What’s Cooking?

I barely cook.

I mean it. Ask the boy. Or Hunter, the dog, who begs for scraps and usually gets the crust of my PB&J for his dinner.

My mom’s side of the family is Italian. Like Sunday dinners, from scratch pasta, and my Grandma went to her grave not knowing I am ‘too lazy to make sauce’ type Italian.

One of my goals, resolutions, things I want to do better-ish is cook a new recipe a week.

After getting second place in the Cookie Contest at the Rape Crisis Center’s Cookie Bake Off last month, I realized I am not that bad at baking or cooking. And that was only my 3rd time baking anything from scratch!


I realized I needed more motivation than my three year old Pinterest Boards full of recipes, so I turned to my friend Claudia for some guidance in the healthy recipe department. And boy do we have a treat for you! We picked out a great, but easy recipe that can be whipped up after a long day of work that is healthy and a crowd pleaser.

But before you get to witness what we whip up in the kitchen, I want to see what YOU whip up in the kitchen. And to make it easier for you, you have a chance to win a $25 gift card to Publix. As an Ambassador for the Inaugural Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5k, I got two gift cards to give away so I still have another for a give-a-way later on 😉

So leave a comment below by Sunday, January 11th at 5pm and tell me what you will whip up in the kitchen with $25 and a winner will be chosen at random.

26 thoughts on “What’s Cooking?”

  1. Ah, I have the same affliction. However, I do likebto help the hubs cook. I “do” cook, but I am a strict recipe follower & I freak out if he wants to experiment with my recipe or sustitute something else.

  2. I love to cook! I like to pretend I was a chef in my past life. I wouldn’t be one now.. The drama and fighting on cooking shows for example is rough!! Anyway, I love cooking roasted vegetables (healthy and easy!), I’m a bit obsessed with fajitas, and I’ll throw in baked salmon and capers sautéed in butter.

  3. The winter months are a great time to make healthy soups. I enjoy making kale and white bean soup with veggie or chicken both. I like to add some slice baby bella mushrooms, garlic, and pepper. Sometimes I will add chicken or sausage. Left over soup is always delicious for a weekday lunch!

  4. Speaking of sauce made from scratch, I made marinara from scratch yesterday. In my crockpot. And it was easy. I was having dinner with a friend who is vegan, and I knew yesterday’s temperatures required “comfort food”–so spaghetti (squash) with sauce and roasted veggies to mix in seemed to fit the bill. All of my sauce ingredients, coincidentally, came from Publix. And to make the sauce:

    2 20 oz. cans of peeled tomatoes (I use San Marzano–for a buck more, you get more flavorful tomatoes)
    1-2 heaping tbsp full of tomato paste
    5 minced garlic cloves
    1/4-1/2 c of diced onions
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 c diced carrots
    1/4 c diced celery
    1/4 c diced green peppers
    a healthy smattering of dried red pepper flakes
    herbs: fresh basil cut in a chiffonade and fresh rosemary works well, or a few very healthy sprinkles of dried herbs de provence works well, or oregano/basil/rosemary all dried works well. Work with what you have.
    A healthy sprinkle of sea salt and a healthy sprinkle of fresh cracked black pepper.

    To make: Layer all of the ingredients, starting w the tomatoes in a crock pot (when you add the tomatoes in, maybe mash them lightly just to release some of the juices into the pot). Stir once or twice just for ingredient distribution. Apply the crock pot lid. Cook on low for 6 hours. When your time is up, take the bay leaf out of the crock pot and then blend your sauce mix to your desired consistency–chunkier or smother. Serve immediately with your most favorite foods (pasta? sauteed veggies? chicken and steamed veggies sort of like a chicken cacciatore? the sky’s the limit!) OR distribute into containers and stick in the freezer to use at different times in the future when you want or need a good, warm, hearty red sauce.


  5. I think it is easier to combine “scratch” with premade ingredients. Rather than start with growing, picking, boiling and straining your own tomatoes for a sauce, it is a lot easier to buy organic tomato paste and then add fresh herbs, etc.
    My go to recipe when hungry and broke is to take a whole grain tortilla,, slap on some frozen or fresh veggies, dice up some vegan cheese and add tomato sauce or low fat salad dressing and cook in the microwave for four to five minutes. It is fast, relatively healthy and so tasty and filling and warm and CHEAP!!! You can make a meal for under $1.
    If you are really a lazy cook, you can bake or cook in stages, like cut up veggies or buy frozen precut veggies, frozen precooked meat or vegan meat substitute and stir fry them with a pot of rice you cook the day before and store in the fridge for fast, easy, healthy meals with low fat and high nutrients and taste!

  6. I especially like to make things for friends. This weekend, I am making Bibb and Bleu Salad with roasted walnuts, pickled red onions and baked proscuitto as a donated item for a CASA dinner and then making spinach/artichoke cups, fresh lemonade and carved fruit with a cream cheese dip for a friend’s baby shower. Already feeling the love of 2015. I would also love to make homemade orange marmalade as gifts this winter.

  7. Since I follow a GF diet— I do miss baked goodies– ESP my favorite chocolate chip. I found this really great recipe for them from a GF Blogger. So I would definitely would use a gift card to buy done ingredients. Almond meal can be expensive.

  8. I am making and freezing soups for easy dinners. This roasted cauliflower & leek soup is next on my list:
    1 Medium Head Cauliflower (roughly chopped)
    2 Leeks, White and Light Green Part Only (cut in half lengthwise)
    6 Cloves Garlic
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    2 14 Ounce Cans Chicken Broth*
    Kosher Salt
    Fresh Ground Black Pepper
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
    Spread chopped cauliflower, leeks and garlic on baking sheet.

    Drizzle olive oil on vegetables and mix well to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
    Roast in oven for 40-45 minutes. Vegetables should be brown on edges and slightly softened.
    Pour roasted vegetables into a saucepan and add 2 cans of chicken broth and fresh ground pepper to taste.
    Over medium high heat, heat vegetables and broth until it bubbles.
    Using an immersion blender (stick blender), thoroughly puree all contents of the saucepan. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Just be careful putting hot liquids in a blender as they can cause the lid to come flying off sending your yummy soup all over your kitchen. (You can vent the lid a little to help reduce the chance of this happening.)
    *You can also use vegetable stock or broth.

  9. I am making a Broccoli “Cheddar” soup right now – but it is completely dairy free. For the cheese taste, I use gluten free nutritional yeast. It is wonderful for a cold day. 🙂

  10. we love to cook, I like making muffin quiches! Then I freeze 2 to a pack, for my morning long runs, microwave for 30 seconds, delicious! Happy cooking!

  11. We do a LOT of cooking for the two of us! Nothing “difficult” but very tasty!
    Lunch: Homemade chewy pan bread or whole wheat tortillas with chucky chickpea salad. Dinner: Personal white veggie pizzas on chewy pan bread. Special event dessert: black bean brownies! We also have fabulous recipes for homemade veggie burgers and energy bars which are more guides then recipes: you add whatever ingredients you prefer to produce the flavors you like. Can provide any and all recipes!

  12. Forgot my go to work lunch meal: cabbage, faro, lentil, spinach & feta soup! This recipe makes eight 2 cup servings per cabbage head. It is easy to make, easy to adjust the ingredients to what you like or have on hand, freezes exceptionally well, is tasty, super filling, and packed with protein and fiber, but can be very low in sodium. We make a batch, freeze in screw top containers and have meals for almost 2 full work weeks! I’ve eaten this every workday for almost the last year! LOVE IT!

  13. I’d love to use the gift card to buy groceries to whip up breakfast for the girls I run with. I’m really craving eggs benedict lately, so I’d like to try my hand at poaching my own eggs and making hollandaise sauce.

  14. uhh, cooking, that means… Putting something in the microwave, right?

    But really, I’d whip up…

    Some salmon, along with carrots and celery, add in some brown rice. Then I’d pack it up for my weekly meal prep!


  15. I have a wonderful new wok, so I am on a stir fry kick. It is so easy, quick, and healthy to cook stir fry just about anything. I just got some chicken out of the freezer for stir fry when I get home from work tomorrow night.

  16. While cleaning out a drawer recently, I found a recipe for bed and sweet potato stew. I love one bowl meals in the winter, and this fits the bill!

  17. I’d have a soup swap with the others in our Richmond Hill half marathon training group. We have busy schedules but want to eat healthy. So, sharing ingredients and cooking for each other would be fun and economical.

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