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)