Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

YIELDS | 8-10 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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Summer is finally here, Yay! Here is one of my all-time favorite summer salads. It is a combination of watermelon, mint and feta cheese, a little olive oil, a big squirt of fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. It’s so VERY easy and full of nutrients in every-juicy-bite.

INGREDIENTS

* 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp. Kosher salt
* 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice or to taste
* 4 Cups cubed seedless watermelon
* 1 Cup Feta, coarsely chopped.
* 1/2 Cup mint or more to taste, coarsely chopped plus more for garnish
* Flaky sea salt
* Freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, and lime juice. 
2. To a large large serving bowl, add the watermelon, cucumber, feta, and mint. Pour the dressing over the fruit and toss gently to combine.
3. Garnish with more mint and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. 

NOTES

Salt brings out the sweetness in watermelon.
I prefer to use regular Feta cheese over pre-crumbled feta. Regular Feta cheese adds a wonderfully creamy texture.

Greek Quinoa Salad

YIELDS | 6-8 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 30 MINS

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Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and loaded with protein. This salad explodes with flavor. The chewy chickpeas, cool cucumber and savory lemon vinaigrette make it a healthy crowd pleasing dish. Add a couple handfuls of spinach or some grilled shrimp to make a complete meal.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 cups chicken stock or more if needed
• 1 cup dry quinoa
• 1⁄2 cup green lentils
• 1⁄2 cup red pepper, diced
• 1⁄2 cup green pepper, diced
• 1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced
• 1⁄4 cup green onion, diced
• 1⁄4 cup black olives
• 2 tablespoons capers, minced
• 1⁄4 cup red onion, diced
• 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
• Freshly ground pepper and kosher salt
• Pita, optional

Dressing
• 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
• 2 Tbsps olive oil
• 1 Tsp garlic, minced about 1-2 cloves
• 1 Tsp dried basill
• 1⁄2 Tsp oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the quinoa and lentils according to its instructions but substitute broth for water, drain and bring to room temperature or refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
2. In a medium serving bowl, add the cooked quinoa and lentils, vegetables, chickpeas, black olives, capers and mix gently.
3. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, minced garlic, basil, oregano together. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetables. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the mixture and gently stir. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt.
4. Serve at room temperature with warm pita, if using.

NOTES

Happy Eating!

Lamb Kofta Kebabs

YIELDS | X SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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These middle eastern meat pies are savory, loaded with flavor and delicious the next day served with eggs. Serve with grilled vegetables or rice and tzatziki sauce.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound ground lamb, ground beef or a combination of the two
• 2-3 garlic cloves
• 1/2-1 inch piece ginger, peeled
• 2 shallots, peeled
• 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
• 2 tsp cumin
• 2 tsp coriander
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add all the ingredients, except the ground lamb, to a food processor and pulse until the garlic and ginger are finely minced, about 20-30 seconds.
2. Evenly add the spice mixture to the ground lamb and mix into the meat
3. Take a large spoonful of the mixture and form into a meatball. Thread onto the skewer and roll the meat to flatten it into a cylinder. Do this with the remaining mixture. Aim for 8 kebabs.
4. Heat grill to high heat. Place kebabs on grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Turn and cook another 5-7 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Remove from the grill and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
5. Serve with grilled veggies and or rice and a side of Tzatziki sauce.

NOTES

Happy Eating!

Persian Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Feta and Onion

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 25 MINS

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This recipe is remarkably filling for being meatless. Use a veggie-based cheese and it becomes vegan. It is crunchy, soft, savory and 100% delicious. I adapted this recipe from the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday cooking section. It has a few more ingredients that I’d like to use but the recipe is beautiful, interesting and well worth the effort.

INGREDIENTS

• 1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1 large onion, diced
• 4 teaspoons turmeric
• 2 teaspoons cumin powder
• 1 teaspoon Chile pepper flakes
• 1⁄3 cup lemon juice
• 1⁄2 cup water
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
• 1 cup crumbled feta
• 1⁄2 cup toasted sliced almonds or toasted cashews
• 1⁄4 cup torn basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Set broiler to high.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent and soft, about 4 minutes. Add turmeric and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes more. Add cumin, chile flakes and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes more.
3. Pour in lemon juice and water. Cover and let mixture simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until mixture thickens about 2-3 minutes more. Add splashes of water if onions look dry or begin to brown too quickly.
4. In a large skillet, heat 1⁄3 cup olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper zucchini on both sides. Lay zucchini into hot oil, cut-sides down, and fry until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. Flip and fry until reverse sides are golden, about 2 minutes more. Set zucchini aside on a sheet pan, covered with parchment.
5. Spread onion mixture over fried zucchini halves and top with feta. Broil zucchini until cheese browns in spots, about 2 minutes.
6. Garnish with toasted nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and basil.

NOTES

Happy Eating!

Spiced Chickpea Salad with Tahini and Pita

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 50 MINS

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This recipe is an adaptation of the vegetarian cookbook author, Hetty McKinnon. The smokiness of the cumin mixed with the crunchy chickpeas and silky tahini make this dish a warming, satisfying meal you will want to serve again and again.

INGREDIENTS

For The Chickpeas:
• 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, well drained, or 4 cups cooked chickpeas
• 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin, or 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon sweet paprika Salt and pepper
ou wilY he Tahini Sauce:
• 1⁄3 cup tahini
• Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• Warm water, as needed
• Olive oil, for cooking
• About 10 ounces kale, chard or spinach, well washed and thick stems removed, coarsely chopped
• 4 pitas, broiled in oven or grilled to slightly charred
• 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup of roughly chopped mint
• 1 large or 2 small cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced, optional
• Lemon, cut into wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Pour the chickpeas into a small baking dish, about 6 inches by 8 inches. The chickpeas should be crowded together in a thick layer, not spread out. Pour in olive oil just until chickpeas are covered.
3. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and 2 generous pinches each of salt and pepper. Stir and bake until oil is bubbling around the chickpeas and they are turning reddish- brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile, make tahini sauce: Pour tahini into a bowl and whisk in lemon juice and garlic. The tahini will thicken and clump. Slowly whisk in warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce becomes smooth, creamy and pourable. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice, if desired. Set aside.
5. Cook the greens: Place a large frying pan over medium heat and drizzle lightly with olive oil. When hot, add the greens in batches, along with a big pinch of salt. Stir until wilted and tender and set aside.
6. When ready to serve, in a large bowl, gently mix chickpeas and their cooking oil with the cooked greens, the torn pita and the chopped herbs. Mound chickpea mixture in 4 shallow bowls. Divide cucumber slices around chickpeas. Drizzle thickly with half the tahini sauce and place one half pita on top of each plate. Place a lemon wedge on the side and serve extra tahini sauce along side.

NOTES

Double Duty Recipe:
Coconut and Tahini, Chick Pea Soup:
Make double the above recipe minus the sautéed greens. Add the can of coconut milk to a high-speed blender and then add the warm chickpeas and tahini mixture. Blend on medium high for 15-30 seconds to form a semi-smooth consistency or blend longer if you prefer a very smooth consistency. Refrigerate for up to a week. When ready to use, serve warm with warm naan or a crusty French bread and a crisp green salad.

Happy Eating!

Roasted Winter Squash with Turmeric-Ginger Chickpeas

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 20 MINS

COOK TIME | 40 MINS

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I have seen at least eight versions of this recipe and I have taken or combined the best of to make my version of this warm and utterly satisfying recipe. The turmeric gives it an earthy vibe and the ginger brightens up the squash and chickpeas. The drizzle of honey brings it all together in a dish that works all year round.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 pounds squash, such as butternut, honeynut, acorn or kabocha, cut in half, scrape out seeds and cut I to 1” slices
• 10 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
• Avocados or other neutral oil Kosher salt and black pepper
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
• 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
• 1-2” piece ginger, peeled and grated
• 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup mixed torn fresh herbs, such as mint, cilantro, parsley, chervil
• 3 tablespoons dill, chopped
• 4 cups arugula
• 1⁄2 cup whole-milk yogurt
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash and thyme with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Roast until the squash is tender and just beginning to turn golden-brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
2. As squash roasts, toss the onion, vinegar, garlic, turmeric and ginger in a large bowl; let marinate at least 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the remaining 1/4 cup oil and stir to coat. Toss in half the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide the salad greens among 4 bowls and top with the roasted squash. Serve with a generous amount of the marinated chickpeas, and a dollop of yogurt. Garnish with the walnuts, if using, drizzle honey over mixture and the remaining herbs.

NOTES

Make a head up to two days and add the fresh herbs just before serving. Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make a more robust meal.