Oven-Baked Squid…It will melt you like butter!

By Mona | Monday 18 June 2012 10:12 pm

A Delicious, Mouth-Watering, Healthy Mediterranean Dish! 

A couple of weeks ago, I caught an episode of The Dr. Oz show in which Dr. Oz and a special guest, Dr. William Li,  were highlighting the health benefits of squid with respect to breast cancer.  When most people think of squid, they think of fried calamari, the infamous appetizer.  Instead, I wanted to use squid as a main entree that showcases its tender texture and buttery flavor.  Squid has a reputation of being chewy, which is due to the fish being old or overcooked.  Fresh squid that is prepared properly will be tender and soft, not rubbery.  As with all fish, the smell should be clean and sweet, and the skin should shine.

I recently prepared a delicious squid recipe from ”Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen” cookbook.  Lidia Bastianich’s recipes are simple and divine with a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, and a focus on whole foods. I love meals with fresh, simple ingredients where you can actually taste the food and not have it overpowered by sauces, creams, etc.

Lidia’s Oven-Baked Squid melts like butter in your mouth. The squid (body and tentacles) is drizzled with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red hot pepper and baked in a cast iron pan. (Another pan or baking dish will also work.)  If you don’t enjoy the sight of the tentacles, just use the bodies.  Cleaning squid is messy and fun, but requires quite a bit of time.  If you’re crunched for time, consider purchasing cleaned wild squid from Whole Foods or a fish market.

The recipe from Lidia’s cookbook is in the link below.  I hope you enjoy this healthy, quick and savory dish as much as I do!  It is a delicious and light summer meal that pairs nicely with a side salad of arugula and a glass of wine. I added broccoli slaw, too!

Buon appetito and here’s to great health, happiness and delicious seafood! ~Mona


Squid baking in cast iron pan

P.S.   Dr. Oz had a special guest on by the name of Dr. William Li, a Cancer Prevention Researcher who studies the impact that certain foods have on cutting off the blood supply feeding cancer cells.  One of the cancer fighting foods mentioned was squid.  According to Dr. Li, eating just 3 ounces of squid greatly reduces your chances of breast cancer.  For more information about other cancer fighting foods from the show, see the following link: (http://www.drozfans.com/dr-oz-cancer-2/cancer-fighting-foods-grocery-list/)




categories: Seafood

Sautéed Broccoli Slaw with Garlic, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Pine Nuts…Delicious!

By Mona | Tuesday 5 June 2012 4:22 pm

A Quick, Easy, Yummy Vegetable Side Dish for even the pickiest eater!

Are you looking for new foods to experiment with or new ways to incorporate them into meals, particularly when it comes to vegetables?  Steamed vegetables get boring after awhile, and there is just so much more that can be done to add flavor and really make them pop.  I love broccoli and typically use those beautiful bright green tops (florets),  but what about those long stalks?

Use shredded broccoli stalks in this quick, easy, and delicious side dish that even kids will love. Instead of tossing  those broccoli stalks, shred them into a slaw and use in the recipe below or in a raw salad.  If you’re in a hurry, Trader Joe’s and Shop Rite sells bagged organic broccoli slaw with shredded carrots (nice added color!). The stalks are just as nutritious as the florets and are a very good source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Another idea…instead of a side dish, why not make a meal by adding some protein such as  sautéed wild shrimp and freshly grated ginger? Delish! Think of the broccoli slaw as a substitute for pasta.  There are so many ways you can be creative with this..have fun and leave a comment if you’ve come up with other great ideas! ~Mona


Sautéed Broccoli Slaw with Garlic, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Pine Nuts

This a delicate, savory, easy to prepare vegetable dish.

Yield: 1 serving

Sautéed Broccoli Slaw with Garlic, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Pine Nuts


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 1/4 cups Broccoli slaw

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh basil leaves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons raw pignolias (pine nuts), toasted

few pinches of sea salt to taste


1. In a small sauté pan, lightly toast raw pine nuts over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until they are golden and slightly browned and release a beautiful aroma. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add broccoli slaw, carrot, and salt, stirring until slaw is slightly softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

3.  Add minced garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add fresh basil and toasted pine nuts and toss together.

*Note: For those who eat dairy, add 1 tablespoon of shredded pecorina romano cheese

Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts in a Cast Iron Pan

categories: Recipes, Vegetables

Winner of Dr. Mark Hyman’s Recipe Contest! The Ultimate Blood Sugar Solution Meal

By Mona | Wednesday 16 May 2012 11:40 pm

Out of over 240 recipe submissions, my delicious “Spiced Ground Turkey Wrap with Watercress and Avocado” won Dr. Mark Hyman’s Recipe Contest for the Ultimate Blood Sugar Solution Meal.
I recently submitted this recipe in a contest called “The Blood Sugar Solution Recipe Contest”.  Dr. Mark Hyman, (a five time New York Times bestselling author, physician, and international leader in functional medicine), ran the contest looking for recipes that would work with his recently published book, “The Blood Sugar Solution”.  Criteria for the recipe: healthy, anti-inflammatory, easy to prepare and flavorful.
Please see the article by Dr. Mark Hyman titled, “Recipes Galore…The Path to a Healthy Life” for more info. and for the recipeHere is the link:
The recipe will be used by Dr. Mark Hyman for a cooking video and for a recipe e-book.
categories: News