Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

There are only two of us to I cut the recipe in half and if you know me you know I love that 18 year old balsamic  vinegar. All I can say is Yum as a meal or side dish

Yield: 4 main dish servings (6 as a side)

Prep Time: 20 min

 Ingredients:

IMG_20140531_093816370

 

SALAD:

  •  Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  •  1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  •  2/3 cup chopped bell pepper (mix red/yellow/orange)
  •  3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
  •  3 green onions, sliced
  •  12 kalamata olives, sliced in half
  •  1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

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DRESSING:

  •  4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  •  1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  1 tablespoon red wine vinegar – I used 18 year old balsamic Vinegar, cause I love the stuff
  •  1 small garlic clove, minced
  •  1/4 teaspoon cumin
  •  salt and pepper, to taste

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How:

1. In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle juices on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Tips:

*Use good quality canned chickpeas for this recipe (not generic). I really think it makes a difference in the flavor of the salad.

*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, be sure to use a brand of chickpeas that is known to be GF.

 

 

Source: RecipeGirl.com (adapted from The New York Times)

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Roasted Spiced Pork, Figs and Onions

Roasted Spiced Pork, Figs and Onions

We made this in June or July but I have been taking the summer the way it should be laying back and relaxing so no posting. Today is the first official day of Fall so here I am. Lyn found this recipe in Prevention Magazine so we tried. The first time I had rather large onions and the slices in my opinion were too large so the next time I sliced thinner and it worked out nicely. Also I would quarter the figs length wise my mind automatically goes the opposite. This was not only fast – good for a week night meal-but tasty.

Note the first time we made I had no red onions just sweet white so we tried anyway both were good but I prefer the red.

Prep to table about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Red Onions  – cut into eighths or sixteenths depending on size of onion (also tried sweet white)
  • 6 fresh figs – quarter
  • 1 lbs. trimmed pork tenderloin sliced ¼” slices
  • ¾ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dry red wine

Sorry did not have picture of ingredients with red onions

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How:

Combine the cumin, salt and pepper in plastic bag add pork and toss to coat

Heat fry pan (cast iron would work best) with olive oil spray over medium-high heat.

Add pork and cook, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes.

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Transfer to plate, cover and keep warm.

Coat skillet with olive oil spray and cook onions and figs stirring until tender, about 7 minutes.  May take a little longer if you are not using a cast iron pan.

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Add ½ cup dry red wine and cook until reduced to 2 Tbsp., about 2 minutes.

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Serve alongside pork on platter.

rOASTED POEK TENDERLOIN, RED ONION AND FIG100_2026

STEAK SAUCE

STEAK SAUCE

Ingredients

  • tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 2   garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons  onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon  pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 2 teaspoons  soy sauce

First

Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion powder, pepper, and salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour all but 1 tablespoon butter mixture into bowl and let that cool slightly, about 5 minutes, save to mix in hamburger meat.

From America's Test Kitchen

Then:

  • 2 tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup  beef broth
  • 1/3 cup  raisins
  • 2 tablespoons  soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons  Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce

How:

Add tomato paste to skillet and cook over medium heat until paste begins to darken, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth, raisins, soy sauce, mustard, vinegar, and Worcestershire and simmer until raisins plump, about 5 minutes. Process sauce in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds; transfer to bowl.

Image from katedeering.com

 

 

Cuts of meat, I know I always have to ask where did it come from

 

butchering-beef

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

So its lunch time and every day I bring a salad for lunch. Usually on Sundays make one huge base salad and store in a container that you can give CPR to the top and it pushes the air out of it.freshvac

I don’t put in things like cucumbers or other things that tend to spoil quickly just the base salad. Then in the morning I grab a bunch put it in my container and add my condiments if you will. saladshakerThe condiments are things cukes, tomato, whatever I had left over from dinner last night.  My handy little container has a compartment for dressing which for me is just plain ole 18 year old balsamic vinegar.

 

Ingredients

  • Base salad
  • Organic Strawberries cut in chunks
  • Fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • ½ avocado slices
  • Cumber cut into chunks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  •  18 year old Balsamic Vinegar (you could add oil but why dilute the vinegar.)

 

How

Place all in your handy take to work container along with an orange and banana maybe some celery or carrot sticks.

Release vinegar, shake or toss and eat!

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Related articles

4 Healthy Reasons to Eat a Salad Today

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

WebMD Feature

 

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Have you had your salad today? Eating salad almost every day may be one of the most healthy eating habits you can adopt — and one of the simplest, experts say.

 

Eating salads is a super-convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Green salads are on the menu of almost every restaurant. You can even buy a side salad (with Romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes, available with fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressing) for a buck at many fast food chains these days. And you can make a green salad at home in 5 minutes, armed with a bag of pre-washed salad greens, a few carrots or other veggies, and a bottle of light salad dressing.

 

Not only that, but salads are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat (lots of textures, colors, and flavors). Most people enjoy eating salads–even kids! You can customize them to include the fruits and vegetables that appeal to you the most, and whichever ones you have on hand.

 

Here are four health reasons to reach for a salad today:

 

1. Eat Salads for the Fiber

It’s hard to believe that something we can’t even digest can be so good for us! Eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.

Read more…

Not only that, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, eating more fiber can help you feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.

 avacoda about

Avocado Health Benefits: The World’s Most Perfect Food?

It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado (Persea gratissima or P. americana) originated in Puebla, Mexico and its earliest use dates back to 10,000 years B.C. Since AD 900, the avocado tree has been cultivated and grown in Central and South America. In the 19th century, the avocado made its entry into California, and has since become a very successful commercial crop. Ninety-five percent (95%) of U.S. avocados are gown in Southern California.

The avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fiber, sodium- and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Read more here

Glazed Blueberry Chicken

Glazed Blueberry Chicken

You may have read that I am addicted to my 18 year old balsamic vinegar, well the last time I ordered online they accidentally sent me a bottle of blueberry balsamic vinegar along with that I ordered. Their mistake was quickly fixed and the blueberry was mine to play with for free!! I thought that it would be great on some fresh fruit, which it was, I tried over avocado but not quite my thing then my wife handed me the Silver Palate cook book and asked do you think you could make this. I have trouble refusing those eyes and a new recipe always excites me. After she said that she had been waiting for 25 years to try something like this what do I think about raspberry?

 

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

 

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, 2 1/2 to 3 lbs., cut into quarters (or I just use boneless thighs)*
  • 1/2 c blueberry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c blueberry chutney
  • chopped Italian parsley and grated zest of an orange for garnish

 

*Note: I just used 2 bone in chicken breast there is only 2 of us but did make the same amount of marinade since it would become the sauce.

 

How:

Combine chicken quarters, blueberry vinegar, and thyme in a bowl and marinate 2 hours.

marinate

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange chicken, skin side up, in a glass baking dish. Reserve marinade. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and coat with chutney.

Set baking dish on the center rack of the oven and bake, uncovered, 40 minutes, or until done. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, cover, and keep warm.

roast

Skim the fat from the cooking juices and move to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the marinade and bring to a boil. Reduce by 1/3 or until sauce is lightly thickened.  Pour over chicken and garnish with fresh parsley and orange zest. (You can also stir in some fresh blueberries to the sauce in the saucepan when you are simmering that.)

sauce

Serve.

Bluebery glazed Chicken SERVE

Other posts

Balsamic Vinegar

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Hard Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing

crispin_ciders

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup hard apple cider
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (about ½ orange)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (used our 18 year old)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

How

Bring cider, juice and honey to a boil in a small saucepan.

Cook 10 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Pour into a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Add shallots, vinegar, Dijon salt and pepper stir with a whisk. Gradually add the olive oil stirring constantly with a whisk.

Set aside.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

For my birthday my wife gave us a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen which was great had a really good time which started with Pina Coladas on the beach but those are both another story for another time.

This post is about my love of Balsamic Vinegar.

Hanging with the chef

Hanging with the chef

A few years back we discovered eighteen year old balsamic vinegar at LeRoux Kitchen in Portland Maine. You can drink this stuff it’s just so good. They are online but also have stores at Martha’s Vineyard, MA and Portsmouth, NH so where Stonewall Kitchen is in York Maine we decided to stay just a few minutes away in Portsmouth NH on the river. Portsmouth has a nice walking downtown with small shops and a lot of restaurants it has the feel of a college town with a touch of tourism to me.

View from the room PortsmouthNorthChurch_lg Portsmouth Downtown

Anyway, armed with our 5 empty bottles we clinked our way to the store and had them refilled. All set for a few months now. Which brings me to the point of this post Vinaigrette dressings they can be simple or complicated but once you get in the habit of making your own fresh you will not go back to the off the shelf bottle. Ok maybe in a pinch.

I mostly wing it but here are a few that I have made or tried. Oh before I forget they are not just for salads so experiment and see. Let me know some of your favorites.

How: They all prepare similarly so

Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Nice little gadget!

Nice little gadget! I snuffed at first.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Note: With a good quality balsamic you may not need to add a sweetener that depends on your tooth as the saying goes.

My version of someone’s house dressing

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard – Trader Joe’s add a kick
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced finely if you like a stronger garlic flavor
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Another twist

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced if you like a stronger garlic flavor

Yet another twist

  • 1/4 cup red wine (any variety)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fruit jam or 2 teaspoons jelly
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Options:

  • Try a teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Add some grated cheese
  • Chopped cilantro or mint or oregano or…..

 Maple vinaigrette dressing (Cooks.com)

  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz malt vinegar
  • 2 oz rice vinegar
  • 1 clove fresh chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 9 oz olive oil
  • 4 oz maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cilantro

How:

Add garlic and vinegars together and let sit overnight to infuse flavors. Strain. (Garlic pieces may be left in for stronger garlic taste.)

Blend oil, vinegars and mustard until mixture is well emulsified. Stir in maple syrup. Add cilantro, pepper and oregano (to taste). Stir and shake well prior to serving.

May substitute vinegar favorites, berry syrups for maple and substitute or add favorite spices to taste. Oil/vinegar ratio may also be adjusted to taste.

 Basil Vinaigrette (simplyrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 shallot, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup olive oil

How:

1 Place the salt, sugar, mustard, shallot and basil in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Scrape the sides of the blender down with a spatula. Add the vinegar and pulse again.

2 Turn the blender on low and take off the cap in the center of the blender’s lid. Slowly pour in the olive oil. It may sputter a little out of the open cap, so hold you hand over it to minimize splashing.

3 When the olive oil is incorporated, turn off the blender and scrape the sides down one more time. Cover and purée everything for 1-2 minutes.

Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Oils|Vinegars Subcategory images

White and Dark balsamic Vinegar

I was told at the class that the difference is the dark is cooked but here is another opinion that backs that up …to say it’s just the color is a little too simple…balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes and are fermented over decades…they take some out after a year and cook it under pressure to maintain its clearness, and that is the white balsamic….the other as I said is left to ferment for years and that’s the dark. Me again..I should add that now a days the grocery stores have a way to speed up the process

I believe with the good stuff that each year stated the vinegar is processed in another barrel.

balsamic_battery

About Balsamic Vinegar here is an interesting article

Because balsamic vinegar is one of olive oil’s natural companions, we thought it might be useful to discuss in some detail this complex product, especially since prices can fluctuate even more wildly than olive oil (between a $3.00 pint and a $50.00 ounce).

The highest art of vinegar (aceto in Italian) making in Italy is known as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (ABT).  Sadly, the reputation of this exceptional product has been bastardized by low-grade products bearing the same name and which only ever so faintly resemble the real thing.  There are, however, two bits of good news.  First, it is quite simple to recognize a ‘real’ ABT.  It will be always be sold in one of two distinct bottle types (the difference being that of the two competing DOC’s, Modena and Reggio Emilia, both strictly controlled by respective ‘Consorzios’1). Second, you do not always need the best balsamico for every dish and, in fact, that might be ill-advised even if you could afford it. Read more