Chickpea & Tuna Salad

Open a can of garbanzo beans and close your eyes. You can almost fool yourself into believing you are smelling an open can of tuna. Once you chop up the chickpeas, it will also bear a slight resemblance to tuna. This makes chickpeas the ideal mix-in to tuna salad. Not only does it bulk it up and lessen your does of mercury, but it also adds a nice dose of fiber and nutrients. You also can’t taste the chickpeas. They mellow the tuna flavor a bit, but don’t add a flavor of their own.
For a delicious vegan version, omit the tuna and double the chickpeas.

Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chunk light tuna in water
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise/Veganaise
  • 2 tablespoon sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoon yellow or dijon mustard
  • 2 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional mix-ins: sliced almonds, diced raw fennel, chopped egg, sliced almonds, chopped carrot, chopped parsley, capers.

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse chickpeas into a chunky consistency.  
  2. Drain the tuna and add it to the chickpeas. Mix well to incorporate.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

I love to serve these open face on toasted wheat bread or on Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Norwegian Crispbread.


Kale Salad with Quinoa & Cranberries

This delicious, hearty salad makes a satisfying meal in itself.

Adapted from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, center ribs removed, leaves shredded
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed, grated, or finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

This salad is also great with Almost Nonfat Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

Directions

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing or place in a jar and shake well.
  2. Shred the kale as finely as possible. Place in a salad bowl and gently massage the kale with your hands until it starts to break down.
  3. Add the quinoa, almonds, cranberries, parmesan, and dressing, and toss well to combine.
  4. Allow to sit 5 minutes and toss again.

Lower-Sugar Fresh Peach Cobbler

I was drawn to this recipe because it had less sugar than every other recipe I’d found. It came out perfectly sweet and delicious. The recipe is from letsdishrecipes.com. and can also be found at allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (or sub frozen peaches – 1 pound frozen is equal to about 3 fresh)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping

(Alternate recipe for bottom batter below)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sliced peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, vanilla or almond extract, and cornstarch.
  2. Toss to coat peaches evenly and pour into a 2-quart baking dish or 5-6 individual baking dishes. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in boiling water until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoons of white sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  5. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the topping. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Alternate bottom batter

In this version, rather than topping the fruit, the batter starts out on the bottom and rises up during baking.

Recipe adapted from Paula Dean’s

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1.5 cups milk

  1. Melt the butter in the baking dish before adding peaches.
  2. MIx all dry ingredients in bowl.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk.
  4. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir.
  5. Spoon peach mixture on top of batter. Do not stir.
  6. Sprinkle top with a little ground cinnamon.
  7. Batter will rise to top during baking.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.


Zucchini Parmesan (low fat)

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Adapted from NYT Cooking.

This is a delicious dish that will make a zucchini lover out of anyone. Serve alongside pasta to make it a complete meal.

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1-28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably SM brand pictured below)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

For the Zucchini

  • 2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

For the sauce:

  1. To make tomato sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and basil sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. When tomatoes are bubbling briskly, stir and simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

For the zucchini

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.
  2. Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
  3. Place sliced zucchini in a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  4. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the underside and tender (it’s ok if it doesn’t get browned).
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.

To assemble:

  1. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of dish.
  2. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce.
  3. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  6. Drizzle on little bit of olive oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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This is my favorite brand for canned tomatoes

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Chickpeas

This is a delicious, nutritious, and hearty salad that lasts for days in the fridge.

Inspired by Ina Garten’s Farro Tabbouleh with Feta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, halved, seeded, and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (if you like parsley, use the entire bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces feta, 1/2-inch diced-not crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • Pitted Kalamata olives, drained

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the farro and place it in a large saucepan with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. I highly recommend cooking farro the way it is prepared in Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumbers, chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. 
  3. Drain the farro and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add the warm farro to the vegetables and herbs and add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Carefully stir in the feta and olives.

*I have found with most beans and grain salads that much less oil is needed in the dressing than typical green salads. Therefor typical oil to acid ratios don’t apply.


Blue Zones Kitchen Black Eyed Pea Salad with Mint & Onions

Adapted from The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound black-eyed peas (or four 15-ounce cans, drained) (pinto or white beans work well too)
  • 3 green onions, tops removed and coarsely chopped (I chop the tops as well)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated (I use 2 carrots)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup greens like spinach, baby kale, or sweet dandelion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (at least 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt)
  • Dill (optional for garnish)

The following are ingredients I like to add.

  • Juice of 2 lemon (I don’t think the vinegar adds nearly enough acid so I like to add lemon juice)
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Directions

  1. If using dried black-eyed peas, place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid, tilting lid slightly to let some steam escape.
  2. Cook for an hour, or until peas are tender.
  3. While peas are still hot, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. If using canned black-eyed peas, just drain, rinse, and heat on a stovetop over medium heat with all other ingredients until warmed through (5-6 minutes). (I usually use canned beans and don’t bother heating them).
  5. Garnish with dill, if using.
  6. Serve warm or cold.

Soba Noodles with Swiss Chard

This is a simple, nutritions, and surprisingly delicious dish that comes together in about 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 servings Soba noodles, 110g (I like Eden Organic)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced or minced
  • 1 medium bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken (or vegetable flavor)
  • Freshly cracked pepper 
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package.
  2. Drain the soba noodles, reserving a little cooking water.
  3. Optional: Stir the noodles with a little butter and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a little oil or butter in a large saucepan or pot.
  5. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until fragrant.
  6. Add bouillon and 1/4 water; stir.
  7. Add chard and cook until soft and wilted, approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chard and soy sauce to the noodles and toss well. If the noodles seem dry, add a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid.


Kettner Exchange Kale Salad {Copycat}

The kale salad at San Diego’s Kettner Exchange is arguably the best kale salad in town. I was so pleased with myself when I made a version that tasted just like it! This salad will make a kale lover out of anyone.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch curly kale (Kettner uses purple kale)
  • 1/2 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup Marcona almonds (or sliced roasted almonds)
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (Kettner Exchange uses lemon-flavored olive oil and probably uses at least 1/2 cup. I prefer it a little more acidic)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I like clover honey for salad dressing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper or place in a jar and shake well.
  2. Shred the kale as finely as possible. Place in a salad bowl and gently massage the kale with your hands until it starts to break down.
  3. Add the apples, almonds, raisins, parmesan, and dressing, and toss well to combine.
  4. Allow to sit 5 minutes and toss again.

Trader Joe’s Lentil Salad

Made from ready-to-eat items from Trader Joe’s, this is a quick, delicious, and healthy salad that holds up for days in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 container Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Sauce (refrigerated)
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils (refrigerated)
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Basil (optional)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine entire packages of lentils and bruschetta sauce.
  2. To serve – lay a bed of baby spinach onto the bottom of a bowl. Top with a scoop of lentils and garnish with feta cheese and torn basil.


Sweet & Spicy Ginger Green Beans

Photo from Milk Street

Ingredients

Recipe by Milk Street. My alterations are always in parenthesis.
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional – I use 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (I use 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound green beans, stemmed and halved on the bias (I just snap them into smaller pieces)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Ground white pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the beans and cook, without stirring, until beginning to color, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the water and immediately cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook until the beans are bright green and barely tender, about 2 minutes.
  4. Clear a space in the center of the pan, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (I don’t add any more oil) to the clearing. Stir in the ginger and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the sugar-fish sauce mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened and coats the beans, about 1 minute.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the vinegar.