Lasagna Soup

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It’s cold here in OZ and during the cold winter months I crave all those yummy comfort foods that are not always so easy on my waistline. During my walks or quiet time I like to think of ways to make those unfriendly waistline meals waistline friendly. This one took a little bit of time. I have been wanting lasagna but nutrition is important to me and I like most of my foods to have a value to them. The thought of filling my belly with pasta just isn’t worth it to me, I’d rather have my meal AND a glass of my favorite Cabernet. So after some thoughtful thinking, and a lot of walking I figured I would just turn it into a soup. I was sooo pleased with the way it turned out! Not only did it smell like lasagna had been baking all day, It was so easy to make. I swear if you closed your eyes while you took a bite you would think you were eating lasagna. The best part is that you can eat it knowing you are doing good for your body!!

Float on by Modest Mouse is playing from the other room as I sip on my hot tea just counting down the minutes until I can tuck into a big bowl of this soup. But before I serve this up to my family I’m going to through some flour on my face so my family will think I’ve been cooking all day (they don’t need to know I’ve been sipping on tea enjoying some fun music 🙂 )

So you can get to tucking into a bowl yourself I will tell you…

What You Will Need

2 Large Green bell peppers, diced

1 Yellow Onion, diced

1 Pk 99% Lean ground Turkey, crumbled and cooked through

1 Jar of Natural Pasta sauce (I like to use a homemade pasta sauce and you can search the recipe for shallot sauce at the top.)

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 Small can Petite diced tomatoes

2 Zucchini, chopped

3 Cups Chicken Stock (Homemade if you can)

2 Tbsp Dried Oregano

2 Tbsp Dried Basil

1 Tbsp, Crushed Red Pepper

1 Tsp Salt

Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Part Skim mozzarella, shredded

Is your mouth-watering yet??

Prep Your Mis en Place 😉

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In a pot on the stove, add in your pasta sauce, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, and salt.

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Bring to a simmer.

While that simmering, in a pan on the stove add in the onion, bell peppers, minced garlic, and ground turkey.

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Cook until the turkey is cooked through.

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Add the cooked turkey to the soup pot and allow the ingredients to marry each other.

Simmer for 20 minutes then add in the chopped zucchini and continue to let it simmer for 10 more minutes. I like my veggies to have a little bite to them in my soups. The zucchini will take place of the noodles you will be missing from a traditional lasagna. I promise you will not miss the pasta.

Top your soup with the shredded cheese and let it melt in the bowl then in your mouth.

Makes 8 servings:

289.1 Cals, 7.2 G fat, 17.4 G carb, 4.4 G fiber, 43.5 Pro, 9.4 G sugar

Kisses to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!

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Cozy Quinoa with Garden Vegetables

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EDEN has been BUUUSSSYYY! So what this hard-working lady needs is a meal that is fast, cozy, nutritious, and delicious! I love meals that you can freeze for later nights when you don’t feel like cooking or just to take to work for the week. As I told you before, the garden of Eden has zucchini growing like nuts out there and I’m finding ways of sticking it in anything and everything I cook and this dish is perfect for it. So this is dedicated to all you hard workers out there. It’s so easy to make you will have time to relax.

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So turn up the music Fitz & The Tantrums is singing Money Grabber and I’m pouring myself a beautiful glass of Decoy Chardonnay and I have some left so come on over! 😉 But before you do, hit the store and I will tell you…

What You Will Need:

1 Cup Quinoa, cooked according to package

2 Cups Chicken Or Vegetable Stock (homemade if you can)

3 Large Zucchini, chopped

2 Large Leeks, chopped (white and light green parts only)

1 Small Sweet Onion, chopped

3 Large Tomatoes, chopped

4 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped

1 1/4 Garlic Salt

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

Got your stuff??

Perfect Prep your Mis en Place 😉

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Pre heat your oven to 350.

On the stove set to medium high heat, bring your chicken stock to a boil. Cook the Quinoa until all the liquid has evaporated.

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As the quinoa cooks, in a separate pan, add in the zucchini, onion, and leeks. Allow them to sweat at a medium temperature.

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Once they start sweating, add in the oregano, paprika, and garlic salt.

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Next add in your fresh tomatoes and shake your hips lol. The smell is AMAZING!

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When your mouth starts watering, add in the cooked quinoa and transfer the ingredients to a baking dish.

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Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and fresh basil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes to allow the ingredients to marry each other.

This is when you kick your feet up and have that glass of wine 😉

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Dinner is served!! You now have a healthy meal that will last you all week!

Serves 8:

277.5 cals, 11.2 G fat, 30.4 G carb, 3.8 G fiber, 13.1 G pro, 2.1 G sugar

Extra: You can also add in 99% lean ground white turkey breast to add more healthy protein to your meal.

CHEERS to another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES!

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Summer Chicken Salad

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I LOVE SUMMER! I love everything about it! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to take a picnic lunch to the lake and spend the afternoon there. Usually when I go it’s on a whim and I like to pack fast and get there, so this recipe is one of my favorites to take to the lake. Its super easy to make, it’s healthy, delicious, and it makes your simple picnic seem a bit more special compared to throwing in a couple of peanut butter sandwiches in your basket. Oh DON’T forget the wine you cannot  forget the wine! They wont let you in the park without it 😉   I kid.

Pink is singing Please Don’t Leave Me as I sip on my Hibiki and slowly puff on a Vato. It’s about 8:30 in the evening and I am sitting on my back patio smiling to myself as I enjoy some of the little pleasures in life. Now so you can enjoy some of the little pleasures in your life, I will tell you….

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What You Will Need:

1 Roasted Chicken, skin removed chop the meat

5 Stalks Celery, chopped

1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped

1 Small Zucchini, chopped (I love adding zucchini to this dish. It doesn’t take away from the flavor and it adds some nutritional bulk to your meal.)

2 Cups Cherries, pits removed, chopped

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews, smashed

1/4 Cup Light Mayo (Please don’t use a lot, it’s not necessary and it takes away from the beautiful flavors of the ingredients. I use just enough to create a bind.)

1 Tbsp Dried Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

Now that you have what you will need, turn up your music, pour yourself a yummy drink, shake it a bit and

Prep your Mis en Place 🙂 Love it!

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In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped onion, zucchini, and celery.

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Place your cashews in a ziplock bag and smash them up with a mallet. (Buy your cashews in bulk they are fresher and cheaper!!)

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Like this..

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Add the cashews to the zucchini dish.

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Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Remember to add the salt in slowly and taste along the way. You can always add you cannot subtract.

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Mix in the roasted chicken, and fresh cherries. (Look at that beautiful yummy healthy color!!!)

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Cover your bowl with a lid and shake it (like you do your hips when a great jam comes on.)

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Fold in your Mayo and enjoy the heck out of your salad!

Makes 8 Servings:

149 cals, 6 G fat, 13 G carb, 3 G fiber, 14 G pro, 7 G sugar

Extra: When I don’t roast my own chicken, I usually buy 3 at a time and peel them all at once and freeze the meat in single serving bags. It’s a great rainy day chore to do that will make your cooking life so much easier. If I roast my own chickens I do more than one at a time as well.

Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES!!

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Turkey and Zucchini Bites with Cumin and Mint

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Have you ever had one of those moments when you took a bite of food and it instantly transported you back in time to a place or moment that brought you such great joy? That happens to me every now and then but it means more to me when I can transport someone special back in time to a moment that meant a lot to them. This dish created that moment for someone special to me. I COOK FOR THOSE MOMENTS.

oooh Akon is singing I Wanna Love You the beat goes well with the smooth Basil Hayden I’m sipping on (neat please) Thank you by the way my good friend for the gift. It really helped the healing process lol I KID! OK it did help 🙂

Alrighty then, back to helping you create a dish to transport yourself or loved ones..

What You Will Need:

1 Pk 99% fat-free ground White Turkey Breast (If you can, use Lamb)

1 Large Zucchini, grated

1 Bunch Green Onions, sliced

1 Large Egg

2 Tbsp Dried Mint

2 Tbsp Cumin

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Yogurt Sauce

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

2/3 Cup Greek Yogurt

1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbsp Fresh squeezed Lemon juice

1 Clove of Garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper to taste

Now that you have what you will need..

Prep your Mis en Place 🙂

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First start by pre heating your oven to 425.

Next make your yogurt sauce so it can start to chill.

In a glass bowl combine the sour cream, yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic.

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Mix well and chill.

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In a mixing bowl, grate the zucchini.

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Add in the egg, cumin, mint, green onion, garlic, turkey salt and pepper.

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Form the turkey mixture into bite sized balls and on the stove, heat up a large skillet with the olive oil. What till it gets hot then sear the meat balls on all sides.

The smell of the garlic and cumin is intoxicating!

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It looks like a lot of oil but it’s not, the zucchini is releasing its water.

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Once they are brown, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

Serve with a side of the dipping sauce and enjoy!

Serves 4 people:

327.7 cals, 12.2 G fat, 15 G carb, 3.8 G fiber, 35.6 G pro

Look at that tummy filling protein!

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Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES

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Lemon Chicken Soup with Leeks and Summer Squash

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With spring break just around the corner, you can bet this girl will be hopefully relaxing or doing some kind of water sport. SOOO that means I need to get bathing suit ready. This soup is perfect! It is full of wonderful lean protein, lots of veggies to make your skin glow, and full of salivating fiber to keep you feeling full.

“We did everything alright now  I’m on the outside”  maybe I should leave the singing to the artists lol. Calvin Harris is playing Outside from my computer and I am trying my hardest to not spill my yummy black coffee on myself as I dance around. It’s one of those songs that make you forget yourself.  Time for a refill and lets head to the store to get this show on the road.

What You Will Need:

2 Skinless chicken Breast roasted, then chopped

5 Cloves of Garlic, minced

3 Large Leeks, chopped (White parts only)

2 Zucchini, cut into half moons

2 Yellow Squash, cut into half moons

1 C White Wine

8 C Chicken Stock (Homemade if you can)

3 Bay Leaves

2 Lemons juiced

Zest from 1 Lemon

3 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped

3 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Now that you have what you will need, Prep Your Mis en Place 🙂

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In a large pot on the stove, add in the leeks, and garlic, cook until the leeks begin to sweat. If you need to add a little bit of chicken stock to the pot to prevent sticking that is fine.

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While the leeks are starting to sweat, add in the zest from the lemon, squashes, and bay leaves.

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So pretty

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Next add in the wine. Please  choose a wine that you enjoy the taste of. If you do not like the taste of the wine you will not like the taste in your food.

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The smell of the wine cooking is Amazing!!

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Now add in the lemon juice, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.

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Once the soup starts to simmer, add in the chicken and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. At the end of cooking, add the fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

There you go! You now have a batch of belly filling protein and veggies that you can have for your lunch for the next few days :*)

Makes 8 Servings:

121.8 cals, .6 G fat, 12.4 G carb, 3.2 G fiber, 17.5 G pro, 4 G sugar

Cheers to another waistline friendly meal!

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Zucchini Salad with Fresh Basil and Pine Nuts

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I absolutely LOVE this salad! It works great as a side dish, or as a complete meal. It’s super fast and easy to make plus, it is FULL of nutrition and fiber.

It Is snowing like crazy here and I am freezing,  so beside me is a cup of hot chocolate-coffee.

I’d rather be here 😉

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Well, since the beach is not within my reach I’m going to listen to some music that will make it hot in here, and who better to do that than The Red Hot Chili Peppers singing Around The World? I am warm already!

What You Will Need:

6 Zucchini, washed and shredded

1 Bunch Fresh Basil, chopped

2 Large Lemons, juiced

1/4 C Raw Pine Nuts

Parmesan Cheese

Salt to taste

Now that you have everything prep your Mis en Place 🙂

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In a glass bowl, add the zucchini, and basil

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Next add the lemon juice, and pine nuts. (The acid in the lemon juice will soften the zucchini strips.)

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Cover the bowl and shake well.

Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan, and salt to taste.

There you go! It is that easy.

Makes 6 servings:

141 cals, 9.9 G fat, 8.4 G carb, 2.9 G fiber, 7.1 G pro, 3.4 G sugar

Cheers to another waistline friendly meal!!!

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Corn Cakes with Fresh Zucchini Salsa

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What You Will Need:

2 Large Corn on the Cob, boiled then remove kernels, set aside. (You can use can if that’s easier for you but just check the ingredients.)

1/2 C Flour

1 Tbsp Ground Cumin

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1 Egg

2 C Cherry Tomatoes, cut lengthwise

2 C Zucchini, diced

1 Red Onion, diced

1 Jalapeno, seeds removed then diced

4 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1 Lime cut in half

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 C Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

*Directions

Set up your Mis en Place

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Pre heat your oven to 400.

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes,  1/2 onion, jalapeno, garlic, zucchini, salt, and olive oil. Mix well

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On a cookie sheet, spread out the zucchini mixture and bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes is up, pull it out of the oven, mix it up and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a separate glass bowl, combine the flour, egg, cilantro, cumin, baking powder, corn, rest of the onion, and juice from 1 lime.

mix well.

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On the stove with a pan heat to a medium high setting.

Scoop out the corn mixture and place in the hot pan. Dont worry if it feels like its falling apart. Once it hits the heat is will stick together.

Cook the cakes until the become golden brown on one side then flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

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Place 3 corn cakes on a plate and top with the zucchini salsa with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top! Enjoy!

Makes 6 Servings:

216.1 cals, 6.8 G fat, 36.8 G carb, 2.8 G fiber, 3 G pro, 3.9 G sugar

Extras: You can always top the corn cakes with some plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream if you want to boost your protein consumption.

Zucchini Salad

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What You Will Need:

4 Medium zucchini cut into strips (use a shredder)

4 Tbs pine nuts

1 bunch of basil chopped

2 lemons juiced and zested

4 Tbs parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

*Directions

Using a shredder or your knife cut zucchini into noodle like strips and place in a bowl.

Zest the skin of 2 lemons and squeeze out the juice into the bowl of zucchini noodles.

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Mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, and zucchini well.

Add the pine nuts, basil, and cheese.

Salt to taste

Chill for about 15 minutes.

The lemon juice will soften the zucchini.

*Makes 4 servings

125.5 cals, 6.4 G fat, 10.9 G carb, 3.3 G fiber, 7.9 G pro, 4.3 G sugar

Homemade Ragu With Zucchini Ribbons

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What You Will Need:

1 Medium sized zucchini per person peeled into ribbons

1 white onion diced

4 cloves of garlic minced

4 Roma tomatoes diced

4 Roma tomatoes blended (If you are in a hurry you can use a large can of crushed tomatoes.)

2 pounds of Cremini mushrooms (or any kind you like) sliced

1 large bunch of basil chopped

2 Tbs of  dried Oregano

1 Tbs dried red pepper flakes

1 Tbs olive oil

1 package of 99% ground white turkey breast (you can use beef or sausage if you like)

1 tsp salt

salt and pepper to taste

*Directions

In a pot on medium high heat add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the turkey meat and crumble it up. Cook till no longer pink.

Add the mushrooms to the pot and stir. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

Add The diced tomatoes to the pot and lower heat to the higher end of low, almost to medium heat.

*Tomato Sauce

In a blender add the 4 whole tomatoes, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Blend for about 30 seconds.

Add the sauce to the pot along with the fresh chopped basil.

Simmer on low for 20 minutes

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While that’s simmering scrub the zucchini well and with a veggie peeler, peel the zucchini into ribbons.

You do not need to cook the zucchini. The zucchini will soften from the hot ragu you put on top of it.

* Serving is 1 whole zucchini peeled into ribbons and 1 1/2 Cups of the ragu

217 cals, 1.6 G fat, 20.6 G carb, 5.2 G fiber, 35.4 G pro, 9.7 G sugar