Archives for posts with tag: bell peppers

Italian Sausage

Grill or broil whatever sausage (turkey, pork, chicken, tofu) you prefer according to the package’s directions.

Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta 

Farro Salad_Web

I didn’t actually make this for dinner this week – I brought it to Easter dinner at my in-law’s. They were having a buffet and I needed a side dish that I could make the night before and serve at room temperature. I make this salad a lot because I love farro and it holds up well. Think of it as a heartier (and tastier) pasta salad.

Note: use whatever vegetables you prefer, such as zucchini for some green. I’ve even added canned artichoke hearts.

1 cup farro
1/4 cup + 2 TB. olive oil
2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), chopped into 1/2-1 inch pieces
1 red onion
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 ts. dijon mustard
pinch of sugar
1-2 TB. red wine vinegar
salt and ground pepper

Cook the farro according to the directions on the box. Sometimes I buy Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro which is pretty good if you want to make this even faster. When the farro is finished, drain and run cool water over it to bring the temperature down.

Toss bell peppers, onion and garlic with 2 TB. olive oil and roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Chopped Peppers_Web

While the farro and vegetables are cooking, prepare your dressing. Add vinegar, dijon mustard, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to a bowl and whisk until mixed together. Continue to whisk while you slowly add 1/4 cup of olive oil and set aside.

When the farro and vegetables are finished (and cooled down slightly), toss them in a bowl together with the feta and dressing.

I love anticipation. There is no better feeling than the excitement leading up to a big holiday or great vacation. Anticipation is especially strong when you are a kid – how many of us barely slept on Christmas Eve – but fortunately it is one of those few experiences that doesn’t totally go away as you get older. Of course, as an adult what we get excited about changes, but the fun of it stays the same.

After the long, hard winter I have been eagerly anticipating spring. That means getting excited about the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, tulips along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and of course, asparagus and peas at the farmers market. Like a kid before Christmas who tries to find their presents in their parent’s closet I may have cheated a bit this week… I jumped the gun and bought some California asparagus at the grocery store because I just couldn’t bear to wait any longer. I would like to say that I regret it, but honestly I don’t. I needed that taste of spring and I’m happy to share my recipe with you.


The first asparagus and peas of 2014

Meal #1: Penne with Asparagus, Scallions, Peas and Prosciutto
Meal #2: Mustard Crusted Branzino + Sautéed Spinach
Meal #3: Italian Sausage and Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta
Meal #4: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta + Sautéed Green Beans with Shallots

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items: 

asparagus – 1 bunch
bell peppers – 2 (red, yellow or orange)
red onion – 1
scallions – 1 bunch (5 or so )
frozen or fresh peas – 1 cup
spinach – 2 bags or bunches
green beans – 1 1/2 lb.
grape or cherry tomatoes – 1 pint
shallots – 7
lemon -1
thyme – 1 bunch
box of penne
farro – 1 cup
breadcrumbs – 1 cup
half and half or heavy cream – small container
feta cheese – 1 cup
Spanish olives – 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
whole grain mustard (if you don’t already have it)
pine nuts (optional) – 2 TB.
prosciutto – 1/4 lb.
Italian Sausage – 1 or 2 links per person
bone-in, skin-0n chicken thighs – 8 or approx. 2 1/2 lb.
branzino or trout – whole (two fish, 2 lb. each) or filet (6-8 oz. per person)

I love ordering chicken fajitas and being presented with a sizzling plate while everyone in the restaurant looks on in envy. Ever since our neighborhood Mexican place feel prey to a luxury condo building we have been sorely in need of some at-home fajitas. I’ve been making this recipe, adapted from Weight Watchers, for over a decade. They lack the presentation drama of restaurant fajitas, but they are just as good, and I bet this is a meal that kids would love.

IMG_1098 web

 Chicken Fajitas 

2 TB. fresh lime juice
1 TB. soy sauce
1/2 ts. chili powder
1/4 ts. ground cumin
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 TB. vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced

In a quart-sized sealable plastic bag, combine lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder, cumin and pepper flakes; add the chicken. Seal the bag and turn to coat the chicken. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain the chicken and set aside; discard the marinade.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TB. of vegetable oil. Saute the peppers and onions until softened, about 8-10 minutes, adding a bit of water if the mixture gets too dry. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Saute the chicken until cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Add the pepper and onion mixture to the skillet to re-heat.

Soften tortillas according to the package directions. Serve fajitas with whatever condiments you desire – I like guacamole and sour cream (you can use plain, greek yogurt to keep it healthy).

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This is very much a mix and taste kind of salad. I never measure the salsa or oil and vinegar – I just add a little at a time and taste it until I am happy with the end result.

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can or bag of corn, rinsed and drained (defrosted if frozen)
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
olive oil
red wine vinegar

Toss the first four ingredients in a bowl. Add salsa (maybe 1/4 cup?), oil and vinegar (1 TB each?) and mix. Taste and adjust to your liking.



Well this has been a crazy weather week! We started off with an absolutely beautiful weekend in NYC where it would not have been crazy at all to wear shorts and then bam – 30 degrees slams you in the face! Some of you probably even got some snow. Sorry about that. With Passover and Easter so late this year I thought we were guaranteed a holiday meal with local asparagus, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more weeks for those beautiful stalks to hit the farmers markets. Fortunately the first ramps of the season have been spotted and it is only a matter of time before everything else starts rolling in.  I can’t wait! I’ll be the first to say that I am pretty sick of what I’ve been cooking lately and I am ready to prepare and share with you some new recipes. In the meanwhile here’s a new meal plan with two new recipes and two repeats.

Eliza enjoying the sun at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Eliza enjoying the sun at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Meal #1: Chicken Fajitas + Black Bean and Corn Salad
Meal #2: Brussels Sprouts and Pork (or Beef) Stir Fry + Rice
Meal #3: Penne with Swiss Chard and Kielbasa
Meal #4: Fennel and Garlic Shrimp + French Bread

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

limes – 2
red bell pepper – 1
yellow or orange bell pepper – 1
onion – 1
scallions – 1 bunch
carrots – 2
jalapeño – 1
grape or cherry tomatoes – 1 pint
Swiss chard (preferably red) – 1 large bunch
fennel – 2 bulbs
Brussels sprouts – 1 lb.
parsley – 1 bunch
ginger – 1 small piece
can of black beans – 1
can (or bag) of corn – 1
French bread
soy sauce (if you don’t already have it)
chili powder (if you don’t already have it)
ground cumin (if you don’t already have it)
crushed red pepper flakes (if you don’t already have it)
parmesan (if you don’t already have it)
oyster sauce (if you don’t already have it)
rice vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
skinless, boneless chicken breasts – 1 lb.
kielbasa – 1/2 lb.
shrimp – 2 lb.
skirt steak – 1/2 lb.
Pernod (optional)