• Zuppa Toscana without Cream Recipe
    Potatoes,  Soup

    Zuppa Toscana Without Cream

    There’s  a certain Italian restaurant chain (you may be familiar with Olive Garden…) that made Zuppa Toscana soup famous.  This used to be my husband’s favorite when we would go to Olive Garden (I always opted for the Pasta e Fagioli soup myself).  We haven’t been there for years now. Its an emotional thing for me.  We often used to go with my mom, but when she became ill several years ago with a heartbreaking progressive illness and could no longer dine out, I just couldn’t go back anymore. There were just too many memories. Mom passed away 3 months ago, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to…

  • Slow cooker pot roast
    Beef,  Main Course

    Linda’s Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

    There are a few tricks to a really good roast.  First, start with the best cut of beef you can get. Next, remove the roast from the fridge and bring to room temperature before braising.  This usually takes about 1 hour.  Pat the roast dry with paper towel before braising.  And ALWAYS braise the roast in hot olive oil in a pan BEFORE oven roasting or putting in the slow cooker – this sears in the juices.  Let roast rest for about 15 minutes after removing from oven or slow cooker before carving. Since I got my slow cooker about 3 years ago, it is the only way I will…

  • Slow cooker pot roast in tomatoe sauce
    Main Course

    Tangy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

    I have two versions of this slow cooker pot roast recipe because I crave variety. So when I find a recipe that sort of becomes one of my go-to staples, I like to  tweak it up a bit to create a variation so that we don’t tire of eating the exact thing too often.  Scroll further down the page to see the second version of this recipe.  If you want my all time favorite pot roast recipe click here for it.  “Its the BEST”, as my mom used to say. l make pot roast in my slow cooker fairly often because its true comfort food. And I love the ease…

  • Pasta e Fagioli soup
    Soup

    Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

    This recipe is based on one from the Dave Nichol Cookbook, which I modified and adapted.  His recipe is vegetarian so if a heartier non-vegetarian soup is what I’m craving, I also add about 1lb of ground beef.  I’ve also included, further below, the copycat recipe of Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli soup, but I prefer the first recipe for its fewer ingredients – it still results in a great Fagioli. One tipe – I like to use pizza sauce instead of, or in addition to, the pasta sauce. It usually provides a really great additional punch of flavor that really takes the recipe to a while new level of goodness! …

  • Sauteed mushrooms recipe
    Side Dishes

    Sauteed Mushrooms (Steakhouse Mushrooms)

    For really delicious sauteed mushrooms, here’s a simple recipe. What makes these mushrooms so extraordinarily flavorful is one secret ingredient – the lemon juice. This is really the trick to mushrooms that pop with flavor. Melt some garlic butter in a pan over medium heat.  I never bother making my own garlic butter, nor do I buy manufactured, rather I use made-in-store garlic butter from the deli section of the grocery store.  Most reasonably sized grocery stores with delis offer this.   When I am adhering to a calorie restricted diet, or maintaining a clean eating lifestyle, I will saute the mushrooms in chicken or beef broth with and garlic, a…

  • Soup

    Lentil Soup

    This soup is great as is, or add some sliced farmers sauce or small meatballs if you want to make it “meaty”. Ingredients 1 medium onion, diced 2-3 tablespoons chopped garlic (from a jar) 2 large carrots, sliced or shaved 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme (optional) 4 cups (1 box) vegetable stock or chicken broth 1.5 cups dry, rinsed green lentils (or you can use a lentil and grain soup mix) 1.5 cups dry, rinsed red lentils (or you can use a lentil and grain soup mix) 1 medium potato, peeled and diced into 1 cm pieces (optional) 1/2 tsp sea Salt or…

  • Cabbage Soup recipe
    Soup

    Cabbage Soup Recipe – Two Ways

    I have 2 different ways of making Cabbage Soup, depending on what I’m in the mood for.  I like variety.  The two recipes are very similar, save for just one ingredient, but that one ingredient – tomatoes – makes a major difference in the type of soup you’ll end up with.  (If you skip the tomatoes, be sure to note that I usually add a splash of lemon juice).  With the tomatoes it is even higher in nutrition, thicker and a bit heartier.  If you skip the tomatoes you’ll end up with more of a broth based soup. Both are delicious, just depends on what will hit the spot for…

  • Beef stew recipe
    Clean Eating,  Main Course

    Savory Slow Cooker Beef Stew

    I made this stew for dinner this evening and it was really quite lovely. Its springtime right now, but I can see this being be a nice bowl of warm comfort on an autumn night. I made a few modifications to the original recipe – largely to “healthify” it and make it “clean eating” compliant, and it turned out awesome. For instance, instead of using all purpose flour which is highly refined and basically offers no nutritional value (all the food stuff – the fiber – has been refined out), so all its good for is unhealthy blood sugar spikes… I substituted oat flour, which is simply quick oats that…

  • Clean Eating,  Soup,  Veggies

    Clean Eating Broccoli Soup

    Low  fat, low cal and dairy free, this easy broccoli soup recipe is ideal for a clean eating lifestyle. Note the clever little clean eating trick here – a potato is used to thicken and add richness instead of using cream as is typical in “cream of broccoli soup”.  Works like a charm, you would not know there is not actually cream in this soup. It has all the creamy richness, without the cream! And at just 64 calories a serving its a great addition to any weight loss or weight management regime.  Super healthy – a great way to eat your broccoli and get a good dose of greens,…

  • No bake energy balls - clean eating protein balls/ bites
    Clean Eating

    Protein Balls (Energy Balls/ Energy Bites) Recipes

    Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate chip No Bake Energy Balls 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup ground flax seed 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (can also use smooth) 1/3 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Add all ingredients to list Directions Combine oats, chocolate chips, flax seed, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract together in a bowl; form into balls using your hands. Arrange energy bites on a baking sheet and freeze until set, about 1 hour. Tips Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy. To help keep the mix from sticking to my hands,…