July Challenge!

Happy Birthday America!  In honor of our country, July’s challenge will be red, white and/or blue foods!!!

red white


COPYCAT Applebee’s Honey Grilled Salmon

I’m not necessarily a fan of Applebee’s, but I am a fan of salmon!


The website that posted the recipe didn’t list the nutritional values, but the ingredient list isn’t that bad!!  And the result?  Delish!!!


COPYCAT Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

I love to travel and one of the joys of highway traveling used to be getting off the exit and checking out restaurants that you couldn’t get at home.

food exit

Now  that chains have crossed regional divides, these places are no longer so unique.

Cracker Barrel used to be a place I could only go when I traveled south.  I loved getting their veggie plate where I could pick 4 veggie sides, which always included the hashbrown casserole!

I found a copycat recipe for the casserole, but I altered it a bit.  I replaced the cream of chicken soup with a low-sodium vegetarian friendly cream of mushroom soup.  I replaced the sour cream with greek yogurt, used shallots instead of an onion (because that is what I had) and I omitted the 1/2 tsp salt.


While it didn’t taste exactly like Cracker Barrel’s, it did satisfy the craving I had for it and I didn’t have to take a road trip!


What to do with the Rhubarb??

As a kid I hated rhubarb!  My grandma used to make rhubarb pie and strawberry-rhubarb pie and I wouldn’t come within a mile of that stuff!

mr yuk

It wasn’t until I joined a CSA farm and discovered rhubarb in my weekly farm box that I gave it a try.  I like it!! Who knew!?!  Now I’m sorry that I didn’t give grandma’s strawberry-rhubarb pie a chance those many years ago!!!


Not a copycat recipe, but we got fresh rhubarb in our weekly farm basket as well as strawberries, so a crisp was calling!!


I actually made two – one with strawberries and one with strawberries and raspberries (the added raspberries were fantastic!!).  This recipe subs out the white sugar with agave nectar, but there is still some brown sugar in the “crisp” part.




Okay, so not a formal restaurant copycat, but a darn good vegetarian substitute for meatballs!!  Quinoa has to be formed into shape versus rolled into meatballs, but with the spices, breadcrumbs and cheese added to the mix – it gave a pretty good “meaty” taste and texture!!


Carblover even approved and while she took leftovers home, I doubt her carnivore husband is going to be demanding a taste!!

Recipe here: http://americanheritagecooking.com/2014/09/quinoa-vegetarian-meatballs-gluten-free/

June Challenge

While it’s nice to avoid the kitchen and enjoy a meal out, it usually comes at a cost of higher calories, fat and sodium.  Fortunately there are all kinds of copycat recipes that allow you to make healthier versions of the same dishes you love to eat out!!


Carblover’s challenge for June is Restaurant Copycat!  With busier schedules we will try to post as many dishes as we can, but will commit to at least 1 for the month!!


Check back often, maybe your favorite dish will be copycatted here!!