Mediterranean-Style Cod Over Couscous

After making this delicious dinner many, many times we decided to add some Kalamata olives for a little extra color. What a wonderful addition!  Not only did it add color but the olives added a little brininess to the Mediterranean flavor! Below is the original posting now with the addition of the olives. See Notes below for Gluten-free options.

While relaxing on my front porch after repotting some plants today, Teresa pulled up with some cod for tonight’s dinner. Cod is one of those fish that takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with making a Mediterranean-style dinner absolutely delicious. We were wondering what we had on hand to make with it and I found a half-full jar of pearl couscous! We had some grape tomatoes, plenty of garlic, onions, & feta cheese, along with a garden full of fresh herbs. We set about making dinner. We’ve said this before and it’s very true…some of the best dinners we make are thrown together with what we have on hand. This dinner turned out fabulous…we were counting on leftovers but NONE were to be had!

 

Mediterranean-Style Cod over Couscous

While relaxing on my front porch after repotting some plants today, Teresa pulled up with some cod for tonight's dinner. Cod is one of those fish that takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with making a Mediterranean-style dinner absolutely delicious. We were wondering what we had on hand to make with it and I found a half-full jar of pearl couscous! We had some grape tomatoes, plenty of garlic, onions, & feta cheese, along with a garden full of fresh herbs. We set about making dinner. We've said this before and it's very true...some of the best dinners we make are thrown together with what we have on hand. This dinner turned out fabulous...we were counting on leftovers but NONE were to be had!😋❤️
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 553kcal

Equipment

  • Large deep skillet with cover
  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • Large skillet with cover

Ingredients 

  • pounds fresh cod fillets
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to sprinkle lightly over fish
  • 1 sprig fresh greek oregano chopped (approximately 1 Tablespoon)
  • 2- pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 6-8 large cloves of garlic peeled and left whole
  • EVOO to drizzle over fish and tomatoes & garlic
  • 3 ounces Kalamata Olives pitted & cut in half
  • cups pearl couscous also known as Israeli couscous
  • cup chicken broth
  • 1 large sweet onion roughly chopped
  • 6-8 large cloves garlic peeled & minced
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach a few large handfuls
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces Feta cheese we use President's Chunk

Instructions

  • In a large skillet add the Israeli/pearl couscous to a dry, hot skillet. Gently stir to prevent burning. After a few minutes, the couscous will start to brown.  Do not burn. Not all the couscous will brown & that's ok.
  • Add the chicken stock, cover, lower heat, and simmer about 15-18 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
  • In a large, deep skillet, saute the onions until they start to caramelize then add garlic & cook another minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  • Add the cooked onions, garlic, & spinach to the couscous. Stir well. Cover and set aside until fish is done.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Turn oven to broil. Once hot, reduce the oven temperature to 425º.
  • Wash tomatoes then coat them along with the whole cloves of garlic (skin on) with 1-2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Sprinkle with salt. Combine well. Place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Place baking sheet on the top oven rack and bake for 15-20 minutes at  425ºF, until tomatoes blister & garlic is soft.
  • Remove from the oven when done. Using a fork or a wooden spoon, smash the garlic. Take half the tomatoes plus the juice and garlic then add to couscous, mixing well.
  • Just before serving, crumble & add the Feta cheese & Kalamata olives to the couscous and combine.
  • Using the same rimmed baking sheet, drizzle EVOO and arrange the pieces of cod on the sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt & pepper, chopped fresh greek oregano. Drizzle lightly with EVOO and place on center rack of 425º oven.
  • Cook 10-16 minutes, depending on the thickness of cod until it's opaque & flakes.
  • To serve, place cooked couscous mixture on a serving platter and top with fish fillets. Sprinkle with remaining blistered tomatoes & garlic. Garnish with sprigs of fresh oregano or thyme.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Use any white fish of your choice including, shrimp, lobster, and/or scallops in place of cod.
Dried oregano or thyme may be used in place of fresh. For every 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs use 1 tsp dried.
To make this recipe Gluten-Free use GF pearl couscous, GF small pasta, or rice in place of regular pearl couscous.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 106.5mg | Sodium: 1874mg | Potassium: 1679mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5459IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 4mg
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Clear Soup with Mushrooms & Scallions

 

Clear Soup with Mushrooms & Scallions

A delicious clear onion broth with mushrooms & scallions. Just like your favorite Sushi or Hibachi restaurant.
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Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 61kcal

Equipment

  • 8 quart stockpot

Ingredients 

  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 large sweet onions cut into 12 wedges
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves smashed
  • 3 inch piece fresh ginger sliced
  • 4-5 whole scallions (green onions) sliced thin (green & white parts)
  • 10-12 Baby Bella mushrooms sliced very thin
  • salt to taste
  • French's fried onion pieces

Instructions

  • Heat a large 8 quart stock pot until water makes a "pish" sound. The pot is then hot enough to add the sesame oil.
  • When the sesame oil is hot enough it will show striations on the bottom surface. Add the onion wedges, ginger slices and carrot chunks until all surfaces are lightly charred. Add the garlic and cook additional 1 minute but don't burn.
  • Add the chicken, beef broths and water. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for about an hour.
  • Use a strainer to remove the vegetables and toss them or use elsewhere; however, they will be very soft.
  • Serve into individual soup bowls with a ladle or two of hot broth. Add some thinly sliced mushroms and scallions. Top with a few fried onions and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1069mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
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Spaghetti Squash Beef Lasagna – Twiins Style – Gluten-Free

Spaghetti Squash Beef Lasagna - Twiins Style - Gluten-Free

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy

You will not believe this healthy lasagna is as satisfying as the traditional one made with lasagna noodles, but it definitely is! It is filled with a blend of creamy ricotta, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, basil & is layered with ground beef as well as our homemade tomato sauce. You build the layers just like traditional lasagna only replace the noodles with cooked & seasoned spaghetti squash & topped with sliced mozzarella. This dish has it all...can be made ahead, freezer friendly and perfect for a crowd. Our family loves it and so will yours. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 med to large spaghetti squash (cut lengthwise and seeded)
  • light drizzle of EVOO over each half of the squash before seasoning & baking.
  • dried oregano to sprinkle over squash before baking
  • salt & pepper to sprinkle over squash before baking
  • garlic powder to sprinkle over squash before baking
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (85/15 or leaner)
  • 1/2  onion, diced
  • 4-6 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 32 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 3/4 cup grated Locatelli cheese (Pecorino Romano)
  • 16 ounces whole milk mozzarella, shredded or leave some slices for top layer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 2-3 cups prepared tomato sauce

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
    2. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise & remove seeds.
    3. Lightly drizzle each half with EVOO then season with salt, pepper, dried oregano & garlic powder (the more the tastier). Place each half face down onto foiled baking sheet and bake until soft when touched (about 30-40 minutes)
    4. While the squash is baking, heat a large skillet. When the pan is hot add the ground beef and brown. Add the smashed garlic and onions and cook until softened.
    5. Drain fat and set aside in a medium bowl.
    6. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, half the shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, salt & pepper and 1 tsp garlic powder. Mix well then add chopped basil. combine and set aside.
    7. Removed the squash from the oven when soft and let cool. Once cool use 2 forks to shred it then add to a colander to drain excess liquid. Set aside until ready to layer your lasagna.
    8. Lower oven temperature to 350ºF.
    9. In a lasagna pan or casserole dish, place a light layering of tomato sauce. Take enough forkfuls of shredded squash and place on top of sauce. Spready evenly. Sprinkle with some grated Pecorino Romano.
    10. Layer half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly.
    11. Layer with cooked ground beef mixture. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano.
    12. Add tomato sauce to cover lightly. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano.
    13. Repeat for the second layer and top with remaining shredded or sliced mozzarella.
    14. Sprinkle with Locatelli cheese, then a try light drizzle of EVOO on top.
    15. Bake about 30 minutes or until cheese melts.
    16. Best served with a nice Italian salad on the side.

    Note: May be substituted with ‘Beyond Beef Crumbles’ in place of ground beef for a meatless meal.



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    Creamy Chicken Florentine with Garlic & Mushrooms – Twiins Style

    Creamy Chicken Florentine with Garlic & Mushrooms - Twiins Style

    • Servings: 6
    • Difficulty: Easy

    Our family went wild over this meal! They loved it so much not a morsel was left, not even a single strand of linguine! This amazing dinner is a quick and easy, one-skillet meal that you'll have on the table in less than 30 minutes. Your family or guests will think you slaved all day in the kitchen just for them. It's a win-win for sure. Using pre-sliced gourmet blends of mushrooms makes preparation a snap. The silky smooth creamy sauce will have your family requesting it every week. Buon Appetito!

    Ingredients

    • 4 boneless chicken thighs, skinless
    • 8 chicken tenders
    • 2-4 Tablespoons EVOO
    • salt & pepper (season chicken)
    • garlic powder (season chicken)
    • 12 ounces fresh sliced gourmet blend mushrooms (shitake, oyster, & baby Bella)
    • 6 Tablespoons butter
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1½ Tablespoons flour (we used Gluten-free)
    • 3/4 cups chicken broth
    • 1¼ cups half & half
    • 3/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
    • 10-20 ounces fresh baby spinach (use a minimum of 10-oz)
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Reserve 1 cup cooked pasta water

        Directions

      1. If you are serving over pasta now is the time to fill your pot with water & bring it to a boil, then add salt to the water.
      2.  Season both sides of chicken pieces with salt, pepper, & garlic powder to taste.
      3. In a large skillet heat the EVOO on medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides until the chicken is cooked and no longer pink. Remove from skillet & set aside.  Add the chicken tenderloins and brown on both sides until no longer pink. Remove from skillet & add to plate of cooked chicken thighs.
      4. Add mushrooms to skillet & cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir several times. Remove from skillet & set aside.
      5. Melt the butter in the skillet add minced garlic & tarragon. Saute for 1 minute.
      6. Using a whisk add the flour to the skillet & whisk continuously until starts to thicken.
      7. Add chicken broth,  half & half, & both grated cheeses. Stir well.
      8. Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted & sauce thickens.
      9. Add back the mushrooms & all chicken, cover & low simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
      10. Remove chicken to a platter.  Don’t drain the pasta…using a pasta ladle or tongs simply scoop all the pasta from the pot of water into the sauce & mix well. If needed add an additional 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce.
      11. Serve or over your favorite pasta with a side salad.  Buon Appetito!

      Note: Chicken cutlets may be used in place of tenders & thighs.

       

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