Some of My Favorite Recipes:

A major contributor to the weight management problem in this country is that people are eating out more and cooking at home less.  When you make your own meals, you control what goes into your body.  Eating out is fine and fun on occasion, but can sabotage your best efforts to improve your health and  lose body fat.  Eating at home is almost always healthier, and is definitely more economical.  Just try some of my easy, simple recipes.  Believe me, I don't have the inclination to make anything complicated or time-consuming either!  And don't say you can't cook...if you can read, you can cook!

One Pot Chicken Pazole  
                       

This is a quick, satisfying dinner.  It’s even better the second day for lunch!  Just add a fresh green salad, or side of steamed broccoli, and relax and enjoy.  (Why not try it with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, too?)

 

1 onion, finely chopped

32 oz. carton of low sodium chicken broth

28 oz. can no salt-added diced tomatoes, drained

2 C. cooked, shredded chicken (add a third cup if you like a thicker stew)

15 oz. can small white beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Red pepper flakes & black pepper to taste

 

Sauté onions in olive oil in a large pot until soft.  Add broth, tomatoes, red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.  Add chicken and beans and simmer 10 minutes to heat through and blend flavors.


Crock Pot Chicken Chili 
                                          

This is an amazing crock-pot dish.  Toss it all into the crock-pot insert the night before, and refrigerate until morning.  Take it out and set the crock-pot on low. When you get home from work 9-10 hours later, ta-da!  A healthy dinner is almost ready!  About an hour before you want to eat, scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon and shred with 2 forks.  Return chicken to the crock-pot to simmer a bit more.

I puree all of the beans in a blender with a little of the chicken broth so the chili is smooth, but you can leave one can whole to add texture if you like.  Great protein and fiber!

 

3 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed.  Puree 2 or 3 cans in a blender.

1 C. chopped onion

1/3 C. chopped jalapenos (jarred), more if you like hotter chili

3 cans (14.5 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth

2 Tbsp. cumin

¼ C. lime juice

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (frozen works fine, no need to thaw)

1 Tbs. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbs. water (add at end)

Cayenne or black pepper to taste


Nutty Spaghetti  
                                                          

This is a fast, delicious, nutritious meal.  Just add a side salad or steamed vegetable.

 

1 lb. whole grain spaghetti

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ C. chopped parsley

1 C. chopped pecans (or walnuts or almonds)

Shredded Parmesan cheese

 

Cook pasta according to directions on box, drain and keep warm in large bowl.

Sauté garlic in olive oil I minute.

Add pecans and sauté 2 minutes or until heated through.

Pour garlic-nut mixture over pasta, toss well with parsley, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.  Great leftover too!

 

Lovely Lentil Soup
                                          

This soup is easy to make, is a good source of protein and fiber.  The little bit of sherry added at the end is a special touch.  Delicious with a salad of mixed greens on the side.

 

¼ C. olive oil (or less)

1 large onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

½ tsp. dried thyme

3 C. low-sodium chicken broth

1 C. dry lentils, rinsed well

¼  tsp. salt

¼ C. chopped fresh parsley

1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes

¼ C. dry sherry (optional)

Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional.

 

Sauté onion and carrots in olive oil 3-5 minutes. Add thyme and sauté 1 minute.  Add broth, lentils, salt, parsley, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Add sherry and stir. Serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top, if desired. 



Easy Veggie Stew


2 cans diced no-salt-added tomatoes

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 can green beans, drained and rinsed

2 zucchinis, chopped

1 yellow squash, chopped

2-3 stalks celery, chopped

1 large red pepper, chopped

½ tsp. basil

½ tsp. rosemary

Red pepper flakes & black pepper to taste

 

Add any other vegetables you like…carrots, green beans, onions, green pepper.  Simmer all together on the stove in a large pot until vegetables are tender.  Top with a little shredded Parmesan cheese.  Great for lunch, as a side dish, or for dinner with a little whole wheat pasta or brown rice.

 

 

Chicken Waldorf Salad  
           
                                   

2 C. chopped cooked chicken

2 large Granny Smith apples, diced

1 C. chopped celery

½ C. shopped walnuts (or pecans)

¼  C. plain low fat yogurt

2 tsp. lime juice

1-2 tsp. honey

black pepper to taste

 

 

I use more or less chicken, or more or less apple, depending on the day!  I also add celery seed sometimes.  This recipe is easy to adapt to your tastes, and is delicious and refreshing as is.

 

Combine chicken, celery, apple and nuts in bowl.  In small bowl, mix together yogurt, lime juice and honey.  Stir to blend well.  Pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Chill and serve over fresh spinach leaves or in whole wheat pita pockets.



 

Corn, Mango & Edamame Salad                                    

 

2 C. frozen shelled edamame

1.5 C fresh corn kernels (I used canned and rinsed it to reduce the sodium)

1.5 C mango cubes (about 1 mango)

1 C chopped tomato

1/2 chopped red onion (I used a bit less)

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 T olive oil

1 T lime juice

1/2 tsp. black pepper (I used more)

 

Prepare edamame according to package.  Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients and toss well.  Delicious served over quinoa, whole wheat couscous, or greens!  And it’s so colorful too!

 

Not Just Any Old Black Beans & Rice                                   

 

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ C. diced onion

1 C. chopped baby peppers (red, yellow & orange)

1 clove garlic, chopped

¾ Tbs. ground cumin

½ tsp.  dried oregano

ground black pepper to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

1 C. Lundberg Wild Rice Blend, cooked according to package directions

 

Sauté onion, garlic, and peppers in olive oil until soft.  Add cumin and stir well.  Add beans, oregano, black pepper and cayenne.  Simmer until blended,  about 10 minutes.  Serve over wild rice blend.  Add a fresh green salad, and enjoy a nutrient-packed, tasty, quick and easy weeknight meal.  Leftovers make a great next day’s lunch too!

 

Broccoli & Cauliflower Bisque 
          
                                   

1 Tbsp.  butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 leek, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small red pepper, cut into ½ -inch dice

2 Cups finely chopped broccoli

2 Cups finely chopped cauliflower

1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch dice

1 tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. salt (or less)

½ tsp. white pepper

cayenne pepper to taste

2 14.5 oz. cans low-sodium chicken broth

1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk

 

Heat butter & oil in soup pot over medium heat.  Sauté leeks until soft.  Add garlic, sauté 5 minutes.  Then, add diced pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, potato, chicken broth and all seasonings and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.  Add evaporated milk and heat through.

 

Curried Couscous (adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999)

 

This dish is delicious and out of the ordinary.  Try it as a side dish with grilled fish or chicken, or for lunch with a green salad.  Next time I make it, I’ll add more black pepper, carrots, raisins or cranberries, and almonds, but it’s excellent as is too.  And so easy!

 

1 ½ C. whole wheat couscous

1 ½ C. boiling water

¼ C. plain low fat yogurt

¼ C. olive oil (or slightly less)

1 tsp. white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. curry powder

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

½ tsp. kosher salt (optional)

1 tsp. ground black pepper

½ C. diced carrots

½ C. minced parsley

½ C. dried currants, raisins, or dried cranberries

¼ C. raw sliced or chopped almonds

2 scallions, green & white parts, thinly sliced

¼ C. diced red onion

 

Place couscous in medium bowl.  Pour in boiling water, cover tightly, and let soak 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork.  In separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt & pepper.  Pour over couscous and blend well with fork.  Add carrots, parsley, dried fruit, almonds, scallions and red onions.  Mix and serve at room temperature.

 

Roasted Fennel & Orange Tilapia                                    
                    

For the vegetables:

2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

8 scallions, green & white parts, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 Tbs. olive oil

Black pepper to taste

2 navel oranges, sliced crosswise into 6 ¼-inch rounds

 

For the fish:

2 Tbs. honey

Zest of 1 orange

1 ½ Tbs. orange juice

½ tsp. white wine vinegar

4 6-oz. tilapia fillets (or any white fish)

1 ½ tsp. ground ginger

Black pepper to taste

 

A delicious, light and healthful meal!  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat large roasting pan with cooking spray.  Combine vegetables, olive oil, and black pepper and toss well.  Place in baking pan and top with orange slices.  Roast for 10 minutes.  In small bowl, combine honey, zest, juice and vinegar and stir to dissolve honey. Sprinkle fillets with pepper and ginger, and place on top of vegetables.  Drizzle with honey-orange glaze and return pan to oven to roast for 15 to 18 minutes more or until fish is opaque and flakes with a fork.  Serve with orange slices on top of fish and 1 cup of vegetables beside each fillet.  Add a green salad and enjoy!

 

Terrific Turkey Chili                                                                           
         

Oh I love easy, hearty and healthy recipes!  This is one of my favorites.  Great on the stove or in the crockpot!

 

1 lb ground turkey or breast of turkey

1 green pepper, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 onion, finely chopped

4 Tbs. chili powder

1 Tbs. cider vinegar

¼ tsp. coriander

1 Tbs. cumin

½ tsp. salt

½ C. water

2 14.5 oz cans diced, no salt added tomatoes, with juice

1 16 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

 2 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes, to taste (for hotter chili)

 

If using stove:  sauté turkey with onion, garlic, and pepper until turkey is no longer pink.  Add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

 

If using crockpot:  Place all ingredients in crock pot.  Mix well.  Set on low, cook for 8-10 hours, stir occasionally.

 

 


Zucchini “Pasta”
  (adapted from The Washington Post)                         

 

Zucchini season is coming!  This is an incredibly versatile recipe; use it as a vegetarian main dish, a side dish, or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.  Or serve over a little whole grain pasta.  My husband firmly stated that he doesn’t like zucchini.  Not only did he love it for dinner, but he also took it for lunch the next day.  Win-win, as they say!

 

For the sauce:

 

2-3 Tbsp. sherry or red wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 med. to large zucchini, diced

4 plum tomatoes, with juice, diced (or substitute one 16 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

2 Tbsp. basil chiffonade (leaves rolled and cut into thin ribbons)

2 Tbsp. capers, drained and chopped

Freshly ground pepper

 

For the zucchini “pasta:”

 

4 med. to large zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into very thin strips using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.

¼ to ½ C. crumbled feta or shredded Parmesan cheese

 

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Heat wine in large nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and chopped zucchini, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, parsley, basil and capers, and cook for 2-3 minutes until well blended.  Season the mixture generously with black pepper.  Reduce heat and keep warm.

 

Meanwhile, add thin slices of zucchini to boiling water, and cook 3-5 minutes, being careful not to overcook.  Drain, and reserve ½ C. cooking liquid for the sauce.

 

Combine cooking liquid with sauce, if desired, and stir well.  Ladle sauce over zucchini, and toss gently.  To serve, top with 1-2 Tbsp. of feta or Parmesan.

 

 

Salmon and Lentils   (adapted from Prevention’s Fit Over Forty) 

 

I love this recipe because the combination of ingredients is a little unusual.  The dish is as pretty and delicious as it is healthy! 

 

1 ½ C. reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic

½ C. green lentils

4 skinless salmon fillets

1 C. cauliflower florets

½ C. grape tomatoes, halved

½ low fat plain yogurt

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

Ground black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

 

In deep skillet, bring 1 ¼ C. broth & garlic to a boil.  Add lentils, cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Season salmon with ground black pepper to taste.   Place salmon in skillet with lentils, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until fish is opaque.  Remove salmon, gently scraping any lentils back into skillet.  Remove garlic to small bowl.  Stir cauliflower into lentils.  Cover and cook 10 minutes, adding remaining broth if needed. Cook until broth is absorbed.  Stir in tomatoes.  Mash garlic with back of spoon, and add yogurt and flaxseed.  Stir well, then add 2/3 of sauce to lentils.  Toss gently.  Spoon lentil mixture onto 4 plates, top with salmon and dollop of remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley.

 

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad  
          

This pretty dish is full of protein, fiber, and vitamins.  And it’s so easy to make.  Take it to cookouts this summer and wallow in the rave reviews!  Thanks to Cheryl for sharing!

 


1 ¾  cups water
¼  tsp. salt (optional)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, (red or white) (rinsed well)
½  cup red bell pepper, chopped
¼  cup green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
¼  cup small red onion, finely chopped
1 ½  tsp curry powder
½  cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ½  lime, juiced
1 ½  garlic cloves, crushed
¾  cup slivered almonds, toasted
½  cup shredded carrots
½  cup dried cranberries
ground black pepper to taste
olive oil drizzled over salad (3 Tbs or so)

Bring water to boil in saucepan.  Pour in the quinoa, cover, and simmer over low heat until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape into a mixing bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until cold.  Once cold, stir in the peppers, red onion, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, slivered almonds, carrots, and cranberries.  Season with black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, and chill before serving. Garnish with extra cilantro.



 

Linguine with Spinach, Basil &  Almonds                             

 

16 oz. 100% whole wheat linguine or spaghetti

1 C. sliced almonds

½ C. olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

¾ tsp. red pepper flakes

16 oz.  baby spinach leaves, washed and trimmed, coarsely chopped

¾ C. chopped fresh basil

¾ C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Black pepper to taste

 

This recipe originally called for 1 cup of pine nuts.  I decided to use sliced almonds instead, when I saw that just ½ cup of pine nuts were on sale at my grocery store for $8.99!  Pine nuts are delicious, so splurge if you like, but sliced almonds are excellent too.

 

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Toast almonds for 2 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Add ½ C. olive oil to pan, and sauté garlic and pepper flakes for 1 minute.  Stir in spinach and basil, and toss until wilted, 2-3 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.  Place drained pasta in large bowl.  Add spinach mixture, almonds, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper, and toss well.  Serve and enjoy!

 

Artichoke, Edamame,  & Asparagus Salad

(Health, May 2011)

 

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. lemon juice

¼ tsp salt (optional)

½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. black pepper (or more, to taste)

1 C. frozen shelled edamame

1 14-oz jar artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed, blotted dry, and quartered

1 lb. medium asparagus, tough ends snapped off, cut diagonally into thirds

Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese

 

In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, oregano and black pepper.  Add artichokes, toss gently, and let stand at room temperature.

 

Meanwhile, place edamame in large pot of lightly salted boiling water; cook 2 minutes.  Add asparagus, cook another 3 minutes or until edamame and asparagus are crisp-tender.  Rinse in cold water, drain well, blot dry.

 

Add asparagus and edamame to artichoke mixture, and toss.  Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. 

 


Garden Tomato Pizza 
    

We’ve been making our own pizza for about 25 years.  Over the years, we’ve fine-tuned the crust and sauce recipes.  I like the sauce as spicy as possible, so sometimes I accidentally on purpose add a lot of extra red pepper flakes and cayenne, when my husband isn’t looking.  

Here’s a version using fresh tomatoes from the garden.

For the crust:

In a KitchenAid mixer*, using the bread hook, OR in the pan of a bread machine, set on pizza dough cycle, add:

1 C. warm water
2 ½ tsp. dry yeast
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 ½ C. unbleached white flour
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ tsp. salt

Knead mixture on low speed (I use 2) for 8-9 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl a bit with a rubber spatula.  Remove bowl from mixer, cover with a clean dishcloth, and let stand so the dough can rise about an hour, or until double in size.  Punch down, divide into 2 halves, and roll out with a rolling pin into 2 fairly thin 14” pizza crusts. 

For the topping:

Thinly slice garden tomatoes.  Plum tomatoes work well because they are less juicy than some other varieties.  Cover crusts with a single layer of tomato slices.  Sprinkle generously with basil, oregano, black pepper, hot pepper flakes, cayenne.  Try any other herbs and spices you like, such as rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.  Fresh chopped basil and oregano are sheer heaven, when used instead of dried.  Of course you can add peppers, mushrooms, olives, zucchini, whatever other vegetables you like.

Sprinkle pizzas with shredded Parmesan, grated Romano, and shredded mozzarella.  Go easy with the cheese.  We don’t measure, but we keep the cheese very light.

Bake the pizzas in a 450 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes or so.  We like our pizza crispy, but ovens and tastes vary, so watch your pizzas carefully. 

* You can, of course, knead this dough by hand, but I just say no, and use my available technology.


Fresh Summer Fish     
   
Fast, easy, delicious, and healthy.  What else is there?

Try it with chicken and/or whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand.

1 yellow squash, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
½ C. chopped red bell pepper
I bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
10-20 grape tomatoes, halved
2 C. chopped cabbage, red & green
¼ onion, chopped
fresh or dried dill
garlic powder, pinch (optional)
¼ fresh lemon, or 2 T. lemon juice
2T olive oil
1 C. no salt-added chicken broth
black pepper to taste
4-6 white fish filets (flounder, orange roughy, halibut etc.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare vegetables (wash, peel, cut). Heat olive oil in large skillet, then saute onion and red pepper until slightly softened.  Add remaining vegetables, dill, black pepper, and broth.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, lightly spray baking pan with olive oil (I love the Misto oil sprayer).  Place fish in pan and top with more dill, and lemon juice. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  (White fish cooks quickly, watch carefully.  It’s done when opaque throughout).  Remove to platter and spoon vegetables over fish to serve.  May also serve with quinoa, wild rice, or whole grain pasta.


New Fangled Tuna Salad

 

I adapted this from an already very healthy recipe from The Washington Post. (I have to add my two cents to a recipe; I just can’t help myself).  I hope you’ll agree it’s a wonderful change from the usual, yet beloved, tuna salad we’ve all had forever, which is usually loaded with mayo.  I had it for the lunch the next day too, and it was still excellent.  I bet it would be great with cold leftover grilled salmon or chicken too.

 

7 oz. can solid white tuna, in water, drained

1 (15 oz.) can small white beans, drained and rinsed

2-3 ribs organic celery, finely chopped

1/3 C. finely chopped sweet onion

1/3 C. chopped roasted red pepper (I used jarred, and rinsed before chopping)

1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice

1 ½ Tbs. olive oil

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

freshly ground black pepper

 

Flake tuna into small pieces in large bowl.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.  Chill, and serve over a bed of mixed greens.



Chickpea Potato Salad 
(adapted from Washington Post)

This is light and delicious, cold or warm.

1.5 lbs. baking potatoes
2 T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-3 T lemon juice
¼ C. chopped parsley
Black pepper to taste

Wash potatoes and place in pot with cold water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Be careful not to overcook.  Drain, cool and peel potatoes. (More nutrients are retained if you boil the potatoes without peeling them first).  Cut into bite-sized chunks and place in large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan, and sauté garlic until soft.  Let cool.

Add chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, cooled garlic oil and black pepper, and toss gently.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

 



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