Category Archives: Recipes

Green Eggs and Bacon

No, this isn’t a breakfast with Dr. Seuss.  It is a super easy delicious breakfast treat.   I made this for our neighbors one morning and it was a hit.  With the spice of the pesto it makes this much more interesting than your typical eggs and toast.  Plus, it looks so cute on the plate.  You could even change up the pesto to try different flavors, such as sun dried tomato.  Go ahead and get creative for breakfast, Dr. Seuss did.


Yields:  2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of lean turkey bacon
  • 4 slices of french bread or 2 English muffins
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 jar pesto

Directions:

1.  Cook bacon in skillet until crispy brown.  Place aside on plate with paper towel to soak up any remaining grease.

2.  Cook eggs according to your own preference in a skillet.  I made my eggs over-medium in these pictures.  But you could easily do scrambled or over-easy.

3.  While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread.  When finished toasting, place two pieces of toast onto each serving plate, spread a thin amount of pesto onto each slice of bread.  Next place one piece of bacon and then top with one egg.

4.  Enjoy.

Baked Donut Muffins

 

This is a wonderful recipe that’s a cross between a mini muffin and a donut hole! Plus, since they are baked and not fried we could say a bit healthier than your ordinary donut.  But I dare you to try and eat just one.  It’s impossible.  They are like Pringles, once you start, you can’t stop.

Yield: 20-24 mini-donuts

Ingredients:

For Donut:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour


For Sugar Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °.  Spray 2 mini-muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In medium sized bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter and nutmeg.  Stir in milk and baking powder, mix well.
  3. Next add in flour, stir until just combined.
  4. Fill prepared mini muffin cups, each cup half full.
  5. Bake in preheated oven about 15-20 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden.
  6. While muffins are baking, place 1/2 cup butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt.  In a separate small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Remove muffins from pan. Dip each muffin top, first in butter and then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Allow to cool and serve.   

Adapted from:  allrecipes

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

 

So, I have to admit that I have a small love affair with cauliflower.  It is absolutely my favorite vegetable.  I can put it in just about anything.  So, with February as my self proclaimed soup month, I decided to make cauliflower soup. Why, not?  Cauliflower has an unbelievable amount of vitamin C, so with it being cold/flu season, the more vitamin C you can add to your diet the better.  I also learned what a roux was and how to make one.  It is a mixture of flour and butter used as a thickening agent for soups and sauces.  Voila, add it to your cooking dictionary.  Also, if you prefer this to be a vegetarian soup, substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth.  Both are delicious.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, washed and chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat and then adding in the flour.  Stirring constantly for 1 minute.  It will be a paste consistency.

 

2.  Next add in chicken broth, onion, garlic, salt and cauliflower.  Bring mixture to a boil.
Once boiling turn heat down to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

 

3.  In small batches, puree mixture in blender until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from: skinnytaste

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

So, to continue on with my February soup theme, I thought I would incorporate a little Valentine’s Day tribute.  I decided to make a red soup and tomato seemed the obvious choice.  Besides, I had never made home-made tomato soup and the pre-made ones in the store are full of sodium and chemical ingredients.  Then in a moment of genius (or so I thought) I threw in a little extra heart grilled cheese sandwich bonus.  Aren’t tomato soup and grilled cheese a perfect combo anyhow?  Whoever came up with this winning combination should be given an award.  It’s marvelous.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 large slices of sandwich bread, crust removed and torn into 1-inch pieces (I used a dense whole-wheat bread)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

1.  In a large stockpot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf.  Stirring frequently, cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

 2.  Add in tomatoes, including the juice and using a potato masher mash the tomatoes until they are broken down into smaller pieces.  Careful not to break up the bay leaf.  Stir in sugar and bread, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally, cook until bread is completely saturated and begins to break down, about 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.

3.  Turn heat off under pot and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and puree soup using a blender.  I separated the soup into 3 different batches, so as not to over fill the blender.  I always leave the slightest crack in the clear plastic topper of the blender to allow some of the steam to escape.  Do make sure you hold onto it TIGHTLY when mixing, otherwise you will have a big mess on your hands.

4.  Blend each batch for about 1 minute to get as smooth as possible.  After blending, place tomato soup back into stockpot, stir in chicken broth and salt.  Return soup to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in basil and serve.

As an extra bonus, I made grilled cheese and cut them into hearts using a large heart shaped cookie cutter.  It came out too cute for words.  Give it a try.  Show that special someone you care.

                                   

Adapted from:  browneyedbaker

Vegetarian Greek Lentil Soup

Since February is my birthday month and soup is one of my favorite foods, I am declaring February Soup Month.  Besides, it is usually the coldest month here in Denver, so why not warm yourself from the inside with some delicious soup.  So my blog this month will be devoted to yummy soups.  So, here we go.

This recipe came from talking with the girls at work.  The forecast was predicting a cold weekend and I wanted to make soup for the cold weather.  I talked with the girls at work and asked them what  their favorite soup were.  I got everything from clam chowder, butternut squash to a vote for this Greek lentil soup.   I just can’t fathom the thought of clam chowder with all its chewy clams.  Yuck!  I prefer not to have rubber bands in my soup.  Sorry Laurie.   It’s a texture thing for me.  I also wanted something more on the hardy side, since I wanted it to be the main course.  So, here is how the lentil soup recipe was born.  Also, an added bonus to this recipe is the feta.  I usually have it with chicken or on a salad, but why not venture into soup.  Here is the finished product, thanks Lisa for the inspiration.  Enjoy!

Yields: approximately 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown lentils (washed and picked over if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons Greek Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice (or a little less if you’re not that into lemon)
  • crumbled Feta Cheese for serving (optional, but good)
  • pepper to taste

Directions:
1.  Place lentils in colander and rinse with cold water.

2.  In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat, saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
3.  Add chopped celery and carrots, cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

4.  Next add in lentils, vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
5.  Add in Greek seasoning, thyme, oregano and salt.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until lentils are soft.  You can adjust the stock after lentil are done depending on how thick you want the soup.

6.  Once lentils are done, remove from heat and stir in chopped spinach and lemon juice.

7.  Place servings into bowls, pepper to taste and top with crumbled feta.

Adapted from:  kalynskitchen

Pizza Bites

 
When I think of delicious game day food, I always think pizza.  Well, why not make pizza into a snack size.  No, I’m not talking about Totinos pizza rolls, I am talking about fresh bite size pizza straight out of your own oven.   I came up with these as a game day snack for the Superbowl.  I used pepperoni, because my husband is meat fanatic, but you could also make them vegetarian.  Just adding fresh basil, black olive and a bit of green pepper would be wonderful.  So, go ahead and use this recipe as a base and add your favorite pizza toppings to them.  Enjoy some good food, good friends and good football.  Go Broncos!!  Oh wait, that’s right they lost to the ravens.   Maybe next year.  


Yields: 24 pizza bites

Ingredients:

  • 11-oz can pizza dough ( I used Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough)
  • marinara sauce (I used basil and garlic flavor)
  • pepperoni
  • shredded motzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • basil leaves
  • 2 mini muffin pans
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray mini muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
2.  Lightly flour counter top and lay pizza dough out and roll until 1/4″ thick.
3.  Using the open side of a cup slightly larger around than each muffin.  Cut out circular pieces of dough.

 4.  Place cut out dough in each prepared muffin pan.  1 piece of dough in each muffin.

5.  Then place 1 piece of pepperoni into each muffin, then add small amount marinara sauce into each muffin.

5.  Sprinkle each one with small amount of Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

6.  Top with a sprinkle of motzarella cheese.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese and dough is slightly golden.

Enjoy!!! 
If your looking for some other great food ideas for the big game.  Here are a few of my favorite game day selections.
                                   
                                                             Avocado Deviled Eggs
 

Baked Crispy Edamame

If your looking for an easy party appetizer or a great side dish, then here you go.  These soybeans baked under a Parmesan cheese crust, turn a basic frozen vegetable into a delicious snack.  Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.  However; be warned, they are addictive.  If you are making these for a party, make them shortly before the party starts, or you may end up having to make another batch, because you can’t stop nibbling.  Another good tip to remember when making these delights is that toasted edamame are best when consumed on the day you roast them.  They tend to loose some of their crunch the next morning.  You can still eat them, but they may be more chewy than crispy.  When making this recipe, make sure edemame are dry before mixing with other ingredients.  I placed them on a clean dish towel and patted them dry.  Making sure they are completely dry helps them get that crispy crunch that is so delicious.

Edamame also pack in a healthy punch.  A 1/2 cup serving of shelled edamame contain as much fiber as 4 slices of whole wheat toast and 11 grams of protein.  Step over protein bars, say hello to the new delicious high protein snack.

note:  if you don’t have time for the edamame to thaw, you can speed up this process by pouring the edamame into a stainer and running it under warm water for a few seconds.  Then spread the edamame on a clean dish towel and pat until dry. 

Yield:  roughly 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 oz) package frozen shelled edamame (soybeans), thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Place edamame, olive oil and Parmesan cheese into medium sized mixing bowl.  Stir until all edamame are coated.

2.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, again stir.  Place edamame onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, in single layer.

3.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Stir edamame.  Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is crispy and golden.  

Coconut Poke Cake

 

I decided to make this recipe for Christmas dinner.  I know I’m a bit behind in posting this, but hey better late than never.  We were having a low key Christmas, just my husband and I and we invited my best friend Melissa to join us.  She taught me to make dressing, gravy and turkey stock from scratch.  So, I let her choose dessert for the evening.  She said anything “coconut”!  So I went on the search for a coconut dessert and came across something called a poke cake.  I had never heard of such a thing.  Then I found a coconut poke cake and decided to give it a try.  I used fat free condensed milk and lite cool whip to lighten up the calorie content and it was plenty sweet.  It was amazing.  The cream of coconut and condensed milk make the cake extra moist and the added coconut extract I put in the batter and frosting, bumped the flavor into coconut heaven.  Even my husband who is a chocolate fanatic couldn’t stop eating it.  It was a hit.  I am excited to try other flavors and varieties of this new found “poke cake.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package white cake mix (not one with pudding)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 (14oz) can cream of coconut
  • 7 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (16oz) container lite cool whip, thawed
  • 1 (14oz) package shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:
1.  Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to batter before baking.
2.  Remove cake from oven and while still HOT, using the end of a wooden spoon poke holes all over the top of the cake.

 

3.  In a medium bowl, mix the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk.  Pour mixture evenly over hot cake.
4.  Allow cake to completely cool.  In a large bowl mix cool whip, 1/2 the bag of coconut and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract together.

 

5.  Frost cake with mixture and sprinkle remaining coconut evenly over top of cake.

6.  Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before cutting.  Make sure to store cake in refrigerator.

Adapted from:  allrecipes

Noodle-Less Turkey/Veggie Lasagna

I came across this recipe on a vegetarian website.  It sounded delicious with the spaghetti squash.  I can honestly say that it never occurred to me to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles in a dish.  And I am a big fan of spaghetti squash.  I did make some alterations in this recipe by adding the lean ground turkey.  I thought it would be a great way to pack in some protein without adding a bunch of fat.  My husband even said he liked this lasagna better than traditional noodle lasagna.  He also decided it was okay to have 2  pieces of sourdough bread as he put it, “without the noodles, I don’t have to feel guilty about the extra piece of bread.”  After dishing our plates, we did spice things up with some red pepper flakes and dash of Parmesan cheese.  So whether you are a vegetarian and leave the turkey out or cook it with the turkey you will not be disappointed.  Italian night has now taken on a vegetable theme.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (24oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 package lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 medium zucchini thinly sliced (I used the thin slice side of my cheese grater)
  • 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Italian Blend cheese
  • ground pepper
  • dried parsley flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °.  Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place turkey in large skillet and cook until no pink remaining.  Add jar of spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning.  Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. In a casserole dish, begin layering 1/3 zucchini, top with 1 cup spaghetti squash, 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and then 1 cup of turkey/sauce mixture.   Repeat this process until all ingredients are gone. Mine ended up being 3 layers.  When doing top layer use all remaining turkey/sauce mixture and finally top with another 1/4 cup shredded cheese.

4.  I used my fingers to crumble the ricotta into small pieces.

5.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes and fresh ground pepper.

6.   Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  There will be some water in the lasagna because of all the vegetables.  After it was done baking I just slightly tilted the pan to the side and used a spoon to scoop out most of the water.

Adapted from: greenlitebites

Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato fries, but when I have made them in the past they never seemed to get crispy.  I ended up cooking them so long in attempt to get them to be crisp, that they ended up burnt.  I came across some recommendations that included soaking the potatoes before cooking them.  I decided I would give home-made sweet potato fries one more try.  With, this recipe I included a spicy dipping sauce to go along with it.  Sweet and spicy, delish.  Well, I have to say they turned out well.  Even my husband who usually is not a big fan of anything beside old white potato fries, ate them up.

Ingredients:

For Fries:

2 sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ziplock bag

For Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise ( I use Nayonaise, it’s a low fat vegetarian version.  A bit healthier)
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Directions:
     1.  Wash and peel sweet potatoes.  Cut potatoes into medium sized fries.  Not shoestring and not   steak fries, somewhere in between.
     2.  Place sweet potatoes in bowl of water and allow to soak for 1 1/2 hours.
     3.  Preheat oven to 425°

     4.  Put a tablespoon of cornstarch into medium sized ziplock bag.  Put half of sweet potato fries into ziplock back and close (leave some air in bag, allowing for fries to freely be tossed around). 
     5.  Shake fries until lightly coated w/cornstarch. Place coated fries onto nonstick cookie sheet.  
     6.  Repeat process until all fries are coated and placed on cookie sheet.

     7.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over fries, using hands toss fries to make sure all are coated with oil.
          * you can use more oil, depending on how healthy you would like them to be. The more oil you use the more crisp they will get.  But using 2 tablespoons, I was able to get them pretty darn crispy.
     8.  Arrange fries on cookie sheet, making sure there is space between each fry.  If the fries are too close, they tend to steam instead of getting crispy. 
     9.  Place into preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.
     10.  While fries are cooking, make the dipping sauce.  Mix mayonaise, Sriracha and cayenne pepper together in small bowl.  You can adjust the amount of Srirach and/or cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you want it. 
     11.  After 15 minutes, check fries and flip over.  Cook another 5-10 minutes, watch closely so they don’t burn.