Tag Archives: oregano

Shrimp Salsa

Okay, I need to make another resolution. ALWAYS TAKE PICTURES OF THE FOOD AT MY PARTIES!!! This recipe I have made before but of course it was PB (Pre-Blog). Of course I never took pictures of the food because for the most part, why would I? Well now I will. Even if it’s with my cell phone. But until I make this again I do not have an actual picture of it. Use your imagination.

This week also marks my venture back into the workforce outside my house. I worked at home for 6 years and going back into an office is going to be a bit shocking to my system. So I am trying to get the week’s blogs done earlier so that if I am too tired I will still have the blog. If anything earth-shattering happens that I need to post I will add it to the next day’s blog. And since I may not be near a computer during the day as I am now, I will approve comments when I get home. Please bear with me. I normally don’t like to have to approve all comments but there has been a ton of spam lately and I don’t want anything slipping by. Thanks! So without further ado here is today’s post.

This salsa is a great side dish for the upcoming Super Bowl weekend. It’s easy, fast and very healthy for you! I know, healthy and Super Bowl usually don’t go together but why not? Who says it can’t? It can be served with tortilla chips so it won’t be a shock to the Super Bowl system. I would also suggest using endive leaves as a “chip” to eat this. Very tasty and still crunchy. It’s a very colorful salsa and will be a huge hit.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only. This is not the exact photo for recipe but it's close.

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound peeled, cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped

1½  cups salsa (your choice)

4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup minced cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until flavors are blended, at least an hour.

Serve with tortilla chips, endive, or whatever you choose.

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Layered Greek Dip

This is such an easy and quick dip to throw together. There are only 5 ingredients! Nice! I love Greek food and we don’t get to go out for it too often. Probably because where I live in south Florida there are very few good Greek restaurants. We did find a great one in St. Augustine called Athena’s. But I’m not driving over 3 hours for Greek food! Anyway this is just a snack food anyway but it’s healthy too.

This is best in a round nine-inch pie plate but if you don’t have one, just use something else. A long oval dish is fine also. You want something that has sides so everything stays where it should.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

7 ounces prepared hummus (any brand you like)

4 ounces crumbled light Feta cheese (use regular if you are not watching calories)

½ cup chopped tomatoes

¼ cup chopped cucumbers (best to use the English ones and leave the skin on)

2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

oregano

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spread the hummus onto bottom of a 9″ pie plate or other serving dish.

2. Cover with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

3. Sprinkle with a little oregano if you wish.

4. Serve with baked pita chips!

Homemade “Boursin” Cheese

Years ago I discovered Boursin Cheese. But that little container (only 5.2 ounces!) can be very expensive. I haven’t bought it in years because of that. It would also be gone in minutes because there isn’t much to it. This recipe may not give you a huge amount either (8 ounces at least) but you can also double the recipe and use lighter ingredients as well to save some calories and fat. It’s a cream cheese base so use the light cream cheese. I will not use fat-free cream cheese because I feel that it really loses all it’s flavor when you take away ALL the fat. But that’s just me. It’s up to you and what you wish. If calories are no object then by all means use the full fat version of cream cheese in the recipe. Another great thing about this recipe is that all the herbs and spices in it are very common and I would think most of us have them all on hand in our pantries. This recipe actually comes from The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn. I had stayed there many years ago. The Inn is in Cape May, New Jersey and was a wonderful place, not far from the water. So give this a try and remember to make it the night before. It’s better that way, trust me! The spread itself is mild and is accented nicely by the crushed peppercorns. It’s a great spread with crackers during cocktail hour!

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

freshly ground black peppercorns

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

2. Shape into a ball or log and roll in crushed black peppercorns or place in a serving dish and sprinkle generously with coarsely crushed black peppercorns. Or just serve it in a decorative serving bowl! Your choice!

3. Best if refrigerated at least overnight before serving.

Makes 1 cup

Italian Chicken Chili Alfredo

Boy that’s a mouthful! I was trying to come up with a simple title but couldn’t. Originally when I made this I was going for a regular chili with chicken instead of ground beef. As I went along I kept changing my mind. I had also  just bought a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce and thought it would make a tasty addition. The sauce is a new product for the Classico line of sauces. It only has 60 calories and 5 grams of fat in ¼ cup. Compared to over 110 calories and 10 grams of fat for the same amount. It was really good and I didn’t feel bad about eating it!

I also added two kinds of beans to this recipe, white canellini beans and black beans. Another item I always have on hand in my freezer are those pre-cooked chicken sausages. They are really very good and lower in calories and fat. I usually have the Italian style which is what I used in this recipe. The chicken breast I used was the Perdue portion sized boneless breasts. They come in those individually wrapped packages. They were on sale and I had a coupon! I used the white wine and garlic seasoned ones but you can use any kind you want.

This was a great protein, fiber-filled meal. My husband really liked it and I can make it again so it’s a winner! Great for the fall or when you want an easy dinner. Leftovers are even better! If you want you can even add rice or pasta to the dish to stretch it even more. It’s up to you!

INGREDIENTS:

2 small onions (or 1 large), chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped (use less if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound or so), cut into bite size pieces

2 Italian Style Chicken Sausages (precooked kind)

1 can (15-16 oz.) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 small-medium tomato, chopped small

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 jar (15 oz.) Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté the chicken pieces. Remove from pan and set aside when browned and mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.

2. In the same pan add the onion and garlic and sauté, on medium heat, till soft, about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Add the mushrooms, sausage, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

4. Add the tomatoes and stir in. Add the beans and continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes or so until beans are heated through.

5. Add the alfredo sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Greek Green Beans

Ok as promised here is the recipe for the green beans I made with the orange roughy yesterday. I used frozen green beans. I actually use frozen veggies quite a bit. This way I always have something in the freezer to go to when I’m out of fresh stuff. I usually have those ‘steamer’ bags of veggies but this time I had bought one of the larger bags, 16 ounces. For two of us that is too much to make at once so for this recipe I used half the bag or 2 cups. This is also a quick and easy side dish for any entrée. It is also a low-calorie side dish. While the beans were being nuked I sautéed the onions and garlic and it worked out great. So without any further ado here is the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups frozen green beans (any kind you like)

2 tablespoons water

1 small onion, chopped small

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons butter substitute (you can use real butter if you want)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place green beans in a small microwave container with lid. Add the water. Cook on HIGH for 6 minutes.

2. Meantime in a small pan sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Cook until soft and just starting to brown a little. About 6 minutes. Add the basil, oregano and pepper flakes. Stir well.

3. The beans should be done now. Drain the excess water from container. Add the butter/butter substitute and onion mixture. Mix well.

4. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.

5. Stir in feta cheese and serve.

Makes 2 servings (1 cup each)

Collard Greens Gone Wild

Ok, I know, how can collard greens go wild? And I’m not talking fresh collard greens either. Frozen. Yes frozen. I never had collard greens growing up and of course just figured I didn’t like them. My husband suggested I try them so one day at the supermarket I went “wild” and bought a bag of frozen greens. Also since I had no idea how to serve them the Italian in me took over. I prepared them according to the package but when I served them I added butter and a parmesan/garlic seasoning. They came out really good. I was hooked. Then recently I tried them from a menu at a restaurant specializing in “southern/cowboy” type barbecue. I HATED them! They had no flavor, the color was so washed out they did not look very appetizing. Definitely not enough to even eat! Well I tried them. Yuck! I tried adding butter, salt, hot sauce…Still yuck! I was so disappointed! I knew I should have gotten the fried green tomatoes that night! So last night I kicked them up a notch so to say. They came out really good! The only thing is the bag of frozen greens is big that I now have lots left over. I will be using them tonight as my side for the Veal Scaloppini recipe I posted yesterday.  They actually look like escarole and beans a little bit. I originally served it with a Lemon Lime Marinated Chicken recipe from a great food blog called Dana’s Food For Thought. Check it out! (Thanks Dana!)

INGREDIENTS:

1 16-19 ounce bag frozen chopped collard greens

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic chopped

3 cloves garlic thinly sliced

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cups chicken broth

1 -15 ounce can canellini beans, drained and rinsed

parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a dutch oven or large pot sauté olive oil and chopped garlic. Saute till garlic is lightly browned. Add the basil and oregano and stir for a minute or so.

2. Add the frozen collard greens and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the beans, red pepper flakes and sliced garlic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Serve greens with parmesan cheese if you like.

Delicious Creole Gumbo

On May 4, 2009 the world became a lot less funny. Comedic genius and actor Dom DeLuise passed away at the age of 75. I don’t know of anyone who can’t name at least one favorite Dom  DeLuise movie. One of my faves is “Fatso”. The food in this movie was incredible and you got hungry just watching it. Especially the scene with the huge pot of sauce and meatballs. He dunks a little Italian bread into to taste it and it’s all down hill from there. Funny. He was one of my favorite actors and you always smiled when you watched him. Smiled or laughed hysterically.

Dom was not a skinny man by any means but over the years he realized he had to do something. I bought his first cookbook “Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better!” back in 1988. It was full of funny and wonderful stories of his family and friends. It was and still is an awesome cookbook. When I got married my father wouldn’t let me leave the house with the copy I had so I had to go and buy another one to take with me! The book is full of his mother’s Italian home cooking as well as recipes from his family and friends. It’s actually my “go to” Italian cookbook.  As the years went on and Dom got larger and larger he decided to start eating better and came out with a second book in 1997. Another hit. This one is called “Eat This Too!”. It’s a low-fat cookbook of all his favorites along with more pics and stories of his family and friends. I will never part with either cookbook. All of the recipes are delicious.

Dom & Julia on Good Morning America in 1984

Today’s recipe is from “Eat This Too!” Gumbo can be very fattening but his version is loaded with vegetables and a seafood. Serve it over brown rice instead of the usual white rice.  Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients either. It’s not too scary, really! It will take longer to cut up and prep all of the veggies (where’s that private sous chef when you need one?) than to cook so be brave! You won’t be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds shrimp/scallops, lobster, or other seafood, shelled, cleaned

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz can tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

10 mushrooms, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

12 fresh okra, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 tablespoons flour mixed with ½ cup cold water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until flavors intermingle, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp/scallops or other seafood. Cook just a few minutes until seafood is just done. Serve while still tender.

Serves 8-12

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