Category Archives: Main Courses

Crock Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Total Time: 6-8 hours
Yield: 8

Crock Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham


  • 1 large organic onion, diced
  • 3 organic stalks of celery, diced
  • 5 organic cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 oz of organic carrots, shredded
  • 8 oz nitrate/nitrite free organic ham, diced
  • 1 qt. of organic chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 2 TBSP Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme


  1. Place all ingredients into a large crock pot.
  2. Stir lightly to combine.
  3. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.
  4. Use immersion blender to smooth out some of the chunks, if you like. I leave mine lumpy and just mix it a bit with a spoon.
  5. Garnish with a dollop of fresh organic plain yogurt, or some shredded cheese, if desired.


For Bulk Cooking, I quadruple this recipe using two large crock pots.  In EACH crock pot I add:

2 large onions, diced

6 organic stalks of celery, diced

10 organic cloves of garlic, minced

20 oz. organic carrot, shredded

16 oz. of nitrate/nitrite free ham, diced

2 qts. chicken broth

4 cups water

2 TBSP curry powder

4 TBSP Sugar in the Raw

2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp dried sage

2 tsp dried thyme

Cook as directed above.  Cool completely and divide each crock pot contents into two gallon-size freezer bags, yielding four bags in all.  Lay flat and freeze to stack horizontally.  Don’t forget to label your bags with date and contents.


Take frozen soup out of freezer and run under warm water long enough for the soup to release from the sides of the bag.  Cook in your crock pot on low setting until warmed through and steaming hot.

Fruited Whole Wheat Tabbouleh with Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Fruited Whole Wheat Tabbouleh with Goat Cheese

I distinctly recall the very first time I tried tabbouleh. It was in Morocco.

Okay… it was in Epcot’s Morocco. It was way back when we had only two little ones to cart around Disney. We had stopped at one of the little sidewalk restaurants for a little respite from the sun and to have a little snack. At the time I had never even heard of the word tabbouleh. The entry on the menu board piqued my interest, and I just had to sample the salad with such an unusual name. As soon as that first spoonful crossed my lips, I was instantly grateful. The bright, flavorful mixture of herbs, grains, and citrus was intriguing. What a fresh new taste!

I have had many tabbouleh variations since then, and they have all been good. However, I recently decided to create a tabbouleh that even my kids would like. This is what I came up with.


  • 1 cup whole grain quick-cooking whole wheat bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 pound pineapple, diced
  • 8 oz strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded, peeled, and diced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 0z. mint, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/4 cup garlic rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 cup Goat Cheese


  1. Pour boiling water over bulgur and let sit at least one hour.

  1. In a large bowl or serving platter l, toss the chicken, pineapple, strawberries, cucumber, shallots, and mint together.

  1. In a separate container, whisk the vinegar, lime juice, teriyaki sauce, honey, and sugar together until mixed well.

  1. Pour over bulgur mixture and stir until evenly distributed.

  1. Garnish with goat cheese and strawberry slices if desired.

  1. There you have it. Simple. Fresh. Healthy. And the kids loved it!

Whole Wheat Carmela’s Chicken

     Carmela’s Chicken.  Sounds innocent enough, right?  That’s what was on the lunch special at Macaroni Grill one day after a quick dentist appointment with the kids.  I thought I’d try it.
    I wasn’t prepared to be whisked away into foodie nirvana on a Thursday at noon.  Whole Wheat Carmela’s Chicken is a  heavenly concoction of tender chicken, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and pasta  –  all perfectly doused in a Marsala cream sauce.  I wasn’t expecting such decadence.  I simply had to produce this in my own kitchen.  The biggest change I wanted to make was to substitute whole grain pasta for the processed variety found at Macaroni Grill.  Here is a cleaner eating take on the dish:
  • 3 large onions, cut into very thin slices
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped OR 1 oz dried mushrooms (reconstituted according to package directions, chopped)
  • 10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 16 ounces raw chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Sugar in the Raw
  • 8 oz Marsala cooking wine
  • 16 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 16 ounces whole wheat  pasta (prepared according to package directions)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1. First, caramelize the onions.  Place the onions in a large saute pan and cook over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The onions will become a rich, deep brown.  You may splash a little water in from time to time to prevent any scorching.  This is also a sign that you might want to turn the heat down a bit. Low and slow. That is the key to perfectly caramelized onions.
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2.  Remove the onions to a separate bowl.  Add the butter and the olive oil to the pan and swirl until all of the butter is melted.  Add the mushrooms and saute over medium heat for about five minutes.  Add the garlic and saute two minutes more.
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3. Add the chicken, salt, pepper, and sugar to the hot pan and saute for about five minutes, or until all of the outer pink has disappeared.
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4. Add the wine and bring to a low simmer.  Allow chicken to simmer in the wine for three minutes.
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5. Add the cream.
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6. Add the onions back to the sauce pot. Bring mixture to a low simmer.
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6.  While keeping the sauce at a very low simmer, prepare the pasta in a large, separate pot according to package directions.
whole wheat spaghetti
7.  Drain the pasta.  Dish up the pasta into individual serving bowls.  Ladle the cream sauce on top of each serving.  Garnish with Parmesan Cheese, Basil, and Sun-dried tomatoes, if desired.
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8.  Sit down and be prepared to enjoy some of the most heavenly pasta on the planet. You’ll see!
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Even Better Zuppa Toscana Recipe

If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden and sampled their Zuppa Toscana, you’ll know why it is a favorite in our family. So of course I had to go about creating a recipe of my own. The results? A unanimous consensus that my concoction is even better than the edition that is served by the popular chain restaurant. That’s really saying something! And fortunately it is as easy to make as it is tasty. Continue reading Even Better Zuppa Toscana Recipe