Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ Cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 T baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. orange zest (grated orange peel)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ Cup low-fat milk
- 5 T melted butter
- 1 whole egg
- 1 Cup fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries, halved
- 1 Cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with paper liners for easy removal and handling.
In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, ginger, orange zest, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, and egg. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Do not over-mix.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle additional chopped nuts on top, if desired.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew
- 1 medium orange
- 2 lbs (6 medium) sweet potatoes
- 2 15 oz cans black beans (well-rinsed)
- 6 Cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced, or chopped
- 2 sweet peppers (1 red, 1 green, or to your likeness) thinly sliced or chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1-2 Tablespoons chipotle chili powder (start with 1 T to taste and add more for extra heat)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Saute onions, peppers, garlic, orange zest, and crushed red pepper flakes in 1 T. olive oil. Then add sweet potatoes, broth, and spices and cook just until the potatoes are done, but not mushy. Add in the beans during the last few minutes of cooking. When done, add the juice from the orange and cilantro.
Low-fat Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie
- 1 Cup plain or vanilla low-fat (or non-fat) yogurt (I like to use Greek yogurt, because it tends to make the smoothie thicker and creamier)
- 1 or 2 overripe bananas
- 1 Cup strawberries (or your favorite fruit; frozen berries are great, so that you can use less ice)
- 1 Cup ice cubes (only use ice if you do not use frozen fruit)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy, immediately!
Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta
- 1 Cup (low sodium) vegetable broth
- 12 dehydrated, sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz.) package of uncooked, whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ Tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
- ¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth for 15 minutes, or until soft. Drain, reserving the broth, and coarsely chop.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot and cook for 9-12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.
Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute garlic for 1 minute, just until tender. Mix in spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserve broth and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, or until heated through.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Walnut Crusted Salmon
- ½ Cup white wine
- ¼ Cup lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon crushed rosemary
- ½ teaspoon crushed thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 (8 oz.) salmon fillets, skin on
- 1 Cup finely chopped walnuts
- ¾ Cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Directions: Preheat grill, and preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Mix marinade ingredients in a large, plastic, zip-lock bag. Add salmon (turn and coat) and marinate for 30-45 minutes. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the crust and set aside. On a grill, place salmon meat side down for four minutes or just until seared.
Remove and place salmon on lined baking sheet, skin side down. Lightly brush with leftover marinade and sprinkle crust on top. Bake in the oven for 4-8 minutes or until salmon is cooked (flaky and golden).
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 (2-3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 Cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper, salt and nutmeg to taste
Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion and cook until translucent (about 8 minutes). Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender (15-20 minutes). Remove squash chunks with a slotted spoon and move to a blender and puree. (An emulsion blender works well too). Return blended squash to the cooking pot. Stir and season with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
If butternut squash isn’t in season, or if you are pressed for time, grab a bag of already cut and peeled, frozen chunks of squash. Be open to new flavors and explore different types of squash as the seasons change.
Versatile Mixed Green Salad
- 2 Cups washed, mixed baby greens
- 1 quarter sliced (medium) cucumber
- ½ of an avocado (chopped in bite size pieces)
- You can also use another fruit of your liking, such as grapes, strawberries or mandarin oranges.
- 5-10 sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¼ Cup chopped nuts
- Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- 1/3 Cup chopped chicken
- Or other lean meat such as turkey
- ¼ Cup low-fat dressing/vinaigrette
After chopping all fruits and vegetables, toss with lettuce, nuts, chicken and salad dressing in a large bowl or closed container until well mixed, or desired likeness. Enjoy!
For chicken, I typically use all-natural or organic, canned chicken. It’s easy to drain from the can and throw it straight into the salad.