Kale Salad: Family Friendly, Gluten Free and Healthy

If you are trying to eat healthy and want to get your year started off right, this Kale Salad recipe is ideal. I recently made this for the kids, and they loved it. It is great on its own as a salad or side dish, served over arugula or greens or even mixed into a salad with chicken, shrimp or fish. For some information on health benefits of kale, see my article on the 10 health benefits in MindBodyGreen or how kale can save your sex life in this article (which I did not write) in MindBodyGreen. I hope you will enjoy this family-friendly, simple vegetarian recipe anytime of the year.

Crustless Kale Quiche: Gluten-Free

Who loves breakfast for lunch or dinner? I do. I was craving something with kale, and I thought to myself, why not  a Crustless Kale Quiche? My daughter, Leigh, decided to help me  (payment for a new comforter she’s been wanting). I jotted down a recipe that I thought might work, and I gave it to her. Amazingly enough, it worked. We sat down and ate half of it for lunch, and she said, “The kale is what makes this so good.” (music to a parent’s ears). She took it upon herself to add turkey bacon, but you could easily prepare it without it. It’s great with the mix of mushrooms, kale and bacon, egg whites, eggs and cheese. Later, my boys were skeptical about having quiche for dinner, but before I knew it, the entire Crustless Kale Quiche was devoured. For information on the Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale, see a post I wrote for Mindy Body Green

Summer Squash and Kale Sauté: Summer Side Dish

It’s summer squash season, and now is the perfect time to prepare healthy side dishes using summer squash. This Summer Squash-Kale Sauté is one of our favorite side dishes, and it’s a breeze to make. Serve it with grilled fish, chicken or pork or any main dish. It’s even really fabulous stirred into some cooked thin spaghetti noodles. Summer squash is full of health benefits such as being high in Vitamin C, A, antioxidants, potassium, fiber and manganese. One cup of yellow squash contains 37 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates and less than one gram of fat. Check out some other fabulous summer squash recipes as part of Summer Fest from the Food Network from some of my favorite blogs.

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Quick and Easy Sesame Summer Squash Stir-Fry 
Cooking With Elise: Orange Summer Squash Bread
Feed Me Phoebe: Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes With Tarragon
Chez Us: Zucchini Pancakes With Minty Dill Crème Fraiche
And Love It, Too: Peter Pan Squash Spiced Oven Fries
Made By Michelle: Pattypan Squash and Tomato Frittata
Cooking Channel: Our  Top 5 Favorite Squash Recipes
Daily*Dishin: Summer Squash Confetti Salad
Delicious Lean: Summer Squash Ribbons With Feta and Pine Nuts
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Summer Squash Chips
Thursday Night Dinner: Summer Squash Medley
Sweet Life Bake: Zucchini Fried With Tequila-Spiked Avocado Dip
Dixie Chik Cooks: Fried Summer Squash Parmesan Sliders
Healthy Eats: Summer Squash Any Way You Slice It
FN Dish: Cheesy Summer Squash

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

So, it’s Brussels Sprouts season, and I know people either love them or hate them. I happen to be a fan, and 2 out of 3 of my kids are too. This recipe for Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts is one of my new favorites which I’ll serve on Thanksgiving this year. I used a simple apple cider vinaigrette mixture to flavor the Brussels Sprouts and tossed them with sweet dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts. For another healthy and easy Brussels Sprout side dish option, see Brussels Sprouts-Tomato Salad, which is another tasty way to serve this healthy vegetable.

5 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts:

1. Brussels Sprouts are high in Vitamin K which promotes healthy bones and brain function.

2. Brussels Spouts are high in fiber which helps in digestion, lowers cholesterol, prevents constipation, and aid in weight loss, making you feel fuller longer.

3. Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants helping to fight against cancer.

4. Brussels sprouts are high in Vitamin C (1 cup contains over 161% of the recommended daily allowance) which helps boost the immune system and lower blood pressure.

5. Brussels Sprouts are high in iron and folate which helps maintain red blood cell count and prevents against diseases and birth defects.

FYI I will be on WMJJ 96.5 FM this morning talking about how to cook healthier during the holidays.

Healthy Side Dish: Lemon Kale with Walnuts

If you’re looking for a healthy side dish to add to your weeknight table or Thanksgiving or Christmas menus, I definitely have one for you. Lemon-Walnut Kale only takes 15 minutes to prepare, and it’s full of fresh vitamins, protein and so many health benefits. Kale is super healthy with more iron than beef, and it’s loaded with calcium, fiber, omega-3 acids and more. It’s said to have detoxifying properties, cancer and heart disease fighting properties and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Just cook it like you would spinach, and top it with your favorite ingredients. It’s going on my holiday table menu this year for sure.

Fennel-Apple Slaw


I am a huge fennel fan so this recipe for Fennel-Apple Slaw is one of my new fall favorites. Fennel, which looks like a cross between an onion and a bunch of celery, has a slightly sweet anise (licorice) flavor. It has the perfect crunch to pair with shredded cabbage, and it makes a great addition to any salad or slaw recipe. I love it in this vegetarian combination with Greek yogurt, walnuts, dried cranberries and fresh dill. Fennel is also good for you, containing Vitamins A and C, fiber, folate, potassium and calcium.

Quinoa with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

We love cooking with quinoa because it’s so healthy, gluten-free, versatile, and my 3 kids love it. My sister recently made this recipe: Quinoa with Lemon and Herbs, originally from  Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network. It tastes a lot like orzo or pasta with fresh herbs and lemon juice. This recipe uses fresh basil, thyme and parsley, but feel free to use any combination of herbs. I added Parmesan to mine, but feta or goat cheese would work great too. This quinoa recipe makes a wonderful side dish served with fish, chicken or pork, and it can be prepared in under 30 minutes.

Parsnip-Potato Chowder

It’s the perfect time of year for soups, and why not try something a little different such as this Parsnip-Potato Chowder? When I taught a cooking class recently, very few people in the class had ever cooked or tried parsnips.  Parsnips are root vegetables, and they are related to the carrot family. Parsnips resemble carrots but are paler in color and have a slightly sweeter taste. Parsnips provide an excellent source of vitamin C, folic acid, B vitamins and fiber. Combine parsnips and potatoes with a touch of fresh dill, milk and vegetable broth to create a comforting and flavorful chowder. This soup tastes so rich without using any cream, and my kids even enjoyed it. For added flavor, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped dill.