Ginger, Hazelnut, Cherry Granola


My mom’s been making iterations of this granola for as long as I can remember. The oats-oil-honey ratio is the same but she likes to mix up the dried fruits and nut combinations. Crystalized ginger is one of my favorite add ins. Hazelnuts and dried cherries are also super yummy and go well together but you can play with your own combos.

  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 cups oats
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 crystalized ginger
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • dried cherries
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (raw)
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  1. pre-heat oven to 350º F
  2. in a big bowl mix oats, melted coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  3. spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes
  4. meanwhile, slice crystalized ginger and halve or quarter cherries
  5. after 15 minutes, pull the granola out of the oven and stir a bit then return to oven to bake for another 15 minutes
  6. remove from oven, stir again then spread slivered almonds and whole hazelnuts on top and continue baking for 8 minutes to toast up the nuts
  7. remove from oven again and add coconut on top and bake again for 1 minute or until the coconut starts to brown
  8. remove from oven and cool, add fruit in when it’s cool enough

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Overnight Oats w/ Rosemary and Vanilla


I like to make a big batch of overnight oats to have through the week for fast and easy post-yoga breakfasts. For this one I used vanilla and rosemary to flavor it. I love rosemary in almost anything, most people think of it as a seasoning reserved for savory dishes but I think it’s great incorporated into breakfasts and desserts too. Not to mention its many health benefits; it’s rich in iron, calcium and vitamin B6. According to some studies it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, improves digestion and prevents brain aging.  But more importantly it just tastes good! Our rosemary plant has TONS of flowers right now, which the bees love, but I also think are very pretty so I picked some for a garnish on my oats. They are edible and taste pretty much like rosemary but a bit more flowery- go figure.

{4 servings}

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 4 rosemary sprigs

toppings ideas:

  • granola
  • almond butter
  • crystallized ginger
  • pomegranate seeds
  • tangerine slices
  • toasted coconut
  1. in a medium sized tupperware, combine oats, water and spices then put in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight
  2. use a blender or food processor to blend part of the oats to make a smoother consistency, I blended about 3/4 of the soaked oats to make it on the more creamy side
  3. return it to the tupperware and add chia, flax and hemp seeds and stir to incorporate- these will thicken it up overnight and give it more texture
  4. return to fridge overnight, in the morning serve some up and top with your choice of goodies!

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Crispy Prosciutto, Toasted Walnuts and Feta


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.

Cabbage with Dates, Capers and Salami


I got this huge head of cabbage at the farmers market last week because it was $1 (basically free). Cabbage is pretty awesome, especially for college students with sporadic schedules and limited funds because it lasts and it’s very cheap. While it’s not the most exciting vegetable out there, it’s versatile and can be quite tasty if you get creative.

  • 1 medium sized head of green cabbage
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp capers (w/ juice)
  • generous squirts mustard
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped salami
  1. boil a pot of water and quarter the cabbage
  2. blanch the cabbage for 3 minutes then dunk in an ice bath and drain with paper towels
  3. slice onion kind of thinly and mince garlic and salami (roughly)
  4. in a large skillet add olive oil and butter over medium high heat
  5. when butter melts add the garlic then the onions, let cook down, stirring occasionally, until onions are opaque
  6. slice cabbage roughly
  7. add the salami to the skillet and stir to incorporate
  8. add the cabbage, season with salt, pepper and mustard and cover
  9. let cook down, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes until cabbage is soft and it’s becoming soupy
  10. pit and dice dates then add them and the capers and stir to incorporate and take off heat

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Goat Cheese, Arugula and Blistered Tomatoes


I love farro. My mom is pretty on top of food trends and caught on to this one early on..Not that I’d say it’s become a “craze” per se, but it’s definitely more common and popular since it first appeared on our dinner table. It’s nutty and chewy and called “the mother of all wheat” by some. According to bob’s red mill, it nourished the Roman legions and was even used as a form of currency. Trader Joe’s has a 10 minute version that is a life saver- or at least a huge time saver. Also it’s less than $2.

I used a beautiful aged goat cheese for this but you can use fresh goat cheese too.

{serves 1}

  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 egg
  • 5 mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 spoon fulls capers
  • 2 tsps black pepper corns
  • 1 clove garlic
  • generous dollop dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup farro (uncooked)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 mini bell peppers
  • dollop goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • salt/pepper
  1. heat a medium sized sauce pan and add pine nuts, dry toast them, stirring them occasionally until they smell nutty and are golden brown
  2. meanwhile bring the chicken broth and pepper corns to a boil and cook the farro in it (according to directions)
  3. mince garlic and slice the bell peppers
  4. remove the pine nuts from the pan and add the olive oil
  5. cook the garlic for a minute then add the bell peppers, capers and whole tomatoes and cover
  6. let tomatoes blister then remove from heat
  7. poach or fry your egg
  8. fluff the farro then stir mustard into it and add arugula (you may (probably will) have leftover farro and veggies…depending on your appetite)
  9. serve the farro mixture into a bowl, top it with the tomato- bell pepper saute, chunks of goat cheese and the egg

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl


Humble grain bowls seem to be all the rage right now. They’re on menus at all sorts of hip restaurants and not so hip ones. But they’re also incredibly easy to make at home and seriously affordable, a college student’s dream. You can basically throw in whatever veggies you have, cooked or raw (or a combination) and any protein with any grain and any seasoning. If this isn’t your idea of an easy recipe, here is a combo I made last night with all my random groceries.

{serves 1}

  • 1/2 cup farro (uncooked)
  • 1 cup broth (optional)
  • 5 mini portobello mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 mini bell peppers
  • 3 cherry heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 artichoke hearts
  • 1 spoonful capers
  • 1 pinch basil
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • some canned tuna
  • grainy mustard
  • salt n pepper
  1. cook farro according to recipe*. use broth for more flavor
  2. clean mushrooms with a wet paper towel and slice
  3. mince garlic and heat olive oil in a medium sized pan then cook that garlic in the pan
  4. add the mushrooms and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally for a few minutes
  5. when farro is finished, stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. slice bell peppers (deseed if necessary) and quarter tomatoes and artichoke hearts
  7. put farro in a bowl and top with sauteed mushrooms, the other veggies, capers and tuna and a dollop of your favorite mustard

*10 minute farro from trader joe’s is my best friend on school nights

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Penne with Tomato-Goat Cheese Sauce and Sauteed Spinach


This is a super simple, pretty healthy and wholly satisfying meal. Also very affordable. These were all just things I happened to pick up at Trader Joe’s the other day.

(serves 1)

  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • red chili flakes
  • 2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 generous handfuls of spinach
  1. heat olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium high heat add (minced) garlic and tomatoes and cover
  2. cook pasta according to instructions
  3. once tomatoes start to blister, pop them with a knife or fork and add goat cheese
  4. once goat cheese starts melting, mix it with the tomato juices and add rosemary (remove from stem), bring down heat and let simmer
  5. when pasta is finished, drain and quickly steam spinach in the pasta pot with a couple teaspoons of water
  6. remove spinach with tongs, shaking off excess liquid, and add it into the goat cheese sauce pan and take that off the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste
  7. pour sauce over pasta, sprinkle with chili flakes, pour yourself a glass of wine and dig in!

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fish Out of Water


It’s that time of year again; the tail end of the school year when buying groceries is a gamble. Am I really going to use this stock of brussels sprouts or this whole bag of spinach?  With the excitement/craziness of finals week it’s hard to plan more than 24 hours ahead. So it’s at times like these when I go into a kind of Chronicles of Narnia mode. Instead of climbing into a wardrobe to reach mystical lands, I stare into my pantry until I find interesting dinner items.

It is also apparently prime time for meyer lemons. My co-worker brought in a huge bag of them from her tree early last week and I’ve been puzzling over what to make with them since then. Luckily I happened to have some homemade ricotta (recipe link below) that my mom and I whipped up during Thanksgiving week and it was calling out to the lemons. I also happened to have some black garlic, which is a great thing and loves to be mashed into cheese.

If you are sardine adverse, leave off the sardines.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch truffle salt (or normal salt)
  • 1 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 5 cloves black garlic
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1 cup orzo (dry)
  • truffle marcona almonds (plain old marcona almonds will work too)
  • 1 big handful arugula
  • 7 kumato tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 4 sardines in tomato sauce (or not in tomato sauce)
  1. bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with a pinch of truffle salt or normal salt
  2. slice lemons thinly (remove seeds), saving the butts for the juice, slice 2 cloves of the black garlic
  3. cook the orzo 8-10 minutes or until done and drain
  4. meanwhile heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add the sliced black garlic and lemon, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lemons soften
  5. remove skillet from heat and add capers, stirring to coat
  6. in a shallow bowl crush remaining black garlic cloves into the ricotta, squeeze the lemon butts into the mixture. crush pepper corns with a knife and mix into the ricotta
  7. when orzo is cooked and drained, move to a large bowl or back into the pasta pot and immediately stir in the lemon-caper-black garlic mixture
  8. then stir in the ricotta mixture, mix until fully incorporated
  9. slice arugula and add into the warm orzo mixture
  10. serve in bowls then slice tomatoes and chop marcona almonds and sprinkle over the top
  11. then top with the sardines and you have a fish out of water

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Use-Everthing-in-the-Fridge-Before-Spring-Break Quiche


I embrace having perishables when I’m about to go out of town. It’s the ultimate motivator to use only things you have/things you have open.  This week is spring break and last weekend I realized we still had quite a bit of perishable items that needed to be attended too. Luckily they were all things that lent themselves swimmingly to a Mediterranean quiche. And it worked out quite well if I do say so myself.

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • olive oil (optional if pesto is oily)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • salt (truffle salt if you have it!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup soft herb-garlic goat cheese
  • 1/2 cooked sausage (I used garlic-gruyere)
  1. line a baking dish with parchment and pre-heat oven to 350°F
  2. drain and rinse garbanzo beans
  3. dice tomatoes roughly and mince garlic
  4. pour garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pesto and olive oil (if using) into the prepared dish, stir well then bake for 20 minutes, taking out and turning occasionally
  5. once garbanzo beans start browning, mash them with the back of a fork and add goat cheese in globs and mix in until incorporated
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs
  7. slice spinach and add to eggs
  8. pour the egg mix over the garbanzo bean mix and return to oven
  9. bake for about 25 minutes or until it starts to separate from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Savory Porridge with an Egg on top


This photo doesn’t do this meal justice. It can really be breakfast, lunch or dinner. I am a big fan of slop. Indian slop, Mexican slop, Turkish slop, it seems like every culture has their own version of some mushy grain or bean

  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 cup cooked steel-cut oats *
  • 1 spoon greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tomato
  • cracked black pepper
  • drizzle balsamic vinegar (optional)
  1. cook an egg to your liking (I like sunny side up or poached)
  2. slice spinach and tomato
  3. in a bowl stir together oats, yogurt and mustard (sometimes I sub sriracha)
  4. add spinach and tomatoes (or whatever other vegetable fixings you’d like)
  5. slip the egg on top and top with capers, pepper and balsamic

*For events like this, I like to keep some cooked steel cut oats on hand. I cook them in advance and keep them in the fridge- they keep for about a week. They’re super versatile; use them for sweet or savory mush meals like this or sprinkle them over salads to make them a little more substantial.


© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...