Southern Okra Succotash – Fresh Local Ingredients

Southern Okra Succotash

Southern Okra Succotash

I had so much fun using Country Table’s seasonal local produce for trim and terrific recipes. When I saw this bundle included okra I couldn’t wait to make my Southern Okra Succotash, and thanks to my ever stocked pantry, I had all of the ingredients. (All of my cookbooks come with a ‘Pantry Stocking Guide’ to help you keep all you need to whip up healthy meals in a hurry!)  This recipe is full of healthy vegetables and is a great source of fiber. Research has found that diets high in fiber (the recommended daily amount) reduced inflammation – linked to arthritis. Find more high fiber recipes in the ‘Fill Up With Fiber’ chapter of my Trim and Terrific Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook.


Succotash skillet best












Southern Okra Succotash from Holly Clegg’s Trim and Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites cookbook

I raided my pantry one evening and made this fantastic one skillet dish in a snap.


Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound fresh or frozen cut okra

1 cup frozen corn

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 (15-ounce) can white navy beans, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and stir-fry okra for several minutes. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well.

2. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until okra is tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.


Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 118, Calories from fat 16%, Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 367 mg, Carbohydrate 21 g, Dietary Fiber 5 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 6 g, Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable


Terrific Tip: Easy okra: microwave whole okra in shallow dish with 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar and 1 tablespoon canola oil, covered for 4–5 minutes or until tender.

For more high fiber, veggie filled recipes visit

Country Table Farm to Fork Okra

Country Table Farm to Fork Okra


Country Table – Local Fresh Eggplant Parmesan

Country Table Local Produce Bundle

Country Table Local Produce Bundle

I was so excited to get to try Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s very own Country Table ‘Farm to Fork’ delivery produce bundle. The beautifully presented local fruits and veggies came straight to my doorstep, and included eggplant, arugala, peaches, okra, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, portobello mushrooms and muscidines – how great is that!




Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

I wasn’t sure which recipe I wanted to make first! When I see eggplant, the first thing that comes to mind is Eggplant Parmesan, and this recipe from my Trim and Terrific KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence cookbook could not be easier. Low carb and gluten free, this dish will appeal to the masses, and is so yummy – especially with these farm fresh ingredients!

Country Table Bundle Delivery

Country Table Bundle Delivery


The bundle also included great nutritional information and tips on cooking each food along with recipes to try. The Grilled Portobello Pizza’s sounded right my alley and ‘Wow” were they fantastic! Portobello mushrooms with savory tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and Parmesan, topped with cherry tomatoes and arugala add that extra peppery zip. The whole family couldn’t wait to dig in.

For more information on delicious local produce visit

For more healthy quick and easy recipes visit

Grilled Portobello Pizzas

Grilled Portobello Pizzas

Summer Salsa Bar

Super SalsaedLOVINA salsa bar is a fun way to highlight different salsas and chips. After all, when we go out for Mexican food, I think we all love chips and salsa the best! There are so many tasty variations of traditional salsa and I like to set out several options for everyone to sample. Super Salsa is an easy alternative and kids love to make it as well as eat it. Be sure to have plenty of these easy Homemade Tortilla Chips on hand – fresh is best!

Super Salsa recipe from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age

Open a few cans combined with fresh ingredients for a simple and super snazzy salsa. You can make homemade tortilla chips or pick up a bag.

Makes 16 (1/4 cup) servings

1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 (11-ounce) can Southwestern corn, drained
1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred jalapenos
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
Tortilla Chips (recipe follows)

1. In bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with homemade Tortilla Chips (see recipe below).

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 47 Calories from fat 36% Fat 2g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 151mg Carbohydrate 7g Dietary Fiber 2g Sugars 2g Protein 1g Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat



Guacamame   from Eating Well To Fight Arthritis

Combination of avocado and edamame makes this wonderful delicious and nutritious dip.  Serve with fresh veggies or chips.

Makes 10 (1/4-cup) servings

1 large avocado, (about 2/3 cup mashed)
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame, thawed
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup salsa
3 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In food processor, combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth.

Terrific Tip:  Can also use to stuff vegetables or as a sandwich spread.

Nutrition Nugget: Soybeans are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are necessary to ingest through food for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Nutritional information
Calories 62kcal, Calories from Fat 47%, Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 50mg, Carbohydrates 5g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Total Sugars 2g, Protein 4g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat

Check out more of my healthy southwestern appetizers and salsas.



Gluten Free Comfort Food – Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Just because your favorite meal is “comfort food” doesn’t mean it can’t also be good for you! And what could more comforting than cheesy, meaty enchiladas. I am not giving up my favorite foods so I certainly do not expect you too. Chicken Enchiladas from my trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook are Gluten-free reducing the risk of inflammation in the body. All gluten-free recipes are highlighted in this cookbook with a “G” for your ease of use. Best of all, this recipe is a time-saver, as it is great to make-ahead and freeze for a quick meal on a night you need dinner fast! For more easy recipes, check out my book, KITCHEN 101.

Chicken Enchiladas from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis

An easy ‘combine and stir’ enchilada recipe with green enchilada sauce and a creamy chicken filling makes scrumptious, lighter style enchiladas.

12 enchiladas

6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken breasts
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (28-ounce) can green enchilada sauce, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup chopped green onion
12 (8-inch) flour tortillas (use corn tortillas for gluten-free)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
Chopped green onion, garnish

1. Preheat oven 350°F. Coat oblong 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In microwave-safe dish, microwave cream cheese until melted (1 minute). In bowl, combine melted cream cheese, green chilies, 2 cups enchilada sauce, chili powder, and green onion.
3. Pour 1/2 cup remaining enchilada sauce in prepared baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla, some black beans and 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up and place seam-side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top with remaining enchilada sauce.
4. Cover with foil. Bake 25-30 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onion, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 323, Calories from Fat 30%, Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 4g, Cholesterol 49mg, Sodium 1047mg, Carbohydrates 35g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Total Sugars 5g, Protein 22g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat

Terrific Tip: Look in the produce section of the grocery for containers of pre-chopped green onion. Use corn tortillas for gluten-free recipe.

For more delicious gluten free recipes visit

Summer Sensation Recipes with Dole Pineapple Juice

Chicken Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

I have always loved Dole products and was delighted to work with Dole to highlight their delicious pineapple juice in these Trim and Terrific recipes.

From Pina Coladas to Mai Tai’s, even Bahama Mamas – tropical summer cocktails usually come to mind when you think of pineapple juice. Of course, you can always drink a glass of pineapple juice, as this “king of fruit” is full of B vitamins, manganese, copper, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid and immune boosting vitamin C.  However, there is so much more to the fruity juice than a drink! From savory to sweet, pineapple juice is the perfect zesty ingredient found in many of your favorite recipes.  If you are looking for a tangy, sweet marinade for chicken, beef or pork, try a simple combination of pineapple juice, brown sugar and soy sauce.  Pineapple juice adds a subtle tropical zing to vinaigrette, while this flavorful juice shines bright as the star ingredient in a mouth-watering pineapple cake.  Here are five trim and terrific recipes featuring pineapple juice that will quickly become your summer sensation.

Chicken Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook
Fast and fabulous, this top notch chicken salad features pineapple, healthy leafy kale, and toasty pecans tossed with a subtle, sweet tropical pineapple vinaigrette.

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings

3 cups cooked, diced skinless chicken breasts (rotisserie)
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
1 (15-ounce) can Dole pineapple chunks, drained or 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/3 cup pecan halves, toasted
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped kale
Pineapple Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss with Pineapple Vinaigrette (see recipe).

Pineapple Vinaigrette
This Pineapple vinaigrette perfectly complements the fruity chicken salad.

Makes 3/4 cup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Dole pineapple juice
1 tablespoon honey

1. In bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

Nutrition Nugget: Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K which is essential in bone health, helping keep calcium in the bones.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 199 kcal, Calories from Fat 39%, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 47 mg, Sodium 222 mg, Carbohydrates 14 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Total Sugars 11 g, Protein 17 g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 fruit, 2 1/2 lean meat

Chilled Pineapple Soup
Five ingredients magically turn into this absolutely fabulous cold soup. This refreshing soup doubles as a smoothie; just use less pineapple juice. Wonderful on a hot day as a snack or serve with a sandwich or salad.

Makes 6 (1-cup) servings

1 (15-ounce) Dole pineapple chunks, drained
1 (15-ounce) cans sliced peaches, drained
2 cups pineapple Greek nonfat or low fat yogurt
2 cups Dole pineapple juice
1 tablespoon almond extract

1. In blender or food processor blend pineapple chunks and peaches until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mixing until creamy and smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 181 kcal, Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Sodium 42 mg, Carbohydrates 34 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Total Sugars 30 g, Protein 6 g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 ½ fruit, 1 low fat milk

Tropical Couscous Salad
Prepare fast cooking couscous with pineapple juice for a wonderful fruity foundation for this amazing couscous salad featuring edamame, pineapple, spinach and mint.

Makes 5 (1-cup) servings

1 2/3 cups Dole pineapple juice, divided
1 1/3 cups couscous or pearl couscous
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup edamame
1/2 cup fresh Dole pineapple chunks
1 cup coarsely chopped baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste

1. In medium pot, bring 1 1/3 cups pineapple juice to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, let stand 5–7 minutes. Transfer to large bowl, fluff with fork. Add red onion, edamame, pineapple, spinach, and mint, mixing well.
2. In small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/3 cup pineapple juice and olive oil. Pour over couscous, toss together. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 277 kcal, Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 16 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Dietary Fiber 4 g, Total Sugars 11 g, Protein 8 g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 ½ starch, 1 fruit

Cool Pineapple Coleslaw

Cool Pineapple Coleslaw










Cool Pineapple Coleslaw from Holly Clegg’s trimandTERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence

An invigorating and refreshing coleslaw with cool flavors of pineapple and cucumber making a memorable cole slaw.

Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings

4 cups shredded cabbage (bag coleslaw)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1/2 cup Dole pineapple juice
2 tablespoons cider or seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In large bowl, combine cole slaw, green onions, red onion, and cucumber. In small bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, vinegar and oil; pour over slaw and mix. Season to taste

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 71 kcal, Fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 15 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Total Sugars 8 g, Protein 0 g, Dietary Exchanges: ½ fruit, 1 vegetable, ½ fat

Pineapple Bundt Cake
A cake mix, pineapple juice and a few ingredients create this moist, melt-in your mouth cake.

Makes 16 servings

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cup Dole pineapple juice
1/3 cup canola oil
1 (6-ounce) container nonfat or light pineapple Greek yogurt
1 (8-ounce) can Dole crushed pineapple, drained
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven 350°F. Coat Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients; mixing until well blended.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until center of cake bounces back when touched. Let sit 5 minutes and invert to serving plate.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 197 kcal, Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 24 mg, Sodium 250 mg, Carbohydrates 32 g, Dietary Fiber 0 g, Total Sugars 19 g, Protein 3 g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 other carbohydrates, 1 fat

Pineapple Parfait

Pineapple Parfait











Pineapple Parfait

Make this effortless and elegant dessert in a large glass dish or individual servings. With layers of pineapple custard, rich pineapple cream cheese filling and angel food cake, you have an indulgent, yet light dessert.

Makes 10 servings

1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups Dole pineapple juice
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) Dole can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (8-ounce) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 commerically bought angel food cake, cut into squares

1. In medium pot, mix cornstarch and sugar. Gradually add pineapple juice, stirring to mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, cooking until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Transfer custard to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled.
2. Divide custard in half; using a fork or whisk, blend half the custard with cream cheese. Stir in crushed pineapple. Fold half container of whipped topping into pineapple custard mixture; set aside.
3. In large glass bowl, place layer of angel food cake. Next, spread with half the plain pineapple custard, and then pineapple cream cheese filling. Repeat layers starting with angel food cake. Top with remaining whipped topping.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 286 kcal, Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 8 mg, Sodium 177 mg, Carbohydrates 59 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Total Sugars 42 g, Protein 4 g, Dietary Exchanges: 4 other carbohydrate

Visit my website for more summer yummy recipes and visit Dole for more pineapple juice information.


Berry Parfait – Picture-Perfect for Summer

Berry Parfaits

Berry Parfaits

As delicious as they are picture-perfect, Berry Parfaits from my Trim & Terrific Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook are the perfect way to enjoy a creamy, berrilicious treat – no cooking required! A twist on strawberry shortcake, the ladyfingers are as delicious as cake and easier to layer. If entertaining this summer, this recipe works well in individual servings – making it easy for your guests to enjoy. Best of all, strawberries are one of the top ranking antioxidant- containing foods and research shows they may also help improve and stabilize blood sugar. You will hardly believe this luscious treat is diabetic-friendly so there is always room for dessert!

Berry Parfaits from Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Eating Well to Fight Arthritis cookbook. 

Light and delightful, strawberries layered with a luscious cream cheese layer and ladyfingers.

Makes 16 (1/2-cup) servings

2/3 cup seedless sugar-free raspberry preserves
1/4 cup orange juice
6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) container fat-free whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers, split in half (24)
1 1/2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced

1. In small bowl, mix together preserves and orange juice.

2. In mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until light. Mix in whipped topping reserving, 1/2 cup for topping.

3. Line bottom of an oblong small dish with split ladyfingers. Layer with preserves mixture, cream cheese layer, and top with strawberries.  Repeat layers with remaining ladyfingers, preserves and cream cheese layer.

4. Carefully top with thin layer of remaining whipped topping.  Top with remaining strawberries.  Cover, refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 128, Calories from fat (%) 24, Fat (g) 3, Saturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 9, Sodium (mg) 79, Carbohydrate (g) 23, Dietary Fiber (g) 1, Sugars (g) 11, Protein (g) 2, Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate, 1/2 fat

Terrific Tip: Feel free to use your favorite berry in place of strawberries.

Thank you Driscoll’s for sending me coupons for free berries to use in my National Strawberry ShortCake Day (was June 14 – a little late, but delicious year-round) post!

Visit my website for more summer yummy recipes.

Top Tips to the Pick Right Watermelon

Watermelon and Feta Salsa

Watermelon and Feta Salsa

Summer and fresh juicy watermelon go hand and hand. Watermelon is usually available from early May to September but they are at their peak from mid-to late June. I love to use watermelon in many of my recipes as it adds a sweet touch, and though water accounts for over 90% of it’s weight, it is rich in potassium, Vitamins A & C. From my trimandTERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen cookbook, Watermelon and Feta Salsa is a sweet and salty dip  you will want to dig into!

The key is picking the right melon so here’s my tips:

Tips to picking the right Melon:

-       Your watermelon should feel heavy for its size; compare to similar melon.

-       Rind shouldn’t have any soft spots, gashes and should be dull and barely yield to pressure.

-       A good melon has a symmetrical shape; no matter if round or oval

-       Look on the bottom of the melon and you’ll find a discolored spot where the melon rested on the ground when it was growing. If this spot is light green, the melon is not yet ripe. If the spot is a yellowish-white color, the melon is probably ripe.

-       You can also test for ripeness by scratching the surface of a watermelon with your fingernail. A greenish-white color beneath the outermost layer of the rind indicates a ripe watermelon.

-       If you are watermelon thumper-a ripe melon will sound as if the fruit is hollow. You don’t want to hear a thud or a tone that is high in pitch.

Watermelon and Feta Salsa from Holly Clegg’s trimandTERRIFIC Too Hot in The Kitchen

An unusual combination, yet, one of my summer favorites with sweet watermelon, fresh mint, salty olives, and feta bursting with sweet and salty in each mouthful.

Makes 16 (1/4) cup servings


4 cups chopped watermelon

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint


1. In small bowl mix together all ingredients. Serve.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 29 Calories from fat 36% Fat 1g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 1mg Sodium 98mg Carbohydrate 4g Dietary Fiber 0g Sugars 3g Protein 1g Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 fruit

Spicy Advice: Try the red pepper seasoned rice vinegar for a little extra zing. Raid a salad bar for fresh Kalamata olives-it makes a difference.

Check out my easy, healthy summer recipes.

Now That’s One Giant Burger!

Burger Cake

Burger Cake

July is prime time for gathering around the barbecue, and everyone has their favorite hamburger recipe and toppings. But you can’t forget dessert and this Burger Cake is a show-stopper! It will be the talk of the party – a conversation piece for the adults and the kids. If you have a party coming up definitely try the Burger Cake and be prepared for all of the praise you’ll get! For more fun, yummy recipes check out my trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence cookbook.

Burger Cake

This cake will be the “talk of the party.”  The yellow cake layer represents the bun, the brownie layer serves as the burger, and the yellow whipped topping makes a great mustard.  Kiwi becomes the lettuce and pickles, while strawberries stand in for tomatoes. You’ll be using easy cake mixes, so don’t let the length of this recipe intimidate you.  Keep recipes simple with KITCHEN 101!!!!


Makes 20 servings

Yellow Cake Layer

1 (18.25-ounce) package  yellow cake mix
3 egg whites
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoonsskim milk
1 (9-inch) round Brownie Layer (recipe follows)
1 envelope whipped topping mix
1/2 cup cold milk
1 teaspoon yellow food coloring
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
4 kiwis, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds

1. Prepare Yellow Cake Layer:  Preheat oven 350°F.  Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat together cake mix, egg whites, egg, oil and water until well mixed.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  (You’ll need only one yellow layer for this recipe-save remaining batter for another use like cup cakes).
3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.  Cool layers in pan on wire rack 10 minutes, then turn onto wire racks to cool.
4. To assemble, when cake has cooled, split layer in half into two 9-inch rounds with long, serrated knife.  Place bottom half on serving plate.
5. In small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to form spreading consistency.  Spread half of mixture on top of yellow cake layer. Top with cooled Brownie Layer (see recipe).
6. In mixing bowl, beat together whipped topping mix, cold milk, yellow food coloring until topping is very thick, forms peak. Spread remaining half of confectioners’ sugar mixture on top of brownie layer to help the next layer of fruit stay in place.
7. Cover with sliced strawberries and kiwis. Top with whipped topping mixture, making sure that fruit is showing on all sides. Carefully place remaining half of yellow cake layer on top of fruit and whipped topping.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Brownie Layer

1 (18.25-ounce) package  brownie mix
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs

1. Brownie Layer:  Preheat oven  350°F.  Coat 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat together brownie mix, oil, water, and eggs until well mixed.  Pour batter into prepared pan, bake 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when touched.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely before using.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 331, Protein (g) 4, Carbohydrate (g) 53, Fat (g) 12, Calories from fat (%) 32, Saturated Fat (g) 3, Dietary Fiber (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 37, Sodium (mg) 361, Diabetic Exchanges: 3 other carbohydrate, 2.fat

Visit Holly’s website for more festive delicious recipes.

Easy Beef Brisket (Sliders) + Top Kitchen Tips

beef brisketBrisket SlidersFifty years ago people spent 40 hours per week in the kitchen, now they are spending less than 4! These days there seems to be less time and more activities so if you find a short cut that works for you, take it! There is no stress in the kitchen if you stick with my recipes and you will see how putting a healthy meal on the table is easy and delicious! If you are new to the kitchen and feel intimidated let KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence be your guide to deliver figure-friendly, family pleasing meals. Here are nine tips to help you keep your kitchen stress free and stick with healthier eating habits. Below you will find this fantastic Beef Brisket recipe with only four ingredients from my Kitchen 101 book that basically cooks itself!

1. Have over-ripe bananas? Don’t toss but instead freeze to pull out and make banana bread at any time. Freeze with or without peeling in plastic freezer tip-top bags. Try this Banana Chocolate Chip Bread for leftover bananas.

2. Don’t have bare shelves…think of a well-stocked pantry as a permanent shopping list. It is much easier to cook a home cooked healthy meal when you keep great basics stocked in your pantry – whole grain pastas, canned low sodium veggies, olive oil, spices….

3. When using a slow cooker, don’t leave the top of.  Did you know you can lose up to 20 degrees of cooking heat in as little as 2 minutes. A quick peek, may only change the temperature 1-2 degrees. The brisket recipe below is a great slow cooker choice as is my Sesame Honey Chicken.

4. Know your substitutions…need sour cream? Use Greek yogurt instead. For buttermilk—1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

5. Use correct freezing instructions – always use proper containers and zip-lock freezer plastic bags to keep your dish fresh and free from freezer burn. Don’t fill to the top as food will expand when freezing.

6. Don’t cook everything on high. Almost everything you ever cook will cook more evenly and thoroughly on low or medium. You only need high to sear or brown, or if you’re trying to bring something to a boil.

More simple, healthy recipes and tips.

Beef Brisket from KITCHEN 101

Serves 16-20 (4-5 ounce servings)

1 (5-6 pound) brisket
Garlic Powder
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup ketchup

1. Season brisket heavily with garlic powder. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over brisket in baking pan or roaster. Cook, covered, 4 hours or until tender.

Terrific Tidbit: Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef. To make brisket sliders, fill sweet rolls with brisket and add Brie and red onion.

Calories 302 kcal
Calories from Fat 35%
Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 105 mg
Sodium 357 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Total Sugars 13 g
Protein 34 g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 4 lean meat

Check out Holly’s easy healthy recipes



Queso with or without Velveeta? Healthier and Gluten-free, yes that is what I said!



OK, I heard about the Velveeta shortage awhile ago but it will not affect me as I just coincidentally made my Queso from my cookbook, KITCHEN 101, Sunday night for neighbors.  My delicious queso dip is better for you, easy to make and you don’t even have to stress about finding  Velveeta.  I do use the light Velveeta in some recipes and my only complaint is I can only find it in a big block.  So, all those who don’t want to forgo Velveeta, here’s an option.  I have also found shredded Queso cheese and used it in the recipe instead of Cheddar.  And, it is GLUTEN FREE (And really impressed, as Velveeta is in spell check so shows how many people rely on it)

Chile Con Queso from KITCHEN 1o1
Everyone’s all-time favorite Mexican dip now can be made simply and sensationally in a moment’s notice. Serve heated with chips.

Makes 12 (1/4 cup) servings

1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup light beer
1 1/4 cups skim milk, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

1. In large nonstick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion and garlic until onion is tender.
2. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and heat until almost boiling.
3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and cornstarch. Add to pot, and cook, stirring, until bubbling and thickened. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients, stirring until cheese is melted.

Nutritional info per serving:
Calories 64, Calories from Fat 31%, Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 196mg, Carbohydrates 6g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Total Sugars 2g, Protein 5g, Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 lean meat

Check out more of my delicious healthy appetizers and dips