Spinach & Feta Turkey Burgers w/ Caramelized Balsamic Onions

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


1lb lean ground Turkey
1 package of Cream of Spinach (powdered. Knorr's brand is best)
1 cup Feta Cheese (regular or low fat)
1 egg
8-10 shakes of Mrs. dash Table blend
1 large spoonful of minced garlic


Mix all items together in a bowl, form into 4 burger patties.  Grill on pan pr broil in oven until cooked thoroughly.  Top with Onions (follow recipe on blog).  I like to serve it with Sweet Potato Fries or a Green Salad.

Sweet Potato Fries


1 Large Sweet Potato per person (I prefer to use Yams, much better sweetness...I have also used Fingerling Potatoes or Russet in a pinch)
1 TBSP Minced Garlic
1/2 TBSP Mrs. Dash Table Blend or Lemon Pepper
2 TBSP Fresh Chopped Basil
Salt and Pepper (a dash of each)

Cut potatoes into 1/4 in - 1/2 in wedges, make sure to keep skin on potatoes.  Place in a Ziploc bag.  Add all other ingredients into the bag, seal and shake until all potatoes are well coated.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked thoroughly.  Serve with Garlic and Mayo dipping sauce (recipe below)

Garlic and Mayo Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 TBSP Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Minced Garlic

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, add a little more of any ingredient depending on your taste buds :)


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Recipe is subject to the amount desired by individual.  I typically use a handfull of basil for one person, 1 TBSP garlic and 2+ Sun-dried tomatoes.

Fresh Basil Leaves
Minced Garlic
Sun-dried Tomatoes (packed in oil or rehydrate)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a food processor, combine Basil, Garlic and Sun-dried tomatoes.  Pulse till well blended.  Slowly add EVOO while still blending...until desired consistency (a medium thickness paste)

Banana Cream Salad w/ Pineapple Dressing

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Salad Recipe: use as a side dish or dessert

16oz Cream Cheese (light – Do not use Non-fat
4TB Mayonnaise
3TB Lemon Juice (add to fruit)
2sm Cans Crushed Pineapple (save juice for pineapple sauce)
2/3 cup Chopped Walnuts
5-6 Med Bananas (diced)
½cup Maraschino cherries (chopped)
1 container Light Cool Whip
    (may substitute whipped heavy cream)
Squeeze out pineapple juice until fruit looks dry and put aside for sauce
Add Lemon Juice to prepared fruit
Soften cream cheese and mayonnaise until creamy
Add Walnuts to fruit
Add and fold in cream cheese mixture
Add and fold in cool whip

Put into glass serving dish


Need double boiler - If you do not have one, put a metal bowl on top of a pot containing water.

¼ CUP sugar
Dash Celery Salt
2 TB Cornstarch
1½ cups Pineapple Juice (add water if necessary) **
4 slightly beaten egg yolks (may use egg beaters – sauce will be fluffy rather than pudding like)
¼ cup lemon juice

Mix Sugar, cornstarch, celery salt, and set in the top of a double boiler, stir in the pineapple juice.
Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and looks clear like.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take a tablespoon of the cooked mixture and add to slightly beaten egg yolks – do this about three times.  Then add egg yolk mixture to the sauce in the double boiler.
Cook over hot water; stirring constantly for 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. 
Put in a serving container, cover and chill until ready to serve.
Tablespoon Dressing over individual salad servings.

If you are making a double batch you cannot double the ingredients, you must make two separate batches of sauce.

**Substitute orange juice for the pineapple juice.

Gideon's Cranberries

1 Navel Orange
1 1/2 Cups Organic Cane Sugar
1/2 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
1/2 TBSP Grated Ginger
4 cups Fresh Whole Cranberries

Grate Orange Peel and combine sugar and ginger in a medium sauce pan.  Juice the orange and add the juice to the sauce pan.  Simmer on Medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Add cranberries and cook until they pop...about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add pecans and cool.  Best if cooled over night.

Chicken Salad Cups

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is my mom's recipe and it is super yummy.  Perfect for a get together or family night munchies.

Master Mix Pancakes/Waffles

3 cups Organic Master Mix
2 1/2 Cups Organic Low Fat Milk
1 Egg
1 cap full of Vanilla Extract

Blend all ingredients until mixed well.  Milk can be added if the batter is too thick.
Makes a minimum of 18 pancakes and 6 waffles....the smaller you make them the better, as this mix is thicker than Bisquick or other pancake mixes.
We like to add fresh fruit on top of pancakes/waffles and top with Organic Blue Agave Nectar instead of Syrup.

TJ's Chili

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Brown 2 lbs of extra lean beef or turkey
Mix in 3 T of minced garlic
Mix in 1 large red onion, 1 yellow onion, 1 white onion (large diced chunks)
Cook on low for 15 minutes

Add in (along with sauce in can if you don't want it too thick)
3 cans of red kidney beans
2 cans of pinto beans
2 cans of ranch style pinto beans
1 large can of sweet baked beans (Busch’s with Maple is good)
1 large can of tomato sauce

Add Chili Seasonings to flavor, usually the hotter the better. 
Yields 16 (1cup) servings @ 200 calories each, toppings not included

Top with Shredded Cheese, Light Sour Cream and chopped chives.  Now DIG IN!!!!

Mango & Cilantro Salsa

Monday, August 16, 2010


3 Mangoes
2 Chvies
1TBSP or more of chili powder
drizzle of Agave Nectar
1+ TBSP Cilantro
Salt to taste

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until slightly smooth, keep a few chunks in.  Add more chili powder or cilantro depending on your liking.

3 Bean Apricot Salad

Thursday, July 8, 2010


3 cups fresh green beans (steam and blanch so they stay crisp)
1 can Black or Red kidney beans
2 cups fresh edamame (steam and blanch so they stay crisp)
4TBSP Fruit Only Apricot preserve or orange marmalade
4 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2-3 TBSP EVOO (add more if too vinegary for your taste buds)
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients in a large salad bowl and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
Yields 4 servings


Strawberry and Mango Salad


1 Mango (red, Philippine, whichever you prefer)
6 medium strawberries
3 cups fresh Spinach
Your favorite Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette 


Dice Mangos and Strawberries and place over Spinach in a large salad bowl.  Drizzle with Dressing.  Mix and serve immediately!  Perfect for a side dish or pot-luck.

DIG IN!!!!

Yields 4 Servings
Calories will vary depending on dressing choice.  Roughly 38 calories per serving without dressing.

Tyler's BBQ Chicken Pizza

Friday, July 2, 2010


1 Rustic Organic Sourdough Pizza Doug
1 8 ounce chicken breast (poach or grill and slice prior)
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
5 medium sized baby portabella mushrooms sliced
1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 TBSP Smoking Joe Jones' Low Carb (no sugar added) BBQ sauce
2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro


Place dough on pizza stone or cookie sheet, spread BBQ sauce on dough.  Layer/combine all ingredients on top of the dough.  Bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.  Serve while it is hot.

DIG IN!!!!
Yields 8 slices @ 195 calories per slice

Agave Berries with Yogurt

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


1 cup FAGE Greek Yogurt 0%
4 medium strawberries diced or sliced
1/4 cup blueberries
1TBSP Dark Agave Nectar


Put all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with Agave.

Yields 1 serving @ 230 calories

Bulgur Salad with Nectarines and Pistachios


1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 cup boiling water
3 thinly slice nectarines (can substitute peaches)
1/2 cup thinly sliced chives
1/4 cup parsley (Italian or flat leaf is fine)
1 TBSP fresh dill
4 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper to taste
3 TBSP chopped pistachios


Combine bulgur and 1 cup of boiling water in a large bowl. cover and let stand for one hour.
Stir in nectarines and other ingredients, except nuts; toss well.  Sprinkle with Pistachio nuts and serve.

This dish is a nice compliment to fish, chicken or pork.

Yields 6 3/4 cup servings
188 calories/srvg

Last Minute Tuna Salad


1 can white albacore tuna
1/2 can organic kidney beans
1/2 can organic garbonzo beans
1-2 heads of romaine hearts
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
4 thin slices red onion halved and separated
1 orange or red sweet pepper chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 Wild Oats organic Roasted Garlic dressing


Layer  1/4 of all ingredients in individual salad plates or bowls.  Feta and dressing should be the last to layer.
Fast and simple, yet delicious.

Sunday Souffle

Sunday, June 27, 2010


EVOO or cooking spray
4 cups (1-inch) cubed eggplant
1 cup chopped red bell peppers (I like the baby sweet peppers more)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 tsp salt, divided (I don't ever use salt so it is not a necessity)
1/4 cup non-bleached all-purpose flour
2 cups organic 1% milk (you can use your fat free milk of your choice)
1 cup grated Parmesan-Reggaino cheese, divided
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 large organic eggs
3 organic egg whites
1TBSP chopped fresh oregano
1 TBSP chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 350
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with EVOO or cooking spray.  Add eggplant, peppers and onions; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in salt and saute another 5.  Set asidew.

Place flour in a medium saucepan; add milk stirring with a whisk.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook milk mixture for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.  Add half of the cheese and stir until melted.  Let stand for15 minutes (add salt if desired)

Combine eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl, stirring with wisk.  Stir in oregano and basil and ground pepper.  Gradually add hot milk mix to egg mix, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Fold in eggplant mix; pour into an 11x7in glass, ceramic or stoneware dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until puffy and set.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.  Serve immediately.

DIG IN!!!!!

Yields 4 servings
270 calories/serving

Summertime Breakfast

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This breakfast filled me up until lunch!!  I couldnt believe how satisfying it was...I'm so having this again tomorrow.


1/2 of a medium size cantaloupe (diced)
1/4 cup Non-fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup blueberries

Dice Melon and place in bowl, top with yogurt then blue berries.

166 calories for the one serving.

Beach Babe Pizza


1 Organic Rustic Crust Great Grains (you can substitute a gluten free crust as well)
6 ounces Shredded Mozzarella
6 ounces Shredded Parmesan-Reggiano
3/4 Avocado sliced thinly
3 LG Baby Bella Mushrooms thinly sliced
3 slices Red Onion thinkly sliced and cut in half (separate)
2 TBSP fresh chopped Parsley (Italian or Flat leaf)
2 TBSP fresh chopped Basil
3 TBSP your favorite Hummus (I use Red Pepper or Cilantro Jalapeno)
Dash of Garlic Powder


Place Pizza crust on Pizza stone or baking sheet.
Spread hummus on dough.  Add cheese, set 1/2 cup aside.  Place all vegetable evenly on top of cheeses, sprinkle with Garlic powder, basil and parsley.  Finish with the 1/2 cup set aside cheese.  Cook Pizza according to package (8-12 minutes @ 450degrees)
Serve immediately.

DIG IN!!!!
Yields 8 servings
272 calories/serving

Chicken with Melon and Cucumber Salsa

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


1 cup 1/2 inch cubed honeydew melon
1 cup 1/2 in cubed cantaloupe
1/2 cup diced english or baby cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tsp grated lime zest
3 TBSP fress lime juice
2 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced jalepeno pepper (pull out the seeds to decrease potency)
1 tsp dark agave nectar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves


Combine the first 10 ingredients, add half of the salt and pepper, place in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over chicken.  I also added garlic and Mrs. Dash tequila lime seasoning. Heat a grill pan on medium to high heat and spray with cooking spray or olive oil.  Grill chicken until cooked completely.
Serve chicken on plate and garnish with the Melon and Cucumber Salsa.  Serve with your favorite vegetable.  Perfect for a summer night.

Now DIG IN!!!!!

Yields 6 Servings
255 Calories per serving

Chicken Adobo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Found this on my BFF's blog... 

I substituted the Chicken with boneless skinless breasts and I also used balsamic vinegar instead.  I added some cornstarch in water to thicken the sauce more, as well. 
Since my family loves onions I just set them aside as directed and then served them over the chicken.
I do think I need to add a little honey or agave nectar the next time I make it....it was so yummy but I would like it a little more glazed or carmalized.

My kids scarfed it up as well!!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So, a friend of mine asked me to give her some ideas to change up the boring PB&J for lunch everyday.  I know how everybody loves PB&J and PB&H, but sometimes it gets a little dull on the pallet.  Here is a list of what I like to do for my kids' lunch.

Veggie Sandwich
Whole wheat bread
Tomatoe slices
Thinly sliced red onion
Lettuce or Alfalfa Sprouts
2 slices of their favorite cheese (Havarti, Cheddar, Swiss, etc)
Thinly sliced Cucumber

Hummus, Cheese and Crackers
Any flavored Hummus, mine love the Red Pepper because it is sweeter
Wasa Crackers or triscuits
Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges
Fresh fruit (Plums, Assorted Berries, apples, peaches, etc)

Southwest Tuna
1 can of White Albacore Tuna
1/4 cup of your favorite salsa
1/2 cup of red, yellow or red/combo sweet peppers
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (I always add extra)
2 tbsp mayo
1/3 cup of chopped or shredded carrots

Mix all ingredients and place into a whole wheat Flatout wrap with a leaf of romaine lettuce.

You can do this with bread as well.  For a more traditional tuna remove cilantro and salsa and add 1/2 chopped dill pickle, garlic and salt and pepper.

Egg Salad Sandwich
2 hard boiled eggs per person
Light Mayonnaise
Dijon Mustard
Splash of Red Wine vinegar
Fresh Dill
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

Once ingredients are mixed to your liking, place on whole wheat bread or Ezekiel Bread with romaine lettuce or sprouts.

Assortment of Fresh Veggies
Sweet Peppers
Snap Peas
Lg Black Olives

Dip in Lemon Hummus or your favorite dip.


Mountain Man Breakfast

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recipe by Tyler Kluwin

6-8 eggs whipped
1 medium sized sweet potato shredded
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 orange bell pepper chopped
1/2 large red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil, Cilantro or Parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mexican style cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 TBSP garlic chopped
6 strips of turkey bacon chopped (sometimes we use Italian turkey sausage)
1/3 cup chopped prosciutto (optional)
1/2 avocado sliced
3 chives chopped

In an oven and stove top safe pot, saute onions and garlic in EVOO on medium heat. Once onions are clear add bacon and prosciutto for about 4 minutes.  Add shredded potatoes and stir occasionally until potatoes begin to brown.  Stir in the eggs, peppers and basil.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until eggs are completely cooked.  Add cheese to the top and broil under the broil until cheese is slightly brown.  Dish out and serve with avocado and chives on top.  Add a little pico de gallo for a truly mexican flare.

Dig In!!!!

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Monday, February 15, 2010

This recipe is measured for 8 servings, however I cut the stuffing mix in half and set the rest in the frig for lunch the next day or in the freezer for another meal. If you don't like certain veggies, just substitute them for what you like, but they must be fresh!!


1/2 red onion finely chopped
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
3/4 cup white rice (I usually use brown rice)
14 Asparagus spears chopped
1 yellow crooked neck squash chopped finely
1 tsp allspice
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (leave out if  you have dairy allergies)
4 yellow bell peppers and 4 orange bell peppers

In a pan or deep pot add EVOO, onion and garlic...keep on medium heat.  Once onions are clear add turkey and cook through.  Add allspice and remaining veggies.  Stir until evenly distributed. 

In a separate pot boil rice with 1 1/4 cup of water, add more water if rice is not cooked completely.  Once rice is completely cooked add to meat mixture. Add half of the cheese to the meat mixture and stir thoroughly. 

Clean peppers with water, cut tops off and clean out core with seeds.  Cut peppers in half and place on an oven safe pan open ends up, covered with foil.  Fill peppers with meat mixture and bake at 350 for no more than 30 minutes...this will ensure your peppers are NOT mushy.  Add left over cheese to the tops of the meat mix for the last 4 minutes of baking.  Serve while hot.

266 calories per serving (2 pepper halves)
168 calories per serving without cheese (2 pepper halves)
Bon Appetit!!

Eggplant Parmesan with a Twist

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I decided to make a new Eggplant Parmesan thanks to Dave's Gourmet.  I walked by the Pasta Sauces and his product jumped out at me...anything non-traditional with food always speaks to me.  This meal spoke volumes to everyone.


Individual calorie amounts are stated to help you if you want to make any substitutions or eliminations....
1/2 white onion chopped - 45 calories
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 160 calories
1 tsp chopped garlic - 2 calories
2 small to medium eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2" slices - 116 calories
1 jar Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce - 600 calories
1/3 c diced prosciutto - 50 calories
1/4 c Regina's Red Cooking Wine - 50 calories
1 Culinary Circle Mozzarella ball (8servings) - 560 Calories
1/4 c Low Fat Ricotta - 50 calories

Substitute the other cheeses for low fat as well to reduce the calories.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sautee onion and garlic in oil  until onions are clear.  Add proscuitto and red wine.  Boil until wine is completely reduced.  Add pasta sauce and 1/2 cup of water, mix thoroughly and set aside.
In baking pan(min 3 inches deep) spoon out 4 spoonfuls of sauce and spread on baking pan.  Layer eggplant tightly in bottom pan(should be able to get 9 slices in a square pan).  Add one slice of mozzarella and  and one small spoonful of ricotta.  Repeat until all eggplant is used and tops the stacks.  Pour sauce over once eggplant is on top and bake at 375degrees for 35-45 minutes or until eggplant is tender and sauce is bubbling.

Sprinkle with fresh shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese (make sure to add this to your calories if you are counting since they are not included in the main dish)

Compliment with fresh steemed zuccini or your favorite vegetable.  
TIP - enjoy fresh steamed veggies with no butter, oil, or salt for a healthier side dish.  You'll be surprised how much better they taste and how great you feel.

Total Calories for dish - 1633
Serves 9 - 1 stack with 2 spoonfuls of sauce on top per person
204 calories per stack.
Calories do not include side dish or Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!!!

BBQ-Bacon Meat Loaf

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I don't care if you don't like meat loaf....this is amazing and it is now replacing my traditional meat loaf!!  I got this recipe out of my Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.   I tweeked it a little for my tastebuds but the calories didn't change.


Olive Oil Spray (I used 1TBSP of EVOO)
1 cup chopped red onion
4 slice extra-lean turkey bacon, chopped
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of fat free milk
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1TBSP chopped garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tesaspoon salt
1/3 cup barbeque sauce (7g of carbs or less per 2TBSP serving)

Preheat oven to 350degrees (I ended up going to 400 since the cooking time was way off, I suggest giving yourself 1 hour of cook time min with this temp just to be safe).  Lightly rub a tad of oil on a bread loaf pan to prevent sticking.

Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add EVOO, onions and bacon.  Cook, stirring until the onion is tender and just barely starting to brown and the bacon is crisped (turkey bacon doesn't crisp like regular bacon so keep an eye on the onions, they will be your guide.)  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Combine the oats and mil ina medium mixing bowl and stir to mix.  Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes, or until the oats begin to soften.  Add the cooled onions and bacon mixture, the ground turkey, egg whites, garlic, Worstershire sauce, and salt.  With a fork or clean hand, mixs the ingredients until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread so the top is flat.  Spread the BBQ sauce evenly over the top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes (up the time if at 350), or until the turkey is completely cooked through and no longer pin (170degrees).  Let the loaf sit for about 10 minute before cutting into 8 slices to serve.

I paired it with fresh steemed broccoli and it really complimented it well.  My kids gobbled it all up and want me to make again tomorrow night!!  LOL

Bon Appetite!!!
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 258 calories(meatloaf only)

Caramelized Balsamic Onions

4 large yellow onions - sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet pan heated to medium heat, add oil and onions.  Saute until onions are translucent, then add vinegar.  if 1/2 cup does not coat all the onions just add more until completely covered.  Stir ocassionally.  Once vinegar has reduced completely, turn off heat and serve.

These onions go nicely on a burger patty, steak sandwich, and especially on a turkey burger.  I serve a burger without the bun or other traditional burger fixing.  Just pile them on a seasoned homemade burger patty and it is so yummy!!!

Bon Appetite!!

Mushroom Salad

Sunday, February 7, 2010


6-10 mushroom per person
6-8 Fresh Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Lemon Juice (I like fresh squeezed but the bottle is just as good)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Wash and finely slice mushrooms.  Place in a bowl and set aside.  In an oil and vinegar dressing jar (jar has measurements to make the perfect dressings, you can find it in any grocery store in the dressing isle) fill with lemon juice up to the water line, then add EVOO to the oil line.  Shake until well blended.  If you want the dressing a little sweeter add sugar or liquid Stevia and shake until dissolved.  Pour over mushrooms.  Add Basil and salt and pepper if needed for your liking to the mushroom salad.  Toss salad until dressing coats all mushrooms.  Cover and set in frig until ready to serve.

This makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish as well as a replacement to a traditional green salad.
DIG IN!!!!!!

Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Serves 10....1 1/2cups per serving(roughly)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 leaks 1/4 inch slices
2 yellow onions- peeled and quartered
2TBSP chopped garlic
4 carrots peeled and sliced into 1/4 in slices
6 small red potatoes with skins and quartered
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
3TBSP Extra virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 bay leaves
5-6 fresh Basil leaves finely chopped
Mrs. Dash Table blend 1TBSP
All Spice(1TBSP)
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 qts of low sodium chicken broth

Poach chicken on boiling water with 1/2 of lemon (6-8minutes or until cooked through)
Set Chicken aside to cool, once cool chop, slice or shred...then set aside for later.

Heat a large pot on medium to low heat... add EVOO, garlic, and onions.  Saute till onions are almost translucent.  Add leeks, carrots, all potatoes and bay leaves.  Cover and let simmer for 5-8 minutes.  Add About Mrs. Dash and 1/4tsp of all spice....add more if you like, I always do:)   Add Liquid and bring to a boil, boil until potatoes and carrots are tender  Add the chicken and lower temp to low or turn off completely letting sit for about 10minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  You can cook this a day in advance....it tastes better the second day.

A good homemade biscuit or cornbread really compliments this dish well.
Bon Appetite!!!

Dill Potatoes

Thursday, January 28, 2010


2 small bags Red potatoes
1 stick of butter
1 package Fresh dill - chopped
1 package Fresh Baby Chives - chopped
Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until tender when poked with a fork.  Drain water completely and mash potatoes just enough to break up the potatoes.  Do not fully mash them.  Add all other ingredients and toss together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes a great side dish.
Bon Appetite!!!

Fig Sauce

Friday, January 22, 2010

(this I definitely measure)
This can be used over any meat but I personally like it best over a Pork Loin seasoned with Rosemary, olive oil and pepper

2 1/2 cups Port
1 ¼ Low Sodium Chicken Broth
8 dried black Mission figs, coarsely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (DO NOT use dried for this)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of honey
¼ teaspoon salt (I choose to leave this out but some people like it)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium size, heavy saucepan, combine the port, chicken broth, figs, rosemary, cinnamon and honey. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 30 min. Discard the rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks (some of the rosemary leaves will remain the port mix. Transfer the port mix to a blender and puree until smooth. Blend in salt and pepper. (the sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using------I don’t do it in advance)

Chocolate Amaretti Cake

Monday, January 18, 2010


  • Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray (I use EVOO instead)
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel (rough rule is to use one large Navel Orange)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar, for sifting
  • sliced strawberries, as many or as little as you would like (I've even added fresh caramelized grilled Nectarines)
  • 1 cup of Extra Bold fresh brewed coffee.....


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9-inch springform pan  with the nonstick spray/EVOO. Set aside. Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring every 20-30 seconds, for about 1-2 minutes.
Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl. Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a platter. Sift the cocoa powder and/or powdered over.

I like to decorate with sliced strawberries in the center after the powder is sifted.  You can even serve it with sliced strawberries or caramalized nectarines on the side.  Make sure to enjoy it with a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee :)

French Onion Soup

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I found this recipe on the food network from Tyler Florence.  I tweeked it to make it healthier and it is so flavorful, it's a family favorite!!  I must admit, I usually add more onions and wine, even better!! 

You will need oven safe soup bowls for this recipe.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I substitute with 2 TBSP of EVOO)
  • 4  LG onions, sliced
  • 2 TBSP Chopped or minced Garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose whole wheat flour (I cut it to 1 heaping , I like it better)
  • 2-3 boxes of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere (I buy it pre-sliced for each serving...if no Gruyere is available Provolone, Swiss or Muenster are great substitutes)


Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler.
Ladle the soup in bowls and add 1-2 slices of the baguette to each bowl.  Cover entire top of soup bowls with cheese, it is best to have it hang over the sides.
 Put the bowls into the oven to melt the cheese until slightly browned.

Semi-Homemade Dirty Rice...

Monday, January 11, 2010

.....with a little help from Zatarain's.  Some days I just don't have the time or the energy to do things from scratch, so I dish out my flavor into an easy made meal.


1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet mini peppers
1/2 can of kidney beans
1TBSP garlic (powder or fresh)
1 lb of Lean Ground Turkey
5 lg leaves of Basil coarsely chopped
1 tsp Allspice
Zatarain's Family Size New Orleans Style Dirty Rice

In a large pot, sautee onions in 1TBSP of EVOO, add in garlic and allspice.  Sautee till onions are somewhat translucent.  Add Turkey, cook thoroughly then add peppers.  Follow directions on back of Zatarain's box, add the kidney beans right before last step on box.  Add Fresh basil and stir through, then DISH IT OUT!

Serve as main course and add a green salad with your favorite dressing.
Bon Appetite!!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2 eggs or 4 egg whites
1TBSP of fresh chopped Basil
2 coarsely chopped Mushrooms
1 slice of red onion chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1tsp garlic powder
2TBSP fresh salsa
One hand full of fat free Feta

Heat pan to a medium heat and add EVOO.
Crack and whisk eggs, adding Salt and Pepper.  Place eggs in pan.  Once egg is cooked almost completely add all other ingredients (except salsa) to one half of the egg circle.  Fold over empty half of omelet and cook for about 1-2more minutes.  Flip omelet if necessary.  Add Salsa to the top and eat while it is hot

Spruce it up even more with fresh slices of avocado on top and fresh fruit on the side.  Good energy booster for the day.
Bon Appetite!!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Level of difficulty: Medium
Est. Prep Time: 30-60 minutes depending on cookware....the better the cookware the longer it takes
Cook time: 1 Hour+
Serves: 6-8
TIPS:  Use Low-fat Cheeses when you can find them, tastes just as good but better for you.  If you have leftover Cheese Stuffing put it in the freezer for the next time, it keeps very well.


4 cups of cubed Butternut Squash (Costco usually has it)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (I will usually call it EVOO to make it easier)
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1-2 cups baby sweet peppers(yellow, orange and red) (Costco)
1 bag of chopped spinach (buy frozen if you don't want to wilt it yourself)
3TBSP chopped garlic
Fresh Basil, chopped lightly (I love it so I use as much as I can)
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 small container of low fat Ricotta
1/2 package of 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 container of soft tofu
Manicotti Shells (1pkg)
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce or 2 jars of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce...I always spruce up the jarred if I don't have the time for homemade:) see below for recipe specifics and added ingredients
1/4 Cup Pine nuts
Mrs. Dash Table Blend
Garlic Powder
Dried Oregano

For the Manicotti Stuffing:

Put a deep cooking pan or pot on low to medium heat (Le Creuset or a Tephlon/Circulon cooks the best)
Once pan is warmed add 2TBSP EVOO, then add the 4Cups Butternut Squash.  Stir occassionally until tender all the way through, try to keep the browning to a minimum.  Once cooked through set aside in a separate dish or in the food processor until ready to blend it.

In same pan/pot add 2TBSP chopped garlic and pine nuts.  Toast to a light brown.  Set aside.

Puree Butternut squash until smooth, do not add any liquid.

In a separate bowl or mixer add all the cheeses, tofu (liquid drained), garlic and pine nuts, fresh Basil, Butternut Squash and spinach (liquid drained).  Mix thoroughly, preferably in a Mixer or with a hand mixer...the spoon just doesn't cut it.  Once Cheese mix is well blended add as much or as little of the dry seasonings as you like, it is really to taste.  Add a little, blend the mix and taste.....and so on.  When you like it, it's perfect for you!!

Now...Stuff the Manicotti Shells with the Cheese Mix.  Using a spoon to stuff and push down works best.  The first time will be a bit messy but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty swiftly.  My kids love to help with this since they get to lick their fingers in the end...YUM!!  Set the stuffed Manicotti Shells on a plate or in an oven safe dish.

For the Sauce:

I normally make my sauce from scratch, but it just becomes very time consuming....so I do a little adding to my favorite jar sauce....so here is my Spruced up Store Bought Sauce recipe...

In same pan used for the Butternut Squash, preheat on low-med heat... add 1-2TBSP of EVOO, red onion, sweet bell pepper medley, 1TBSP chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Sautee until tender.  Add store bought sauce (see my favorite brand below) and bring to a light bubble....turn heat off.  If you like a watery sauce, just add as much or as little as you prefer to the sauce.

1 Jar Classico brand Four Cheese Spaghetti sauce
1 Jar Classico brand of either (depending on my mood that day) the Mushroom and Olive Sauce, Roasted Garlic, Tomato Basil or Marinara


Put a few spoonfulls of sauce in the bottom of an oven safe deep dish.  Line up all the stuffed Manacotti in the dish, don't tightly place them as the sauce will need to fall in between them.  Poor over the sauce to completely cover the shells.  Bake ate 375 degress for 1hour or until shells are cooked tender and sauce is bubbling.  Check shells after 45minutes then after ever 10-15minutes until done.  Add a little parmesan cheese on top before serving.
Serve with a green salad
Bon Appetite!!!

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