Thursday, December 20, 2012


This is an easy, satisfying, healthy meal. A favorite among many types of eaters!
I have adapted this over time using many different combinations of veggies. All are good!
For my recipe I use a 10 cup Corning Ware baking dish with cover.

 Fill your baking dish a little more than half way full with a variety of veggies.
 I include, 1 finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
1 small eggplant, I leave skin on and dice small
1 cup mushrooms chopped (your favorite variety)
 small zucchini chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen or fresh green beans
Any other veggies that sound good to you or you have in your refrigerator!
1 tablespoon each of basil and oregano.
* crushed red pepper if you like a little heat!
Then add:
1 cup of cooked OR uncooked small whole wheat pasta (like elbows)
I have great luck with uncooked pasta, just make sure they are well covered with veggies and sauce.
1 jar 25.5 oz of your favorite pasta sauce. I use Muir Glen.
Stir sauce into veggies and pasta until well coated.
Optional sprinkle shredded Parmesan or mozzerella cheese on top.
Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350
About 4 servings
* Double and freeze some for another night, or share with a friend or neighbor.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Sweet potatoes are on everyone’s mind this season. They seem to go hand in hand with the holidays, and fortunately, eating these and other sweet vegetables needn’t be limited to this time of year. Cravings for sweets can be greatly reduced by adding sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, squash, turnips and rutabagas to your daily diet. Sweet potatoes elevate blood sugar gently rather than with the jolt delivered by simple refined carbohydrates, so there’s no energy crash after you eat them.
Sweet Potatoes
Much higher in nutrients than white potatoes and especially rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes offer a creamy consistency that is satisfying and soothing. They are healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and help to remove toxins from the body. They can increase the quantity of milk in lactating women and can lessen cramps and premenstrual symptoms. If you don’t have any sweet potatoes in your kitchen, go out and buy some (organic and local if possible) and make the recipe below.

December Recipe - Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Beets and Pomegranate

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


      The holidays mean many things to many people, gratitude, family traditions, and celebration. 
It is so easy to get caught up in the festivities of the season. Parties, over consumption, extra   demands and financial stretching, cause us to sleep less, drink more and slack off our normally           
healthy routines and self-care. This adds up to increased stress, depression and exhaustion.

Lets set some goals this holiday season to help embrace the true spirit of the holidays with grace. Plan ahead to keep it simple. Infuse thoughtfulness into your gifts and food. Allow yourself to say no to anything that does not add to the joy of the season for you. It will be the best gift you can give yourself and others.
  1. Find ways to celebrate what really matters. There is no need to rely on overspending and over consumption. Be creative. Make the time to spend with those you care about and are important to you.
  2. Give yourself some kindness and self-care. Take time to pause, appreciate stillness, and breathe. What is it that renews you? Makes your day run smoother? Take a walk outdoors. Have an afternoon cup of tea. Take a yoga class. Make time for that soothing bath.
  3. Give kindness to others. Offering a smile and assistance to a harried stranger can make all the difference. Volunteering when possible provides a richness and fulfillment to you as well as others. Spend time instead of money to make memories.
  4. Let go, celebrate gratitude. Forgive people, release negative feelings and self-talk. Focus on what brings joy to you and those around you, embrace the true spirit of the holidays.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012


                                                       VEGETABLE PASTA BAKE

  As late summer melts into fall I am still harvesting many summer veggies from my garden. Eggplant, summer squashes, green beans, peppers, and tomatoes. Greens like kale, swiss chard, and collards.
In order to best use these veggies in a healthy way, I have recently developed this recipe that is easy to make and healthy (also one of my husband's favorites).

-Heat oven to 350
-Start by cooking 1/2 package of whole wheat noodles such as penne, or fuselli.
-Drain and set aside.
-In a casserole pan with a lid ( as large as you want!) place bite sized pieces of a variety of veggies. I use all of the above mentioned!
-I also add chopped onion, and 3 garlic cloves, mushrooms if available.
-Your casserole should be a little more than half full.
-Next add the pasta, and 1/4 c chopped basil.
- I have a large crop of cayenne peppers so if I want a little heat I add one finely chopped (discarding the seeds)
-If you do not have enough tomatoes use some canned diced tomatoes or your favorite spaghetti  sauce.
-Even with my tomatoes I add the spaghetti sauce for flavor.
Gently stir all together and sprinkle the top lightly with grated parmesan cheese.
Bake covered 45 min-1 hour.

For more recipes and information visit my website

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I recently saw a recipe for this pie in Eating Well Magazine and knew I had to try this with the last fresh corn of the season, for us here in New England.
I have made several changes. I am very pleased with the results! The major change is to not use a traditional crust. At first I was going to make it without any crust as I have had great success making crustless quiches.  Then, I had some local hand dug red potatoes and decided to try to use them as a crust!

2 medium red potatoes VERY thinly sliced.

3 large eggs (I always use fresh locally grown eggs)
1 cup of buttermilk (regular milk would be ok here but the buttermilk is rich without added calories)
1/2 C shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
2 medium tomatoes sliced
1 cup of fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear) or frozen corn.
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped sage leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt divided
1/4 freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400
Lightly oil the deep dish pie plate and carefully line with potato slices on the bottom and sides.

Wisk eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Sprinkle half the cheese over crust then layer half the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. sprinkle with corn and herbs, 1/4 t salt, and pepper.  Layer remaining tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese, parsley and 1/4 t salt, pepper. Pour egg mixture over the top.
Bake the pie until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Delicious, healthy and easy!
Hope you enjoy!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012



Yesterday after a rather large picking in my garden, I started making one of my most versatile recipes.
I make this recipe either in my crock pot, or my pressure cooker depending on the time I have. It can also be easily made in a pot on the stove top. Its versatility comes from the fact that it uses so many in season veggies, tastes GREAT, and can be frozen for use later in the fall.  Here is the selection I used yesterday for starters. 

1 Eggplant, 1 Zucchini, 1 Summer Squash, 2 Peppers (any type)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced, and 1 large onion chopped (the only vegetable not from my garden).
-Start by sauteing the onion and garlic in 2 T of olive oil, for 5-7 minutes, stirring. Add the other above vegetables chopped to bite sized pieces.
-Yesterday I used my pressure cooker so I added 1 cup of water to this, locked the lid and brought it up to pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes and allow for natural release.
-Once the pressure is down, take off lid and add chopped tomatoes. I used 6-7 Big Boy tomatoes, you cannot use too many.  At this point you can also add any other veggies you need to use. For me this was, corn, green beans, and finely chopped greens (swiss chard, collards, and kale). Continue to simmer to reduce the liquid, and cook the tomatoes down, about 30 minutes.
-If using a crock pot add all the veggies at once and cook on low 8-9 hours.

Now to add the garden herbs.  I used 1 c parsley, 1/2 c rosemary, 1/4c thyme,sage and oregano. I have a handy, mini herb chopper that looks like a small food processor which makes chopping herbs a breeze!
Simmer for a few more minutes. At this point I decided I would like the Ratatouille to be a little thicker so I added one can of tomato paste. A little pepper and it is done.

I ended up with a delicious dinner which I served over whole wheat pasta.
With the rest I bagged 4-5 cups in a zip lock bag and froze flat. This way they take up very little room in your freezer.  Once defrosted, I add either cooked rice, cooked potatoes or serve over pasta. (my husband always adds hot pepper flakes to his meal)
Wonderful to have on hand for a quick and healthy meal!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


August has been an amazing month for harvesting tomatoes in my backyard garden. I do have trouble keeping up, but I have several ways to use and save my tomatoes for the winter ahead. My favorite use of fresh tomatoes is to make gazpacho. ( See my previous blog for my recipe) Yum!!  Fresh tomato sauce to serve over whole wheat pasta is another simple use for fresh tomatoes.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves chopped
2 pounds of tomatoes cored and chopped small
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped ( I love basil!)
Pepper and salt to taste.
-Heat oil, add garlic and sauté carefully so as not to burn garlic! (2-3 minutes)
-Stir in tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally.
-When sauce is thickened and chunky remove from heat, and add basil, pepper and salt to taste.
-This makes about 2 cups of sauce!

The easiest method to store tomatoes for future use is simply freeze them. This works best with Roma or plum tomatoes. Core and place whole in a zip lock bag! When ready for use in soups, stews or sauces simply let sit on the counter for 5 minutes and chop while still frozen.
Purée is another easy method. Boil tomatoes with a little water process in a blender or food mill and pour into a freezer zip lock bag. Label and freeze.
The last way I use to save my tomatoes is to dry them. There is nothing like dried tomatoes added to winter greens stir fries, or used on home made pizzas! I have a dehydrator and cut tomatoes into 1/3 in thick slices. They go into the dehydrator at 125 degrees for about 9 hours. After this I store in a jar in the cupboard until ready to use.
I hope this inspires you to be creative with your delicious summer tomatoes!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Try Something New" PADDLE BOARDING!

In my recent newsletter,(click here to read), I talked about how summer is a great time to try something new. We tend to do the same activities over and over again. Challenging ourselves to try a new sport or activity keeps us fresh.

The  activity I chose to try was stand up paddle boarding, also called SUP. I just love getting out on the water and exploring. In the past I have kayaked on the river by our house, but this is different! SUP is easily learned with a few lessons on paddle strokes and balance. (these tips can even be found on line)
SUP is such a great workout. Arms are worked as you paddle, switching sides to keep the board on a straight path.  Core strengthening is another plus of this sport, much better than repeated crunches!
Legs become stronger as well. Maintaining balance is another aspect that makes this sport a whole body work out. Just like kayaking or biking, the choice is yours for a challenging fast paced trip, or a slower contemplative journey.

Beyond the work out, being able to stand above the water allows you to see so much more than you would see sitting in a kayak or other boat.  On my paddle this morning I quietly passed by Heron and Egrets fishing, and an Osprey flew over head with a fish in it's talons for breakfast. I saw blue shell crabs and horseshoe crabs swimming by my board and an occasional school of fish! ACormorant even swam by underwater searching for fish!

I suggest you get out and try this fun new sport, or something that is new to you.  "Play often and actively"  it is the best way to exercise!

Friday, June 22, 2012


A Perfect Meal on a Hot Day

Today is 100 degrees and humid!  Looking through my recipes I decided it was time to make the first Gazpacho of the season.

This is my absolute favorite hot weather supper, served with some crusty artisan bread, it just does not get any better. 

Gazpacho is a tomato based cold soup originating in Spain and Portugal.  It is extremely low in calories.
It can be pulled together in minutes with a food processor.
All ingredients are raw so they maintain all their good their nutrients. 
A very alkalizing dish due to the addition of cucumber, parsley and celery.
Below find my favorite recipe from "Simple Recipes"

6  ripe tomatoes
1 red onion chopped
1 cucumber peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 sweet red, or green pepper seeded and chopped
1/4 c parsley
1/4 cup chives chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4c olive oil
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste ( I like to add a little heat with crushed red pepper)
4 c tomato juice ( usually only use 2-3 and I like Bionaturae  Organic Strained Tomatoes)
Combine all ingredients except juice in a food processor and blend until desired consistency, add juice and store in a non metal bowl.  Refrigerating overnight allows flavors to blend. 
Serve with a crusty bread!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I just read a great article about kale in my local newspaper, by L.A. food editor Russ Parsons, that I just had to share!

As we all know kale is valued for it's many healthy nutrients. It is often in the lists of top 10 healthiest foods you can eat. one cup contains more than 5 grams of fiber,134 milligrams of calcium, the daily requirements for Vitamins A and C, and all this for a mere 43 calories!  That is why I was so excited to read this new simple way to enjoy raw kale.

The solution is remarkably simple: Give it a massage! This actually causes the kale to taste sweet.

Trim your kale to bite size pieces for your salad. Grab bunches of it in both hands and squeeze, rub them together and repeat. It is almost like kneading bread dough. After a couple of minutes you will be surprised at the difference. The tough cellulose breaks down, causing the kale to wilt, turn darker and shrink. Massage a little longer until the flavor changes also. The sweet green flavor you usually only get by cooking will be obvious.  The massaged greens have such a wonderful texture and flavor you will not need as much salad dressing.

Try this soon for the perfect boost of nutrition and taste for your favorite salad.