4th of July Turkey Chili

1 can (14.5oz) chopped tomatoes
1 can (6oz) tomato pasteMP900384801 4th of July Turkey Chili
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1.5 pounds ground turkey (you can also use ground beef if you prefer)
1 package (1.25oz) chili seasoning mix (low sodium)
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can (15oz) kidney beans, drained
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, carrot, onion, celery, pepper flakes and peppers in a large heavy pot and simmer over low heat.

Cook the ground turkey until browned. Then drain. Stir the chili seasoning into the ground turkey.

Add the turkey to the tomato mixture and add the cumin. Keep simmering until the vegetables are tender. Then stir in beans, cilantro and parsley. Heat through and season well.

Serve immediately. Serves 6-7. Freezes well.

Old Fashioned Apple Date Salad

6 medium size crisp tart applesstacked apples 1 Old Fashioned Apple Date Salad

6 dates

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

juice of one lemon

1 Tbsp light olive oil

pinch salt

romaine lettuce leaves

Wash and core the apples, then slice each apple into 12 wedges and put into large glass bowl.

Pit the dates and chop into small pieces, then add to bowl with apples.

Toast the walnuts in a dry (no oil) skillet over medium heat until just fragrant, then add to bowl.

In separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, then immediately drizzle over salad in bowl.

Cover bowl lightly with waxed paper or parchment paper and put in refrigerator to chill for 10 to 20 minutes.

Serve by arranging romaine leaves on chilled salad plates, then spooning apple date mixture over the top.

Classic Quinoa Pilaf

1/4 cup olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 ribs celery,  diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4 tsp oregano
6 cups cooked quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped almonds, dry roasted

Put olive oil in large skillet over medium heat; add onion, celery, carrot, green pepper, and red pepper, and cook, stirring until vegetables start to soften, but are still somewhat crisp.

Stir in garlic and oregano and heat for 1 minute.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in the quinoa, mixing well.

salt and pepper to taste.

Toss in roasted almonds and serve hot either as a side dish or light main dish.

Note: To roast almonds, put in dry skillet over medium heat and toss until lightly browned.

Quinoa Stuffed Lettuce Wraps

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions
1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
3 tsp lime juice
dash cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
8 large Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Cook quinoa according to directions.
While quinoa is still hot, stir in edamame and roasted red peppers.
Put cover back on pot and allow to sit.
Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, cumin, and garlic.
Keep whisking and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until slightly thickened and smooth.
Dump quinoa mixture into bowl and drizzle dressing over, tossing to combine.
Toss in the cilantro.
Lay out the Romaine lettuce leaves on a work surface.
Spoon quinoa mixture into center of each leaf until mixture is used up evenly distributed between leaves.
Gently roll up the lettuce leaves over the mixture, lengthwise, as tightly as you can without breaking the leaves.
If you need to transport, you can lay in shallow pan and cover to transport or you can make them there.

Black Bean Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced (including the leaves)
1 regular carrot (not baby), peeled and diced small
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
2 cans (14 oz size) chicken or vegetable broth
1 smoked turkey leg or wing
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cans (15 oz size) black beans, drained and rinsed (about 4 to 5 cups cooked beans)

I like my soup a little spicy — so I add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
You can also serve with some hot sauce so that each person can flavor based on their personal spiciness level. My favorite hot sauce is Franks.

Put a Dutch oven over medium heat on stovetop.
Pour in oil, add onion, celery, and carrot; cook stirring for 4 minutes or until softened.
Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Add broth and bring soup just up to a slow boil.
Turn heat down to low heat, add ham and seasonings, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add black beans, stir to combine, and simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes.
To thicken soup, scoop out about 3 to 4 cups of soup (mostly black beans) and put in food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth making a puree. Add puree back to soup pot, stir to combine and serve.


Carrot and Parsnip Whip

IMG 0342 225x300 Carrot and Parsnip WhipMy husband isn’t a big fan of carrots, but when I put these to items together and blend the crap of them he will eat it.

1 pound carrots
1 pound parsnips
1 small onion
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Put olive oil and onions in the pan and saute until brown about 3-5minutes. Peel and cut the carrots, and parsnips into 1/2  inch pieces; peel and cut the onion into 1 inch pieces.
Put the carrots, parsnips, onion, and vegetable broth in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat immediately and cover; simmer slowly for 20 to 25 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

Drain the vegetables through a colander over a bowl, reserving broth.

Put vegetables, coconut oil, nutmeg, and 1/4 cup of the reserved broth in your food processor or blender ( I use the Vitamix) and ‘puree’ until smooth and whipped.  Add more reserved broth if you want to make the puree thinner.

IMG 0339 225x300 Carrot and Parsnip WhipServe immediately in small bowls as a side dish loaded with nutrition. The flavors will develop more if you refrigerate overnight, then just reheat slowly in a saucepan before serving.

This also may be turned into soup by just adding more reserved broth to the food processor. You can add some protein to it but add in some smooth tofu.

Maple Dressed Grilled Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoessweet 4 Maple Dressed Grilled Sweet Potatoes
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into thin slices lengthwise.
Place potatoes in a bowl.

Spray the grill with cooking spray grill and preheat to medium-low. Arrange the potatoes on the grates in the center of the grill, away from direct flame.

Cover grill and cook sweet potatoes until good grill marks appear, then flip and continue cooking; total time about 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness of potatoes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.

When sweet potatoes are tender all the way through, remove from grill and put i the bowl with maple syrup mixture and toss to coat well.

Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Arugula Salad With Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

This salad is fast and easy. I’ve even used sweet potato instead of butternut squash. This salad is versatile enough that you can mix in any protein to it. My favorites are grilled shrimp or chicken.

1 (1.5 to 2 lb) butternut squash
2 Tbsp light olive oil
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried (if you can’t find arugula, you can use baby spinach or mixed greens)
1/2 cup walnuts pieces, toasted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, remove rind, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Place the squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and teaspoon pepper and mix to coat well.
Put in preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes, turn, and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until tender and browning.
Just before roast cooks completely, sprinkle cranberries on top and put back in oven for final minutes – about 2 or 3 minutes is enough.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the apple juice, apple cider, and shallots and bring to a boil over medium heat; cook until this liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to make the vinaigrette dressing.
To assemble, put the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture and walnuts.

Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Add more vinaigrette if desired, taste, and add more kosher salt and pepper if needed.

Serve immediately. Will serve about 4 to 6 people.

Roasted Garlic Avocado Spread

This is such a yummy addition to any holiday potluck or holiday event.

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 large (or 2 medium) garlic bulbs, roasted* (you want at least 10 garlic cloves)
1 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash dried oregano


*Start by roasting the garlic. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut top off bulb, exposing cloves of garlic (no need to remove all the papery stuff from the sides.) Set bulb upright in a square of foil. Drizzle olive oil over the cut top of the garlic. Fold the foil up over the bulb and seal. Set on a baking sheet and put in preheated oven and bake about 25 to 30 minutes, or until garlic bulb is very soft.

When garlic bulb is done, remove and let cool just enough to handle, then unwrap from foil, tip cut side down over a bowl, and squeeze gently to pop out all the garlic cloves in the bowl; let cool then smash with a fork.

In a separate bowl, put the diced avocado and give it a rough smash either with a fork or a pastry cutter.

Add the lemon, smashed roasted garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano, stir together, taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Serve as a spread on a vegetable tray

Amazing Asparagus Guacamole

MP900182716 Amazing Asparagus Guacamole1 lb asparagus, trimmed, chopped, and steamed
2 tsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp chopped sweet onion
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 tsp salt, more or less to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
dash hot sauce, more or less to taste
1/3 cup Greek yogurt


In a food processor, put all the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Spoon into a bowl and cover tightly.
Refrigerate overnight for flavors to develop.
Makes 3 cups.
This is a fun alternative for avocado guacamole and it tastes great!

You can pair with veggies.