Bacon, Broc & Butternut Mac N Cheese

Bacon, Broc & Butternut Mac N Cheese

Okay, parents with picky eaters.  This recipe is for you!  I even taste-tested it on my pasta loving, extremely veggie-selective daughter, and she spooned out a second helping onto her plate without even realizing I snuck in a second vegetable.  Of course if she reads this post, my secret is out but, hey,  it was totally worth it!

And of course, there’s the generous addition of applewood smoked bacon… Need I say anything more?

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Smoked Salmon Pasta with Capers and Fresh Dill

Smoked Salmon Pasta

This recipe is another great way to serve the cedar plank grilled salmon that I featured in my blog on February 28, 2015.  It’s a family favorite that both my husband and my daughter ask for repeatedly.  In fact, I’ve made it so many times I don’t even look at the recipe anymore.

If I happen to be short on time or the weather doesn’t want to cooperate for grilling outdoors, another easy to fix alternative is purchasing smoked salmon from your local grocery store.

For a link to my cedar plank grilled salmon recipe, click here.

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Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

I had one of those moments the other night, where I found myself staring blankly, into the pantry, trying to decide what I had a taste for.  I kept waffling back and forth between pasta and veggies, until I finally just decided to make them both!  As it turned out, I was very pleased with the results.

The creamy chickpeas and feta cheese added a healthy dose of calcium and protein; the cashews and crisp broccoli contributed a nice crunch, and the dried fruit and shredded carrots gave just the right amount of sweetness against the tangy curry and rice wine vinegar marinade.  It satisfied both of my cravings and the colors made for a very pretty dish!

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Tortellini Portobello in Garlic and Sage Browned Butter Sauce

Tortelloni Portobello in Garlic and Sage Browned Butter Sauce

Traditional French and Italian cuisine used to lean towards heavy, cream based sauces referred to as ‘Haute Cuisine.’  Then in the 1980’s, ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ emerged, placing an emphasis on natural flavors, using the freshest possible ingredients and less heavy sauces, so you could actually taste all of the ingredients in the dish.

This version of garlic and sage browned butter sauce uses light butter; which has 50 calories per tablespoon, versus 100 calories of regular salted butter.  Toasting the garlic brings out an inherent nutty flavor and the sage leaves delicately fragrant the butter as it cooks.

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Guiltless Fettuccini Alfredo

Guiltless Fettuccini Alfredo

Do you love the taste of Fettuccine Alfredo, but are terrified to order it at a restaurant because you’ve heard how high in calories it is? Sadly the rumors are true.  One very popular Italian restaurant chain reports their dinner sized portion of Fettuccini Alfredo contains 1,220 calories!  YIKES!! That’s the total amount of calories I consume in an entire day!

So, arming myself with that information and knowing how much my daughter loves ordering it when we eat out, I set my mind to creating a healthier, less guilty version, yet still maintaining the thick creamy sauce everyone loves.  When I tested my final recipe out on my toughest critics, my family, they gave me an enthusiastic “two-thumbs up”.

And the best part, this recipe is only 350 calories per serving!  Yep.  This one’s a keeper.

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Garlic and Lemongrass Shrimp with Spicy Coconut Noodles

Garlic and Lemongrass Shrimp with Spicy Coconut Noodles

I love crunchy coconut battered shrimp.  The problem is, we don’t go out to eat very often and I have a strict rule of no frying of any food at all in the house.  Friends have tried to argue with me that I could just use a fryer on the deck or patio, but that just seems like more work than I’m willing to do.  Besides, eating fried food (as yummy as it may be) is just simply not healthy.

That’s where the beauty of this recipe comes in.  The shrimp are marinated in garlic, fish sauce and lemongrass, so they have just a hint of Thai flavor.  Then, combine that with the spicy, creamy coconut sauce on the noodles and there you go – coconut shrimp!

Hey, it’s close – at least it satisfies my craving.  Try it and let me know if you agree.

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Lightened Penne a la Vodka

Lightened Penne a la Vodka

My daughter is a noodle-head.  She’s been one since she was old enough to feed herself.  Because of that seemingly limitless adoration for pasta, I continually look for opportunities to bring healthier ingredients into our pasta dishes.

My lightened version of this Penne a la Vodka recipe uses whole wheat penne, light butter and fat-free half-and-half instead of the traditional heavy cream.  You’ll still get the full flavor of the classic sauce; you’ll just experience less guilt eating it!

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