Can’t Stop Stuffing Veggies!

zucchini_stuff (1)

I’m at it again, stuffing stuff! I made these stuffed zucchini last week and they were delicious and totally blog-worthy! I use the term “zucchini” loosely, however. This is actually just a summer squash variety, I can’t seem to remember the exact name, that I got from our CSA. These were good-sized squash that I used, so you’ll need to adjust accordingly, depending on the sizes you’re using for this recipe. We really enjoyed these though! I hope you will, too.

Turkey Stuffed Zucchini

4 Servings


  • 2 large zucchini or 4 medium zucchini
  • ½ small onion – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 C. + 2 T chicken broth (separated)
  • 1.3 lb 93% lean ground turkey (go leaner if you like!)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1t. basil
  • 1 t. oregano
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:zucchini_stuff (2)

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove seeds and flesh leaving about ¼ – ½ inch thickness around. Arrange in a baking dish. Chop the flesh into small pieces.

In a large sauté pan, cook ground turkey over medium heat. Drain fat (if any) and add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and the 2T. of chicken broth. Add paprika, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes.

zucchini_stuff (3)Remove mixture to a large bowl and let sit until it begins to cool. Once cooled – add parmesan and egg white. Toss well. Using a spoon or measuring cup, fill the hollowed zucchinis with the meat stuffing, pressing firmly. Pour the remaining 1 C. of chicken broth into the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes.

Nutritional Info per serving:

220 calories, 30 g. protein, 6 g. carbs


Want to sign up for my newsletter for fit tips, recipes and special offers?



Stuff It!

stuffed_peppersWith the bounty of veggies coming from the farm this time of year, I had a plethora of peppers to eat! (Ya, I just used the word plethora! I try to use it whenever I can!) I decided to stuff a few and call it dinner! So to make it nice and healthy, cause that’s the way I roll, I settled on lean ground turkey and quinoa with which to stuff said peppers. 🙂 And so here is what I did:


  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 C. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/4 t. chipotle chili powder (or cayenne pepper, just something to add a teensy bit of heat)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large bell peppers (any color will do), washed
  • 1 C. chicken broth (divided)
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 C. cooked quinoa (follow instructions on package – I cooked mine in broth)
  • 1/4 C. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese



Heat oven to 400°. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey. Season with sea salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder and chipotle and brown meat until cooked through completely. Add tomato sauce and 1/2 C. chicken broth, mix well and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Mix in cooked quinoa and remove from heat.

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove all seeds. Place in a baking dish. Spoon the meat mixture into each pepper half and fill it as full as you can. Place all of the pepper halves in the baking dish, and pour the remainder of the broth into the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 35 minutes. With last five minutes, remove foil, top with cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

We liked ours topped with a little homemade salsa. Good stuff! (get it…”stuff”) 🙂

Nutritional Info per pepper half: 

Calories: 242, Fat: 8 g., Carbs: 23 g., Protein: 21 g., Fiber: 3 g.

Presto Pesto!

pestoI was just asked to share this recipe here on the blog, so that is just what I’ll do. Funny, because I just thawed out some of these babies yesterday to make dinner (I’ll share that one, too!) I LOVE pesto! My husband and I both do!

When I was in my 20’s, so like a million years ago, I was a waitress at an Italian restaurant. This was my first experience with pesto. My husband initially gagged at the look of it, it’s not the prettiest site! But once he tasted it, he was hooked! He ordered the same pesto dish EVERY single time he came in to see me – which was a LOT of pesto! 😉

So…now I just whip it up myself. Easy peasy!  I get fresh basil and garlic (sometimes the garlic scapes, which work well too!) at the farm where we are CSA members (community-supported agriculture). After I make a big batch (and a little goes a long way!), I like to freeze it and then pop out a few cubes at a time for different dishes I make. You can spread it on pizza, add to soups and sautéed veggies, chicken, fish… lots of stuff! Check out how easy it is to make it!

Add to food processor (a blender will work too, might just take some stopping and starting):

  • 2 C. packed basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 C. pine nuts (walnuts work well too)
  • 1/4 C. grated parmesan
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. *Give it a whirl just to blend
  2. Drizzle 1/4 – 1/2 C. Olive oil while spinning until desired consistency.
  3. Yum!

Now bust out your ice-cube trays and fill ’em up! Once they’re frozen, pop them out and put them into a freezer bag and save for a rainy, sunny, or partly cloudy day! 🙂

So then yesterday I says to myself, “Self, let’s make some shrimp for dinner!”.

Pesto Shrimppesto_shrimp

  • 1-1.5 pounds raw shrimp
  • apx. 4 pesto cubes (thawed)
  • 7-10 wooden skewers (soaked in water to prevent burning) or metal skewers if you want to avoid soaking


  1. Combine raw shrimp with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl.
  2. Thread shrimp onto the skewers.
  3. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-low heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray or brush lightly with oil.
  4. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook until shrimp turns pink on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn and continue cooking until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

We served these with Zoodles!

There you go Chris! I hope that helps you find what you were looking for!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Want to sign up for my newsletter for fit tips, recipes and special offers?



Tzatziki Burps!

gyro_assembledI have had these recipes around for quite a while, and I have enjoyed them on several occasions. However, this week, I made them with ‘clean-eaters’ eyes. What I saw delighted me! These are a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional gyro. The chicken is worth making again and again, even if just for salads, or even on its own. It is THAT good! But put in a pita, with some tomato, red onion and a healthy dollop of tzatziki sauce, and you have got yourself a CLEAN and tasty Gyro!

I lived in the Chicago area for almost 20 years and knew exactly where to go for a tasty gyro. Even before my ‘clean-eating’ days…I was always kind of health-nut. But, occasionally (like once or twice/year maybe) I would treat myself to an authentic Greek gyro! Add fries, and you’re probably looking at about 1000 calories! Yikes! But, they’re so tasty! And if you have never had a gyro, then you have never experienced how a gyro can sort of ‘stick with you’ for a while. You’re guaranteed to offend someone (even yourself!) with gastric expulsions of air for the rest of the day after you have eaten one. It’s sort of the true test of a good gyro! So using that criteria…these are almost as good! 😉

Chicken for Gyros

2 cloves minced garlic

1 lemon – juiced (2-3 T)

2 t. red wine vinegar

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

1 T. dried oregano

Salt and Pepper

1 ½ pounds (about 3 large) boneless, skinless chicken breast

*Combine all of the ingredients (except chicken) and whisk completely. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place into a large Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for 1 hr-1 day (the longer the better!)

Meanwhile…make the sauce!

Tzatziki Sauce

1 C. plain, Greek, non-fat yogurt (I LOVE Fage!)

1 cucumber, peeled and seeded

1 clove minced garlic

1 t. white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Directions: Shred the cucumber or chop in food processor. Wrap in a paper towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. *Refrigerate 30 minutes-1 day before serving to allow flavors to blend.

To cook the chicken – You could cook it in the skillet, BUT my favorite way to prepare it is under the broiler. I think it makes it perfectly juicy and delicious! You will have to know your own broiler though for this! It also will depend on the size/thickness of your breasts (well…not YOUR breasts, but you knew what I meant!) You could even butterfly the breasts first, to make sure that it cooks all of the way through. I have a gas broiler. I set mine 2 shelves from the flame and let it cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, watching VERY closely to make sure they weren’t burning! When they looked done on the outside, I moved them down 2 racks and let them cook another 7-8 minutes. They were done perfectly! Then, definitely move them to a plate and let them sit for about 5 minutes before slicing to seal the juices inside.

Finally, you’re ready to slice and serve! Cut the chicken into strips, heat up some whole wheat pitas. Slice some red onion and tomato. Assemble each gyro with chicken slices, tomato, onion and a big plop of tzatziki sauce. gyro_unassembled

Made this way: ½ whole wheat pita (80 calories) + 1 serving meat (90 calories) and 1 serving sauce (10 calories), you’ve got yourself a 180 calorie gyro!

Ok…now if you want to treat yourself a little read on. I grew up in Michigan and LOVED to eat at Olga’s in the mall. It’s like an Americanized gyro restaurant, but the bread is to die for! So I have this recipe for Olga bread that is an exact replica! The kids LOVE these and they are kind of fun to make. They’re going to cost you a few more calories, but if you’ve been working out and staying healthy, then you’re allowed the occasional splurge! These go quite nicely with the chicken! *I’d like to try these with all or partial whole wheat to clean them up a little.

‘Olga’ Bread

1 C. milk

¼ C. honey

¼ c. butter

1 t. salt

1 pkg. active dry yeast

¼ c. warm water

1 t. sugar

4 C. all-purpose flour, divided

1 egg

Directions– Scald milk (this means to heat until the milk just starts to bubble at the sides and then remove from heat!). Add honey, butter and salt to milk. Stir until butter is melted. Set aside to cool until lukewarm. Combine yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Add 1 ½ cups of the flour to lukewarm milk mixture and beat well. Mix in egg and yeast mixture. Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until sticky dough is formed. Turn out on a floured surface. Knead about 2 minutes. Dough will be sticky, but don’t add more flour. Place dough in oiled bowl, turning once to oil whole surface of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough. Divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a thin rough circle about 1/8 inch thick and 8-10 inches in diameter.

Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat. Do not use any oil. Cook for 15-20 seconds, flip and bake about 10-15 more seconds on the other side, until brown spots appear. Do not over-cook. Transfer to plate turning often as you add to the pile. Eat right away, or store in a plastic bag once cooled and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Makes 16- 1 Olga bread is 152 calories, so if you use this in place of the whole wheat pita, then you’re at 252 calories per gyro.


 Add these to your meal plan! Tzatziki burps for everyone!