Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Chickpea, Olive, Onion and Tomato salad

This really isn't a recipe.  It is literally four ingredients, chopped and thrown together with olive oil and lemon juice added to it. So if you have these ingredients as I do in my pantry and fridge then you have a nice side salad.

Chickpea, Olive, Onion and Tomato salad
  • Can of chickpeas drained
  • Two plum tomatoes chopped
  • Half a small onion choppped
  • Half a cup of kalamata olives chopped

Chop all the ingredients and mix together. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Enjoy as a meal or as a side salad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mango Smoothie

Mango Smoothie

I'm a big fan of Jamba Juice. But there aren't many close to my home. So I decided to make a copycat version of Mango a gogo with lime sherbet. The results were quite tasty. And made one large cup.

  • 1 ripe mango
  • cup of ice
  • 1/4 cup of mango juice
  • 1/2 a cup of lime sherbet or 1 lime ice bar
Blend the above ingredients in a blender till frothy and enjoy!

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Best Potato Salad

For my Memorial Day weekend side dish I found a recipe for The Best Potato Salad. And true to its moniker, it really is the best. The dish is quick to assemble. A keeper.

The Best Potato Salad

6 medium white potatoes or Yukon golds
About 2½ to 3 pounds, quartered
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 large celery stalks, diced
6 green onions, diced
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1½ cups Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1½ teaspoons celery seed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
paprika for garnish

Bring potatoes to a boil in large pot of cold water that's been liberally salted. Reduce the heat to medium high or a lightly rolling boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a pairing knife. Drain and let cool until just able to handle. Peel the skins from the potatoes and cut into large diced pieces. Transfer the warm potatoes to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the white vinegar and stir. Allow the potatoes to cool, about 15 minutes. Add the celery and green onions. Chop 4 of the hard boiled eggs and add to the potato mixture. In a medium bowl, mix the Miracle Whip or mayonnaise, yellow mustard, celery seed and salt and pepper. Mix well into the potato mixture and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Slice the last egg into thin slices and place the slices on top of the salad. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.

Monday, May 23, 2016


There used to be a really good restaurant in my town that made the best falafel. Sadly they closed because despite making great food it was poorly run. So after a while of looking for a great falafel recipe I found this one. And my husband really enjoyed it. For me that means it is really good. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy. But isn't opposed to trying new dishes. So if he likes it then the recipe is good.

  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans - you must start with dry, do NOT substitute canned, they will not work!
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)
  • Food processor, skillet
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that... but don't overprocess, you don't want it turning into hummus!
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.Note: Some people like to add baking soda to the mix to lighten up the texture inside of the falafel balls. I don’t usually add it, since the falafel is generally pretty fluffy on its own. If you would like to add it, dissolve 2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of water and mix it into the falafel mixture after it has been refrigerated.Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.Note: if the balls won't hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won't hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won't hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix. This should fix any issues you are having.
Before frying my first batch of falafel, I like to fry a test one in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.
Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon.
Let them drain on paper towels. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce. You can also stuff them into a pita.Troubleshooting: If your falafel is too hard/too crunchy on the outside, there are two possible reasons-- 1) you didn't process the mixture enough-- return the chickpea mixture to the processor to make it more paste-like. 2) the chickpeas you used were old. Try buying a fresher batch of dried chickpeas next time.
SESAME FALAFEL VARIATION: After forming the balls or patties, dip them in sesame seeds prior to frying. This will make the falafel coating crunchier and give it a slightly nutty flavor.
HERB FALAFEL VARIATION (GREEN FALAFEL): Add ½ cup additional chopped green parsley, or cilantro, or a mixture of the two prior to blending.
TURMERIC FALAFEL (YELLOW FALAFEL): Add ¾ tsp turmeric to the food processor prior to blending.

Use 1 lb. dried peeled fava beans instead of chickpeas; cover them with cold water, soak them for at least 24 hours, then drain and rinse. You can also use a mixture of fava beans and chickpeas if you wish; just make sure the weight of the dried beans adds up to 1 lb.After the beans are soaked and rinsed, add the Classic Falafel ingredients to the processor along with the following ingredients – 1 leek, cleaned, trimmed, and quartered; ¼ cup chopped dill; ¼ cup chopped cilantro; and an additional ¾ tsp cayenne pepper. When mixture is processed to a coarse meal, pour into a bowl. Stir 2 ½ tbsp sesame seeds into the mixture with a fork until it’s evenly dispersed throughout the mixture. Refrigerate and proceed with frying. If mixture seems too “wet” when making the falafel balls, add additional flour by the teaspoonful until the mixture sticks together better. Continue with frying.

Making a falafel pita is actually really simple. The two main ingredients are pita bread and falafel.
Cut the pita bread in half to form two “pockets.” Each pocket is a serving size. Stuff the pocket with falafel, as well as any add-ons you fancy.Here are some traditional add-ons that can be added to your pita; these are the ingredients most widely available at falafel stands throughout Israel:

Tahini sauce Shredded lettuceDiced or sliced tomatoesIsraeli saladOnionsDill picklesHummusTabouliFrench friesHere are some less traditional add-ons that are also tasty:Sprouts Cucumber slices Roasted peppersRoasted eggplant slicesSunflower seedsFeta cheeseYogurtTzatziki

Servings: 30-34 falafels

Monday, April 25, 2016

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

I was trying to use up ingredients from Easter. We had potatoes and ham and I stumbled on this recipe for Twice Baked Potato Casserole. I've heard of it before but never made one. I actually mashed the potatoes instead of baking them before hand and used ham instead of bacon but it was still amazing. It takes a bit of time but the end result is delicious. 

Twice Baked Potato Casserole
10 large russet baking potatoes (about 7 pounds total)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 pound mild Cheddar, grated (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes well and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels and prick the potatoes in several places with a fork. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
When the potatoes have cooled, cut each potato in half and, using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop the flesh out of the skins, leaving as little flesh as possible. Place the potato flesh in a large bowl and add 1 stick of the butter, the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, and pepper and mash until chunky-smooth. Add the bacon, cubed white Cheddar, half of the grated Cheddar, the green onions, and eggs and mix thoroughly.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole with the remaining tablespoon of butter and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Place the seasoned potato mixture in the prepared casserole and top with the remaining grated Cheddar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and heated through and the cheese on top is melted and lightly golden. Serve hot.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Three layer Greek Dip

I made a three layered version of Skinny Taste's 7 Layer Greek Dip.
Prepackaged of red pepper hummus, black olives(not canned) and feta. Served it with mini sweet peppers. Just a little snack for me and the hubby. So good.

Greek 7 Layer Dip
Skinnytaste.com  Ingredients:

8 ounces hummus, store bought or homemade
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp red onion, minced
1 cup English cucumber (about ½ large), ½-inch dice
1 cup Roma tomato, seeded, ½-inch dice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced


In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

In an 8”x8” or 7″ x 11″glass dish, layer the hummus, yogurt mixture, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, feta and olives. Serve with whole grain pita chips or baked corn chips.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pierogi Casserole

I love pierogi and I have made them from scratch. Well minus making my own dough. And despite the outcome being amazing, the process is tedious. So when I found a recipe for a pierogi lasagna
I knew I had to try it. The result is as delicious and less labor involving. You can add bacon and ham to it. Or whatever combination you like.

Pierogi Casserole 


5 red skinned potatoes, peeled(optional) and cubed
1/2 cup milk, cream or half and half
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste 1
(8 ounce) container sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain, then combine with the milk and 6 tablespoons of butter, mash and set aside. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter for 5 to 10 minutes. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions and cool under running water. Place 1/2 of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top this with 1/3 of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat this with the remaining potatoes, another 1/3 of the cheese and a layer of noodles. Then arrange onion and garlic over the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and finally top all with the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and chopped fresh chives.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Quick Sushi

I love Sushi, but after having food poisoning a couple of years ago I haven't eaten any. 
I decided to try my hand at making some "sushi" again. I haven't made any on my own in several years. My husband was very appreciative of it. Skinny Taste has a great recipe for a sushi stack.

Spicy California Shrimp Stack


  • 1 1/3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (from 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (about 1 small)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium)
  • 4 teaspoons Furikake (such as Eden Shake or use sesame seeds)
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free)
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce


Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and oil.  When rice is done, add rice vinegar and stir.  Evenly spread rice on a sheet pan to cool.

Cut shrimp into 1-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine cucumber and chives. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.

Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoon of avocado, then ¼ of the shrimp, and 1/3 cup rice.  Carefully turn the cup upside down to turn the stack out onto a plate, lightly tapping the bottom of the cup if necessary.  Sprinkle with Furikake and drizzle with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and sriracha mayonnaise.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.


Monday, February 29, 2016

This is an easy dinner salad recipe to enjoy during the busy work week. It was easy to assemble and I had the ingredients on hand. I changed it around a bit as you will see below. Next time I think I will ribbon some zucchini and slightly saute to add to this dish. 

Noodle Bowl

2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice Noodles
1 Large Carrot, peeled into noodles
1 Cup Kale, finely chopped
½ Avocado
Black Sesame Seeds

Miso Ginger Glaze

2 Tsp Miso Paste
2 Tsp Maple Syrup
Juice from 1 Lime
1 Tbs Tamari
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
1 Tsp - Sized Chunk Fresh Ginger
½ Tsp Sriracha


Noodle Bowl

Cook brown rice noodles according to directions. When done cooking, strain the noodles and set aside for later.
Next, prep the veggies. Make carrot noodles by using a spiralizer, vegetable peeler, or even a cheese grater.
Finely chop 1 cup of kale, and set aside.

Miso Ginger Glaze

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients into a high speed blender and mix until smooth and creamy. If the glaze is too watery, add a little bit of miso and maple syrup to thicken. If the glaze is too thick, add water in small increments to thin.


In a large bowl, mix brown rice noodles, carrot noodles, and kale with the glaze, until everything is evenly coated. Serve in bowls with avocado slices, topped with black sesame seeds.

Note - the original recipe called for soba noodles, but brown rice noodles are my favorite! However, I bet soba noodles would still be amazing.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Cherry Almond Bars

I was going to a friends house for dinner and I wanted to bring dessert. I knew I had a can of cherry preserves I never got to use. I searched the web for a bit where I found the recipe for Stacy Snacks. I love a dessert recipe with almond in it. It was quick to make and so very good. A winner.
adapted from 

Cherry Almond Bars

1 cup shortening
1 cup Truvia Baking Blend or 2 cups sugar(I used brown sugar)
3 cups flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

Almond Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 15x10 jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray
Combine shortening and Truvia Baking Blend and mix until creamed together
Add flour, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and salt, combine well
Press about ¾ of dough into prepared pan
Spread on cherry pie filling
Dot with remaining dough
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown
Cool about 15 minutes
Drizzle with Almond Glaze, cut into bars to serve

These bar cookies also freeze well. Wrap in plastic and freeze in airtight container.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Meatball sub casserole

I found a recipe for a meatball hero casserole. There are countless recipes on the internet for it.

I had meatballs I made from scratch using turkey meatballs. But you can purchase premade ones as well. I also used a store brand biscuit. It was so quick and easy to make. Plus delicious. I recommend it for anytime you need a quick meal and don't want to cook. Or for a sports themed party. 

Monday, February 08, 2016

Healthy Zucchini Soft "Taco" Shells

I never planned on not posting for the fall of 2015. I let just life get in the way and I was in a bit of a cooking slump. I was using recipes I had over and over. Nothing new captured my eye. And though I can't promise I will post three times a week, I will try. This recipe is for tortilla shell made out of zucchini. Yes you heard right. And it was so good. I am still testing the recipe out to make it the right texture for me I very much enjoyed the flavors. Especially with fish and shrimp. It is a healthier alternative.

Healthy Zucchini Soft "Taco" Shells

4 cups  zucchini, coarsely grated
1 large egg
1/2 cup (120ml) grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (60ml) bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove as much moisture as you can from the zucchini. Add zucchini to large bowl and mix in remainder of the taco shell ingredients (egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and cumin). Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or oven proof baking mat. Scoop about ¼ cup of mixture and press down on baking pan into a thin circle, about 5” wide. Repeat for remainder of mixture. Bake shells for about 25 minutes, or until the shells look “crisp’ and brown around the edges. We like to bake the shells a little longer for a more charred texture and flavor. Just be careful to not bake too long or else the shells dry out and are hard to peel off. After zucchini soft taco shells are cool, gently peel them off the parchment paper.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Bacon Fest

I went to my first show ever with my best friend. She is a foodie with great taste. And it was for one of my favorite foods, bacon. Bacon Fest!! The amount of vendors was amazing. We tried a large variety of food and bacon goes well with everything. If you have the chance to go to a food festival I highly recommend it. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic

This Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic pizza
is fantastic and pretty much makes itself. It's so flavorful and healthy. 

Sauté the mushrooms, shallots and garlic, add on top naan bread or a store-bought pizza crust and top with ricotta and parmesan and bake. You and your family have an easy weeknight meal!

Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic 

Makes 6-8 Slices of Pizza


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake and baby bella)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ready-made pizza crust (I used a 7 ounce Stonefire Artisan Flatbread)
6 tablespoons part-skim ricotta
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced or snipped with scissors
1-2 handfuls wild or baby arugula
2-3 tablespoons aged balsamic
2-3 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 425°F with a pizza stone on the bottom rack if you have one (you want the pizza stone to heat up with the oven).
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallot begins to soften. Add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are well browned, about 7-10 minutes.
Place pizza crust on top of a pizza peel or wooden cutting board. Top crust with mushroom mixture and spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch border around the outer edges. Dot with ricotta and sprinkle Parmesan and chives over top.
Transfer pizza to the preheated pizza stone (or a baking sheet, if you're using that instead) and bake for 5-6 minutes (8-9 minutes without the pizza stone).
Remove pizza from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Scatter wild arugula over top and drizzle with aged balsamic and olive oil. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Please don't be scared off by the steps for roasted vegetables with broccoli puree. It was super easy to make and oh so delicious. I only added garlic to the broccoli puree to make it a bit more flavorful. And I love garlic., This makes a great side dish or even a main dish. My meat loving hubby even really liked it.



Broccoli Puree

3 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese {optional - omit if you want dairy free or paleo recipe}

Roasted Vegetables

16 ounces fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
10 asparagus spears, cut into 1” pieces
4 ounces mushroom blend {crimini, shiitake & oyster} sliced thin
4 tablespoons of olive oil. divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Roasted Vegetables:

Preheat oven 400°
Line baking sheets with foil.
In a large bowl combine mushrooms and asparagus plus 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat and pour out onto one end of baking sheet.
In another bowl combine brussels sprouts and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and pour onto opposite side of baking sheet
Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper and give the pan a shake to wiggle your vegetables and settle the salt and pepper.
Roast mushrooms and asparagus for 20 minutes, remove pan and scoop into a large bowl. Return brussels sprouts for an additional 10 minutes until browning, a total of 30 minutes.
Remove and toss in bowl with mushrooms and asparagus.

Broccoli Puree:

Meanwhile in a stock pot bring 1” of water to boil. Add broccoli spears and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add ½ of the broccoli to processor, process till smooth. While running add ¼ cup of olive oil, lemon zest, salt and parmesan cheese {optional}.
Toss remaining broccoli spears with brussels sprout mix and set aside.
When ready to serve spoon broccoli puree into bowl and top with a large serving of roasted vegetable mix. Serve and enjoy.