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Apple Chips

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /


While developing Plan Z, I never really thought much about what I now call the Crunch Factor. I was never the kid in our family that face-planted in the bag of potato chips. I left that to my brothers. I went for the donuts.

I never wanted to eat the hard candy. I’d rather have a brownie or ice cream for my treat.

After ...Read more

Porcini Mushroom Sauce

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The Porterhouse Primer

As one of seven children, I didn’t eat a lot of steak as a child. There were just too many mouths to feed and we couldn’t afford it.

I do remember when most of the older kids had left home, my parents took to serving fondue on Sunday evenings. There were just two of us kids of steak-eating-age at the time, so ...Read more

Sloppy Joes

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Gobble Gobble

The avian flu outbreak across the country has already taken a toll. The price of eggs has jumped a minimum of 13 percent but in some places has risen as much as 50 percent. That’s a lot of yuk to the yoke of your budget.

The price of eggs on the wholesale level has risen, too. That affects other things you buy in the ...Read more

Butternut Squash Breakfast Casserole

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The Vegetable that Tastes Like Candy

Talk about a maligned and shunned vegetable! I’ve been walking by this golden beauty in my grocery store for decades. I thought they just looked like massively large peanuts.

We ate acorn squash in my family. We didn’t venture past the big green acorn to try out other options. I’ve totally ...Read more

Pork Loin Chops with a Sizzlin' Cherry Sauce

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My Summer Vacation

It’s located in the woods, on 20 acres with a pond. An idyllic setting. Gardens all around. Walking paths and places to just sit and take in the view. There are bird feeders filled to the brim. About a hundred goldfinches arrive daily to take in the bounty. You can just sit and listen to lots of other birds or even ...Read more

Peanut Butter Dream

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The Party Report

I think you all know we had a big party here at Plan Z HQ. It was a Saturday night blow out. For those of you who could not make it, or would just like the live vicariously, I’m going to lay out a few of the highlights of how it all came together and how it went during the night...

homeandleisure/recipes/zola/s-1711695">Read more

Peach Salsa

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

How Now Brown Cow?

“Sugar — in the form of lactose — contributes about 55 percent of skim milk’s calories, giving it ounce for ounce the same calorie load as soda” — Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

That just happens to be one answer to a question we get asked every day at Plan Z ...Read more

Chicken Alfredo with “Almost Noodles”

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

School Lunch

President Truman started the National School Lunch Program in 1946. A little over a decade later I was born. I went to a Catholic School as a child. Most every kid stayed at school for lunch. It was an expected part of the program.

My mother fairly regularly volunteered as a “lunch lady” at the school. She went in early...Read more

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Party Time

Next week I’ll be preparing food for 80. Most people gasp at the thought and want to know how I do it. So I thought I’d lay out a few of my strategies in today’s column.

I also wanted to share the party a bit with those of you who can’t come. Believe me when I say I understand. There are thousands of you spread across...Read more

Lemon Curd

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Required Reading

I’m definitely not one to read the op-ed page. In fact, I don’t even read the newspaper. Okay, okay. In the interest of full disclosure, I might read my horoscope when I find the paper left on the kitchen counter by my husband. And on Sundays, I love to read the magazines inserted into the paper; things like Parade ...Read more

Butternut Squash Fries

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Chatting in Zola’s Garden

Zola (Birth name: Sarah McCann) is CEO of Plan Z by Zola, a Chicago-based weight loss program. The average Plan Z dieter loses 31 pounds in the first 50 days and incorporates a homeopathic remedy that Zola invented and patented to make dieting easier and more comfortable. Zola lives in the West Bucktown ...Read more

Berry Pie Filling

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

What Happens to the Nutritional Value of Your Food Over Time?

When I was a kid, my mother and I did all of the grocery shopping for the week on Saturday. My mother was cooking for seven kids, so the grocery cart was full to overflowing. During the week, the milk and dairy were delivered by the milkman. The egg lady brought the eggs, so ...Read more

Grilled Romaine

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Clean Grillin’

We hope you enjoy this previously published Zola recipe and column!

I’ve never been that fond of the grill. I think I can trace it back to when I was about 20 years old. I bought a charcoal grill that came in a box. I had to put it together. Even with perfectly clear directions, it still took me five ...Read more

Grilled Italian Veggies with Steak

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Gluten Free

Going gluten free is all the rage right now with urban and rural hipsters. So many are jumping on the bandwagon; especially the young. Don’t they realize how they are being manipulated?

Step back to the 80s and I was in the same boat. I fell into a similar food marketing trap. I fell into the fat free craze. Those, ...Read more

Sausage and Summer Fruit Kebabs

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Is Natural Really Natural?

Coming out of college my first job was working for one of the Big Food companies. I was assigned to the Marketing Department.

Can I just say it? I loved my job! LOVED it.

I loved it so much I enrolled at Northwestern University to take more courses on marketing. I worked all day at marketing and I absorbed ...Read more

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Butter Sauce

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

It is a fact. Men lose weight faster than women.

I hear about it every day. When a husband and wife go on Plan Z together, the wife will invariably complain at some point that her husband is ahead of her in the weight loss battle.

There’s no one to blame except Mother Nature. Here’s some ...Read more

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares (Think Peanut Butter Cups)

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Let's Have a Snack...or Not!

I can still feel the warmth of the mid-afternoon sun on my face as I sat on the back porch of my childhood home. I had a glass of wonder in my hand and a spoon at my ready. At 9 years old I was given permission to make my own favorite snack of the summer. It was called Jello 1- 2 -3.

Strawberry was my ...Read more

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