Monday, August 29, 2011


3 ingredients and 20 minutes. It doesn't get much easier than that! My Proscuitto Wrapped Salmon is the perfect weeknight meal and is a great recipe to help incorporate more healthy fish into your diet. If you're feeling up to trying something new, or are looking for a new way to prepare salmon- here's the recipe for you!

4 salmon fillets (boneless, skinless, and approximately 2 inches wide)
8 pieces of proscuitto (thinly sliced)
4 teaspoons of prepared pesto

-Spread 1 teaspoon of pesto on each salmon fillet.
-Wrap each fillet with 2 pieces of prosciutto.
-Place on a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.
-Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes until prosciutto starts to slightly crisp.
-Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!

This recipe came about when I had a lot of left over proscuitto in my fridge from party appetizers.

-Don't like salmon? Try this recipe with similar sized chicken breasts or pork chops. Just adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly!
-Can't find prosciutto? Use bacon! It's just as delicious and adds a smoky taste.
-If you are without an oven, you can cook this meal over the stove top. Just flip carefully!
-Instead of pesto, try making the recipe with hot pepper jelly, sundried tomato paste, or a garlic aoli.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Hummus is one of the tastiest and healthiest snacks you can choose to eat, but what you may not know is that is one of the easiest snacks to make! Why spend $5 on this store bought treat when you can whip it up in minutes? Keep it simple and traditional, or mix in some of your favorite yummy flavors. Either way, if you're looking for a protein packed mini meal- make your own hummus today!

15 oz can of chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced (2-3 tablespoons of juice)
1 clove garlic

-Drain the can of chickpeas.
-Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
-Serve with pita and veggies and enjoy!
(Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge.)

Though there are MANY different types of hummus out there- this one was inspired by my favorite hummus from Trader Joes.

-Try blending in one of the following for a tasty flavored hummus: kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions, pine nuts, pesto, hot sauce, tahini, crush dried red pepper, roasted eggplant, or roasted red pepper.
-If your hummus seems too thick, add in more olive oil one teaspoon at a time.
-To cut calories even more, use the chickpea liquid from the can instead of olive oil.
-Make your own pita chips by cutting up pita, mist a light layer of spray olive oil on top, season with salt and pepper and toast in a 400 degree oven until crispy.
-Try hummus instead of mayonnaise on your next sandwich or wrap!
-Make a veggie pizza: spread hummus on prepared pizza dough and top with your favorite sliced vegetables.
-Instead of using only chickpeas in the hummus, mix in some cannellini beans, edamame, or black beans for added protein and flavor.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


What can you whip up with only 10 ingredients and 30 minutes? A fabulous, faux-tomato bisque- that's what! This dairy-free soup is delightfully silky even without the typical addition of heavy cream. Grill up a cheese sandwich and take a trip down memory lane with this grown up version of a childhood favorite!

28oz can of tomato puree
15oz can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs. onions, small diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2-3 tbs. grated parmesan cheese (optional)
extra virgin olive oil

-Warm 1 tbs. olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
-Add garlic and onion and cook until soft and transparent (about 5-7 minutes).
-Puree beans and broth in a blender until smooth.
-Add bean puree to garlic and onions and pour in tomato sauce.
-Add in salt, basil, oregano, pepper, and cheese.
-Cook soup until warmed through.
-Serve alone, or with a grilled cheese sandwich, and enjoy!

This soup was inspired by Bodega in Columbus, Ohio and their Monday night special: $2 for a grilled cheese and delicious tomato bisque!

-Try the soup with fresh basil. Substitute dried basil for 1 tbs. of chopped, fresh basil.
-Instead of serving alongside a grilled cheese, try topping the soup with cheesy croutons or even Goldfish Crackers!
-Add in some extra protein with some shredded chicken.
-Increase the healthy benefits by mixing in some sauteed mushrooms or zucchini.

Monday, July 25, 2011


WARNING! These brownies are only for the adventurous! Black Bean Brownies are a delightfully fudgy treat that give you just the chocolate fix you need. Plus- they actually satisfy your hunger with the added protein from the beans. It may sound like a crazy recipe, but you won't be a believer until you try it!

1 box of [18oz] brownie mix
15oz can of black beans
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini (optional)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

-Drain and rinse black beans.
-Place beans in a blender, and add water. Blend until smooth.
-In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brownie mix, pureed beans, vanilla, zucchini, and walnuts (mixture will be thick!).
-Pour brownie mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.
-Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
-Let cool, cut, and enjoy!

I'd been hearing about these brownies for a while, and finally tried and love them. This is my own version of the [less] guilty brownie!

-When cutting the brownies, dip a sharp knife into water before each slice. The brownies cut MUCH easier!
-Try these mix ins: chocolate chips, mint chips, butterscotch chips, dried fruit, marshmallows, peanut butter, assorted nuts, and/or candy pieces.
-If the brownies won't be eaten in one sitting, store them in the refrigerator.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This sauce is almost as easy as opening a store-bought jar, but the taste and health benefits are way better! My everyday tomato sauce can top your spaghetti, layer in your lasagna, cover your pizza, or be the perfect dip for garlic bread and mozzarella sticks. This recipe is one EVERYBODY should know, and the best part- it's easy enough for everybody to learn!

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, small diced (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
28 oz. can unseasoned, crushed or pureed tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbs. parmesan cheese (optional)
1 tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
meat (optional- see below)

-in a medium sized sauce pan, warm 1 tbs. olive oil over medium-low/low heat
-add garlic and onion and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
-add in crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper, cheese, and basil
-stir and let cook on low until warmed through
-serve and enjoy!

This sauce was the start of my cooking passion. I would watch my Italian grandmother make sauce and learned at a young age to make my own. Though my sauce is good- it never tastes quite as good as hers did (like all grandma recipes!)

-To make a meat sauce, add your choice of the following into the sauce once all ingredients are combined: cooked ground beef, ground pork, crumbled sweet or hot Italian sausage, meatloaf mix, pulled pork, ground turkey, or ground veal (or use a combination of any of these! My favorite is a mixture of beef, pork, and veal- or a meatloaf mix) You can also add in some cooked, store bought or homemade meatballs into the sauce too!
-When cooking the garlic and onions, render/cook down some chopped pieces of bacon or pancetta with it.
-Add in your own favorite blend of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and/or sage along with the basil.
-You can use dried herbs too (just remember: use about 1/3 of the amount of dried herbs as you would fresh- they are more concentrated with flavor!).
-Make it a blush sauce and add a splash of heavy cream or a large pad of cream cheese or goat cheese.
-Make it an arrabiata sauce (spicy!) by adding in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
-Leave out the garlic or onion if you don't like them. Try adding in some garlic or onion powder for a less intense flavor.
-Try adding a few cloves of roasted garlic for a more mellow, sweet garlic flavor.
-Make a BIG batch of sauce, and freeze single/family sized portions. Thaw for a quick dinner anytime!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Eggplant Parmesan has been a favorite of mine for years. This meaty vegetable is a perfect meatless-meal that everyone will enjoy. I would always egg it, bread it, fry it, and bake it until I realized I could SKIP the frying process and it would still taste just as great! This slims down the meal quite a bit, plus you get to skip the cleaning of the greasy pans- 2 big wins in my book! Try my eggplant parm bake tonight, but make extra because you and your family are going to want seconds!

2 medium or 4-5 small eggplants
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs
2 tbs salt
3 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
a side of pasta (optional)

-Peel eggplants with a vegetable peeler.
-Cut off both ends of the eggplant, then cut the eggplants into 1/2" thick rounds.
-Lay the eggplant on a clean counter in a single layer and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
-After about 20 minutes, eggplants will have released some liquid. Pat the eggplants dry with some paper towels.
-Beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water in a medium sized, shallow bowl.
-In a larger, shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, flour, and 1 tbs. of the parmesan cheese.
-Dip the eggplant into the egg, letting the excess drip off.
-Place the eggplant into the breading, shaking off excess. Place breaded eggplant onto a baking sheet.
-Continue to egg and bread each piece of eggplant. When finished, spray or drizzle a little bit of olive oil on each piece.
-Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping the eggplant rounds half way through.
-Cover the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish with 1/4 cup of tomato sauce.
-Layer the bottom of the dish with a single layer of eggplant.
-Cover each eggplant with about 2 tbs. of tomato sauce and 1 tbs. of shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle some parmesan on top of the layer.
-Continue to layer in this fashion until all the eggplant pieces are used up. Make sure the top layer is sauce then cheese!
-Cook in the 375 degree oven for an additional 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and eggplant parm bake is hot and bubbly.
-Let cool, serve with a side of pasta (if you wish!) and enjoy!

This recipe goes out to my Grandpa- eggplant is one of his favorites! And my grandma who taught my how to peel and salt the eggplant.

-Use seasoned breadcrumbs for a super simple dish. If you only have unseasoned bread crumbs, season it up yourself! Add a 1/2 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasonings and 1/4 tsp. of pepper and paprika.
-Make the dish delightfully creamy and add some ricotta cheese in between each layer of eggplant.
-This is a GREAT make-ahead meal. Follow all steps except the second baking of the layered casserole. Cover and keep in fridge for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and the dish is hot and bubbly. If you'd like to freeze the dish, cover WELL with plastic wrap and foil and place in freezer up to a few months. Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours. Remove plastic wrap and foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.
-Eggplants are best in the summer. Try cooking it with other tasty summer vegetables- layer the dish with thinly sliced tomatoes and fresh chopped basil!
-Add more veggies! Slice 1/4" rounds of zucchini and/or summer squash and egg, bread, and cook just as the eggplant.

-Why sprinkle with salt? Eggplants can sometimes taste slightly bitter. The salt draw out the liquid that causes the bitterness. Salting also helps cut down on the fat that can be absorbed into the vegetable.
-To select a tasty eggplant, look for moderately sized eggplant (not too big, not too small). Skin should be smooth, shiny, and be firm to the touch. Make sure it has a green stem attached.
-There are many different types of eggplants. They range in color from purple to green to white, solid colored and striped, short and fat, or long and thin. All are tasty, I'd advice you to try a variety!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Cut the fat tonight with this low carb, high protein fajita taco bake! It has all the yummy insides of a taco and fajita and only some of the crunchy outside. Lay it on a bed of shredded lettuce and add a couple of crunched up corn chips on top, and you'll have a satisfying Mexican meal that you can have a second helping of- guilt free!

15 oz can of refried beans
15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb ground turkey, beef, or chicken
taco seasonings
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cooked brown rice (measure 1/2 cup uncooked rice, and follow package instructions)
1 poblano pepper, cut into 1" slices
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of half a lime
3/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of crushed corn chips or taco shells
2 cups of shredded lettuce (optional)
vegetable or canola oil

-Cook meat and add taco seasonings. Set aside.
-In the same pan, warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium low heat.
-Add peppers, onion, and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes until onion starts to become transparent.
-Add lime juice to pepper mixture.
-Spread the refried beans in a 9x13 casserole dish.
-Spread a thin layer of sour cream on top of the refried beans.
-Layer on black beans, meat, and pepper mixture.
-Layer on rice, tomatoes, and cilantro.
-Cover casserole with grated cheese.
-Place in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly.
-Sprinkle on crushed corn chips.
-Serve over lettuce and with other optional taco toppings such as avocado/guacamole, sliced olives, and/or hot sauce and enjoy!

I came up with this dish trying to use up broken taco shells- and everyone loved it! (Including my Granny who is typically picky about eating Mexican!)

-Skip the cilantro and tomatoes and spread on some salsa!
-Make it vegetarian. Leave the meat out and add extra veggies like corn, grated zucchini, and diced bell peppers.
-For homemade taco seasoning mix together: 1 tbs chili powder, 1 tbs coriander, 1 tbs cumin, 2 tsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp pepper.
-Instead of crunching up the chips and putting them on top of the bake, use the corn chips to scoop up and eat the bake!
-Make it spicy! Add in some diced jalapenos, diced chilis, or cayenne pepper.
-Make the dish the night before, cover and put in the refrigerator, and cook the next day for a quick dinner.
-Don't like cilantro, use parsley instead.
-No poblano pepper? Use a cubanelle or red or yellow bell pepper.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Looking for a new burger to try at your next grill out? Well leave the beef in the fridge and grab a can of beans! That's right- go vegetarian tonight! Get a boost of veggies and protein with a mixture of rice, beans, corn, and bell peppers and a hit a flavor with a blend of zesty seasonings. These burgers are easy to make and even easier to eat!

1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup red bell pepper (about 1/2 a pepper), diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
extra virgin olive oil
buns, cheese, condiments, and other burger fixins'

-Cook brown rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
-warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium low heat.
-Add red bell pepper, onion, and garlic to pan and cooked 5-7 minutes until onions start to become transparent.
-In a large bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher until pasty.
-To the beans, add the red pepper mixture, corn, cooked rice, parsley, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and egg.
-Mix ingredients until combined.
-Take a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure out the burgers.
-Mold into burger shape. Makes 6 burgers.
-Let the burger patties sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 24 hours before cooking.
-Heat the grill to about 400 degrees and grill burgers approximately 10 minutes per side.
-Serve on a bun with select condiments, and enjoy!

SHOUT OUTS:These burgers are my own version of the delicious veggie burger I always get just down the road at Pub Bricco.

-Try the burger with black beans too!
-Mix in some grated zucchini or squash with the burger mixture for added health benefits
-Like your bean burgers spicy? Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, a diced jalapeno, a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
-Weather not cooperating? Forget the grill and cook the burgers on the stove.
-If your afraid of your burgers sticking, lightly spray the grill with a non-stick spray or grease it down with a paper towel dipped in olive oil.
-Freeze an uncooked burger and save for a later date! Just make sure to separate each patty with wax paper or cling wrap before freezing. Defrost and heat on the grill or stove.
-Can't eat eggs? Use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce instead!
-Make the burgers quicker by using a microwavable package of brown rice like Minute Rice Cups or Uncle Ben's Rice Bags.

Friday, July 8, 2011


If you're like me- you're a sucker for a hearty Sunday breakfast. And there's no better satisfying meal than pancakes! Putting sweet potatoes into your batter not only adds health benefits, but your pancakes become indulgent and perfectly sweet. The next time you feel like firing up the griddle, slip this little surprise into your pancakes, and it'll be a sure hit!

1 batch of pancake mix; mixed with eggs, milk, oil, etc. (whatever the package calls for)
1/3 cup mashed sweet potatoes (use fresh, canned, or leftover sweet potatoes!)syrup and butter for serving

-mix all pancake ingredients together, including the mashed sweet potatoes
-pour 1/4 cup of pancake mixture in a greased pan (medium-low heat) or griddle (set at 375 degrees)
-cook on one side until bubbles start to form on the pancake, then flip and cook for an additional minute or two
-serve with butter and syrup (if you wish!) and enjoy!

These pancakes are a remake of a delicious meal served at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Ashville, North Carolina.

-Try this recipe with mashed up bananas, cooked apples, or pumpkin puree instead of sweet potatoes.
-Add a little extra flavor by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract in the batter.
-Really want to impress the hungry crowd- serve with candied pecans on top!
-Leftovers? Place cooled pancakes in a freezer zip-lock bag and keep in the freezer. When you're ready to eat, defrost and warm up in the toaster oven.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Combining 2 long time favorites- bacon and hotdogs. What's not to like? Though it may not be the most figure-friendly meal, it's a lot of fun to eat. Great dish for a group gathering-- build your own hotdog party!

1 hotdog
1 piece of bacon
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
1/4 cup refried beans
extra virgin olive oil
condiments of your choice

(These ingredients are for one dog. Multiply accordingly per extra dogs.)

-saute onions in 1 tsp. olive oil until they are transparent and slightly start to brown
-remove onions from pan and set aside
-wrap raw bacon around the length of a hotdog
-cook the dog in the same pan over medium heat, turning it frequently, until the bacon is cooked on all sides
-toast hot dog bun
-warm up refried beans until easy to spread
-spread beans on bun
-place dog on bun
-top with tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, and your choice of condiments

This recipe was inspired from brother Bobby and Man Vs. Food.

-use whatever type of hotdog you like: all beef, turkey, even tofu
-condiment suggestions: mayo, mustard, BBQ, ranch
-instead of using refried beans use whole pinto beans or even try refried black beans or whole black beans
-instead of fresh jalapeno, try a can of diced jalapenos or a spicy relish

Sunday, January 23, 2011


If you've ever tried Chicken Paprikash, it's probably because your Hungarian grandmother slaved away all Sunday at the stove making it for you... and you no doubt reaped the benefits of her hard work. Well, I've lightened up this comfort food and turned it into a simple enough dish that you can whip it together in no time flat, even on a weeknight. Greek yogurt adds a protein packed tang and a few slices of smokey bacon pairs perfectly with the paprika. Tossing in some vitamin rich veggies like peas and bell peppers offer some added health benefits and makes you feel a little less guilty about indulging in this Hungarian favorite.

3 slices of bacon
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped into 1" pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 small yellow onion, chopped into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 package (1 lb) frozen gnocchi dumplings, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 tbs. paprika
extra virgin olive oil

-cut the bacon into 1/2" pieces
-fry the bacon in a large pan with high sides on medium heat for about 5 minutes
-remove bacon from pan and set aside
-carefully wipe the pan of the bacon grease with a paper towel
-add 1 tsp. olive oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low
-add the peppers, onions, and garlic to the pan, and cook for about 7-10 minutes until onions are soft and transparent
-in a small mixing bowl, whisk together chicken broth, yogurt, paprika, and cornstarch
-add mixture to the pan and reduce heat to low/simmer
-add chicken, gnocchi, peas, and 3/4 of the cooked bacon and stir to combine
-season well with salt and pepper
-cook on low for about 10 minutes until warmed through
-serve with a garnish of remaining 1/4 of bacon and enjoy!

serves approximately 3-4

This is an adaptation of my mom's recipe we ate growing up. I've made my recipe a more quick-cooking one, and added a few ingredients inspired by other paprikash dishes I have eaten.

-If you can't find gnocchi, egg noodles are also a common accompaniment to paprikash.
-Want it lactose free? Puree some lactose-free cottage cheese in a blender with about 1/4 cup of broth (until it becomes the same consistency as sour cream). I've used Lactaid brand and it works great!
-To make it a little richer, use white wine instead of broth. Or, to make it more cost efficient, use water instead of broth.
-You can swap sour cream in place of yogurt.
-Make the cooking easier by using a storebought rotisserie chicken!
-Try it with pork! Cut up a cooked pork tenderloin and add it to the dish instead of chicken.
-Make it vegetarian: toss in some roasted zucchini and eggplant and a handful of chopped spinach in place of the meat. Add some chopped celery and carrots in with the sauteed onions and peppers, too.
-Don't like peas? Leave them out!
-Family won't eat the veggies? Puree the red pepper and onions and add some grated carrots into the dish too- they will go unnoticed and the dish will taste great!
-You can leave the bacon out if you'd like; it just adds a nice smokiness I like in my dish.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Don't let the dried out, bland memories of meatloaf deter you trying out this meal! My lean turkey meatloaf stays moist and flavorful with the help of sauteed veggies and hearty spinach. Topped with some zesty bbq sauce and placed atop a mound of my cauliflower mash, you'll think you died and gone to healthy food heaven!

for meatloaves:
1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, small diced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, small diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, small diced
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out (about half a package)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup milk
6 tbs. bbq sauce (plus more for serving)
extra virgin olive oil

for cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 tbs. grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

for meatloaves:
-warm 1 tbs. olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium-low heat
-add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic and toss to coat in oil
-let cook for 15 minutes, until veggies are soft and transparent, but not browned
-remove from heat and let cool
-in a large mixing bowl, combine cooled vegetable mixture, spinach, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, milk, and 1 tbs. olive oil
-mix in ground turkey until everything is combined (do not over mix!)
-divide meat mixture into 6 equal sections
-take each section of meat, and roll into an oval shape
-flatten oval into about 3/4"-1" thick patties, repeat with the following 5 sections of meat
-place patties on a wire wrack on top of a baking sheet
-spread 1 tbs. bbq sauce on top of each patty
-bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until meat is firm to the touch

for cauliflower:
-place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray
-place chopped cauliflower and garlic on foil, and cover with another piece of foil
-roll the edges of the foil together making a pouch
-roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
-remove top piece of foil and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees
-cook for an additional 20 minutes
-remove cauliflower and place in a large bowl
-mash with a potato masher until you get the consistency of mashed potatoes
-add yogurt, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste

makes 6 servings

The turkey meatloaf was inspired by my dear friend Dave Evans and the cauliflower mash was inspired by a recipe from Rocco DiSpirito's cookbook Now Eat This!

-Make this meatloaf with ground beef or with ground chicken too!
-Don't have frozen spinach? Skip it, or add in a handful of fresh chopped spinach to your onion mixture and let it cook down. You don't need to use a full 10 oz. of spinach either, especially if you are just starting to introduce it into your meals.
-Add more veggies to the mix like grated zucchini or carrot.
-Make the cauliflower seem even more like mashed potatoes by adding 1 or 2 mashed potatoes to the mix. It's still healthier than it was before, and you'll never know the difference!
-Use a spicy bbq to top your patties with to add a kick, or try topping the patties with your favorite marinara sauce for an Italian style meal!
-Need the recipe to be dairy free? Leave out the cheeses and replace the milk and yogurt with chicken broth.
-Feeding a smaller crowd? Split the recipe, or make the whole recipe and freeze half the raw patties for another night's dinner!
-Make the cauliflower more delectable by adding in such things as: fresh or dried herbs, chopped sundried tomatoes, or kernels of sweet corn.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


It's hard to believe that you can indulge into something so creamy when it doesn't even have cream in it! Well you'll become a believer when you try my 'Creamy' Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Pureed white beans not only give this soup major protein, but they add a rich and velvety depth to it too. Anybody can take these 12 simple ingredients and make dinner soup-er tasty tonight!

4 oz. box wild rice (I used Reese brand)
2/3 cup celery, chopped into 1/4" pieces
2/3 cup carrots, chopped into 1/4" pieces
1 small onion, small diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz. cans of white kidney or cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2-2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3 tbs. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil

-place rice and 1 1/2 cups water into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil
-reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook for 50 minutes
-meanwhile, warm 2 tbs. olive oil in a large soup pot
-add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes
-using a food processor or blender, puree beans with 1 cup of chicken broth (adding more broth if the mixture is too thick to puree)
-add pureed beans and add remaining broth to the pot of veggies
-add in chicken, cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until combined
-keep on medium-low/low heat until veggies become soft
-once rice is finished cooking, add to the soup pot, and stir until combined
-serve and enjoy!

makes 4-5 servings

This recipe was designed after one of my favorite soups from at Panera Bread, only mine is healthier with the absence of the cream!

-Make the dish vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
-Try the soup with ground turkey instead of shredded chicken!
-Toss in some dried herbs such as oregano, parsley, and/or thyme. (Just remember- a little goes a long way with dried herbs!)
-Need it dairy free? Just leave out the parmesan!
-Can't find a box of wild rice? Just find some kind of wild rice mix of rice, and cook about 1 cup of it with 1 1/2 cup water.
-Skip the rice and add little dumplings to the soup instead- yum!
-Toss in some frozen corn or peas, or some chopped zucchini or spinach to boost the veggies in the soup!
-Save some time and effort- use a store bought, cooked rotisserie chicken.
-Freeze the soup into individual containers, and pull one out when you need a quick lunch or dinner!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Time to remaster a childhood favorite- the sloppy joe! And what better way to do it than making it healthier (and tastier) too! Lean ground turkey pairs perfectly with the mild flavors of zucchini and mushrooms and a full condiment shelf in the fridge makes this meal a snap to throw together. Though I haven't figured out how to make them less sloppy, I have figured out how to make them delicious! Try them tonight, and take a trip down memory lane...

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup green pepper, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 large zucchini, cut into 1/4" pieces (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2-3 tbs. white vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bbq sauce
1 tbs. worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs. hot sauce (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
buns for serving (optional)

-warm 2 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
-add turkey, bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic and cook until turkey is no longer pink, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks
-add the rest of the ingredients, and simmer until slightly thickened and warmed through, about 10-15 minutes (reducing the heat to medium-low)
-serve on a bun or eat with a fork and enjoy!

serves approximately 5 people

This dish was inspired by a recipe out of one of my favorite cooking magazines, Clean Eating.

-Save on money and calories: use less meat and add more green pepper, zucchini, and/or mushrooms.
-Reduce the calories even more by using a flat bread bun like Pepperidge Farm's Deli Flats or eat the meal with no bun at all!
-Make it vegetarian by skipping the meat and adding more veggies like eggplant, yellow summer squash, grated carrots, and/or butternut squash.
-Make a big batch, and freeze the leftovers for later: defrost in the refrigerator overnight and heat in the microwave or in a skillet over medium-low heat.
-Try the dish with ground chicken or ground beef too!
-Like your sloppy joes sweeter? Add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar.
-Instead of a bun, try the turkey meat on top of mashed potatoes, polenta, spaghetti squash, or pasta noodles.
-Make the joes extra spicy by adding extra hot sauce or a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper.