Greek Roasted Lemon Potatoes

Inspired by a recent trip to Aliki’s Greek Taverna in Westchester (yes sisters, the same one where I embarrassingly and famously yelled “Delicious”), these potatoes are sooo good!

Here’s what you need:

3-4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup Greek olive oil

juice from 3 lemons

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

freshly ground pepper

2.5 cups diluted chicken broth (or veggie broth; or just water but you may need a little more salt)

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a roasting pan, toss the potatoes with the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, oregano, and pepper.

3. Pour the liquid over the top of the potatoes.

4. Cover tightly with foil, place on the middle rack in the oven, and roast until soft, about 40 minutes to an hour.

5. Uncover, move the tray to the top rack, and roast another 20-30 minutes until the tops start to brown.


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Sheet Pan Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from a Melissa Clark recipe on The Splendid Table, my family ate this up!

Here’s what you need:

1.5 pounds chicken thighs or tenders, or both

1.25 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, or other small white or red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1.5 teaspoons kosher salt

Black pepper

1 tablespoon harissa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4.5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 leeks, white and light green parts, rinsed, halved lengthwise, and cut into half moons

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 1/3 cups Greek yogurt (whole fat, or 2%)

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup soft fresh herbs, like dill, parsley, mint or cilantro

Here’s what you do:

1. On a sheet pan, season the chicken and potatoes with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour over the chicken and potatoes, and stir to mix. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. In a bowl, mix together the leeks, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

5. Roast the chicken and potatoes for 20 minutes.

6. Toss the potatoes slightly, scatter the leek mixture on top, and roast again until chicken is cooked through and everything is turning golden, another 20-25 minutes.

7. While the chicken is cooking, make the yogurt/herb sauce. Grate the garlic cloves into the yogurt, and mix in the lemon juice, half a tablespoon olive oil, and the herbs.

8. Dollop the yogurt mixture over the chicken when done cooking.


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Easy Afghan-Style Tomato-y Beans

Another great recipe from Cookish that comes together fast, is healthy and high in fiber, and tastes great.

Here’s what you need:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

salt and pepper

15-ounce can tomato puree

2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Here’s what you do:

1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, 1.5 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion is translucent.

2. Add the tomatoes, beans, and one cup of water. Bring to a simmer.

3. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Season if needed and enjoy!

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Brown Rice and Chickpea Pilaf

I’ve been working my way through the recipes in Milk Street’s Cookish, and loved this one. It’s really easy, healthy, and packed with protein, veggies and whole grains. My kids loved it too!

Here’s what you need:

2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained

1 3/4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

2-4 medium carrots, peeled

5 ounces baby spinach

1 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice (recommendation was dill and parsley, I also like cilantro)

Here’s what you do:

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garam masala. Cook, stirring occassionally, until the onions begin to brown.

2. Add the rice, garbanzo beans, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer, and then cover, turn heat to low, and allow to cook until all water has been absorbed, about 45-55 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat, and add the the carrots, spinach and herbs. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

4. Uncover and stir together.


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Parchment-Paper Baked Sweet Potatoes

I recently tried this recipe from The Splendid Table, and it was so easy, with results so delicious, that I just had to share!

Here’s what you need:

About 8 sweet potatoes (my favorite was the white flesh yams) (note: I tried this with regular potatoes, and while delicious, not as good because they don’t have the same sugars that get all caramelized in the process)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dried thyme or other favorite spice (once we did this with a Singapore Spice Mix that had fenugreek and cumin and it was amazing)

Kosher salt

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

2. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, either toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, spices and salt, or drizzle the oil onto the parchment paper with the spices and salt and rub the potatoes on all sides into the mixture.

3. Place the potatoes cut side down on the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

The potatoes will be soft on the inside, and crispy and sweet and caramelized on the outside. Enjoy!

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Olive Oil Chocolate Cake

I made this recipe once as is, and it was so good I had to make it again, but the second time with a little less cinnamon, and with cream cheese chocolate frosting. It’s easy to make and so delicious!

Here’s what you need:

1/2 cup coffee (the recipe also suggests you can use Earl Grey tea, dry red wine, orange juice, or water)

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or just use a dash, or leave it out)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup white sugar

3 eggs at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

1. Heat up your coffee (or other liquid of choice), and whisk in the cocoa powder, cinnamon (if using), and salt, until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 inch cake pan, and put parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium to high for about 3 minutes.

4. Reduce the speed, add the cocoa mixture to the bowl, and mix to combine. Then add the flour and baking soda until just incorporated.

5. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until fully set and a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

6. Transfer cake in pan to a wire rack and allow to cool in pan.

Enjoy! (And feel free to top with a favorite frosting, or just eat as is!)

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Tomato and Cauliflower Soup

This title really doesn’t do the end result justice. I modified a recipe from a cookbook I checked out from the library (can’t remember the name!) and ended up with a huge pot of deliciousness. Simon says, “it isn’t good, it’s great!” It’s a slow cooking recipe, so make sure you can be home for a while, but doesn’t require all that much active work.

Here’s what you need:

1 large onion

3 stalks celery

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

24-ounce can of tomato puree or jar of tomato passata (which I’ve been unable to find in a standard grocery store, but puree works just as well!)

2 bay leaves

kosher salt

One pepperoncini, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 cup Arborio-rice or similar type of rice

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Here’s what you do:

1. Puree the onion, celery and garlic in a food processor until smooth.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery puree, and cook until it dries out and starts to stick, about 15 minutes.

3. While cooking the celery puree, lightly chop the carrots in your food processor.

4. Once done cooking the celery puree, add the can of tomato puree, and 3 quarts of water, broth, or some combination. Then stir in a 2 teaspoons of salt (unless you went all broth, you may want to use less), the bay leaves and the pepperoncini. Bring to a rapid simmer.

5. Add the carrots, and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced about one-third, about 30 minutes.

6. Add the cauliflower and simmer another 45 minutes.

7. Add the rice, and simmer another 15 minutes.

8. Add the parmesan, and cook another ten minutes on low.

9. Turn off the heat, and allow to sit, covered about 15 minutes.

10. Spoon into bowls, and enjoy, or refrigerate overnight to allow to thicken and meld flavors.


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Turkey Lamb Minty Tahini Meatballs

I love Molly Baz’s Cook This Book. Everything I’ve made is delicious. I tweaked this a bit to (a) make more and (b) make it a little healthier (hence the half turkey), and it turned out great! Adapted from Molly Baz, Cook This Book, Minty Lamb Meatballs.

Makes 24 meatballs

Here’s what you need:

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups fine breadcrumbs or panko (I had whole wheat bread crumbs)

4 tablespoons tahini or Japanese sesame paste (neri goma)

3 teaspoons ground cumin

2.5 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic

1 cup chopped mint leaves

1 pound ground lamb

1 pound ground turkey

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the bread crumbs, tahini, cumin, salt, and olive oil, and combine.

3. Grate or crush the garlic into the bread crumb mixture.

4. Stir in half of the mint into the bread crumb mixture, then add one pound of meat and gently combine. Add the rest of the mint and meat, and mix (with a spoon or hands) until fully mixed (but don’t overmix).

5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll the meat into 24 balls. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Flip the meatballs, and bake another 10-20 minutes, until cooked through fully.


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Vegan Causa Limena

I came across this recipe from a favorite food online food publication called Taste. When the aji amarillo came in the mail (I bought this from Amazon and it was great), I used what I had (meaning I modified a bit) and the result was delicious. Adapted from Vegan Causa Limena.

Here’s what you need:

1.5 pounds potatoes (small variety, like yukon gold or red skin; I also threw in half of a Japanese sweet potato)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons aji amarillo

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I only had salted, and suggest not adding extra salt if your can is salted, but if you have unsalted, I’ll note where to add another teaspoon of salt in the recipe below) (you can replace with garbanzo beans instead)

4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (I had 2 tablespoons vegan and 2 tablespoons tartar sauce, so I used that)

3 green onions, thinly sliced (or you could do red onion instead, about 1/4 cup)

generous handful cilantro, including stems, finely chopped (or you could replace with 1/4 cup celery, finely diced)

a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped (or you can skip)

Here’s what you do:

1. Cover the potatoes with approximately 2 inches cold water in a pot. Place the pot over high heat, uncovered, and bring to a boil. Then allow the potatoes to cook, uncovered, for approximately 25 minutes, until the skin starts to split.

2. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool until you can handle (about 20-30 minutes).

3. While the potatoes are cooling, make the bean salad: after draining/rinsing the beans, mash the beans with a potato masher or a fork. Then stir in the mayo, green onions, cilantro and parsley. Taste, and add salt if needed. Place in the fridge.

4. When the potatoes have cooled, remove the skin, and using a potato ricer, or a masher, or an egg slicer, or a fork, mash up the potatoes.

5. Stir the salt and 1 teaspoon aji amarillo into the potatoes until combined. Then add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time, and stir to combine. Do the same with the lime juice.

6. Taste, and add additional salt and the rest of the aji amarillo (if you want it).

7. In a pan, spread the potato mixture in an even layer and smooth. Then, spread the bean salad in a second layer on top.

8. Refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. When ready to eat, cut into squares or slices and enjoy!

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Wrinkly Potatoes

This one’s for you, Nicki!

These potatoes take about 20 minutes to make, have the perfect consistency, and are perfectly seasoned. Serve with a chimichurri dip; chop up and add to a salad or omelet or scramble (the photo is an egg white scramble with corn and wrinkly potatoes, topped with some avocado smashed with garlic salt, and some tomatillo salsa); or just eat on the side. From the LA Times.

Here’s what you need:

1.5 pounds tiny potatoes, rinsed

1 tablespoon coarse salt

2 cups water

Here’s what you do:

1. Place the potatoes, salt and water into a pot. Stir and cover.

2. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer, mostly covered, until all the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.


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