Monday, October 26, 2009

Rosemary Lemon Crusted Tilapia

What did you have for dinner? Ours, if I do say so myself was delicious! I wanted to showcase some wonderful fresh herbs that I bought this week at our veggie market. I used fresh basil, rosemary and chives in this meal. Everything was delicious and went well together. Hope you enjoy!

Don't use Tilapia a lot? Why?? It is just like chicken. It takes on any flavors that you pair it with in your dish. That is where this meal idea came from. We all love Rosemary lemon chicken so lets try it with fish. Phil said he liked it better with the fish than he does with roasted chicken!

We had Rosemary Lemon Crusted Tilapia with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and a Tomato "caprese style" salad.

Rosemary Lemon Crusted Tilapia

1 lb. of Tilapia (this was 5 pieces)
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
Zest of a whole lemon
Kosher salt (to your taste preference)
Fresh cracked pepper (to your taste preference
2 whole eggs, beaten

Mix the panko, rosemary, lemon, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Keep the eggs in another dish. Dredge the fish in the egg and then in the panko. I didn't want this coating to be super thick so I did not dredge in flour first. Use a little elbow grease to push the crumb mixture onto the fish until it sticks.

Put a small layer of extra virgin olive oil in pan and let heat. Cook fish on both sides for about 3-4 minutes.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes (I make these all the time)

10-12 red potatoes quartered with skin on
8 oz sour cream (can definitely use light or fat free)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large handful of chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until for tender (about 10-12 minutes) DO NOT overcook. Drain and return to hot pan to get rest of water off. Use a hand masher (you want lumpy and chunky potatoes) to start to mash. Mix in sour cream, garlic and chives and continue mashing. Add s&p to taste.

Caprese Style Tomato salad (Idea stolen from my brother Neil)

1 lb of heirloom tomatoes, different colors all cut to a similar size
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 large handful of basil, chopped
4 oz. mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
s&p to taste

In a small bowl add balsamic vinegar and s&p. Wisk in a small amount of olive oil until it looks like salad dressing and you like the taste. Add dressing to tomatoes, basil and shallots and stir to coat. Refrigerate for minimum of 1 hour. Add mozzarella to each bowl as you serve. DO NOT mix mozzarella in this salad if using balsamic vinegar. The mozzarella will turn a gross shade of brown!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So many recipes!

I have so many recipes that I need to share! I took the summer off of the blog because I had a hard time with the pregnancy. Now I have a wonderful two month old son and tons of recipes to share. When I would make something new and delicious this summer I would photograph it for the blog. I am going to try to get these new ideas up here within the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You won't know they are... Turkey Meatballs with Penne

So, inevitably my menu already had a small change. When I saw the vast quantities of meatballs and pasta, I 86'd the wedge salad and we will have it another day.

I am dedicating this recipe to my brother in law--he eats turkey burgers every day and for the love if I see him eating another dry turkey burger in my current pregnant condition--I might just scream. This recipe keeps the turkey nice and moist and has so many great Italian flavors I really don't think most people would realize they are eating turkey.

The thing about turkey--beware! Not all ground turkey is created equal. If you grab any old ground turkey it is often just as fatty if not more so than ground beef due to the "parts" used. They put in dark meat, skin and even some parts not normally fit for consumption. Be sure to buy a nice "ground turkey breast".


Turkey Meatballs
1 lb. ground turkey breast
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 slices of whole wheat bread--I saved the the heels for this application
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP dried basil
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cloves of minced garlic
generous amount of salt and pepper

Slice the bread into small cubes like the size of a small crouton.

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well mixed and bread has become well incorporated. Measure balls with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and roll into balls. I always measure so they are equal size and cook through evenly. I got 10 balls out of this pound of meat.

Drizzle twice around the pan with some olive oil. There is hardly any fat in the turkey so it needs some help plus the olive oil will add some great flavor. Just make sure to drizzle and not pour--these are healthy after all and should not end up greasy.

Brown the meatballs for several minutes on all sides until each side is golden brown. You are not worried about cooking through at this point. As you see from the picture below...there is no excess fat in the pan when finished browning. This is nice to see :-)

While browning the balls, select a jar of marinara--brand of your choice and start to simmer on low. Don't spend a lot on something expensive because the meatballs are going in and will give the sauce their flavor.

When the meatballs are browned evenly on all sides--add them to the sauce and toss to coat in sauce. Cover with lid and cook on medium low. Cook for at least 20 minutes--the longer they cook the more flavor transfers to the sauce. Feel free to let these go as long as you want. Just watch the pot and turn down the heat if the sauce starts bubbling too much.

What I normally do is cover the meatballs and then start the water for the pasta. I let the balls cook as long as it takes me to cook the pasta. I served this over the Barilla Plus Penne. I like the flavor more than whole wheat pasta but it still has a ton of protein and fiber in the pasta!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bake Shop Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ironically for a healthy blog the entry that receives the most traffic and is starting to get my blog some attention is the Turtle Brownie blog. Everything in moderation right? I was making a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and I decided to add it to the blog.

A little background, I have major issues with baking chocolate chip cookies. I get flat, greasy, overcooked or undercooked blobs the majority of the time. I had overcome my demons until we moved. I have a gas oven that has a mind of its own. Nothing seems to bake right and my cookies have gotten worse. I tried every recipe from Toll House to Neiman Marcus. Then I remembered a recipe that I had quickly copied down from a tv show about 6 or 7 years ago. It was a PBS show called America's Test Kitchen--the one where they fix your problems with traditional recipes. I have made these cookies twice since recalling this recipe and they have turned out perfect. They look and taste just like a bakery cookie. I definitely cannot take any credit for this recipe, but thought I would share it for those of you that share my issues.

A few notes before you get started. 1) Make sure you have at least two cookie sheets available--the cookies actually cool all the way on the sheet. 2) These cookies bake low and slow so you need to have some time available to bake. 3) The recipe makes a huge gourmet sized cookie. I have played with the recipe and will share how to make smaller cookies at the end of the recipe. 4) This dough looks different from other cookie doughs because of the melted butter. I have shown pics several times to try to see the difference.
Let me know if you make these. I am sure you will love them as much as we do. Thank you PBS for great cooking shows!


Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups plus 2 TBSP All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks of real butter, melted for 1 minute in microwave and then cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 12 oz. package of semi sweet chocolate chips

Start by melting the butter. While cooling to warm temperature, whisk all of the dry ingredients together with a fork. Set aside.
Mix butter and sugars until blended with the PADDLE attachment on the Kitchenaid mixer--not the beater!
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients all at once and blend just until combined--do not overmix!
Hand stir in chocolate chips with a mixing spoon.

Gourmet size: Use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop to measure each cookie and roll into a ball. Photobucket
Break cookie ball in half and piece together at the base. The top of the ball should be the jagged torn portion. See picture below.
Put on cookie sheet 2 1/2 inches apart. Typically 6 cookies to a sheet tray.
Bake at 325 degrees. Start at very top oven rack. Half way through baking time rotate the tray from front to back and move to the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes (my oven takes 19-20 minutes) until cookies are light golden brown but the center still looks soft and puffy. COOL completely on the baking sheet before moving to a platter.

Smaller size: Use a 2 TBSP scoop (I have a Pampered Chef one that works great) and measure each cookie. Roll into a ball, break cookie ball in half and piece together at the base. The top of the ball should be the jagged torn portion. Same picture as above.
Put on cookie sheet 2 1/2 inches apart. Typically 8 cookies to a sheet tray.
Bake at 325 degrees. Start at very top oven rack. Half way through baking time rotate the tray from front to back and move to the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes (my oven takes 17 minutes) until cookies are light golden brown but the center still looks soft and puffy. COOL completely on the baking sheet before moving to a platter.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tangy Asian Glazed Salmon and Mixed Greens

I was going to call this Ginger Glazed but it ended up so flavorful I changed it to "Asian Glazed". I make all of my marinades in gallon size storage bags so that it is easy to mix, marinade and clean up. This recipe would be great with rice and black beans too. We are trying to balance our protein and carbs so I chose the mixed green salad to get some fresh veggies in. Let's talk about the salad. You know when you get those delicious lightly coated greens as a side at your favorite brunch place? That is the taste I was going for with this simple dressing. Fresh taste that doesn't overpower the simple greens. I used balsamic vinegar since there was balsamic in the marinade. This dressing would also be great with red wine vinegar. I will tell you...this meal is going to be a summer go to for me. Bailey loved the fish and even asked for seconds!!

One tip on the fresh ginger: use it! I learned a great trick from a favorite cooking show host. Peel the ginger when you get it home and store it in a freezer bag in the freezer. When you need it cut of a piece and grate. The ginger will last for months in the freezer and is actually so much easier to grate and use when frozen!

I will be reusing several of the ingredients in this dish throughout the week as a cost saver. I am not talking staple items like soy sauce or oil--I mean the fresh ingredients that you need to use during the week or they go bad. I am using: ginger in the thai chicken, green onions in the peanut noodles, and spring greens for another salad.

Salmon Ingredients:
4 (4oz) Alaska Salmon Fillets
1/2 cup canola oil
4 T soy sauce
4 T balsamic vinegar
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 T brown sugar
1 T honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper both sides of the fish.


In a gallon size storage bag--mix together all other ingredients. Close bag and shake to combine. Open bag and put fish in. Reseal and mix to coat fish.


Put in fridge for minimum 2 hours to 4 hours. Remove fish from marinade and either grill or broil until done. About 4-5 minutes on each side. I broiled it and the skin was crispy and the marinade was great.


Simple Balsamic Mixed Greens
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T honey
Small amount of salt and pepper to taste
1 bag washed mixed baby greens

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, honey and salt and pepper. Pour a small amount at a time over the greens until coated but not soaked. Serve immediately. Would be great with some sliced strawberries and almonds mixed in to make it a more substantial salad.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Weekly Menu time flies. I haven't blogged forever! Sorry about that. I am trying a new strategy. I am going to post my weekly menu on Sunday and then post the recipe as I make each dish during the week. Still working on making restaurant "makeovers" No Beef and No Pork in our diet. I am so happy that it is summer--lots of fish on the menu this week. We do not have a grill so I am going to be broiling several of these dishes but they could definitely be grilled to perfection as well. You will notice some similar flavors here--I try to plan menus that use the same ingredients multiple days so that I get more bang for my buck and do not waste any fresh produce.

Here is the menu:
Ginger Glazed Salmon with a balsamic mixed greens salad
Turkey Meatballs with whole wheat pasta also with balsamic mixed greens
Almond Crusted Tilapia (recipe courtesy of my friend Jeremy) and Lemon Garlic Broccoli
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Baked Chicken with a wedge salad
Tofu Teriaki Kabobs with Brown rice and peas
Fish Tacos with spanish style brown rice
Thai Chicken Skewers with peanut veggie noodles

Just for fun I am going to also make my gourmet chocolate chip cookies this week. So not healthy but the most delicious cookie I have ever tasted.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cheddar Garlic Twice Baked Potatoes

Let's be honest and just call this "comfort food week". :-) I really don't eat or make potatoes a lot much to mrboilermakers dislike. I just really don't think of adding a starch to the meal often, I am normally focused on protein and veggie.

For this recipe I started out old school. I have in my possession a very old copy of the "red and white bible"--you know the one. The Betty Crocker Red and White checked cookbook. This one was my mothers that I remember her head always being in when I was little. After she passed away, I made sure that it came home with me. Much to my dismay, this recipe that I remember from childhood sounded nasty. It had hardly any seasoning and you were supposed to put american cheese slices on top? EWWW. It also was going to take almost 2 hours to cook!!! Not in this kitchen.

I basically had to scratch my old school plan and make my own. I did use the general idea to get started (that counts for something). I microwaved the potatoes to cook them through (saving 30 minutes) and I added lots of sharp cheddar and garlic to give these potatoes some flavor!

On a side note: do you ever get nervous spelling potato? I always feel I am one step away from a Dan Quayle moment. Must be the Indiana girl in me. :-)


Garlic Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

3-4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 80z. container of sour cream
1 16 oz. package of shredded sharp cheddar--or your favorite cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Poke the potatoes with a fork and cook according to your microwave directions. I cooked three and it took 14 minutes on high power. Let sit for 5 minutes afterward--they will continue cooking as they cool. There is NO reason to bake the potatoes in the oven for this recipe. They will be baked later and get all the same flavor.

Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon.


Make sure to leave some flesh on the sides to hold the shape of the potato and create a boat type shape as pictured below.


In an electric mixer combine: insides of potatoes, sour cream, 1 cup of the sharp cheddar, minced garlic and a healthy dose of salt and pepper.


Mix on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes--until all lumps are gone and mix is fully combined. Remember these are white potatoes--you will need a good amount of S&P to provide good flavor. Taste for seasoning.


Line a baking pan with the potato shells. Scoop the filling into each shell. They will be heaping and that is good. I do not use a pastry bag and tip for this step. This is rustic home cooking and I feel like the piping tip makes these look like you took them out of the freezer section and turns this simple dish into a messy process. (To each his own though and feel free to pipe away if you so desire) Liberally sprinkle the potatoes with the remainder of the cheddar.


Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and potatoes have some golden brown color.


The garlic gives these potatoes such a delicious flavor and adds so much. The sharp cheddar really adds a bite and the sour cream just finishes it off. I love these things.

Alternative: If you are a meat eater--make these "loaded" like a potato skin by sprinkling with crip bacon crumbles and chives. You could even add a small dollop of sour cream. ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The BEST Chocolate Turtle Brownies

I KNOW, I KNOW...this blog is about healthy eating with less fat. In my defense, I am pregnant and I haven't made these brownies the entire time (that is over 23 weeks people) and I gave in to the craving.
I am also divulging one of my best kept secret recipes. This is by far my most requested recipe by family and friends. It is my "go to" recipe when I have to bring a dessert to anything. Homemade brownies seem so special and only you and I will know how easy they really are! The best part...only ONE bowl to clean up. You heard me correctly...homemade brownies while only dirtying one bowl!

If you are not a fan of turtle brownies: This is a great base for any favorite brownie. They are great plain sprinkled with powdered sugar, frosted, you name it. Get creative!


Chocolate Turtle Brownies

1 12 oz. package of Ghiardelli semi-sweet chips (bittersweet are great too), divided in half
1 stick of real butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I usually am very generous with this and go for a full TBSP)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 small jar of Caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9x13 baking pan

Melt 1 cup of the chocolate and butter in a heavy sauce pan over low heat. Stir until melted.

Remove from heat and stir in the eggs. Add: flour, sugar, baking soda and vanilla extract. Stir all ingredients until fully blended.

Spread batter in pan and sprinkle with walnuts and remaining chips.

Bake 20 minutes--tooth pick will be a little sticky

Drizzle with caramel sauce and let cool in pan. I typically drizzle with a little more sauce when serving.

To make this better than any brownie dessert you have had at a restaurant--serve warm topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. You will thank me for this recipe!

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Black" and Blue Salad

One of my favorite restaurant salads is the Black and Blue salad. It is the worst one for you by far! Beef, high fat creamy dressing all the cheese plus blue cheese. I knew I had to make a better for you version and I have succeeded. You will not miss the meat when you bite into these warm and hearty portabellos!

"Black" and Blue Salad
Portabello mushroom, sliced in strips (one bello per person)
Romaine hearts, chopped (4-5 full leaves per person)
tomato, diced (1/2 tomato per person)
avocado, diced (1/2 per person)
Blue cheese
Grill seasoning
Cooking spray
Your favorite low fat or fat free vinaigrette (I am using my fav: Whole Foods Brand Organic Blueberry vinaigrette)

Spray the bellos with cooking spray and grill seasoning and saute until reduced and a nice dark brown color. The grill seasoning is key. It gives the hearty bellos more of the steak flavor. I promise--you will not miss the beef!

While cooking load up plates with greens, avocado, tomato, and a sprinkle of blue cheese.

Top with the hot bellos and your favorite dressing. Serve immediately. You want the bellos to be hot and steamy!

It is just that simple to make a restaurant quality dinner salad in minutes that is delicious and so much better for you! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It is Nacho Time!

Just in time for the Sweet 16! We ate these nachos watching the games last weekend. They were really good and the best part is that I didn't feel "bad" after eating them. No greasy bar food for us! My husband enjoyed them with a Goose Island 312 (his fav Chicago beer) and I of course had water. Bailey had seconds so you know they were tasty!

I love the contrast of flavors, colors and textures here and the fact that these nachos were put together in roughly 10 minutes. Who doesn't have 10 minutes to make a healthy dinner or snack?

Game Day Veggie Nachos

Tortilla chips of your choosing, I used Guiltless Gourmet Black Bean
1 can of black beans, drained rinsed and microwaved for about 2 minutes
1 can of whole kernel corn, micro'd from about 2 minutes
1 avocado, chopped
1 head of romaine hearts chopped (or lettuce of choice)
1 lime cut in 8ths for squeezing on top and garnish
handful of cilantro, chopped for garnish

Pico de Gallo
2 tomatos, diced
1/2 small white onion
1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste
handful of cilantro, chopped

Cheese Sauce
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour (I used whole wheat)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1. Chop and get all ingredients ready. I serve them in bowls so everyone can make their own
2. For the pico--prep each ingredient as stated above and simply mix together in a bowl. This can be done ahead of time to let the flavors meld, but is also good straight away.
You could take help from the store and purchase pico for this.
3. To make the cheese sauce--Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and cayenne (leave out the cayenne if you want this sauce mild). After mixed well add in the milk all at once and keep stirring until thick and bubbly. Cook for one minute after mixed. Add in the cheese and stir until melted thoroughly. Cheese sauce will start to thicken as it cools so make right before serving. If it seems to thick, put back on the stove and slowly add small amounts of milk until desired consistency. You can definitely use a pre-made cheese sauce from the market but this is a healthier alternative.
4. Get ready to layer them up! I did chips, cheese sauce, black beans, corn, lettuce, avocado, pico and then I garnished with some left over cilantro and lime. Squeeze the lime over the top for some great citrus flavor!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I have been trying to find a way to make one of my favorite dishes healthier. I knew I needed to remove the breading and the frying for sure. I also wanted to make this a quick dish for dinner during the week so I took some advantages from the store.

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant sliced into rounds and then quartered
1 box of whole wheat rigatoni, cooked and drained
1 cup of shredded organic mozzarella
2 TBSP of olive oil
1 jar of store bought marinara
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 leaves of basil

  1. Place 2 TBSP of olive oil in a skillet. Heat and add in the eggplant. Turn eggplant quickly to lightly coat with olive oil. Eggplant acts like a sponge and soaks up the olive oil and gets mushy if you let it sit so make sure all pieces get coated as soon as they go in the pan.
    Cook until translucent and lightly browned.
  2. In a blender mix all of the ingredients for the sauce until garlic and basil are thoroughly mixed in.
  3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Mix one ladle full of the sauce into the pasta to keep it moist. Place the pasta on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Layer with the eggplant and then the sauce.
  5. Top the dish with the shredded cheese.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes--making sure cheese is golden and bubbly.

Use cooked lasagna noodles. Cut the eggplant lengthwise to fit the noodles and layer the dish as follows: noodles, eggplant, sauce, noodles, eggplant, sauce, cheese. Same baking time. Enjoy!

Easy Entertaining with Caprese Salad Crostini

Need something fast to put together for company? Try this! It looks gourmet and takes a few minutes to toss together. My husband loves caprese salad and I am not a big fan. It is a texture thing--soft cheese, soft tomato--I need some crunch. Serving it on a crostini gives the texture and transforms it into finger food for your next party. Make sure to make these right before serving since the tomato is sitting right on the bread.

Caprese "Salad" Crostini

Ingredients (makes six crostinis)
1 red vine ripe tomato, sliced
1 fresh mozzarella ball, sliced length wise
6 basil leaves, ribbon sliced
6 small ciabatta slices
olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper

  1. Brush both sides of the ciabatta bread with olive oil and a sprinkle of pepper. Rub the garlic clove over each slice. Photobucket Grill in frying pan until toasted on each side. (as if you were making grilled cheese) Photobucket
  2. Prepare your toppings so that assembly is quick and easy when you are ready. Photobucket
  3. Top in this order--crostini, tomato slice, mozzarella slice, salt and pepper to taste preference, basil ribbons and a drizzle of olive oil. Photobucket

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PRODUCT RAVE--Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme


YUM! If you remember marshmallow fluff from your childhood, you will love this as much as my family does. It is vegan and gluten free made from brown rice syrup. I could eat this on everything! My husbands favorite way to eat it is a peanut butter fluff sandwich. I have been enjoying it as a topping for fruit. It was delicious on those Vegan Banana Muffins I posted yesterday!

I found it at my local South Loop Whole Foods in the Baking section--with the pie crusts and regular marshmallows. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

mmm...smell the banana goodness

I am not a baker. I do not have a ton of patience for measuring. I love muffins though and wanted a version that was not as big as my head--like store bought. I am also dabbling a little bit into the vegan world with this one. I took several vegan muffin recipes and tweaked them until I came up with this version. Not too sweet, lots of whole grain and tons of banana taste.

I am serving these with some fresh fruit and my favorite vegan topping--Suzanne's Ricemellow creme. Man this stuff is delish! Tastes just like marshmallow fluff but it is made with brown rice syrup.

Vegan Banana Muffins
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar (could definitely use organic cane juice sugar)
3 TBPS applesauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (liberal)
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 very ripe bananas

  1. Fork mash the bananas and set aside. Photobucket
  2. Put all other ingredients in mixing bowl and mix by hand or hand mixer until blended. Batter will be thick. Photobucket
  3. Carefully fold in bananas to retain pieces in the muffin. The batter will be lumpy.
  4. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray. Evenly distribute batter--I use an icecream scoop to make sure all are the same size.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Edges should have some golden brown to them and a toothpick should come out pretty clean.
Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tonight's Dinner Artichoke Asparagus Pasta

The inspiration for this recipe was a delicious cold asparagus salad from one of my favorite deli counters. I decided to make it warm as a main dish and add in artichoke hearts and tofu to make it more of a meal.

Hope you enjoy! My family all had clean plates tonight. Bailey even said he liked the asparagus and the artichokes so that is a big kid win for me! A special thanks to the clerk at Whole Foods today. My pregnancy brain got the best of me and I could not find the canned artichokes. :-)

Artichoke Asparagus Pasta


1/2 package extra firm tofu, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
1 can of artichoke hearts in water, chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 12 oz. package of whole wheat pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
basil for garnish

  1. Heat skillet and go once around the pan with olive oil. Add in tofu, asparagus, artichoke hearts and garlic. Saute for about 5-7 minutes--until asparagus is cooked to desired firmness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. To drained pasta--I used mostacolli because I had it on hand--add the butter and parmesan and toss to coat.
  3. Toss the veggie mixture with the pasta mixture and top with basil ribbons and additional parmesan cheese.

My all time favorite salad--Cranberry Pecan Salad on Baby Greens

This salad is one of my favorites so I thought it was fitting for it to start this blog off right. I was so excited to find blue cheese with pasteurized milk at Whole Foods--a requirement for pregnancy. I have had variations of this salad in many restaurants but I have tweaked it to include all my favorites. It has a great mix of salty and sweet. The best thing about this salad is that it makes me feel like I am having lunch "out" at a restaurant while saving money and time at home.

This salad is traditionally served with walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette when I have had it. I love the taste of pecans and the unexpected delicious flavor the blueberry vinaigrette adds. You could definitely go traditional on this one and have a great alternative.

Cranberry Pecan Salad on Baby Greens
2 large handfuls of baby greens
1/2 of a fresh pear--peeled, cored and diced
2 TBSP dried cranberries
2 TBSP crumbled blue cheese
2 TBSP chopped pecans
2 TBSP Blueberry Vinaigrette dressing

  1. Lay out baby greens on your serving dish. I like bite size pieces so I tear them to make them smaller.
  2. Layer the greens with the pear, blue cheese, dried cranberries and pecans. I like this order to make sure the salty flavor of the blue cheese mixes into the pear and cranberries.
  3. Top with Blueberry Vinaigrette dressing. I use the 365 Brand from Whole Foods. It is organic and only 45 calories per serving! You can't beat that.

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