Saturday, November 8, 2014

Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dish

If you'd like to add a new dish to your Thanksgiving Dinner, this one should be it. It's super easy, and includes carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, all baked together in a creamy sauce. The crumb topping adds a nice crispiness.

I'm sure you'll agree this one is a keeper.


3 c. cauliflower flowerets
1 lb. carrots, sliced 1/2" thick
1 lb. broccoli, cut into 1" pieces
1 c. mayonnaise (low cal or salad dressing may be used)
1/4 c. chopped onion
3 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/8 tsp. paprika
In a 3 quart saucepan cook cauliflower, carrots, covered in a small amount of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook 5 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine mayonnaise, onion, horseradish, salt and pepper. In a 2 quart casserole combine vegetables and mayonnaise mixture. In a small mixing bowl combine bread crumbs, butter and paprika. Sprinkle over vegetable mixture. Bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Asparagus Pesto

Pesto is one of my all time favorite sauces for pasta.

I remember tasting pesto for the first time at a wonderful restaurant called Pronto, in Chicago. My ex-hubby was on a business trip, working on a computer conversion at the Chicago Stock Exchange, and  I accommpanied him on this trip.  The highlight was seeking out interesting places to dine, each night. Pronto had an open steel kitchen, and it was the first time I'd ever seen one. It was impressive, to say the least. The pesto was soooo good, and I've been making it ever since. My dessert, that evening, was also to die for!  It was a dense dark chocolate cake topped with espresso ice cream and a bittersweet chocolate sauce. A memorable meal, indeed.

Yesterday, Rachel Ray made a pesto using asparagus. It never occurred to me to use asparagus! So I did some research online, and settled on a recipe from the NY Times. I tweaked it a little, adding a chiffonade of baby spinach to the pasta water, at the last minute, and left some of the tips of the asparagus spears whole, and placed them on top, just beore serving.

I also used whole wheat penne, but you can use whatever pasta you prefer.

Asparagus Pesto
Time: 20 minutes

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil, or more as desired
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add the asparagus and cook until fully tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, reserving some of the cooking liquid, and let the asparagus cool slightly. 2. Transfer the asparagus to a food processor and add the garlic, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil, Parmesan, a pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and gradually add the remaining oil and a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten if necessary. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste, pulse one last time, and serve over pasta, fish or chicken (or cover and refrigerate for up to a day). Yield: 4 to 6 servings (about 1 1/2 cups).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fish Tacos

On Thursday, I discovered a new fish monger in downtown  Passaic Park. It is a small shop owned and operated by a local Hasidic Jewish family. For religous reasons, it is only open 4 days a week, so you know the fish is going to be very very fresh. This day I purchased Salmon, and Tilapia. 
I saved the Tilipia for today and looked through my recipes and found one for Fish Tacos written by Ellie Kreiger. You may recall that Ellie had a show on the Food TV Network, but the show was never renewed. I loved the show, as it featured light and healthy recipes.

It features a sauce made from chipotles in adobo sauce, yogurt and a tiny bit of mayo. I'm sure you could omit the mayo and just go with the yogurt, to may it even more less caloric. It has just the right kick to make these tacos well worth making them. If you like it a bit more spicy,feel free to add more chipotle and adobo sauce.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white flaky fish fillet, like tilapia or halibut

Chipotle cream:

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage or lettuce
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges


In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the fish fillets and let marinate for 20 minutes. Put the yogurt into a strainer lined with apaper towel and place over a bowl to drain and thicken for 20 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade and grill on a preheated grill or nonstick grill pan over a medium-high heat until cooked thorough, about 3 minutes per side. Set the fish aside on a plate for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the thickened yogurt, mayonnaise, and chipotle pepper.

Heat the tortillas on the grill or grill pan for 30 seconds on each side.

Flake the fish with a fork. Top each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of the chipotle cream. Top with fish, cabbage, corn and cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Black Bean Soup

I usually wouldn't think of making Black Bean Soup. Soaking the beans overnight, and all that, is just too much work for me. However, I was watching an episoide of Dr Oz and he showcased a really quick version, that was really, really tasty....and healthy, too!

I played around with the recipe, using different chili powders ( Chipotle and Ancho ), and liked it when I added a little bit of each. They gave the soup an earthiness that you wouldn't get with just regular chili powder.  Do try to use at least one of these in your soup. You'll be glad that you did.

Black Bean Soup

4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes


· 1 tablespoon canola oil

· 1 small onion, chopped

· 3/4 tablespoon chili powder

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

· 3 cups water

· 1/2 cup prepared salsa

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 1 tablespoon lime juice

· 4 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


1.     Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add beans, water, salsa and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Stir the puree back into the saucepan. Serve garnished with sour cream and cilantro, if desired

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

I know it's a little late to be posting this.  Since, if you were going to bake for your Thanksgiving Dinner, it's been done by now. However, I consider this one a keeper, so, print it off and save it for another time. Hopefully, NOT next year.
One ingredient that sets this recipe apart from others is the addition of sour cream. It gives the filling a wonderful silky texture. The apricot preserves on the bottom crusts keeps it from getting soggy, as it sometimes does, with pumpkin pie.
Butter crusts are very delicate, and can tend to shrink while baking. Popping it in the fridge for 15mins or so, can help with this.
The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend

  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves


For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream and process until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball, flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 15 minutes.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang under. Make cut in crust edge at 1/2 inch intervals. Bend alternate edge pieces inward. Freeze 30 minutes.
Line crust with foil, pressing firmly. Bake until sides are set, about 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake crust until pale brown, about 10 minutes more. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Spread preserves over crust; pour in filling. Bake until filling puffs at edges and center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
For filling:
Using whisk, mix first 6 ingredients in bowl until no lumps remain. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, sour cream and eggs.
Spread preserves over crust; pour in filling. Bake until filling puffs at edges and center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sauteed Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary

This is a recipe taken from another cookbook of mine: Bon Appetit: Fast, Easy, Fresh.

It's takes very little time to prepare and is perfect for dinner on a weekday.

1 1/2 - 2 lb. chicken thighs

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled

1 c. chicken broth

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Fresh rosemary sprigs; optional

Season breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet on high. Add chicken. Saute until brown, about 5 minutes a side. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and fry until chicken is cooked through, 15 minutes. Put chicken in a bowl. Keep 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add garlic and rosemary to skillet. Cook and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add broth and vinegar. Increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup, scraping up brown bits, 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put chicken juices in skillet. Cover. Cook over low heat until chicken is heated, 3-4 minutes. Spoon sauce over the chicken on a platter. Garnish with rosemary. 4 servings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roasted Beets and Oranges

I just love Ina Garten's recipe for Roasted Beets with Orange Vinaigrette.

Her recipe calls for canned beets, but, instead, I prefer to roast fresh beets with herbs, so they are more aromatic. The cooked beets are tossed with sectioned oranges and a flavorful orange vinaigrette.  This makes a wonderful side dish., that can be served warm or cold.


3-4 medium beets

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons herbs de provence

2 Tablespoons raspberry vinegar

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

3 Tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large seedless oranges, zested

Segments of 2 large seedless oranges


Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees farenheit.

Wash and dry the beets, then toss them with the oil and herbs de provence.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, and place the beets in the pan. Cover  the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil, and bake until the beets are tender, about one hour, depending on the size of the beets. Poke a  knife in them, and once the knife goes through them easily, they are tender and cooked.  Remove them from the roasting pan and let them sit until they are cool, in the foil.

Remove the skin from the beets and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the beets in a mixing bowl and add the raspberry vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, salt, pepper. Zest the oranges and then segment over a bowl to catch the juices. Add the orange zest, orange segments, and any juices and mix well. Taste for seasoning and serve cold or at room temperature

You may add a bit of diced red onion if you wish.