Artichoke Lasagna (Dairy)

lasagnaA friend told me about this yummy recipe that is her go to guest dish. OMG this is so good I could eat it every day..not just for special occasions! I did find the caponata and artichoke hearts (kosher) at

2-14 ounce cans diced tomatoes with garlic and onion (undrained)
1 – 7-ounce jar eggplant caponata
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Ground pepper to taste
1 16-ounce container low fat cottage cheese
2 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, well drained
1.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 8-ounce package no boil lasagna noodles

1. In food processor pulse tomatoes, eggplant caponata and 1/2 teaspoon salt, coarsely chopping
2. In a clean processor bowl, process cottage cheese until smith. Add artichokes, 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; pulse quickly to coarsely chop artichokes, season with pepper.
3. Spread one-third tomato mixture in a lightly oiled 8 x 11 baking dish. Cover with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread half the cottage cheese mixture over noodles. Cover with 3 noodles. Spoon on half the remaining tomato mixture and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
4. Cover with 4 noodles and remain gin cottage cheese mixture.
5. Top with 4 noodles and remaining tomato mixture.
6. Cover dish and bake for 25 minutes and 425 degrees or until bubbling. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes more until cheese has melted.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Lemon Chicken (Meat)

Moist and so full of flavor, this chicken dish is so very easy to put together. Leftovers are a great add in for a green salad.

boneless, chicken breasts (or boneless skinless chicken thighs) (about 1 and1/2 pounds) cut into large serving pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 1.5 large lemons plus several more slices of lemon
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried oreganochicken


Preheat oven 375 degrees

Combine olive oil with chopped onion, lemon juice, garlic, thyme and oregano. Let sit for about 30 minutes to left flavors steep.

Sprinkle a little olive oil in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place chicken pieces in single layer. Pour combined sauce over chicken pieces coating everything well. Disperse a few slices of lemon across the dish.  Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes until cooked through.

Serve with noodles or rice with chicken and juices.


Spicy Black Bean Soup (Parve)

Adapted from a recipe online, we loved this soup!  Winter is such a perfect time for soup. It makes a large quantity and is so filling. We are able to eat much of the week, and my husband never tires of it! I use my food processor to chop the onions, celery, garlic and jalapeño.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeño chopped (or can use 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnishes: diced avocado, tortilla chips, salsa


  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium and add the onions, celery and carrot and a light sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, cumin and jalapeño and cook  about 30 seconds. Pour in the beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a stick blender blend most of the soup, leaving some whole beans and carrots (don’t worry about amounts, and you will know when you see it!) Stir in lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, diced avocado, salsa.. and if you want to be dairy, use some sour cream or grated sharp cheddar.

Minestrone Soup (Parve)

A delicious go to soup for a hearty meal. Easy to make for a quick dinner.  Makes about 12 servings. Serve with warm bread. Enjoy!

2 large carrots
2 ribs celeryminestrone
1 medium onions
2 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
2 (15 ounce) different cans beans drained and rinsed (your choice: kidney, canellini, garbanzo, pinto, black)
1 and 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 tablespoon dried basil
1.5 teaspoon dried parsely
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked whole wheat/whole grain pasta (elbows, rigatoni..your choice) cooked and drained and set aside.

1. In food processor chop carrots, onions, garlic and celery.
2. In large soup pan, cook chopped veggies until tender in tablespoon of oil.
3. Add broth, sauce, tomatoes, beans, cabbage and seasonings, stir to mix.
4. Simmer about 1/2 hour until cabbage is tender.
5. Add cooked noodles, simmer to heat noodles through.
6. Serve with grated parmesan cheese

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Two Cup Tuna Casserole (Dairy)

This is the original comfort food.  I have read a number of recipes for tuna casserole and came up with this easy combo.  Let the winter begin!tuna 3

2 cups dried kluski noodles (or egg noodles) cooked and drainedtuna 1
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, limas)
2 cups fresh white mushrooms, halved
2 cups chopped onions
1 can mushroom soup mixed with milk to make 2 cups
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (low fat or regular)
2 cans tuna drained (almost 2 cups!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

panko crumbs for topping

1. Sauté mushrooms with NO oil until browned and liquid reduce, add to a big bowl.
2. In the same pan from the mushrooms, sauté onions with a teaspoon of oil until nicely brown, add to the bowl.
3. In same bowl add noodles, frozen veggies, mushroom soup/milk liquid, cheese, tuna and salt. Gently toss to mix everything.
4. Spray a square baking pan with olive oil spray (or your choice).  Pour the mixture from the bowl into the pan.
5. Sprinkle panko crumbs across top of casserole and spray with olive oil spray
6. Bake 350 degrees for one hour.
7. Let casserole rest for 15 minutes before serving.tuna 2

Broiled Salmon with Orange Glaze

Taking a class through Gilda’s Club Chicago gave me this wonderful recipe that may be my favorite salmon. There is extra “glaze” so I just keep it in a container and use as needed.

1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tsp toasted seame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove crushed
1/2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot
3 Tablespoons season rice wine vinegar
1 lb skinless salmon filet
6 green onions (scallions) thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

1. Combine marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger root, garlic and vinegar and mix well.
2. You may cut the fillet into 4 or keep whole.
3. Place the salmon on a cooking tray and pour glaze over each side. Broil 5 minutes on each side, or 10 minutes on one side.
4. Serve topped with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Greek Salad (Dairy)

Non meat centered salad and a great light dinner entree. I use lettuce in place of some of the tomatoes, which is personal preference.

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
kosher salt

12 to 14 small vine ripened tomatoes quartered
Bag of romaine lettuce
1 cup kalamata olives, halved and pitted
5 Persian cucumbers
1 4 ounce block of Greek feta cheese
1. Soak the red onion in a bowl of heavily salted ice water, 15 minutes.
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor for dressing and process until emulsified.
3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and slice crosswise about 1/2 inch think; add to bowl with the tomatoes. Drain the red onion, add to the bowl and toss.
4. Crumble the feta over the salad and drizzle with more olive oil and season with fresh ground pepper.

Soy Maple Salmon (Parve)

Easy marinade mades a perfect baked or broiled salmon. I usually double the marinade

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons water
4 5 ounce skinless salmon filets

Mix the soy sauce, maple syrup, orange juice, garlic and 2 tablespoon water in a large bowl; add the salmon and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to one hour.
Broil the salmon about 8-10 minutes until the top turns brown.

Quinoa Veggie Burger (Dairy)


I was dragging my feet about Quinoa until I had this dish. These burgers were so amazing, even my non vegetable loving husband thought they were delicious! I’m a quinoa convert. No more meat burgers for me.  Serve with  toasted whole wheat buns, avocado, a little mayo, lettuce. Yum! Recipe found in “Eating Well” magazine.

1 cup water
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Cup diced onion
2 cups chopped mushroom (white or cremini)
1 teaspoon garlic
3/4  teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large egg
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (low fat or regular)
1/2 cup whole pecans toasted and finely chopped
1/3 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 tablespoon soy sauce

8 small whole wheat burger buns, toasted if desired (I used olive oil spray and toasted in a non stick skillet over low to medium heat)

1. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
2. Preheat over to 350. Line a baking sheet with no stick foil or parchment paper.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until soften about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, marjoram and oregano, cook, stirring until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
4. Beat egg in a medium bowl. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, pecans, oats and soy sauce.  Combine. Scoop about 1/2 cup portions of the mixture on the baking sheet and shape into 8 patties about 3 inches wide, leaving about 1 inch of space between each patty (mixture will be crumbly but will hold together once baked).
5. Bake the burgers until crispy, 28 to 30 minutes. Serve on buns with favorite garnishes.

Chicken Francese (Meat)

Super fast, elegant chicken dish. Serve with cooked pasta. I can find prepared chicken cutlets, otherwise prepare your own from boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds) prepared into cutlets
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1 cup chicken broth or 1 teaspoon Osem Chicken Soup Powder mixed with 1 cup hot water
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter flavored
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsleyPreparation

Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with  the 2 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.

Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the Earth Balance  in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.