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Zoodles With Peanut Sauce.

Raw Zucchini & Carrot Salad With Green Onions & Peanut Sauce.

DSC_0711I’ve only recently become familiar with the term “zoodles” but for those of you who are not yet clued in on this, “zoodles” are made from spiralized zucchini which ends up looking like noodles. Since pasta is my ultimate favorite, I have to try anything that could provide a low-carb, healthy substitute for noodles. This dish was more of a salad than a pasta dish, but you still definitely get a little bit of the pasta feel when you’re twirling up the zoodles. The peanut sauce is sweet, salty and a little bit spicy and goes really well with the mildness of the zucchini and carrots. It makes a great, healthy meal or side dish. If you’re a fan of peanut sauce, be sure to check on these older FBB recipes for stir-fried tofu or spicy noodles with shrimp!

Serves ~3

  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup diced green onion
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 4 tbsp Tamari
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • hot red pepper flakes
  • crushed peanuts for topping

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, ginger, garlic, Tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil and a dash of hot red pepper flakes. Whisk well to combine all ingredients and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, carrots, green onion and pour the sauce on top. Toss to combine so everything is evenly coated in the peanut sauce. When serving, top with a small pinch of crushed peanuts for an extra crunch.







Creamy Cauliflower & Goat Cheese Purée.

Puréed Cauliflower With Goat Cheese, Garlic & Cayenne Pepper.


This cauliflower purée will trick your eyes AND your taste buds into thinking you’re eating mashed potatoes! This is an amazing, low-carb substitute for potatoes and makes a great side dish. The goat cheese melts into the cauliflower and adds a salty, tanginess and the cayenne adds a subtle heat that balances out all of the flavors. I served it up with a steak and it was the perfect dinner. Yum!

Serves ~3.


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • dash of sea salt (to taste)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

Steam or boil the cauliflower until soft and drain any excess water. While hot, put the cooked cauliflower into the food processor and blend until smooth. While blending, pour in the milk. Once smooth, pour the mixture into a pot on the stove on medium heat and stir in the Parmesan, goat cheese and garlic. Season with a dash of salt and cayenne pepper and stir well until the cheese has melted into the cauliflower.




Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Low-Fat & Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

DSC_0022I’ve been on a banana bread kick lately. My mom makes the world’s best banana bread and whenever we go back to Cleveland she sends us home with a loaf, which we quickly devour. I’ve been on a quest to create a recipe for yummy yet healthy-ish banana bread. This recipe is gluten-free, low fat and still really delicious! Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t compare to my mama’s banana bread, but it’s a great alternative for when you have a craving for it but don’t want the fat and calories of regular banana bread!

~Makes 8 generous slices


  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour (or regular flour if you prefer it not to be gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill almond meal
  • 5 over ripe bananas (they should be a little brown)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp light butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp baking soda

Cut the bananas into smaller pieces put them in the mixer along with the eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Mix until the bananas are smooth and then slowly add in the flour, almond meal, cinnamon, chocolate chips and baking soda. Once combined, pour the mixture into a greased baking pan (I used a 9″ round cake pan) and bake in a 385 degree oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.



Creamy Caper Pesto Pasta.

Penne Pasta with Creamy Caper Pesto & Artichokes.


This creamy caper pesto pasta (say that ten times fast!) is a unique twist on a standard basil pesto. Be warned, if you don’t like capers you will not like this pasta! I happen to love capers, but I do realize that they’re an acquired taste. The capers add a salty tang to the sauce that’s balanced out with the Parmesan and sour cream. The artichokes compliment the flavors and textures perfectly. If you like capers, you should definitely give this dish a try!

Serves 4-5.


  • 16-oz package penne pasta (I used Trader Joe’s brown rice penne)
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • 1/3 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 small handful fresh dill
  • 3 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 14-0z can of quartered artichokes, liquid drained

In a food processor, add the capers, almonds, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend the ingredients to so they are chopped and then add in the handfuls of parsley and dill, one handful at a time, blending each until chopped and mixed in. Lastly, add the sour cream, Parmesan and black pepper and blend the mixture until completely smooth. If needed, add in a little bit of water to help smooth out the mixture.

Boil the pasta as directed on the package and drain all excess water. Put the pasta back into the same pot and mix the cooked pasta together with the artichokes and caper pesto to combine and heat the sauce.






Southern Comfort Food.

A Southern Comfort Feast With Friends.


Now that I’m a Southerner, I decided to try my hand at some new Southern style dishes for a recent dinner party with work friends. Although I tried to adapt the recipes to make them a bit healthier, these are still definitely indulgent, but hey… it’s the holidays, right?! The dishes turned out great and were rich, warm and, of course, comforting. If you’re in need of dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, these would all make great additions to your meal!

Green Bean Casserole


Adapted from this recipe.

Serves 6


  • 2 lbs green beans, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup light butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley dry ranch mix
  • 1 cup sliced baby Portabello mushroom
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup French’s fried onions, crushed
  • dash of salt (to taste)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Begin by boiling the green beans. Boil for about 5-7 minutes or until the green beans are tender. Drain the water and set aside. In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat and cook the mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes or until soft and set aside.

In a pot on the stove, melt the butter on low heat and slowly add in the flour to create a roux. Slowly whisk in the skim milk on low/medium heat. Continue whisking until all lumps are gone. The mixture can simmer but should not boil. Once the mixture has thickened, add the ranch mix, Parmesan cheese, dash of salt, and dash of cayenne pepper. Mix well to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked green beans and mushrooms with the sauce. Toss to combine so the ingredients are evenly coated and then pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. Top the mixture with an even coating of the panko breadcrumbs, French’s fried onions and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Creamy Chicken & Dumplings


Adapted from this recipe.

Serves 6


  • 2 package pre-made biscuits, cut into quarters
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 32-oz containers of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup light butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • garlic salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sage

Begin by melting the butter in a large pot. Once melted, reduced the heat slowly add in the flour to create a roux. Once combined, slowly add in the milk, whisking continuously to remove any lumps. Allow the mixture to thicken on low heat and then add in the chicken stock, onion, peas and carrots and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium add in the biscuit dough. Cook with the lid on, stiffing fairly often, for about 10-12 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, parsley and sage and stir well to combine.


Corn, Arugula & Bacon Salad With Dijon Vinaigrette


Adapted from this recipe.

Serves 6


  • 2 bags frozen corn
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4-5 large handfuls fresh arugula
  • 12-oz bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of black pepper

Put the corn in a pot on the stove on medium/high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often, to cook and thaw.

While the corn is cooking, mix the Dijon mustard, white vinegar, olive oil and salt/pepper together and whisk well.

Once the corn has cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature in a large serving bowl. Once the corn is room temperature, add the arugula, tomatoes and chopped bacon into the serving bowl and pour the dressing over top and mix well to combine.


Kafta Batata.

Lebanese Meat Patties & Roasted Potatoes With Tomatoes & Onions.


I absolutely love Lebanese food. In fact, it’s probably my all time favorite type of food. I have never really tried my hand at cooking anything Lebanese and usually just eat it at restaurants, so I wanted to give it a go at home. Kafta means meat patties and batata means potatoes… hence the name of this dish. This dish is the perfect comfort food and has simple, healthy ingredients. This dish is also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. I served it with some simple herbed rice but you could eat with a side of veggies, salad or whatever you prefer. I’ll definitely be making this again soon!

Adapted from this recipe.

Serves ~6.


Meat Patties~

  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large handful fresh curly parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Za’atar seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil


  • 5 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced circularly
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • salt/black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, sliced circularly
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced

Begin by roasting the potatoes. Grease a large baking sheet with ~2 tbsp olive oil and line the sliced potatoes onto the sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, and then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, combine the ground beef in a large mixing bowl with the parsley, diced onion, Za’atar seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well and form into roughly 6 small patties. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan on the stove and cook the patties for about 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned. This will only be to cook them about halfway. After they’re browned, place them into a large baking dish.

To make the sauce, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot on the stove the and stir in the tomato paste and season with a dash of salt/black pepper. Reduce the heat and allow this to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked, layer them on top of the meat patties in the baking dish along with the sliced tomatoes and sliced onion. Pour the sauce over top into the baking dish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes aluminum foil covering the baking dish. Serve your choice of side.








Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs.

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs With Quinoa, Herbs & Feta.


These healthy meatballs are filled with delicious Mediterranean flavor. By replacing breadcrumbs with quinoa, they have a great texture and are naturally gluten-free. The feta adds a salty, decadent deliciousness.  These meatballs would be great over pasta, but I decided to keep things low-carb and served them with some roasted green beans.

Serves 4-5.


  • 1 28-0z can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 16-oz ground lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat feta cheese (plus extra for topping)
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • sea salt
  • ~2 tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey with the eggs, quinoa, feta cheese, garlic, dill, basil, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and a dash of sea salt. Mix well and form the meat into small balls that fit in the palm of your hand. Put 1-2 tbsp of olive oil on a baking sheet (evenly dispersed) and then line the meatballs onto it. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, the flipping the meatballs to brown the other side, and then cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Heat the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste together in a large pot. Season with a dash of sea salt, dill and basil. When the meatballs come out of the oven, add them into the sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes or so. When serving the meatballs, top with a pinch of the feta cheese and serve on top of spaghetti or with the side of your choice.