Archive for February, 2011

Daily Meal Plan 2-27-11

Feb 28 2011 by | Comments (4)

Breakfast – 1 cup Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with 1/2 cup So Easy Applesauce and 1 cup hot chocolate (oat milk, 1 tsp raw honey and 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder)

SnackWheat Grass Enegry Shake

Lunch – 1 cup baby lettuces and 1 cup micro greens topped with 1/2 cup Oven Roasted Vegetables and 1 cup Mediterranean Pasta, 1 cup green tea

Snack – 3 Cherry Cocoa Fruit and Nut Truffles

Dinner – 1 cup Kale, Potato and Squash Soup and 1 serving Fruit and Yogurt Parfait topped with 1/4 cup ground flaxseed.

Snack – 1 cup green tea

Total Nutritional Info:

Calories: 1534, Cal. from Fat: 320.5, Total Fat: 39.5g, Sat. Fat: 13g, Carbs: 247.5g, Fiber: 39g, Sugars: 96.5g, Protein: 85g, Sodium: 1038.5mg, Chol: 74mg

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Crispy Pea Salad

Feb 28 2011 by | Comments (0)
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After my husband and I got done house hunting in California we boarded the plane to take us home.  When we left San Diego, CA it was a gorgeous day, 70 degrees and absolutely sunny.  When we landed in Chicago, IL it was not so nice, cold and snowy!  I really needed a meal that would make me feel like I was back in sunny San Diego and this crispy pea salad did just the trick.  Not only is it SUPER easy to make but it’s light and so refreshing!  Without a doubt I will be making this throughout the summer months!



  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen organic petite peas (do not thaw)
  • 6 ounces almonds, finely chopped

    I used a hand chopper to chop the almonds

  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Sprectrum Brand Organic Mayonnaise)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Combine the frozen peas, green onions, almonds, and water chestnuts.
  2. Gently fold the mayonnaise into the pea mixture.

    Gently fold in mayonnaise

  3. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 5 servings.

Serving size about 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 345.5, Cal. from Fat: 206.5, Total Fat: 24.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 6.5g, Protein: 11.5g, Sodium: 9mg, Chol: 0mg


If you are not eating the salad immediately after making it be sure to wait and only add the almonds once you are ready to serve.   You should do the same with any leftovers.  Store the almonds separately from the main salad.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Fasolia (Greek Style Beans)

Feb 26 2011 by | Comments (0)
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Fasolia or Fasoulia is a very traditional Greek dish. I love it because it is so quick and easy to make and it has such great flavor. I have messed with tradition a little here by not cooking the beans in with the tomatoes and by adding feta cheese but I find I prefer it this way. If you want a more traditional dish just add the cooked beans in with the tomato mixture, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Anyway you make it will be delicious.



  • 3 cups cooked dried fava beans (you can also used large white or even cannellini if you don’t like fava’s), Melissa’s brand has a shelled, steamed and ready to eat package of fava’s that are very good and a real time saver.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water from cooked beans (if using Melissa’s the water in the package is sufficient)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (your preference)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional garnish)


  1. Add the oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.

    Heat cooked beans and mash slightly

  2. While the onion is cooking, heat the cooked fava beans in a medium size pot with the vegetable stock or bean liquid, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mash slightly with a fork or potato masher. Don’t over mash, you still want to have some bean texture.

    Add feta cheese to the tomato mixture and warm until soft

  4. Add tomatoes to the onions. Stir to combine and then add the feta and heat just until the tomatoes are warmed and the cheese is soft.
  5. To serve, spoon the fava beans on a plate, top with the tomato mixture and garnish with parsley.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings as a side dish or 2 as a main dish.

Serving size .

Nutrients per serving as a side:  Calories: 172, Cal. from Fat: 100.5, Total Fat: 11.5g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 268mg, Chol: 16.5mg


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Pancetta Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Feb 25 2011 by | Comments (0)
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The first time I ever had dates was at this fabulous tapas restaurant in Naperville, IL that was close to were we lived.  We used to go there frequently before we started eating healthy and one night they were featuring their bacon wrapped dates.  The waiter brought out one for each of us to try.  I was very hesitant to try them.  I did not like dates – or so I thought!  But one bite and I was hooked!  The bacon and dates worked together so well. They had drizzled a bit of honey on top and it was too die for!  This recipe is similar to the dates I had but I opted to stuff them first with some tangy goat cheese.  Let’s just say they were a HUGH hit and I’m not even sure how you would store the leftovers since we didn’t have any!



  • 12 medjool dates
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 ounces (12 slices) pancetta or proscuitto
  • honey or coconut nectar (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

    Slice dates lengthwise to remove pit

  2. Slice dates lengthwise to remove pit and create and opening for the cheese.

    Remove pit to create an opening for the cheese

  3. Stuff date with goat cheese.

    Stuff with goat cheese

  4. Lay a slice of pancetta on a plate and fold lengthwise in half.  Place the stuffed date at the bottom of the strip and roll the date up.

    Fold pancetta lengthwise

  5. Place the rolled up date on a baking sheet. (I line my with non stick foil for easy clean up.)

    Place dates on baking sheet and place in oven for 5-6 minutes

  6. Bake the dates in the oven for about 5-6 six minutes.
  7. Drizzle with a bit of honey and ENJOY! (I opted not to use the honey and they were delicious!)

Nutritional Info:

Makes 12 servings.

Serving size 1 date.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 102, Cal. from Fat: 20.5, Total Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 18g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 16g, Protein: 3.5g, Sodium: 168mg, Chol: 5.5mg


We did not have any leftovers but you can store them in the fridge (wrap in foil or store in a plastic bag) for a day or two.  Reheat in the oven for best results.

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This time of year is so plentiful with citrus fruit that I try to think of different ways to use it other than just peel and eat. Not that there is anything wrong with that especially with a couple of my favorite citrus fruits, Gold Nugget mandarin oranges and Minneola tangerines. I use Minneola’s in this recipe because of their juiciness. The hearty grains of wheatberry and wild rice paired with the sweet juiciness of the tangerines are a perfect combination.



  • 1 cup wheatberry, cooked
  • 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked
  • 3 Minneola tangerines, 2 for juice (about 1/2 cup) and 1 peeled and cut into bite size pieces reserving a couple of  uncut segments for a garnish if you wish
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach


  1. Cook wheatberry and wild rice per cooking instructions on the packages. Wheatberries are usually soaked overnight before cooking so plan ahead. After cooking let cool.
  2. Juice 2 of the tangerines into a small bowl then mix in the olive oil, honey, mustard, thyme, parsley cardamom, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the pecans in a dry skillet and heat on medium heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes or until you start to smell their nutty aroma. Coarsley chop the nuts.
  4. Mix the wheatberries and rice in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, tangerines and pecans.

    Pour the dressing over the wheatberry mixture and stir to combine

  5. Pour in the juice mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Serve over baby spinach and garnish with the reserved tangerine segments.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings as a side dish or 2 as a lunch or dinner meal.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 329.5, Cal. from Fat: 106, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 51g, Fiber: 8.5g, Sugars: 11g, Protein: 8g, Sodium: .5mg, Chol: 0mg


This salad is best if let to sit about an hour in the refrigerator after mixing in the dressing.  Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Cherry Clafouti

Feb 22 2011 by | Comments (0)
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I couldn’t let February go by without doing something with cherries since it is National Cherry month. Besides, I love cherries and what’s better than cherries and custard? This dish is easy to make and  it’s so lovely in a rustic way. I love how the cherry juice oozes up over the custard as it bakes and the cherries bob up to be seen too. Beautiful.



  • 1 bag (10 – 12 ounces) frozen no sugar added black sweet cherries
  • 6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen unsweetened apple cherry juice concentrate (plain apple is ok too)
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/4 cups skim or lowfat milk
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, brown rice syrup or coconut nectar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I love vanilla flavor so I also scrape a vanilla bean in too)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup finely ground almond meal flour (optional)*
  • olive oil to spray in pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a  tart pan or baking dish, approximately 11 x 9, with olive oil.
  2. Place the cherries and juice concentrate in a bowl to thaw.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, honey, eggs, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and whisk until completely smooth.
  4. Add the arrowroot powder to the cherries and juice. Mix well.

    Pour cherries and juice into baking dish

  5. Pour the cherries and juice into the baking dish.

    Pour the batter over the cherries

  6. Pour the batter over the cherries. Do not stir.
  7. Place in the oven and bake 50 – 60 minutes until puffed and browned along the edges. A knife insered into the center should come out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven. The clafouti will fall a little after cooling.
  9. Spoon onto plates or in a bowl and enjoy while hot.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 6 servings.

Serving size about 1 1/2 cups.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 329.5, Cal. from Fat: 106, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 51g, Fiber: 8.5g, Sugars: 11g, Protein: 8g, Sodium: .5mg, Chol: 0mg


Clafouti is a great breakfast or brunch dish too. The optional almond meal flour is used in many clafouti recipes and it adds a different taste and texture that is really good. It does add fat, albeit good fat.

Leftover clafouti can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Basil Pesto

Feb 21 2011 by | Comments (0)
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My husband and I were in California a couple weeks ago looking for a new house.  We’ll be moving to Oceanside, CA in May and we spent the weekend house hunting.  Healthy eating doesn’t stop for us when traveling so when the hotel concierge handed us a menu for a cafe we just ‘had to try’ I stuck it in my pocket without another thought.  Luckily we got stuck in traffic later that day and I pulled the menu out and took a look.  It was for a place called The Naked Cafe and to my surprise it served healthy, organic, natural food!  OH HAPPY DAY!  The very next morning we were waiting at the doors when they opened and had one of the most delicious breakfast meals EVER!  While I usually have sun dried tomato pesto on hand at all times in my fridge, after having their egg white pesto scramble I vowed to go home and make my own basil pesto.  Here it is complete with a recipe for egg white pesto scramble inspired by my wonderful meal at The Naked Cafe.



  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Place the basil and pine nuts in a food processor (or powerful blender) and pulse a few times.  (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times before adding the basil.)
  2. Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.  Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 1 cup.

Serving size 1 tbsp.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 92, Cal. from Fat: 83, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: .5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 1.5g, Sodium: 47.5mg, Chol: 2.5mg


The pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

My breakfast meal at the Naked Cafe

Now I know that I said I had breakfast and that there is a salad with my meal, but I did warn you that I love salad and I could eat it with every meal of the day – breakfast included!  I was offered the option of salad or fruit and I opted for the salad.  However, after eating the egg white scramble and some of the delicious brown rice and tortilla I was too stuffed to even touch the salad!

I gave it my best shot and almost finished it all!

Egg White Pesto Scramble


  • 8 ounces egg whites
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 green onions, very finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp Basil Pesto (recipe above)
  • 2 ounces turkey or prosciutto, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla shell
  • olive oil spray


  1. Heat a non stick skillet on medium high heat and spray with olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl add egg whites, feta, onions, pesto and turkey (if using) and mix well.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir until the eggs are cooked.
  3. Serve egg whites with brown rice and a tortilla and ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:

Makes 2 serving.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 385.5, Cal. from Fat: 140, Total Fat: 19g, Sat. Fat: 4.5g,Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: .5g, Protein: 21.5g, Sodium: 517.5mg, Chol: 2.5mg

Mediterranean Pasta

Feb 19 2011 by | Comments (0)
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This pasta is simple and uncomplicated and yet it’s full of flavor with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the saltiness of the olives and cheese. It works great for a big family gathering or get together of friends. Toss it all together and put it in a big bowl in the center of your table and let everyone dig right in. You might want to double the recipe because it will go fast.



  • 1/2 cup dry pack sun dried tomatoes *see notes
  • 8 ounces thin whole grain spaghetti (for a gluten free meal substitute with a gluten free pasta)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or Garlic Gold Oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 package (5 ounces) fresh spinach (you can use more if desired)
  • 2 ounces pitted and sliced kalamata olives or black olives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (omit for a vegan option)


  1. Soak tomatoes in hot water 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and chop.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, cover and set aside.
  3. Warm 2 tbsp of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and oregano. Cook about 10 minutes or until onions are tender.
  4. Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, about 3-4 minutes.

    After the spinach has wilted add the tomatoes and olives

  5. Add olives and tomatoes, heat until warmed.
  6. Gently toss in the pasta and the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and stir until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
  7. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta cheese.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 servings.

Serving size about 1/2 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 241.5, Cal. from Fat: 102, Total Fat: 11.5g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 26g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 393.5mg, Chol: 16.5mg


You can also use sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. Drain the oil and reserve 3 tablespoons. Omit the olive oil and use the reserved oil from the tomatoes to saute the onions and toss the pasta.

Leftover pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  This dish is actually good served hot or cold.  If your leftover pasta is a bit dry try adding a tbsp of oil and mixing well.

Tangy Chickpea Salad

Feb 18 2011 by | Comments (6)
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Sometimes I wish computers came with a scratch and sniff button so that you could smell how wonderful this salad is.  It’s tangy and so delicious!  All the components work so well together and every bite is just bursting with flavor.  This salad is great for lunch or dinner and perfect for potlucks and get togethers.



  • 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup organic edamame (frozen works well, simply thaw beforehand) *see notes
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup organic dried cranberries (make sure you check the label as dried fruit is often sweetened with sugars)
  • 2 tbsp sunflower, olive oil or Garlic Gold Oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • black pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl mix together oil, vinegar, sea salt, garlic, cumin, Italian seasoning, rosemary and black pepper.  Stir the dressing well and set aside.

    Place the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing

  2. In a large bowl mix together chickpeas, edamame, peppers, carrots and cranberries.  Toss with dressing and stir to evenly coat.
  3. Refrigerate salad for 1 hour before serving to let flavors set in.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 3 1/2 cup.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 295, Cal. from Fat: 92.5, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 13g, Sodium: 156mg, Chol: 0mg


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use organic edamame.  Any soybean product that is not organic is a GMO and is not healthy!

This is one of those salads that the longer it sits, the better it gets.  If you make this for a potluck or get together it’s best to make it the day before and let it sit overnight.

Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Farinata Flatbread

Feb 17 2011 by | Comments (0)
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If you haven’t heard of Farinata before let me try to describe it for you. It is of Italian origin and is a savory pancake or flatbread made from chickpea flour (though it doesn’t taste anything like chickpeas), water, oil and salt. You can season it pretty much any way you like. It can be served as an appetizer or made as a meal topped with grilled vegetables or as a pizza with thinly sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Anyway you choose to have it will be delicious!



  • 3 3/4 cups water
  • 2 1/3 cups chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced


  1. Pour the water into a large bowl. Slowly add in the chickpea flour, mixing it with a wire whisk to avoid lumps. Stir in salt and 2 tbsp olive oil.

    Let the batter stand at least 3 hours and skim off any foam that forms on top

  2. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least 3 hours or up to 12.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Grease a large baking sheet (12 x 16) or 2 small (10 inch-with raised edges) pizza pans with 2 tbsp olive oil. Be sure the entire pan is coated.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a medium skillet and add the onions. Cook about 10 minutes or until the onions are just starting to brown.
  6. Remove any foam that has formed on the top of the chickpea batter (the batter will be thin).

    Top batter with onions, black pepper and rosemary

  7. Pour the chickpea batter into the prepared pan(s) and evenly top with onions, pepper and rosemary.
  8. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. The middle should be firm.
  9. Turn the oven to broil and broil for a couple of minutes until the farinata just turns a golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes or so before cutting.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 12 servings.

Serving size 1 slice.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 132, Cal. from Fat: 69.5, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: 7g, Carbs: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 36.5mg, Chol: 0mg


Another seasoning option I like is to add oregano rather than rosemary and include sliced black olives.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.