Eggplant Caponata

This recipe is an adaptation of my grandmother’s Sicilian dish of chopped eggplant and vegetables in a tomato sauce.  It’s a great hearty meatless meal for a hot summer day.  It can also double as a fancy appetizer when it is piled atop toast points smeared with goat cheese.  You can also use it as a sauce served over pasta.  This recipe is not only versatile but it’s extremely easy.  If you can chop and stir you have this one in the bag!

Prep Time:  15 minutes                Cook Time:  35 minutes                 Serves 4

2 tbsp avocado oil


1 large carrot finely diced

2 celery stalks finely diced

1 shallot finely diced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 large eggplant medium diced

1 cubanelle pepper medium diced

1 large zucchini medium diced

1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes or chopped tomatoes

1 8 oz container of sliced mushrooms cut into small diced squares.

5-6 fresh chopped basil leaves

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Toasted bread:

1 loaf of hearty bread sliced

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

Start by heating 2 tbsp avocado oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the finely diced shallot, carrot and celery.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp each of salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the eggplant, pepper and mushrooms along with the canned tomato and stir.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally.  Add the basil and zucchini and continue to simmer covered for an additional 20 minutes.  Add apple cider vinegar, stir and serve.

Lay the slices of bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until crispy and browned.  Top the bread with the caponata and serve.




Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps are low calorie, low carb, low fat and low cholesterol but I promise you won’t mind that it’s missing all that bad stuff.  The bean sprouts and water chestnuts add a great crunch to the meat mixture and the sauce gives it a great Asian flavor.  (I bet it will be dripping down your arm by the end of the meal.)  These lettuce wraps make for a quick dinner or a healthy appetizer.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and I am sure it will become a repeat on your dinner menu as well!

Prep Time:  15 Minutes                     Cook Time:  15 minutes                     Serves 4


2 lbs ground chicken

1 red bell pepper diced

5 oz can of peeled and sliced water chestnuts (chopped)

2 heads of Boston Lettuce

12 ounces of fresh bean sprouts

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the chopped bell peppers.  Cook for 3 minutes until softened.  Add the ground chicken and stir for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.  While the chicken is cooking cut the stems off of the heads of lettuce and peel away each whole leaf and pile onto a plate.  Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce and corn starch and add to the chicken along with the bean sprouts and water chestnuts.  Stir to combine.  Add the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil while stirring.  Serve in a bowl so that each person can make their own wraps with hot sauce, siracha or chili sauce if desired.



Easy Pineapple Salsa

This salsa is so easy to make and serves as a great condiment to tacos or as a simple and healthy appetizer when served alongside tortilla chips.  If you like it on the spicy side add a chopped fresh jalapeño pepper.  It will keep well in the fridge for a few days.  *TIP:  Most people don’t realize that pineapples contain a lot of vitamin C, which boosts immunity.  They also contain anti-inflammatory properties which reduces inflammation in the body.  Pineapples are also a great source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion as well as Manganese, which strengthens bones.  Pile this yummy salsa on anything and you can ditch the guilt too!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                                              Serves: 6


1/2 fresh pineapple small diced

1/2 red pepper small diced

juice of half a lime

1 fresh jalapeño seeded and chopped (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

1/2 shallot

Toss together the diced pineapple, peppers, salt, ground pepper and lime juice.  Grate half of a peeled shallot directly to the bowl.  Toss to combine all of the ingredients and allow to rest in the fridge for a few hours before serving so that the flavors can marry.


BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

This is a great weeknight alternative to a cheese laden, artery clogging pizza and it’s so fun and delicious.  Serve alongside a salad and you have another quick dinner to add to your list.  I like to use pizza dough from the grocery store, but if you don’t have the time to let it rise simply pickup a prepared pizza crust.  I typically use leftover Tender Pulled Pork from earlier in the week, but you can also buy prepared pulled pork in the grocery store.  If the pulled pork happens to be heavy on the sauce scale back on your BBQ sauce drizzle.  This pizza can also be cut into small squares and served as an appetizer.

Prep Time:     10 minutes                Cook Time:  15 minutes                   Serves 2-4


1 pizza dough (risen and stretched to the size of the pan) or 1 store-bought pizza crust

1 cup leftover pulled pork Tender Pulled Pork

1 cup small cubed fresh pineapple

1/4 cup chopped scallion

1/2 cup crumbled mild goat cheese (optional)

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Start by evenly layering the leftover pulled pork on the pizza crust followed by the pineapple and goat cheese.  Drizzle on the BBQ sauce over the toppings and finally sprinkle the scallions over the top.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved.  Remove from oven and cut into slices or squares and serve.