Mediterranean – Starters

Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salsa with Baked Corn Chips

2 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and diced
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 hot pepper, deseeded and minced
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. cilantro, minced
¼ tsp. Sea salt
Corn tortillas
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375º. In a bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Cut tortilla into bite-sized triangles. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Bake 10 minutes, or until crispy.

Baba Ganouj

2 large eggplants
olive oil
2 tbsp. toasted sesame tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
Dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly coat eggplant with olive oil.  Place in oven with the cut side down.  Cook 35-40 minutes or until eggplant is soft and shriveled.  In a food processor combine sesame tahini, lemon juice, chopped parsley, garlic, sea salt, black pepper and a dash of cayenne.  Add eggplant and pulse until ingredients are mixed.

Fire-Roasted Red Pepper

4 red bell peppers
Brown paper bag
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Place each red pepper directly on the burner or grill.  Cook on high heat, and turn a few times until the entire pepper is black.  Put peppers into a paper bag for 1-2 hours.  Remove the black skins and rinse pepper under water until clean.  Dry with paper towels.  Slice the pepper open and deseed.  Cut into strips.  In a glass gar, combine olive oil, sea salt and garlic.  Add peppers into the jar.  Cool in the refrigerator.  Can be stored for up to 3 weeks.

Polenta with Sautéed Shitake Mushrooms, Turkey Sausage and Greens

6 cups water
2 cups cornmeal
1½ tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. butter (or olive oil)
3 spring onions, bulb and greens, minced
8-10 shitake mushrooms
1 pound ground turkey sausage (can substitute diced tempeh)
2 cups baby greens (pak choi, bok choy, etc.)
½ cup chicken stock or veggie stock
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
½ cup raw milk cheese (optional)

Combine water and cornmeal.  Bring to a boil and reduce flame to medium/low.  Add 1 tsp. sea salt.  Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps.  While polenta is cooking, sauté onion in butter or olive oil for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.  Add ground turkey sausage and break into small pieces as it cooks.  Add greens, chicken stock, remaining ½ tsp. sea salt and thyme.  Continue cooking 5-7 minutes or until greens are soft.  Pour the cooked polenta into a 9×13 casserole dish.  Let sit 2-3 minutes to gel.  Top the polenta with sautéed vegetables and sausage.  Sprinkle lightly with cheese and bake at 375º for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.  Yields: 8 servings.

Hearty Lentil and Winter Veggie Stew

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces (use both white and green part of leek)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
5 cups chicken stock (or water)
2 cans lentils, rinsed
2 parsnips, diced into ½ inch pieces
3 carrots, diced into ½ inch pieces
1 medium celeriac root, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
1 yukon gold potato, diced into ½ inch cubes 
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 package Applegate Farms Turkey Sausage (4 links), diced
1/4 cup parsley, minced

Sauté leek and garlic 2-3 minutes.  Add chicken stock, parsnips, carrots, celeriac root, potato, thyme, sea salt and black pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower flame to medium and cook 20-25 minutes.  Remove 1/3 of the ingredients and puree in a food processor or blender.  Return the puree to the soup.   Add turkey sausage and parsley and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.  

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Round Out the Meal: Steamed Kale
Kid Friendly: All meals are kid friendly!
Wine Pairing: Water is best with this dense and hearty stew

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