Water salad

Water salad

Water Salad

Baby, it’s hot outside!  Staying hydrated this time of year (and any time of year), improves energy, metabolism and maintains blood pressure.  We consume about 80% of our fluid needs from water, juice, milk, coffee and tea and 20% from food.  Combine the foods high in water below to provide close to 2 cups of water!  Any type of lettuce can be used as most are at least 95% water.  Choose darker, leafy greens for more beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium.


Yogurt (plain/traditional) is also high in water (approximately 85%).  Greek yogurt has been strained at least 3 times, so it yields less water, but a higher protein, lower sugar product.


2 cups butter (Bibb) lettuce or Romaine

1 chopped tomato

1 chopped bell pepper

1 chopped cucumber

1 cup chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped radishes

1 cup chopped celery



½ cup plain/traditional yogurt (not Greek-style)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper (optional)



Clean and spin lettuce in a salad spinner.  Add all other ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Toss salad with dressing prior to serving.


Makes 4 (2 cup) servings.  Per serving: 86 calories, 4.2 gm fat, 9.5 gm carbohydrate, 2.3 gms fiber, 3.4 gm protein, 2 mg cholesterol, 212 mg sodium

Chicken with pesto, penne & broccoli

Chicken with pesto, penne & broccoli

I bet you have leftover chicken from Father’s Day grilling.  Here’s a simple recipe that your whole family will enjoy. I love the simplicity of jarred pesto, but feel free to make fresh if you’ve got the time and basil on hand.  Tofu or cooked turkey would also work well in this recipe.  Whole grain penne, ziti or spiral pasta boost fiber content and color.  Broccoli adds a hefty dose of vitamin C, folate and fiber to the dish.


2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks

4 oz. jarred pesto

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb fresh or frozen broccoli

1 lb whole wheat pasta (penne or other tubed pasta)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese



  1. Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli for 4 minutes in microwave and set aside.
  3. Sautee garlic in 1 tsp. olive oil.
  4. Add chicken, pesto and broccoli and remaining olive oil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add pasta to chicken and pesto mixture and blend. Serve with 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese


Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition Facts per serving:  300 calories, 8 grams fat, 46.8 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams protein, 6.7 grams fiber, 8 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium.

Strawberry Spinach salad

Strawberry Spinach salad

Strawberry season is in full swing.  This is one of my favorite salads for a dinner party or picnic because it never disappoints.  Balsamic vinegar pairs really well with strawberries, but apple cider vinegar or orange juice would work well, too.  If you’re not a blue cheese fan, try feta cheese instead.  The dressing can be used on other salads as well.  Enjoy!





1 bag baby spinach leaves

1 pint ripe strawberries

2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

¼ red onion cut into thin ‘rings’

2 Tbsp. crumbled Bleu cheese or feta




2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey




Wash & dry spinach leaves and place in a large bowl.

Wash and cut the berries into small chunks and add to spinach.

Add red onions, chopped nuts and cheese crumbles.

Whisk together ingredients for dressing.  Drizzle dressing over salad (and toss) right before serving.


Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition information per serving:  194 calories, 15 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrate, 3.3 grams fiber, 1 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium.

Dillicious fish!

Dillicious fish!


I’ll admit it.  I’m not a huge fish eater, but not because I don’t like it.  My girls aren’t crazy about it and I hate having to cook 2 separate meals.  But when the grill is calling, why not mix things up a bit?

We picked up some frozen cod this past weekend for something different.  I like when fish is simple.  This fit the bill.  We paired it with a colorful tossed salad and fresh corn on the cob.  My kids didn’t eat it, but that’s their loss!


4 cod fillets (~ 1 lb) fresh or thawed if frozen

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. dill

1/2 tsp. sea salt


Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt and dill together.  Place in a large zip lock bag with the fish and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Grill the fish for ~7 minutes per side until done.  Serve with additional lemon wedges if desired.


Makes 4 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  125 calories, 4.2 grams fat, 20.2 grams protein, .7 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 48.6 mg cholesterol, 325 mg sodium.

Homestyle apple slaw

Homestyle apple slaw

Sick of the same old slaw?  Me, too!  Try this version using cole slaw mix, tart apples, Litehouse homestyle ranch dressing and fresh mint.  I like the savory flavor or ranch dressing over the overly sweet stuff that’s traditionally used in cole slaw. Chopped cucumbers and apples gives it a great texture and mint adds just the right freshness.  Enjoy slaw as a side dish or on top of your favorite sandwich.  Memorial day is just around the corner! This recipe is perfect for spring and summer picnics or BBQs.  #sponsored


1 (16 oz bag) cole slaw mix

1 cup Litehouse Homestyle ranch dressing

2 pink lady apples, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped

½ cup fresh mint, cleaned, dried and torn into small pieces


Place cole slaw mix, apples, cucumber and mint in a large bowl.  Add Litehouse homestyle ranch dressing and toss lightly.  Serve cold.


Makes 8 (1 cup) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving: 218 calories, 18 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 2 grams protein 11 grams carbohydrate, 1.6 grams fiber, 15 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium


Southwestern Broccoli Slaw

Southwestern Broccoli Slaw

I’ve been a fan of broccoli slaw for a long time.  This is a simple combination of ingredients that’s not only colorful, but really nutritious.  Broccoli slaw adds a crunchy texture and is high in vitamin C, potassium and folate.  Black beans add a nice dose of fiber and protein.  Paired with sweet mango and savory Litehouse home style ranch dressing, this salad is great for a picnic, brunch or shower.  Quinoa or bulgur could be added to make it a complete vegetarian meal.  #sponsored https://www.litehousefoods.com/ Litehouse dressings have a fresher taste and are “sold in the cold” (refrigerated section) with your favorite fruits & veggies.  Cause nobody wants warm salad…


1 (10 oz.) container broccoli slaw

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 mango cut into 1” chunks

1 red bell pepper, cleaned and diced

¼ cup red onion, minced

1 avocado, peeled and chopped into chunks

Juice from 1 large lime

¾ tsp. cumin

¾ tsp. oregano

½ cup Litehouse home style ranch dressing

½ cup chopped cilantro


Place the broccoli slaw in a large bowl.  Add canned beans, chopped peppers, cilantro and onions.

Whisk lime juice with cumin and oregano and set aside.

Add chopped mango and avocado to the broccoli slaw.  Pour lime juice mixture over the mango and avocado and lightly toss.

Add ½ cup Lighthouse home style ranch dressing to the slaw mixture and toss until fully coated and serve cold.
Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  153 calories, 3.59 protein, 11 gm fat, 1.7 gm saturated fat, 12.2 gm carbohydrate, 5.1 gm fiber, 4 mg cholesterol, 432 mg sodium

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