Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

I thought of this recipe on a whim, one day.  It was my turn to make dinner that night and I had been craving grilled mushrooms (I LOVE MUSHROOMS!).  I had the feta and brucetta mix at home and I knew mushroom usually got marinated with balsamic vinegar. So with a little thought I came up with this ….. I hope you like it!  The flavors of the balsamic, the cheese and the tomato meld together well.

You will need …

Lg Portobello Mushroom Caps (however many you want to make,  I usually make 6 to 8 so I have leftovers)

balsamic vinegar

Feta Cheese, plain or seasoned

Brucetta Mix (in a jar) from Trader Joes  (I LOVE this stuff!)

What to do …

In a large flat dish, lay out the mushroom caps, fin side up.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar then head to the gym or go for a run.

When you return, heat up the grill to medium  heat.

Once the grill is heated, and before you put the mushrooms on the grill, turn the caps over to drain out any excess vinegar, preferably in a bowl and not over your grill 🙂

Grill the caps to your liking, usually 10 -15 minutes. Flipping them over, occasionally.

Flip the caps, on the grill, so that the fins face up.

Fill the fin areas with some feta cheese (to your liking) and depending on the size of your caps.

Close the grill cover for a few minutes, so that the cheese warms up and gets a little gooey.

Next top with the bruchetta mix, about a heaping Tbsp. or more, if your mushrooms are on steroids.

Close grill cover for a few minutes to warm up the buchetta.

Remove from grill and serve with a spinach side or green beans and don’t forget the beer!


Donna and Matt


Black Bean Chili over Rice

Posted: November 1, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: , ,

Black Bean Chili Over Rice

I originally found this recipe at . I have made it a few times and finally tweaked it to our liking.  It is very satisfying and great for those cold Sunday game days in front of the boob tube (or boob plasma? eh, nevermind).

What you will need:

3 tsp olive oil (we used our Habanero infused olive oil – for added heat)

1 medium onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1.5 large carrots, grated with a microplane (this helps to add some thickness to the chili)

6 lg jalapeno, optional  (we like heat!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 – 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes (YUM!)

1 cup veggie stock

2 – 15oz cans black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen corn OR 1 can Mexicorn

salt and pepper

Cayenne pepper to add at the end if more heat is needed.

What to do:

In a medium stainless steel pan, heat the oil until hot.

Add onions, peppers, jalapeno and carrots  and cook until tender.

Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so.

Add the chili powder and cumin and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, stock, beans, and corn.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/medium low to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add salt, pepper to taste and the cayenne if you require more heat.

Prepare the rice according to the package instructions. I used left over veggie stock instead of water.

Scoop the chili over a bowl of rice and enjoy!

OH! Don’t forget the cheddar cheese!


Donna and Matt

Pasta Sauce

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: ,

The first pasta sauce that I ever made was from Emeril Lagasse. I used his recipe as a backdrop for my sauce. I moved away from the spicy and moved toward a more traditional Italian type of sauce. We hope you like our healthy version of pasta sauce. This makes a large batch of sauce if you don’t want to make this much you can cut the recipe in half or even into thirds. You can freeze the leftovers, this batch usually makes enough for 6-8 meals.


 3 medium to large onions (chopped)

1 large package of sliced mushrooms

 1 cup of fresh chopped basil

 1 tbsp. Salt

 1 tbsp ground black pepper

 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

 6-8 crushed garlic cloves

 2 tbsp of Italian spices.

 1-2 tbsp of olive oil

 4 – 28oz cans of chopped tomatoes

 2 – 28oz cans of tomato puree

 2 – 4oz cans of tomato paste

We use the canned tomatoes with no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, just tomatoes.

In a large stock pot add olive oil and heat on med-high until olive oil is hot. Place onions in the pot and cook until soft. (about 6-8 min.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add half of your minced garlic and cook 1 more minute. I love the smell of this part, there is something about the onions and garlic cooking together.  It just smells awesome to me.

Add mushrooms and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes)

Add salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, the rest of the garlic, Italian spices, half of the fresh basil and the 2 small cans of paste. Mix well and cook for about 2 min, stirring frequently.  It is easy to burn, at this stage, if you don’t stir constantly.

Mix well. It should turn into a thick paste. The smell is great here, as well!

Add 4 cans of chopped tomatoes and the 2 cans of puree.

Bring to a boil and add the rest of the fresh basil.

Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy.

This makes a large batch of sauce so this can be divided into containers and placed in the freezer until you are ready to use it.

We use Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta it is the lowest calorie pasta that we can find.

Shown here with our turkey meatballs. (Recipe coming soon).

We hope you enjoy our pasta sauce recipe. This one is one of my favorites. That Italian food smell in the kitchen is the best.


Donna and Matt

Garden Vegetable Soup

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: , ,

This soup is a variation of a recipe that we got out of one of those supermarket cook book magazines (Cuisine at Home  – Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides  pg 8). This was the first time that we made it and it came out really good. We hope that you like this hearty and healthy soup.

If you count weight watcher points, this one is practically free!


1 cup onion, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 cups vegetable broth

2 cups small red potatoes, quartered

2 cups of cauliflower florets

2 bay leaves

3 cups tomatoes, diced

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of mushrooms (optional)


Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Use a little salt and pepper here. Cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.

De-glaze with wine, simmer until nearly evaporated. Then add the mushroom and cook until the mushrooms start to soften.

Stir in broth, potatoes, cauliflower and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, corn, beans, parsley salt and pepper. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately, don’t simmer for to long because the potatoes will get to soft and they will fall apart.

A few suggestions you can also do with this soup … add rice  or add white beans for added protein and fiber, or  add quinoa. You can change the veggies as well –  use summer squash and/or zuccini (we omitted these because I am not a squash fan). And don’t forget to serve this soup with your favorite whole grain bread.

We hope you like our idea for a garden vegetable soup. Mix yours up, there are limitless possibilities. Let us know what you add to yours.


Donna and Matt

Grilled Pizza

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: , ,

Who doesn’t love pizza? Unfortunately, pizza can be packed with tons of calories.  Up to 300 – 400 calories per slice depending on the pizza, and who eats just one slice?  Check out our SUPER easy and SUPER healthy version of a thin crust pizza with fresh ingredients.

We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!  Oh, it also goes great with BEER!

What You’ll Need:

1 Josephs pita pocket  (only 60 calories per loaf!)

2-4 Tbsp.  pizza sauce with NO ADDED fructose corn syrup or any other unpronouncable ingredients.

chopped peppers

chopped onions

chopped jalepenos

1/4 –  1/2 cup of reduced fat Italian blend cheese (or whatever kind you like)

sliced olives

reduced fat feta cheese

sliced mushrooms

and whatever else tickles your fancy when it comes to pizza 🙂

What To Do:

Preheat the grill, get the temperature to around 400-450 deg. Then turn the temprature down to low.

Meanwhile, fold a piece of aluminum foil just slightly larger than the pita pocket, and spray with a non stick cooking spray. Or coat lightly with some olive oil.

Place the pita pocket on the foil and cover it with all of your fresh toppings. Be creative here,  there are all sorts of things you can use; fresh garlic, different cheeses, artichokes, turkey peperoni, fresh basil from your herb garden,  left over grilled veggies from last nights dinner, etc… there are endless combinations that you can create.

We like ours with the fresh basil, onions, peppers and olives. We also tend to place the veggies under the cheese, except for the olives, as you can see.

Now place the pizzas on the top section of your grill. If you don’t have a top section that is OK, just watch close if the crust gets to close to the direct flame.

Cook the pizzas for about 8-10 minutes. Cooking times may vary according to you grill or  how you like your pizza cooked. Cook until the edges are a little crisp and the cheese begins to brown.

After the pizzas are cooked carefully remove them from the grill, the foil will be hot. Slice them into quarters and Enjoy! And yes, I made a smiley face on my pizza in honor of World Smile Day  that was on Oct 7th.

We hope you like our healthier version of pizza. Give us some feedback –  what did you put on pizza?


Donna and Matt

This is a full chicken soup recipe from scratch – from stock to soup. This is a fun recipe, but requires a long amount of time. Approximately 3-4 hours. I hope you like it, because we love it! Keep in mind, as with most of my recipes, the amounts are approximate.  I don’t spend a lot of time measuring out the spices, exactly.



1 whole chicken 4-5 lbs

2-3 carrots chopped in 3rds

2-3 celery stocks chopped in 3rds with leaves.

2 onions quartered

1 bunch of fresh thyme tied

1-2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves peeled and cut in half

approx. 1 Tbs salt

approx. 1 Tbs of whole pepper corns


1-2 Tbs of olive oil

5-6 carrots peeled and sliced

2-3 onions chopped

1 bunch of leaks chopped

1 bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped

4-5 celery stocks chopped

1-2 Garlic cloves crushed

2-3 sticks of fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste



Place the whole chicken in the stock pot.  Add the carrots, celery, onions, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, salt and peppercorns.  Cover chicken completely with water, just enough to cover the chicken (about 3 quarts).  If you use too much water, the stock will be weak.  Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for a few minutes. Then simmer for 1-2 hours until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Simmering is important here.  Over boiling will cause the stock to be  cloudy.

During the simmer,  occasionally scrape off and remove any impurities that rise to the top of the stock and discard.  Add water if needed to keep the chicken covered.  Check the flavor of the stock  and add salt and pepper to taste.  I use a fat separator to remove the excess oils and such.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and set aside to cool.  Using a fine strainer,  drain the stock into a large bowl. Use immediately or place the stock in the fridge over night and skim off the fat before freezing.


In a large stock pot place the olive oil.  Cook the onions over medium to high heat for about 2 min.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the crushed garlic and  leaks and cook for an additional 3-4 min.

Add the carrots, celery and thyme.  Mix well.  Cook for another 1-2 min.  Add the chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 min. Or until the carrots are slightly soft.

Cut up the chicken into bite size strips. Add the chicken and parsley simmer for a few minutes and serve with crusty bread.


This soup came out fantastic. I have a feeling that we will be making more of this all winter long.  Try out this recipe and let us know what you think.  If you have any suggestions to improve on it, let us know in the comment section.   We will remake the recipe with your changes and give you credit in the post.


Matt   🙂

Turkey Chili

Posted: October 3, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: , ,

This recipe has been refined over the past few years. It is a healthy version of the classic football Sunday chili. It goes great with beer and it is easily reheated and awesome as leftovers. The chili can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days after that you can freeze it. We put it in individual containers for quick thaw and reheat.

Keep in mind, as with most of my recipes, I never follow a recipe exactly every time. I don’t spend a ton of time measuring out exact amounts. I estimate most of the time. So if I call for a tablespoon of something and it looks like more or less in the picture that is why. I also almost always layer my spices.

This makes a large pot of chili, meant to be kept as leftovers. If you don’t want to make this large of a batch, just reduce the ingredients by half.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is one of my favorite ones that I make. If you have any suggestions that could make this recipe even better, just us know in the comments below. Enjoy!!


2lbs of 99% fat free ground turkey

3 red bell peppers, chopped

 3 large onions, chopped

 10-12 Jalapenos, chopped

 3 – 28 oz cans of chopped tomatoes.

 1 – 28oz can of tomato puree

 2 – 4oz cans of tomato paste.

 2 large cans of black beans (1lb. 13oz.) drained and rinsed

 approx. 3 tbs of chilli powder (for the mash, layer extra thru out the cooking process)

 approx. 2 tbs of cumin (for the mash, layer extra thru out the cooking process)

approx. 1 tbs. Ground Cayenne pepper powder (for the mash, layer extra)

 4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed

 approx. 2 tbs of oregano

 approx 1 tbs. Salt (for the mash, layer extra thru out the cooking process)

 approx 2 tbs of ground black pepper (for the mash, layer extra thru out the cooking process)

 approx. 2-4 tbs. Olive oil

Chop the veggies, I use a corer for the jalapenos, if you don’t have one you can cut them in half and scrape out the seeds and slice into half wedges.

We use the 99% fat free ground turkey meat. Only 120 calories per serving, and almost no fat.


In a large skillet brown the turkey with 1-2 tbs of olive oil. Layering some chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper. (10 min or so). Then set the ground turkey aside.

I have a bottle of olive oil that has dried habanero peppers and rosemary fresh from our garden. This give it a little extra heat.

Heat 1-2 tbs. Of olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onions and cook until soft, (4-5 min.). Also layering your spices at this point.  Add ½ of the crushed garlic, cook another 2 min. I love the smell of this after I add the garlic.

Add all of the red peppers and jalapenos. Cook another 2-3 min. layering your spices.

Add the chilli powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, 2 cans of tomato paste and the cooked turkey. Mix well and cook for 2-3 min.

This part is the mash, cook this for about 2-3 min or until it is a nice thick mash, before adding the tomatoes and beans.

Add the 3 cans of chopped tomatoes and the can of puree, mix well and bring to a boil. We like to use the can tomatoes with no added fructose corn syrup. Let the ingredients from the mash blend in well here.

Add the black beans and stir well.

Simmer for at least 45 min. before serving.


Serve with baked scoops or what ever type of pita chips that you like. I bake my own, but that is for another recipe. 🙂