Corn and Chickpea Fiesta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette


2 1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen, canned....whatever you prefer, but if you're using canned corn make sure to drain and rinse it)
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about a 1 pound container)
1 green pepper, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 English cucumber, chopped

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Combine all of the salad ingredients in a big bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and stir until everything is mixed well.

Refrigerate until serving or at least for a half an hour to let the flavors blend.

Baked Herb and Parmesan Potato Slices


2 whole russet potatoes (medium size)
2 whole large red potatoes
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Rinse the potatoes and dry them off with a paper towel. Slice the potatoes at a slight diagonal. Try to keep the slices at a similar width (about a ½ inch) so they cook evenly.

Add the potato slices to a large bowl. Next add the herbs, spices, and olive oil. Mix all of the ingredients together so the olive oil and herbs evenly coat both sides of the sliced potatoes.

Lay the potatoes on to a cookie sheet. Try to lay the potatoes as flat as possible on to the cookie sheet rather than stacking the potatoes on top of one another.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the thinnest pieces are a golden color. Serve warm right out of the oven as a side dish.

Cinnamon Apple Dessert Chimichangas


For the Apple Pie Filling

4 baking apples, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice

For the Chimichangas 

8-10 small tortillas
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Oil for frying


For the Apple Pie Filling 

Combine the water, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes very thick. Add the chopped apples and reduce to a simmer. Allow the apple mixture to simmer until the apples become just tender (approximately 10 minutes). Allow the mixture to cool.

For the Chimichangas 

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Spoon apple pie filling across the bottom 1/3 of the tortilla. Fold in both sides of the tortilla before rolling up the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, and then continue to roll the tortilla up like a burrito.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet with 1/2 an inch of oil. Once oil is hot, fry the chimichangas on all sides until the tortilla turns golden brown. (approximately 30 seconds on each side)

Remove the chimichangas to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to drain briefly. Immediately roll the warm chimichanga in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and serve.

You can serve the chimichangas with a scoop of ice cream and/or drizzled with caramel sauce. They would also be yummy with a warm vanilla sauce or a cream cheese frosting.

Veal Scallopine with Curried Cauliflower & Mushroom Sauce


4 thinly sliced veal cutlets
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil


1/2 head of cauliflower, florets sliced thin
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

Mushroom Sauce:

1 oz. flour
1 oz. unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup small diced carrots, onion, celery
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups veal/beef stock, divided
6-8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste


For the mushroom sauce:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter under medium heat. Add the flour and slowly cook under moderate heat until you achieve a dark brown roux. You’ll want to stir constantly so you don’t scorch the flour.

In a separate saute pan, heat olive oil under medium high heat. Add diced vegetables and cook until lightly caramelized. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute or two to incorporate. Set aside until roux is at desired dark brown color.

Add vegetable mixture to roux and stir to incorporate. Very slowly add 2 cups of the stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20-25 minutes.

Strain of solids, then return the liquid into the saucepan. Add remaining 2 cups of stock and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.

In a small saute pan under medium high heat, saute the mushrooms in a little bit of butter or olive oil until caramelized. Add mushrooms to the reduced sauce and simmer under low heat for about 10-15 minutes.

For the cauliflower:

Combine the cauliflower, curry powder, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.

Heat a medium saute pan under medium high heat and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add cauliflower and saute until caramelized around the edges.

Finish by tossing with fresh parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese.

For the veal:

Heat a large saute pan on high heat and add olive oil. Scallopine slices are really thin so you want a really hot pan so you can get a good sear quickly and prevent any overcooking.

Season the veal slices with salt and pepper and add to hot pan. Get a nice golden brown sear and flip over and cook just for about 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. These will cook very quickly.

Remove from pan and let rest on a cutting board for 2-3 minutes.

To plate, spread a nice amount of sauce in the center of the plate. Place some cauliflower slices over the sauce and top with 2 slices of veal.

This recipe is also linked on:

Food on Friday: Veal 

Sausage Stuffed Shells with Spinach

16-18 jumbo pasta shells
1 pound fresh pork sausage links, casing removed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze dry
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and fill a large bowl with cold water and ice, set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook according to package directions. Drain well then add to ice water until ready to stuff.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork sausage then use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage, cook 5-6 minutes until browned.
Add garlic and cook 30 seconds then add tomatoes and spinach (make sure the thawed frozen spinach has been squeezed dry); cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese.
Using a spoon, fill pasta shells with pork filling and arrange in a baking dish (9-inch x 9-inch baking dish works well). Sprinkle tops with shredded cheese then bake in the oven 25-30 minutes until cheese has melted and tips of shells begin to crisp and brown.