Sunday, March 27, 2016

Healthy Chickpea Salad

Fast and yummy.  Makes a great lunch or a dinner side dish. Recipe is easily halved for a small group or doubled for a crowd!

Healthy Chickpea Salad

2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 red onion (chopped)
20 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup fresh mint (chopped)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Crumbled feta cheese


In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, black beans, red onion, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, and fresh mint.

In another small bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.

Top with crumbled feta cheese. Enjoy!

A quick way to halve cherry tomatoes is to place them all on a small plate, top with another plate you have inverted, and then insert a sharp knife between the two plates.  While pressing down on the top plate enough to stabilize the tomatoes, you can just saw you way across with the knife between the two plates and all the tomatoes are sliced at once.  Or do them one at a time.  Whatever.

Lava Cakes for 2

Because sometimes you just crave chocolate!  This one if for all of us who didn't get an Easter basket this year!

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

Recipe by Christine Byrne
Serves 2

4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing custard cups
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the custard cups
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 425°F, and grease two 6 to 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins generously with butter. Put a small spoonful of sugar in each cup, then turn the cup sideways and rotate it so that the sugar is coating the butter all around. Dump out any excess sugar. Place the greased cups on a baking sheet or oven safe dish.

2. Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it on high for 30 seconds, take it out and stir it, then microwave it for another 20 seconds and stir it again. It should be completely melted. If there are still chunks of unmelted chocolate, microwave for increments of 10 seconds and stir. (Remember it will continue to melt - don't overnuke it or it will burn!)

3. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the room temperature butter and the sugar with an electric mixer or a rubber spatula. The mixture should be thoroughly combined, smooth, and paste-like, not lumpy.

4. Add the two eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat it with the electric mixer or a whisk until everything is combined and the mixture is starting to foam, about a minute. Add the flour and salt, and again beat everything with the mixer until it’s thoroughly mixed.

5. Add about 1/3 of the melted chocolate to the mixture in the mixing bowl, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold it in. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture, and fold together until you have a uniform batter with no streaks. (Don't add all the hot chocolate at once - you'll have chocolate-covered scrambled eggs!! yuck.)

6. Divide the batter evenly between the two greased custard cups, then bake the cakes in the preheated oven until the tops are just set but the cakes still jiggle slightly when you shake them, about 11 minutes.

7. Let the finished cakes sit in cups for five minutes when they’re finished baking. Then, flip each cup over on a dessert plate, and tap the bottoms of the cups so that the cakes fall out.

8. Serve immediately. If you want, you can garnish them with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and berries.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chili Cheese Hasselback Potatoes

Also known as "I'm feeling Incredibly Lazy and DO NOT WANT TO COOK" potatoes!!

Chili Cheese Hasselback Potatoes

So simple!!!

Scrub a baking potato well (one potator per person)

Slice the potato into vertical slices WITHOUT cutting all the way through (you can put an old pair of chopsticks on your cutting board next to each side of the potato so your knife doesn't cut the potato into individual slices.)

Put the potato on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter, letting the butter drip down into those vertical slices.

Roast 30 minutes.

Brush the potato with melted butter again.

Roast another 30 minutes.

Open a can of chili and heat it up.

Pour some of the chili over the potato and top with some shredded cheese.


Tortilla Española

I'm only including this because I had it at a tapas bar recently and had forgotten how wonderful this simple dish is. I found the perfect set of instructions on-line so I am just forwarding them on and giving all the credit to Alexandra Rojas' page: "Always Order Dessert'

Tortilla Española

3 lbs potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, scrubbed and patted dry but not peeled
1 large Spanish onion or 2-3 medium yellow onions
12 large eggs
1 tablespoon smoked spanish paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of cold water and season with kosher or sea salt. Slice each potato into 1/2" thick round slices and drop into pot of cold water. Once all potatoes are sliced and in water, place pot over high heat and bring to a boil until potatoes are fork tender.

While potatoes come to a boil, cut the onions in half and slice into thin half moons. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl with paprika, black pepper, and Kosher salt.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a 10"-12" nonstick skillet with 2" sides and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute just until translucent. Add the onions into the egg mixture. Drain the potatoes and add to the eggs.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and pour in the egg and potato mixture, distributing it evenly. Cover and let cook over medium heat for about 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked around the edges and set. Run a spatula all around the edges and jiggle the pan to make sure the omelet isn't stuck. You now have three options:

Option #1: Take a large platter and invert it over the pan, covering it completely. Place an oven mit-clad hand over the bottom of the plate and with your other hand firmly on the skillet handle, flip the omelet onto the plate. Then place the skillet back on the stove and slide the omelet back in so that the top side is now on the bottom. (This is the traditional way to do it. There is a small risk of egg and oil spillage, but it's minor and with practice won't be a problem at all.)

Option #2: Place a large platter on the counter and holding the skillet over it tilted at a 45degree angle, use a large spatula to slide the omelet onto the plate leaving the top part on top. Then invert the skillet over the omelet, place your (oven mit-clad) hand on the bottom of the plate, and flip the omelet onto the skillet. (This works best if you have a skillet with sloped sides that allow for easy sliding.)  I think this is the easiest method!

Option #3: forget the flipping! Just turn on your broiler and slide the skillet with the omelet under the broiler for about 10 minutes to let it finish cooking. (This is both the easiest and least authentic.)

If you chose one of the flipping options, let the omelet continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until set. Some people like the inside of the omelet to be a little runny, but I don't so I let it cook until it's well done.

Flip onto a plate and let set for 10 minutes before serving. Can be served hot or cold. You can also adapt this recipe by adding sliced cooked chorizo, manchego cheese, spinach, kale, garlic, pimentos, or any number of additions.

Sliced into small cubes and speared with a toothpick this makes a FABULOUS appetizer!!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Scallops in Curry Cream - do this when bay scallops are on sale!!

This really is much simpler than it looks. AND you can do it AHEAD. Impressive meal without a lot of work!  It's basically a white cream (bechamel) sauce with curry, shallots and mushrooms + a cheesy bread crumb topping.  And did I mention you can do this AHEAD of time?  Love that.

Coquilles St. Jacques

(aka Scallops in Curry Cream Sauce with Vegetables and Crumb topping)
from Ina Garten

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups seafood stock, clam juice or low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 large shallots, peeled and diced, approximately 1 cup
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, sliced
¼ cup brandy or Cognac 

1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs(approximately 6 slices white bread, crusts removed, finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor)
¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
5 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 

2 pounds bay scallops, or quartered sea scallops (if you have extra money this week!!), abductor muscles removed

Set a saucepan over medium heat, and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in it. 
When it foams, add the flour, and cook for approximately 4 minutes, whisking constantly. 
Add the stock, and whisk again, until it is smooth and thick. 
Add the cream, curry powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 
Bring the sauce just to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside. 

Put 3 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. When it melts and foams, add the shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are clear and tender, approximately 5 minutes. 

Add the sliced mushroom caps, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until they have released their liquid and are just starting to brown. 

Add the brandy or Cognac, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the alcohol has mostly evaporated. 

Add a teaspoon of salt to the mixture and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and stir again to combine. Add mushroom mixture to the cream sauce, and set aside. 

Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and Gruyère in a large bowl, stir to combine, then moisten the mixture with the olive oil, stirring again to combine. 

Use the last tablespoon of butter to grease 6 1 1/2-cup gratin dishes. Divide the scallops evenly among them and top with equal amounts of the cream and mushroom sauce. Top each gratin dish with a handful or two of the bread-crumb mixture. Place dishes on a sheet tray, cover gently with foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a day.  (I LOVE things you can do ahead!!)

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400. Remove cover from sheet tray, and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and bubbling and the scallops are cooked through.

BAM!  Done!!!  This, salad, a little rice pilaf - to take advantage of the sauce, maybe some good bread and fresh butter and some good white wine.

Chocolate Guinness cake

Found this to make for the firehouse visits:

Chocolate Guinness cake

Butter for pan
1 cup Guinness stout (the rest for the cook!)
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
¾ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
½ cup heavy cream

For the cake: heat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat.
Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture.
Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth.
Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour.
Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

For the topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners' sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

white pizza lasagna

I'll be making one of these at some point this week - which one?

White Pizza Lasagna


4 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
4 ounces freshly grated mozzarella cheese
4 ounces freshly grated provolone cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

12 ounces freshly grated fontina cheese, separated into 4 equal portions
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Add tomatoes to a nonstick baking sheet and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly bursting - yes, they will sort of burst even though they are cut in half. Once finished, remove and set aside until ready to use. I found it was easiest to "divide" them (with a spatula) into three equal portions on the baking sheet.

While tomatoes are roasting, prepare water for the lasagna noodles and boil according to directions - only halfway since they will cook in the oven.

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add butter. Whisk in flour to create a roux, cooking for 1-2 minutes until golden. Add in milk and stir constantly until slightly thickened, then reduce heat to medium-low and add mascarpone, garlic, mozzarella and provolone. Continue to stir until cheese sauce is creamy and melty. Add in oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.

To assemble lasagna, place three noodles on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Cover in roasted tomatoes, a handful of basil, a handful of fontina cheese, then a few ladles of cheese sauce. Layer three more lasagna noodles on top. Repeat this two more times, finishing with four lasagna noodles on top. Cover those with remaining fontina and any extra cheese if it looks like it needs it. Ladle any extra sauce on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cheese on top is golden and bubbly. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving, so lasagna can kind of hold together.

Butternut Squash, Sage, and Goat cheese Lasagna

For the Butternut Squash Puree:

1 large onion, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Cheese Layer:

8 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
1 (10-oz) package of frozen spinach, defrosted, and squeezed dry
½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Fresh sage, chopped (I used about 2-3 tablespoons, which leads to a strong sage flavor. If you aren’t a huge sage fan, start with 1 tablespoon and adjust as necessary)

For Assembly:

Marinara sauce (when making dishes with a lot of prep, I use store bought. Feel free to make your own)

No-boil lasagna noodles
4 cups low-moisture mozzarella cheese, freshly grated (I used part-skim)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Sage leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In large bowl, toss onions, garlic cloves, and squash with oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and onions are browned, stirring halfway through. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the goat cheese, ricotta cheese, defrosted spinach, parmesan cheese, pecorino cheese, and chopped fresh sage. Grate in a little nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Butter a 9 x 13-in baking dish and pour a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom. Layer the ingredients in the following order: noodles, squash puree, ricotta cheese mixture, a drizzle of marinara, grated cheeses, and finally noodles. Repeat the layering until the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the final layer of noodles. Add the last of the grated cheeses over the top and place whole sage leaves on top of the cheese.
4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes for easier serving.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Cake

Everyone is "Irish" on St. Patrick's Day, right?   It isn't the 19th, but there is always room for a slice of cake, followed by an Irish coffee, no?  This satisfies the "cake craving", but without all that sugar in frosting/icing.  And that means we can all have another coffee!!  Faith and begorrah - it's a PLAN!!  Slainte - have a wonderful day!

St. Patrick's Day Cake

Ingredients :
1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup cold 2% milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, soda and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts, if you'd like.

Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan (Bundt).

Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat the cream, milk, pudding mix and confectioners' sugar on high until stiff peaks form. Frost cake.* Sprinkle with walnuts. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.

*Or be wicked lazy (like me) and serve a slice of cake topped with a HEALTHY dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with the nuts.  I'm thinking a little drizzle of whiskey wouldn't hurt AT ALL!!!

meatless monday zucchini pie

This was REALLY good - tons of veggies, protein from the cheese and eggs.  I could have had a second helping but decided to behave.  (Darn!)  This is going to be breakfast in the morning, too!!

Zucchini Pie

4 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced - I used 1/2 of a large onion
2 ears sweet corn - I used a small bag of frozen
2 large zucchini, sliced thin (I used the real skinny little ones - hardly any seeds - all "meat") about 4 cups)
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
NOTE: I used 1 T Italian Seasoning instead of the basil and oregano. If using the basil and oregano , I'd cut it down to 1/2 T EACH - that lets the sweet flavor of the roasted corn shine through!)
½ teaspoon salt
12 ounces shredded cheese (I used both Mozzarella and Swiss)
3 eggs, beaten  - I used 4.  The next time I'm going to try 6.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. 
Add the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms. 
After 5 minutes, dump in the corn (from the bag or off the cob.)
Continue to saute until the veggies are soft, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the basil, oregano, and salt. Stir once to combine. 
Add the cheese and eggs.
Grease a pan with nonstick spray. 
Transfer the mixture to the pan. Arrange the top so the zucchini slices lay flat and look nice. 
Top with a little extra cheese for looks, cover with greased foil, and bake for 20 minutes. 
Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top. 
Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices.

I layered half the veggies, then the cheese, then the other half of the veggies in a rectangular small roaster and did not bother with the greased foil.  I baked the entire thing for 25 minutes (it probably only needed 20).  After I took the pan out of the oven I sprinkled another handful of mozza on top, to melt.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Green Smoothies

In my on-going quest to eat healthier this year, I am sharing this page of green smoothies to the blog.  Living alone, it is hard to get in all of the fruits and vegetables to my diet that really are needed.  Cooking 3 or 4 veggies - all those pans!!!!  So last year I discovered that green smoothies are really the easy way to go.  We have a juice bar in town that makes fabulous juices and smoothies.  I finally bit the bullet and decided I could get past the "omigosh -it's-green-and will-taste-awful" hangup and try one out.  AND I LOVED IT!!!  (I didn't love the price, though, so I decided to start making my own!!) My favorite there is apple + cucumber + celery + mint + pear + spinach.  All you taste is SWEET!!!!  You'd never know the spinach was in there unless you watched them make it.  They have another called "Froggie" made with almond milk + ice + apple + spinach/kale + mint + cacao nibs- it tastes like chocolate chip mint ice cream.  

To process these, you really have to use a high-speed blender - regular blenders don't have enough "oomph"  to break down the pulp (which is why some people get turned off to green blends!) Don't be afraid to blend the heck out your mixtures.

Thin out a too-thick blend with water or almond milk.
Thicken a too-thin blend with ice

Those dark green leaves are loaded with iron and good fiber.  I DO remove the stems.
Bananas are loaded with potassium - good for muscles
Avocados are your vitamin E source - at least one a week to help your skin
Pineapples are anti-inflammatory, as are ginger, and turmeric
Chia and flax seeds are superfoods - loaded with all kinds of great stuff.

Berries will "muddy" a green smoothie - making it look brown.  Save the berries for another smoothie experience - just as good. 

Carrots, apples, and pears give drinks an incredibly sweet taste and overwhelm spinach, chard, and kale.  (Don't make the mistake of putting carrots and apples in the same blend - the sweetness will knock you over.  Been there. Done that.)

Almond milk/ rice milk / coconut milk can be substituted for regular milk without the added sugars regular milk has.

Leftover will keep a day in the frig - just reblend to get the consistency again.  A splash of lemon or lime juice will keep the fruits from oxidizing (browning) so they "look" as good the next day. Freezing some of the fruit - bananas, especially - will help thicken the smoothies and make it more like an ice cream treat.  If you have bananas that are beginning to go past ripeness, pop them in the freezer - you can use them for your smoothies.  Happy Blending!!!


Green Goddess

Makes enough for 5 smoothies
10kale leaves, de-ribbed and roughly torn
5medium-sized bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
2ripe pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
5tablespoons almond butter (I like Trader Joe's Raw)
5cups almond milk (I use Califia Farms Unsweetened Vanilla)
5pinches flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Set aside 5 pint-sized zipper bags. In each bag, place 2 kale leaves, 1 banana, and 1/4 cup pear pieces.
Keep the bags in the freezer until you are ready to use. They will last for up to one month.

In the morning, dump the contents of 1 bag into a high-power blender and add 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tablespoon of almond butter. Add a pinch of sea salt and blend until smooth and creamy.

Optional: To up the flavor, feel free to add any of the following to your smoothie: a dash of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and/or 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. When I have time, I add all 3 and blend!


(serves 4)

3 ounces kale
2 ounces spinach
1 apple (cored) 
2 bananas
1⁄2 ounce fresh gingerroot (grated)
2 tablespoons fresh basil(chopped) 
2 garlic cloves
1⁄2 ounce fresh turmeric (grated)
2 tablespoons flax seeds(ground) 
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
32 ounces water (or to fill blender to 64 oz)


4 cups baby spinach
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
1 banana

Green Pumpkin Pie

1⁄2 cup ice
1 cup packed fresh spinach
3⁄4 cup pumpki puree (not pie filling)
1⁄2 ripe avocado
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1⁄2 teaspoon liquid steia OR agave syrup, to taste
1 -1 1⁄2 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk substitute of choice


1 cup chopped honeydew, chilled
1⁄2 cup peeled and seeded and chopped cucumber, chilled
1⁄2 teaspoon lime juice
1 dash salt


1 1⁄2 cups pineapple juice
1 tablespoon honey
10 kiwi, peeled, diced
2 cups pineapple, diced (fresh or canned)
2 bananas (frozen)


200 g Baby Spinach
5 fresh mint leaves
2 bananas
1 cup rice milk
1 teaspoon organic honey
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Beauty Bonanza

2 cucumbers (peeled)
1 lemon (peeled)
1 avocado (peeled and seeded)


1⁄2 cup fresh pineapple(diced)
1⁄2 cup mango (diced)
1⁄2 banana
1⁄2 cup carrot (grated)
1 ounce chard leaves(chopped)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons ginger(grated)
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup water

Green Machine

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
1 (12 ounce) canchilled mango nectar (like Goya)
2 tablespoons choppedfresh mint leaves

Avocado, Pineapple and Apricot

1 avocado
500 ml pineapple juice
150 g apricot yoghurt


1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 very ripe banana, peeled
1 cup pineapple-orange juice
4 ice cubes

NoPulp Beginner Smoothie

1 cup baby kale
1 large peach (Fresh, Frozen, Canned)
4 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
7-8 whole almonds

Matcha Green Tea

1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder (no substitutions)
2 teaspoons hot water
1 cup skim milk
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon honey
3 -4 ice cubes

Key Lime

1⁄2 lime (skin & all)
3 cups seedless grapes(green & red)
4 ounces white grape juice concentrate
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 slice pineapple (raw is best)
1⁄2 banana
3⁄4 cup spinach (for color)
1 cup ice

Kiwi Frappe

1 cup apple juice, unsweetened
1⁄2 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup kiwi fruit, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1⁄2 cups ice cubes

Quiche in Sweet Potato Crust

This just came across my morning feed - looks so good.  Healthy way to get in your protein and THREE veggies!!

Quiche in Sweet Potato Crust

from Cooking Light Magazine

Peel 2 sweet potatoes and slice thin (use a mandolin)
Coat baking dish with cooking spray and arrange slices, overlapping, to form crust. (cut circles in half for the sides)
Bake 20 min at 350°

Saute 1/2 onion in 1 T EVOO until golden.
Add 1 bag baby spinach and saute to release the water from the spinach leaves.

Combine 1/2 c milk
1/2 t salt
1/4 t red pepper
1/4 t pepper
4 large eggs
2 egg whites

Place the cooked onion and spinach in the crust, pour the milk/egg mixture over.
Top with 1.5 oz crumbled feta cheese.

Bake 35 min at 375°

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Chicken in Creamy Green Onion Sauce

The temperature is going up!  I'm thinking "SPRING".  So some pretty glazed carrots, a little yellow rice, some spring peas, and this chicken dish it is!

Chicken in Creamy Green Onion Sauce


2 tablespoons butter
4 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
1 whole green onion
1 c sour cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Melt the butter and add the chicken
Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for some 10 minutes.
While the chicken is simmering, chop the green onion. Use both the green and the white part.
Turn over the chicken breast halves, cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until the juices run clear. 
Add the chopped green onion. Stir, and let the onion cook for 1–2 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Add the salt and the sour cream. Mix well.
Cover and let stand on the stove top for 5 minutes. Mix well before serving.

This week's recipe detective is Jaye - MI!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup, Two Ways - Super Easy or Super Fast!

I always have the best intention about getting dinner going.  But then I get busy doing something and forget until I'm actually HUNGRY.  Too late - now I need to produce something fast!  And my pressure cooker, which is ALWAYS on the counter is my lifesaver.  It's actually my "third burner" for my stove - I saute in it, boil in it, and use it to cook everything from oatmeal to dessert!  My old pressure cooker with the little rocky-thing on top used to scare the pants off me.  My electric cooker with the timer and different cooking options is my best buddy in the kitchen - a real helpful one for someone who forgets she has to eat at some point!

(Remember my hint about always keeping cooked ground beef in the freezer???)

DO use the chili powder - the soup is on the bland side without it.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 (32 oz.) container chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated (reserve some for garnish)
bacon, crumbled 
toast croutons

Easy, No-fuss Slow Cooker Version (5 hours)

Procedure - Slow Cooker:
Place ground beef, tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic in your slow cooker and pour chicken stock over the top.

Season with chili powder, salt and pepper, then stir everything together. Cover slow cooker, turn on HIGH and cook for 3-4 hours, or until vegetables are softened.

Stir flour into heavy cream until no chunks remain, then pour mixture, along with cheddar cheese, into slow cooker.

Stir to combine, then cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes, then ladle into soup bowls, top with cheese, crumbled bacon and toast croutons

Oh no!  I forgot to make the soup and it's almost dinner time!! pressure cooker version  (30 minutes)

Procedure - Pressure Cooker:
Brown ground beef on 'saute' in your pressure cooker.  Drain off fat.

Add tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic in your slow cooker and pour chicken stock over the top.

Season with chili powder, salt and pepper, then stir everything together. Cover pressure cooker and lock, turn on HIGH and cook for 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of your potato cubes), or until vegetables are softened.  (Quick release on the pressure)

Stir flour into heavy cream until no chunks remain, then pour mixture, along with cheddar cheese, into the cooker.

Stir to combine, then cover, then simmer the soup in the cooker until it has thickened - about 7 minutes.)

Ladle into soup bowls, top with cheese, crumbled bacon and toast croutons