Main Dish

Steak & Cauliflower Casserole

When you think of a casserole dish, you think of a protein and pasta, amirite? I usually do, too. Until for a health concern I needed to reduce the amount of carbs and sugars. But what would I do without all my creamy, cheesy pasta favorites?

Enter my new favorite vegetable friend – the Cauliflower. This little gem is so versatile! It can be a substitute for rice, potatoes and did you even know…pasta?! That’s right – it tastefully replaces pasta in this dish. You won’t even know it.

Shopping List

  • 1 pound Shaved Beef Steak (found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms
  • 1 package or jar of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Baby Spinach
  • Italian Cheese
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Easy Beef Rouladen

Oh, welcome Fall! The smell of rain and spices are in the air. And in my kitchen, I desire the smells of the hearty flavors of one of my favorite fall dishes. Quick and Easy Beef Rouladen!

Traditionally, rouladen is thinly sliced meet (most likely originally veal or pork), wrapped around pickles, mustard and bacon. Well, onions are in some traditional ones, but we don’t need to go into my dislike for onions (although, I must admit, I am slowly making progress after many decades). Then its served with potato dumplings or noodles and pickled cabbage.

I love making sp√§tzle, so I will share that recipe with you, too! It’s super simple and is a quick and easy noodle dish that consists of flour, eggs and milk.

This dish can sometimes take hours to prepare, slow roasting the beef. But for you, my friends, I’ve got a version for you that is less than 45 minutes! So go to your Spotify and while you prepare this savory dish, let me suggest you put on an Oktoberfest Playlist.

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Zoodles

One of my families favorite meals is Parmesan Chicken. ¬†However, as kids and picky eaters go hand in hand, every once in a while we will notice the cheesy saucy noodles are consumed, but the chicken is hardly touched. ¬†So I thought how could get them to get their protein part of the meal. ¬†Recognizing they eat beef and turkey meatballs happily, so why not make some Chicken Parmesan Meatballs and make it into one of our favorite dishes. ¬†It worked! I’m still trying to sneak the zoodles in on them. ¬†So far, it’s only worked on the husband. ¬†True story. ¬†He even requested them the other night!

Making the Chicken Parmesan Meatballs!

First, warm your oven to 375¬į. Get a large mixing bowl. ¬†Place ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley (or Italian Seasoning). Mix by hand. ¬†I like to use food handler gloves so I can quickly mix and begin to shape without repeated hand washing. Shape into small balls. I like little superball size balls for my family, but I also have done ping pong size balls. ¬†Place on a baking sheet. ¬†Here, I am using a Pampered Chef Medium Bar Pan that is well seasoned. Brush with your favorite pasta or marinara sauce. I like using a basting brush. Making chicken Parmesan Meatballs Sprinkle on some shredded Parmesan Cheese. ¬†I really like my Pampered Chef Rotary Grater (that I don’t have pictured). Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. ¬†If you like them a little extra saucy, remove pan after about 15 minutes and reapply sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, let’s get to the zoodles!

Making the zoodles!

Clean and wash your medium sized zucchini. ¬†I would count on 1 zucchini per adult serving. ¬†Trim off one end, place in spiralizer and make your zoodles! Making homemade Zoodles With spiralizer Get a medium size skillet and turn burner to medium heat. ¬†Place 3-4 tablespoons water, enough to cover pan. ¬†I have made many zoodles and have made many mistakes making them. ¬†I’ve made the mistake of putting in too much water and they are a big soggy flavorless mess. ¬†Think a mix of steaming and pan frying your zoodles and they should come out perfect for you! Plate your zoodles or your noodles, place your meatballs on top. ¬†Then top with extra sauce if you desire and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Links to Tools I Used:

Gloves- Lately, I’ve found it easier, quicker and cleaner to use these Food Handling Gloves. Zoodle Tool – Quick and easy tool for spriralizing veggies. ¬†A must have! Find here.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Zoodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A low carb twist to a classic dish.



  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 TBSP parsley or Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup basil marinara (or your favorite red sauce)
  • 1 zucchini


  1. Preheat over to 400.
  2. Mix all ingredients, except sauce in a bowl.
  3. Roll into small balls.
  4. Brush each meatball with sauce.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until balls are browned.
  6. Will meatballs are baking, start your zoodles.
  7. Wash your zucchini. Cut off one end. Place in zoodle maker and start twisting.
  8. Heat up skillet pan with 2-3 TBS water, enough to cover bottom.
  9. Cook/Steam zoodles 3-4 minutes until tender.

Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake

Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake is a CROWD PLEASER!  I make this dish for so many reasons: for my tennis post-match parties, for making batches to put in the freezer when a family needs a meal delivered, or just to have some freezer ready meals for upcoming busy weeks. This recipe will make 2 full meals for a family of 4. (This is just one of the two meals this recipe makes!).

I love this dish as it can be altered in so many ways to accommodate those with special dietary needs or preferences.  Gluten free?  Replace the pasta with noodles such as Trade Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli , Trade Joe’s Brown Rice Fusilli or any of your personal favorite GF noodles.  Vegetarian?  Simple, don’t add the chicken or replace it with your protein rich substitute.  Intolerance to store bought taste of Alfredo Sauce?  I’ve got you covered on that with this simple and fast homemade Alfredo sauce.

Serving a large crowd?  Mix everything together, place in large crockpot, place on low/warm setting until ready to serve at your party.

Putting the Dish Together

Gather noodles, prepared chicken cubes, cheese, spinach, diced tomatoes, sauces (Alfredo and pesto), and milk.  I guess if this were a fancy cooking show, this would be your Mise en place!

While your noodles are cooking (and possibly while you are preparing your chicken and homemade Alfredo sauce!), start mixing all the other ingredients in a large bowl or stock pot.  Once noodles are drained, add to the mixture. Mix until noodles and chicken are well coated.


When you add chicken and noodles and need to start mixing, you need a seriously large bowl so you can mix without overturning your meal on the counter!

Here is my beloved bowl that was the largest from a Costco set.  I placed a large drinking glass to show you the size of the bowl.  Unfortunately, after this photo, my bowl tumbled off the counter as it was drying and is no longer with me.

I use a large stock pot to mix everything in with success!


Here is an alternate way I portioned out my meals.  2 larger pans for my family and a gift for a family of ours.  My good friend was going back to work full time after working from home with her two young kids.  I thought this would be a nice “first day back to work” meal that even dad could pop in the oven for their weeknight family meal.  The smaller is a bread loaf that I made for my neighbor.  We just take great care of each other and this was my gesture of saying thanks and I’m grateful for her. Mix and match pans to accommodate your meals.


This pan served my family of 4, and there was even left overs for lunches the next day.


Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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A crowd pleasing casserole.



  • 1 package penne or fusilli noodles
  • Cooked and cubed Family Style packaged Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts or one Rotisserie chicken
  • 4 cups Shredded Italian Cheese
  • 1 can Fire Roasted Diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups Alfredo Sauce (try this homemade)
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top


  1. Cook noodles according to directions.
  2. If using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, prepare chicken with seasonings and cook through. Once cooled, cube into bite sizes. If using store bought Rotisserie, begin trimming meat and cutting into bite sizes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a very large bowl or stock pot (not on burner), start adding the cheese, diced tomatoes, spinach, Alfredo, pesto sauce and milk.
  4. Once chicken and noodles are cooked, add to mixture. Mix to coat chicken and noodles.At this time decide how to portion out the meals. This mixture will fill two 8 x 8 baking dishes (foil is perfect for freezing).
  5. If baking, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake at 350¬į for 35- 40 minutes.
  6. If freezing, sprinkle with cheese, cover in foil and freeze up to 3 months.
  7. TO USE FROM FROZEN: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking. Keep covered and bake for 45 – 50 minutes for 350¬į.