Cabbage Soup

This is the perfect healthy winter soup.

1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, sliced thun
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp deied thyme
2 28-ounce jar chopped tomatoes
4 c chopped green cabbage
6 c beef broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink, breaking the meat up into small pieces as you brown; add onions, garlic and spices and cook for 4 more munutes until softened.

Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf and cabbage; bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover, leaving the lid ajar slightly. Simmer for 30-minutes or until cabbage is tender and cooked through.

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed; remove the bay leaf and serve immediately.

Serves 6 – 8.


Spicy Carrot Salad

This is a great cooked spicy carrot salad. 

10 oz shredded carrot
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, sliced thun
2 tbsp harissa
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, freshly ground
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp cider vinegar
6 oz baby arugula
salt and pepper

Steam carrots for 10 minutes. In another pan, cook onion with 1 TBSP oil over medium high heat until crispy and browned.

In a small jar, combine harissa, cumin, caraway, sugar, cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp of oil. 

Toss carrot and onions with the dressing and set aside for 30 minutes to deepen the flavors.

Serve atop arugula.

Serves 4.

Beer Braised Chuck Roast with Bacon and Onions

Beer, bacon, beef – you can’t go wrong with this combo! Slow and low perfect for a Sunday dinner.

1 2 – 3 lb chuck roast
2 TBSP olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 oz pancetta, cubed
1 12 oz Belgium beer
1 c water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper

Pat Chuck roast dry. Toss in a bowl with flour and shake off excess.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat, add beef and brown on all sides. Set aside. Add pancetta and onions and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until soft. Add beef, beer, water and herbs, reduce heat to low and cover cooking for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until tender.

Slice, serve with sauce.

Serves 6 – 8.

Cheesy Cauliflower and Onion Gratin

This is a quick and easy gratin dish, perfect as a side or a main.

1 head of cauliflower
1 sweet onion
3/4 c ricotta cheese
2/3 c chicken broth
4 TBSP pecorino cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove core and stem of cauliflower and pull apart the florets. Place them and the whole onion in its jacket on a parchment covered baking sheet. Drizzle sparingly with EVOO and season to taste. Mix with your hands.

Bake for 20-30min until fork tender. Turning over after 10-15 min.

Squeeze cooked onion from skin. Add to processor along with, cauliflower, broth, ricotta, 1/2 pecorino and blend to a smooth consistency.

Spoon into a casserole dish. Sprinkle crumbs and cheese over cauliflower and broil for 5 min until cheese is melted and crumbs toasted.

Serves 4 – 6.

Polenta with Onion and Tomato Sauce

This dish is so easy and perfect for a light weeknight dinner. You can use precooked polenta log. I made a double batch, poured 1/2 into a glass pan and chilled overnight then sliced into polenta sticks.

8 oz cooked polenta sliced 1 inch thick
1/4 grated gruyere
1 large onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into thin half-rounds
2 TBSP olive oil
2 dried bay leaves
One 28-ounce (765g) can peeled Italian plum tomatoes in juice
Fresh, flat-leafed parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 c Pine nuts, toasted

In a large skillet, combine the onion, the olive oil, and 1/2 tsp salt and sweat – cook, covered over low heat until soft and translucent – about 5 minutes. With a large pair of scissors, cut the tomatoes in the can into small piece. Add the bay leaves and tomatoes and their juices and cook, covered, over low heat for about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

At serving time, preheat the broiler. Cut the polenta into 8 even sliced.
Place on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler and broil, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plates, top with cheese, spoon the sauce all over. Garnish with parsley and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Chicken with Spiced Rice

Another amazing dish from Jerusalem! This one is perfect for a weeknight and only requires one pot. I made some minor changes, used a little lesson love oil, left out that currents because I did not have any. I also added some extra ground spices. This dish is amazing!

Olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 1/5 lb chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
10 cardamom pods
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 2/3 c brown basmati rice
2 1/4 c boiling water
1 1/2 TBSP parsley, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 2 TBSP olive oil

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and wipe the pan clean.

Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 1½ tsp salt and black pepper. Add 2 TBSP olive oil, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and use your hands to mix everything together well.

Heat the frying pan again and place the chicken and spices in it. Sear chicken for 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan. The spices can stay in the pan, but don’t worry if they stick to the chicken. Remove most of the remaining oil as well, leaving just a thin film at the bottom. Add the rice, caramelized onion, 1 tsp salt and plenty of pepper. Stir well and return the seared chicken to the pan, pushing it into the rice.

Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan, and cook over very low heat for 40 minutes. Add the herbs and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot or warm with yogurt mixture if you like.

Serves 4.

Fresh Veggie Salad

Love the blend of fresh veggies! This was inspired by Jerusalem.

10 1/2 oz tomatoes, small dice
1 red pepper, small dice
1 red onion, small dice
2/3 oz cilantro, chopped
1/2 oz parley, chopped
10 oz kirby cucumbers, small dice
8 oz radishes, diced
4 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 TBSP sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss to combine. Toss with salad dressing.

Serves 4.

Quick Coleslaw


If you’ve seen my last couple blog posts of pulled pork and BBQ sauce, you probably guessed cabbage was coming next. This is another one from chow, with some changes. More veggies, less mayo, fat free sour cream – I think it makes for a healthier and tastier slaw.

1 small head of green
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt,
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 TBSP mayonnaise
1/4 c sour cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 – 8 carrots, grated

Slice cabbage in half through the core. Cut a V-shaped notch around the white core on each half; discard the core. Slice each half lengthwise into quarters and thinly slice each quarter crosswise into 1/8-inch-wide strips.

Place cabbage in a large colander set over a large bowl or plate, sprinkle with measured salt, and toss to coat. Place a heavy bowl on top of the cabbage, then place a heavy can or two in the bowl to weigh it down. Let sit until cabbage has released about 1/4 cup of moisture, at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place onion and vinegar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Let sit until cabbage is ready.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, caraway seeds, and measured pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine.

When cabbage is ready, squeeze large handfuls to release any excess liquid and place in the large bowl with the dressing. Add grated carrots and reserved onion-vinegar mixture and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Serve immediately or keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 day.

Bacon BBQ Sauce


This is adapted from a recipe I found on I used pancetta – its what I had, swapped out palm sugar for brown, added a bit more spice to create a yummy thick BBQ sauce.

1/2 c small-dice bacon or pancetta
1 c finely diced red onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 c ketchup
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar or palm sugar
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
3 TBSP bourbon
2 TBSP dark molasses
1 TBSP chili powder
3 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the bacon and onions in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Whisk in the remaining measured ingredients and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly and holds a line on the back of a wooden spoon when you drag a finger through it, about 25 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Pop in a blender and puree. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Fennel and Onion Pizza with Proscuitto


I adapted this from a recipe in the July 2012 issue of Food & Wine. I add some Proscuitto and used my dough. It turned out delicious!

8 oz pizza dough
2 TBSP olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c dry white wine
1 c chicken stock
5 oz Asiago, shredded
3 oz Proscuitto, ripped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone inside for at least an hour.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over mention high heat, add onions and fennel, cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and stock, cook for an additional 40 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Roll dough out thin. Spray or brush with olive oil. Top with onion fennel mixture, cheese and Proscuitto.

Bake for about 8 minutes until crust is golden.

Serves 4.