Saturday, March 30, 2019

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries


I love lemon desserts - cakes, pies, bars, you name it. There's something about the sweet and sour aspect of them that I adore, and when lemon zest is added, it always adds an extra layer of brightness. This cake is super simple and comes together quickly if you need a last minute dessert. I shared this dessert with my parents and we all agreed it would be even better with a little dollop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top.



1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray. (You can also use an 8-inch nonstick cake pan as well.)
2. Beat eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined.


3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture, along with the olive oil, lemon zest/juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir until just combined.




4. Pour batter into the prepared cast iron skillet or cake can. Bake for 25 minutes.

5. Once out of the oven, allow the cake for cool for at least 10 minutes, then top with fresh-cut strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices.





Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries
Serves 8

All you need:
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup olive oil
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh cut strawberries, for garnish
Powdered sugar, for dusting

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray. (You can also use an 8-inch nonstick cake pan as well.)
2. Beat eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture, along with the olive oil, lemon zest/juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
4. Pour batter into the prepared cast iron skillet or cake can. Bake for 25 minutes.
5. Once out of the oven, allow the cake for cool for at least 10 minutes, then top with fresh-cut strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Galette


Asparagus season is almost upon us! I love it prepared all kinds of ways - steamed, roasted, grilled, pickled - but it also pairs nicely with pie dough. This galette is super simple, but looks fancy, making it a great addition to your next brunch or lunch. Pair this with a simple green salad or fresh fruit.


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Place flour, salt, butter and cream cheese in a food processor and process to combine. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.




3. Meanwhile, combine cherry tomatoes, asparagus, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in a mixing bowl.


4. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle with flour. Unwrap the dough and place on top. Roll dough into a large circle. Spread herb cheese onto the middle of the dough and top with tomato/asparagus mixture. Fold up the sides.





5. Transfer the galette (keep it on the parchment paper) to a large baking sheet. Brush the edges with beaten egg. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.


6. Once out of the oven, allow the galette to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan and cut into wedges.


Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Galette 
Serves 6

All you need:
Dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
4 tablespoons ice water

Filling
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 sprig fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped
1 (5.2 oz.) package shallot and chive herb cheese (like Boursin)

1 beaten egg, for brushing
Grated parmesan, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Place flour, salt, butter and cream cheese in a food processor and process to combine. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine cherry tomatoes, asparagus, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in a mixing bowl.
4. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle with flour. Unwrap the dough and place on top. Roll dough into a large circle. Spread herb cheese onto the middle of the dough and top with tomato/asparagus mixture. Fold up the sides.
5. Transfer the galette (keep it on the parchment paper) to a large baking sheet. Brush the edges with beaten egg. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
6. Once out of the oven, allow the galette to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan and cut into wedges.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Turkey and Veggie Moussaka


Moussaka is an eggplant or potato-based dish, often including ground meat, popular in the Mediterranean regions. I love it's unique flavor! I decided to add extra veggies and use ground turkey instead of lamb to really bulk up the nutrition value. This is definitely a meal on it's own, but it would be great with crusty bread and salad on the side. Pair this dish with a glass of bold red wine.


1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9 baking dish lightly with cooking spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the veggies. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes longer. Add white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the remaining filling ingredients as well as the cooked turkey and stir to combine. Place turkey mixture in the prepared baking dish.





4. Place the topping ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour evenly over the turkey mixture. Bake for 1 hour.



5. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and garnish with more parsley.



Turkey and Veggie Moussaka 
Serves 8-10

All you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small eggplant, diced
1 large (or 2 small) zucchinis, diced
1 large Yukon gold potato, diced
1/3 cup white wine
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
Juice of 1 lemon

Topping
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9 baking dish lightly with cooking spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the veggies. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes longer. Add white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the remaining filling ingredients as well as the cooked turkey and stir to combine. Place turkey mixture in the prepared baking dish.
4. Place the topping ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour evenly over the turkey mixture. Bake for 1 hour.
5. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and garnish with more parsley.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Instant Pot Beefy Bean Chili


A while back, I bought some beans from Shady Side Farm at our local farmer's market (https://shadysidefarm.com/). They have such a wonderful variety of beans and even though I use canned beans often for the convenience, fresh beans just taste better! If you have a pressure cooker, they cook up in under an hour and add great texture (and nutrition) to chilis and soups. If you would prefer to use a slow cooker, simply brown the beef, onion and celery and add to a slow cooker; add the remaining ingredients and cook on LOW for 8 hours.



1. Turn your instant pot to "saute" and add olive oil, beef, onion and celery. Cook until the beef has browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Add beef stock, sweet potato, jalapeno, spices and beans and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir again. Turn off the "saute" function.





3. Place lid on the instant pot and turn the valve to "sealing". Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
4. Once the time is up, carefully release the pressure. Remove lid and add fresh lime juice.

5. Combine sour cream and salsa in a small bowl. Ladle chili into bowls and top with the sour cream mixture, cheese and tortilla chips.







Instant Pot Beefy Bean Chili
Serves 8

All you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound dried beans
2 (14.5 oz.) cans fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Juice of 1 lime

Garnishes:
1/2 cup sour cream + 2 tablespoons salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

All you do:
1. Turn your instant pot to "saute" and add olive oil, beef, onion and celery. Cook until the beef has browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add beef stock, sweet potato, jalapeno, spices and beans and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir again. Turn off the "saute" function.
3. Place lid on the instant pot and turn the valve to "sealing". Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
4. Once the time is up, carefully release the pressure. Remove lid and add fresh lime juice.
5. Combine sour cream and salsa in a small bowl. Ladle chili into bowls and top with the sour cream mixture, cheese and tortilla chips.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burgers

This recipe combines two of my favorite ingredients: sweet potato and chickpeas. They both work together so nicely in this burger recipe - the sweet potato provides sweetness and creaminess and the beans provide texture and protein. I enjoy mine topped with avocado and fresh citrus, but feel free to top them with any of your favorite condiments. 


1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until tender. Drain.
3. In a large bowl, mash the garbanzo beans and cooked sweet potatoes together. Add brown rice, ground walnuts and spices and stir to combine.




4. Shape the sweet potato mixture into 8 equally sized patties (I used an ice cream scoop to make sure they were all the same size). Bake the burgers for 20 minutes. Carefully flip them over and bake for 15 minutes longer.



5. Once out of the oven, squeeze fresh lime juice over each burger. Top with sliced avocado and serve on buns or lettuce wraps.



Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burgers
Serves 4-6

All you need:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into large chunks
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cooking spray

Fresh lime juice, for finishing
Buns or lettuce wraps, for serving
Sliced avocado, for garnishing

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until tender. Drain.
3. In a large bowl, mash the garbanzo beans and cooked sweet potatoes together. Add brown rice, ground walnuts and spices and stir to combine.
4. Shape the sweet potato mixture into 8 equally sized patties (I used an ice cream scoop to make sure they were all the same size). Bake the burgers for 20 minutes. Carefully flip them over and bake for 15 minutes longer.
5. Once out of the oven, squeeze fresh lime juice over each burger. Top with sliced avocado and serve on buns or lettuce wraps.