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Black Bean Hummus (Vegan)

In Meats On March 16, 2020 0 Comments

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This delicious hummus is great for cold or snowy March days. The black beans and garbanzos are rich in protein and fiber. With tahini and olive oil, this Vegan appetizer tastes rich and velvety!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2-1/2 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups canned or pre-cooked black beans, drained
1/2 cup canned or pre-cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 tablespoons tahini (this is a condiment made from toasted, hulled & ground sesame seeds)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 garlic clove, peeled & crushed
1/4 to 1/3 cup cold water
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 to 6 pita breads, each cut into 6 wedges
1 small avocado, barely ripened & cut into cubes
1 Roma tomato, cut in half, pulp discarded & flesh cut into cubes
3 to 4 dill sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
1. In a food processor, puree together the black beans, garbanzo beans, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, water and olive oil.

2. When hummus mixture is uniform, taste it. If needed, adjust salt level.

3. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl; garnish with avocado, tomato cubes and dill sprigs.

4. Serve immediately with pita wedges. Alternatively, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 4 hours or overnight.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Brown Rice Salad with Carrots, Cranberries & Chives (Vegan)

In Meats On September 3, 2019 0 Comments

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Now that we’re back to “laboring” after Labor Day, keep it simple in the kitchen. Here is a fast, delicious Vegan rice dish!

Prep time: 30-40 minutes (for cooking rice)
10-12 minutes (for assembling salad)
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1 cup organic brown rice (any variety)
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 small to medium carrot, peeled & finely shredded
1/2 cup finely-chopped, fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 to 6 fresh mint leaf sprigs for garnish

Directions:
1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

2. If rice has some liquid after it has cooked, make sure to drain the rice in a colander.

3. Transfer the cooked rice to a glass, porcelain or metal mixing bowl (DO NOT USE PLASTIC, AS IT WILL HEAT UP).

4. Add all ingredients except for mint leaf sprigs to the rice in bowl; toss and taste.

5. Adjust seasonings, per taste.

6. Garnish with mint leaf sprigs and serve as a side dish.

NOTE: This rice salad can be made early in the day and covered, set on a counter at room temperature. It also keeps well as a leftover, refrigerated, up to 3 to 4 days.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Bean, Tomato & Parsley Salad

In Meats On August 1, 2019 0 Comments

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Enjoy this easy, fresh salad to keep you cool during August!

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:

One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 quart cherry tomatoes, rinsed & halved
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup fresh, Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper; toss and taste. If needed, adjust seasonings.

2. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

Chocolate Ricotta Cake – Happy Easter

In Meats On April 1, 2019 0 Comments

During Holy Week (one week prior to Easter), it is customary for Italian Roman Catholic women to prepare baked goods for the upcoming feast on Sunday. Finally, on Easter Sunday, Southern Italians make a gran finale with homemade ricotta cake.

This chocolate ricotta cake is one of my traditional recipes. Just mix all ingredients together and bake the cake – that’s it. It’s chocolaty and moist. Enjoy this dessert at Easter!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Bake time: 25 to 35 minutes (every oven will differ in temperature)
Makes: One 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2/3 cup granulated, unbleached sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil (preferably safflower or sunflower)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk (whole or 2% milk fat)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar and nonpareils candies, for garnish
fresh mint leaf sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Chantilly Cream (found in The Kitchen Buzzz’s Recipes)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt & ground cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.

3. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch spring form pan; set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted chocolate, sugar, egg, oil, ricotta cheese, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.

5. Gradually (a little at a time), whisk in the combined dry ingredients. Keep mixing until the batter is smooth and thick.

6. Pour the batter into prepared spring form pan, cleaning sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.

7. Transfer the cake pan on a rack set in center of oven.

8. Bake cake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, insert a pointed knife in center of cake. If knife comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake cake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Test once more (the cake should be done). If not, bake a few minutes more and test again.

9. Transfer the cake to a counter to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

10. When cake is cool, using a knife, gently loosen the cake from sides of pan and remove.

11. Place the cake on a serving platter.

12. Dust top of cake with powdered sugar and nonpareils. Garnish each serving with mint leaf sprigs.

13. Serve this cake by itself or with a dollop of Chantilly Cream (recipe is in The Kitchen Buzzz’s Recipe index).
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Shrimp & Scallop Salad with Olive Oil & Lemon

In Meats On January 8, 2019 0 Comments

We’re a week into 2019 and you’re probably on a diet, right? Okay, I get it. But it doesn’t mean you have to eat bland or boring foods.

Make this simple shrimp and scallop salad. Dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Enjoy it with a green salad or your favorite side dish!  If it’s just two of you, the leftovers will last 3 days (refrigerated).

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3/4 pound fresh wild, medium shrimp (shelled & deveined)*
3/4 pound bay scallops (frozen & thawed)
1/2 red bell pepper, stem & seeds discarded
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 2 fresh lemons (limes can be substituted)
salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Place shrimp in a 3-quart saucepot and cover with cold water; bring to a boil.

2. When shrimp come to a boil, cook 3 to 4 minutes or just until their flesh turns opaque and pink.

3. Drain shrimp and place in a 2-quart glass or porcelain bowl; set aside.

4. Place scallops in a 1-quart saucepot and cover with cold water; bring to a boil.

5. When scallops come to a boil, cook 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, taste a scallop. If it tastes raw, cook for up to 1 more minute.

6. Drain scallops and add them to the shrimp in bowl; set aside.

7. Cut the flesh of red bell pepper into 1/4-inch thick strips. Cut strips into 1/4-inch pieces and add them to the seafood in bowl.

8. Add parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss gently.

9. Taste the shrimp and scallop salad; adjust seasonings, to taste.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

*NOTE: Opt to purchase wild, medium shrimp from Mexico – their flesh tastes sweet. If shrimp are farm-raised, they taste bland and flavorless. When seafood markets sell shrimp either frozen or frozen and thawed, they are considered “fresh” or “fresh frozen”.