Tag Archives: dinner

Detox Dinner

My son and fiancé are following Jennifer Schonborn‘s detox diet this week. This meal aligns with her guidelines so when they joined us for dinner we could all enjoy.
We started the meal with CREAM OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (prepared with extra virgin olive oil) and then on to the main meal.

1 5 oz package arugula
4-5 beets
raw sunflower seeds for sprinkling

Cut off stems and the thin root tail and scrub the beets. Place in a medium sized pot, fill with enough water to cover and sprinkle with sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer over medium low to medium heat. Simmer with lid on for 20 to 40 minutes until the beets are tender. Test with a toothpick, if it inserts easily they are done. Remove from heat, pour off hot water and pour cold water into the pot and let sit 10 minutes to cool. Repeat until the beets are cool enough to handle. The skin will slide right off with a little bit of pressure. Remove skins, slice in half and slice to 1/4 inch thickness. Chill the beets completely in the refrigerator. Assemble the salads just before serving; place beets on a bed of arugula, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and drizzle with lemon garlic dressing.

3 cloves garlic; crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients in a glass jar, tighten the lid and shake. Serve with a spoon or mini-ladle.

BLACK (aka forbidden) RICE
1 cup black rice; soak 1-8 hours and rinse
1 1/2 cups water

Bring rice and water to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes then reduce heat to low and continue to simmer 5 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Check by tipping the pot sideways carefully to see if any water remains.

1 clove garlic; coarsely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger; coarsely chopped
3/4 cup fresh parsley; coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine garlic, ginger, parsley, sea salt and pepper in food processor. Process until finely ground, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

2 lbs wild (Alaskan) salmon
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the salmon on a lightly oiled broiling pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn Broiler on high and place salmon under flame for 10 minutes.


Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

I make several different versions of this meal depending on the vegetables on hand. This is our weekend breakfast (or vacations when we are home to eat breakfast together). Vegetable and protein is the base. Grains can be added in the form of whole grain bread/toast or whatever left over grains that are in the fridge. Dairy to round off the meal in the form of cheese. Simple, delicious, healthy and keeps us going strong all morning.
This serves two (I have 1 egg, Xav has 2) so adjust as needed:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; minced
1 celery stalk; minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 small/1 large tomato; chopped
handful cilantro (about packed 1/4 cup); minced
dash fresh ground black pepper
3-4 eggs

Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, celery and salt. Cover and sauté for a couple minutes until the onion and celery soften. Add tomato, cilantro and pepper. Stir, cover and cook a few minutes until the juices cook out of the tomatoes. *if you are having toast, get that in the toaster now/or warm up left over grains in the microwave* Crack the eggs on top of the cooked vegetables (we like our eggs with a “runny yolk” but you can pop the yolks) cover and cook until the whites of the eggs set. Remove from heat and scoop out onto a plate as is or with grains on the side. Cheese can be sprinkled on top.

Puerto Rican Inspired Flounder, “Aranitas”, Sweet Potato Fries and Fresh Baby Greens


Puerto Rican Inspired Flounder
1 small onion; halved and sliced thin
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb flounder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
dash paprika (I used Trader Joe’s smoked)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Sweet Potato Fries
4 medium sized sweet potatoes; peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thick strips
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft and translucent. Meanwhile- toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Back to the fish dish- stack flounder in a glass baking dish 3 or 4 high. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Pour onions with olive oil over the fish and top with lemon juice. Cover the fish with aluminum foil. Place the sweet potato pan and fish dish in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the fries are soft inside and crisping on the outside. Remove from oven and sprinkle fries with salt.

Mojo Sauce; lemon garlic dipping sauce for the Aranitas
4 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch)

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and set aside.

DSC_0002Aranitas; shredded green plantain fritters
2 green plantain
canola oil for frying
sea salt to taste

Preheat a small pot with 1 1/2 inches of canola oil over high heat. Peel green plantain (slice through the skin on the “seams” and with fingers separate and pull to remove. Some will peel easily but others come off in small tedious chunks). Shred plantain using the small section of a grater into a bowl.  To test the readiness of the oil place a single strand of the plantain in the pot. If it sizzles and rises to the top immediately it is hot enough. Using two tablespoons grab and squeeze together the shredded plantain and place into the hot oil. Fry just a few at a time, don’t crowd them, so that they fry hot and fast. Remove with a slotted spoon or two forks and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until done and sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy with a fresh salad on the side. We also enjoyed one of my father’s avocados that he so generously ships to the northeast. The amanitas can be dipped in the mojo sauce or simply drizzle the mojo sauce on top. (They are also good with ketchup.)

Summer’s End Meze

The overcast sky kept the promise of sun at bay most of the morning. Being a big baby about working outside in less than perfect conditions I quickly picked what was available in the garden and returned inside with cold wet fingers. This morning was dedicated in part to canning tomato sauce. After the farmers market, with the sun’s full cooperation, I spent time outside taking care of some fall preparations in the garden. After a productive day we celebrated what is still coming out of the garden with:
DSC_0021Quinoa Tabouli
1/2 cup quinoa
1 clove garlic; crushed
1/8 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 cup tomatoes; chopped
1/2 cup peppers; chopped (I would normally use 1 cup cucumber but there are none left in the garden)
1 cup parsley; chopped
1/4 cup red onion; minced OR 1/4 cup scallions; diced

Cook quinoa- bring 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till water is absorbed (about 20 minutes), place into a glass or ceramic bowl/casserole dish and add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, stir, cover and set aside to marinate at least 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients stir and serve.

Marinated Yellow Wax Beans
2 cups yellow wax beans; cleaned and cut into 1 inch lengths
1 clove garlic; crushed
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour.

Carrot Salad
2 cups shredded carrots
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch sea salt
dash ground white pepper
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts

Combine all ingredients and set aside for at least 1 hour.

The arugula is fresh from our garden and nearly the last of the season. I ate mine with a few chunks of goat milk brie (if I had feta at home that would have been ideal) but omit for a vegan meal. Xav enjoyed his with a sprouted whole grain tortillas but any bread or flat bread will do.

Eggplant/Zucchini Parmesan a la Pietri Garden

DSC_0019Start by making the marinara sauce because it will need time to simmer and reduce. (Feel free to use 4-6 cups boxed/canned tomatoes if you don’t have access to garden fresh.)
DSC_00022 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 cups tomatoes; diced (I used a combination of heirlooms from our garden- Amish paste and brandywine pink)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1/4 cup fresh basil; chopped (1 Tblsp dried)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano (1/4 cup fresh)

DSC_0004Preheat a pot with a wide bottom over medium heat. Add oil, onion and salt. Cover and sauté until the onions are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add tomatoes and black pepper, stir, cover, raise heat to medium high to bring tomatoes to a boil then reduced heat and allowed to simmer.
Stir occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked and fall apart making
DSC_0007a sauce, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, basil and oregano, stir and allow to simmer uncovered over medium-medium high heat until the sauce reduces, about 45 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t burn on the bottom as the water reduces. Once it is a thick sauce turn off/remove from heat.

My son, Angelo, is allergic to eggplant so we modify the classic eggplant parmesan by making zucchini parmesan for at least part of the meal.
2-3 eggplant or zucchini; sliced 1/3 inch thick
sea salt
1-2 eggs; beaten
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil for frying

1 cup parmesan cheese; shredded (I actually used Locatelli’s pecorino romano)
1/2-1 cup mozzarella cheese; shredded (I use Trader Joe’s, even if they don’t have the organic at least it is from cows not treated with rBST)

DSC_0003 DSC_0005 DSC_0006
Slice the eggplant/zucchini, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 15-30 minutes. Combine oat flour, paprika and black pepper. (I grind oats in a coffee mill reserved exclusively for grinding gluten free grains, nuts and seeds)

DSC_0009 DSC_0010 DSC_0012
Cover the bottom of a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish with marinara sauce (I used 2 separate dishes because I did half eggplant and half zucchini). Preheat oven to 375. Dip the eggplant/zucchini slices in the egg and dredge in the oat flour mix, knock off the excess flour. Add a generous layer of oil to the pan, heat and fry the eggplant/zucchini on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden.

Place 1 layer of the eggplant/zucchini in the baking dish, cover with parmesan/pecorino romano cheese, another layer of eggplant/zucchini and so on until the eggplant/zucchini is all fried.
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Pour the marinara sauce over the eggplant/zucchini and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake in center of oven until the cheese has melted, and the dish heated through, 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a side of salad or, Xav’s favorite way to eat eggplant, on a hard roll. (This is a Portuguese Roll from a local family owned bakery, Bolo)