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Black Bean Hummus


  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 small jalapeño pepper, seeded

Place 1/4 cup cilantro, tahini, and next 8 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.



8 servings (serving size: about  4 tablespoons)

calories 100, fat 4gm, sodium 204mg fiber 4gm  protein 7gm




 Rice from Cauliflower...


This is my method for making "rice" from cauliflower. If you haven't tried it, you must! It tastes very mild. It can be used under a sauce, such as crab imperial or your favorite stir fry, or as the base for a dish such as fried "rice" or a "rice" salad. It does not work well as a substitute for rice in casseroles where the function of the rice is to absorb liquid. Ingredients:

•1 head cauliflower (or however much you want)




To make this dish the most easily and to have it come out the best, three pieces of equipment are very helpful:


- A food processor

- A microwave

- A covered (or fairly tightly coverable) microwave-safe dish


1) Process fresh cauliflower until it is the size of rice, either using the plain steel blade or the shredder blade. Alternatively, you can shred it with a hand-held grater, or even use a knife, if you have the dexterity to chop it up VERY finely.


2) Microwave it in a covered microwave is 6 minutes... DO NOT ADD WATER. Cauliflower absorbs water like crazy, and the "granules" will become gummy. To keep it fluffy, just let the moisture in the cauliflower do its work.




What's for dinner? If you had a freezer full of meals ready to heat up, you'd always have an answer to that question. And, oh, the time you'd save.  To help you get healthy meals on the table in minutes, we've developed the Cook Once, Eat All Week cooking series. Just think of all the free time you'll have!

Eight Excellent Reasons to Cook Ahead


1. You lead a busy life. Cooking ahead gives you more time in the evenings to do whatever else you do.

2. Have a marathon cooking session one Sunday and you won't have to cook again all week long.

3. You can make it a fun, weekend family affair. Assign children age-appropriate tasks like slicing and dicing or sautéing and grilling.

4. Having a well-stocked refrigerator and freezer minimizes last-minute takeout temptations.

5. Ready-made meals stored in individual or family-sized containers make for simple portion control (not to mention easy cleanup).

6. Shopping, prepping and cooking for several similar recipes at once (cutting veggies for a soup and a salad, or grilling chicken that can be used for a pasta dish and wrap sandwiches, for example) saves time.

Pasta is a favorite comfort food—it’s quick, easy to cook and always tastes good. The trick is to keep portion sizes under control and add more lean protein and vegetables so you feel satisfied. And skip the “regular” white pasta, which is made from refined grains. Instead opt for whole-wheat pasta, which has more fiber—shown to help you lose weight.


Picadillo, a Latin American-style hash, is usually made with ground beef. This one uses bison or lean beef and plenty of spices including chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon.
8 servings, generous 1 cup each
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: Slow-cooker time: 4-8 hours
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground bison or lean (90% lean or leaner) ground beef
4 ounces chorizo-style cooked chicken sausage, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed or coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 cups diced onion
2 cups chopped seeded Cubanelle or Anaheim peppers
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bison (or beef) and sausage and cook, breaking up the bison (or beef) with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 6 minutes. If necessary, transfer to a colander and drain any extra fat, then return to the skillet.
2.Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste and vinegar until combined.
3.Transfer the meat mixture to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in onion, peppers, corn, olives and garlic. Add tomatoes with their juice.
4.Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 7 to 8 hours. Stir the picadillo to combine and season with salt and pepper.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; cover and refrigerate the mixture in a large container. Transfer to the slow cooker to cook. Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
Per serving: 311 calories; 16 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 70 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 551 mg sodium; 455 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (105% daily value), Zinc (37% dv), Vitamin A (34% dv), Iron (22% dv)
Shiitake & Noodle Hot & Sour Soup
This vegetarian hot-&-sour-inspired soup is chock-full of tofu and vegetables, plus noodles to make it hearty enough for dinner.
8 servings, about 2 cups each
Total Time: Slow-cooker time: 4-8 hours
24 dried shiitake or black Chinese mushrooms (2-3 ounces)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch sticks
2 8-ounce cans bamboo shoots, rinsed
2 14-ounce packages extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
4 1/3 cups water, divided
4 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see Tip), plus more to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 cups cooked lo mein noodles (about 6 ounces dry)
1 cup sliced scallions
1.Discard mushroom stems and cut the caps into 1/2-inch pieces. Spread the mushroom pieces in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add carrots and bamboo shoots. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch pieces, add to slow cooker and sprinkle with white pepper. Top with cabbage.
2.Combine 4 cups water, broth, both vinegars, soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a bowl; add to the slow cooker.
3.Cover and cook 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.
4.Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup water, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl. Stir into the soup. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes. Stir in noodles, cover and heat through for 10 minutes. Serve topped with scallions and with more soy sauce and chile-garlic sauce, if desired.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Prep mushrooms and vegetables; combine the liquids and ginger used in Step 2. Refrigerate separately. Equipment: 6-quart or larger slow cooker
Tip: Look for chile-garlic sauce, a blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar, in the Asian section of large supermarkets. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.
Per serving: 231 calories; 6 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 5 g fiber; 635 mg sodium; 494 mg potassium.
1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1.Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
2.Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
3.Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Per serving: 364 calories; 13 g fat ( 3 g sat , 5 g mono ); 93 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 30 g protein; 4 g fiber; 477 mg sodium; 547 mg potassium.
Black beans, earthy mushrooms and tangy tomatillos combine with a variety of spices and smoky chipotles to create a fantastic full-flavored chili. It can simmer in the slow cooker all day, which makes it perfect for a healthy supper when the end of your day is rushed.
1 pound dried black beans, (2 1/2 cups), rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mustard seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, or ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, or ground cardamom
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces tomatillos, (see Ingredient Note), husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
5 1/2 cups mushroom broth, or vegetable broth
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (see Ingredient Note)
1 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges
1.Soak beans overnight in 2 quarts water. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain the beans, discarding soaking liquid.
2.Combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, tomato paste and chipotles; mix well.
3.Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot vegetable mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy, 5 to 8 hours.
4.Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Stovetop Variation: Total: 4 1/2 hours In Step 2, increase broth to 81/2 cups. Omit Step 3. Add the beans to the Dutch oven; cover and simmer the chili gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are creamy to bite, about 3 hours.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. | Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
Ingredient notes: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Tomatillos are tart, plum-size green fruits that look like small, husk-covered green tomatoes. Find them in the produce section near the tomatoes. Remove the outer husk and rinse them well before using.
Per serving: 306 calories; 10 g fat ( 4 g sat , 2 g mono ); 20 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 13 g fiber; 415 mg sodium; 735 mg potassium.

CROCK POT CHILI- serves 10

1 pound chuck, or  sirloin ground and sautéed

1 large yellow onion , chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup tomatoe paste

1 can diet ginger ale, 12 ounce

1 can crushed tomatoes, 16 ounce

1 cup , chicken broth

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tbsp. chipotle pepper

1 tsp cumin

2 bay leaves

pinch of cinnamon

1 can pinto beans, 18 ounce

24 ounce chopped mushrooms

1 tsp black pepper



Sautee ground beef in a skillet over high heat, transfer to slow cooker

in same pan cook onions garlic about 10 minutes, until onion is soft. Add the mushrooms and a splash of the chicken broth. Pour in ginger ale and tomatoes paste and simmer. Pour it all over the beef. Add the tomatoes, remaining broth, bay leaves, cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and chipotle. Set the slow cooker to high and cover, cook 5 hours. Taste and season with salt, pepper to your taste. Stir in pintos and heat through. Discard the bay leaves and serve with your choice of garnishes.



Calories 297  COST PER SERVING  0.84 cents!


Calories from Fat 87  Total Fat 9.7g  Saturated Fat 3.1g  Cholesterol 30mg  Sodium 148mg  Potassium  892mg 

Dietary Fiber 8.2g  Protein 21.5g 





Pasta quad fungi- as created at the Girls Night out event 


begin with a variety of your favorite mushrooms, (around 20 calories per cup)  I use a combination of what is on sale, and sauté in a hot pan that has been sprayed with olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Add chicken only 140 calories and 3 grams of fat for 3 ounces of boneless skinless breast. Add any other veggie you enjoy and then cooked pasta. I add 1/4 cup cooked per serving. Most of the calories from this dish comes from the pasta, so if we bulk up the veggies’ it is easy to have pasta on a regular basis and control our weight. add cooked stewed tomatoes and your favorite variety of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!! 





Something for the GREENS! 


Vinaigrettes can be as basic as mixing together oil, vinegar and salt. From there, build flavor with herbs, spices, shallots and garlic. Play with oils and vinegars, too: olive, walnut, peanut or hazelnut oils; and balsamic, Champagne, and sherry vinegars or citrus juice. And a little something sweet.  Honey, maple syrup,  or a pack of stevia.


The  formula


1 tablespoon honey

1tablespoon oil

2 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoon juice, (citrus)

Herbs, spices to taste…. YUMMY!