Archive for the ‘Appetizers & Quick fix meals’ Category

Healthy Dinner from scratch in minutes

January 19th, 2014
Quick, Easy & Delicious dinners are possible, and even for a budget. A lot of people these days turn to fast-food or what some consider to be the healthier choices, but are still very bad for us. Lately I have been trying to get myself back on track, a solid gym routine, eating clean, and trying to cut out all the extra coffee and Rockstars. Earlier this morning I was browsing through some of my favorite cooking magazines and I got inspired to come up with something that was cheap, but also healthy, delicious, and could be put together in under 30 minutes. I hit the store after the gym with $15 and some ideas, Here is what I came up with:


Boneless Pork Loin Medallions in a Spicy citrus sauce

w/ a side of Sauted Greens with Portabella & Heart of Palm

For the pork:


1 Pork tenderloin, Cut into 1″ thick filets/medallions

Grape seed oil

Sea salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, Herb de provence, smoked paprika

1/4 cup Orange juice

1 tbsp spicy mustard

red pepper flake


Step 1

Heat a pan over medium-high heat, add grape seed oil, enough to coat the pan.

Step 2

Season the meat generously with ALL the above herbs and place into your pan.

Step 3

Cook until nicely seared and partially cooked through, flip and finish cooking on the other side.

Step 4

remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with Orange juice, add mustard, a pinch of red pepper flake and let reduce until thickened. Pour over pork and serve.



For the Green Saute:


Olive oil

1/4 red onion, thinly julienned

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

2 portabella mushrooms, caps & gills removed, large dice

1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems removed, julienned

1 hand full of fresh spinach, julienned

2 Heart of palm stalks, sliced into rounds

sea salt, pepper, italian herb blend



Step 1

Heat a pan over medium heat, add olive oil, add onions, saute until translucent. then add garlic.

Step 2

Add in mushrooms, and italian herb. saute until the mushrooms release most of their moisture.

Step 3

Add in all greens, a tiny more olive oil, sea salt, pepper, saute until wilted. Remove from the pan

Step 4

Add hearts of palm, sear on both sides, place on top of the greens & serve.

It’s been a long time….

September 10th, 2013

Hello again my fellow foodies, 
I’ve been working like crazy this summer as the new Sous chef for Buckboard Catering / Calserve Gourmet. I am also currently recipe testing for new additions to our menu as well as our upcoming holiday menu. Here is just a few pics of what I have been doing. Nothing over the top crazy,  just fresh ingredients and simple techniques for our summer event season.


Antipasto kebob w/ herb infused olive oil & micro basil


Gazpacho Shooter


Tamarind Thai Basil satay


Shrimp cocktail shooters, mini tostadas, & charasco kebobs




Seared Ahi w/ roasted edamame relish canape


Thanksgiving bites: A Turkey loaf loaded with all your T-day classics. Topped with a spicy chili panko crust


za’atar spiced hummus w/Roasted chic pea salad in a phylo cup

Seared Tuna salad with hot peanut ginger dressing

January 11th, 2012

Here is a Quick, easy, and delicious dinner I made tonight after work. There was an amazing piece of tuna leftover after my sushi class and what better way to use it than this?


4oz piece of tuna
1 tbsp of ginger, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of rice vinegar
2 tsp of sesame oil
{combine all ingredients above and drizzle over tuna, cover and set in fridge 1-2 hours

Step 1
Heat a pan over medium high heat, add in some coconut oil

Step 2
Remove tuna from marinade,and add marinade to a small pan over medium heat, add in 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter & 2 tsp of sriracha sauce. dry tuna with paper towel and add to pan. Sear until you get a nice thin crust all all sides but the tuna is still raw in the middle. Then remove from pan and let cool.

Step 3
with a super sharp knife, slice tuna into thin slices.

Step 4
Salad-handful of each: kale, field greens, sprouts, shredded carrots, broccoli, Mix together.

Step 5
Top with tuna & dressing then serve.

Posted from WordPress for Android – Droid X

Super fresh Sashimi

September 29th, 2011

by Scott Ingenito

I have to say, with my new job, I am making some amazing connections. Last night I assisted in a class based off local, “slow-food”, Seafood, with Special guest; Tommy Gomes of Catalina Offshore Products in San Diego. I learned a lot from Tommy as I assisted in making some amazing dishes to demo for the students: Diver scallop cakes with an updated tartar sauce, New England style lobster & shrimp roll, Seasonal Fish En Papillotte, and Seared Salmon with a Thai Green Curry Sauce. I got to assist and learn from Tommy how to break down a whole fresh salmon, whole fresh Yellow Tail and a huge california spiny lobster. After class, Tommy had set aside some amazing cuts of each for me to bring home and experiment with in the kitchen. Here is the little lunch I made with a portion of it. More to come soon…

Yellow Tail Sashimi Rolls


4 oz cut of yellow tail (super fresh 1-2 days caught)

Cucumber, sliced thin

Green onion, sliced thin

for the sauce: dash of each; Soy sauce, sesame oil, plum wine vinegar, powdered ginger

Step 1

Cut yellow fin with a fish knife, super thin, nearly translucent.

nice trick I learned: Keep the handle of your blade resting on the cutting board, and keep ur hand on the top of the fish to get thin consistent pieces.

Step 2

Add in your cucumber & onion. and roll tight, Serve & Enjoy

Sauce: mix all ingredients, whisk until combined, serve.

Salmon Sashimi rolls


4 oz cut of fresh salmon

avocado, sliced thin

green onion, sliced thin

spoon full of Mayo, few squirts of hot chili sauce, sprinkle of se salt, pepper, and garlic. whisk till smooth. (add more chili sauce if you like it super hot like me)

Same Directions as above for both assembling the rolls and sauce.

Seared California spiny lobster tail


1 lobster tail (any size)

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

coconut oil (enough to coat pan for searing)

Step 1

heat a pan over medium high heat, until super hot. Add oil coconut oil.

Step 2

Add your seasoned lobster tail, Sear until nearly translucent, then remove from pan. let sit for a few minutes before cutting into bite size pieces.

Serve & Enjoy!

Here are some video links so you can see Tommy Gomes & his Catalina Offshore Product associates

Tommy is such a down to earth, super knowledgeable, 7th generation Fish Monger, here he is in action:


Sea Bass @ Collaboration Kitchen:

Quick & Easy crab cakes

August 21st, 2011


By Scott Ingenito

Wanted to add this quick, simple but delicious recipe I just came up with. I have been getting home late, so I wanted to come up with something that was quick, but also healthy, fresh & delicious. Here is what I came up with…


1 steamed potato, mashed
1 lemon, zested (will use juice & zest)
1 16oz container of fresh crab meat
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 generous scoop of each; Old Bay seasoning, sea salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, cajun spice
1 egg, scrambled. W/ some water added

Step 1
Steam & mash your potato

Step 2
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT your eggwash & lemon zest

Step 3
Add eggwash, and mix until thickened, like a loose dough.

Step 4
Heat a large, nonstick skellet over medium heat, add grapeseed oil.

Step 5
Form your crab mixtures into small 2-3 inch cakes, tightly packed, but not too thick.

Step 6
Add,to your hot skillet to brown both sides, remove when some nice crust forms and your sides look cooked & strong. (approx 3 minutes each side)

Step 7
Remove from heat, let sit on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Top with a tartar sauce (in this case a jalapeno garlic tartar sauce), lemon zest & enjoy!

Posted from WordPress for Android – Droid X

The non-diet diet…

May 25th, 2011

by Scott Ingenito

So, my move to the west coast was for a few reasons, the main reason being to live a more healthy, active lifestyle. Since leaving New York 10 weeks ago I have lost a total of 20 pounds! and all just eating healthier and being more active. The last 10 pounds lost was in the last 8 days during Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet. My main reason for choosing the SB Diet id because it’s not really a diet, more of a lifestyle change. I will spare you the details of the entire diet, you can click here  for the breakdown.

I am currently half way through Phase 1, which last 2 weeks, and cuts out all Carbs, Starches & Sugar. So with cutting out all the good stuff, I have had a lot of cravings, especially for sweets. So my girlfriend discovered this recipe and tweaked it a bit, and it is absolutely amazing!

South Beach Phase 1 Peanut Butter Mini-Muffins


1/2 cup egg whites

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1/4 cup sugar substitute (agave nectar is best & healthiest)

1/2 cup Natural peanut butter

1 tbsp vietnamese cinnamon

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350*, then melt peanut butter in microwave for 1 minute (or until smooth)

 Step 2

Mix all ingredients together & pour into greased mini muffin pan. (24 cup tray).

 Step 3

Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with coffee or tea & Enjoy!

Agave Ginger Lemonade Cooler

May 5th, 2011

by Scott Ingenito

Summer is here, well literally, here, Ocean Beach San Diego, it’s always summer! But- Summer is coming and what better way to cool down than with a refreshing healthy drink. I combined my favorite ingredients and came up with this amazing, sweet, spicey, but most importantly Healthy refreshing drink.

The Agave Ginger Lemonade Cooler


8 oz of Fresh lemonade

1/2 of a fresh lime

1/2 of fresh lemon

1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced

2 tbsp of Agave Nectar

Step 1

Peel and Dice your ginger, cut your lemon and lime in half. (squeeze the juice into blender)

Step 2

Combine all ingredients into your blender and pulse until there are no chunks.

Step 3

Add a hand full of ice, and pulse until it has a smoothie texture.

Step 4

Garnish with a lemon wedge and enjoy!

** This drink can also be kicked up for those BBQ’s by adding in some Delicious Sake**

a Halloween treat for adults…

October 29th, 2010

Pumpkin Parfait

photo used courtesy of Food Network, Scripps

by Scott Ingenito

There is no reason that as adults we cant enjoy halloween the way we did in our younger years.  I for one do not dress up, but I do indulge in all things pumpkin; coffee, latte’s, pudding, roasted pumpkin & seeds, etc. So this recipe I like to use for a special, guilt-free dessert, or snack to celebrate fall and halloween.


13 gingersnaps, chocolate wafers, nilla wafers or graham crackers

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup pure pumpkin pure’ (or pure canned pumpkin)

2 1/2 teaspoons bourbon

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of vietnamese cinnamon

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups cold greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

1/2 cup heavy cream

Step 1

Put 7 cookies in a resealable plastic bag and crush into crumbs with a heavy pan. Brush the bottoms and about 1 inch up the sides of 6 wine or parfait glasses with the butter. Add a spoonful of crumbs to each and roll them around the insides of the glasses; pour out the excess crumbs and reserve for topping. Refrigerate the prepared glasses.

Step 2

Put 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, the pumpkin, 1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon and the nutmeg, cinnamon in a food processor, pulse until smooth, about 1 minute.

Step 3

Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 1 minute, stirring halfway. Add to the pumpkin mixture and process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.

Step 4

Beat 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt in a bowl with a mixer until light & whipped, fold into the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Divide among the prepared glasses and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 5

Beat the 1/2 cup of heavy cream with a mixer until foamy. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon bourbon and beat until soft peaks form. Top the parfaits with the whipped cream, reserved cookie crumbs and the remaining 6 cookies.

** this recipe can also be doubled, and put together as a PUMPKIN TRIFLE for large parties or restaurant settings **

Cooking with friends…

March 30th, 2010

by Scott Ingenito

If you’re like most people, rainy dreary days get you in a relaxed, reflective mood. I found myself today staring out the window at work (as I do most days) reflecting on the things in my life. To this point, 31 years on this planet, numerous jobs and careers in different areas- but the one thing I found myself reflecting on most was cooking, my newest venture in life. Although I’ve been cooking most of my life it has only been since this past september that I decided to take my passion for the culinary realm and try to give it “ the old college try”.  It has been about eight months now since I started my forward momentum, seven months since I launched this blog, 6 weeks into my culinary certificate in college, and only two weeks into my apprenticeship at the restaurant. I found myself sitting back and smiling, realizing that this really is a true passion of mine, the only thing in life I have this type of passion for is playing drums, which I have been doing for 26 years now. That passion has taken me all over the United States, Canada and also scored me a recording contract, a success that has filled my life with great accomplishment, and although I still play drums and create music with my band, I now hope to have a budding career as a chef. Like drumming, Cooking is one of the oldest arts. In so many ways similar to art or music; it is the tearing down of the natural things around us, that are then broken down even more, rendered and transformed to create something to be consumed again and returned- it is the gift that gives back over and over again. It’s the scent of creation in the kitchen, the friends and family that gather to share good food and conversation that fuel the passion for cooking inside me, and as I have said before; “ great food leads to great conversation “

With that being said, What better to do on a rainy day than cook?  Cook with friends… I have off from school, and got off work early, and my friend Steve also had off. He has been impressed with some of the recipes I have been testing out and having him try in school and my test kitchen.  As a vegetarian and someone who has been trying to be extra health conscious, I have been experimenting and coming up with some great healthy recipes for salads. Steve recently expressed and interest in learning some ways to make these salads and add them to his diet. We both are health conscious, work hard, study in college, and train in Mixed Martial Arts, so eating healthy is a must for people with such busy schedules.

Steve (left), Scott (right) in the kitchen

I came up with a few great, healthy recipes, I gave him a shopping list, and then grabbed my knife kit, some supplies and headed over to his house. Here is what I worked on with him:

5 healthy salads, easy to make, just fresh ingredients & quality spices,

Roasted Edamame Salad


12 ounces fresh or frozen shelled edamame, about 2 cups

1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, about 2 ears of corn

1/4 cup finely diced scallion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped fresh tomato

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the edamame, corn, scallion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper into a 13 by 9 metal pan and stir to combine. Place on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, just until the edamame begins to brown. Remove from the oven and place in the refrigerator until completely cool, approximately 30 minutes.

Add the tomato, basil and vinegar to the edamame mixture and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Barley Lentil salad

by Scott Ingenito


2/3 cup pearl barley

2/3 cup green lentil

1/3 cup green onion, finely sliced (or chives or red onion)

2 Roma tomatoes diced small


3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (or as much garlic as you can stand)

3 teaspoon ground cumin

2teaspoon salt

pepper, to taste

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp celery seed

2 tsp smoked paprika


In a large pot, wash and rinse the barley and lentils. Fill pot with a lot of water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and boil until cooked – 45 minutes to an hour. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Transfer to a salad bowl and toss with the onions/chives.

Combine all the dressing ingredients, then add to the lentil-barley-onion mixture, stirring until well combined.

Macaroni salad

The seal of approval from Steve

1 lb of whole grain elbow macaroni

1 red pepper diced

fresh chopped parsley

1/2 shallot minced

1 cup of mayo

Red wine vinegar

Salt & pepper


Mediterranean Tomato salad

3 tomatoes

1 english cucumber

Feta cheese

Black or kalamata Olives

Salt & pepper

Balsamic vinegar

olive oil


Sweet & Savory Slaw

1 head of purple cabbage

1 head of standard cabbage

1 bag of long carrots

1 cup of mayo

2 tbsp of sugar

2 tbsp of white distilled vinegar

Salt & pepper

Guilt-free treat for the sweet tooth that is Simple & Rich!

January 25th, 2010

Pan Roasted Sweet Pecans

By Scott Ingenito


  • 1 bag of pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 of pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp of All spice
  • 1/2 tsp of vietnamese cinnamon
  • Step 1

    Take a medium sauce pan, spray with non-stick baking spray. Heat on medium heat, place your pecans evenly across the pan. Let roast for 5-7 minutes, stir often.

    Step 2

    Pour honey over your pecans & stir. Add in your spices & sugar. Stir to coat evenly, then space the pecans out again. once coated, lower heat to simmer. Let slow roast until your honey & Brown sugar caramelizes. (stir occasionally to prevent sticking- don’t worry if they stick together, you can separate after)

    Step 3

    Remove from heat, place on a large plate, separate the pecans, let cool.

    Eat them solo, or top them on Cheese cake, vanilla ice cream or your favorite dessert.

    ** I serve these on top of Pumpkin & caramel Cheese Cake (pictured below), and it is amazing! **

    Sweet pan roasted pecans on cheesecake