Baked Haddock – Mediterranean Style Friendly

Baked Haddock

     There isn’t much easier for dinner than Baked Haddock, Mediterranean style.  Just drizzle a little olive oil over the fish, add a good squirt of Lemon Juice, sprinkle on my Greek Seasoning, and throw it in the oven.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes and serve with additional Lemon slices.  If you want capers, feel free to add them!

   Pictured is Baked Haddock, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Salad.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

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HUMMUS

Hummus and Veggie Platter

 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 1 ½ cups

1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas.

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup tahini, store-bought or (recipe below for homemade)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 TSP olive or grape seed oil

½ tsp cumin

2 Dashes salt

3 TBSP water

Paprika for garnish

 

PREPARATION:

In your food processor, combine lemon juice and tahini.  Blend well.  Scrape down and process again.  Add chickpeas, garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and water.  Blend or pulse until smooth.  Taste now before you remove it from food processor to make sure you don’t need to adjust anything.

 

TAHINI  Yields ½ cup

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sesame seeds

2+ TBSP olive or grape seed oil (more will give you a thinner result)

Dash of salt

PREPARATION:

In a large dry skillet, toast sesame seeds for three to five minutes, while stirring constantly over low/medium heat.  They will turn a bit darker, but don’t let them get brown.  You will also smell a nice fragrance.  Remove from heat and let cool a little bit.

Add to food processor and process until mixture is crumbly and pasty.  You will have to scrape sides down a few times.

Add oil (neutral oil), beginning with 2 TBSP.  Process for a few minutes and see if you like the texture.  If you prefer it thinner, add a little more oil.  You can add a dash of salt any time. Process until you have a nice smooth mixture.

Chew Wanna Eat? © 2018

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Hummus and Veggie Platter

CHICKEN WITH CREAMY LEMON SAUCE (Mediterranean Style Friendly)

Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Dinner was out of this world and it was simple to make!  It’s been nearly two weeks since we began the Mediterranean style of eating.  This was the first new recipe I created and it is definitely a keeper!  I used my Greek Style Seasoning, dredged the chicken in flour, and made up this delicious lemon sauce.  I’ll be making it again soon.  The recipe calls for chicken breasts, but Bob prefers thighs, so I did some of them also.

INGREDIENTS:  (4 Servings)

2 whole skinless, chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half

Homemade Greek seasoning (recipe below)

1/3 cup AP flour, divided

Olive oil

4 TBSP butter, divided

½ an onion sliced

¼ cup Marsala wine

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP garlic, minced or chopped

OPTIONAL: Parsley, basil or finely chopped spinach for garnish

 

PREPARATION:

Season both sides of chicken with Greek seasoning. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle 2 – 3 TBSP olive oil in bottom of pan.  Add 2 TBSP butter.  When hot, add floured chicken and onion slices.  Cook until lightly browned.  Flip and cook the other side.  Remove to a platter.

Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup Marsala wine, scraping up any browned bits which will add a lot of additional flavor.  Add chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic, and approximately 2 TBSP AP flour.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Add remaining 2 TBSP butter.

Return chicken to pan and let simmer for about five minutes, flipping over once.  Taste the sauce, and adjust if necessary.

Place chicken back on the serving platter and pour the sauce on top.  Add any garnishes you choose.

GREEK SEASONING by Tika

     I started using this seasoning years ago for when we grilled vegetables.  Dummy me!  I should have been using it on everything.  Make some and put it in an empty seasoning jar.  You’ll find that you will use it often!

6 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP sea salt

4 ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 ½ tsp basil

1 ½ tsp parsley

1 ½ tsp oregano

1 TBSP black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Add to an empty seasoning jar, label and use it on almost everything. (Fish, chicken, pork, lamb, vegetables).

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

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Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Grain Pita

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 I found this recipe on epicurious and I must say that they were easy and great fun to make!  We loved them.  Another bonus!  Note that the preparation and final photos are by Chew Wanna Eat?  

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/whole-wheat-pita-bread-108122

Why make your own pita when it’s readily available at supermarkets? One bite of these, fresh and warm from the oven, will tell you exactly why. The dough is simple to make, and because the dough rounds are thin, they bake in less than 5 minutes. But if you don’t have time to make your own, store-bought pita can be warmed, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350°F oven.

Yield Makes 8 (6-inch) pita loaves

Ingredients

    • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 1/4 cups warm water (105–115°F)
    • 2 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
    • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets
    1. Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
    2. While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.
    3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
    4. Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to 1 of 2 baking sheets lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with 2 clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
    5. Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F.
    6. Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 4 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.
Cooks’ note:
Pitas can be baked 1 week ahead and cooled completely, then frozen, wrapped well in foil in a sealed plastic bag. Thaw before reheating, wrapped in foil, 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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All About the Mediterranean Diet

Fruits and Vegetables

If you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet, let me first tell you that this is NOT a diet per se.  The options are endless and there is no calorie counting, weighing of food, or feeling hungry.  It’s more of a healthy life-style change, a way of healthier eating that Westerners need to learn more about.  Unbeknownst to me, the Mediterranean diet is not just based on Greece.  It also includes Spain, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, and more.  This style of eating is all about plant-based foods.  Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds, mixed nuts, pasta, rice, and leaner sources of protein such as chicken and fish rather than red meat.  It’s ok to have red meat once or twice a month, just limit your portions.  The good news for wine drinkers is that red wine is included in moderate amounts.

Research proves that the Mediterranean way of eating reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, as well as lowers cholesterol.  It is also said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.  It’s also a brain-friendly way of eating, rich in anti-oxidants.  It is being called the healthiest diet in the world by millions.

Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

Cooking with olive oil or canola oil is something we’re all familiar with, so don’t change anything there.  According to the Mayo Clinic, extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed form provides the highest levels of the protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects.  Canola oil contains a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is beneficial in lowering triglycerides, decreasing blood clotting, lowers your risk of sudden heart attack, improves your blood vessels, as well as moderating blood pressure.

Many of us have greatly reduced our salt intake.  Keep up the good work.  Instead, use spices and fresh herbs to season your food.  Replace your salt with flavorful cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, coriander, basil, cilantro, garlic, and pepper.  If you reduce your salt consumption little by little, you won’t miss it after a while.  Read labels!  When you are buying canned goods, beware of the added salt.  Rinsing canned vegetables helps reduce the salt.  Fresh or frozen is always best.

Avoid processed foods.  They are usually loaded with fats, chemical preservatives, artificial ingredients, and salt.  Avoid sugar.  Avoid junk food.  Avoid fast food joints.

If you need a snack, a handful of mixed nuts, olives, Feta cheese, a whole grain pita dipped in hummus or olive oil

You can have your bread, but look for whole grain which contains more protein and minerals.

Eat slower.  You’ll eat less while enjoying your food more.

Stay tuned for recipes that we’ve tried!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

Barley and Vegetables (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

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      What is barley?  It’s delicious, for one thing.  Even before I knew how healthy it was, I’ve always loved it.  I never did much other than add it to soups, but now that we are eating healthier, I’m discovering all sorts of ways to use it.    Barley is another whole grain and very high in fiber.  I love the chewy texture which you don’t get with pasta.  You can substitute barley for couscous, rice, quinoa, orzo, or farro.  Barley is available as pearlized or quick-cooking.  The next time you’re making soup or stew, add a handful of barley.

     What are the benefits of eating barley? Other than the fact that it’s versatile and flavorful, Barley is another food that lowers the risk of coronary heart disease and can lower cholesterol.  The high fiber reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.  Barley is nearly fat-free and totally cholesterol-free.

INGREDIENTS: Yields 4 servings

½ cup barley

1 ½ cups chicken or beef broth

½ cup sliced mushrooms

¼ cup onion, sliced or chopped

1 TBSP fresh garlic

ADDITIONAL VEGETABLE SUGGESTIONS:  Carrots, kale, spinach, peas

PREPARATION:

In a large skillet, bring broth to boil.  Add barley with a little salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer 45-50 minutes.  (If using quick-cooking barley, cook only 10 minutes).  If a little liquid remains, don’t worry.  Remove barley and liquid to a small bowl.  Cover.

In same skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Sautee mushrooms and onions until tender.  Replace barley and if you want kale or spinach, add it now.  Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender.

Learn more about Barley at https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whole-grains-101-orphan-pages-found/types-barley

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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Pumpkin Pie Squares with a Crunchy Topping

 

I am not a fan of making pie crust.  It always comes out great, I just don’t like rolling and trying to place it properly in the pie plate. It irritates me, and I try to avoid getting irritated when I’m cooking.  So . . . if I can make some changes, and still have a crust, I’m all for it.  Bob doesn’t care for pumpkin pie.  There’s always too much ginger and other spices for his palate.  This dessert has a crust, but not a pastry crust.  Easy!  I lightened up on the spices and Bob was happy!  The crunchy pecan topping is SO GOOD!  It’s a keeper.  (Feel free to add extra spices if you prefer.  Either way, you’ll love it).  And there’s a bonus.  It serves a lot more people than a pie.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup AP flour

½ cup Old Fashioned Oats

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup butter (chilled, but not cold)

One 15 oz can pumpkin puree (without spices)

12 oz can evaporated milk

2 egg whites

¾ cup white sugar

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped

½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 TBSP chilled butter

 

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray or grease one 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Mix together the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter or margarine. Press into pan; bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. In a large deep metal bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  4. Blend together the pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg whites, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Pour custard into baked crust; bake for 30 minutes or until firm.
  5. Mix together the chopped nuts, brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle topping on custard and bake additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into squares and top with whipped cream if desired.

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Pumpkin Pie Squares