Vegetable-Beef Lasagna Gluten-Free

1# ground beef, turkey or lamb
8-10 sliced mini peppers
1 med. purple onion - chopped
5-6 cloves garlic - minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can zesty tomato sauce
1/2c fresh oregano & basil - chopped
1/2 lg. white onion - chopped
8oz. Neufchatel cheese
4ox. Velveeta cheese
2 beaten eggs
fresh ground salt and black pepper

2 med. zucchini sliced thin - lengthwise
8oz. frozen thin green beans
4oz. Parmesan cheese

Brown the ground meat, add sliced peppers, onion and garlic.  Stir and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Add the canned tomatoes and sauce.  In another pan, put the chopped white onion in the bottom and heat on very low heat.  Add the two cheeses, break them up and stir with the onions until the cheese becomes almost liquid.

Stir in the seasonings and remove from the heat to cool just a little then add the beaten eggs.  In a 9x13" glass pan, put several spoonfuls of the meat sauce.  Cover with a layer of zucchini slices, green beans and half the cheese mixture and more of the meat sauce.  Repeat the layers and grate the fresh parmesan on top.  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes then turn heat to 400° for 20 minutes, or until everything's bubbly.  Cool slightly and slice into big squares.  Serve with some hot, crusty garlic bread. . .Lin

Roasted Root Vegetables

3 sm.-med. red beets
2 med.-lg. sweet potatoes
2 med. red potatoes
1 med. Vidalia onion
5 lg. cloves garlic
fresh ground garlic salt
fresh ground pepper
*3-4T butter

Scrub vegetables and remove any odd spots.  Slice the red potatoes and sweet potatoes a little bigger than the beets, since they'll cook faster.  Combine with chopped onion, crushed-sliced garlic, seasonings and *butter in a large casserole dish.  Cover and bake at 400° for 15 minutes.  Take out of the oven, turn vegetables over with a large wooden spoon to coat with the melted butter and seasonings.

You could add 3/4c cashews, sunflower seeds, slivered or smoked almonds now for extra protein if you'd like this to be a vegetarian main dish.  *Swap out the butter for extra-virgin olive oil, to make it vegan.  Return to the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes or so, until everything is cooked the way you like it.  This is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, by itself, or as a side dish to meatloaf, grilled chicken, fish or steaks.  .  .Lin 

Colorful Vegetable-Beef Stir-Fry

4-6 oz. steak
an interesting oil
your favorite seasonings
1T steak sauce
& balsamic vinegar
any vegetables you like

A Tiny Pepper-Top Mosaic!
Chop the steak into a non-stick pan, with the next 3 ingredients.  Today I used avocado oil.  Stir and heat this until it just starts to sizzle.  Cover and remove from heat to let flavors blend and the meat marinate just a bit.  Meanwhile, chop-slice-dice the vegetables however you prefer.  Add them to the meat then turn the heat to high and pay attention!  Keep everything moving, until the vegetables are still crisp-tender.  If you have leftover rice, or pasta, that can be added now.  The meat should be medium-rare to medium at this point.

This can be made with any meat; lamb, pork, chicken, shrimp.  If I were using either chicken or shrimp, I might try those with 1/2c± sun-dried tomato or basil pesto.  With any of the heartier meats, you could cut the pieces larger, use coconut oil, cubed-raw potatoes, larger vegetables, more cooking time, with curry powder or curry paste to create a wonderful East Indian stir-fry dinner.  Be Bold, Be Creative!  Happy Cooking! . . . Lin   

Black Bean and Corn Salad

             Ingredients Shown

                    ~ plus ~

  zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
1-2T fruity white balsamic vinegar
  sweet onion, celery, fresh garlic
     fresh ground salt and pepper

Not much measuring this time, just drain and rinse black beans, rinse the corn and combine in a medium bowl.  I show a can of tomatoes, but decided to use 3 small fresh ones, since I have so many.  ( If you use canned, drain the juice into a glass.  Add a little lemon juice, vodka, hot sauce, seasonings and ice, for an interesting little Bloody Mary to sip on while you cook :-D )

Chop the tomatoes, add the onion and garlic, then the zest and juice, and drizzle with the oil and vinegar.  Toss, let chill an hour or so, toss again, garnish with avocado and serve as a salad or a very chunky dip for some sturdy chips.  You could also begin this whole process by mashing the avocado, stirring in the juice, other liquids, minced spicy-heat and crunch elements, and seasonings, to create sort of a dressing, before adding the vegetables.  It's always fun to try a recipe a couple different ways. . .Lin 

Potato-Zucchini Simmer

2 sm-med zucchini or yellow squash
1/4 onion - finely chopped
1T butter and a drizzle of olive oil
3 orange mini-peppers
3/4 onion - rough chopped
2 red or Yukon Gold potatoes
3 sm-med tomatoes - chopped
1/4c sun-dried tomato pesto
- 3oz. neufchâtel cheese - optional

Cut the squash, lengthwise, into 4 spears.  Cut into cubes.  Combine with onion, butter and oil.  Cook on low in a non-stick pan 8 minutes, adding a little water if needed.  Add all the remaining ingredients except the cheese.  Simmer 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked the way you like. Stir in cheese, heat another few minutes before serving.  These pictures are before and after adding the cheese.

This is the first time I've used this cheese in cooking.  Neufchâtel is almost identical to regular cream cheese.  Made in Neufchâtel, France,  it's lower in fat than our Philly version.  It's good in this recipe, but much richer and heavier than similar ingredients I've used previously.  If I make this again, I'll use sour cream or thick coconut milk.  If going with the latter, I would also add 1t to 1T of curry powder.  Be Bold - Be Adventurous!  Happy Cooking Everyone! . . . Lin

Chicken Lasagna

8oz. pasta - cooked, rinsed and drained
2-4oz. finely diced bacon
1#+ chicken breast meat
1 med. onion - diced
8oz. sliced mushrooms
8 multi-colored mini peppers - sliced
24oz. Newman's Sockarooni Sauce

6oz. ricotta cheese
1 egg
2/3c cottage cheese
3oz. capers
2/3c sliced kalamata (red) olives
fresh snipped oregano, basil, rosemary
cayenne pepper, garlic salt, black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese

Saute' the bacon in a 3 qt. pot.  Cut the chicken into small cubes.  Saute' chicken, and the onion, in with the cooking bacon.  When the chicken has started to brown, add the mushrooms and peppers.  Simmer-saute' for a while to bring out the flavors and brown the meat, adding a little water, chicken stock or white wine if needed.  After the chicken has browned - 20-60 minutes - add the red sauce and continue to simmer.  
<—If the peppers 'melt' leaving only the stringy skins, remove those.

Meanwhile, combine the next 7 ingredients in a small bowl.  Put half the cooked pasta in a 9"x9" glass pan.  Pour half the cheese mixture over this.  Next add half the meat mixture.  Repeat.  Top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350° until it's very bubbly, about 40 minutes.

Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting.  Serve with a mixed green salad. . .Lin

Corn and Black Bean Salad

4 ears of corn
2 Roma tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 med. Vidalia onion
2-3 lg. cloves of garlic - minced
1/2c chopped sun dried tomatoes
2-4T oil from the tomatoes
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1-2t chili-lime seasoning
1/2t Himalayan pink salt
1 lg. can black beans
~ drained and rinsed

Cook the corn then cut it off the cobs into a medium size bowl.  Add the chopped vegetables and remaining ingredients, then toss together.  Chill an hour or so then toss again just before serving. . .Lin

Sun-Dried Tomato—Avocado Dressing

1 very ripe avocado
3/4c real mayonnaise 
2-3T Balsamic vinegar
2-3T finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
1-2T oil from the tomatoes
fresh ground sea salt and pepper
2-3T water - as needed

Mash the avocado in a flat bowl, stir in the remaining ingredients and pour over a tossed salad.  Makes enough for 2 big salads. . .Lin

(Another) Quinoa Tabouli with Black Beans

1c quinoa
2c water
2-4T Tuscan or Italian Flavored Olive Oil
zest and juice of 1-2 limes or 1 lg. lemon
fresh ground salt and pepper
(a little chili lime seasoning - optional)
1-1/2c fresh herbs chopped parsley (basil / oregano)
1 or 2 15oz. cans of rinsed-drained black beans
1-1/2c chopped fresh tomatoes
4-6 green onions - sliced-chopped
2 lg. cloves garlic - sliced-chopped very fine
1c chopped celery hearts and leafy tops
3-4 lg. radishes - sliced
3-4 mini English cucumbers - chopped

Cook the quinoa in water, as directed, until little tails sprout and all liquid is absorbed.  Add all the remaining ingredients, toss, chill for an hour or so before serving. . .Lin

Smoky Salmon and Sweet Potatoes

1 piece of salmon
1 sweet potato
2 cloves garlic - sliced
1 sm. onion - chopped
1-2T butter
1-2T Balsamic vinegar
1T sugar
fresh ground salt and pepper

This is for one person.  Add ingredients for each person you're cooking for.  Slice the sweet potato into a small bowl.  Add all the ingredients that follow.  Mix together and bake in a covered casserole dish for 20 minutes at 350°.  Meanwhile, fry the salmon in a little butter, seasoning each side before turning.

Serve with a small salad, sliced cucumbers or avocado.  Fresh fruit with a little sugar and a splash of fruity Balsamic vinegar, that's been allowed to set for about an hour, makes a great dessert. . .Lin

Greek Pasta Salad

half an 8oz. jar of sun dried tomatoes
3.5oz. jar of capers
3oz katamala olives
1 13+oz. can quartered artichoke hearts
2 lg. green onions, sliced
1c chopped celery hearts
zest of 1 lemon 
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2T Italian seasoned olive oil
1-2T dark Balsamic vinegar
fresh ground lemon pepper
3/4c dry orzo pasta - cooked al dente'
4oz. seasoned goat cheese crumbles

In a medium size bowl, combine all the whole or chopped ingredients in this list, down to the pasta.  Mix together and chill.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta, let it cool then combine with everything in the bowl.  Add crumbled cheese and check the flavors.  Add seasoning or a little more oil, lemon or vinegar as needed. . .Lin

Spicy Cornbread

1c quick cooking oats
1c corn flour
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
1t salt
2 eggs
1/2c whole milk
2/3c sour cream
1/2c avocado oil
1/3c chopped jalapeño peppers from a jar
1/3c juice from the jalapeños
1/2c chopped chili-lime cashews

Stir the dry ingredients together, then add the rest.  Stir well, and pour into a buttered 9" glass pie pan.  Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes until the edges begin to brown and the center springs back when touched.  Cool a little then slice and serve with chili or ham and split pea soup.  So good for a chilly-rainy day :-) . . . Lin

A Wonderful Pot Of Chili!

1-1/4# lean beef stew meat
2T butter
1/3 onion - minced
1/2c wine
6 lg. cloves garlic - minced
2/3 lg. onion - chopped
3 ribs of celery - chopped
celery tops - diced
42oz. canned diced tomatoes
25 oz. rinsed-drained black beans
15 oz. rinsed-drained garbanzo beans
15 oz. water
1/2 - 1t fresh ground pepper
1/2 - 1t Himalayan pink salt
1-2T ground cumin
1-2T medium hot chili powder
1T sugar

Brown the meat in butter with the minced onion.  When nicely browned, add remaining ingredients, stir and simmer an hour or so.  Turn off heat and let stand until just warm.  Chill an hour or more, reheat and serve with cornbread. . .Lin

Broccoli-Craisin Salad

3/4c mayonnaise
2T raspberry balsamic vinegar
fresh ground pepper
1 head of broccoli 
1/2 lg. Vidalia onion
3/4c smoked almonds
3/4c craisins 
1 apple - scrubbed and chopped

In a medium sized bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper.  Chop and break the broccoli into florets, quarter and slice the onion and add to the bowl, along with the remaining ingredients.  Combine and chill for an hour or two.  Mix again and serve. . .Lin

Coconut Chicken Curry

1-1/2# chicken breast or thigh meat
2T coconut oil
1 lg. onion - 1/3 minced, 2/3 chopped
5 lg. cloves of garlic - chopped
1/2 red sweet pepper - rough chopped
1 lg. sweet potato - scrubbed and cubed
5 purple fingerling potatoes - scrubbed and
. . .cut into cross-sections
2-3 ribs of celery - slice-chopped

1 14oz. can AROY-D red curry
1/2 can of water
1 14oz. ± can coconut milk
1c cashews - plain or chili-lime

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Combine in a 5 qt.-heavy-bottomed pot with coconut oil, minced onion and garlic.  Saute' until chicken browns.  Add all remaining ingredients except the coconut milk and cashews.  Simmer, covered for 45 minutes.  Add coconut milk and cashews, stir, cover and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.  Reheat, gently, to a low-bubble-simmer for about 10 minutes before serving. . .Lin

Zu-dles With Spicy Roasted Vegetable Sauce

12oz. mixed grape-cherry tomatoes
4-5 lg. cloves of garlic - minced
1 Vidalia onion - chopped
1-2 celery stalks - chopped
2T Italian flavored extra-virgin olive oil
2T balsamic fig vinegar
fresh ground garlic salt and pepper
8oz. tomato sauce
3oz. sun-dried tomato pesto
1-2T coriander (cilantro) chutney
3 sm.-med. zucchini
chopped celery greens
3/4c roasted-salted sunflower kernels
Parmesan cheese
Slice each tomato 3-4 times, crosswise.  Combine in a bowl with next 6 ingredients.  Spread this out on a large baking sheet, with sides.  Roast in a 390° oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking a couple times during the roasting process to keep the vegetables from sticking.  In the bowl, combine the tomato sauce, pesto and chutney.  Dry toast the sunflower kernels in a non-stick pan, to draw out the oils and increase the browning.  Add the roasted vegetables and sunflower kernels to the bowl of sauce.  Stir just to combine.

Using a spiral slicer, spiralize the zucchini.  Break the spirals apart just a little, then put them in the frying pan with the celery tops.  Cover, and heat over medium heat, just enough to bring out the liquid and steam the zucchini just a little.  Maybe 7-10 minutes.  

Serve zucchini spirals topped with the nutty, spicy, tomato sauce and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. . .Lin

My Go-To Smoothie

3/4c pineapple juice
3/4c plain Greek yogurt
3/4c fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2T raw, organic honey
1/2T ground cinnamon
2 chunks of candied ginger

Combine everything in a blender, blend for a couple minutes and serve.

If you look up these individual ingredients, you'll find this is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories. . .AND it tastes really good. . .Lin

Whole Wheat Zucchini Fritter Bites

1 med. zucchini - shredded
1 egg
1/4 purple onion - shredded
2-3oz. Parmesan cheese - grated
1/2t Himalayan pink salt
*1/2 - 1t chili lime seasoning
*OR 1/2-1t finely ground nutmeg
1 whole wheat Sandwich Skinny
1 piece Ezekiel Bread

Grate the zucchini into a medium bowl.  Press and drain all the liquid out.  Wad up some paper towels and do it again.  Add the next 5 ingredients.  *Chili lime seasoning is nicely savory, while the nutmeg creates more of a sweet flavor.  Break up the pita and bread into a mini-prep or regular food processor.  Process until it's all just crumbs.  It's easier to do this with frozen bread.  Add to the bowl.  Stir and let stand to absorb any remaining moisture from the zucchini, egg or onion.  Shape into little logs on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Increase heat to 400° for an additional 10 minutes.  Turn off the oven, loosen from the pan, return to the still warm oven for about 20 minutes.  If they're still not crisp enough, flip over onto a plate, bottom sides up, and return to a 170° oven for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool a little, then serve with ketchup, chili sauce or ranch dressing for dipping. . .Lin

Fruit-Nut Fiesta Quick Bread (Gluten Free)

1c corn flour
2c oat flour (or quick rolled oats
~ pulverized in a food processor)
1T fresh ground cinnamon
1t baking soda
1t salt
1/2t baking powder
 ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~
3 eggs
1c vegetable oil
1-1/2c sugar
2c fresh or frozen cranberries
1 banana - mashed
3/4c finely chopped canned pineapple
1/2c coconut flakes
1c chopped pecans or walnuts
1T pure vanilla extract

I don't bake often because my discipline is very weak regarding brownies, cookies, cakes, etc.  I can't even THINK about baking lemon bars!!!  This is a total adulteration of a recipe my sister gave me in the '70's.  Hers uses regular flour, and only 2c of either apple, orange or zucchini.  In this rendition, I used more cinnamon but the 3 leavening agents proportions are exactly according to the original recipe.  (I don't understand the science-chemistry behind all that, so I leave that alone.)

Over the years I've made this MANY ways, but the time I used pecans, grated zucchini and carrot with orange zest, was probably my favorite.  It's nice to just use what you have, that needs to be 'gone' from your fridge, freezer or pantry.  Today I had bananas and cranberries in the freezer, and a cup of walnuts that I wanted to use.  I built on that as my foundation.

Combine the first group of (dry) ingredients in a medium bowl.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs until the whites and yolks are blended and getting a little fluffy, in a large bowl.  Add the rest of those (wet) ingredients, fruit and nuts, blend well with a wooden spoon and let sit so the sugar dissolves and the flavors blend a bit.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  After the oven is preheated, stir the wet ingredients and add the flour mixture to that big bowl.  Stir well to blend, then pour into a buttered 9" x 13" glass pan.  (This recipe could also be baked as muffins.)  Sprinkle the top with coarse, baker's sugar or raw sugar.  Bake for 40 minutes or until it passes 'the toothpick test.'  Bake at a shorter time for muffins.  This is great for a fruity-nutty-grainy breakfast or dessert. . .Lin

Spinach-Mint-Black Bean Quinoa

1c - or a little less - quinoa
1-3/4c water
1/2t garlic sea salt
1/4c seasoned olive oil
1 lime - zest and juice
3T lemon juice
fresh ground lemon pepper
fresh ground garlic sea salt

2 mini English cucumbers
1 sm.-med. tomato
2 cloves garlic
1/2 sm. purple onion
1/3 sweet yellow pepper
1c julienne-sliced fresh spinach
1T fresh dried mint - crushed
1 can black beans

Combine quinoa, water and salt in a small pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cook, partially covered, 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, put a paper towel between the pot and the lid, and let stand 5 minutes or more.  Meanwhile. . .Combine the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl to create the dressing.  Slice-chop the vegetables adding them, the spinach and mint to the bowl.  Stir gently and let them marinate until the quinoa is cooled a bit.  Add quinoa and the rinsed, drained beans.  Combine and chill an hour to develop the flavors.

This is good with some finely cubed parmesan cheese or some crumbled feta.  The quinoa and black beans are excellent sources of protein.  This is a wonderful vegetarian-vegan main dish. . .Lin

Fingerling Potato Salad

1# yellow fingerling potatoes
1/4+ c mayonnaise
2T of your favorite mustard
2T white balsamic vinegar
1t sugar
fresh ground sea salt and pepper
3 hard boiled eggs
1 celery heart with leaves
1/2 purple onion
2-6 radishes
2-4T chopped mixed pickles

Slow-simmer the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, so as not to overcook.  In a medium bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients for the dressing.  Slice the potatoes crosswise into the bowl and add the rest of the chopped-sliced ingredients.  Mix gently and chill an hour or so to let the flavors blend.  Mix again and serve. . .Lin