Skinny Lasagna

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Thin sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles turns this into a delicious yet hearty low carb meal.  You won’t even miss the pasta!

Skinny Lasagna

Cook Time: under 60 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 – 24 oz jar tomato basil pasta sauce ( I like Bertolli)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (plus a few leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 5 shakes of italien  herbs (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 large or two medium zucchini (sliced 1/8″ thick using a mandolin)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1-2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick slices, lightly salt and set aside or 10 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt and pepper. When cooked drain in colander to remove as much fat as you can.DFTSI - Skinny Lasagna_9589
  3. Return the meat to the pan, add pasta sauce, italien herbs, and fresh basil.  Simmer  until just bubbly. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°.
  5. In a 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 baking dish, form a layer of zucchini on the bottom.IMG_9587
  6. Spread 1/4 of the meat and sauce mixture over the zucchini layer. Add four or five thin slices of ricotta to form another layer.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese next.   Repeat the process with a second layer of zucchini slices, meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella, and then repeat again making a third layer.  DFTSI - Skinny Lasagna_9591DFTSI - Skinny Lasagna_9593For the last layer, top with remaining zucchini slices and sauce, cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover the foil and bake 10 more minutes and then place the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano and bake until melted, 10 minutes.
  7. Let stand about 5 – 10 minutes before slicing and serving.DFTSI - Skinny Lasagna_9601
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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

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Vietnamese food is full of mouth watering flavors and this recipe is sure not to disappoint.  I found it while browsing on Pinterest.  I adapted the recipe from an original post in October 2007 from Food and Wine Magazine.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Serves 4
Dinner is ready in 20-30 minutes (don’t forget to marinate chicken before)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon curry powder ( I use madras)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (thighs work too)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, tender inner white bulbs only, minced finely
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3 red chilies, seeded and minced
1 scallion thinly sliced for garnishing (optional)
cilantro sprigs for garnishing (optional)

 Directions:
  1.  Marinate the chicken: In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, garlic, curry powder, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar. Add the chicken meat to coat. Marinade for at least two hours.
  2. Make the caramel: In a small skillet, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of the water and cook over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring until a deep amber caramel forms about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Cook the chicken: Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Add the lemongrass, shallot, and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the chicken and caramel and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a serving dish and top with the scallions and cilantro. Serve with steamed white rice.

Homemade Yogurt Sauce / Tzatziki

Homemade Tzatziki
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions: 

Wash produce (lemon and cucumber)

Grate the cucumber and squeeze out as much liquid as you can and set aside. This prevents your yogurt sauce from being to runny and watered down)

Cut 1/2 lemon into quarters

In a medium bowl, combine the drained cucumber, yogurt and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow flavors to mix.

Try it with Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Curry Spiced Chicken Thighs, or Ras El Hanout Chicken Breasts below.

autumn gingerbread cakeletsCurry-Spiced ChickenChicken and tabouleh

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

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Savor every last bit of summer with this delightful combination of ripe summer peaches and fresh tomatoes. This beautiful salad is both simple and delicious. The tart accents of balsamic vinegar and the sweet peaches are devine!
Servings: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Ingredients
1 large (or two small) peach sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)
1 handful of cherry tomatoes sliced into quarters
4-5 fresh mint  or basil leaves chopped (slice them with scissors)
¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic, apricot-infused balsamic))
¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices on a platter.
Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.
Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Note: You can chop fruit and plate it up to an hour in advance but wait to dress it and add mint just before serving.  You can also serve this salad on individual salad plates or a family platter.

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Summer Vegetables

My daughter and I started a SP cleanse recently that required us to refrain from  grains, dairy, nuts, meat or fish during the purification process.  We were getting bored with simply raw or steamed vegetables and fruit along with our SP Shakes.

Here is a yummy side dish we stumbled upon via Blue Apron, that is both full of flavor and guilt-free too.

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6392Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of summer beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

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1.  Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce.  Snap off and discard the bean stems; cut into 2-inch pieces.  Half the tomatoes. Peel and mince the garlic.

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2. Cook the vegetables:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the beans; season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has cooked off.

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Add the tomatoes and garlic; add a little bit more of sea salt and pepper if needed. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl. Enjoy!

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Italian Marinated Chicken

ITALIAN MARINATED CHICKEN 

 

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
This moist and delicious chicken is marinated in yummy Italian flavors and is perfect for both grilling on the BBQ or pan roasting on the stove.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lb. (around 6 pieces) chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. grapefruit balsamic vinegar  (I like 41 Olive)*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2½ tsp mixed Italian dried herbs (either a packet mix or mix herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all ingredients except for the chicken, in a small jar and shake well to combine.
  • Put the chicken in a ziplock bag and add the Dressing Marinade. Massage / mix to coat the chicken. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Ideally it should marinate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Grill/BBQ Method: You shouldn’t need any oil, but if you are concerned, brush your grill with oil. Heat the grill on medium high and cook the chicken for around 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  • Stove Method:  Preheat ½ tbsp oil in a large non stick fry pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for around 4 to 5 minutes, or until dark golden brown and cooked through.
  • When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill/fry pan onto a plate, loosely cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with your favorite tossed salad and toasted bread.
* You can substitute with chardonnay or apple cider vinegar, or even lemon juice if you prefer.

Note: This can be made with breast fillets too, but just be careful with the cooking time as you don’t want to overcook it.

 

Potatoes with Rosemary Mushrooms and Shallots

Ingredients

  • 5 oz  Mushrooms (combination of Cremini and Oyster are yummy)
  • 1 -2  sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • 3/4 lb Russet potato
  • 1 Shallot
  • olive oil

Directions

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