Brunch Bacon

Prep Time: 2 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves: A Ton of Folks

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 pound bacon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix flour, sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over bacon. Place on broiler pan.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes.

Notes: We’ve made this since 2007. It is fast and delicious. Why anyone would make that bland instant oatmeal from a packet when you could make this in a jiffy is beyond me.

Cranberry Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Total Time: 2 minutes | Serves: A Ton of Folks

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups water (or can do 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup apple cider)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup diced pear or apple
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Bring liquids to boil.
  2. Stir in oats and salt. Reduce and cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add pear, cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla. Cook 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in nuts and milk.

Notes: We’ve made this since 2007. It is fast and delicious. Why anyone would make that bland instant oatmeal from a packet when you could make this in a jiffy is beyond me.

Voula’s Chicken Pita with Tzatziki

Servings: 4 | Time: 20 minutes, even quicker if your chicken is already cooked

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  •  salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and grated (about 1 1/4 cups) (use food processor if you want)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 flat breads or pitas, warmed
  • 1 small romaine heart, leaves torn
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Season chicken with cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook 6-7 minutes on each side. Cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Mix together yogurt, cucumber, mint, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper in medium bowl.
  4. Top flat breads/ pitas with romaine, chicken, tomatoes and tzatziki.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: Real Simple recipe originally but modified by our Greek friend Voula.

Smoothie Love

Greenie Smoothie

Our kids have been loving smoothies lately.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • few handfuls of spinach
  • coconut water or water

Directions:

  1. Add enough coconut water to blend. That’s it.
  • General ratio: 1-2 bananas + 1 cup frozen fruit + 2 handfuls greens + water
  • For greens can use: spinach, kale, romain, arugula, swiss chard, etc.
  • For a pretty green smoothie, use pineapple, green grapes, green apples, kiwi, pears, etc.

Greenie Monster

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 large spoons of Greek or regular yogurt
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen mango

Can sub mango for strawberries and kiwi. This was good too.

Cod with Beans and Corn

Notes: The whole family loved this! Quick and so tasty. I got the cod from Whole Foods.

Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 3 minutes | Total Time: Less than 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 4-ounce pieces cod fillet
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 pound green beans, cut in half crosswise (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced into half-moons
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto, plus more for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the cod on both sides with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the undersides are golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Gently flip the cod and scatter the green beans and leek around it.
  4. Add ¼ cup water, cover, and cook until the vegetables are just tender and the fish is opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cod to plates.
  5. Stir the corn into the beans, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the pesto. Serve with the cod and additional pesto, if desired.

Recipe Origin:  Adapted from this recipe.

Bucatini all’amatriciana

Prep Time: ? minutes | Total Time: ? minutes | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bucatini pasta
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 6 oz. pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp minced garlic in jar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 – 14oz can crushed tomatoes (I like the fire roasted kind)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or Parm if you don’t have Pecorino

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add pancetta/bacon and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside on paper towel.
  2. Add onion to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and cooked pancetta/bacon.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook pasta. Drain and combine with sauce.

Notes:

Recipe Origin:  Back of the pasta box recipe. I was surprised at how good it is.

Roasted Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 3-4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested then half cut into thin slices and other half into wedges
  • 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
  • sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • pasta, couscous or rice for serving
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp (21 to 30 per lb, tails off)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In an 8×8 glass baking pan combine olive oil, lemon zest and thyme. Olive oil should liberally cover the bottom of the pan, if it doesn’t drizzle in a little more. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, checking every few minutes, if it looks like it is getting too brown remove and proceed to next step.
  3. Meanwhile cook pasta, drain and toss with a pat of butter or olive oil.
  4. Remove pan from oven, add butter and move it around a little to melt, add shrimp, garlic and the thin sliced lemons (don’t squeeze them), toss to coat with oil mixture. Bake for 8-10 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink and just start to curl, check often.
  5. Serve over pasta, couscous or rice tossed with additional extra-virgin olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon with additional lemon wedges for serving.

Notes:

Recipe Origin:  This blog. I haven’t made this yet, but when I do I’ll come back and add my notes.

Pasta with Cauliflower

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes | Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 Cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 pound Penne, Ziti or some other kind of cut pasta
  • Ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Trim the cauliflower and divide into florets.
  3. Salt the water, add the cauliflower and cook until it is tender, but not mushy.
  4. Remove it from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and set it off to the side, and chop cauliflower into smaller pieces.
  5. Cook the pasta in the same water you just cooked the cauliflower in.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, combine oil and garlic in a large deep skillet on medium low heat. Cook, stirring until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes.
  7. When the garlic is golden, add cauliflower and bread crumbs and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally.
  8. When the pasta is just about done – it should be 2 or 3 minutes away from al dente- RESERVE  1 CUP of the cooking water, and drain the rest.
  9. Add the pasta to the skillet with the cauliflower and toss with a large spoon until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with some of the pasta water. When it is hot and the pasta is nicely glazed, serve.

Notes:

Recipe Origin:  Mark Bittman’s excellent book called The Minimalist Cooks Dinner. I love this book and I highly recommend it.