Monday, June 27, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini

I was reading Shelly's last post for the zucchini lasagna and remembered this recipe.  It doesn't have bread stuffing, so I didn't feel at all guilty for eating a rather large helping!  This recipe is on

2 large zucchinis
1 tablespoon oil
2 Italian Sausage (casings removed)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tomatoes (diced)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1/2 cup mozzarella (grated)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)

1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the middle.
2. Chop the zucchini that was scooped out and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the sausage and brown.
5. Add the onion and saute until tender.
6. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
7. Add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
8. Add the chopped zucchini, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
9. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
10. Let the stuffing cool.
11. Mix in half of the cheese.
12. Stuff the zucchinis with the stuffing and top with the remaining cheese.
13. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the zucchinis are tender and the cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lasagna With Zucchini "Noodles"

I have been meaning to get this recipe posted for almost a week now. Sorry it's taken me so long.

I was worried, while I was making this, that the kids wouldn't eat it. I shouldn't have worried. They all loved it. None of us missed the pasta noodles at all. I used my mandolin to slice the zucchini about 1/8" thick and layered it all just like regular lasagna. Unlike regular lasagna though, I had to use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces rather than just using the spatula. That was the only drawback and really, it's pretty minor.

Lasagna With Zucchini "Noodles"

4 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/8" thick
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 - 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 - 28oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
24oz cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 c fresh basil, minced or 2 Tbsp dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In large 12" skillet or dutch oven heat oil over med heat. Add onions add cook 4 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 min more. Add ground beef to the pan and break up while browning. After 4 minutes, pour in cream and continue cooking until all the liquid has boiled away and just the fat is left. Add salt, pepper and canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Turn heat to med-low and allow flavors to meld while you prepare the cheese filling.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Add cottage and Parmesan cheeses, basil, salt and pepper. Stir together thoroughly.

Scoop about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and spread it around. Arrange a layer of zucchini to cover the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/4 of the cheese over the zucchini. Top with 1 1/2 c sauce. Repeat these layers 3 more times, pouring the remaining sauce over the top. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and the zucchini is soft. Remove pan from oven and turn oven to broil. Top lasagna with mozzarella cheese and broil until melted, brown and bubbly.
Allow lasagna to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Variations on the same theme:
 - I am making something similar tonight. It's more of a ratatouille than a lasagna and my husband called it "Ratatouille Lasagna." I didn't use the cheese and used Italian sausage instead of ground beef. I layered zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant with the sauce. I added the basil to the sauce since there was no cheese and baked it all together until it was soft. After serving, we topped it with a little goat cheese for a bit of tang. If you are not opposed to eating bread, a crusty baguette would be wonderful with this. Or maybe some rice.
 - You could leave the meat out of the sauce and serve grilled salmon or chicken with the ratatouille version.

 - You could add more veggies to the lasagna, such as spinach, mushrooms, broccoli or eggplant.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost Primal Chocolate Chip Scones

I found this recipe and just had to make it. I tweaked it a bit like I am apt to do these days to make my food more primal. I was hopeful, but still a bit skeptical about these. I've found many recipes for primal baked goods that got rave reviews. But when I tried them, they were horrible. I'm a bit picky about my baked goods. These were amazing. My kids gobbled them up in less than 5 minutes. I think that they'll become a breakfast staple at our house now.

Instead of using canola oil, I used coconut oil. I melted it and mixed it with the eggs, but it solidified in the eggs. So next time, I'll cut in the coconut oil like I would with butter. I used table salt instead of kosher, I just used half as much. I also used honey instead of agave nectar. I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips because that's what I had on hand. They were a bit too sweet for my taste, so next time I'll use 1-2 Tbsp of honey if I use extra dark chocolate or just leave it out altogether, especially if I use semi-sweet chips again. These would be really good with wild blueberries and lemon curd too.

So here's how I'll make them next time:

Chocolate Chip Scones
(makes 8 large scones)

2 1/2 c almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c coconut oil
1-2 Tbsp honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 c chopped 85% dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in solid coconut oil.
In small bowl combine eggs and honey. Pour into dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula.
Stir in chocolate.
Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop dough onto pan.
Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs

I was looking over recipes I've saved and found this one for Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs.  I've made this recipe before and decided to make some minor adjustments this time.  This recipe is from  It's supposed to serve two, but I made the entire recipe for dinner just for me!  It ws delicious!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 medium tomatoes (diced)
1/4 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 T white wine
1 handful fresh herbs (chopped, I used dill and parsley)
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
2 eggs

1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and wine and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the fresh herbs and feta.
6. Divide between two individually sized baking dishes, indent the centers with a spoon and crack the eggs into the indentations.  (I put everything in one oven safe bowl and made two indents for the eggs)
7. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until the sauce is bubbly and the egg whites have just set, about 8-14 minutes.

Crunchy Low-Carb Snack Bars

I've been craving something sweet lately and saw this recipe on  It only took me a few minutes and as I snitched a bite here and there and I realized I put a pretty good dent in the pan of bars.  I didn't have erythirol, so I used a different sweetener.  I'll make these time and time again.

Crunchy No-Bake Snack Bars

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup golden flax meal (could also use sesame seed meal)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (could also use peanut or mac nut butter)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of raw honey
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons erythritol
1/8 teaspoon of pure stevia extract (NuNaturals brand!)

Easy Chocolate Ganache Topping

4 squares of 85% cacao chocolate
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening (could also use more coconut oil or organic unsalted butter)
1 tablespoon erythritol
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1 teaspoon organic heavy cream (or full fat coconut milk)

For Snack Bars:
Powder erythritol in coffee grinder or magic bullet. Toast coconut and nuts in a dry pan over medium-low heat or the toaster oven, until slightly browned. Pulse nut and seed mixture in a food processor just until nuts are chopped. Melt coconut oil and nut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla extract, honey, erythritol, stevia, and sea salt, stirring until incorporating. Fold into nut mixture. Press into an 8 by 4 pan with a spatula. Quick set in the freezer for 20 minutes. Cut into 6 bars. Store in the refrigerator, covered with a paper towel and plastic wrap.

For Ganache Topping:
Powder erythritol in coffee grinder or magic bullet. Melt shortening and chocolate in microwave in for 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in cream, erythritol, and stevia, until mixture is completely blended. Spread over cooled bars immediately.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Supremes De Volaille Aux Champignons

When I lived in Pittsburgh, I went to a cooking class and we learned to make this recipe.  It's basically chicken with a mushroom cream sauce.  It's incredible!  When I was at the store today, I remembered this recipe and got excited because it's primal.  I made steamed broccoli on the side and it was the perfect dinner.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 T butter
1 T minced shallot
1/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms
1/2 t lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat butter until foaming.  Stir in minced shallot and saute for 1 minute.  Stir in mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt.

Rub chicken with a couple of drops of lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in parchment paper lined baking dish.  Pour butter and mushroom mixture over the chicken.  Take another piece of parchment paper and butter it.  Place butter side down over chicken.  Cook in 400 degree oven until chicken is 165 degrees.

4 T butter
1/4 c diced mushrooms
1/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c white wine
1 c whipping cream
lemon juice to taste

Melt butter and add mushrooms.  Add chicken stock and white wine and boil down over high heat until liquid is syrupy.  Stir in cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly.  Of  heat, taste carefully for seasoning, add drops of lemon juice to taste.

Cut chicken into slices on the bias and plate.  Drizzle cream sauce over top, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dark Chocolate Mousse

I recently had a cooking day with my friend Debe. Sadly, it was cut short because her daughter, Tessa, fell on the trampoline and broke her arm. We made Garlic Pulled Pork which was still slow-roasting when Debe rushed Tessa to the ER. That was the only thing that we'd started. We had planned to make collard greens with bacon and garlic to go with the pork and some Dark Chocolate Mousse too. I figured that after an evening spent in the ER with a child in pain, she was going to need some chocolate when she got home. So I decided to go ahead and make the mousse without her. After all, I had to stick around until either she or her husband got home because her son was there with me and my kids. He's too young to stay home alone. May as well make some awesome dessert, right?!

It turned out pretty perfect in my opinion. It's light and fluffy because it has both whipped egg whites and whipped cream folded into it. I used xylitol instead of sugar and it still turned out great. I used a Cook's Illustrated recipe and tweaked it to my own liking. The original recipe called for 1 tsp espresso and 1 Tbsp brandy. I'm not a fan of coffee in my chocolate and Debe didn't have any brandy, only dark rum, so I skipped those this time. I think the brandy would really enhance the flavor though. Next time I'll add it.

For everyone out there going "strictly primal," I think this would taste just as good, even a bit richer, if you left out the whipped cream.

Premium Dark Chocolate Mousse - serves 8

8 oz Premium Dark Chocolate 62-70% cacao - I used 70% Ghiradelli
3 Tbsp sugar or xylitol
2 Tbsp cocoa powder - preferably Dutch-processed
7 Tbsp water
3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/8 tsp salt
1 c heavy cream

Melt chocolate, cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp sugar and water over boiling water or in microwave. Whisk until smooth.
Whisk egg yolks and 1 1/2 tsp sugar together. Whisk in chocolate mixture and brandy.
With electric mixer or stand mixer, beat egg whites and remaining 1 1/2 tsp sugar to stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 egg whites into chocolate mixture at a time.
Using same bowl and beater, beat heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold in 1/2 at a time into chocolate mixture, making sure there are no white streaks remaining.
Spoon into individual serving dishes, cover with plastic and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chocolate Mousse

There are a few people at work that are changing their diets to eat more naturally, less sugar and carbs.  I love that there are several of us that can share delicious recipes.  I have to say that this recipe is the most genius recipe I've tried so far.  I love chocolate and jump at any opportunity to eat "healthy chocolate"!  At first when I was told about the main ingredient, I was hesitant to even try it because the main ingredient is avocado.  Who would ever think that avocado is the perfect dessert food?  This literally took me 5 minutes to make and I can't wait for it to be completely chilled so I can devour it!!  This recipe is from

  • 4 Ripe Organic Avocados
  • 1 Cup of Sweetener (Agave Nectar or Evaporated Cane Juice)
  • 1 Tbls of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup of Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Powder (or Carob)
Slice each avocado open and scoop out the insides. Place the inside in a food processor or blender. Next add the sweetener, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Blend or process the mixture until fully blended. The mixture should be smooth and the color of chocolate. You can instantly serve the mousse, however we recommend you let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve in cups with fresh fruit or mint. Some of our favorite fruits we like to add are strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and sometimes pineapple