Diva Tasting: Mediterranean Chicken with Artichokes…

Mediterranean Chicken with Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 12 (4 ounce) bone-in chicken thighs with skin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Place chicken thighs in a large bowl; season with black pepper, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

  3. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place chicken thighs, skin-side down, in pan and brown, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken over and brown other side, about 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan.

  4. Cook onion in the Dutch oven with salt over medium-high heat; cook and stir until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in garlic, herbes de Provence, and crushed red pepper.

  5. Place chicken, skin-side up, in a single layer on top of the onions in Dutch oven. Pour stock into the pan until almost covering the chicken.

  6. Sprinkle artichoke hearts, olives, over top of chicken.

  7. Return to medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

  8. Cover and roast in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through and liquid is bubbling, about 1 hour.

  9. Garnish with chopped basil, oregano, and marjoram. Serve with rice pilaf and garlic bread.

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Diva Tasting: Baba Ghanoush X2 …

Baba Ghanoush X2 

Ingredients

  • 4 large Italian eggplants

  • 3 cloves crushed garlic minced

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste

  • 1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons tahini, or more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven on high heat (400 Degrees)

  2. Cut eggplant in half and lightly oil all over.

  3. Place eggplants directly on parchment lined baking sheet. Cook until eggplants have collapsed and are very soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to cool, about 15 minutes.

  4. When eggplants are cool enough to handle, scrape flesh into a colander placed over a bowl. Drain 5 or 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer eggplant to mixing bowl. Add crushed garlic and salt; mash until creamy but with a little texture, about 5 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and cayenne pepper. Stir in yogurt.

  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, 3 or 4 hours. Taste to adjust seasonings. Stir in parsley. Serve with Pita Bread or Lavosh

Traditional Baba Ghanoush

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants

  • 3 tablespoons tahini sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt or more to taste

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste

  • 1 pinch dried parsley flakes, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Arrange oven racks so you have one low and one high in the oven.

  2. Cut a shallow slit along the side of the eggplant and place into a baking dish.

  3. Roast in preheated oven on the lower rack until the eggplant is completely shrunken and soft, about 40 minutes. Move dish to higher rack and continue baking until the skin is charred, about 5 minutes more. Let eggplant cool until cool enough to handle.

  4. Peel and discard skin from eggplant. Put eggplant into a bowl; add tahini, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed. Drizzle olive oil over the baba ghanoush and garnish with parsley. Serve with Pita or Lavosh

Diva Tasting: Mediterranean Halibut…

Mediterranean Halibut

Ingredients

  • 6 Halibut Fillets
  • 5 Roma (plum) Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Spanish Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Pinch Herb De Provence
  • 1 Sm Jar Kalamata Olives, Pitted And Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine Or White Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Small Capers
  • 3 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 12 Leaves Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 6 Leaves Fresh Basil, Torn

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until tomatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in olives, wine, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
  4. Place fish in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over the fillets and top with remaining basil leaves.
  5. Bake 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is no longer translucent and easily flaked with a fork. Serve with Greek salad, pita bread.

Diva Tasting: Mediterranean Fish and Kale…

Mediterranean Fish

Ingredients

  • 4 (6 Ounce) Fillets Halibut
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek Seasoning
  • 1 Large Tomato, Chopped
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 (5 Ounce) Jar Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 Cup Capers to taste
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Place halibut fillets on a large sheet of aluminum foil and season with Greek seasoning. Combine tomato, onion, olives, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Spoon tomato mixture over the halibut. Carefully seal all the edges of the foil to create a large packet. Place the packet on a baking sheet.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with dinner rolls and Tiramisu for dessert.

Mediterranean Kale

Ingredients

  • 12 Cups Chopped Kale
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Or As Needed
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan, and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale, recover, and steam until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness.

  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Toss steamed kale into dressing until well coated.

VARIATION: If anyone is like me…I love greens but kale is my least favorite of the bunch. This recipe is also good with Swiss chard, beet greens, mustard greens etc.

Diva Tasting: Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole…

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole 

  • 2 Cups Veggie Stock
  • 1 Cup Of Quinoa Cooked see below
  • 2 Cups Broccoli, Chopped
  • 2 Cups Yellow Squash, Sliced & Halved
  • 2 Eggs
  • 8 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 8 Oz. Smoked Gouda Cheese, Shredded (or More Cheddar)
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper

For Topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Herbed Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Cheese (from The Shredded Cheese Above)
  • Sea Salt, Pepper, To Taste
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder

DIRECTIONS:

Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium pot, pour the veggie stock over top, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, stir and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow to sit, covered, for about 10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking, toss the broccoli, squash, olive oil, 1/4 t salt, pepper, garlic, and onion together in a zip bag until coated then on a baking sheet. Roast at 400ºF for about 25 minutes, until just starting to brown.

In a large bowl, stir together the roasted veggies, cooked quinoa, parsley, oregano, and 1/4 t salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the cheese with the egg (reserving 1/2 cup cheese for topping), and then add it into the quinoa veggie mixture.

Spread into a 9×13 ” baking dish, and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until starting to brown on top.

For the topping, combine the bread crumbs with the 1/2 cup reserved cheese, 1/4 t garlic powder, and salt/pepper to taste. Sprinkle the topping on the casserole, and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the topping it browned and the cheese melted. Allow to cool slightly and serve.

You may of course add one rotisserie chicken chopped to the mixture for those who are not vegetarian.

Diva Musing: Relationship Stuff….

Relationship Stuff…

Everyone who knows a drama queen/(prince) raise your hand! I dare say most of us are sitting around the globe with our hands raised…if we are honest. As a wise old crones we have the distinction to have been around he block many times. Our roller coaster has been rolling a long time. The valleys…The Dark Night of the Soul… and the peaks… Love, Light and Abundance…have been in and our of our lives too many times to count.

Let me assure you though, The Dark Night of the Soul comes shortly after I slip into forgetting my gratitude journal or daily meditation and prayer time. I know it is all up to me in the end.

So, may I encourage you to take the time the Universe need you to take to stay on track?

So often much of our ups and downs coincide with relationship issues. It seems the cogs of the relationship wheel breakdown more often that any other piece of life machinery. Good relationships have a much better appeal than ones that bring the drama and problems with them. The tapestries of our lives are woven by everyday heroism, support and giving of ourselves to others. The uplifting of souls on a daily basis tends to make the world glimmer so much more brilliantly.

Ask a light worker how they share their lives with others. Ask them what they do to intentionally make their time spent with others quality time. Ask them how they encourage others to laugh at life’s quirks and foibles to lessen the dark impact they could have. Do we actually listen to others or nod with our minds elsewhere? Do we really focus and hear? Do we do this often?

The data say that we actually have a better life if we join the world in a spirit of oneness. When we can honestly care about others successes and show them our joy for them….the world is a better place; for them and us. Realities of the time and space continuum mean there are only a few people we can totally interact with in real time. However, I personally, am blessed and delighted by the number of intelligent, awesome, and inspiring people I know.

Since life has thrown me some curve-balls of late, I must confess to brain fog of a new kind. So, I welcome all input from our Cronista readers to help us all with ways we can better serve our world with our light and love. Let’s help brighten our life tapestries with the genius of our readers and Divine Divas from around the globe. Tell us ….what’s your light? Namaste, The Queen Cronista

 

Diva Tasting: Gnocchi Casserole ….

Gnocchi Casserole 

Ingredients

  • 6 Ounces Grated Gruyere Cheese

  • 16 Ounces Shredded Provolone (Reserve 8 ounces for topping)

  • 2 Large Bags Of Gnocchi

  • Onions

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 2 Large Onions, Chopped (about 2 1/2 Cups)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • Greens

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 Large Bag Of Spinach, Washed, Torn Into Bite-Sized Pieces

  • 1 Bunch Swiss Chard, Thick Stems Removed, Washed, Torn Into Bite-Sized Pieces

  • Sea Salt

  • Fresh Ground Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Thaw the gnocchi and boil to package directions. Drain Gnocchi and Put it in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF.

  3. Caramelize the onions In a large heavy pot combine olive oil, sliced onions, salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Heat the mixture until it starts to sizzle, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Wilt the greens While the onions are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add greens and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.

  5. Assemble the dish In a large bowl toss gnocchi with wilted greens, caramelized onions and grated cheeses (8 ounces of provolone). Season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste. Pour the whole mixture into a lightly oiled 9×13 inch casserole. Top with remaining Provolone Cheese.

  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.

Variation: Add the meat from one boned and chopped rotisserie chicken for your carnivores. Serve with Garlic toast and Mediterranean Salad with lemon vinaigrette.