Healthy Recipes - Side Dishes

Squash Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

Butternut squash (cucurbita moschata) is technically a fruit that has a sweet and nutty taste. It is an excellent source of vitamin A that helps support vision and immunity, to name a few of its benefits. In addition, it is a very good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper and manganese. A nutrient-dense food choice!!

There are many seasonal, classic recipes for roasted butternut squash and squash soups, as well as more creative ways to enjoy butternut squash. For example, roasted squash is great to include in a whole grain tortilla or lettuce wrap along with black beans, caramelized onions, a sprinkle of grated cheese, cilantro and your favorite salsa. You can even use butternut squash as an alternative in baking - even in muffins!

Cook Time: 30 minutes  Level of Difficulty: Easy 


  • 1 butternut squash (1½ pound), peeled and diced into ½" pieces
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cider Vinaigrette:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced shallots
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 8 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  • 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
  • ½ cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the maple syrup, salt and black pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, turning once, until tender. 
  3. Making the Cider Vinaigrette: While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
  4. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, pomegranate seeds and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.

Adapted from recipe by Ina Garten

Side dish of sweet potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potato with Chimichurri

Fall is a wonderful time to enjoy Chimichurri with roasted sweet potatoes or winter squash. Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce which originated in Argentina and is used both in cooking and as a table condiment traditionally for grilled meat.  It is usually made of finely chopped parsley and other green herbs, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar.  A “red version” contains red pepper and tomato.

You can enhance the nutritional value of Chimichurri by mixing it with green leafy vegetables such as broccoli leaves, kale, bok choy and swiss chard.  Feel free to add your own seasonings such as cumin, ginger, turmeric and cardamom to make it more interesting and provide additional medicinal benefits.

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


  • 4 sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into wedges
  • 2 Tablespoons plus ¼ cup Olive or Coconut Oil
  • ½ Cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ Cup fresh parsley
  • 2  Tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and Fresh ground pepper


  1. Heat oven to 425.  Toss sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning once until tender, 25-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse cilantro, parsley, dill and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add vinegar and remaining oil and process until blended and smooth.

Serving Ideas

  • Spoon Chimichurri onto a serving platter and top with sweet potatoes or toss Chimichurri with potatoes and serve.
  • Add fresh chopped red onions or peppers for varied texture and taste.
strawberry stuffed avocado

Strawberry Stuffed Avocado

Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes (Total time will vary)
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


  • 2 avocados, halved and pitted with skins on
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
  • Olive oil, to drizzle
  • 4 to 8 strawberries, depending on size, hulled and
  • 1/4 cup crumbled chevre cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place avocado halves on a baking sheet. Drizzle avocado with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, gently toss together strawberries, basil, cheese and vinegar.

Top avocados with strawberry mixture and return to oven to warm through, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted by Sarah Washburn, Oncology Dietitian Nutritionist from pccmarket.com 

mediterranean salad

California Harvest Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Cook Time: 15 minutes (Total time will vary)
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp salt
1 dash nutmeg
1 – 5 ounce bag baby lettuce
1 fresh stone fruit (nectarine or peach), sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled


In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and nutmeg. Add lettuce; toss to combine with dressing. Arrange stone fruit and avocado slices on top of salad. Scatter cheese crumbles on top and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Mediterranean Foods Alliance on behalf of California Avocado Commission.

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Asparagus and Edamame Salad

asparagus and edamame

Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Cook Time: 15 minutes (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 
Serves 6


1 lb. medium asparagus, ends discarded
1 (16-oz.) package frozen edamame (green soy beans), defrosted and drained
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
¼ lb. arugula (or ½ arugula and ½ watercress)
¼ cup shredded parmesan
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


Cut asparagus stalks into ¼-inch diagonal slices, separating tips. In a wok or large sauté pan, stir-fry asparagus stalks in 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned. Add tips and continue to stir-fry for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with defrosted edamame, salt and pepper. Pile arugula (or arugula and watercress) in a salad bowl and toss with remaining   Tbsp. olive oil. Top with asparagus and edamame, and sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

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Beet & Cucumber Salad


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


2 large beets, trimmed (save beet greens for later use; see note below) 
½ cup low-fat or regular sour cream or plain yogurt 
½ teaspoon cider or white wine vinegar 
2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish or prepared mustard 
½ to 1 teaspoon Splenda, honey or sugar 
Salt or salt substitute to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper to taste 
4 cups baby lettuce greens 
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced into about 12 slices


Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap beets in foil. Bake until tender when pierced with fork, about 45 minutes to one hour. Cool then peel beets. Cut each beet into six slices.
Whisk together sour cream, vinegar, horseradish and Splenda in a bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Divide lettuce leaves among four plates. Overlap beet slices and cucumber slices atop lettuce. Drizzle with dressing and serve. 

Beets and dressing can be made one day ahead. Cover separately and chill. 

Note: Beet greens are a tasty source of magnesium and iron. They can be substituted for spinach or Swiss chard in recipes. Simply cut washed greens into ribbons and steam or sauté in olive oil; finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Broccoli Salad


Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cook Time: N/A (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Broccoli, a power-packed vegetable, contains selenium, has more vitamin C than an orange, and is a good source of bio-available calcium.


1 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 stalks broccoli (1½ to 1¾  lbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or, you can replace olive oil and vinegar with your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 large carrot, grated (½ cup)
¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
½ cup craisins, raisins or currents


Boil water in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and broccoli stems. After a few seconds, add broccoli crowns. Blanch 30 seconds or until color is bright and somewhat translucent. Remove from boiling water and plunge into ice cold water.  Drain well.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Add grated carrots and raisins; toss to combine. Cut broccoli into florets and peel and dice the stems. Add to bowl; mix thoroughly. Add walnuts immediately before serving.

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Colorful Egg and Potato Salad


Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cook Time: 5 minutes (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


2-3 pounds of a variety of potatoes (4 cups) purple, red, Yukon gold
6 hard cooked eggs
1 ½ cups chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions (combination of chives and red onions) 
¼ cup minced parsley
¼ cup thinly sliced and cut radishes
¼ cup vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise 
3 tsp mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric


Combine potatoes, eggs, celery, green onions and chives combination, parsley and radishes in large bowl.  Mix in dressing ingredients: vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and turmeric.  Enjoy!


Sprinkle vinegar on the warm cooked eggs before cooling to enhance the flavor of the potato.  
Add in grated carrot or zucchini.
Vary the type of vinegar; wine, apple cider, balsamic, etc.
Serve on bed of arugula.

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Crispy Veggie Fritters


Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cook Time: 8 minutes per fritter (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


4 cups water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. plain low fat yogurt
2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped


Place 4 cups of water, broccoli and carrots in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes and drain the vegetables. Pat broccoli mixture dry and finely chop. Place veggie mixture and flour in a large bowl; stir to coat. Add grated cheese, salt, onions and egg to broccoli mixture; stir to combine.
Heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Spoon 1/4 cup of broccoli mixture into dry measuring cup. Pour mixture into pan and flatten slightly. Cook 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Combine yogurt and dill in a small bowl. Serve yogurt with veggie fritters and enjoy.

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Fiesta Salad


Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: No cooking required! (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 
This salad is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants!


1 c. of corn, fresh or frozen
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1 c. chopped red and green bell peppers
1/2 c. chopped cucumber
1/2 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. minced red onion
1.2 c. sliced olives
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 of lemon
1 medium avocado, chopped


Mix all ingredients except for avocado. Gently fold in avocado. Drizzle with olive oil or grapeseed oil if desired.


Add in diced chicken, shrimp or tofu
Add shredded cheese
Add seasonings such as hot peppers or cumin

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Flavorful Sautéed Greens


Prep Time: 5 min 
Cook Time: 10 min (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) 
Level of Difficulty: Easy 


2 teaspoons olive oil, canola oil, butter or a mixture of butter and oil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large bunch of leafy greens such as spinach, arugula, beet greens, Swiss chard, kale, collards, escarole, dandelion greens, mustards
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Additional seasonings, optional


Prepare greens by removing tough or woody stems. Wash well but do not dry, and chop roughly. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy skillet. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat until the garlic just starts to color. Add greens, toss well with the oil and garlic, season lightly with salt and pepper, cover pan, and cook until bright green and the greens are wilted and stems are tender. Cooking time will vary. Very tender leafy greens such as spinach, arugula and watercress will be done in just a minute or two. Sturdier ones like kale and collards will take several minutes longer. Add your choice of seasonings, if desired.


Add dried red pepper flakes while cooking 
Add 2 or 3 crushed canned or salted anchovy fillets and dried red pepper flakes to the heated oil before adding the greens 
Add freshly grated ginger root while cooking
Toss the cooked greens with lemon juice and grated nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or ginger 
Dress cooked greens with a splash of balsamic vinegar, thinly sliced red onions and toasted pine nuts
Serve greens with peanut sauce made by mixing ¼ cup natural peanut butter, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
Serve greens with orange-sesame sauce made by mixing 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar; sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds 
Top cooked greens with your choice of toasted nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts) 

Leafy greens are power foods that contain beneficial nutrients including magnesium and calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, fiber and protein with few carbohydrates and calories. Choose them more often and experiment with various seasonings that meet your taste preferences.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Chill overnight (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Serves 8

Over the last 20 years, research has indicated low carbohydrate, high fat dietary interventions safely control glycemia for individuals with diabetes. This nutrition intervention does not yield greater cardiovascular risk. In order to effectively implement such a diet, an individual must choose lean protein and healthy fats to promote overall health.This gazpacho recipe is a classic example of how to increase non-starchy vegetable consumption and healthy fats to your daily intake. And, it fits the low carbohydrate, high fat diet model.


3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onion
4 cups tomato juice
2 avocados, chopped
5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


Be sure all vegetables are very finely chopped. Combine all ingredients in a large non-metallic bowl and chill overnight. Serve soup cold.

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Lemony Green Beans


Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 12 min (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound green beans, washed and stemmed, or use frozen beans
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced, or ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts (see below)
Salt or salt substitute to taste
Freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil inside of a roasting pan. Add the green beans and dried tarragon and roast for 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer beans to a serving bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and zest. If using fresh tarragon, add it now and mix well.
Top with toasted walnuts.

Here's three easy methods to toast walnuts:

Toasting nuts takes just a few minutes and it greatly intensifies their flavor. You can toast them in the oven, the toaster oven, on the stove in a skillet or in the microwave oven. It is best to use nuts that are uniform in size. There's no need to oil the pan, but pay attention—nuts can go from perfectly toasted to charred in just moments.
Oven Toasting:
Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook at 400° for seven to 10 minutes until the nuts start to turn golden and begin to smell toasty; parts of some may still appear raw. Immediately remove them from the pan and place them on paper towels to cool.
Skillet Toasting:
Place nuts in a single layer in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir or shake them continually for five to seven minutes until they start to turn golden. Remove nuts from the pan as soon as they are done, and spread them on paper towels to cool.
Spread nuts evenly in a flat microwavable dish. For half a cup of nuts, cook on high power for a total of three or four minutes, stirring three times during cooking. One cup of nuts should take about four or five minutes, depending on the oven and the size of the nuts. Microwave-toasted nuts will continue to darken after being removed from the oven. Cool on paper towels.

Nutrition at a Glance (per ¼ recipe)

Calories: 90
Total fat: 6g
Saturated fat: 0.5g
Carbohydrate: 10g
Dietary fiber: 4g
Protein: 3g

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Marinated Rainbow Salad


Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 0 min(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy



(Makes 1 cup, enough to marinate 4 to 5 cups of vegetables)
¼ cup water
½ cup vinegar, preferably red wine vinegar, or part fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Salt or salt substitute
Freshly ground pepper


1 cup chopped lightly cooked asparagus or green beans
1 cup sliced red and yellow bell peppers
1 cup thickly sliced or quartered mushrooms
¼ cup thinly sliced white or red onion
2 small tomatoes quartered, or 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8 black olives, sliced (about ¼ cup when sliced)
1 cup shelled cooked edamame (soybeans) or cooked garbanzo beans


Whisk together ingredients to make the marinade.
In a large bowl, combine all vegetables (except tomatoes) and the marinade ingredients and stir. Cover, refrigerate and mix every few hours, if possible, or at least two times a day. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Add tomatoes just prior to serving.

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)

Each serving includes one eighth of the marinade
Calories: 90
Total fat: 8g
Saturated fat: 1g
Carbohydrate: 5g
Dietary fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

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Mediterranean Vegetable Salad With Grains


Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Makes 4 Servings



2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon water
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried basil
Optional: 1 teaspoon prepared mustard


2 cups spinach, Swiss chard or other greens, cleaned and cut into strips
½ cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts (6.5-ounce jar), drained; reserve marinade to use later
¼ cup sliced olives
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes that were marinated in oil and drained before use.
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
¼ cup cooked wild rice
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup crumbled feta cheese or fresh goat cheese


In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add spinach and mix well. Add artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes and parsley, tossing all ingredients together.
Add quinoa and wild rice and fluff with a forkSprinkle with pine nuts and feta cheese.
This salad can be prepared in advance; add the pine nuts and feta cheese at time of serving.

Serving Suggestion:

Add other vegetables such as chopped roasted bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, cucumbers, red, white or green onions, grated carrot, lettuce, shelled edamame (green soybeans), garbanzo beans, lentils or other dried, cooked beans.
Add grilled or poached chicken, or seafood such as crab, shrimp, scallops or sardines.

Nutrition at a Glance (per Serving)

Calories: 200
Total fat: 15g
Saturated fat: 3g
Total carbohydrate: 11g
Dietary fiber: 2g
Protein: 6g

This salad combines a small amount of wild rice and quinoa for a wonderful texture when mixed with vegetables.It can be served warm or at room temperature. Cooked chicken or seafood such as crab, shrimp or scallops can be added to make it a complete meal.

Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is considered a “super” grain, since it contains more high-quality protein than most other grains. An ancient grain, it fits into our modern lifestyle especially because it cooks in about 15 minutes. Quinoa must be rinsed well before cooking to remove any residue of saponin, a bitter coating that protects the grain from birds and insects when it is growing.Quinoa, like rice, is cooked with a ratio of one part grain to two parts water, but with cooking, quinoa increases three to four times in volume.

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Oven "Fried" Zucchini Sticks

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-18 minutes(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy


Olive Oil
1/2 c. grated parmesean, romano or asiago cheese
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs or *substitute (see below)
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 whole egg or 2 egg whites
1 1/2 lbs. zucchini, cut in half and into 3 inch sticks


Preheat oven to 450. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with olive oil. Combine cheese, bread crubms and seasonings in a bowl. Dip zucchini in eggs and then dip in bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the zucchini and bake until golden and tender, about 5-8 more minutes. Serve hot.
*You can subsitute 1/2 c. whole wheat flour or almond flour plus 2 tablespoons unrefined corn meal for the bread crumbs.

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Parsley Mint Drizzle


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: N/A (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy


1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water (if desired)


Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until blended. For a thinner drizzle add additional tablespoon of water and process again. You may need to add a pinch of salt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For a Latin or Asian Flavor, substitute cilantro for the parsley.
Adapted from Rebecca Katz,The Longevity Kitchen

Nutritional Information

1 tablespoon contains:
60 calories
7 grams of fat
1 gram of carbohydrate

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Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon


Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 15 (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy


4 ounces dry pasta* (bowties, shells, wagon wheels, penne, etc.)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 or 2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped, plus 1 or 2 sprigs for garnish
8 ounces smoked salmon,** flaked into bite-sized pieces
1 green bell pepper, julienned, for garnish
8 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish


½ cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers (optional)


Boil water in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until “al dente” (Italian for “to the tooth,” or cooked until still slightly firm), approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with the olive oil until pasta is coated. Cover and chill. Make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice and mixing until blended. Add the capers and stir. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cucumber, green onions, dill and smoked salmon, reserving a few flakes of salmon to use as a garnish. Mix the cooled pasta with the salmon and vegetables. Add the dressing and toss lightly. Garnish the salad with the bell peppers, tomatoes, reserved flaked salmon and dill sprigs.

This recipe contains salmon, which is higher in healthy omega-3s and lower in mercury than tuna, although tuna, sardines or other fish can be substituted.

When shopping for salmon, look for fish that is wild instead of farm-raised, because the wild fish are eating their natural diet, which yields the most nutritional value.Farm-raised fish eat fortified food to make them grow faster and bigger; coloring is added to their feed to produce a brighter pink color. The farmed fish often need antibiotics to protect them from disease since they are living in an overcrowded and closed environment.

Canned salmon, a convenient food with surprisingly good flavor, is often wild salmon; check the label and look for “wild” or “line caught.” As an added benefit, some brands of canned salmon contain the bones, which are a great source of calcium. The bones are very soft, safe and easy to eat.

*The amount of pasta (1 ounce) is half of a typical serving. One ounce of pasta provides approximately 20 grams of carbohydrate. You can substitute a lower-carbohydrate pasta and increase the portion size; or, add more vegetables and leafy greens to the dish for more bulk. Another suggestion is to substitute canned white beans for the pasta. Always drain and rinse canned beans before using them.

** Purchase smoked salmon that is made with natural wood smoke. Natural wood-smoked salmon is preferred because it contains no added sodium and has none of the chemicals used to create the artificial smoke flavor.

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Quick And Easy Fiesta Salad


Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 5 min( Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy


½ cup cooked corn (fresh or frozen); or 1 small ear of corn, boiled, kernels removed from the cob*
1 8- to 10-ounce jar roasted red peppers or 2 fresh red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped**
¼ cup chopped cilantro (½ bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped)
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup olives, cut in half
½ avocado, cut into small chunks
Optional: lettuce, mixed leafy greens or spinach


Place all ingredients except the avocado in a large bowl and toss.
Carefully mix in chopped avocado.
If you wish, serve on top of the lettuce or mix the leafy greens and spinach into the salad.

Nutrition at a Glance per serving (for ¼ recipe)

Calories: 95
Total fat: 5g
Saturated fat: 0.5g
Total carbohydrate: 10g
Dietary fiber: 2g
Protein: 2 g

* To cut kernels off of a cooked ear of corn: After it cools, stand the ear of corn on end in a deep wide bowl. With a large, heavy, knife, cut in a strip from top to bottom down one side of the cob, cutting close to the cob. Rotate cob and repeat, shearing off all the kernels.

** Roast the peppers by placing them directly on an open gas flame, turning them frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternately, the peppers can be roasted under the broiler or grilled on a gas or charcoal grill.) Place the peppers in a plastic or paper bag and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and the stems and chop.

To turn this side dish into a satisfying entrée, top with some chicken or fish, cheese or tofu. Beans add flavor, protein and loads of fiber along with more carbohydrate. You can also add tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin or cayenne pepper, jalapeno or other hot peppers, lime or lemon juice.

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Red Cabbage Slaw


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: N/A (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy

The red and purplish pigments in raw cabbage are a source of Anthyocyanins which are powerful antioxidants beneficial for our cardiovascular system and our brain. Red cabbage also contains sulfur which is a necessary component of keratin to assist with healthy skin, hair and nails. Additional nutrients in red cabbage include potassium, vitamin C and fiber.


3 cups shredded red cabbage (~ ½ head cabbage)
1 cup grated apple (~ 1 large your choice of apple)
¼ cup finely chopped or grated red or yellow onion (~1/2 med onion)
¼ to ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (roasted or raw)
3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
¼ cup apple cider or raspberry vinegar
1 Teaspoon mustard
2 Tablespoons walnut or olive oil
1 Teaspoon honey, sugar or fruit preserves


Add yogurt, sour cream, goat cheese or feta cheese for a more filling and creamy slaw.
Other types of nuts: pecans, pistachios, almonds…
Other types of dried fruit: apricots, dates, figs…
Blend red cabbage with green cabbage; add carrots…


In large bowl, mix together shredded cabbage, apple, onion, walnuts and cranberries.Add in mustard, vinegar, oil and sweetener. Mix well to combine.
Optional: Mix in red cabbage slaw, carrot slices, avocado, and kale. Add in vinegar, oil, and spices. Mix well to combine.

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Roasted Potatoes


Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Makes 4 servings


1 pound potatoes (any mixture of red, white, Yukon gold and sweet potatoes) washed, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 425°.
Place potatoes in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and chopped rosemary.
Arrange in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan or sheet pan and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes, depending upon the size.
Stir the potatoes a few times while cooking so that they brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Nutrition at a Glance

Calories: 120
Total fat: 7g
Saturated fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Total carbohydrate: 14g
Dietary fiber: 2g
Protein: 1g

Substitute other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips or beets for some of the potatoes. Cubes of butternut or other hard winter squash can also be added.

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Silken Tomato Soup


Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Tofu has a reputation among many Westerners for blandness, but it can be a taste sensation when combined and cooked with flavorful ingredients and appropriate seasonings.
Makes 4 servings


2 teaspoons grapseed, canola or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced, or 1 10-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 large or 2 small fresh basil leaves, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried basil
1 10½-ounce package silken tofu
2 tablespoons tomato paste, or more to taste
½ cup soy milk or low-fat dairy milk
½ cup broth (mushroom, vegetable or chicken)
½ teaspoon salt or equivalent salt substitute
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
Optional topping for added color and texture: corn kernels, green peas or chopped green onions.


In a saucepan, heat the canola oil, add the onions and cook until onions are glistening and opaque. Add tomatoes and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.Turn off heat and pour tomato—onion mixture into a blender or food processor; add tofu, tomato paste, soy milk, broth, salt and pepper and purée until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. You may want to add more tomato paste or soy milk to adjust for flavor or consistency.You can heat and serve the soup immediately or store it in the refrigerator for two or three days. The soup may become thicker after chilling, so add a little more soy milk or broth for desired consistency.

Serving Suggestions

For added flavor, add sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers.
Use other herbs such as tarragon, sage or thyme.
Vary the vegetables to make other "cream" soups, such as broccoli, spinach or butternut squash.
You can also make a typical "creamed" vegetable, such as cream of spinach or creamed corn, by decreasing the amount of liquid in the recipe.

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)

Calories 120
Total fat 5g
Saturated fat 0.5g
Total carbohydrate 10g
Dietary fiber 2g
Protein 7g

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Special Summer Pesto


Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 0 min(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Makes about 2 cups or 4 servings


2 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup parsley
3 cups greens such as spinach, kale, chard or beet greens, roughly chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
¼ teaspoon salt
2 small or 1 medium tomato cut in rough pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup tofu or mayonnaise


Blend all ingredients except the tomatoes in a food processor or blender.
Add the tomato pieces and olive oil and process until it is a sauce.
Add tofu or mayonnaise and blend well if you want a “creamy” pesto.

Serving Suggestions:

Most people eat pesto as a sauce for pasta; you can use regular or lower-carbohydrate pastas. Remember to cook your pasta only until it is “al dente.” Try mixing a small portion of tortellini with a big helping of roasted vegetables and a dollop of pesto sauce.
Mix some pesto with cooked white beans or hummus (Middle Eastern dip made with garbanzo beans and sesame paste).
Fill raw or pre-cooked bell peppers halves with pesto.
Toss cooked vegetables with some pesto and wrap in a warm tortilla.
Serve pesto as a sauce for fish or shrimp. (See Prawns with Pesto Sauce.)
Use pesto as a spread for a warm sandwich of roasted chicken or vegetables.
Pesto makes a tasty and colorful sauce for pizza, alone or mixed with tomato sauce.
Use pesto as a dip with whole grain crackers or cooked or raw vegetables.

Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)

Calories: 120
Total fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 2g
Total carbohydrate: 4g
Dietary fiber: 2g
Protein: 6g

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Steamed Winter Vegetables with Peanut Sauce


Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Winter vegetables include the cruciferous vegetables that are known to reduce risk of cancer. Some of the familiar crucifers are broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, kale, collards, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
Spinach is another cool-weather crop and a great source of iron, magnesium, vitamin C and plant sources of vitamin A called carotenoids that are powerful antioxidants. The winter squashes (butternut, acorn, turban, kabocha, kuri and the like) are also good sources of vitamin A, but they are starchy vegetables with 15 grams of carbohydrate per half-cup serving rather than 5 grams like many less-starchy vegetables. For this recipe, you can use any mixture of these winter vegetables.
Peanut sauce is a good way to entice many picky eaters to eat their vegetables, and it's a nice change from traditional cheese or white sauces.


Steamed Winter Vegetables
½ pound fresh or frozen broccoli and cauliflower (about 3 cups)

Peanut Sauce:

¼ cup creamy peanut butter (see above)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic
¼ to 1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes


¼ to ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger root


Prepare vegetables by washing and cutting into bite-sized pieces of flowerets and stems. Or, the vegetables can be trimmed and cooked in large clusters. Cook by steaming in a large pot or microwave until the broccoli is a vibrant green and the vegetables are tender. To prevent the vegetables from overcooking and losing the bright green color, place them in a colander and quickly rinse with ice-cold water immediately after cooking.
To make sauce, mix all ingredients except water together in a small saucepan; pour in ¼ cup of water and mix with a wire whisk. Add additional water, if needed, for the desired texture. Heat until warm.
Pour sauce over vegetables or serve on the side.
Peanut sauce can easily be made into peanut dressing and peanut dip by mixing more liquid such as broth, cooking liquid from vegetables, lemon or lime juice, coconut milk, vinegar, soy sauce and water. The peanut sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Nutrition at a Glance

(per serving)
Calories: 110
Total fat: 8g
Saturated fat: 1.5g
Total carbohydrate: 6g
Dietary fiber: 2g
Protein: 6g

About Peanut Butter:

Choose peanut butter made from nothing but peanuts, with or without added salt (sometimes labeled “natural”). Peanut butter is best if it does not contain any added sugars and no hydrogenated fats. Lower-fat peanut butter is available, but it contains artificial additives.

Each tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories, 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of fat; only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat. The fat in peanut butter is a healthier unsaturated plant fat, primarily monounsaturated. Peanut butter also contains significant sources of niacin, a B vitamin, plus vitamin E and magnesium.