Cooking With Honey – Mixed Greens With Honey Oregano Vinaigrette And Crispy Prosciutto

oregano salad

For the last two months I’ve been traveling the East Coast attending Bee Meetings and visiting adult children. It’s been lots of fun although I feel a bit like a long haul trucker. 🙂

I’ve visited the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, and the beehive/kitchen garden at the White House in Washington DC. I’ll be posting about my trips over the next few weeks.

Of course I’ve been eating and drinking along the way !! One of my favorite meals was at Nonna’s Italian in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where I had one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. Not surprisingly, the original recipe calls for honey!!

Whether you make this salad as a prelude to a meal or for the meal itself, I guarantee you will enjoy it!!

Yield:  10 servings

Dressing:

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black or red pepper, depending on your taste

3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place all ingredients in lidded jar and shake until combined. Let stand for up to two hours for flavors to blend.

Crispy Prosciutto:

Twelve slices prosciutto.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide prosciutto between baking sheets, laying them flat. Bake until fat turns golden and meat is darker, about 15 minutes (rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking time). Using tongs, carefully transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain (it will crisp as it cools). Crispy prosciutto can be used like bacon, in whole pieces or crumbled.

Salad:

Twelve cups mixed greens

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings

12 small/cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters

1 tablespoon capers

1/4 cup sliced and pitted kalamata olives

12 slices crispy prosciutto, crumbled fine.

Directions:

Mix well and serve with Italian bread and olive oil.

Vegetarian Honey Winter Vegetable Soup

vegetarian winter veg soup

Reprinted from Salon.com

There’s never been a better time to be a half-assed vegetarian. Five years ago, the American Dialect Society honored the word flexitarian for its utility in describing a growing demographic—the “vegetarian who occasionally eats meat.” Now there’s evidence that going flexi is good for the environment and good for your health. A study released last October found that a plant-based diet, augmented with a small amount of dairy and meat, maximizes land-use efficiency. In January, Michael Pollan distilled the entire field of nutritional science into three rules for a healthy diet: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” According to a poll released last week, Americans seem to be listening: Thirteen percent of U.S. adults are “semivegetarian,” meaning they eat meat with fewer than half of all their meals. In comparison, true vegetarians—those who never, ever consume animal flesh—compose just 1 percent.

Yield:  10-12 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced

2 medium carrots, finely diced

2 ribs celery, finely diced

1 large onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

One 35-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 quarts water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

One 2-by-2-inch piece Parmesan rind

7 ounces butternut squash, cubed

5 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped

Two 15-ounce cans great Northern beans, undrained

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Shaved Parmesan, for serving

Directions

Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into an 8-quart stockpot over high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Decrease the heat to low, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the carrots, celery, onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, sage, rosemary and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Add the water, soy sauce and Parmesan rind, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, about 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to low, add the squash and kale, cover and cook until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Return the mushrooms to the pot along with the beans, honey and red wine vinegar and cook until all is heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the cheese rind and serve warm with shaved Parmesan.

Serve with hearty whole grain bread and a green salad.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 9 – Salmon Salad With Honey, Capers And Dill

salmon salad

This is another of my favorite recipes.  The honey glaze on the salmon blends beautifully with the raspberry vinegar!

Yield:  2 to 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound , Honey Raspberry Glazed Salmon, chilled

1/2 cup small-diced celery (1 1/2 stalks)

1/4 cup small-diced red onion (1/2 small onion)

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Break the salmon into very large flakes, removing any skin and bones, and place the salmon in a bowl. Add the celery, red onion, dill, capers, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Season, to taste. Mix well and serve cold or at room temperature.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 6 – Warm Duck Salad

duck salad

Day 6 and all is well!  It’s over 60 degrees here, and I’m going to get out on my road bike if it doesn’t rain!

If you made roast duck from Day 5, you can use it in this salad. If not, the directions for preparing duck breast is below. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 to 2 servings

Ingredients

1 boneless duck breast, skin on (about 6 to 7 ounces) (or leftover duck from Day 5)

Kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon minced shallots

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/4 tablespoons good sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 head Belgian endive

1 ounce mache or other delicate baby lettuce

Navel orange, peeled, cut in 1/2, and sliced

1/4 pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup toasted whole pecan halves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the duck breast on a sheet pan, skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and roast for about 20 minutes, until medium-rare. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the fat and skin on top (unless you’re making cracklings), slice the duck, and then cut the slices crosswise into julienned pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shallots, honey, sherry vinegar, orange zest, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

For the salad, trim the bottom half-inch from the endive and cut them diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Separate the leaves and discard the cores. Place the slices in a large salad bowl. Add the mache leaves, oranges, raspberries, and toasted pecans. Toss with enough dressing to moisten. Gently toss in the warm duck meat and serve immediately.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – The Essentials

Fat bee

Okay, here is the diet I made up.  I’m no expert, but I’ve been on just about every diet there is with varying levels of success. I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

All of the foods allowed on the Romancing The Bee Diet (“RTBD”) are low (below 55) on the Glycemic Index (GI).

The GI is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike. A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

For me, a food with a low GI keeps me satisfied longer and naturally suppresses my appetite. The variety of foods allowed enables me to still cook creatively!

Foods allowed on the RTBD are listed below. If it’s not on the list, I’m not going to eat it!!

Lean meats such as beef, skinless chicken, lamb, pork loin and veal – 8 ounces per day, OR

Any type of seafood without breading or batter – 8 ounces per day, OR

Three eggs per day (3 ounces), OR

Any combination of the above, not to exceed a total of 8 ounces of protein per day.

One grapefruit per day

One lemon per day

Apples or pears – two per day, total.

Non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, salad greens, winter greens, onions, and garlic. (unlimited)

1 avocado per day

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (not light) or mayonnaise made with olive oil (not light), or a combination of these, not to exceed two tablespoons total.

2 tablespoons bleu cheese or parmesan cheese

Unlimited – Tea, diet soda, water, Vinegar, Tabasco, salt, pepper, fresh and dried spices and Dijon Mustard.

1 five ounce glass of wine per day, preferably red. (May be used in cooking)

EATING BREAKFAST IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED!

That’s it.  No counting of calories or carbs or points.  I’m hopeful that the small amounts of “naughty” foods will keep me from feeling deprived, while still allowing me to lose 2-3 pounds per week.

New Year’s Eve – Mixed Winter Greens With Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

winter greens salad.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients

8 cups (10 oz. bag) mixed winter greens, such as frisée, arugula, mustard, beet greens, chicory, escarole.

1 pomegranate

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix mustard, Champagne vinegar, honey and garlic.

Then, whisking constantly with a fork, slowly add 6 tablespoons olive oil, until the vinaigrette is thick and creamy

Dress clean, dry salad greens immediately before serving. Add pomegranate seeds for accent.

Holidays With Honey – Winter Veggie Potstickers With Honey Asian Dipping Sauce

winter veggie potstickers

Winter veggies are at their best right now, and this is a wonderful way to enjoy them!

Yield:  24 potstickers

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 head Napa cabbage, finely shredded

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 medium carrot, grated on finest holes of a box grater

24 wonton wrappers

Honey Asian Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until leeks begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger and cook, stirring, until cabbage is soft, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the carrot. Allow the filling to cool.

Transfer cabbage mixture to a mixing bowl and work together until fully incorporated. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To make the potstickers, lay a wonton wrapper on the work surface and put about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center. Dip your finger in a little water and wet the edges of the wonton wrapper; this will help the potsticker seal when cooking. Bring the outside edges of the wonton wrapper together over the filling and press it together to form a pouch. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.

To cook the potstickers, heat the remaining oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Place all of the potstickers upright in the pan and cook, without disturbing them, until browned on the bottom, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan and immediately cover. Allow the potstickers to steam for about 3 minutes, then remove the skillet lid. Continue cooking until the water is completely evaporated.

Transfer to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.

Honey Asian Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup light soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 lemon, zested

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl until honey is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: about 1/3 cup

Holidays With Honey – Honey, Garlic and Rosemary Petite Lamb Chops

chops

I went to the most wonderful holiday party where they served petite lamb chops as appetizers! I begged for the recipe and added a few touches of my own. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Yield:  Serves 2 to 4 as appetizers

Ingredients

8 lamb rib chops (about 2 pounds total)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon minced shallots (about 1/2 small)

1/2 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Place the lamb chops in a shallow dish, then season the lamb chops on all sides with salt and pepper. Combine the 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl, then pour over the lamb chops. Marinate the lamb chops in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning the chops over once midway through.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook the lamb chops in the pan until brown and crusty, 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the lamb chops to a large platter and let rest at room temperature.

While lamb rests, add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots begin to wilt and soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the apple cider into the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the vinegar and the honey, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon the glaze over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

Braised Winter Greens

Braised greens

Kale, Swiss chard and collard greens are in season virtually everywhere. They are so good for you, and especially tasty when prepared southern-style with honey.  Try some from your local farmers’ market.

Yield:  8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound bacon slices, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed

1 bunch kale, ribs removed

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large pot heat oil and bacon over high heat until bacon is well browned. Stir in garlic and cook 45 seconds. Deglaze with chicken stock and vinegar. Add honey and greens and partially cover. Lower heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Winter Salads – Warm Spinach Salad With Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

spinach salad

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

10 ounces baby spinach (about 12 cups)

6 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup canola oil

3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

Directions

Combine spinach, mushrooms, and almonds in a large serving bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add garlic and shallot and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until garlic is browned, about 2 minutes, then add vinegar and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in honey until dissolved.

Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.