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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Meatloaf Balsamico

Serves two.  Delish!

1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 yellow onion, grated
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
10 oz. ground beef (85/15)
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup

salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Using a box grater, grate half of a yellow onion.  

2. In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, parsley, grated onion, Panko, ground beef, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  

3. Season with pepper, then mix with hands to combine.  Form into two 2-inch-tall loaves and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

4. In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and ketchup, then brush onto meatloaves.

5.  Bake in oven until no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pasta Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)


  • Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans low sodium chicken broth or beef broth (I used an entire 32 oz. container.)
  • 1/2 cup water, then more as desired
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 scant cup dry ditalini pasta
  • 1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, optional


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, crumble in ground beef or sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through. 
  2. Drain fat from beef then transfer beef to a plate, set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in same pot. 
  3. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium-high heat until tender about 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. 
  4. Add chicken/beef broth, tomato sauce, water, canned tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, and cooked beef then season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 15 - 20 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate sauce pan, prepare ditalani pasta according to directions on package, cooking to al dente.
  7. Add cooked and drained pasta to soup, along with kidney beans and great northern beans. Thin with a little more broth or water if desired.  Over time, pasta will soak up liquid.
  8. Allow to cook 1 minute longer. Stir in optional parsley, and serve warm with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Baked Chicken with Cream Cheese, Spinach, and Mozzarella

Can be made ahead of time!  This is sooooo good and super easy!


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I just used a heaping teaspoon of pre-minced garlic.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut horizontally to make four breasts
  • 3-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.  Slice chicken breasts horizontally and place flat into Ziplock bag.  In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (optional), 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Stir to combine and spoon over chicken in Ziplock.  Seal and massage chicken from outside of bag until coated. Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients.
(If prepping to eat immediately, now would be the time to position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.)
2. Chop spinach and quickly wilt in a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.
3. Remove chicken from bag and arrange on baking dish.  Distribute softened cream cheese evenly between four breasts and spread over the chicken.  Lay sauteéd spinach on top of the cream cheese. Finally, sprinkle Mozzarella over the top.
(If prepping early in the day, at this point, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.)
4. At 400ºF, bake for 20-30 minutes.  (I baked mine for 25.)  Chicken is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of 165˚F.  Serve warm with a side of choice.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Serves two.  Yum.

2 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
12 oz. pork tenderloin
1 clove garlic, minced
fresh thyme
6 oz. fresh green beans
2 packs chicken stock concentrate (Buy here.)
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  (Line your sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.)  Peel sweet potatoes and cut into ½-inch cubes. Toss on one half of a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, a total of 20-25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry with a paper towel.  Season all over with salt and pepper. Cook in pan, turning occasionally, until browned all over on surface, 6-8 minutes total. While pork cooks, mince 1 clove garlic.  Strip 2 teaspoons thyme leaves from stems.

3. After sweet potatoes have roasted 10 minutes, remove from oven and toss, keeping toward one side of pan. Add green beans to other side and toss with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Return to oven and roast until both items are tender, 10-15 minutes.

4. Once pork is browned, transfer to another baking sheet. (I used a large jelly roll pan, so my tenderloin was able to fit on same pan as beans and potatoes.)  Roast in oven to desired doneness, 8-12 minutes.  (Remember that meat still cooks after removing from oven and allowing to rest.  I took pork out at 8 minutes.)  Let pork rest at least 2-3 minutes after removing from oven.

5. Heat a drizzle of oil in pan used for pork over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in stock concentrates, ¼ cup water, and honey. Scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Slice pork.  Divide green beans and sweet potatoes between plates, then top with pork. Drizzle with glaze and serve. (If glaze seems stiff, stir in a splash or two of water first.)


Monday, June 11, 2018

Chickpea-Powered Mediterranean Couscous

Serves two.

1 zucchini, diced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
thyme (fresh or dried)
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained AND dried
1 tsp. smoked paprika
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
1 packed veggie stock concentrate (Buy here.)
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
Also needed: olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter

1. Adjust racks to middle and upper position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Drain and rinse half the chickpeas from the box/can. (If you are doubling the recipe, use the entire box/can.)  *THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  MAKE SURE YOU DRYYYYYY THE CHICKPEAS THOROUGHLY AFTER RINSING.  On a baking sheet, toss chickpeas, paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. (I actually didn't add the paprika until after they were done roasting, which made for crispier chickpeas.  It's not necessary to wait, but I prefer it!  *If you have a few extra minutes, it also helps to peel the "shell" on each pea before roasting. )  Roast in oven on upper rack until crisp, about 30 minutes, tossing halfway.  (They may pop and that's totally normal!)

2. Meanwhile, trim zucchini, then cut into ½-inch cubes. Halve tomatoes. Strip thyme leaves from stems (or you can use dried thyme). Trim, then thinly slice scallions, keeping greens and whites separate. Mince garlic. Halve lemon.

2. Toss zucchini, tomatoes, and half of the thyme leaves (or add a pinch or two of dried) on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven on middle rack until tender, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. (*Put this in 10 minutes after chickpeas have been cooking.)

3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and scallion whites in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, add couscous and remaining thyme leaves (or add a pinch of dried). Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until couscous is lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes.

5. Stir stock concentrate and 1½ cups water into pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until couscous is al dente, 10-12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, turn heat off and place a paper towel under lid.  Continue to cover (lid on) for 4-5 additional minutes.

6. Add half the veggies, half the feta cheese, and a squeeze of lemon to pot with couscous and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide couscous mixture between plates, then top with chickpeas and remaining veggies. Sprinkle with scallion greens and remaining feta cheese.

*Serve with a protein if you wish!


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Chipotle Chicken Marinade


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic smashed, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, roughly chopped {seeds and all}
A heavy pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper


In a mini food processor, add olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and chopped chipotles.
Let the food processor run until the marinade is thick but not chunky.
Pour over chicken and marinade for two hours. {Remove 30 minutes and let chicken rest at room temperature prior to grilling.}
Heat your grill to medium/medium-high heat and grill until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.
Let rest under foil for about 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy in tacos, quesadillas, or by itself!

Meatloaf Á La Mom


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 oz. fresh thyme 
  • 1 large Russet potato
  • 10 oz. ground beef
  • 1 packet beef stock concentrate (Buy here.)
  • 1 shallot
  • 8 oz. baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. flour 
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mince or grate garlic. Halve and peel shallot. Grate one half with a box grater into a medium bowl. Mince other half. Strip thyme leaves from stems; discard stems. Roughly chop leaves. Halve carrots lengthwise. Peel potato, then cut into long, thin sticks (like French fries).

2. Arrange carrots on one side of a baking sheet and potatoes on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (I actually combined the veggies after I tossed them in olive oil, so it's not imperative that they are separated on the sheet.)  Roast in oven until tender and browned, 20-25 minutes total (you’ll be adding more ingredients to the sheet before the veggies are done roasting).

3. Add Pankoground beef, half the thymegarlic, and a few dashes of salt and pepper to bowl with shallot (about ¾ tsp. kosher salt). Gently combine with hands, then form mixture into two 1-inch-tall loaves.

4. After veggies have roasted 7-8 minutes, remove sheet from oven. Give veggies a toss. Place meatloaves on same sheet, and then brush tops of loaves with 1 Tbsp. ketchup. (I added a little BBQ sauce, too.)  Return sheet to oven and continue roasting until meatloaves are cooked through, 15-18 minutes more. 

*Tip: If your sheet is crowded, you can add the meatloaves to a second sheet.

5. To make the gravy, melt ½ Tbsp. butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add minced shallot and remaining thyme.  Cook, tossing, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle flour into pan, stirring vigorously to combine. Whisk in stock concentrate and ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer and let bubble until thick and saucy, 3-4 minutes. (I actually added a bit of water to thin it down.) Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I found that it was pretty salty before seasoning at the end, so be sure to taste test before adding more seasoning.  Also, I wouldn't say this gravy is even totally necessary.  If you like meatloaf with just a ketchup/bbq topping, save yourself the time and don't bother with the gravy.)

6. Slice meatloaves crosswise and divide between plates. Add veggies to the side. Spoon gravy over meatloaves and serve.