Mediterranean Hummus Bowl

 We are very big on the bowl meal these days–not only are they healthy and delicious, but they help use up lots of little bits of vegetables and occasionally meat that we have left over from other meals. This Mediterranean bowl came about in just that way. I had the leftover feta and some hummus and some orzo. Why not put them all together and call it lunch? You could add a meat protein if you like–chicken or fish would be terrific–but it’s great without as well.

A note here on salting your salad. Have you ever wondered why salads at a restaurant taste so much better than salads you make at home? Guess what? They salt the greens. Not like making pickles or something, but just a sprinkle of good quality salt. Try it–you will love it.

What makes a good bowl meal? Here is a little formula I use to make sure I’m getting a balanced meal:

2 cups greens + 1 cup raw or grilled vegetables + 1/2 cup protein + 1/2 cup cooked grains + sauce or dressing of your choice

Mediterranean Hummus Bowl (Serves 1)

  • 2 cups fresh baby greens (I used arugula, kale and spinach), washed
  • 1/2 cup cooked orzo
  • 1/4 cup spicy hummus
  • 1 small, ripe tomato, cut into chunks
  • 1 small, ripe cucumber, peeled, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing

In a large serving bowl, layer the greens and the next 6 ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!

Fish with Fennel and Tomato

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This is an oldie, but a goodie! Just made this again this weekend and was reminded of how wonderful I few simple ingredients can be!

Someday, I am going to retire and move to Italy. In my mind, that retirement includes doing yoga on the sunny balcony of an apartment in Cinque Terre, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. And shopping in the weekly market to buy fresh cheese and produce and local olives, capers, tomatoes and fish. And socializing with the other local old people who gather at the market. That image of coastal Italian splendor often helps me get through challenging days. It’s a nice mental happy place that includes food!

This recipe may become the tangible representation of my idyllic dream. With some fresh fish from Locals Seafood, local, organic fennel, fresh local tomatoes and parsley and thyme from our garden, this is a quick, summertime winner. If you want to grill your fish, you could do that and make the sauce in a separate dish–easy!

Fish with Tomato and Fennel (4 servings)

  • 4 fish fillets (we have used Spanish mackerel and swordfish with equal success)
  • 1/4 cup high quality olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup unpitted olives (optional)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian, flat leaf parsley
  • Kosher or sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook without browning until it is soft (about 15 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the thyme and garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Stir well.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, olives and capers to the pan. Raise the heat a bit and cook until the mixture is thick, but not dry (about 15 minutes depending on how much liquid your tomatoes hold). Reserve and keep warm.
  4. Cook fish to your preference (I pan seared ours, but grilling would be great also).
  5. Plate the fish and top with the tomato and fennel sauce. Garnish with parsley.
  6. Pour yourself a glass of wine, inhale the delicious aroma and dream…
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