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Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot Recipes: Salads, Sides and One Super Cool Dessert!

Jewish holidays are times for family, worship, and, of course food!  Generational recipes passed down from bubbes and close friends play an integral role on all the upcoming High Holidays’ menus. With Rosh Hashanah nearly here ushering in the Jewish New Year 5775, followed by the ten days known as the Days of Awe and concluding with solemn Yom Kippur, levity rekindles four days later with the joyous festival of Sukkot.

In case you need help or a dash of inspiration in reconnecting with your culinary roots as summer fades into autumn, these holiday recipes promise to deliver.  Check out your local farmers’ market before they close shop and remember to pick up some key essentials: corn and Swiss chard! To celebrate Rosh Hashanah and the autumnal equinox, I’ve created the smoothest Creamy Corn Pudding that combines savory, sweet and heat with jalapeños in the mix. Symbolic foods like pomegranate, dates, honey, and leeks heavily feature in my holiday repertoire. Ensuring the 5775 will be a sweet New Year, learn how to make my Sweet and Savory Pomegranate and Mandarin Orange Salad.

What’s Yom Kippur without Kugel? This classic dish is dressed up three different ways that will make mouths water with anticipation. Savory lovers will relish in both the classic Potato Kugel recipe and elegant Savory Caramelized Onions and Cheese Kugel. Those with a sweet tooth will rejoice with my mom’s version of Sweet Raisin Kugel.

Although Sukkot is known as a time to rejoice that doesn’t mean you should neglect to eat your greens! After all, green is the new black with these formidable and delicious brisket side dishes: Swiss Chard and Harvest Mushroom Gratin or for a simpler, and super healthy dish, try Roasted Asparagus with Shallots and Cranberries.

Last, but not least, what would any holiday be without a special sweet treat? Try my famous “Make a Hot Date” Bars loaded with yummy and super nutritious dates, pecans and oatmeal!

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CREAMY WHITE CORN PUDDING

Serving Size: Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh white corn kernels
  • 3 scallions, ends trimmed and minced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbs yellow cornmeal
  • 5 large eggs, well-beaten and frothy
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half-n-half
  • 1 cup grated Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter sides and bottom of deep casserole dish, approximately 3 quart size.
  3. Combine defrosted corn, scallions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno, cornmeal, sugar, basil, salt and ground white pepper in a large bowl. Stir until well-incorporated.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk frothy eggs with half-n-half. Add grated cheese. Stir.
  5. Gently mix egg mixture into corn mixture. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
  7. Bake one hour or until top is light golden brown and moist in the center.
  8. Remove from oven. Allow to rest and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with a few fresh Basil leaves.
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SWEET AND SAVORY POMEGRANATE AND MANDARIN ORANGE SALAD

Serving Size: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1 head romaine, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds or hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 avocado, pit removed and diced
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients or blend on high in a food processor. Gently pour dressing atop salad and toss with tongs until well incorporated.
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SWEET RAISIN KUGEL

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz package medium egg noodles
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups cottage cheese, small curds
  • 1 small can evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare noodles according to package directions only to al dente, drain and return to the pot.
  3. Add the two sticks of butter to the hot noodles. Stir with large cooking spatula until butter is melted. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Taste for sweetness. Stir in raisins. Stir in cottage cheese. In a blender, beat eggs and baking powder until frothy.
  4. Pour over noodle mixture and stir until incorporated. Pour into generously greased 13 x 9 inch pan. (Glass preferred). Pour can of evaporated milk over mixture. Bake in middle of the oven for about 1 hour or until top is browned and center is almost firm to touch. Cool on rack.
  5. Cut into serving pieces or serve whole and let guests serve themselves. Can be served room temperature or reheated (cover with foil) in warm even. Serves 10-12.
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SAVORY CARAMELIZED ONION AND CHEESE KUGEL

Serving Size: 10-12

Ingredients

  • 4 yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 16 oz bag wide egg noodles
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbs poppy seeds
  • 5 eggs, whisked until frothy
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Gilboa or Manchego cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and season with salt, pepper and granulated sugar.
  4. Sauté over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, until onions are golden and caramelized.
  5. While onions are cooking, boil wide egg noodles in slightly salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  6. Gently add sautéed onions to the cooked egg noodles. Toss with tongs.
  7. Add the sour cream, nutmeg, cottage cheese, poppy seeds, eggs, sharp cheddar, Manchego and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the savory kugel is golden and set to the touch.
  10. Cut into serving pieces or serve whole and let guests serve themselves. Can be served room temperature or reheated (cover with foil) in warm even.
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POTATO KUGEL

Serving Size: 10-12

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Russet baking potatoes
  • 1 dozen eggs, room temperature
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup matzoh meal
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbs rendered chicken fat (Schmaltz) or substitute vegetable oil
  • Fresh chopped chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Peel Russet potatoes. Cut into chunks. Place potato chunks in a bowl filled with ice cold water.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl until frothy.
  4. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse onions until finely chopped. With a spatula, transfer onions into the bowl with prepared eggs. Stir until well incorporated.
  5. Stir in matzoh meal.
  6. Drain potato chunks. Add one-third of the potato chunks to food processor (it's ok to have onion residue inside). Pulse until they are finely chopped, approximately the size of a grain of basmati rice. Scrape chopped potatoes over a sieve atop a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press out the moisture. Add strained potatoes to egg mixture. Repeat process until all potato chunks are chopped, strained and added to egg mixture. Discard potato starch water.
  7. Season egg-potato mixture with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
  8. Pour oil or Schmaltz into a 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Evenly spread oil throughout pan and its sides.
  9. Pour potato egg mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  10. Gently press down the corners with a spatula to evenly fill the baking dish before cooking. Drizzle remaining oil or liquid Schmaltz for added crispiness.
  11. Bake for 75 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before serving.
  13. Garnish with fresh chopped chives.
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ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH SHALLOTS AND CRANBERRIES

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
  • Safflower spray for grill pan
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 8-10 small shallots, peeled and halved
  • Fresh chopped chives and fresh chopped mint for garnish
  • For the dressing:
  • 1.2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 3 Tbs good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries steeped in 1 cup hot water with lemon peels for 10 minutes, drain (cranberries will be plump)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs fresh chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Don't Worry, Eat Happy Tip: Trim ends of all types of asparagus and peel thicker asparagus with a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove tough outer layers for a perfect bite.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Prepare cranberry dressing. Pour into a glass jar or shaker. Set aside.
  4. Spray grill pan with safflower oil.
  5. Whisk in a small bowl, the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Gently toss prepared asparagus with half of the lemon flavored oil mixture inside a large bowl.
  7. Gently toss shallots with remaining flavored oil mixture in a medium sized bowl.
  8. Evenly spread shallots inside a 9x13 baking dish. Roast inside preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until tender and browned around the edges. Remove and set aside.
  9. Grill asparagus for 5-7 minutes until tender and crisp while shallots roast.
  10. While asparagus are grilling, prepare dressing. Combine juice, balsamic and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until incorporated. Add chives and plump cranberries. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  11. On a large serving platter, arrange grilled asparagus into a nice mound. Top with roasted shallots. Shake cranberry dressing then drizzle on top of platter. Garnish with chopped chives and fresh mint. Serves 4.
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SWISS CHARD AND HARVEST MUSHROOM GRATIN

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 lbs (2 bunches) Swiss chard, cut leaves from stems, discard stems
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced (approximately 1/2 lbs)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 large Yukon potatoes,peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch discs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cub breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over a medium stockpot on medium-low heat.
  2. Add shallots, garlic and fresh sage. Cook, while stirring with a wooden spin, until shallots are translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add all but 1/3 cup cream to shallots. Add nutmeg. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 18-20 minutes.
  4. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to boil. Drop prepared Swiss chard into water and blanch for 20 seconds or until bright green in color.
  5. Drain Swiss chard then place in bowl filled with ice water to stop cooking process and retain its vibrant color.
  6. Squeeze excess water from blanched Swiss chard. Add chard to cream mixture. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  8. For the potatoes:
  9. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  10. Saute mushrooms in batches to evenly cook, approximately 2 minutes each side. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season generously with salt and ground pepper. Set aside.
  11. Place potato discs into a pot. Add water to just cover potato discs. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until fork-tender. Drain.
  12. Place drained potato discs into a mixing bowl. Add remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Season generously with salt and ground pepper. Gently toss to coat with cream.
  13. Arrange in a round baking dish sprayed with nonstick oil, potato slices. Next arrange a layer of sauteed mushrooms on top.
  14. Sprinkle with grated cheese and breadcrumbs.
  15. Top with spoonfuls of creamed Swiss chard. Repeat layers until baking dish is full. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle dried oregano on top. Drizzle with olive oil.
  16. Back in hot oven until top is golden brown and ingredients and bubbling and heat through, approximately 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped chives.
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Make a Hot Date Bars

Yield: 16

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup or 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter 8×8-inch metal baking pan. Bring 1-1/2cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add dates; simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, chopped pecans, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl; stir to blend. Add diced butter.
  4. Using fingertips, gently rub in until moist clumps form.
  5. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture over.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture while pressing down gently.
  7. Bake until brown at edge and golden brown and set in center, approximately 35- 40 minutes.
  8. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve.
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Soup Recipes with the Best of Fall Ingredients

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Feel that crisp breeze? It’s Autumn. Savor the flavors and colors of Fall in these delicious hearty soups.

CREAMY SWEET POTATO AND APPLE SOUP WITH PUMPKIN SEEDS

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • Preparation

Instructions

  1. Over medium high heat in a large stockpot add the butter and olive oil.
  2. Add the celery, onion, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir while cooking until the onions and celery are tender and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, ground cinnamon, allspice, and cumin. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and apples stirring to coat. Add vegetable stock and apple cider and then cover. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.
  5. In batches, carefully puree the contents of the pot in a blender or food processor. Taste and season with salt. Serve warm or chilled. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds or crispy shallots. *Soup can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

Safety Tip: When blending hot liquids remember to remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

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TOMATO SOUP WITH BASIL

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 3 oz prosciutto finely chopped, optional
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled, seeded tomatoes
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf and cook.
  2. Stir mixture until the onions are soft and fragrant, approximately 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 18-20 minutes. Add the cream and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  5. Puree the tomato soup. Season, to taste, with salt and white pepper. Add juice of lemon. Stir until combined.
  6. To serve, carefully pour the soup into Chinese spoons. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs. Serve immediately.
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More Flavor: More Herbs Less Salt Day

Tomorrow is National More Herbs, Less Salt Day (August 29) and my favorite herbs include chives, cilantro, parsley and rosemary. You will always find these herbs (plus mint)  in my kitchen, and you will also taste a variety of herbs in my food. It doesn’t take much to grow your own herbs, and their value– to your food, to your overall health– is worth so much more than the time it will take to make them flourish.

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In a few simple steps, these recipes, using my must-have herbs, help re-align and balance your daily meals:

Cilantro

Parsley

STUFFED VEGETABLES WITH RICE, PINE NUTS, BULGUR AND CURRANTS

Yield: Serves 6-8.

Over the summer, stuffed veggies are super popular. I just love using the local farmers' market produce as the actual bowl...an edible bowl at that! Bell peppers, tomatoes or zucchini work best...just make sure the peppers and tomatoes are about the same size as a baseball or tennis ball. Bulgur adds nice texture plus protein and fiber to make this an ideal and hearty dish during the final weeks of summer.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium beefsteak tomatoes, tops cut off for lids and seeds removed
  • 6 Bell peppers, roasted
  • 1 Bell pepper, uncooked and finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 mint tea bags, steeped in 1 cup hot water with fresh lemon slices and 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat (option to substitute with lentils)
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • 2½ cups red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup Basmati or long-grain rice
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 cup grated Manouri cheese, (a Greek semi-soft, fresh white whey cheese made from goat or sheep milk as a by-product following the production of feta)
  • ½ cup pine nuts, slightly toasted
  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Using a sharp knife, gently cut lids off tomatoes and peppers. Carefully remove seeds and scoop out reserved flesh into a separate bowl, leaving in-tact vegetable bowls (shells). Season the interiors with salt and ground pepper to taste. Gently flip tomatoes upside down atop a baking sheet layered with paper towels to drain. Chop reserved tomato flesh-pulp. Discard bell pepper seeds and white membranes. Set aside.
  3. Trim ends of zucchini crosswise into 3 equal pieces, approximately 3½-inches long. Next, cut each piece in half lengthwise. Remove interior reserved flesh, leaving an in-tact vegetable shell or long bowl. Chop reserved zucchini flesh. Set aside.
  4. Drain prepared herb tea into a medium saucepan, discarding garlic, tea bags and lemon slices. Bring to a simmer. Add bulgur plus a drizzle of olive oil, approximately one tablespoon, and a dash of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook 3-5 minutes or until bulgur grains absorb the liquid. Remove from heat and keep covered for 12-15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Set aside.
  5. Place dried currants in medium glass bowl. Cover with hot boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add red onion and pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic. Cook 1 more minute. Add reserved zucchini flesh, cover and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Uncover and add one finely diced bell pepper.Cover and cook 1-2 minutes. Uncover and add reserved tomato flesh-pulp. Stir frequently for 1-2 minutes. Add rice and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Add 1½ cups vegetable stock. Add Bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until rice absorbed liquid but remains al dente.
  7. Transfer rice to a large mixing bowl. Discard Bay leaf. Add bulgur. Add prepared currants. Add cheese and pine nuts. Add fresh herbs. Season generously with salt and ground pepper. Blend well.
  8. Drizzle olive oil inside prepared vegetable bowls. Gently spoon rice mixture into each vegetable bowl, making small mounds. For tomatoes and peppers, place lids back on top of each stuffed bowl.
  9. Place stuffed vegetables including zucchini into a baking dish stuffed side-up. Pour remaining vegetable stock over all vegetable bowls. Drizzle with more olive oil. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Place in hot oven.
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until rice stuffing is hot.
  11. Remove from oven. Uncover, cool slightly.
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Rosemary

Chives

P.S. I’m a big fan of basil too!

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Posted in Don't Worry, Eat Happy!, Fall Recipes, Feed Your Soul, Pantry & Refrigerator Makeover, Spring Recipes, Summer Recipes, Winter Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
Don’t Worry, Eat Happy: End of Summer Juice Cleanse Recipes

I’m a big fan of juicing because it’s yet another way for me to “Eat the Rainbow” and enjoy fruits and veggies while satisfying my thirst and hunger. It’s also a great way to detox after a little too much indulging this summer. Ice cream or wine, anyone?

If you’re not big into fruits and vegetables, juicing is a sure-fire way to incorporate them into your diet; but, you’re still lacking the fiber you need. Be careful to watch the calories when using a lot of fruit in juicing recipes. Vegetable juices tend to be lower in calorie. You can also cut juices with proteins like almond milk and flax seed.

Here are some tips on choosing a juicer:

  • Find juicer with a stainless steel blade.
  • Look for a wide feed tube and a cup large enough for 18 oz of liquid.
  • Types include masticating; centrifugal and press.

Here are your end of summer juice cleanse recipes:

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WATERMELLOW GINGER JUICE

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs fresh watermelon piece, seeds removed, discard rind
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Juice the watermelon. In a blender puree the juice with mint and fresh ginger. Pour into a tall chilled glass. Serves 1.
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TOMATO TUMMY TONIC JUICE

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes, stalks and core removed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 4 – 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs agave honey
  • 3 ice cubes, crushed

Instructions

  1. Juice the tomatoes, garlic and chopped sage. Gently stir in agave honey. Pour this sweet, hot and spicy juice over crushed ice in a tumbler glass. Garnish with celery stick, fresh sage leaf or basil. Serves 1.
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JUST BEET IT JUICE

Ingredients

  • 1beetroot,leaves intact
  • 1 medium carrot, rinsed and top removed
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Juice all ingredients. Stir. Pour into a chilled tumbler. Serves 1.
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CLEAN AND GREEN JUICE

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 4 - 6 fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. In a juicer, combine all ingredients. Stir. Pour into chilled highball glass. Garnish with cucumber disc. This creamy cleanser with bright minty freshness helps improve skin, nails and hair, too! Serves 1.
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PEAR AND PINE NUT JUICE

Ingredients

  • 2 slightly under-ripe pears, cored and halved (skins intact)
  • 1 Tbs toasted pine nuts

Instructions

  1. In a hot pan over medium heat, gently toast pine nuts to help release their oils and aromas. Set aside to cool. Juice pears. Puree juice in a blender with toasted nuts. Pour into a tall chilled glass. Serves 1.
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Sweet Tooth: The Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie

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Nothing says summer like a juicy, sticky-sweet ripe peach. And right now, peaches are just perfection. If you can master this Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie recipe, it’s a wonderful gift to bring to a barbecue, to a friend that needs some cheering up, to the new neighbors that moved in down the street. Or you can bake one and gobble it all up yourself. Believe me, I won’t blame you for that! Enjoy!

The Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or coconut flour for gluten-free option)
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 5 Tbs plus 2 tsp ice cold water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 lbs ripe peaches (approximately 6 peaches)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour (or coconut flour for gluten-free option)
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white, beaten for crust’s egg wash
  • 2 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, for topping crust

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter. Using fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture.
  2. Stir together the ice cold water and vinegar.
  3. Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the water and vinegar mixture.
  4. Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour pieces and bits. On a lightly floured clean work surface, dump out the dough mixture.
  5. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. To make the filling, wash and slice ripened peaches.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine peach slices and blueberries.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch. Pour the sugar mixture over the fruit, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice. Place bowl of fruit in the fridge to rest while crusts are prepared.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  10. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any pie drippings.
  11. Remove one of the wrapped pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, before using your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. **This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface.
  12. When dough is rolled and you can see it start springing back, the butter is warming and the crust shouldn’t be rolled out anymore. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in the 9-inch baking dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.
  13. Repeat process to roll out the top crust. Remove the bottom crust and fruit filling from the fridge. Gently pour the peach blueberry filling into the pie dish. Carefully remove the top crust from the work surface and drape over the fruit in the pie dish.
  14. With a small knife or culinary scissors, trim the crust, leaving about 3/4-inch overhang. With your fingers pinch the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut five small slits in the top of the crust so the juices and steam can vent. Brush lightly with beaten egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  15. Place pie in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.
  16. Remove from the oven when crust is browned and golden, and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool for 2 hours before serving. Place covered in the fridge to store. Pie lasts up to 3 or 4 days.
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The Don’t Worry, Eat Happy Lunchbox: 4 Ideas for Back to School

You’ve got a lot of lunches to make. You’re going to want to BOOKMARK these 4 lunchbox ideas as you get the kids off to start the new school year. Good luck!

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The perfect treat morning, noon and night for moms, dads and kids alike!

Homemade Granola Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Rolled Oats)
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup blanched almond slivers
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup organic honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1-1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbs flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Toss old-fashioned oats, shredded coconut, almonds and pumpkin seeds together in a large bowl. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. Over low heat in a small saucepan, whisk butter, honey, light brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt until melted and combined.
  4. In a medium bowl combine diced apricots, figs, cherries cranberries, flax seeds and wheat germ.
  5. Pour the honey mixture over the fruit. Reduce oven heat to 300°F.
  6. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Add toasted granola mixture to the bowl. Mix gently. Spread granola mixture into a parchment lined 8 x 12 x 1-inch baking dish.
  7. Bake until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
  8. Remove granola from the oven and allow to cool completely. Flip pan over. Cut granola into 12-16 bars. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container for 1 week.
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Recipe for Turkey Meatballs. Package some homemade hummus for dunking. Don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!

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Recipe for Game Day Meatball Sliders. Make a few extra for Dad!

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An easy, lip-smacking dessert!

Fruity Kiss Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 8 dark chocolate Hershey kisses, plus extra to melt
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Assorted fruit (raspberries, strawberries, kiwis, pears, banana slices, mandarin oranges, pineapple)
  • 8 mini bamboo skewers, straws cut in half or cake pop sticks

Instructions

  1. If using straws for kid-proof skewers, melt a bit of the extra chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl. Dip the bottom of each Hershey kiss in the melted chocolate then adhere it to the tip of each straw.
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The Don’t Worry, Eat Happy Lunchbox: Ultimate Hummus Dip Recipe

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Give a kid a chick pea, and he/she will tell you, “no way.” Give a kid some hummus and you’ve got one happy kid. I love that hummus is so popular. I’ve logged many trips to Europe and the Middle-East and have sampled some truly excellent hummus, but I’m happiest with my homemade bowl. As we gear up for back to school season, add this ultimate hummus dip recipe to your lunchbox repertoire.

ULTIMATE HUMMUS DIP

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), rinsed and soaked overnight in water filled bowl.
  • 1/2 cup Sesame tahini paste, found at supermarkets
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil,
  • 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin plus 1/2 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • (Optional: Smoked paprika and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish.)

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the Garbanzo beans. Place in a pot with water with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 1 hour or more until beans are fork tender and soft. Drain, reserving once cup of starchy water and 1/2 cup cooked beans. Let beans and cup of water cool.
  2. Place cooled beans in a food processor. Process until no chunks remain. Add tahini paste, oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes. Pulse. Add salt and pepper and process until smooth. Add reserved cooking water a little bit at a time until desired consistency.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add whole cooked beans to center and drizzle olive oil around them.
  4. (Optional: Sprinkle with smoked paprika and parsley.)

Notes

Stays for 3 days in a refrigerated airtight container. 1 cup dried beans yields 2 cups after soaking beans.

Serve with olives, crudités, and warm pita.

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The obvious pairing with hummus are crispy pita chips, but here are some other faves:

  • Fresh turkey meat with a dollop of hummus rolled into bibb lettuce
  • Chicken burger with tomato and hummus over a bed of greens
  • Crudite: peppers, celery, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, tomato…really whatever veggie your child likes
  • Grilled chicken, cucumber, tomato and red onion kabobs w/ hummus
  • Turkey meatballs, lettuce and tomato in a fresh pita w/ hummus
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Classic Recipes Renewed: Iceberg Wedge Salad

Blue cheese and pancetta tastes sooooo good, doesn’t it? I’m not gonna lie and tell you that this salad recipe is healthy and nutrient rich. It is a healthier option if you forego the blue cheese and stick with the dressing I detail below. But I will say that this salad aims to satisfy! It’s crunchy, tangy, crisp…every mouthful has texture. It’s a great summer treat. While I’m all into power-packed greens and kale, kale, kale, you can’t say no to a classic dish. Add your own twist for fun. I sure did.

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ULTIMATE ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD WITH CRISPY PANCETTA, RADISHES AND BLUE CHEESE

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, stem trimmed with core intact, cut into quarters 4 oz pancetta, cubed and sautéed until crispy
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 8 radishes, rinsed and sliced into discs, allow to soak in iced water for 15 minutes
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • (Optional: 1/2 cup mild blue cheese, crumbled. 4 Roma tomatoes, diced).

Instructions

  1. Place each wedge of lettuce on individual salad plates.
  2. Remove chilled radishes from iced water and pat dry.
  3. Arrange sautéed pancetta, radishes and scallions atop and around each wedge.
  4. In a small container, combine oil, vinegar, grated garlic and seasonings. Cover and shake vigorously until well combined. Drizzle over each salad. Serve immediately.
  5. Optional: Add crumbled blue cheese and diced tomatoes atop wedges for added flavor.
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Heart Healthy Zucchini Recipes: Black Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Tomorrow, August 8 markets National Zucchini Day. (You learn something new everyday!) With summer zucchini – squash season in full effect you can feast on sooooo many options  from fluffy muffins and soft breads to sautéed medleys and crisp crudités.  This recipe from my favorite New York City Mediterranean restaurant Thalassa takes zucchini to a new level of riotous yum by highlighting quinoa, an all-star superfood

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Black quinoa, found in specialty markets, provides similar nutritive benefits as other types of quinoa. It is a source of complete protein, containing all the amino acids required by the body. Apart from this, it contains B vitamins, dietary fiber, vitamin E, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc.  Quinoa is also rich in manganese, copper and folate.

Black Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms (Part 1)

Ingredients

  • Black Quinoa with Vegetable
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cups black quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dice zucchini
  • 1/2 cup dice red pepper
  • 1/2 cup dice yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 bunch parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil.
  2. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water,
  3. shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Sauté
  4. all the vegetable in a lightly oiled pan till tender about 8 mins. Add cooked vegetable, raisins, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper to the quinoa toss well.
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Black Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms (Part 2)

Ingredients

  • Zucchini Blossom
  • 2 Piece 4 Inch Zucchini Blossom

Instructions

  1. Remove Stem & Pistil
  2. Stuff 2oz of Black Quinoa Mix in each
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For more heart-healthy recipes from Thalassa, click here.

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Meals on Heels Favorites: National Oyster Day

I never turn down an oyster. Ever. As a foodie, I’m a firm believer that if you can enjoy oysters with someone, you will be connected to that person for life. Call it a foodie’s philosophy. And it’s got nothing to do with the belief that oysters are aphrodisiacs. Well, maybe it’s got a little to do with it. The simple truth is that I love oysters because there is no right or wrong way to eat them, and each bite is packed with protein, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. Talk about impeccable flavor. It’s a bonus that great conversation usually accompanies eating a few dozen oysters.

Here’s a fun fact about oysters according to the National Oyster Day website –> It’s been reputed that Casanova started his day with a breakfast of 50 oysters. Why? We’ll never know if it was because of their aphrodisiac qualities or just the sheer enjoyment of eating briny bivalve molluscs.

More fun facts –> Oysters are loaded with phosphorus, calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin B and glyco-phosphates.

National Oyster Day

CLASSIC MIGNONETTE SAUCE

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen oysters
  • 2/3 cup Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 2 Tbs shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a small glass bowl. Whisk then cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
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About Mindy
 
For lifestyle and entertaining expert Mindy Kobrin, cooking, wellness and celebrating are a family affair. Her lifestyle philosophy can be distilled to a single, luscious concept: Don't Worry, Eat Happy. Fusing culinary know-how and health initiatives, Mindy aims to create nothing short of a movement: to arm people with information on the value and culture of food and the importance of quality time around the table. Her mission is to teach the foundation of mindful eating and how to use seasonal ingredients to create nutritious, delicious and satisfying meals. It’s also her heartfelt goal to be a change agent, spreading the message of quality food and spirited cooking for children to carry into adulthood and pass on to the next generation. See more.
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