Sunday, March 30, 2014

Roasted Carrots

This is my favorite way to prepare carrots as a side dish. It's simple, yet delicious - and so healthy!


1 pound medium-to-large carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Cut the thicker pieces in half again lengthwise, so that all the pieces will be similar in size.

In a large bowl, toss the carrot pieces with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Arrange the coated carrots in a single layer in a deep baking dish or roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir.

Return to oven and roast uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 10-20 minutes, or longer as needed, until the carrots are tender.

Sprinkle with the parsley (if using), and serve.

-- 3-4 servings

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Honey-Dijon Dressing

This easy dressing is slightly sweet and slightly tangy. It's great on sandwiches as well as salads.


6 tablespoons light or extra light olive oil*
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shaking method: Combine all ingredients in a jar or cruet with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended.
Whisking method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Use immediately or refrigerate. If using later, shake or whisk again just before using.

-- Approximately 2/3 cup of dressing

* You can use extra virgin olive oil if you want a strong olive taste. However, I prefer to use light or extra light olive oil in this recipe to let the honey and Dijon flavors shine through more assertively.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Eggs Baked in Muffin Tins

I always mess up poached eggs. They break up in the boiling water, no matter how careful I am. So I learned to bake my eggs instead, and I use these baked eggs as a substitute for poached eggs in many breakfast and brunch recipes. They always turn out perfect.

This is also a great way to cook eggs for a crowd.

I did not include quantities, as the recipe is so simple, and so easy to adapt to make as many, or as few, of these eggs as you need for a given meal.

The cooking time will vary, depending on whether you want the yolks soft or more firm.


Butter, cooking oil, or non-stick spray
Large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using the butter, oil, or cooking spray, lightly grease the muffin tins - one muffin cup per egg.

Carefully break one egg into each prepared muffin cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or longer as needed, until the yolks are cooked to your liking.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Black Olives, and Feta

This simple but yummy recipe came about when I had some crumbled feta cheese and some sun-dried tomatoes on hand that I needed to use up. I tossed them with some pasta and black olives, and the result was pure Mediterranean-style deliciousness.


8 ounces dried penne pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
2 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and julienned
3 tablespoons black olives, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (approx. 3-4 ounces), at room temperature*

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and olives, and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the pasta to the skillet, along with the parsley. Saute for 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Go easy on the salt, as the feta is very salty.)

Toss lightly, until the feta is warm but not completely melted. If the mixture seems too dry, add more olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.

-- Serves 3-4

* Note: Take the feta out of the refrigerator when you start to heat the water for the pasta. It should be close enough to room temperature by the time you’re ready for it.