Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant is a vegetable which I usually love to have around. I am such a vegetable lover, I probably could go vegetarian, but not the family.

Eggplant actually have no real flavor and they take from what seasonings you use. My mother always used to peel and cut into small rounds and dredge in flour and season salt and fry in a pan. We as children loved to eat it and dip it in ketchup. I always loved this.

I had eggplant on a pizza when I lived in NY and it was a different way of eating it. So then I tried to come up with my own Eggplant Parmesan. I actually just dip it in egg beaters and then into a bread crumb mix of bread crumb, season salt and garlic powder and then lay on parchment paper and slip into the oven until brown and then create the Parmesan casserole part.

The sauce on top, that I prefer is a simple marinara. I actually can make that, but I enjoy Paul Newman's Marinara. Then a hand full of mozzarella cheese and you are ready for an enjoyable take on eggplant.

Eggplant Parmesan


1 egg plant

1/2 cup of egg substitute (or egg beaten) (or water, it has no flavor value at all)

2 cups of bread crumbs

2 tsp of season salt and garlic powder

1 jar of Paul Newman's Marinara  (or your own sauce)

1 cup of mozzarella cheese.


1) Peel the eggplant (I like eggplant and I kept the skin (it is tough))

2) Cut into 1/2 rounds, stay with consistency so they bake the same amount of time

3) Take a large Ziploc bag or a bowl and put in bread crumbs and the seasoning.

4) Dip each round in the egg and then toss in crumbs.( I just lightly do mine)

5) Lay on a sheet tray with parchment or non stick sprayed foil.

6) Pop into oven for about 30 minutes at 350 to start to brown them.

7) Remove when done. Take a casserole dish and spread a little olive oil on the bottom and a little sauce. Then lay in the ready eggplant. Usually I like to keep to the one layer, if I have extra I will cut them and fill in spaces or kinda lay on the corners of the three or more. So the bite isn't to lasagna like. (you can make a lasagna too)

8) Pour rest of sauce all over it. Cheese it up.

9) Pop in oven 350 just to brown and melt the cheese.

Let cool a bit, so that you can get the flavors of the dish. This is great heated up the next day. I also take a pizza crust and put on it thinly and then cheese again, for a whole new meal.

I hope that by me sharing all these little recipes and ramblings that at least you find my blog a bit enjoyable.

The sun has been shining here in GA and there will be summer on it's heels.. with lots of new things to try.

So get out there..make it yours.. and remember ..It really is just that simple.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Okra and Coconut Oil

I bet in this world you never thought I would say Okra and Coconut Oil in the same sentence.
Okra is a vegetable that is kinda slimy when cooked, even kinda slimy when cutting it too. Always cut the little hat off and the tail they are kinda woody tasting.
Alot of people bread them and fry them off. ALOT.... In the gumbos they put them in to thicken their sauces and gravies. I actually like the taste of it. I can actually eat them rinsed and dipped in ranch.

Today I was messing around in my fridge and there was this beautiful package of okra I found...I really wish I could get my garden to go in abundance, cause I would never have to go to the store...for reals...

Okra sauteed in Coconut Oil

2tsp of coconut oil (I actually think this fried the best, made them crispier and browner fast) and it is good for you.

30 okras ( now you know I am just estimating. I didn't count them)

Just a brush of garlic powder

 Just a pinch of season salt


Easy Peasy...

Saute them in a non-stick pan until crispy brown. I stopped and left a little green.

They were very good. I even put a little ketchup on them..just enough for flavor. I ate the whole bowl full and my spaghetti squash.

Wow, two veggies without barely trying..

So my friends it is the weekend, no excuses, try something new.. get out there pick one thing you have never had and try it..

Let me know if it is cool. Cause you know I love new things.

Don't let life lead you...take it by the hand and get out there and go...It really is just that simple..

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Greek Meatballs (Using my Kale-Lemon Pesto)

This just became my new idea. Sometimes when I look into that fridge I see leftovers and another time I see new ideas. I have been trying to stay on the veggies, portioned meats and stay away from the white carbs. My new favorite last week was a kale-lemon pesto I made to try on the spaghetti squash.

Monday came and I took the 1/2 bag of kale and made it into kale-lemon pesto.
( that is the original recipe for it.

I used it on my new spaghetti squash and ended up having about 3 cups left over. This morning I noticed I had 2 lbs of ground beef (93%). You can use any meat chicken, turkey, this is just what I had around.

I also have the Greek seasoning I got at Walmart. They have a low salt version too.

So the thought to make a Greek seasoned meatball came to life.

Greek Seasoned Meatballs (using my Kale-Lemon Pesto)


1lb of lean ground meat. I used 93% beef

2 cups of Kale - Lemon Pesto

3 tablespoons of Greek seasoning.


1) Blend all together.

2) Roll into balls

3) Cook in oven 350 for about 30-40 minutes (check them)

4) or you can do them in a pan on top of stove. I cooked mine in a pan on the stove in a tsp of coconut oil.

Let them cool a bit. The flavor of the lemon in the kale and the Greek seasonings come out more when they cool.

With this you could make a light salad of lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber and then make a tziki sauce (lemon, cucumber and sour cream). You could also serve these on a pita.

I however made mine on a cheese faux taco. I made one in a small egg pan. Non-stick pan. Put about 1/4 cup of low fat cheddar cheese and 1/8 of Parmesan cheese. Put on flame and let melt and bubble a minute then remove from heat. Let cool and it should slide right out of pan.

Then I tore into 4 pieces and put one meatball in each and wrapped.
I must tell you it was delicious.
 So for lunch today. I kept to the low carb and found it very delicious.

Tonight for dinner, I will take the rest of the meat and kale mix and I am going to try to make a Greek pizza, will let you know how it goes.

So my friends, get in that kitchen and create something good, something healthy, something thrifty. It all is really just that simple.

You can do it...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Food Find.....Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Soft Taco Dinner

Food Find for this week.

Old El Paso..Stand and Stuff. Soft Taco Dinner. 

I bought this with a coupon. I thought it was a kinda cool idea.

 Actually it really wasn't want I liked. It came to 140 calories for a bowl. I think you get more from an actual tortilla rolled burritos style. The bowl held up to everything, and was a little awkward to eat.  Maybe next time, a salad in it. I prefer the hard shell for a salad.

You may like them, but I won't buy them again.

see they were kinda cute, but then you have to squeeze them to finish eating them.

If you give them a try, let me know what you think.

I always game to try new things.. so if you got something you want to suggest..holler anytime..

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits.....Fast, Easy and Cheating Method

Just when you get to hankering for something down home and comforting. What comes to mind in my house is Sausage Gravy and Biscuits.
Now I can whip up some Sausage Gravy with just the basics, but when I just don't want to wait and estimate on how long to thicken.

I do the cheatin' way

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits


1 1lb of breakfast sausage in a roll

1/2 stick of margarine

3 packages of white gravy mix (generic) (prep like on package only do it in the same pan as the sausage. No need to do the boil water first. It is all hot enough)

2 cans of Grand Biscuits or any biscuits.


1) Put Biscuits in the oven

2) Brown the sausage up.

3) Add the gravy mix and then add the wet part as on package.

4) Stir until thick enough.. add a little salt and pepper.

When Biscuits are ready...

Lay them in a dish, opened up and slather that sausage gravy on top.

Then you know what to do..

 this made enough for me, and my three kids.. and I had 3 cups leftover and 5 biscuits. That is what I had this morning. I will check tomorrow and I guarantee it will be gone.

Wanted share the start of spring break at our house.

A nice breakfast...yummmy...

Remember take time for yourself.. make a little sumnthin' yummy...It really is just that simple.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kale Lemon Pesto

Kale is every where, and greens are now being called the power foods. I love Kale Chips, and Kale in soup. I decided since I bought a bag of cut Kale, that I would try something else with it.
My idea was a Kale Pesto. I thought about it a bit and this is what came out of it.
It had a nice taste to it especially after the lemon zest and the sea salt. It tasted great on the spaghetti squash. (blogged previously)

Kale Lemon Pesto


Kale ( I used the already cut bag. I used three big hand fulls)

1/4 cup of water

1 lemon

3 tablespoons of minced garlic (I again used what I had in fridge, already minced)

1/4 cup of parmesian cheese (shredded)

1/4 cup of olive oil (I again used what ever I always have on hand)

1/4 of pecans ( I chose pecans because that is what I had, that or almonds.. i bet almonds would be good too) 

sea salt


1) Toss the Kale in a microwave bowl with the garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Nuke for 5 minutes. You have to do this, because it takes the bitter and the toughness out of the kale and the garlic is not so strong or bitter.

2) Drain Kale 
3) Toss it into the blender bowl. I use the bowl that came with my immersion blender. 

4) In the blender bowl , put the cheese, pecans, olive oil, zest of the lemon. 
Turn it on and blend it together, half way open scrap down and taste. Salt and pepper to taste.

Put into a container until you want to use it.
I actually used it right away on the hot spaghetti squash. I used the lemon juice to squirt on top and it was really a great meal.
It was one of those meals where you are satisfied but not full feeling yucky. I ate one half of a spaghetti squash with half of the kale pesto.
I am saving and hiding the other half for later. 
The Kale Lemon Pesto was really a different taste. I really like that it was easy and healthy.

So wow, I have really powered food today. 
Again, if you haven't tried something new, you must. To try new things is to grow and learn. 
I grow, learn and share, cause it is what I do....
It really is just that simple.

Here was my lunch..
 (that was 1/4 of the squash, not too bad..)

Spagetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash, this is the picture of it when it is finished cooking. I have shied away from this because I could not imagine a spaghetti like they were all writing about. I was thinking it might be like the zucchini spaghetti and be watery. Always drain. This one that I made, I just drained the water from inside that I put and then right into a dish.
I ate mine right away, I ate both bowls almost before I could get a picture. I had to put it down. It was so yummy, a little sweet, but with the Kale-lemon pesto I made and little sea salt, it was perfect. If I was making for dinner I would put in a pan with a little water and then mix in the pesto, and warm it up.

This is a picture of the actual squash. It would actually feed 4 if you like small portions, which is not the case at my house. So I got 2 servings out of this. It is kinda pricey, but as an alternative, all things in balance it is a great vegetable meal.

so let me tell you how simple this is, my sister schooled me on it last week..

Spaghetti Squash


1 spaghetti squash

1/2 cup of water


1) Split the squash long ways. Be careful it is like cutting into a pumpkin. Lay it on a towel so that it doesn't slip.
Split into two halves.
2) At this point take a spoon and gently scrap the seeds and yuck out.
see yuck and seeds are just like pumpkin

3) Place one half in a microwaveable bowl. If you don't have a microwave, you can bake these. I will find out more on that for you next time.
Fill the half with water.
4) Cover with other half. Pop in microwave for 15 minutes.

5) It will be done. It will BE VERY HOT. Carefully pour out water. At this point you can let it cool and then scrap out with a fork.
(At that point today, I was so excited I did it holding it in a towel and yelling ouch...)
Looky, really looks like spaghetti.. I scraped with a fork and then finished with a spoon getting all the way to the skin.
It gave me double this amount (I placed in colander to see if there was any water, nope, only the bit I poured out of the finished squash.)

Now at this point, you can when your ready, throw in saute pan and sauce with what ever you like.

It had a sweet taste to it, but the texture was really close to spaghetti.
With this one, I made a Kale and Lemon Pesto. I will post that as soon as I can write it up.

Wanted to share this because so many of us are trying to eat more healthier and this is really a great pasta swap. Everything is in moderation and balance. So I figure if you try this then one day, maybe you will do a meatless Monday.

 I am now intrigues with spaghetti squashes and beets, I really need to figure out how to garden this. I wonder how the spaghetti squash would freeze.
If anyone wants to add to this self discovery of making spaghetti squash feel free to drop me a line.

Until then, Make it yours.. and the small things that taste so good. Get out there and don't be afraid and give it a try. It really is that simple.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Anna's Choice Cashew Swirls Cashew and Macadamia Nut Butter

Tried out a new item, I came across this, because a friend was asking about cashew butter. Gosh, I never knew they made it, I tried almond butter and it was really good, very almondy and almost as thick as peanut butter.
The cashew and macadamia butter was slightly sweet and very thin. This I would think would make a nice sauce, or anything you want to dribble it on.
Here is another picture, you may be able to see how thin it was.

It was very good, very expensive. I read an article that two handfuls of cashews were as good a mood lifter for some equal to mood lifter drugs. I think I would rather eat my cashews out of my hand.

All of these butters all seem to have the same calorie content. The fat is even higher. So I guess if you are looking for just a different taste, then this is a nice one.

I think for now, since I still have a large family to feed, I will stick with my peanut butter. I think it is a much better deal for the money.

I will be thinking of some new recipe to use this one. One that comes to mind maybe cake box mix chocolate waffles with this dribbled...hmmmmm..

This is my find for the week. The weekend will be here soon and I will be looking for something different.. why.. cause that is what I love to do.

I love to share, explore, and be myself. Welcome to my world. Sit down, and relax...if you need me ..holler..

It really is just that simple...have a great day!