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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Veggie Lasagna with Spaghetti Squash

I came across this idea online but couldn't remember where, so I put it all together as best I could and it turned out delicious!  Adam was hesitant because it has no meat and no pasta, (you know men) but it is light, flavorful, healthy and hearty!

Serves 4-6


1 large spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1 Medium carrot, chopped
1 Medium zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced
1 Medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise then sliced
1 Tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tsp dried oregano
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 28oz Can crushed tomatoes
1/4 Cup dry red wine
1/4 Cup marsala cooking wine
2 Tsp sugar
1 8oz block Mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise in half.  Scoop out seeds and place on a baking sheet flesh part down.  Bake for 1 hour or until shell is soft. 

2.  While squash is baking, add oil and butter to a large pan and add onions and carrots.  Cook over medium heat until tender and translucent.  Set aside.  Add zucchini and yellow squash to pan and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 2 mins.  Reduce heat to simmer and add rosemary, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, wine, and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

3.  In a baking dish, pour a little sauce on the bottom.  Then using a fork, shred the spaghetti squash and spread half of the squash over the sauce.  Add more sauce, then mozzarella, then parmesan.  Add another layer of sauce, spaghetti squash, mozzarella, parmesan, more sauce, then top with mozzarella and parmesan. 

4.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes and let cool while some of the liquid evaporates before serving.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kids' Whole Wheat Pasta with Pureed Broccoli Sauce

A friend of mine told me about the idea of pureeing broccoli to put in kids' pasta to get their veggies.  So I tried it, and doctored it up a bit.  Well, Cash absolutely loved it!  So I froze a bunch to use for later dinners and am very satisfied.

Note - these measurements are approximate.  Feel free to add more of less of certain ingredients to meet your liking.


2 Cups uncooked whole wheat rotini (or other pasta)
2 Cups packed raw broccoli, tough stems trimmed
1/2 Cup low fat cream cheese
1/4 Cup low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp onion powder


Boil broccoli in a pot under very tender, about 15 minutes.  At the same time, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain both separately.

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except the pasta.  Once smooth, pour over pasta in a pot and mix over warm heat. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Crunchy Pea Salad

Many of you have probably seen this recipe from Pinterest.  I pinned it too, and decided to make it.  It was FANTASTIC!  The only problem was that the recipe was a tad confusing and left out a few things.  I changed it around a bit and this version is all you need!  Enjoy.

Serves 4-6 (as a side dish)


1 12oz bag frozen peas, rinsed thawed and drained
1 Cup lightly salted peanuts
1/2 Cup craisins
1/4 Cup chopped green onions
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1/2 Cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 Tsp worcestershire
1/8 Tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Cup cauliflower, raw, chopped, stems removed
1/2 Cup celery, chopped
Dash of salt and pepper

Whisk together mayo, red pepper, worcestershire, soy sauce, and sugar.  Toss all ingredients in dressing and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve chilled.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quick and Easy Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Simple, delicious and easy!


2 Large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper


Preheat the oven to 450.  Place a large non-stick pan or cookie sheet in the oven to get hot.

Peel the potatoes and slice into large "fries" or, wedges.  Try to keep all slices about the same length/width so they cook the same.

Toss with coconut oil, cheese and seasonings, and spread out on the hot pan.  Cook for 15 minutes, then turn all fries over and cook an additional 15 minutes.

Serve alone or with ketchup, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kids "Macaroni & Cheese" with White Beans and Parmesan

Hey friends!  Well, this was a HUGE hit.  This could be made for toddlers, kids AND adults!  My biggest difficulty is getting proteins and veggies into my little one's diet, so I have to get creative.  The Great Northern beans are packed with protein, making this "mac n' cheese" far better than any processed kind.  So easy too - make a ton and freeze for later!

Serves 8-10 4oz portions


1/2 Box of Elbow macaroni noodles
1 10.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
1 15 oz can Great Northern white beans
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 Cup heavy cream
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tsp onion powder
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper

1.  Cook pasta according to package.  Rinse, drain, and set aside.
2.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add beans, broth, and cream.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
3.  Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until creamy.
4.  Return to pan and add parmesan and seasonings.
5.  Add pasta to saucepan and toss.  Add more parmesan if needed.  Will thicken upon standing.

Serve and freeze in individual serving containers for future use!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grilled Hot Sausage and Veggies

This was so easy and tasty.  You can make it with fully cooked frozen sausage and any vegetables you have in your kitchen!

Serves 4


13oz package fully cooked smoked hot sausage
1 Large vidalia onion, cut into 1" thick slices
A handful of asparagus, cleaned and cut into thirds
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" thick slices
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp dried parsley

Toss all ingredients together and marinate at least an hour.  Set out to get to room temperature before cooking.  Place on a grill pan in foil, uncovered, and grill on med-high heat for about 15 minutes or until just browned.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kale Parmesan Quinoa Burgers

A big thanks to my friend Imee of LittleLicious Kids ( for collaborating with me on healthy recipes for both kids and adults.  These were absolutely delicious, and packed with veggies and protein!  My son loved them.

(I added a few seasonings to this recipe)

Serves:  About 12 patties


2 Cups low sodium chicken broth
1 Cup quinoa
2 Large handfuls of kale
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Small onion, diced
4 Eggs
1 Cup panko or breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper


Cook quinoa according to package.  Set aside to cool.

In a separate pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add kale and onions. Toss until tender.  Set aside and cool.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, adding in the quinoa and kale mixture once cooled.  Form into palm sized patties.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and cook 4-5 patties at a time for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned on both sides.

Cook the remaining patties, or freeze for later use.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fruit and Veggie Smoothies

I'm sure everyone has their own version for this.  I've been having difficulty getting my 1 year old to eat his veggies, so my dear friend Jess told me to make him a smoothie.  It worked!  I added ice so it was like a frozen treat.  I even tried it and enjoyed it.  The color looks dark because of the frozen blueberries.

Note - measurements are approximate.  Use whatever fruits and veggies you have!

1 6oz container of YoBaby drinkable yogurt
1 Banana
2 Cups packed baby spinach
1/2 Cup shredded carrots
1/4 Cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 Cup frozen or fresh strawberries
Handful of ice

Puree in a blender and serve in a sippy cup, or if too thick, spoon feed or add more ice.  Freeze the leftovers for future use.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jane Coxwell's Summer Salad

What a perfect summer lunch dish!  Or entree side dish.  Light and refreshing, packed with veggies, and beneficial protein from quinoa.  I'll certainly make this again!

Serves 4


1 Cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 Cup macadamia nuts
1 Small garlic clove, minced
1 Small green onion, chopped
3/4 Cup seeded diced cucumber
1 Cup diced green apple
1/2 Cup diced green pepper
1/4 Cup diced celery
1/2 Red serrano chili, seeded and diced (I couldn't find so I used Jalepeno.  I also used 2 because I like the extra kick)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp agave nectar
Salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Prepare quinoa according to package directions.  In a small, dry skillet, toast the macadamia nuts until evenly browned, 3-4 minutes stirring often to prevent burning.  Crush the nuts lightly with a knife.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, nuts, and remaining ingredients.  Toss and check for seasoning; add more lemon, salt, or agave nectar if necessary.

Serve room temp or chilled.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pasta Shells, Peas, Ham and Homemade Cheese Sauce

I know kids like the boxed macaroni and "cheese," but I can't help but be concerned of the ingredients and chemicals that are in those foods.  I figured I could make something better and hopefully they'll still like it!  My 11 month old does, hopefully all of your kids will!

Serves 6-8 meals (for kids) plus leftovers to freeze, or 4-6 adults.


1 Box Medium Pasta Shells
1/2 Stick butter
4-5 Tbsp flour
3 Cups skim milk
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 Cup frozen thawed peas
1 Slice thick-cut sweet ham (from Deli)


In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta shells.  Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter on low heat.  Stir 4 Tbsp flour, stirring constantly until it forms a paste.  Add milk all at once, and stir constantly getting the lumps out.  If you feel you need more flour to thicken, add more.  If you think you need more milk, add more.  It should be a creamy texture.  Add cheese a little at a time and stir to blend.

Stir in peas and ham.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.

In the large pot used to boil the noodles, return the drained noodles and pour cheese sauce over, stirring to mix.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Arugula, Pear and Pancetta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Sorry, no picture.  This was light and tasty and the crispy pancetta was delicious!  Peppery arugula, salty crispy pancetta, and sweet pears.  Yum!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


4 Cups arugula
1 Medium pear, sliced into 1" pieces
4 Slices pancetta (get from the deli at grocery store)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt Pepper
Pecorino Romano cheese

For vinaigrette:

Mix honey, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Set aside.

For salad:

Brown pancetta in medium skillet over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes, turning once.  Turn off heat, let cool.

Toss arugula, pear, crumbled pancetta with vinaigrette and top with fresh shaved pecorino romano cheese.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Good Ole' Fashioned Meatloaf

Well, I have never made meatloaf before, nor have I ever eaten it.  My dad always wanted it but my mom wouldn't make it.  So, Adam requested this for Father's Day, and I made it.  Let me tell you that he enjoyed it for 3 nights straight, the baby liked it, and I actually liked it, too!  The flavor of bacon really makes it delicious!

This is something I'd make on a cold rainy winter night (few and far between here in sunny South Florida).

Serves 6 - 8


1 Cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 Cup whole milk
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Celery rib, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp worcestershire
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 Tsp allspice
2 Slices raw bacon, chopped
1.5 Lbs ground beef chuck
1/2 Lb ground pork
2 Large eggs
1/3 Cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350.

Soak breadcrumbs in milk.

Cook onions, garlic, celery, carrot and butter over medium heat until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in worcestershire, vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper.  Add to breadcrumb mixture.

Add the onion mixture to bacon, beef, pork, parsley and eggs in a large bowl and mix with your hands.

Pack mixture into a 9x5" oval loaf in a 9x13" shallow baking dish.  Bake about 1 1/4 Hours, or until meat thermometer reads 155F.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Suggest serving with ketchup.  And mashed potatoes.  Or cheesy potatoes.  ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Carrot and Zucchini Muffins

We're at that stage where my child has decided he doesn't like vegetables.  So now I'm having to get sneaky with adding them to recipes.  I made these muffins with carrots and zucchini. They are delicious!  More quick snacks/meals to add to the freezer!

Makes about 16 muffins


1 Cup flour
1 Cup whole wheat flour
1 Cup sugar
2 Tsp baking soda
2 Tsp baking powder
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp nutmeg
1/2 Cup coconut oil
1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs
2 Cups grated carrots
2 Cups grated zucchini
1/2 Cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking pan with muffin cups.

Mix all dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and oil.  Combine dry ingredients with egg mixture and fold in zucchini, carrots and raisins.

Bake 22 minutes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kid's Cheese Ravioli with Coconut Oil and Veggies

Easy to make, tasty, and gets in proteins and veggies!  This makes a lot, so you can freeze it for later use.  I purchased individual 4oz tupperware containers to freeze perfectly portioned meals for my son!  You can use whatever type of vegetables you have around the house.


1 package Buitoni Four Cheese Ravioli (in the refrigerated aisle of Publix, near dairy and lunch meat)
2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 Cup chopped frozen spinach
1/2 Cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 Cup chopped zucchini


Boil 4 cups of water.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil (to prevent sticking).  Add ravioli.  Boil until soft, about 6 minutes.  Drain.

In a small sauce pan, melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil over medium heat.  Add chopped spinach and zucchini.  Cook until zucchini is tender.  Add tomatoes.

Toss all ingredients in the pot you used to cook the ravioli.  Turn heat on low, add remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and a dash of salt and pepper.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Veggie and Cheese Egg Muffins

I'm sure you've seen this idea around before.  This is a great thing to make and freeze for your kiddo.  It's got protein and lots of veggies.  Take one out of the freezer, microwave, and serve to your little one with fruit and, voila!  Breakfast is served!

Makes 8 muffins


6 large eggs
1 slice cheese (I used baby swiss, but any will do)
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, drained
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 zucchini, chopped


Preheat oven to 350.  Place 8 baking cups in a muffin pan and spray with Pam.

Microwave frozen chopped spinach in a bowl for 4 minutes.  Drain.  Mix 1/2 cup spinach (save the remaining spinach for future egg muffins, or toss with noodles, etc) with all other ingredients.  Mix well.

Pour into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Let cool and freeze individual muffins for later use.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad with Homemade Dressing

Very fresh and light tasting.  Healthy and loaded with veggies!

Serves 2 (as a main dish)


4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 Rotisserie chicken, white meat, shredded
1/4 Cup corn, rinsed and drained
1/4 Cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 Cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 scallions, rinsed and chopped (ends removed)
1/4 Cup shredded lowfat cheddar
1/2 Red bell pepper, chopped and seeds removed
1 Jalapeno, chopped and seeds removed
1 small, ripe avocado, chopped
Tortilla chips
*For the dressing:
1 Small container plain greek yogurt (5.3oz, about 3/4 of a cup)
Juice of 1 large lime
2 Tbsp tequila
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
**If dressing is too thick, add equal parts of lime and tequila**

Toss all ingredients together, add dressing and crumbled tortilla chips when ready to serve.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chopped Salad with Gorgonzola, Bacon and Pears

I'm not big on measurements, and since this is a salad, I'll just provide you with the ingredients and you can use however much of each you'd like.  Deal?  Deal.  :)


Crumbled gorgonzola
Crumbled bacon
Sweet onion
Fresh pear
Pecans, toasted and chopped

Finely chop all ingredients and toss with dressing of choice - I prefer Ken's Honey Balsamic.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Crescent Rolls with Pear, Brie and Honey

I saw a recipe like this on Pinterest and thought it sounded wonderful, but I thought I could make it a little bit better, haha.  And so I did.

Serves 4-6 (as an appetizer)


1 container of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
2 ripe pears, cut into 1" squares (bite sizes)
16 pecans
8 pieces of brie cheese (get a wedge and slice into 8 bite size pieces)


Unroll crescents onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Preheat oven to 425.  In the center of each crescent roll, place a slice of brie, then a pear slice, then a drop of honey, then two pecans.  Wrap up each crescent roll and bake until golden brown, or time according to package.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Balsamic Marinated Steak and Kale Salad

I've been on a bit of a kale kick lately, but as you may or may not know, it is quite bitter and not too tasty.  Therefore, you have to add lots of flavor with it!  My husband loved the steak, but wasn't a huge fan of the salad.  This is a HEALTHY alternative to salad (as if salads aren't already healthy)!  The kale is so much better for you than your typical romaine, iceberg, or even mixed greens salad.

Serves 2


1 Lb top sirloin filets, or flank steak
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
2 Garlic cloves
1/2 Tsp thyme
4 Cups packed kale (or about half of a large bag)
1 Tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
2 Tbsp crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Creamy blue cheese salad dressing


Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme in a bowl.  Place steaks in a freezer bag and pour in marinade.  Let marinate for as long as possible (preferably overnight).

Cook steak on grill over high heat, or on stove.  Sear at high heat and then set aside.  Slice steak into strips.

Toss together kale, tomatoes, onions, bleu cheese and dressing and top with steak.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Simple Switch:

Try sauteing green beans or haricots verts in coconut oil and slivered almonds.  Coconut oil has great health benefits, and gives the beans a sweet, nutty taste.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Yum!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sausage and Peppers

Or as I like to say, "Sorsage" in a New York accent.  Cracks me up every time.  These were delicious and easy!  I of course at them on their own, Adam ate his over some rigatoni pasta.

Serves 2


4 large hot (spicy) pork sausages
2 large green bell peppers, sliced thin
2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 28oz can tomato sauce
1 8oz can tomato paste
1/4 Cup marsala cooking wine
1/4 Cup mascarpone cheese
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 Cup shaved parmesan cheese
1 Tsp oregano


In a dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium-high heat.  Add sausages and cook, turning every so often.  Cook about 15 minutes, until browned on all sides.  Set aside.

In pan, add peppers and onions.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, stirring and scraping up bottom of pan.  (About 10 minutes)

Add garlic, stir and reduce heat to low.  Add sauce, paste, wine, cheese and seasonings.  Place sausages back in pan and simmer on low for 1 hour.

Serve on its own, or over pasta.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Homemade Coffee Creamer

My mother-in-law and I were pouring a cup of coffee this past weekend when she asked if I've ever read the ingredients in the Coffee Mate creamer.  I of course didn't, and one of the first ingredients was Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, which is supposed to be pretty bad for you. Learn more here:

The very next day, my MIL found a bunch of EASY recipes (on another's blog) for homemade coffee creamer using just two main ingredients - condensed sweetened milk, and any other form of milk.  I replaced my old creamer container (went through the dishwasher) and will only make my own from here on out!  Here is the recipe I used, but there are plenty more at:


1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 Cup skim milk
2 Tsp vanilla extract

Yay!  PS - use the expiration date of your milk for the expiration date of your creamer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Simple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We are currently building an outdoor kitchen, so in the meantime we have no grill. Thus, I have to cook chicken indoors.  It's always fun to look in my kitchen to see what I have to stuff some chicken breasts with.  Last night I had goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and spinach.  I figured, "why not just stuff it and bake it?"  And so I did.  And it was tasty.

Serves 2


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp goat cheese (or about 2" cut from the goat cheese log)
Large handful of baby spinach
1/4 Cup sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 Cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Dash of onion powder
Dash of garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in a 9x13" pan.  Add white wine and lemon to butter.  Set aside.

Mix goat cheese, spinach and sundried tomatoes in a bowl.

Slice chicken breasts like you are cutting a sub sandwich (make a big pocket in the breast, but keep the breast intact).  Stuff with goat cheese mixture, seal chicken as best you can, and hold together with a couple of toothpicks.

Place chicken in 9x13" pan and brush the top with the white wine mixture.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder on the breasts.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes until done.  Baste the top with remaining juice before serving.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples

This recipe  came from Cooking Light magazine.  It was so easy, and SO flavorful!  It is like a comfy, fall-tasting dish, but healthy.  So many comfy recipes are heavy dishes.  This was fantastic.

Serves 4


3/8 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp coriander
1/4 Tsp black pepper
1/8 Tsp cinnamon
1/8 Tsp nutmeg
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
cooking spray
2 Tbsp butter
2 Cups thinly sliced gala apples
1/3 Cup thinly sliced shallots
1/8 Tsp salt
1/4 Cup apple cider
1 Tsp fresh thyme

1.  Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  Combine salt, coriander, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pat dry tenderloin slices and coat each side with dry rub, patting to stick.  Add pork to pan and cook about 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove pork from pan and set aside.
2.  Melt butter in same skillet over med-high heat.  Add apples, shallots and salt.  Cook about 4 minutes or until brown and tender.  Add thyme leaves and apple cider and cook another 2 mins.  Serve apple mixture atop pork tenderloin.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

I had this at Houston's and am now obsessed.  So I tried my own recipe, and I love it!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


16 oz raw kale, rinsed and chopped (hard stems removed)
1/2 Cup unsalted peanuts, chopped and toasted
3/4 Cup roasted peanut oil
1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp & 1 Tsp dry mustard
1 Tsp worcestershire
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tsp sesame oil
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tsp brown sugar
1 Tsp water
2 Tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients from peanut oil through pepper in a bowl and whisk.  Toss peanut vinaigrette with kale and toasted peanuts.  Serve immediately.  (Or set dressing aside in the fridge and toss when ready).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Roasted Garlic, Cheese and Spinach Quinoa

Sadly, this recipe is not my own.  A reader in a magazine submitted it, and I gave it a whirl.  I love making quinoa in different variations.  It is a great healthy side dish - especially when you add veggies to it!  The roasted garlic in this recipe adds such nice flavor!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


1 whole garlic head
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp dry white wine
1 Cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 Cup baby spinach
1/3 Cup chopped seeded tomato
1 Tbsp shaved fresh parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Remove papery skin from garlic head.  Cut garlic head crosswise at the top to expose the raw garlic.  Wrap in foil, and bake for 1 hour.  Set aside and let cool.  Separate cloves and squeeze to extract garlic pulp.  Discard skins.
3.  Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallots and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.  Add quinoa, cook 2 mins stirring constantly.  Add wine, cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add broth, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer 15 mins or until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in garlic, spinach, tomato and cheese, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Simple Crab Cakes and Savory Remoulade

These were so delicious, and so easy!  Get good quality crabmeat, and be sure to cook on high heat to get that crispy outer crust.  Yum!

Serves 4

For Crab Cakes:

1 1/5 Cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp low fat mayo
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tsp worcestershire
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp tabasco
2 Large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
1 Tsp olive oil
4 Lemon wedges

Combine all ingredients through crabmeat in a large bowl.  Make 8 patties and refrigerate until ready to cook.  (Now's a good time to make the remoulade, if you haven't already.  This can all be made in advance).

For Remoulade:

1 1/4 Cups lowfat mayo
1/4 Cup creole mustard
1 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 Tsp cajun seasoning
2 Tsp horseradish
1 Tsp sweet pickle juice
1 Tsp tabasco
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

To cook the crab cakes, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan over med-high heat.  Add patties and cook 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy!  Serve with lemon wedges and remoulade sauce!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cheddar and Spinach Souffles

This recipe originally called for parmesan instead of cheddar.  I made them, and the flavor was lacking a little bit.  So, I altered them by adding onions and subbing cheddar for parmesan.  These are very interesting, light and unique.  They pair beautifully with steak and red wine!

Serves 4


Cooking spray
1/4 Cup dry breadcrumbs
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
1/2 Medium yellow onion, chopped
2/3 Cup fat free milk
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 Tsp salt
1/8 Tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 Tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 Cup (2 oz) finely grated, good quality sharp cheddar cheese
2 Large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
1/4 Tsp cream of tartar


1.  Place a baking sheet in the oven.  Preheat to 425.
2.  Coat 4 (6 oz) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with half of the breadcrumbs, tilting and turning ramekins to coat.  Leave some breadcrumbs for later use.
3.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high.  Spray pan with cooking spray.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Add spinach, cook for 2 minutes until it wilts.  Place spinach in a colander and let stand for 5 minutes.  Squeeze excess liquid from spinach and onion mixture and coarsely chop.
4.  Combine 2/3 Cup milk and the next 4 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small saucepan over med-high heat, stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Cook for 2 mins or until mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Spoon mixture into a large bowl, let stand for 10 mins.  Stir in spinach, onions, cheese and egg yolks.
5.  Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and let sit at room temp for 15 mins.  Beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form.  Do not overbeat.  Gently stir one-fourth of egg whites into spinach mixture and gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Gently spoon mixture into prepared ramekins.  Tap dishes 2-3 times on counter to level.  Sprinkle each with remaining breadcrumbs.  Place ramekins on baking sheet and return to oven at 425.  Immediately reduce temp to 350.  Bake souffles at 350 for 21 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Broiled Herb-Marinated Shrimp

This recipe is not my own; this came from Cooking Light magazine.  It was so easy for a quick weeknight dinner, and healthy too.

Serves 4


3/4 Cup fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 Cup fresh parsley
1/2 Cup fresh basil
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 Tsp cumin
1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
2 Garlic cloves
24 Jumbo shrimp (I used the frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed)
Cooking spray


Combine all ingredients except for cooking spray and shrimp in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Toss shrimp in marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler to high heat.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, and spread out shrimp evenly on pan.  Broil 5 inches from heat for 2 minutes on each side, until shrimp are pink and done.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Parsley and Pea Barley

This was so light and fresh tasting.  I made it ahead of time, refridgerated it and ate it chilled.  A healthy and flavorful side dish!

Serves 4-6


2 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 Cup frozen peas, thawed
2 Tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
1 Garlic clove, minced
3 Cups cooked pearl barley


Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks (washed and cut into 1/2" thick half-moons).  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 7-8 minutes.  Add peas, lemon zest and garlic.  Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add parsley.  Fold mixture into the barley, add lemon juice and toss. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ribeyes with Carmelized Shallot Bleu Cheese Butter

This is mouth-watering!  Delicious - I don't think I'll make a steak any other way!  You can make extra butter and freeze for another night.

Serves 2


2 thick, good quality boneless ribeye steaks
1/2 stick butter, room temperature, divided
1 shallot, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp bleu cheese (use a good quality - I used Maytag)
1 Tsp fresh thyme


Set out butter and steaks to get room temperature.  Might as well go ahead and open a fine bottle of red!

In a saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp butter and add shallots.  Cook shallots on med-low heat until they carmelize and turn slightly brown, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme, cook for 2 minutes.  Set aside and let cool.

In a bowl, mix the remaining butter with bleu cheese.  Once shallot mixture cools, add it to the butter.  Mix around, and place on a sheet of parchment paper.  Roll into a log and chill in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

Turn the oven on broil, and place a heavy saute pan in it to heat up. 

Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry and brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Using a thick oven mitt, remove the saute pan from the oven and place on the stove over med-high heat.  Add the steaks - they should sizzle immediately.  Cook for about 1 minute on each side until they brown, then place back in the boiler oven.  Cook about 3-4 minutes for medium-rare steaks. 

Slice the butter and place on top of each steak and let melt.  Mmm!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tequila Lime Salad Dressing

Delicious!  I tossed with lettuce, mojo grilled chicken strips, blackbeans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and shredded cheddar cheese for a tasty and light dinner salad!


1/4 Cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tsp lime zest
1 Tbsp apricot preserves
1 shot glass of tequila
1 garlic clove, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

Whisk together all ingredients and use as a salad dressing or marinade. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lemony Fresh Green Beans

Crisp, fresh, light and delicious!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


1/2 Lb green beans or haricots verts
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 Cup white wine
1 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tsp lemon zest
1/4 Cup sliced almonds
Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Rinse and trim beans.  In a bowl, whisk together garlic, wine, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, salt and pepper.  Marinate green beans in fridge for at least an hour.

In a medium saucepan, toss beans with almonds and marinade and cook on medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes until juice starts to evaporate.  Top with parmesan and serve.