Friday, April 20, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread/Muffins

  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, although dark would be good too!)
  1. In a mixer, combine your oil, applesauce, sugars and vanilla. Mix in your eggs and shredded zucchini. In a separate bowl, sift together your flours, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture into your wet mixture. Beat until combined. Mix in your chocolate chips.
  2. Scrape your batter into 2 greased 9x5x3 loaf pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 50-65 minutes, or until done. For muffins, fill muffin papers to the top and bake 15-20 minutes. Makes 18 muffins. Eat and moan.  For extra moaning, try topping with peanut butter.  Oh my...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mediterranean Roasted Salmon with Lemon-Feta Angel Hair Pasta

Mediterranean Roasted Salmon


  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives


  • Place salmon in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and remaining salt. Spoon 1 tablespoon over each fillet.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, green pepper, olives and remaining oil mixture. Spoon over fillets.
  • Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 4 servings.

Lemon-Feta Angel Hair Pasta


  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In a large skillet, saute garlic in oil for 1 minute. Drain pasta; stir into skillet. Add the remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings.
This was a HUGE hit at my house! It's a definite keeper!

Recipes and photo from Taste of Home

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups


  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 pound spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup fresh, chopped spinach
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6-8 oz. pesto sauce
  • 1 (20-28 ounce) fresh or jar marinara sauce


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil lasagna noodles for 5 to 8 minutes, or until just slightly underdone; drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, brown both the chicken sausage and ground turkey in saucepans.  Let cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together grated cheese, ricotta cheese, chicken sausage and ground turkey, fresh spinach, and 1 cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Lay out a noodle. Spread a layer of the cheese mixture on the noodle, then add a thin layer of pesto sauce. Roll the noodle up tightly, and place seam side down in a 13x9 pan. Repeat for other noodles. Top with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 30 min, or until hot and bubbly.
Cook's Note: The first time I made this dish, I did not use pesto sauce on the inside of the lasagna roll-ups, I used marinara sauce.  My husband loved the roll-ups so much that he asked me to make them again two weeks later.  I love pesto sauce, so I added that to the dish the next time and posted my recipe as such.  Enjoy!

Cinnabon-ish Cinnamon Roll Cake

I found the recipe for this cake on adapted the recipe because I had already purchased a boxed cake mix from Trader Joe's and wanted to use it...and it was less time consuming for sure!

Ingredients for cake:

1 box vanilla cake mix (I highly recommend TJ's Madagascar Vanilla Cake)
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon  flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup nuts, walnuts or pecans (optional, I didn't use)

for icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
2.5 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Follow the cake mix's instructions for making the vanilla cake and pour into an 8 x 8 or 9 x9 cake pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  Then, mix together the remaining ingredients: softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and optional nuts.  Drop cinnamon/sugar filling by spoonfuls into the cake pan, and use a knife to swirl around the cinnamon/sugar filling to join it nicely with the vanilla cake.  Bake cake for 25-30 minutes.

Let cake cool for no more than 10 minutes.  While cake is cooling, mix together ingredients for the icing.  Drizzle icing over the top of the still-warm cake and serve immediately.  It is best eaten while it is still warm and gooey!

Greek Roasted Chicken & Tortellini Salad


  • 1 roasted chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 16 oz. package fresh tri-colored cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coursely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 jar of Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup slivered red onion


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add tortellini, and cook for 7 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, and salt. Place the cooked tortellini in the bowl, and toss to coat. 
  3. Gently mix the spinach, feta cheese, olives, roasted chicken, and onion into the bowl with the pasta. Cover and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Coconut Cream Cake

Recipe from food network

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can sweetened cream of coconut, well stirred (recommended: Coco Lopez)
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut mixed with 1 1/2 cups toasted sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) diameter cake pans with 2-inch high sides.
Pour the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to stir together. This will get rid of any lumps and pseudo-sift the ingredients. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar, butter and sweetened cream of coconut until fluffy and it resembles whipped cream, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, beat in 1/2 the dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk, and the remaining dry ingredients, scraping down the sides in between each addition, just until blended.
Using clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in another clean large bowl until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Cook's Note: You want to get the most volume from your egg whites, that's why it is essential that the beaters and bowl are clean. Just to be safe, I like to wipe the bowl out with a dash of vinegar, white or apple cider is best. The vinegar cuts through any fat in the bowl leaving only a sparkling bowl behind. And don't worry, you won't be able to taste the vinegar-I promise!
In batches, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, being careful not to deflate the whites. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Spread the batter with an offset spatula to level the batter in the pan. Bake the cakes until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. Gently run a small sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Cook's Note: As the cakes cool they will shrink slightly, pulling away from the sides of the pan. By running the knife around the sides of the pan you are helping in the process by taking away any resistance. Turn the cakes out onto the racks and cool completely.
With a pastry brush, gently brush any crumbs from the cooled cake layers. If the cake baked up with a slight dome in the center, you can trim it to even it out or just remember to place that cake layer dome-side down on the cake plate. Place 1 cake layer, flat-side up, on a cake plate. Spread 1 heaping cup Cream Cheese Frosting over the cake layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border of cake around the edge. This will give the filling a place to go or spread when the second cake layer is placed on top-you don't want it to bulge out the sides!
Sprinkle 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut mix over the frosting. Top with the second cake layer, flat-side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. For a retro look, I like swoopy swirls. The best way to achieve it is to spread the frosting using the back of a spoon. It's that easy!
Sprinkle the remaining coconut mix over the cake, gently pressing into the sides to adhere. Coconut Layer Cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut, well stirred (recommended: Coco Lopez)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fine sea salt
Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat until smooth. Add the sugar, sweetened cream of coconut, vanilla extract and pinch of sea salt and beat until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed, for about 3 more minutes.