Cooking with Lou
  • Creamy Asparagus Soup
  • Black Bean Soup
  • hungarian sausage balls
  • grilled lamb chops
  • tomato juice


I’m not a culinary expert, just a home cook with time on her hands (fully retired, at last). Not wanting to sit idly, I started this site and one on gardening, Diary of an Average Gardener to keep some of that spare time occupied with my two favorite activities…cooking and gardening. I welcome advice on either and if you have a favorite family recipe or gardening tip, feel free to share. I’ll publish it with full credit going to you.

The page that follows includes the most recent posts that I’ve added to the site. Explore and Enjoy!


Canning Tomatoes: Tomato Juice

– Posted in: Vegetables
tomato juice

I learned how to can tomatoes when I was quite young (around 10 or 11). My job was grinding the tomatoes through the food mill.  My mother, grandmother and older sister took on the cooking and boiling water steps. I couldn't see over the top of the canning pot. We had tomatoes growing in our [...]

Healthy Pasta Substitutes

– Posted in: Cooking Tips
Pasta Substitutes

We've all heard that pasta has too many carbs and is full of gluten and that we should avoid it. Well, I'm here to tell you that I just can't exist without having pasta. So, what to do? Find a healthy pasta substitute that still tastes like a regular old noodle. Easier said than done. [...]

Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins

– Posted in: Breakfast
single muffin

Need  breakfast in a hurry and also want it to be healthy....something not out of the frozen food isle, or the pop it in the toaster section? Here's a recipe that you can make ahead, put it in your freezer, and heat it up in a fast hurry. Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins This recipe makes [...]

Chicken and Cheese Omelet

– Posted in: Breakfast

Chicken and Cheese Omelet Got left over chicken? Here's a good way to use it in a great breakfast omelet. (It could even be lunch or dinner). Chicken and cheese, a great combination for an omelet. Ingredients: This recipe should feed 4. 6 eggs (or the equivalent egg substitute) 1/2  cup shredded low fat cheddar [...]

Spice Up Chili

– Posted in: Soup

Chili is one of those dishes that have sooooo many variations: veggie, white, chunky, beanless, and on and on. This recipe is your basic meat and bean chili. I spice up chili with a variety of fresh peppers ranging from mild to very hot. A variety will give you different levels of heat in different [...]

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

– Posted in: Pasta

Who doesn't like spaghetti with meat sauce? It's one of those foods you loved as a kid. It's 100% comfort. I've been making this sauce since I was big enough to see over the top of my mom's biggest sauce pot. So... it may be a lot your your mama's or grandma's. I have added [...]

Lou’s Marinara Sauce

– Posted in: Pasta

I like to make up marinara sauce (meatless red sauce)  in very large batches. Then I can adapt it to many dishes. To turn it into a delicious red meat sauce, lasagna sauce, or even chili check out the spaghetti sauce recipe, Lou's Low Fat Lasagna, or Spiced up Chili. Here's where you can make [...]

What Cooking Oil Should I Use?

– Posted in: Cooking Tips

When I asked myself, "What cooking oil should I use?" I did a little research and found that there are many healthy oils. My preferences are olive, grapeseed, almond and sesame oils. I simply don't deep fry food any more (or very rarely), so my need for vegetable or corn oil has dwindled to almost [...]

What are the Good Fats?

– Posted in: Cooking Tips

Here's the Good, The Bad and The Ugly about fats. Let's start with some basic facts that you probably already know: Trans fats and saturated fats: Bad fat Unsaturated fats: Good fat But do you know where trans fats come from? They started out as an unsaturated fat, but went through a hydrogenation process (a [...]

Flank Steak The Lean Beef

– Posted in: Beef & Lamb
grilled flank steak

Lean and mean, great flavor, best grilled to a juicy medium rare. This recipe is a family favorite. It satisfies that steak craving, but does it with a very lean cut of beef. With the left overs you can make some great steak sandwiches. Better yet, it's sooooooooo easy! Flank steak is a fairly thin [...]