Greek Grilled Shrimp Orzo

Greek Grilled Shrimp Orzo

This is a wonderful dish to serve at a summer party. I am hosting a wedding party for friends in 2 weeks and plan on serving this as party of the menu. It is easy to double (or more) for a big party. I served this warm but it was really good as a cold salad the next day. It would also be a good vegetarian side dish just omit the shrimp. This recipe was inspired by prouditaliancook.com.

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INGREDIENTS

Grilled shrimp
Smoked Paprika
Olive oil
Cooked orzo pasta
English cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
Red onion, diced
Crumbled feta
Grape tomatoes, halved and roasted
Kalamata olives
Lemon zest
Mint, parsley, oregano

Marinate the shrimp in lemon peel, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and grill.

Heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil. Place halved grape tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Roast for about 20 minutes.

Heat about 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until soft and getting golden, add red onion and cook until just warmed and a bit soft. Add the roasted tomatoes using all the juices left after roasting.

Make a vinaigrette by whisking 3 parts good olive oil to 1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice, add 1 crushed garlic clove, salt and pepper.

Taste it to your liking, either adding more or less. Place all ingredients in a bowl, adding all the herbs, more feta, (make sure it’s in small crumbles) pour the vinaigrette over all the ingredients, taste it and make sure you have enough of everything!

Note: I used 8 oz of cooked orzo and about 20 medium shrimp, the rest of the ingredients I just judged until I thought I had enough.

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Greek Honey Cake

Greek Honey Cake

I adjusted this recipe for a little less sweetness. It was actually good even without the syrup. It is a bit like baklava without all the fuss. I brought this as a dessert to a greek themed dinner with good friends. Original recipe by CaliforniaJan.

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IMG_3072.jpgINGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

SYRUP

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange rind. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into diamond shapes. Pour honey syrup over the cake.

For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine the honey, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is a super simple recipe. Comes together in a snap. I like Butter lettuce or Boston bibb but  iceberg will work, too. I like the crunchy texture of iceberg but it is a little harder to wrap. I let the chicken freeze slightly and it is very easy to cut up into small cubes. This can also be made vegetarian by using tofu or meat alternative.

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Ingredients

  • 16 Boston Bibb, butter or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless,skinless and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Directions

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger into a small bowl and set aside.

In a frying pan or wok heat the oil and add onions. Cook about 10 minutes or until soft and getting caramelized. Add chicken cubes and cook over medium heat until brown. Add water chestnuts and stir. Add sauce and stir to mix.

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Grilled Peach Salad with Proscuttio, Walnuts and Goat cheese

Grilled Peach Salad with Proscuttio, Walnuts and Goat cheese

Grilled fruit of any kind is just wonderful. It brings out all the sweetness. This is so good I cannot wait until I get some more peaches! I love grilled peaches with a bit of balsamic vinegar and goat cheese and this just adds the greens and a few more ingredients. It is worth the effort of grilling. Grilled peaches and balsamic vinegar are also wonderful over ice cream, too.

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Ingredients

5 peaches, peeled and cut into thick slices
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 package of mixed greens
1/2 cup of whole or chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of Goat Cheese
1/4 cup dried cherries
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 Tbsp olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

Heat grill. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray. Add peaches to the grill pan and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Grill, stirring occasionally until slightly caramelized and heated through- don’t over cook! Remove from gill and put in medium sized bowl and sprinkle with goat cheese. In a large bowl add the greens, walnuts, dried cherries and prosciutto. Toss with the olive oil. Add the peaches with the goat cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Toss gently and serve immediately.

Spaghetti Squash Rosti

Spaghetti Squash Rosti

This is a great side dish. Quick and easy for a weeknight dinner. Just a couple of ingredients. Top with an egg for a main dish. make individual patties or one big patty.

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Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash 2 cups spaghetti squash noodles
  • 2 tbsp flour or (almond flour)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and using a spoon remove the seeds from the center. Place each half face down in a pyrex dish with about an inch of water in the bottom. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a fork easily pierces through the squash. Place the spaghetti squash on a plate and allow to cool
  3. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the baked spaghetti squash, removing the flesh in strands. Place in a sieve and firmly press down to remove as much liquid as possible.
  4. in a bowl combine the spaghetti squash with the almond flour, cheese, dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. Mix to ensure the spices are blended in and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Form the mixture into small patties approximately the size of a clenched fist and flatten until they are 1/2 inch thick. Place the patties on a plate and leave to rest in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes so they will hold together better when cooking. You can also make one large patty and cut into wedges.
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan on high heat. Quickly cook the patties on one side for approximately 3-4 minutes until golden and then gently flip over. Lower the heat to medium and cook the patties for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Serve warm topped.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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I am a HUGE pizza fan. I grew up where there was a great Italian restaurant or pizzeria on just about every corner. My dad had Celiac and was diagnosed in 1996. This was before the whole world had embraced Gluten free eating so it was always a challenge to come up with recipes that tasted good. He and my mom came up with an excellent gluten free crust but we never tried a cauliflower crust. I think he might have liked this one. It is really tasty. This is firm enough to pick up a eat like a slice of “real” pizza. It is a good alternative to a flour based crust. Be creative with the toppings! I will be making this again! Adapted from the blog ifoodreal.com.

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Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower or 5-6 cups of store bought cauliflower rice
1 egg, large
1 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded
Cooking spray
Toppings (I used mushrooms, roasted grape tomatoes, tempeh and cheese)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in food processor in 2 batches, until “rice” texture forms (skip if using store-bought “rice”). Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 mins.

Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball (cauliflower inside the cheesecloth) as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out. This is a key part of making the crust firm.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. In bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower; mix very well with spatula until combined.

Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper or same silicone mat (just make sure to scrape off any bits of cauliflower) and spray with cooking spray. Transfer “dough” in the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, carefully flip with spatula or invert with another baking sheet (this worked best for me) and bake about 15 minutes. Top with your favorite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown. Slice and enjoy.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

Freeze: Tightly wrapped in plastic for 1 month.

CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS

CHICKEN WITH SHALLOTS

I adapted this super recipe from the New York Times; if you like the combination of chicken, caramelized shallots, mustard and tomatoes, this is for you! This serves about 4-5 and makes great leftovers the next day.

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INGREDIENTS

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 whole medium shallots, peeled
1 large onion, quartered
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 sprigs tarragon

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Rinse chicken thighs in water, and pat them very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them with flour, salt and pepper. I used a sieve to do this or you could dredge them in the flour

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or skillet set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook the chicken, in batches if necessary, until well browned and crisp on all sides. Set aside.

Add the whole shallots and onions to the pot and sauté them in the oil and chicken fat until they begin to soften and caramelize, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pot, stir with a large spoon, then add the mustard and tarragon, then the chicken thighs. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. While chicken is cooking put sliced tomatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes are nice and juicy and getting caramelized. You can skip this step and just add them to the pot before serving but I love the added flavor of the roasted tomatoes.