Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Butternut squash mac n cheese

1lb whole wheat macaroni
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
3 cups cubed butternut squash
1¾ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
Finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside.
5. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
6. Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.
7. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
8. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
9. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Tip: Blend small batches of hot liquids in blender or food processor since they expand during the blending process, therefore decreasing the chance of overflowing

Friday, February 17, 2017

Amazing Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

8 servings: 1/2 red, 1/2 blue, 1/4 yellow
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon of grated lemon peel
1/3 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese
Salad oil

Mix up your flour, your sugar, your baking soda, and your salt in a large bowl, making sure that everything is perfectly and evenly combined together. In a separate bowl, you’ll want to whisk together your buttermilk, the egg yolks, and the lemon peel that you have graded up – again mixing everything until it is pretty evenly combined.

From there, beat up your egg whites until you get these tiny little white mountains to form, and then gently fold these beaten egg whites into your batter mixture.

Once all of that is taken care of, simply slap your favorite nonstick griddle or a 12 inch frying pan on your stove (cranked up to medium-high heat) and pour out appropriately sized pancakes.

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

Serves 4 – 1 green

1lb Brussel sprouts, as uniform in size as possible
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a grill to medium.

Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any yellowing outer leaves. Place the Brussels sprouts into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Add the olive oil, garlic, mustard, paprika and salt and toss to combine. Allow the sprouts to cool until you can handle them.

Skewer 4 to 5 Brussels sprouts onto each metal skewer with the stem ends facing in the same direction, leaving at least 1/2-inch in between each sprout. Place the skewers onto the grill with stem end closest to the flame. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the skewers over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve as is or for additional flavor, remove the sprouts from the skewers, return them to the original mixing bowl and toss with any of the remaining oil and garlic mixture before serving.

Caramelized carrots with Curry Spice

4 servings: 1 green

1 lb. carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces on the bias
1/4 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. curry powder
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat a medium cast iron (or nonstick) skillet over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes.

Place carrots, salt, and pepper in skillet in a single layer; cook, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until carrots are caramelized.

Add curry powder; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until carrots are tender-crisp. Remove from heat.

Top with cilantro; serve immediately.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

8 servings, about 1 cup each: 1 green, 1 yellow

1. cups dry whole grain small pasta (like macaroni or orzo) (4 oz)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium celery stalks, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 (14.5-oz.) can green beans, no salt added
1 (15-oz) can cannellini (white) beans, drained, rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste (no sugar added)
9 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removes and chopped, stems discarded
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add carrot and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until soft.

Add broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium.

Add green beans, white beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper if
desired; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add pasta; cook for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Teriyaki Rice Casserole

1 Red1 Green, 1 yellow
3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons water
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (12 oz.) bag stir-fry vegetables (Can be found in the produce section)
3 cups cooked brown or white rice

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

Combine soy sauce, ½ cup water, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove lid and cook for one minute once boiling.
Meanwhile, stir together the corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water in a separate dish until smooth. Once sauce is boiling, add mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken then remove from heat.

Place the chicken breasts in the prepared pan. Pour one cup of the sauce over top of chicken. Place chicken in oven and bake 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and shred chicken in the dish using two forks.

*Meanwhile, steam or cook the vegetables according to package directions.

Add the cooked vegetables and rice to the casserole dish with the chicken. Add most of the remaining sauce, reserving a bit to drizzle over the top when serving. Gently toss everything together in the casserole dish until combined. Return to oven and cook 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle each serving with remaining sauce. Enjoy!

Black Bean & Avocado Chicken Salad w/Cilantro

1 Red 1 yellow, ½ blue, 1 green
1 can black beans
2 chicken breast grilled (rough chopped)
1 avocado chopped in chunks
1 tsp pink salt
Sprinkle crushed red peppers
¼ tsp lime zest
Lime juice to taste
Lettuce wraps

Mix gently in a bowl eat as is, serve lettuce wraps (2)

Gluten Free Hamburger Helper

Serves 4-6: 1 yellow, 1 purple, ¼ blue 1 red

2-3 cups brown rice pasta
EVOO, for cooking
1 lb. lean ground beef or biso
 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
 1 750 ml jar organic tomato sauce
1 cups shredded parmesan cheese

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until tender but still slightly firm to bite. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the beef or bison and cook until no pink remains, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook a few minutes more, until the vegetables are soft.

Add the tomato sauce and heat through. Add the drained pasta and stir to combine everything well. Stir in the cheese until it melts. Serve.

Cheddar and Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

4 Servings: 1 Red, 1/2 Green, 1 blue


1 cup chopped broccoli fresh or frozen
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat over to 350 degrees. If you're chicken breasts are not already thin, pound them with a mallet until thin. This makes the chicken easier to fold in half. Place them in a baking dish.

Coat chicken with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly on top of the chicken breasts. Save a little bit to add to the top after you fold them.

Sprinkle chopped broccoli evenly on top of the cheese. The smaller you chop your broccoli, the easier it stays on when you fold it.

Fold your chicken breasts in half and secure with 2-3 toothpicks each.

Brush the tops of the chicken breasts with olive oil.

Cover baking dish with tin foil and place in the over. Cook for about 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
Remove tin foil and sprinkle chicken with the remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Quinoa Taco Bake

I'm not a fan of quinoa a lot of the time, but in this dish - it's super yummy!!  You can also make it with brown rice!!
4 Servings: 1.5 Red (if use greek yogurt), 1/4 Green, 1 yellow, 1 blue


1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup uncooked quinoa or brown rice
4 oz no salt added tomato sauce
1 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2.5 tablespoons chili powder
2.5 teaspoons cumin
garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 jalapeno chopped
 greek yogurt and green onion for topping optional

Prepare quinoa as directed on package.

In a skillet, brown turkey with minced garlic. As it starts to brown, add your seasonings, chopped onion, jalapeño and tomato.

Add cooked quinoa, tomato sauce and 1/3 cup of the cheddar cheese to skillet.

Stir well and transfer to a greased baking dish.

Top with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Divide into four equal servings. You can top it with greek yogurt and chopped green onion.


8 small new potatoes (or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
4 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
3.5 lb boneless beef blade roast, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup red wine
1.5 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups canned diced tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh thympe
Salt & pepper

Place the potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the slow cooker.

In the same skillet over medium heat, brown the onions and garlic. Add oil if necessary. Dust with flour and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil while stirring. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add the broth, tomatoes and thyme.

Cover and cook until the meat is fork tender, about 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. 

Remove thyme, adjust seasoning if desired.

*You can also cook this dish in an oven preheated to 150 degrees. Cook for 4 to 5 hours.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

chicken breast and sautéed mushroom skillet

This was so yummy and so easy to make!!

Yield: 1 Green, 2 yellow, 1 Blue for 1/4 skillet

1½ tsp. olive oil, divided use
4 (4-oz) raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
4 medium shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary)
2 Tbsp. dry sherry (optional)
½ cup  low-sodium organic chicken broth
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Heat 1 tsp. oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken; cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Keep warm.

Heat remaining ½ tsp. oil over medium-high heat.

Add shallots; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, on until translucent.

Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

Add mushrooms and rosemary; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms release all their liquid.

Add sherry (if desired) and broth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add chicken; cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

Place a chicken breast on each of four serving plates. Top with mushroom mixture.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Apricots, Olives and Almonds

This was yummy but not a super easy crock pot meal, as I had to take it out after 2 hours...easy if you work from home :) 

3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots
1/3 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, toss the chicken thighs with the onion, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken and onions to a slow cooker. Add the bay leaf and chicken broth, cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Stir in the chickpeas, olives and apricots, cover and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the apricots are plump, about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaf and season the juices with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden.

Spoon the chicken and juices into shallow bowls, sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


4-6 Chicken Breasts
1/3 cup Coconut Aminos (soy free “soy” sauce) or low sodium Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Honey
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed OJ
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp sesame oil or healthy oil
2 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp cracked pepper
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 Tbsp healthy oil (coconut, avocado, Extra Virgin olive)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Place chicken on the bottom of your crockpot, place remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Pour over chicken.

Cook the chicken on low for 4-6 hours.

Remove chicken from sauce. Place chicken in bowl and shred with 2 forks. 

Remove ¾ of the sauce and transfer to a small pan. Put shredded chicken back in crockpot with remainder for sauce and turn crockpot off. 

Simmer sauce in small plan for 20 minutes until it reduces.

As sauce in simmering, heat oil in sauté pan. Place 2 cups of chopped broccoli in pan. Stir and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Serve together over brown rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!