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Healthy Eating

January 12, 2012

Here’s another easy pasta dish for a weekday dinner.  Use some of your already cooked pasta (see yesterday’s Tuesday’s Tip) and layer it with ricotta cheese and sauce to make a quick lasagna.

And surprise--there is a fun kid-friendly ingredient in this dish--chicken tenders.  You can easily omit to make this dish vegetarian, but I think the chicken can add a fun factor to this dish!

Baked Spaghetti Lasagna

1 pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
1 head of broccoli, cut…

January 09, 2012

Last week I shared several slow cooker recipe, tips and ideas for my favorite way to get healthy food to our family’s table without a lot of stress and time.  This week I focus on my second favorite convenient, healthy food genre:  pasta.

Pasta has several things going for it:  first, it is almost universally loved by children and adults alike. Second, even if you have special food needs, there are gluten-free versions and of course my favorite, whole wheat and whole grain blends.  Third, pasta…

January 05, 2012

This recipe is a perennial favorite in the Sweet Pea home.  We love tacos and this stew (it is a thick, thick soup) is almost like a taco in your bowl.  Serve it with the toppings of your choice for a happy dinnertime for the whole family.

Slow Cooker Taco Stew

2 - 15 oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed -OR- 3 ½ cup cooked black beans
16 oz can tomato sauce
10 oz frozen corn package
2 - 10 oz cans of tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
12 oz can or bottle…

January 04, 2012

This is a recipe that I simply call "easier than pie."  Pie isn't easy for me, but this couldn't be simpler. 

What I love about this slow cooker recipe is that it not only yields a great meal for the day you cook it, but also the makings of a quick meal later that same week.  

Slow Cooker “Roast” Chicken

1 - 4-6 pound chicken, thawed
1-2 tablespoons spice mixture (such as lemon pepper, jerk seasoning or Italian)
2 onions, cut into quarters

Cut the…

December 21, 2011

Have you tried spaghetti squash yet?  Spaghetti squash is a winter squash with a special surprise inside.  When you cook this humble vegetable, it goes from this:



to this inside:



A simple bake in the oven transforms its…

December 19, 2011

If it is true (and I believe it is) that we eat with our eyes, this salad is a feast.  I contend that green items always make a plate look gorgeous, and green with a complementary color like orange or red or purple make a plate shine.  But particularly this time of the year, I love the look of a green and red touch to our holiday meals.

If you are looking for a quick and easy side salad to grace a special meal, this salad is your ticket.  It not only looks great, but it is a breeze to make and…

December 07, 2011

I must have unknowingly bought the miracle parsley plant.  

Two summers ago, I bought an Italian, or flat-leaf parsley plant at a local nursery.  At the end of the summer, I brought it inside for the winter, something I try each year in a way to ease the pain of losing my fresh garden herbs.

Over the long winter our parsley plant barely held on, growing a wee bit sickly from the lack of sunlight.  Sure, I had the plant in the sunniest window possible, but the gray days of winter…

December 05, 2011

A week ago Sunday, 60 Minutes had a piece on the company and scientists who develop flavors for our foods.  It was eye opening to see what sort of chemicals and compounds go into our food to make them seemingly addictive, so we crave more of whatever we are consuming.  

I have three recipes for easy natural flavor enhancers this week.  All are a breeze to make, but can transform a simple meal into a gourmet delight.  There recipes will be perfect for this time of the year, when you may be called…

November 17, 2011

Before I was a mom, my job was stressful and I did not often meal plan.  There was a Harris Teeter on my way home, so I often swung by the grocery store on my way home from work and picked up food for dinner.  Not the most efficient way to do meals, but I was young, busy and distracted.

So distracted in fact, that one year, I brought home a roast chicken for dinner the week before Thanksgiving.  I had been so wrapped up with work and life that I had forgotten that we’d be having a similar big…

November 09, 2011

On Monday I shared a delicious and decadent tasting Broccoli Au Gratin for your holiday dinner.  Au Gratin recipes are fairly traditional and not that unusual for holiday meals.  

Today I share a more “outside the box” holiday dish, one that can serve as a tasty side, but also a dish that is a great main dish for any vegetarian or vegan guests at your dinner table.

My friend M shared this recipe with me.  This southwestern inspired dish takes black beans, a great source of plant…