It’s my pleasure to share with you some of my favorite recipes. As we are in the cooler months of the winter, I am focusing on warm and hearty meals, ones that are short on prep time and family friendly.
I start with one of my favorite soups: Hearty Tuscan Bean Soup. It’s made with Italian herbs, buttery beans, and delicious fresh spinach and is great served with any kind of bread or cracker.
Next, my Flaked White Fish Pattie. It is so easy to make, yet colorful, and uses ingredients that are pantry staples. I love this dish served straight from the pan while it’s still crisp (the longer it sits, the less crispy the skin becomes). This dish is sure to warn your heart on any winter night (or afternoon).
The Orange Beef was a childhood favorite and it still is somewhat of a comfort food for me. It is quick and delicious and very filling, especially when served up on a bed of steamed or fried rice.
The Poached Apple is braised in the oven (poaching usually refers to stove top cooking) for increased ease. Whether served warm or cold, it has the perfect flavors to end a winter meal. It can be served with a warm chocolate sauce, berries and/or a molten lava cake.
I can’t wait to hear your feedback, comments and or suggestions!
Easy Orange Beef
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
½ cup concentrated orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp orange marmalade
4 tbsp brown sugar (preferably dark brown)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 lb beef for stir-fry
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cool water
Scallions, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Mandarin orange segments, for garnish
- Mix together lemon juice, orange juice, orange marmalade, brown sugar, soy sauce (if using) and toasted sesame seed oil. Whisk until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat mix on medium heat until it begins to bubble.
- Add meat to sauce. Toss meat till brown on all sides.
- Remove meat from pan. Whisk together starch and water until no lumps remain. Once sauce bubbles on medium heat add starch, mix until thickened and remove from heat immediately.
- Toss meat with sauce.
- Serve on a bed of steamed rice. Garnish with scallions, sesame seeds and mandarins.
Hearty Tuscan Bean Soup
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Oil to coat bottom of pot
1 large Spanish onion, diced ¼ inch
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large stalk of celery, sliced, ¼ inch size
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock or broth
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 Italian sausages, sliced ¼ inch
3 cups water + more as needed
1 can cannellini beans
1 can chickpeas
2 cups Spinach leaves, packed
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
5 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
- Sautee onions and a pinch of salt until translucent. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add carrots and celery. Add sausage until nicely colored.
- Add the rest of ingredients, liquids first.
- Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for 45-60 minutes, until carrots are easily pierced with a fork.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Flaked Fish Pattie
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
1 lb cooked white fish flaked (great recipe for leftovers)
2 tbsp parsley, fresh chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, shredded
1 jalapeño, seeded, finely shredded, optional
⅓ cup all purpose or gluten free flour
1 tsp salt (if fish is not salty), more if necessary
Pepper, to taste
Oil for sautéing
- Mix all ingredients until well combined.
- Shape into patties.
- Sautee in ¼-⅓ inch of oil until golden brown on all sides. (Alternatively, you can bake in oven until crispy, approximately 30-45 minutes at 375°F).
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
3 Gala apples, cored and halved
½ cup honey, 1 cup of sugar or any granulated substitute sweetener
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 cups water
2 cups frozen cherries, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place all apples sliced side down in 9×13 pan.
- Place remaining ingredients in pan.
- Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes.
- Turn apples and bake for another 45 minutes till tender.
- Refrigerate apples and cherries with remaining juice in container for 3-4 hours (optimally overnight) before serving.