A New Healthier Kitchenista!!


September 5, 2012

Well well well! I-AM-BACK! I know I have been completely off the radar for a while but it was for a very good reason. The last two months have been quite a challenge for me. I am such a darn good cook but I was treating my body right. My taste buds were always getting the royal treatment but my waistline sadly was not. I’m introducing now, a new and improved 25LBS LIGHTER (so far)  version of the old me, and I must say it really hasn’t been easy! I cant lie, who in there right mind wants to go and give up rich, savory cooked dishes that just by looking at it gets your tummy rumbling.  Certainly not me! Well, at least that’s what I thought in fact I figured, I make everything at home, I’m not cheating if its all at home right? Though you do know and see whats going into the food do your really have an understanding of what it is doing to your body? I did not. In fact I had convinced myself I was going about it all the correct ways. WRONG! Yes people, these foods are delish and yes they look taste and smell amazing but in the last 7 weeks especially I have been given a whole new look on life and the only body that God has given me and how my food treats it. Let me be the first to say I am SO not willing to give up taste, but by educating myself trust me I’m not sacrificing one darn bit! I’ll be sharing with you my journey this moment on and maybe it’ll open a new level to your Kitchenista repertoire, as it has mine!

1. Parmesan Crusted Pork Loin Chops with Roasted Asparagus, topped with a Light Lemon Cream Sauce.

2. Turkey, Black Bean, and Corn Stove Top Chili

3. Parmesan Meatballs and Zucchini Medley in Basil Tomato Sauce over Whole Grain Pasta

4. Simple Garlic Shrimp over Whole Grain Pasta


Simple Roasted Yukon Golden Potatoes

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2 lbs Yukon Golden Potatoes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Opt: sprinkle on some grilling seasoning like garlic and herbs, or rosemary


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Dice the potatoes in a 1 inch dice. Place potatoes in a large roasting pan and toss with oil, salt, pepper, and other seasoning you like. Until evenly coated. Spread out potatoes in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally till tender and golden brown. Serve immediately

Braised Balsamic Chicken

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6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons olive oil1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Half the chicken breast in two long ways into cutlets.Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and garlic salt. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts.
  2. Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

Simple Garlic Shrimp over Whole Grain Pasta

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We loved this recipe so much, that I wish I had doubled it!

1 1/2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1 lb. Shrimp peeled and deveined

Salt to taste (I use “no salt” a product that I have really grown to love and it doesnt have any sodium in this case I used 1/4 teaspoon)

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes ( more if you like it spicy)

2 Tbls. Lemon Juice

1 Tbls. Caper Brine

1 1/2 Teaspoons Cold Butter

1/3 Cup Chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, divided

3 Tbls. cold butter

Water as needed.

Whole Wheat pasta of choice


Boil water and add pasta cook according to package.

Heat evoo in a heavy skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Place shrimp in an even layer on the bottom of the pan and cook for 1 minute without stirring Season the shrimp with salt ; cook and stir until shrimp begin to turn pink about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice , caper brine, 1 1/2 tsp cold butter and half the parsley. Cook until butter has melted about 1 minute, then turn heat to low and stir in the 3 Tbls. of cold butter. Cook and stir until all butter has melted to form a thick sauce and shrimp are pink and opaque, about 2-3 mins. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; continue to cook butter sauce, adding water 1 tsp at a time if to thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Top cooked pasta with shrimp and pour pan sauce over the top. Garnish with remaining parsley!

Turkey, Black Bean, and Corn Stove Top Chili

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1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 3/4 cups Chicken broth

1 cup Chunky Salsa

1 tablespoon sugar can also substitute 1 pk of sweet and low

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 Can diced tomatoes (14oz)


Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper and garlic powder. Cook until turkey is well browned, stirring frequently to break up meat.Stir the broth, salsa, sugar, beans,corn and tomatoes into the saucepan. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir the chili occasionally while cooking.

You can also add all these ingredients this to the slow cooker and set on low setting for up to 6-8 hours!


Basic Roasted Asparagus

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Preheat Broiler to 550′F

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed off (about 1 inch off the bottom) keep whole or slice spears in half.

- place in a glass baking dish spread evenly across the bottom. Half the bunch if its to many to fit.

2 Teaspoons Butter

-Dollop over the top of the asparagus spears

season with salt and pepper

Place the asparagus in the dish in the lower half of the oven furthest from the broiler top for 10 minutes,  After the time is up then move them to the top rack for another 4-5 mins keeping an eye on them not to burn. Remove and enjoy

Tip: this is such a basic recipe easily dolled up. Add chopped garlic, or diced tomatoes to the dish. Squeeze a splash of lemon juice over the top or try my Light Lemon Butter Cream Sauce, which is fantastic on it. My seven year old swears its the best asparagus hes ever tried! Just heart the best asparagus, is enough for me. The sauce though is so versatile and can go on top fish, chicken and pork as well

Light Lemon Butter Cream Sauce

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This sauce is nothing short of delicious At 55 cals per serving you’ll be amazed at the flavor it packs. Add this sauce over fish, chicken, pork or veggies. See Parmesan Crusted Pork Loin Chops with Light Lemon Butter Cream Sauce

2 Tbls Butter

1 Cup Fat Free Skim Milk, or what ever milk you have on hand. (Use heavy cream if you like but forget the light part if you do)

1 Tbls. Corn Starch mixed in a small bowl with 1 Tbls. Water. Set a side(such as a condiment bowl)

1/2 c white wine

Zest of one small lemon, carefull only to grate the bright yellow part. The white tends to be bitter

Juice of the same lemon, starting with only half

1 teaspoon dried Parsley

*you can also play with other seasonings like dill which goes great with fish, or basil great with chicken

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter down but not browning it. Then add the milk and raise the heat to medium high. Carefull not to burn/scaled the milk. Add in the white wine and whisk, about 4 mins till heated. Remix the corn starch and the water. Starch tends to settle at the bottom after sitting. Pour in to the mix and bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer. You then will zest your entire lemon, only the yellow, directly into the sauce. Cutting it in half use one half of the lemon. If you like a brighter flavor start adding the juice of the other half till desired taste. Season with fresh ground pepper and any herbs you’d like and let simmer till thickend. Taste test and season till you reach your desired flavor.

Parmesan Crusted Pork Loin Chops with Roasted Asparagus and Light Lemon Butter Cream Sauce

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For the Pork Chops, this mix is very easily doubled or used for thin and thick cut chops.  Great for thin chicken cutlets, also Turkey cutlets as well.

Lean cut pork chops 6 count


In a shallow bowl:

1/2 cup egg substitute or 2 eggs beaten

In a Shallow Plate:

1 cup plain bread crumbs

1 cup  shredded Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon No salt  (I love this stuff find it at your local market, its a great no sodium salt substitute)

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In a frying pan:

4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Evoo)

Dip the pork chops in the egg  then into the bread crumb Parmesan Mixture. Do this to all the pork chops and set aside. Let rest for about 5 mins while the oil heats in the pan. Heat 2 Tbls. EVOO in a frying pan over medium heat. Careful not to heat to hot, so not to burn the Parmesan. Work in batches careful not to over crowd the pan. When placing the chops in the pan, cook each side about 4-6 mins till golden brown. DONT FLIP TO EARLY OR MOVE THEM AROUND, you want don’t want the breading to not be cooked firm to the chop, because it will be lost to the pan. Using a thin metal spatula after the first batch is done, remove to a plate and keep warm. Heat the remaining 2 Tbls of EVOO and finish the remainder of the pork chops. If you see the pork chops are beginning to stick some, feel free to add a small amount of oil to the pan and swirl around.

Tip: If you are working with larger chops, preheat the over to 375′F. Cook each side of the chop 4-6 mins till golden brown. Place the chops on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven about 20-25 mins till no longer pink in the middle.

Top with Light Lemon Butter Cream Sauce (click the link for the recipe) or serve as is with your favorite side dish!

Click here for simple Roasted Asparagus


Parmesan Meatballs and Zucchini Medley in Basil Tomato Sauce Over Whole Grain Pasta

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1 lb Extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey. (I used 99% lean ground turkey)

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or same amount plain white bread crumbs

2 eggs or 1/2 cup liquid egg substitue

1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

2/3 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 onion,finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 can (16 ounces) Italian-style cut tomatoes

1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil and a sprig for garnish.

Whole Grain Pasta of choice, here we used  Whole Grain Spaghetti.


Heat a pot of water to boiling and add in your pasta cook as directed on the box instructions

In a large bowl, combine the beef or turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, the Italian seasoning,and all but about 2 teaspoons (reserve) of the cheese. Form into balls the size of  walnuts.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook for 15 minutes, or until browned and no longer pink inside.  Remove to a bowl, leaving drippings in the skillet. Repeat to cook the remaining meatballs.

In the same skillet in warm drippings over medium high heat, add the onion, zucchini and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Season with some pepper. Stir in the Italian style tomatoes, crushed tomatoes,  and rest of the cheese, and the meatballs. Heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 mins. Stir in the chopped basil. Garnish with a basil sprig. Plate and Enjoy!!!!

Greek Beef Orzo

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We absolutely LOVE this recipe. Quick and easy one dish dinners are great for those busy nights and it takes no time at all to prepare. I originally got this recipe from bettycrocker.com and our family always asks for seconds. This recipe is very easy to double!

pound lean ground beef

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 medium celery stalk, sliced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup uncooked orzo or rosamarina pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt


Cook beef in 10-inch skillet over medium-high about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown; drain.
2 Stir in remaining ingredients except yogurt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender. Stir in about 1 1/2 Tbsp. plain Greek Yogurt or enough for a creamy texture and serve