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Recipe Blog

Filtering by Category: meals


laura lomax

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Potato Leek Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

3 Leeks, cleaned and chopped                                                4 cups vegetable stock

1 White Onion, chopped                                                             1 cup of water

3 Cloves of garlic, chopped                                                       Salt & pepper to taste

6 Potatoes, peeled and sliced                                                                   

3 Tbsp.olive oil

2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese sprinkled as garnish (optional garnish)


Clean and chop onion, garlic, and leeks. Place butter in large cooking pot then add onion, garlic, and leeks. Saute for ~ 5 minutes. While sauteing peel potatoes (I usually cut my potatoes into quarters to help cook faster). Add broth, water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat. Puree to desired consistency with immersion blender. I sometimes get carried away with my immersion blender and puree a bit too thin, if this happens I toss in 1 Tbsp. of flour which thickens the soup up nicely). Garnish with cheese ( optional).

*This recipe can also easily be turned vegan by ditching the cheese garnish *

This recipe is great to freeze in single serve freezer bags or glass storage bowls.


A delicious vegetarian dish that works well as starter or main dish.

Light and Fresh Mediterranean Couscous

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Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes   Total time: 30 minutes

Serving size: 1 cup       Servings per recipe: 8

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2 cups couscous

2 cups water, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

10.5 oz box cherry tomatoes

1 large cucumber

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup feta cheese


½ cup olive oil

2 lemons

4 cloves of garlic, minced


1.     In a 2 quart sauce pan bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat.  Allow to stand covered ~ 5-6 minutes.  Once finished cooking remove lid, fluff with a fork, and transfer couscous to a bowl to cool.

2.     While couscous is cooking wash and chop the tomato, cucumbers, and basil. Place in a large bowl.

3.      Prepare dressing by combining olive oil, juice of lemons, and minced garlic. Whisk to combine and set aside.

4.     Once couscous is cool add to the large bowl of chopped tomato, basil, and cucumber then top with dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5.     Top with feta cheese and lightly mix to combine.

6.     Store in the refrigerator and serve cold.


- Feel free to modify this recipe to your preference. Other great additions or replacements include chopped red onion, olives, roasted corn, or artichokes.

- For an extra boost of protein top this salad with canned low sodium tuna, chickpeas, grilled chicken or lean beef, salmon, fish, or grilled shrimp.


Nutrition per serving: ~315 calories, 16 g fat, 37 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein.


Best Choice Convenience Items

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A few of our favorite convenience items to stock in the freezer, fridge, and pantry for those days and evenings when cooking just doesn't fit in the schedule. 

A few of our favorite convenience items to stock in the freezer, fridge, and pantry for those days and evenings when cooking just doesn't fit in the schedule. 

If you follow me on social media or browse my site you know I enjoy meal prep. While I love meal prepping and believe it is a wonderful tool to healthy eating it requires time to plan, prepare, and clean . It would be unfair for me to not share that along with meal prepping I use a variety of other strategies to provide healthy options when cooking just doesn't fit the schedule. Today's post focuses on these strategies. 


1.  Frozen dinners....yes I said it. I know for years frozen meals were cringed at by most dietitians with their high sodium content, high calories, tons of preservatives and additives, and flat out horrible taste.  However, over the past years with consumer demand and the popularity of quality ingredients, less additives, and overall healthier options several manufacturers of frozen meals have stepped up to meet the demand. As always when searching out the best options refer to the nutrition label and ingredient list. Several guidelines and nutrients to examine  when selecting a frozen meal include calories, protein, sodium, fiber, and fat. 

General Guidelines For Choosing a Frozen Meal- 

~350-450 calories (varies by individual needs)

~10-15 grams or less (<30% total calories) of fat

- Sodium ~600 mg or less 

- At least 15 grams of protein  

- At least 4 or more grams of fiber

If a meal you enjoy doesn't meet your calorie  needs or falls short on other nutrients below are healthy and simple ways to boost the calorie and nutrient content and round out your frozen meal.

For example: Pair Newman's Own Frozen cheese pizza with a frozen vegetable or salad. With 2 slices of pizza at 260 calories adding a vegetable will boost the calorie and nutrient content to turn a frozen pizza into a meal.  

  • Protein:  For a boost of protein add a serving of dairy to your meal. Examples include adding a glass of low fat milk or a  string cheese. 
  • Vegetables: For frozen dinners short on vegetables considering mixing additional vegetables to the meal, having a vegetable side, or serving with a side salad (using bagged or bin of pre-washed lettuce makes this an easy side). Another great option is snacking on a side of edamame as an appetizer. Simple pop a steamer bag of edamame in the microwave and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. 
  • Nuts/Seeds - Add a serving of nuts to your meal or as a dessert to round out your meal with healthy fats to keep you feeling full longer.  

Several examples of frozen meal brands with minimal additives (and some of my favorites) include Amy’s Light and Lean, Healthy Choice Café Steamers Simply, evol, Luvo, and Saffron Road. 


2. Convenience Items are great time savers when it comes to choosing healthy foods at home. Stock up your fridge, freezer, or pantry with these items to always have a healthy meal on hand. 


  • Pre-cut vegetables
  • Bagged Salad or salad bins
  • Frozen vegetables 
  •  Steamer vegetable bags  
  • Cauliflower rice 


  • Low sodium canned tuna or tuna pouches
  • Canned or pouches of salmon
  • Canned low sodium beans  
  • Dry roasted chickpeas 
  • Nuts/seeds 
  • Pre- cooked natural minimal or preservative free chicken or beef patties 
  • Eggs
  • Cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat milk
  • Nuts/seeds 


  • Ready to eat fruits that do not require slicing or peeling such as apples, bananas, peaches, pears, blueberries.
  • Canned or single serve cups of fruit in natural juice or no sugar added
  • Dried fruit
  • Freeze dried fruit  
  • No sugar added applesauce 


  • Microwave brown rice cups 
  • Steamer brown rice 
  • Protein plus pasta 
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal 
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Whole grain crackers 

With these pantry staples there are a variety of combos that put a meal on the table in 5-20 minutes. Examples include:

  • Microwave bag of brown rice + Microwave bag of steamer vegetables + low sodium canned beans. Served with a side of Applesauce sprinkled w/ cinnamon. 
  • Whole wheat crackers + tuna pouch + raw pre-cut carrots. Served with an apple 
  • Protein Plus pasta + frozen vegetables. Served with canned pears.  
  • Oatmeal prepared with milk (or water if no milk available) + smashed banana (for sweetness) + sprinkled with crushed nuts and cinnamon.
  • Scrambled eggs + bagged spinach  + Peaches 


Chicken, Vegetable, and Gnocchi Soup

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gnocchi soup.jpg

Prep time: 15 minutes                 Cook Time: 25 minutes          Total time: 40 minutes 

Yields: 9 servings (serving size 1.5 cup) 


2 pounds chicken breast tenders, cubed

17.6 oz package of Gnocchi 

8 cups low sodium chicken broth 

1 bundle of spinach, washed  

16 oz bag sliced carrots

6 cloves of Garlic, chopped 

1 white onion

2 tbsp. Olive oil    



1 package Gnocchi 

1 pound chicken 

 Add chopped onions, garlic, and 8 ounce sliced carrots into large stock pot. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and turn heat to medium. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Next add in 8 cups low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. 

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While waiting for the soup to boil season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for ~4 minutes then stir and flip to the other side and cook for an additional ~4 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly (internal temperature reaches 165 degrees). 

Add the cooked chicken and its cooking juices to the boiling soup.  Gently add in the gnocchi and spinach. Once gnocchi floats the soup is complete. 

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Garlic and Soy Baked Fish

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Serving size: 1 fish Fillet 

Serving per recipe: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 10 minutes 

Total Recipe time: 15 minutes


2- 4 oz fish fillets (cod, catfish, tilapia, snapper all work well)

4 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce 

4 tsp. canola oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using aluminum foil create two rectangular pouches with edges. Place one fillet in each pouch and top with 2 tsp oil and 2 tsp soy sauce. Then top with garlic and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook ~ 10 minutes or until the fish becomes opaque and flaky. 

Garlic Basil Golden Beet Spirals

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Prepared with golden beet spirals as a noodle or pasta replacement and seasoned with garlic, basil, and parmesean cheese you won't even miss your traditional noodles.

Prepared with golden beet spirals as a noodle or pasta replacement and seasoned with garlic, basil, and parmesean cheese you won't even miss your traditional noodles.

By now you have likely tried zucchini noodles but there are many other options including sweet potato, carrots, and beets. I admit I was skeptical at first because golden beets are not my favorite, but I have a weakness for any veggie spiraled or noodled and had to try them. I was beyond impressed with their cooked texture and how well they absorbed the ingredients flavors. Golden beets are packed with nutrients including potassium, fiber, and iron as well as  rich in lycopene and flavonoids. Along with being a powerhouse in the nutrient category beet spirals are a gluten free, diary free, and low calorie alternative to traditional pasta. 

Serving Size: 2 

Total cook time: 10 minutes 


1 -10.7 ounce Box Golden beet spirals or hand prepared spiraled golden beets 

3 tbsp. olive oil 

4 cloves of garlic, chopped 

1 tbsp. dried basil 

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch of black pepper 

Add the golden beet spirals to the skillet coating with the olive oil. Another great benefit to the golden beet spirals is they cook in minutes making it simple to prepare a meal in under 10 minutes.

Add the golden beet spirals to the skillet coating with the olive oil. Another great benefit to the golden beet spirals is they cook in minutes making it simple to prepare a meal in under 10 minutes.


In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook for several minutes until fragrant. Add beet spirals toss in olive oil to coat all spirals. Add basil, salt, and pepper and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in Parmesan cheese. Serves wonderful immediately, but also reheats well for flavorful leftovers. 

*Tip: For an entree or pasta dish split into 2 servings. For a side the recipe can be split into 4 servings*  


Shredded turkey and black bean soup

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This shredded turkey and black bean soup is a perfect change of pace for those turkey leftovers!

This shredded turkey and black bean soup is a perfect change of pace for those turkey leftovers!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total cook time: 50 minutes


2 cups chicken stock or turkey stock

2 cups cooked shredded turkey

15 oz. (1 can) low sodium black beans, drained and lightly rinsed

16 oz. no added salt tomato sauce

1 tomato, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt


In a large saucepan on medium heat sauté the onions, garlic, and carrots in the olive oil. Cook for ~ 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and become fragrant. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, tomato, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Toss in the cooked turkey and beans. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 35 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!   

Beans & Greens Soup with Ham

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This Beans & Greens soup with Ham is a great meal to prepare in bulk and enjoy as the weather cools. The soup features pinto beans, collard greens, and mustard greens, turnip greens all filled with flavor from the ham bone. 

Makes 7 - 2 cup servings 

Prep Time: Overnight bean soak 8 hours + 15 minute prep. 

Cook Time: 5 hours (can be completed stove top or crock pot)


1 Bag Pinto beans

1 large onion, chopped 

1 Ham Bone

1 Bay leaf 

2-3 tsp. salt

1 tsp pepper (or to taste)

8 oz Bag Combo Greens (collard, mustard, and turnip) or any combo of these greens per your preference

 10 cups water 


Soak beans overnight or with quick soak method. Before each method sort and rinse beans.  For the quick soak: Boil ~ 8-10 cups of water then add beans. Allow beans to boil for ~ 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse under fresh water. For overnight method: Add the beans to ~8-10 cups of water and allow to soak overnight. In the morning drain water and rinse beans. Soaked beans are now ready to be prepared*

In a large pot add soaked beans, ham bone, onions, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and allow to cook stirring periodically.  Cook the soup on a low heat for 4 hours before adding the greens for the last hour of cooking. The soup is done once it cooks for a total 5 hours. When the soup is complete remove the ham bone. Allow to cool then remove the excess meat from the bone and add to the soup.

 If freezing, separate into single serve portions to cool quicker. Once cooled seal in air tight containers or freezer bags, date, label, and place in freezer.

* Short on time the recipe also works perfect in a crock pot*  


Freezer Friendly Bean Burritos

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Filled with flavorful slow cooked black beans, melted cheese, and roasted broccoli these freezer friendly burritos are a must add recipe to add to your meal prep rotation!&nbsp;

Filled with flavorful slow cooked black beans, melted cheese, and roasted broccoli these freezer friendly burritos are a must add recipe to add to your meal prep rotation! 

I am a huge fan of freezer friendly meals. I mean honestly who doesn't love having home cooked meals ready and waiting after a long day?!? Working with families with inflammatory bowel disease one of the biggest challenges are finding recipes that respect food tolerances and dietary restrictions that the WHOLE family can enjoy.  Being a mom with Ulcerative Colitis I definitely relate to this challenge.  It is difficult to prepare multiple meals for multiple family members based on food preferences and dietary modifications. That is one of the many reasons I love this recipe. Since the burritos are single severe each family member can modify the foods they prefer or tolerate in their burritos and have them prepared and labeled for an easy weeknight meal that simple needs to be microwaved. When it comes to burritos the combos for ingredients are endless so feel free to be creative when you prepare your own. This recipe takes you through preparing homemade beans, but canned low sodium beans can be substituted to save time. Additional ingredients that work well include chicken, rice, and a variety of vegetables. 


Prep time (not including soaking): 15 minutes for beans + 20 minutes for burrito building 

Cook time: 4-5 hours 

Serving size: 15 burritos (5 cups of beans)



3 cups water 

5 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock 

16 oz bag black beans, *quick soaked or overnight soaked*

5 cloves of garlic, sliced 

2 onions, chopped 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. cumin 

1/2 cup cut cilantro leaves, chopped (not packed)

Roasted Broccoli

3 3/4 cups broccoli, chopped

1-2 tbsp. olive oil 

Salt and pepper  

Additional Ingredients:

2 cups cheddar, Monterrey Jack blend or diary free cheese  

15 tortillas 

Freezer Prep Materials: 

Wax Paper, 12 - 12 x12 inch pieces 

Foil, 12 - 12 x 12 inch pieces 

Permanent marker 

1-2 freezer bags 


*Soak beans overnight or with quick soak method. Before each method sort and rinse beans.  For the quick soak: Boil ~ 8-10 cups of water then add beans. Allow beans to boil for ~ 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse under fresh water. For overnight method: Add the beans to ~8-10 cups of water and allow to soak overnight. In the morning drain water and rinse beans. Soaked beans are now ready to be prepared* 

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Take the soaked beans and add them along with the water, chicken broth, garlic, onions, salt, cumin, and cilantro to the cooking pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to cook for 5 hours. Beans will thicken as they cook.  Beans can be served whole or mashed for more of a "refried" appearance. 

As the beans finish cooking (~ the last 30 minutes of cook time) prepare the roasted broccoli. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place broccoli on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. After tossing spread broccoli across the baking sheet leaving space between each piece. Roast vegetables until vegetables are slightly soft with a small bit of charring. Cook time ~ 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Once beans and broccoli are cool begin burrito building. Warm tortillas slightly to prevent cracking. Add 1/3 cup beans, 1/4 cup broccoli, and 2 tbsp. cheese to each tortilla. Fold to secure filling. Wrap burrito in wax paper followed by foil for freezing. Label each burrito with date, filling, and preparation instructions with sharpie marker.  For freezer organization place all of the wrapped burritos in a freezer plastic bag to secure burritos in one place and create ease in freezer friendly meal inventory. 

When ready to enjoy remove burritos from freezer, remove foil and waxed paper, and wrap loosely in a papertowel and heat for 1-2 minutes.  



Black Bean Pasta with Vegetables

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Protein packed black bean pasta with colorful broccoli and orange bell pepper for the perfect vegetarian one pot meal!&nbsp;&nbsp;

Protein packed black bean pasta with colorful broccoli and orange bell pepper for the perfect vegetarian one pot meal!  

I am always excited to try new foods and recently we have been hooked on black bean pasta. While I don't think it taste like traditional pasta, it has a unique taste that is wonderful! I feel this is similar to almond or soy milk, while I enjoy both I don't think they necessarily taste like traditional cows milk.  Here are some of the amazing nutritional facts on black bean pasta. First its a great gluten free alternative to traditional pasta. It is also packed with protein, high in fiber, and lower in carbohydrates than traditional pasta. On average black bean pasta per 2 ounce serving has 14 grams protein, 15 grams fiber, and 35 grams carbohydrate compared to traditional pasta with 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 41 grams of carbohydrates. Combined with colorful broccoli and orange bell peppers you have a perfect vegetarian one pot meal.   

Total Prep and Cook Time: 25 minutes 

Servings per Recipe: 4 


2 cups Black bean pasta 

2.5 cups broccoli, chopped (you can also use frozen broccoli) 

1 Orange bell pepper, chopped 

1.5 tbsp. olive oil + 1 tbsp olive to drizzle 

4 cloves of garlic, chopped 

1 tsp. salt 

1/4 tsp. pepper


Fill a medium pot with water and lightly salt the water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Once water is boiling add pasta. Gently stir the pasta intermittently and cook for 8-10 minutes (careful not to overcook). Remove pasta from heat, drain, and set aside.  Lightly rinse the pot used to cook pasta as wit will be used to cook the vegetables. Over low to medium heat saute garlic in 1.5 tbsp. olive oil and add the broccoli and orange peppers. Saute for ~4 minutes. Next add pasta to the pot. Lightly drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and combine pasta and vegetables. Add salt and pepper as listed or to taste. 

*For an extra boost of flavor top with grated Parmesan cheese***

Baked Chicken Tenders

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Servings: 6

Servings size: 2 tenders

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes

1.5 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast sliced into 1/2 inch stripes or boneless skinless chicken breast tenders

2 Egg

3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs                            

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp. McCormick salt free original all-purpose seasoning or Penzey Mural of Flavor

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper



Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. In a small bowl beat the egg. In a different bowl combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, All-purpose seasoning, salt, and pepper. To prepare the chicken dip the chicken tender in egg then coat in breadcrumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet and repeat for the remixing chicken tenders.  Place in the preheated oven and cook for ~ 20-30 minutes (depending on thickness of tenders. Serve alone or with your favorite dipping sauce.


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Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. Recipe prepares 12 pancakes.

Servings per recipe: 6

Serving size: 2 pancakes


1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup Oat flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup unsweet applesauce

1 cup reduced fat milk


In a large bowl add the all purpose flour, oat flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix gently to combine. Then add the applesauce and milk. Stir the mixture to combine. Using a light coat of butter or nonstick spray heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Pour the pancake batter on the hot griddle making ~ 4 inch pancakes. Pancakes are ready to flip once the surface bubbles. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on each side.


Black Bean Soup

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Servings: 4

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup 

Total Time: 35 minutes 



2 tbsp. olive oil 

1 white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped 

3.5 cups cooked black beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans no salt added black beans 

1 cup water 

1/3 cup Siggi's Plain Yogurt 

1 tsp cumin 

1/2 tsp. salt 


1/4 cup chopped cilantro 

1/4 cup Siggi's Plain Yogurt 

1 small Avocado, cubed 

1 Lime, quartered


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium to large pot. Next add the chopped onions and garlic. Let cook for ~ 5 minutes or until the onions become fragrant and translucent. Add the black beans, cumin, salt, water, and yogurt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to cook covered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Using an immersion blender (or other blender of your choice) puree the soup to a smooth consistency. 

Garnish with 2 tbsp. Siggi's plain yogurt, 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro, and avocado cubes. Top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a boost of flavor. 


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This recipe is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, minimizes mess by cooking with foil, and allows you to cook the whole meal at once by including all sides in the foil pouch.  Multiple studies have support the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids in reducing triglyceride levels.  

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook Time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 4 


4-4 oz Salmon fillets 

1 Bag Spinach 

8 Black potatoes, sliced (or any small potato such as red potatoes)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 

1 lime, quartered 

Extra virgin Olive oil



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 large pieces of foil and place on the counter top. Place a generous amount (1/4 the bag) of spinach in each piece of foil. Lay the salmon on top of the bed of spinach. Surround the salmon with the potatoes. Place chopped cilantro on the salmon. Sprinkle the garlic in each foil packet. Lightly salt the salmon then drizzle salmon, spinach, and potatoes with olive oil. Last squeeze the lime juice over each salmon fillet. Seal each packet and place on a cookie sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully open the foil pouches, allowing steam to escape. Serve and enjoy!  



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Total cook time: 20 minutes

Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes.

Serves: 4 


1 pound Boneless skinless chicken cutlets, trimmed

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ cup low sodium chicken broth

Salt and Pepper

1 Box Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

1 Bag Shredded Carrots


1.       Sprinkle chicken cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides.

2.       In a deep skillet add 2 tbsp. olive oil then add garlic. Sauté garlic for ~3 minutes on low to medium heat or until fragrant.

3.       Add chicken to skillet and increase heat to medium. Cook chicken on each side for ~ 2 minutes to brown, then add chicken broth and cover to continue cooking.   

4.       The cutlets will take a total of ~ 10 minutes to cook. After cooking covered for ~2 minutes add the carrots followed by the zucchini noodles.

5.       Chicken is done once it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

This yummy zoodle recipe was part of a recent cooking demo done for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Kick off party in Austin. The Veggie Noodle Company based in Austin was so kind to donate all the zoodles for the demo and the Zoodles were truly the star of the show! I love this recipe for so many reasons! To start it fits into many IBD modifications being both gluten free and diary free. As a mom of two youngsters minimal mess is a must and one pot to me is the definition of minimal mess!  Also the recipe is very versatile. Feel free to swap out veggies, protein source (great with shrimp, tofu, etc), and even seasonings per your families preference or tolerance. ENJOY! 

* To see the demo check out the Take Steps Central Facebook page*


Oven Baked Shrimp

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Total cook time: 30 minutes 

Prep time: 25 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes. 

Yields 4 servings 

Pescatarian friendly, gluten free, diary free 


1 pound fresh Gulf Shrimp

2 tbsp. olive oil 

Juice of 1 lemon 

2 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. pepper 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and devein the shrimp and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Let marinade for a few minutes while you line the baking sheet with foil and the oven continues to preheat. Place the shrimp on the lined cooking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.  

Black bean and Broccoli Enchiladas

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Total Time: 45 minutes.  Prep 20 minutes. Bake 25 minutes.

Serving Size: 3 (serving size = 2 enchiladas)


1 can (15 ounces) low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped broccoli (I used frozen broccoli measured out to 2.5 cups before defrosted after chopped and defrosted ~ 1 cup)

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

6 100% whole wheat or corn tortillas

3/4 cup Enchilada sauce

1 cup reduced fat cheddar or Mexican blend cheese


Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. In a large skillet sauté the garlic and olive oil for 1 minute. Then add the beans, broccoli, onion powder, cumin, cilantro, and salt. Cook for ~ 3-5 minutes on low heat. Spoon ~ 1/2 cup bean mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place in a greased 8 x8 inch baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.  

Foil Baked Fish and Veggies

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Dairy free, Gluten free

Prep time: 10 minutes          Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes 

Serves 4


4 (4 oz) fish fillets (snapper, flounder, or cod)

1 cup broccoli, chopped 

1 cup carrots, chopped 

4 cloves garlic, sliced

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut two large pieces of heavy duty foil and place on a large baking sheet. Cut or place precut broccoli and carrots in foil packets. Season lightly with 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper. Place fish fillets (2 in each foil packet) and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with half the sliced garlic. Repeat in second foil packet. Wrap and seal each foil pouch. Bake for ~ 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before carefully opening the pouches.  

* Tim Saver tips*

 *For a 30 minute full meal use a minute microwavable brown rice or steamfresh freezer microwavable rice*

* Purchase broccoli and carrots precut*


Sweet Apple and Spinach Quesadillas

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Total cook time: 25 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes, cook: 15 minutes

Yields: 4 servings   


8 Whole wheat or corn tortillas

1 1/3 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups baby spinach

2 Fuji Apples, cored and sliced thin

Butter, for coating the pan


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium to high heat and lightly butter. Place tortilla in pan and add 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 sliced apple, 1/3 cup cheese. Press another tortilla on top to make quesadilla and let cook until cheese melts cooking for 2minutes then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and slice into 4 wedges. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.

3 Ingredient Roasted Chicken

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3 Ingredient Roasted Chicken: Served 3 ways: Chicken breast with broccoli and blueberries, Brown rice Fiesta Bowl, and Colorful Spinach &amp; Sugar Snap Pea Salad.

3 Ingredient Roasted Chicken: Served 3 ways: Chicken breast with broccoli and blueberries, Brown rice Fiesta Bowl, and Colorful Spinach & Sugar Snap Pea Salad.

3 Ingredient Roasted Chicken (diary free, FODMAP friendly)


 4-5 pound whole chicken

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and Pepper


Heat oven to 425. Pat chicken dry. Drizzle olive oil over the skin coating the entire chicken.  Season with salt and pepper. Place in roasting pan and cook uncovered for 20 minutes at 425. Reduce heat to 375 and continue cooking until juices are clear and thermometer reads 165 degrees inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone). Chicken will take approximately 20 minutes per pound to cook. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.