Zucchini Lasagna

What do you do when you have lots of fresh from the garden zucchini? Make zucchini lasagna!  I made this classic Italian dinner using sliced zucchini instead of noodles.  I had lots of fun experimenting to come up with this delicious little number.  It's perfect for late summer and early fall when zucchini are plentiful and even more fun if you're like me and have some deer hunter's in the family.  For this savory and filling meal of gluten free and, if you opt for no cheese, dairy free dinner I used deer burger seasoned to taste like a lean Italian sausage.   Or if you're fresh out of wild game you can just go ahead and use hamburger. The fun part about cooking from scratch is you can make it as involved or as simple as you like.  I love that this dish is so packed with flavor yet is so healthy too!  In my opinion, that's the only way to eat :) Hamburger Sausage:1 lb. organic hamburger2 tbsp. Italian seasoning mix1/2 tsp. garlic powder1/2 tsp. sea salt1/2 tsp. fennel seeds1/2 tsp. bay leaf flakes1/2 - 1 tsp. roasted red pepper flakesCombine all ingredients in a bowl.  Cook in large skillet until browned and cooked through.  Remove to a separate bowl. Preheat oven to 425. Now back into your hot skillet add:Lasagna2 medium zucchini, sliced length wise 1 tbsp. olive oil1 yellow onion, diced1 clove garlic1 heart of celery, chopped1 carrot, diced1/2 carton fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 6)salt and pepperSaute onions and garlic in olive oil until caramelized then add remaining veggies (except zucchini), salt and pepper and saute some more.  Turn heat off, return meat to the skillet, put a lid on and keep it warm. Since we're using zucchini in place of noodles we'll need something to hold our creation together.  So I decided to make a crust for the bottom of the pan as a foundation for this saucy lasagna.  Crust:2 cups cauliflower "rice"2 egg1 tsp. sea salt

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351 Hits
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Mug Muffins

Busy. Despite the more laid back schedules that seem to accompany summer...or winter, spring, or fall for that matter...it's still so busy! Whatever makes your life busy here's a quick, simple and healthy muffin for breakfast or snack with no need to even turn on the oven.

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583 Hits
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Breakfast Fruit Tarts

 

I don't know about all of you out there, but breakfast at our house can get a little monotonous.  Do you want oatmeal, or eggs?  When we have time, gluten free pancakes or waffles can be added to the list of possibilities.  But, more often than not even those choices get reduced to, "Here, scarf this down while we drive or you'll be late for school!" So I decided to break up the reruns with these Breakfast Fruit Tarts.  You can make the tart mixture the night before so all you have to do is pop them in the oven the next morning while you get ready.  A healthy breakfast is served and you can eat it on the run too!  

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528 Hits
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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Here's to the winding down of a busy school year, spring cleaning and other to-do's that interfere with dinner time. This is a simple, yet healthy and tasty crockpot recipe that you don't even have to dirty a utensil to eat!  This is paleo or keto diet goodness at it's best and easiest.

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464 Hits
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Lemon-Dill Flounder Fillets

I've never met a fish I haven't liked and this flounder was no different!  This dish is your classic lemon, butter and fish combo. I added some fresh dill weed and garnished with almond slices.1 garlic clove, smashed1/4 tsp. saltpinch red pepper flakeszest of 1 lemon (about 1 tsp.)2 sprigs fresh dill weed or 1/4 tsp. dry dill1 tsp. butter4 flounder fillets1/2 cup almonds, slivered or chopped.Pat fillets with paper towel to remove any excess water. Combine all ingredients except flounder and almonds. Place fish in a foil lined dish with enough excess foil to wrap over top.  Spread butter mixture over each fillet and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes (10 minutes per inch of thickness). Cover fish with tin foil, this will act as a steamer which will help keep the fish from drying out.Toast almonds in a pan and sprinkle on top of fish when done.Enjoy!

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633 Hits
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Almond Coconut Dream Cake

It's kind of a funny story how this cake came to be...it all began with a lemon and an idea to make healthy lemon squares.  After some experimentation, major failure (twice), contemplation and adaptation out of the oven came this beauty. The end result...moist almond cake with lemony hints topped with sweet coconut cream...you might forget its good for you ;)P.S. I was in too big of a hurry to let my coconut milk cool in the fridge so it was a little runny, but don't worry it was still super yummy!

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502 Hits
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Chicken Cordon Bleu & {Homemade} Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

 

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784 Hits
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"Spaghetti" with Lemon Pepper Marinara and Herb & Veggie Meatballs

I never liked the term diet or the phrase, "I should really start doing that" (even though I am as guilty as any of saying it). However, I love new years resolutions.  I love the idea of having a fresh start, a whole new year and a new found resolve to make more of the coming year than I did of the last or to simply stay consistent with the things that make me happy.  So here's to new years resolutions and here's a delicious recipe that with start your year off healthy and satisfied.This spaghetti and meatballs redo is full of flavor.  The fresh lemony sauce with a kick of pepper is a perfect blanket for the slightly sweet flavor of the squash and topped with the herb and veggie stuffed meatballs adds even more layers of flavor and yum!

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581 Hits
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{Homemade} Southwestern Chili

 

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423 Hits
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Turkey Tetrazzini with Spaghetti Squash noodles

 

My first encounter with a spaghetti squash was only a couple weeks ago when my friend Rene had one baking in the oven and was planning to top it with spaghetti sauce for lunch. This mild flavored squash, when cooked, turns into spaghetti shaped strands without being fibrous.  It made for a great, healthy replacement for pasta in this turkey tetrazzini dish...

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1031 Hits
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{Homemade} Zucchini Muffins

This was a staple food item in our home growing up.  My mom, an avid gardener, always had more fresh zucchini than she needed and that meant lots of zucchini muffins.  So for me, late summer means zucchini muffins.  Since I'm prone to nostalgia, I don't venture too far from mom's classic zucchini muffin recipe, except that it's gluten free and no refined sugar.

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566 Hits
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Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers

This meatless wonder is so fresh and perfect for summer or fall when peppers are right in season.  I decided to stuff these guys with some herb seasoned quinoa followed by sauteed veggies topped with cheese.Couscous Stuffing:1 cup organic quinoa1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 1 1/2 cups for couscous, reserve remaining1 bay leaf5 basil leafs, finely chopped3 parsley sprigs, stems removed and finely chopped

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400 Hits
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Round Steak Basil Rolls

The main course for our father's day feast was ingenious and yummy, and very beefy and manly for the men in my life.  Round Steak Basil Rolls2 boneless beef round steaksMcCormick Montreal Steak Grill seasoning20 basil leafs1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese1 tbsp olive oilsalt and pepper First thing you need is a couple boneless beef round steaks.  They look like giant thinly cut steaks.  Cover meat with plastic wrap to avoid splattering then using meat mallet hammer them until tenderized. Grind some of the grill seasoning over top (how ever much you want) followed by 10 basil leafs per steak and finally 1/2 cup mozzarella per steak. Starting at one end begin rolling steak up like a burrito.  Disclaimer:  tuck your ends in other wise you'll lose lot of cheese and moisture out the sides.Secure with meat string. (notice how we did not secure ends...don't do that.  Remember roll it up like a burrito, tucking the ends in as you go). Rub olive oil all over outside of steaks then salt and pepper.  Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30  minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 and finish baking another 45 minutes.   Enjoy!
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509 Hits
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Hobo Dinner

My mom made "hobo dinner" regularly when I was growing up.  I think it's called that because you usually make it when you haven't had time to get to the store and you just have a bunch of odd veggies laying around that need to be eaten.  I remember my mom putting the hamburger patties, potatoes, carrots and whatever frozen vegetables she could find into a casserole dish, topping it off with cream-of-"something" and putting it in the oven for an hour and a half or so.  Here's my recreation of her classic meat and potatoes meal.6-8 big red potatoes (about one per person), sliced2 carrots, choppedBoil potatoes and carrots in salted water until just tender. While that's cooking start thawing whatever frozen veggies you got taking up space in your freezer (i.e. corn, green beans, peas)2 lbs. organic hamburger or turkey burger1/2 tsp. dried thyme1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves1/2 tsp. garlic salt1 parsley sprig, chopped2-3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauceMix seasonings and Worcestershire sauce into hamburger or turkey burger.  Form into patties and cook in large skillet until browned and cooked through.  Remove and set aside. Into the same skillet you just cooked the meat in add:1 tbsp olive oil1 small onion, diced6-8 mushrooms, slicedCook onion first for a couple minutes before adding your mushrooms.  Let sizzle away for a few minutes.  While that's busy whisk together:1 can beef broth (or chicken broth if using turkey burger)1 tbsp cornstarch 

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482 Hits
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Creamy Saffron Vegetable Soup

    I first made this soup almost a year ago and after making it for dinner recently I knew I had to give it the spot light.  This soup is light yet so savory.  And here's my tricky little secret...it's creamy without using any cream.  So good for you and good tasting!  1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1 yellow onion, diced2 clove garlic, minced2 celery ribs, chopped4-5 cups chicken stock (however thick you want it)2 bay leafs1 tsp turmeric1 pinch saffron threads, about a quarter of a teaspoon2 carrots, chopped2 red potatoes, cubed1 can great northern beans, pureed1 small yellow crookneck squash, slicedchopped parsley Heat olive oil in pot.  Add onion, garlic and celery.  Saute until onions are caramelized then pour in your chicken stock, bay leafs, turmeric, carrots and potatoes.  Bring to a low boil and let cook for about 5 minutes while you puree the beans (you may need to add some of the stock from your pot into the beans in the food processor) Mix pureed beans in until well blended.  Add squash and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and top with fresh parsley. *I'll just say if up front, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, about $800 a pound!  Don't worry you don't need near that much.  You'll probably pay about $13 for a packet of these tiny red threads, but the flavor and benefits may make it worth it.  http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/saffron.html The active components present in saffron have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines since long time ago as anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic. Research studies have shown that, safranal, a volatile oil found in the spice, has antioxidant, cytotoxicity towards cancer cells, anticonvulsant and antidepressant properties. Αlfa-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives the spice its characteristic golden yellow color, has anti-oxidant, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer properties. 
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621 Hits
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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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