Jul 30, 2014

Refreshing Garbanzo Bean Salad

This salad is perfect for a hot summer day. It combines cool cucumbers, nutrient-rich garbanzo beans and other fabulous stuff! It's also super-easy and quick. For extra protein, you could easily add grilled chicken, tuna or even shrimp to this recipe.

Refreshing Garbanzo Bean Salad

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped cucumbers (I used Persian cucumbers)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup green olives, roughly chopped (you could use black too)
Small handful of Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt

Combine beans, cucumbers, red onion, olives, parsley and feta in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Pour wet ingredients over chopped ingredients and mix well. Enjoy!

Jan 6, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Not much tops the smell of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. Except maybe these cinnamon roll pancakes. 

I had several recipe variations online, so I decided to try one out and ended up making a few tweaks and ended up with an easy, delicious, cinnamon breakfast treat.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Adapted from Recipe GIrl


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, just melted
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

4 tablespoons butter (melted)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
FILLING: In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. (If your filling sets up before you have a chance to add it to the pancakes, simply heat it for a few seconds in the microwave or until it is liquid again.)
GLAZE: Whisk butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water together in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
PANCAKES: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and oil, until the batter is moistened.
Heat a griddle or large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop (or 1/3 cup measuring cup) to drop the batter onto your griddle or pan. Make your pancakes about four inches in diameter. 
When your pancakes begin to bubble, dribble a little of the cinnamon filling around the pancake and gently swirl it around with a spoon. Cook the pancake two to three minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it's golden brown on the bottom. Using a thin spatula, flip pancakes over and cook another two to three minutes. Serve with a drizzle of the glaze.

Jul 9, 2012

Polenta Lasagna

I adapted this recipe from The Eat-Clean Diet website. My husband raved about it, which means it was pretty darn good. I served my lasagna with garlic bread and a fresh spinach and lettuce salad. My major recommendation is to let this sit a while before serving. It came out a tiny bit watery. But the flavor was so good that it pretty much made the initial bit of extra liquid in the dish null and void. Enjoy.

Clean Eating Polenta Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Sea salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tube precooked polenta, cut into 1/4 in. thick rounds
  • (I got mine at Whole Foods--sun-dried tomato flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves, shredded/diced
  • (I added some Kale, too!)
  • 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Jar of your favorite clean, preferably homemade pasta sauce
  • 1 bag reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning or dried pizza seasoning
  • Cook the ground turkey and onion until no longer pink. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Layer into a baking pan in this order:
  • Pasta sauce
  • Polenta
  • Smear greek yogurt onto the polenta rounds
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Turkey
  • Spinach/kale
  • Mozarella cheese
  • Repeat and sprinkle herbs on top. Depending on the pan size, you may have to do this three times. I used a small pan and did three layers.
  • Bake at 350 degeees until bubbly and cheese is melted.
  •  About 30 minutes.

Jun 30, 2012

Simple Pasta and Veggie Salad

Perfect for a crowd (I doubled the recipe below to make a huge batch), this salad stimulates the taste buds--tangy, crunchy and savory. It was simple to make and also gave us great leftovers. I'd recommend adding grilled chicken breast to a leftover batch for a filling lunch or supper. The original recipe was from Southern Living, but I created my own variation.

Simple Pasta and Veggie Salad


1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5-2 cups diced red, yellow and orange bell peppers
  • cooked bacon slices, crumbled 


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise and next four ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and peppers, and stir to coat. Cover and chill three hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Jun 19, 2012

Clean Eating Pizza Crust

This is hands-down the best whole wheat pizza crust I've ever made. And it's a clean eating recipe. It comes directly from Clean Eating Magazine. I grilled out pizza on my new Pampered Chef pizza grilling pan. It was delicious.

Clean Eating Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Makes: 2 1-lb dough ballsHands-on time: 30 minutesTotal time: 2 hours


  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 cup less 1 1/2 tbsp lukewarm water (105° F to 110° F), divided
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (1/4 oz or 2 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided
  • 4 tsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  1. In a large bowl, mix together honey and 1/3 cup water. Sprinkle in yeast and allow to proof, undisturbed (do not stir or move bowl), for 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy. (NOTE: If yeast does not foam, it is dead and your dough will not rise. Discard and start again with fresh ingredients.)
  1. While yeast is proofing, mix together 2 cups flour, wheat gluten and salt in another large bowl.
  1. Once yeast is foamy, add remaining water and 2 tbsp oil to yeast mixture. Pour in flour mixture and gently fold in with a bowl scraper or spatula until just combined. Mixture will form a very wet ball. Coat the bottom of another large bowl with remaining oil (ensure that bowl is large enough so that, when doubled in size, the dough will not reach the top). Transfer dough to bowl, rolling ball a bit to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 1 hour. Dough will be very soft and sticky.
  1. Lightly dust counter with about 1/4 cup flour. Transfer dough to floured surface and roll lightly in flour as needed. Gently knead dough, using remaining flour as needed, for about 1 minute. Form dough into a ball and place back into bowl. Cover bowl again tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 30 minutes.
  1. Transfer dough back to floured surface, adding more flour to prevent dough from sticking, if needed, and cut dough in half to form 2 balls. Lightly knead each for about 30 seconds and reform into balls. Dough is now ready to be formed into crust or wrapped for future use. To store, wrap each dough ball individually in plastic wrap. Dough can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month.
Remove dough from fridge and allow to warm a little at room temperature, about 10 minutes. Form a pizza crust.

Transfer dough from freezer to fridge and let it defrost overnight before following the Use From Refrigerator steps above.

Nutrients per serving (1/8 of each dough ball): Calories: 96, Total Fat: 3 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 15 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 121 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg.

Jun 18, 2012

Creamy Dill Potatoes

A warm helping of dill potatoes is true comfort food to me. My mother used to make them every summer with dill fresh from the garden.

My recipe is a little different than mom's--I add sour cream. I was blessed to be able to make this particular batch with fresh dill and potatoes from my dad's garden after my last visit home.

Creamy Dill Potatoes

4-6 cups new potatoes (any variety), quartered
2 tbsp. margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
Handfull of fresh dill, roughly chopped

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and boil until very tender (I like mine falling apart).
Drain water from potatoes, turn down heat to simmer, return potatoes and pot to stove.
Add margarine, sour cream, skim milk, dill, salt and pepper.
Stir until creamy; remove from heat.

Mar 26, 2012

Perfect Waffles

The first time I made waffles in our waffle iron it was a huge failure. We blamed the waffle iron, naturally.

Then, while flipping through my old stand-by Betty Crocker cookbook, I came across this recipe and it changed my waffle-making life.


Betty Crocker Waffles


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of melted margarine or butter, or 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Beat eggs. Add in the rest of the ingredients and combine until smooth. Pour batter into heated waffle iron. Bake according to manufacturer directions or until steam stops, about 5 minutes.

Makes fifteen 4-inch waffles.


  • I grease my waffle iron a bit with a silicon pastry brush and some oil before making each batch.
  • I leave the waffles in EXACTLY five minutes.