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Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini

12 Sep

4 medium zucchini
salt, for cooking zucchini
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese, more or less to taste

Fill a medium pot with water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil.

Wash zucchini skins and cut zucchini into strips about 3 inches long and 1/2 inches thick. You will probably need to cut away some of the white inside part of the zucchini to get strips this thin.

Add zucchini to water and cook until barely tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain well and plunge
into ice water to stop the cooking, then drain in colander for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from colander and place in single layer on cutting board and pat dry with
paper towels.

While zucchini cooks, preheat broiler and adjust the rack so it is six inches away from the heat. Spray a broiling pan with non-stick spray.

Arrange zucchini on broiler pan in rows, close together, skin side down. (Try to leave just a crack between each piece so the cheese can run down a tiny bit.) Brush zucchini with olive oil. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over zucchini, trying to get most of the zucchini covered.

Put zucchini under broiler and cook until cheese is completely melted and well-browned, about 15 minutes, or perhaps a little more, depending on how hot your broiler is and
how close the pan is to the heat source. Serve hot or warm. There will not be
any leftovers, so you don’t need to worry about whether this will keep in the


Very Greek Grilled Chicken

12 Sep

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Marinade: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest or 1/4 tsp. dried lemon zest (or use a little more lemon juice if you don’t have lemon zest)1 tsp. Greek seasoning 1 tsp. poultry seasoning 1 tsp. dried oregano black pepper to taste

Trim all visible fat and membranes from chicken breasts, I like to make small crosswise slits about 1/2 inch apart down the length of each chicken breast to help the marinade penetrate the meat. Put chicken in single layer in Ziploc bag.
Combine marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate in refrigerator 6-8 hours or all day if desired. (If you don’t have that long to marinate I recommend increasing the lemon juice a little.)
Preheat grill to medium-hot and grill chicken 20-25 minutes, or until well browned and firm but not hard to the touch. (I’ve been cooking this slightly less than 20 minutes the last few times I’ve made it. Actual cooking time will depend on the heat of your grill and the temperature outside, so don’t overcook.)
This chicken could also be cooked in a stove-top grill pan with ridges or a George Foreman Grill with good results.

Outback Steakhouse-Style Steak

10 Sep



  1. 1
    Mix together seasoning ingredients and rub into each side of steak.
  2. 2
    Grill steaks on a large frying pan over medium-high heat; press down on steak with spatula or tongs to sear the edges.

Carne Adovada

10 Sep


8 to 10 dried red New Mexico or California chilies 2 cups water
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 pounds lean boneless pork butt, cut 1/2 inch thick
Preparation: 1. Wash chilies; remove stems and seeds. Place in 3-quart pan with water. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until chilies are very soft. Pour chilies and liquid into blender or food processor container fitted with metal blade; process until puréed. Push purée through wire strainer; discard pulp. Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt and cumin to chili mixture. 2. If using pork butt, trim excess fat. Cut meat into 1/2-inch slices, then cut into strips about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long. Place meat in heavy self-sealing plastic bag. Pour chili mixture over meat; seal bag. Refrigerate 1 to 2 days. Preheat oven to 325°F. Transfer meat and chili mixture to 2-1/2-quart casserole; cover. Bake 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until meat is very tender. Skim and discard fat before serving.

Baby Bella Shiitake Mushroom Soup (non-dairy)

10 Sep

3 oz. Baby Bella (Crimini) mushrooms
30 grams dried Shiitake mushrooms
1/2 medium onion
1/2 shallot
3-4 cloves roasted garlic approximately 4 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth…home made is best, but…
2 cans  (15 oz.) low sodium chicken broth will be fine (more or less depending on how thick you like your soup)
NOTE…i used 1 whole can and about 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth… vegetable broth works very well with this for a pure vegetarian version 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
FIRST…before you do anything…roast your garlic.  i like to roast mine
whole with the top sliced off and drizzled with olive oil inside.  wrap in
tinfoil.  oven at 370 F and it should take about an hour.

rehydrate your dried mushrooms as the package instructs if using dried.  saute
your veggies in about 2 Tsp olive oil (maybe less if possible).   do not salt
your veggies while sauteing.  you can add your tarragon and thyme in when they
are almost done.  when everything is done and mushrooms look yummy and golden
transfer to a sauce pan (3-4 quart works for me).  reserve a few mushrooms for
garnish.  squeeze the water from the rehydrated mushrooms and chop them up a
little and add them with the roasted garlic cloves to the pot.  add chicken
broth, a little less than you think you might need because you don’t want your
end product to be too thin.  bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.  when
everything has been heated through take off the stove and get your immersion
blender in there and blend away…blend it to the texture you like.  i like it
creamy.  you might need to add more broth at this point (heat through if you add
more).  when you have it just right check for seasoning…salt and pepper to
your liking.  i like the base creamy, then i add a few whole reserved mushrooms
or use as garnish.
reheat just before service.  this soup can be made ahead
and keeps well for a few days.

NOTE..the fresh thyme is for
presentation and photos only

Clean Eating Pumpkin Donuts

10 Sep

(Makes 8 donuts)

Donut Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or plain)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 packets of stevia

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/2 scoop whey protein powder (I used cinnamon swirl but vanilla is fine too)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or plain)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *if not sweet enough stevia can be added to taste


  1. Whisk all ingredients together and carefully pour into doughnut pan. Don’t fill too high or you won’t have a hole in the middle of your doughnut!
  2. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until done.
  3. For the glaze, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and pour over the donuts after they have cooled.

Recipe Notes: Another variation I’ve tried is using two egg whites instead of the whole egg and 1/4c raw coconut crystals in place of the stevia.  For the frosting we’ve also used nonfat plain Greek yogurt with a packet of stevia and a few drops of vanilla extract

Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins

10 Sep

1 3/4 cup Oats

3 Egg whites
3/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup Unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Plain greek yogurt (or regular plain low fat yogurt)

1/2 tsp Cream of tartar (or 2 tsp. vinegar)
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Hot water
1/2 cup Baking stevia OR 1 cup sweetener of choice that measures like sugar 1
1/2 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Tip Foil cupcake liners, remove the inner paper lining (because paper liners tend to stick to muffins!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil cupcake liners, or spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a blender, (or food processor), mix all of the ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips. Blend until oats are ground and mixture is smooth.
Place mixture in a bowl and gently stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (set the rest aside). Scoop mixture into prepared muffin pans.
Place muffins tins in the oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove muffins from the oven (but don’t shut oven off), and distribute the other half of the chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
Place the muffins back into the oven and bake for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Note, you could skip this step by putting all of the chips in the batter, and baking the muffins for 12-15 min straight, but this method gives the muffins the traditional ‘VitaTop Muffin’ look with the chocolate chips on top!

Cool muffins before removing from pan. ENJOY!!!

Clean Eating Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

10 Sep

Cooking spaghetti squash can be done one of two ways. A) You can cut it in half (which is not easy to do) and bake it in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom, or B) you can poke holes in a whole, uncut squash with a fork and bake it that way using a baking pan with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. But it will take much, much longer to bake. So the choice is to either struggle with cutting the squash, or bake it for a long time (probably somewhere around 2 hours would be my guess. Personally, I cut mine).


  • 1 large spaghetti squash, baked
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce of choice
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole eggs or 4 egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bake your squash as you see fit for approximately 1 hour, or until it’s soft and easily pierced with a fork. Once the squash is baked and soft, pull it out of the oven and allow to cool until you can touch it without getting burned. If you haven’t already, cut it in half.
  3. Using a fork, remove the squash from the shell by scraping it from the top of the sides to the center. This will achieve the “spaghetti-like” stings the squash in named for.
  4. Mix all the turkey meat ingredients together in a bowl, form into meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
  5. Mix with your squash and sauce, top with a little parmesan and serve

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

10 Sep

  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • ½ cup milk (more to taste)
  1. Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
  3. Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.
I like to add a little bit of olive oil for the flavor and to help keep the sauce really smooth. Several other readers have mentioned that they really liked the addition of Parmesan cheese as well

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

10 Sep

Ingredients: 2.5 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 TBSP ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

2 ripe bananas


Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners. 2. Place the oats in the food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds.  Add remaining ingredients to the food processor

3. Process until everything is mixed together and oats are smooth.  You can separate the batter into two bowl and add chocolate chips to one and walnuts to the other.

4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.