like your salmon.

Remove from oven, let sit 2-5 minutes. Best served with asparagus, rice pilaf, 2 glasses of wine and a good friend! enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2

Apple Breakfast Cake

This is warm and delicious (ie, perfect for the unending deluge of snow we have had in NYC lately) and easy to put together.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup fruit juice (I used pineapple, but you can use any type, or just an additional 1/3 cup milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large apples, peeled and sliced thin

Oatmeal Crumble
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Add vanilla, fruit juice, cinnamon and allspice and mix.

Mix together wet ingredients into flour mixture. Then add the milk a little at a time to bring it to batter consistency. Fold in sliced apples. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9inch cake pan.

For the oatmeal topping, mix melted butter, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl til combined. Crumble oatmeal mixture over the top of the cake batter. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

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