Open Face Salmon Salad Sandwich

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Awhile back, I bought several cans of healthy wild Alaskan salmon at Costco. Yesterday, I finally decided to use it and made a salmon salad. Instead of using regular bread, I chose brioche toasts, which has fewer calories than bread. I reduced the amount of calories by substituting half the mayonnaise with plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Crunchy sliced cucumber took the place of lettuce. This is a delicious and light meal to whip up during the busy work week. For those who follow my blog, you know that my husband is a finicky eater and he gave me a thumbs up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can wild Alaskan salmon
  • 2 tablespoons organic mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons organic plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 5 slices of Trader Joe’s Organic Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Trader Jacques’ Brioche Toasts
  • 24 sliced cucumbers (enough to cover the brioche toast)
  • Parsley for garnish

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Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, break-up salmon with a fork. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, pickles and onion and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place 4 cucumber slices on top of the brioche, add enough salmon salad to cover the toast. Garnish with parsley. Repeat 5 more times. Makes 6 open face sandwiches.

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Spinach-Artichoke Frittata

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to eat a simple, tasty and healthy breakfast on the days I go to work at 6:30 in the morning! It has to be pre-made and be capable of reheating. I thought about a frittata. After doing some research, I came up with this combination of ingredients. I had never made a frittata before, so I was somewhat surprised how easy it is to make. It is also quite versatile, you can choose different vegetables, cheeses and meats, whatever you like! Just make sure you have enough egg to cover the ingredients. It looks like we will be having delicious and healthy frittatas on a regular basis on Sunday mornings, so I will  have leftovers for the work week!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 organic large eggs
  • ¼ cup organic nonfat milk
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 cups organic frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup organic red bell pepper, chopped into ½ cubes
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over low to medium heat. Add garlic, artichoke, spinach, green onion and red bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Add eggs. Cook for a few minutes, until you see eggs start to set on the edges.
  4. Place skillet in oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly brown and toothpick comes out clean in the center. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

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Organic Pesto Sauce

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We recently bought a large package of organic basil from Trader Joe’s to make the pita pizza that my daughter loves. The problem is you only use a small amount to garnish the pizza, so I had a lot left over. Fortunately for me, my thinking cap was working well and I thought about pesto sauce! It is incredibly easy to make and I didn’t have to make a run to the grocery store for the other ingredients! I served it with organic spaghetti and it was delicious! The wonderful recipe came from the Food Network.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed organic basil leaves
  • 2 cloves organic garlic
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ⅔ cup (you can use slightly less) organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Pulse until coarsely chopped in a blender or food processor, the basil, garlic and pine nuts. Add ½ cup olive oil and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, but go easy on the salt, because the Parmesan is salty.
  2. If you are going to use the sauce immediately, add the Parmesan cheese and the remaining olive oil.
  3. If you want to freeze the sauce, transfer it into an air-tight container and drizzle the remaining oil on top. Can be left in freezer up to 3 months. When you are ready to use it, thaw and stir in cheese. Makes approximately one cup of sauce.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/basil-pesto-recipe2.html

Organic Cranberry-Citrus Muffins

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were happy and healthy! Well, for me, the New Year means making some new resolutions and trying to live up to some old ones! The one that keeps recurring every year is trying to eat healthier, so here is a delicious recipe for “Cranberry-Citrus Muffins” I found on health.com. It has tart pieces of cranberry with a hint of lemon flavor from the lemon rind. They get their moistness from low-fat yogurt. I was able to use all organic ingredients, except for the baking powder!

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups chopped frozen organic cranberries
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cups organic granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup organic sunflower oil
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ½ teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 large organic egg whites
  • 8 ounces organic vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
  • 18 large baking cups

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using the 2 tablespoons of flour, sprinkle the cranberries and gently mix. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon rind, vanilla extract, egg whites and egg. Create a well in the center of flour mixture, then add the oil mixture and stir just enough to moisten the flour mixture. Fold in the cranberries. Spoon the batter into 18 lined muffin cups.
  4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until lightly browned, and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of a muffin. Place on a wire rack to cool. Makes 18 muffins.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-citrus-muffins

Organic Sautéed Zucchini and Corn

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This is an easy and delicious side dish for meat, chicken or fish. It gets its wonderful flavors from the cilantro, lime juice and red pepper flakes! A colorful and healthy vegetable dish that can be made during the busy work week!

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 organic zucchini, diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup organic frozen corn
  • ½ cup organic red bell pepper, diced into ¼-inch cubes
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one small organic lime
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about one minute, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  2. Add zucchini, corn and red bell pepper. Cook vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Finally, add lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately. 4 to 6 servings.

Spicy Chicken Lasagne

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What is wonderful about the holidays are family traditions. Every year, I make lasagne for Christmas Eve dinner. This year, I decided to use mild spicy Italian chicken sausage from Whole Foods. It’s not organic, but it contains no antibiotics or hormones. The chicken sausage was delicious with just the right amount of spices! What is great about this dish is that the sauce can be made in advance, so all you have to do is cook the lasagne noodles and assemble. It makes for fabulous leftovers and came in handy for the day after Christmas, when my daughter and I were crazy enough to go shopping!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Whole Foods Mild Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (sometimes I use hot spicy sausage)
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 9 lasagne noodles, cooked and drained
  • ½ pound part-skim shredded light mozzarella cheese
  • ½ pound low-fat cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, brown the chicken sausage until it is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces. (Depending upon the sausage I use, sometimes chicken or turkey sausage, I may have to drain the fat from the meat. This time I did not have to drain).
  2. Using a 3 quart pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sausage, oregano, basil and parsley. Cover and simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9¼” x 13¼” lasagne baking dish with vegetable oil.
  4. Spread a little sauce over the bottom of the dish. Cover with 3 lasagne noodles, spread half the mozzarella and cottage cheeses and sprinkle with one-third of Parmesan cheese. Then add one-third of sauce, just enough to cover. Repeat with noodles and cheeses. Finally, add the third layer of noodles, followed by remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Take out of oven and let it sit, covered with foil for 10 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 12.

Simple and Light Caesar Salad

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I love Caesar salad, but I like to make a lighter version without anchovies and egg yolks—less fat and salt! We are having this tonight with my chicken sausage lasagne. Homemade croutons are so easy to make and have a wonderful crunch! This is truly a light and less fattening version!

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 slices of sourdough bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds organic romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. In a small-medium bowl, whisk oil, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Using a large bowl, toss romaine with dressing, cheese and croutons. Serves 6 to 8.