Loaded Sweet Potato

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Recipe from Skinny Taste’s blog for Loaded Sweet Potato:

This is so good. A great meatless dinner. I served it with a side of chips with guacamole and salsa.


Kale, Butternut Squash and Dates Salad

I don’t have a picture again:(

Excuses include: 2 kids, slow computer, and hunger.

But…I don’t want to forget this recipe. It was so good.

Kale, chopped
Dates, chopped
Butternut squash, steamed and chopped
Onions, sliced and caramelized
Walnuts, roasted and chopped

Saute kale in 1 t. olive oil. Add dates and squash and onions. Season with salt and pepper and top with walnuts.

Optional: Drizzle with vinegar (white wine or balsamic) and a little extra olive oil.

Hominy and Bean Soup with Acorn Squash

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Jeff loved this soup. A LOT! He has been talking about it all week. I’ll have to make this again. It was inspired by a soup my mom made over the holidays. I just took out the cream and added more veggies:)

2 can hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can small red beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 acorn squash, roasted (cut in half, seed, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft 350-400 degrees); sliced and cubed
a handful of cilantro, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
About 4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Serve with sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese

In a large soup pot, saute onions, carrots and celery in 1 T. olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and yellow squash. Cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro. Simmer for 1 hour. Add cilantro. Serve warm with optional toppings.



Recipe from Melissa Darabian’s “Falafel” recipe on

This was easy to make and super delicious. Everyone is the family loved it!!!This will become a staple for sure!

I served it over Trader’s Joes’ naan with cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes. Topped with simple homemade tzatziki sauce. I can imagine them with out the bread, served as a salad, too.

Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes in Yogurt Sauce



Recipe adapted from Moar Fit’s blog for Warm Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing:

This is the best thing you can do with kale. It is delicious, healthy and a definite crowd pleaser. I mix sauteed kale with the salad listed above. I sauteed the kale in 1 T. olive oil for 2 minutes. I add 1/4 cup water and cover the pan. I cook the kale on medium for about 8 minutes. Drain the water and mix the kale with the sweet potato salad. Its so hearty. It is great as a potluck side dish for a vegetarian main dish. ENJOY!

Veggie Lasagna with Spinach Sauce


This is one of my favorite discoveries of the summer.  This was a great way to use up all the garden vegetables and greens. This dish is packed with flavor. The lasagna and/or the sauce can be easily frozen for another day.

*The picture above is of Veggie Spaghetti Pie ( I didn’t have lasagna noodles that day)

Yields: 8 X 8 in. casserole dish

1 zucchini, cubed
1 yellow squash,cubed
1/2 eggplant, cubed
1 pint mushrooms, quartered
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or any tomatoes! I imagine sun dried tomatoes would be great in this too!)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

lasagna noodles (cook as directed or us the “no-boil” noodles)
mozzarella cheese

3 cups spinach or kale (steamed and drained)
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350. In a large sauce pan, cook onion and eggplant  1-2 T. olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes. Cook another 5-7 minutes or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook white sauce by melting the butter in a small sauce pan. Once melted, quickly stir in flour till combine. With a wire whisk (or spoon), slowly pour in milk while constantly stirring. Once all the milk is added, slowly turn up the heat, while stirring. Once the sauce thickens/boils, turn it off. Add Parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour spinach or kale into a food processor, add the white sauce and blend.

To assemble the lasagna, place  a small amount of the sauce at the bottom of the pan. Add a dash of milk to thin and coat bottom. Layer: noodles, veggies, sauce, cheese, noodles, veggies, sauce, cheese, noodles, veggies, cheese.



Eggplant Parmesan with Greens


This is a variation from my eggplant Parmesan. I added a layer of greens, Trader Joes bag of green medley (kale, spinach, and Swiss chard) mixed with garlic and white wine. While I love the classic eggplant Parmesan, this addition was healthy, added a lot of flavor, and blended with the flavors perfectly. Mae LOVED it and had no idea she was eating such healthy greens. I would definitely make this variation again!

Below is the link to my basic eggplant parmesan recipe:

Follow the link above adding a layer of greens after each layer of eggplant. The greens are made with a bag of Trader Joes leafy green mix, two cloves garlic, olive oil, and about 2 T. dry white wine. Cook until just wilted and fragrant.

Caprese Sandwiches


I made these for Mae’s birthday party, but perfected the recipe while eating leftovers. Caprese sandwiches at home are easy and heavenly:)

1 Roma tomato, sliced (I like thicker slices)
2 T. homemade pesto (see below)
3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, preferably not the shredded kind.
1 baguette
balsamic vinegar (about 2 tsp.)
salt and pepper

Homemade pesto: 2 cups basil, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cloves garlic, and about 1/4 cup olive oil. Puree in a food processor. Great for freezing and saving for another day.

To assemble sandwiches, spread pesto on one side of the baguette. Top with slices of mozzarella. On the other side of the baguette, lay slices of tomato. Bake sandwich open faced at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until cheese is slightly melted. Remove from the oven. Top tomatoes with salt and pepper and desired amount of balsamic vinegar.


Farro Mac-n-Cheese with Spinach


I love this side dish! The farro holds the cheese sauce beautifully. This is healthy stick-to-your-ribs comfort food.

2 cups loose baby spinach
1 cup farro, rinsed
3 cups water
salt and pepper
garlic, minced (optional) I don’t use it if I am making it for my daughter:)

Cheese Sauce:
1 cup milk
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
salt and pepper
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1/3 c. feta cheese

To make farro, boil water in a medium sauce pan. Add farro, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until farro is tender. Drain water if necessary. Return farro to sauce pan and add spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

To make cheese sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir  until combine. Slowly pour milk into saucepan, constantly stirring with a whisk. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese and half of the feta cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.  Pour cheese sauce into farro and stir to combine. Add remaining feta cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour farro mixture into an 8×8 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees or until the sauce begins to bubble a bit.

Serve warm with fruit and salad or along side burgers, brats, or a main meat like pork.

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Recipe slightly adapted from Skinny Taste’s Broccoli and Potato Soup:

This soup is warm and cozy for a winter night. It tastes like its less healthy than it is and is a perfect balance of broccoli and cheese. It isn’t too cheesy, but it tastes perfectly creamy.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
1 T. Olive oil; 2 t. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups  chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
1 c. skim milk
2  potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper
4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli, florets and stems, chopped into small pieces (when using broccoli stem, cut off the outer layer and only use the center of the stem
1-1/2 cups  sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 T. Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add butter. Once melted, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir. Add chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil. Add broccoli, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes and broccoli are tender. Add cheeses and stir till melted and combine. Place half of the soup into a blender and puree. Return to the remaining soup. Add desired amount of salt and pepper.