Pucker Up! Meyer Lemon Chobani Spinach Smoothie.

I adore a good smoothie!!  I decided to use up some of my many Meyer lemons that I have on hand and I’m so glad I did.  The result is a tart, yet vitamin-packed smoothie that will curb your hunger for hours.

Into the blender, add…

4 ozs of freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon juice
1 individual cup of Chobani lemon yogurt
1 handful of baby spinach leaves
2 kiwis, peeled
1 tsp of flax seed meal
3 ice cubes
Blend on your smoothie setting and let it works it magic.  Pour into your glass and enjoy!  It is tart but so refreshing!



— Knead to Cook

Meyer Lemon Margarita.

It’s National Margarita Day!!!  I LOVE margaritas!  My preference, of course, is to be sitting outside by my fire pit with friends sipping on a margarita but it’s a Wednesday and I’m honoring this special day winter style – inside, before dinner with my hubby sans friends being here.

I have a ton of Meyer lemons.  They are my favorite!!!  So I thought I would whip up a fun margarita using them :)

1/3 c of Meyer lemon juice
1/3 c of Tequila
1/3 c of Cointreau
3 ice cubes

Add everything to your cocktail shaker and shake away.  If you wish to rim  your glass with sea salt – take a sliced lemon and run it along the edge of the glass.  Pour the salt into a small plate and dip the glass into it.  The salt will stick to the rim where the juice is remaining.  Then pour your margarita into the glass and enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

Basil & spinach pesto.

Lent started today and for my family that meant no meat today & on every Friday until Easter.  This recipe is one of our favorites.  I’ve tried my best to make this vitamin-packed along with it being lower in fat by using very little oil.  This is a great recipe to prepare ahead of time and then just toss together with some freshly cooked pasta.

The recipe is extremely informal.  This is how I normally cook and I encourage you to tweak the recipe to suit your personal taste.

Start with one handful of basil leaves and one handful of baby spinach leaves.  Toss those into your food processor.  I grate some parmesan into the bowl as well.  I don’t use a lot, maybe a 2 tablespoons, as my kids aren’t huge cheese fans.  Salt and pepper.  4-6 garlic cloves that have been peeled.  Juice from one half of a lemon.  Zest from that same lemon.  And a 1/4 c of chopped walnuts or pine nuts.  Pulse until blended.  Then remove the spout and drizzle very slowly olive oil in with the food processor running.  I would say I use about 1 tbl, if that, of oil.  Once it comes together, I stop adding it.  The lemon juice adds enough liquid to the pesto as well.

You can cover and refrigerate or add to your pasta and mix well.

This pesto can be used to top chicken, veggies, bread etc.



— Knead to Cook

Everything bread flats.

This recipe is a deviation from an old King Arthur’s flour breadstick recipe.  I’ve adapted it and rolled the dough super thin for more a flat cracker v. a breadstick.  Super easy and packed with flavor!


2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Improver OR Baker’s Special Dry Milk OR nonfat dry milk
3 cups King Arthur’s all purpose unbleached white flour
1 cup  lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Then grab your favorite seasonings for toppings.  I used toasted sesame seeds, poppy, fennel seeds, sea salt, rosemary, & thyme.

Mix and knead the dough ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to make a soft, supple dough. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rest and relax for 15 minutes (or for up to an hour or so; work it into your schedule as you see fit).

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, pat or roll it into a 9″ x 13″ rectangle.  I rolled the dough out quite thin.  Brush the dough lightly with the egg white and water, and sprinkle it with the seeds. Roll the dough lightly with a rolling pin to press the seeds in.

Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough (the short way) into strips about 3/8″ wide. Let rest while the oven preheats.  Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Remove them form the oven, and cool on a rack.


— Knead to Cook

Lean ground beef & spinach lasagna roll ups.

These lasagna rolls are so delicious!  You can make these ahead of time and just pop them in the oven for 30 minutes before you wish to serve dinner.  Doesn’t get any easier than that :)  And for a vegetarian option, just omit the beef and add cooked spinach to the ricotta mixture.

Ingredients for filling:

15 oz of low fat, part skim ricotta cheese
1 c of low fat mozzarella, shredded
1/4 c of grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix all of the ingredients together and set aside.

Beef & spinach mixture:

1 lb of 92% lean ground beef
2 handfuls of organic baby spinach
5 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil for the bottom of the pan

Directions:  Add the olive oil to the pan over a medium flame.  Then add the beef.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Then add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Then add the spinach leaves and stir.  The leaves will wilt and the mixture will be complete.  Set aside to cool.


Boil the lasagna noodles according to the package directions until al dente.  Then lay out pieces of parchment or tin foil and lay each noodle, when cooked, out to cool.  Don’t overlap b/c they will stick together.


1/2 c olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 (28 oz) can of Cento or Furmano’s diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can of Cento or Furmano’s chopped tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
2 tsp of Italian Seasoning
1 tsp of Oregano

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium flame.  Once hot, add the onions and stir for about 8 minutes.  Add garlic for 30 seconds.  Add salt and pepper, both cans of tomatoes, paste, bay leaves, and the remaining seasonings.  Turn the flame down as low as it goes, cover and simmer.  Stirring occasionally.

Assembly time!  Once everything is prepared you can begin…

Ladle some sauce onto the bottom of your roasting pan.  This will serve as a bed for the noodles.  Then take your long lasagna noodle and lay it out on a cutting board.  Spread your ricotta cheese filling very thinly along the entire noodle.  Then add about a tablespoon of the meat/spinach mixture to one side of the noodle (first 3 inches of it) on top of the ricotta mixture.  Begin to roll up the noodle and then place it seam side down in the sauce. Repeat until you’ve used up all of your ingredients.  Then top with the remaining sauce.  You can add fresh parsley to the top if you like.  You can either bake at this point or refrigerate.

In a 375 degree preheated oven, place your lasagna roll up tray.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until hot.  Enjoy!


— Knead to Cook

Black bean veggie burger.

I’ve had bean burgers before but they’ve always been missing something in my opinion.  So with that, I opted to create my own recipe to see if I can knock it out of the park.  I didn’t tell anyone in my family, expect my youngest daughter, who helped me make these. I wanted to gauge the opinions of my carnivores.  The result… they loved them.  Now of course, I’m not fooling anyone because the texture of meat is, of course, way different than a ground up bean but I have to admit, they are full of flavor and a great meatless option to add to your recipe repertoire.


1 15 oz can of low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c of corn kernels
1/4 c roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 c of cilantro leaves
1/2 diced jalapeño
1 egg
1 c of Panko bread crumbs (or regular) + extra if the mixture is too wet
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper

In your food processor, add beans, corn, roasted red peppers, cilantro  and jalapeño.  Pulse about 5-7 times.  Still should be quite textured but NOT mushy!  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Then add the egg, bread crumbs, garlic powder, cumin, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Mix with clean hands.  If the mixture is too wet, add some bread crumbs.  Form into patties and place on a tray.  Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.  Then grill or cook in a fry pan sprayed with non stick spray or some olive oil.  Cook till brown on both sides, about 10 minutes.  (Low to medium flame)

I like to serve these on whole wheat slider buns topped with sweet/spicy pickles.


— Knead to Cook

No-bake Energy Balls.



Okay these are insanely good!  I made two batches, one with dark chocolate and one with white (hubby is allergic to cocoa) and my kids and I cannot stop eating them!!!  I made these about a year ago and just stumbled on the recipe again.  I have NO idea why I stopped making them.  Who needs dinner, right?

These will make a great snack or a fast breakfast!  Pack them in your kids lunch for a yummy surprise!

1 c of old-fashioned oats
1 c of toasted coconut flakes
1/2 c of chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1/2 c of almond butter (you can use whatever nut butter you have in your pantry)
1/2 c of flaxseed meal
1 tbl of chia seeds
1/3 c + 1 /4 tsp of honey (I used raw)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Mix it all together in a bowl and then refrigerate for 45 minutes.  Remove and make into balls.  I used a small scooper (1-1.5 inch) to press it in and then eject it.  Rolled it with my hands to get a ball shape all around and then place in a airtight container to refrigerate.  Will last 5-7 days but most likely they will be long gone before that!





— Knead to Cook

Whole wheat apple carrot walnut pancakes.


Okay this recipe just came to me this morning.  I had some leftover Honey Crisp apples and started to make it work.  I wanted to sneak in some healthy aspects to these pancakes.  My eldest daughter was off to swim practice for her Championship meet next weekend and I wanted to give her a great, filling start that wasn’t overwhelming and filled with sugar (unlike my pancakes for her birthday breakfast).


1.25 whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur’s whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tsp of flax seed meal
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 egg, at room temperature
1 c low fat or non fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbl of white granulated sugar
1 apple, cored, peeled and grated
1 carrot, washed, peeled and finely grated
1/4 c of chopped walnuts

Sift together flour, baking powder, flax seed meal and cinnamon.  Set that bowl aside.  In large measuring cup or smaller bowl add milk, egg, salt and sugar.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture.  Whisk until combined.  Then add apple, carrot and walnuts.  Mix again.  The batter will be slightly lumpy and thick.

In your sauté pan add a tiny pat or butter (I used I can’t believe it’s not butter) or non stick spray.  Add a scoop of your batter and let cook until bubbles appear throughout the pancake.  I kept this at a low to medium flame and kept a watchful eye.  2-3 minutes later, flip.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.


— Knead to Cook

Ghirardelli Chocolate Overload Pancakes.


1.5 c  all purpose flour
3.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbl white sugar
1.25 c of low fat or non fat milk
1 egg, room temperature
3 tbl I Can’t Believe It’s Not butter or regular butter, melted
1 tsp of vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.

In another bowl, mix milk, 1 egg, melted butter and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until blended.  It will be lumpy.

OPTIONAL:  You can add 1 c of fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, chopped bananas etc.  I used one large baking bar of Ghirardelli 4 oz baking bar 60% cacao chocolate chopped.  Add to the finished batter an whisk till combined.

In a skillet, heat over low -medium flame a pat of I Can’t Believe It’s Not butter or regular butter.  Once melted.  Add a ladle full of batter.  Cook 2-3 mins or until the batter is getting bubbles throughout.  Flip for another minute or so and serve.


— Knead to Cook

Todd English’s Prime Rib Chili.

My sweet friend purchased a signed copy of Todd English’s latest cookbook for me for my 40th birthday.  I saw this recipe and needed to try it!  Decadent prime rib puts an unusual twist to a basic chili recipe.  I have no leftovers to speak of.  Everyone loved this recipe!  Definitely a keeper :)

  • 2 lb.prime rib steak, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large finely diced red onion
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 seeded and diced Anaheim chiles
  • 2 to 4 tbsp. Mexican Spice Blend (2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1.5 tsp of coriander)
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups drained and rinsed assorted canned beans
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese,

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Cook, in batches, in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, reserving drippings in Dutch oven.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to hot drippings, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chiles and Mexican Spice Blend, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Return steak to Dutch oven. Add broth and tomatoes.

Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Stir in beans, and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice. Serve with cheese.

— Knead to Cook