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From Stuffed Zucchini to Wicked Jack Chicken, Savory Recipes From Entrepreneurs Not only do they run businesses and write. They can cook up a storm. Sample some delightful dishes from our columnists.

By Marjorie Backman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As if they weren't busy enough, these columnists for find the time to be creative in the kitchen. Lucky for us, they are willing to share their recipes. Test them out and come up with your own spin. Remember: A hardworking person needs proper nourishment to be productive.

Doug and Polly White's Stuffed Zucchini (Gluten Free)

Enjoy this special summer treat. While eating sausage covered in cheese might seem indulgent, we feel somewhat justified because we're eating our veggies.

2 medium zucchini
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or butter
2 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
½ pound pork sausage
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 slices of white American cheese or other cheese that melts well
Salt and pepper

Preheat broiler.

Wash and trim the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Salt and pepper the zucchini halves. Place zucchini halves in a microwave safe pan and cover with plastic wrap. Leave a small gap between the plastic wrap and the pan to allow steam to escape. Microwave on high for approximately 6 minutes or until zucchinis are soft.

In a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, heat olive oil or butter on medium low heat. Add the shallots or onion and garlic and sweat until soft. Add the pork sausage and raise the heat to medium. Continue to cook, breaking up the sausage with a spoon or spatula until the sausage is cooked through and crumbly. You may want to spoon out 1 or 2 tablespoons of grease and discard.

Using a spoon remove the zucchini flesh and seeds, making a canal down the center of each zucchini half, leaving ¼ inch all around and the ends closed. This is a zucchini boat. Keep the boats in the microwave-safe pan, covered with plastic wrap, to keep them warm. Add the flesh and seeds to the sausage mixture.

Continue to cook on medium heat until most of the liquid from the zucchini has evaporated and the zucchini seeds and flesh have been incorporated into the sausage mixture. Remove the sausage mixture from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning.

Place the zucchini boats on a cookie sheet. Stuff the sausage mixture into the zucchini boats and pile it high. Top each boat with approximately ½ of a slice of American cheese. Place the topped zucchini boats under the broiler. Broil until cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown.

Savor immediately.

We normally pair our stuffed zucchini with a crisp, clean sauvignon blanc or a chardonnay aged in stainless steel.

Beth and Ivan Misner's Cheesy Quinoa Muffins

These little muffins can be a meal all by themselves. We like to pack them in our lunch cooler for airplane flights. Serve them at any party and be proud. Our cookbook Healthy Kitchen -- Healing Body: Eating for Longevity will be published later this year.

2 cups of cooked rainbow quinoa
6 egg whites
1 cup grated raw goat milk Cheddar cheese
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon Real Salt sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line an 18-muffin tin with unbleached paper muffin cups.

Simmer 1 cup of rainbow quinoa (or any quinoa) in 2 cups of water just until soft. The cooked quinoa will expand as it absorbs the cooking water.

While quinoa is cooking, saute ½ cup of chopped onions and 2 cloves of chopped garlic until translucent. Set aside to cool. Remove cooked quinoa from the heat, drain and set aside to cool.

In a separate large bowl whisk 6 egg whites with a fork. Add 1 cup of grated raw goat milk Cheddar cheese (or other goat cheese of your choice). Add the sauteed onions and garlic to the eggs and cheese. Add Real Salt sea salt to taste (about ¼ teaspoon) and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.

To the egg mixture, add 2 cups of the cooled quinoa and stir gently until all the ingredients are mixed. Spoon into paper-lined muffin tin cups to the tops and cook at 350°F for about 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned on top.

Optional: Add chopped tomatoes and lightly steamed spinach leaves to the sauteed onions and garlic for a delicious twist.

Serve hot.

Makes 18 muffins

Zeynep Ilgaz's Red Lentil Patties

This is a very typical Turkish appetizer, popular throughout the Middle East. It's rich in protein and also a vegetarian dish that my kids and hubby love.

2 cups of red lentils
1½ cups bulgur wheat (fine)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
Small bunch finely chopped parsley,

Cook the lentils in 4 cups of water until soft. Remove from stove and pour 1½ cups of bulgur into it. Mix well and wait until it gets cooler.

In a saucepan, fry the onions in olive oil and add tomato paste. Cook until paste becomes soft. Then pour this onto the lentil mix and mix well with your hands. Once it cools, add remaining ingredients and mix. Shape the mixture into oval shaped balls.

Jim Joseph's Favorite Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I'm a social cook. I make things that people share while having cocktails. I like to make food that brings people together and facilitates conversation. One of my favorite recipes is a spinach and artichoke dip. It started out as a recipe I found in a cookbook somewhere. But then I added spinach and cheese and doctored it up to make it my own.

½ package leek soup mix
1 package cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
Juice from ½ lemon
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup mixed grated Italian mixed cheeses
Pepper to taste
3 or 4 chopped green onions
2 cans chopped artichoke hearts
1 package frozen chopped spinach


Mix in a mixer the leek soup mix, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, cheese and pepper. Then stir in green onions, artichoke and chopped spinach. Spread into a Pyrex dish.

Bake at 375°F for about 40 minutes.

Serve hot with bite-size pieces of French bread.

Brett Relander's Midwest Casserole

I might cook up as much as 2 lbs. of meat for this dish, depending on how many people I need to fed and how long I want the leftovers to last.

1–2 lb. hamburger
Salt and pepper
Spices, as desired
1 green bell pepper
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can sweet corn
1 sprinkling tater tots

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Brown hamburger and add your favorite spices. I use kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Chop up a green bell pepper and part of a white onion. Use more if you'd like. Add this to the meat while it's browning.

Mince a clove of garlic and let it cook into the hamburger as well. Once the meat is browned, drain the excess fat and put everything into a oven-safe pot.

Cover top of the meat and vegetables with a layer of the cream of mushroom soup. Cover the top of the soup with sweet corn. Cover the sweet corn with tater tots.

Bake on 375ºF for about 1 hour.

Enjoy! It's not pretty but it sure is good.

Brian Fielkow's Iced Ribs and Homemade Mac and Cheese

This is the way to cook ribs so that they are tender and falling off the bone. These two recipes go together and are requested by my kids over and over again.

Iced Ribs


Baby back ribs
Barbecue sauce or rub
Salt and pepper


Start with whole rack of baby back ribs. Get them fresh from a local market. Ensure that the bottom membrane is removed. (Watch a YouTube video if you don't know how to do this.) Season with salt and pepper.

Place a double layer of heavy-duty foil on the counter. Lay the ribs on the foil and cover both sides generously with ice, at least 3 lbs. of ice per rack. Wrap them tightly.

Place foil-wrapped ribs on the grill, bones facing down, meat facing up, cooking at 350ºF for 90 to 120 minutes. Ensure that water does not leak out of the foil.

Unwrap ribs. Drain water.

Finish cooking them directly on the grill for another 30 minutes or till done. Use your favorite rub or sauce during the finishing process. I like Bone Suckin' tomato and mustard barbecue sauces. They add flavor without overpowering the meat.

Homemade mac and cheese

8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
3 cups milk
2–3 tablespoons flour
¼ cup butter

Cook macaroni till done but firm. Don't overcook. Remember, the macaroni will still cook in the oven. Drain.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni in large casserole dish and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well. If the sauce is a little thin, that is OK. It will thicken in the oven.

Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Bake a little longer to get a crispy top.

To cut the fat, use Brummel and Brown instead of butter and low-fat Cheddar and low-fat milk. Don't cut the Parmesan as it provides a lot of flavor for a relatively small portion.

For variety, top the mac and cheese with buffalo sauce and Gorgonzola for a buffalo mac. Or use some smoked Cheddar for a smoky barbecue flavor. With either of these two variations, omit the Parmesan.

Chip Bell's Wicked Jack Chicken

2 cups ketchup
1 cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey
½ cup molasses
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon course black pepper
1 tablespoon ground jalapeño
1 tablespoon ground mustard
4 Cornish hens
4 jalapeños

Place in a saucepan the ketchup, whiskey, molasses, vinegar, juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, ground jalapeño and mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let sit until cool. This is the Wicked Jack Marinade.

Marinate 4 Cornish hens in the marinade in Ziploc bags for at least 2 to 3 hours. Set a small portion of marinade aside for basting. Do not reuse marinade from the Ziploc bags.

Before placing the hens on the grill, place a whole jalapeño in each. Score the jalapenos along each side to allow juice to come through the tough jalapeño skin. If you prefer less jalapeño heat, core the seeds from the jalapeños.

Place the hens on a grill rack and cook at 350°F for 1½ to 2 hours. The hens are done when a meat thermometer registers 170°F. Baste as needed to keep the meat from drying out. Add water-soaked wood chips under the grill rack for a smoked taste.

Serves 4 to 6 people

Nellie Akalp's Whoa Nellie Rice Krispies-Brownie Treats

This is the most fattening thing in the world and each time I just add other stuff to it that I find in my pantry.

1 box of brownie mix (and ingredients required on package)
1 bowl of Rice Krispies
Chocolate chip cookie mix, marshmallows, peanut butter, walnuts, pecans (optional)
Butter, as desired

Combine all the ingredients called for in brownie mix with Rice Krispies and any optional mix-ins. Mix it all together.

Place in oven at 425°F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Zeynep Ilgaz's Spinach Cake

This is a Turkish recipe I use quite often at home. I love this one because it's fun to make and most important my kids love it. I am a mom blessed with two boys and making them eat veggies is a wonderful challenge that we go through every day. With this cake, I'm able to offer my kids something that they love eating and also able to feed them a good amount of spinach. Since the cake is green, we end up enjoying it on St. Patrick's Day, Christmas (with red frosting) and Halloween (with orange frosting).

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of grated spinach

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 8-inch round cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together sugar and eggs until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add flour, water, oil, baking powder, vanilla extract and grated spinach and beat another minute. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick poked into the center of the layer comes out clean.

Peter Gasca's Daddy's Wapples

I am a passionate hack cook, mostly taking bits of this and adding bits of that. I do have a mean waffle recipe, which I cook for my kids quite often, and it's been aptly named by my daughter "Daddy's Wapples." (She's 3 and still struggling with those Fs.) This recipe works best with a waffle maker and an electric beater.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons diced almonds
¼ cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1½ cups milk (more if needed)
1 full, ripe banana, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites

Combine in mixing bowl the all-purpose flour, spices, salt, wheat germ, almonds, brown sugar and baking powder.

Mix into the mixing bowl the milk, ripe banana, vanilla extract, butter and egg yolks.

Beat egg whites until fluffy.

Fold fluffy egg whites into the mixing bowl. Add milk as necessary to get smooth, thick, creamy texture.
Add ½ to ¾ cup of the mix on waffle maker. Cook on waffle maker for 3 minutes.

Makes 4 large 8-in. waffles

Jeff Boss' Paleo Oatmeal

I like to eat for performance and health rather than the yumminess factor. Of course, I'm still waiting to see the return on investment on my meals.

Protein powder
Apple sauce, unsweetened
Nuts or peanut butter

Add any sort of fruit that melts nicely in the microwave, such as strawberries, blueberries and banana (but limit the banana as it's high in calories and glycemic load). Nuke the fruit for 1½ minutes or until soft and then squish it down with a spoon or hammer until juicy. The magic is in the protein powder, so stir that in, add in some fat (you need fat to burn fat) such as peanut butter -- but not much, say a teaspoon -- and boom! You've got Paleo oatmeal.

Add unsweetened Greek yogurt if you don't have any protein powder.

Marjorie Backman

Assistant Editor,

Marjorie Backman is an assistant editor at  

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