Lasagna Soup

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Servings: 8


for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Summer Beet Stacks

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4 beets, small to medium sized
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
salt & pepper







1. Preheat oven to 350º F.

2. Scrub, rinse and pat beets dry then rub with a small amount of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil (two beets per foil packet). Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until beets are tender and easily pierced with a knife. Allow to slightly cool then carefully remove skin. (The beets will stain your hands and clothing! So I use rubber gloves.) Set aside.



3. In a small, dry frying pan toast walnuts until slightly browned. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and walnut oil then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

5. Once skin is removed slice beets width-wise into three or four sections (depending on the size of the beet.)

6. In layers, alternate beet slices and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle stacks with balsamic walnut oil vinaigrette, fresh thyme leaves and the toasted walnuts. Enjoy.



Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes

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Makes 5-6 servings




500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)

1 pound chicken breast fillets (skinless and boneless, sliced into 1 inch chunks)



For the chicken marinade:


2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)



- Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes (if making this dish in pronto) or over night (if making this dish the next day… much better).

- Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.




For the garlic gravy:


½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, finely minced

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups chicken stock

1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cups whole cherry tomatoes







1. Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.



2. Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.



3. Add the flour and cook for a minute.



4. Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.



5. Season with salt and pepper.



6. Add the sauteed chicken in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this sauce.



7. Add the cherry tomatoes and finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).


Butternut Squash Lasagna


4 cups butternut squash puree (i.e. Farmer’s Market Organic canned)
1 1/2 tbs. sel de cuisine (features cinnamon, rosemary, and salt)
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 short whole wheat lasagna noodles
sliced cheese to top pieces (optional – but not really)

Mushroom & Wilted Greens Toast with a Poached Egg

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2 slices whole wheat or multi-grain bread
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms – you can use any variety you prefer
4 cups chopped greens, tough stems removed – you can use mustard greens, kale or chard here
1/2 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
2 large eggs
1 tsp. white vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Stuffed Zucchini

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2 medium 2-inch-wide zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil






1. Trim both ends off zucchini; cut in half lengthwise. Cut a thin slice off the backs so each half sits flat. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Finely chop the pulp; set aside.

2. Place the zucchini halves in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on High until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, steam in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large skillet or pot.)

3. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese, basil and the reserved zucchini pulp; toss to combine. Divide the filling among the zu-canoes.

Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken

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2 large chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
a pinch salt & pepper



Bruschetta Topping:


4 medium roma tomatoes
1/2 medium sweet onion (vidalia)
1 tsp minced garlic $0.07
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
to taste salt & pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella







1. Trim the excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut each piece into two. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and pound the pieces down to one inch in thickness (use a rolling pin or heavy pan to pound).



2. Place the chicken pieces in a container or zip top bag along with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp minced garlic (or one clove if using fresh), and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything around to make sure the chicken is coated in the marinade. Refrigerate until ready to cook.



3. Prepare the bruschetta topping. Finely dice the onion and tomatoes. Combine them in a bowl with the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir well, taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking (I like generous salt in this mix, about 1/2 tsp).



4. Grill the chicken until cooked through (I used my countertop grill, it only took 5 minutes). Turn the oven on to broil and adjust the rack so that is about 6 inches below the heating element.



5. Place the grilled chicken pieces on a baking sheet covered with foil. Top each piece of chicken with about 1/4 cup of the tomato bruschetta topping and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. It’s okay if some falls off, you can scoop it onto your plate along with the chicken. Place the baking sheet in the oven under the broiler. Cook just until the cheese is fully melted (5-10 minutes). Serve hot!

Healthy Burgers

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Yields 10 burgers


1 cup millet, uncooked
4 medium or three large yams
1 1/2 tbsp chickpea miso (sub soy miso if you tolerate soy well; I do, and that’s actually what I used, but wanted to be sensitive to my allergy-prone readers)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cannellini beans (canned or home cooked)
1 cup kale, chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup flax meal
2 tbsp millet flour (can be omitted, but great for a firm texture)
4 tbs low sodium tamari
2 tsp cumin
Black pepper to taste

Harvest Pumpkin Soup

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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
2 cups water
1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin purée
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Blue cheese crumbles
Toasted walnuts
Pumpkin seeds







1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the broth, water, pumpkin and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the flavors have melded.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before working in batches to purée the soup in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to a clean pot. Stir in the half-and-half. (additional broth may be added as necessary to adjust the soup’s consistency) Heat the soup gently over low heat until hot (do not boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Vegan Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

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2 Medium sized green tomatoes
1 cup flour
3 tablespoon rice flour or regular flour
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon water
3/4 bread crumbs
3/4 cup corn meal
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
oil enough to shallow fry







1. Put the one cup of flour onto a plate.

2. Combine the 3 tablespoon flour, turmeric powder and water in a shallow bowl. Adjust water if the batter is too thick. You can substitute this mixture for 2 eggs (beaten) if you’re not a vegan.

3. Combine the breadcrumbs and corn meal in another plate.
Slice the tomatoes into 1-inch thick slices.



4. Place on a rack on top of some paper towel or a tea towel and sprinkle salt before turning them over. Leave them for 10 minutes so the salt can draw out the water from the tomatoes.



5. Cover the tomato slice with flour.



6. Then dip it in the turmeric powder batter (or the beaten eggs).



7. Then cover it with the breadcrumb-cornmeal mixture.

8. Return it back to the rack and chill in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes just to firm up.



9. Heat enough oil in a frying pan to shallow fry the tomatoes on medium-high heat. Fry the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes per side. This allows the tomato to soften a bit and the crust to become crunchy.



10. Drain on paper towels and serve on toasted bread with vegan mayonnaise, topped with a bunch of basil and ketchup on the side.



11. Enjoy!

Makes about 8 tomato slices, serves approx. 2-4

Stuffed Green Peppers

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(Makes 4 large stuffed green peppers, recipe created by Kalyn when her market had a great sale on peppers!)

1 C long-grain brown rice (I used Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice, but any long-grain rice will work.)
4 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
2 links (about 8 ounces) turkey Sweet Italian Sausage (or other sausage of your choice. Use diced mushrooms instead of sausage for vegetarian version.)
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1/2 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Green Bean and Shallot Ravioli Salad

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Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
12 ounces fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Panini with Anjou Pears, Brie, Caramelized Walnuts and Arugula Pesto Mayo

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Arugula Pesto Mayo
3 cups packed arugula
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 tbs mayo
sea salt and black pepper

Caramelized Walnuts
1 cup walnuts
2 tbs light corn syrup
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 slices sourdough bread
1 anjou pear, sliced thinly
4 thick slices brie

Poppy Seed Chicken

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5 cups chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 cup sour cream
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 1/2 rolls of crackers)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 T poppy seeds

Additional Ingredients to make it fancy:

1 tsp Worchestire sauce
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper

Tilapia Tacos With Cucumber Relish

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1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grill
4 6-ounce tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon ground coriander
kosher salt and black pepper
6 radishes, sliced
1 cucumber, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
8 corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup sour cream

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

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YIELD: Serves 6.

4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1¼ pounds each)
2 tablespoons canola oil (if preparing in oven)




Broccoli Chicken Roli

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2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
2 cups fresh chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls





1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, onions, bell pepper, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. Mix all together.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

3. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a glass upside down in the center of the cookie sheet.

4. Roll out crescent rolls around the base of the glass, with pointy ends away from the glass; when you’re finished, the arrangement will look like the sun. Spoon some of the chicken mixture onto the thick part of each crescent roll. Fold the pointy end of each roll over the top of the mixture and tuck in the middle. Remove glass from cookie sheet. Arrangement of rolls will now look like a fluted tube cake.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.

Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

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2 sweet potatoes
1 pound red potatoes
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large red onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper






Wash, pierce with a fork, and microwave the sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes until tender. Boil the red potatoes in salted water until tender. Do not overcook the potatoes, or they will not hold up in the salad. Drain red potatoes and chill all three types overnight.

Peel the sweet potatoes and Yukon Golds, and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut red potatoes into fourths. Place all potatoes into a large bowl.

Slice red onion thinly and place into a colander. Sprinkle the salt on the onion and let it sit in the colander for 30 minutes to drain. Squeeze onion to remove excess water, and add to the bowl with the potatoes. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, lemon juice, mayonnaise, curry powder, parsley and pepper, and chill until ready to serve.

Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella

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5 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste






In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. While the stock is heating, drain the sun-dried tomatoes and reserve the oil. Chop the tomatoes coarsely and set them aside.

In a large frying pan, warm 2 tablespoons of oil from the tomatoes, add onion and saute until translucent; about 6 minutes.

Add rice to the frying pan and stir until white spots appear in the center of the grains; about 1 minute. Spoon a ladleful of vegetable stock into the frying pan and cook the mixture on low until all the stock is absorbed; about 2 minutes. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil from the tomatoes, chopped basil, and salt and pepper. Mix well and serve.

Quinoa Burger

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2 rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note below for cooking instructions)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry)

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 green onions, including white parts

1 /2 teaspoon Splenda or sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil for frying



To cook quinoa:


1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes.







In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, Splenda, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.



(To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, I cook them on med-low slowly so they have longer to set-up without burning. Makes them easier to flip, too.) Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Makes approx. 10 burgers.




Per burger:


Calories 132; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; NET Carbs 12 g; (Fiber 2 g); Sugar 0 g; Sodium 200 mg

Grilled Buffalo Wings

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3 pounds chicken wings, separated at joints, tips discarded
1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle cola-flavored carbonated beverage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce






Preheat a grill to medium heat.

In a large pot, mix together the hot sauce, cola, cayenne pepper, black pepper and soy sauce. Add the wings to the sauce – frozen is okay. Place the pot to one side of the grill, so the sauce comes to a simmer.

Use tongs to fish wings out of the sauce, and place them on the grill for 8 to 10 minutes. Then return to the sauce to simmer. Repeat this process for about 50 minutes. The sauce will thicken. When the chicken is tender and pulls easily off of the bone, you have two options. You can dip one last time and serve for sloppy style wings, or serve right off the grill for dryer wings.

Merwin’s Shrimp Gumbo

Merwin's Shrimp Gumbo

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1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into parts
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2/3 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
8 cups water
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
file powder






In a medium skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels to remove some of the fat. Discard fat in pan.


In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat. Brown chicken pieces in hot oil. Turn frequently until golden brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a dish, leaving oil in pan. Set chicken aside, but keep warm.


Make a roux by whisking flour into the hot vegetable oil. Turn heat down to low. Continue cooking flour and oil mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches a dark brown color. This may take 30 to 45 minutes; the darker the roux, the better the final gumbo.


When the roux is a dark brown color, quickly add the sausage, onion, green onion tops, green pepper, parsley, and garlic. Cook over low heat until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.


Stir in 2 cups water and spices. Add chicken parts. Add rest of the water slowly. Bring mixture to a boil, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 45 minutes, until chicken is done and tender.


Remove chicken pieces, and save for another use. Add shrimp to gumbo; cook for about 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaves. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve gumbo in deep bowls. Sprinkle file powder over individual servings, and stir in.

Alfredo Sauce

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1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup imported Romano cheese, grated
6 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste








1. HEAT milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.


2. PLACE egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).


3. SEASON to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta.





Windy City Crescent Rolls

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2 tubes Pillsbury (or whatever brand) crescent rolls, 8 ct
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
3 oz fresh baby spinach (about half of a pre-washed bag), chopped
2 oz black olives, finely diced (*this ingredient is optional)
1 egg white, beaten
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
dash salt and pepper






Preheat oven to 350. Begin by chopping the spinach and olives and putting them in a large mixing bowl. Add the feta, mozzarella, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly and set bowl aside.


Unroll the crescent dough and divide into triangles. Using a spoon, place tiny heaps of spinach mixture on the wide part of the dough triangle.


Roll them up! (Thanks to my mother-in-law for this demonstration. Hi Rita!)


Place on a greased cookie sheet. Before putting them in the oven lightly brush each roll with the egg white. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.



Toasted Breakfast Bagel Sandwich

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4 slices of prosciutto
1/4 cup vinegar
2 large organic eggs
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup fresh arugula
2 bagels, cut in half and toasted
sea salt and cracked pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle






Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a muffin tin cup with two overlapping prosciutto slices. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15, or until crispy.

While the prosciutto is baking, bring a medium pot of water to a boil and stir in the vinegar. Crack one egg at a time into a small bowl and gentle slide the egg into the water. Repeat with the other egg.

Allow the eggs to cook for about 3 minutes and until the whites are set. The yolk should still be runny. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and set them on a tea towel to drain of excess water. Do the same with the second egg.

Toast the bagel halves and place on a plate. Top with a handful of fresh arugula and the prosciutto cup. Place the poached egg over top and season with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with your best extra-virgin olive oil.