I Get Recipe Ideas from Favorite Restaurant Menus

Turkey sandwich with kraut, microgreens, bibb lettuce

I love to read menus to get inspired to make new salad and sandwich combinations at home.  Reading the menu was always a fave part of dining out, deciding what sounded good in the moment, reading the ingredients and realizing wow I can do that at home! Here were some faves from the now closed Tempo Bistro To go in Gainesville, FL:

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I’m a Soup Freak; what I keep on hand for them

I’m not someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen. Maybe because I worked from home for so long that I got in the habit of eating most of my meals out. I have a handful of favorite dishes I cook for myself and for friends and one of my favorite things to cook is soup.  Sometimes I’m just looking in the fridge at the leftovers. Sometimes I do this in a structured manner, like deciding on split pea soup and buying just those ingredients, but most often I find myself in the store looking at a juicy stalk of fennel next to a fat leek and the ideas start to flow. If I have no direction in mind, I can just let the fresh vegetables of the day direct me. 

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Lemon Pepper Curried Fish

I love soup. Some dishes I make extra soupy just to have more broth. I like my curries extra brothy so I add at least a cup more broth or water and spices to the recipe below. 

LEMON GINGER FISH CURRIED SOUP

Ingredients
One chopped onion
6 chopped cloves of garlic
1/2 half red pepper cut into strips

1 chopped thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

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Hearty Spicy Low Fat Soups

Andrea’s Spicy Low Fat Seafood Chowder

Marinate 1 lb of shrimp or bay scallops in the juice of 2 lemons while you begin
Saute 6 cloves freshly chopped garlic in 2 tblsp olive oil
Dice and add:
I giant whole leek
1 fat stalk of fennel
I parsnip
2 whole carrots
Corn from one raw ear
4 stalks celery

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Ingredients to Keep on Hand for Quick Asian Recipes

ITEMS TO BUY AT AN ASIAN MARKET Keep these items on hand and by the time you read the recipes about them a few times, you’ll feel adventuresome enough to make the delicious, classic tom yum soup.

Stalks of lemon grass.  They may be fresh and may be in the freezer and will be wrapped like scallions. They give high lemon flavor as a soup or tea base, and you remove them before eating as they are coarse and woody.

Kaffir lime leaves.  These will be in the freezer maybe 25-50 to a bag. They give high lemon flavor as a soup or tea base, and you remove them before eating.

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A Favorite Split Pea Soup

Split Pea soup Image kalhh, Pixabay

Split pea is a favorite of mine because I can make it in 35 minutes. Even though I make only one quart of it at a time, I saute my vegs in a 2 quart pot so I can get them all browning and carmelizing.  (Double the recipe if you want 2 quarts.)

For one quart, I begin by washing and preboiling 3-4 oz of split peas for 5 minutes, rinsing them again, add new water, boil again for 5 more mins, then rinse again, cover with water and let simmer while you chop.    Continue reading

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Savory Lowfat Kinda Crisp Kinda Carmelized Roasted Tomatoes

The tops are crisp with a light breading, underneath are chewy and carmelized

Mmmm breaded Roma tomato slices roasted, crispy AND chewy! Basically 1/3 of the way to a dried tomato. The resident food critic pronounced them the best he’s ever had, anywhere. I’d have to agree. I like Roma tomatoes because they’re not very watery, they stay firm and flavorful. Plus I can grow tomatoes from the slices!
STEP 1 — Cut into fat slices, dip in beaten egg then cover in bread crumbs into which you’ve mixed a shake each of dried basil, tarragon, oregano, fennel seed, rosemary, sage, garlic powder and coarse ground black pepper. (Don’t salt now, it will make the tomato watery.) Gently press the seasoned bread crumbs into the tomato.
STEP 2 — I spray an oven sheet with Pam olive oil spray. I put the tomato slices down and spray the tops with the spray.
STEP 3 — Into a 425f oven, check at 15 minutes then again every 10 minutes until they’re as done as you’d like. Longer makes them chewier but don’t overbrown the tops. Continue reading

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My killer lazy low fat stovetop frittatas

This one has broccoli, onions, black olives, fresh Roma tomato, tarragon, basil, garlic, pepper jack cheese

I love a good omelet but I’m not good at making them. What I can do tho is make a killer stovetop frittata.
(1) First I basically make a stirfry of all my fave veggies. For me that’s onion, red pepper strips, halved brocolli florets, mushrooms, scallions. Fill the bottom of the pan with them, it will cook down by half. Cook til golden.
(2) pour *egg mixture to cover the vegs.
(3) lower the heat (for me it’s medium low)
(4) after 5 mins, top with fresh tomato and strips of cheese, cover and let it all melt
(5) serve alone or inside a grilled soft taco with sour cream and lettuce

My stovetop frittata is naturally low in fat. I use Earth Balance spread and Eggbeaters. *To make it richer and super delish, you can saute the stirfry in butter and add milk or cream, use “real eggs” and glop on the cheeses.   

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Zatar spice mix Za’atar

Za’atar is a flavorful condiment to sprinkle over soups, salads, hummus, roasted vegetables, olive oil for bread dipping and croutons.

1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, freshly ground
1 tbsp sumac
½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes if you like heat

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Homemade Adobo Seasoning Recipe

What I like about making the adobo and sazon seasoning mixes myself is I can control the sodium. I use less because I typically add soy sauce.  Some add chili powder to these, some add cayenne pepper.

ADOBO SEASONING #1  — PUERTO RICAN ADOBO SEASONING

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup Sea Salt
1/4 cup Onion Powder
1/2 cup Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp White Pepper
2 tbsp Spanish Paprika
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 tbsp Cumin
1/4 cup Coriander
1/3 cup Dried Oregano
1/8 cup Achiote (ground annato seeds) or substitute turmeric

From http://hungrytravelingmama.com/2020/02/18/authentic-puertorican-adobo-seasoning/

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