Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Turkey Gołąbki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) with Tomato Sauce

Golabki, or stuffed cabbage rolls, is a traditional Polish dish that is comforting, delicious, and healthy. The ingredients are common and readily-available, and the dish takes a while to cook, but is very easy to prepare. 

For me, this is an ideal meal to prepare for the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Golabki is one of those meals that smells amazing as it cooks, so you’ll be looking forward to eating it when it comes out of the oven. I might be a bit odd, but I love smelling a good meal cooking long before it is finished. It gets me excited to eat. 

While the traditional version of golbaki usually contains ground beef and/or pork, this version is made with ground turkey just to lighten it up a bit. None of the deliciousness of the original version is missing, and since I don’t feel as guilty eating this version I can definitely eat an extra roll or two. Right?

Ingredients:

1.33 lb package of ground turkey 

1 large head of cabbage

¾ c. uncooked rice

1 ½ c. water (for the rice)

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional, but yummy)

Salt and pepper

Sauce:

2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

Cook rice according to package directions and cool. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove 10-12 large leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Chop the remaining cabbage roughly. Set chopped cabbage aside. 

Boil the large leaves for about 5 minutes, or until they are pliable.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook about half of the chopped onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped bacon (if using) and cook until crispy. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bay leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking , combine the ground turkey, the other half of the chopped onions, cooked rice, egg,  salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly with your hands until all of the ingredients are equally dispersed. 

Place about ¼ c of the turkey/rice mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito, tucking in the leaves toward the middle and then rolling. 

Place the chopped cabbage on the button of a large casserole dish. Then, lay the cabbage rolls on top of them, seam side down. Pour the sauce over the top and bake for 60-75 minutes. Enjoy!

Categories
Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Classic Provençal Ratatouille

Ratatouille is an old-school French dish that is made of stewed late-summer vegetables and served with crusty, country bread. It’s comforting, rich, and harkens back to a time when slow-cooked food was the norm. Ratatouille is what your French grandma would have made especially for you as a child because she knew you loved it, even though it took a very long time and lots of labor to make. 

The traditional method of cooking ratatouille requires the slow cooking of each ingredient in separate pans in order to cook each ingredient perfectly. Those ingredients are then combined and stewed together to meld the flavors. You can imagine that this process is extremely time-consuming and requires constant babysitting. Ain’t nobody got time for that in today’s world.

My version of ratatouille deviates a bit from the traditional method because I roast the veggies and then allow them to stew together. The result is a balanced and delicious ratatouille that takes much less time and attention to prepare, which is always a good thing. I think grandma would actually approve. 

Ingredients:

5 large heirloom tomatoes

1 medium eggplant, or two small, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 large yellow squash, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ c. olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped

Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Remove the cores from the tomatoes and pulse them in a food processor until they are saucy, but still a bit chunky (think the consistency of a chunky salsa). 

Place the eggplant on one baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, mix with your hands, and place the pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the red pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash on the other baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, mix with your hands, and place the pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. 

Place both baking sheets in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. 

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, organo, rosemary and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Turn the heat down to low, and allow the sauce to simmer. 

Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir. Place them back into the oven, and cook the eggplant for 10-15 minutes, or until soft. Remove the eggplant and add to the tomato sauce. Stir to combine. 

Roast the red pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash for another 10 minutes while the sauce simmers. Remove from the oven and add to the sauce. Allow the ratatouille to simmer for 10 more minutes so that all of the flavors can meld together nicely. 

Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a little olive oil. 

Serve in a bowl topped with Parmesan with a baguette, on top of polenta, or mixed into pasta.  

Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Shiitake Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche

This earthy and rustic shiitake mushroom quiche is positively dreamy, and it will have you fantasizing about it like a teenage crush for a long time after the pie plate is empty. The difference, thankfully, is that you won’t have the agony of waiting for your crush to text you back. You can just go back to the store and buy the ingredients, and the obsession can continue without the anxiety of waiting by the phone. Can you tell I have teen daughters?

The depth of the shiitakes are enhanced by the luscious, slightly caramelized shallots, onions, and garlic. The delicate and creamy quiche envelops the beautiful ingredients with its soft warmth and is freckled so perfectly with the crumbled goat cheese. All of that loveliness is cradled by a flaky pastry shell. In my humble opinion, some of the earth’s most special ingredients are all wrapped up in one dish. 

For a complete meal, serve with a lightly-dressed salad and a baguette. 

Ingredients:

1 pre-made pie crust (store bought or using recipe below)

6 eggs, beaten

1 c. whole milk or heavy cream

1 c. creme fraiche 

2 shallots, sliced

2 green onions, sliced

1 clove of garlic, minced

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbles

2 c. shiitake mushrooms, chopped

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Pastry:

1 ½ c. all purpose flour

8 Tbsp.unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small squares

5 Tbsp. cold water

Pinch of sea salt

In a food processor, mix the flour and salt. Then, add the butter pieces evenly throughout the bowl of the food processor. Process, using pulses, until the butter is mixed into the flour and the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add water and pulse until the pastry forms large clumps. Take the pastry out of the food processor and roll it out on a floured surface. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the shallots. Cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

Place the pie crust in a lightly greased pie pan. Sprinkle mushroom mixture and goat cheese into the bottom.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure the mixture is well mixed and is smooth. Pour into the pie pan over the mushrooms and goat cheese. 

Bake until the quiche is cooked in the center and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (about 30-40 minutes). Check if often, as nothing ruins a quiche faster than overcooking the eggs! Let the quiche rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Armenian Jajukh (Cucumber Yogurt Salad)

Armenian cucumbers are popping up in American gardens more and more, which is very exciting because they are delicious and easy to grow. These funny-looking, light green, floppy “cucumbers” are not really cucumbers at all. They may resemble super-long cucumbers in appearance and taste, but they are actually members of the muskmelon family. Armenian cucumbers taste a lot like a combination of a crispy cucumber and a fresh, sweet-ish melon. They are truly special. 

Because these fruits are so cool and refreshing, they are very popular in Armenia and other middle eastern locations. Most often, Armenian cucumbers are mixed into a garlicky yogurt sauce and served alongside grilled foods or as a light, healthy snack. This recipe for traditional Armenian jajukh combines all of the best elements of sweet, salty, briny, and refreshing flavors  to result in a simple, tasty salad that can be enjoyed by all. 

Ingredients: 

1 Armenian cucumber (make sure to remove the skin and scrape out the seeds) or English cucumber

2 Tbsp Greek or Bulgarian yogurt

1 small clove of garlic, minced

2 tsp. fresh mint or 1 tsp dried mint

Pinch of salt

Mix together all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Season with salt, chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, and serve.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

Spicy Crab Salad Poke Bowl

These spicy crab salad poke bowls are perfect for those nights when my stomach is begging me to go out for sushi, but my wallet is giving me a hard no to going out for an expensive dinner. Because this spicy crab salad and all of the other colorful and tasty ingredients are so yummy, I always feel as satisfied after eating at home as I would have if I had gone out and broken the bank. 

The spicy crab salad, fresh veggies, seaweed salad, and wasabi vinaigrette taste just like your favorite sushi rolls, but cost much less and are ready to eat in under 30 minutes. Next time your stomach tries to write checks it can’t cash, back it down with these truly delicious poke bowls. It won’t know the difference. 

Ingredients:

Spicy crab salad:  

8 oz. lump crab or imitation crab

¼ c. mayonnaise (Kewpie is best)

2 Tbsp sriracha sauce

1 green onion, sliced

1 Tbsp. serrano pepper, finely chopped (if desired)

Salt and pepper

Bowl:

2 c. cooked white or brown rice

Seaweed salad

Shredded carrots

Sliced cucumbers

Cubed avocado

Sliced green onions

Wasabi vinaigrette 

Combine all ingredients for the spicy crab salad in a bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper. 

Divide the rice equally among two bowls. Top with seaweed salad, carrots, cucumbers, avocado, crab salad, and green onions. Serve with a side of wasabi vinaigrette.thew

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Summer Mexican Corn Salad

Sometimes during late summer, I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of veggies growing in my yard and piling up in my fridge because what can I say, I love farmers’ markets and gardening. While I do realize that an overabundance of healthy, colorful, fresh food is hardly a problem, sometimes I feel like there are so many veggies and so few meals. 

For this reason, I love recipes like this one for a lovely summer Mexican corn salad. All of the veggies included in this salad are fresh, bountiful during this season, and taste so perfect all together. The creamy, spice-touched dressing seamlessly pulls together the freshness of the corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs, giving it a decadent edge. The cotija cheese rounds out all of the sweetness of the veggies with a salty, tanginess that is perfect for a summer side dish. Serve with grilled meat, chicken, or fish for a quick and delicious meal that is ideal for enjoying those last few weeks of summer. 

Ingredients:

4 c. fresh corn, cut from the cob

2 fresh tomatoes, diced

1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped

½ c. green onions, chopped

¼ c. cilantro, chopped

¼ c. mayonnaise

¼ c. cotija cheese, crumbled

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin 

1 tsp. smoked paprika

Juice from one lime

Salt and pepper 

Combine the corn, tomatoes, serrano peppers, green onions, and cilantro in a large serving bowl. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and lime juice until it’s the consistency of a salad dressing. Pour it into the corn mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with cotija cheese, mix again, and serve.

Categories
Fish/Seafood

Thai-Style Crab Fried Rice

Quality Thai fried rice is always amazing (in my humble opinion), but just imagine how ridiculously good it could be with fresh crab added to it. Mind. Blown. 

In this version of Thai fried rice, all of the traditional ingredients you know and love are there – the eggs, fish sauce, green onions, carrots, and the sweet and umami flavors that Thai chefs are just brilliant at creating and blending. Add the sweet, briny crab to the mix and heaven will appear right on your tastebuds. 

Ingredients:

1 c. lump crab or imitation crab

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 inch knob of ginger, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3-4 c. white rice, cooked

3 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp. mirin

¼ c. shredded carrots

¼. c. cilantro, chopped

¼ c. green onions, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Juice from one lime

Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Cook the garlic, carrots, and ginger for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the rice and heat through, being sure to mix the garlic and ginger throughout the rice. 

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and miring and toss to combine. Create a well in the center of the skillet and drop the eggs into the center of the wok. Scramble them quickly and then mix to combine with the rice. Add the crab to the rice and heat through. 

Remove from the heat. Stir in the green onions and cilantro. Serve hot!

Categories
Sides Vegetarian

Panfried Lion’s Mane Mushrooms with Sriracha Mayo

If you haven’t entered the amazing world of exotic and gourmet mushrooms, what’s holding you back? There are so many types of glorious mushrooms readily available in grocery stores now. Back in the day, it was button mushrooms or nothing – but my, how times have changed. I’m a HUGE fan of mushrooms of all types, shapes, and sizes. I have even started foraging for them recently, and what an amazing world full of mushrooms we live in! 

So naturally, when I was at the store last week, I saw some locally-grown lion’s mane mushrooms and jumped at the chance to buy them because they are so, so delicious. If you have never tried them, they taste like really stellar mushrooms with a crab-like texture (lion’s mane cake recipe to come soon).  I whipped up this appetizer version of lion’s mane mushrooms served with a side of sriracha mayo, and what a match made in heaven! 

Ingredients:

½ lb. fresh lion’s mane mushrooms

2 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Sriracha Mayo 

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. sriracha sauce

1 Tbsp. lemon

Cut the bottoms off of the mushrooms and then slice them thinly into strips. 

Mix the ingredients for the sriracha mayo in a small bowl and set aside. 

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes, or until browned and crispy on one side. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder while they are cooking. Flip the mushrooms over with tongs and cook for another 2 minutes, or until both sides are browned and crispy. Note that if the mushrooms aren’t crispy on both sides, they can be bitter, so it’s important to get that crispiness!

Remove and place on a plate. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. 

Serve as an appetizer with sriracha mayo, or on a baguette for a yummy sandwich!

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Lighter Mexican Chicken Salad

Your struggle to find a lunch that is protein-packed, low in calories (and carbs if you’re watching those), tastes delicious, and is satisfying is over. Meet this lighter version of chicken salad that flaunts its Mexican flavors in every bite. 

In this version of Mexican chicken salad, Greek yogurt is used in place of mayo. No taste is sacrificed because of the deep cuts to the calories and fat, people. This spicy, savory chicken salad is oh-so-yummy, filling, and is wonderful on a sandwich, with crackers or tortilla chips, with a salad, or just all alone in its glory.  

Ingredients:

3 c. shredded chicken – rotisserie works best!

⅔ c. Greek yogurt

¼ c cilantro, chopped

¼ c. green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and diced

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients (except for salt and pepper) into a large bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Serve on sandwiches, with salads or all alone! 

Categories
Pasta Vegetarian

Penne alla Caprese

Pasta is always a wonderful treat and so is anything with the word “Caprese” in the title, so why not combine them to make a super-fresh, super-delicious pasta dish? This time of year, many of our gardens are full of all of the beautiful fruits of our gardening labor, especially tomatoes and mounds of fresh basil. If you don’t have a garden like this, chances are you have a friend who does and is willing to part with a little bit of their bounty. You know, because you’re such a great friend. 

This truly lip-smacking penne alla Caprese comes together in no time, is loaded with ingredients most people adore, and is even healthy. The aromatic garlic, wine, fresh tomatoes, and basil are so delicious mixed in with the toothsome pasta and the tangy fresh mozzarella. It’s simple, and just right. “Less is more” isn’t just a clever saying after all. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. penne pasta

2 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ c. dry white wine

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 c. cherry tomatoes, or fresh diced tomatoes

½ c. fresh basil leaves, torn

8 oz. mozzarella pearls or diced fresh mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. 

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and white wine and cook until they are soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Break the tomatoes up as you cook with a rubber spatula so that they become a bit more “saucy.” 

Combine the pasta and tomato sauce in a large serving bowl and toss to combine. Add the fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and combine quickly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Drizzle with additional olive oil and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.