1. Monday, January 13, 2014

    Southwestern Style Stuffed Acorn Squash


    The hubs and I have been trying to eat healthy and wanted to try something new. I’ve made stuffed peppers in the past and we loved them, so I decided to try making stuffed acorn squash. I didn’t really have a recipe to follow, so I just had fun with experimenting, and was happy with the results. They turned out very flavorful & were very filling! Will definitely be making these again! 

    Here is the recipe of what I did. Feel free to make your own adjustments & experiment! You could also easily make these vegetarian friendly by simply not adding the ground turkey. 

    Southwestern Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

    (Yields 4 stuffed acorn squash halves. Total prep/cook time approximately 1 hour)

    What You’ll Need: 

    1. 2 Small Acorn Squashes, cut in half lengthwise with seeds removed
    2. 1 - 1 1/4 lb Ground Turkey
    3. 1 Red Bell Pepper 
    4. 1 Green Bell Pepper
    5. 1/3  White Onion
    6. 1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa (I used tricolor quinoa)
    7. Olive Oil 
    8. 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
    9. Cilantro
    10. 1/2 tsp onion powder
    11. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    12. 1/2 tsp cumin
    13. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    14. 1 tsp paprika
    15. Salt & Pepper (to taste)


    Preheat oven to 375. Place acorn squash halves cut side up onto a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Bake 45 minutes. 

    While acorn squash is roasting, prepare your stuffing. Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions. Chop your onions & peppers. Combine with ground turkey in large sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned. Once quinoa is ready, mix that in with the turkey mixture and add all of the spices, and salt & pepper to taste. Set mixture aside.

    Once acorn squash halves are ready, pull out of oven and stuff with the turkey/quinoa mixture. Top with shredded cheddar cheese (spread evenly amongst the four halves). Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. 

    Then just top with cilantro & serve. Bon Appetit! 




  2. Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Caprese Bites


    This last weekend Ryan and I went on a last minute trip to Carlsbad (a town near San Diego). Hope to edit and post some pictures from our trip soon… but in the meantime I wanted to share one of my favorite quick appetizers. These little caprese bites are easy to make and you may have most of the ingredients on hand already. Perfect for if you are having guests over or are just craving a yummy late-night snack. 

    What You’ll Need:

    • Toothpicks
    • Basil
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Mozzarella Balls
    • Balsamic Glaze
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Salt & Pepper


    Place a basil leaf onto the toothpick, followed by a tomato, and mozzarella ball. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze, add salt & pepper (to taste), and enjoy!

  3. Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Italian Burrata Cheese Appetizer

    Ryan and I went to a dinner party a little while ago, and a friend made this Italian appetizer. It was so delicious that I had been craving it ever since. I decided to make it a few weeks ago, and am so glad I did. I paired it with a salami & provolone plate for a light tapas style meal. (I love eating appetizers as entrees!) It’s really a pretty simple recipe, I definitely recommend trying it out.

    What You’ll Need:

    Heirloom Tomatoes
    Burrata Cheese (Mozzarella Cheese Filled with Cream)
    Arugula & Basil Pesto (quick recipe here)
    Olive Oil
    Balsamic Vinegar
    Salt & Pepper
    Italian Loaf


    Dice the heirloom tomatoes into little pieces. Place burrata cheese on plate, and cover with pesto. Arrange the heirloom tomatoes around the cheese. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Top tomatoes with salt & pepper. Warm the bread, slice, and top with butter and garlic (if desired). Serve. (Scoop some tomatoes, cheese, and pesto onto the bread. Yum!)

  4. Monday, July 18, 2011

    Homemade Edamame Hummus

    Ryan and I are big fans of hummus. It’s the perfect afternoon snack. I’ve made homemade hummus before. But this time I wanted to try something a little different, so I made Edamame hummus. It’s pretty much the same but it is made with Edamame (soy beans) instead of Garbanzo beans. Overall, it was quick to whip up & tasted great!


    1 ½ Cup frozen shelled edamame
    ¼ Tahini
    3 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
    1 Clove garlic (smashed)
    1 Teaspoon of salt
    3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    Pinch of Cumin (optional)
    Sugar snap peas, carrots, and/or warm pita bread to serve with.

    Directions: Bring small pot of salted water to boil and add the edamame. Let boil 4-5 minutes, then drain & cool. Combine the edamame, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, olive oil, and cumin in a food processor and puree until smooth. Serve with the suggested ingredients & enjoy!

  5. Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Enchilada Lasagna

    Yet another delicious recipe handed down to me from my in-laws. Trust me, you’ll want to make this. Especially if you love Mexican food! It’s also a healthier version as it’s made with lean ground turkey instead of beef. Win, Win!

    1 lb. lean ground turkey
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 large green pepper, chopped
    1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
    1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (we used low fat)
    1 tsp. chile powder
    1 10 oz. can of enchilada sauce
    6 whole-wheat flour tortillas (8 inches)
    1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend
    Sour cream + Salsa (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 400F.
    2. In a large skillet cook the turkey, onion, and peppers over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in cream cheese + chile powder.
    3. Pour enchilada sauce in a shallow bowl. Dip the tortillas in sauce to coat. Place 2 tortillas in a 13 x 9 in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread with half of the turkey mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers. Then top with the two remaining tortillas + cheese.
    4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream + salsa. And a margarita if you want to make it a fiesta. ;)

                                             [The husband helping chop the onions. He’s a great sous chef!]

                                 [The dish right before going into the oven. I topped with a little bit of extra cheese!]

  6. Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Chicken Caesar Salad Wedge

    This simple chicken Caesar salad wedge is a delicious crowd pleaser. My father-in-law, Jim, taught it to me and I thought I would pass it along to you. Enjoy!


    -Boneless Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
    -Hearts of Romaine Lettuce
    -Caesar Dressing
    -Grated Parmesan Cheese
    -Italian Seasoning (for chicken)

    Directions:  Season the chicken and either grill or pan fry, then cut into strips or chunks. Cut each heart of romaine in half (vertically). Wash and dry the lettuce. Place on plate and drizzle with Caesar dressing. Sprinkle on the grated Parmesan cheese and add croutons. Then just top with the chicken breast! We typically serve with grilled flatbread or pita bread.

  7. Friday, June 10, 2011

    Breakfast Bagelwich

    Simple and oh-so-delicious. This bagelwich concoction was originally made for me when I was a guest at a friends house. It was love at first bite. I have been making it regularly ever since.

    What You’ll Need:

    -1 Bagel, Sliced

    -1 Egg

    -Sliced Avocado

    -McCormick’s Lemon Pepper Seasoning

    How To: To keep it healthy I make it with a high fiber whole grain bagel. However, if you want to throw caution to the wind - it’s amazing with an everything bagel. If you like smaller breakfasts, it also tastes great open faced. Just fry an egg, best over-hard or over-medium, and place on bagel. Then add sliced avocado and lemon pepper seasoning (which is what really kicks it up). Voila!!

  8. Friday, June 3, 2011

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Buffalo chicken dip is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I usually only have it at parties & potlucks, but decided to make some on Memorial Day. My sister-in-law, Lindsey, was kind enough to give me her recipe (Thanks LK!). It’s so quick and easy to whip up, and I just paired it with fresh bread from the bakery & celery sticks. It was well worth the calorie intake. ;)

    What You’ll Need:

    -Shredded chicken (either 2, 12.5 oz cans of canned premium white chunk chicken, or if you have              time… boil fresh chicken and shred, about 2 cups)

    -¾ cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce, Original

    -16. oz. of cream cheese, softened

    -1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    -Optional: Add small amount of Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing

    Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour into a large casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. Cut some fresh bread and/or celery into pieces for dipping. Enjoy!

  9. Monday, May 16, 2011


       Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is really important to me. One thing I usually do not get enough of is protein. Quinoa [pronounced KEEN-WA] is an excellent source of complete protein [contains all nine essential amino acids], and is also vegan friendly [for you vegans out there]. You can read more about it here.

      I usually cook it in a saucepan following the directions on the label, and then add grilled veggies and seasoning. I’ve also made it before with sautéed peas and onion, which was really good. Serve with a salad and some warm bread for a complete meal!

  10. Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

    I used to eat popsicles all the time growing up. They remind me of hot summer days as a kid - swimming & playing outside in the Florida heat. Now that I’m older I rarely eat them, but decided to make a healthy homemade version for a special treat. All I did was blend together a couple handfuls of sliced strawberries, fresh lemon juice [about half a lemon], and a few teaspoons of extra fine granulated sugar. Then I just poured the mixture into my popsicle molds and let them freeze for a few hours. The end result was delicious & refreshing. I cannot wait to experiment with different flavors!


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