Beef Bulgogi Meatballs from Hello Fresh

Every once in awhile I will purchase Hello Fresh’s trial offers in order to connect with my youngest son as he likes to cook. The ingredients are all premeasured and prepared for you and it’s delivered right to your door. Although it costs more money than I would like to spend, I find that’s it’s money well spent because I get to hang out with my son and do something we both enjoy. By the way, this meal was absolutely delicious. So delicious, I had it the next morning, too, for breakfast with a side of spinach.

Left overs from last night’s Hello Fresh meal (Beef Bulgogi Meatballs paired with spinach. Yum!

Salmon and Fries!

What I love most about this dish is that it combines heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon with fun-loving steak fries! To make the fries a little healthier, I coated them with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper instead of frying them. Delicious! Oh, and some brussel sprouts, not my favorite, but I was cleaning out the freezer and didn’t want to waste them.


  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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8 oz. Salmon
1 tsp garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Coat the salmon with half the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper (I let it sit this way in a plastic bag overnight). Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for 15 minutes turning the salmon over, removing the skin and applying the other half of the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika to the other side half way through baking it. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Blueberry Cake

What I love about this cake is that it’s not a big cake with layers or frosting; it’s just a single layer and is more like a side that goes with or just after your meal

I wanted to bring a healthy dessert to my friend Sue’s house for our bi-weekly (that’s every 2 weeks 🙂 time together with our girlfriends from church. So I saw this recipe in the June 2020 issue of Real Simple Magazine and adapted it, changing a few of the ingredients. I replaced sour cream for the butter and Swerve for the sugar.

I think it came out pretty good, not too sweet but satisfying, especially with a cup of Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Tea. To follow-up, one of my friends in the group called it “refreshing.” That is EXACTLY how to describe this recipe. She even had another piece.

Blueberry cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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1 1/2 flour
1/2 c granular Swerve plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling on top
2 eggs (yolks separated from whites)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 c milk (I used lactose-free)
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c blueberries (I used frozen)

Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Blend together egg yolks, milk, sour cream, vanilla and Half of the granular Swerve. Leave 1 Add flour, baking powder, salt and blend again. Whip egg whites with the other HALF of the Swerve until peaks form. Stir the whites into the rest of the mixture and fold in the blueberries. Sprinkle the top with the 1 tbsp of granular Swerve. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the top gets golden brown.

Chili con Carne

FYI, I only took a few swigs of the Diet Coke but it goes so well with chili!

Chili is such a diverse meal. In other words, there are so many different ways you can make it. Sometimes when I make chili I add a jar of salsa to ground beef, beans and chili powder and it turns out delicious! Other times I add corn, etc. You get the idea. This recipe worked out really well using extra seasoned taco meat left in the pan that my son had for lunch, red beans and fresh cilantro from my garden. It turned out delicious!

Chili con carne

  • Servings: depends
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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1 cup cooked ground beef (I used beef with taco seasoning in it)
1/4 c chopped onion (I used red onion)
1 tbsp green pepper
drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 c tomato sauce
3/4 c canned red beans
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and stir until garlic is just browned. Add the tomato sauce, cooked ground beef, onion, green pepper, red beans and chili powder into a sauce pan until simmering. Put in bowls and add shredded cheddar cheese on top.


My middle son likes me to make him stromboli every so often and it’s super easy to make with refrigerated pizza dough. All you do is stetch out the dough so it forms a long rectangle. Place it on a baking sheet covered with Parchment paper.

I sprinkle the dough with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, spread a thin layer of jarred tomato sauce over the top (about 1/3 cup) and spread shredded 4 cheese or mozzarella cheese on top. I added pepperoni slices to half of it for those of us who like it that way. Then just roll it in thirds.

A pizza cutter works well to make slices

I had mine the next day for brunch with a salad! It was really good.

Garlic Knots!

Family Favorite!

This recipe for garlic knots is so EASY! All you need is some refrigerated pizza dough, garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, tomato sauce and a little creativity. My family asks for this regularly and would eat it with every meal if they could.

Garlic Knots

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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1 frozen pizza dough, defrosted
1 tbsp flour for counter
1 tbsp minced garlic (fresh or from a jar)
1/4c-1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
Jarred tomato sauce

Spread out the dough with your hands on a floured countertop. Form a rectangle with the dough. With a pizza cutter, cut down the middle and cut 8 strips across the dough making a total of 16 strips. Tie each one in a knot. In a bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, and basil. Dunk each of the knots into the oil until completely covered. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes flipping them half way through until golden brown. Pour jarred tomato sauce in a dipping bowl. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

These are delicious!

I came home from a 4th of July BBQ at my sister-in-law’s house last week and my neice, Brielle, was making oatmeal cookies and boy-oh-boy did they look DELICIOUS. She made them WITH sugar so I didn’t eat any at the party but when I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I even started doing some computer work and STILL couldn’t stop thinking about them. Obsessive, yes, I know.

So you know what I did? You guessed it, I made my own. As I was mixing the ingredients I realized I had no raisins (so much fruit sugar in them to keep in the house) and I even ran out to my local Acme to pick some up. But I only added 1/4 c of the raisins in the recipe so for 12 cookies at 29 grams of fruit sugar total that’s just about 2 grams of sugar per cookie. Not bad. The batter is so good plain and because there’s no eggs in it you can even lick the bowl and beaters!

Favorite Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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1/2 c. King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 c. old fashioned oats
I stick butter (1/2 c) softened
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c. Swerve granulated sugar
1/4 c. sugar-free dark chocolate baking chips (I used 365 Brand from Wholefoods)
1/4 c. raisins
1 tsp vanilla

Combine butter, applesauce, vanilla and Swerve together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue blending until dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the raisins and chocolate chips. Let sit for 15 minutes (this will soften the oats!) Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. These cookies are large hence the extra baking time.

Sugar-Free EASY Chocolate Cake

I’m really eating bananas, yogurt, peanut butter and wheat flour! Oh, and a little butter and chocolate, too.

My husband and I talk a lot about our different weaknesses in life, and how another person’s struggle is like my struggle of wanting to eat a whole chocolate cake! But you know, the more I thought about it, I really don’t want to eat a whole chocolate cake because I wouldn’t like how I felt after I ate it; the guilt, the weight gain, craving more and feeling out of control.

Cocoa dusted cake pans make all the difference

So I decided to Google a bunch of recipes and put together my rendition of a rich, healthy and satisfying chocolate cake. This cake recipe brings me back to my childhood of eating desserts without guilt or worry of gaining weight. And who doesn’t love to lick the cake beaters! (ME!)

Yummy! Be careful, there’s a raw egg in there!

You can eat this cake with frosting as a dessert or without frosting for a healthier treat. It is so moist, rich and delicious! And apart from the frosting, which is mainly butter, it is really good for you. The bananas blend really well with the cocoa, chocolate chips, peanut butter and yogurt. It is so satisfying!

Let me know if you tried it and what you think.

Sugar-FREE Easy Rich Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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For the Cake:
1 1/2 c King Arthur’s White Wheat Flour
3 bananas
1/2 c Swerve Granulated Sugar
1/2 c 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1/3 c dutch cocoa powder and more for dusting the cake pans
1 1/2 baking powder

2/3 Swerve Powdered Sugar
2 Sticks Butter
1 1/2 Tbsp of lt cream, half and half or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
Blend together the bananas, yogurt, granulated Swerve, vanilla, peanut butter and egg. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and blend again until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into two 9 inch pans sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with cocoa powder. Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the cake is baking, put room temperature butter, vanilla and lt cream in a bowl. Blend at high speed until combined.
When cake cools, frost each layer, refrigerate and enjoy!

Rachel Ray’s Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, Rachel Ray’s Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes and a chopped nectarine-Yum!

Believe it or not, I saw this recipe on Tik Tok, the video-sharing, social networking service that people create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos on. After watching how easy it looked to make and knowing that I had those little potatoes in the house, I went to work the very next morning.

My son had a friend sleepover so I surprised them with breakfast! The potatoes reminded me of the salt and vinegar potato chips you buy at the store. They were delicious!

Did you ever make a recipe from Tik Tok?

Rachael Ray's Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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Bag of Small Potatoes
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1 cup of vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a sauce pan with 1 cup of vinegar and fill it with water to just cover potatoes. Boil for 20 minutes or until tender. Transfer potatoes to a cold water bath, dry and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Line up the potatoes on the cookie sheet and using the bottom of a glass, smash the potatoes so they flatten. Melt butter in the microwave and brush on the tops and bottoms of the potatoes. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuna Salad

Okay, I overdid it on the fruit sugar last week to the point of feeling terrible, like I was out of balance and needing more protein and fats. I hate when that happens! So to counteract my overindulgent choices, I made a tuna salad, ate it and felt much better.

Do you ever make a bad food choice? If so, how do you remedy it?

Tuna Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy!
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2 cans of water-packed albacore tuna (I use StarKist or Bumble Bee)
2-3 tablespoons of Helmann’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tsp dry minced onion
Salt and Pepper to taste

Squeeze out the water from the canned tuna and discard it into the sink using the lids of the opened cans. Scrape out the tuna into a mixing bowl. Add the mayo, diced celery, onion, salt and pepper into the bowl. Mix and Enjoy!