Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce

in basil, dinner, entrée, garlic, pasta, sausage, spaghetti, turkey

Yes, I used cheese. But just a little for flavor (probably 1/8th of a cup of grated parmesan) and boy was it good! This is the best sauce I've made. No more jarred pasta sauce in this house! Simple, full-flavored, warm and comforting. And baby likes it so it's extra good! We used the immersion blender right in the can of tomatoes to chop everything up before pouring in the skillet. One dish saved!!! (Great idea, hubby.) ;) The original recipe calls for hot Italian turkey sausage links. Of course when I first made this, Whole Foods didn't have any in stock so I grabbed some savory turkey breakfast sausage links and we all approved. I added extra herbs to the sauce because it needed a little something extra. This dish makes so much sauce that next time I'll use the entire pound of spaghetti instead of half a box.


  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage links
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1/8 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Arrange sausage on a small baking sheet. Broil sausage 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pan from oven (do not turn broiler off). Cut sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil sausage slices 2 minutes or until browned.
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Place tomatoes in a food processor; process until almost smooth.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt (and go ahead and shake on some dried Oregano); cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick.
  4. Add sausage and cooked pasta to pan; toss well. Top with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Super Lean Turkey Sloppy Joes

in dinner, entrée, low fat, sandwich, turkey

Sloppy joes are fantastic and these are my favorite to date. Low fat? Yes. Full flavored? Yes. Chunky monkey? Yes! Red bell pepper, onions, and garlic are three of my favorite ingredients and when they're sauteing in olive oil together, magic happens. Need a kitchen time saver tip for cutting bell peppers? Here you go!

We use the full teaspoon of chili powder and you can just make out the heat when the dish is done. Perfect for the wee one who can tolerate some spicy foods but not too spicy.


  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce of choice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns


  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add red bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender and garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside. Keep heat on and use the same skillet to cook your turkey.
  2. Next add ground turkey to the skillet. Break up the meat and spread it around the pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook 8-10 minutes or until the turkey is cooked and no longer pink.
  3. Next stir in tomato sauce, bbq sauce, Worcestershire, chili powder, tomato paste, and brown sugar to the skillet with the meat. Add in the vegetables and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns. Top with cheese if desired.

Cranberry-Avocado Salad with Almonds and Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette

in almond, avocado, cilantro, cranberry, entrée, salad, side dish

The original recipe called for candied spiced almonds but the dressing and cranberries make this salad sweet enough for me. I love this dressing. It's sweet, it's a vinaigrette, and it has TONS of flavor. Add some grilled chicken and it becomes an awesome dinner salad.


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced sweet onion
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 12 oz baby spinach & romaine
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried, leaves removed whole from stems
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds


  1. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.
  2. For the salad, place greens and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter almonds over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pass extra dressing at the table.

Serves: 6 dinner salads, 8 side salads
Source: The Café Sucré Farine

Avocado-Banana Smoothie

in avocado, banana, breakfast, honey, orange, orange juice, smoothie, yogurt

? use two bananas and a handful of ice to make two breakfast smoothies. So delicious! I wouldn't have been as eager to try this had I not tasted the coffee avocado smoothie at Vietalia Kitchen recently (which is one of the next recipes to hunt down). So smooth. So creamy. So yummy! The avocado gives it the perfect consistency.


  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice (from 3 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups ice


  1. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Source: Everyday Food

5 Star Balsamic Strawberry Salad Dressing

in dressing, strawberry


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5 strawberries (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • fresh strawberries (garnish)


  1. Boil balsamic and red wine vinegar and strawberries.
  2. Reduce by 3/4 (to 1/2 cup).
  3. Add sugar, diced onion and parsley.
  4. Simmer 10-15 minutes and cool.
  5. When cooled, gradually whisk in the oil.

5-6 servings

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

in avocado, cannellini beans, panko, sandwich, sweet potato, tahini


  • 2 cans cannellini white beans, drained
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp maple or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • optional: additional seasoning
  • salt to taste if needed
  • plentiful Panko crumbs
  • safflower oil for pan

Burger Toppings:

  • avocado
  • Dijon mustard
  • grain buns
  • romaine
  • onion
  • olive oil
  • pepper


  1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
  3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp safflower oil in a pan over high heat.
  5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
  6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
  7. Serve on toasted bun with lotsa toppings.

7-8 servings
Source: 100% Vegan Healthy Happy Life

Toasted Sesame Quinoa with Chicken

in chicken, garlic, green onion, quinoa, side dish


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce


  1. Add chicken breasts, chicken broth, and any added veggies (like carrots and celery) to covered pan, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, covered. Chop or shred chicken and let cool.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  5. Add in chicken, green onions and dressing, tossing well to coat. Add in sesame seeds and toss once more. Serve!

4 servings
Source: How Sweet Eats

Sonoma Chicken Salad Sandwiches

in celery, chicken, cranberry, sandwich

This recipe originally included parmesan cheese and poppy seeds, but meh. If I'm avoiding cheese, I'll avoid all cheese (well, except Feta). I love this chicken salad. I'm not much of a meat salad person but when I know what goes in it, I'm much more open to trying it. Love it, love it, love it. Simple, slightly sweet, crunchy, and healthy out the wazoo. Someday I'll branch out and swap the cranberries for apples or grapes, but I like it as is for now.


  • 3 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • Sliced bread, for serving


  • 2/3 cup Veganaise, Earth Balance, or similar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Add chicken breasts, chicken broth, and any added veggies (like carrots and celery) to covered pan, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, covered. Chop or shred chicken and let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl toss together shredded chicken, celery, pecans, and dried cranberries, set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients listed for the dressing until well blended.
  4. Pour dressing mixture over chicken mixture and toss to evenly coat. Serve over sliced bread, croissants or rolls. Store in refrigerator.

5-6 Servings
Source: Cooking Classy

Best Blueberry Muffins

in blueberry, breakfast, dessert, lemon

Instead of buttermilk (which I generally don't have in the house) I substituted a mix of 2/3 cup of honey Greek yogurt and 1/3 cup 2% milk. They were probably the best blueberry muffins I've had. And the lemon sugar topping? YUM!!!

Update: Going to try this as a loaf instead of muffins:
"The muffins baked at 400F for 15-20 min. Used 1/3 cup oil. Made 12 muffins. The quickbread used 3 Tbsp. oil. It gave 3 pan sizes and bake times and the baking temp was 375F:"

  • 8 x 4" pan bake for 45-55 min.
  • 9 x 5" pan bake for 40-50 min.
  • (3) 3 x 5" loaf pans bake for 35-45 min.

Source: King Arthur Flour

Lemon-Sugar Topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp finely grated zest from 1 lemon


  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10oz)
  • 1 1/8 cups plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.
  2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425F. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 tsp sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)
  5. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
  6. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

3.02.2012 - 3.08.2012

in meal planner


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