Baked Pasta Alla Norma (Eggplant Pasta)

Pasta Alla Norma is one of Sicily’s most iconic dishes – a fresh tasting combination of pasta, crushed tomato, garlic, eggplant, basil and cheese. Pasta Alla Norma translates wonderfully to being a baked dish and tastes even better the next day. If you like eggplant parmesan, you’ll love this (and it’s lighter, too)! I’ve also included steps for the one true way to keep eggplant from getting bitter, and also a recipe for my own simple Italian pasta sauce. The key to a fresh tasting pasta recipe is to keep it simple and make things from scratch. It’s worth it!

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Coffee Banana Oat Muffins

Coffee and banana seem like an unlikely combination, but the flavors complement each other incredibly well. Simply leave out the coffee if you’re not a fan, but it adds a nice additional flavor that isn’t too strong. These muffins are simultaneously fluffy and also hearty due to the oats and make a great portable breakfast. With 265 calories for a big muffin (or 198 for a smaller one), they’re not incredibly unhealthy either. Everyone wins!

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15 Minute Spinach Dip

This dip is truly addictive. I made it for New Years Eve last night and the only detractors were the people who were upset that they couldn’t stop eating it. It is remarkably simple to make, and with a few healthier shortcuts, isn’t quite as unhealthy as some of the other dips out there! A fresh taste, fast preparation, and ingredients that won’t break the bank – you can’t ask for much more than that! It can be served with sliced cucumbers, wheat crackers, or even in a bread bowl or with sliced sourdough.

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Spinach Pie

Hearty and chock full of vitamins, this spinach pie is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Slice into small pieces for a party snack, or serve for dinner with some bread and a salad. This pie has 3 different types of cheeses and a delicious flaky crust. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon or even a dash of hot sauce if you’re feeling sassy.

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Geordie’s Banana Bread

I had been scouring the internet for an easy recipe to make banana bread, and my friend Geordie came to the rescue. I’ve had this recipe for a while but finally got around to photographing it, so here is a no fail, easy and delicious recipe for banana bread. It’s not too heavy, not too sweet, and great toasted with a slathering of butter. I use this recipe to make muffins (makes 8 cupcake sized muffins) and they’re great for a quick breakfast on the run.

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Stuffed Mushrooms

These mushrooms stuffed with garlic, onion, breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese smell amazing as they’re cooking, and taste amazing once they’re done. My mom has made this recipe along with Sunday roast dinners for as long as I can remember. She passed the recipe down to me, and now I make it whenever I get the chance. This recipe is vegetarian and could also be made vegan if you leave out the cheese and replace with your favorite cheese substitute. They’re easy to make and everyone will want to know the recipe.

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