Ingredient: fresh lemon juice*

Appetizer, Bbq/Grilling, Beef, Fall, Main, Middle Eastern, Pizzas, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer

Beef Kefta Flatbread Pizza

Serve with Tomato-Cucumber Salad-

I was flipping through a Cooking Light magazine and came across Beef Kefta Patties with Cucumber Salad. Kefta? A quick internet search yielded my answer: Kefta is the Lebanese/Syrian dialect for Kofta- a Middle Eastern, South Asian and Balkan meatball or meatloaf, although it is also referred to as kefka in Morocco. In the Middle East Kefta is ground beef or lamb, typically mixed with cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander and parsley. Cinnamon, hot ground pepper, and mint leaves are optional.

The recipe below shows traditional quantities of these spices and herbs. I have, however, sautéed the kefta mixture in favor of forming into kebobs and made it as the base for a flatbread pizza. In honor of its Lebanese roots, serve it with a cooling cucumber-tomato salad.

American, Fall, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Sides, Soups, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Creamy Corn Chowder

Serve with crusty whole grain bread with goat cheese-

I am not a huge fan of cream-based soups, but I wanted to make traditional corn chowder with the last-of-the-season sweet corn from the farmer’s markets. I am now a HUGE fan of this lightened version, as is my family, which unanimously gave this vegetarian chowder “5 stars”. Dunking a warm, whole grain roll into the incredibly creamy, fennel-scented, flavorful broth (chockfull of tender potatoes and fresh corn kernels) is the perfect beginning to the start of comfort food season.

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Pan Seared Pork Chops

Serve with parsley new potatoes, lemony sugar snap peas-

I spend most days cooking up different grains, meats, and vegetables in interesting ways, but it takes a simple meal like this to remind me that sometimes simplicity is best. This is easy to whip up on a busy weekday, but elegant enough to make for company on a spring evening. Make sure to buy the best quality chops you can afford.

American, Bbq/Grilling, Fall, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Seafood, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer

Grilled Salmon Salad

Serve with watermelon slices, French bread-

This was a surprise hit, considering my family does not prefer salmon. My oldest declared that “this doesn’t even taste like salmon” as she went back for seconds. It is truly a keep-the-heat-out-of-the-kitchen recipe as the salmon is grilled and tossed with fresh, crisp ingredients. Cool watermelon slices and a loaf of good quality bread round out a new way to eat salmon in the summer.

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Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Serve with tomato and Corn Salad-

I am always tinkering with recreating a true Maryland-style crab cake and I finally found a healthy version that brings back memories of growing up in the greater Philadelphia area with access to Chesapeake Bay classics like crab cakes.

The distinct difference between most crab cakes and a Maryland-style one is the Old Bay seasoning, a staple in most Maryland households. I have lightened up the coastal seafood delicacy by broiling rather than pan frying in oil. I did not miss the original fried version and rather preferred this lighter one. My crab cake recipe got two thumbs up from my southern-raised husband who spent many a childhood summers on the Chesapeake and my daughter who does not typically like seafood.

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Slow Cooker Meyer Lemon Risotto

My good friend, Adriana S., gifted me some of her Meyer lemons from her backyard and I could not wait for the inspiration to hit what to do with them. I had never seen such huge Meyer lemons but they were ripe for the picking, incredibly juicy and so fragrant I knew I had to do something special with them. My tendency towards savory verses sweet led to the creation of this creamy risotto. The fragrant, slightly sweet lemon is the perfect burst of freshness to a traditional buttery and nutty Parmesan Italian staple. This a keeper as a side dish or a vegetarian meal. This rice dish would be a nice addition to your holiday buffets.