Quick 30-minute or Less Recipes

Chicken Schwarma

This delicious Middle Eastern meal is best made on the grill, although good results come from the oven, too. Serve with large rounds of flatbread with fillings like chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, black or green olives, chopped scallion, and even grated goat or lamb cheese. Let your meal companions make their own wraps!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Marinade

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tbsp Baharat Spice Blend
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Optional: 2 tsp smoked paprika

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, or in a large sealable bag. Add the chicken thighs and mix to coat. Marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.
  2. Combine and mix the yoghurt sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. To grill: Heat the grill to medium high. Grill the chicken on each side about 5 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through. Tent loosely in foil and rest 5 minutes.

     To pan fry: Heat a heavy pan on the stovetop on medium high. Cook the chicken until nicely charred on each side and cooked through. Tent loosely in foil and rest 5 minutes.

  1. Slice the chicken and pile on a platter.

To Serve: Slather a flatbread with the yoghurt sauce, then top with chicken and toppings.

To roll up: first fold the bottom up about ⅓ of the way, then roll from one side across to the other, tucking around the meat and vegetables.

Tips:

  1. You can freeze the chicken thighs in a freezer bag with the marinade days ahead. As the chicken and marinade defrost, it will marinate!
  2. You can cook the chicken a day ahead, or the morning before an afternoon or evening party, and reheat it prior to serving. Mix the reheated chicken slices with the marinade and it will be perfect.

Tilapia in Berbere Butter

In addition to tilapia, any firm white fish (like cod or halibat) will work for this super-simple dish, and it’s an excellent choice for your next weekend BBQ!

Directions

Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry. Set aside.

For every 2 fillets, heat in a large pan:

  • 1 T butter
  • 2 t Berbere Spice Blend
  • 1 T fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
  • a pinch of salt (optional)

Place the fish in the pan, cook for 1 minute; flip the fish and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through, basting with the butter sauce every minute or so.

Hint: if you are cooking a fish with its skin on, start on the non-skin side, then flip the fillet so the skin side is down for the longest cooking.

Test for doneness by lightly flaking with a fork. The flesh should flake easily and be white throughout.

Adding a spice mix will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by raking a fork over the flesh as discussed above.

To serve: place a fillet on a plate (skin side down), and spoon some of the butter sauce over the top.

Misir Wot (Lentil Stew)

This easy, 30-minute vegetarian dish is traditionally made from red lentils, although green will do.

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive, peanut, or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3  cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T Berbere Spice Blend
  • 3 oz (1/2 can) tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups (red) lentils
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Saute chopped onion and garlic in oil until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste and Berbere spice. Mix. If the resulting paste is too thick, add about 1/4 cup water.
  3. Rinse the lentils, then add them to the pot with the 2 1/2 cups water. Simmer about 20 minutes, until cooked thoroughly.
  4. Add an additional 1/4 cup of warm water.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Note: Be careful when purchasing peanut oil; most brands are either diluted with cheap vegetable oils or treated with an anti-foaming agent. Pure peanut oil is expensive, which is why we get ours by purchasing plain peanut butter and pouring off most of the oil that separates from unadulterated peanut butter. Keep it in the refrigerator, where it will become partially solid.

Turnip and Kidney Beans

I know – it sounds a bit strange, but you have to try it to believe it! Because the people of North India eat a lot of turnips, they’ve found some of the best ways to serve up this staple winter vegetable. Mmm!

Ingredients

  • 2 turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 3 tbl olive or coconut oil
  • ½ tsb whole cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ tsp minced fresh ginger root
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbl water
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala

Directions

  1. Place turnips in a saucepan with the water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the turnip is soft, about 5 minutes. Once tender, stir in the kidney beans, and cook 5 minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the cumin and fennel, and cook until the spices toast and become fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the onion, and cook until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the minced ginger and garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and salt, and continue cooking until the mixture turns pasty.
  5. Stir in the paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, and 2 tablespoons water; cook 2 minutes more.
  6. Add the tomato mixture to the turnips, and simmer 10 minutes. Season with Kashmiri Garam Masala before serving.

Lemon-Pepper Pasta

Try this creamy pasta dish as a side, or topped with chicken or beef for a complete meal!

Directions

1. Cook 8 ounces of pasta. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick (4 oz) butter, then sprinkle on 4 tablespoons flour and whisk or stir to form a thick, lump-free paste.

3. Add 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

4. Stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 2-3 tsp Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend. Taste test and add more of the spice blend if desired.

5. Pour lemon-butter sauce over individual side dishes of pasta. Garnish lightly with more Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend and a few pinches of either finely chopped fresh parsley or finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves. Serve.

Options

Top with chicken strips quickly stir fried in a light combination of 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons dry white wine, perhaps with a mere splash of tamari or soy sauce. Add to the pasta, then lightly sprinkle with Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend and a pinch or two of either freshly chopped parsley or freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Alternatively, top with sirloin tips quickly stir fried as above, except with red table wine rather than dry white.

Easy Oven-Baked Chicken Breast Dinner

Here’s a complete mid-week dinner that can be on the table in 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or equivalent amount of chicken tenders
  • 1½ tbsp Sweet Carolina spice blend
  • 3 garden-fresh tomatoes, sliced into thick (¼”) rounds
  • 3 garden-fresh onions (sweet Vidalia is a great choice), sliced into thick (¼”) rounds
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Carolina spice blend mixed into ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp prepared bread crumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Before starting your busy day, place chicken breasts in the refrigerator to thaw. (We usually set frozen food in the refrigerator the night before.)
  2. When you return home, crank the oven on to 350° F to pre-heat.
  3. Remove the thawed chicken from the package, rinse, pat dry. Then coat on all sides with Sweet Carolina spice blend.
  4. Place on a full-sized cookie sheet or in a large baking pan. (Put down a sheet of parchment paper first to make cleanup a breeze.)
  5. Place tomato and onion rounds on the same baking sheet as the chicken.
  6. Mix 1 tbsp Sweet Carolina spice blend with 1 cup sour cream and optional bread crumbs. Spread over the tops of the tomatoes and onions.
  7. Place tray in heated oven and bake 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serve immediately, perhaps with a fresh garden salad.

Mellow Santa Fe Ground Chicken

Here are 3 ways to spice up your ground chicken dishes! (Only the first is a 30-minute recipe.)

Directions

For a delicious Southwest flavor, thoroughly mix 1-2 tbsp Mellow Santa Fe blend into one pound of ground chicken. Then make one of the following 3 options.

1. Burgers: Shape into 4 or 5 hamburgers and grill as usual.

Note: Adding a spice blend that includes sugar will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the meat’s surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by slightly opening the burger to see if the center is at its desired level of cooked.

Hint: The higher the heat during cooking, the drier the burger will become; a slower cook will help seal in the flavor – and the blackening effect of the spice blend will contribute to the sealing.

2. Meatballs: Form into 2 oz meatballs to top your next pasta dish. Or use this easy 3-step white sauce recipe:

a. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick (4 oz) butter, then sprinkle on 4 tablespoons flour and whisk or stir to form a thick, lump-free paste.

b. Add 1 cup milk, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until the sauce thickens.

c. Pour over cooked noodles and top with meatballs.

3. Meatloaf: Make chicken meatloaf according to your usual recipe, or use this one (this family-sized recipe uses 2 lbs ground meat; cut the recipe in half to serve one or two persons):

a. Mix 2 pounds ground chicken with 2 tablespoons Mellow Santa Fe blend.

b. Sautee 1/2 cup finely diced onions and 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, or butter.

c. In a bowl, mix 2 seasoned pounds of ground chicken with 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, 1 large lightly beaten egg, 1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes with juice, and the sauteed onions and peppers.

d. Press into a bread loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 1 hour. Rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Mexican-style Beef

Stir-fry

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sirloin or rump steak, sliced thinly
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Chipotle Maple seasoning blend
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large red peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1″ lengths

Directions

  1. Place beef strips in a shallow bowl with the garlic, cinnamon, Chipotle Maple blend; stir and toss to fully coat.
  2. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet, then stir-fry the red pepper chunks until they begin to soften, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Reheat the oil, than add the beef strips, with ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the scallions. Continue stir-frying 1 minute.
  4. Return peppers to skillet and continue stir-frying until peppers are hot and tender, about 2 minutes.

Serving suggestions

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Use as a filling in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and on tostillos.

Plate with a side of Mexican-style beans, refried beans, or rice made with chicken broth and cilantro. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.

Quick and Delicious Ground Lamb Dish

This easy 20-minute dish is perfect in itself! Or it can be used as a filling for pita bread, in flatbread rollups, or as stuffing for grape leaves! You can also make it with thin slices of lamb. (I slice it ¼” thick by 2-3″ long.)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dried currants (or cranberries)
  • 2-4 tsp Baharat Spice Blend

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the onion and cook it over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and pine nuts and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add the lamb. Cook until the meat is cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat, add mint, currants, and Baharat Spice Blend. Stir to combine. Serve.

How to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves

(If you continue, it’s no longer a quick meal!)

  1. Soak grape leaves in a large pot filled with boiling water and one tablespoon salt for five minutes. Remove from water and strain. Set aside.
  2. Prepare a marinade from 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Don’t boil until Step 7. You’ll also need 3 or 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds, and 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced.
  3. Reduce amount of ground lamb to ¼ pound; the pine nuts, mint, and currants to ¼ cup; and the Baharat Spice Blend, up to ½ teaspoon.
  4. Add 1½ cups uncooked brown rice in step 3, and only cook the lamb until just browned. (The rice will cook when the grape leaves steam.)
  5. Place a leaf, shiny side down (vein side up) on a clean working space. Place about one teaspoon of filling in the center of the leaf, fold in the sides of the leaf, and roll from the bottom (stem side) to the top. Make sure to create a very tight roll.
  6. Line the bottom and lowest sides of a large pot with a layer of sliced tomatoes. Place the prepared leaves tightly on top of the tomatoes in concentric circles, leaving no gaps between them. Repeat until you run out of grape leaves, or the pot is full. Add tomato slices around the edge as you build your stack.
  7. When you’re finished (or the pot is full), evenly sprinkle the slices of 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic over the grape leaves, then pour on the marinating sauce. Place a plate on top of the leaves, put on the pot lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1½ hours.

Lemon-Pepper Fish Fry

Try this quick and delicious fish recipe as a great luncheon dish, or as a variation for dinner on Fish Friday!

Directions

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil), 2 tablespoons white wine, and 1 tablespoon Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Rinse and pat dry 1 pound white fish filets (tilapia, cod, and haddock are good options).

3. Place filets on a broiler pan. Brush with butter-herb mixture.

4. Broil 4-6″ from the heat element for 8-10 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Options

  1. Bake in a pre-heated 375 F oven for 10-15 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  2. Or, grill on the BBQ grill, on either a grill-safe pan or a sheet of aluminum foil.

Side

Prepare a side dish of summer vegetables by thinly slicing yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Toss lightly in olive oil or melted coconut oil, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend or Mellow Santa Fe Blend, and roast alongside the fish in the oven or on the grill. Stir once or twice to expose all sides to the heat element to encourage light browning and prevent burning.

Southwest Ground Beef

Here are 3 ways to spice up your ground beef dishes!

Directions

For a delicious Southwest flavor, thoroughly mix 1-2 tbsp Mellow Santa Fe blend into one pound of ground hamburger. Then make one of the following 3 options (but only the first is a 30-minute recipe).

1. Hamburgers: Shape into 4 or 5 hamburgers and grill as usual.

Note: Adding a spice blend that includes sugar will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the meat’s surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by slightly opening the burger to see if the center is at its desired level of cooked.

Hint: Meat flavor is in its fat. That’s why grilled meats taste best when they include 10-15% fat. (Fat also keeps grilled meats from drying out.) The higher the heat during cooking, the more fat will be lost; a slower cook will help seal in the flavor – and the blackening effect of the rub will contribute to the sealing.

2. Meatballs: Form into 2 oz meatballs to top your next pasta dish. Or use this easy 3-step white sauce recipe:

a. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick (4 oz) butter, then sprinkle on 4 tablespoons flour and whisk or stir to form a thick, lump-free paste.

b. Add 1 cup milk, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until the sauce thickens.

c. Pour over cooked noodles and top with meatballs.

3. Meatloaf: Make meatloaf according to your usual recipe, or use this one (this family-sized recipe uses 2 lbs ground meat; cut the recipe in half to serve one or two persons):

a. Mix 2 pounds ground beef with 2 tablespoons Mellow Santa Fe blend.

b. Saute 1/2 cup finely diced onions and 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, or butter.

c. In a bowl, mix 2 seasoned pounds of ground beef with 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, 1 large lightly beaten egg, 1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes with juice, and the sauteed onions and peppers.

d. Press into a bread loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 1 hour. Rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Baked Tomato and Sweet Onion Side Dish

Use this topping, without the bread crumbs, on medallions of potato or on a whole cauliflower.

Ingredients

  • 3 garden-fresh tomatoes, sliced into thick (¼”) rounds
  • 3 garden-fresh onions (sweet Vidalia is a great choice), sliced into thick (¼”) rounds
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Carolina spice blend mixed into ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons prepared bread crumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Slice tomatoes and onions into ¼” thick rounds. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon Sweet Carolina blend with ½ cup sour cream and 3 tablespoons prepared bread crumbs. Spread over the tops of the tomatoes and onions.
  4. Place tray in heated oven and bake 20 minutes.

Potatoes

Slice the potatoes into ¼” thick medallions, spread on a baking sheet, coat with the sour cream and spice mixture, and bake until soft, 20-30 minutes.

Cauliflower

Place an entire head of cauliflower in a small baking dish and slather with the sour cream and spice mixture. Bake until the florets are fork softened, about 45 minutes.

Seasoned Hamburgers

These are perfect for the grill, stovetop, or oven! You can use any of these spice blends in this super-simple burger recipe:

  • Chipotle Maple
  • Sweet Onion Maple
  • Smoky Maple
  • Hot & Smoky Maple
  • Spicy Maple
  • Mellow Santa Fe
  • Smoky Texas
  • Spicy Hot
  • Sweet Carolina
  • Baharat
  • Berbere (add some brown sugar to balance the heat)
  • Kashmiri

Directions

Thoroughly mix 1-2 tbsp seasoning into one pound of ground hamburger. Shape into 4 or 5 hamburgers and grill as usual.

Adding a spice blend that includes sugar – and some spices – will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by slightly opening the burger to see if the center is at its desired level of cooked.

Hint: Meat flavor is in its fat. That’s why grilled meats taste best when they include 10-15% fat. (Fat also keeps grilled meats from drying out.) The higher the heat during cooking, the more fat will be lost; a slower cook will help seal in the flavor – and the blackening effect of the spice blend will contribute to the sealing.

Quick Chipotle Eggplant Dish

Here’s a quick and versatile 30-minute vegetarian meal that’s complete in itself. Or, you can add eggs; or convert it into a meat sauce using either ground beef or ground lamb. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 3 tbsp Chipotle Maple blend
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 8 eggs
  • Optional: 2 lbs ground beef or lamb

 

Directions

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn it. Pour in the marinara sauce, Chipotle Maple blend, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix. Then add in the eggplant and stir. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes until the eggplant is cooked through.

Top with cilantro and feta, and serve with pita, naan or lafa!

To add eggs: When the eggplant is cooked through, turn heat to medium-low and crack eggs directly into the sauce. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let cook until desired doneness, or about 10 minutes.

Meat Option: Make a Chipotle Moussaka Meat Sauce while the eggplant is cooking by browning 2 lbs ground beef or lamb in 2 tbsp olive oil. When the eggplant is cooked, add the meat instead of eggs. Serve over spaghetti or zucchini noodles, over spaghetti squash, or on your favorite cooked grain. You can even serve it Sloppy Joe style.

Broiled Salmon with Baharat Butter

This delightful take on broiled fish features Arabian-flavored butter for a delicious variation on a quick and healthy weeknight staple! Serve on a bed of brown rice with a side of garden-fresh vegetables.

Ingredients

Spiced Butter

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ tbsp Baharat Spice Blend
  • optional: up to ½ tsp salt

Make Spiced Butter by blending 4 tablespoons of room-temperature butter and ½ tablespoon Baharat Spice Blend. (You can also add optional salt, though I don’t think it’s needed.)

Tip: Roll the extra butter in waxed paper, making a 1″ thick log. Place in baggie and, for maximum flavor, store in refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for a month.

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon fillets
  • 3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.Turn on oven broiler and place an oven rack about 8″ below the heating element.

2. Using a large cast iron or heavy all-steel (no plastic or wood parts!) skillet over a medium-high stovetop, heat the olive or coconut oil.

3. When the oil shimmers, carefully place the salmon in the pan, skin side down and slightly separated from one another.

4. Watch the fillet sear as the raw fish cooks from the bottom up. When it reaches about ⅓ of the way (2-3 minutes), remove the skillet to the pre-heated oven.

5. Broil about 3 minutes, until the fish has finished cooking through. Remove it and use a fork to test the flesh. It should flake easily.

To Serve: Cut each fillet in half, place on a bed of brown rice, and top with a generous pat of Baharat Spiced Butter.

How to Make Perfect Brown (or Wild) Rice

  1. For each cup of uncooked brown or wild rice, place 4 cups of cold water in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. When the water has a rolling boil to it, rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water for 30 seconds, stirring by hand, then drain and add to the pot.
  3. Turn the heat to medium. Leave the pot uncovered, and cook for exactly 30 minutes. Adjust the stove temperature so you have a slight, barely perceptible rolling boil.
  4. After 30 minutes, pour the rice and remaining water into a strainer. Let drain for 10 seconds, then return the cooked rice to the pot.
  5. Put the lid back on and set the pot aside for 10 minutes. Do NOT put it back on the stovetop burner. After 10 minutes, remove the cover, fluff, and serve.

Note: This method will work with white rice, too, but watch it more carefully because it may run out of water before the half hour is up. That’s because white rice, among its other problems, absorbs more water. If the white rice is too dry before it’s fully cooked, add a half cup of boiling water.

Coconut Curry Fish

Use any type of firm fish fillets (salmon, swordfish, red snapper, catfish, grouper, etc). You can even add other types of seafood to this curry: shrimp and mussels would be wonderful in addition to or in place of the fish. It’s a quick, 30-minute meal that tastes great!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless fish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, grated on large holes of box grater
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 fully ripe tomato, diced or 1½ cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2-4 teaspoons Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • ¼ tsp chili powder (cayenne)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 fresh chili peppers, cut in half lengthwise (optional); or red pepper!

Directions

  1. Wash the fish and pat very dry. Cut the fish into 2-inch square pieces.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and swirl in the oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the aromatics cook slowly. Saute until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Take care not to let it burn!
  3. Add the tomato and saute for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Use your spatula and smash the tomatoes a bit to break them up.
  4. Add the Kashmiri Garam Masala, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. This forms the wet masala (wet spice base).
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high. Pour in the coconut milk and the water. Add in the chili pepper if using. When the mixture comes to a good boil, add in the fish and cook for 4 minutes or so, until the fish is cooked through.

20-Minute Mediterranean Chicken Stir-Fry!

Here’s a lean and tasty one-pan meal for mid-week “hump day!”

Directions

1. Thaw 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken all day in the refrigerator.

Tip: Use pre-cut chicken tenders to make this an easier meal to prepare. Whole breasts will need to be sliced into tenders. Thighs can also be used if you prefer dark meat.

2. Rinse the chicken pieces, pat them dry, and if necessary slice them into chicken tender-size strips.

3. In a bowl, toss the sliced chicken with 1-2 tablespoons Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend. Coat thoroughly and set aside.

4. Prepare 3 cups of summer vegetables.

Suggestions: Slice yellow squash or zucchini into 1/4″ thick rounds; snap or cut green beans and baby asparagus into 1/2″ lengths; slice a fresh tomato into thin (1/2″) wedges; slice a stalk of celery thinly; cut a sweet red or green bell pepper, or a carrot, into matchstick-sized pieces; chop up some leaves of spinach or kale; thinly slice a sweet onion or several scallions; add some bean sprouts. 

5. Heat a large skillet on medium temperature with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

6. When the oil is hot, add the chicken strips and brown on all sides.

7. Add the vegetables and (optionally) a little water. If you have a lid to cover the skillet, turn the heat down and cover – the vegetables will steam, cooking faster.

8. When the harder vegetables are al dente (or to your liking), turn off the heat and sprinkle up to 1 tablespoon Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend over the dish. (Optionally also add a pinch or two of salt.) Stir and serve.

Optional: garnish with whole green olives.

Optional: serve with a side of sliced fresh mozzarella drizzled in olive oil with a drop or two of balsamic vinegar added, and sprinkled with Italian seasonings.

Sweet & Spicy Baked Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Spicy Maple seasoning blend
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Heat oil in a small skillet, on medium temperature setting. Add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. Do Not Brown!
  3. Remove skillet from stovetop, add Spicy Maple and soy sauce and stir.
  4. Place chicken breasts in a baking pan. Top with garlic-maple mixture.
  5. Bake uncovered 18-22 minutes, until juices run clear.

Hint: Cooking at high temperature helps lock in the moisture by searing the surface of the chicken.

Salmon in Sweet Onion Maple Butter

Directions

Rinse the fish fillets and pat they dry. Set aside.

For every 2 fillets, heat in a large pan

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Onion Maple blend
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
  • a pinch of salt (optional)

Place the fish in the pan skin side up and cook for 1 minute. Flip the fish skin side down and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Baste with the butter sauce every minute or so.

Hint: Adding a spice mix, especially one with sugar in it, will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by raking a fork over the flesh.

To serve: Place fillet on a plate, skin side down, and spoon some of the butter sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Quick & Delicious Ground Beef Dish

This easy 20-minute dish is a perfect alternative way to season ground beef. It even makes a unique grilled hamburger!
Substitute ground chicken. For a traditional Middle Eastern meal, use ground lamb.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dried currants (or cranberries)
  • 2-4 tsp Baharat Spice Blend

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the onion and cook it over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and pine nuts and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to high and add the lamb. Cook until the meat is cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat, add mint, currants, and Baharat Spice Blend. Stir to combine. Serve.

For hamburgers: thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl. Shape into 4 or 5 patties and grill as usual.

For meatloaf (not a 30-minute option): double all ingredients, including ground beef. Add: 1 egg lightly beaten, and 1/2 cup rolled oats. Press into a loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 40-45 minutes.

Hot & Smoky Sticky Chicken

This is best with chicken thighs or breasts that you slice into tenders. Use purchased tenders to make this in 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil
  • 6-8 skinless chicken thighs, or equivalent amount of skinless chicken breasts (or tenders)
  • 2-3 tbsp Hot & Smoky Maple seasoning
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Melt coconut oil in heavy skillet.
  3. While the oil heats, dust and rub chicken with the Hot & Smoky Maple
  4. Place chicken in the hot oil and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes each side.
  5. While the chicken browns, fully mix honey (or maple syrup) with vinegar.
  6. Place browned chicken upside down in casserole dish. Spread the honey (maple) sauce over the pieces, then turn the pieces right side up and spread the remaining sauce over the tops and sides.
  7. Bake until chicken is cooked through. About 25-30 minutes for thighs, about 15 minutes for tenders.
  8. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or diced green onions.