Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Project 52.1 – Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef

January 7, 2017

This week kicks off Project 52 over here in the Twice Around kitchen- 52 weeks of 52 recipes from cookbooks in my collection.  To start off this challenge, I knew exactly which book to call upon first.  Food Network Magazine’s, Great Easy Meals: 250 Fast and Fun Recipes. (Available here for purchase)  It’s been a book that has lived on my shelf since it came out in 2011; one I’ve read and flipped through countless times, but also one that I can’t recall ever actually making a recipe from!    I took a few minutes and flipped through, and my eyes stopped on this Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef.  Simple, easy, and ready in under 30 minutes made it a perfect weeknight recipe to try out.  I went ahead and doubled it up, and put two portions away for the next day’s lunch, before adding the dressing.   Do yourself a favor if you make this, and do the same because this one’s a winner, and the left overs will make your coworkers jealous the next day.

Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef

Total Time: 25 min  Prep:15 min   Cook: 10 min

Yield: 4 servings

Level: Easy


Kosher salt
8 ounces orecchiette pasta
1 cup bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
8 small sweet marinated peppers (such as Peppadew), quartered    **Edit – I used fresh, small sweet peppers, sliced into rounds, and sauteed. **
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 cups baby arugula
6 ounces deli-sliced roast beef, cut into strips
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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs; drain but don’t rinse.

Meanwhile, combine the bocconcini, artichokes, marinated peppers and mint in a serving bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste and toss. Add the pasta and toss again.

Just before serving, stir in the arugula and roast beef. Season the salad with pepper.

Per serving: Calories 500; Fat 22 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 49 mg; Sodium 548 mg; Carbohydrate 51 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 26 g

(Courtesy Food Network Magazine)

Ease of Preparation : 5 out of 5.
Taste: 4.5 out of 5.
Visual: 5 out of 5
Final Verdict: Add it to the rotation

Stuffed Summer Squash

August 5, 2016


Wow.  It’s been a little while, hasn’t it?  Life over here has been BUSY busy, and we’ve all been enjoying our summer days.  There’s a certain relaxed feel to the day when you truly have nothing to DO and nowhere to be.  The little guy and I have been soaking up some sun, and lately, cruising around to some local farmers’ markets. (Since I kill everything I plant. It’s really sad.)

Last week, we picked up some summer squash and zucchini to turn into a delicious summer supper.  This recipe doubled as a “2 for 1” meal because it made so much filling that I was able to repurpose it later in the week for a pasta dish!  Husband and toddler approved, healthy but delicious, and on the table in 30- Now that’s MY kind of summer supper!

Stuffed Summer Squash Boats

4 zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise
1 cup tri-colored bell peppers, diced fine
1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese
1 tbsp adobo seasoning

In a medium skillet, saute peppers and mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes until adding spinach.  Saute an additional 3 minutes and add garlic along with Dijon mustard.  Stir and saute over low for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large, high-sided skillet, sprinkle ground turkey with adobo seasoning, and brown the meat.  Drain and mix with vegetable mixture.

Hollow out your centers of your zucchini or squash and spoon turkey mixture into the boats.
Combine the panko with grated manchego cheese and enough olive oil to make the texture of wet sand.   Sprinkle atop squash boats and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Happy Eating!

In a high-sided pan, melt 3 tbsp butter and mix in 3 tbsp flour, stirring and cooking down for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown.  add in 1/2 cup milk and 2/3 cup grated cheese until a creamy sauce forms.  (if it seems runny, add cheese…too thick, add milk.)  Add in your left over turkey mixture and stir.  Toss with pasta!

Citrus-Kissed Crab Cakes

March 6, 2016



Every year when the Lenten season rolls around, I hear my gramma’s voice in my head telling me to be a good Catholic and skip meat on Fridays.  I fail at this a thousand times over, because while I love Jesus, I also really love steak.  That being said, I always embark on the Lent season with the best of intentions.  This always excites my husband because he knows it boils down to one thing- revamping our seafood repertoire!  This week’s lent special is brought to you from inspiration taken from a stacked crab salad- fresh and bright.  I’m  makin’ gramma proud today by whipping up my Citrus-Kissed Crab Cakes, and it couldn’t be easier!

1 lb lump crab meat
10 crushed ritz crackers
1 TBSP whipped chive cream cheese
1/4 cup finely diced mango
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 avocado- 1/2 mashed, 1/2 finely diced
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1/4 tsp teriyaki sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, folding gently with fingers.
Loosely form into patties.
Bake 20 minutes @ 425 degrees, then Broil for 3 minutes

Serve with bay chips, bay fries, or a peppery arugula salad.

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza

January 3, 2016

What better way to start of a new year than with an old love?  I LOVE pizza.  In fact, I could probably eat pizza every day of my life.  It can be such a simple pleasure, and you can make it a thousand different ways that always seem to jazz it up.  Recently, our area got a new Pizza place called “MOD Pizza” – essentially, a made to order pizza place.  Seeing all of the toppings and combinations got me thinking about pizza night in my own household, and a new go- to was created.  Hearty and wholesome, it combines the perfect amount of salty with savory into one bite.  This is Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza.


2 Cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small package of prosciutto (about 5 oz), roughly chopped
1 cup freshly grated smoked havarti cheese
Your favorite pizza dough
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.  Trim and roughly chop 2 cups of brussels sprouts.  Toss onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up an entire small package of prosciutto (If you’re like me, you eat some of it and wash your hands before moving on).  You can also grate your cup of smoked havarti.

On a separate baking sheet (or on your baking sheet that had your brussels sprouts if you hate dishes and are a patient person!) spread out your favorite pizza dough.  Lately, I’m really into the refrigerated Bistro Style Pizza Dough from WeWalka.  It’s good stuff- gets a really great crispness to it that I really desire in a pizza.  ANYWAY, once that’s spread out, top it with your cheese.  Now, this won’t be a typical cheesy pizza that oozes cheese.  Smoked havarti has a flavor that doesn’t demand as much as a typical mozzarella made pie.  Sprinkle and spread it so that it lightly covers your dough.  Do the same with your prosciutto and brussels sprouts, then return to the 400 degree oven for approx. 15 minutes.

If you like, you can finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar once it comes out of the oven.  Truth be told, we forgot that step, and just went about devouring the pizza.  Obviously, it wasn’t missed too much since we ate the entire thing!

Note: If you have left over brussels sprouts from a previous dinner’s side dish, go ahead and use those babies!  Just skip the roasting step, chop them up, and toss them onto your pizza dough.

This pizza is perfect with a glass of wine on a fall or winter night.  It made a nice at home date night dinner with my guy, who suggested that next time, we crack an egg over it.  We’ll see how that goes and get back to you!

I’d love to hear from you- What pizza toppings top your list for pizza night?


Porkchops with Peaches and Bleu Cheese

June 23, 2015

I have a confession to make- lately, things have been a little lack luster in my kitchen.  Maybe it was all of the stress and exhaustion coming forward from the end of the school year, maybe it was me wandering from my usual vision in the kitchen, maybe it was my neglected kitchen that desperately needed reorganized to optimize functioning within it… but whatever the case, I was in a food funk in a big way.  I was just feeling uninspired.

But yesterday, oh yesterday!  Summer showed up in all of her relaxing glory, and my funk faded away to a mere memory.  Light streamed into my kitchen in a way I hadn’t seen in weeks, and with it, a thousand ideas for sensational summer suppers.

I kicked it off last night with a mouth-watering dinner that goes back to my basics: Keep it vibrant, keep it quick, and understand that “less is more”.  And boy, did it deliver.  Let’s grill up some porkchops with peaches and bleu cheese! Continue reading

Make it Monday- Pear, Pig, and Fig Flatbread

June 30, 2014


When Monday rolls around, I’ve usually exhausted all of my meal efforts on big weekend meals and want something quick and simple.  And for us, a lot of times that translates into nachos or flat breads. Here’s the great thing about flat breads- they offer endless possibilities and broil up in about 5 minutes!  I LOVE when a meal hits the table in under 10 minutes!!

Recently I had a Pear, Pig, and Fig flat bread from Bar Louie, which inspired today’s tasty meal.  Here’s my version of the Pear, Pig, and Fig!  Pair it up with a lightly dressed arugula salad (or throw some on top), and dinner is done!  So, put that phone down… toss those take out menus aside… It’s MAKE IT MONDAY!!

(serves 2)
2 of your favorite flat breads-I grab ours from the bakery section of our local grocery store
1 wedge brie cheese, cubed up1 pear, sliced thinly
1/4 to 1/2 cup fig jam
5-8 dried figs, chopped  (Fresh are also divine if you can find them at your store- I quarter up or slice up 3 or 4 fresh figs when I have them)
1 cup shredded pork, thawed (if from frozen)
see recipe for mine here: Crockpot Shredded Pork

Set your broiler to high.  Brush your flat breads with a bit of olive oil.  Broil for 2 minutes to crisp up a bit, then remove.  Top each with fig jam, brie, pear, shredded pork, and figs.  There’s no real rhyme or reason to topping a flat bread- just toss it on there!  Return to broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes, until brie becomes melty and delicious.  Top with fresh arugula, or keep the arugula on the side as a salad.  Cut and enjoy!

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s 4th of July Picnic Post, featuring Finger Lickin’ Ribs!


Summer Salmon Salad

June 23, 2014

photo 1 (3)

This weekend summer officially started- school let out, the days stretch out with endless opportunities, and the sunsets even seem to sigh with relief.  It’s in these lazy days where I find myself wanting meals that are bright and fresh.  I find this to be especially true this year, since I’m trying to eat healthy and nutritious for bambino and myself!

So this weekend, I whipped up a Summer Salmon Salad.  Super easy and super delicious.

2 Salmon Filets
2 TBSP Applewood BBQ Sauce
Mixed Baby Greens, Organic and well rinsed.
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
1 cup corn (drained if canned, thawed if frozen)
Your favorite salad dressing- for this, I like sesame Asian.  Kevin likes to just add more barbeque sauce.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and on a foil lined baking sheet, brush 1 tbsp of barbeque sauce on each salmon filet.  Let them cook for 15-20 minutes.
(Sometimes, I make this step easier and buy Sea Cuisine’s Applewood Smoked Salmon.)
And if you visit their website, you can get a coupon!

In the meantime, saute up your 1 can of corn in a skillet over medium heat.  I usually start this when there’s about 8 to 10 minutes left on the salmon, tossing occasionally so they don’t burn.
In the last few minutes, slice your tomatoes and your avocado.

When the salmon is finished, flake it up with a fork.  Assemble your salad, and you’re good to go!

What are some of your favorite summer salads?


Southwest Stuffed Avocados

June 8, 2014

southwest stuffed avocadoA quick, easy meal- perfect for a dinner on the deck!

When the sun is shining, and it’s a gorgeous weekend, I try not to spend any more time inside than I have to.  For us, that means quick and easy dinners that taste as fresh and as bright as our sunny evenings al fresco.  Today I’m whipping up these little babies in 15 minutes tops!

Southwest Stuffed Avocados (makes 8 stuffed halves)
1 cup shredded or diced chicken
1 can black beans, drained
1 can rotel with green chiles, drained
2 tbsp taco seasoning
4 avocados, halved and pitted
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together the chicken, black beans, rotel, and taco seasoning.
Add a heaping scoopful of the stuffing mixture into each of the avocado halves.
Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

That’s it!  Enjoy!