Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Kale Ceasar Salad

As a follow up to my last post on Eataly and their love of vegetables- I wanted to post a recipe that highlights one of my favorite leafy greens that also happens to be one of the healthiest foods out there.  It is a great source of Vitamins A and C and also a delicious mouthful of potassium, calcium, iron and folate. The best part of this recipe is that the creaminess of the casear dressing makes this dish popular for those that would normally steer clear of anything so healthy sounding!

Recipe adapted from Tartine Bread (Chronicle Books)
Yield: 6 to 8 generous servings


Four 1-inch slices day-old country bread (ideally whole wheat), torn into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence (optional)

Kale Caesar:
3 garlic cloves (freshly minced or from a jar of minced)
6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets (or 1-2 Tbsp of anchovy paste)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg yolk ( I like to boil for 45 sec just to be safe first)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil (I use half this but this is his recipe)
2 heads (about 1 pound) black kale, center stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil, a pinch of salt and the herbes de Provence, if using. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake, turning the croutons midway through, until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.

2. Make the dressing: Place the garlic, anchovies and lemon zest in a mortar and pound with a pestle to make a thick paste. (Alternatively, pulse them together in a blender.) Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and a few drops of the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. While stirring, (or with the blender motor running), add ½ cup of the olive oil, one drop at a time, to create a smooth emulsion. Stir (or blend) in the remaining cup of olive oil in a slow stream. (The dressing will thicken.) Periodically add the remaining lemon juice. When all the oil is incorporated, season the dressing to taste with additional salt and lemon juice. Add water as needed to thin the dressing to desired consistency.

3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the kale with the croutons. Add the dressing to taste, reserving any extra for another use. Add the Parmesan, toss again and serve immediately.

To download this recipe, click here.

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As a follow up to my Pantry post, I wanted to add this simple “Pantry Pasta” recipe to your healthy home-cooking repertoire.  You can throw it together with only ingredients in your pantry (white beans, artichoke hearts,stock, wine and sun-dried tomatoes) as long as you have a lemon.  Ideally serve it with something fresh too, like a simple arugula and tomato salad or a heap of garlic spinach.

Serves 8


  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat linguine pasta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drain as much oil as possible first and then blot with a paper towel after chopping)
  • 3/4 cup sliced marinated artichoke hearts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion 4 minutes, until tender. Mix in the thyme, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until onion is golden brown.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the saucepan. Return the onion and thyme to saucepan, and stir in the white wine. Cook until reduced by about 1 tablespoon. Mix in the stock, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 10 minutes, until reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  4. Mix the sun-dried tomatoes, white beans and artichoke hearts into the saucepan, and cook just until heated through. Toss the cooked pasta into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted this recipe from All Recipes, but they use fresh tuna instead of white beans and I lowered the amount of oil a bit.

Let me know what you think!

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Earlier in the week I profiled the “Engine 2 Diet” (read my thoughts here) which is basically a low fat vegan diet.  I especially liked the recipe portion of the book for the section on dressings, sauces and dips.  I am sharing the “Healthy Homemade Hummus” recipe with you as it makes an easy spread for sandwiches or dip for crudite and is impressively low fat since it does not have the standard olive oil or tahini.  You can make a double batch and eat it during the week as this will keep for about 5-7 days.


1 Can Chickpeas, rinsed, drained

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped

2-3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium Tamari

3 Tbsp water or vegetable broth


1. In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients into a thick paste, using a small amount of water or broth as necessary to achieve desired consistency.

You can customize by adding one or more of the following variations:

2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded, chopped

1 roasted, seeded and chopped red bell pepper

1 C dark or kalamata olives

1 bunch fresh mint

1 bunch fresh spinach

1 cup roasted eggplant


Download the recipe here or on our resource page!

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Finally a vegetarian dish you will be proud to bring to the party!  This nutritious dish is packed with protein and iron from the Quinoa (an ancient grain that is great for everyone from the gluten sensitive to the picky toddler).

Serves 8ish

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Butternut Squash (about 1.5 lbs), peeled, halved crosswise, and de-seeded
18 Fresh Sage Leaves, plus 1 tsp finely chopped sage
½ Onion, cute into ¼” dice (about 3/4C)
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 C Quinoa
2 C low sodium Vegetable Stock
1 ½ Ounces Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 tsp Coarse Salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
Vegetable Oil cooking spray

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with 1 tsp oil.
2.    Cut five ¼” thick rings of butternut squash, dice remainder of squash into ¼” pieces. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Place squash rings on one sheet and diced pieces on the other sheet. Sprinkle all squash with 12 sage leaves. Bake until tender and just golden, 15-20 minutes.  Let cool completely. Keep oven on.
3.    Heat remaining teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add quinoa and stock and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 2 minutes.
4.    Stir together quinoa, diced squash, chopped sage, parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
5.    Coat a 9” plate pie plate with cooking spray. Arrange 6 sage leaves face down in plate; top with squash rings. Press quinoa mixture on top.
6.    Bake 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Serve wedges warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

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This Thanksgiving I may be cooking my first Turkey ever, not for me mind you (I’m a pescatarian) but for my relatives since my grandmother is stepping down from that honor this year.  Of course having never even purchased poultry before I was quick to search the internet for some resources and I love this Turkey Newsletter I came across as it addresses not only how many pounds of turkey to buy (1 pound per person) but also the key issue of food safety and how to handle your bird.  I certainly didn’t want to be responsible for getting anyone sick!

How To Roast your Turkey Safely:

♦ Set your oven temperature no lower than 325 degrees F.
♦ Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

♦ Use a Food Thermometer!  Ideally a oven proof one you can just stick in there and watch with no more fuss. Get that bird roasted to a minumum internal temperature of 165 F at all spots (check the thin and thick bits)

♦ A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 1650F as measured with a food
thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest
part of the breast. Consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.
♦ If your turkey has a “popup” temperature indicator, also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest
part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 1650F for safety.
♦ For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

How Long to Cook your Unstuffed Turkey:
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¼ to 5 hours

For more cooking tips and ways to thaw a frozen turkey safely get the Turkey Safety Newletter from the University of Nebraska here.

or go here for the website, complete with recipes, a video on how to make Turkey Gravy and more…


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I was inspired by my last post on fiber to make this warm hearty soup with roasted carrots and onions and green lentils.  It is from the cookbook “Love Soup” by Anna Thomas and is fairly straight forward.  Green lentils (aka “Le Puy”) get tender in under half an hour but keep their shape and are still firm to the bite. Don’t forget to make enough to have for a few days.  You can also freeze this soup.

Did you know…a  cup of lentils have about 15 grams of fiber (~half your daily rec) and about 18grams of protein.

Serves 6-8


1 1/2 lbs carrots

1 1/2 onions

4 Tbs Olive Oil

1 1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)

freshly ground pepper

1 generous cup French green lentils (1/2 lb)

4 Cups vegetable broth

1 generous Tbs chopped fresh mint (or 1 1/2 tsp dried mint)

1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp Harissa/Chipotle Sauce or red chile salsa

Garnishes (optional): feta cheese or light sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cut the carrots and onions into 1/2-1″ pieces, toss in 1 Tbsp of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper and lay on two separate baking sheets/ pyrex dishes and roast till tender and browning, about an hour.  Onions will likely be ready before carrots. When ready, allow to cool and chop coarsely.

3. Meanwhile, combine the washed lentils in a large soup pot with 4 cups broth and a tsp on salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender but still firm.

4. Add the chopped roasted vegetables, mint, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and harissa/chipotle/salsa to taste a small amount at a time for a little kick but not so much as to overwhelm the other flavors. If you want a more soupy soup add water or more broth, otherwise this should be a rather hearty stew.

5. Simmer stew for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors then taste and adjust as necessary (more lemon? salt? spice?)

6. Serve with garnish of your choice and thick slabs of crusty whole wheat bread.

To download this recipe go here or my resource section. For more recipes from Anna check out her website.

I added Romanesco to the roast pan to serve as a side

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For me, wintertime means lots of things in the oven and while I was roasting up some root vegetables last night I decided to make these baked stuffed zucchini with some leftover brown rice thrown in as well.  The recipe is very easy and customizable to what you have (or don’t have) in the fridge.  Try it with carrots/celery, tomatoes, green onion, nuts (pine nuts sound nice), breadcrumbs, brown rice, kasha, barley etc.  I didn’t have mushrooms last night but like it that way best (but I am a mushroom lover). You can cover them with cheese or leave that off.  Kids especially love these zucchini “boats” or if you have a round zucchini that’s fun too!

Serves 4
* 2 medium zucchini (or 4 small round zucchini)
* 12 large fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (or substitute with other vegetable)
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoons olive oil
* Splash of white wine or low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
*  1 Cup Grain of choice (optional)
* Salt & Pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese or other cheese (optional) per zucchini

1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, or cut off top if using a round zucchini.
2. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell. Chop pulp; set shells aside.
3. In a skillet, saute the zucchini pulp, mushrooms and onion in olive oil for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add grain ,wine or broth. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in salt and pepper.
4. Fill shells with mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake for 20 min and the then broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 3-4 minutes or until cheese on top is lightly browned.


To download a copy of this recipe click here (also posted on our Resources page)

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After last week’s post (and the Halloween sugar overload) I wanted to offer you a simple recipe that could satisfy your sweet tooth but without added processed sugar, since figs are naturally sweet. The applesauce adds some non-sweetened smoothness) and the almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and may protect against heart disease, cancer and help with weight control.  The recipe comes from the American Institute of Cancer Research.

Makes 16 servings
Almond Fig Bars

Canola oil spray
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. orange zest
2/3 cup chopped dried figs
1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with canola oil spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the egg, honey, applesauce, canola oil, almond extract and orange zest. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until mixed. Stir in the figs and toasted almonds. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
4. Bake about 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the bars in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Store in a tightly covered container for two to three days.

Per serving: 90 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 80 mg sodium.

Click here for the down loadable recipe for your files, or you can always download from the resource section.



Food Processor for Figs & Nuts 

Ready to bake…

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A cozy hearty dish which provides 18g of protein per serving (see last blog post on how much protein you need a day) and has a meaty feel because of the bulgur. Double the recipe (that’s what we did here) for a gathering or to freeze for easy lunch/dinners.

Serves: 6
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
* 3 large jalapeño chilies, seeded, minced (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
* 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (ideally with no added salt)
* 3 cups water
* 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained (or soak dry beans the night before)
* 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained (or soak dry beans the night before)
* 1/2 cup bulgur**
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* salt to taste (we used “smoked salt”, my new favorite for adding a subtle richness)

** Also called cracked wheat; available at natural foods stores and supermarkets.


1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeños and sauté until onion and carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes

3. Add tomatoes, 3 cups water, beans, bulgur, white wine vinegar, garlic, and spices.

4. Bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until bulgur is tender and mixture thickens, stirring often, about 20 minutes.
6. Ladle chili into bowls and serve. Can add low-fat cheese (cheddar is nice) or low-fat sour cream and/or chopped scallions

I made up a batch of home-made corn bread to serve with it also and if I had been serving this for a smaller affair I would have included a big leafy green salad as well.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Click here to download a paper copy, and I always post my downloadable recipes in the resource section too.

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As a follow up to my last post on Dr.Dean Ornish, here is a recipe from the Spectrum book that I thought was delightfully seasonal and easy.  Plus canned pumpkin has beta carotene (precursor to Vit A) which protects against some cancers + heart disease. The USDA states that canned pumpkin contains more beta carotene than fresh because of the canning process (much like cooked tomatoes have more Lycopene than raw).

Serves 4-6


1 14oz can pureed pumpkin (organic if possible)

4 C low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1/4 C minced yellow onion (about 1/2 small onion)

1 Tbsp minced fresh sage, or 2 tsp dried

2 C brown rice

1/4 C dry white wine

Salt to taste

Nonstick cooking spray (like Canola)

1/4 C pumpkin seeds, shelled


1. Stir the pumpkin and broth together and heat in a small pan over medium heat.

2. Coat the bottom of a stockpot that has a tight-fitting lid with nonstick cooking spray and sauté the onion and sage over low heat.

3. When the onion starts to get soft, add the rice.

4. Stir the rice, then add the wine.

5. When the wine is almost completely absorbed, add the pumpkin and broth mixture.

6. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

7. Place the lid on the pot and turn down to low.  Cook until rice is tender, about 40 minutes.

8. Serve with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

( you can always download a copy of my recipes from the Resources page– makes it easy to print and bring along to the kitchen)

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