Arugula salad with raspberries in citrus dressing

Arugula salad with raspberries in citrus dressing

Arugula Salad with Raspberries in Citrus Dressing

Now that spring is here, it’s time to get your salad spinner out and get your greens on! Raspberries pair nicely with local greens and arugula and fresh lime vinaigrette.  Add feta cheese or blue cheese or any variation of nuts or seed you have on hand. You can add quinoa, barley or other whole grain, and grilled chicken or fish to make the salad a meal.


3 cups baby spinach leaves or local microgreens

3 cups arugula

2 pints fresh raspberries

¼ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)



1/3 cup fresh lime juice (~2 limes)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp. honey


  1. Wash and spin the greens in a salad spinner and place in a large salad bowl.
  2. Clean and dry the raspberries and add to the greens.
  3. Add pecans and blue cheese
  4. Whisk together lime juice, canola oil and honey
  5. Dress salad prior to serving

Makes 4 (2 cup) servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  164 calories, 12.5 grams fat (1.8 grams saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 11.3 grams carbohydrate, 2.4 grams fiber, 3.7 grams protein, 103 mg sodium.





Vegan black bean chili

Vegan black bean chili

This simple recipe is not only quick, but very healthy.  Beans provide a hefty dose of belly-filling fiber as well as protein, potassium, folate and magnesium.  In addition, adding tomatoes or bell peppers (high in vitamin C) increases the bioavailability (absorption) of iron in the body, which is important for women, vegetarians and vegans.

Black beans are used in the recipe, but kidney beans or pinto beans would make an easy substitute.  Drain and rinse the beans prior to using to reduce sodium content by 30%.  Leftover chili can be used over rice or in a tortilla for burritos.



2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes w/green chiles

1 tsp, minced garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced

½ onion chopped (or ½ cup frozen onions)

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. chili powder

½-1 tsp. salt to taste

2% milk shredded cheese



Place tomatoes in a medium sauce pan and add garlic, onion and spices.  Simmer until vegetables are soft.  Add 2 cans of beans and cook for another 10-15 minutes until beans are soft.  Add salt to taste.  Serve with 2% milk shredded cheese.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving:  160 calories, 30 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein, .5 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 grams fiber, 73 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 500 mg sodium.

Kale apple salad with feta cheese and pistachios in orange dressing

Kale apple salad with feta cheese and pistachios in orange dressing

This seasonal salad will become a favorite among your guests.  Kale is one of my favorite greens to toy with.  Did you know that eating just 1-2 servings of leafy greens may improve your memory?

To improve the texture of kale, place it in a Ziplock bag after cleaning and massage it until it’s shiny.  This helps wilt and sweeten this rough green.  Honey crisp apples or pears “pair” nicely with any winter greens, pistachios and orange vinaigrette.  The salad can be made ahead of time and may actually taste better on day 2 or 3.  Add feta cheese or blue cheese or any variation of nuts or seeds.


6 cups kale, chopped, rinsed and massaged

2 Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apples

½ cup chopped pistachios

¼ cup feta cheese


1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup canola oil



  1. Wash and rip the kale. Place in a zip lock bag and massage kale until it’s shiny.  Add kale to a large salad bowl.
  2. Slice the apples into chunks and add to the kale.
  3. Add pistachios and feta cheese.
  4. Whisk together orange juice and oil.
  5. Dress salad ahead of time (if desired).


Makes 6 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving:  245 calories, 18.6 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 5.6 mg cholesterol, 17.7 grams carbohydrate, 3.6 grams fiber, 5.5 grams protein, 141 mg sodium.

Steel cut oats with ginger & almonds

Steel cut oats with ginger & almonds

I’ve had a cylinder of steel cut oats in my pantry for months, but had not used it due to sheer laziness.  Steel cut oats are meant for a weekend breakfast when you’ve got a little extra time to sip coffee and let them cook.

The beautiful thing about them though, is you can make a lot ahead of time and reheat them the next day.  The recipe I made makes 4 servings, but you can keep them plain and add in what you want to make them more interesting.  Below is what I came up with this morning.  Delightful!


1 cup steel cut oats

4 cups water

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ginger paste

2 tsp. real maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped almonds



Boil water then add 1 cup steel cut oats and boil for 5 minutes.

Turn heat down and cook oats uncovered for another 25-30 minutes until the water is all soaked up.

Stir in ginger paste, cinnamon, maple syrup and almonds before serving.

Makes 4 servingsNutrition facts per serving: 180 calories, 7.9 grams fat, 22 grams carbohydrate, 6.3 grams protein, 3.9 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 4.7 mg sodium.


Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili

This recipe comes from Sweet Peas & Saffon, but was shared by a fellow neighbor, Doug Olberding.  Doug is an avid runner with a biting sense of humor and taste for adventure.

Did you get an Instant Pot or crock pot for the holidays and are itching to try it, but don’t know where to start?  Look no further!  This delicious slow-cooker dish is packed with fiber and protein from chickpeas and beta-carotene from sweet potatoes.  It’s seasoned with savory chipotle, adobo sauce and lime. Adobo sauce is typically browned in oil at finishing, so the recipe will contain some fat.

Recipe takes about 30 minutes of prep time in the morning, but dinner is done when you return from a long day.  Ingredients can be prepped the night before and refrigerated before cooking.

Let’s say you added too much adobo sauce or chipotle peppers.  No worries!  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt before serving.  The casein in dairy products binds capsaicin from peppers and cools off your tongue.  True story!



28 oz. can diced tomatoes (keep liquid)

13.5 oz. can tomato sauce

4 Tbsp. adobo sauce (can use more if desired)

1 chopped chipotle pepper (less if desired)

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

½ cup low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

2 medium onions, minced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 ½-2” cubes (~5 cups)

2 diced carrots

2 (19 oz. cans) chick peas (drained & rinsed)

1 fresh lime

avocado (optional)



  1. Add all ingredients to the base of a 5-quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon until completely combined.
  3. Cook on lowest setting for 8-10 hours.
  4. Before serving, *gently* stir in the lime juice.
  5. Serve with avocado, cilantro, yogurt/sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Makes 8 servingsNutrition facts per serving: 339 calories, 6 grams fat, 59 grams carbohydrate, 10.5 grams fiber, 15.6 grams protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 1500 mg sodium.

Asian broccoli sautee

Asian broccoli sautee

Need a tasty, colorful side dish?  Look no further!  Broccoli slaw, made of shredded broccoli stalks, red cabbage and carrots, contain loads of vitamin C, beta-carotene and folate- nutrients that help protect your heart.  This simple dish can stand alone or be combined with tofu, chicken, salmon or pork to boost protein content.  Red or yellow bell peppers can be added for more color and nutrition.  Serve over brown rice, Japanese Soba noodles or quinoa to make a complete meal.



1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 (10 oz) bag broccoli slaw

2 green onions (scallions), cut into pieces

1 clove garlic or 1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. minced ginger

1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil

1 tbsp. rice vinegar or white vinegar

2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

Dash of red pepper flakes

Chopped cilantro



  1. In a large pan, add canola oil, garlic, pepper strips, ginger and broccoli slaw and saute’ over low heat.
  2. Mix the rice vinegar, sesame seed oil and soy sauce and add to the vegetables.
  3. Heat on low until vegetables are slightly soft.
  4. Add green onions cilantro, chopped nuts and pepper flakes before serving.




Serves 6.  Nutrition information per serving:  63 calories, 4.3 grams fat, 5 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fiber, 2 gm protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 76 mg sodium 

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