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Asian Pork Meatballs

Asian Meatballs


1 lb ground pork
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice
1/2 cup sesame seeds
Sesame oil
Handful chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour sesame seeds in a separate bowl and set aside. In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs and roll each one in the sesame seeds. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle a tiny little drop of sesame oil on each meatball. (sesame oil is very potent so a little goes a long way). Bake for about 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

I served it with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and sriracha but you can also use teriyaki , peanut satay, or even duck sauce if you want. I also used one of those bagged Asian slaw salads to pair them with for a light supper.


4 salmon filets (I used Alaskan Keta wild caught)
4 tablespoons citrus vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 large shallot, sliced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
Salt/pepper to taste
Lemon for garnish (optional)
4 (12 inch) squares parchment paper


Preheat oven 450 degrees. Fold each sheet of parchment in half and use a scissors to round out the corners so it resembles a circle. As best you can, equally divide the spinach and the shallots into four piles. Place a handful of spinach on the parchment paper, next the salmon then top, sprinkle with salt and pepper then top with shallots and a tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Do this for each one.

Fold each piece of parchment up and over the salmon. Holding both edges of the parchment, roll them down making several folds until the filets are sealed shut. Place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until salmon flakes with a fork. You may have to open one if you decide to check. Once done, use a scissors to open. Just be careful of the steam!

I served these with a simple salad and used the same citrus vinaigrette.

Citrus Vinaigrette


Juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons honey


Pulled Pork Enchiladas


Pulled Pork Enchiladas


2 cups pulled pork (homemade or store bought)
1 can diced green chiles
1/2 onion, diced
5 whole wheat tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend or pepper jack cheese (you can use low fat if you prefer)
Olive oil
Coconut oil nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven 375 degrees.

In a large skillet heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium. Add onions and green chiles and cook for about 5 minutes. Add pulled pork and mix together for about 2-3 minutes. Evenly distribute the mixture into the 5 tortillas. I used about 2 tablespoons per tortilla but you can stretch it out to 6 if you prefer. Roll each one and place in a large baking dish sprayed with the coconut oil nonstick cooking spray. Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I garnished each one with a teaspoon of plain Greek yogurt and served them with a side of black bean refried beans. YUM!



1 pork tenderloin (some are sold two in a pack, it's ok to use both)
1 shallot, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 celery stalk, sliced lengthwise
2 apples, sliced thin (you can use any type, I had honeycrisp on hand)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
1 tbsp coarse salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon


1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup Vermouth
1 tbsp apricot jam
Black pepper

Method for pork:

Preheat oven 375.  In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cinnamon.  Rub a little bit of olive oil over the tenderloin then rub it with the spice mixture, both sides.  Heat some olive oil in a large skillet, sear tenderloin about 2 min per side until golden brown.  Transfer to a large baking dish.  Scatter carrots, celery, apples, and shallots around the pork.  Add a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and the apple cider vinegar.  Roast for about 25 minutes or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees.  Once done, let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Method for gravy:

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and let cook for about two minutes.  Whisk in beef broth until combined then add the vermouth.  Let it come to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Add the apricot jam and black pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.  Pour over pork and serve.



Grandma Helen's Baked Kibbeh

Ingredients for the bulgar mixture:

1 1/2 lb ground lamb (or beef), 85/15*
1 cup bulgar wheat
1 medium onion, coarsley chopped
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for the filling:

1/2 lb. ground lamb (or beef), lean
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tsp olive oil

*85/15 is the lean to fat ratio in meat.  For the filling I like to use lean beef or lamb so 90-100% lean.  But because I don't want the bulgar mixture to dry out, I use meat that is 85% lean, 15% fat.


To make bulgar mixture:

In a medium bowl, soak the bulgar wheat for 30 minutes in cold water.  Remove and drain.  If you still have to remove excess water, squeeze through paper towels.  Return to bowl and combine the 1 1/2 pounds of the meat, onion, salt, pepper, allspice and cinnamon.  Put small amounts at a time in a food processor until it forms a dough-like consistency then return mixture to bowl.

To make filling:

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add onions and sautee for about 5-8 min or until transluscent.  Next add the meat, salt, pepper, allspice, and cinnamon and cook until meat is no longer pink.  Add pine nuts and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.


Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Spray a large rectangular baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Evenly spread and press half of the bulgar mixture on bottom of baking pan.  Then evenly spread the filling on top of the mixture.  Spoon remaining mixture on top of filling and spread evenly, smoothing the top of the mixture. Brush top with a little bit of olive oil.  With a paring knife,  Grandma liked to score the top into small diamond or crosshatch pattern but that's optional.  Bake on middle rack for about 35-40 minutes until meat is cooked through.  If Garnish top with a sprinkle of pine nuts.  Serve with plain regular or Greek yogurt.

I served this alongside a simple Syrian salad: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese.  Dressing: juice of one lemon, 1/2 cup olive oil, about a tablespoon crushed mint, salt/pepper. 


Homemade Chicken Soup

I usually make this soup after I have made my roast chicken. I use the bones from the chicken to make the stock and any leftover meat goes into the soup. You can also make this using just chicken stock or even poaching some pieces of chicken in water which will make both the stock and the meat. You can use bone-in chicken or boneless. It's really up to you how you want to do it and how much time you have as using bone-in will take a bit longer. The below recipe is how I make it using the leftover bones. Each time I make this, it's a different sized batch depending on how many I am feeding and if I want any leftovers to freeze. This particular one was made in an 8 qt. pot so it was a big batch. If you want to make a smaller batch, just cut back on the amount of water or stock. For example, if you use a 6 qt. pot, use only about 4 qts of water/stock. You can still use the same amount of veggies or cut back, whatever you prefer. And because I make this after my roast chicken dinner, I always have the secret ingredient available that adds a nice richness to the soup. YUM!


Leftover chicken bones from a roasted chicken
Leftover chicken meat
About 6 qts. of water
8-10 large carrots, peeled and chopped
8-10 celery stalks including the leafy tops, chopped
2 large onions, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning or you can use a fresh bouquet of poultry herbs found in your produce section
Coarse sea salt/ground black pepper
1/2 cup leftover gravy- MY SECRET INGREDIENT!
*Rice or noodles
Grated parmesan or romano cheese
Crushed hot red pepper flakes (optional)


Fill the 8 qt soup pot with 6 qts of water, add the bones and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low, cover, and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes. After it's done, drain into a large bowl, removing bones, fat, and any other debri and return stock to pot. Let bones cool and if there is any edible meat left, add to the stock. Next, add all of the veggies, meat, bay leaf, seasonings, salt/pepper, and gravy. Cover and cook on medium for about 45 minutes or until veggies are semi-soft.

*I ususally use brown rice but you can use any kind of rice you like or any type of noodle. For this batch I cooked about 3 cups of rice but you can use more or less depending on how much rice you like in your soup. I don't add it directly to the soup because it bloats and will thicken it up too much. I just add the rice to the individual servings. If you are using noodles, those can be added directly into the soup. And again, use as little or as much as you like. I think about one box of pasta or one bag of egg noodles would be more than enough for the 6 qts of soup. If you only made 4 qts, maybe use half the box or bag.

Serve topped with grated cheese and crushed hot red pepper, if you like.  Homemade Chicken Soup

I know this looks incredibly fattening and so bad for you but it really isn't. The cutlets are baked not fried, using whole wheat bread crumbs. The mashed potatoes have only a teaspoon of butter and I used low fat milk and low fat Greek yogurt instead of whole milk or heavy cream and sour cream. The gravy only had about a half cup of the fat drippings so that may be the only "guilty" part of this recipe. Yes, looks can be deceiving!


Turkey Cutlets

2 packages turkey cutlets (I used
Shadybrook Farms brand, 4 per package)
1 egg, beaten with a teaspoon of water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
Coarse sea salt/pepper
Olive oil
Nonstick cooking spray (I use grapeseed oil)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)


Preheat oven 375. You will need two shallow dishes. One for the egg wash (beaten egg and water) and one for the bread crumbs.

Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and the garlic powder over the cutlets. Spray cookie sheet with the nonstick cooking spray. Dip cutlets, one at a time, into the egg wash shaking off the excess, dredge in the bread crumbs and place on to the cookie sheet. Drizzle each one with a tiny bit of olive oil.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes until nicely browned and meat is no longer pink, turning over once about halfway through.

Mashed Potatoes

6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tsp unsalted butter
*1/2 cup 2% or nonfat milk
1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
Coarse sea salt/pepper to taste


In a large pot, boil potatoes until tender. Drain and return to pan. Add butter and mash together until the butter is melted. Next add the milk and combine until all the liquid is absorbed. Next, mix in the Greek yogurt, salt & pepper.

*If you prefer thinner mashed potatoes you can add more milk. Don't add the milk until after the Greek yogurt because the yogurt will thin them out a bit more. If they are still too thick then add more milk until desired consistancy. I also like to leave some chunks in my mashed potatoes so I never whip them but feel free to if you like them that way.


I had leftover gravy from the roasted chicken dinner I had made two days before. Below is that recipe and I included subsitutions if you are making it from straight chicken stock instead of roast drippings.

1/2 cup roasted chicken (or turkey) drippings, drained of pieces of fat/bones, etc..
2 cups low salt chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
Coarse sea salt/pepper


In a medium saucepan, bring the drippings to a boil. Whisk in the flour, making sure all of the lumps are dissolved. Next add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Gravy should thicken. Add a dash of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. If gravy is too thin, add a little bit more flour. If too thick, add more chicken stock (or water if you run out of stock). Drain in case there are any flour lumps.

If you don't have pan drippings, use 2 tablespoons of butter. Let melt and add the flour to make a roux. Follow the rest of the above steps.

Putting it all Together

Once cutlets are done, place on a plate. Top with about 2 tablespoons of mashed potato and drizzle with the gravy. You can garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley if you like.

Turkey Mashed Potato2

Simple Baked Veal Cutlets

Simple Baked Veal Cutlets


The traditional way I cook these is to fry them on the stove but as we all know, that's not healthiest so I've swapped that cooking method in favor of baking them. I still do fry them once in a while but I love cutlets of any kind so much that I make them a few times a week so baking them has become the norm. They still taste delicious thanks to the drizzle of olive oil.


2 packages veal cutlets (I used two because I like to have leftovers* but you can also use just one)
1 egg, beaten with a teaspoon of water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (you may only need 1 cup if only 1 package)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 lemon
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
Coarse sea salt/pepper
Olive oil
Nonstick cooking spray (I use grapeseed oil)


Preheat oven 375. You will need two shallow dishes. One for the egg wash (beaten egg and water) and in the other, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Place cutlets on a large cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and pound for about 2 minutes. Start from the middle and work your way out. This will tenderize and thin them out a bit.

Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and the garlic powder over the cutlets. Spray cookie sheets (if you use two packages of veal you will probably need two cookie sheets) with the nonstick cooking spray. Dip cutlets, one at a time, into the egg wash shaking off the excess, dredge in the bread crumb mixture and place on to the cookie sheet. Drizzle each one with a tiny bit of olive oil.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until nicely browned and fully cooked, turning over once about halfway through.

Transfer to a dish. Squeeze the lemon over the cutlets and sprinkle with parsley.

I served it with a simple green salad but you can also serve it alongside pasta, rice, or roasted veggies.

*Leftovers are delicious in sandwich with fresh sliced tomato and arugula.





Eggplant Parmesan


1 eggplant, cut into about 1 inch thick slices

2 eggs, beaten

1 tbsp water

2 cups breadcrumbs (you may need more/less depending on how many eggplant slices you end up with)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese

Tomato sauce (I used about 2 cups of my homemade gravy- you know my stance on "jarred sauce" but, if you must...)

Olive oil

Nonstick cooking spray (I use grapeseed oil)

Salt/pepper to taste


Preheat oven 375.  Coat two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.  (I needed two because I had about 22 slices of eggplant).  Create a breading station: one shallow dish with the beaten eggs and tablespoon of water, and the other with the mixture of the breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, salt & pepper.  Dip eggplant into the egg first then coat with breadcrumb mixture.  Place on cookie sheets, drizzle each one with a little olive oil and bake for about 25-30 min or until crispy.  Eggplant doesn't have to be completely soft because it will continue to cook in the oven.

Coat a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Once eggplant is done, place first layer in dish, top with a few large spoonfulls of sauce (enough to coat the layer) and about a cup or so of the mozzerella cheese (again, enough to coat). Repeat.  You should have enough for two layers.

Bake for about 20 minutes until sauce is piping hot and cheese is melted. 1240263_10200504102980347_144178667_n (2)

Grandma Helen's Blueberry Cake


 ½ cup butter 1/3 cup milk
½ cup sugar 2 egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ½ cups fresh washed blueberries
2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon flour
1 ½ cups flour 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder


 1. Preheat oven to 350, grease and flour 8 inch glass pan. Grease with butter.

2. Cream butter and ½ cup of sugar until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Separate eggs and keep the whites. Add egg yolks to the sugar mixture and beat until creamy.

3. Combine 1 ½ cups flour and baking powder, add alternately with milk to egg yolk mixture. Coat berries with 1 tablespoon of flour and add to batter by folding in the berries with a rubber spatula.

4. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add ¼ cup sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Pour batter into the greased cooking dish. Sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

5. Bake for about 45 minutes in the center of the oven. Test at 40 minutes.