Meditterranean

Orzo & Hearts of Palm Salad with lemon dill dressing

Just when I thought I had tried every ingredient, hearts of palm came along. If you have not heard of hearts of palm, they are a delicious vegetable that comes from the stem of palm trees. Hearts of Palm are considered a delicacy and have started gaining some traction in the food world. One of my favorite ways of using hearts of palm is in an Orzo & Hearts of Palm Salad with lemon dill dressing. My go to brand is Reese Hearts of Palm. It is absolutely the best tasting.

Orzo & Hearts of Palm Salad with lemon dill dressingThe crunchy texture of hearts of palm makes them wonderful additions salads including this Orzo & Hearts of Palm Salad with lemon dill dressing. The addition of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts with the lemon and dill dressing makes a delicious combo sure to be a hit at any summer cook out.

I only use the Reese brand because all their Hearts of Palm products are Non-GMO verified, low cholesterol, rich in potassium and very versatile. The convenience is a plus too, just open the package and you are good to go!

In addition to hearts of palm, Reese also has artichoke hearts, capers, anchovies, water chestnuts and more. I especially love the artichoke hearts which are great on pizza and in a spinach artichoke dip. I highly recommend trying the Hearts of Palm & the Artichoke Hearts. Best of all you can earn rebates on Reese products if you download the Ibotta app.

I always love to know when you try my recipes and look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. You can share photos of your dishes on Instagram and be sure to tag Reese on Instagram

FYI: This post is in partnership with Reese. As always, the images and content in this post are my own.  

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Print Recipe
Orzo & Hearts of Palm Salad with lemon dill dressing
Course Side dish
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1 cup Reese Canned Hearts of Palm
  • 3 tbsp Reese Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 small yellow or red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 3 stems green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon zested and juiced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Course Side dish
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1 cup Reese Canned Hearts of Palm
  • 3 tbsp Reese Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 small yellow or red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 3 stems green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon zested and juiced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, black pepper and set aside.
  2. Cook Orzo per package instructions for about 12 minutes till cooked. Make sure pasta is aldente and not overcooked and mushy.
  3. When pasta is cooked rinse it it under cold water to remove excess starch and place in a large bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, dressing and mix gently. Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to combine.

Mozzarella and cucumber salad

When it comes packed lunches I am one of those people who tends to use leftovers but every now and then I like to prepare a packed lunch. This beautiful mozzarella and cucumber salad is very easy and is perfect for a quick packed lunch.

Mozzarella and cucumber salad

Now lets talk about the two main  ingredients in this lovely salad.

Persian cucumbers I used Persian cucumbers for this salad because they travel well compared to other cucumber varieties which lose their water quickly. Persian cucumbers also have softer skin and smaller seeds than other cucumbers which makes them perfect for salads. Fun fact, cucumbers are technically fruits but are used as a vegetable.

Fresh Mozzarella  Feta cheese would have worked fine for this salad however mozzarella is perfect. I used buffalo mozzarella which is by far the best mozzarella cheese. Yes, it costs more than cow’s milk mozzarella cheese but its worth the splurge. After all you would have probably used that extra money for a latte at one of those fancy coffee shops.

Let me know if you try this Mozzarella and cucumber salad recipe, you can shoot me direct message or tag me on Instagram. I am always looking forward to hearing from you. You can also try the ultimate orzo pasta salad . This is one of my favorite as it tastes even better the next day and therefore is a great salad to pack for lunch.

Things you may need:

This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission when you click through the product links and make a purchase. Click here for my full disclosure policy.


Print Recipe
Mozzarella and Cucumber salad
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 2 Persian cucumber thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves torn
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 2 Persian cucumber thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves torn
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix arugula, spinach and basil leaves and place in a lunch container preferably glass.
  2. Add slices of tomato, cucumber and mozzarella on top and drizzle with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
Recipe Notes

You can also place olive oil in a small container and drizzle it when its time to eat.

Pan Seared Tilapia with lemon and herb zucchini

So the Fiance’ is currently on a low carb diet which has forced me to  switch things up in the kitchen . I am one of those people who loves their rice, bread, sweet potatoes and most carbs so this has been a bit of an adjustment. Since I don’t like cooking 2 different meals I just decided to join him on the low carb ride and it has been fun. I find that my creative juices are flowing even more as I have to find alternatives. This pan seared Tilapia with lemon and herb zucchini has been a regular on our menu because of its simplicity and flavor.

IMG_1572

Eating a meal like this has many healthy benefits from the fish, zucchini and tomatoes. If you are not a big fish fan you can serve the zucchini with any meat from chicken to steak. I loved having it my with Moroccan spiced lamb shanks recipe

5 Health Benefits of eating Fish 

  1. Seafood is a good source of protein
  2. Seafood is low in fat: If you are on a low-fat diet, fish is a great option.
  3. Seafood is low in cholesterol: Eating seafood 2 to 3 times a week will significantly lower blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
  4. Seafood is high in omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient and assist with many body functions. Since the body cannot make them, eating more seafood is a great way to get these into your body.
  5. Seafood is high in vitamins and minerals: These include iodine, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B and many more.

Please note that these points are from my own research. Please consult with  your doctor or licensed dietician if you are seeking professional advice and treatment.

Things you may need:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission when you click through the product links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Print Recipe
Pan Seared Tilapia with lemon and herb zucchini Pasta
Pan seared Tilapia with herbed zucchini
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Lemon and Herb zucchini
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 small Scallions sliced
  • 1 large medium lemon juiced and zested
  • 1 handful Fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pan seared Tilapia
  • 4 filets Tilapia or any white fish
  • 2 tsp dried dill 4 tsp if using fresh
  • 2 tsp seafood seasoning or spice of choice I used the whole food brand
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Lemon and Herb zucchini
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 small Scallions sliced
  • 1 large medium lemon juiced and zested
  • 1 handful Fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pan seared Tilapia
  • 4 filets Tilapia or any white fish
  • 2 tsp dried dill 4 tsp if using fresh
  • 2 tsp seafood seasoning or spice of choice I used the whole food brand
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pan seared Tilapia with herbed zucchini
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large wok or pan on medium high. Add butter, 1 tbsp olive oil and throw in zucchini
  2. After 5 minutes add garlic and lemon zest and sauté zucchini for another 2 minutes till soft but aldente. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Remove from heat and add green onions, parsley and squeeze about a tsp of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Season the fish filet with dill and seafood seasoning.
  5. Heat a large lan pan, add olive oil and cook each side for about 3 minutes each till golden brown and cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Toss the cherry tomatoes with oregano in the pan where fish was cooking and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Start plating with the zucchini ribbons first , place a filet of fish over the zucchini and top with the sautéed tomatoes.
  8. Pan seared Tilapia with herbed zucchini

The Best Eggplant Recipe Around

The best eggplant recipe…I know its a pretty bold statement to make but I truly believe it and those who have tried it loved it. Eggplant is one of those foods that you either like or hate however this recipe can change a eggplant hater into a fan. Topped with feta, herbs and cherry tomatoes this dish is the perfect blend of simplicity and great flavor.

The best eggplant recipe

6 Tips to making the best eggplant recipe

When cooking eggplant its important to choose the right eggplant as this is the key to a tasty eggplant dish. I did some research online and used my personal experience to come up with some tips on how to choose the best eggplant and cook it well.

  1. Smooth and plump skin: The skin should be very smooth, plump and shiny with no wrinkles or blemishes. The is the best visible indication of a good eggplant. A dull and wrinkly eggplant is usually a sign that the eggplant has been around for too long.
  2. The smaller the better: Often you see large eggplants is stores and you think if its big it must be better but this is not the case with eggplant. Larger eggplants tend to be bitter and less tender which is not what you want.
  3. Leave the skin on when roasting or grilling: This is important if you want to keep the eggplant slices intact.
  4. Thoroughly dry and brush the eggplant with olive oil:When grilling the eggplant make sure it is dry and brushed with olive oil to prevent it from sticking and charring.
  5. Make sure oil is very hot: Eggplant tends to soak in fat really quickly so it is important that the oil you are cooking with is hot to reduce the amount of oil absorption.
  6. Slices or pieces should be spaced out and in a single layer: cooking too many slices in the pan will produce steam which will lead to a mushy eggplant.

Things you may need:

               

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission when you click through product links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.

Print Recipe
The best eggplant recipe
Eggplant with herbed cherry toamtoes and feta
Course Side dish
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 3 small eggplants
  • 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped curly parsley
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Course Side dish
Cuisine Meditterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 3 small eggplants
  • 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped curly parsley
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Eggplant with herbed cherry toamtoes and feta
Instructions
  1. Mix sliced cherry tomatoes, green onions, curley parsley, 1tbsp olive oil, black pepper and set aside.
  2. Season each slice of eggplant with paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Brush each side with olive oil.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large non stick griddle pan and add the slices of eggplant spaced in a single layer.
    grilled eggplant
  4. Cook each side for about 3 minutes. Add additional olive oil if needed and plate immediately after eggplant slices are cooked.
  5. Top the eggplant slices with the herbed tomatoes and sprinkle with feta on top.
    Eggplant with herbed cherry toamtoes and feta

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