Here’s a super-easy recipe for fresh delicious homemade basil pesto. Even if you’ve never ever made pesto before. Even if you’re not Italian. You won’t even need a food processor. We’re going to make handmade gourmet pesto just like an Italian Grandmother. So, go gather-up these fresh ingredients: gorgeous green basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and garlic. I hope you’re as thrilled with this hand-crafted pesto as I am. I LOVE it!
I don’t know about you but I’ve put on a few pounds. I love food. Eating it, cooking it, just smelling food makes me happy. Anyway, remember The Cabbage Soup Diet from years ago? Well, I brought it back from the “dark ages” put a fresh new spin on it, roasted it, seasoned it, and brought it back to life again. So, if you want to drop some weight fast, this soup (and the diet plan below) is a healthy, simple way to get started. I love it and I hope you love it too.
*You’ll want to print several copies of The NEW Cabbage Soup Diet to share with friends and family. Make extra, freeze some and remember, you may eat as much of this healthy soup as you want!
I’ve made some nice new changes to the www.bakedinmaine.com home page for your shopping pleasure. Added links to some of my favorite things from the awesome Amazon: fabulous kitchen tools, the best cookbooks and brand new! Baked in Maine t-shirts, clothing and cool NEW gift items. So, shop away! Or at least look around a little..
Love ya and let’s get healthy!
The Cabbage Soup Diet
Seven helpful tips:
- Follow the diet below (optional).
- Keep in mind that it’s only seven days.
- Drink 4 glasses of water and green tea per day.
- Complement the diet with a good multivitamin tablet.
- Print the information on this site so you can refer to it daily.
- Eat plenty of soup, as much as you want. Don’t starve yourself or you may cheat.
- Try different spices like curry or hot sauce to liven up the soup and add variety.
- 1 cabbage sliced, cored and chopped
- 2 cups carrots baby or chopped
- 2 cups celery include the leaves, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms any kind, sliced
- 2 cups tomatoes fresh or canned, chopped
- 2 large red and/or green peppers, chopped
- 2 onions chopped or sub. a bunch of scallions
- 1 bunch broccoli or cauliflower chopped (optional)
- 2-3 zucchini chopped
- 4 clove garlic chopped
- 1 box chicken stock 32 oz.
- 1 bottle V8 Juice 64 oz.
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbs. of parsley for cooking and garnish.
- seasoning choices: turmeric, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaf
- fresh herbs (optional): sage, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, basil, dill, tarragon. Use your favorites.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Chop all of your vegetables and place in a single layer in a large baking sheet. Add your fresh herbs, seasonings and olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring 2-3 times. This method gives fabulous flavor.
- Place your roasted veggies in a large soup pot and add chicken stock and V8 juice, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 min.
The Diet: Day One: Fruit: Eat all of the fruit you want (except bananas). Eat only your soup and the fruit for the first day. For drinks - unsweetened coffee, green tea, cranberry juice and lots of water.
Day Two: Vegetables: Eat until you are full, all fresh, raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. Try to eat salads with spinach and other green vegetables and if you can, stay away from starches like white potatoes, pasta, dry beans, peas and corn. Eat all the vegetables you want along with your soup. Don’t eat fruit today.
Day Three: Mix Days One and Two: Eat all the soup, fruits and vegetables you want.
Day Four: Bananas and Skim Milk: Eat as many as six-eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup. This day is supposed to lessen your desire for sweets. Eat your soup and drink plenty green tea.
Day Five: Fish, chicken, beef and tomatoes: Ten to twenty ounces of baked or broiled protein from meat, fish or seafood and up to six fresh tomatoes. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water this day to wash the uric acid from your body. Drink lots of green tea. Eat plenty of cabbage soup.
Day Six: Protein and Vegetables: Eat to your heart’s content of the protein and vegetables today, with leafy green vegetables. Drink green tea. Eat your soup!
Day Seven: Brown or wild rice, unsweetened fruit juices, green tea and vegetables: Be sure to eat plenty of soup.
PS. Interestingly enough, The cabbage soup diet is sometimes referred to as the “Mayo Clinic Diet”, and/or the “Sacred Heart Hospital Diet”. May be true, but I can’t say for sure.
Everybody loves pizza. Believe me when I say, homemade pizza is really easy to make at home. Just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge. You may have to pick-up pizza dough or just make your own, (recipe here). I have some low- calorie substitutions for you, like pita (she said with a smile!) I have featured a lovely & luscious “Greek Style” pizza here with spinach, mushrooms and feta cheese. You can even add more of your favorite cheeses, extra vegetables, and bake it to perfection. But the BEST part is, you can have homemade pizza anytime!
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Greek Style Pizza
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, as a topping.
- 1/2 cup or so Marinara sauce, jarred is fine.
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in quarters,
- 6 shallots or any onions, peeled and cut in quarters.
- Spinach, steamed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup black olives
- 2 teaspoons of Pizza Seasoning or oregano, basil, rosemary etc.
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt & black and/or red pepper
- 2 cups Italian cheese blend (8 oz. bag), shredded
- 2 cups Mozzarella
- 2 cups parmesan
- 1 cup feta
- Pre-made store bought, white or wheat “bread dough”
- Homemade pizza or bread dough…. (recipe here)
- Low-carb pita bread, buy some, it’s the fast & easy way. Rub on some olive oil.
David making Italian bread
Notes: You’ll need a pizza stone for brick-oven style pizza but a cookie sheet will do. A large cutting board will work for sliding the pizza carefully onto the hot stone. Read more….
- Let the pizza-stone pre-heat in the oven at 500 degrees*
- Roll out the dough thin, be extra careful not to tear it (holes are bad!),
- Carefully slide the pizza onto a special pizza “peel” (if you’re lucky enough to have one!), I use a “side-less” cookie sheet but a cutting board will work too. *Dust it first with some corn meal or flour to easily and very carefully slide the pizza onto the pre-heated and very hot pizza-stone.
- Add tomato sauce or the olive oil, cheeses, and toppings.
- Cook 10-15 min. or until done.
Baby, it’s cold outside! Now, it’s time to share the best minestrone that I’ve ever tasted. This gorgeous, delicious soup, bursting with flavor, really sings to me. So, now I have a new obsession with soup, especially this amazing Italian classic loaded with healthy, roasted vegetables. You’ll see why after your first mouthful of this unforgettable minestrone soup. It’s crazy-good!!!
What’s for dinner tonight? A simple, healthy, home-cooked meal of baked, spicy Buffalo chicken. Then add pasta with my lighter version of creamy Alfredo cheese sauce, some vegetables, and you have a winning dinner! Who says we can’t make amazing restaurant quality food in our homes anyway. Okay, my favorite recipe for this healthier and easier baked Buffalo chicken uses Frank’s Hot Sauce (store-bought) and I’m even going to share with you my delightful, delicious, easy to make, pasta with a light & healthy Alfredo sauce, so let’s get started!
- 6 fresh chicken thighs (or legs)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, “Olivio” or “Smart Balance” (room temperature).
- Franks Hot Sauce, you can get this famous spicy condiment at any supermarket.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Bleu cheese dressing (optional)
- Carrots & celery (optional)
- Line your broiler pan with foil, spray with cooking spray (I like olive oil). Add chicken pieces, spray the chicken (it will crisp up). Sprinkle the chicken generously with sea salt & pepper.
- Broil the chicken until both sides are crispy and brown. Turn the oven down to 250 degrees to continue cooking while you prepare the Alfredo sauce.
- In a medium size glass bowl, microwave the butter and Franks hot sauce together (for a minute or so). Add the cooked chicken and toss to coat with the spicy Buffalo sauce.
- * You may want to dip this spicy-hot chicken in Bleu Cheese dressing if you’re a wimp (like me). You can make this yourself with crumbled bleu cheese, Gorgonzola, mayo, yogurt, garlic powder, and/or a little sour cream. Or cheat (like me) and buy some “Ken’s” bottled salad dressing at the market. Well, why not? We’re using Frank’s hot sauce, so we may as well use Ken’s salad dressing… Whatever! Anyway, I had some organic, frozen mixed veggies just to cheat a little bit more, and make this dinner even faster, and easier….Ciao!~
Penne or Fettuccine Alfredo….
Serves 2 to 4
- 1 pound penne or fettuccine pasta, “Dreamfields” brand, low-carb pasta is delicious!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, or keep it healthy with “Olivio” or “Smart Balance”
- 1/4 low-fat milk (or reserved pasta cooking water).)
- 8 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Dash of garlic powder (my secret ingredient)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt; return to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook until al dente.
- Whisk butter, milk, cheese, pepper, and garlic over medium heat until well blended. Or using an electric mixer, beat butter, cheese, salt, pepper and garlic until mixture becomes smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
- Drain fettuccine, toss with the Alfredo mixture and serve immediately with additional cheese sprinkled on top. Buon Appetito!