Asparagus with Lemon and Feta Cheese

Fresh lemon brightens foods for spring, like this quick and easy side of steamed asparagus served with a Mediterranean herb feta cheese.IMG_4014What’s more painful, doing your own taxes or eating right? A number of years ago, I was taken aback when I read this survey that shows Americans picked healthy eating as more difficult! Geez! Come on my friends, eating well does not have to be be herculean! Today The Recipe Redux comes to the rescue with recipes that call for seven ingredients (or less). Here is our timely challenge:

7-Ingredient (Or Less) Recipes

It’s Income Tax Season, so our brains could use some easy arithmetic; as in seven-ingredient-or-less recipes. Show us the healthy, no-brainer dish you fix for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Think beyond smoothies or drinks, please. (And for those of you living in countries where it’s not Tax Season – we’re pretty sure you and your readers would still love doing the math for seven-ingredient-recipes!)

My recipe inspiration comes from two  dietitian friends. First Jessica’s Spring Ingredient Spotlight influenced my pick for aspargagus.  Check it out for more great ideas to add the seasons finest produce to your taxing days. Secondly,  Regan’s video for three genius Easter recipes was a great reminder that lemon is a terrific way to brighten foods. In her video, she shares 3 ways to use lemon curd, including Spring S’mores!

So now, let’s talk about Asparagus with Lemon and Feta Cheese! This recipe uses only 5 ingredients and takes under 10 minutes to prepare, from start to finish. (Try doing your taxes in under 10 minutes!)  Asparagus is low in calories, and bursting with nutrients including: folate, vitamin C , vitamin A, vitamin K , fiber, potassium, copper and manganese. Adding lemon helps to pop the flavor. I finished this side with a Mediterranean herb feta cheese; it’s a great way to enhance the taste of a dish without having to add lots of other ingredients since the seasonings are already in the cheese! Be sure to check out what my colleagues are prepping (besides taxes) this month. Links are at the bottom of this post.

Asparagus with Lemon and Feta Cheese

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 2 tablespoons crumbed feta cheese (Mediterranean Herb)

Instructions

1. Place asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam , covered until tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Arrange asparagus on a serving plater and toss salt, olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon. Top with feta cheese. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Powered by Recipage


Mediterranean Calzones

California Ripe Olives are an essential part of the Mediterranean diet and are also a flavorful addition to traditional foods from other cuisines, like these  veggie packed pizza pockets . Mediterranean Calzones are filled with a ratatouille made in the slow cooker.

Disclosure: I received free samples of California Ripe Olives mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

It’s no secret, the Mediterranean diet is recognized as one of the healthiest ways to feed yourself and your family. I highly recommend this lifestyle because of its diverse foods and flavors and the fact that there’s  no calorie counting! I follow to the principles myself  and enjoy a myriad of foods including : fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fresh fish and seafood, lean meats, cheese and yogurt, red wine, and California ripe Olives! I savor olives for their flavor, color and texture! But I include them in my diet for a reason beyond taste; they’re a source of monounsaturated fat. This is the fat that’s associated with increased longevity, reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of chronic disease, lower blood pressure and improved brain function.

For the most part, I eat according to the seasons. When it comes to California olives, I enjoy ’em year round because they’re packaged at their peak to preserve nutrients. A serving of olives is trans fat free, contains no cholesterol and provides : fiber (0.5 gram per serving), vitamin E (0.25mg per serving), vitamin A (60IU per serving), iron ( 0.49 mg per serving) and plant powered polyphenols.

Today I am  highlighting California Ripe Olives in a unique and tasty recipe that integrates whole grains, fresh vegetables, red wine, cheese, and garden herbs  into  a time-honored Italian meal: Mediterranean Calzones

the calzone. A slow cooker is used to make a quintessential Mediterranean ratatouille that fills the ‘hot pockets’ and is also spooned over the oven browned crust after baking. It makes a terrific dinner and  reheats for an easy lunch.

California Ripe Olives are one of the most versatile items you’ll keep  in your pantry. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for more ways to enjoy ’em in a healthy diet.

Mediterranean Calzones

(serves 8)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium American globe Eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 – 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Shiraz or other fruity red wine
  • 1/4 cup roughy chopped fresh basil + additional for garnish
  • 5 springs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup California black ripe olives, sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 12 ounces part- skim mozzarella cheese shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. Add olive oil to 10 inch saute pan. Heat over medium heat ; when hot add pepper, onions,  and garlic. Saute until vegetables until softened, about 8 minutes.

3. Place eggplant and squash into the bottom of slow cooker. Add tomatoes, and sautéed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Pour wine over top.

4. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours adding fresh herbs and sliced olives during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

5. Allow the dough to stand covered, at room temperature, for one hour.

6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

7. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkled with cornmeal. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Top each round with 2 -3 Tablespoons ratatouille, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top rounds evenly with cheese; fold dough over, and crimp edges with a fork to seal.

8. Arrange calzones on prepared baking sheets. Brush tops with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes. Serve each calzone with additional ratatouille and fresh basil.

Tip: To reheat calzones stored in the refrigerator, microwave in one minute-bursts on high, until heated through (2-3 minutes total) or in the oven/toaster oven at 300 degrees F until heated through.

Powered by Recipage


Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial