Category Archives: Main Dishes

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

This Cauliflower Casserole was a big hit with my brunch guests while helping me to stay true to my ketogenic lifestyle. The recipe came from, and I highly recommend his website for wonderful recipes to support ketogenic and paleo diets.


10 to 12 chicken thighs
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
16 oz cheese, shredded (I used a Mexican cheese blend)
6 green onions, chopped
6 thick slices of bacon
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bake chicken thighs and shred or cut into cubes (I baked them in a large baking dish with a little water at 350° for 60 minutes.)
CCC--chicken thighs in water   CCC--cooked chicken

2. Brown the bacon and cut into small pieces.

3. Cook the cauliflower (I used the microwave on high for 5 minutes).

4. Sauté the peppers and onion slices until tender.
CCC--onions and peppers

5. Combine all the ingredients (except 4 oz of cheese) in a very large bowl.

6. Press mixture into a large greased casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Chicken Cauliflower Casserole--ready to bake

7. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350° and then five minutes more without the foil.
Chicken Cauliflower Casserole--serving

You can prepare the casserole ahead and refrigerate overnight, but let it sit at room temperature 20 minutes before baking.


Chile Relleno Casserole


This Chile Relleno Casserole is delicious and so simple with only five ingredients.  Great for breakfast, brunch or any meal, and leftovers are yummy, too.

1 lb shredded cheese (Mexican cheese blend or cheddar)
5 eggs
1½ cups milk
½ cup flour
8 oz can of whole green chiles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat 9″x13″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk and flour.
  3. Slice chiles open and rinse away seeds.  Pat dry.  Arrange half the chiles to cover the bottom of the dish.
  4.  Pour half of the egg mixture over the chiles.
  5. Cover with cheese.
  6. Repeat layers of chiles, then egg mixture, then cheese.
  7. Cut a chili to create a design on top if you wish.
  8. Bake about 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

For a creamier dish, substitute half of the milk with cream.  You could also add any number of ingredients to this dish, such as bacon, red bell peppers, onions, etc.  This Chili Relleno Casserole has become a breakfast regular in my house.

Hassleback Chicken


Healthy, tasty and surprisingly simple, this recipe for Hassleback Chicken is one I will use again and again.

The simple description – cut slices in a chicken breast; sauté spinach, stir in ricotta cheese, and stuff the spinach and ricotta into the slices of the chicken breast.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, top with shredded cheese and bake.  Mmm mmm!

4 chicken breasts
1 T olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Spices to taste: recommend paprika, salt, pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, mixed)

  1. Cut slices in a chicken breast every half inch or so.

2.   Sauté spinach in a little olive oil for just a minute or two until wilted.

3.  Stir the ricotta cheese into the spinach.

4.  Stuff each chicken breast with the spinach/ricotta.

5.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika.

6.  Top with shredded cheese.
Hassleback Chicken - cheese

7.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.



Baked Scrambled Eggs With Veggies


Light, fluffy scrambled eggs to serve 12 people.

½ cup butter, melted
24 large eggs
1 ¼ cup Half-n-Half
1 ¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Fresh veggies, chopped (suggested: mushrooms,
red and green bell peppers, spinach, onion)
3 green onions, chopped
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1.   Pour melted butter into 9″x13″ baking dish.

2.  Whisk together the eggs, Half-n-Half, milk and salt.

3.  Pour eggs into baking dish.

4.  Put eggs into 350 degree oven, and stir every 5 to 10 minutes
until beginning to set.

5.  While eggs are baking, sauté veggies in olive oil until lightly browned.

6.  If using spinach, add it to sautéed veggies to let it wilt for just a minute.
20160131_180731-1  20160131_180818-1

7.  Add vegetables to eggs and bake another 8 to 10 minutes.

8.  Once eggs are set nicely but still moist, stir again and top with green onions and cheese.

9.  Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer and serve immediately.20160131_185453-1


Love Yourself Taco Soup


This taco soup is hardy, healthy, simple, inexpensive, and

A one-cup serving of this recipe has only 186 calories, 25 carbs and 3.5 grams of fat.  It also provides a whopping 61 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.  I top it with 1 tablespoon of sour cream which adds only 30 calories and 3 grams of fat — so worth it!  AND it only cost $1.29 per serving!

It is based on an old Weight Watchers recipe, but I’ve added a few things to make it even healthier:  kale, tumeric and
cardamom.  Among the many benefits, kale adds fiber and antioxidents, tumeric is anti-inflammatory and aids with healing and
alleviating arthritis, and cardamom aids digestion, immune system and blood pressure.  In this recipe, I used two cups of kale, which seemed about right to me.  I used 1 teaspoon each of turmeric and cardamom with no noticeable taste, so I would increase those next time to get more of the health benefits.

The sodium content is higher than I like at 815 grams per one-cup serving because of all the canned ingredients and the packaged
seasonings.  You could reduce the sodium level dramatically by cooking the beans yourself rather than using canned beans and by using your own seasonings instead of the packaged ones.  Since my emphasis is on simplicity, though, I’ll just buy low sodium versions of the canned ingredients next time.

So here’s the recipe as I prepared it:

2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 c kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom
15oz can black beans
15oz can kidney beans
15oz can cannellini beans
15oz can corn
28oz can diced tomatoes

  1. Rinse and drain beans.
2.  Sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat for just a few minutes, until it begins to become translucent.
3.  Add ground turkey and cook until browned.

4.  Add seasonings and mix well with the turkey.

5.  Add red pepper and tomatoes.

6.  Add the kale and mix in until it begins to wilt.

7.  Add all the rest of the ingredients and combine well.

8.  Add a cup or two of water to desired consistency.

9.  Turn up the heat until the soup comes to a boil then cover and
reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Enjoy guilt-free yumminess.  And please share your ideas for making it even better.

To Print Recipe:  Love Yourself Taco Soup


Tex Mex Strata


Quick, easy, overnight casserole with a wonderful Southwest flavor.


Sauté a pound of sausage, green onions and red pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until sausage is browned, about 8 minutes.  Drain off excess fat.

In a 9″x13″ buttered baking dish, layer corn tortillas, half of the sausage mixture,  and a cup of shredded cheese.

Repeat another layer of tortillas, sausage mixture and cheese.

Top with a third layer of tortillas and press down.  Cover with another cup of cheese.

In medium mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a cup picante sauce, a can of diced chilies and 6 eggs.

Pour over the tortillas, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour (up to overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Printer-friendly recipe:  Tex Mex Strata


Scrambled Eggs in Hash Brown Cups


What do you get when you combine hash browns, scrambled eggs with veggies, shredded cheese and silicone baking cups?  A really yummy colorful brunch treat.

These silicone baking cups are wonderful.  Nothing sticks to them.  So easy to use and clean up, plus they come in such fun colors. (See Amazon link in side column.)

1.  Line each silicone cup with frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, pressing onto bottoms and up the sides.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until light golden brown.  (Begin checking at 10 minutes if using thawed hash browns.)20150411_073146-1     20150411_080545-1

2.  Whisk together eggs, milk and salt.  For 24 silicone cups, I used 18 eggs, one-half cup of milk, and a pinch of salt.

3.   Sauté your vegetables in a little butter and/or olive oil.  I used spinach and mushrooms, but just chop up whatever vegetables you have on hand and toss them in.

4.  When vegetables are nearly done (tender and slightly browned), pour in egg mixture, cooking and stirring until eggs are thickened and almost dry.

5.  Spoon eggs and veggies into the hash brown cups and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

6.  Bake three to five minutes until cheese is melted.


Printer-friendly recipe:  Scrambled Eggs in Hash Brown Cups


Slow Cooker Lamb Stew


Nothing says “Ides of March” like a good lamb stew.   The secret to tender lamb is to sear the edges of the meat to seal in the juices and then cook at a very low temperature for hours.

You can add your favorite stew ingredients and seasonings.  I used lamb, but beef would be yummy, too.  Onions, carrots and potatoes are pretty standard, and I added garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for
additional protein and texture.  Tomatoes are not technically appropriate for an Ides of March stew since they weren’t eaten in Caesar’s day, but I chose flavor over authenticity.


1.  Put 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a plastic food storage bag.  Add 2 pounds lamb (cut into 1-inch
cubes) and coat the meat evenly with the flour mixture.

2.  Brown the meat over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning to brown all sides, but do not cook through.  Depending on how much meat you are using and the size of your skillet, you will probably need to brown the meat in batches.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat from the skillet to the crockpot.

3.  Add one sliced onion to the skillet and sauté until golden brown, scraping up the remaining bits of lamb.  (I left several pieces of lamb in the skillet and cooked them through for my dinner.  Oh my! So delish!)
03 Grilled Onions

4.  Add the onions and the remaining ingredients to the crockpot:
2 cups carrots, 2 cups potatoes, 28oz can crushed tomatoes,
15oz can of garbanzo beans (drained) and 2 cups of water.  My crockpot was filled to capacity, so I only used 1 cup of water and it was fine.

5.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Printer-friendly recipe:  Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

Pizza with Arugula, Ricotta & Red Grapes


Here’s a truly unique and delicious pizza, and it’s so quick and simple to make.  It was featured in Dinner at Tiffini’s and People magazine.

8 oz refrigerated pizza dough, halved
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups arugula
1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
1/4 cup pine nuts
Zest of one lemon

1.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and preheat oven to 400.

2.  Flatten and stretch each half of dough into 12″ oblong or rectangle. Lay one dough into bottom of hot grill pan and cook until it stiffens, 1 to 2 minutes, flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.  Repeat with remaining dough.

3.  Transfer crusts to a baking sheet and spread ricotta on top.  Bake until ricotta melts slightly, about 6 minutes.

4.  Remove from oven and top with arugula, grapes, pine nuts and lemon zest.   Cut into squares and serve warm.20150308_092703

Confession: The first time I made this, I didn’t read the directions carefully and put the toppings on before baking the crust instead of after. The second batch was made following the instructions. Turns out I liked it better with the toppings cooked, especially the pine nuts, but it is good either way.

Print-friendly recipe:  Pizza with Arugula, Ricotta and Red Grapes

Enjoy this and many more easy brunch recipes to come.

Baked Oatmeal

DoneThis is an amazing recipe for baked oatmeal.  Not only is it easy and delicious, but it is incredibly healthy (just don’t tell your family that part) with quinoa, steel cut oats, bananas, blueberries, raspberries and even protein powder.

Of course, we think of oatmeal as a breakfast food, but this recipe is so yummy you can top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a very tasty dessert.  For my brunch I served it with Slow Cooker Applesauce, Greek yogurt, nuts and pomegranate seeds.

There are twelve ingredients, but please don’t let that dissuade you.  It’s still quite simple to prepare.  And this recipe makes 18 servings (or cut in half and use a smaller baking dish).

1.  Rinse the quinoa and steel cut oats (1 cup each) until the water runs clear.  Drain well.

TIP:  Use the right tool for the job.  I grabbed my go-to colander (the green one) but the holes were too big and the first splash of water sent quinoa and oats racing down the drain.

2.  Prepare the fruit:  3 or 4 bananas, sliced; 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen); and 1 cup raspberries (frozen might be fine, but I prefer fresh ones because they are plumper and hold their shape better.)

3.  Layer half the fruit in a large baking dish prepared with cooking spray.
Layer of fruit

4. Cover with the quinoa and oats.
Layer of grain

5.  Layer the remaining fruit.
Layer of fruit 2

6.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups of your favorite milk (dairy, almond, soy, etc.), 4 eggs, 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of salt.

7.   Pour the liquid over the fruit and grain.
TIP:  To prevent the fruit from floating or migrating unevenly, pour the liquid very slowly from one corner of the dish.
pouring  Pouring 3

8.  Sprinkle half a cup of coconut flakes over the top.
Coconut added
TIP:  If you like, toast the coconut first in a 375 degree oven,
but watch it very carefully.  The first minute looks like no change is happening and suddenly it turns brown very quickly.
Coconut with large minutes

9.  Bake at 375 degrees until nicely browned and dry on top, about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

10.  Let sit for one hour before serving — that’s the only hard part because it smells sooooo good!






IMPORTANT NOTE:  While quinoa is very healthy for us, many people have not embraced the texture.  If you and your family or guests are not quinoa fans, you may be happier preparing this recipe with just oatmeal and no quinoa.

Enjoy this along with many of the easy brunch recipes to come.

Print recipe:  Baked Oatmeal Recipe