Super Simple Salmon

Super Simple Salmon

In an effort to eat more salmon, I decided to take it to the grill. Salmon is a great source of omega-3-fatty acids, which are not only good for your heart, but also your noggin.  Eating just 2 servings of fish per week may ward off dementia.  Below is a great recipe to try this spring:


1 ½ lb salmon fillets (about 4 pieces), skin still on

juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup olive oil

2 tsp. dill or tarragon


  1. Whisk lemon juice and olive oil together.  Add dill or tarragon.
  2. Marinate fish in lemon juice mixture for ~15 minutes.
  3. Line your grill with foil before pre-heating.
  4. Spray foil with cooking spray
  5. Place salmon on grill, skin side down
  6. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Makes 4 servingsPer serving: 228 calories, 17 grams fat, 17 grams protein, 38 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber, 330 mg sodium.

Chicken in a pita

Chicken in a pita

Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to fire up the grill. I like to cook a little extra chicken or fish to “recycle” into another recipe to save time during the week.  Below is a recipe I came up with using leftover chicken.


2 cups cooked chicken cut into chunks
4 (6 inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
2 cups fresh spinach leaves or Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup kalamata olives pitted/sliced

Ingredients for tzatziki sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 chopped cucumber
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

Directions for sauce:

Place yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl and mix well.  Add chopped cucumbers and blend together.

Directions for pita:

Place cooked chicken in a pita half.  Add ¼ cup spinach, 1 tsp. feta cheese and 1 tsp. chopped olives.  Add 1-2 Tbsp. tzatziki sauce to the pita and serve.

Makes 4 pita sandwiches (2 halves each).  Nutrition Facts per serving: 375 calories, 9 grams fat, 41.4 grams carbohydrate, 34 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 65 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium

Asian broccoli slaw

Asian broccoli slaw

I’m sure everyone has tried some version of this delicious slaw at a block party or potluck. Every time I have it, I think, “I have got to get that recipe!”.  One day, I decided to just wing it. This recipe is not only pretty to look at it (remember, you eat with your eyes first), it’s also seriously nutritious. Broccoli slaw is made from the woody stalks of broccoli, which are often discarded in favor of broccoli flowerets. Don’t toss them out! They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and sulforaphane- a powerful phytochemical that helps prevent cancer. Red cabbage and shredded carrots add additional color and nutrients such as vitamin K and beta-carotene. #nutrigirlapproved

I typically keep minced ginger, garlic and sesame seed oil on hand, so I all really needed was the broccoli slaw, cilantro and almonds. This slaw can be made ahead of time or could also be used in a stir fry. If used in stir fry, add the sesame seed oil and cilantro last for flavor. Sesame seed oil has a very low smoke point and should not be used for frying. It will have a rancid, off-taste when heated.

2 cups (1 container) broccoli slaw
Juice from 1 lemon (~2 Tbsp)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. minced ginger paste
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup slivered almonds

Place the broccoli slaw and slivered almonds in a medium sized bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together lemon juice, sesame seed oil, canola oil, garlic, soy sauce and ginger paste.
Add the dressing to the broccoli slaw and mix. Add the chopped cilantro at the end, save a few leaves for the top for garnish

Makes 6 servings: Nutrition information per serving: 144 calories, 13.9 grams fat, 2.6 grams protein, 3.8 grams carbohydrate, 1.8 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium.

Soup Swap!  Italian Wedding Soup

Soup Swap! Italian Wedding Soup

Part of the beauty of being a grantee through People’s Liberty is the great meeting opportunities it provides.  Kate Zaidan is a young woman in my 8 member class that shares my love for cooking, teaching and connecting people.  She took over her dad’s store, Dean’s Mediterranean Imports in Findlay market and is quite the go-getter.

A true foodie, Kate is hosting a soup swap today at People’s Liberty. The point of the swap is to share stories of where your recipe came from, as well as soup!  Each participant brings 6 quarts of soup to share in addition to the recipe.  Brilliant idea Kate!

I was worried about having to make (and eat) soup when this week’s February weather felt more like May.  But alas, the stars have aligned and we’ve got a cool 40 degree day ahead to chat and enjoy soup! Below is a spoiler- my mom’s famous Italian wedding soup.  Mine is a bit simpler.  You can add more greens as desired.

To read more about Kate’s mission, check out the link:


One, 3 # chicken               ¾ cup rice or tiny pasta

½ yellow onion, diced

4 large carrots, peeled & cut into coins

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

10 frozen meatballs, quartered

1 box frozen spinach

8 cups water, 1-2 tsp. salt to taste


Boil whole chicken. Remove from pot & skim fat from broth. Cut off visible fat from chicken & return meat to the pot.  Add chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic, & spinach and simmer until vegetables are soft.  Add meatballs & rice and cook for another 10 minutes until rice is cooked.  Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Makes 8 servings.  Per serving: 216 calories, 8 gm fat, 21.5 gm carb, 1.9 gm fiber, 15 gm protein, 35 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium

Pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli

Pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli

I hate to waste food.  Pasta is no exception.  I made this recipe on a whim with leftover chicken and cooked penne.   I keep jarred pesto on hand because of its convenience and delicious taste.  It’s made with olive oil and garlic, so you can’t go wrong here!  If you don’t have chicken, cooked turkey or white beans (Great Northern, Navy) would also work well in this recipe if you want a vegetarian option.  I prefer whole grain penne, ziti or spiral pasta to boost fiber content and color. If needed, you can also use gluten-free pasta made from corn, brown rice or quinoa.  Broccoli adds color, vitamin C, beta carotene and fiber to the dish.  Enjoy!


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)

½ 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:  343 calories, 12.6 grams fat, 46.8 grams carbohydrate, 12.2 grams protein, 6.7 grams fiber, 8 mg cholesterol, 181 mg sodium.

Kale salad with coconut ginger dressing

Kale salad with coconut ginger dressing

Be kaleful!  Kale is in season and it’s time to embrace the leafy green.  This nutritional powerhouse is loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin K, nutrients needed to fight cancer, high blood pressure and protect your immune system.  You may ask yourself, “What else can I make besides soup”?

Kale is often dismissed because of its rough texture.  If you massage kale before using it, it softens the texture and sweetens the flavor a bit.  In this recipe, I blended some coconut oil with a few other ingredients to create an Asian type dressing.  To my surprise, the coconut really complimented the kale and tamed the greens nicely.  I added a few chopped almonds for texture and voila- I have a new salad!


8 cups fresh kale, cleaned and ripped

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

4 tsp. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)

4 tsp. low sodium soy sauce

2 ½ tsp. sesame seed oil

2 tsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. fresh lime zest

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp. chopped almonds


  1. Place cleaned kale in a large bowl. “Massage” the kale for 3-5 minutes to soften it up.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together coconut oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Add in ginger and garlic then pour over the salad.  Toss in chopped almonds, lime zest and serve.  The salad may taste better the second or third day after the kale surrenders.


Makes 8 servings.  Per serving: 95 calories, 6.4 grams fat, 2.6 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 1.3 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 158 mg sodium

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