California Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Heirlooms


As the weather continues to get nicer, I find myself wanting to be outside more. So my time in the kitchen is a bit limited. Dont get me wrong I love love love cooking but I also enjoy walks or runs at the nature park, rescuing turtles from the side of the road, and picnicking at the lake. So, I have been trying to come up with meal ideas that use minimal ingredients. I enjoy cooking elaborate meals, there is something about creating that perfect balance between multiple ingredients that excites me! But when the weather is nice I’m out!

The key to cooking with less ingredients is to coach out the individual flavors and marry them together. 😉

Take My breath away! Caruso sung by Andrea Bocelli is playing as I sip On My Johnny Walker Blue. It makes me either want to cry, or to daydream about driving to the lake with the top down as the warm sun touches my face….  I suppose there is a third option, I can smile and allow my emotion to come out in my food.

What You Will Need:

2 Fresh Artichokes, tops of the head cut off. (Thank you Florida for my artichokes!)

2 Lemons, sliced

1 Bunch of Fresh Asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces

3 Cups Fresh Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

3 Cloves of Garlic, sliced thin

4 Eggs, Poached

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

If  you are not to emotional from listening to this song, prep your Mis en Place 🙂


In a large pot on the stove, bring water to a boil then add the artichokes, and lemon slices to the water. If you like, you can add salt to the artichokes bath. Allow them to boil for 15-20 minutes.


Next pre heat your oven to 400. In a glass bowl add the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well then place them on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes skin starts to peel and brown.


Once the artichokes are done with their bath, peel all the outer leaves away from the heart of the artichoke.


With a small knife or spoon, scrape out the “hair” then slice the heart.


Once the tomatoes are done roasting you can easily peel the skin off the tomatoes off or you can leave it on.


In a pan on the stove, add in the asparagus, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. At this time start poaching your eggs.


Last but not least, add in the roasted tomatoes and sliced artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Divide into 4 bowls and top each with a poached egg.

Makes 4 Servings:

201 cals, 8.9 G fat, 19.8 G carb, 10.8 G fiber, 11.6 G pro, 6.9 G sugar

Without the egg:

127 cals, 3.9 G fat, 19.8 G carb, 10.8 G fiber, 5.3 G pro, 6.9 G sugar.

I Die! This is sooooo delicious as well as nutritious!

Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!!!


Mini Tacos with Hatch Green Chile and Avocado


What You Will Need:

1 Pkg 99% Lean Ground Turkey, crumbled and cooked (Use any kind of meat you would like. *If you are a vegetarian use Walnuts.)

1 Pkg of Melissa’s Wonton wrappers

1 Large Avocado, diced

3 Heirloom Tomatoes, diced

1 Onion, Diced

1 Small bunch of Fresh Cilantro, chopped

2 Large Hatch Green Chilies, roasted, then diced (you can use a jar of diced green chilies if you don’t have fresh.)

2 Oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded

1/2 C Salsa

8 Tbsp Sour Cream


Set up your Mis en Place (Still ok to say fancy words)


In a large pan on your stove, set the heat to medium high and cook the onions until they become translucent.

Add the turkey, then crumble, and cook all the way through.

Next add the salsa of your choice to the meat and lower the heat and allow the turkey to simmer for 3 minutes in the salsa.


Pre heat your oven to 380. In a muffin pan place 2 wonton squares in each cup then press down so it becomes a bowl like shape.


Bake for 10 minutes then pull the muffin tin out of the oven and fill each cup with some turkey and cheddar cheese.

Place back in the oven for 3 more minutes.

Assemble your taco cups: Add green chilies, tomatoes, avocados, sour cream and cilantro to the top.

*Serving size is 3 Cups

266.3 Cals, 10.4 G fat, 22 G carbs, 2.4 G fiber 21.4 G pro, 2.3 G sugar

*TIP, Green chilies are in season from August through September. Most Garden stores will sell the chile and roast them for you. I like to buy a large batch that I take home, peel, then freeze to have throughout the year.

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Heirloom Tomatoes


What You Will Need:

4 Large Bell Peppers (Your choice of colors), tops removed then diced set aside, then discard the seeds

4 Heirloom Tomatoes diced

1 large Onion, diced

1 Fresh Green Chili, diced

1 C dried Quinoa, cooked

2 C Chicken Stock  or Vegetable Stock *Homemade if you can

1 Pkg Extra Lean Ground Turkey *TIP if you do not eat meat, you can substitute the turkey with chopped WALNUTS. It really is a great combination.

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 C fat-free Feta Cheese, divided into quarters or Any Cheese you would like to top your pepper with

1/2 C Salsa, I used Royito’s but I think you may only be able to get it in Austin TX.

Salt and Pepper to taste


Pre heat your oven to 380

Prepare your Mis en Place


In a large pan on the stove, add the olive oil, peppers, onions, and garlic and cook until the onion becomes translucent.



Add the turkey to the pan, crumble well cook all the way through. *At this time you would also add the walnuts if you were not using meat. The walnuts will absorb the liquids and soften up a bit.

At This time cook your quinoa in the chicken stock in a small pot until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add the heirloom tomatoes to the pan with the turkey.



Stir the tomatoes, then fold in the cooked quinoa.


Add the salsa, salt, and pepper simmer for 1 minute.

Stuff your peppers.



Top with your choice of cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. You will start to see the skin of the bell pepper blacken, and the cheese crisp up.

* Makes 4 Servings (1 stuffed pepper with fat-free feta is the calorie content below)

190 Cals, 24.6 G carbs, 4.2 G fiber, 19.4 G pro, 6 G sugar

*TIP Any time you are asked to use ground meat in a dish, you can always substitute it with WALNUTS.


Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta


What You Will Need:

5 Heirloom Tomatoes, diced

1 Bunch Fresh Basil, chopped

1 Whole Garlic, roasted

1 Loaf of Fresh Ciabatta Bread, sliced (Ciabatta bread is also called Slipper bread)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper

* I was very LUCKY to have been given a gift of Black and White Truffles, so I used a white one that I shaved on top of the bruschetta. It was Delicious, but Not at all necessary.


Prep your Mis en place


Heat your oven to 400.

Cut the top of the whole garlic off and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, wrap in foil and roast for 20 minutes or until soft. (The smell of the roasted garlic is amazing!)

Place the sliced Ciabatta bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. You want it to be crisp like a crouton.


After the bread is toasted, with a paper towel squeeze the garlic till it starts to ooze out then rub it on the toasted bread.


In a glass bowl add the heirloom tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix well


Assemble your Bruschetta:

Ciabatta bread, smeared garlic, tomato basil mixture, drizzle of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. (Truffle shavings if you have them)

3 slices is a serving:

184.9 cals, 3.4 G fat, 32.2 G carbs, 2.2 G fiber, 6 G pro, 3.5 G sugar

* Interesting information:

Bruschetta means “to roast over coals”. In Italy, olive growers would roast the Ciabatta to use for testing out their olive oil.

Petite Filet Caprese



What You Will Need:

9 OZ Petite Filet, seared then baked

8 OZ Buffalo Mozzarella, sliced into 1 OZ portions (Buffalo Mozzarella is also called “The pearl of the Table”)

4 Tbsp Blue Cheese

4 Large Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced

1/4 C Fresh Basil, chopped

1 C Watercress, chopped

4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil




Pre heat the oven to 360.

Prep your mise en place (fancy meaning for prep the ingredients. It’s ok to sound fancy.)


On the stove, heat a pan up to high heat.

Sprinkle the filets with salt, and pepper then pat it in.

Brush the filets with olive oil, then sear the filet on all sides to create a crust. The crust is what will seal in all the juice from the filet. It takes about 1 minute to make a nice sear then flip and repeat.

Place the filets in the pre heated oven and bake for 8 minutes.

While the filets are baking, slice the mozzarella, and tomatoes.

When the filets are done baking, let them rest for about 5 minutes so when you slice them the juice will not run out.

*Assemble your Caprese:

Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Filet, Basil, Watercress, Blue cheese crumbles, drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar, and Salt and Pepper to taste

*Makes 4 servings:

325 cals, 23.9 G fat, 1.3 G carb,  1.4 G fiber, 19.4 G pro, 4 G sugar


Baby Heirloom Tomatoes with Zucchini and Eggs


What You Will Need:

4 Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, cut in half then roasted

1 Whole Egg

1 Egg White

1 C Zucchini, shredded

Pinch of Sea Salt

Pinch of Pepper

1/2 tsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp water


Pre heat your oven to 400.

Place the cut heirloom tomatoes face up on a sheet of parchment paper. Roast the tomatoes until the tomatoes start to soften and turn dark brown in areas.

In a non stick pan, mix the eggs, salt, pepper, and water. (The water makes the eggs fluffy.)

Once the eggs are done cooking, remove from heat and add the zucchini, and tomatoes. Mix for about 1 minute this will soften the shredded zucchini.

Plate your food then top off with a pinch more salt, and olive oil.

*Makes 1 serving

153.9 cals, 8 G fat, 10.2 G carb, 3.4 G fiber 11.8 G pro, 5.2 G sugar