Spring Orzo Salad

1 bunch of organic asparagus (I like fat ones)
10 oz fresh peas
2 C whole wheat orzo
1-2 t dried sumac (can use grated lemon peel as an alternative)
Olive oil
Feta cheese

Cook orzo in water per directions; drain and cool. Clean asparagus and snap off any tough ends. Make there is still water on the asparagus and wrap lightly with paper towel. Place on a dish and pop it into the microwave; cook for a minute or so until just done. When cool, cut into smaller pieces. Wash peas; place in a bowl with plastic wrap and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain peas and let cool. Take around 12 mint leaves and chiffonade them. Place first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add some olive oil and crumbled feta cheese – stir and serve.

By: K2

Breakfast Casserole #2 (Kale or Chard)

9 eggs, 5 whole and 4 egg whites only
Package (16 oz) of frozen hash brown potatoes (plain –no fat or salt added)
5 or so cups of finely chopped lacinato (dinosaur) kale (chard is another good option)
1 C light grated cheese
1/2 - 1/3 C grated pecorino romano cheese
Cooked bacon
Other spices, herbs

Turn on oven to 350 degrees. Defrost hash browns in microwave. Spray casserole dish with olive oil. Place potatoes in dish, spray top with a little olive oil and place in oven. Wash and spin dry the kale; chop finely. Whisk eggs in a bowl (I add a little coconut or almond milk). Add pepper and any other spices or herbs of choice, and/or bacon. Take potatoes out of oven and turn up heat to 375. Place kale on top of potatoes. Follow with eggs and the shredded cheese. Top with pecorino cheese. Bake for about half an hour – until set and cheese is turning brown.

By: K2

Chard Quesadilla with Goat Cheese

2 bunches chard
Olive oil
Goat cheese (let sit out a bit to warm up)
Shredded cheese of choice (I use a light Mexican blend)
24  corn tortillas
Tomatillo salsa
Light sour cream

Wash chard well and give it a quick spin. Chop the stems and keep them separate. Chop the leaves. Heat oil in a skillet. Cook stems first until they start to soften. Add the leaves in batches and cook down until soft. Take off heat. Add cumin to goat cheese and mix well. Place tortillas on baking sheets. Spread goat cheese on 12 tortillas; add chard and a little shredded cheese. Place the other 12 tortillas on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven. Keep flipping the quesadilla and swap baking sheets once in a while from bottom and top racks. Cook until they are crisp. Cut into quarters. Serve with salsa and light sour cream.

By: K2

Flatbread with Pea Pesto and Asparagus

Fresh peas (a cup or two)
Sliced almonds (a small handful)
Mint (about 7-10 leaves, chopped)
Olive oil (a few tablespoons)
Salt (to taste)
6 pita or other kind of flatbread (I like Joseph's oat bran pitas)
Olive oil spray
Kalamata olives, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, steamed and chopped
Micro greens (I used broccoli)

Place peas, almonds, mint, olive oil and some salt into food processor. Blend until a paste forms. Spray pita with olive oil spray. Bake in 350 degree oven until crisp (I flipped then a few times as they baked). Remove from oven. Let cool a little. Spread the pea pesto on the pita. Add the asparagus, olives and last the micro greens. Yum.

By: K2

Pasta with Parsley Pesto, Lettuce and Potatoes

2 T chopped walnuts, toasted
2-3 T olive oil
1 big bunch parsley, roughly chopped
Finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 C grated gruyere cheese
1/4 C pitted green olives, sliced
Fingerling potatoes, boiled and sliced when cool
Flat pasta noodles (e.g., pappardelle)
4 C roughly chopped radicchio

Boil water for pasta; cook according to directions. Puree the olive oil, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Add the gruyere, olives and toasted walnuts; pulse until coarsely chopped, about 1 minute. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl. Add the potatoes. Add the drained pasta and the lettuce and mix. If needed add pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce.

By: Food Network with modifications

Olive & Artichoke Pâté

Artichoke hearts, about ½ of a water-packed jar
¼ to ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
A few T lemon juice
1 15 ounce can chickpeas (drained)
1-2 T olive oil

In a food processor blend the artichoke hearts, olives, lemon juice, and thyme until it forms a coarse paste. Add chickpeas and olive oil - continue to blend. Don’t over process. Serve on bread toasts or crackers.

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad

2% fat Greek yogurt
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Dijon mustard
Blue cheese, crumbled
Grapes, cut in half (I used red grapes)
Baby gem lettuce, torn into pieces

Whisk oil, apple cider vinegar, yogurt and Dijon in a bowl. Toast walnuts in a dry pan, let cool. Place greens and grapes in bowl and mix with dressing. Serve salad topped  walnuts and blue cheese.

By: Saveur with modifications

Faux Meat

Lentils, used TJ's ready-made (17.6 oz)
3 eggs, lightly stirred
Olive oil (1-2 T)
1 C (or so) rolled oats
½ C (or so) panko
Spices depending on the dish you'll use it in (e.g., cumin and chili powder for tacos)

Put all ingredients in a bowl and combine. Alter amounts of ingredients to make it thick but not too stiff a consistency. Dump out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mash down into a single layer - making sure to keep the depth consistent. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool and then crumble into the desired size.


Fish and Chips Salad

Baby potatoes
Frozen fish sticks (look for lower sodium/fat)
Lettuce, e.g., spring mix with herbs
0 fat Greek yogurt
Light canola oil mayo
Champagne vinegar
Pickle relish
Capers, chopped

Cook fish sticks according to package. Let cool and cut into smaller pieces. Boil potatoes, cool and slice. Sprinkle with malt vinegar plus a little salt (I use low sodium salt). Wash and spin lettuce. Make tartar sauce with the yogurt, a little light canola oil mayo, champagne vinegar, pickle relish and capers – mix together. To assemble on a plate: lettuce, potatoes, fish sticks and dollop the tartar sauce on top.

By: K2