Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad


5 slices bacon, diced
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for garnish


3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 cup olive oil


Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad - Loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing!

Chicken Scampi Pasta


Kosher salt

1 pound thinly-sliced chicken cutlets, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

6 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup dry white wine

12 ounces angel hair pasta

1 teaspoon lemon zest plus the juice of 1 large lemon

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Sprinkle the chicken with some salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then add the oil. Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken until golden but not cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic just begins to turn golden at the edges, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until very al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and 3/4 cup pasta water to the skillet along with the chicken, lemon zest and juice and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and gently stir the pasta until the butter is melted, adding the remaining 1/4 pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated cheese and parsley and toss before serving.

Easy Italian Wedding Soup


1 ⅓ cups chopped yellow onion

⅔ cup chopped carrot

⅔ cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons minced garlic

6 cups unsalted chicken broth

6 ounces orzo, preferably whole-wheat

1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

½ teaspoon kosher salt

24 cooked chicken meatballs (12 ounces), such as Easy Italian Chicken Meatballs. To make these easy Italian chicken meatballs, here is recipe : Ingredients:  Directions: Step 1 Position a rack in the oven 8 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler to high. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Step 2 Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a medium bowl; let stand for 10 minutes. Step 3 Stir egg, cheese, parsley, garlic and pepper into the breadcrumb mixture. Break sausage into small pieces. Add the sausage and chicken to the breadcrumb mixture, gently mixing until just combined. Step 4 Form the mixture into 24 meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each. Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Broil until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a meatball registers 165 degrees F, 9 to 10 minutes.

4 cups baby spinach

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese



Step 1

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broth, cover and bring to a boil. Add orzo, oregano and salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is just tender, about 9 minutes.

Step 2

Stir in meatballs and spinach; cook until the meatballs are heated through and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cheese and drizzled with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil.

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes


Heat oil in a large straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and salt; cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown, 18 to 21 minutes.

4 (6 inch) whole-wheat sub rolls, split



Step 1

Arrange oven rack in upper third of the oven. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, oregano and salt; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook until bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, warm peppers and onions in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often. (Alternatively, microwave for 1 minute to reheat.)

Step 4

Lay rolls, split-side open, on the prepared baking sheet. Broil, rotating the pan as necessary, until just starting to brown and toast, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Step 5

Top toasted buns with the beef mixture, dividing evenly. Top with the peppers and onions and then cheese. Broil just until the cheese is melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Wrap each sub in foil until ready to eat. Serve hot.

Dark Chocolate Truffles


1 teaspoon vanilla

Desired coatings


Step 1

In a 2-qt. saucepan cook and stir chocolate and cream cheese over low until melted (mixture will be thick and slightly grainy). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill 1 to 1 1/2 hours or just until firm.

Step 2

Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in desired coatings. Some examples of desired coatings: Cocoa-Ancho Coating: Roll balls in 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder and sprinkle lightly with ground ancho chile pepper. Almond Coating: Roll balls in 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds. Coconut Coating: Roll balls in 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut. Chocolate Coating: Dip balls in 8 ounces melted dark chocolate and place on a waxed paper-lined tray. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Let stand until set. Peanut Butter Coating: Combine 3 ounces melted white baking chocolate and 1 Tbsp. peanut butter. Place balls on a waxed paper-lined tray and drizzle with peanut butter mixture. Let stand until set. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 week.


Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip



8 cups broccoli florets

1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed

2 cups cauliflower florets


1 cup plain non fat greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper



Step 1

To prepare crudité: Put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water by the stove. Blanch broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes in the boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to chill. Drain well. Blanch Brussels sprouts, green beans and snap peas in the same way.

Step 2

To prepare dip: Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, shallot, dill, vinegar, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl; set it in the center of a large circular platter or decorative serving board.

Step 3

Arrange kale around the bowl, with the frilly edges on the outside. Top with the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas and cauliflower. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.

How to Make a Crudité Vegetable Platter

Roasted Leg of Lamb With Crunchy Roast Potatoes


12 cloves of garlic, peeled

7 lb / 3.5 kg leg of lamb. Full legs of lamb are too long for most roasting trays. If you buy it from a supermarket, typically the shaft (bone) will be cut so it bends so it can fit into the pan. If you purchase it from a butcher, ask them to do this for you because you need the roast to fit flat in a roasting pan so it can lie submerged in the braising liquid.

Salt and pepper

3 tsp paprika powder

3 tsp garlic powder (or use onion powder)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, quartered (white, brown, yellow, red)

10 sprigs of thyme

3 sprigs rosemary

3 tsp dried oregano

3 dried bay leaves (or 5 fresh)

1/2 cup / 125 ml lemon juice (2 – 3 lemons), plus more to taste

1 1/2 cups / 375 ml white wine (or use chicken broth/stock, low salt)

2 cups / 500 ml chicken broth (liquid chicken stock)



Slow Roasted GREEK Leg of Lamb - Tender fall apart lamb made the Greek way! Super easy.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

  • 1 large head of cauliflower chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 shallots minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and put them into a food processor
  3. Pulse until it’s small and looks like rice
  4. You may need to scrape the sides of the food processor once
  5. In a bowl combine the cauliflower rice, sesame oil, garlic, shallots
  6. Spread the cauliflower on a large baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes. Spread again and roast for another 8 minutes
  7. Add the veggies to the cauliflower rice and stir. Roast for an extra couple of minutes
  8. Pour the soy sauce and stir. You can add 2 scrambled eggs, shrimp or chicken to this as well

Stuffed Pork Loin


3 ounces fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped dried tart cherries
¾ cup cooked wild rice
¾ teaspoon dried sage, crushed
⅓ cup chopped pecans
1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
1 (3½ pound) boneless pork center loin roast
¼ teaspoon dried sage, ground
⅛ teaspoon dried thyme, ground
½ cup low-sugar apricot preserves
3 tablespoons water


  1. Cook spinach in hot oil in a large skillet until wilted. Combine the cooked spinach, dried cherries, cooked wild rice, crushed sage, pecans, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Trim excess fat from pork. To pinwheel the pork loin, start cutting lengthwise ½ inch under the fat cap on the roast. As you cut the roast, gently rotate the roast at the same time. This will allow the roast to “unroll” as you cut it. When the roast is completely cut, it should be a rectangular piece of meat between ½ and 1 inch thick.
  3. Sprinkle cut surface of the meat with the remaining ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, the ¼ teaspoon ground sage, and the thyme. Spread the spinach mixture over the cut side. Roll up the loin tightly to resemble the initial roast. Tie securely with twine.
  4. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan; insert a meat thermometer into thickest part. Roast in preheated oven for 1½ to 1¾ hours, or until oven thermometer registers 140°F.
  5. Meanwhile, stir apricot jam and the water in a small saucepan over low heat, until the jam has melted.
  6. Remove the roast from the oven and brush on about half of the apricot mixture. Return to the oven and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes or until thermometer registers 150°F. Remove from the oven; brush with the remaining apricot mixture. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes in a warm place before carving. The temperature of the meat after standing should be 160°F.

Stuffed Pork Loin

Mushroom-Spinach Eggs Benedict


3 tablespoons light sour cream
2 teaspoons fat-free milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon olive oil
1½ cups sliced fresh button mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
4 cups packaged fresh baby spinach
2 eggs
1 whole-wheat English muffin, split
Freshly ground pepper
Ground nutmeg
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)


  1. For sauce, stir together sour cream, milk, and mustard in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallot. Cook for 4 minutes or until mushrooms are golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in spinach until it just starts to wilt. Set aside.
  3. Fill a medium nonstick skillet halfway with water. Bring water to boiling; reduce heat to simmering (bubbles should begin to break the surface of the water). Break one of the eggs into a small dish. Carefully slide egg into simmering water, holding the lip of the dish as close to the water as possible. Repeat with the remaining egg, allowing each egg an equal amount of space. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until egg whites are completely set and yolks being to thicken but are not hard. Remove eggs from skillet with a slotted spoon.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the two muffin halves in a toaster. Place each half on a serving plate. Top evenly with mushroom mixture; place eggs on top of mushroom mixture. Spoon sauce over eggs. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and nutmeg. If desired, garnish with thyme sprigs.

Mushroom-Spinach Eggs Benedict