Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall Spiced Creamy Pumpkin Soup


Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups soy milk or almond 
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, ginger, cumin, and garlic cloves; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in cider, bourbon, syrup, pumpkin, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl. Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in milk, flour, salt, and pepper; cook until thoroughly heated (do not boil), stirring frequently. Serve with sour cream. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilaf


2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled fresh pumpkin (about 12 ounces)
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1 medium)
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion (1 small)
1/3 cup diced celery (about 1 rib)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf


Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange pumpkin and sweet potato in an even layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until tender and just until vegetables begin to brown, stirring after 18 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add broth and remaining ingredients to onion mixture, stirring to combine; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Add pumpkin mixture; stir gently to combine. Serve with your favorite dish and Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall Pumpkin and Crisp Pear Tart


1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1/2 (3-lb.) sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 firm Bartlett pear, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 425°. Unfold puff pastry sheets, and place side by side on a baking sheet, overlapping short sides 1/2 inch. Press seam to seal. Score a 1/2-inch border on all sides, using a knife. Do not cut through pastry.
2. Toss together pumpkin slices, next 3 ingredients, and 1 tsp. olive oil in a large bowl. Spread mixture in a single layer on prepared pastry sheets, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
3. Bake at 425° for 20 to 22 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.
4. Toss together arugula, next 3 ingredients, and 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mixture over tart, and cut into desired shapes. Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Delicious Pumpkin Hummus


4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut into 8 wedges
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon pumpkinseed kernels, toasted (optional)


Preheat oven to 425°.
Place pita wedges on baking sheets; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 6 minutes or until toasted.
Place tahini and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add parsley; pulse until blended. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl; sprinkle with pumpkinseed kernels, if desired. Serve with pita wedges at room temp and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Heart Healthy Chocolate-Cherry Soft Baked Cookies


1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Couscous, Sweet Potato, and Black Soybean Salad


3/4 cup water
2/3 cup wheat couscous
1 (16-ounce) package refrigerated cubed peeled sweet potato 
1/4 cup fat-free lime-basil vinaigrette 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black soybeans (such as Eden Organic), rinsed and drained
2 cups Kale cleaned, ribs removed and chopped
5 tablespoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
3 green onions, chopped


1. Bring 3/4 cup water to boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
2. While couscous stands, place sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until tender.
3. Combine vinaigrette, pepper, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add couscous, sweet potato, soybeans, and kale; toss gently to coat. Top each serving with cheese; sprinkle evenly with onions.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Whole Grain Pasta with Kale, Carmelized Onions, and Parsnips


2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 cups (1/3-inch) diagonally cut parsnip (about 1 pound)
2 1/2 cups sliced onion (about 1 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups trimmed chopped black kale (about 3 bunches)
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
8 ounces uncooked whole grain-penne pasta
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add parsnip to pan; cook 12 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Place in a large bowl; keep warm.

2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in kale and broth; cook, covered, 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Uncover; cook 4 minutes or until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add drained pasta to kale mixture. Stir in parsnips, 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid if needed to moisten. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.-Serve and Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Healthy Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Combine pumpkin, beaten egg, oil and milk in a medium bowl. Make a well in dry ingredients; add pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chopped cranberries. Fill muffin cups and bake for 22-25 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Blackened Salmon Sandwiches


    • 1 pound wild salmon fillet, (see Ingredient Note), skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
    • 2 teaspoons blackening or Cajun seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
    • 4 crusty whole-wheat rolls, split and toasted
    • 1 cup arugula
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion


  • 1 Oil grill rack (see Tip); preheat grill to high.
  • 2 Rub salmon on both sides with blackening (or Cajun) seasoning. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • To assemble sandwiches, spread some mayo each roll and top with salmon, arugula, and onion.
  • Ingredient note: Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska, California, Washington and Oregon) is considered the best choice for the environment.
  • Tips: To skin a salmon fillet, place salmon on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
  • To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.
  • Fish on foil: Fish that flakes easily requires a delicate touch to flip on the grill. If you want to skip turning it over when grilling, measure a piece of foil large enough to hold the fish and coat it with cooking spray. Grill the fish on the foil (without turning) until it flakes easily and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers over Kale Greens

(5 servings)
  • 1 ½ c quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ½ tablespoons onion, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, garlic seasoned
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki marinade
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (½ tablespoon for grill pan)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 ½ c baby kale greens
  • balsamic glaze, to taste
1. Mash the beans until they form a paste. Leaving a few whole is perfectly fine.
2. Mix together the quinoa, onion, cilantro, garlic and herb seasoning, bread crumbs, teriyaki marinade, cumin, and olive oil. Add this mixture to the black bean paste.
3. Form 5 quinoa black bean patties.
4. Lightly coat a grill pan with olive oil.
5. Cook patties for approximately 1-2 minutes per side on medium-high heat.

Plate your burgers over chopped kale greens and top with your favorite dressing or condiment.