Thursday, April 26, 2018


I have discovered this amazing Bulgur (cracked wheat) back in the late 80's which would be at least 30 years ago, and have been making it quite often.
It is originated from the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Region.

Tabbouleh is a Levantine vegetarian salad made of mostly finely chopped parsley with tomatoes, mint, onion, Bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur. 

This is a vegan dish, and can be gluten-free if you replace the bulgur with quinoa. Here are the health benefits of each of the ingredients, which make this dish a combination of superfoods! Bulgur is high in fiber and protein, low in fat, has a low glycemic index, and contains potassium and iron!

I stay away from purchasing 'store bought' Tabbouleh, simply because it has very little grains, and it is mostly with soggy parsley, and mushy pieces of tomatoes, and mostly because it's costly. You can get a whole bag of these lovely cracked wheat, and make enough for an 'army' that is super fresh, tasty, and will last throughout the entire week to snack on or have it as a side dish!


    • 1/2 cup fine bulgur
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup boiling-hot water
    • 2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 3 bunches)
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
    • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1/2 seedless cucumber*, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


    1. Stir together bulgur and 1 tablespoon oil in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
    2. Transfer bulgur to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients, including 2 tablespoons oil, until combined well.
      • These long, narrow cucumbers are often marketed as "European" and are usually sold in plastic wrap to protect their thin, delicate, unwaxed skin.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Linguine and Clam Sauce

As you have noticed it by now, my most favorite dish is 'seafood', and of course Chicken...and more chicken ...not to advertise it, but that is the actual name on my PINTEREST board! Here, in S. Florida we get the freshest seafood from our local fish stores, and supermarkets, but better yet, just go to the docks where the boats return from their fishing trips every early evening and you could have the choice of the day, and have it scaled and cleaned ready to take home and prepare your way! As for the clams...well, it is always available all year round!
 I love, love shellfish, especially clams and  mussels, which are so easy to prepare. The main thing is not to overcook them. You can't miss overcooking them, because as soon as the shells open up they are ready, which take only a few minutes. The ones that are already open when you purchase it...make sure you toss them because they are bad! All you need is a few ingredients for this simple dish and the main 'star' is of course the clams. Linguine is so comforting to go with this dish there is no other way to serve it as far as I'm concerned!

The only ingredient I did not use which I always have plenty of...fresh, or in a jar which I prepare, is the Fresno red chile...I added them separately to my dish since young children and some adults in my family do not like it so spicy. Notice my 'treasured' serving bowl with the cute flowers?...this bowl is an 'antique'...going back to 1938, 'made in the USA'...purchase at my local favorite Goodwill store from a few years ago, You would have to pay ate least $30. at a real 'antique' shop, but I paid less than $5.00...what a great 'thrift find' from someone that cherished it for decades and now I gave it a 'good home'😊

I've been subscribing to Cooking Light magazine for years, and I also have several of their annual cookbooks. You can't go wrong with their recipes and they are light...light...light, which is what we are aiming for in cooking these days. Everyone is health conscious, for looking and feeling better. Longevity, and being healthy is what's important in our life which we can achieve by watching what we eat!

For the recipe: right here...Linguine and Clam Sauce

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #376

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Roasted Vegetables with Roasted Branzino

When you don't have much time to prepare a healthy and delicious dish for dinner, there's always fresh seafood available right here in S. Florida. Branzino is an Italian Sea Bass, very delicate and fairly small, but you have to make sure to have it properly filleted! Broiling, baking, poaching, and roasting is always a great option, just never...ever fry these babies or they will fall apart and the grease will absorb!

The Branzino is rather a little expensive, but it's so well worth it! The veggies only cost a mere couple dollars, purchasing them at our local produce market. $1.00 per each bag of tomatoes, onions, and the greens...which are baby dandelions, I think...never a label on the bag to let you know what it is😃

This is a perfect 30 minute meal, and guaranteed that your family will love it, that is if they like fish...this is the 'top of the line' fish!

Roasted Vegetables with Roasted Branzino
recipe by; Elisabeth

4 - 6 plum tomatoes sliced lengthwise into strips
1 med. onion sliced
2 - 3 garlic cloves sliced thin
1 bunch of greens, such as dandelions, escarole or kale
4 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of water
few leaves of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
3 pieces of Branzino (Sea Bass) filleted in half
and tail cut off

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Just as in the photo, first line the bottom of a large broiling pan, or baking pan with a rim, with aluminum foil, dull side up. Drizzle 1 Tblsp of the oil on the foil, and line the pan in a row starting with the sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced garlic, and the greens. Drizzle another Tblsp of the oil over the vegetables, and sprinkle the salt and pepper over them. Drizzle 1/4 of the water over the vegetables, and bake for the first 10 min without checking on it.

After the first 10 minutes check the vegetables, stir them gently and add the other 1/4 cup of water so they don't dry out! After the 20 minutes, gently push the vegetables to one side and line the fish pieces. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tblsp of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle the salt and pepper, and add the chiffonade slices of basil. Bake for exactly another 10 minutes, (not 1 min. over)
You can easily serve right out of the baking pan, over rice, or just plain, but don't forget to serve some nice crusty bread to mop of the pan's soo good!
Serves 4.

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #375

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Quick Chicken Pho

While all you nice northern friends of ours are still having such awful cold and some snow flurry weather in the first week of April, which is almost unheard of...we, in S. Florida are getting your 'cold front' with lower temperatures, and windy sometimes quite chilly weather. It is certainly a goo 'soup' day again, so I concocted an easy, yet interesting Vietnamese version of a Quick Chicken Pho!
There's a good reason why I call my blog 'Food and Thrift'...because I'm always looking to find ways of using everything up in my frig, and pantry, and of course looking for sales and 'thrift finds'. In this case I'm using up the breast part of my purchased rotisserie chicken, which is the breast! Instead of using the boneless chicken breast that the recipe calls for, I add the roasted chicken, cleaning it from the skin and bone and shredding it in small section to add at the end of the cooking process!

Just look at the beautiful golden color of this Asian version of chicken soup, with fresh herbs and spices...not to mention with my favorite little red hot chili pepper slices.

The recipe is so easy, you really want to try this which will take you no longer than 45 minutes!

Quick Chicken Pho
recipe adapted from: 
Cooking Light magazine, March 2017
my adaptation in blue

1 3/4 section ginger
2 med. large green onions
1 small bunch cilantro sprigs
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 whole clove
3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups of water
1 8 oz. skinless boneless chicken breast
1 whole breast saved from leftover rotisserie purchased chicken
3 oz.dried flat rice noodles, such as Pad Thai
3 oz. dried thin spaghetti broken into 3rds
1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp. organic sugar or maple syrup (opt.)
Fresh basil leaves, mint leaves, mung bean sprouts
sliced red Fresno chili, and lime wedges for garnish

Peel and slice the ginger crosswise into 4 or 5 coins, then smack with the flat side of a knife. Set aside. Cut the hollow green parts of the green onion into thin rounds to yield 2 to 3 tablespoons; set aside. Cut the leftover white sections into pinkie-
finger lengths, bruise, then add to the ginger.until fragrant. Add the ginger and green onion mixture; stir 30 seconds or until aromatic. Slide the pot off the heat and cool for about 15 seconds, then pour in the stock. Return the pot to the heat; add 2 cups water, cilantro sprigs, and chicken. Bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat, and gently simmer for 30 minutes. While the broth simmers, soak the rice noodles in hot water until pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

After 5 to 10 minutes of simmering, add the skinned and boned rotisserie chicken pieces. and cook and additional 15 more minutes. the chicken should be firm and cooked through (it should yield slightly when pressed). Transfer the chicken to a bowl, flush with cold water to stop the cooking, then drain. Cool and cut or shred into bite-size pieces. Cover loosely to prevent drying.
Bring the strained broth to a boil over high. Put the noodles into the boiling broth and cook for an additional 10 minutes. in a noodle strainer or mesh sieve and dunk into the hot broth to heat and soften, 5 to 60 seconds. Lift the noodles from the pot and divide between 2 large bowls. Lower the heat to keep the broth hot.
When the broth is done, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer positioned over a 2-quart pot (line the strainer with muslin for a super-clear broth). Discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups broth. Add fish sauce and sugar or maple syrup, if needed, to create a strong savory-sweet note.
Lower the heat to keep the broth hot while you arrange the chicken on top of the noodles and garnish with the chopped green onion, cilantro, and a sprinkling of pepper. Return the broth to a boil before ladling into the bowls. Enjoy with basil, mint, sprouts, chili and lime if desired.
Serves 2.