Category Archives: Vegetables

Lasagna Rolls

There’s always room for pasta.  We all love it. Even low-carbers hate the fact they dream about it.  So here’s another way to satiate that desire.  This was a nice change of pace from the traditional layered dish but was just as filling.


8 uncooked lasagna noodles

4 tsp olive oil

1/2 c finely chopped onion

1-8 0z pkge sliced mushrooms

1-6 oz pkge baby spinach

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese

1/4 c minced fresh basil, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper


1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (7 oz) bottle roasted red bell peppers, undrained

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

1. For lasagna, cook noodles according to package direction, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat.  Add onion, mushroom, spinach and garlic – saute for 5 mins or until veggies are tender.  Remove from heat and stir in cheeses, 2 tbsp basil, salt and red pepper.

3. For sauce, place your sauce ingredients into a blender and  process until smooth.

4. Place cooked noodles on flat surface; spread 1/3 c cheese mixture over each noodle.  Roll up noodles, jelly-roll fashion, starting with short side.  Place rolls, seam-side down, in a shallow 2 qt microwave safe dish.  Pour 1/4 c sauce over each roll and cover with heavy duty plastic wrap.  Microwave at HIGH 5 mins and sprinkle with remaining basil.  Makes 4 servings of 2 rolls each.

As you can see the sauce, at first, was more watery than I anticipated but I had to let it sit for a bit.  The sauce was fine after a few more minutes.  The rolls were also a bit ‘flatter’ than I expected.  Other than that the taste was great!  I’m sure you can substitute some of the veggies for a meat if you wanted more substance to them.  I served this was a side of sauteed asparagus – yum!   If only I had gelato. . . .

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 393

Fat: 11.7 g

Protein: 19.3 g

Carbohydrate: 58.3 g

Fiber: 5.9 g

Cholesterol: 20 mg

Sodium: 924 mg

Pork with Lemon Caper Sauce

Here is one delicious quick and easy recipe that is a sure-fire crowd pleaser – especially if you love pork chops.  This has a light but flavorful breading – crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.  You cannot go wrong with this :)

1/3 c flour

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

3 tbsp preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

4 – 4 oz boneless center cut pork chops (about 1/2 thick)

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 c fat free less sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp dry white wine

1/4 tsp grated lemon rind

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained

1. Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish.  Place breadcrumbs, cheese, and pepper in a shallow dish; place egg white in another shallow dish.  Dredge pork in flour mixture, dip in egg white, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.  Coat pork with cooking spray.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from pan; keep warm.  Add broth and remaining ingredients to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Cook 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 2 mins).  Serve with pork.  Yields 4 servings.

I know the pork appears a little burnt but it certainly didn’t taste that way.  The recipe didn’t have a picture so I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to look but the taste was amazing!  I served it with orzo (splashed with some fresh lemon juice, salt, and parsley) and garlic-red pepper broccoli.  I had my son help me make this dinner so I *think* that’s why he enjoyed every bite of it – even the broccoli :)

Nutritional Information (pork only):

Calories: 256

Fat: 10.1 g

Protein: 28.2 g

Carbohydrate: 11.5 g

Fiber: 0.7 g

Cholesterol: 68 mg

Sodium: 419 mg

Chicken and Wild Mushroom Hash Cakes with Garlic and Red Pepper Broccoli

With all the previous potato talk – here’s another way to enjoy our favorite starch!  I came across this recipe and knew I had to try this.  Just think. . .you can take your poultry or mashed potato leftovers and turn them into some fried goodness :)  I think I’m salivating again. . .

Hash Cakes:

2 c chopped shiitake mushroom caps

1 garlic clove, minced

2 c chopped cooked chicken/turkey

2 c mashed cooked baking potatoes

3/4 c panko bread crumbs

1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 c thinly sliced green onions

1.5 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black peppper

1 tbsp canola oil

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add mushrooms and garlic to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.  Combine mushroom mixture, chicken, potatoes, 1/4 c panko, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2 in thick patty.  Refrigerate 10 minutes.  Dredge patties in remaining 1/2 c panko.

2. Heat 1.5 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the patties and cook  2 minutes on each side – you might need to do this in batches.  Yields 4 servings (2 patties each).

***I served this with a side of broccoli (2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper – sauteed with broccoli — you can also use broccolini – and simmered with 1/2 c water, covered, for about 6-7  minutes) and cranberry sauce.

This was so delicious!  That’s all I have to say about this.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 263

Fat: 10 g

Protein: 25.1 g

Carbohydrate: 18.2 g

Fiber: 2.2 g

Cholesterol: 68 g

Sodium: 556 mg

Bullseye Onion Burger

This looked intriguing and since I had been turned on to the use of kale in various recipes I decided to give this a shot.  I love onion – it doesn’t matter what kind – because I think it does so much for flavor and so the sweet onion here turned out to be a great flavor combination with the kale and swiss cheese.

What you’ll need:

1 large sweet onion

1 lb very lean ground beef (the leaner the better)

1. 5 tsp garlic powder

4 slices low fat swiss cheese

8 red or green kale leaves, stems removed

2 tsp olive oil

4 – texas toast, toasted

1.  Peel and cut onion into 4 – 1/4 in thick slices.  Shape meat loosely into 4 1/2 thick patties; sprinkle with garlic powder, 1/3 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Press one onion slice into the center of each patty and shape meat around onion until top of onion is flush with the surface of the meat patty (this was really tricky for me).

2. Place meat, onion side up on the rack of an uncovered grill and cook to desired doneness, turning once halfway through.  Brush kale leaves lightly with oil and add to grill the last minute or so of grilling.

3. To serve, place two kale leaves and slice of cheese atop each bread slice.  Top with a burger, onion side up and serve with choice of side (I did sweet potato fries).  Makes 4 servings.

1. I could have melted the cheese on the kale in the oven for a minute or two.

2. The onion didn’t completely grill the way I would have liked.

But overall, the taste was a success.  Just keep in mind that this is definitely a fork and knife type burger :)

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 321

Total fat: 10 g

Cholesterol: 78 mg

Sodium: 387 mg

Carbohydrate: 22 g

Fiber: 2 g

Protein: 34 g

Three Cheese Baked Penne

I needed something quick and easy before I started work and so I came across this recipe.  Sometimes pastas can come out a bit bland or the sauce too “tomato-ey” or overpowering.  Between the sweet Italian sausage, the three cheeses, and the additional herbs – even my young  son (who has turned out to be my worst critic, go figure) can’t get enough!

Your supplies:

2.5 c uncooked whole wheat penne

2 (4 oz) links sweet turkey Italian sausage

1 c finely chopped green bell pepper

1.5 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1/8 tsp black pepper

dash of salt

10 grape/cherry tomatoes, halved

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (8-0z) can garlic and herb tomato sauce

3/4 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 c crumbled goat cheese

1/4 c grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with spray.  Remove casings from sausage.  Add sausage and cook 2 minutes, stirring to crumble.  Add bell pepper and next 6 ingredients; saute for 6 minutes or until pepper is tender.  Stir in tomato sauce.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Add pasta to pan, tossing to coat.

4. Spoon mixture into a prepped 8 in square baking dish.  Stir in mozzarella and goat cheeses; sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake for 7 minutes or until bubbly and top is browned. Makes 6 (1. 25 c) servings.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 326

Fat: 10.9 g

Protein: 20.8 g

Carbohydrate: 38.9 g

Fiber: 4.9 g

Cholesterol: 47 mg

Sodium: 641 mg

Nantucket Bay Scallops and Eastham Turnip-Potato Gratin

I really wanted seafood last night and I am so glad I came across these two recipes because I was NOT disappointed. I also had leftover Gruyere cheese and was longing to use it.  The sweetness of the bay scallops with the cheesy tenderness of the gratin was quite satisfying!  I had never had turnips before (or at least that I can remember) and now I’m turned on to the possibilities of actually incorporating turnips into a semi-regular ingredient for my meals.  Who knew!

For zee scallops:

2 tbsp butter

2 bay leaves

1.5 lbs bay scallops (remember these are sweeter that the bigger sea scallops)

1/2 tsp salt

1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 tsp grated lemon rind

chopped fresh chives

1. Place butter and bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until butter melts.  Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Skim solids off the top and discard along with bay leaves.

2. Lightly coat scallops with cooking spray.  Heat a large, heavy skillet (I used my cast iron) over high heat.  Cook the scallops in 2 batches for about 1 minute each.  Place in a bowl.  Sprinkle scallops with salt.  Add juice and 1/2 the butter to scallops; toss to coat.

3. Combine panko and remaining butter.  Heat pan over medium-low heat.  Add panko mixture to pan and cook 2 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from pan.

4. Place 1/3 c scallops into a ramekin.  Sprinkle with panko, lemon rind, and chives.  Makes 8 servings.

These smell as delicious as they taste!

Your turnip-potato gratin:

1.25 lbs turnips, peeled, and cut into 1/8 in thick slices (I used a mandoline slicer)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

3/4 lb baking potato, peeled, and cut into 1/8 thick slices

3/4 c Gruyere grated, divided

3/4 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1. Place turnips in a medium saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove, drain, and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Arrange 1/3 turnips in a 2 qt prepped baking dish; sprinkle with 1/3 salt and pepper each.  Arrange half of potato over turnip.  Sprinkle 6 tbsp cheese evenly over the potato.  Arrnage 1/3 turnips and sprinkle again with 1/3 salt and pepper each.  Arrange remaining potato and then turnips last.  Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper and pour broth over the whole dish.  Cover with foil, pressing foil onto turnip slices.  Bake for 1 hr.

4. Preheat broiler.

5. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil for about 8 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.

Let me tell, ya – this meal was fabulous!  At first I was nervous when I dug into the gratin because the bottom was watery.  But it just needed time to sit and soak it all in.  I never really wait till my food cools down to try it so the first bite was excellent.  And don’t worry it is cheesy enough.  I was wondering how 3/4 c cheese would make this an actual “gratin” but the flavor was definitely there.  I know I encourage to make the dishes I post but if you enjoy scallops DO THIS ONE!

Nutritional Information:

Nantucket Bay Scallops:

Calories: 107

Fat: 3.6 g

Protein: 14.6 g

Carbohydrate: 3.4 g

Fiber: 0.1 g

Cholesterol: 36 mg

Sodium: 280 mg

Eastham Turnip-Potato Gratin:

Calories: 96

Fat: 3.4 g

Protein: 4.7 g

Carbohydrate: 12.4 g

Fiber: 1.9 g

Cholesterol: 11 mg

Sodium: 243 mg

Southwest Steak (Dinner)

I love Mexican food.  When I was pregnant I literally ate tacos almost everyday for the first 3 months.  Funny that I never really branched out from that until much later.  I wanted to grill steak but not necessarily do a carne asada (although that is muy delicioso) so I found the following recipe and am sure glad I did!  I also wanted to make a side of rice and salad to go with this so keep reading!

Southwest steak:

1/4 c lime juice

1/4 c bottled steak sauce

1/4 c salsa (whichever level of spiciness you prefer)

1 tbsp canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 lb boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 in thick

1. For marinade, in a small saucepan combine all seasoning ingredients and bring to boiling.  Reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered for 5 mins, stirring occasionally; cool.

2. Place steak in a resealable plastic bag and set in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over steak and place in fridge 8-24 hrs.  (Mine sat for about 19-20 hrs) Turn bag occasionally.

3. When ready place meat on grill and cook to desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling.

4. Thinly slice, as Rick Bayless says (sorry just saw a recent tweet), ALWAYS against the grain!

Your Red Rice side:

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 sm onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 c long grain white rice

1 tsp achiote powder (this you can find in a Mexican store, I found a Mexican seasoning at a local farmers market which was wonderful!  Just make sure what you end up using isn’t just a plain chile powder or something like that)

1 bay leaf

2 c canned crushed tomatoes (***I used ones with sweet onion in them***)

2.5 c low sodium chicken broth

1. Heat oil in med saucepan over med-high heat and add onions and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes.

2.  Add rice, seasoning powder, and bay leaf and cook until rice is opaque, about 2 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boiling.  Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until liquid evaporates and is just below level of the rice.  Simmer, covered, on low for about 20-25 mins. Yields 4-6 servings.

Tomato with Avocado Salsa:

1/2 lg avocado, diced

2 tsp fresh lime juice

1/8 tsp salt

1 medium Anaheim or poblano pepper, seeded and ribs removed, finely chopped

2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro

1 lg tomato, cut into 5 slices

1.25 tsp fresh lime juice

In a medium bowl, stir together the avocado, 2 tsp lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro.  Be sure the avocado is coated with the lime juice to prevent discoloration.

For each serving, place avocado mixture over tomato slice(s).  Sprinkle with additional lime juice.

And here you have it!

Oh yeah. . .don’t forget your warmed up tortilla (I used whole wheat) and additional leafy greens!  The meat came out so incredibly tender – it was perfect.  The avocado/tomato had just the right amount of tang and the rice had really good flavor (I believe the crushed tomato with sweet onion did the trick).  All in all – this was a very delicious and satisfying meal for that Mexican craving.

Nutritional Information:

Southwest Steak:

Calories: 200

Total Fat: 9 g

Cholesterol: 69 mg

Protein: 25 mg

Carbohydrate: 5 g

Fiber: 1 g

Sodium: 385 mg

Tomato with Avocado Salsa:

Calories: 49

Total Fat: 3. 5 g

Cholesterol: 0

Sodium: 67 mg

Carbohydrate: 5 g

Fiber: 2 g

Protein: 1 g

Sorry, I do not have the information for the red rice side as this was not made available.

Ham, Spinach, and Gruyere Bread Pudding with Kale and Potato Hash

It was time to do brunch again and I really wanted to do something different.  ZenChef inspired me as he has used Gruyere in tarts before.  If you like to branch out in your cheeses Gruyere is also wonderful as a dessert cheese and melts well for sauces and fondues (just a side note if you didn’t know this already!).  So here you are. . .

For the Bread Pudding:

4 large egg whites

4 large eggs

1 c skim milk

2 tbsp dijon mustard

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp fresh minced rosemary

4 c whole grain bread (I left the crusts on) cut up in 1 in cubes

5 c chopped spinach wilted

1/2 c chopped jarred roasted red peppers

1 c diced ham steak (5 oz)

3/4 c shredded Gruyere

1. Preheat oven to 375 and prep your 2-2.5 qt baking dish.  Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk and then add your seasonings; whisk.

2. Toss your bread, spinach, peppers, and ham in a large bowl.  Add your egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to baking dish and press down to compact.  Cover with foil.

3. Bake for 40-45 mins; uncover and top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes more.  Cool on wire rack.  Makes 8 servings.

For Kale and Potato Hash:

8 c torn kale

2 tbsp horseradish

1 med shallot, minced

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

2 c cooked shredded potato

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Place kale in large microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Wilt – about 3 mins.  Drain and finely chop.

2. Mix the rest of the seasoning ingredients and add potato and kale.

3. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Evenly layer your hash and cook until potato is crisp and golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. (The ingredients above yield 4 servings so I doubled the recipe.)

Sunday brunch!

To offset the two dishes we whipped up some buttery pancakes and made homemade whipped cream topped with strawberries (sigh).  This was delicious!

Nutritional Information:

Bread Pudding:

Calories: 276

Carbohydrates: 25 g

Protein: 21 g

Fat: 10 g

Cholesterol: 169 mg

Fiber: 3 g

Sodium: 746 mg

For Kale and Potato Hash:

Calories: 240

Carbohydrates: 30 g

Protein: 6 g

Fat: 12 g

Cholesterol: 0

Fiber: 5 g

Sodium: 244 mg

Chicken and Noodles

(Oh I have so many things to post. . .) I know everyone has their own version of this dish as it is comfort food at its finest.  I loved the fact that with this recipe you made the noodles yourself, which was surprisingly, not difficult!  Feel free to vary the recipe and let me know how it goes.

You’ll need:

1/2 c all purpose flour, plus more as needed

1/2 large beaten egg

2 tbsp fat free milk

3 c fat free low sodium chicken broth

1 c diced cooked chicken (about 6-8 oz)

1.5 c no salt added frozen mixed veggies (or choose your own fresh)

1/4 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/3 c water

3 tbsp flour

1. For the noodles, mix first 3 ingredients  until you form a ball.  Lightly flour a cutting board and kneed the dough for about 1-2 mins.  Cover with a dry dish towel and let rest for 15 mins.

2. Roll the dough out to a 9 x6 in rectangle.  Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into strips about 3 in long and 1/2 wide.  Cover with dish towel and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, stir together the broth, chicken, veggies, and seasonings (not water and flour).  Cover and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add the noodles; cook for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk the water and flour together and stir into the mixture.  Cook for a few more minutes until it has thickened a bit.  Serves 3 (1.5 c servings)

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 235

Total Fat: 2. 5 g

Cholesterol: 40 mg

Sodium: 328 mg

Carbohydrate: 29 mg

Fiber: 3 g

Protein: 22 g

Bob's Crash Hot Potatoes

So after a bit of  a hiatus (s0rry about that), it is time to post again.  Hope you are all having a good week :)  I think I will start off with a side dish this time (but it doesn’t have to be by any means).  Here’s something simple for those of you in eskimo-esque climates.  Bob inspired me as I was wanting good ‘ole steak and potatoes – so you can thank him later.  However, this was simply wonderful! Our guests the past two weekends have been raving about this still!

You’ll need:

desired amount of red potatoes (apparently these taste best)

garlic (Bob used this for his blog pictures but I went with straight bacon-cheese potatoes)



shredded cheese (I used sharp)

sour cream

1.  Boil your potatoes until tender.

2. Wrap your baking pan with foil.  Place your potatoes and smash them until open.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with desired ingredients.  I knew bacon was going to be a big hit so I topped each potato with a pat of butter, uncured bacon and shredded cheese.

3. Bake at 450 for 25 minutes.  You can smell the magic by then.  Serve with a side of sour cream – absolutely fantastic.

oh yeah. . .

The first weekend I made these along with Van’s baked macaroni and cheese and steak.  That was a great night ;-)  Thank you both for your dinner ideas – they made me look good!