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Maria's Granola


2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats ¼  brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon ¼ honey

¼ vegetable oil


In a medium sized bowl, mix oats, cinnamon and brown sugar. In a measuring cup, mix honey and oil. Pour honey mixture into oat mixture and stir to combine well. Spread evenly on a jellyroll pan and place in a 325 oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and take off of sheet immediately. Cool completely on a plate or tray and store in an airtight container.

Granola Parfait


Half cup Greek style yogurt 1 tsp. honey or brown sugar

1/3  cup Granola 2 walnuts or almonds chopped, optional

Half cup strawberries or other fresh fruit, or a mix of fruits


Mix honey or brown sugar with yogurt. Top with fruit, granola and nuts.

Vegetarian Chili


2 tsp. olive oil 1 tsp. sea salt

2 cups yellow onion, diced ¼ tsp. cayenne

4 cups green pepper, diced 7 cups (56oz.) crushed tomatoes

1 jalapeno, minced, seeded 4 cups water

2 cups carrot, diced 2 cups canned black beans

2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 Tbsp. chili powder 1 cup barley, cooked

1 Tbsp. cumin ¼ cup cilantro, chopped


In heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil and sauté onions, peppers and carrots until onions are translucent. Add garlic, quickly sauté and add seasonings, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 20-30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Chicken Salad


5 cups shredded chicken 1 roasted red pepper

½ red onion, sliced 1 roasted yellow pepper

fresh parsley toasted slivered almonds

capers salt and pepper


For the dressing, blend ½ cup lemon juice, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tsp. honey and 1 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper.


Mix together chicken, onion, parsley, capers, peppers and salt and pepper. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. After plating sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Hearty Lentil Stew


1 Tbsp. olive oil 1-¼  cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery ¾ cup chopped carrot

1 garlic clove, sliced 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup water 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained

1 cup dried lentils ¾ cup instant brown rice

½ tsp. crushed red pepper salt and pepper


Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic to pan. Sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add broth, water and tomatoes. Bring to boil. Stir in lentils and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in red pepper, salt and black pepper. Yield 6 servings of 1-1/3 cup each.

Sesame Chicken Salad


Vinaigrette: Salad:

¼ cup rice vinegar 2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce 2 cups thinly sliced Napa (Chinese) cabbage

2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter 1 cup red bell pepper strips

1 tsp. dark sesame oil 1 cup fresh bean sprouts

1 tsp. bottled minced fresh ginger 1 cup grated carrot

1 tsp. bottled minced garlic 2 Tbsp. chopped green onion

1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds


Combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk well. Combine salad ingredients except for green onion and sesame. Toss with vinaigrette. Serve soon after mixing or the salad will take on a dull color.

Lentil-Tomato Soup


1 Tbsp. olive oil 3-1/3 cups water

2 cups chopped onion 2-1/3 cups dried lentils

1 tsp. turmeric 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 tsp. cumin 3 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth

1 tsp. chili powder 1 28 oz. can tomatoes undrained

1 tsp. ground red pepper

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced


Heat olive oil, add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add next 7 ingredients, turmeric through garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add water and next 4 ingredients, lentils through tomatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Reserve 2 cups of mixture. Puree the remainder in a blender or food processor and add the reserved mixture.

Green and Yellow Fettuccine Noodles with Scallops


3 nests each,  spinach fettuccine and yellow fettuccine noodles

Olive oil

2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped

4 green onions, chopped

8 – 10 large scallops, grilled (substitute large shrimp if preferred.)


Sauté tomatoes and onions in small amount of olive oil. Grill scallops (or shrimp). Boil two colors of noodles separately and toss with oil. Arrange noodles next to each other on a dinner plate, green on one side, yellow on the other. Place scallops in center and tomato mix on either side of the scallops. Serves four.

Fire Roasted Vegetables 


1 red onion, cut in wedges 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 red pepper, cut in squares ¼ cup olive oil

1 zucchini ½ tsp. dried oregano

1 pack baby bella mushrooms salt and pepper to taste

1 small eggplant, cut in slices, then each slice quartered


Pre-heat oven to 425. Place vegetables in bowl. Mix vinegar, oil, oregano, salt and pepper in separate bowl. Pour over vegetables and mix to coat. Place a piece of aluminum foil on jellyroll pan. Spray with non-stick spray. Spread vegetables on pan.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes turning once. 

Once vegetables are roasted they can be eaten alone, as a side dish, or served over polenta. Recipe for roasted veggie pizza to follow.

Baby Lettuce Salad



6 cups baby lettuces 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

½  red pepper, julienned 2 tsp. honey

½  red onion, thinly sliced 1/3 cup olive oil

12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half salt and pepper to taste


Place lettuce, peppers, and onion in a salad bowl. Mix dressing together and toss over salad. Toss well to coat. Place on serving plate and place tomato halves around salad. Place 2 or 3 Salmon Cakes on plate next to salad.

Roasted Veggie Pizza


2 cups Fire Roasted Vegetable 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 ripe tomato pizza dough or readymade pizza crust

2 tbsp. olive oil 1 piece parchment paper


Pre-heat oven to 450 with baking stone in oven. Place piece of parchment paper on a flat baking sheet or cutting board. Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness and place on top of parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil on crust, spread evenly over top. Place slices of tomato on top of oiled crust. Spread roasted vegetables over tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese. Carefully slide pizza with parchment onto pre-heated baking stone and bake 12-16 minutes in oven.

(Whole wheat crust can be substituted for regular crust.) Pizza crust is available in the refrigerator or freezer at fine grocers or you can ask your favorite pizzeria.

On The Go Muffins


1 ½ cup whole wheat flour 2 tsp. cinnamon

¾ cup flax meal 1 ½ banana (mashed)

¼ oat meal ¼ cup apple sauce

½ cup brown sugar 2 eggs

2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking powder ¼ cup walnuts

½ tsp. salt ¼ cup small chocolate chips (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350. Place muffin liners in muffin pan. In bowl of electric mixer blend flax meal, banana, apple sauce and brown sugar till well combined. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon. Pour into wet mixture and mix until just combined. By hand stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into prepared baking cups. Fill ¾ of the way. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Take out of pan and place on cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, store in freezer bag inside freezer for up to 2 months. 

(These muffins are perfect for people on the go. Take them out of the freezer as needed. Wrap in a little plastic wrap. They defrost before lunchtime and are a perfect on the go snack or breakfast.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie


¾ cup skim milk/soy milk 1 or 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

2 tsp. peanut butter 4 ice cubes

½ banana


Place all ingredients in blender and  blend till smooth.


(There are many protein powders on the market, the most common are whey and soy. Use what is best for your diet and taste preference. I prefer a vegan powder that is organic. That way I know it is free of GMOs.)

(These muffins are perfect for people on the go. Take them out of the freezer as needed. Wrap in a little plastic wrap. They defrost before lunchtime and are a perfect on the go snack or breakfast.)

Lentil and Rice Salad


2 tbsp. olive oil 1 cup brown rice

1 carrot, peeled and diced ½ cup pitted and diced kalamata olives

1 small onion, chopped ½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced grated lemon peel of 1 lemon

1 ¼ cup dried lentil salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups chicken broth ¼ cup feta cheese


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy bottom saucepan. Add onion, carrot and garlic sauté until onion is translucent. Stir in the lentils and add 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the lentils  become tender. About 15 to 20 minutes. Drain lentil mixture and transfer to a bowl. In the meantime bring remaining 2 cup of broth to a boil, add brown rice, cover and simmer over low heat about 35-40 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Mix rice over lentil mixture. Pour remaining oil over mixture and toss to coat. Add in lemon peel, olives, salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Add in parsley and feta cheese.

Tuscan Bean Salad


1 can Cannellini or Great Northern beans 2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

1 small red onion, chopped ¼ cup olive oil

½ cup chopped roasted red pepper ½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese salt and pepper to taste


Drain and rinse beans and place in bowl, add onion, pepper and cheese. In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, oregano and salt and pepper. Pour over bean mixture.

Serve room temperature or refrigerate for several hours to chill. When basil is growing in your garden, add chopped fresh basil when ready to serve.

Minestrone Soup


1 tbsp. olive oil 4 cups chicken broth

1 large onion, chopped 1 fresh rosemary sprig

2 carrots, peeled and diced 1 can diced tomatoes

2 celery stalk, sliced 1 rind from parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste

1 potatoes, diced 1 cup cooked barley or pasta

2 cups fresh spinach, chopped



In a large sauce pan heat oil. Add in onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent. Add in potato and spinach, cover and cook until spinach wilts. Add in tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer over low 10 minutes. In bowl of food processor or blender, puree ¼ cup of the beans with ½ cup of the chicken broth. Add to vegetable mixture. Add in remaining broth, beans and cheese rind. Simmer covered over low for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove rind and sprig of rosemary. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked barley or pasta.

White Bean Dip


1 can Cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate to let flavors marry. Serve with vegetables, pita bread or whole grain crackers.

Salmon Cakes


1 can wild salmon (bones removed)

1 egg

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbsp. Wasabi mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. olive oil


Place salmon in mixing bowl and break apart with fork. Add egg, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Form into 4-6 small round cakes. Place on a plate.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Cook cakes about 3 minutes per side. Only turn once. Place a small dollop of wasabi mayonnaise on top of each cake. Serve with baby lettuce salad. If wasabi mayonnaise is not available, use Dijon mustard or another spicy mayonnaise.

 French Dressing

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

2 TBS white balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup good olive oil

1 fresh garlic clove pressed or minced

1 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. herbs de Provence or oregano

salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake well.

I gave you exact measurements here for reference. I never measure, I eye my ingredients. So, I usually just do 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. 

Also- mix it up, try balsamic and red wine vinegar and different herbs for variety.


1 large onion, large chop

2 red peppers, large chop

1 eggplant, large chop

2 zucchini, sliced

2 yellow squash, sliced

4-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 tetra Pomi Tomatoes, chopped or strained

salt, pepper, oregano to taste, a dash of hot pepper flakes if you like a little kick

The trick is sautéing veggies separately. Start with onions in a pot or dutch oven. I use Le Creuset. Have another pot or better yet, cast iron pan for sautéing veggies separately to caramelize, not steam. Add all your ingredients to pot and simmer long and low. Serve over polenta, pasta or quinoa. Is also delicious alongside roast or grilled chicken.

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