Monday, December 17, 2012

Pancetta Wrapped Scallops topped with Mint Pesto-served over a Mozzarella White Wine Risotto

Cook risotto according to packaging.  Remove lid and add white wine, cheese and herb-ed butter.

 Wrap scallops with pancetta and broil for 6 minutes.  Top risotto with carrots and fresh pesto.



4 large sea scallops

1 cup risotto

2 slices of Parma ham   

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon herbed butter

¼ cup white wine

1 small julienned carrot

Salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto:

½ cup  fresh mint

1/3 cup pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

½ basil fresh basil

¼ cup Romano cheese

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Puree in food processor





Chicken and Swiss Roll-ups

Boston lettuce

Swiss cheese

Salsa chicken cold cuts



Pepper Jelly

Give it some spice and it’s twice as nice!  I recently visited an art festival where I sampled various jellies.  The one I ended up purchasing was called “Hot Damn” and it’s made with Trinidad Scorpion Peppers.  Guinness Book of World Records named it the “hottest pepper in the world” in March 2011.  I can’t get enough of this stuff.  I mix it with mayo, ranch, put it in my eggs and I’ve even glazed meatballs with it.  Today, I spiced up some chicken and swiss roll ups for lunch.  If you are interested in purchasing  this jelly visit their website at

Assemble and roll up.  Use toothpick to hold each one in place.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pierogi Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is what I usually order when out for breakfast.  It can be rather time consuming at home and the timing and skill must be perfect.  I didn’t have any bread on hand this particular morning, so I had to improvise.  With a box of frozen pierogies in the freezer, I replaced the english muffin and created something even better. For the eggs and the sauce, I followed the advice and video demonstration of Fabio Viviani (top chef winner) (the link is below)   I had no idea how to properly make poached eggs or the hollandaise sauce, so I found this video quite helpful. 

4 Pierogies- I used feta and spinach
4 large eggs
2tsp red wine vinegar
2tbsp salted butter, softened

Cook pierogies according to package, follow the recipe for traditional Eggs Benedict, garnish with green onions.

Eggs Benedict recipe was found above

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meatballs Marinara with Broiled Artichokes

What you will need for this recipe:

1 pound ground beef (I went with a lean ground)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 egg-beaten
Fresh parsley-chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together and form into 12 balls.  Place on broiler pan 4 to 6 inches from heat.  Broil meatballs for 7 minutes, then flip over for another 3 to 4.  I used one large pan and broiled the artichokes and meatballs together to save time and energy.


Use fresh or jarred for this recipe.  I used a mixing bowl and tossed them in olive oil and bacon crumbles.  Sprinkle a little salt over top before serving.

For the marinara:  You could use your favorite jarred sauce, but the fresh stuff is always the best.
8oz can plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic-chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh basil chopped
Salt and pepper

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Endive and Arugula Salad with Grilled Skirt Steak

1 bag Arugula

2 Belgian Endives

1 can hearts of palm

10 to 12 pearl onions

Skirt Steak

½ cup dried cherries

1 cup feta cheese

Cherry tomatoes-cut in half

Balsamic dressing
Marinate steak in 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.

While grill is heating, skewer onions and hearts of palm together and drizzle with olive oil.

Grill each skewer for 3 minutes on each side.  I also grill the steak for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Assemble remaining items on a plate and lightly toss once all ingredients are added.  Remove steak and skewers from the grill and place over the top and around your salad.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cauiflower Goat Cheese and Peppered Bacon Mash


Here's a lighter version of creamy mashed potatoes by substituting cauliflower.  I added in some pepper bacon, goat cheese and a splash of low fat milk.

Boil one head of cauliflower and drain once soft.  Add in the goat cheese and stir with a spoon. Then, use a potato masher and smash the cauliflower.  Add in bacon, splash of milk, salt and pepper and stir again with a spoon.  Tip:  You could also add fresh garlic or fresh rosemary instead of bacon.  The bacon I used was dried in a bag, and peppered.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flank Steak Bites


1 to 2 pounds marinated flank steak

1 head butter lettuce

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

12-18 cheery tomatoes-sliced

1/2 cup Jalapeno cilantro Spread by Mezzetta

Jalapeno cilantro Sauce is store bought and delicious.  This spread uses jalapenos for just the right punch of heat while cilantro and garlic round out the flavor. The Mexican-style cheese lends a creamy texture.

Flank steak marinade:

1 cup red wine vinegar infused with garlic

1 cup olive oil

half a lime, squeezed


Heat grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.  For medium rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side with thinner pieces.  Remove from grilled an slice into bite-sized pieces.   Cut lettuce into cup like pieces and top with steak, tomato, jalapeno cilantro sauce and cheese. 

Montreal Steak Seasoning

Rub steak with dry seasoning first.  Transfer to a zip-lock bag and add remaining liquids.  Marinate for at least 2 hours. Take out of fridge 30 minutes before grilling. 

Another option pictured above is a flank steak salad.  This contains the same ingredients as the bites, in addition to avocado.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu


Instead of panko or breadcrumbs, I used a store bought fried chicken batter for my crispy tofu. For the breading: Dip in egg whites first, then the chicken batter. I pan fried it canola oil and a couple drops of sesame oil. The dipping sauce was also store bought which made this another quick and easy meal. I garnished the tofu with roasted sesame seeds and reheated some left over rice from last night's Chinese food. Total Prep time: 15minutes


1 package extra firm tofu-patted dry

2 egg whites

1 cup fried chicken batter

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

salt and pepper

sweet and sour sauce

Boneless Beef Spareribs, Tomato Fig Chutney

  Slow roasted tender meats can actually happen in half the time if you have the right equipment.   My kitchen gadget of choice is the pressure cooker.  Upon turning up the heat and sealing the lid, pressure builds up as the added liquid boils.   The trapped steam increases the internal pressure, resulting in tender flavorful dishes.  You must be precise when adding your liquids.  Too little will cause the contents to burn and can ruin your meal and your pressure cooker. 


1 pound boneless beef spareribs

1 pound grape tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 onion-chopped

3 tablespoons fig preserves

¼ cup marsala wine

1 cup water

2 sprigs fresh chopped rosemary

Salt and pepper

First, sauté garlic and onion with 1 teaspoon of olive oil in pressure cooker over medium heat.   Add tomato and mash lightly with a potato masher.  Move chutney to the side and turn heat up to medium high.  Brown spareribs on each side then add remaining liquids, fig preserves and stir.  Seal and close the lid and let the pressure build.  Once the top of the lid starts to whistle, turn stove down to medium.  Cook for 15 more minutes and then turn off the stove and let the temperature drop naturally before opening the lid.  Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Avocado and Yellow Squash Soup

Avocado and Yellow Squash Soup

2 avocados

2 cans of yellow squash-do not drain

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves

1 squeeze of a lime

1 small yellow onion-diced

Pinch of salt

Avocado and Yellow Squash Soup

2 avocados

2 cans of yellow squash-do not drain

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves

1 squeeze of a lime

1 small yellow onion-diced

Pinch of salt

 In a sauce pan, sauté fresh minced garlic and onions with about a teaspoon of olive oil.  Cook for 2 minutes and transfer to a food processor and add remaining ingredients.  Puree until smooth and creamy.  Put back on the stove and simmer for 10 minutes.  Garnish with a few diced tomatoes and sriracha.  The avocado gave the soup a creamy consistency without adding heavy cream or milk.  The sriracha and lime added a tangy spice that paired well with the other ingredients.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Breakfast Pizza

I have the day off today so I decided to get creative with breakfast.  Using what I had on hand, I made breakfast pizza.  The crust is  a rosemary and olive oil Flat Out Wrap and it's only 100 calories.  It's a sandwich wrap so I cut it in half but tried to keep it's circular shape.
Preheated my oven to 350 and put my crust in first, with nothing on it. I use this technique always when making pizza in my standard home oven. The crust will stay crispier if you cook it first before adding the toppings. Bake for about 7 minutes, then spread a little chipotle mayo on crust and add the toppings. I used turkey pepperoni, diced sweet tomatoes, scrambled eggs and mozzarella cheese. Be sure not to overcook the eggs since they will continue to cook in the oven. Mine were still light and fluffy when the pizza was finished cooking. I also used only 1 egg and 2 egg whites to cut down some calories. Put back in the oven once topped and bake for another 6 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. 

The pizza was perfectly cooked and the crust was crispy around the edges, just how like it!



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs-Low Carb

I had pasta for dinner tonight but I didn’t have the carbs.  I had tofu noodles and kudos to whoever created them.  These babies actually fool you into thinking you’re actually eating pasta.  So, tonight I had a hearty Italian style meal and I don’t feel guilty about it at all! 



2 bags Tofu Shirataki Noodles ( spaghetti)

1 package morning star ready-made meatballs

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil (chopped for garnishing)

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese (grated for garnish)-optional

Preheat oven to 360 degrees.  Rinse noodles and drain in a colander.  I like to get all of the liquid absorbed out of the pasta before I bake them.  Cook noodles on stove top first and then saute garlic with a little bit of olive oil in them.   Layer a deep oven safe dish with tomato sauce, pasta, meatballs, more sauce and top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until top is brown and bubbly.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!
My good friend and neighbor Stephanie likes to sample my new dishes so I made her a mini portion.  I put it in a small ramekin and baked it with the large dish.  These could also be a great appetizer before dinner or at a gathering.


Nutty Brussel Sprouts and Okra

Brussel sprouts are best when roasted in a pan with a few other goodies.  When I was growing up I never really liked brussel sprouts or okra, but now it's one of my favorite sides. Ingredients:   Brussels Sprouts-cut in half Okra-cut 1/2 inch pieces 1/2 cup bacon crumbles 2 shallots chopped 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts chopped Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss all ingredients together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake for 17 minutes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Brussels and Okra topped with bacon, hazelnuts and shallots. (ready to go into the oven)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grilled Chicken Topped with Creamy Fire-Roasted Corn and Baked Onion Rings

Grilled Chicken Topped with Creamy Fire-Roasted Corn and Baked Onion Rings
4 Boneless skinless chicken breast (marinated for 1 hour in equal parts lemon juice and soy sauce)
½ cup feta cheese
2 ears of fresh multicolored corn
Chimichurri sauce-I used a store bought kind by Mezzetta
Fresh Chimichurri is cilantro, parsley and garlic
Husk and clean your corn and wrap in tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil.  Fire up the grill and cook corn over medium heat for 10 minutes.    Grill chicken for 4 minutes on each side(if you have larger pieces cook for 3 minutes on each side and flip.  Repeat once, and then cook another 2 minutes on each side.  Flipping several times prevents flare-ups and allows bigger pieces to get cooked.
Cut corn of the cob and place in a bowl with feta and chimichurri.  Mix well, corn should still be hot enough to slightly melt the feta.  Use microwave or stove top if not.  Pour mixture over chicken and serve.


For the onion rings:

1 cup flour

1 cup Chicken Bake

1 large yellow onion
Salt to taste

Crispy Baked Onion Rings:

Preheat oven to 375. Spray onion rings with Pam and dredge in flour, then egg, then chicken bake. Cook for 12 to 15 or until brown and crispy.  Serve with your favorite sauce.  I used Kraft Horseradish Dijon Mayo



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Horseradish Dijon Mayo

Easy recipe that was ready in about ten minutes with prep time.  I used frozen tuna fillets from Publix and I was pleasantly surprised.  You can get two fillets this week for under $7 dollars which is a steal.  Marinated in soy sauce and lemon juice.  I didn't get too crazy with the marinade since I was serving this dish with the Horseradish Dijon.  Grill over medium med for 2 minutes on each side.  Plate and drizzle with Kraft Horseradish Dijon Mayo.  Garnished with sliced leeks.

Creamy Goat Cheese and Butternut Squash Soup

It’s nearly fall and I’m in the mood for soup. 

1 Bag fresh cut butternut squash

1 large leek-white part only-chopped

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 shallot

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 vegetable broth

1 cup fat free milk

1 cup goat cheese crumbles

Salt, pepper

Teaspoon cayenne pepper

I cook this soup in the pressure cooker to avoid the mess of a food processor.

Sauté shallots and garlic with olive oil for 1 minute in pressure cooker.  Turn up to high heat and add broth and milk.  Secure lid and cook until .  Turn off the stove top and let the pressure come down naturally in the cooker.  Remove lid after about 15 minutes and mash the tender squash with a potato masher.   Add in wine, leeks, goat cheese, spices and clams.  Put the lid back on and cook over low heat for about 20 more minutes.  Garnish with raw leek and thyme. 

Fried Egg with Polenta Mozzarella and Mushrooms

I sautéed my mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil with salt and pepper while my egg was cooking.  Follow the recipe below for the polenta.


 Polenta Recipe from Food Network


  1. You may have to adjust ratio, depending on altitude and or type of flour.
  2. I use a Pyrex round unit with lid, large enough to hold (7) seven cups water and (2) two cups cornmeal flour, Mix flour with water and salt , and microwave at f ull power for 22 to 26 minutes, (depending on power and quantity) stopping to stir every five to six minutes..
  3. You can substitute some broth or milk, not too much milk or it may boil over.