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

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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.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

I  stumbled upon this recipe for Moroccan Lamb Meatballs and made it last night after browsing Pinterest and I will definitely make these flavor packed meatballs again.  These lamb meatballs are simple to make and there are some fabulous spices in them.  I served them with a simple salad and homemade yogurt sauce.  Store-bought Tzatziki is great too.  Shout out to Claire @Sprinklesandsprouts for the recipe.

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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion (I used a red onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of white bread ( I used a slice of whole wheat bread)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500 g /1.1lb lamb mince (ground lamb)
Instructions
  1. Peel the onion and garlic and place them in a food processor, then blitz until you have an onion mush. Use a spatula to push the mixture down from the sides.
  2. Crack in the egg and pulse mix until you have an egg mush.
  3. Remove the crusts from the bread, rip it into small pieces and add it to the food processor.
  4. Measure in the cinnamon, oregano, parsley, cumin, allspice, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and salt, then pulse chop until everything is well mixed. Remove the blade.
  5. Place the ground lamb in a medium bowl.  Add the mixture from the food processor using a spatula. Use your hands to squish and squash the mixture together until it is well mixed.
  6. Once the mixture is well mixed, use two teaspoons to measure out a ball of mixture. Roll it around in your hands and then set the ball aside on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

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  1. I aim for 36 meatballs.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan. Once it is smoking hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the meatballs. (Use a screen to prevent splatters and ease in cleanup).
  3. Cook for 2 minutes and then roll them all about to cook the other sides. They will take about 5 minutes in total to cook.

Hint: I have a pretty packed spice cabinet so I had all the ingredients.  If you don’t, you can take a shortcut and buy spice mix.  Williams-Sonoma has  Ras El Hanout in a jar that has a similar but not equal combination of moroccan spices that you could use instead.  Just replace the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, paprika and smoked paprika and pepper with 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout.

 

Yum Yum Lobster Tails

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This was my first time making lobster tails and it DEFINITELY  wont be my last. It is easy peasy and oh so yummy. You can make these for a special occasion or to make an ordinary occasion special.

BAKED LOBSTER TAILS WITH GARLIC BUTTER

INGREDIENTS

4 lobster tails
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 tbsp. Butter

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together garlic, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and melted butter and season with salt.
2. Using kitchen scissors, cut the the clear skin off the lobster and brush the lobster tails with the garlic butter seasoning.
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3. Place the lobster tails on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake the lobster tails for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Italian Marinated Chicken

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.
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ITALIAN MARINATED CHICKEN 

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
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.

 

Pasta Americana a la Tomi

Pasta Americana

My sister Tomi is a great cook and has the gift of hospitality. One Christmas she and her family were visiting us from the east coast and we decided to throw a cocktail party to introduce them to several of our neighbors and friends. At about 8pm the cocktail party turned into a dinner party and we looked at each other saying “What can we make for a party of 12?” Tomi quickly offered to whip up a hearty pasta dish sure to satisfy the hungry bunch. Sure enough, the super easy and delicious pasta was a hit.

I now make it for Sunday night dinner and always think of my sister when I make it. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! The recipe below is modified for 6-8 people.

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Herb Roasted Tilapia

 Herb Roasted Tilapia

Yield: 2 Servings
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

2 boneless tilapia fish fillets
1/2- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons EVOO
3-4 large sprigs fresh thyme
4-6 large green olives with pits
1 large egg

Directions

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