Thursday, March 26, 2015

Shrimp Scampi over Zoodles (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Shrimp Scampi over Zoodles

One of my favorite recipes is Shrimp Scampi over Linguini. Surprisingly, since I've been on the 17 Day Diet I haven't craved pasta like I thought I would. This is hard to believe since I'm Italian and am used to eating pasta at least twice a week. I'm on Cycle 2 so shrimp is allowed as a protein, woo hoo! I couldn't wait to eat shrimp so my first thought was to make shrimp scampi, without the pasta of! If I can't have my pasta then zoodles or spaghetti squash are my best alternatives. If you are not familiar with "zoodles" they are zucchini spiralized into spaghetti strands. I used my Veggetti to create this zucchini and yellow squash noodles. It's an amazing alternative to pasta. So tonight we had Shrimp Scampi over Zoodles. I crossed my fingers hoping this recipe would taste similar to my original one with linguini. Lucky me it was... Yay!

None of us missed the linguini in our shrimp scampi recipe, including the boys. Seriously it was that good. It was buttery and lemony and oh so yummy. The zoodles, I used zucchini and yellow squash, were soft but slightly firm to be twirled with a fork. The shrimp and zucchini noodles paired really well together. And the combination of the butter, lemon, garlic and dill were the perfect flavors. I topped the scampi with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and extra pepper which made it over the top delicious. 

What I love most about this recipe, unlike my traditional scampi over linguini, is that it's a one pot meal. Everything is cooked in one large skillet and it's ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect weeknight meal. There is nothing not to like about this dish... It's 17 DD Friendly, low carb, gluten free, healthy and nutritious. 

We've all been so busy as a family, being pulled in a million directions, so this was the perfect meal to share together. Great meal + great conversation = great family memories!

Salute to one of my favorite meals Shrimp Scampi but without the pasta and not missing it at all! Now that's a positive food impression.

See other delicious Zoodles recipes:

Shrimp Scampi over Zoodles
Delicious and healthy every bite
Saute garlic in olive oil and butter
Saute Shrimp
Add zucchini and squash noodles
And you have yourself a one skillet meal in under 30 minutes
17 DD Friendly, C2

Shrimp Scampi Over Zoodles (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes tops!

Serves 4

  • 4 zucchini or yellow squash, figure one per person, spiralized
  • 1 1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and cleaned
  • 2 tb minced garlic
  • 6 tb butter
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 2 tb fresh dill chopped
  • a couple pinches of red pepper flakes
  • salt n pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional
In a large skillet heat olive oil, butter and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add shrimp, red pepper, a little salt n pepper and dill and cook for 3 minutes per side. Add spiralized zucchini/squash and mix until it's coated with butter and olive oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes until zucchini is soft but but firm. While the zucchini is cooking it will sweat a lot of water so be careful the noodles don't get mushy. Add some more salt n pepper to taste and lemon juice. Mix well. Plate into 4 bowls and add freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Assorted Egg Muffins (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Being successful on any diet requires one to plan out meals ahead of time to prevent eating food off the grid. Breakfasts are the most difficult because if you are running late out the door in the morning like I am most of the time, its easy to grab something unhealthy like a donut, muffin or bagel. Everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I happened to agree but I don't always follw that rule. I'm not a huge breskfast fan to begin with so eating early in the morning is something I have to remind myself to do. Since I've been on the 17 Day Diet, I've been eating breakfast regularly and smartly! But this all begins with planning meals ahead of time. So I've been prepping fruits, stocking up on yogurt, hard boiling eggs, and making egg casseroles like my Spinach and Feta Frittata Bake. And this week, I've made something ingenious that the whole family loved. Assorted Egg Muffins.

Once you make these Assorted Egg Muffins it's for sure be a staple in your breakfast regiment. Unlike an egg casserole, there is no cutting required and each egg muffin has different ingredients. The basic ingredients are eggs and plain greek yogurt. That's it...any other ingredient is whatever you choose. I made a few with turkey sausage and cheddar, some with kale and feta, some with turkey sausage and zucchini and a few with feta and tomato salsa. The possibilities are endless when it come to ingredient ideas for these egg muffins. The boys had a hard time choosing which one to eat first. I opted to try the kale and zucchini ones first. Boy were they savory and delicious, and healthy too. They are so easy to prepare and cook. 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake...that's it! They make the perfect make ahead breakfast, so if you are in a hurry every morning these are just the answer. After they bake let them cool and then place them in plastic containers or baggies in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat them simply pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add dash of Franks Hot Red Sauce and you got yourself a hot nutritious breakfast with way less calories than an everything bagel with cream cheese!

Salute to Assorted Egg Muffins! A healthy, delicious make ahead breakfast!
Low Carb, Healthy and Delicious. The easy make-ahead breakfast.
It starts with eggs and greek yogurt, the other ingredients are your choice. Be creative!
Just out of the oven
Assorted Egg Muffins - the perfect make ahead breakfast or brunch
Zucchini, Fat Free Cheddar and Turkey Sausage

Assorted Egg Muffins (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes

Makes 12 assorted egg muffins


  • 8 eggs
  • 1 small container of plain greek yogurt
  • several dashes of hot sauce
  • salt n pepper
Toppings of your choice:

Vegetables: broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, spinach, kale

Meats: turkey sausage, turkey bacon, ham, crab, shrimp

Cheeses: fat free cheddar, fat free feta, lite swiss, mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, yogurt, hot sauce and salt n pepper. Evenly distribute egg mixture into a muffin tin which is sprayed with non-stick spray. Mixture should be about 3/4 full in each muffin hole. Add desired veggies, meats and cheeses into the egg mixture. Press down with a spoon so the ingredients are submerged in egg. Bake in oven for 20 minutes and second to bottom rack. Let cool 5 minutes before eating. If making ahead, seal in baggies or air tight containers and keep refrigerated. To reheat, pop in microwave for 30 seconds or so. Top it off with a few dashes of hot sauce. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blackened Tilapia (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Blackened Tilapia
I've been eating so much fish, chicken and turkey since I've been on the 17 Day Diet. Even though I'm on Cycle 2 and am allowed other lean proteins, I'm still sticking to the Cycle 1 protein list. There no particular reason other than I've enjoyed eating them. But every now and then I need to kick up and spice up my recipes to prevent boredom. So tonight I made Blackened Tilapia. It was easy to prepare, healthy, delicious and far from boring.

I used to think anything "blackened" meant it was prepared burnt and really spicy. Silly me, because that couldn't be further from the truth. Blackening is when fish or chicken has been liberally dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices, then cooked in olive oil over high heat in a skillet. The generous amount of spices causes the fish or chicken to have a blackish color once it's seared in the hot oil. So basically the spices blacken, not the fish. Which gives it a very subtle char taste, which I happen to like by the way. The blackened method is common in Cajun cooking. Cayenne pepper is the one spice that gives this dish a little heat. Don't get me wrong there is a nice kick to it, but nothing that would cause you to run and get a fire extinguisher for your mouth! It's a pleasant kick.You can make your own blackening rub or buy one premixed…Penzeys Spices has an amazing one.

By cooking the fish at such a high temperature, it creates this really nice crispy crust that tastes a bit buttery. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving elevates the flavors even more. This dish is very versatile so it can be served with whatever suits your fancy. Any type of salsa would go great with this blackened tilapia salsa, tomatillo salsa or corn salsa. The Best Ever Orzo Recipe or basmati rice served on the side would also go superbly. Since I'm 17 Day Diet, I chose to serve it with a kale and spinach salad. For the boys, I served it over spinach and pasta with shaved parmesan cheese and they loved it. This recipe is quick cooking so it's the perfect weekday meal too.

Salute to kicking up and spicing up your dinner tonight with Blackened Tilapia!

Blackened Tilapia (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 tb butter
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 2 tb smoked paprika
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 lemon
In a bowl mix together all of the spices and herbs. Generously coat top side of fish. Meanwhile heat olive oil and butter in a sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium to high heat. Sear rub side down first for 3 minutes or until browned and blackened. Flip fish over and turn heat down to medium and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over tilapia. Serve with your favorite homemade salsa and basmati rice and a salad. Enjoy!

Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup
It's officially spring now but it certainly doesn't feel that way here in Buffalo, New York. The temps are barely above freezing so anything to keep me warm is what I'm gravitating towards. And today it's Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup. I can't think of a better way to kick off the spring season than with a Thai inspired soup. Plus, this is a chicken soup that's good for the heart and soul.

My plan was to make a massive batch of this soup and portion it out for lunch this week. It's 17 Day Diet Friendly so I thought planning the meals ahead of time was a smart idea. Unfortunately, my plan was a failure. Dave and the boys devoured the pot of soup and I was left with two very small sized portions of soup. All of the boys had 3 helpings of soup. When they asked for seconds I hesitantly said yes, thinking to myself these little vultures are eating all of my soup! I get very territorial when it comes to my 17 Day Diet food. Well then they asked for thirds. At that point I wasn't thinking they were reckless vultures eating all of my soup, I told them so! They kept saying please, this soup is so good! Oh, I couldn't deny my little vultures the pleasure of eating this soup. Tyler, had the nerve to ask for fourths…we told him he wouldn't have any room for dessert and that immediately stopped him in his food tracks. Even though I was getting a little greedy with my food, which Dave always calls me out on, I figured I would just have to make this soup again like really soon.

What we loved most about this soup is it's layers of flavors. Ginger, cilantro, lime and coconut oil are the ingredients that really stand out. It's a twist on a chicken noodle soup. When the boys took their first spoonful they were expecting it to taste like my traditional chicken noodle soup. They kept asking what was in the soup that made it taste so different. When I told them they were surprised they liked it so much. I cut the vegetables and chicken into large sized chunks that it could've been eaten with a fork instead of a spoon. Some people would refer to this as a "stoup" which is a cross between a soup and a stew. I would classify this recipe as a soup because of the broth. The broth is thin, but with bursts of fresh flavor. You could add rice noodles to this soup to make it even heartier but since I had to make it 17 Day Diet Friendly I left that out. The boys didn't miss it at all. Even though this was a heartier soup it didn't make you feel that way. I enjoyed eating this soup on a cold spring day but I would equally enjoy it mid-summer as well. This soup would pair very nicely with a crisp spinach and kale salad, baguette bread and a glass of white wine.

May this soup warm your family's heart and soul like it did ours. Salute to Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup!

Ginger, Lime, Cilantro and Coconut Oil 
are the star ingredients
Chock full of vegetables and chicken
Healthy, delicious and 17 Day Diet Friendly!
Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 1 hour

Serves 6-8

  • 1 rotisserie chicken cooked, skinned, chopped into chunks
  • 8 cups of low sodium, fat free chicken stock
  • 3 tb coconut oil
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 2 t finely minced ginger
  • 2 tb chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
In a large stock pot, add coconut oil and heat on medium. Add carrots, celery cabbage and asparagus and salt n pepper and stir. Cook for 10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add stock and turn to high heat until it comes to a boil, cook for 3-5 minutes and turn down heat to medium. Add the chicken and the rest of ingredients and let cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Serve in deep bowls and if desired add scallions and cilantro and a squeeze of lime on top. Serve with a crisp salad, baguette bread and a glass of white wine. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roasted Baby Pepper Appetizer! (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Roasted Baby Pepper Appetizer
This post will be quick, just like the recipe I am about to share with you! Roasted Baby Peppers! I call it the Easiest Pepper Appetizer ever because it's incredibly easy to make and it's incredibly delicious. If you know me well I have probably given this recipe to you or made it for you. So you know how scrumptious they are.  Everyone always, and I mean always asks for the recipe after they've tasted it. I gladly give it to them because the recipe is so basic it doesn't even need to be written down. I've brought this appetizer to countless number of dinner parties because #1 it's ease, #2 it's amazing taste and # 3 everyone's reactions to it…I feel like a rock star every time I make it! My Roasted Baby Peppers recipe is always a hit and it's gone before most people have even gotten a chance to eat one. They are truly that good.

Ok, so how do you make them you ask. Very simple; actually so simple you won't even need to print this recipe. Coat baby peppers with olive oil and salt n pepper, roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and eat.Yep, that's it. While they are roasting, they will puff up and turn a golden brown. After you take them out of the oven they will deflate and become soft but slightly crispy. Baby peppers are sweet so when you add the salt to them, they have this sweet and salty taste which keeps you going back for more. They also look so beautiful and rustic because of the multicolors….bright orange, yellow and red with bright green stems. Yes, keep the stems on because there is no fork required for these beauties…simply pick them up by the stem and pop one in your mouth…the stem falls off easily. I love to add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to give it an added layer of flavor. I also serve them with gorgonzola on the side and they compliment each other well. They are also amazing served with baguette slices…Pop one of those babies on top and and let your mouth dive in! The really great thing about this pepper recipe is that they can be eaten at hot, at room temperature or cold. How many apps can you count on for that?

My mom and Stan came over for dinner tonight and of course I had to make it 17 Day Diet Friendly, so these appetizers were the perfect choice. Everyone gobbled them up like there was no tomorrow. So the next time you are having friends or family over or you are going to a party and need an appetizer…search no more because this recipe will impress all! Just be prepared to feel like a rock star because everyone will ask how you made it! Salute to the best tasting and easiest Roasted Baby Pepper Appetizer ever!
I call it the easiest pepper recipe ever
Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top
It's my go-to appetizer recipe
Sweet and Salty, healthy and delicious!
Just before baking add olive oil and salt n pepper
20 minutes later you have amazing Roasted Baby Peppers that you just pop in your mouth…no fork required.
Delicious as is, or serve with balsamic vinegar, gorgonzola or baguette bread!
Roasted Baby Peppers (Appetizer): (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 4-6


  • 24 multicolor baby peppers, stems on
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt n pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • optional: serve gorgonzola cheese and baguette on the side
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peppers on a baking sheet and add olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until peppers are golden brown and soft to the touch. Let sit out for 5 minutes. Place peppers on a platter and drizzle balsamic vinegar to tops of peppers. Serve gorgonzola cheese and baguette bread on the side.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The 2 Ingredient Oatmeal Banana Cookie! (17 Day Friendly)

The 2 Ingredient Oatmeal Banana Cookie
I was looking at my view posts, which basically means how many people around the globe have read/viewed one of my blog posts, and noticed I was getting a significant amount of views on my Tuscan Vegetable Bake post from almost a year ago. I found out that someone reposted my recipe on a site called "allwomenstalk" under the title 29 Tray Bake Meals that will Make Your Taste Buds Tingle. I thought that was pretty cool. Some bloggers don't like when others use their posts, I happen to love it! I primarily blog to share recipes with my family and friends but I also blog to share recipes with everyone…so share my posts away people! So as I was pursuing this really cool site I noticed an article called 2 Ingredient Recipes. I was intrigued, in particular with a recipe called the 2 Ingredient Cookie! Yep, you heard me right…the 2 Ingredient Cookie! The ingredients you ask? Bananas and oats! I was like there is no way you can make a cookie out of two ingredients, and taste good. I had to put this recipe to the test because it looked yummy in the picture, it seemed stupid easy to make and it's 17 Day Diet Cycle 2 friendly. Three incredible reasons to give this recipe a shot.

So while I was making dinner, Lemon Dill Tilapia with a Medley of Roasted Vegetables, I had Tyler make the 2 ingredient cookie recipe. It was so easy for him to make, he kept saying "Are you sure you don't have to add flour or egg to this recipe? What about sugar?" I agreed with him, it seemed odd making a homemade cookie recipe with only two ingredients. So he mashed 4 bananas, added two cups of oats and baked em'. Ten minutes later we had a beautiful looking Oatmeal Banana cookie that tasted delicious! It amazed me that we actually made a cookie with only 2 ingredients! And incredibly healthy to boot!

Since I've been in the 17 Day Diet, I had to give up sweets, which honestly hasn't been terribly difficult, but every now and then I get a hankering for dessert. Like last Tuesday when a group of us went to Ristorante Lombardo for dinner during Local Restaurant Week and everyone ordered delectable desserts except me! This 2 ingredient cookie would have satisfied my sweet tooth and I wish I could've stashed a few in my purse.

So your probably looking at the photos of my cookies and thinking "Hey, I see chocolate chips, that's 3 ingredients!" Yes, we added chocolate chips for the boys. That's the other great thing about this cookie... Add whatever ingredients you have on hand to create another layer of flavor. We even threw in some chia seeds! Add nuts, raisins, cinnamon, peanut butter chips, dried cranberries, coconut flakes or toffee pieces. Be creative or simply stick to the two ingredients in this cookie. 

Skip the granola bar that's loaded with sugar and give this recipe a try. It makes a great snack, dessert, or morning breakfast. The boys loved them and so did Dave... He had 3 this morning! They are soft and chewy, aren't too sweet and taste like an oatmeal cookie. We all loved the taste and the ease of making this cookie. 

Salute, to a 2 ingredient cookie that's easy to make, healthy and delicious! And let's not forget it's also 17 Day Diet friendly! 
Add caption

2 Ingredient Cookie (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 24

  • 4 ripened bananas
  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
Optional: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, chia seeds, etc.

Mash bananas with a blender until mixed but lumpy, add oats and stir. Using a spoon, scoop cookie mixture and place rounds on a cookie sheet. Flatten rounds with your fingers or a fork because they will not flatten or spread while cooking. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies are soft but firm to touch. Enjoy!
The 2 Ingredient Oatmeal Banana Cookie that's 17 Day Diet Friendly
Only 2 Ingredients! Bananas and Oats
Add extra ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruit or nuts
Delicious as a quick breakfast, snack or dessert
So easy to make and so delicious!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chicken and Chile Taco Salad (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Chicken and Chile Taco Salad

Today marks Day 12 (Cycle1) of the 17 Day Diet, woot hoot! I declined going to "Uncorked" a wine tasting event tonight with my cousin Christine because of the diets' strict rules about no alcohol in the first 17 days. If I went to this event I doubt I would be able to resist the temptation of sampling wines. She was disappointed that I didn't go but luckily she understood why and didn't give me too hard of a time. Some may call my decision not to go great will or dedication, I say it stinks!

So instead of going to the wine tasting event I did something even more fun….I invited one of my best friends over for dinner who I haven't seen in a while…Trisha. I've known Trisha for almost 35 years…ooooh, I just got goosebumps saying that. It's hard to believe I've known her for that long. We first met in middle school and instantly clicked. Here we are today, 45 years old, and just as close. We may not see each other all the time but when we do it's like we just talked yesterday. Nothing is better than spending quality time with a dear friend of so long who knows everything about your past and present. There is great comfort in that. So we reminisced, caught up and gossiped the whole night…just like we did as teenagers. But instead of doing this over pigging out on pizza and junk food like we did as kids, we pigged out on Chicken and Chile Taco Salad! Trust me, we didn't even miss the pizza our meal was so good.

Before Trisha came over I warned her that I was making a 17 Day Diet friendly meal. She laughed and said "Hey, that's totally fine. I know what ever you make will be delicious." As teenagers and early college Trisha and I would go to Chi Chi's Restaurant all the time. We loved it there. We sit for hours talking munching on nacho chips and salsa. I wish they never closed because those nachos and salsa were the absolute best. We'd probably downed 3 baskets of nachos easily back then…and never gained an ounce. So for tonight I wanted to make a meal like we were back at Chi Chi's. So I made Chicken and Chile Taco Salads. I had nachos and salsa on the side for her. We'd normally have a margarita along with our mexican food, but no alcohol or sugar for me. So we had water and green tea instead!

The Chicken and Chile Taco Salad was amazing. I served a salsa dressing over the top which consisted of fat free salsa from a jar and a small container of plain greek yogurt. I added diced red pepper to the salad to give it a little crunch, since I wasn't able to add nachos to mine.  I made this meal 17 Day Diet friendly but you would never know it. Trisha loved it and didn't miss a lot of the extras I would have thrown in my taco salad if I wasn't keeping it ultra healthy. I even added "cauliflower rice" to the ground chicken to give it another layer of texture. It's not necessary and I only added it because I had leftovers from my Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe from a few nights before. When I'm not dieting I always add black beans, avocado, and even corn. This salad can really be whatever you want it to be so be creative with your fixings. This taco salad was so easy to toss together and it's a perfect mid week meal. It's also a meal that can be made ahead of time so you can relax before dinner. I made it a few hours before Trisha cam over and just kept it in the refrigerator. I reheated the ground chicken and chiles just before serving. That way as soon as Trisha came over I wasn't fussing with making dinner. We are able to talk and enjoy each other, uninterrupted.

Salute to having fun catching up with Trisha and pigging out on Chicken and Chile Taco Salad just like   we did in the old days at Chi Chi's!
Cycle 1, Day 12 17 Day Diet Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: A cup of hot water and fresh lemon

Breakfast: greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and strawberries and a cup of green tea.

Lunch: Chicken breast with cucumber dill salad and a cup of green tea.

Dinner: Chicken and Chile Taco Salad and a cup of green tea.

Exercise: none

impressions: So I declined a wine tasting event today and that was more disappointing as it was difficult. But I was super happy to enjoy a 17 Day Diet friendly dinner with one of my best friends. I was concerned she might be turned off by such a simple meal but it turned out it was a huge hit. I entertain quite a bit so this was the first since I started the diet that I had to alter the menu. It was much easier than I thought. As for my red shorts…they fit even better this morning…yay! Not sure how much weight I lost yet but I'm guessing 5-7 pounds. I still have 5 more days on the cycle 1 of this diet so I'm hoping to keep on loosing! I also noticed that my legs, thighs and butt are toning up too. I haven't been too religious about the exercise so I believe the toning that's happened is from eating lean and clean!  In Cycle 2, I can add more food items such as avocado, zucchini, legumes, shellfish and even pork and lean red meat. I can't wait to be able to add those foods. My recipes will love me for it. 
Chicken and Chile Taco Salad, 17 day Diet Friendly
Ground Chicken and Green Chiles are the highlights
A crisp, refreshing salad that's sure to please
The dressing is a creamy salsa 
Perfect meal to serve for 2 or twenty people
Add nachos on the side for those not on a diet
Trisha…one of my dearest and best friends!

Chicken and Chile Taco Salad (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cups raw cauliflower rice (optional) 
  • 1 package of low sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives
  • 2 tb fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fat free/salsa
  • 1 small container of plain greek yogurt
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • nachos (optional)
In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook ground chicken until cooked through. Add green chiles. Add cauliflower rice (optional) and stir. Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup of water and stir until blended. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large serving platter add lettuce, red pepper, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and cheese. For salsa dressing: mix salsa and yogurt together. To plate: Add lettuce mixture and top with a scoop of ground chicken, add a dollop of salsa dressing and optional to add hot sauce and nachos.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon

Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon. This is a recipe I've been making for years and years. It's one of our family favorites. I was first introduced to this recipe by our neighbors, David and Laura, from our old neighborhood. David started to really enjoy cooking and was experimenting with all of these great recipes. The best part was that he had us over quite a bit to taste test his new recipes. One of them happened to be the recipe I have for you today. I took one bite and fell in love with this dish and so did everyone else at their dinner party that night. And that was 12 years ago. I still make it often and love it just as much.

I typically make it during the spring and summer months because it's a light and refreshing meal. What I love most about this dish is the cucumber dill salad. It truly is the highlight of the dish. It reminds me of a tzaziki sauce, but one that is much more substantial. This cumber dill salad is so chunky and flavorful you could pick it up with a fork and eat it as a meal in itself…that's what Tyler does and that's probably why it's called a cucumber dill "salad." The recipe calls for the cucumber dill salad to go over salmon and that's how I like it best but it goes well over other types of fish or chicken.

Cucumber Dill Salad over Salmon is also 17 Day Diet friendly so that's a total bonus. The only alteration I made with this recipe is using plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I made the change for the sake of my diet. 

So if you are looking for a light and refreshing salad, this Cucumbr Dill salad is the perfect choice. Salute to Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon!
Cycle 1, Day 11 of 17 Day Diet Menu and Impressions:

Morning Beverage: 1 cup hot water with lemon

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with a cup of green tea

Lunch: A piece of Tomato Basil Cauliflower Crusted Pizza (click for recipe) and a cup of green tea

Dinner: Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon, asparagus and a cup of green tea.

Exercise: 17 minutes of leg squats

Impressions: today was really good. Not only are my red shorts fitting better but so are some of my other clothes too! It's very motivating to keep going on this diet when I'm seeing positive results. I don't feel hungry and many of my cravings for things like bread or sweets are no longer there or aren't as intense. My body feels awesome and I have a lot of energy. That's what I am really liking about this diet. I can honestly say that I will continue to incorporate many of these healthy habits. I never considered myself an unhealthy eater or one who eats lots of processed foods, heck the world sees what I eat almost everyday from my food blog, but when you begin truly watching what you eat you start to see subtle bad habits... Like test tasting while you cook, or not drinking enough water. I like being more conscientious about my eating habits and let me tell you, it's contagious. The people in my life who know what I'm doing are adapting their diet to a more healthy one as well. The bigger support you have the better. The past couple of weeks haven't been super busy for me which is very unusual, so maintaining this diet so far has been pretty easy. The next few weeks will be much more challenging because of the amount of social activities we have planned... most of which include great food and wine!!! I fear I may cave even if it's just a bite or two! I've been so darn good so far and don't want to ruin it because I'm almost done with Cycle 1!!! I'll continue to report! Nate made the funniest comment tonight, he said "mom, that's like the millionth cup of green tea I've seen you drink this past week!" I laughed so hard and said "it feels like it too!" 

Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon, 
17 Day Diet Friendly
Cucumber Dill Salad
Cucumbers, onion, dill, greek yogurt, and lemon juice
Perfect over salmon or chicken
A light, refreshing salad 
One of our favorite meals
Cucumber Dill Salad over Roasted Salmon (Click to print recipe)

Adapted from Wegmans

Preparation and cook time: 45 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1 seedless english cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut on bias 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
  • 12 oz plain greek yogurt, sour cream either regular, light or fat free
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tbsp), divided
  • 1/4 small (about 1/2 lb) red onion, peeled, cut in thin, match-like sticks
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each), skinned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Wegmans Basting Oil or regular olive oil, for salmon
  • 5 oz spring lettuce mix
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Make cucumber salad: Toss cucumbers  with 1 tsp Kosher salt (to draw out moisture); let set 30 min.  Squeeze, then drain water off.  Combine cucumbers, greek yogurt or sour cream, dill, 1/2 Kosher salt, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and red onion in large bowl; set aside. 
  2. Season both sides of fillets with salt and pepper; drizzle both sides with basting oil and add fresh dill. Roast salmon fillets in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden and set aside.
  3. Toss spring mix with olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Place fillets on greens; top with 1/3 cup of cucumber salad.