Archive | June, 2020



1 small  loaf                Artisan -style bread ( 1 large eggplant may be substituted)

2 T                               pine nuts, toasted and cooled

1 T                               capers, drained and rinsed

1 clove                      garlic, minced

½ C                              Kalamata olives, pitted and minced

½ C                              basil, chopped

3 T                               high quality extra virgin olive oil

¼ C                              sundried tomatoes, chopped

¼ ea.                           red onion, thinly sliced

¼ C ea.                       shredded part skim mozzarella & crumbled feta cheese

2lrg handfuls              baby spinach, microwaved, chopped and well wrung out


Preheat grill to medium high heat on one side of grill and cool side on the other.  You may also use your oven preheated to 375. Place 2 sheets of aluminum foil on a disposable aluminum pan in an “X”, leaving a few inches overhang on all sides.  Using a serrated bread knife, cut the loaf of bread in 1” vertical slices.  Take care not to cut all the way through the loaf.  Rotate the bread a quarter turn and cut 1” slices across the vertical slices, creating a crosshatch pattern.  Place cut loaf on the baking pan on the center of the foil “X”.  Set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant.  Take care not to burn nuts.  They can go from lightly brown to burnt in seconds!  Set aside.

Mash capers, garlic, Kalamata olives and basil with a mortar and pestle until you have a somewhat smooth paste.  Slowly add olive oil and whisk until incorporated. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts, cheeses and cooked baby spinach.  Alternately, combine ingredients in food processor and pulse briefly.

Spoon the mixture into the cut portions of the bread.  Take care to push the filling down into the bread openings.  Gather the aluminum foil around the bread and wrap loosely.

Place in the grill and close lid. Reduce grill temp to medium and bake for 30 minutes.  Fold back the foil and continue baking 5-7 minutes longer until top is golden and cheese is melted and browned.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.



½ Slice                  sandwich bread torn into pieces

2 T                          skim or 2% Milk

3/4 lb.                  boneless, skinless chicken breast

½                             yellow onion, chopped

1 clove                 garlic, minced

½ t                          soy sauce

1 t                           cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1 t                           ground dry mustard

2 t                           Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, or less to taste

2 T                          parsley, minced

Finishing baste for burgers made with 1 T Frank’s Red hot combined with 1 t olive oil


½ ea.                     carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips

½ ea.                     cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips

1 rib                       celery, cut into thin strips

½ ea.                     red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

¼ C                         rice wine vinegar

2 t                           sugar


Blue cheese mayo – combine ½ C mayo (store bought or homemade) , ¼ C plain yogurt, 1 t lemon juice, 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese, ½ t freshly ground black pepper. 

High quality store bought or homemade whole wheat hamburger buns


Prepare pickled vegetables:  Combine all vegetable ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.  Set aside

Prepare chicken burgers: Pulse the bread in the food processor to coarse crumbs. Add milk and pulse gently.  Remove from work bowl and set aside.  Cut chicken into 1” pieces and pulse in food processor until uniformly chopped.  Remove from work bowl and set aside.   Pulse onion and garlic in food processor until chopped fine.  Add to ground chicken breast.  Add soy sauce, mustard, cayenne, parsley and hot sauce.  Using your hands, mix gently until thoroughly combined. Gently mix in bread crumb milk mixture.

Divide meat into 2 portions and form into 1” thick patties.  Refrigerate 30 minutes while you prepare grill.

Pre-heat grill to high.  Clean and lightly oil cooking grate.  Brush burgers with oil or spray lightly with pan spray.  Season patties with S & P.  Place burgers on grill and cook, turning only after a good sear has been achieved on the original side, 5-6 minutes.  Flip and finish cooking on the second side until internal temperature reaches 160-165 on an instant read thermometer. Before removing from grill, baste burgers with hot sauce baste.

Assemble Burgers:  Place a burger on bottom half of whole wheat bun.  Top with pickled veggies and blue cheese mayo.  Top with bun top and serve passing additional Frank’s Red and blue cheese dressing on the side.



2 T extra-virgin olive

½ C yellow onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ C Arborio rice

1/3 C dry white wine (can be omitted if desired)

1 ½ – 2 C chicken or vegetable stock, heated

¼ C grape tomatoes, chopped

2 T oil-cured black olives, chopped

2 T oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 ½ t capers, chopped

1 T unsalted butter

2 T mint, chopped

1 T parsley, chopped

¼ C parmesan cheese, grated


In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until slightly softened but not browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the rice and sauté 3 minutes or until rice is translucent.

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. If you choose to omit the wine, just begin stirring in the warm broth.

Add the warmed stock, in ½ C increments, gently stirring until almost all liquid is absorbed. After the last increment of stock has been absorbed, taste for doneness. Risotto should be creamy but not overcooked. When the rice is cooked through but still chewy, add fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and capers. Off heat, finish the risotto by adding butter, mint, parsley and grated parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into warmed bowls and garnish with additional parmesan and fresh mint.

Serves 2

Notes: This recipe calls for oil-cured olives. These olives are first salt-cured and then macerated in oil.  They have a more intense flavor and a denser, meatier texture than regular brine-cured olives.  If you can’t find them, regular brine-cured olives may be substituted, but the flavor will not be as pronounced. Be sure to add them toward the end of the cooking process as the recipe suggests because they can become bitter if overcooked. The recipe also calls for a variety of short grain Italian rice called Arborio. The rice has a high starch content that produces the creamy texture required for risotto.  It is readily available at most grocery stores.



1 t garlic powder

1 t ginger

½ lemon, zest

1 ½ t coriander

1 ½ t cumin

1/2 t allspice

pinch crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

¼ t cloves

½ t smoked paprika

½ t cinnamon

1 t turmeric

¼ t nutmeg


½ C chopped fresh cilantro

½ C chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

2 scallions, minced

2 T fresh lemon juice

½ t cumin

½ t coriander

½ jalapeno, seeded and sliced – or to taste

1 T sesame oil

1 C non-fat or whole milk Greek yogurt


1 small cauliflower

1 red onion

Salt and freshly ground black pepper                                                                                                                                                             

2 T olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes before using.

For serving:

shredded lettuce or cabbage

fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapeno, prepared hummus, pistachios, if desired

Flatbread –high quality store bought or homemade flatbread


Prepare spice blend: Toast all spices in a dry skillet over medium-low heat stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 1-2 minutes. Take care not to let them burn. Once toasted, immediately remove from skillet and transfer to a plate to cool (if you leave them in the pan, they will burn.) Set aside.

Prepare Green Harissa Yogurt: Puree cilantro, parsley, garlic, scallions, lemons juice, spices, sesame oil, and ½ C of yogurt, and jalapeno (to taste) in a blender or food processor. Stir in remaining yogurt. Taste for salt and pepper, cover and chill.

Prepare the Kabobs: Cut the cauliflower into large florets. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Blanch the cauliflower for 1 minute, drain and immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain again.

Chop red onion into wedges keeping the root intact so that the wedges stay intact.

Make a marinade by mixing together 2 T olive oil, 2 T spice mix, juice of ½ lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour marinade over cauliflower and red onion wedges. Toss well so everything is well coated. Assemble the skewers alternating pieces of cauliflower and red onion.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook, turning every few minutes to get a nice even char on them. You want them to be crispy and charred on the outside but still tender on the inside.

To serve: Serve the kabobs with hummus, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeno and herbs. Drizzle with green harissa yogurt and sprinkle with pistachios. Serve with flatbreads.

Serves 2 generously



2 chicken breasts or 4 thighs, skin-on, boneless

¼ C extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 t lemon zest / juice of 1 lemon (reserved for vinaigrette)

1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, minced

½ t crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 t fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped

2 T fresh parsley leaves, chopped (reserved)

1 ½ t kosher salt

¼ t granulated sugar

2 standard size bricks * cast iron skillet or other heavy pan may be used in place of the bricks


Combine olive oil, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, anchovy, and minced garlic in a small skillet. Heat over low heat until barely simmering. Add chopped thyme and rosemary, swirling skillet to release fragrance.  Take care not to let garlic brown. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Press lightly on herbs to extract as much flavor as possible.  Set flavored oil aside.

Combine salt and sugar with reserved herb mixture.

Using your hands, carefully loosen the skin over the chicken. Spread salted herb mixture evenly under the skin. Sprinkle both skin-side and underside of chicken lightly with additional salt. Set aside in refrigerator.

Cover bricks (or heavy skillet) tightly with a double wrapping of aluminum foil.

Pour 1 t oil in a skillet and place over medium-high heat. Arrange chicken skin side down in pan and place foil covered bricks (or skillet) on top of chicken pieces.  Cook, checking after a few minutes to make sure skin isn’t taking on too much color. Reduce heat to medium if needed. Cook until skin is well browned and crisp and chicken is almost completely cooked through, about 6–8 minutes.

Remove brick and turn chicken over and cook second side (without brick) until chicken is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

Whisk lemon juice with reserved herb flavored oil. Add chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange chicken on platter skin-side up and top with a little of the herb vinaigrette. Pass extra vinaigrette separately.

Serves 2