Simple advice for a better life.

Falafel 4Falafel was introduced to me by my son, since lately it’s been his favorite lunch served with garden salad.

I was convinced that I would like this food as well, so decided to research some recipes, and prepare a batch for my family.

Today I will share the final recipe, and assure you that if you like vegetarian food, you will LOVE these.

These are not your typical falafle…round and deep fried….these are much lighter, since they are baked.

The main ingredient is chickpeas, which is a super protein food, hence replacing the traditional need of meat to create a delicious lunch, or light dinner.

Falafel may be formed into patties or balls, and served not only with salad, but also with your favorite dipping sauce, inside a pita, or even over nachos….drizzled with some melted cheese, of course.

This recipe yields 8 burger-size patties.

Baked Falafel – Vegetarian Recipe

Baked Falafel – Vegetarian Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 large can of Chickpeas (825 g), processed to a paste
  • 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated on large eye grater
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Whole Wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Caraway Seeds, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Tahini paste
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, to incorporate evenly.
  2. Scoop 1/2 cup of mixture at a time, and form patties.
  3. Heat a frying pan with 2 Tbsp. of canola oil.
  4. Fry patties 2 minutes per side, turning once.
  5. Remove from a frying pan, and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F, for 10 minutes per side.
  7. Remove, and cool slightly before serving.
  8. Cool completely before storing in the fridge, or freezer, for future use.
http://suburbangrandma.com/saving-money/baked-falafel-vegetarian-recipe/

 

 

 

Mahi Mahi in veggies -  serving sizeI am not a big fan of seafood, but this Mahi Mahi recipe was a special treat for me, prepared by a friend for a special occasion.

She assured me that I will not even taste the fish, and she was right.

Mahi Mahi is already a mild tasting fish, but the veggie vinaigrette seasons it further, masking the fish taste even more.

Mahi Mahi pieces

 

 

 

 

 

This dish may be served hot as a meal, or at room temperature as an appetizer.  For best results, serve it the next day, so all the flavors have time to absorb and marry.

Mahi Mahi in Veggie Casserole – European Recipe

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Mahi Mahi in Veggie Casserole – European Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Mahi Mahi fish fillets (fully deboned)
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 Allspice peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice, or vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Cut each fish filet into 3 sections, top to bottom, to form small rectangles.
  2. Dry off by a paper towel, and season each with salt and pepper.Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a large eye shredder, shred the carrots and celery.
  4. Add to sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of water, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes,gently stirring.
  5. Cut each onion in half, then cut into rings. Also clean and chop Leeks.
  6. Saute onions and leeks in 1 Tbs of canola oil for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped garlic, and saute another minute.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Season carrots/celery mixture with salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix in the tomato paste with the 1/2 cup of water, add to pan, and simmer 5 minutes longer. Season with lemon juice and sugar, to create slightly sweet-and-sour taste.
  9. Mix in the sauteed onions, add bay leaves and allspice. Set aside.
  10. Dip fish fillets in flour, until well coated on all sides.
  11. Heat 1 Tbs. of canola oil on medium heat, and fry fish on all sides to a golden color.
  12. Remove from frying pan onto paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
  13. Remove and discard the bay leaves and Allspice peppercorns from vegetable mixture
  14. Spread 1/2 half of the veggie vinaigrette on the bottom of a casserole dish, then lay side by side the fried fish fillets over the veggies. Cover the fish with remaining veggies.
  15. Cover and heat in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes, so the fish may absorb the veggie flavors and moisture.
http://suburbangrandma.com/recipes/mahi-mahi-in-veggie-casserole-european-recipe/

Enjoy!

 

White mushroomsUkrainians looooove mushrooms.  They incorporate mushrooms into numerous every day recipes, but especially for their Christmas Eve  12 course meatless meal.

Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve menu will include mushrooms in Mushroom soup, varenyky filling (pierogi), Holubtsi filling (Cabbage Rolls), Vooshka filling (dumplings which accompany Ukrainian Christmas Borscht), mushroom gravy (referred to as, Machka, in some households), mushrooms with cabbage, and of course marinated mushrooms.

Today I will share my favorite recipe for Marinated Mushrooms, which will be part of our Christmas Eve dinner menu.

This recipe yields 1 mason jar of marinated mushrooms.

Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of white mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Whole Cloves
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 20 Allspice peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 Onion, sliced to rings
  • 4 Tbs. Canola or Olive oil
  • 1/2 Green Pepper, sliced to strips
  • 1-2 mason jars

Directions:

  1. In a 3 quart pot, add the vinegar, water,Cloves, Garlic, Allspice, Bay leaves, and salt.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. Trim off the bottoms of mushroom stems, and discard.
  4. Wash mushrooms under running water to rinse off any soil particles (no need to peel mushroom caps).
  5. Cut each mushroom into quarters or halves.
  6. Add mushrooms into boiling marinate, lower heat, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat, remove garlic and discard.
  8. Cool to room temperature.
  9. Remove  1 cup of the marinate and add to a small saucepan.
  10. Bring to boil.
  11. Add the sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from heat and set aside to cool off.
  13. Once all cooled, fill a mason jar with alternating layers of mushrooms and onions, and place few pieces of green pepper slices for color and additional flavor.
  14. Top off with oil, to seal it off, and help the marinating process.
  15. Close the lid on the mason jar, and refrigerate the mushrooms for few days, to achieve the full flavor of the marinate to penetrate the mushrooms and onions.

   MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

KHRYSTOS NARODYVSIA!  SLAVITE YOHO!

WESOLYCH SWIAT BOZEGO NARODZENIA!

 

 

Birthday Party AppetizersWhether you are cooking at home, dining out, or ordering take out, there are almost always some leftovers to deal with after the fact.

There is nothing wrong with having leftovers.   After all, you spent time and money on this food, so you deserve to enjoy it to the last morsel.

Some prepared dishes are not suitable for later use as a leftover…they lose their taste and texture, so it is best to just part with them right there and then.

Numerous others, on the other hand, are still great for at least one or two meals, or even to be frozen for that rainy day when you have no time or desire to cook.

Some people do not like leftovers, and never keep them.  However, if you are like me, you don’t mind them, and feel that you get your money’s worth if you use them.

Most Europeans don’t believe in leftovers….maybe because they hardly ever have any.

They serve their meals already preportioned per plate, and make just enough to feed the crowd they accounted for.  The portions are large enough to satisfy the consumer, so there is no need, or room, for seconds.  Therefore, there are no leftovers.  Any remaining food on each plate, which hardly ever happens, is discarded.  It is almost impolite to ask for a “Doggie Bag”.

Here in the USA we have no problem asking the waiter/waitress to pack up our leftovers to take home with us.

It is very important to keep track of your leftover food in your fridge, which is one of my pet peeves.  I almost feel like I am a fridge police, whether it is at home or at work.

There is nothing worse than seeing “old” food sitting in the fridge way past its safe consumable time.

My personal time line for using up leftovers in up to 3 days…4 being the absolute max.

Now I will share my best way of using up leftovers, and keeping your fridge fresh, and ready for restocking.

Since most of us work full-time, and don’t have much time for cooking during the week, we prepare extra food on weekend, to hold us over for couple of days.  Then by mid-week, it’s time for some take out.  By Thursday we have leftovers to use, or lose.

I consider Thursday  a “Leftover Smorgasbord Dinner Day”.  We pull out all the leftovers from the past few days, and add something new if needed, and call it a day.

Everyone is to create their own plate of food from the smorgasbord spread available.  We also use disposable dishes and utensils that day, to save time on clean up effort.  Whatever food is remaining after this dinner, gets discarded for good.

This is the BEST way to free your fridge of leftover food, and to prevent any food from hiding in there for too long.

Since we have no dishes to wash on this day, we devote our time to cleaning up the fridge, and getting it ready for fresh food from Friday or Saturday shopping.

It works very well every time, and it also is fun, economical, and stress free.

I suggest you try it too, and share your comments.

Have fun!

Antipasto SquaresMy family and friends often share recipes of their newest creations, since they know that I absolutely love trying these out as well.

Today I will share  a recipe for Antipasto Squares , recommended by a friend.

It is a very simple dish to prepare, and quite tasty, but I would not consider it light in calories.

Antipasto Squares make an interesting addition to a brunch menu, or as a Super Bowl party appetizer.

The original recipe calls for Salami and Olives, but since I do not like either of these ingredients, I added green peppers and tomatoes instead.  These ingredients can easily be substituted with your other favorite meats, cheeses and vegetables, or even make it a vegetarian dish.

My version of this recipe is posted below, for you to try out, and please share your comments.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Crescent Rolls ready-made crust
  • 1/4 lb. boiled ham
  • 1/4 lb. Provolone Cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 lb. Pepperoni, sliced
  • 1/4 lb. Swiss Cheese, sliced
  • 1 large Red Pepper, roasted (I used 1 jar of Pimento, sliced to strips)
  • 1 large Green Pepper, roasted, cut to strips
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Basil Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • Pam cooking spray, or Crisco shortening, to grease the pan

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with Pam cooking spray, or Crisco shortening, and set aside.
  2. Open one package of Crescent Rolls dough, and unroll onto the bottom of the greased pan.  Pinch dough together at perforations, to form a solid bottom layer.
  3. Layer ham evenly over the dough.
  4. Place Provolone cheese slices over ham.
  5. Layer Pepperoni over the Provolone cheese.
  6. Place Swiss cheese slices over Pepperoni.
  7. Top off with Red and Green Pepper strips.
  8. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, Basil and Onion powder.
  9. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of Parmesan grated cheese.
  10. Spread sliced tomatoes, then sprinkle with ground Black Pepper and Garlic Powder.
  11. Pour beaten eggs over the top of the casserole.
  12. Top off with 3 Tbs. Parmesan grated cheese.
  13. Cover with second sheet of Crescent Rolls dough (no need to pinch dough at perforations, to help the steam to escape during cooking)
  14. Cover with aluminium foil.
  15. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  F, and bake 25 minutes.
  16. Uncover, and bake 13 minutes longer, until the middle is set, and top is lightly browned,
  17. Cool to room temperature before serving.
  18. Also suitable to store in a refrigerator for a day or so, or wrap it well and freeze it for a later use.
  19. To reheat, use regular oven, toaster oven, or even a microwave.

Enjoy!

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