Archive for the ‘Healthy Alternatives’ Category

1 cup lentilles du Puy* (French green lentils) or brown lentils
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 bunch arugula, stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped
2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)

In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.

In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.

Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.


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For bolder flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the meat sauce and a pinch of nutmeg to the white sauce.

1 small carrot , cut into chunks 
1 pound mushrooms 
6 cloves garlic , peeled
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 medium onion , minced
Table salt and ground black pepper 
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey , 93% lean
2 cups 2% milk 
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
1 bay leaf 
1/2 cup minced fresh basil 
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
12 no-boil lasagna noodles 

1.Dice carrot, 1-2 stalks celery, mushrooms, and garlic; transfer to bowl. Process tomatoes in food processor until almost (or half) smooth. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, onion, and pepper in Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrot, celery, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, uncovered, until mushrooms release their liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Then salt.

2. Add tomato paste and cook until paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in turkey and 1 cup milk, using wooden spoon to break up any large chunks, and cook until most of milk has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup broth, and bay leaf; bring to simmer and cook until sauce has thickened and most of liquid has evaporated, 45 to 60 minutes. Off heat, remove bay leaf, stir in basil, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1 cup milk, remaining 1 cup broth, and flour together in medium saucepan until smooth. Bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining 1 teaspoon oil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread 2 cups meat sauce in 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Lay 3 noodles over sauce, leaving space between them. Repeat with 3 more layers sauce and noodles. Spread white sauce evenly over top layer of noodles, leaving 1-inch border around edge. Bake until lasagna is bubbling around edges and top begins to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on rack 20 minutes. Serve.

Make Ahead: You can make both the meat sauce and the white sauce up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate them until ready to use. Gently reheat the sauces separately before proceeding with step 4.

*I use the tomato paste that comes in a tube because it’s denser tasting and easy to store in fridge!

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You can eat as a side or serve this over an easy baked/roasted chicken, etc. 


2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, pepper flakes, and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the tomatoes get juicy, about 15 minutes at 350. 
I added several teaspoons of frozen basil to the mix and an orange tomato sliced.  I also didn’t bother to half the cherry tomatoes. 

It turned out fairly well, and was a quick little winter side dish.  Frankly I’m still eagerly awaiting the glories of summer tomatoes. 

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If you’re aware of the growing amounts of pesticides and chemicals large farms have to spray the fruits and vegetables with, you may be growing slightly concerned.


If you’re like me, you really can’t afford to buy all organic. Awhile back I sort of adopted the notion that I would try and buy organic if I’d be eating the skin. Like apples (have you ever succeeded in getting that waxy residue off an apple?) and grapes nut not bananas and melons. Makes a fair amount of sense right?

Well, there’s an article that tells you which fruits and vegetables in the US are treated with the most amounts of chemicals and pesticides and why.

If you don’t want to read it yourself they are: apples, baby food, milk/butter, cantaloupes, cucumbers, grapes, green beans, spinach, strawberries and winter squash.

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This is a nice, leaner alternative to the pork shoulder or pork butt that is traditionally used in pulled barbeque.


2 large onions
2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Sriachi sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
a 4 1/2- to 5-pound turkey breast, skin discarded

Finely chop onions and mince garlic.

In a 6-quart heavy saucepan combine onions, garlic, vinegar, butter, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons Tabasco, salt, and pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add turkey breast, cavity side down, and cook at a bare simmer, covered, 2 1/2 hours. Transfer breast to a cutting board, reserving sauce, and cool until it can be handled. Shred turkey meat, discarding bones, and stir meat into reserved sauce. Simmer barbecue, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hours more and season with salt, pepper, and additional Tabasco.

Serve barbecue on rolls. Great with macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad and cole slaw, of course!

Makes 8 cups.

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Yes, it’s easy and delicious! Curry’s good for you. So finding other ways to add it in to your diet is a plus. This is great in lettuce wraps, or flavored tortilla.

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl.

  • 1 rotiserie chicken, pulled apart
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  • 2 c red grapes, halved

Mix Dressing in separate smaller bowl.

  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T Major Greys chutney (Mango chutney w/ginger)
  • 1 1/2 t curry powder

I add the dressing a tablespoon or so at a time. And for this amount of chicken, never end up using half. So you should be able to double the salad recipe and still have enough dressing. Allow the flavors to mix together for at least 2-3 hours n the fridge (preferably overnight). 

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