Easy No Boil Noodles Meat Lasagna

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I have made lasagna in the past and though delicious, it was always an ordeal. This one, however, is a keeper. The prep time was short due to not cooking the noodles and the results were given two thumbs up. Both husband and older daughter asked for seconds! Not only that, I have left overs for another dinner!


1 pound of ground beef (I used grass fed 85% Lean Beef)
1 medium onion chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 table spoon of oil (I used grape seed)
1 15 container of ricotta ( I used part skim)
2 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella ( I used part skim)
4 1/2 cups of tomato herb sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan
6-8 lasagna noodles (depending on thickness)
1/4 cup hot water


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Preheat a large skillet with oil. Add onion, cook stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes till begins to soften.  Add beef. Cook stirring and breaking up into fine pieces. Continue to cook till no longer pink.

Add tomato sauce and garlic powder. Mix evenly with beef and heat a few minutes till sauce becomes warm.I did not add any salt because the sauce contained salt.

Beat one egg, combine with ricotta and grated parmesan. 

Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture into a rectangular pan, 11 x 7  inches. Top with 3-4 uncooked lasagna noodles depending on their thickness. Top with 1/2 the ricotta mixture and 1/2 of the mozzarella.

Repeat procedure. Spread remaining 1/3 of the mixture over the 2nd layer of mozzarella.

Slowly add hot water to the edges of the lasagna.

Cover with 2 layers of heavy duty foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

We had this with a side of sauteed kale. Would also be great with a side salad or a roasted veggie of your choice. 

*Adapted from Southern Living Magazine 2000

Black Cod in White Miso Sauce

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Love the texture and flavor of black cod. Cooking it in miso makes it that much more delicious. Though many recipes call for marinating it for a few hours or overnight, I did not not have the time to do that and it still came out delicious.

3 black cod fillets, about 5 ounces each
2/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of white miso paste
2 tablespoons of honey
Cooking spray

In a microwave safe dish, combine wine, miso and honey. Mix a bit.
Microwave for 30 seconds and mix well till smooth. Allow to cool a bit.

Wash and dry your cod really well.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Add fish and spoon half the miso mixture over it. Broil about 5 minutes. Flip over, spoon the rest of miso mixture and broil another 3-5 minutes. If cooking and browning too fast, lower the broiler rack to be further from heat. 

Serve immediately. We had this for dinner with baby bok choy and it was delicious.

Pan Seared Crispy Skin Striped Bass with Butter and Lemon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I am here to tell you that the fish skin can be delicious. Do not fear the fish skin! The key to the skin being tasty is getting it to be crispy. The key to it getting crispy is making sure the fillet is dry. More on this below.

3-4 Striped Bass Fillets (or another boneless fillet with skin)
1 tablespoons of oil with high smoke point. I use grape seed. 
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt to taste

1) Remove your fish from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to cooking. Sprinkle a bit of salt on it.

2) Wash and dry your fish really really well with a paper towel. Using a butter knife, scrape the skin. This will let out some more moisture. Pat dry again with a paper towel.

3) Preheat skillet, preferably non stick till it's really hot, about 2 minutes. Add oil and swirl it around. Heat another minute. 

4) Add your fish fillet skin side down. Sprinkle salt on meaty side. Press down with a spatula so the the skin flattens for about 10-15 seconds per piece. A metal spatula is best for this. Cook for about 7-10 minutes WITHOUT DISTURBING on a medium high flame. Most of the cooking should occur with the skin side down.

5) Flip over using a metal spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add butter and allow to melt for a minute. Turn off flame and baste with butter. Add lemon juice and allow it to combine with butter.

6) Serve immediately. We had this with quinoa and green beans and it was delicious.

*adapted from honest-food.net

Baked Spring / Egg Rolls Kid Friendly Style

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This healthy twist on the traditional spring rolls is a hit with adults and kids alike.
There is an opportunity here to play with the ingredients based on your/your kids preferences.

What I used:
1 tablespoon grapeseed  oil
2 shallots finely chopped
Bulb of 1 leek, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Ground ginger
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of sweet corn (during corn season, I shucked and froze for later use)
Nasoya Eggroll Wraps--about 1/2 a pack
Coconut cooking spray.

In oil, saute finely chopped shallots and leeks. 
Added ground beef, when almost cooked (with almost no pink), added ground ginger, salt and sweet corn. Cook another few minutes.
Drain beef mixture and allow to cool a bit.
Stuff into NaSoya wraps as per directions on package into envelope like shape. 
Spray with coconut oil spray. 
Baked till golden at 400F, flipping over once for ~10 per side.


Breakfast Chia Pudding with Almond Milk and Berries

Monday, February 24, 2014

I have been seeing chia pudding cups popping up all over place these days: in local coffee shops and on pinterest alike. I have used chia seed in Overnight Oatmeal  and my kids sprinkle it over their cereal in the morning. 
They are a great source of fiber and omega 3s! What's not to love?

Figured why not try this pudding. The results were delicious, surprisingly filling and both of  my girls and hubby thought this tasted good enough to eat! Score!!!!


1 1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp of maple syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to either a bowl or a glass jar. I prepared these in a glass jar for easy mixing and transporting to work. If using a bowl, mix really well. If using a glass jar, cover and shake to  mix. Uncover and leave on the counter for about a half hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh berries and enjoy! I ate mine cold though I hear you can warm it up as well (though I have not tried this).

A Healthy Alternative to Pasta Dinner: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Grass-fed Lean Beef, Tomatoes and Spinach

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who does not love a hearty pasta dish? But if you are watching your diet like I am, you ought to try this delicious recipe. You won't miss the pasta a bit! 

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1 can on diced tomatoes, drained
2-3 shallots, diced
2 cups of washed and spun dried baby spinach
1 pound of lean ground beef (any meat would work well with this)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of everything rub (combination of garlic powder, chili powder, cumin). 
    *feel free to use any other seasoning here (oregano, parsley, etc)
1 tablespoon of oil for frying (I used grape)
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 425. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Poke with a knife on the skin side a few times. Spray both sides of squash with cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet bottom down. I placed foil under the squash to minimize clean up.

Roast for about 20 minutes, flip over and roast another 15 or so till you can peel off "spaghetti" with a fork.

In the meantime, preheat skilled with oil. Saute shallots till they soften. Add beef, cook breaking it up into chunks. Add salt and seasoning. When beef is cooked through, remove it with a slotted spoon. Spill out most of the oil. Add beef back to the skilled. Add spinach, allow to wilt. Add tomatoes. Mix well.  Keep warm.

Once squash is almost cooked, carefully remove the spaghetti. Combine with beef mixture. Top with grated parmesan.


Balsamic Glazed Turkey Meatloaf with Zucchini

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I think that besides the fact that having this page has helped me to get more organized with my recipes, the second unexpected benefit is that it has also been driving me to try new recipes! This tasty turkey meatloaf was a big hit and I have a feeling will be a frequent flyer in my cooking rotation. 

2 pounds of lean ground turkey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large zucchini diced into small pieces
1 cup panko (I used whole wheat panko)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps aged balsamic vinegar
5 smashed garlic cloves
Cooking spray (I used coconut from Trader Joe's)
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1 large egg lightly beaten
1/2 freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley (I used about 2 tablespoons of dry)
3/4 cup ketchup divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup (I used Annie's brand)

Preheat over to 425 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook chopped zucchini with garlic, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of  red pepper flakes till soft for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. I think next time, I will also add some chopped shallots. (The original recipe called for red and yellow bell pepper but I omitted since my family are not huge fans).

In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk egg, add parsley and thyme. Add turkey, panko, cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and cooled zucchini mixture. Mixt until combined, best done by hand. Don't over mix.

Spray a 9 x 5 inches loaf pan with cooking spray. Press turkey mixture into it. 

In a small bowl, prepare your graze by combining  1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4  cup balsamic, 1/4 teaspoon of  red pepper flakes. Brush glaze over entire loaf.

Bake for about 1 hour. Internal temperature for well done is 165 F. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. I served this with a side of sauteed kale. 

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flays Vegetable Meatloaf 

Baked Bison Quinoa Meatballs

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Really into making baked meatballs lately. What's not too like?  A hit with the whole family, make excellent leftovers, great over a salad,  and even freeze well. And so,  the meatball obsession continues. For other meatball recipes, you can view my blog here Baked Beef Ricotta Meatballs or here Bison Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce.

Presenting a new version of bison and quinoa meatballs here! I made these with bison but you can substitute beef with similar results. Quinoa lends these a tasty juicy flavor. 

1 1/2 pounds of ground bison
1 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa (cook per package directions)
2 eggs, beated
2 gloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cups of grated parmigiano
Salt to taste
1/2 fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoon dry parsley
Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cup of marinara sauce of choice

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. I used my Breville Convection oven which I rave about almost every post but if you don't have one, get one. No really regular oven is fine.
2. Line a large baking dish with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray ( I use Coconut Spray from Trader Joe's).
3. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix all the ingredients except the marinara. Combine well. Using ice cream scooper or hands, for 2 1/2 inch meatballs.
4. Arrange meatballs on a baking dish, bake about 12 minutes, flip over and make another 12 minutes.
Top with marinara and bake another 5 minutes, till sauce is hot.

Notes: I always set aside a few meatballs to be sauce free--my younger daughter does not like tomato sauce. If you plan to freeze, I recommend skipping the sauce step.

*Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine

Roast Pork Loin with Apples--Fast and Delicious

Monday, January 13, 2014

As a working mom, I am always on the look out for healthy, delicious and fast weeknights meal. This one was a big hit, and so here I am, typing is up as soon as we finish eating so that I remember what I did.

Boneless Pork Tenderloin Roast
         *I had 2 of these, about a pound each and they were already tied which makes them look           fabulous.
2-3 apples sliced, I used golden delicious
2 tablespoons oil (I used grape)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Chopped rosemary and thyme, about 1 tablespoon each
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking spray ( I used coconut from Trader Joe's)

1) Preheat oven to 400. I used my Breville convection oven.

2) Wash and dry your pork. I know you don't have to but I can't help it. Unwashed meat grosses me out.

3) Add salt and pepper to both sides.

4) In a large skillet, heat your oil for about 2 minutes. Add pork and brown on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side.

5) Remove pork, add apples, begin to cook them and add vinegar. Allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes.

6) Spray your baking tray w oil. Add pork and sprinkle it with rosemary and thyme on both sides.
Surround it by apples.

7) Roast about 15 minutes, flip over and roast for another 15, approximately 1/2 hour in total till the center registers at about 140 to 150F.

8) Remove string, slice and serve with apples. We had a side of sauteed kale as well.

Pan Seared Lemon Sole with Seared Lemons

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am always looking for tasty and healthy fish recipes. This one is delicious and fits the bill. *adapted from Real Simple Magazine


1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3-4 fillet of lemon sole (or another flaky white fish like flounder)
1 lemon w ends removed, cut into thin slices
4 tablespoons of butter
Salt to taste

Wash and dry fish. Salt on both sides.

Add flour to a large plate, dredge fish fillets in flour, shake off excess.

On a large skillet, melt 1/2 the butter. Add lemon slices and cook about 90 seconds per side till light brown.

Remove lemons. Melt remaining butter. Add fish to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes per side till fish is white and cooked through. 

Remove fish from plate, add the lemons for about 20 seconds to warm them up.

Add fish to plate and top with lemon slices.

I served this with roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed kale.