So many times, the simple meals with good clean ingredients are the best!  Don’t you agree?  That’s why I love these 30 Minute Healthy Dinners so much.

It doesn’t come along often here in Omaha, but when it does, I jump at the chance to have it for dinner!  What is that you ask?  Why octopus of course!

When we lived in NYC, I would wander down to Eatly and everyday they had beautiful octopus.  But, it seems to be one of those fish that many people haven’t or won’t try.  Either they are afraid of it; think it’s too ugly to eat or would be tough; or think it’s too expensive or only for fancy restaurants.  I’m here to tell you to leave all your apprehensions behind and give octopus a try.  It is so good and not expensive at all!  It is considered a by-catch often at Whole Foods, but many fish mongers, like the ones at Eatly, consider it a regular item.

When I was traveling solo in Greece, I learned to cook it simply and well.  When it comes fresh from the sea, you need to tenderize it before it’s prepared, but most of us will be buying it after it has already been frozen, which breaks it down, so no tenderizing is needed.  Don’t be picky on the size.  If you have the opportunity to get it, just buy it!

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30 Minute Healthy Dinner – Octopus & Kale Caesar

This recipe is one that was made for me many times in Greece.  I enjoyed it many different ways, including grilled and baked in parchment paper with whatever fresh herbs were on hand.

This is how I prepare it for the 2 of us, so adjust up as needed.

You will need: a 9×13 glass dish and salad bowl.

OCTOPUS

INGREDIENTS

  • Octopus
  • 1 large russet or 6-8 smaller potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 springs rosemary, but you can substitute oregano
  • Lemon

PREPARATION 

  • In a 9×13 glass dish, drizzle olive oil to cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Thinly slice (about 1/4 inch think) the potatoes; if using russet, also slice in half.
  • Prepare octopus by cutting each tentacle in about 1/2.
  • Layer the potatoes on the bottom of the dish and cover with the octopus.
  • Add a bit of salt and pepper, juice from the lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and the rosemary that you pull from the sprigs.
  • Bake at 400 for 25 minutes until potatoes are soft.

KALE CAESER

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch fresh Kale or you can buy the prepackaged that’s already cut, but be aware that there are still hard stems that you need to pick out.
  • Caesar salad dressing (recipe below)
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Massaging the kale…

PREPARATION

  • Remove greens from stem and thinly cut kale.
  • Rinse and run through salad spinner a few times and place in salad bowl.
  • With your hands, massage the kale to release the leaves and make it what I think is more tender and tasty.
  • Add salad dressing.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

I make the simplest, most yummy Caesar Salad Dressing in the same Bullet I use for our juices and hubby’s recovery shakes.  If you don’t use a Bullet, you can use a blender or Cuisinart.  The total time is about 3 minutes and I often double the recipe and store the extra in a ball jar to use other days.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove peeled garlic
  • 1 can anchovies drained (optional)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

  • Put the garlic and anchovies in the Bullet and give it a spin until the garlic is diced.  If you’re not using anchovies, you may need to add a little extra lemon juice or olive oil.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until done (always start with the lesser amounts of lemon juice and olive oil and add more as needed).

I’m dying to know if you have had octopus or are going to give it a try.  Please let me know!

 – DANA

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE 30 MINUTE DINNER?