Thursday, March 31, 2011

Black Bean and Cornadilla's and Guacamole Salad!

As usual, my day is filled with craziness.  I have cilantro growing everywhere and I'm trying to pull it out of my cucumber and squash area so it doesn't make the soil too dry (cilantro does sucks the moisture right outta the ground).  So, I decided (because I have all of this cilantro) to use it in today's recipe.  I hope you like cilantro...because we're going to use it in EVERYTHING. Whew!

Here's What Ya Need:

Cilantro (duh) * 3 Large Avocados (cuz I like a lot)
Onion (diced) * Tomato (diced) * Organic Black Beans (drained)
Organic Corn (drained) * Red/Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas * Soft tofu or Follow Your Heart
Vegan Cheese (it's non-dairy)
Mushrooms (sliced and optional) * Pepper * Salt (optional

Here's How Ya Do It:
BB & Cornadilla
1.  Take saute pan with canola oil over medium heat.
2.  Take black beans, corn, red/yellow bell pepper, mushrooms and place in saute pan.
3.  Saute for 4-5 minutes until mushrooms are browned.
4.  Stir.
5.  Heat Tortilla's on the stove.  Don't burn them!
6.  Place tortilla on the bottom of a plate and scoop in a helping of your vegetables.
7.  Add soft tofu or vegan cheese and cilantro and top with another tortilla.
     [the tofu or vegan cheese will act as a binder to the ingredients]
8.  Slice into triangles and serve.
     [You can add a mild salsa on top!]
1.  Slice avocados in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
2.  Add pepper and mash the avocados.
3.  Add diced onions and tomatoes.
4.  Add cilantro (chopped w/o stems).
5.  Pepper and salt (optional) to taste.
6.  Mix together and dollop on top of your black bean cornadilla!

Blah!  I have so much to do, pray, laugh, be happy's gorgeous outside!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vegetable Scallop Stir Fry on Soccer Night!

I love spring.  This would be my favorite time of year if it weren't for the fact that Diego is in school and we can't play as much.  The weather and everything that's blooming in my garden seems all so fresh and new.  I can't wait to start harvesting more than the strawberries I've been getting every morning!

So, in the essence of spring, I've decided to make these fantastic scallops that I found at Whole Foods with an array of fresh vegetables.  Normally, I would make a risotto w/asparagus and place grilled scallops on top.  However, today I was thinking stir fry.  It's quick, easy, and I have to coach soccer it has to be fast.  I'll leave the risotto and asparagus for the weekend. ;)-

Here's What Ya Need:
Fresh Bay Scallops (small..but NOT tiny!) * canola oil (or peanut)
Vegetables (I'm using snap peas, carrots, kale (for iron), snow peas, broccoli)
Ginger * Low-sodium Soy Sauce * Brown Rice * Sesame Seeds * Garlic

Here's How Ya Do It:
1.  Take a stir fry pan. (high heat) [I'm using my paella pan.]
2.  Place canola (or peanut) oil and spread around the pan.
3.  Add garlic and ginger to flavor the oil (about 1-2 min)
4.  STIR.
5.  Add scallops and vegetables.
6.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on HIGH heat.
     [Remember never to use olive oil on high heat because it
       becomes carcinogenic.]
7.  Remove cover and stir.  Scallops should be solid white.
8.  Add soy and sesame seeds.
9.  Stir again.
10.  Remove and serve over brown rice (I cheat and get the brown rice from
       Whole Foods that you can heat up in the's awesome.)

I'd like to add that there's never any harm in using frozen organic vegetables.  As a matter of fact, there are days when I rely on them.  They have just as many vitamins (if not more in some cases) as fresh picked vegetables and they're a great time saver.  This is a good time to grab a bag if you haven't got chopped fresh veggies handy.

I think we all try to shoot for "super mom"... but most days we're blessed if we end up with "at least I got it accomplished mom".  On that note, say your prayers and have a great time with your family around the dinner table tonight.  - Elizabeth

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spanish Potato Frittata For Dinner Tonight!

Right now I'm wishing I were in Barcelona sitting outside at Nirvana (my favorite beach restaurant) on one of their cozy futons eating a potato frittata and drinking a mint green tea.  Dreaming is one of the best things I can do on an overcast day like this!  So, because I'm in the mood...I've put on some Chambao (an awesome group from Malaga) and have pulled out my frittata pan!  Viva Espana and viva this dish!

Side Note:

There's a fantastic thing that I like to use when making my potato frittatas...EGGS.  However, because we can not have meat during Lent I have moved to using a lovely little vegan egg substitute from Whole Foods to bind my frittata together.  There is absolutely NO meat in this egg substitute...however, if you're can use a soft tofu as a potato adhesive for this dish.  Also, for the potatoes..I use small golden potatoes because they are sweeter and less acidic than other potatoes. :)

Here's What Ya Need:

Small Golden Potatoes (thin slices-1/4 inch) * Egg Substitute
Red/Yellow Bell Peppers * Green Onion (chopped)
Tomatoes (diced) * Spinach Leaves * Olives
Zucchini * Olive Oil * Garlic (chopped) * Oregano

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

Here's What Ya Do:
1.  Take saute/frittata pan (oven friendly).
2.  Olive oil pan and place on low heat.
3.  Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute until tender.
4.  Add the potatoes and saute until they start to get soft.
5.  Add zucchini, tomatoes, spinach and continue to saute and stir.
6.  Add pepper and oregano.
7.  Once everything is very tender add the egg substitute.
8.  You need to pour the egg substitute (or tofu) over the top
      and make sure that it binds the veggies together.
9.  Add more tomatoes and olives on top for decoration.
10.  Continue to cook for about 2 minutes until everything starts to set.
11.  Take the pan and put it in the oven for about 3-5 minutes or
       until the top begins to brown.
12.  Remove from oven, place on a beautiful plate and enjoy!

This is another fast dish and easy to prepare.  You can serve it with a side salad and crusty bread!  I hope you enjoy this around your dinner table tonight! :) - Elizabeth

Monday, March 28, 2011

Honey...I'm Home!

What a FANTASTIC time we had in Savannah.  Yes, there was work...but we got to play a lot too.  It was fun exploring all of the historical sites and lovely restaurants.  I learned a new "low country" recipe (as they call it) while I was there.  It's a fabulous pot boil with everything your little heart could desire...and all Orthodox Lent friendly!!   As a matter of fact, this pot boil is so easy even Despina can do it! (wink, D!)

Here's What Ya Need:

Small Red Potatoes * Shrimp (they use in-shell...I like mine cleaned)
Snow Crab (1/4 lb) * Corn on the Cob (enough for each person)
Crawfish (Yuck! So I don't add)
Oysters (Once again, your choice. I'm not a fan)
Old Bay Seasoning * Cayenne Seasoning
Ground Pepper

(If you're lucky then you bought Paula Deen's seasoning, like me! Hee.)

Here's How Ya Do It:
1.  Heat a large pot of water on medium-high heat.
2.  Add seasoning and bring to a boil.
3.  Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
4.  Add corn, crab, and crawfish and cook for 5-7 minutes.
5.  Once it looks almost cooked...add the shrimp and oysters.
6.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
7.  Drain the water out.
8.  Plate in a large round dish.
9.  Add a bit of cayenne seasoning and ground pepper over the top for a spicy taste.
10.  Enjoy

Really you can use any type of shellfish in this dish (they also add sausage..but that's a no-go right now).  Also, I add the extra seasoning instead of using the butter...but that's just me!

I hope you enjoy this's so easy when you just get to throw everything in and watch it cook!  I guess I'd better start unpacking our suitcases and get the laundry practice today so it's super busy!  I hope you all enjoy this Georgian Low Country dish, YA'LL!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Good Mornin'! Good Mornin'! It's Time To Start The Day...

Nothing like waking up to Gene Kelly singing!  It's how I like to wake my little guy every morning. :)

Speaking of mornings...we are leaving for Savannah in a few minutes and I'm letting you all know, with much dismay, that I may not be blogging recipes until Monday, March 28th.  If I see something fancy over at Paula Deane's restaurant that doesn't include dairy, meat (or BUTTER), then I will send a blog about it!

In the meantime, please re-visit my past recipes to tide you over during my mini-vacation.  John, Diego and I will be exploring the historical city and I'll be sure to add some pics upon my return!

Remember, prayer is an important part of pray for us to have a save trip! ;)

- Elizabeth

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grilled Eggplant and Mashed Potatoes! Whoop!

My guys needs some mashed potatoes today and I need something colorful to put on top of those golden spuds.  So, I've decided to grill the eggplant I've been looking at in my vegetable box.

There are a few things you need to know about eggplants.  You want to make sure they're firm all the way through.  Squishy eggplants are great for souffles...but not for grilling.  So, buy carefully, grasshoppers!

Here's What Ya Need:

Large Eggplant (sliced about 1/2 inch rounds) * Olive Oil
Pepper * Greek Oregano * Sea Salt (Optional)
Golden Baby Potatoes (sliced in half)* Paprika
Butter (if you're not fasting from it)

Here's How Ya Do It:

Grilled Eggplant:
1.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Lightly oil.
2.  Brush a small amount of olive oil on both sides of the eggplant.
     Don't over-do it.  You don't want them to get soggy.
3.  Sprinkle pepper and paprika onto eggplants (sea salt optional)
4.  Grill both sides for 5 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes:
1.  Boil water.
2.  Add potatoes once boiling.
3.  Check to see when soft (around 20-30 minutes)
4.  Drain.
5.  Add butter (I use a 1/2 a stick to a stick)
6.  Add sea salt (optional)
7.  Add pepper.
8.  Stir.

How To Plate This!
1.  Take mashed potatoes and place a dollop onto plate.
2.  Take the eggplant and place on top of potatoes.
3.  Sprinkle Greek oregano on top of all.
4.  Add a little more paprika to top it off!

I'm going to serve this up with a light citrus salad.  I hope you enjoy another Lenten meal with your family today...dinner is a great time to say a family prayer and talk about your many blessings. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tomato & Asparagus Salad!

Monday Night Dinner For THREE Please!

The weather is so nice outside that it's a shame to waste it cooking indoors!  This is a great time to pull out the grill..YES! EVEN THOUGH WE CAN'T HAVE MEAT!  I'm going to be grilling up a quick portobello mushroom that is so meaty you won't be wishing you had a steak!  My tomato and asparagus salad is a perfect for the weather..light with full of flavor.  This has to be a fast meal because I have to coach my soccer team, I hope you chopped your vegetables and organized them in your fridge...because it's time to grab them and turn on the grill!

(First, prepare the grill on medium-high heat and oil the grill..also, remember..I cook for 3 people so you choose how much you need for your family!)

Here's What Ya Need:

3 Large Portabello Mushrooms (stemmed) * 3 Medium-sized tomatoes (cut into chunks)
Fresh Basil (chopped) * Asparagus Tips (1 Cup) * Garlic (minced or finely chopped)
Pepper (to taste) * Olive Oil (enough for mushrooms, dressing, and pan)

Here's How Ya Do It:

1.  Drizzle olive oil over mushrooms.
2.  Throw some pepper on them (salt optional).
3.  Put them on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

Tomato & Asparagus:
1.  Mix 3 tsp of olive oil, garlic and pepper in a bowl. (salt optional)
2.  Add tomatoes, asparagus and basil.
3.  Coat everything really well.

Here's How Ya Plate It:
1.  Take a large spoonful of tomato & asparagus salad.
2.  Put in center of the plate.
3.  Add Grilled Mushroom on the side of the salad.
4.  Drizzle Olive on top of everything and add more Basil.
5.  Serve and enjoy!

I'm going to look forward to coming home to this light but fantastic dish after coaching Diego's soccer team tonight!  It's quick to prepare (less than 15 minutes for me) and easy clean-up too. I hope you enjoy this with your family during this Lenten season.  I know I'll have plenty to be thankful for during my prayers this evening!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sesame Shrimp over Mixed Veggies and Jasmine Rice

I love the taste of sesame seeds. They are one of my favorite spring-time toppings! Today I'm adding them to the fresh, small shrimp that I bought at Whole Foods with a mixture of veggies such as chopped kale, carrots, snap peas, and corn. I'm going to place this over a bed of jasmine rice. This fragrant rice is a staple in my household. You can cheat by grabbing the 365 jasmine frozen rice (it's awesome).  I'll be making this dish Saturday night and placing in separate covered dishes so they will be easy to heat up for Sunday dinner.  This is a quick dish with lots of flavor and vitamins!

Here's What Ya Need:

Kale (chopped) * Carrots (chopped) * Snap Peas
Corn (1 can drained) * Jasmine Rice (frozen)
Small Shrimp * Sesame Seeds * Olive Oil * Pepper

Here's How Ya Do It:

Jasmine Rice:
1.  Place rice in bowl and add about 1/3 cup of water.
2.  Heat in microwave for 3-4 minutes.

1.  Place kale, carrots, snap peas and corn into a steamer
     and steam until medium soft.

Small Shrimp:
1.  In a saute pan drizzle olive oil and heat on medium.
2.  In a small bowl, drizzle olive oil over shrimp.
3.  Add pepper and a small amount of sesame seeds
     and mix well making sure all of the shrimp are coated.
4.  Place shrimp into saute pan and cook until pink.
5.  When the shrimp is cooked, add more sesame seeds
     into the pan and re-coat the shrimp.

How To Plate This:
1.  Take rice and add on a plate
2.  Place a good helping of steamed vegetables on top.
3.  Place the shrimp on top of the vegetables.
4.  Serve!!

I hope you guys enjoy this fun Lenten dish with your family Sunday evening.  It's so beautiful right now that you should take this outside and enjoy the weather!  Enjoy. :)

We're Off To See The Tin Man...

Today we're headed out to see my niece, Ruth, play the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz at The Company Onstage.  I'm going to make a light Lenten lunch that I think you might enjoy for dinner tonight!

Lenten Pizza!

Here's What Ya Need:

Whole Wheat Naan Bread (or Pita) * Tomatoes
Olive Oil * Olives * Red/Yellow Bell Peppers
Basil Leaves * Garlic * Onion * Pepper/Salt (optional)

Here's How Ya Do It:

First, Prepare your Pesto as follows:
1.  Place 10  large basil leaves, chopped onion (1/3 cup), and 3 clove
     of garlic in a blender.
2.  Blend on Medium while pouring olive oil inside.
3.  Add Pepper/Salt to taste.
4.  Blend well.

Preparing the pizza:
1.  Take Naan bread and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
2.  Place large basil leaves on the Naan bread.
3.  Place tomatoes over the basil leaves.
4.  Add colorful bell peppers and olives on top.
5.  Heat in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted.
6.  Take pesto sauce and drizzle over the pizza.
7.  Serve!

(This is also a great dish to add artichoke hearts and any of your favorite veggies.)

Have an amazing day guys...we're off to see the Wizard! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lizzie, Lizzie always busy! How does your garden grow?

Today became "Garden Day".  Every year I plant this crazy organic garden and this year isn't any different.  I LOVE to experiment with different types of veggies every season and I like to try new varieties.  I cleared out the old a few weeks ago and have been living off my last crop.  After letting the soil rest a few weeks, I began to add new organic soil and compost.  I crop rotate so that I can keep my lovely little earthworms and rid those nasty pests (like tomato hornworms) by confusing them!

So, that means I didn't have time to cook up something fab today.  SORRY...I know!  We ran on left-overs today and I have to say those yummy spring rolls were a great thing to munch on while enjoying the sunny day outside!!  I added in an organic green tea with mint and lemon and VOILA! LUNCH & DINNER!

Here's what I planted today...heirloom tomatoes (various types including stripey's and purple's), yellow & green bell peppers, cucumbers (I like the British), zucchini, crooked neck squash, strawberries, various herbs, mesclum, better green lettuce, and banana bells.

This year I'm keeping it nice and simple in my garden because last season I went a little crazy on the growing end and it became a jungle!  This season I think it's going to be great because I'm trying new varieties of heirloom tomatoes and I can't wait to turn them into some fabulous's already started me thinking!

Speaking of's a quick recipe I like to make with an unripened tomato (slightly under-ripe please!).

Here's What Ya Need:

Slightly under-ripe tomato * Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil * Greek Oregano * Pepper * Crushed Croutons

Here's How Ya Do It:
1.  Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in sauce pan.
2.  Lightly drizzle olive oil on tomato.
3.  Take Greek oregano, pepper, and croutons and mix
     on high speed in a food processor for about 30 seconds.
4.  Take tomato and dip in crouton mix.
5.  Add tomato into heated pan and lightly fry for 1 minute each side.
6.  Place on tray and add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top!
7.  SERVE!

I need to wash up and start folding have a great evening and don't forget to say your prayers! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Great Day For Horseback Riding and Rodeo!

I know it's tough to pass up all of the chili at the rodeo because it doesn't fall into our Lenten meal plan.  However, I have a great veggie chili that I'm making with a side of jalapeno corn bread that may put the "Yee-Hah!" back in your step! So, while we're out checking on Diego's pony and petting llamas at the rodeo today..I can look forward to coming home to a sweet-smelling pot of Texas goodness.

What Ya Need: (I Use All Organic)

(Spices:  Cumin * Chili Powder * Cayenne)
Pepper & Salt (Optional) * Drained Can Of Black Beans
Drained Kidney Beans * Drained Can of Corn * Large Peeled Tomatoes (4)
Diced Zucchini * Diced Mushrooms (Portabello) * Chopped Onion
Chopped Red Bell Pepper * Vegetable Stock (1 Cup) * Garlic (minced)
Serrano Pepper (Two - Chopped) * Canola Oil (2 Tsp) * Tomato Sauce

How Ya Do It:

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2.  Add onions, bell peppers, garlic and serrano peppers.
3.  Stir until soft.
4.  Add zucchini, corn, and mushrooms.
5.  Stir until vegetables give off their liquid and brown a bit.
6.  Add chili powder, cumin, salt (optional), and cayenne.
7.  Stir for about 20-30 seconds.
8.  Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir well.
9.  Add beans and vegetable stock.
10.  Bring to a boil.
11.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
12.  Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes.

Here's My Cheat Today:  I'm using an instant box of jalapeno corn bread mix from Whole Foods.  You just add water, place in muffin pan and bake!

How I Plate This:

1.  I take a large soup bowl and break up the corn bread
     and spread on the bottom.
2.  I take a large soup spoon of the veggie chili and pour on top.
3.  I garnish with cilantro (chopped) and a wedge of avocado!

This is a great dish to reheat and serve for lunch the next day.  No one ever gets tired of this chili in my house.

On a side note, I just want to say that during my morning prayers I realized that this Lent has been going by quickly.  I'm not sure who this blog is helping or you...but I do feel a greater sense of peace in my life since Lent started.  Right now, I see the world running around me and I feel calm and steady.  All things are cared for and life is simple.  It's pretty awesome.  Have a blessed day everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Rolls and Fruit Smoothies for the BEACH!

Spring Break normally means a busy airport and a hotel room for us.  This year we were so busy we didn't make plans...which has been AWESOME.  Today we're heading to the beach with Grandma and Grandpa.  Which means I need SNACKS.  This is a favorite spring-time meal that Diego and I like to fix.  It's easy, full of veggies, and you can make up your own dipping sauce!  They're easy to pack in containers and I'm even adding a fruity, non-dairy, smoothie that's great for on-the-go!  Make this as a "to-go" meal or for dinner tonight on the patio.  Everyone will enjoy making their own custom SPRING ROLL!

What Ya Need for the Spring Roll:

Mekong Rice Paper (you can find it at Whole Foods) * Broccoli Slaw
Purple Cabbage * Shredded Carrots * Sliced Zucchini (thin)
Peeled/Cleaned Shrimp (optional) * Cilantro

[I just grab all of my left-over vegetables and dice them up into slivers so Diego can grab whatever he wants to put inside of his spring roll.  It's a great way to clean out the veggie box!]

How Ya Do It:
1.  Take rice paper and place on wax paper.
2.  Take a large plate and fill with cool water.
3.  Gently dip rice paper into cool plated water and quickly remove.
4.  Return to wax paper.
5.  Stack any veggies you would like (adding shrimp last).
6.  Roll the rice paper like a burrito and close the ends.
     (You can re-dip the ends inside of the cool water if they aren't sticky)

What Ya Need-Fruit Smoothie:

Orange Juice (1 cup) * Ice (1 cup)
Berries (you're choice) * Bananas (2)

How Ya Do It:
1.  Place ice and orange juice in blender and mix.
2.  Add berries and mix.
3.  Add bananas one at a time to determine thickness.
4.  Empty into a traveling container and go!

Side recipe for dip we use on our Spring Rolls:
1.  I put spicy mustard (2 tablespoons) into my dressing mixer.
2.  I then add Lemon (1 juiced) and Olive Oil (3 tablespoons).
3.  I add herbs from my garden (today cilantro).

We're going to enjoy snacking on these at the beach today.  I hope you all have a blessed, sunny day and remember God's wonderful grace in our lives during this Lenten season. :) - Elizabeth

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shrimp Bruschetta and Arugula & Spinach Salad!

It's really important to make sure that you're getting enough iron and vitamins when you're fasting.  I am a super-low iron girl..which make fasting from red meat hard because I quickly become anemic.  In order to not start getting headaches and passing out...I have to incorporate more iron-rich vegetables like KALE and SPINACH into my system.  This salad is like MANA to my body.  I hope you like it. :)

I have left-overs from last night's shrimp taco's.  So what better use than to use them as a light meal?  I will be using the "Shrimp Mix" from yesterday (see yesterday's recipe) as a topping over sliced toasted italian bread and making a light arugula and spinach salad on the side.

Here's What Ya Need:

Spinach * Arugula * Seedless Tangerines/Clementines (Peeled)
Tangerine Zest * Sliced Onions (optional) * Vinegar * Olive Oil
Lemon Juice (1 lemon) * Your Freshest Herb (for me, oregano today)
Italian Bread Loaf * (see yesterday for shrimp recipe and what you will need)

How To Make It:

Arugula & Spinach Salad
1.  Make sure you wash your spinach and arugula very well and dry.
2.  Mix both in a large salad bowl.
3.  Add clementine wedges.
4.  Dressing:  Mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar to 8 tablespoons of oil.
     Add herbs and lemon juice.
5.  Mix dressing into salad. MIX WELL!
6.  Add sliced onions on top.
7.  Add Tangerine/Clementine zest over salad.
8.  Serve!  (Toasted almonds are a great thing to add on top of this salad for extra vitamins!)

Shrimp Bruschetta
1.  Take sliced Italian bread and drizzle olive oil on top.
2.  Take shrimp mix left-overs and place on top.
3.  Place in 350 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes until toasted.
4.  Serve!

It's a very SPRING dish that I'm sure you're going to enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away! I'm Making Shrimp Taco's Today!

Our first "official" day of spring break and it's raining! Boo!  Our beach plans are cancelled so I've decided to go ahead and make some shrimp taco's for dinner tonight.  Thank goodness we can eat shellfish!  I will not be adding cheese to this dish..but it will still be super-tasty with my home made tomatillo salsa.  Let's hope the rain clears up as we make this yummy, sunny dish!

What You Will Need:

1 bag of baby shrimp (for us I buy a scoopful from Whole Foods)
Corn Tortillas * Cilantro (finely chopped) * Onion (diced)
Red & Green Bell Pepper (diced) * 3 large Limes (sliced)
Jalapeno Pepper * 8 tomatillo's * Avocado (sliced)

Tomatillo Salsa (Prepare This First):
1.  Grab your blender!
2.  Slice Jalapeno pepper and remove center seeds (or keep if you like super hot)
3.  Slice Tomatillos (these are small, green Mexican tomatoes)
4.  Take 1/3 of your chopped onion and place in blender with 
     jalapeno and tomatillos.
5.  BLEND.
6.  Add a small amount of the cilantro and lime juice from 1/2 a lime.
8.  Salt (optional) and Pepper to taste.

Shrimp Tacos:
1.  Take a large saute pan (med. heat) and add about a 1/4 cup of water.
     Add shrimp and cover.
2.  Toss is Pepper (salt optional)
3.  I also like to add a bit of paprika if you have any in your herb collection.
4.  Stir until pink.
5.  Add onions, cilantro and red/green bell peppers.
6.  Continue to stir while adding lime juice to mixture.
7.  Remove from fire and cover.

Mixin' It Together:
1.  Take the tortilla's and heat on the stove.
2.  Place a large spoonful of shrimp mix into the taco.
3.  Add the tomatillo salsa and a slice of avocado on top.
4.  Place a slice of lime on the side and ENJOY!

Note:  I like to add a cup of heated black beans and white rice on the side of this dish along with a healthy salad!

I hope you're enjoying your spring break and this dish too!  Diego and I will be thinking of something indoors to do today (besides making shrimp tacos)!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday, The Day Of REST!

I like to observe the Sabbath and keep it Holy.  So, today is left-over day. In other words, I don't cook.  I take out all of the left-overs from the week and place it on the island in my kitchen and allow everyone who comes by to dig in to all of the fixins.  It's a great day to invite over close family members to try out your various recipes for the week and enjoy catching up without the hassle of cooking.

If you want to try to make something (the night before) out of the dishes I made this week, then here's a spin on some of the left-overs you can use to make something fantastically different..POTATO EMPANADAS!

Left-overs That You Will Need:

Twice-baked potatoes * Greek Pea Dish * Olive Oil

New Stuff You Will Need:

Pastry/Pie Dough Rounds!!

How You Do It:

1. Take out the dough from the plastic wrap.
2.  Roll it out until 1/4 inch thick.
3.  Use a large round cookie cutter and cut away!
4.  Meanwhile, In a bowl...take the inside of the potatoes
     and Greek Peas and mix.  This will be your filling.
5.  Take the potato/pea mix and scoop a spoonful into one of your cut rounds.
6.  Take another round and place on top.
7.  Close the edges with the back side of your fork.
8.  Lightly brush olive oil on top (or butter if you're not fasting from it!)
9.  Place in oven at 350 degrees until brown (around 8-10 minutes).

Place in your fridge for a new dish on Sunday.  Reheat and serve!

I hope you all have a wonderful day at Church and enjoy the lovely sunny day God has brought us during Lent!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Greek Peas over Pearl-sized Couscous!

For dinner tonight I am making a traditional Greek pea dish and pouring it over pearl-sized couscous mixed with chopped cilantro.  The sauce from the pea dish will add an amazing flavor to the couscous.  I sometimes use brown rice or quinoa for this dish (if you can't find pearl-sized couscous regular couscous is okay).

What you will need:

1 bag Frozen Peas * Cilantro (finely chopped) * Red Bell Pepper (thinly sliced)
2 cans of diced tomatoes * Minced Garlic * Pepper (Salt optional)
Couscous (pearl-sized) * Onion (finely chopped) * Whole Wheat Pita Bread

How Ya Do It!

Pearl-sized Couscous:
1.  Boil water with 2 tsp. of Salt in a large pot.
2.  Add couscous once it is boiling (not before)
3.  Cook until tender.
4.  Remove from heat and drain.
5.  Mix Cilantro (finely chopped) into the couscous. (Substitute Oregano)
6. Add Pepper to taste (Salt optional)

[Note:  If you use regular couscous, simply boil water in a pan and keep small couscous in a bowl.  Pour boiling water into bowl and let sit for 5 minutes (covered).  Drain.]

Greek Peas:
1.  Add Olive oil, garlic and onions into a large saute pan on medium heat.
     (2 minutes to flavor pan). Stir.
2.  Add frozen peas (Stir for 3 minutes)
3.  Add Pepper (Salt optional)
4.  Add Red Bell Peppers (thinly sliced)
5.  Add tomatoes and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until it all gets soft.

Mixin' It Together!
1.  Take the couscous and pour it into a large pasta dish.
2.  Take the Greek Peas and pour over the couscous.
3.  Heat the Pita it on the side of the dish and SERVE!

This is a super easy dish to make.  I normally chop all of my vegetables at the beginning of the week and place into containers (I pre-plan my meals because I'm OCD, don't judge me).  This dish only takes me about 15 minutes to make once the water has boiled (FYI).

I hope you enjoy this Lenten meal this evening as much as we will!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Greek School Night!

Okay, so Diego has Greek School tonight (ο Ντιεγκο εχει σκολειο ελληνικα αποψε!) and we also have Salutations to the Theotokos.  This means that I am cooking something fast, easy and still remain faithful to my fast.  I will prepare everything in advance so I can just heat up each plate when I get home.

What You Will Need

12 Large Shrimp (pre-cooked is fine)
Whole Wheat Pasta (Your preference.  I'm making capellini.)
Asparagus Tips
Oregano finely chopped (optional)
1 Stick of Butter
1/2 a Lemon
Pepper to taste

How to Fix It Up

1.  Boil Water with 1 tsp. of salt
2.  Don't put the pasta in UNTIL it's boiling (Despina, that's for you!)
3.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.
4.  Cook until al dente.
5.  Remove pasta and drain pan.
6.  Empty pasta into saute pan of other ingredients.

1.  Oil or butter (if you're not fasting from them) a very large saute pan.
2.  Place shrimp in pan at medium heat.
3.  Add asparagus tips and continue to saute.
4.  When the shrimp is pink add Pepper, Capers, and Oregano.
5.  Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.
6.  Add the stick of butter and juice from 1/2 of the lemon.

How to Mix:
1.  Put the heated pasta into the large saute pan.
2.  Stir ingredients together with a large tong.
3.  Move into a large pasta dish and serve!

I know this is such an easy meal to make.  Friday's are super busy days for us and I always either eat out or we make it home by 8 p.m. and have a late dinner.  The great thing about my meals are that they are easy to reheat and use as left overs when you're in a pinch!  So, if we don't end up eating it know what we'll be having for lunch tomorrow!

Have a great Friday and enjoy your dinner!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Taco's for Dinner Tonight!

The great thing about coming from various cultures is that you can mix in recipes during Lent and still be faithful to your fast.  Diego wants me to make Verde Taco's for dinner tonight.  They're a great way to get your kids to eat green vegetables and still feel like they're eating a taco!  So...let's get started!

What You Will Need

Corn Tortillas  *  Zucchini Squash  * Yellow Squash or Crooked Neck
Kale or Spinach  * Cherry or Grade Tomatoes * Garlic
Onion diced *  Mushrooms * Can of Refried Black Beans

(I don't say how much because you know how big your family is and how much you eat.  I cook for 3 people..which is hard because I grew up helping cook for 10.  So, you figure your portions..but it's never bad to go over a bit because once you eat one can't seem to stop.)

Here's How You Do It

Prepare the Squash:
1.  Slice zucchini and yellow squash into long strips (around 1/2 of an inch thick).
2.  If you are using butter and oil..then drizzle on top of the squash. (optional)
3.  Season with pepper and salt (optional)
4.  Place in a steamer and steam until soft.

Prepare the Spinach or Kale:
1.  Heat pan with oil or butter and add garlic and diced onions.
2.  Add Kale or Spinach and saute.
3.  Add Mushrooms

Prepare the VERDE TACO!
1.  Heat the refried beans in a pan or in the microwave.
2.  Heat your corn tortilla's on the stove (don't burn your fingers)
3.  Take the tortilla and smear the black beans on the inside.
4.  Add the sauteed Spinach (or Kale) and Squash.
5.  Top it with your cherry or grape tomatoes (sliced).


[Side note:  I gather whatever is ready in my garden and make these taco's.  I have cilantro that I will add to the side and sliced avocados or guacamole!]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lenten Meals Made Easy

If you're busy running a tight ship at the office or at home, then you know how hard it is to make quick, Lenten-friendly meals for the family.  As a Greek Orthodox Christian, it's made even more difficult by the fact that we abstain from all meat and dairy for 40 days.  If you are doing the strict fast, it gets harder as the weeks go on.  I will spend the next 40 days blogging about the meals I create during Lent and will add the recipes accordingly.  I'm not going to promise that they are ALL easy..but..most days I'm coaching soccer, planting my organic garden, working in my office, and taking care of I try to make it short, healthy, and simple.

I hope you enjoy today's recipe!

What you will need:

Large potatoes (1 for each family member if you eat a lot)
Broccoli (raw or steamed)
Artichoke (I always make 2)
Fresh-herbs (I use whatever is in my garden...right now it's rosemary, Greek oregano, mint, and cilantro)
1 Lemon
Lemon zest ( 1/3 cup)
Salt and Pepper (to taste) (Personally, I don't use salt at all.)

Here's what's for dinner tonight...

Twice Broccoli-Baked Potato

Clean your potato and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.  Cut the potato down the middle and scoop out all of the insides.  Keep the whole peeling.  Put potato whites in a bowl and mix in steamed or fresh broccoli.  I only use the tops and not the stems.  If you are not fasting from butter, add butter to the mix.  Stir until until it's nice and chunky.  Stuff your mixture back into the peeled part of the potato with a spoon.

Side note:  (I do not add butter..I mix together 4 tablespoons of balsamic or raspberry vinegar (any flavor you like) with 1 tsp. of lemon and cilantro in a blender as a dressing.  Add pepper and salt to taste.)

Place potato back into the oven at 200 degrees to warm for 10 minutes.  Serve!

(You can cook the potato in advance and keep it in the fridge at the beginning of the week.  Reheat in the microwave until soft and do as listed above.)

 Herb-infused Artichokes

Take artichokes and cut the stem off of the bottom so it stands up straight.  Cut the tops off (I use kitchen shears) to make the top flat.  You can also remove the tips of each artichoke leaf to make them softer.

Boil water with 2 tsp. of salt and juice from 1 large lemon.  Place artichokes face up into the boiling water.  Zest the lemon and set it aside.  Drop the remainder of the lemon into the boiling water.  Boil for 25 minutes or until soft.

Take out artichokes and drain.  Scoop out the middle of the artichokes with a spoon and discard.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Take the herbs (whatever you have that is fresh) and place at the bottom of a steamer.  Place artichokes on top of the herbs and use the remainder of the herbs (chopped finely) into the grooves of the leafs. Add the lemon zest on top.  Steam for another 20-25 minutes.  (note: you can also place the artichokes in the oven for 25 minutes for a slightly harder texture.  It's best to drizzle olive oil over the top before seasoning if you're putting it in the oven.)

Remove from steamer and serve!

May you all enjoy a blessed Lenten meal this evening with your family.  In the meantime, I have to pick up the kiddo and go Coach soccer practice!