Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Spinach, & Fresh Burrata


  • 8 oz uncooked fettuccine or zucchini noodles
  • 1/3 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 oz fresh burrata or mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt, drain. Or if you are using zucchini noodles just spiralize them & have them ready.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a little olive oil. Cut tomatoes in half, arrange them cut side down in skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes or until seared. Stir tomatoes, cook for 30 seconds.

 3. Remove tomatoes from pan, set aside.

 4. Reduce heat to low.  Add olive oil to skillet & swirl to coat. Thinly slice garlic cloves then add red pepper flakes & garlic to skillet, cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant, stir occasionally.

5. Place canned tomatoes in a mini chopper or food processor, process until smooth. Add pureed tomatoes & salt to skillet. Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Remove skillet from heat. Add cooked pasta, or zucchini noodles, & spinach, toss well until spinach is slightly wilting. 

 7. Arrange pasta mixture into 4 bowls. Top each dish with seated tomatoes & 1-2 dollop of burrata cheese. Sprinkle each with fresh ground pepper. 

Plate Finished Product  


Another Meatless Mondays perfection! I love pasta and there is nothing better than a warm & fresh pasta dish. Recently I ordered Cooking Light magazine through my school fundraiser, last week I received the March 2013 issue and this was the dish on the cover. I lasted all of 3 days until I decided I must try this out, it was a simple, clean, delicious recipe that I wanted to share.


To make this dish whole30 or paleo approved use zucchini noodles or cooked spaghetti squash also remove the cheese. You can add many things to this dish, I made it as close to the recipe as possible. I did use cherry tomatoes in place of grape tomatoes, & like I stated above if you cannot find or do not have burrata cheese you can use fresh mozzarella cheese, or simply to with grated Parmesan. You can add sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, grilled chicken, zucchini, Italian squash, etc. Be creative :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Arugula, Spinach, Basil, & Cherry Tomato Pizza

  • pizza dough 
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • cooking spray 
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal 
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 fresh basil chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
1. When pizza dough is ready sprinkle flour on a flat surface, kitchen counter, table, or cutting board, place dough on the floured surface & roll out with a rolling pin, add flour as needed. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle cornmeal onto the pan, then lay dough flat over cornmeal & poke lightly with a fork 4-5 times. 

2. Spread sauce over dough leaving 1/2 inch border for crust.

3. Top pizza with mozzarella & Parmesan.

4. Top with arugula, spinach, & basil.

5. Cut cherry tomatoes in half & toss evenly over greens. If desired top with a little more cheese.

6. Bake at 450 degrees in center rack for 11-14 minutes or until cheese is melted & crust is to your liking. 

Plate Finished Product 
Cut & serve hot.


One of my favorite pizzas is Trader Joe's tomato & arugula pizza, I was determined to create something similar and equally delicious. I was extremely satisfied with the results, I love the spinach & basil addition as well as using less cheese which made for a more low calorie pizza option. It was also "Meatless Monday" which made this a perfect dish! 


You can add many other veggies in place of or in addition to the ones in this recipe. If you want a protein option, you can add cooked chicken or prosciutto that would make great toppings.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Printable Recipe

  • 2-4 medium squash or zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, optional 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Using a julienne peeler or a sprializer, cut off ends & slowly julienne each squash from top to bottom or spiral zucchini to create noodles.

2. Place julienned squash in a large bowl & lightly toss with 2-3 tablespoons fresh pesto.

3. Add cherry tomatoes & garlic, toss lightly. 

4. Heat olive oil in a medium heat pan, pour squash mixture in the pan & saute for 1-2 minutes. (If you prefer raw squash you can skip this step).

5. Plate, top with Parmesan cheese, salt, & pine nuts. Serve warm. 
Pasta is one of my favorite meals, but the carb overload is not always a healthy option. I do love spaghetti squash, but that can take some time to bake or boil. I came across squash & zucchini as a great pasta alternative, the texture is much better than I expected & the flavor is great!

  This can be a great raw meal for those who are on a raw diet. You can also remove the Parmesan to make this a whole30, paleo or vegan approved dish. If you want to add protein you can top with some grilled chicken breast, shrimp, or salmon. You can also use a marinara or meat sauce  in place of the pesto. If you have a lemon you can also add some lemon juice & a little zest to lighten up the taste.

Sweet Potato & Kale Soup

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced  
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed 
  • 1/2 cup split peas or lentils 
  • 1 cups kale or spinach 
  • 4-5 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat & saute onion & garlic for about 2 minutes.

2. Stir in tomatoes and ginger, cooking an additional 3 minutes. Stir in cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, & salt. Cook for 2 minutes, adjust seasoning to taste.

3. Next add the sweet potatoes, broth & split peas or lentils. Bring soup to a boil then reduce & simmer covered simmer for about 30 minutes. 

4. Add kale (or spinach) & simmer for an additional 10 minutes. 

Plate Finished Product


Soup is one of my favorite comfort dishes & a healthy & filling soup is the best. I love kale & this was a great way to add super greens to a soup. My Dad always makes soups out of all the veggies he has laying around the house, this reminds me of something my Dad would make.


  There are a few easy modifications that can be done with this dish. If the vegetable broth is used it is vegan as well as gluten & dairy free. But if you want it to be whole30 or paleo approved remove the peas or lentils, you can also use butternut squash in place of sweet potato if you have that on hand. Great additions are celery, carrots, zucchini, or any other veggie, ham or chicken would make a good protein addition.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mini Pecan Pies

Printable Recipe

Pie Crust 
  • 6 oz cream cheese 
  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 cups flour 
 Pie Filling
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 1 3/4 cups pecans, chopped 
(Preheat oven to 325 degrees & grease 24 tart tins or muffin cups and set aside).

Making Crust
1. In a medium mixing bowl cream together cream cheese & 1 cup butter until light & fluffy. Blend in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, forming a smooth dough.

2.  Roll into 30 equal balls & press one into each greased tin so it lines the 
bottom & sides, like a pie crust. 

3. Or you can roll out the crust & use a cutter or cup to cut out circles.

Make Filling 

1. In a medium mixing bowl cream together 1/4 cup butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs & vanilla until thoroughly blended.

2. Chop pecans into small-medium pieces.

3. Fill each lined tin 3/4ths full. Mixture will rise as it bakes.

4. Top each pie with a spoonful of chopped pecans & sprinkle some brown sugar on top. 

5. Bake for 25 minutes at 325, or until lightly browned. Let cool in tins, then use the end of a table knife to flip each tart out of its tin. 

Plate Finished Product 


I love baking for the holidays & pecan pies are my Mom's favorite! I personally have never been a huge fan of pecan pies but there tiny treats are amazing. This is no skinny dish, but everything is good in modification :) 


  If you do not like pecans or have a nut allergy, you can always top with brown sugar & rolled oats as you would for a standard apple crisp topping.