Monday, July 16, 2012

Moroccan Chicken with Fennel

CSA Ingredients: fennel, mushrooms and red onion

This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I found at:

I love fennel!  I have often used it raw in salad but it is so good cooked.

Chicken and Fennel



  1. Combine spices with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Season chicken to coat both sides.
  2. Preheat large nonstick skillet, add olive oil. Cook chicken breasts about 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken and keep warm.  Chicken might be slightly pink inside at this point. 
  3. Add the fennel and onions to the pan and saute for 7 mnutes or so. The fennel should be tender but not mushy.
  4. Boil two cups of water with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add couscous to water and turn off heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the grains before serving.
  5. Add juice bring to a boil for about 1 minute.  Stir until it just begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add chicken and chopped fennel, cover the pan with the lid cook 2 more minutes.  Chicken should be cooked until fully cooked but do not overcook so your chicken is moist.
  7. Spoon coucous onto plate, with chicken and fennel and onions. Spoon portion of sauce on top.
In the photos I had added some mushrooms I had in my CSA box but their delicate flavor was lost with the rich spices so I would not do it again.

Kitchen tip: we don't drink much juice but it sometime's nice to have some OJ for cooking.  I take OJ and put into ice cube trays and freeze.  I keep a freezer bag full of the OJ cubes and when I want to use it to cook I can use just the amount I need.  I also do this with broth.

This recipe had 5 stars from everyone!!

Recipe Review: Eggplant Involtini

This recipe is from Cooking Light APRIL 2012- it highlighted several of this weeks CSA items so I was excited to give it a try!
CSA ingredients: eggplant, garlic and some Parmigiano cheese from our cheese subscription (we get family friendly cheeses every other week)
  • Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 3 eggplant rolls)
  • Ready In Time:1 Hour, 30 Minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and divided
  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) lengthwise slices eggplant (about 2 medium)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 ounce whole-wheat French bread, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup) and divided


1. Combine oil and tomatoes in a medium saucepan; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Cool 10 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.
2. Preheat broiler to high.
3. Sprinkle eggplant slices evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; arrange slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat eggplant with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375°.
5. Place remaining 2 garlic cloves in a mini food processor; pulse until chopped. Add nuts and bread; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Add ricotta, rind, and egg; process until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

6. Spread 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture onto each eggplant slice; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place rolls, seam sides down, over sauce in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining basil.

My version:  This recipe is fairly time consuming.  I used bottled marinara (my favorite is 3 cheese from Trader Joe's) since I did not have too much time today.   So I started at Step 2.  Cut eggplant very thin.  Since the kids are not eggplant fans I added extra tomato sauce and cooked some pasta.  I used the sauce from the eggplant over the pasta for the kids.  Lexi however ate 2 servings of eggplant so I have won one over!  Also if you do not have the french bread on hand bread crumbs can be used in place. 

To seed a tomato simply cut it half and scoop out the center part that is full of seeds the same way you would seed a canaloupe. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wheatberries and summer vegetable salad

What are wheatberries? It is a whole grain that is rich in protein and fiber.  1/4 cup of this nutrient rich grain has 7grams of protein and 5grams of fiber with only 1 gram of fat (unsaturated).  It is also called farro.  It is simple to cook, like rice.

We can purchase wheatberries through our CSA.  In the above salad I used pearled farro (pearling removes the outer husk and shortens cooking time) with summer vegetables mostly from our garden.


4 cups water
2 cups pearled farro (if not pearled adjust cooking time)
2 red bell peppers (or any color), chopped
2 regular sized cucumbers or 1 large, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 scallion, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

To prepare farro:  bring water to a boil.  Add 1/2 tsp salt.  Add farro and reduce heat to medium-low  Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until tender to taste.  Drain any excess water and cool to room temperature.

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (1/2-1 tsp of each to taste).  Pour dressing over farro and blend.  Mix in vegetables but hold fresh herbs.  May prepare up to this step ahead of time (up to one day ahead).

Mix in fresh herbs and serve.

1 cup of this salad has 177 calories, 20 grams carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein and fiber.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More beets please....

CSA ingredient: beets

Mixed greens with melon, proscuitto and beets

I still had roasted beets left from when I roasted the most recent batch.  I enjoyed this salad inspired by a long standing pair honeydo melon and proscuitto.


4 cups mixed greens
2 cups thinly sliced peeled honeydo melon
4 pieces thinly sliced proscuitto in bite sized pieces
2 medium beets thinly sliced, chilled
1/4 cup olive oil
1tbsp balsalmic vinegar
1/2 juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Mix olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Put melon, beets and proscuitto on top of greens. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.