Sunday, October 15, 2017

Deep Fried Zucchini Made Over

Another family favorite - fried zucchini. Only in this version, it's 100% guilt (and fat) free and no sacrifice in taste or crunch. But you have to be careful to follow the directions closely to make sure you don't miss out on the crunchy deep fried goodness of baked zucchini (yes, it can be done!)  We really like to have these as a side to spaghetti or any other Italian dish.


1 med-large zucchini

1 1/2 c. whole wheat panko
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt (or NoSalt)
1 t. minced onion
1/2 t. coarse ground pepper
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray generously with cooking spray.

Slice your zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Be sure to keep them thin - this makes all the difference in how well they'll crisp up. Lay the slices in a single layer on paper towel and sprinkle some salt on them - then cover with more paper towel.  This helps draw out some of the moisture and also helps in how they'll bake up nice and crisp.  While you're "sweating" your zucchini, mix your spices with the panko, then whisk up an egg in a separate, small bowl.

Dry off your zucchini then dip slices one at a time in the egg, then into the panko mixture, pressing down each slice to evenly coat. Transfer to the cookie sheet in a single layer. Once all slices are done, give them a generous spray of cooking oil and bake for 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes.  Serve hot with cucumber dill sipping sauce (Kraft salad dressing) or your favorite dip.

Spicy Italian (It's Really Not) Sausage

Doctor's orders: "eliminate sausage". 
Wife's response: "challenge accepted!"

Here's a great alternative that you can easily make ahead, freeze and use in a wide variety of dishes, from pizza toppings, meatballs, spaghetti sauce and anything else you'd want to use hot Italian sausage for. 

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 c. red wine
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 T. garlic powder
1/2 t. oregano
1 t. pepper
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. fennel seed
1/4 t. anise seed
1/4 t. parsley flakes
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. minced onion
1/8 t. coriander seed

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly so all seasonings are well blended into the meat. Use immediately (brown the same way you'd brown ground beef for any recipe)  or shape into meatballs or thin patties to freeze. 

1 batch goes a long way. Tonight I used half for 2 medium Italian sausage pizzas and the other half went into a spaghetti sauce for another night.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Oven Baked Red Onion Rings

In my ongoing effort to makeover some of our family favorite foods into heart healthy versions, my latest project was the much loved, deep fried, crispy onion ring.  There are those who say you can't beat the taste of a deep fried onion ring but I think I may have come up with a serious contender.  I'm an onion ring fanatic and my favorite are from A&W and these taste almost like theirs. Without the fat and junk, so there's an added bonus.


Pre-heat oven to 450. Grease a large cookie sheet with olive oil spray.


1 medium sized red onion, sliced into rings
2 c. whole wheat panko
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 egg whites
2 T. *milk
1/2 t. each: *salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and basil
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Place onion rings in a large ziploc and toss with the 1/2 cup flour, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Whisk egg whites and milk, then in a separate bowl mix together the panko and seasonings. One onion ring at a time, dip into the egg mixture then into the panko mixture until well coated. Place onto cookie sheet and when the cookie sheet is full, give the onion rings another spray of cooking oil.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Makes roughly 20-24 onion rings.

(We use NoSalt and Oat milk, any type of milk will work for this).

Friday, October 6, 2017

I Swear, It's Totally NOT Sausage

One of my family's favorite sides at the holidays since (literally, the beginning of time?) forever, is my southern cornbread sausage stuffing. I've always made it, and always made it exactly the same way.

However, after hubby's heart attack we've done a huge 180 on the way we've been cooking/eating. If you make a sausage stuffing (or if you just love breakfast sausage) have I got a phenomenal new recipe for you that you're going to LOVE. This is a great replacement for the sausage in your stuffing and your family will never notice a difference. Or, mostly likely never notice a difference. I utterly adore pork breakfast sausage and I had this today and could literally not tell the difference.

Without delay, here it is:

Totally Not Sausage Breakfast Sausage

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 t. No-salt
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/4 t. ground sage
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. ground coriander seed

Place ground turkey and all the spices in a bowl and blend well. Use 1/4 cup to measure for sausage patties for breakfast sandwiches. Use in place of crumbled, browned sausage in gravies (biscuits and whole wheat gravy? Hello!)  or in any recipe that calls for pork breakfast sausage.