Sunday, August 1, 2010 by  



Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • Bag of red or gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of milk or so and 2 tablespoons of butter to mash the potatoes when done
  • Can of peas
  • Bisto brown gravy mix (or your choice of brown gravy)
  • Bit ‘o oil

 Brown the ground beef in a bit ‘o oil in a pan. Meanwhile, boil potatoes (I leave the skin on for nutrients) in a pot, then mash with milk and butter. In a measuring cup, mix Bisto (or any brown gravy mix) with water – you’ll need about 1/2 cup. Boil peas in a small pot & drain water. In a large cassorole dish, spread your browned ground beef as the first layer, drizzle the 1/2 cup of gravy over the meat, then pour your hot peas in the middle and your mashe potatoes over that. Make a pretty design with a fork across the top of your potatoes – like waves zig-zagging across the top from end to end of the dish. Place the cassorole dish in the oven and BROIL on low for a few minutes until the top is golden brown – zig-zags and all (I leave the oven door open for this step because it goes FAST – like 2 or 4 minutes – and I don’t want to burn the top…and it makes the house smell great. When it’s brown on top, you’re done. Make another 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup of gravy for pouring over your plate when you’ve dished up. Yummy for winter!

Hertfordshire, England

Chicken Polynesian

  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size cubes or larger depending on how you like it
  • Two 20-ounce cans pineapple chunks, drained
  • One 12-ounce jar of apricot preserves (I use Smuckers)
  • One 16-ounce jar of Russian dressing (Ken’s steakhouse dressing is best)
  • 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
  • 1-2 sliced green pepper (I like long thin slices)
  • White rice
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch mixed with cold water until runny

Mix everything (but the rice & water/corn starch mixture) in a large glass baking pan (I just dump everything in and mix it all up with my bare hands – or a big spoon if I’m not feeling adventurous). Bake covered in tin foil at 350-375 for about 1 hour, depends on how big the chicken chunks are and if you’re in a rush or not (if rushing, bake at higher temp – chick will be drier but it’s faster), cook the white rice separately. After about 15 minutes to a half hour, add water and corn starch mixture and mix well, put back in oven immediately. Serve over white rice and salt to taste (I’m liberal with the salt in this dish).

Stamford, CT

 West Coast Meatloaf

  • 1 ½  lb. Ground beef
  • 8 -10 Saltine crackers crushed
  • 2 gloves garlic crushed
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 can of tomato sauce 

Mix all together. Place in loaf pan. Top it with catchup (just a spread) or BBQ sauce whichever you prefer. Bake at 350 approx. 1-1:15 minutes

San Diego, CA


Mushrooms À La Grecque


  • Water 1/4 pt (150 ml)
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Lemons, juice of lemons
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil (30 ml)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Sprig of parsley
  • 12 oz. Button mushrooms (350 g)
  • 1 Large tomato
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Put the first 7 ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer, covered, for a further 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomato, then refrigerate until really cold. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving. This can also be served as a salad. Serves 4-6

Madrid, Spain


Key West Chicken Bake


  • 2 Tbsp. Melted butter
  • 1 lb. Boneless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp. Key West Style Spice Blend – jar by McCormack

 Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour butter into baking pan, add chicken, turn chicken around in pan to coat. Sprinkle Spice Blend on each side of chicken breast. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until done. Serve with mashed potatoes and snap peas.

Key West, FL

 Key West Shrimp


  • 1 lb. Shrimp peeled
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. Key West Style Spice Blend – jar by McCormack
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil

Cook shrimp, broccoli and Spice Blend in hot oil for 6 minutes, stirring often. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Serve with rice and tossed salad. Instead of shrimp, you could use cooked chicken strips.

Key West, FL


Pork Tenderloin on the Grill


Get a pork tenderloin, remove from package and lightly rinse and pat dry.  Rub just a bit of good olive oil all over. Roughly chop fresh rosemary. Roll the tenderloin in the rosemary and some black pepper and grated garlic. Put the tenderloin in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 4 to 6 hours, even better overnight. Grill on a medium hot grill about 8 minutes, turn once-leave for another 8 minutes.  Remove from grill cover with foil and let it rest about 8 to 9 minutes. Cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on how you like your pork. I will sometimes make a marsala sauce to go with this pork.

Middlebury, CT

Beef Katlet

  • ½ lb. Ground beef
  • 1 medium potatoe boiled 
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onions

Put onion and ground beef and potato (boiled and peeled) and the egg and spices in the food processer. When all mixed, make a spoon full and flatten the mix in any shape you want – you can use cookie cutters. Put oil in pan and fry. Remove once cooked and add any spices you like to it.

San Diego, CA
 Barbecue Chicken/Caeser Salad wraps
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Favorite barbecue sauce
  • Caesar salad mix or 2 heads romaine
  • Caesar dressing and shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 6 large tortillas

Grill chicken.  Brush with desired amount of barbecue sauce.  Prepare salad.  Warm the tortillas in the microwave or on stove.  Cut chicken into strips.  Load your tortilla, roll up and cut in half. 

Greenwich, CT

Spinach and Meat Cakes


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey (lean is healthier)
  • 2 bunches of spinach (washed and cut up into pieces) or 1 lb of frozen spinach thawed and drained well
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 c cooked brown rice

1.  preheat pan (no oil). 2.  combine all ingredients except brown rice in a lg. mixing bowl… mix well. 3.  form mixture into 12 small balls. Place in a frying pan and flatten into patties using a spatula. 4. cook over med heat until cooked on both sides. 5.  serve over cooked brown rice.

Dallas, Texas

  Gorgonzola Chicken Wraps

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 can of corn or frozen corn
  • Half of a red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 red and 1/2 green peppers sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Crumbled gorgonzola (to taste)
  • Cilantro
  • 6 tortillas

Bake chicken with desired seasonings.  Saute onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil.  Add corn and chicken.  Sprinkle gorgonzola and cilantro on top and heat through. Serve on warm tortillas with lettuce, salsa and sour cream.  The mix of hot and cold is delightful! My kids will eat anything wrapped in a tortilla, so we frequently do sliced turkey and cheese wrapped in a tortilla for lunches.  For crunch, you can add cucumbers.  A little ranch makes it even more yummy. For breakfast, my kids like Chobani yogurt with Go Lean Crunch (or any granola), bananas and a small amount of honey.

Greenwich, CT

Escarole and Beans pronounced “Sgotall and Beans”

(My Gern’s Recipe)


Ok, the first thing to do is Thank the Lord for the nourishment and healing of the food. Put on some good music then….Cover the bottom of a large pot with enough olive oil to sauté at least one whole bulb of sliced garlic or more if you really like garlic. In a separate large pot par boil at least 3 heads of escarole. Stop boiling when you see the leaves wilt and get a little clear, don’t boil all the way. When the garlic is light golden and the escarole is par boiled empty the water from the escarole and combine the escarole in the same pot with the garlic. Cover the contents with water about an inch above all contents. Salt and pepper to taste. Boil until escarole is tender. Add 2 or 3 cans of canolini beans (white kidney beans) after everything else has already cooked. The beans are already cooked so they just heat up when added to the hot soup.

Trumbull, CT

Yummy Paninis

  • Fresh basil chopped
  • Tomato thinly sliced
  • Zucchini shredded
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
  • Fontina cheese thinly sliced
  • Provolone cheese thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Country Italian bread thinly sliced

Mix olive oil, salt and pepper. Brush both sides of bread with oil. Add cheeses of choice. Add tomato, zucchini, basil. Place sandwich in press for about 5 minutes.

New Canaan, CT

Easiest Tuna Casserole

  • 1 package egg noodles
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Milk 
  • 2 cans Tuna fish
  • 2 cans peas, drained
  • 1 container sour cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano
  • 1 tsp. ground marjoram
  • 1tsp. ground sage
  • 1tsp. ground thyme
  • Black pepper & garlic powder to taste
  • Optional: chopped onion, chopped celery

Cook & drain egg noodles, toss in butter. Add tuna, peas, sour cream, Romano, and herbs. Stir in enough milk so the mixture is wet and slippery when stirred. Cook 350 degrees covered with tin foil for 30 – 45 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, lots of Romano, and Red Hot hot sauce if you like. Enjoy! 

Stamford, CT
Baked Catfish & Sauted Spinach

I love love love catfish. I bake it in the toaster over – given that I’m the only one that eats it I don’t have to use the big oven. I drizzle some olive oil over the catfish fillet just enough to cover the top portion but I don’t drown it in oil. Then I sprinkle some sea salt, black pepper and ground rosemary to taste. I bake it covered in aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I wash and dry fresh spinach and then saute it in olive oil and a clove of crushed garlic. I mix the end product with white bean salad (it’s just canned white beans that have been drained and dressed with olive oil and Italian vinegar) as you can see I also love love love olive oil. Really simple and done in under 30 minutes.

Byram, CT

Fantastic French Toast


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c fat free milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 sl of whole wheat bread
  • light syrup or fruit toppings

1.  prehead griddle or pan to 375 degrees. 2.  put eggs, milk and vanilla in a shallow bowl and beat with a fork til mixed. 3.  grease pan/griddle with non stick spray or light layer of oil. 4.  dip both sides into mixture adn cook on hot griddle/pan. 5.  cook one side til golden brown then flip.  It will take about 4 mins each side. 6.  Top off with light syrup or fruit toppings.

Dallas, Texas


Crazy French Fries 

  • 1 or 2 sweet potatoes
  • oil

1.  cut sweet potatoes into wedges or slices for fries(wedges will take less time). 2.  lighly coat with oil and sprinkle w/ salt, pepper or favor you like. 3.  bake at 425 degrees for 30 min.

Dallas, Texas

Lone Star Chili

  •  1 15oz can of beans (your choice pinto, chili, black or another)
  • 1 15 oz can of corn
  • 1 15 oz can of tomatoes (diced or small pieces work best)
  • use chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

1. pour all cans into a pot or pan. (don’t drain). 2. sprinkle in spices to taste. 3. stir to mix. 4. Heat thoroughly.



 Welsh Split Peas

  • 1 large ham bone or smoked pork hocks
  • 2 cups green split peas
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 quarts chicken stock or water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and drain peas. Place in a stockpot with ham or pork hocks and veg. Add stock and boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 1 hour or so until peas are soft and soup is thick. Remove soup from het. Trim the lean meat from bone. Add salt and pepper with lemon juice.

Isle of Anglesey, Wales

Energy Soup


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic

Add the following and cook for about 5 minutes:

  • 2 cups Kale – chopped
  • 2 cups Swiss Chard – chopped
  • 1 Leek – chopped

Add the following and bring to boil.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 potato cut into bite size pieces
  • Sea salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

Put soup in blender and liquefy.

Monroe, CT

LaLa’s Hearty Chicken Soup

  • ½ Chicken breast on the bone
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery root
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 potatoes
  • Bunch of broccoli
  • 1 can Chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt (or bullion cube or 1 cup of chicken stock)
  • 2 or 3 Bay leaves
  • Fresh Cilantro or parsely if you like
  • Mrs. Dash and other spices of your choice

Noodles can be added later

Get a large pot and fill more than a ½ and less than ¾ full of cold water, put the chicken in the pot with the scallions and 2 full celery sticks cut small. Heat on medium and boil with the cover on. Cut carrots into small pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of salt (or bullion cube if you wish or 1 cup of chicken stock). Add 2 chopped cloves of garlic and a few strands of Cilantro, add 2 or 3 bay leaves and potatoes. When the chicken is cooked, take it out and cut it up on a board and discard the bones. Put the chicken back in the pot. When the potatoes are done, add the noodles. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli. Take out the Cilantro strands and bay leaves.

New York City, NY

Emily’s Minestrone Soup


Cooker: Medium round or oval. Settings & Cook Times: LOW for 7 – 8 hours (Swiss chard and wine added at 5 hours), then HIGH for 30 minutes; the pasta is added during the last 30 minutes.

  • 3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, ends trimmed and cubed
  • One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained and half the beans mashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, mashed, with their juice
  • One 10-opunce package frozen baby lima beans
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 5 leaves Swiss chard, chopped or ½ small head Napa cabbage, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup dry red wine, such as Chianti, Merlot or Pinot Noir
  • 1/3 cup elbow macaroni or little shells
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the Slow Cooker and add the kidney beans, salt, bay leaf, pepper, parsley, tomatoes and their juice, limas and broth. Add water to come about 1 inch above the vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours. Add the Swiss chard and wine, cover and continue to cook on LOW for another 2 – 3 hours. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the pasta, cover and cook on HIGH until the pasta is just tender, about 30 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot with lots of Parmesan.

Greenwich, CT



Sunny Smoothie


  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped peaches
  • 1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup raspberry sorbet
  • ¼ cup orange juice

 Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add more juice for thinner consistency.

New Canaan, CT


Fresh fruit and Kefir


Fresh sliced fruit (sweeter ones do better with this dish) and mix with Nonfat Plain Kefir (yogurt drink) or fruit flavored low fat Kefir. 

Huntersville, North Carolina


Toast and non-fat cottage cheese


Sliced toast with light healthy butter/margarine (optional) and nonfat cottage cheese spread on it.

Huntersville, North Carolina

Fun Fruit Smoothie


  • 1c fresh or frozen fruit
  • 1/2 c low fat yogurt
  • 1Tbsp apple juice(undiluted concentrate)
  • nutty or fun cereal

 1. place fruit,yogurt and apple juice in blender and blend til smooth. 2. pour in glass and sprinkle cereal on top!




Mediterranean Living


  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olives
  • Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar
  • Pita or French bread
  • Mozzarella cheese fresh


Slice the tomatoes evenly place them on the plate. Put basil leaf on each piece of tomato. Pour the oil and vinegar on top. Place as many olives as you want on top. Slice cheese what ever size and put on top. Cut the pita bread in a triangular shape and put on the side.

San Diego, CA


Celebration on a Stick


  • Pineapple cut in small squares
  • Cheddar cheese in small squares
  • Ham thick in small squares

Stick them in a row on a tooth pick with a decoration on the toothpick for what ever occasion you’re celebrating.

San Diego, CA


Mediterranean De-Lite

Grate cucumbers and pour in a bowl of fat free yogurt. Add little bit of mint or lot if you wish. Eat with crackers or pita (you can also cut the pita into triangles and crisp the pieces in the oven by placing on a cookie tray and baking for 5 minutes).

San Diego, CA




Marcy’s Favorite Cheese Cake

(Serves 12 people)


  • 1 ¾ cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter melted

Thoroughly mix ingredients for crust. Press on sides and bottom of a 9” spring form pan. Sides should be about 1 ¾” high.


  • 3 well-beaten eggs
  • 2 8-ounce cream cheese bars, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ tsp. Almond extract
  • 3 cups sour cream (to be added last)

Beat all ingredients, then add 3 cups of sour cream. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour on the middle rack. Chill for 24 hours.

Seattle, WA


Apple Custards


  • 4 Granny apples cored (leave skin on)
  • Sugar
  • Make custard from ready-made powder packet by just adding milk or water according to instructions
  • Cinnamon

Put whole apples in an oven dish and pierce with a fork to put some holes into the apples. Bake at 350 degrees until done – about 20 minutes or when the skin is a little wrinkly. Take out of the oven and add sugar on top. Stick back into the oven and let the sugar brown. When done, place the 4 apples on a pretty dish and pour the custard on top. Add cinnamon if you wish. The best dessert!

San Diego, CA


Dirt Cake

  • Chocolate pudding, cold
  • Oreo cookies, crushed
  • Gummy worms

In a tall glass, put Oreos on the bottom layer, then pudding, then Oreos, then pudding, then Oreos on the very top with Gummy worms squirming out of the edge of the glass. You can add some green candy bits, too, for the ick factor. Kids LOVE it!

Fort Meyers, FL


Ocean Friends

  • Blue jello
  • Swedish fishies or any Gummy fishies
  • Whipped cream

In a tall glass, put blue jello, then Swedish fish, blue jello, whipped cream, more blue jello, more Gummy fish, blue jello and more whipped cream like waves. Yum!

Fort Meyers, FL


No-Bake Oatmeal Drops


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats

In a large saucepan over medium-to-high heat, combine sugar, cocoa, salt, butter and milk; stir until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in oatmeal. Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Cookies will set as they cool.

New Canaan, CT


Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cut in half
    1/4 cup oil
    1 stick butter, melted
    8 tablespoons light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup granola
    1 pint vanilla ice cream
    1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce, heated

Heat your grill to medium. Place apples in a medium bowl and toss with the oil. Place the apples on the grill, cut-side down and grill until nicely browned. Flip the apples over and continue to grill until nicely browned on skin side. Remove from the grill and allow to cool briefly.  Once they are cool enough to handle, core and cut the apples into wedges. Place the apple wedges into a bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 4 tablespoons light brown sugar and 1/2 stick melted butter. In another bowl, toss together the remaining melted butter, cinnamon, light brown sugar and the granola.  Place 1 large scoop of ice cream into 4 bowls and top with the apple mixture. Sprinkle the granola mixture over the top of the apple and drizzle with the caramel sauce.

Omaha, Nebraska

Frozen Fruit Cups

  •  3 bananas
  • 24 oz fat free strawberry yogurt
  • 10 oz frozen strawberries (thawed w. the juice)
  • 8 oz canned crushed pineapple (w the juice)

 1.  line an 18 muffin tin cup with paper baking cups. 2.  Dice or mash bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. 3.  stir in the remaining items. 4. spoon  into muffin tins and freeze at least 2 hours or until firm.  5. Remove frozen cups and store in a plastic bag in freezer. 6.  Before serving, remove the paper cups and let stand for 10 minutes.

Dallas, Texas



Suggestions from Mahnoush, San Diego, CA:

Almond peanut better with celery or slice of apple

Wheat cracker with cream cheese or feta cheese

All berries

Slice of turkey breast for lunch with wheat bread.

Salmon with vegetables

Sweet potato or baked potato or black beans

Tuna fish (in water) with chopped celery and pickle

Oatmeal with apples, blueberries and walnuts

Egg white omelet with vegetables and a tablespoon of salsa

Whole wheat toast with peanut butter

Raw veggies with hummus (I like the individual packs of hummus for my kids’ lunchboxes)

Celery sticks loaded with peanut butter and topped with a few raisins

Any baked or grilled chicken or fish with asparagus and brown rice

All vegetable soups