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Recipes » Recipes

Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein Noodles

Author: Kelly Donlea


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (1/2 teaspoon if used dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2  6-ounce packages udon noodles, prepared according to package directions.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • Sriracha sauce, as desired

    In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and pepper; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cabbage until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in noodles, sauce mixture and sriracha as desired.IMG_0525

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Author: Kelly Donlea

Makes 6 Burgers


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/3 cup minced aromatic vegetables of your choice, such as onions, sweet or hot peppers, celery, etc.
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 eggs

Slightly mash black beans. Combine with remaining ingredients. Form into patties. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Serve as desired on buns, or plain with traditional burger garnishes.

Creme Brulee

Author: Kelly Donlea

Makes 6 Servings

1 quart heavy cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks

Place cream into medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually.  Stir in vanilla extract.   Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup  sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with berries, if desired.

Tofu Pesto Lollipop Appetizer

Author: Kelly Donlea

Makes about 24 lollipops

1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons or more of pesto

Lay tofu block between paper towels to dry. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine the oil, paprika and salt. Cut the tofu into cubes and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Place each tofu cube in single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast for 15 minutes on one side, flip over and roast for another 1o minutesIMG955219.

Stick a bamboo fork into the side of each cube, top with about 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite pesto and serve.

Lowfat Creamy Tomato Sauce

Author: Kelly Donlea

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk

Heat oil in pot on stove over medium heat. Add vegetables and sautee until warm. Add remaining ingredients. Use an immersion blender to puree. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over pasta or chicken, and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Sweet Potato Tomato Sauce

Author: Kelly Donlea

You can think of this recipe as hiding superfoods in your family’s favorite meals if you like. But I like to think of it as one of the healthiest ways to get a rich, creamy tomato sauce without loads of heavy cream or butter.  Can be frozen for future use.


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 fresh basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cream, milk, or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Peel and dice sweet potato. Heat oil in pan on stove. Sautee sweet potato and garlic for several minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly. Remove skins form tomato (easiest done by blanching in hot water for 4 minutes until skins pull back). Then remove seeds. Add tomatoes, basil and water to pan and let simmer for 25 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend with blender or immersion blender.

photo (4)


Author: Kelly Donlea

In the blog post that kicked off  this series, I told you that the health benefits of oats and flax are so long, they are a post in themselves. Granola is an easy way to get these superfoods into your system every day as they are versatile for either lunch or breakfast, topped with greek yogurt and fruit, as-is, or with milk.

All you have to do is dress up the oats with some nuts, honey and a toasted finish, and you add a protein and crunch that turn them into a snack your kids will love. This few-ingredient granola is so easy to make, you can whip it up anytime in the kitchen while you’re making dinner or even before the kids wake up.


  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup raw honey*
  • 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil**
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • Nuts (optional) I use 1/3 cup slivered almonds and 1/3 cup pecans in a typical batch

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread on a jelly roll pan or in a baking dish with sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Oven times may vary, and you want to remove from oven as soon as it starts to brown, so either keep a close eye on, or adjust the time based on your oven sensitivity. photo 2

Sweet Potato Pork Chop Bake

Author: Kelly Donlea


Tangy sweet and savory flavors combine for a light but satisfying comfort dish. This dish can also be made with chicken, which is on the stock up list. 



  • 4-6 pork chops
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pears or apples, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ginger












Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil and place in baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients to pan, and stir to combine. Top with pork. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 10 minutes.

photo (3)

Patron xo Cafe Frappuccino

Author: Kelly Donlea


  • 1 oz. patron XO Cafe
  • 1 oz. Creme de Cacao
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. half and half
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • extra syrup for garnish

Line glasses with chocolate syrup garnish. Put ingredients in blender with ice and blend until combined.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Author: Kelly Donlea


  • 1-1/2 cups rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • Salt & pepper

In pan on stove over medium-high heat, drizzle 1 T of the olive oil. Add rice and stir to coat until slightly browned. Add water and garlic salt. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer, and cover, stirring occasionally until cooked. Add lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper as desired.