Cal Mex Breakfast

I love hash browns as much as the next person but I also don’t always want to stuff myself full of fried potatoes. So I came up with this baked sweet potato version. It’s simple, flavorful, healthy and goes great with all kinds of foods. I’m thinking of doing something Indian-inspired with them next.

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt (jalapeno salt if you have it)
  1. pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet (maybe 2 depending on how big your sweet potatoes are)
  2. grate sweet potatoes on the large setting of a box cheese grater
  3. put the shreds in a big bowl and drizzle olive oil over, mix in all the spices with your hands then spread on baking sheet (s)
  4. bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and turn with fork and flip around the sheets if your oven cooks kind of unevenly like mine.
  5. continue cooking for about 30 more minutes stirring with a fork occasionally, until starting to crisp and get brown
  6. serve with mashed black beans, a soft boiled egg, avocado, baked tempeh and lime wedge (pictured here) -these keep well in the fridge

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Beet and Herbed Goat’s Cheese Terrine

My cousin brought a Hemsley & Hemsley cookbook over to my grandparents for me to look at and I was very excited by a lot of the recipes and gorgeous photos but this one really jumped out. It’s so striking and also all ingredients that I love. We mixed up the herbs and quantities a bit.

{makes 8 servings, as a side dish}

  • 2 red beets
  • 2 golden beets
  • 1 log of goat’s cheese
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • parsley (for garnish)
  1. pre-heat oven to 350° F
  2. roast beets in foil on a baking sheet for about an hour (unless they are super big you might need more time)
  3. remove from oven and let cool
  4. soften goat cheese and chop herbs finely and mix herbs into the goat cheese in a large bowl
  5. when beets are cooled, peel them and slice them in varied thicknesses (on the thinner side)
  6. line a 9″ by 4″ loaf pan with parchment then start layering beets and goat cheese mixture starting w/ a layer of beets, we did all red first then gold then red and so on; use less goat cheese than you think you need, I rolled it into small balls placed each one on top of a beet round then smoothed it out to cover w/ my fingers
  7. when finished layering all the ingredients, place a weight on top (we used a rubber banded down beer can and a small brick) but whatever works you know
  8. then leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours

~original recipe from Hemsley & Hemsley~

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Spanakopita

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We love spanakopita. We also just went to Costco and bought a pound bag of spinach so it seemed only natural to make spanakopita. This is definitely not traditional, but we tried to use what herbs we had growing and make it a little easier and healthier with just sautéing everything and dumping it on the pastry- nothing wrong with that!

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 4 large kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped of each; basil, mint and parsley
  • 3/4 lb spinach
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 6 oz feta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish

{serves 6}

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[wilt your greens but not too much]

  1. pre-heat oven to 400º F and bake the puff pastry for 15 minutes (on a baking sheet) it should balloon up; after pre-baking lower heat to 350º F
  2. dice onion and mince garlic
  3. in a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat then add onions and garlic, stir occasionally until opaque
  4. add mustard seeds and some red chili flakes if desired
  5. meanwhile, clean and roughly chop kale, spinach, basil, parsley and mint
  6. then add the greens to the sauté pan and lower heat, cook until wilted and dark green (see above photo), add pine nuts and crumble 3/4 of the feta into the mix, remove from heat
  7. with a slotted spoon (to leave behind liquid) move the greens onto the puff pastry, leaving about a 1/2 inch border
  8. bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is starting to brown, then remove from oven and crumble the rest of the feta over the top then put under broiler for 2 minutes on high or until cheese starts to get brown
  9. remove from oven, let cool for a couple of minutes then garnish with pomegranate seeds and additional herbs

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© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Crispy Prosciutto, Toasted Walnuts and Feta

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Farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s good for you, goes a long way and has a great texture. Crisping up prosciutto is also a great way to add texture and lots of flavor. The apricots, feta and walnuts balance out this ‘salad’ with sweet-salty-earthy flavors.

  • 2 cups pearled farro (dry)
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) prosciutto
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • dash of nutmeg
  • glug of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of handfuls of spinach
  1. pre-heat oven to 350º F and spread walnuts on a small baking tray and toast for 8 minutes
  2. cook farro according to instructions (2 cups farro, 4 cups salted water)
  3. in a skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil and lay prosciutto in one flat layer, cook for 15 minutes on low or until brown on the bottom then flip each piece and continue cooking until crispy, remove from pan and let cool
  4. move farro to a large bowl when finished cooking and season to taste with remaining tablespoon olive oil, champagne vinegar and nutmeg
  5. dice dried apricots into small pieces, slice green onions, tear prosciutto and break walnuts into smaller pieces and crumble feta into the farro bowl
  6. when you’re almost ready to serve, roughly chop or tear spinach and stir into the salad

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Quick Dill Pickles

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Yeah, I’m in the fermenters club. I’m not actually but I think I’d like to be. This was just a jar they gave us at the 2016 SD Fermentation Festival but that’s a whole other story. Anyways I love pickling things and it’s so easy! I threw these together yesterday to go with salmon tacos and they turned out great.

  • 3 small cucumbers
  • 1 medium sized white onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 sprigs fresh dill
  1. slice cucumbers lengthwise into long thin strips and slice onion
  2. in a large jar or other glass container combine all pickling ingredients (except for the cucumbers and onions)
  3. when this vinegary mixture is all combined, add the cucumbers and onions and let sit for an hour or so
  4. these will keep in the fridge for at least a week

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tomato, Nectarine, Feta and Basil Summer Salad

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We have tons of super-ripe tomatoes and can’t stop buying stone fruit at the farmer’s market so we started playing around with this salad idea. We’ve made it at least five times this summer and it’s seriously the perfect combination of summer flavors, in my honest opinion.

{serves 4}

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 firm but ripe nectarines (mix of yellow and white)
  • 6 sprigs basil
  • 1/2 cup sheep’s milk feta
  • 1 splash good quality olive oil
  • 1 dash balsamic
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • a bed of arugula
  1. on a large plate lay a bed of arugula
  2. with your sharpest knife, slice tomatoes and nectarines
  3. arrange them on top of the arugula and crumble feta over the top of that
  4. then julienne the basil and arrange that
  5. then (right before you’re about to serve, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and grind pepper over

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Baba Ganoush

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this is a super simple recipe but the flavors combine beautifully and continue to develop as you let it sit.

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cups tahini
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 squeeze lemon (optional)
  1. roast eggplant directly over a grill or open burner (careful in fire alarm sensitive areas), until skin is completely blackened and blistering
  2. remove from fire are let cool a bit then put it in a plastic bag
  3. when it has cooled down enough (20ish minutes) peel off the skin. alternatively, cut the eggplant in half and scoop the insides out with a spoon
  4. in a large mixing bowl, mash the eggplant and add tahini, mustard, capers and lemon juice

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Tomates Farcies (Stuffed Tomatoes)

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{serves 8 as a hearty side}

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (or 2 tbsp olive oil if you’re not feelin it)
  • 1 large shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 16 oz spinach (fresh)
  • 1 grilled (or baked) and chopped sausage (spicy Italian preferably)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (jarred/canned works fine)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 5 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme and rosemary (plus more (not chopped) for pretty garnishes)
  • 8 dollops kalamata olive tapenade
  • 3 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese

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  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF; cut tops off of tomatoes and scoop out the insides with a melon scooper (leaving a 1/4 inch or so thick wall so they don’t completely collapse (reserve the insides)) ; then lightly salt the insides
  2. heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat; meanhwile chop garlic and shallot
  3. once butter has melted add the garlic and shallot and sauté until they’re opaque then add the spinach and sauté until slightly wilted then take off heat and let cool
  4. at this point the salt in the tomato bowls will have probably brought out some water, add that to the tomato insides bowl
  5. in a large mixing bowl combine the goat cheese, parmesan cheese, spinach concoction, 3/4 cups of the tomato insides, pistachios, roasted red peppers, red pepper flakes, breadcrumbs, sausage and herbs
  6. then bake at 350º F for 20 minutes, remove from oven, top with the tapenade dollops and put the tomato hat/lids back on and bake for another 10 minutes

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© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Chicken Meatballs with Quinoa and Middle Eastern Spices

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These were inspired by some whole foods chicken meatballs I tried that had quinoa in them. The quinoa keeps them moist and gives them an interesting texture. Using quinoa also makes the meat go much further so it’s a very affordable and healthy way to go about making meatballs.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp cooked quinoa (preferably cooked in chicken broth)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1/2 tsp za’tar
  • 1/4 tsp salt/pepper (each)
  • 10 leaves mint
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  2. in a large glass bowl combine ground chicken and the cooked quinoa
  3. mince garlic and chop herbs finely (mint and parsley)
  4. add garlic, mint and parsley to the bowl along with the ras el hanout, zatar, salt and pepper, stir to incorporate
  5. add egg, tahini and breadcrumbs and continue to mix until everything is evenly distributed
  6. roll into balls and spread evenly on baking sheets
  7. bake for 15 minutes then turn with tongs and continue baking for another 15 minutes

*especially great served with garlic-dill yogurt sauce

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Potato Salad w/ Lots of Garlic, Dill and Mustard

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I love all kinds of potato salad. This is a vinegar-y, herby one that I let marinate overnight. I was planning on having it as a cold salad but I had some lemon-infused cheese that was calling out to be used and melted cheese makes everything more exciting so I ended up sauteing it with the cheese.

{3 servings}

  • 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 5 sprigs dill
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt/pepper (lemon pepper preferably)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 15 tiny potatoes or 9 normal small fingerlings
  • 1/4 cup hard salty cheese (pecorino or something similar)- optional

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  1. boil potatoes until easily stabbed with a fork
  2. mince garlic
  3. in a bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vin, mustard and garlic. season to taste with salt and pepper
  4. when potatoes are cooled, quarter them or chop (depending on the size of the potatoes you’re using)
  5. pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and gently stir to cover all potatoes without breaking them up too much
  6. add the capers and chopped dill
  7. marinate overnight
  8. serve cold OR
  9. in a medium sized sauce pan saute the whole concoction over medium high heat and shave cheese over the top
  10. stir occasionally until cheese is melted and potatoes are starting to crisp
  11. serve with fresh dill and lemon zest

(pictured with a spinach salad, lentils and a soft boiled egg)

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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