dinner

Easy Chicken Recipes For Dinner With Few Ingredients

Easy Chicken Recipes For Dinner

Vegetarian Chili

Foods have a solution for a quick dinner that’s as convenient and easy to make chicken recipes for dinner with few ingredients as it is irresistibly satisfying.

Now you can have delicious and nutritious homemade vegetable soup without all the work! All you do is add water and simmer! Salad recipes vegetarian Chili is a variety of kidney pinto beans and vegetables in a spicy tomato base.

vegetarian chili

Ingredients:

  • Pre-cooked red beans, textured vegetable protein (soy flour, caramel color), partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: canola oil, soy oil), tomato powder, chili powder, sugar, onions, salt, garlic powder.
  • Directions: For 2 servings, mix 1 cup of chili mix and 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir continuously. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Sherried Beef Muffins

sherried beef muffins

This recipe is a relative of those casseroles- they were the rage during the fifties and sixties parties’. Well, the recipe name has a Spanish ring to it and we use lots of in this recipe. Hence I allude to this recipe to be in origin. Serve with crisp vegetables and glasses of wine. Enjoy the food and conversation that arises.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min Cook time: 45 min Ready in 1 hour 15 min Yields: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. onion, minced ( i always prefer shallots but use what you like
  • ½ can condense cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup dry California sherry
  • 1 cup cooked white rice

Instructions

  • Mix ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Grease large muffin tins and fill with mixture.
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes or till cooked in the center when a tester is poked through it.

Remove from tins by turning upside down on the platter. Serve with the following sauce:

  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • salt, pepper, cayenne
  • ½ cup dry California sherry
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1 T. sauce

Melt butter and stir in flour (making a roux). Add cream of mushroom soup and milk; cook, stirring until mixture thickens. Add remaining ingredients. Serve piping hot.

Notes:

You may use this sauce with chicken, meat or seafood and serve over a bed of white, fluffy rice. You can use miniature muffin tins instead of the large ones to make the meat “muffins” go farther, just adjust the cooking time.

Experiment with other baking dishes, like using just one decorated tin and then turning it upside down at the table in front of the other guests. Serve the sauce on the side.

Chicken Tacos

chicken tacos

Here’s a delicious lunch or dinner recipe that takes just minutes to prepare. As you look through the ingredients, you may think some are unique, but I am sure this recipe will make the best-tasting chicken tacos you’ve ever had! Chicken Tacos are good for you and your whole family will love them! Make some up tonight!

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken gravy, (makes 1 cup)
  • ½ cup of Salsa
  • 1 cup Chicken TVP, Servings Per container: approx. 24
  • 1 cup of water
  • 9-10 Tortillas
  • Cheese (Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A little about Chicken TVP

A little about Chicken TVP

A great way to save space in your freezer is with Chicken TVP. Just reconstitute with water and it’s ready to use. Try Chicken TVP in soups, chicken salad, chicken enchiladas, casseroles, and any other recipe with chicken. Makes 24 ¼-cup servings.

Ingredients:

  • Textured soy flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed corn gluten protein, natural flavoring, thiamin hydrochloride, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate.
  • Directions: Reconstitute using 2 parts water to one part dry Chicken TVP. In saucepan combine water and chicken TVP, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for at least 2 minutes. Remove from heat and use as you would chopped chicken meat. For more Information Please visit my link meat mixer machine for sale
  • Net Weight: 1.5 pounds (680 g)

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine Chicken TVP and water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix the chicken gravy according to package directions and add the salsa. Salt and pepper to taste. Drain the remaining water from the Chicken TVP and add it to the gravy salsa mixture.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon 1/3 cup of the mixture into tortillas and sprinkle with cheese, reserving some mixture to pour over the top.
  • Roll up tortillas and place in a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and/or additional. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.
  • Cook Time
  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: Makes 9-10 tacos
  • Nutrition Facts
  • Serving size: 1/2 cup dry (28.35 g)
  • Calories 113
  • Calories from Fat 270
  • % Daily Value *
  • Fat 30 g 46%
  • Saturated fat 3 g 15%
  • Carbohydrates 8 g 3%
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Fiber 4 g 16%
  • Protein 12 g 24%
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 581 mg 24%

The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 low-calorie chicken dinner, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA

Smoked Salmon Recipes

Smoked Salmon With Lemon-Chive Aioli, Capers, and Shaved Fennel
Serves: 6

smoked salmon recipes

Lemon-Chive Aioli

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Champagne Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon shallots, chopped
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salmon, Fennel, and Capers

  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 12 ounces smoked salmon, sliced into 2-ounce portions

For the Lemon-Chive Aioli:

  • Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.
  • Slowly drizzle oil into egg yolk mixture and stir until incorporated. Stir in chives. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Champagne Vinaigrette:

  • Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Slowly drizzle oil into mixture until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salmon, Fennel, and Capers:

  • Arrange salmon over 6 chilled plates. Drizzle salmon with Lemon-Chive Aioli.
  • Toss fennel and watercress in a bowl with 3 tablespoons Champagne Vinaigrette. Reserve remaining vinaigrette for Cobb Salad.
  • Divide fennel and watercress salad evenly, placing it in the center of each plate. Scatter capers over salad.

Sautéed Lobster With Cèpes

Lobster Mushroom recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 lobsters, each about 1 ½ pound
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, or to taste
  • ½ cup minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 2 cups water or fish stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds cèpes, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry

Instructions

  • In a large pot of boiling salted water add the lobsters and cook them, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool enough to handle. Separate the tails and claws from the heads. Remove the meat from the tails and claws, cut the tails in two lengthwise, and reserve.
  • Cut the lobster heads in two and remove and reserve any coral. In a large saucepan set over moderate heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, add the heads, and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add half of the shallots and the tarragon, and cook, covered, 2 minutes. Add the water or fish stock, crush the lobster into the liquid, and bring back to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half. Drain the mixture into a saucepan, pressing on the solids to remove all flavor, and stir in the coral. Warm over low heat and with an immersion Oster blender mixer combo or electric mixer whip until foamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
  • Cut the mushrooms into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a large nonstick skillet set over moderate heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter until hot. Add the remaining shallots, the mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until golden. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter.
  • In a skillet set over moderate heat melt the remaining butter, add the lobster meat, and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through.

To Serve:

  • Arrange the lobster on four serving plates, surround it with the mushrooms, and spoon the sauce over the lobster.

Basic Oven Fries

These oven-baked French fries are a home cook’s dream—simple, and the kitchen smells great. But the best part is they taste as good as drive-thru fries, without the fat.

There are two keys to the best oven air fryer. The first has to do with the type of potato—russets work well because of their high starch and low water content. The fries get crisp without turning soggy.

The second factor to good oven fries is slicing the potatoes thinly, about the width of a pencil. Be patient as you do this—if they’re too big, they’ll be soft and greasy.

basic oven fries

Oven Fries

(Makes 4–6 Servings)

  • Prepare:
  • 3–4 large russet potatoes, unpeeled (about 2 lbs.)
  • Toss with:
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper*

Any of the seasoning options can be substituted for the black pepper in the recipe. Cut and Preheat oven to 475°. Spray 3 or 4 baking sheets with a nonstick cooking spray.

Slice and Prepare potatoes by first creating a flat surface on potatoes by slicing off a thin piece from one side. To slice planks, turn the potato on its flat side and cut 1/4? thick planks. Stack the planks together and cut into 1/4? sticks.

Stack and cut

Toss potatoes in a large bowl with oil and seasonings. Arrange potatoes in single layers on baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Flip with a spatula and continue baking 20–30 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.

Options: Chili Seasoning
Combine:

  • ½ t. sugar
  • ¼ t. chili powder
  • ¼ t. cayenne
  • 1/8 t. paprika

Cheese Seasoning

  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Beef Roast Dinner

beef roast dinner recipe
  • Beef Roast Dinner
  • The Menu:
  • Beef Roast
  • Steamed Carrots
  • Roast Potatoes With Rosemary

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Roast: About 60 minutes Potatoes: 35-40 minutes Carrots: About 8 minutes

If you want to cook a roast, you’ll need to plan on about an hour to prepare your meal. So when you’ve got a little more time, try this. 3-pound rump roast (will serve four generously)

See Also: Veal Roast Recipe Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 3-pound rump roast (will serve four generously)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds medium carrots
  • 2 pounds new potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary (3 tablespoons fresh)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the roast in a roasting pan, rub with cut garlic, and push a few garlic slices into the flesh. Place in oven.
  • Wash potatoes and scrub away any dirt. Cut into bite-size chunks. Place in a large baking dish, coat (don’t drench) with olive oil, and toss with rosemary. When the roast has been cooking for about 1/2 hour, put potatoes in the oven. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned, stirring the potatoes once. This dish is always a hit, so have plenty for the potato eaters.
  • While potatoes are cooking, wash and peel carrots; dry with a paper towel. Cut across at a slight diagonal into slices about 3/8%u2033 thick. When the roast and potatoes have about 15 minutes to go, bring water to boil in the bottom of a steamer. Place carrots in the steamer basket and steam 8 to 10 minutes at medium-high heat
  • Slice up the roast, apportion the vegetables, and serve.

Filet Mignon Feast

  • The Menu:
  • Filet Mignon
  • Steamed Carrots
  • Roast Potatoes With Rosemary
filet mignon feast

For those who like an occasional steak, there’s nothing simpler to prepare. A filet is a special treat – it costs a little more, but it’s worth it on occasion. If you have a bit more time, you can also try a roast.

See Also: Easy Veal Stew Meat Recipe

Serves: 4

Prep Time: Filet: 6-8 minutes Potatoes: 30 minutes Carrots: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 – 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 filets
  • ¼ to ½ pound each depending on appetites cut about an inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary (3 tablespoons fresh)
  • butter
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash potatoes and scrub away any dirt. Cut into bite-size chunks. Place in a large baking dish, coat (but don’t drench) with olive oil, toss with rosemary and place in oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until nicely browned, stirring the potatoes once. This dish is always a hit, so have plenty for the potato eaters.
  • While potatoes are roasting, wash and peel carrots; dry with a paper towel. Cut across at a slight diagonal into slices about 3/8 inch thick. After the potatoes have been cooking for about 15 minutes, bring water to boil in the bottom of a steamer, place carrots in the steamer basket, and steam 8 to 10 minutes at medium-high heat.
  • After you start the carrots, melt a little butter in a pan over fairly high heat, and when the pan is good and hot, saute the steak 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. It’s delicious plain, with mustard, or with any leftover brown sauce, you have in the refrigerator, reheated and thinned with wine as needed. Arrange on plates with potatoes and carrots.

Broiled Chicken Dinner

The Menu:
Broiled Chicken With Tomato-Olive Salsa Leafy Greens (Spinach, Collards, or Kale) Boiled Potatoes

broiled chicken dinner

Serves: 4

Prep Time: Chicken breasts: 20 minutes (whole chicken, 30 minutes) Salsa: 10 minutes Potatoes: 20 minutes Vegetables: 3-20 minutes Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts split in two skin removed (optional); or a large whole chicken
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach collard greens or kale
  • 2 pounds small round firm new potatoes (red or white)
  • 1- teaspoons olive oil
  • 10 pitted olives (choose your favorite kind and buy an olive pitter – a very handy utensil)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Wash tomatoes and herbs, pit olives and set aside. Wash potatoes, scrubbing away any dirt but leaving the skin intact. Set aside.
  • Wash greens well. Trim off stems, chop roughly or break into pieces (spinach is fine as is). Put into a pan with water clinging to the leaves (add a little extra water for collards or kale). Set aside.
  • Preheat the broiler. Wash and dry chicken breasts well, and trim off excess fat. Place on an oiled piece of aluminum foil in a broiling pan or on a broiling rack.
  • Brush lightly with olive oil and broil for approximately 20 minutes, until cooked through but not dry, turning once. To broil a whole chicken: Ask your butcher to butterfly it so that it is split up the back and lies flat. Heat the broiler.
  • Lay the chicken in a broiling pan or on a rack, skin side up, and broil 15 minutes. Turn over and broil another 15 minutes. Remove to a platter and cut up.
  • After you start the chicken, place whole potatoes in a saucepan with salted water to cover. Bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat.

More Instructions

  • Gently boil for about 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife (watch that they don’t get mushy). Drain well and toss with a little butter, salt, and pepper.
  • If you’re cooking spinach, set it over moderate heat when you’ve got a few minutes left on the chicken and potatoes.
  • For collards or kale, start vegetables sooner (the tougher the vegetable, the longer the cooking time). Cover and cook over moderate heat until wilted, about 3 minutes for spinach and about 20 minutes for collards or kale.
  • Check after the first minute or so that the water has not evaporated, and add a little as needed.
  • You may have to adjust the heat. When the greens are done, drain well in a colander or sieve, pressing the water out with the back of a wooden spoon. Dress the greens with melted butter or olive oil and fresh lemon juice or a simple splash of vinegar.
  • While the chicken and potatoes (and heartier vegetables) are cooking, finish preparing the tomato-olive salsa.
  • This sauce recipe is particularly good in the summer when tomatoes are ripe and sweet. (It can also be prepared ahead and will keep for two days in the refrigerator.
  • Bring to room temperature before serving.) Chop tomatoes and olives; place in a bowl. Add parsley, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss. Place a bit of salsa on or next to each piece of chicken. Arrange some potatoes and leafy greens on each plate and serve.

What to have for dinner tonight

Something wonderful to eat:

Yes, indeed. It’s really quite simple to prepare a perfectly delicious meal that’s sophisticated enough to serve the company but that requires virtually no planning. After a quick stop at the market to pick up fresh ingredients, you can sit down to a lovely meal in less than 30 minutes, rejuvenated just by the appetizing sight of it.

Think of this meal as a three-part composition: fish, chicken, or beef that you either saute, poach, or broil; a vegetable that you grill or steam; and starch that you bake or boil.

The following are recipes and step-by-step plans for three simple, delicious meals. (See discuss meals and snacks). Each meal serves four. Once you try the basics, it’ll be a snap to dream up your own delightful compositions.

Game Plan:

To avoid surprises, always be sure to read through the entire set of instructions before you begin. Equip your kitchen with a timer; make note of the approximate cooking times for each part of the meal, and start cooking. You’ll find that this little bit of planning makes it possible to bring everything together perfectly.

Sauteed Salmon Supper

  • The Menu:
  • Sauteed Salmon With Butter-Lemon Sauce
  • Grilled Vegetables
  • Rice
dinner ideas

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each cut from the thick end if possible)
  • An assortment of vegetables
  • 2 medium zucchini and 2 yellow squash about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 eggplant preferably the long slender Japanese variety
  • 4 endives
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil plus a little more for greasing
  • Pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Juice of half a lemon or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons capers

Instructions

  • Prepare the broiler for the vegetables. Remove the top of your in-oven broiling pan, cover it with foil, and brush with olive oil using a pastry brush. (You can also use a shallow broiling pan.) Preheat broiler, leaving pan out for the time being.
  • Clean and trim the vegetables. For the squash and eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise (or in 1/2-inch slices if you can only find extra-large vegetables). With the tip of a knife, score the cut surface with a diagonal grid pattern.
  • Place on aluminum foil cut side up, brush lightly with oil, and sprinkle with dried rosemary or thyme. (Release the flavor of the herbs by crushing with a mortar and pestle or between your palms.) Slice endive in half, brush with oil, and place on foil, cut side up. Set aside.
  • Start the rice. Bring 2 cups water to boil with 1 teaspoon salt and slowly add the rice. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes (check once to be sure that rice is at an even simmer).
  • The water should be absorbed and the rice soft. Fluff with a fork. Add butter (optional) and season with salt and pepper. (Makes three cups.)

More Instructions

  • After the rice has begun to cook, put the vegetables in the well-heated broiler. They will take 15 minutes to brown nicely.
  • Depending on the broiler setting and rack’s distance from flame, they could be charred to cinders in 15 minutes.
  • While the rice and vegetables are cooking, prepare the salmon. Brush the skin with oil so it won’t stick.
  • When you’ve got about ten minutes to go on the rice and vegetables, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the fillets skin side down.
  • Cook without turning 6 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness and how well done you want the fish. If the salmon is thick and remains too rare in the center, cover the pan for a few minutes to hasten the cooking.
  • After you’ve started the salmon, prepare the butter-lemon sauce. Heat 4 tablespoons each butter and olive oil, lemon juice, and the capers until the butter melts.
  • If you’re watching your fat intake and wish to avoid butter and oil, a squeeze of lemon and some capers will do very well. Remove the salmon from the pan to the plate. The skin will be dark and crisp (and delicious).
  • Pour a bit of sauce over each portion and have extra sauce at the ready. Place some rice and an assortment of grilled vegetables on each plate and serve.
easy dinner recipes for beginner

Quick and Easy Homemade Dinner Masala Recipes

Easy Homemade Dinner Masala Recipes

Easy dinner recipes for beginners and I always believed that recipe is a south Indian recipe. I was only partly right for sambhar is one dish that is zealously loved all across the nation and there are many different versions of it.

For example, in Maharashtra the sambhar has a sweet taste, in Kerala is not too spicy and has a thicker consistency, Tamil sambhar is thinner and a tad spicier than the Kerala one while the spiciest is had in Hyderabad and Karnataka. Basically, masala is different in all the variations of this recipe.

Most south Indian households use their own home-made sambhar masala by powdering spices. It obviously takes a lot of time and authentic ingredients to prepare.

A true sambhar lover and not one to be bogged down by the lengthiness of authentic recipes, I have come up with my very own sambhar recipe that doesn’t take too much time and uses easily available ingredients.

While some may feel that the end result doesn’t even come close to authentic sambhar, it suffices fine for me. When friends ask me how to make easy dinner recipes to beginners in a jiffy, I give them this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Arhar / Toor dal: 1 cup
  • Vegetables: Few pieces of Brinjals (small ones, sliced into half), carrot (diced), potatoes (diced), ladyfingers, gourd or lauki, pumpkin, french beans, tend
  • Tip: You may have all or some of the above-mentioned veggies. Do not fret if you do not have some of the above items.
  • Tamarind (half a bowl, soaked in water)
  • Tomatoes: 3 big
  • Onions: 3 medium-sized for tempering: 5-6 curry leaves, 2 tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, 5-6 cloves of garlic, 2 dry red chilies, 3-4 star aniseeds
  • Powdered spices: 2 tbsp Everest sambhar powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, Salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a pressure cooker put washed Ahar daal, some salt, and turmeric and bring to a boil (it will take 2 whistles on high flame).
  • In a kadhai put oil, add sheen, curry leaves, dry red chilies, star aniseeds, and mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add chopped garlic.
  • When garlic turns golden brown, add chopped onions. Once the onions are done add tomatoes and other sambhar vegetables that you may have gathered. Now add salt, powdered spices and cook for 5 mins.
  • Once the vegetables have absorbed the spices and have become a bit tender, add them to the boiled dal in the pressure cooker and wait for one more whistle.
  • Separately strain the tamarind to take out its pulp and remove the seeds. Add tamarind water to the sambhar in the pressure cooker and close the lid.
  • Open the cooker after 15 minutes by when the tamarind would have well been absorbed into the daal and vegetables.
  • Transfer to a bowl and garnish with chopped coriander. Your delicious sambhar recipe is ready to be savored with steamed rice, dosa, idlis, or appams!

Notes

You may also like Hyderabadi Bhindi Recipe, Achari Baingan Recipe, Egg Curry Recipe.

Uncooked Pear & Berry Stew

easy dinner recipes for beginners

Unlike most fruit, pears increase in flavor after they’re picked.

Ingredients :

  • 4 ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ¾ cup blackberries, hulled
  • ¼ cup honey
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Instructions

  • Place pears and berries in a glass or ceramic dish. In a small bowl or cup, mix together honey, zest, and juice.
  • Pour over fruit, toss, cover, and set aside for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve at room temperature.
  • Makes 4 servings.
  • PER SERVING: 207 CAL(2 PERCENT FROM FAT), 1g PROT, 0.4g FAT, 49g CARB, 4mg SOD, 0mg CHOL, 7g FIBER.

Pear Cranberry Shortcake

pear cranberry shortcake

Work Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Filling:

  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 4 Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, blended until smooth

Shortcake

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, combine water, cranberries, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Toss pears with cornstarch. Add to saucepan. Simmer 15-20 minutes until tender.
  • Remove from heat and cool. Combine ricotta with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Refrigerate.
  • In a small bowl, combine yogurt, oil, and orange zest. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Pour wet ingredients over dry. Stir gently with a spatula until just combined. Spoon into 6 neat mounds on cookie sheet.
  • Bake about 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.
  • Cut shortcakes in half crosswise. Top-bottom half with apple mixture and a dollop of ricotta, dividing evenly. Serve immediately.
  • Each serving: About 390 calories, 10 g protein, 70 g carbohydrate, 9 g total fat (3 g saturated), 14 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium.

Fried Green Tomatoes

fried green tomatoes

To enhance flavor, many cooks brine their tomatoes before frying. But this can make the tomatoes inconsistently salty. So instead, I salt my slices, let them sit, and then rinse them off. This adds flavor but eliminates the salt and excess water in the tomato. The end results are much more consistent.

Ingredients:

  • Sprinkle with Kosher Salt:
  • 7 green tomatoes, cut into ½″ thick slices
  • Combine:
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 T. baking powder
  • ½ t. pepper
  • ¼ t. cayenne
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • Stir in:
  • ¾ cup of cold water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Beat to Stiff Peaks, then Fold into Cornmeal Mixture:
  • 2 egg whites Fry in ¼″ Vegetable Oil.

Instructions

  • Prep 1
  • Layer tomato slices in a bowl and salt both sides. Let stand 30 minutes, then rinse slices under cold water and pat them dry.
  • Prep 2
  • Here’s a twist to traditional fried tomatoes–a cornmeal tempura batter. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (except egg whites).
  • Prep 3
  • Beat egg whites to a stiff peak. With a whisk, stir a small amount into the cornmeal mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  • Prep 4
  • Pour vegetable oil into a skillet to ¼″ depth. Dip tomato slices in batter and fry slices over medium-high heat until golden brown.
  • Prep 5
  • Fry tomatoes in batches. It takes 2–3 minutes per batch. Drain on a rack over paper towels. Serve with Red Onion Marmalade.
  • Nutritional Information per 2 Slices:
  • Calories 254
  • Total Fat 22(g)
  • Calories from Fat 78%
  • Sodium 237(mg)

Caraway Rolls

caraway rolls
  • Cook Time
  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 45 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
  • Yields: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water, e.g. between 105 and 115 degrees
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seed
  • 1 tablespoon caraway powder
  • 1 ½ cups raisins (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat. While the milk is heating, add 1 teaspoon of sugar, the salt, molasses, and shortening and stir until the sugar dissolves and the shortening melts. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
  • Warm the bowl of a standup mixer by rinsing it with hot water. Put in the yeast, the other teaspoon of sugar, and the warm water. Allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes.
  • Add the milk and 3 cups of flour, and mix slowly for one minute. Add ½ cup more of flour, the caraway seeds, the caraway powder, and the raisins and mix about 2 minutes more.
  • If the dough clings to the hook and cleans the side of the bowl, do not add more flour. Otherwise, add the rest of the flour.
  • The process at medium speed about 2 minutes more or until the dough is smooth and elastic – it will be slightly sticky.

More Instructions

  • Put the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough around to get the grease all over the surface. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled.
  • Turn the bread out of the bowl and divide the dough into twelve even portions; (I do this by weight).
  • Form each of the pieces of dough into 12 balls and put the balls in a 10 inch round cake pan. You will need to squeeze them a bit to fit them in – they’re supposed to be pressing against each other.
  • Recover the bowl with the damp towel and let the rolls rise for another hour.
  • About 20 minutes before the rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you want the rolls to have a shiny color, combine an egg white with a teaspoon of water and brush this on top of the rolls.
  • Bake the rolls for 45 minutes or until the top is shiny and the temperature in the center of one of the rolls is 200 degrees.
  • When finished, turn the clump of rolls onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Tear each roll-off as desired.

Herbal appetizer: Gravlax and Saffron Risotto

gravlax and saffron risotto

Gravlax, usually used as an appetizer, is raw salmon marinated in a dry cure of salt, sugar, and dill. Gravlax is one of my favorite entertaining dishes, as it is so easy to make and creates such a strong impression.

The name means “salmon from the grave” referring to the Swedish practice of burying cured salmon in the ground to preserve it.

You need to start four days before serving, although actual preparation time is minimal.

  • A 3-pound salmon fillet, with the skin on
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Cognac or Vodka, optional
  • Fresh dill, at least 1 cup packed

Instructions

  • Cut the salmon fillet in half, crossways. Place one fillet, skin side down, on a piece of cheesecloth, (preferably) or plastic wrap. Place the other fillet, also skin side down, next to the first fillet.
  • Mix the salt and sugar in a small bowl, and work the mixture into the top of both pieces. Sprinkle on the Cognac or vodka, if using.
  • Place all the dill on top of one of the salmon pieces on the cheesecloth. Cover the dill with the other salmon fillet, so that the skin side of the second fillet is on top. Using the cheesecloth, wrap the two pieces together – essentially making what looks like a dill sandwich.
  • Put the salmon package on a sheet pan or some container big enough to hold the salmon and that has an edge to hold the liquid that will exude. If using cheesecloth, cover the container with plastic wrap.
  • Now you need to weigh the salmon down. Lay a board, or cookie sheet, or any flat object on top of the salmon, and pile on heavy objects, like cans or a brick.
  • Since you’re going to keep this in the refrigerator, I usually just pile on containers that are already there. Turn the salmon every 24 hours and baste with any exuded liquid.
  • Taste a small piece after 48 hours to see if you want any additional salt or sugar – this recipe makes a lightly salted gravlax. To serve, separate the two fillets and brush off the dill.
  • Place on a cutting board with the skin side down. Slice the filet very thinly on the diagonal down to, but not through, the skin. Gravlax can be personalized to match individual preferences, using more salt, sugar, or other types of liquor.

Risotto Alla Milanese Recipe

I couldn’t finish the course without something that uses saffron – the most expensive food, by weight, in the world. When you cook with saffron, it should be the highlight of the dish, and I know of no better dish than the following classic risotto, serves 4 – 6:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1-quart chicken stock, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Crush the saffron between your finger and put it in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon or so of warm water. Set aside, and heat the chicken stock.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the wine and ¾ cup of stock, stirring constantly until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to add the stock in ¾ cup increments. The next addition should be added when the stirring spoon parts the rice down the middle of the pan, and the rice flows back over the exposed part of the pan very slowly.

When you’ve used up all the chicken stock, taste to make certain the rice is cooked through. The risotto should still be creamy. Just before serving, add the saffron, cheese, butter if using, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Classic Herbal Sauces

classic herbal sauces

Now we’re going to look at making three classic herbal sauces: pesto, gremolata, and salsa verde. I’ve given suggestions of possible uses, but once you’ve mastered these, I’m sure you’ll think of a lot of others.

Pesto is probably the best reason for growing your own basil – pesto’s popularity is certainly driving the increased availability of fresh basil in grocery stores.

Originally invented in the Ligurian section of Italy and used as a pasta dressing, pesto is now a popular spread for sandwiches, hamburgers, or as a sauce on chicken and fish.

Nothing to me means summer as much as the smell of pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, (walnuts can be substituted)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste

In a food processor, chop the garlic and basil. With the motor running, add the oil gradually. When the oil is completely absorbed, add the pine nuts until coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the grated Parmesan. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.

The gremolata was invented in Milano and is the classic accompaniment to the braised veal shank dish, Osso Buco. Once you’ve tasted it though, a number of other uses will come to mind. One possibility is to mix it into mashed potatoes or rice. Stir a little into tomato soup.

Add some to mayonnaise on your next tuna fish sandwich.

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • The rind of a ½ lemon, grated
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed

Mash the anchovy to a paste and mix thoroughly with the parsley, lemon, and anchovy. Salsa Verde segregates the strongest elements of the classic tomato salsa for vibrant easy spicy sauce recipes that should not be just used as a dip.

Try it on fish fillets, e.g. tilapia, chicken breasts, or on top of fried eggs. Stir it into V8 juice with some diced cucumbers and bell peppers to make a unique gazpacho.

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup green chiles, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a food processor, add the minced garlic and cilantro, and pulse until blended. Add the chilies, lime juice, salt and pepper, and puree to a chunky sauce consistency. You can adjust the heat of this sauce by using different types of chilies – use jalapenos for a little more heat.

Baking With Herbs And Spaces Photos

baking with herbs and spices

We’re going to start with pizza and focaccia, discuss classic yeast bread, and end up with quick bread.

Pizza and Focaccia

  • Pizza and Focaccia are great bread to start with when you want to use more herbs and spices in baking.
  • Both almost cry out for herbal or spicy flavors – think of the ubiquitous jar of red pepper flakes at pizza houses. There is relatively little difference between pizza and focaccia, in fact, I use the same basic dough recipe for both.
  • If the bread’s going to be an accompaniment to a meal, then I make focaccia. With pizza, I only allow the dough to rise one time, but with focaccia, I let the dough rise a second time since the end result should be thicker than a pizza.
  • Also, the herbs are incorporated directly in the dough as well as sprinkled on top, along with olive oil and maybe sautéed onions.
  • Unless I’m going to use the focaccia to make sandwiches, I form the dough in a flat circle that has a 9” diameter. The pie is then freely placed on a baking sheet.
  • Focaccia does make great sandwich bread – it will rise enough in the oven to be sliced horizontally. If it’s designated for sandwiches, instead of forming the dough in a circle, bake the dough in a heavily oiled jelly roll pan.

See Related: Best Homemade Pizza Toppings Recipe

More Pizza and Focaccia

  • Pizza, by contrast, is rolled out after only one rising so it will not rise as much in the oven as focaccia. Also, since it’s really a full meal, there are lots more topping possibilities.
  • But as with so much in the kitchen, once you know the basics – in this case how to manipulate the dough – there are no rules and you can revise the dish to suit your own preferences.
  • Also, while I’m going to give you a full recipe for rosemary focaccia, including the dough, do not overlook the availability of premade pizza dough in the grocery store.
  • Add herbs to that dough, roll it out and bake it. It will still make great bread and the fresh herbs you add will make the bread seem homemade.
  • But if you can, try the homemade dough once even if you have a fear of working with yeast dough.
  • One thing that makes pizza/focaccia less intimidating is that kneading is much less important than with other yeast bread. Kneading helps develop gluten, i.e. the protein structure that holds uprisen bread.
  • As pizza/focaccia dough does not rise much, a lot of kneading is not required. In fact, in the recipe below, almost all the kneading is done by the food processor.

Rosemary Focaccia

This will make a 9” circle, enough to serve 4 – 6:

  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package instant dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups water, (use spring water if your water has off-flavors like chlorine)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons or more (by taste) of chopped rosemary, (possible other herbs include sage, parsley, chives, tarragon, cilantro, or savory).
  • Cornmeal for use on the baking sheet

Instructions:

  • Add the flour, yeast, and salt to a food processor consumer reports outfitted with a steel blade and pulse several times to mix. Pour in the water and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  • Pulse until the flour begins to cling together, and then let the machine run for 20 seconds.
  • Dump the dough into a large enough bowl so that it can comfortably rise to twice its volume. Let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes while you’re washing and chopping the herbs.
  • Divide the chopped herbs into two equal portions and reserve one portion to use for a topping. Turn the rested dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead the non-reserved herbs into the dough, slowly incorporating all of them into the dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let the dough double in size. This should take 1 ½ – 2 hours.
  • When the dough has doubled, turn the dough back onto the floured surface and punch it down. Shape it into a ball and press it out to form a 9” circle.
  • Sprinkle a little raw cornmeal on a baking sheet and put the circle of dough on the sheet.

Recover it with the damp towel, and let it rise for another hour.

  • About 20 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When the dough is risen, just before baking, use your finger to poke holes through the dough, almost to the bottom.
  • Coat the dough with the rest of the olive oil. Sprinkle the reserved herbs over the surface along with some kosher salt.
  • Bake the focaccia for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn the oven down to 400 degrees. After another 10 minutes, check to see if the bread is done.
  • The best way to determine if the focaccia is done, (and in fact if any bread is done) is by temperature.
  • Using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature in the thickest part should read 200 degrees. If it is not done, and the bottom of the bread is turning too dark, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and check after another ten minutes.

Quick Bread

quick bread

Quick bread is the bread that is not leavened by yeast, rather usually with baking soda or powder. They don’t need kneading nor require time to rise. They tend to be denser than yeast bread and take especially well to a variety of flavorings.

Quick bread can be savory – Irish soda bread, biscuits, and cornbread are classic savory quick bread. They can also be sweet, like gingerbread or banana bread. Many quick pieces of bread, to my mind, are sweet enough to be almost cakes.

If you would like to learn a lot more about quick bread, we have a great course at An Introduction to Quick Bread.

The course author also recently posted the recipe for a delicious, classic Pain d’Espices, a spiced quick bread that highlights the remarkable mutual affinity of cardamom and cinnamon.

Quick bread is remarkably versatile. Because they do not rise before baking, they can easily incorporate various kinds of flours like rye, corn, and oatmeal that can’t develop the gluten yeast bread require. They also take especially well to seasonings, including not only herbs and spices but fruits, nuts, cheese, and various sweetening agents like molasses or honey.

The classic baking spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice are great in a quick bread. Most people have recipes for favorites like banana bread or cornbread; if not the bibliography can refer you to several sources. I thought we’d explore one savory option that is a little less familiar but equally delicious, i.e. quick bread made with cheese and herbs.

These bread make great brunch options and are also good for hours deserves. Or, after dinner, serve slices of the bread with a cheese and wine course. To incorporate cheese into quick bread there are a couple of rules of thumb. First, you do need a lot of cheese for the flavor to come out.

If you don’t have enough, maximize flavor by putting the cheese on the top of the bread 10 or so minutes before the bread is baked. Secondly, use strong cheeses – for example, use extra sharp cheddar cheese rather than regular cheddar.

Cheddar cheese is one of the best cheeses to use, as it combines very well with a variety of herbs and spices, especially:

  • Peppers, including paprika, hot peppers like jalapeno and cayenne, and ground black pepper
  • Hot spices like ginger or mustard
  • Sage
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Fennel

Other good herbal and cheese matches include:

  • Basil with Mozzarella or Parmesan
  • Caraway with Muenster Dill with Swiss Cheese
  • Parsley with Swiss
  • Muenster with hot peppers

The following recipe brings in all of the flexible elements we’ve discussed, i.e. using different flours, cheeses and herbs. It’s from the classic, The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book:

Cheese Muffins

  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cups grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed or parsley
  • OR
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 2 cups rolled oats, ground in a food processor to make a flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line each cup with a paper liner. In a large bowl, beat the chives, butter or oil, and egg together. Stir in the buttermilk, cheese, and herb.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the oat flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture to the cheese mixture, stirring just until combined.
  • With an ice cream scoop, spoon some of the batters into each muffin cup. Bake the muffins for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.

Aperitifs

An “aperitif” is a wine-based beverage drunk before dinner – a drink designed to stimulate the appetite. Aperitifs flavored with herbs are called, generically, “vermouth” although some are better known by their individual names.

All vermouth is white wine flavored with a combination of up to 200 different botanicals, e.g. herbs, spices, fruits, flowers. Caramel is added to make sweet, red vermouth. These additives are infused, macerated, or distilled in a base white wine. Vermouth is inexpensive as the base wine needs to be neutral and can be mass-produced.

The liquid is filtered, pasteurized, and fortified, i.e. additional alcohol is added so vermouth is more alcoholic than wine. Vermouth’s alcohol level is 16% for dry vermouth and 18% for sweet vermouth. Like tisanes, vermouth was invented to be used medicinally. Its original primary ingredient was wormwood – the name “vermouth” is derived from “vermut” which is German for wormwood.

The Italians first developed a taste for vermouth as an aperitif. The first aperitif formulation, sweet red vermouth, was created in Turin in the 1700s.

The French were not far behind, developing a dry version later that century. Traditionally, Italian vermouth is supposed to be sweet and French vermouth to be dry; however, both countries now produce both sweet and dry vermouth.

The three most common categories are white (dry), Bianca (white and slightly sweet), and red (sweet) vermouth.

Each manufacturer uses a proprietary formula, so brands taste differently. Generally, Italian vermouth tends to be stronger, e.g. more bitter and spicy, and their sweet vermouths have strong caramel overtones. Martini & Rossie extra dry vermouth is the bartender’s favorite to flavor a martini – just a little is strong enough to stand up to the juniper flavor of gin.

French vermouths are subtler and rely as much on the aroma as a taste for their flavor impact. For that reason, when I use vermouth in cooking, I prefer the French brands.

Some specific vermouth formulas with a good following in the U.S. are not sold under the name vermouth, but rather under special names, e.g. DuBonnet, Lillet, Campari, Punt e Mes, and Cynar.

Liqueurs

As opposed to aperitifs, liqueurs are usually served as an after-dinner menu drink. Liqueurs are alcoholic drinks in which herbs or spices or other flavors like nuts, chocolate, or coffee have been infused.

They differ from vermouths as they do not have a wide base, but are made with either a neutral alcohol base like vodka, or they get additional flavor by using such bases as brandy, cognac, rum, or whiskey. As such, they are more alcoholic than aperitifs.

Also unlike aperitifs, liqueurs are usually sweet, not bitter. There is no standard formula for liqueurs- even those that use the same name as crème de menthe. Like vermouth, manufacturers use proprietary, closely guarded formulas.

Some liqueurs are centuries old. These often have monastical origins and are usually based on numerous ingredients. Bénédictine, for example, is flavored with more than twenty herbs and plants. It was first produced in 1510 in Normandy. Also invented in the Middle Ages is Chartreuse, created by Carthusian monks.

It is purportedly blended from 130 different plants. I’m not sure whether the color “chartreuse” came from the liqueur or vice versa, but the liquid is bright green. There is a large category of liqueurs that are anise or licorice-flavored, e.g. anisette, absinthe, pastis, as well as liqueurs with proprietary names like Pernod or Sambuca.

Sambuca actually gets its flavor from the elderberry bush. Traditionally, Sambuca is served with three whole coffee beans floating on the top. This is called “con mosche” or “with flies”, and is reputed to bring good luck

The above liqueurs are based on a neutral alcoholic base.

A liqueur that uses single malt whiskey as its base is Drambuie from Scotland. Supposedly created from a recipe used by Bonnie Prince Charlie, the manufacturer adds heather honey, herbs, and spices to the whiskey. A close relation from Ireland is Irish Mist, which is a blend of Irish whiskey, heather honey, and herbs.

I have never tried to make herbal liqueurs from scratch. If you’re interested, there is a site, like a healthy dinner, which has numerous links to recipes for making liqueurs with such flavors as mint, ginger, allspice, vanilla, cinnamon, and lavender. As the site notes, however, most liqueurs are made just from the volatile oils, not from the plant part itself, which can contribute off-flavors.

To make homemade liqueurs, then, it is easiest to buy the underlying essences rather than use the herbs or spices. The bibliography lists good sources for essences. The site, however, gives one very easy recipe should you want to make a licorice-flavored liqueur at home.

This recipe uses star anise, a Chinese spice that has become very popular. It is stronger than regular anise, so while you can substitute star anise for anise seed, use only one third as much. Star Anise is named for its shape, and it is a beautiful spice, often used as a garnish:

Star Anise Liqueur

  • 3 tablespoons of ground star anise
  • 2 cups of vodka
  • 1 cup of sugar

Combine the star anise and vodka in a clean glass jar. After 2 weeks, pour the liquid carefully into another jar leaving behind the spices that have settled on the bottom.

Clean out the jar, and pour the liquid back into it through a coffee filter. Add 1 cup of sugar to the jar and cover. Invert the jar repeatedly until the sugar has dissolved. Store the liqueur for at least 3 months. You may need to add slightly more alcohol or sugar to adjust the flavor.

Herbs in Non-Vegetable Salads

herbs in non-vegetable salads

There’s a whole range of great salads that are not based on greens or vegetables, rather on fruits, grains, and legumes. Herbs can amplify flavor in these as well. To illustrate, and get you thinking about some possibilities, here are three recipes that highlight three different herbs with their soul mates:

Cardamom Fruit Salad With Cardamom Sauce, adapted from Miloradovich, P. 103, Serves 4:

  • 1 large apple
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seed, whole
  • Juice of one lemon

Slice the banana and section the grapefruit and orange. Peel and slice the apple. Combine the fruits and toss lightly with the lemon juice. Sprinkle the cardamom seed on top of the fruit and refrigerate.

Prepare the Cardamom Sauce as follows:

  • The ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup clover honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 6 large mint leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup port wine

Blend the water, honey, and cardamom in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over a low flame and bring just up the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the mint leaves and salt. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the sauce to come to room temperature.

When ready to serve, drain the fruit, adding two tablespoons of fruit juice to the sauce. Arrange the fruit over lettuce leaves or divide among individual bowls. Pour the cardamom sauce over the fruit.

This recipe for Hummus illustrates how well cumin works with dried legumes, in this case, chickpeas.

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup “tahini” or sesame paste, (you can substitute peanut butter)
  • The ¾ cup of water
  • 6 cups chickpeas, canned, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Paprika to garnish

Instructions

  • Place the garlic, lemon juice, and tahini in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. The process to a smooth paste. Add the water and chickpeas and process until the mixture is smooth, almost fluffy.
  • Add the cumin and salt, and process again to combine with the chickpeas. Taste, and add additional cumin and salt if desired.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl. Pour the oil on the top and swirl lightly with the tip of a knife. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve with pita triangles.
  • Besides allowing parsley to come into its own as an ingredient rather than a garnish, this recipe for Tabbouleh shows how well mint and parsley work together. It also highlights bulgur – an overlooked grain that cooks very easily and has a great nutty flavor:
  • Soak the bulgur in cold water, to cover, for half an hour. This is all the cooking the bulgur needs. Strain, and squeeze as much of the moisture out as possible. In a bowl, combine the bulgur with the onion, parsley, and mint.
  • Sprinkle the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt over the salad, toss, and refrigerate until chilled.

Herbal Salad

herbal salad

Here’s a guide to making a farmers market salad – i.e. a vegetable salad that uses whatever fresh and good in the market. Suitable vegetables include carrots, asparagus, sugar peas, broccoli, zucchini, and green beans.

  • Make a vinaigrette with lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs.
  • Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Blanch each vegetable in boiling salted water, i.e. dip them into the water until they’re just beginning to get soft and then put them into ice water. The time in the water will vary based on the vegetable used.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool. Toss them together with salt and pepper.
  • When the vegetables are at room temperature, dress them with the vinaigrette.

The recipe below pays tribute to a really underappreciated vegetable/herb, i.e. fennel. If you’re not familiar with this vegetable, buy one next time you’re in the produce section along with a small jar of fennel seeds. From the fresh vegetable, you’ll get two salad ingredients. The large bulb at the bottom of the plant is crunchy when eaten raw and has an anise flavor.

The feathery greens on top of the bulb can be treated like any fresh herb. Here’s a salad that’s a full meal in itself and uses fennel in all of its three forms. Adapted from Deborah Madison’s,

The Greens Cookbook here’s Fennel & Mushroom Salad, Serves 4 – 6:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 to 2-½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 strips of lemon peel, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed under a spoon or in a mortar
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces large, firm mushrooms, wiped clean
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 to 3 ounces Parmesan Reggiano, shaved into paper-thin slices.

Instructions:

  • Pound the garlic and the salt in a mortar until completely smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon peel, fennel seeds, and olive oil to make a tart, lemony vinaigrette.
  • Thinly slice the mushrooms, carefully dress them with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and season them with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Lay a damp kitchen towel or a piece of plastic wrap directly over them to keep them from browning, and set them aside for 1 hour to marinate.
  • Trim the fennel bulb and cut it into quarters. Remove most of the core; then slice it lengthwise, very thinly, leaving the pieces joined together.
  • Dress it with most of the remaining vinaigrette and half the herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of the herbs to the mushrooms.
  • Layer the mushrooms, cheese, and fennel on each plate and spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the top.

Vin-aigrettes & Salad Dressings

We all know about the most common uses for fresh herbs – vinaigrettes and other salad dressings. Here we will look at using herbs in green and vegetable salads as well as other salads such as tabbouleh and hummus.

vin-aigrettes and salad dressings

Vin-aigrettes and Other Salad Dressings

Vinaigrette is a simple mixture of three components – oil, (olive, canola), an acidic liquid (vinegar, citrus juice), and seasonings (herbs, salt, mustard). Making a vinaigrette is simple. In a small bowl or jar, add vinegar or fruit juice or even water or bouillon.

Add salt and pepper. It is especially important to add the salt now, as salt will dissolve in acid but not in oil. Add any additional flavoring elements like herbs.

Whisk or shake to combine. You can then add the oil slowly to the bowl while whisking vigorously, or add the oil all at once into the jar and then shake, with the cap tightly closed. For the most stable dressing possible, use cold ingredients.

The two variables that make vinaigrette so adaptive are ingredients and the proportions of those ingredients. The most important ingredient, due to its larger volume, is the oil.

Choose oil by taste. It’s hard to go wrong with extra virgin olive oil, but sometimes a neutral oil like canola or safflower will let other flavors prevail, especially with the softer herbs. Nut oils, like peanut or walnut, can add interesting flavor.

The acidic liquid, the second ingredient, can be selected from any number of choices – here is where the flavored vinegar we made before is especially useful. Sherry vinegar is especially nice as it has a rich body and a slightly sweet aftertaste.

Balsamic vinegar can also provide body and a hint of sweetness, (to perk up less expensive balsamic vinegar, try adding a touch of dark brown sugar). Wine vinegar is classic.

About the only vinegar that isn’t appropriate for vinaigrette is distilled white vinegar. Alternatives to vinegar include fruit juices, especially lemon juice.

Seasonings always include salt and pepper, but then there are a lot of additional options.

Finely chopped garlic, shallots, scallions or Dijon mustard are the most common additives, along with almost any herb. Infuse, i.e. allow the seasonings to soak in the vinegar or lemon juice, before adding the oil.

Once you’ve chosen the ingredients, proportions are also strictly up to you – people have varying preferences for acidity or for certain herbs. A 3:1 oil to acid ratio is a guideline most commonly cited, but any other combination is fine and simple experimentation is the best way to find your preferences.

It is useful to remember that the higher the acid content, the more salt will be required. Also, when calculating your acid to oil ratio, remember that mustard itself is acidic. If possible, make the vinaigrette about an hour ahead of time, as this will let the flavors meld.

But always add the dressing at the last moment to any food like lettuce that wilts. Also, the base food should be as dry as possible as water particles will repel the dressing and it won’t stick.

When adding dressing to a salad, add just enough to make each leaf glisten, (your hands make the best salad tongs). A beginning rule of thumb is ½ cup vinaigrette to 1 quart of greens. Vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks; it will solidify but just bring it up to room temperature and shake.

To start, here is a classic herbal vinaigrette recipe – use any herb you like as a substitute for the thyme in this recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup of good-tasting olive oil

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the shallots, thyme, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously until the salt is dissolved. Add the olive oil and shake.

Other Salad Recipes Dressing Ideas:

Besides using herbs in a classic vinaigrette, think of using them in other salad dressings.

Follow the above instructions for a vinaigrette, but instead of the acidic component, use a non-acid fruit juice like mango or grape juice.

Or instead of oil, use chicken fat, stock, or even water to minimize calories. Herbs, of course, are a great way to flavor food without added fat.

Besides vinaigrettes, use herbs in creamy salad dressings. Store-bought mayonnaise can really be improved with just a little effort. To a good mayonnaise-like Hellmann’s, stir in a little lemon juice in which salt has been dissolved.

Start with a teaspoon of lemon juice and half a teaspoon of salt in half a cup of mayonnaise or more, and then add to taste.

Now add either spices or herbs that are compatible with the salad ingredients. Here are some ideas:

  • Curry is a classic additive when dressing a chicken salad.
  • Dill is a great addition to the mayonnaise used for potato salad.
  • Use mint in a sweetened mayonnaise on fruit salad.
healthy dinner recipes for two

Quick and Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes for Two Cookbook

Quick and Great Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two

Preparing a meal for two persons could end up in two ways. It is either some food that would be wasted or you may have to eat the same food the next day. That will make your mealtimes very monotonous. If you decide to order take out, on the other hand, the food that you may eat each night may not be those quick and easy healthy dinner recipes for two cookbooks.

healthy dinner ideas for two

That will make your mealtimes very monotonous. If you decide to order take out, on the other hand, the food that you may eat each night may not be that healthy.

To help make your meals exciting and healthy at the same time, here are the top 10 quick and great healthy dinner ideas for two that you should learn to prepare.

Quick and Great Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two Persons

Steak Burritos

This is very easy to prepare. Just boil some brown rice on salsa and add some black beans. Let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.

Now get some strip steak and brown it in a little oil. Sprinkle some pepper for added spice. Once done, assemble the steak, rice mixture, guacamole, cheese, and cilantro in your tortillas and roll it up.

This meal has about 20% of your daily needs of zinc, folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Fajita-Style Quesadillas

Here is another healthy treat. Cut some sweet pepper into strips and cook it over hot oil along with some onions and Serrano pepper. Cook only until tender, which is about 3 minutes.

Get some corn tortillas and place a layer of Monterey Jack cheese on top of it. Add some of the pepper mixture, some freshly sliced tomatoes, and cilantro. Top with another tortilla and heat on a skillet.

In five minutes, your quesadilla will be ready to eat. This meal contains protein from the cheese and essential nutrients and fiber from the vegetables.

Maple-Chili Glazed Pork

Cut a pound of pork tenderloins into 1-inch thick cubes. Sprinkle some pepper, salt, chili powder, and ground chipotle on it then brown over medium heat.

maple chili glazed pork

Once the pork is golden brown, add a ¼ cup of apple cider, a teaspoon of vinegar, and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Bring this to a boil and then let it simmer until the sauce becomes thick. Your dinner is now done and you can enjoy a delicious meal with only 180 calories per serving.

Salmon with Lime and Butter

Here a nice meal that is rich with omega 3 fatty acids. You just need 8 ounces of salmon fillet. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it and cook both sides on a skillet. Remove from heat and transfer on a plate.

Now mix some butter, lime juice, lime zest, and chili powder and heat this mixture on the pan until the butter is melted. Pour the butter mixture over your salmon and enjoy a succulent dinner.

Moo Shu Vegetables

Here is an easy to cook meal that is filled with fiber and protein. First, cook 4 beaten eggs on a pan. Set it aside. Then, sauté some garlic and ginger. Add a pack of shredded vegetables (like broccoli slaw), some bean sprouts, and sliced scallions.

Use soy sauce and vinegar to taste. Once tender, add back the cooked eggs and a couple of tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Heat for another two minutes and enjoy a Chinese style stir-fry vegetable dinner.

Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce

Cook two chicken breasts in oil until brown. Place on a plate and bring the pan back on the stove. Sauté some minced shallot until fragrant and then add some shiitake mushroom (thinly sliced).

Cook until tender then add two tablespoons of white wine. Let it simmer until dry. Now pour in the chicken broth, heavy cream, and chives. Bring it to a boil and bring back the chicken breasts on the pan. Let it simmer for another minute. This is best served with some pasta.

Crispy Fish and Peppers

Here is another low-calorie dish that is perfect for dinner. You just need a pound of fish fillet. Pick your choice between tilapia, grouper, or catfish. Rinse this and pat dry. In a bowl, mix together one egg, cup buttermilk, and a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.

Dip the fish in the buttermilk mixture and then roll it in a dish that contains some flour. Fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels. This is best served with slices of pepper and lemons.

Crab Cake Burgers

Are you craving for some burgers? Instead of using beef, try crab meat instead. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is low in calories too. To make the crab patties, just mix together some crab meat, mayonnaise, egg, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, chives, mustard, onion powder, pepper, celery seed, and hot sauce in a bowl. Form into patties and fry.

Place in burger buns with tartar sauce and enjoy true crab flavor for your dinner. A serving of this meal also contains 44% of your daily selenium requirement.

Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops

honey garlic pork

Give your pork chops a twist with this great marinade. Stir together honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, mint, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into a resealable bag along with your chops. For the best taste, prepare this a day before and just let the chops sit on the marinade for a day in your refrigerator.

When you get home, prepare your gas grill and cook the pork chops. It will be done in about 15 minutes. You can enjoy these delicious chops with some roasted potatoes or green salads.

Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables

Cook 3 ounces of spaghetti as you normally would, but two minutes before it is done, add some shrimps, asparagus, peas and bell pepper in the pan.

lemon garlic shrimp pasta

Let it cook until the pasta is tender and then drain. Now whisk together some yogurt, lemon juice, oil, parsley, pepper, mashed garlic, and salt. Add the pasta to this mixture and toss together. That is it! You now have a delicious dinner that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, calcium, zinc, potassium, iron, and magnesium. With these great tasting and easy to prepare meals, your dinners will no longer be boring.

In fact, dinner may become your favorite meal of the day once you add variety to your menu and create healthy dishes in less than thirty minutes.

1200 Calorie Healthy Diet Meal Plans

Many people around the world are suffering from weight-related problems ranging from a subtle poor image to health dreads such as heart disease and cancer. However, all these problems could be avoided by proper weight management. Besides physical fitness exercises, the other very important determinant of weight is diet.

According to the American Heart Association, the minimum daily caloric intake for weight loss, especially for women is 1200 calories. The association developed this to serve as an alternative to the unhealthy weight loss fads promoted by certain self-proclaimed fitness experts.

If you want to maintain the right weight or lose fat, it may be necessary to stick to low-calorie diets. Here are the top 10 1200 calorie healthy diet meal plans. (Check this article: blender food processor combo)

7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight: 1,200 Calories

1200 calorie diet plan

Developed by Eating-well, this diet plan delivers only 1200 calories and comprises healthy food types, which are nutrient-rich and satisfying. The menu includes lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits, and green leafy vegetables as well as low-fat dairy products.

Each of the 7 days has a specific menu for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. These meals are balanced to provide all the nutrients the body needs but limit the number of calories.

90-Day No-Cooking Diet – 1200 Calorie

For those who are too busy to cook, this is a perfect meal plan that will provide you with the required 1200 calories per day. The 90-Day No-Cooking Diet features a 3 month of mouthwatering fat burning meals.

The plan also comes with a weekly shopping list ensuring that spendthrifts do not choose unhealthy alternatives. When coupled with physical activity, weight loss can be in the range of 23 to 33 pounds for women and 35 to 45 pounds for men.

60-Day Perfect Diet – 1200 Calorie

This as is another 1200 calorie healthy diet meal plan which you can use if you are want to lose weight and stay fit. The 60-day perfect diet meal plan comes in an eBook with both cooking and no cooking meals. See details for more information for the family cookbook and American cookbook. The menus come with nutritious and delicious easy-to-prepare meals consisting of breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner.

You will eat what you want as much as you can handle without worrying about putting up more pounds. The average weight loss for women on this diet plan is 16 to 24 lbs and for men, it will be between 27 and 36 lbs.

30-Day Quick Diet for Women

As already been mentioned, the healthy calorie cut off for women. For those relatively active, this lower-calorie level may not be appropriated. This is why the 30-Day Quick Diet for Women comes as an eBook with both 1200 and 1500-calorie meal plans.

You have the liberty to choose between the two but both consist of healthy, delicious, and nutrient-rich foods. You will be surprised to know that you can eat pasta, hamburger, pancakes, and swordfish without worrying.

90-Day Smart Diet – 1200 Calorie

If you are the kind who loves cooking, then this 1200-calorie healthy diet meal plan will give you all the nutrients your body needs. Being a long-term diet plan, it is possible that you will adopt it as your permanent long-term diet program.

It consists of easy to prepare, delicious, and nutrient-filled recipes, which you can use each and every day for 90 days. If your plan is to lose weight then your wish will come to pass.

The Mayo Clinic diet meal plan

The mayo clinic is a well-known source of good health material. They have several diet plans including those of 1200 calories.

The diet is composed of low carbs, healthy proteins, and vegetable fats all driven by whole grains, lean meat, low-fat dairy products as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. You will lose as much as 10 pounds in just 2 weeks, something very remarkable.

30-Day No Cooking Diet

If you do not like cooking and need a short-term 1200-calorie plan, then the 30-Day No Cooking Diet is one of the best options. It comes as an eBook with 1800, 1500, and 1200-calorie diet plans. It has several great recipes from which to choose depending on your tastes and preference.

The meals are nutritious, delicious and very healthy. Within thirty days, you will lose as much as 10 lbs in the 30 days.

The 1200-Calorie-a-Day Menu Cookbook

For those who love to use cookbooks and need to lose weight and stay healthy, the 1200-Calorie-a-Day Menu Cookbook has several optional recipes for every meal that will ensure that you have enough liberty to choose what you want to eat.

All the foods are derived from natural sources, are delicious, and very nutrient-rich. You will get the opportunity to enjoy combinations of tempting, mouth-watering breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You can even eat dessert sauce without guilt.

7-Day Diet for Men

Men do not like cooking but why mind if you can save you? The 7-day diet for men has recipes that can give you the energy you want while remains completely safe.

It gives you a variety of meal options including some, which have been touted as unhealthy and should be avoided. Nevertheless, the recipes are delicious, nutrient-rich and healthy.

American Heart Association Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook

Coming from the proposers of the 1200 calorie per day diet meal plan, this is perhaps the most accurate and authentic of them all.

It features great recipes for day-to-day meals and offers tips on how to maintain a healthy heart. With this is cookbook, you will enjoy a variety of delicacies knowing that you are completely safe nutritionally.