Tag Archives: dinner

My Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini Casserole.  Fresh out of the oven

Zucchini Casserole. Fresh out of the oven

It is easy.  It is healthful.  It is breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner!  It is my zucchini casserole!

I found this PIN on Pinterest and knew I needed to give this zucchini recipe a try.  It worked out great last night, as I had everything that I needed sitting in the fridge waiting to be part of this dinner.  So with a few of my usual modifications, I whipped this brilliant dish together in no time.

The house smelled soooo good as I waited for the casserole to finish cooking.  When I pulled it out of the oven it was easy to admire the bubbly goodness of the dish.  I have to admit, waiting for it to cool was almost maddening though, it smelled THAT good!

Most importantly, there is the flavor.  Make sure you use organic, ripe tomatoes!  Sliced and cooked over the top like this, they add a huge amount of natural sweetness to the savory casserole.  The nuttiness of the gluten-free, almond crust pairs just beautifully with the bright, acidic lemon juice and herb-crusted, browned zucchini.

I just finished a BIG bowl of the leftovers.  OMG, It was so tasty, I am temped to eat more!

You have to try this one soon!  I just know you are going to love it!

Zucchini Casserole

Serves 5-6

Almond Meal Crust

  • 1 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 T water 
  • Sprinkle chipotle pepper flakes and a super tiny bit of stevia before cooking, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Grease a casserole dish.  

Mix together all ingredients into a medium bowl.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.


  • 2 # zucchini, sliced.  You could also use yellow squash here.  
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 t marjoram
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle of dill 
  • 8 eggs, mixed well
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 c baby kale mix, chopped (I use the organic mix from Sam’s – baby kale, spinach, beet greens, carrots)
  • 2 T lemon juice or squeeze a 1/2 of a fresh lemon 
  • 1/2-3/4 c mix of feta and parmasean OR nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 t dried oregano

Make the Almond Meal Crust.  

As the crust is baking, begin to make the casserole.  

Add the EVOO and some chipotle pepper flakes to a skillet and warm over med-low heat.  Add the sliced zucchini.  Sprinkle the top of the zucchini with salt, pepper, dried marjoram and dill. Crush 1/2 of the garlic over the top.  Flip when the the first side has browned just a bit.  Crush the last 1/2  of the garlic over the top of the zucchini.  Cook until browned.  Set aside and cool.

In a medium bowl, stir the eggs and the green onions together.  Add the chopped kale mix and stir well.  

Add about 1/2 of the cooked zucchini on top of the almond meal crust.  Pour 1/2 of the egg/veg mix over the top.  Sprinkle with all of the cheese or nutritional yeast flakes.  Sprinkle with the lemon juice.  Top with the last of the zucchini and egg mix.  Place the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with the dried oregano.  

Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350, or until the casserole is cooked to your liking.  If you want it a little more brown on top, turn up the heat to vari-broil low (or just low broil) and cook for 2-3 minutes, until you like the color!  

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Slice and serve! 




Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.


This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!




Citrus Meets Fish

Citrus meets fish

Andy's portion

Andy’s portion

I love the smell of an orange or tangerine freshly zested.  A hit of zest will add a huge amount of flavor to almost any dish–sweet or savory!

I found some organic super sweet tangerines at Mama Jeans this week and have been adding them to just about everything coming out of my kitchen–smoothies, green juices, salads, sauces, and desserts. Last night I decided to try using some in our main dish. I dolled up a boring piece of cod with tangerine zest and boy was it good. The home grown grape tomatoes and red onion added some extra life to the dish. It made for an amazing dinner, served over a bed of sauteed spinach with a side of roasted brussels sprouts.  Check out this 488 original and let me know what you think about citrus meeting fish! 

Bon Appetit!

My portion

My portion

Citrus meets fish

Servings:  2

  • 2-3 cod steaks (fillets) or any wild caught fish that you like!
  • 1/2 t sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t ground chipotle pepper flakes
  • 7-10cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • juice and zest from 1/2 orange or a couple of tangerines
  • 1-2 t butter or coconut oil, melted
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional), just a sprinkle.  You may sub a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the parm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.

Put the diced red onion in a roasting pan so it will set directly under the fish fillets.  Place the fillets on the onion.  Sprinkle fresh citrus juice on top of the fish.  Melt the butter and brush each fillet with butter.  Sprinkle the dry ingredient mix evenly over the 2 fillets and do the same with the zest.  Place the tomato slices on top of the fish to cover the entire surface of the fish.  Add a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to the top of the tomatoes.

Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fish.  Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another minute or two, just enough to lightly brown the top of the fish and cheese.

Serve over a bed of sauteed spinach or some seasoned quinoa and ENJOY!

Sweet potato souffle

Sweet potato souffle--just out of the oven!  YUM!  I wish you could smell it right now!

Sweet potato souffle–just out of the oven! YUM! I wish you could smell it right now!

I planted a LOT of sweet potatoes in the garden this year and am hoping for a big harvest very soon!

In preparation for the digging, I decided I better find/create a few good recipes to help us use up all of those beautiful orange tubers (notice how optimistic I am this morning!).  This one is a Yoga Belly original, vegetarian, very filling, great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and is super simple to make.  I have made this dish many times and each time it seems to get better!

I am going to start by talking about the crust. There is a very short ingredient list on this one, but the flavor is HUGE!  Plus, the gluten-free crust adds a nice bit of protein, monounsaturated fat, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber to your diet.  This crust is so good, it can and SHOULD be used with all of your favorite savory pies and quiches.

A few of my favorite oils!

A few of my favorite oils!

Now let me tell you about the filling.  Eggs and sweet potatoes are the main two ingredients, so that should give you a pretty good idea for how soft the mouth feel is on this souffle.  A high quality oil adds a LOT to the dish, so make sure you use a good, super flavorful oil.  If you know me at all, you won’t be a bit surprised by this comment, but I source most of these oils from TJMAXX or Marshalls, so I can have a nice variety here without breaking the bank.

Helpful hint–store your opened oil in the fridge to keep it from going rancid!

I LOVE truffle oil (not pictured) with just about anything, and it works beautifully here.  I have also used toasted walnut oil and loved every bite!  The rosemary, however, is the star of the dish–so be sure to use fresh, and lots of it.

Take some time to do something special like this for your family–if not this weekend, then very soon!  I promise, you will be so very happy that you did!

Served with heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden!

Served with heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden!

Sweet potato souffle

Servings ~6


  • 1 1/2 c almond flour or meal
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • very light dusting of stevia (optional)


  • 4-5 smaller sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • kosher salt
  • a couple of long springs of fresh rosemary — 1/4 cup?
  • 1/2 c good quality Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 2 t truffle oil or use your fav oil (I have used both toasted walnut and truffle–both awesome!)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 2 c baby spinach (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • salt and pepper
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • ground nutmeg
  • 6 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degress F.  

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet.  Press into a greased pie pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Turn up the oven temp to 400 degrees F.


Boil the sweet potatoes in a salted boil for about 25-30 minutes, depending upon their size–until nice and soft.  Drain the water and let cool.

Place the Parmesan  rosemary, truffle oil, garlic, sprinkle of salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, and shallots in the food processor and blend until the garlic and shallots are chopped up into nice small pieces–a minute or two should be just fine.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool, add them to the food processor and mix until pretty smooth.  Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated.

Add 1/2 of the filling to the cake or pie pan.  Add a layer of spinach and sprinkle just a little bit of lemon juice on top of the spinach.  Add the other 1/2 of the filling on top.  Sprinkle the top with a dash of ground nutmeg.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the souffle is cooked through.  Let cool before you serve.





Lime zest salmon salad

DSCN3904This is one of my very favorite quick-fix dinners!  SALMON salad!

Check it out–it is basically lime zest and honey for the marinade!  Yes, that is right.  Which means it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare!  So while the salmon is roasting in the oven, just throw together the salad and dressing and in about 20-25 minutes you have a dinner that is super healthful AND absolutely delicious!

Give it a try and let me know what you think of this super easy lime zest salad!

Lime zest salmon salad–2 servings




  • 1 large organic lime
  • 2 T organic honey
  • frozen jalapeno, zested.  OPTIONAL (if you want to add some extra heat)
  • splash of room temp water, OPTIONAL (only if you want to make the marinade a little thinner for easier brushing)
  • 2 wild salmon filets
  • salt and pepper (enough to  sprinkle on the salmon filets AND add a health dash to the marinade)
  • sprinkle of chipotle pepper flakes (Victoria’s Gourmet are my very fav!)


  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed (slice the other half and use it on the salad)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes (more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1 T honey (or more, to suit your taste)
  • 1-2 T EVOO (I like the dressing a pretty thick, as you can see from the photo so I only use about 1 T)
  • salt and pepper (to suit your taste)


  • Use whatever fresh, organic ingredients you like!!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Zest one lime and then juice it.  Set the juice aside for the dressing.

OPTIONAL:  Zest part of a frozen jalapeno in with the lime zest if you want to add some heat to the marinade.

Mix the zest with the rest of the the ingredients for the marinade.  Place the salmon filets in a oven ready pan and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the filets.  Brush on the marinade and let sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until done.

While the salmon is roasting in the oven, make the dressing for the salad–mixing all of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and set aside.

Now just throw together your favorite greens and veggies — making a nice big bed for your salmon filet.  Don’t forget that other half of the avocado! Add the dressing just before placing the filet on top.

Once the fish is fully cooked, remove from the oven and place the filet on the bed of dressed greens.

Serve with a big glass of fruity sparkling water and ENJOY!

Cheers to good eating!



Pesto quinoa

If you are a fan of quinoa, you have to give my pesto quinoa a try!

I love this dish on its own or as the base for about anything that you would normally put over a flavored rice or potato.  I love my stuffed portobello mushrooms served over this super hearty and flavorful quinoa.

Adding some toasted pine nuts or cashews is a fantastic way to add some healthful monounsaturated fats and protein to make it even more of a meal!  I would love to hear what you do with my pesto quinoa and (I hope anyway) how much you love it!

To your belly, with love


Pesto quinoa

Servings 3-4 (depending upon what you do with it)

  • 1 1/2 c quinoa, lightly toasted (toasting is totally optional)
  • 2 1/2 c coconut milk, plain (use whatever non-dairy milk you like)
  • 1/4 c (or slightly more, to your taste) your favorite pesto (try my cheeseless or my cheesy Bestest Pesto recipes)
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • dash of chipotle pepper flakes or cayenne, optional

Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high.  Add the coconut milk, black, and hot peppers (optional).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is al dente.  

Remove from the heat and serve while it is nice and hot!




Curried Cream of Celery and Leek Soup

My dear, sweet friend, Mylene, recently sent me one of the most thoughtful gifts–an envelope full of her past issues of Vegetarian Times magazine.  In fact, she sent me her VERY FIRST copy of Vegetarian Times, which dated back to September 2004.  I was in tears as I scanned the recipes and thought back to all of the hours we spent together laughing, crying, and STRESSING during our yoga teacher training at Anamaya.  Oh, how I miss her beautiful face, soothing voice, and sweet, sweet heart.

The first recipe from the April/May 2012 edition that caught my watery eye was this beautiful soup.  What an interesting mix of ingredients–I mean, be honest, have you ever used apple, celery, leek, and curry together in a soup before?  Plus, garnishing with the toasted almonds was such a brave and unique idea, I HAD to give it a try.

I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this beautiful green soup!  With each bite, the complexity of the flavors became more apparent.   I loved the way the bright apple showed up even with the powerful madras curry and leek dominating the flavor landscape.  Plus, the toasty CRUNCH from the almonds gave it a hearty feel and an earthy flavor to balance the acidity of the lime.  

I served the soup as a starter with a vegetable frittata, but it can definitely stand alone as the main course when you are feeling the need for a lighter meal.  This is a great one if you are having a dinner party.  You can play the name that soup game–your guests will NeVEr be able to identify this one and EVERYONE will be begging for the recipe before they leave!

Bon Appetit!

Curried Cream of Celery and Leek soup!

Curried Cream of Celery and Leek soup!

Curried Cream of Celery and Leek Soup

Servings:  6-8

  • 1 c toasted almonds, chopped or sliced
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 stalks of organic celery, diced.  Reserve a few celery tops to use as a garnish.
  • 2 large leeks, white part only.  Halve them lengthwise and then finely slice.
  • 1 t kosher or sea salt (or more, to taste)
  • 4 organic red apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3-4 T madras curry powder
  • 2 14 oz cans of coconut milk
  • 2 T fresh lime juice

In a large stock pot, warm the evoo with the chipotle pepper flakes.  Add the leeks and cook on med/low for 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the celery and salt and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until they begin to break down and soften.  Stir in the diced apple and curry powder and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, black pepper, and lime juice, stirring well to incorporate.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor to puree the soup.  Turn the heat back to low and cook to reduce to the desired consistency, stirring frequently.  Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your palate.  Serve with a generous topping of toasted almonds and a sprig of celery greens.