Red Potatoes Au Gratin with Skinny Sauce

Every now and then, I like to make something cheesy and comforting yet without all the calories. I started making this “skinny sauce” and like to use it for my Au Gratin and Macaroni and Cheese. I made 4 portions in this pie pan and calculated it as 175 calories per portion.

  • 2 medium/large red potatoes or 3 cups of potato slices
  • 1 teaspoon of Savory (or Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning) for herbal flavor
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Slice Potatoes into wedges. For 4 portions, I sliced 2 medium to large red potatoes. I boiled them in about 3 cups of water with the savory, salt and pepper. Cooked to about 8 minutes, cooked through yet not mushy.20130530-171035.jpg

I drain the water from the potatoes, yet keep a little. Like 1/4 cup of the herbed water. Then I make the sauce in the drained pan.

  • 1-2 tablespoons or pats of butter
  • 1/4 cup herbed water from potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch of cracked salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese

Heat butter in pan, add water and milk. Let boil and add salt. Add Cream Cheese and Yogurt or Sour Cream and break down with a fork. Let boil for 3 minutes or so and add Parmesan as you stir and thicken the sauce. 20130530-171216.jpgHeat Oven to 375 degrees. Arrange your Potatoes in a Pie pan. I like to save some of the herbs from the water. Pour Sauce over Potatoes in Pan. Sprinkle a little more Parmesan and cracked pepper or cayenne. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on high broil for 5 minutes or raise heat to 400 to crisp the top. 20130530-171250.jpg


Steak Wrapped Asparagus



This idea is so simple and can be done with steak or bacon. It’s a great idea for a barbecue appetizer or a side dish.

Simply pre-steam the asparagus, unless you want them to be crunchy. They are much better if they are cooked yet still have a crispness to them.

Wrap thin slices of meat around the Asparagus spears. Sometimes it’s best to use two stalks if they are skinny. try not to wrap it too much, so that the meat gets cooked throughout.

Cook on Medium for about 8 minutes, rotating after 2 minutes on all sides. You can go more or less depending on your meat temp preference.

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

20130521-084455.jpgI love an easy shrimp stir fry and the ingredients are inspired by the ingredients I love and have on hand. Sometimes, it’s what I consider a fridge cleaner meal – use what you have.

  • 12 Medium Tiger Prawns, sliced in half down the middle
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of diced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced small
  • 1 cup of diced asparagus
  • 1 tsp of soy sauce
  • pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp water
  • Cracked Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet or wok on medium high heat
  2. Add garlic and onion and sauté for a couple minutes
  3. Add asparagus and zucchini and cook for another couple minutes
  4. Add soy sauce, chili flakes and water, stir often
  5. Add tiger prawns and cook until throughly until completely done
  6. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Golden Beets over Kale


I have always loved beets, but my recent love of pickling reintroduced me to making beets at home.  Recently I have roasted golden beets and I have boiled them. These are the boiled golden beets.

It’s easy to boil up beets to make beet salads or anything else. This combination is very low in fat and calories, as well as being nutritious.

To boil the beets add:

  • 1-1/2 pounds beets, trimmed, skinned and cubed
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

I add a sprinkle of Italian Herbs, Savory or Herbs de Provence to the boil for flavor.

Place the beets in a large saucepan and add water to cover and the lemon juice or vinegar. This will help to keep the beets from bleeding. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the pot and let cool.

Fried Egg Over Asparagus



It’s very simple, but the flavors work very well together. It also makes a nice plate.

  1. In one pan, add water about 1.2″ high. Add asparagus and boil by turning. Leave somewhat crisp, although cooked.
  2. In another pan prepare a fried or poached egg. I prefer to leave mine as runny as possible. 
  3. Plate the asparagus, add shredded cheese or parmesan and plate the egg on top.
  4. Add salt and pepper to finish

Roasted Garlic Shrimp Lettuce Cups & Roasted Garlic Olive Oil

20130519-102841.jpgYou can use lettuce to wrap just about anything. It’s low carb and makes for a nice healthy lunch or dinner. When I make shrimp, I like to use my roasted garlic olive oil. It’s pretty handy to make ahead and use for just about anything.  2 Servings of 3 lettuce cups

Roasted Garlic Shrimp Lettuce Cups

  • Butter Lettuce Leaves – 6 total
  • 8 uncooked medium shrimp
  • 4-6 cloves of roasted garlic and 1-2 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 diced roma tomato
  • 3 tbsp of diced green onion
  1. In a small pan, put the garlic and the olive oil and heat on medium. Using a fork or spatula, I mash the garlic to make a roasted garlic paste.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook until done 5-7 minutes depending. Dice Shrimp into smaller pieces if necessary.
  3. Add Shrimp to Lettuce Cup, top with diced tomato and green onion and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Roasted Garlic Olive Oil (Make in Advance)

  • 4 heads of garlic with the heads cut off
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Large Piece of Aluminum foil
  • Baking Pan or dish
  1. Put the Aluminum Foil in the baking pan. Sit Garlic up with the tops off and spread on the head pieces around them.
  2. Pour the olive oil on top of the garlic and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until they pop out of the garlic easily. Let cool and remove the garlic from the skin and put in a jar of olive oil.