Ground Turkey Stroganoff – 182!

I used to make this recipe with ground beef; however it is just as tasty with ground turkey. If you prefer ground beef, go for it! I would simply substitute the chicken broth with beef broth if you are going to do that. This recipe comes together super fast, basically by the time the noodles are done – you are ready to eat!


Ground Turkey Stroganoff


1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons no salt added tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 12 oz. package sliced mushrooms
1 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 – 16 oz. package whole wheat egg noodles, cooked according to package directions (omit the salt)

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat add the ground turkey, breaking it up as it cooks. Season with basil, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper. Continue cooking until the turkey is starting to brown, but is still pink. Add the onion, garlic and saute for another 2 – 3 minutes; add the mushrooms and cook until the turkey is no longer pink and the mushrooms are browned. Pour in almost all of the chicken broth, reserve about 2 Tablespoons in a small bowl. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch to the reserved broth and mix until dissolved. Add this mixture to pan; cook, stirring constantly for 2 – 3 more minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to very low; stir in yogurt mixture. Cook for 1 minute or until heated (do not boil). Stir in parsley. Mix with the cooked egg noodles and serve!

Pasta Mediterranean – down to 189!

One Saturday morning, last year, Eric was driving home from doing some errands and he stopped at a small farm stand on the side of the road. They had a great selection of vegetables grown on their organic farm just a few miles from our home. Eric started talking with Buddy (who, it turned out, owns the family run farm) and the subject of websites came up in the conversation. Since I own a website design company and Eric is the best marketing director in the world (among his many other talents) he told Buddy that we could design a great site for them and suggested that a barter could benefit all parties involved. We provide a website, they provide the vegetables.

I was at home when all of this happened and had no idea that I had just been volunteered for this project. However; once I saw all the beautiful, organic veggies that were going to be coming my way as “payment”, I was happy to do it.

This time of year, we get a lot of peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and eggplant. My Pasta Mediterranean is the perfect use for these fresh organic wonders!

Pasta Mediterranean

Pasta Med

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1ย  eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 summer squash, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
1ย  teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepperPasta Med
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2 – 15 oz. cans, no salt added, diced tomatoes
1 – 8 oz. can, no salt added, tomato sauce
2 links of Tofurkey Italian sausage, cut in half lengthwise, then chopped
1 – 16 oz. package whole wheat pasta

Start cooking the pasta, according to package directions (omitting the salt). As soon as you put the pot on to boil the water, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chicken until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add the vegetables (this combination of vegetables can vary depending on what looks good at your local farm stand or supermarket), season with the basil, oregano, pepper, cayenne, thyme, and red pepper flakes, saute until slightly softened. Add the olives and feta cheese; continue cooking until the feta starts to melt. Add the cooked chicken, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Let cook for a few more minutes (until your pasta is almost done); add the Tofurkey, continue cooking until the Tofurkey is warmed through.

Drain the pasta, and mix it well with the veggies and sauce. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Baked Macaroni with Veggies and Cheese – 194 more

A grown up, healthy version of Mac & Cheese :).

Baked Macaroni with Veggies and Cheese

1 – 16 oz. package whole wheat macaroni
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped summer squash
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (14.5 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup pasta sauce (use any good, low-salt, low-sugar, olive oil based variety)
3/4 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375ยฐ. Prepare macaroni according to package directions (no salt). While the pasta is cooking; heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, squash, broccoli, onion and garlic; sprinkle with basil, oregano, thyme and pepper. Saute 5 – 6 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned. Stir in tomatoes (with juice), and pasta sauce. Cover and simmer 2-3 more minutes.

Drain the pasta, place back in the pan, add the sauteed veggies and mix well Place 1/2 the pasta mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Combine the cheeses into a small bowl. Top the pasta mixture with 1/2 of the cheese mixture, place the remaining pasta on top of the cheese layer and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for 5 – 8 more minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Scrambled Lasagna – 198 to go!

I actually made this on Thursday night. Again we needed a quick meal that would yield some leftovers for a weekend trip with Rhett. Rhett and band played a frat party (!) on Friday night in Troy, Alabama and then an outdoor festival on Lake Barkley in Kuttawa, Kentucky. Since we try to never eat fast food, catering, or basically any food that I don’t make myself…we brought all of our own food (as usual). Fruit and yogurt for breakfasts, whole wheat bread and tuna for lunches and two leftover meals. This week it was Baked Feta Meatballs (from Wednesday night) and this yummy, super quick and easy no-bake lasagna:

Scrambled Lasagna

Scrambled Lasangna

1 – 16 oz. package of any short cut pasta (I used Rotini)
1 1/2 cups fat free Cottage or Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup fat free Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup low fat Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup low fat Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cup pasta sauce (I make a big sauce a couple of times and month and have some in jars in the fridge – you could also use any good jarred sauce. You want to check the ingredients and choose one with the least amount of ingredients and low salt, no HFCS, and olive oil.)

Cook pasta according to package directions (no salt); when the pasta is done drain it into a colander. Into the pan that the pasta just came out of add the Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; stir over the heat of the burner (turn the burner off after removing the boiling pasta, the leftover heat will be enough to do the job) until the cheeses are starting to melt. Add the spices and then the pasta sauce; mix until everything is well combined and warmed. Dump the pasta from the colander into the pan and scrambled it all up. There you have it!

The “breadsticks” on the plate in the photo are an Eric creation. They are healthy, quick and delicious!

Eric’s Breadsticks

whole wheat pita rounds
olive oil
dried oregano
garlic powder

Spray each pita with olive oil (you can buy a simple mister that works great for this), sprinkle with oregano and garlic powder. Place pita in toaster oven on high; toast to desired crispness. I like mine warm but fairly soft and Eric likes his with more of a “crunch” to it. Have it your way!

Spicy Peanut Noodles and Chicken Teriyaki

Last Friday Eric and I were trying to get ready to leave for a show in Ohio with Rhett. Since we have had all of July off, it was a particularly hectic day of trying to remember all the details that go into leaving for a bus trip and not forgetting anything.

side note: Eric’s going to kill me for relating this little story here, but I can’t resist. It has been 6 weeks since we’ve done a show and it is very easy to forget some things when your schedule has been so different. So…we did manage to get ready, get everything packed and leave for the trip without forgetting anything – a minor miracle. However when we arrived back in Nashville on Sunday morning and unloaded all of this gear from the bus to our car…well that was a different story. We live about 35 minutes from where we get the bus, so here we are driving home and I am really looking forward to grabbing my favorite blanket, sitting in my favorite chair and enjoy some breakfast and a hot cup of tea any minute now, since we are only 5 minutes from home. It was right then that Eric glanced in the rear view mirror and exclaimed “Shit!”. Oops, he had left his guitar on the bus ๐Ÿ™‚ Thankfully we have the most wonderful bus driver in the world and he had not taken the bus back to the shop yet and agreed to wait for us. So it was about an hour later before I was enjoying my breakfast and tea, of course if was worth it since I spent most of that time teasing Eric about his forgetfulness. I’m so lucky that he puts up with me!…OK, back to business here!

We needed to have a quick meal that would not require much chopping (since my excellent prep cook had many other things to attend to that night) and would yield some leftovers that we could take with us and eat on the road. We decided on a super easy and yummy recipe that I created several months ago:

Spicy Peanut Noodles with ChickenSpicy Peanut Noodles and Chicken Teriyaki:

1 – 16 oz. package of whole wheat spaghetti
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons peanut butter – Smucker’s All Natural is the best – nothing but peanuts and salt!
1 – 16 oz. package of broccoli slaw

While spaghetti is cooking, heat olive oil in a large wok, add garlic and saute until soft. Add cayenne, red pepper flakes, chili powder and ginger; mix well. Add soy sauce and peanut butter.

Simmer on lowuntil peanut butter is liquefied. Add broccoli slaw and toss well; continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 2 – 3 minutes. When spaghetti is done, add it to the wok and toss well.

A few hours before you start the noodles, you need to marinate the chicken for the Teriyaki:

4 oz. pineapple juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tablespoon honey

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into 3″-4″ strips

Place chicken in a shallow bowl with cover. Mix all ingredients (except chicken) together and pour over chicken; cover and marinate for at least 1 hour. Right before you start cooking the spaghetti, preheat the oven to 425ยบ. Skewer chicken pieces on metal skewers, place on a rack on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per side.

An even quicker variation to this recipe –

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Eliminate the marinade. Add these steps to the beginning of the Spicy Peanut Noodle directions. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, saute in a little olive oil in the wok until lightly browned. Remove the chicken from the wok and keep warm. Continue with the remaining Noodle recipe and add the cooked chicken back into the wok right before you add the spaghetti at the very end.

Yum ๐Ÿ™‚

Another variation is to completely eliminate the chicken! It’s still nutritious, delicious, and filling as a vegetarian dish!

Linguini and White Clam Sauce

The other night Eric and I were watching “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” (for, probably, the 20th time) and Damone gave Rat his five-point plan: “First of all Rat, you never let on how much you like a girl. “Oh, Debbie. Hi.” Two, you always call the shots. “Kiss me. You won’t regret it.” Now three, act like wherever you are, that’s the place to be. “Isn’t this great?” Four, when ordering food, you find out what she wants, then order for the both of you. It’s a classy move. “Now, the lady will have the linguine and white clam sauce, and a Coke with no ice.” And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.” I then realized that I had never made a linguine with white clam sauce. What a perfect time to try it!

The next day we did some grocery shopping, I purchased all of the necessary ingredients (those that I didn’t already have on hand) and then I started looking through my cookbooks and on-line to get some ideas for the basic recipe. I love to cook, but I almost never follow a recipe exactly. I find that too many recipes include unnecessarily unhealthy ingredients and almost all of them have too much salt. I finally found a couple of recipes that I felt I could work with. My next step was to elicit Eric’s superb prep cook skills and get him started chopping garlic, onions, anchovies, and parsley. I decided to use canned chopped clams (rinsed and drained to remove the salt).

I found that this was a much easier dish to cook than I thought. From start to finish, it took about 30 minutes. If you don’t have a master prep cook at your disposal, it would take a little bit longer ๐Ÿ™‚

Linguine and White Clam Sauce

Here is the recipe:

2 cans chopped clams (rinsed and drained)
2 teaspoons Smart Balance Butter Spread
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped onion

4 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 oz. finely chopped anchovies (rinse and drain before chopping)
1/2 cup white wine
1 quart fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup skim milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese
1 lb. whole wheat linguine (prepared while making the sauce)

Melt butter in a large saute pan then add olive oil. Add onion, garlic and anchovies. Cook until garlic gets LIGHT golden brown (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add wine and cook down until reduced by half; add chicken broth and next five ingredients. Cook on low for about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Stir cornstarch into skim milk until completely dissolved. Stir milk into broth mixture and whisk until smooth and thickened. If the sauce is too thin, mix a little more cornstarch into a small amount of cold water and add. If the sauce is too thick, stir in more broth until it becomes the desired consistency. Add clams and cheese; mix. Pour sauce over cooked linguine and toss well.

Yes, it is actually spaghetti, not linguine, in the photo – so sue me, they were out of whole wheat linguine at the store!