One Pan Roasted Halibut with Fennel, Oranges & Olives

IMG_0270After another great and intense weekend of my yoga teacher training, it’s really nice to get home on Sunday evening and go into the kitchen, start with a glass of Prosecco and prepare dinner. I mean I REALLY enjoy this! No need to go out and grab dinner somewhere else. Just relax with a bit of cooking and eating at home :)

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The past Sunday I made an awesome dish that is very easy to prepare and roast all in one pan in the oven. The halibut was from the local fishmonger, caught in Santa Barbara. If you can’t get halibut or you would like to opt for a bit less pricey fish, you can use cod as well.

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It takes about 15 minutes of preparation and 10-12 minutes of cooking. So overall, you can enjoy your dinner within half an hour. So there is still enough to relax with a nice glass of wine in front of the TV afterwards :)

How was your Sunday?

Roasted Halibut with Fennel, Oranges & Olives

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2

Roasted Halibut with Fennel, Oranges & Olives

An easy one-pan dish that's low carb and gluten free and yet satisfying and full of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pitted Nicoise olives, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound halibut fillet, cut into 2 inch thick pieces (alternatively, you can use cod)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

With a zester or fine grater, remove 1 teaspoon of orange zest. Use a large, sharp knife to trim away all the peel and pith from the orange. Hold the peeled fruit over the bowl and cut in between the membranes to free the orange segments; you should have about ½ cup. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl to extract the juice; you want 1/8 cup. (Reserve any extra for another use.) Add the zest and segments to the bowl.

Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise, slice it thinly and add to the bowl with the orange segments. Add the olive oil, olives, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

Spread everything out evenly into a baking-proof pan. Place the fish fillets on top. Sprinkle with remaining the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness.

Enjoy!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/roasted-halibut-with-fennel-oranges-olives/

 

Red Snapper Veracruz

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This week’s caught at the Farmer’s Market was “Rockfish”, better known as Pacific Red Snapper. My one-pound package included 2 large fillets and a smaller one (that I saved for next days lunch). If you can’t get Red Snapper or you don’t like it, any flaky and firm fish will work, such as halibut, cod or sea bass.

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Looking into my fridge, I found more of those beautiful Roma tomatoes from which I had made this delicious Tomato Sugo recently.

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I decided for a Veracruz sauce topping for the fish. The Veracruz sauce is a deliciously spicy and tangy sauce that melds the flavors of old Mexico with the flavors of olive oil, capers and olives introduced from Spain.

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When the sauce is done, you simply place the fish into the pan, top the fillets with the sauce and let it cook! That’s it!

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Red Snapper Veracruz

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 8oz. fish fillet plus one cup Veracruz sauce

Red Snapper Veracruz

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 large Spanish or Italian green olives, pitted and chopped
  • a dash ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, chopped (I used fresh San Marzano – alternatively, you can use canned tomatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound pacific red snapper, sea bass, halibut, or cod (any white flaky fish works great)
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Instructions

In a nonstick skillet, sauté the onions in hot oil until they begin to soften and color. When they color, add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the oregano, olives, cinnamon, and capers to the onion mixture and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, with the bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To serve, wash the fish and squeeze the lemon juice over it.

Arrange the fish in the (same) skillet, spoon the sauce over it, and cook according to the Canadian rule: measure the fish at its thickest part and allow 8 to 10 minutes to the inch. Remove the bay leaf and serve the fish topped with its sauce, optional over steamed rice.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/red-snapper-veracruz/

Classic Bolognese Sauce

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Once every week we have  Pasta Night at home! After many vegetarian pasta sauces over the past weeks, it was time for a meat ragù sauce – the classic Bolognese sauce, originating from Bologna, Italy.

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Many pasta sauce recipes only call for canned tomatoes. However, I like using both fresh and canned tomatoes. This time I used canned Plum tomatoes and fresh Roma tomatoes.

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The classic vegetable mix for a Bolognese consists of diced celery, carrots and onions.

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After sweating the veggies with the garlic, add the ground beef and cook until nicely browned. For the ground beef, I used the Burger Mix from my local delivery service Santa Monica Merchant . The mix is made from grass fed beef, not too lean and so tasty!

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Add the fresh chopped tomatoes first …. Then add the canned ones…

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You need to let it simmer for at least 90 minutes. However, I prefer the full 2 hours. The longer you let it cook, the thicker it will get and all the flavors will get into the sauce.

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I convinced the hubs to make some Tagliatelle with me. And actually it was very much fun!

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Don’t feel intimidated by making homemade pasta. It’s not too difficult and so much worth the taste. But also don’t feel like you have to have homemade pasta. Just buy either fresh or a dried product of egg pasta. Italians only serve Bolognese with Tagliatelle or other broad, flat pasta shapes such as Papardelle or Fettuccine – but never with Spaghetti. The broader noodles soak up the sauce much better than their thinner colleagues ;)

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Bon Appetito!

Classic Bolognese Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 portions

Serving Size: 1 cup sauce plus 1 portion pasta

Classic Bolognese Sauce

A classic using grass fed beef and both fresh and canned tomatoes!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup wine (white or red) or sub for vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb San Marzano (or Roma) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large can crushed San Marzano (or plum) tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

In a Dutch oven or a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Sauté onions and garlic for 4 minutes.

Add carrots and celery and sauté for another 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the ground beef and cook for 6-8 minutes, while constantly stirring and breaking the meat into bite sized pieces.

Add the tomato paste, mix very well and cook for another 30 seconds.

Pour in the wine (or broth), add thyme leaves and season with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Let cook until wine has reduced significantly.

Add the fresh tomatoes first and let cook for 2 minutes.

Then add the canned tomatoes.

Stir everything well.

Add the bay leaf.

Let simmer without a lid for 90-120 minutes.

The Bolognese should be nice and thick.

Serve with your favorite pasta!

Note: If there are any leftovers at all, freeze the sauce for the next pasta night!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/classic-bolognese-sauce/

Pan-seared Fish Fillet with Fennel and Nectarines

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I recently signed up for another subscription… No, not for a magazine. For a local seafood service  that has 1 pound of freshly caught fish ready for me to pick up at the Farmer’s Market every Wednesday. I started last Wednesday. Last week’s caught was yellowtail, right here from the coast. Yellowtail is also known as Ahi Tuna. It is high in healthy omega 3 fats .

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But no worries, if yellowtail is not available at your fishmonger. You can use any other firm fish fillet (think Mahi Mahi etc.) for the recipe!

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photo 3I decided to serve this rich and flavorful fish just with something light and picked a mix of fennel – which goes along any fish, yum! – and nectarines.  And dill is the perfect partner for fish and fennel anyways… The red pepper flakes give a nice kick  :)

The dish easy great for a summer weeknight, ready in less than 20 minutes! Start searing the fillets skin side down first.

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Then flip and finish them on the flesh side while the fennel nectarine mix is sautéing together with the dill and the fennel fronds. photo 3-2Et voilà! Dinner for 2 is ready!

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Yellowtail with Fennel and Nectarines

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2 people

Yellowtail with Fennel and Nectarines

A perfect weeknight summer dish - quick and light!

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs fish fillet – I used yellowtail (Mahi Mahi or any other firm fish fillet will work as well)
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 bulb fennel, stalks removed (but reserve fennel fronds), quartered and sliced in wedges
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable broth
  • ½ yellow nectarine, sliced and thin wedges
  • ½ bunch fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

Season fish with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.

In a skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high and sauté fennel for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high, and place fish (skin side down, if any) into it. Sear for 6 minutes. Flip to cook for another 4 minutes. When done, remove from heat and let rest.

Season fennel with red pepper flakes and add agave syrup. Add vegetable broth and let cook covered with lid for 5 minutes. Add chopped fennel fronds, dill and nectarines. Increase heat for 2 more minutes. Season to taste.

Spoon fennel nectarine mix onto plates and place 1 fish fillet on each plate.

Enjoy!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/fish-fillet-with-fennel-and-nectarines/

Veggies & Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

photo 2-1We love pasta, sometimes just the regular (white) spaghetti, but also a whole-wheat kind or a gluten-free one, such as these Fusili made from brown rice and quinoa! And not to forget the low-carb “fake” pasta aka Zoodles made from spiraled Zucchini…

A tomato-based sauce that goes along with all of them is always great, but can get boring if it’s always the same Marinara Sauce… Last week I made a Roma Tomato Sugo which was awesome, so this week I tweaked the recipe a little bit, using different kinds of Heirloom tomatoes and added some veggies to it.

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The vegetables – onions, carrots, celery – and the bay leaf are the classic ingredients for a Italian Bolognese sauce – minus the meat ;)… (A classic Bolognese recipe will be my next “project”).

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The key is to get the veggies to soften before adding the Heirloom tomatoes and then let the whole thing simmer until it has thickened and the flavors have incorporated into the sauce!

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Veggies & Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

Yield: 4 cups of sauce

Serving Size: 1 cup

Veggies & Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

Veggies and Heirloom Tomatoes for a twist on a classic Marinara Sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely diced (optional)
  • 2 lbs assorted heirloom tomatoes, coarsely diced
  • 2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and chiles and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots have softened, for 7-10 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, add balsamic vinegar and let simmer for 30-50 minutes w/o lid, until the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve with your favorite pasta (regular or glutenfree) or over zoodles.

Optional, add some fresh basil for garnish.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/veggies-heirloom-tomato-pasta-sauce/

4-Ingredient Roma Tomato Sugo

Guess which is the Best Farmers Market in the United States according to Conde Nast Traveler? ;-)

Last week’s shopping at the Santa Monica Farmers Market included two pounds of  locally grown San Marzano tomatoes. This type of Roma tomatoes is perfect for a classic tomato sauce. I also bought some fresh basil, and then I immediately went home into the kitchen.

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photo 3I chopped the tomatoes, minced the garlic and sliced some basil leaves – how easy is that?

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Olive oil into the skillet and there you go!

photo 2-1photo 3-1It needs some time for the sauce to cook and to thicken – the longer the better.

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No worries, if you don’t get the San Marzano’s, but maybe look for Roma tomatoes as they don’t turn out as watery as other varietals of tomatoes.

As it turned, the next day we were going to do a 5k / 10k run along the beach, so the tomato sugo was perfect for our pre-race pasta night!

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4-Ingredient Roma Tomato Sugo

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

4-Ingredient Roma Tomato Sugo

An easy and classic tomato sauce!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs San Marzano tomatoes – or Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • (Staples: salt and black pepper to taste)

Instructions

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add one tablespoon of fresh basil. Cook for a minute.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 30-50 minutes while stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. The longer you cook it for the thicker it'll become.

Check seasoning and let rest warm till needed or remove, let cool, and store in the refrigerator. Will keep over a week or you can freeze it for use when tomatoes aren't in season.

Serve with your favorite pasta! Enjoy!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/4-ingredient-roma-tomato-sugo/

Herbed Cauliflower Mash

I know… Not the prettiest photo, but really tasty!

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This cauliflower purré makes a wonderful stand in for mashed potatoes! It is low-carb, yet creamy and a satisfying side dish that goes well with everything from roasted veggies to pan seared fish fillet and even Bratwurst…

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Mr. RPK actually loves mashed potatoes, but I got him on this cauliflower mash.

My secret ingredient is freshly ground nutmeg (which I also use for the mashed potatoes).

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I added fresh herbs and green onions, not just for better taste but also to add something green to the white cauliflower. Looks so pretty!

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Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp chives, thinly sliced

½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10-15 minutes.

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In the meantime, sauté green onions in a small skillet for 2-3 minutes until they soften. Remove from heat and mix with chives and thyme.

Drain the cauliflower and place it back into the pot.

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Add nutmeg, herb mix, olive oil and s & p. Mix until well combined.

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Using a hand mixer, purré everything into a mash.

Adjust seasoning if needed.

For dinner, we enjoyed the cauli mash with Italian sausages…

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Next day’s lunch we had the leftovers with arugula salad and roasted veggies. Delish!

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Herbed Cauliflower Mash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Herbed Cauliflower Mash

A low-carb stand in for mashed potatoes. The nutmeg and the herbs make the difference!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chives, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, sauté green onions in a small skillet for 2-3 minutes until they soften.

Remove from heat and mix with chives and thyme.

Drain the cauliflower and place it back into the pot.

Add nutmeg, herb mix, olive oil and s & p.

Mix until well combined.

Using a hand mixer, purré everything into a mash.

Adjust seasoning if needed.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/herbed-cauliflower-mash/

Avocado Cucumber Dip with Dill

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Most of you will know that avocado is full of healthy fats. Did you also know that it is a tree fruit? And that it is said to be the butter for vegans? ;-)

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Well, I am not vegan, but I just like plant-based dishes and options. And as my husband doesn’t eat dairy, this dip is a creamy non-dairy option! He likes it along oven-roasted potatoes – instead of anything that contains sour cream…

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It is wonderful with crudités or oven-roasted fingerling potatoes, but also as a spread on toast. You can even use it as a dressing on firmer lettuce like kale or radicchio!

The cucumber is great to balance out the creaminess of the avocado with some freshness.

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And dill pairs well with cucumbers anyway!

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When using it as a dressing, just 1-2 tablespoons of the dip (depending on how much salad you are going to make) and add more lemon juice. No need to add more oil – you will get enough healthy fats from the avocado itself already!

 

Ingredients:

1 ripe Hass avocado (or any variety), peeled and chopped

½ Hothouse cucumber (about ½ cup), chopped, peeled and seeded

1-2 Tbsps minced fresh dill

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp pure maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a mini food processor or chopper. Alternatively, in a high container and use your hand mixer – I did that, works wonderfully!

Add ¼ cup (60ml) and blend until mixture is very smooth.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Et voilà!

And for you? Avocado – yeah or nay?

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Avocado Cucumber Dip with Dill

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

This dip is wonderful with crudités or oven-roasted fingerling potatoes, but also as a spread on toast. You can even use it as a dressing on firmer lettuce like kale or radicchio, whisk some of the dip with more fresh lemon juice!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado (or any variety), peeled and chopped
  • ½ Hothouse cucumber (about ½ cup), chopped, peeled and seeded
  • 1-2 Tbsps minced fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a mini food processor or chopper. Alternatively, in a high container and use your hand mixer – I did that, works wonderfully!

Add ¼ cup (60ml) and blend until mixture is very smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/avocado-cucumber-dip-with-dill/

Ratatouille

RATATOUILLE – a vegetable sauce from the Provence traditionally made with various bell peppers…

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I placed this recipe in the pasta category, as it is just a great pasta sauce! Today we had it with some quinoa rice pasta for lunch. 

But we love the Ratatouille as a side dish along with seafood, grilled chicken or steak.

 Anyway, it’s quick and easy – so you better double the recipe so you can enjoy over several meals, with or without pasta, vegetarian or with a nice piece of fish or meat.

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Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ red onion, chopped
1 small red chile, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 yellow zucchini squash, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsps tomato paste
1/3 cup (80ml) water
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high. Sauté onions and chile for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add bell peppers, zucchini squash and garlic and sauté for another 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened a bit. Add rosemary and tomato paste and stir until well combined. Add water. Lower heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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Serve with your favorite pasta or as a side dish along with European sea bass, grilled chicken or steak.

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What is your favorite dish that includes bell peppers?

Ratatouille

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 cups of sauce

Serving Size: 4

Ratatouille

RATATOUILLE - a vegetable sauce from the Provence traditionally made with various bell peppers...

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 small red chile, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow zucchini squash, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • 2 tsps balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high.

Sauté onions and chile for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.

Add bell peppers, zucchini squash and garlic and sauté for another 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened a bit.

Add rosemary and tomato paste and stir until well combined.

Add water. Lower heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with your favorite pasta or as a side dish along with European sea bass, grilled chicken or steak.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/ratatouille/

Naked Beef Burgers

Naked Burgers

… aka “Frikadellen” in Germany!

1 lb grass fed ground beef (93% lean)

¼ cup red onion, diced and sautéed

2 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsps Siracha sauce

2 egg whites

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsps olive oil

 

Mix all the ingredients (through salt and pepper) together until well combined. Shape into 4 evenly sized patties. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Place patties in skillet and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned.

Enjoy!

I served the burgers with a cucumber bell pepper salsa :)

Naked Beef Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 burgers

Serving Size: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef (93% lean)
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced and sautéed
  • 2 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps Siracha sauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients (through salt and pepper) together until well combined. Shape into 4 evenly sized patties. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Place patties in skillet and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/naked-beef-burgers/