Great Dinner Recipes


Happy New Year! Here’s a recipe you can make if your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier. Who says you can’t grill during the winter? I made this after we got back from our holiday vacation. It was a great way to start 2009!



4 tilapia fillets, about 6 ounces each
2-1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 scallion, minced
1 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
2 cups cherry tomatoes

Prepare grill (high heat). Brush fish with 1 tsp. oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill fish about 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat 1-1/2 tsp. oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over high heat. Stir in scallions and sauté 2 minutes. Add spinach and sauté about 3 minutes, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer spinach to a platter and keep warm. Sauté tomatoes 2 minutes in same skillet over high heat, until they start to burst or their skins look wrinkly. Season with salt and pepper Serve fish on top of spinach on platter with tomatoes.

Bon Appetit!!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings


My friend and I cooked dinner on Saturday night. We were looking for a warm and comforting dish. What could be better than meatballs!

From Joy of Cooking

1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumb
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons dry red wine (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all ingredients up to the dried oregano with your hands.
Scoop out mixture in heaping tablespoons and form into 2-inch balls.
Dredge the meatballs in the flour.
Heat in a large skillet over medium heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Brown the meatballs in batches.
Place in baking pan and cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.
If desired finish cooking in the sauce of your choice.


In the past day or so I’ve come down with a nasty virus that has left me bedridden, and I am NOT a good patient. I always think the best medicine is a warm bowl of chicken soup! Below is a recipe for chicken soup with an Asian twist. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to prepare!



Serves 8

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon bottled grated ginger
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled
2 cups water
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, finely chopped

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass; sauté 3 minutes. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard lemongrass.


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

So this recipe actually called for Snapper, and it required getting out the grill pan for the fish. I was lazy last night (and couldn’t find snapper) so I just used Tilapia and sauteed the fillets in a non-stick pan. It was really good!

Serves 4
1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
Cooking spray
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.

Heat a grill pan (or saute pan) over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, shallots, parsley, lemon juice, orange juice, and mustard in a small bowl, stirring well. Slowly add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle the shallot mixture over pasta; toss well to coat.

Serves 4 – enjoy!

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon freshly ground green peppercorns
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons sweet soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge both sides of salmon in peppercorn mixture.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add salmon; cook 2 minutes on each side. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Drizzle fillets evenly with soy sauce.


Sorry I’ve been away a few weeks. To make up for it, I’ve posted a whole slew of new recipes on the Hillman’s Helpings blog that are perfect for this chilly weather we’re having.

I have to admit, I have a bit of an obsession with miso, which is essentially fermented soybean paste. I was especially surprised to see miso-glazed cod at a wedding I attended last weekend! Recently, I’ve been trying out new recipes that incorporate yellow miso, a mild miso paste, which can be found in a grocery store like Whole Foods in the refrigerated aisle.

Below are a few of my favorite miso recipes.


Miso-Glazed Salmon
Serves 4

Note: This paste can be used atop any firm fish. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness. For use on Chilean Sea Bass, figure 18-20 minutes.

1/3 cup yellow miso
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4-6 oz. salmon fillets, skinned

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Brunch onto Salmon.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Miso-Garlic Eggplant

1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
3 tablespoons yellow miso
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggplants, sliced thin
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread mirin mixture evenly over the eggplant slices, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 8 minutes or until topping is golden. Place eggplant slices on a platter, and sprinkle with onions.


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings


Today’s recipe includes a sauce that can be put over almost anything – chicken, seafood, fish, veal, etc. I call it a faux puttanesca because it incorporates some, but not all flavors of a traditional puttanesca sauce. Anchovies, capers and hot peppers are all part of what Americans know as “puttanesca.” This sauce simply incorporated items from my fridge and pantry, but can be made with the above ingredients if desired.

While I’m not eating today for religious reasons, I’m dreaming about this yummy dinner I concocted on Monday evening.


Serves 2

Season two tilapia fillets with salt and pepper. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes on both sides, or until cooked through. Remove the fish from the pan.

Add 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil and 1 clove chopped garlic to the pan. Sauté for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup white wine, ¼ cup chicken stock, ½ cup diced tomatoes and a handful of sliced kalamata olives to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce until about ½ of the liquid has evaporated (a few minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add a few leaves of chopped basil and remove from the heat.

Serve the sauce over the fish.

Bon Appetit!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

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