Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes over Salad Greens

The easiest and low-carb lunch is just your refrigerator and pantry away. I cut the top of a tomato, cut out the seed pulp and stuff it with Tuna or Chicken Salad. There really is no measuring, that's what makes this so great. I like to put my Tomato on top of mixed salad greens and sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. This can also be made with egg salad. All low-carb for when you're feeling "weighed down or sluggish".

Friday, February 25, 2011


I had never heard of Pastitsio. It is a greek dish. My good friend Joe who has been cooking for years made this with a salad one dinner we had together. I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. For the crema, do not leave the stove--not even for a second!

Cranberry Relish

Who says Cranberry Relish should only be served at the holidays? This is so good with turkey, chicken or pork. I use my food processor. It is sweet, tart, and so fresh. It will become a favorite any time of the year!
Cranberry Relish

Linguine With Red Clam Sauce

This recipe always brings back memories of sitting at my mother's table with her delicious garlic bread. It will become your favorite and it's so easy.

Linguine With Red Clam Sauce

*I don't add the red pepper until after I serve the kids & add 1/4 white wine & a little extra tomato paste when I add the clams & clam juice*

Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

Want to be the hit at the next party? Then make this dip! I saw this recipe just after the New Year in a local paper. It tastes so good, you'll just want to eat it with a spoon! Incredible, that's it.
Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
 1 cup finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts
1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

Drain artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and artichokes into small pieces. Combine with all other ingredients in a bowl and mash. Spread in a 13x9 casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 or until bubbly. Serve with toasted pits bread triangles or crackers.

Meyer Lemon Chicken Piccata

I love this. I saw that this recipe is identical to what I make except Meyer Lemons are used. Meyer Lemons are a cold weather lemon with great flavor. Shop Rite has them on sale this week by the bag. I serve with Garlic Mashed potatoes and oven roasted Asparagus.
Meyer Lemon Chicken Piccata

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Garlic Cheese Bread

On Special Occasions I make this Bread. Never buy out--The bread is full of sodium and processed ingredients. The best part of this gooey, cheesy, satisfying bread is that you are in control of all the healthy ingredients. To cut out the fat I use fat-free cream cheese. I add a little mozzarella also. A carb lovers delight-and great appetizer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

This is a great appetizer or main meal. I like to dip the shrimp in a spicy sweet & sour sauce found in any asian section of the grocery store. Great anytime of the year! 

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

Friday, February 18, 2011

No Waiting to Rise Homemade Pizza Dough

I found this terrific pizza dough recipe a few years ago. You'll never want to buy premade dough again after trying this recipe. The best part: You can just mix all the ingredients and immediately bake--no waiting to rise. If I want a flat bread pizza thin and crisp, I omit the yeast. I also mix the dough: 2 cups flour to 1 cup whole wheat flour or vise versa. Always have extra flour to add to keep dough from being sticky. If grilling dough, set the grill to 425 degrees. Brush dough with olive oil. Place dough with oiled side down directly onto grill. Shut the lid and do not open for 2 full minutes. Open and bring inside to finish adding toppings. Above is a picture of mine that I make. I love toasted pine nuts, shredded carrots, basil, peppers. Do not overload the dough or it will be mush!

Pizza Dough

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Zucchini and Arborio Rice Soup

Years ago a little old lady and I were talking about how much I love to cook. She told me she grows her own vegetables every year and makes a fantastic soup with her zucchini and tomatoes. She brought this recipe in to me at the office from Food & Wine magazine. One of my favorites, as the Arborio rice is the star of the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Zucchini and Arborio Rice Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. olive oil (extra virgin)
3 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 1/2'' dice
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 c. chopped plum tomatoes in a can (use kitchen shears to chop), or garden fresh
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. Arborio rice
3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley (optional)
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large soup pot cook onion and garlic in olive oil, stirring until soft-about 4 min. Add zucchini, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, cook, stirring about 10 min.
2. Add tomatoes with the liquid if in a can, broth, rice, parsley and basil, if using. Increase heat slightly and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 min. until rice is tender. Serve hot or room temp. with grated Parmesan cheese.
This soup can be eaten leftover as thick & hearty as the rice absorbs the liquid, or add more stock to soup as you reheat.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fruit Salad and Grilled Chicken Over Mixed Greens

Salads are extremely versatile. This recipe makes it feel like summer in your kitchen anytime of year. The secret to this fast recipe: buying pre-made grilled chicken strips and poppyseed dressing. So healthy!

Fruit Salad and Grilled Chicken Over Mixed Greens

1 10 oz. Package of Salad Greens (I use Bibb, Romaine or Spinach blends)
2 c. Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
1 c. Blueberries
1 c. Quartered Strawberries
1 c. Sliced & peeled Kiwifruit (about 3 kiwis)
2 Tbsp. Toasted Pine nuts or Walnuts
2 Tbsp. Gorgonzola crumbles or favorite crumbled cheese
1 Bottle Poppyseed Dressing (I use Brianna's brand)

Mix fruit together. Place greens on plate then fruit, nuts and cheese. Add chicken. Place dressing on top to desired amount. This makes 4 servings.

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

You cannot go wrong with this recipe. Everyone will love it. I use Turkey sausage and remove the casings. I also saute some baby bella mushrooms in this recipe and add a lot of freshly grated Parmesan. I don't use the chicken stock, I use more olive oil to coat the pasta and mixture.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli

The old classic Pasta e Fagioli. While I omit the rosemary and thyme from this recipe, it still tastes authentic. I love lots of grated cheese with this, Very quick to make.
Pasta e Fagioli:

Yummy Low-Fat Spinach Lasagna

Traditional lasagna is filled with a lot of fat, which we all don't need. This is a great vegetarian meal. A great recipe to make ahead of time and freeze.

Yummy Low-Fat Spinach Lasagna  

9 dried, ready to cook lasagna noodles
2 large bunches spinach, about 2 lbs, stemmed and washed
3 cups (24 oz.) fat-free or low-fat ricotta
1 1/2 cups (6 0z) shredded nonfat mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups (24 oz.) low-fat tomato sauce (Healthy Choice has one)
cooking oil spray
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place the fresh, rinsed spinach in a non-stick skillet and cook until just wilted. Add water to pan if the leaves begin to stick.
2. In a large bowl combine the spinach with the ricotta. Add the Parmesan, basil, nutmeg, and salt. Season with black pepper to taste. Set aside
3. Spray a 9"x13" lasagna pan with cooking spray and then spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce. On top of the sauce place 3 lasagna noodles to cover the pan.
4. Spoon a third of the ricotta mixture over the sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella over the ricotta.
5. Cover with 3 more lasagna noodles and again layer with 1 cup of sauce, 1/3 ricotta mixture, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Repeat step 5 one more time.
6. Cover top layer of noodles with remaining sauce and sprinkle remaining mozzarella.
7. Cover pan with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remover the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Chopped Greek Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing

This recipe is so refreshing. This winter as you're eating this you'll have a refreshing taste of spring. This is from my Stonewall Kitchens cookbook. I make this along with my homemade pizza, or just by itself with crusty garlic french bread.

Chopped Greek Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing

For the salad:
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 cup pitted black Kalamanta olives
2 ripe medium-large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

For the dressing:
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup olive oil, preferably a rich greek variety
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons drained capers

To make the salad: On a large serving plate, make a small pile with half of the cucumbers. Place a pile of half of the peppers next to it, and then half of the red onions, half of the feta, and half of the olives working around half the platter. Repeat with the remaining cheese and vegetables working your way around the entire plate. Place the tomatoes in the center. The idea is to intersperse all the colors and shapes in an attractive pattern around the plate.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. The salad and the dressing can be made several hours ahead of time;cover and refrigerate them separately.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

This is a "Guys" recipe. I don't know of a man who doesn't love Buffalo Chicken "Anything"! This is a low-carb recipe I've made since 2002. Freshly made ingredients are sure to make any buffalo fan a lover of this recipe. Chicken tenders cut out the fatty skin of regular wings, making a delightful light and satisfying appetizer or main meal.
Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce:

Oven Baked Zucchini Fries

Love French Fries? Greasy, Crispy and Crunchy? So do I...But not my abs. So this is the next best thing and so super healthy. Also a great appetizer. Dip in Marinara Sauce if you like. (A good way to introduce zucchini to kids).,1850,144173-236192,00.html

Taco Seasoning

Who doesn't love tacos? We eat them frequently. But have you ever read the sodium content on the back of the seasoning packet? It's an entire day's worth for just 2 small servings. Try this home made sodium-free recipe instead.

Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Black Pepper

Shake all spices in a container. Add to ground meat to desired spice level. Store any leftover spice in an airtight container.

Divine Chicken Divan

I went to a Christmas Party back in 2005 and my friend made this. It has become a special occasion recipe that I make on Christmas Eve. I serve this with brown rice, green beans, and a Jello mold. I like to use a large bag of spinach that I saute in a pan instead of broccoli. Enjoy!
Old Time Chicken Divan:

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili:
This recipe is more like a Mexican Soup. If you like spicy food (I happen to order a side of sliced jalapenos to eat at the mexican restaurants when I go--the spicier & hotter the better) you'll love this!
If you can't find ancho chili powder use plain chili powder. Omit the jalapeno in the recipe if you want the soup to be milder. Poblano peppers are hot & I can only find them at Price Chopper. Green Peppers also work in this recipe kicking a lot of the spice out. I will boil chicken breasts & then shred with 2 forks instead of a rotisserie chicken.

Champagne Shrimp and Pasta

This is my ultimate favorite recipe. The most Romantic one. I make it for special occasions like Valentine's Day and Birthdays. The real champagne makes the sauce unbelievably heavenly mixed with the cream. Try it for your next date night together.
 (I use thin linguine with lines so that the sauce sticks)

Corn & Beans

Whenever I am stuck on what to make super fast, yet super healthy, for lunch or dinner I rely on beans. Beans are loaded with fiber & protein. This recipe is not really measured at all--just eyeballed. It's as simple a opening a can of chick peas, black beans, dark red kidney beans, cannellini beans, rotel, and corn. You may add other things like chopped carrots, celery, leeks, radishes, cheese, cilantro. I always add a few tablespoons of  EVOO and rice vinegar.  Italian dressing is also good. Spices like garlic powder, onion powder & garlic salt all add a nice flavor. I never have a pantry without corn & beans!

Pork Roast Rub

My Mother gave me this recipe years ago. Whenever I entertain I make this alongside The Scalloped Potatoes on my blog and freshly made Applesauce cooked over the stove top. This tastes best on the grill. You can't go wrong with this one!

Pork Roast Rub:

1 tsp. EACH: Paprika
                       Garlic Powder
                       Cayenne Pepper (this makes it VERY spicy, 
                       add 1/4 tsp.-1/8 tsp. or completely omit if you don't like the heat).
                       Salt 1/2 tsp 

* I also use this on Turkey Tenderloins*