Hide the Salmon

I found this recipe on the The Lean Green Bean.  It is one of those recipes that you immediately know was put there, just for you.  No ego here….

It has so much of what I like, salmon, spinach, eggs, tomato and feta cheese.  How could I not think, it was just for me?  It is perfect and actually, after making some changes that meet my family’s needs, it was perfect.  If you have a moment go over there and see the original recipe.  I do want to make it that way but I took a shorter route which is what I mean by my family’s needs.

I presented my husband with the plate which is a colorful presentation and he happily was eating.  I wondered out loud, if I should have put the salmon on the bottom or the spinach.  His head popped up and he said, “Did you say salmon?  Is there salmon in this?”  He prodded the vegetables and sure enough, he found the salmon.  He asked, “Why did you hide the salmon?”

Hide the Salmon  (adapted)


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 piece of salmon, cooked

3 – 4 eggs

4 slices tomato

1/2 cup Feta cheese

Heat  the olive oil in a large skillet over medium hear. Saute the pepper and onion  for  8 minutes.  Add the spinach (Defrosted) and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Push the vegetables aside and drop the eggs in the free side of the pan and let them cook to your liking.  I turned ours over but either way is going to be delicious.

I, also put the cooked salmon slice in the pan to heat up.  Yes, I used a very  large skillet.

Now is the creative part but I am not creative so do as follows:

I used a square soup bowl which may work better than a round one.  These are the layers.

Salmon on the bottom

Spinach, onions and bell pepper on top of salmon

Cooked eggs on top of spinach layer

Sliced tomatoes with feta on the very top.

This is a delicious combination.  My husband commented on the many flavors.

Thanks to the Lean Green Bean.

This is linked to Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Fat Tuesday         Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party    The Gathering Spot            All My Bloggy Friends    Trick or Treat Tuesdays

Creamy Sliced Potatoes

Recently, I got a mandolin, not a fancy one.  This is a  handheld one that works very fast and does have a protecting piece to use when you slice.  I love to use it because of the speed.  If I am slicing an English cucumber which is quite long, it take about thirty seconds.  Granted, I move quickly but it allows for that.  It has proven to be a time saver and a work saver.  It is also fun to use.  (as long as you don’t cut yourself)

The original recipe, I thought I was making, called for hash browns.  Chopping potatoes is not what I consider fun so I opted to make a slice potato dish.  Once, I deviated from that original recipe, I threw it away, and followed my instincts.  I firmly believe, it is hard, to ruin a potato dish.

Off, I went to play with my new toy.

Creamy Sliced Potatoes

4 potatoes, sliced thin

1 medium onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup organic vegetable broth

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese


Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add potatoes and onions and cook for 10 minutes, mixing every two or three minutes.

Add the soup and black pepper and cook for another minute or two until soup is hot.

In a bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese and cheddar.  Add to potato mixture and continue to mix until cheese has melted.

Make sure the liquid has cooked out.

This has a nice creamy consistency and good flavor.


Italian Cauliflower Bake

I came across a recipe for an Italian Zucchini Bake and planned to make it for dinner with a main course salad.  Off I went to the kitchen and pulled out all of the ingredients and set them, on the counter.  I, then went to get out the zucchini, but the cupboard was bare.  No zucchini.  What is a woman to do?  

Substitute, of course……  Now, what to substitute?  What is like zucchini?  Nothing came to mind.  I thought onions and I knew, I would love it but I would probably  be the only one.  I jumped to tomatoes and I do want to try it but it was too far from zucchini.  Then, I noted the fresh cauliflower just sitting there, crowding the shelf and I knew, this was it.  My Zucchini Bake became an Italian Cauliflower Bake and I even used pizza cheese to keep to the theme.

The recipe came from  Jam’s Corner, a brand new blog to me and one, I want to visit often.  There is something about the spirit of the blog that speaks to me.  I bet, you would like it too.

Italian Cauliflower Bake

2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Parmesan
1/8 cup  chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup  shredded  Pizza Jack cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
  1. Saute garlic, onion and cauliflower in olive oil until tender
  2. Meanwhile, chop the basil and parsley.
  3. When the cauliflower mixture is done, remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg, basil, parsley, tarragon, Parmesan cheese and salt together in a large mixing bowl. After mixing well, add the cauliflower mixture, cream cheese and the Pizza Jack cheese. Mix well.
  5. Add the mixture to a greased 1 quart baking dish  and bake at 350 for 25  minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let it cool slightly.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Polenta and Vegetable Bake

Since I bought two rolls of polenta, I want to use them but I want to do something, I know we will like, with them.  Since, we are vegetable aficionados, I knew vegetables of some kind, had to be involved.  Eating Well comes through time and again with good, solid, healthy recipes so that is where I turned for an idea.  With a name like, “Polenta and Vegetable Bake”, I couldn’t go wrong. 

If you have not made polenta or bought the rolls, I suggest you give them a try.  They are versatile and I have a feeling, as I am more comfortable cooking with polenta, my imagination is going to be the drive that determines the recipes.

Polenta and Vegetable Bake (adapted from Eating Well)


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or oregano or cilantro
  • 4 slices prepared polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Coat a round baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes.  Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil or oregano or cilantro.
  3. Place vegetables in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Top with polenta and cover with cheese and more sauce, if necessary
  5. . Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes.

This is linked to Real Food Wednesdays     Whole Food Wednesdays          Gluten-free Wednesday    We Are That Family     Allergy Free Wednesdays    Cast Party Wednesday     Momnivore’s Dilemma        Frugal Follies     Allergy Free Wednesday     Creative Juice     Pennywise Platter    Breakfast Ideas Monday

Grilled Cheese Out of the Box

I was looking through all those fabulous grilled cheese recipes from the Crazy Cooking Challenge and I was “plotzing” for one.  A foodie doesn’t simply explode from desire; she acts upon it.  As a foodie in good standing, there was no doubt, we were having grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Then, I had a real dilemma, looking at link after link of grilled cheese sandwiches, how would I choose one, to make, for us?  It didn’t help to explore recipes to find, I wanted to make each one, I peered at.  Not very practical.  I spent time between grilled cheese with tomatoes, inside out grilled cheese, grilled cheese with avocado and even chocolate grilled cheese……..uh huh……chocolate.  What is a girl to do?

This girl shut down her computer, marched to the kitchen, open the refrigerator and took out corn tortillas.  Huh?  What happened to the grilled cheese sandwiches?  Did I give up?  Follow me through my journey. 

The table slowly filled up with food items, the tortillas, Mexican cheese combination, slice tomatoes, some leftover caramelized onions, black pepper and lots of love for my creation to-be.  At this point, it is easy.

Grilled Cheese Tortillas (makes 2)


4 small corn tortillas

spray olive oil

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

1/2 cup caramelized onions

1 tomato, sliced thin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


In a large skillet with spray olive oil, on medium heat, toast one side of each tortilla.  When slightly browned, remove and put aside.

If you do not have caramelized onions, sitting around, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and cook onions, slowly until caramelized (about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.)  (OK, I know you don’t have caramelized onions, just sitting in the refrigerator.)

Take the two tortillas, you have not browned and put them on the skillet.  ( piled everything on it, on the skillet)  Put tomato slices on bottom tortilla, covered with cheese, onions, black pepper and more cheese.  Cover with browned tortilla and cook on a low heat until cheese is melted.   ( I ended up putting it in the microwave for a minute since it was not melting properly.)

You have reached your destination.  Serve with a creamy soup or large salad.  We only ate one because, I had some other interesting dishes, I served.  I would think, one could easily eat 2 or more.

Now, we have a new recipe for grilled cheese or at least, new to me.  If you have  a recipe for a grilled cheese tortilla, please share it with me.

This is linked to Full Plate Thursday       Frugal Food Thursday  

Pennywise Platter       $5 Dinner Challenge

Eggplant Polenta Parmesan

This is the story of a lonely eggplant and 6 unhappy polenta slices who both wanted to meet a new friend.  They came to me to find out if I could help.  Each had a long story to tell about how they ended up so sad and lonely and yes, each has had a difficult life.

Ellie the Eggplant was not favored by the “Vegetable Eaters” who wanted carrots, corn, broccoli, squash and peas.  They walked by Ellie without even a glance.  Ellie sat in the store, hoping someone would come along before she went bad and take her to a real home.  She hated the cold aisles in the food store, lined up with food that called people and people came.  She watched the cauliflower depart followed by the zucchini and onions. She waved goodbye to her friends and put on a smile so they would not know, just how sad she was.

As she sat on her shelf, the polenta found itself in a home, a home where they enjoyed eating polenta with cheese but did not have any good ideas how else to make her into a meal.  She dreamed of finding a friend and working herself through the digestive system with the new-found friend.  Casey, her owner looked for recipes and actually  had a lot of them written on pieces of paper that were piling up.  Casey really did like polenta but was very busy and just could not find time to decide which recipe she should cook.  So the six slices, sat in the cold refrigerator wanting to catch up with their brothers who already had found friends to move on with.

Casey was shopping and saw Ellie sitting in a bin, looking longingly at the customers who ignored Ellie.  Casey saw tears rolling down her purple skin and took pity on Ellie.  She placed Ellie in her basket with two zucchini, one butternut squash, a bag of onions and some beautiful red tomatoes.  The eggplant thought to herself, one of these is going to become my friend.

Unfortunately, that evening, Casey did not use either the polenta nor the eggplant but each were happy to visit in the refrigerator and life was calm and happy.  The next day, excitement reigned.  The eggplant was removed from the refrigerator and was peeled and sliced.  Ellie was happy but she wanted her new friend there, also.  She begged Casey who went along with her and concocted a recipe where the polenta and eggplant could stay together.  There was rejoicing in the house.

Eggplant Polenta Parmesan


1 eggplant

6 slices of polenta

1 small onion, sliced thin

1/2 jar of Marinara sauce

1/4 cup Parmesan

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Season according to you likes.  I did not think it needed any.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a large skillet with oil and turn heat on to medium.

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch pieces and place in skillet.

Cook each side until slightly browned and partially cooked.

While eggplant is cooking, slice onions and polenta.  Polenta should be 1/4 inch thickness.

Remove eggplant and put on paper towels to drain.  Mine almost had no oil.

Add onions to skillet and cook for 4 minutes or until translucent.  Remove and place in a separate pile with the eggplant.

Brown polenta lightly on both sides, adding another spray of olive oil to skillet first.

Using a 19 inch baking pan, pour 3/4 cup of marinara sauce into baking pan, to cover bottom.  Place polenta slices to cover the bottom.    Place an eggplant slice on top of each piece of polenta.  Top with sliced onions and Mozzarella.

Pour remaining sauce over top of casserole and sprinkle Parmesan on the very top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 2o minutes until thoroughly heated and cheese melted.

Take a bite and be happy.

This is linked to Friday Food         Foodie Friday

Pasta with Feta, Broccoli and Pecans – Nigella

I found another recipe in Nigella Kitchen that I wanted to make and that became our dinner.  Unfortunately, I was missing several necessary ingredients and did a lot of subbing.  This is a recipe, I would not have made changes to.  It sounded just right the way it was but necessity is the mother of all inventionn, as we discussed previously.  Necessity and I invented an “Almost Nigella” recipe and it was delicious.

(Curly Pasta with Feta, Spinach, and Pine Nuts (adapted)

Shells with Feta, Broccoli and Pecans


  • 1/4 cup pecans, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound short pasta like shells  (mine are brown rice shells – gluten free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound frozen chopped broccoli
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Start the water boiling for your pasta.  Once it’s come to a boil add the pasta and cook until tender.
  2. Toast the pecans in a dry pan over medium-low heat until they are golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in large sauce pan and add the onion. Cook until the onion is tender, adding a little salt if they start browning.
  4. Add the broccoli  and continuously stir until the frozen broccoli heats up. Add the allspice.
  5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, save a small amount of pasta water before draining and add to the broccoli mixture.
  6. Add the feta to the spinach mixture and stir it around until the feta has melted. Then add the Parmesan cheese and continue to stir.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss everything well to combine.
  8. Serve warm and top with the toasted pecans.

Linked to This week’s Cravings

See Ya in the Gumbo

Cookbook Sundays

Vegetarian Side Dishes and at Priya’s Easy N Tasty Recipes

Gluten-Free Weekly Menu Plan      Tasty Tuesday

Potato, Zucchini, Goat and Cheddar Cheese Gratin

Today  is  the Improv Cooking Challenge which is hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker and our ingredients are potato and cheese.  I make so much with potatoes and cheese, I could have a dozen recipes here.  I wanted to make something new, though, and decided to see what I could do with what I had in the refrigerator to make a new recipe.

This is what I came up with and I really liked it and Romeo liked it a lot but not as much as some of my other cheese dishes.

Potato, Zucchini, Goat Cheese  and Cheddar Gratin
1 medium zucchini, sliced thin

4 medium potatoes, sliced thin

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces plain  goat cheese

2/3 cup white cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Italian Dressing

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pour olive oil in a casserole dish  and spread to cover bottom.

Layer potato zucchini, red onion, goat cheese.  Pour half of the dressing over this.

Repeat layer.

I had enough for a third layer of potatoes so put on another layer and cover that with Cheddar.

Bake  for 30 minutes.  Cover and bake for another 15-20 minutes. 

This is linked to Friday Food      Gallery of Favorites     It’s A Blog Party

Cream Cheese Pasta with Veggies

The familiar voice of my husband reached me, “Are we having lunch today?”  That is his way of not asking me to make him lunch but hinting at it.

If I am busy, he will prepare lunch without a whimper but he is a lot happier, If I respond, “On my way.” Good thing for him, that I love to cook and experiment and a good thing for me, he is willing to try my concoctions.

When I asked what he wanted, he mentioned the possibility of pasta and cheese.  That is easy enough so I took out some elbows (the pasta – not the body parts).  I also found a single zucchini, some tomatoes, an onion (actually a lot of onions) to go along with the pasta.  What I made was easy and we both gave it an A for taste.

Cream Cheese Pasta with Veggies

8 ounces elbows

1/4 cup water from the cooked pasta (secret ingredient)

1 zucchini, roughly chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

8 grape tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese (the secret ingredient)


Cook elbow pasta according to directions, keeping 1/2 cup of cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet and add zucchini, onion and tomatoes.  Cook until onions and zucchini are soft.

Add elbows to vegetables, keeping burner on low.

Add two tablespoons cream cheese and 1/4 cup of cooking water.  Add more water to get desired consistency.  These two turned this dish into a creamy concoction.  Mix it until the macaroni is coated.

I served this with a scoop of guacamole on top which I mixed in.  It does not have to have the guacamole.  I tried it both ways and liked it both ways.

This is linked to Mangia Mondays     Savory Sundays   This Week’s Cravings     Tuesdays at the Table    http://www.jamhands.net/

Patty’s Pasta

This recipe seems to fit my expectations of  Guy Fieri.  It has  an edge to it.  I think it is the horseradish.  Since, I can’t cook meat and dairy together, I had to make the decision whether to make this with the corned beef or cheese.  In truth, the corned beef had a lot more appeal, especially for a change of pace, but practically, I had cheese and did not have corned beef, so gushy cheese came out the winner or perhaps, we came out the winners.   I used about half of the cheese called for and it oozed cheese, anyway.

Patty’s Pasta  (adapted from Guy Fieri)


  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1/2 cup small diced carrots

  • 1 1/2 cups diced cabbage

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots

  • dash of  black pepper

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 1 cups heavy cream

  • 1  cup  milk

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

  • 2 cups grated  Cheddar 

  • 3/4 cup fresh peas, or frozen

  • 1 pound cooked spaghetti (I used brown rice pasta)

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the butter and 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the carrotsand cabbage and saute until they are just tender and the cabbage is starting to caramelize, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the shallots and saute 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add  black pepper.

 Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add in the cream,milk, the mustards and the horseradish. Let simmer until the sauce has tightened up a bit, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheese and adjust seasonings, as needed.

Stir in the peas and the pasta, then transfer into a serving dish. Serve immediately garnished with the Parmesan.

This is linked to Tuesdays At The Table  

Cast Party Wednesday   Gluten Free Wednesdays                       It’s A Keeper Thursdays                             Tasty Thursdays

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