Category Archives: Entree

Golden Apple and Raisin Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes & Carrots

I love my slow cooker! We were out and about yesterday since it was my sister’s last day in town, and my husband was coming back to NC, I wanted to make sure we all came home to a hot homemade meal. 

It only took me a few minutes to brown the meat and throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Before you knew it, we were out the door to enjoy the beautiful Eastern North Carolina 80 degree weather. 

The house sure smelled good once we got home. 

This recipe Yields: 6- 8 servings 


1 Tablespoon of olive oil

(1) 2-3 pound boneless pork loin

8 ounces unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon chicken base (I prefer penzeys)

8 ounces of boiling water
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley 

1/2 teaspoon kosher Salt

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 medium- large sweet potato, quartered  

1 (1 # bag ) of baby carrots

1 small yellow onion, quartered 

1/2 cup raisins 


1. In a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat brown all 4 sides of the pork loin in the olive oil.

2. While the meat is searing, go ahead and mix the next nine ingredients in the slow cooker vessel (applesauce-garlic). Turn the slow cooker on the low heat setting. 

3. Once the meat is finished browning cut in half and rotate the meat in the applesauce mix. Place the pork sides next to one another on top the applesauce mixture. Now arrange the carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, & raisins on top of the meat. Cover the dish with the slow cooker lid and allow to cook for 8 hours on low. 


Spicy Slow Cooked Peppers

This time of year the homegrown peppers are bountiful. We are lucky enough to have neighbor’s with a beautiful thriving garden. They are very generous and always share their harvest. This recipe is a good way to use up some of those peppers from the garden. Bonus is this recipe freezes really well which allows you to enjoy the harvest more than one time a year.

I made this recipe for our monthly RD meeting. I try and feed the team a home cooked meal to show my appreciation. This recipe makes a lot of peppers so it is good for a meeting or potluck.

The picture below is a half buchel of Hungarian Hot Peppers we canned which  are also good for stuffing.

Prep time:30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours on low


1 pound spicy Italian sausage

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup cooked red quinoa

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

3 green onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 large banana peppers, tops cut off and seeded

8 large bianca sweet long peppers, tops cut off and seeded

64 ounce low sodium spicy V8 (you might not use all of this)

Tools for the job:

6 quart slow cooker

Pepper seeder


1. Caution wear food safe rubber gloves. Remove pepper stems. Carefully remove seeds and membranes; set peppers aside. Combine the tomato sauce, sausage, beef, quinoa, cheese, onions, garlic, sriracha, salt and pepper; stuff into peppers.

2. Stack peppers longways in slow cooker. Pour V8 over peppers and place cooker on low heat for 8 hours.



Special Tip: The banana peppers can be very tricky sometimes they are hot and sometimes they are not. So if you want to be on the safe side I would recommend using the bianca peppers which are a more sweet pepper. 

Fresh Greek Pasta Salad

A gentleman I work with gave me a “Greek”cucumber. I couldn’t wait to try it. To be honest I did not know there was such a thing. Lo and behold there is and it  is actually called Armenian Cucumber. 

These cucumbers are more mild and perfect for salads once seeded and peeled. 

I made this pasta salad using all my garden finds. Having a garden can be very rewarding. 

Yields 4 servings


2 cups of uncooked rotini whole wheat pasta

1/2 cup kalamata olives (cut in half)

1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1 cup Greek cucumber, (peeled and seeded), diced

1/4 cup balsamic dressing 

1/2 cup crumbled fat free feta

3-4 fresh leaves of basil


1. Cook the rotini according to the package but one minute less. Strain & Rinse with cold water.

2. In a small bowl mix together olives, tomatoes,cucumber,feta& dressing. 

3.Fold in the rotini and garnish with the basil. 

4. Enjoy! 

P.S. If you are letting this salad sit overnight than you may need to add 1-2 tablespoons of dressing before serving.

Chipotle Chicken Sausage with Summer Squash 

If you are looking for a quick vibrant dinner than look no further. If you have an actifry this is a simple dinner that only requires one vessel for cooking. I love my actifry! I use it at least weekly if not a few times a week to make entrees or side dishes and snacks! 

Servings: 2 

2 chipotle chicken sausage 

1 small zucchini or any summer squash (cut into quarters)

1/2 a large Green pepper

1/4 large red onion

1 tablespoon Dijon whole grain mustard 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1/c cup baby carrots

1/8 tsp kosher salt

Place everything in the actifry. 

Muffuletta Pizza

One of my husband and I’s favorite vacations we went on was New Orleans in 2011. The culture in NOLA is very unique and welcoming. The food is amazing and like no other. We even attending a one of a kind cooking class at the New Orleans Experience to advance our skill-set on Creole Cooking.When we stayed in NOLA, we stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called Ashtons.  In the morning we had an elegant breakfasts and the hostesses even prepared vegetarian entrees for me. For the rest of the day we would scout out local restaurants to eat. One of my husband’s favorite new foods he consumed on the trip was a muffuletta sandwich. The ingredients on a muffuletta vary from where you purchase one; however, one element says the same there is always a marinated olive salad spread topping off the sandwich.  There is also some type of pork (ham, prosciutto, mortadella), beef (salami), & a cheese (provolone, swiss, mozzarella) on the sandwich.

Fridays are generally Pizza day at our home (homemade). Growing up Pizza Friday Night was always something I looked forward to as a kid. My mom would get us our favorite pizza and we would go next door to First Row Video and return a movie. It was the only day of the week we were permitted to have pop (and the way it should be), eat in the living room and watch TV at the same time. My husband’s family had a similar tradition with Pizza on Fridays, several years later, my husband and I still practice the tradition and look forward to the occasion.

I have made several variations of muffuletta dishes from pasta to the traditional sandwich, maybe even some muffins. This is a new favorite and a way to honor the tradition of Pizza Friday and take my husband I back to NOLA without a plane ticket.

This pizza recipe yields six slices


1 lb Pizza Dough, Fresh (link attached my our recipe) or store bought for $1-2 at the deli of the grocery store (If you are using frozen dough make sure to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight). If using dough that has been in the refrigerator allow the dough to come to room temperature an hour before placing in the preheated oven.

2/3 cup of Jarred Muffuletta Mix

1 Cup of precooked diced ham

1/3 cup of Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, Crumbled

1/3 cup of Italian Blend Shredded Cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Form the dough to fit a deep dish pizza stone. I like to roll my dough out and then press the dough into the dish. Once the dough is rolled out, gently place fork marks randomly to allow the steam to escape during the baking process. If you skip this step large bubbles may appear during the baking process.
  3. Once the dough is ready, place the muffuletta spread evenly on the dough leaving 3/4 of an inch boarder of the dough around the rim for the crust.
  4. Sporadically add the diced ham on top of the muffuletta spread. Place the pizza in the oven and allow it to bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the dish with oven mitts from the oven.  Sprinkle both of the cheeses on-top of the pizza evenly. Return the dish back into the oven to bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the pizza from the oven place on cutting board and cut pizza to your portion liking and serve.



Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus and Pine Nuts

If you are looking for a dinner that can be ready in 15 minutes than you have found the right recipe. Bonus you can make this entire dish in one pot! Whenever I’m in a hurry or in a pinch pasta is my go to for a quick and fast dinner. 

Asparagus is a spring vegetable packed with a lot of nutrition. Since this vegetable is in season right now you can get a pretty affordable deal at the market! I know our local farmers market has it fresh from the garden. 

Asparagus is rich in Vitamin K and also folate. Asparagus is also a good source of fiber. There are many colors of asparagus; however, the well know green asparagus is the most common variety, but you can also find white, & purple spears as well. 

Yields 4-6 servings 


2 cups dry rotini (I used dreamfields)

1/2 tsp salt

3 oz of pesto ( I used my freezer stock from last season)

1 pound of fresh asparagus ( 2 inch segments)

1/4 cup pine nuts


1. Cook the pasta according to package. During the last minute of boiling add the cut asparagus. Strain the pasta and asparagus. 

2. Add the noodles and asparagus back into the pan and add the pesto, salt and pine nuts. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients together and enjoy!

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is a favorite in this house. I am always looking for ways to reinvent the wheel with this dish. This recipe was developed by having leftover pulled pork that my husband slow cooked on his smoker. I generally freeze the leftovers in small containers for pulled pork nachos, or enchiladas. And now every once and awhile pulled pork mac and cheese.

I made this dish for lunch last weekend when we were working on the belushi. I know my sister-in-law loves my mac and cheese. I even named the dish after her Julie and Josh’s Favorite Mac and Cheese.

Serves 4-6


  • 2 cups of dry. macaroni noodles (dreamfields or smart taste)
  • 2 cups plus 1/4 cup of 2% sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded pulled pork
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2  cup Fat Free sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, optional
  • BBQ Sauce, an add on right before serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray and 8 by 8 glass dish with cooking spray.
  3. Cook macaroni according to the directions on the package.
  4. In the meantime measure out milk, sour cream, and egg substitute. Mix together with fork.
  5. Once cooked and drained place noodles back into the pan.
  6. Add the pulled pork to the pan and stir.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Add cheese and stir.
  9. Add liquid ingredient mixture, salt, pepper, and mustard. Fold until incorporated.
  10. Now pour noodles into the glass dish.
  11. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese & bread crumbs for an added flare.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  13. Top with BBQ sauce, about 2 TB on each piece of the Mac and Cheese.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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Everyone is talking about making pizza without the tradition flour. Plus I keep seeing all these pins on Pinterest for cauliflower pizza. The other day my neighbors next door mentioned they’d like to bake a cauliflower pizza as well. I couldn’t resist any longer . I thought tonight I’d give it a whirl. The original recipe I found on weight watches site but made several changes to add some flavor.

Yields 8 slices of pizza pie.

3 cups of cauliflower chopped
Four cloves of garlic
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup shredded parm cheese (not kraft)
1/4 cup shredded Fat free mozzarella
1/2 tsp pasta sprinkle
1/4 tsp dried Basil
1/3 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp of mrs dash spicy blend or red pepper flake

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
1. Wash and rinse cauliflower. Dry to remove excess water.

Please cauliflower and garlic in food processor. Food processed until texture looks like snow


Place cauliflower and garlic in food processor and pulse until resembles snow like texture.

Place in glass bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Let cool and ring out in clean towel to remove the moisture. Trust me you will want to do this step or you will have a soft crust. I tried the first time just blotting with paper towels and it didn’t remove enough of the moisture.

Place the dry ingredients and cauliflower in the same glass bowl (really why waste another).


Mix to fully incorporate.


Add egg substitute and cheese mix.

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Spray with cooking spray parchment lined pizza piel.


Place dough on parchment paper . Spread out the dough with spatula into a circular shape.


Place the dough in oven on the pizza stone. The best thing to do is pull out the wire rack with the pizza stone on and slide the dough onto the stone and push rack bake into oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes


Add your favorite toppings. We added sautéed Swiss chard, mushrooms, garlic, roasted red pepper, hot pepper rings, and onions. My husband added more cheese, but I refrained.


Bake for an addition 5 to 10 minutes or until your cheese has melted to your liking.




Josh and Julie’s favorite mac & cheese


I have made this recipe so many times! It is probably my most requested recipe by far. I try and tweak it with each reveal. I have tried many recipes of Mac and cheese but always go back to this tried and true recipe.


2 cups of dry. macaroni noodles (dreamfields or smart taste)
2 cups plus 1/4 cup of 2% cheddar cheese
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 Fat Free sour cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 cup of skim milk
1/4 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray and 8 by 8 glass dish with cooking spray.


Cook macaroni according to the directions on the package.


In the meantime measure out milk, sour cream, and egg substitute. Mix together with fork.


Once cooked and drained place noodles back into the pan.


Remove from heat.

Add cheese and stir.


Add liquid ingredient mixture, salt, pepper, and mustard. Fold until incorporated.


Now pour noodles into the glass dish.



Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese for an added flare.


Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.


Mom’s Chili


Nothing says winter Sunday like Mom’s chili. My mom graciously shared her recipe of chili one weekend when my husband and I moved a year and a half ago. Just this past weekend we had my family over for a visit and shared this warm hearty lunch. This recipe is perfect to start early in the day and let it simmer for 4 to 5 hours on low.


1 TB canola oil
1 pound 93 % lean ground beef
Onion-1 medium diced
garlic 3 really large cloves (diced)
Add salt pepper to taste
1pkg food club chili mix-season meat or one heaping TB of penzeys chili powder (I used penzeys chili powder this last time but my mom prefers food club or Mccormicks Chili packet)
1 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
1box beef stock (32 oz)
One 32 oz V8 spicy or equivalent of 32 oz
1tb brown sugar
1 dark can of kidney beans drained & rinsed
1 light can of kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies such as rotel
1 large green pepper (diced)
1 tsp Berbere (penzeys seasoning)


Place canola oil in a large Dutch oven on medium heat. Add ground meat to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook meat until browned.



Add onion, garlic and peppers. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper, berbere, brown sugar, and high quality chili powder.


Cook until onions and peppers are tender about 6-8 minutes.


Add beans, tomatoes and stir.


Now add stock, & V8.


Bring to a boil and then reduce to lowest setting as let cook for 4 hours.


Enjoy with some reduced fat cheddar cheese!