Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Slow-Cooker Veggie Soup with Garlic Rosemary Croutons December 31, 2011

Jamie says: Whether the weather is hot or cold, soup is always a comforting meal. And it’s even better when you can make it ahead of time and come home to a warm bowl…

Slow-Cooker Veggie Soup with Garlic Rosemary Croutons

The slow cooker was a great help in that it allowed us to go to the beach for sunset and come home to dinner already cooked and ready to go. Can’t get much better than that!

The beach at sunset and a delicious homemade soup! Perfect!

I loved the crunchy and flavor-packed croutons and variety of veggies in the hot soup…

Crunchy, flavor-packed croutons with veggie-rich soup... yum!

Slow-Cooker Veggie Soup with Garlic Rosemary Croutons



  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 Idaho potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 cup celery leaves
  • 8 oz  whole baby bella mushrooms
  • 15.8 oz can Great Northern beans (Bush’s)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup leftover baked kale
  • 32 oz carton original chicken cooking stock (Kitchen Basics)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 baton multigrain bread (Publix Bakery)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried crushed rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 6 cloves garlic


  1. Slice zucchini, squash, and carrots into coin-shaped pieces; cut large pieces in half. Chop potatoes and onion. Slice celery. Chop celery leaves into large pieces. Quarter mushrooms. Drain and rinse beans. Add ingredients to a large slow-cooker. Add can of tomatoes with juices, baked kale, chicken broth, and extra virgin olive oil. Stir. Set slow cooker on auto or low cook; cook for about 6 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cube bread. Place in the center of a large baking pan, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, rosemary, and oregano. Use a garlic press to add crushed garlic. (Use pieces inside of garlic press, too.) Toss to coat. Spread bread cubes out on sheet and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.
  3. Pour bowls of soup and top with croutons.

Serves: 6-8

  • Nutrition note: Opt for a lighter, vegetable-based broth soup. Many of the creamy soups are high in saturated fat and calories.

Veggie Pasta Salad December 30, 2011

Jamie says: Sometimes I just don’t feel like a sandwich or salad for lunch. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I really and truly enjoy a nice sandwich or a good salad, but there are also times when I want something else. It can be a challenge to come up with new lunch ideas. But when I thought of this pasta salad, it seemed unique enough.

Veggie Pasta Salad

I loved the vibrant colors, the crunch of the carrots and celery, and the way the curly pasta twirled in the flavors of olive oil and large crystals of sea salt and flakes of oregano.

Bright and beautiful

It was a large salad, but it was light (round two isn’t pictured…it was still in the bowl but made it to my stomach soon). Lunch was a repeater. In fact, I made it again the next day.

Grab a fork and dig in!

Veggie Pasta Salad


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup  fusilli pasta (ours was from our trip to Italy- Verrigni fusilloro)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 slice yellow onion
  • 4 leaves escarole (or lettuce or another leafy green)
  • 10 black olives
  • dice-sized piece of hard white cheese (or 1/4 cup shredded cheese)
  • ½ cup chick peas
  • ½ small tomato
  • dash salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • dash sea salt


  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package (bring water to a boil, add pasta, and cook for about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, drain well, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Refrigerate.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop celery, carrot, onion, and escarole into thin pieces. Cut each olive into four slices. Chop cheese into small pieces. Rinse and drain chick peas. Chop tomato and sprinkle with salt, freshly ground pepper, and oregano. Place all veggies in a bowl and mix. Add extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Add pasta to veggies. Mix to combine. Enjoy immediately or for a chilled pasta salad, refrigerate for at least an hour. Enjoy!

Serves: 1-2

  • Nutrition note: Don’t have time to make lunch in the AM? Try making this pasta salad the day or night before and you’ll have a healthy, tasty lunch you can enjoy on-the-go. (Don’t forget a fork.)

1st place in the Chiquita Ultimate Banana Recipe Contest for Jamie’s Banana Coconut Chicken Tenders with Orange Marmalade Sauce December 29, 2011

Jamie says: I’m so excited…I’m going bananas! My Banana Coconut Chicken Tenders with Orange Marmalade Sauce  won 1st place in the main dishes category in the Chiquita Ultimate Banana Recipe Contest!

Thank you to everyone who voted for my recipe! Without your support I could not have won one of the two 1st place prizes- $500 for cooking classes/school and a Chiquita gift basket! Thank you so much for voting for my recipe, everyone! And thank you, Chiquita, for hosting this awesome contest and awarding me this amazing prize!

You can check out my recipe and the other winning recipes on the website, too. Here’s my winning recipe:

1st place Banana Coconut Chicken Tenders with Orange Marmalade Sauce

Banana Coconut Chicken Tenders with Orange Marmalade Sauce

~Bursting with tropical flavor, these crunchy chicken tenders are coated in banana, rolled in coconut flakes, baked to perfection, and dipped in a sweet orange marmalade sauce. One bite and you’ll be in paradise.~

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes


Chicken Tenders

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Chiquita bananas
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ cup dried sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/3 lbs boneless chicken tenderloins
  • No-stick cooking spray

Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup dried sweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade


  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Spread flour on a plate.
  3. In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher. In a small bowl, crack an egg and beat with a fork. Add egg and coconut extract to bananas. Mash until blended.
  4. Pour breadcrumbs, parsley, and coconut flakes into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until mixed.
  5. Roll chicken tenders in flour, then banana mixture, followed by breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet and bake 9 minutes. Flip tenders and bake an additional 9 minutes or until cooked throughout.
  6. Prepare dipping sauce by mixing together ketchup, coconut flakes, and orange marmalade in a small bowl.
  7. Serve chicken tenders with dipping sauce.

Serves: 4

  • Nutrition note (for TSOK readers): Skip the deep-fried chicken tenders at restaurants and make your own healthier and tastier version. The Banana Coconut Chicken Tenders with Orange Marmalade Sauce recipe uses whole wheat bread crumbs and bananas for an extra health bonus.

P.S. I’m eating a Chiquita banana as I type this.


Wedge Salad December 28, 2011

Jamie says: With K and Mom working, Dad and I have been tag-teaming dinner. We’ve become a good team. Dad had the idea of a wedge salad with our Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Kale and Shitake Mushrooms dinner. He showed me how to remove the center piece and cut it and I added the frills (aka toppings).

Wedge Salad

Crunchy lettuce, flavorful olives and toppings, and creamy dressing.

The wedge is a fancy and fun way to eat a salad

Wedge Salad

  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 small vine-ripened tomato
  • dash salt
  • 2 thin slices onion
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas
  • 4 Spanish manzanilla olives stuffed with minced pimiento (green olives)
  • 4 kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup Caesar Parmigiano yogurt salad dressing (Bolthouse Farms)


  1. To break center out of iceberg lettuce, whack the center on the corner of a clean counter top. Wash head of lettuce and cut in half. Cut one half into fourths, placing each on a separate small plate.
  2. Chop tomato and add salt. Cut onion slices into pieces. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
  3. Decoratively place tomatoes, onion, chickpeas, and both types of olives on salad plates. Drizzle salad dressing on top. Enjoy!
  • Nutrition note: Side salads aren’t only for restaurants. Add one to a meal at home to get in some extra veggies to fill you up a little before your main course.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Kale and Shitake Mushrooms December 27, 2011

Jamie says: I’ve been enjoying the food souvenirs from our family vacations. A bottle of white wine from our trip to San Francisco last year and a couple boxes of pasta from the Italy trip this year went into this dinner…

Mac 'n' Cheese with Kale and Shitake Mushrooms

Gooey cheesiness, crispy kale, and tender shitake mushrooms…yum! The spiral pasta did a good job of holding the cheese, too. I scraped the pan clean on this one!

Mac 'n' cheese isn't just for kids....

Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Kale and Shitake Mushrooms


  • ~4 cups water
  • ~3 cups fusilli pasta (ours was from our trip to Italy- Verrigni fusilloro)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (Campbell’s Healthy Request)
  • 1 tsp deli mustard (Ba-Tampte)
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk (Smart Balance fat free milk and omega-3s)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (Publix), divided
  • 16 oz kale greens (Glory Foods)
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • dash sea salt
  • 3.5 oz shitake mushrooms (Publix)
  • 2 Tbsp white wine (ours was from our trip to San Francisco, CA- Captain’s Reserve, Napa Valley from Rubicon Estate)
  • dash salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium-large pot on high heat, bring water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook according to box, about 9 minutes. Drain pasta.
  3. In a casserole dish, combine cream of mushroom soup, mustard, milk, freshly ground pepper, 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and cooked pasta. Stir.
  4. In a large metal baking dish, add kale. (Use a paper towel to soak up any water, if needed.) Drizzle with grape seed oil and sea salt. Mix.
  5. Quickly rinse mushrooms. Pat dry. Place in a small saute pan on medium-low heat. Pour white wine on top. Place a lid on top of pan and cook for about 12 minutes or until soft and wine has cooked off.
  6. Place mac and cheese and kale in oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese on top of macaroni.
  7. In individual serving bowls, layer mac and cheese, baked kale, and mushrooms. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves: 3

  • Nutrition note: Mac and cheese doesn’t only have to be for the young-ins. Make it a healthy dinner everyone can enjoy by using low fat cheese and adding some tasty cooked veggies.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Onions, and Balsamic December 26, 2011

Jamie says: I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I thoroughly enjoyed the two days of Christmas (Christmas Eve and Christmas day) with family, festivities, fun, and food (of course).

After a long walk on the beach last week, I was hungry and ready for a really quick lunch. I made Salmon and Kalamata Olive Spread Open-Faced Sandwiches and a nice salad…it’s red and green for the Christmas season, too! It’s also a nice lighter side dish for the holiday season.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Onions, and Balsamic

I loved it and the recipe was so simple. I ended up making a second bowl… and then the next day I made it with my lunch, too.

Strawberries and spinach go quite well together

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Onions, and Balsamic


  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 slice yellow onion
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (Whole Foods 365 organic)


  1. Place spinach in a serving bowl.
  2. Chop onion slice; add to salad. Wash and remove tops from strawberries; slice; add to top of salad.
  3. Pour balsamic vinegar on top. Enjoy!

Serves: 1

Nutrition note: I bet Popeye didn’t know this one…The vitamin C in the strawberries helps you absorb the iron in the spinach.


Waffle & Ice Cream December 25, 2011

Jamie says: Merry Christmas!

Mom bought a carton of Publix Premium Santa’s White Christmas Limited Edition Ice Cream. The ice cream is awesome- coffee with chocolate covered espresso flakes. I thought it would go great with a waffle. So when I went to Publix this weekend, I bought Kashi 7 Grain waffles. Put the two together and you’ve got:

Waffle & Ice Cream

Warm crunchy waffle + cold sweet ice cream = deliciousness

Publix Premium Santa's White Christmas Limited Edition Ice Cream on a Kashi 7 Grain Waffle

It’s so simple.

Sometimes simplicity is sweet

It was so good, the ice cream barely had time to melt.

Skip the cone and go for the whole grain goodness

Waffle & Ice Cream


  • 1 whole grain waffle (Kashi 7 Grain)
  • 1 scoop ice cream (e.g. Publix Premium Santa’s White Christmas Limited Edition Ice Cream)


  1. Toast waffle in toaster until golden brown and crunchy. Scoop ice cream on top. Serve immediately.

Serves: 1

  • Nutrition note: Do you like your ice cream on waffle cones? Try enjoying it on a whole grain waffle instead of a cone to add some whole grains to your diet. It’s more nutritious and filling.