Summer Vegetable Gratin

This dish is a who’s who of summer veggies – eggplant, zucchini, squash & tomatoes. I like to lots of fresh herbs in the breadcrumbs and onion mixture to punch up the flavor. A couple of tips: find veggies that are all the same diameter and use a mandoline to slice all but the tomatoes. If your not watching your waste you can toss the zuks, squash and eggplant slices in olive oil before layering.

2 – 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch think
2 zuks, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Canola oil
2 1/2 c chopped onion
2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Kosher salt
1 TBSP plus 1 tsp thyme
1 TBSP micro basil or basil finely chopped
1/4 c olive oil
1/3 c parmigiano reggiano
1/3 c bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350

In a large pan sauté onions, leeks, 1 tsp thyme and garlic in 2 tsp canola oil over low heat until brown and soft, about 20 minutes.

In 9 by 13 pan, spread the onion mixture over the bottom. Then layer rows of eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomato – you want them to overlap. Mix together bread crumbs, herbs & cheese and spoon over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Serves 6



Dijon Roasted Cauliflower

This is quick healthy and of course, dee-licious recipe I adapted from March 2011 Food & Wine Magazine. To make it a little lighter I used a little less olive oil instead I used some sparkling water. Sounds odd – but it nicely thinned the mustard so it would evenly coat the cauliflower. The mustard is not overwhelming, but luxurious!

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP olive oil
1 – 2 TBSP sparkling water
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Whisk mustard, olive oil, water and garlic in a small bowl. Add more water if it is too thick. Toss cauliflower in sauce and roast for 30 minutes.

Serves 4.
1 WW PP per serving.


Skinny Brownies

These tasty brownies hit the spot when I am craving something sweet but don’t want to blow my diet. Applesauce replaces the butter to lighten them up.

3/4 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP cocoa power

1/4 c applesauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp melted butter

1/2 sparkling water

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Stir into dry and pour water over the top and stir until well combined.

Fill muffin tins lined with papers 1/2 up. Bake 15 – 18 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.

12 servings.
2 WW PP per serving.

Spicy Crab Cakes

Sriracha sauce is the crack-cocaine of condiments – it has the magic in the spicy pepper that just lights my mouth on fire. When I first saw this recipe, I thought it was a crime to put something so powerful (sriracha) with something so sweet and delicate (crab), but I have a serious problem, and my love of sriracha won over my cooking sensibilities – and man was I glad it did!

I always keep a container of lump crab meat around for a quick tasty meal. No, it is not as good as fresh crab, but nothing goes on fresh crab but a little butter in this house. These cakes come together quickly so they are perfect for I night when I don’t have anything defrosted. I chop once and have two bowls going; one for sauce and one for crab cakes. Any leftovers are great the next day on lettuce. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2009.

1/4 c mayonnaise
4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 TBSP roasted red pepper from jar, minced
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP sriracha sauce
2 tsp lemon zest, zest before you juice

Crab burgers:
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
2 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
2 TBSP roasted red pepper, minced
2 green onion, thinly sliced
1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over
1 cup panko
2 TBSP grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
1 head of lettuce, rinsed & torn

For dressing:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

For crab burgers:
Whisk first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in red pepper and green onion. Gently mix in crab and panko. Use 1/4 cupful for each burger. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

Melt oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add burgers to skillet. Sauté until brown, about 5 minutes per side.

Arrange on lettuce leaves and drizzle with sauce.

6 Servings
Could be less with low fat mayo

Asparagus Soup

During the spring I can sometimes go a little overboard at the farmers market. Once in a great while, I buy too much produce and have to find creative ways to use it up. This week it was too much asparagus. So I made soup, lucky for me, it’s a cold rainy day and nothing sounds better than a warm bowl of soup. This soup is super quick and easy to make and tastes wonderful.

2 1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch sections
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP olive oil
Lemon zest
Creme Fraiche or sour cream

In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium low heat, add onions, garlic and salt, sauté until soft. Add 3 1/2 c water and bring to a boil. Add chopped asparagus, and cook for about 8 minutes until asparagus is tender. Remove from heat and purée in food processor or with an immersion blender.

Grate lemon zest over the soup just before you serve.

6 servings.
3 WW PP per serving.
2 without creme fraiche

Baked Gnocchi

Why does the first day of the week require the comfort of pasta at the end of the day? This week I whipped up a tomato sauce while prepping lunches and dinner for my little monsters, boiled up some shelf stable whole wheat gnocchi then topped with cheese and baked – add a glass of red wine and all is right with the world again.

1 package of shelf stable or frozen gnocchi
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, thinly slices
2 tsp olive oil
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
Pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of parsley
1/4 c Parmesan
1/4 c fat free mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 3 qt saucepan heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and onion. Reduce heat to low, put lid on pan and sweat for 10 – 15 minutes. If it starts to brown add a little water and scrape down. Add tomatoes, pepper flakes, salt, parsley and bay leaf. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and parsley sprigs.

Boil a large pot of water. Add gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes or until they float to the top. You want to pull them out as soon as they float to the top. Place in a small baking dish, stir in sauce and top with cheese.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Serves 4