Greetings to all who are reading this – my friends and family, as well as the Juniper Berry family! As summer approaches, I wanted to do something a little different. Normally my motto is, “The bigger the better” in one form or another. Since the shutdowns and all the craziness of the past year plus, I, like many of you, have packed on some extra pounds being less active and having so much more time to cook on my hands. That said, I wanted to bring forward some recipes that are not only very delicious, but health conscious, too! These dishes are great to prepare in advance and to serve at all types of backyard barbecues and other gatherings. Most of these recipes are very easy to prepare. I hope you enjoy preparing and sampling these dishes as much as I do. We’re past Memorial Day, but I want to wish a blessed summer to all of our noble and brave service men and women. And God Bless those who have given the greatest sacrifice in the service of this nation and for their fellow Americans, so that we may live free. We are forever grateful for your honorable, brave and selfless service! Live, laugh and love this summer, and don’t forget to eat!
Lovely Light Lobster Salad
1 LB. Lobster Meat (out of the shell, steamed and diced, I like to get the lobster meat and all my fish at Joe’s Fish Market in Middle Village. He sells the meat fresh and has it frozen out of the shell as well.) • 1 Bulb of Fennel (steamed whole cut in quarters and thin sliced) • 3 TBSP of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed) • 3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar • ½ TSP Minced Garlic • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you can use coconut oil, vegetable oil or any other oil you prefer, for a healthier alternative simply add vinegar or lemon juice to enhance the acidity but not the calories.) • 1 ½ TBSP Chopped Chives (you can use scallions if you like or small green onions) • 2 Pinches of Tarragon • Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste
In a bowl whisk the spices with the liquids with the seasonings. Next toss the lobster into the dressing until thoroughly coated. Let chill for 1-4 hours in the fridge before enjoying. Serving suggestions: Dig out some cucumbers and fill with the salad, it also is great served on a nice crostini bread. Simply brush the sliced bread with rosemary and garlic infused olive oil and either grill or toast.
Citrus Fennel Salad
1 Grapefruit • 1 Naval Orange (Both Peeled and cut into wedges) • 1 Fennel Bulb (Briskly Steamed and sliced thinly) • 2 TBSP Chopped Cilantro • Toasted Pine Nuts • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Simply toss all the ingredients together and drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts.
Cold Asparagus Salad
1 Bunch of Asparagus (rinsed and trimmed at the bottom)
Simply steam the asparagus, in the water put fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and 2 smashed garlic cloves for added flavor. Once the asparagus is tenderly steamed shock in an ice bath, drain well and let chill in the ice box.
¼ Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice • 1 TBSP Fresh Chopped Mint • 2 TBSP Fresh Chopped Parsley • 3 TBSP Finely Minced Red Onion • Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper To Taste • ½ Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Simply blend the ingredients, you can cut your asparagus into quarters or half size if you wish. I like to leave them whole and dress them well and serve. If you want to add some depth of flavor and texture…and calories you can make your bacon bits and that or even the Frenches Fried Onion Strips for added crunch!
Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles
On a hot summer day, there is not much more refreshing than a cool pickle. This quick and easy recipe will provide you with a low-calorie flavor packed snack at the ready. You can use the pickles on your sandwiches, hamburgers etc. I like to simply eat them as is!
4 Kirby Cucumbers (washed and dried, cut into rounds) • 6 Cloves of Garlic (thinly sliced) • 1 to 1.5 Cups of Apple Cider Vinegar • 6 TBSP Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice • 1 TBSP Kosher Salt
First salt the cucumbers and let sit while mix the liquids well. In a canning jar add layers of cucumber slices, sliced garlic and pinches of fresh Dill. Make sure to do that for each layer. Once packed into the jar tightly, pour your liquid into the jar until all the cucumber slices are covered. Tightly cover give a good shake and refrigerate for 1 Day. These pickles should keep 3-4 days in your ice box.
1 Pound Cubed Chicken Breast • 1 Cup Chicken Stock • 1 TSP Curry Powder • 3 to 4 Pinches of Turmeric • 3 Cloves of Garlic Minced • ½ Onion Diced • ½ TSP Garlic Powder • ½ TSP Onion Powder • 1 TSP Cayenne Pepper • Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
Dissolve the spices in the chicken stock in a stock pot. Add the chicken and stew until the chicken absorbs half the liquids. If you wish to cook it longer you can simply add more stock as needed. This dish is great served either hot or cold. If you happen to make the tzatziki out of your pickles, that is a great way to enjoy this dish. Another wonderful way to eat this dish, if you do not have any good Naan bread available to you, get some good pocket pita’s and make a sandwich. You can add yogurt or tzatziki, fresh sliced onions and bell peppers, even jalapeno pickled or fresh.
Stuffed Baked Beefsteak Tomatoes
4 Symmetrical Beefsteak Tomatoes • 1 Med. Spanish Onions (minced) • 3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (minced) • 1 Tsp. Onion Powder1 Tsp. Garlic Powder • ¼ Tsp. Cayenne Powder • 1 Tsp. Paprika • Panko breadcrumbs • Pecorino Romano (grated cheese)Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
Hollow out your tomatoes. Salt the insides and leave upside down on paper towels for 10-15 minutes. In a Sautee’ pan add olive and cook the onions and garlic with the spices. Cook until translucent and then add the ground beef. Cook off until done and add the ground beef to the hollowed-out tomatoes. Make sure to slightly drain the beef prior to filling the tomatoes. Once packed full, add panko breadcrumbs and grated pecorino Romano Cheese, drizzle with olive oil and bake on 350 degrees for up to 25 minutes. Once done, let cool slightly and serve with a garnish of Curly Parsley. This dish can be served chilled as well, but I recommend it be served hot. Another tasty way to enjoy these stuffed tomatoes is to drizzle them with a balsamic reduction or Pesto Sauce before eating.