'healthy' posts

Tangy Beet Soup

If you don’t like beets, be honest. Is it because you tried canned ones? If so, you owe it to yourself to make this soup with fresh beets, because once you do, it will open up your world to how amazing this root vegetable can be. The balsamic vinegar gives the soup a tangy taste, and we promise that you will not regret it. In fact, we should have called this soup “The World’s Best Beet Soup!” Because it really is. Serves 4, with leftovers.


  • 1 pound beets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 14.5-ounce can tomatoes, diced
  • 1½ cups chicken broth, fat free
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup yogurt, low-fat


  1. Roast beets in 400° oven for 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Cool, peel, and quarter.
  2. In large skillet heat oil and sauté onions, garlic and cabbage until cabbage is wilted (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add rest of ingredients except yogurt, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Process in food processor or blender until fairly smooth but retaining some texture.
  5. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a pinch of dill weed. Serve warm or chilled.

Per Serving: 111 calories, 3 gm protein, 20 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 2 gm mono fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 4 fiber, 530 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The unique phytonutrient pigment in beets provides higher antioxidant benefits than many other vegetables.

Upside Down Wilted Spinach Salad

With these staples from your pantry, you can have a quick meal on the table in 15 minutes. Serving the greens on top allows each person to mix them in as they like. Spinach is nutrient dense and calorie light, offering vitamins K and A, manganese, folate, iron and many more. Serves 4.


  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups spinach, or other leafy greens
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan


  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until slightly browned.
  2. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add beans and simmer 3 more minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and season with pepper.
  5. Dish into wide bowls, divide spinach among each serving and top with Parmesan. As they are mixed in, the greens will wilt to create a warm salad.

Per serving: 146 calories, 8g protein, 22 carbohydrate, 4g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g mono fat, 6mg cholesterol, 8g fiber, 479mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This dish serves 2 as a complete meal, and 4 with additional protein. Add more protein with grilled shrimp, fish, or an egg, as shown here. This recipe works equally well with whatever beans you have on hand. For a bit more bite, mix in some arugula with the spinach.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

This savory accompaniment to any meat or dish is nutritionally rich while providing appealing color contrast. Think white to pair: beneath grilled fish or a poached egg; or at the side of pork or chicken. Serves 4.

Try this with: Pork Dijon with Chutney and Whipped Winter Squash


  • Canola oil spray
  • 2 pounds whole Swiss chard, washed
  • 1 shallot or ½ small onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Remove chard stems and chop. Stack leaves and cut across in 1" strips.
  2. Spray pan with oil and add shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the stems and 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add leaves, remaining water, and nutmeg. Continue to cook for 1-3 minutes. Turn often using tongs until tender.

Per serving: 50 calories, 4 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 484 mg sodium

Southwest Turkey Polenta “Pie”

This is an upscale version of childhood sloppy joes, but heart-healthy. Serves 4 plus leftovers.



  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon low-fat margarine
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring water to rolling boil.
  2. Gradually add polenta while continuously stirring.
  3. Turn heat down so polenta is barely bubbling. Continue to stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in margarine and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Pour into loaf or 8-inch square pan to cool and set, while preparing turkey.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon each, minced garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder
  • 1 cup low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons, prepared chunky salsa
  • Optional garnish: ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
  2. Add turkey, breaking up meat until cooked through and lightly browned.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer mixture until most of liquid is absorbed.

To Assemble

  • When polenta is firmly set, cut into pie shape wedges and place in shallow bowls. Dish turkey mixture over polenta and garnish with cilantro.

Per serving: 309 calories, 32g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 3g mono fat, 71g cholesterol, 3g fiber, 442 sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The polenta can be made ahead and served at room temperature.

Tangy Baked Cod

How many recipes are enhanced by mustard? Too many to count. And this meal with baked cod is no exception. Our Spinach Barley and Broiled Tomatoes are excellent accompaniments. Serves 4.

Try this with: Spinach Barley and Broiled Tomatoes Parmesan


  • canola oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pound cod fillet
  • 1 tablespoon each tarragon and chives
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an ovenproof dish with oil spray.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and water. Stir to blend.
  3. Place fillets in dish, cover with mustard mixture.
  4. Place pan on top shelf of oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until done.
  5. Divide into 4 portions. Serve by spooning the liquid from the pan over each portion. Top with parsley, tarragon, and chives.

Per serving: 128 calories, 20 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrate, 4.5 gm fat, .5 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 46 mg cholesterol, .5 gm fiber, 141 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK You may substitute another white fish such as tilapia in this recipe.

Uncle Sal’s Lentils & Veggies

We’re trying to eat at least one vegetarian dinner per week without losing flavor. We really like the blending of these flavors. You’ll never even miss the meat! Serves 4.

Try this with: Grapefruit and Avocado Salad


  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 cups broth, vegetable, low-sodium
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon each black pepper and oregano
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 summer squash, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat or blue cheese


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth and water to boil. Add lentils, garlic, black pepper and oregano. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a vegetable steamer, steam broccoli, summer squash onion, and carrots until tender.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil and mustard. Add all ingredients, except cheese, and toss until well coated.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Per serving: 358 calories, 22 gm protein, 43 gm carbohydrate, 13 gm fat, 4 gm sat, 6 gm mono, 11 mg cholesterol,18 gm fiber, 212 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Try this recipe using red lentils, which are a wonderful color, or French lentils, which are smaller, cook even faster, and hold their shape better.

Nutrition Goldmine: Lentils are an excellent source of folic acid and fiber, and broccoli and squash provide lutein.

Salmon Spread

This is an ode to canned salmon. Even friends from Alaska who fish all summer love this spread. And, in fact, we do try to use canned salmon from Alaska. Serves 8 as an appetizer.


  • 2 6-ounce cans boneless pink salmon, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons fat-free sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • cornichons, thinly sliced (optional garnish)


  1. Place all ingredients in bowl and mix with fork until spreadable.
  2. Place in serving dish and garnish with cornichons. Chill until serving.

Per serving: 68 calories, 9 gm protein, 1 gm carbohydrate, 3 gm fat, 1gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 24 mg cholesterol, 0 gm fiber, 270 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Cornichons are petite pickles that add a tangy crunch to spreads and patés.

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