Wish Upon A Dish: 2015

December 22, 2015

Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Carrots and Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette ♥ Grab a Book & Cook - Recipe ReDux Challenge December 2015

While I love the month of December because of Christmas, I am a little bit tired of the word "last".
Last chance to buy.......last chance to save......last chance to get......last chance to own....last chance to ship.
While we all know that most of all that is far from the truth, in two weeks there will be a whole slew of "new" opportunities.

For me, December is all about Christmas. My gift list shopping is finished in October and before Thanksgiving, my Christmas theme for the year has been picked, the cheesecake flavor is in the bag and my annual contribution to the "last" family meal of the year is voted on and approved. 

This year, I did not wait till January to start the "new me". I decided to start next year, this year. I started a diet, i have an aggressive exercise program, I cleaned the basement and am giving away all those items I thought I couldn't live without but never even took it out of the box it came in.  It was all about decluttering my life so I could be more efficient, more productive and more focused....

Why? This year I turned 60.

When the Recipe ReDux challenge for December was revealed, I was happy for the simplification. Seems I wasn't the only one that needed one less demand on what can be the most demanding time of year.

Grab a Book & Cook

It is a repeat of last year's theme due to popular demand: It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect – The Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months! To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 54 or 154.

I immediately grabbed my newest favorite America's Test Kitchen cookbook....Cooking For Two 2011.
On page 154 was this recipe for a Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with a side of Carrots in a Mustard- Honey Vinaigrette.

Perfectly suitable. Perfectly easy. Perfectly delicious.  

My diet does not allow for leftover lunches and while The Nudge is still carrying a lunch bag to work, I was throwing my share into the garbage. Certainly not a very productive, decluttered and simplified way to live. Enter my collection of Cooking for Two cookbooks ordered, yes you got it, 3-4 years ago with spines never cracked.

Why not use it before? Each recipe was geared for two servings. With lunches daily, I needed recipes for four servings. Now I am now eating half the usual printed serving so my other half is hubby's lunch. It's a win-win for all.

I was concerned that the spice rub would be off-putting to The Nudge but he took one bite and in three minutes he was done eating. I did use a spice mill instead of a rolling pin to crack the seeds, which would tame some of the more potent spices.

The original recipe called for grilling the pork and microwaving the carrots but I firmly believe that roasting vegetables is the only way to go, so I made a few adjustments.

I took out my skillet and made this a one pot wonder. I roasted the carrots first, removed them to a bowl, added the pork to brown, roast and then rest before slicing and serving.

Soon as I publish this post, I am checking to see if there is a 2014 version of this series.
I promise not to wait 4 years to crack the spine.

Let's get cooking....

Spice-Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Carrots and Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cooking For Two 2011

Carrots and Vinaigrette
* 2 cups baby carrots
* salt and pepper
* 1 small shallot
* 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 1 teaspoons red wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 large egg white, whipped till foamy
* 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
* 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
* 2 teaspoons cornmeal
* 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 3/4teaspoon Demerara or turbinado sugar
* 1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed, brined

Preheat oven to 425°.
1. Place the carrots in an oven-proof skillet. Sprinkle olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Toss to coat.
2. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
3.While the carrots are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette and the spice mixture. 
4. Place the seeds and peppercorns in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin or mallet, crush the mixture. Place the remaining spices (excluding cornstarch & egg white) in an oval plate large enough to roll the meat in and add the remaining ingredients, stir.
5. In two separate platters, add the cornstarch to one and the beaten egg white to the other.
6. When the carrots are done, remove them from the skillet to a bowl .Add the vinaigrette to the carrots and stir.
7. Being careful not to touch the handle, place the skillet on a burner set at medium heat.
8. Roll the pork into the cornstarch, patting the excess off. Coat the pork in the egg white and then into the spice mixture, coating as evenly as possible.
9. Add a teaspoon more oil to the skillet and brown the pork on all four sides,about 23 minutes on each side.
10. Place the skillet in the oven and roast the pork until the internal temperature is 140° to 145°.
11. Remove the skillet to the stove top and cover with foil to let it rest for 10 minutes.
12. Slice the pork and add the carrots around the platter. Spoon any extra vinaigrette over the pork and serve.   


November 22, 2015

7 Grain Bread ♥ Quick Breads - Recipe ReDux Challenge November 2015

A few months back I bought 7 of the top best healthy cereals to pick the one I know I would eat daily and not tire with. It all came down to lowest calories, carbs and best taste.

Now I have 6 boxes of cereal I need to get creative with and make muffins or breads with.
I started with a Kashi 7-grain nugget cereal.

The Recipe ReDux challenge for November was quick breads. I have done many different banana breads and a Lemon Pear Breakfast Bread that needs no tweaking, but not any made with grains.
While many would not consider a yeast bread "quick", now that instant yeast is widely available, this is truly a quick bread requiring minimal to no rise before it hits the oven.
I have been known to make the dough the night before and bake it off when it's more convenient.

Also, the yeast helps to make what could be a very dense bread, very light and airy.

I measured out 1 cup of the Kashi 7-Grain Nuggets and added that to 1 cup of water. Into the microwave, on high, for 2 minutes. The hot water soaks into the nuggets and starts to soften them. Soon as it cools to 110F, it gets added to a basic whole wheat bread recipe I have used for years.

Kashi 7-Grain Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 1 loaf (16 slices) or 16 small dinner rolls
* 2 cups of flour (all-purpose or bread flour) + extra for the board
* 1 cups white whole wheat four
* 1/4 cup cornmeal
* 2 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup agave nectar
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 cup buttermilk
* heated Kashi mixture at 105-110F

Using the dough hook, measure all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
The heat of the nuked Kashi will bloom the yeast.

After 5 minutes if the dough seems too moist add AP flour 1 tablespoon at a time till the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.

Knead for 10 minutes total and in an oiled bowl, scrape the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise as the oven heats or overnight in the fridge.

When ready to bake, deflate the dough and using your fingers, flatten the dough to about a 12x9in rectangle. Roll up and pinch the seam shut. Place seam side down into a loaf pan, tucking the sides in to fit the pan.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Loaf is done when top is golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap it with a fork. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then remove loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.

Review: The Nudge couldn't stop buttering. He was extremely surprised a 7-Grain bread could taste good, be so tender and moist. I will be making this bread many times, probably tweaking it here and there.



November 15, 2015

Healthy Coconut Lime Cheesecake ♥ siggi's #Sponsored Healthy Holidays Recipe Challenge

This Recipe DeDux final contest of 2015 could not have come at a better time. Sorry. I really meant a better time for me because my new recent diet has been such a success. My success? Create dishes that were lean on calories but high on nutrition and taste. That included desserts, too.

"I received free samples of siggi's yogurt mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by siggi's yogurt and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."

In my supermarket, there are so many different yogurts, it takes up one full back wall in the dairy section. Not kidding. I have seen people stare aimlessly, with a frown on their brow, trying to figure out where to start.

That is why I love siggi's strained low fat yogurt. As simple as a yogurt can get with no gimmicks, so much less sugar, all natural ingredients and so different in concept, it stands out on it's own.

An Icelandic-style thick yogurt called skyr (skeer) is a strained, low sugar yogurt that has been around for 1000 years.
First conceived in the small New York City kitchen in 2004, of a recently transplanted Icelandic Siggi Hilmarsson, who missed the style of yogurt he grew up eating. So what does one do? Well, do what Siggi did. He made his own, quit his job and started selling it at farmer's markets.

Eleven years later, siggi's can be found all over the US. Thicker than a Greek-style yogurt, siggi's has less sugar than any other yogurt found on that wall.
Loving the taste and texture of this product, the first dish that popped into my mind was cheesecake. One that has a quarter of the calories in a traditional version but with the same crust, flavor and pucker.
I took my go-to recipe of 40 years, slashed the calories without sacrificing any of that oh-so-wonderful stick-to-the-roof of your mouth texture that has defined exceptional cheesecakes for years. I make so many cheesecakes that during the holidays, you know those cookie tins, usually filled with holiday cookies? I bake cheesecakes in those tins, and pass them out to family, neighbors and co-workers.

Guess what flavor everyone is getting this year?
I choose siggi's coconut yogurt and combined that with refreshing lime juice and zest. A virtual Caribbean fiesta in your mouth!

With only a few simple substitutions for the crust, like replacing the butter with coconut oil and the sugar with an all natural coconut nectar, the cheesecake filling itself was completely done in a blender making prep time under 30 minutes.

While I baked mine in a 9" spring form pan, an 8" pan does produce a higher slice. Either way, 1 slice will satisfy any cheesecake aficionado and make new ones of people who thought cheesecake was completely out of reach.
You can hug me now.

Let's get cooking......

Healthy Coconut-Lime Cheesecake
makes 12 servings

* 8 tablespoons coconut nectar, divided (7+1)
* 15 Maria cookies (found in the Latin section)
* 2 tablespoons coconut oil
* 3 containers of siggi's coconut yogurt
* 1 cup ricotta (part-skim or whole milk)
* 2 large eggs
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup coconut milk
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 1 tablespoon lime zest
* 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
* 1/3 teaspoon Kosher salt

Grind Maria cookies in a processor and add 1 tablespoon nectar and 2 tablespoons coconut oil while processor is running.
Remove to a spring form pan and press evenly on the bottom and 1/2" up the side.

In a blender, add remaining 7 tablespoons of coconut nectar, yogurt, ricotta, eggs, flour, coconut milk, lime juice & zest, coconut extract and salt and blend until mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350­°.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes, remove to cool while the filling is made.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 45-50 minutes. Lightly shake the pan. The middle should move slightly. Shut off the heat, put a folded towel between the door and oven, and leave cake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove to a rack and allow to come to room temperature.
Place in the fridge 8 hours or overnight.

Serving: 1/12th cheesecake



October 20, 2015

Four Bean Turkey Chili ♥ better than Panera's

Yes, I am aware of the ongoing fight as to what constitutes "authentic chili" in America.
This is just as big as frying or baking your meatballs.
Texas uses chunks of meat and gags at the mention of beans, Tex Mex aficionados use black or red kidney beans, Cincinnati loves it sweetly spiced and poured over spaghetti, the North East uses  ground beef and serves it over dogs and burgers, Californians like it full of veggies and turkey, Chuck Wagon contests have them with only beans and spices and the rest of the population couldn't care less as long as it's chock full and spice-loaded.

I am from the latter. I love all chili's but this last batch I made went right to the head of the class.
Before I eat out, I find the nutrition content that by law, has to be posted somewhere, and choose the healthiest low-calorie option in the "I like" category.

Panera's has this 5 bean turkey chili at 280 calories that knocked my socks off. It also kicked my taste buds in the butt. This I could eat everyday as a starter, as a lunch, for dinner and even over pasta. Since I can't run to Panera's every time I have a craving and I know I can recreate it at half the price, I took out my Dutch oven and went to work.

Two things. First, I do not like edamame, or at least the ones I have tried to eat. They are just too crunchy for me to include a dish full of sexy, soft foods. They just don't scream COMFORT to me.
Second, they cost more than the whole of all the rest of the ingredients in this recipe.

Since I couldn't think of a respectable replacement this time, I simply left them out and added black beans to the mix.

Don't tell your football pals what's in it till after they ask you (and they will ask). Some frown down on poultry in their chili but even before I added the browned turkey tenders to the pot, it had so much flavor from the spices that I would even make this if I had no meat.

You will need:
A Dutch Oven or heavy bottomed stockpot
Ancho chili powder (McCormack glass bottles now carry specific chili powders - ancho, chipotle)
Regular chili powder (I like Simply Organic brand)
Cumin & Italian Seasoning
Kidney Beans
Cannellini Beans
Black Beans
Garbanzo Beans

I tried Bush's Chili Beans (in a light chili sauce) but regular beans will do fine. Bush's thinned the consistency (and the taste) of the sauce so I had to simmer an extra 30 minutes to evaporate the liquid and concentrate the flavor.

Let's get cooking......

Four Bean Turkey Chili
makes 10 (1 cup) servings at 166 calories per
Total cooking time: 2 hours

* 1 pound turkey tenders
* AP flour for dredging
* Adobo for seasoning
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* Pre-chopped container of onions, carrots & celery (or one each, chopped fine)
* 2 large cloves garlic, minced
* 1 small red & green pepper, chopped
* 1 (15oz) can Italian style stewed tomatoes in tomato sauce (pureed in blender)
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 1 tablespoon black pepper (yes, that is right)
* 1 tablespoon generic blend chili powder
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 2 tablespoon white wine or beer
* 1 carton vegetable or chicken stock
* Salt to taste (at the end)
* 1 can garbanzo (chickpea) beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 can black beans
* 1/2 can yellow corn

Heat the oil in Dutch oven.
1. Season tenders with adobo and dredge in flour.
2. When the oil is hot, saute the tenders until browned on all sides.
3. Remove to a platter.
3. Add the onion/carrot/celery mix and saute until they start to brown. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and the seasonings (ancho, chili, cumin, pepper and Italian) to the pot and saute for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add the tomato paste and stir, then the wine to deglaze the pan.
5. Add the pureed stewed tomatoes and 3 cups stock. Stir and bring back to a simmer.
6. Add the beans and corn and simmer, uncovered until the liquid thickens and coats the beans.
7. Taste for salt and add more seasoning if needed.
8. If serving immediately, save the remaining stock for reheating. The beans will soak up liquid as they sit.
9. Serve with lite sour cream and Tostito restaurant style chips.

Yes, this can be done in the crockpot but the consistency will be soupy. This is when you taste. If the chili is flavorful thicken with crushed chips or masa harina. If the chili tastes watery with no flavor, you must spoon into a stock pot and simmer, uncovered, until it thickens. At least 30 minutes.

Let me know if you like it or not.
At 166 calories a cup, this would be the perfect starter to tame your hunger until the main meal is served.

October 15, 2015

70 Calorie Hashbrowns ♥ Perfect Poached Egg Perch

Hash Browns.....oh, my

On a diet? You betcha!

If I had a choice between a piece of toast or a crispy potato raft to put my poached egg on top of, the raft would win hands down.

I bought a 5lb bag of russets to test a recipe for America's Test Kitchen which only required 2 pounds and needed to use up the remaining 3 pounds.
I did some research and found that 2 3/4 oz of shredded potatoes were only 70 calories, so I shredded three potatoes and using a large top from a dry roasted peanuts container, I halfway fried 5 potato pancakes and placed them in the freezer. When I want one, I heat up the toaster oven and as I would bread, toast them for 8 minutes, yes, from their frozen state.

Here's my thinking.....
I can buy a thin sliced bread with 45 calories per slice with a minute amount of nutritional value or eat one 4 1/2" potato pancake at 70 calories that is loaded with potassium, fiber, Vitamin C & B-6, magnesium and iron.

First I sprinkle Adobe on the shredded potatoes, weigh out 2.7oz, load up a 4" baking ring with the shreds, spray a non-stick frying pan with a butter flavored release agent and cook them for 4 minutes per side.
I can top them with eggs, with salsa and guacamole or with Feta and Tzatziki sauce. All excellent choices for breakfast or lunch.

Tonight I ate one with a Swiss Cheese Egg Beater Omelet. Dinner was very filling, tasty and only 190 calories.

October 13, 2015

Thai Green Curry Mussels ♥ No longer a forbidden diet food

I ever take nutrition values verbatim. Not when every calorie counts.
I put each recipe through CalorieCount.com, an About.com subsidiary.

1 pound of mussels is over 500 calories and the recipe calls for 4 pounds (4 servings) how can their per serving value be 290 calories? Do they weigh the mussels with or without the shell?
Why don't they just list them as mussel meat? I mean, no one eats those shells, right?

Let's compare:
3.5 oz (100 g) of mussel meats contain 95 calories, 14.4 g protein, 2.2 g fat, 88 mg. calcium, 3.4 mg. iron and 289 mg sodium.

I ate 24 mussels for dinner last night. Total mussel meat was 2oz.
Those 2oz = 52 calories. The sauce was 111 calories per 1/2 cup.

According to every mussel dish I researched on-line, my Thai Curry Mussel dish with steamed mussels in their shells, clocked in at 4.7 ounces per dozen with 229 calories.
My calculations had me at 163 calories and that's what I logged in for dinner.

While EatiningWell.com said my portion was 289 if I had eaten 1 pound of mussels. Actually 100 over what I did eat. It would have been nice to have those extra calories. Maybe a 1/2 cup of pudding for dessert?

I ate 24 mussels with 1/2 cup sauce so therefore, I consumed a mere 163 calories.
No wonder I wanted a slice of bread to sop up that sauce (but I resisted) and many would do that. The Nudge ate two dinner rolls.

Here's the recipe....

Thai Green Curry Mussels 
Servings: 4 (1 pound mussels in their shell)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce, or 1tablespoon aminos or 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil and/or cilantro for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until just starting to brown, about 1 minute.
  2. Add coconut milk, lime juice, curry paste, brown sugar and fish sauce (or salt); bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in mussels. Cover and cook just until the mussels have opened, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat (discard any unopened mussels). Stir in basil (and/or cilantro), if using. Serve with the sauce from the pan.

October 12, 2015

How to Avoid that Pesky Diet Plateau

Best diet tip ever!!
This one changed the way I was thinking and dieting.
Those of us who hit that plateau where, even fasting won't make that scale move again, will be happy to know why for weeks and sometimes months, no matter how much we don't cheat (but are tempted too) our weight goes nowhere.
If you all know this next bit of wisdom, shake your heads yes and with my permission, find something more relevant to read. For those of you who were unawares, continue on.........
When a person eats half or more of their normal intake of daily calories, our bodies know and go into "starvation mode". That means, they actually store food calories in our fat so that it can feed us when we need it.
Example: In a month or two, you will no longer loose weight.
You will try to eat even less food and your scale will not budge. This is where diets fail.
It's not you people. Well, it is but it is nothing you are doing wrong.

Here's the great tip. You need to trick your body into thinking you are no longer starving yourself.
Your body actually gets comfortable with the skin it's in.
Change your routine. If you were walking, try riding a bike. Do strength training (weights). Start yoga. Anything new. Eat all your dinner calories for breakfast and your breakfast for dinner.
Cut out dairy for a few weeks, same with red meats. Try new foods.

In a week you should start to see the scale move. Keep up the new routine for a few weeks, and then go back to your normal routine.

I have decided that when my time comes, I will eat 1000 calories during the week and then up it to 1500-1600 calories a day on the weekends for one month, then back to 1000 a day all week.
I will dance instead of walk. The next plateau will be yoga (I should be slim enough to stay with it).

As the weeks continue, I will let you know how things are going, and if any of this really works.
In the mean time, I am preparing weekly meal plans at 1000 calories a day, for anyone who wants to join me.

Tonight I am making Thai Curry Mussels right out of EatingWell magazine. They have both a red or green curry version. Tonight it's green curry.

Tomorrow I will post a picture and the recipe, along with review.


October 6, 2015

Personal Tips & Hints to Maintain a 1000 Calorie-a-Day Diet

(6oz Marinaded & Roasted Coho Salmon with 1/2 cup Tuscan Lentil Soup Couscous)

Yes, I am still on a 1000 calorie a day diet, and while eating my way through the northwest for three weeks (including a 12 day cruise) could have seriously done some damage to the 11 pounds I lost right before, I am happy to report only a small gain of 4 pounds.

Soon as I got home, I resumed logging each morsel of food I ate and one week later I am back to were I was pre-vacation and have lost an additional 2 pounds. Yay for me!!
If I followed the experts using a 1500 calorie-a-day diet, I would simply half my usual intake and be happy with losing about a pound a week.

While not for everyone, I choose extreme dieting and consuming just enough calories to keep me full, alert and healthy.

Why am I speed dieting? My goal is to loose 40 pounds before my next pulmonary doctor visit (2/2016).
I was told that medication has done all it can for me, the rest was up to loosing 2x my BMI.
I do not want to carry oxygen in ten years.

Along the way, I have discovered a few tips to keep myself on track, exhibiting no cravings (so no cheating) while eating favorite comfort meals and a glass of wine (or 2) on the weekend.
Not a novice to the top 50 healthiest foods, my diet required careful planning of each calorie that went into my mouth and I found I needed to add new ingredients and replace others to meet my low goal.

I am not a professional nutritionist or dietitian, nor am I an expert on proper nutrition as it applies to various diets. I know my body and what my daily needs are. I base my diet on trial and error, testing and tasting along with careful comparisons to the government recommendations for daily values.
So here goes...........

1. Always eat breakfast.
My choice are -
A: a low calorie/high fiber English muffin topped with PB2 and sugar free jam or/
B. Protein shake with no more than 200 calories (for days when I hit the door running)
C. Homemade breakfast muffins (so many great choices on the Internet) with no more than 20g of carbs each
D. 100 calorie Yoplait Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup Oats N Honey granola
E. Denver Stuffed Egg Crepe Tortilla (the tortilla is a crepe of scrambled eggs)

2. Add tons of fiber to each meal even if you have to hide it -
A: Puree white beans to thicken
B. whole wheat flour replaces AP flour everywhere
C. Eat a 2 cup bowl of fruit around 3-4:00 every day
D. Twice the amount (in ounces) of high-fiber vegetables to meat/seafood (print list here)

3. Eat a snack mid-afternoon and for dessert 
A. Small salad before dinner or 1 cup of vegetable soup
hint: take one can of healthy/light soups, mix with equal amount of low sodium stocks, measure into 3 portions and refrigerate
B. Salsa/hummus and thin tortilla chips
C. 100 calorie popcorn snack packs
D. 100 calorie yogurt cup
E. A big bowl of fruit
D. Stock up on pre-measured containers of sugar-free puddings, gelatin, fruit cocktail & apple sauces 

4. Always make a menu and a shopping list!!
hint: find a great app for logging in your meals (I adore LoseIt!) with a shopping list built in and a bar code scanner

5. Measure & weigh everything and LOG EVERYTHING
A. I bought a great (& accurate) travel scale on Amazon
hint: my doctor told me something I will never forget "If I fed you under the door, you would loose weight".
If you have problems sticking to a diet but are extremely serious about loosing weight, try a gradual cut in calories. The first week make your favorite foods but put half the norm on your plate and immediately package the remaining in a container that is labeled and put in the freezer to be eaten another day. 
You may be surprised to learn you can be perfectly happy on half of what you used to eat. The second week, quarter that. 
Start to emit bad foods weekly. If you ate bread every day, limit to two days. Same with pasta and dairy. Trust me, in a few weeks you won't miss them.

6. Treat yourself on a low calorie day
A. Have a 5oz glass of wine (white is best at 120), a 1 ounce shot of liquor & diet fizzy (spiced rum and diet coke at 75 calories) or a low carb/calorie beer (Peroni is only 120 calories per bottle)
B. A scoop of frozen yogurt or sorbet
C. 1 ounce of cheese with 1 teaspoon honey or dried plums, dates or figs or/
a bowl of fruit

7. Eat each day at a time, there is no rollovers of calories 

8. Weigh yourself first thing in the AM but after you use the potty

9. Packaged dry mixes (sides, dressings, soups, spices) as well as bottled sauces and condiments are OK as long as you read and choose based on the nutrition label
hint: nowadays, there are some excellent helpers to make it easier to stay the course instead of grabbing fast food options

10. Find your favorite low calorie granola/nutrition bar and keep one in your purse/car at all times. 

I am sure there will be more tips as my diet progresses, but you need to customize your diet to your needs. I was never a big eater to begin with and always homemade. Last time I was in a fast food place (Micky D's or Burger Queen types) was over 15 years ago. If I need to eat out, I go to Panera's or a pizza place. I always read the calories in each selection and pick the lowest in a favorite (soups and salads). I take the meat out of the bread and always sub healthier versions (sweet potato fries and dressings on the side).

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, I will answer emails sent to wishuponadish@gmail.com.

September 21, 2015

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Chicken & Peppers ♥ Fantastic Freezer Meals - Recipe Redux Challenge September 2015

It is no secret that most bloggers write and schedule posts for when they will be on vacation.
The Recipe ReDux monthly challenge for September falls on a day when I will be cruising into Vancouver. While extremely pertinent to what was going on in my kitchen when I wrote this post, the theme was all about making meals to freeze using vegetables or herbs grown in our garden or bought at a farmer's market, to be eaten down the line when one needs the help on a busy day.

Wow, that was a mouthful!!

The two dishes posted were actually using a batch of leftover Eggplant Parmesan that I made at the end of August from white eggplants picked that same day off my deck garden.
I hate to throw away good food and since I will be away for 3 weeks, it was necessary to clean out the fridge. Fresh foods needed to be prepped and made into meals eaten before vacation and any leftovers will be frozen for when we return and still want to extend that vacation feeling and not cook.

I have never used leftover Eggplant Parmesan because there usually isn't any. This time I made a big batch to use the abundance and with the leftovers I stuffed two chicken breasts and two large red peppers (also from my garden).

The Nudge raved about the chicken (which we ate right away) and told me I could sell that recipe....lol. He's such a sweet man.
I had to agree. This was the kind of dish that I would make a double batch of my eggplant Parmesan or this baked version just so I could have stuffing. I got to thinking......a heavily spiced baba ganoush & cheese mixture would also work and when I get back into the kitchen I am going test that out.

While the stuffed peppers require no recipe, the stuffed chicken was a one pot wonder which you should make soon.

Let's get cooking....

Eggplant Stuffed Chicken Breasts
makes 4 servings

* 2 (8oz) boneless chicken breasts
* 8oz portion Eggplant Parmesan
* 1 packet Knorr Red Pepper Pesto Sauce mix
* 1 cup chicken broth
* Olive oil

You will need:
metal/wood toothpicks or cotton kitchen twine
baking pan

1. Make a horizontal slice almost all the way through the chicken breasts. Open and pound each side to get an even surface. Repeat with the second breast.
2. Use half the eggplant to stuff each breast and secure with toothpicks or twine.
3. Spread the sauce mix into a baking pan and coat the chicken evenly on all sides, leaving the excess in the pan.
4. Add the broth to the pan and stir to mix. Place the chicken over the sauce and drizzle with olive oil.
5. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove the foil, place the pan on a rack set in the highest position and bake an additional 10 minutes.
A thermometer placed into the stuffing should read 150°.

Remove the string or toothpicks and allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve with the sauce that was made while the chicken cooked.
Pasta, rice or quinoa makes a good side to soak up the juices.



August 26, 2015

Millet & Quinoa Salad with Grapes, Almonds & Feta Cheese ♥ my 1000 calorie day diet

I promise to make this short.
When I turned 53 I quit smoking. At 58 I got COPD.
When I hit 60 this year, I was warned I would be in serious trouble if I did not do something about my weight, by the time I was 70.

This post is a benchmark for turning my health around. With my diabetes in control, I put myself on a strict diet. I mean a 1000 calorie a day diet.

The only thing that I knew would work and I could stick to, was a diet of protein shakes, fruits, grains and lean protein.
No alcohol, no sugars and no cheating.

Today is my first full week. I have lost 7 pounds, I am sleeping better, so I am more alert and I have more energy. One could call that wishful thinking and tell me it's all water but it's incentive that I am on the right path.

I thought I would share with you a grain salad that keeps in the fridge all week and it's oober healthy (and filling) so I can graze on it when plain fruits just won't do. I plan on making a different variation every week.

I started by cooking 1 cup millet and quinoa. That made 8 cups cooked. I used two cups for this recipe.

I served it with a grilled rockfish and right before serving, I added chopped cucumber, almonds, red peppers, green grapes and feta cheese.
A tablespoon of Marzetti's lemon vinaigrette and dinner was served. It was so refreshing, even The Nudge enjoyed it.

Let's get cooking.......

Quinoa & Millet Salad
makes 8 cups

* 1 cup millet
* 1 cup quinoa
* 4 cups water/vegetable broth combination
* salt & pepper

Green grapes, quartered
Minced red pepper
Honey roasted almonds
1" slice feta cheese, crumbled (not the already crumbled)
Lemon Vinaigrette
Baby lettuce mix


August 18, 2015

Watercress Honey-Mustard Marinaded Chicken Breasts

I have gotten myself into the very bad habit of printing out a recipe instead of bookmarking them.
Why? Because I can do it while sitting in bed reading on my iPad.

It has become a ritual, that each morning when I finally make an appearance at my desk, I pick up all the printed papers strewn across my rug directly under the wireless printer.
It's not such a bad thing, I get enjoyment twice. Once when I discover a recipe I really want to prepare, and a second time sorting and filing them into piles of "shopping lists" & "this weeks menu".

This recipe was printed almost a year ago, was filed away a year ago and was forgotten a year ago.
TODAY I finally took it's picture and moved that recipe to the published list so that everyone can get the same enjoyment.
Finding, cooking and finally eating.

I think it's time to revisit those files to discover what other gems ended up on my floor and not in my tummy.

Let's get cooking.....

Watercress Honey Mustard Chicken

Serves : 6
* 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
* 1 cup chopped watercress
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 6 thin boneless chicken breasts
* Salt & pepper to taste

1. Process all the ingredients except the chicken.
2. Pour over the chicken in a zip bag and store in the fridge for as long as it takes to get the grill hot.
3. Grill the chicken about 3 minutes per side.

Notes: Can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Watercress beats kale in nutrition hands down. Yes, that's totally true. Another Super Green to add to your list. Makes a great soup and a wonderful addition to a salad. Used in many fine dining establishments, it has found a place in this home.

August 3, 2015

Hawaiian Fried Rice ♥ THE dish worth making rice for

I get so excited when a dish I create gets rav reviews and it's even sweeter when the reviewer had the nerve to turn his nose up when he heard the ingredients.

He thinks I am not aware that he always asks what's in it befire he takes a mouthful.
Now I turn that around to "take a bite and see if you can guess".
HA!! Take that!!

The man went back for seconds and thirds. The beauty of this dish is the amount of substitutions that can be used but I have to insist that those subs be of the same food group.

Like, for instance, the Hawaiian chicken should be another Asian flavored chicken. The salty Spam, a ham steak.
Peas and carrots can come out of the freezer in a box.

The only rules are in the technique. There is an order to which the foods enter the pan and the time needed to let the pan do it's work.
I am not a snob to shortcuts as long as you do not mess with the 5 food senses.
You want salty, bitter, sweet, sour and umami in this dish or it will taste like leftovers thrown into a big skillet.

You my think this is such a dish but only one ingredient was in another meal and that was this chicken (which on it's own was excellent and the inspiration for this).
I made the rice a few days ahead so that it had time to dry out, but leftover Chinese take-out rice will also work. If you are Diabetic you should take the time to make converted rice, the best rice (besides Basmati) for diabetics.

If you have never eaten Spam, this is the perfect dish for your first time. It really tastes like a canned ham and there is no spice for the kids to crinkle their noses at.

Let's get cooking.....

Hawaiian Fried Rice
makes 6-8 servings

* 3/4 cup rice, cooked in 1 1/2 cups salted water, day old best
* 1 small container Spam, 1/4-inch dice (sub: ham steak)
* 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (rotisserie is fine but Teriyaki even better)
* 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
* 1 cup red onion, diced
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 can chopped water chestnuts (about 3/4 cup)
* 1/2 cup pineapple bits
* 1 cup scallions, green parts sliced
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 cup peas
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

* 1/3 cup shoya (good quality soy sauce)
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

* 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped (optional but not mandatory)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Drop a piece of Spam into the oil and when it starts to sizzle, carefully drop in the remaining Spam. Stir to coat in the vegetable oil and then let it sit, over medium heat until the meat crusts (about 5 minutes). Stir and repeat.
2. Add the onions and cook another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the carrots. Lower the heat and cook until the carrots wilt.
3. Remove the Spam mixture to a bowl, add a teaspoon of more oil and add the eggs to the pan, swirling to the edges. Cook until the bottom sets and flip the egg into a rough omelet. Cook another minute and remove to a dish. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces.
4. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, up the heat to high and add the rice, stirring to coat. When the rice starts to obtain color, add the water chestnuts, pineapple, peas, chopped chicken, green onions, eggs and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so the rice does not stick.
5. Add the pork mixture back to the skillet and stir to heat through.
6. Pour the sauce over the rice and stir to evenly coat the rice mixture.
7. Remove to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro or more chopped green onions (I used chives from my garden).

You could add diced red peppers if you have them and if I had a fresh jalapeno, I would have added that. A little spice would have been nice.

July 21, 2015

Zucchini Fritters ♥ Fresh From the Garden - Recipe ReDux Challenge July 2015

It is not easy to make a good zucchini fritter. I like them crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, with flavor and spice and ones that leave no oil on your fingers when you pick them up to dip.

When the Recipe ReDux challenge for this month was to cook with the bounty of summer produce, I immediately thought of fritters.

Since I actually grew zucchini that got large enough for enough fritters for two, that was what I made.
One of the the hardest things to do when using a vegetable loaded with water is to not use too much binder. I prefer not to taste crackers (or any filling for that matter).

I found this recipe years ago that I think is the perfect batter for fritters. I had no original source written on the index card but it has stood the test of time.

Zucchini Fritters
makes about 10-3" fritters

* 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or AP flour
* 1/4 cup cornmeal
* 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives or scallions
* 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 2 large eggs
* 3 small zucchini or 1 large (seeds removed)
* 1/4 cup canola oil

Grate zucchini and salt. Place in strainer for 30 minutes. Squeeze in a dry, clean kitchen towel to remove all excess moisture.
In large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients except canola oil and blend well. Let sit for 15 minutes. Should be as thick as a cake batter.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop batter into skillet.
Cook 4 minutes on each side and add to a sheet pan in a 200F oven while you make the rest.

Serve with sour cream, ranch dressing, applesauce and even salsa. Recently I discovered wasabi cream and use it on everything. It goes exceptionally well with foods that tend to be on the bland side.

July 12, 2015

Veal Meatballs with Tuna Aioli (Vitello Tonnato Pulpetta) ♥ Bumble Bee Seafoods "The Benefits of Seafood" #Sponsored Recipe Contest

I'm beginning to see a pattern in the two recipes I created for this Recipe ReDux and Bumble Bee Seafood's sponsored contest. Both are based on famous Italian dishes that I put my creative touches too.

Vitello Tonnato is made with leftover roasted sliced veal which lays under a flavorful aioli made with canned tuna.

Our challenge was to educate our readers about the benefits of adding more tuna to their diet.
I find that what my Mom made me growing up is foods that I still eat today and Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna in Water was the only tuna in our pantry.
I took this approach based on studies that today's kids need eye candy to entice them to eat a good-for-you food. 
What child wouldn't get a kick out of a large meatball with a sauce made from tuna in a can?

Adding a good sprinkle of grated cheese to the top and you have a sure thing.

"I received free samples from Bumble Bee Seafoods that are mentioned in this post. By posting this
recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Bumble Bee Seafoods and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

There are so many reasons for eating canned tuna and if you are not a child but expecting one.
Pregnant women need to consume an average of 3-4 servings of canned albacore tuna packed in water per week to get the maximum benefit for her child's optimum IQ by age 9.
Now, I didn't know that and gladly pass this important information to you.

Bumble Bee's Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water contains the highest level of Omega 3 fats in canned tuna due to the fact that oil and water don't mix.

Say what!?!?

Say with me here....Omega 3 oils remain in the tuna if it is packed in water. The tuna packed in oil mixes with the beneficial Omega 3 oils and when you drain the can, both the oil and the beneficial Omega 3's go with it into the sink. We can't have that. Omega 3's are instrumental in keeping arteries unclogged and hearts working at peak performance. Another reason to ♥ canned tuna.
Free from Saturated Fat, canned tuna is also an excellent source of protein, Vitamins B6 and B10, Selenium and Niacin.

Good for everyone!!

Let's get cooking.....

Veal Meatball with Tuna Aioli
makes 4 (7oz) meatballs

* 1 pound ground veal
* 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
* 1 large egg, beaten
* 1 medium shallot, minced
* 1 large clove garlic,minced
* Fresh grating of nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
* salt & pepper

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Divide into quarters and form meatballs. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Tuna Aioli (Tonnato)
* 1 can Bumble Bee Albacore in Water
* 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 anchovies, mashed
* 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
* 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* salt & pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients into a processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

To serve: Spoon aioli over meatball, sprinkle grated cheese and parsley over sauce and serve.
Can be eaten room temperature.

Leftover sliced meatballs make excellent sliders, spoon cold aioli over veal and pack into your favorite slider bun.



July 8, 2015

Tuscan Tuna Salad ♥ Bumble Bee Seafoods "The Benefits of Seafood" #Sponsored Recipe Contest

How do I describe this salad except to say, it is my Tuscan version of a Salad Nicoise but with a dressing you will make many times over. If you have ever heard of a Bagna Cauda, the dressing for this salad was my inspiration of a tamed down version.

While this dressing would be excellent as a marinade for grilled vegetables or spooned over roasted meats, I created it to work best when used in this Tuscan salad with Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore in Water. The addition of green and white beans, potatoes, roasted red peppers and shallots makes this a main supper salad or right at home on a buffet.

I can not tell you how versatile this salad is. Add some to spaghetti for pasta night and think how great if you added Pecorino cheese and spooned it into hollowed out tomatoes? Now that's a showstopper!!
Wait, fill lettuce cups for some crispy crunch, and pack it for lunch.

Growing up, Bumble Bee tuna was the only tuna my Mom would use and there was always a tuna salad in the fridge. A degreed Health Educator, she was all about whole foods when they were simply known as health foods.

She would have loved this salad!

“I received free samples from Bumble Bee Seafoods that are mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Bumble Bee Seafoods and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

There are so many reasons for eating canned tuna and if you are a new mom or a mom-to-be, you move right to the head of the class.
Pregnant women need to consume an average of 3-4 servings of canned albacore tuna packed in water per week to get the maximum benefit for her child's optimum IQ by age 9.
Now, I didn't know that and now, you do too.

Bumble Bee's Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore in Water contains the highest level of Omega 3 fats in canned tuna because oil and water don't mix, therefore the Omega 3 oil stays in the tuna instead of blending into the oil it would be packed in (which gets discarded down the drain). Omega 3 is instrumental in keeping arteries unclogged and hearts working at peak performance.
Free from Saturated Fat, canned tuna is an excellent source of protein, Vitamins B6 and B10, Selenium and Niacin.

If you can't remember all the specifics, just remember that canned tuna is a Good Thing and to me, Bumble Bee Albacore the best tasting. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!! It's a win-win.

Trust me on this....
I can guarantee that kids and adults on the teeter totter of tuna love/hate will adore this salad.
If you insist on mayo in your tuna salad, a tablespoon can easily be added to the dressing.

Let's get cooking...... 

Tuscan Tuna Salad
makes 6 servings

* 1 can Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore in Water, drained
* 1 small shallot, minced
* 1 cup green beans, cut into 1" pieces
* 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
* 2 cups baby Yukon potatoes, cut into 1" wedges
* 1 cup canned small white beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

makes 1 1/2 cups

* 1 cup canned sweet banana peppers, tops cut off
* 1 cup cocktail onions
* 1 large clove garlic or two medium, whole
* 4 anchovies or 3 teaspoons anchovy paste
* 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
* juice of half a lemon
* 1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
* 1 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
* Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a 5 quart stockpot with a steamer insert, add 1" of water. Add the potatoes and green beans to the steamer, cover and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a large serving bowl.
2. Drain the water in the stockpot and combine the peppers, onions, garlic, anchovies and thyme. Add just enough of the oil to cover. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to the touch. Add the lemon juice and season with salt & pepper.
3. Transfer to a blender or processor and purée. Taste for additional seasonings.
4. To the serving bowl, add the drained tuna, the red pepper, garlic, shallot, beans, potatoes and parsley.
5. Spoon enough dressing to coat the ingredients and reserve the remainder (the potatoes will soak up the dressing). Add additional dressing right before serving so that the ingredients flow.

July 1, 2015

Summer Israeli Couscous Salad

Before the weather turned to mush and my harvest is sparse at best, I anticipated baskets of zucchini.
I started collecting unique zucchini recipes.

While I wait for the windfall to begin, I still wanted to make summer sides and since my chard is growing gangbusters, I created this Israeli Couscous summer side.

The best part of this recipe is with a few exchanges from summer to fall/winter vegetables it can be eaten year 'round.
For now I love the colors. it just looks light, flavorful and extremely colorful.
I made this for a spatchcocked grilled chicken whose skin hid an orange butter, yum!

Bring this to your July 4th picnic, I am. It makes a ton. While I liked it simple, if I had zucchini's I would have chopped one into this bowl.

Israeli Couscous Salad
makes 6-8 servings

* 1 cup dried plain Israeli Couscous, cooked
* 1 bunch green chard or NOT baby spinach, stems diced and leaves sliced into 2" pieces
* 1 cup corn kernels
* 1 tomato, seeded and diced
* 1/2 carrot, grated
* 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon sea salt & olive oil butter
* 2 teaspoons minced chives
* 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
* 1/2 small orange, juiced
* 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
* 1 teaspoon Sazón seasoning (I use it in everything)
* 1 tablespoon garlic aioli or 1 teaspoon garlic paste (tube)

1. In a saucepan, fill with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the couscous and cook for 8-10 minutes. Strain and rinse under cool water. Remove to a large bowl. All a drizzle of olive oil, the corn, tomato and vinegar.
2. In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the chard stems until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cover. Lower the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until the just wilt. Strain and chop. Add to the couscous.
3. Add the butter to the saucepan and cook the carrots, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, the agave, Sazon and garlic paste. Add this to the couscous.
4. Taste for seasoning and add the chives. Serve at room temperature.

June 29, 2015

Frittata with Zucchini

I had such high hopes for this years deck garden. I made six square crates into potting vessels along with 4 pots (of various shapes and sizes) and two milk crates for my tomato plants and within one month they were healthy, bug free, green lush plants loaded with fruit flowers and tendrills reaching for the sky.

Than the rains came and did not stop. The leaves turned yellow without the sun as I watched all my work, money and produce die a watery death.

After almost two full month's, I was able to rescue three zucchini blossoms, two baby zucchini's about 2" in size with the ends just beginning to rot and green tomatoes that never got any bigger than the size of a cherry.

Not willing to write this year off, I took what zucchini gifts I did get and made a frittata in my small cast iron skillet.

Italian frittata's are different than American versions. You know how they always taut the phrase "Everything is bigger in Texas", well that says it all for everything American.

A frittata is an Italian way to use up leftover ingredients and to make a quick meal or snack. Unlike an American omelet, they're not usually eaten at breakfast. In fact, they are probably eaten more often as a snack or as a portable sandwich for a road trip or train ride.
A favorite across Italy is one made from zucchini along with the blossoms.

When The Nudge travels, it's nice for me to make a simple dinner in a skillet and while I watch the US Open, I will eat this very special frittata and tuck away half on a roll, in the fridge, for a weary traveler. Grown and made with love from our first teenie weenie, but tasty, harvest.

Let's get cooking....

Frittata with Zucchini
 Makes 1 (8") frittata

* 2 tablespoon EVOO
* 1 shallot,chopped
* 1 (5") zucchini, sliced thin
* 3 zucchini blossoms (optional), bottoms sliced off and pestle removed. Tear in half.
* 4 eggs
* 1 tablespoon water or milk
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
* salt & pepper
* 1 tablespoon butter or sub

1. Heat a heavy oven-safe skillet. Add the olive oil and shallot and saute until soft.
2. Add the zucchini slices and saute until they soften and become translucent.
3. Beat the eggs with the water and gently pour the mixture over the zucchini, which should be evenly distributed. Add the blossoms around the pan. Press gently into the egg and cover the skillet with a lid.
4. Lower the heat and cook until the mixture stops moving when you shake the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and melt the butter around the edges so it travels under the frittata.
5. Turn the broiler on to HI. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top of the frittata and place the skillet under the broiler.
6. Remove the skillet when the top starts to bubble and the cheese is melted.
7. Season with pepper, remove the frittata to a cutting board and serve with rolls or bread.