About Me

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I am a stay at home mother of two young children and love making healthy meals for my family! I love fitness, playing tennis, cooking and traveling. Most of all I love spending time with my family!!! I hope you enjoy making these recipes for your family as well!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Salmon

Its been a while since I've had salmon...that's weird because everyone in my family loves it (including my 2 and 4 year old)! I picked some up at the store the other day and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I checked in my pantry to see what I had and figured a brown sugar/mustard glaze would be perfect! I've made this many times and its great...served with some grits and a vegetable. Heres what I did...I hope you enjoy!


1 large filet of salmon (about 1 pound)
3 T brown sugar
1 T honey
2 T butter
2 T dijon mustard
2 T soy sauce
2 T oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Heat broiler to high. In a saucepan mix brown sugar, honey, and butter. Melt and let simmer for only 1 minute just to get the sugar melted. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, soy sauce, oil, and ginger. Let cool. Place salmon on a aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Brush salmon with sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler. After about 3 minutes brush more sauce over salmon. You want to keep an eye on the salmon so it doesn't burn (due to the sugar). You need to broil it for about 6 minutes or until salmon flakes easily. You can drizzle a little more sauce over the top before serving. Enjoy!!!

Image from Creative Culinary (once I cut my salmon it fell apart so it wasnt photo worthy :)

Spaghetti Squash with Basil and Parmesan

I get so tired of making the same side/veggies for my family. I love trying new things! This is a recipe that I came up with because I love the flavor of basil and I know that spaghetti squash has a very mild squash flavor. I hope you enjoy!!

1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil/salt/pepper...just enough to sprinkle over squash
2 T butter
1 T pesto
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

Microwave spaghetti squash for 1 minute. Cut top and bottom off and then cut spaghetti squash in half. Remove seeds from inside squash. Place cut side up on a baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil/salt/pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

When you remove squash from the oven let sit to cool off so you can handle. Meanwhile melt butter in saucepan and add pesto. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Scrap the insides of the squash into the spaghetti like strings...add to saucepan. Saute squash with the butter and pesto. Add parmesan cheese. Serve with parsley!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Balsamic Pork with Spaghetti Squash

This was an unplanned meal...sort of. I went to the grocery store around noon because I knew I didn't have anything for dinner and saw a nice pork loin. I grabbed it and headed home. Around 3 I realized I had no idea what to do with it so I started searching (like I typically do). Pork loin is best when slow cooked so its not tough. I searched slow cooker pork loin and found one that sounded pretty good...I gave it a shot with my own twists. I served it with roasted potatoes and spaghetti squash...it was a hit!

1 pork loin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon S&P
Apple cider or apple juice


In a small bowl combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard, cinnamon and salt/pepper. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Rub the pork loin with sugar/vinegar mixture. Set in a cold slow cooker and pour 1 cup cider around pork. Set your slow cooker on high for 4 hours. After the 4 hours, I wanted to carmelize the sugars on the pork to add a nice crunch to the outside. I set it under the broiler for just a few minutes until crisp.

In a saucepan pour 1 cup apple cider/juice and simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened/reduced. Add a little cinnamon and salt. Serve over pork.

Gnocchi with Chicken, Marinara, and Ricotta

I was a little hesitant about this recipe because I don't overly LOVE ricotta cheese...its ok in small amounts but not like a whole mouthful...blah! I did change the original up and added roasted chicken and mozzarella cheese. It turned out super fabulous and was fairy quick. I did roast the chicken while the gnocchi were cooking and then just a short time under the broiler to get the brown crunchy cheese....OMG SO GOOD!!!! I love brown crunchy cheese...not so much the name of it but the taste is yum. Here you go and hope you enjoy!

1 package of gnocchi (either whole wheat or regular), cooked in salted water until they float
2 roasted chicken breast (seasoned with S&P, olive oil and roasted at 375 for 20 min)
1/2 jar your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 16 oz container ricotta cheese (you can use part skim to reduce calories)
4 slices mozzarella cheese


Preheat broiler.

Once gnocchi are cooked spread them on the bottom of a greases 8x8 baking dish. In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese and marinara sauce. Spread mixture over gnocchi. Sprinkle with special seasoning (salt, pepper, and garlic powder) and parmesan cheese. Place the slices of cheese over the top. Put under broiler and watch until cheese is golden. WATCH because it can burn quickly. ENJOY!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Turkey Sausage with White Beans and Spinach

Italian Sausage with White Beans and Spinach

This may sound like an odd combo and the picture really doesn't do it justice but this was SUPER TASTY!!! The spiciness of the sausage with the creaminess of the white beans served over wilted spinach...healthy AND inexpensive! My kids even ate it and liked it. Its packed full of protein and vitamins from the spinach and red peppers. I actually served min over a little bit of bowtie pasta but thats totally an option. I hope you try this soon!

1 package mild Italian turkey sausage
1 roasted red pepper (in the jar), diced
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can white cannellini beans (or great northern beans)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
Fresh spinach
Pasta of your choice (optional...I chose bowtie but penne would be good too), cooked

In a large saucepan, saute shallot and garlic for only about 2 minutes. Add sausage (remove casing) and cook until no longer pink. Drain. In same saucepan add sausage/onion/garlic back to pan and add red pepper, beans, cheese, milk, and broth. Heat through for about 4 minutes and sauce is thickened. Serve over a bed of fresh spinach and pasta and the heat will wilt the spinach just enough!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Shells

I always feel guilty for eating pasta, but I LOVE IT!!! I can't help it...its my favorite thing to eat although I don't very often b/c of the calories. I figure a healthier option for pasta would be to stuff it with veggies...yes thats it!!! Pasta with tons of broccoli pouring out :-)
I've made broccoli casserole numerous times and served it as a side dish...this time I made it and stuffed it in shells. Don't worry though...even though there is cheese and cream of mushroom soup, I used low fat cream of mushroom soup and 2% shredded cheese. It was delicous for dinner and for lunch the following day. It made 12 shells.

12 Large Shells, cooked according to box and set aside
2 (10oz) boxes of frozen chopped broccoli
1 can of low fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 teaspoons house seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder)
1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400. Either mircrowave or steam your broccoli until just tender, about 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK OR IT WILL BE MUSHY!! In a large mixing bowl combine, broccoli, soup, cheddar cheese, bredcrumbs, egg, and S&P.
Stuff each shell with broccoli mixture and set in a greased 8x8 baking dish pour marinara sauce. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and let cheese brown, about 5 more minutes. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Greek Burger

I've said it many times burgers are one of my favorite foods! Nothing beats pasta and seafood but burgers are definitly up there. There are so many different ways that you can prepare a burger...it can be a juicy beef burger with bacon and cheese or a much healthier option of ground chicken with greek flavors. This was such a hit with my kids that my 4 year old told me probably 5 times during dinner how much she loved it. It has such a fresh flavor because of the herbs and seasonings. I loved it!! Please try this soon!!

1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Feta cheese
2 T sundried tomato garlic ( you can find this in the produce section near the preminced garlice)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Salt and Pepper
Whole Wheat Pita
Kalamata Olives
Tomato and Arugula
Tzatizki Sauce
1/2 English cucmber, shredded and squeeze the water out
1 small container of Greek yogurt (I used Chiobani plain)
splash of white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
splash of fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl mix the shredded cucumber, yogurt, vinegar, dill and lemon juice and set aside. In a medium bowl combine chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, feta cheese, SDT garlic, oregano, dill and salt and pepper. Form into small patties. Heat a cast iron skillet (or grill) to medium high heat and cook patties until golden brown on both sides. To assemble burgers, cut a small part of pita bread off so you an open it. Spread your cucumber/dill sauce inside; put 2 of the small patties, kalamata olives, tomato, arugula and feta cheese. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken Soup with Orzo, Spinach and Lemon

Yesterday was the type of day that was rainy and had a Fall chill in the air. What's a better dinner choice than a big pot of chicken soup?! Ive made a soup before that had lemon juice added to the broth and it adds a freshness to the soup. Also I love spinach so I thought the recipe I found was a perfect choice. I found this recipe in the Paula Deen magazine and followed it exactly. There's nothing I'd change except maybe add a little more lemon juice. It was a perfect choice for a rainy Monday!

Chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 carrots, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic
2 (32oz)cartons of chicken broth
2 T lemon juice, fresh
3/4 cup orzo
1 bag baby spinach

Add carrots and onion to a large stock pot with 1 T olive oil. Saute until soft for about 3 minutes. Add garlic...cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken and chicken broth. Let simmer for just a few minutes. Add orzo and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and spinach. Cook until spinach is just wilted.

Serve immedietely and enjoy some toasty french bread or a salad! ENJOY!!!

Shrimp Pasta Primavera

This sounds like such a weird combo...shrimp with squash?! It was anything but that. I bought both yellow squash and zucchini, a pound of shrimp, jarred pesto, half and half, and pasta...basically sauteed everything and served it over the pasta. You could use chicken if you'd like but I love shrimp and so does my family. I hope you enjoy!!

3 yellow sqaush and 3 zucchini...sliced into disks or cubed
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1/2 small jar of pesto
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 pound pasta (I used bowtie), cooked
parmesan cheese
Saute squash, zucchini, and onion in 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium heat for about 7 min or until golden. Add shrimp and cook until no longer pink...about 4 min. Add pesto and half and half and simmer for about 5 minutes until just thickened. Serve over pasta and add parmesan cheese.

Pumpkin Dip

So I am totally in the Fall spirit and all I want to do is making Fall-ish foods and decorate! I play tennis on Sundays and since it was at home we had to bring a dish...I had some pumpkin that I just happened to pick up at the store without any thought what I would do with it. I came across a few recipes for different pumpkin dips but ultimately combined a few to make my own. DELISH!!! This is definitely something that I will make for many years to come. Its great with apples and ginger snap cookies. I hope you try it this Fall!!


1/2 can pumpkin (plain not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tub whipped cream cheese
2 T maple syrup
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Whip everything together with a hand held mixer and put in serving bowl. Chill for 2 hours and serve with apples and ginger snap cookies. Also I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top for a little extra flavor.