Lamb is one our favorite meats, and it features heavily in both Mediterranean and certain Asian cuisines. It’s also less impactful on the environment than beef. When cooked properly, it’s tender, juicy, moist and delicious. However, overcooking it can result in a dry, and almost gamey tasting piece of meat.
This lamb dish is one our go-to dishes every the summer since its an easy and delicious weeknight meal. It has just a handful of simple, fresh ingredients that let the lamb shine. Mashing the garlic into a paste reduces the likelihood of it burning on the grill. Letting the rosemary char directly on the meat gives it an deep smoky and herbal flavor.
Grilled fish is one of the great pleasures of having warmer weather. This is a simple and fast dish that is packed full of amazing flavor. The sauce is inspired by a Salmoriglio sauce – which is a tangy, herby, lemony sauce of which there are countless variations. But this variation is incredibly simple, and the marinade doubles as the sauce. You cant get much more simple than this – and the simplicity allows the delicate flavor of the fish to shine.
One of the best habits I have started is eating yogurt on a daily basis. I eat it every morning for breakfast no matter what. The benefits of yogurt are too good to overlook. Yogurt is rich in B vitamins such as vitamin B12 and riboflavin which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium which helps maintain strong bones which can lower the risk of osteoporosis in women. Yogurt tends to be high in protein which can help aid in weight control. A study conducted by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center suggests that protein may have a big impact on your body-fat percentage, so it stands to reason that by increasing your muscle mass you can boost your metabolism. Yogurt can also be great for your digestive health as well.
I have gone on a yogurt journey so to speak. I started my journey eating Yoplait but after awhile it was too sugary. I then moved to the greek yogurts such as Oikos and Chobani and again after a time they became too sweet as well. I then moved on to Fage greek yogurt. It took awhile to get use to Fage because it had a tangy and way less sugary taste. I then read about making your own yogurt and I thought wow that would be nice but I am not that kinda gal. Well I was wrong, I am that type of gal and I have not looked back. Last Christmas I asked for a yogurt maker and my mother-in-law ordered one for me on Amazon. Now at first it was hit and miss ( thank goodness my husband doesn’t mind being a taste tester) but I finally came up with a recipe that I love.
The benefits of making your own yogurt is that YOU decide what goes in your yogurt and how much. If you look at just about any store bought yogurt the sugar content can be unbelievable. There are 16 grams of sugar in Dannon Oikos Traditional Greek Yogurt Raspberry which is about 4 teaspoons of sugar. Chobani Raspberry Greek yogurt has 18 grams, Yoplait Peach has 26 grams! My yogurt has 12 grams but it is pure sugar and not sugar additives, and I do have a sweet tooth! I also use whole organic milk and five percent fat content plain Fage yogurt as my starter. I want good quality products in my yogurt, and despite what you may have read the fat from yogurt is considered fat that is good for.
Another benefit to making your own yogurt is the cost of buying versus the cost of making. My husband and I both eat yogurt for breakfast every day and that really added up. We were spending $21.00 a week on yogurt. Now that I make our yogurt we are spending roughly $6.49, which is a weekly savings of $14.51! With that money saved we buy fresh fruit to top our yogurt and yummy granola.
Making yogurt is not for everyone, but if you give it a try you may just be that kind of person! Also don’t give up because with just about everything else practice makes perfect. It will take several attempts to get your yogurt how you want it so don’t give up!
Homemade Vanilla Organic Whole Milk Yogurt
One yogurt maker (glass jars and lids should be included (Euro Cuisine Brand))
One cooking pot
Thermometer (Euro Cuisine Brand)
Medium size bowl
Four cup measuring cup
One measuring tablespoon
One ¼ measuring cup
One wire mesh strainer
Four cups organic whole milk ( I use Aldi brand and save about $3.00)
½ cup dry milk (Nido brand)
Sugar to your taste ( I use six tablespoons but it is now tasting a little too sweet so I am going to take it down to four Tbsp)
One package good quality plain greek yogurt ( I use Fage plain 5% fat)
One tablespoon vanilla
Pour 4 cups of milk in to the pot at medium to medium high heat. Set the thermometer in the milk, making sure the thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. Bring the milk to 180 degrees F. Remove pot from the heat and remove thermometer.
Whisk in the dry milk a ¼ cup at a time. Next whisk in the sugar a few tablespoons at a time. Make sure dry milk and sugar is dissolved. If you see little lumps don’t be alarmed, this will be strained off towards the end. Put the thermometer back in the milk mixture, again making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pot. Let the milk cool until it reaches 95 degrees F.
Meanwhile, set out the yogurt maker, glass jars, and lids. Empty yogurt starter into medium bowl. When the milk mixture has cooled to 95 degrees pour a little bit of it in the bowl with the starter to temper. Whisked until combined. Combine the yogurt starter mix in the milk mixture and whisk until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and stir lightly.
Get your cleaned 4 cup measure and put the mesh strainer over opening and cover with the cheesecloth. Slowly pour milk mixture through the cheesecloth. When all of the mixture is strained slowly pour the mixture into the individual glass yogurt jars. Put glass jars in yogurt machine, cover with lid, and turn machine on. Once the maker is on do not move or shake. Leave yogurt in the maker for 12 to 14 hours. When yogurt is finished remove jars and cool slightly. Cap the jars and refrigerate for least 4 hours before eating.
If you decide to start making your own yogurt drop me a message I would love to know how it goes for you.
This is a simple and easy pork chop recipe that delivers a ton of flavor. The fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice combination drive home the flavors of southeast Asia and produce an amazing blend of sweet, sour, and umami flavors. The liquid from the shallot tenderizes the meat as well, so don’t over-marinate it!
We typically serve this with grilled sweet potatoes and a light salad with an peanut vinaigrette.
This is another and easy and delicious weeknight meal! This can be made faster and more easily by purchasing pizza dough from the grocery store. I prefer to make my own, but store bought dough is actually pretty good and easy to find. You can also make your own pesto if you are so inclined – we will add a recipe for that soon. When buying pesto, make sure to get it from the refrigerated section – the jarred pesto has a bunch of preservatives that affect the flavor.
You will get a better crust if you use a pizza stone, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one. If you enjoy making pizzas, a stone is an invaluable tool that will take your pies to the next level. You can get a reasonably good one fairly cheap, and if you take care of it, it should last a very long time.
I’m always so excited for grilling season to start because it really opens up our repertoire of recipes. So many great Mediterranean and Asian recipes are perfect for grilling. One prime example is Souvlaki – a delicious Greek grilled chicken dish. This version is very simple – only 5 ingredients: chicken, garlic, oregano, olive oil, and lemon. Like most of our recipes, it’s fast, easy, and healthy!
While my husband and I visited France last fall, and we stayed in a beautiful little port town on the Mediterranean called Port Vendre. It was walking distance to the more touristy town of Collioure. Port Vendre was wonderful and quiet, but Collioure, despite being a bit more crowded and busy, had a number of sites that we wanted to see so we planned a day around going there. But the weather was not very agreeable – it rained the whole day. However, we didn’t let that stop us. We walked around the beautiful old town, past the Château Royal de Collioure, and down the beach. In the middle of a downpour, we stopped at a small Creperie. The only available seating was outdoors, but the tables were covered and dry. We were cold, wet, and starving, and my husband really wanted a drink.
Incorporating fish into our diet has been a bit tough, especially since we live in a part of the country that’s nowhere near the ocean, and fresh fish is a bit tougher to come by. However, one of the fish that is always readily available is cod. It also happens to be one of my favorites! It’s flaky, but meaty. The taste isn’t fishy or strong, and it takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with. This Mediterranean style fish dish is very simple to make, and absolutely delicious!
The amazing restaurant Chai Pani in Asheville, NC serves Indian street food. One of my favorite things to get is their Sloppy Jai. This is an Indian version of a sloppy Joe – made with ground lamb and Indian spices.
I tried to recreate this recipe at home! It’s not exactly the same, but we feel it is a pretty good rendition. I added pickled red onion to add a bit of tang and cut through the richness of the lamb. Adding a little cayenne pepper or replacing the curry powder with Madras curry powder will add a little heat. I serve these on brioche buns, but any buns will be fine. This recipe is also super quick – it can be made in under 30 minutes for a great weeknight meal.
These delicious and simple fish tacos can be made in under 30 minutes! The pickled onions, slaw and sauce can be made in advance. We typically use Mahi-Mahi, but cod (or any other flaky white fish) are delicious as well! This makes enough tacos for two.
One of my favorite things to eat any time of year is my husband’s Thai Curry. It’s rich, sweet, a little tangy – and all-around delicious.
The version below is a shrimp curry, but you can put in any flaky white fish instead of the shrimp, or you can add sliced chicken instead. If you want a spicier curry, add some Thai chilies to the mix. You can also make a green version of this curry – simply replace the red curry paste with green.
This is one of our favorite recipes! We got the original recipe from Lidia Bastianich and modified it to make it easier and faster to prepare on a weeknight. Lidia uses dried beans and cooks them for nearly an hour, but we found that using canned beans is just as good and doesn’t require as much time or effort. This meal can be made in roughly 30 minutes – and it’s healthy and delicious!
One of the easiest (and best) things to make with chickpeas is hummus. Hummus is incredibly versatile and you can flavor it with just about anything. Below is a very simple hummus recipe that can be used as a base. You can add just about anything to this base to make a more unique flavor – roasted red peppers, roast garlic, cumin, spices, herbs, or just about anything you can imagine.
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