Lentil Salad W/Mint Roast Peppers & Feta

Lentil Salad W/Mint Roast Peppers & Feta
1 1/2 c. sm french lentils
1 med. carrot peeled & diced
1/2 sm onion diced
1 bay Leaf
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 t. salt
2 med. red bell peppers or roasted bell peppers from a jar/no oil
lemon vinaigrette
2 t. fresh mint chopped
3 T chopped mixed herbs; parsley, marjoram, cilantro, thyme
sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar to taste
6-8oz feta cheese
EVOO for garnish

Rinse lentils, over generously w/ water and bring to a boil with the carrot,
onion, bay leaf, garlic & salt.  Simmer until just cooked 20-25 min
(tender just a little firm and hold their shape) drain and save liquid for later

Roast peppers or use roasted peppers cut into squares.
 Prepare vinaigrette and fold into warm lentils. 
Add mint, herbs and most of the peppers.  Taste and season with
pepper and salt .   Add more vinegar to taste.  Crumble feta and stir into
lentils garnish w/ remaining peppers and EVOO.

Lemon Vinaigrette-juice and peel of large lemon
1/4 t. paprika
pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 t salt
6-8 t EVOO

Remove 2 wide strips of peel from lemon w/ veg peeler and slice into narrow slivers. 
Put 3 T lemon juice in a bowl w/ peel,  paprika, cayenne garlic and salt. 
Whisk in 6 T EVO and taste.  Adjust as needed w/ lemon juice, oil and salt


Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Serve as a side dish on top a bed of lettuce or as a dip for tortilla chips. Increase the amount of jalapeno peppers if you favor it a little hotter. During the summer replace the canned corn with fresh grilled corn off the cob to give it a smokier, outdoor flavor.
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
½ firm-ripe avocado, peeled, cut into small cubes
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
½ small red onion, small dice (about ¼ cup)
½ cup sweet yellow corn
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small jalapeno, minced
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, more for garnish
1 tsp honey
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. Place beans, avocado, bell pepper, onion, corn, tomato and jalapeno in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl mix lime juice, oil, cilantro, honey, salt and pepper with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour vinaigrette over the bean mixture and stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Top salad with extra cilantro leaves and let chill before serving.
     The Black Bean Salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. The avocado may brown if making the salad more than a day before eating so hold off on cutting up the avocado and add it on the day it is being served.
     I have canned black beans here which are easy to use if you are short on time. If you have more time then using dried black beans are really nice and have better flavor since they are fresh.  To use dried black beans, place 2 cups dried black (turtle) beans in a bowl big enough to handle the beans once they double in size.  Cover with water about 4 inches above the level of the beans.  Let beans soak for at least 8 hours, overnight is better.  When you are ready to cook them, drain the soaking water and place beans in a pot. Pour in new water about 4 - 5 inches above the level of the beans. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the beans are boiling, turn down heat until beans are gently bouncing around in the water.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Taste a couple to see if they are done, add more time if they are still hard.  Drain, cool and enjoy! 
     When I cook beans from scratch I also add other ingredients to the pot depending on what kind of dish the beans will eventually go into.  I always add chopped onion, bay leaf, couple garlic cloves and chopped tomatoes or a little tomato paste. 


Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal

Steel cut oats, which are better for you than instant oatmeal are a deeply satisfying and delicious way to begin your day. 
These oats have a nutty flavor and are packed with vitamins but usually take at least 30 minutes, leaving you standing and stirring over the stove.  Our secret: Soak them overnight so they’re ready in just 5 minutes the following morning.  this is a big batch so you have enough for your family or to stash in the fridge for a few days-just microwave with a bit more skim milk for a powerful breakfast.

Serves 5

3 C water
1 1/3 C steel-cut oats, preferably Mc Cann’s
1/4 t. salt
2 T dried fruit(raisins, blueberries, or cherries) or 1/4 C. fresh berries.
1/4 C. skim milk
2 T light brown sugar or pure maple syrup

-Combine the water and oats in a med. saucepan, cover and leave out overnight.
-In the morning  add the salt and bring the mixture to a boil.  Partially cover and cook over med. heat for about 5 min, stirring frequently until the oatmeal is creamy but still chewy.  Add the fruit and milk for the last min of cooking.  Stir in the brown sugar or maple syrup and serve.

Nutrition per serving
Cal 150, fat 2g, CHO 30g, protein 4.2gm


Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix

This is an awesome snack made with healthy ingredients chock full of protein and natural fats.  Remember what a portion size looks like(the size of your palm) so that you don't over-do it.

Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix
2 cup pepitas (baby pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted)
1 cup almonds(roasted and salted)
3/4 cup raw cashew or sunflower seeds (peeled) or a mix of both
6 T maple syrup
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries-(sugar added OK-not high fructose corn syrup)
Add everything together in a large mixing bowl and toss with the maple syrup. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 300 for 20-30  minutes.   


Celery & Parmesan Salad

Celery  & Parmesan Salad
serves 4-6

Don’t worry you don’t have to like celery to like this delicious salad.  Also Celery is a great source of Calcium, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C-COOL!

1/2 C. good olive oil
2 t grated lemon zest
1/4 c +1T fresh squeezed lemon juice(3 lemons)
2 T minced shallots
1 t celery seed
1/2 t celery salt
1/2 t anchovy paste
1 1/2 t salt
1 t pepper
5 c thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaved included-slice very thin on an angle(about 12 stalks)
4 oz chunk aged parmesan cheese
2/3 c toasted walnuts coarsely chopped

At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 c lemon juice, shallots celery seed, anchovy paste, 1 t salt and pepper.  Place celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the 1 T lemon juice and 1/2 t salt.  (even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me---this step makes a difference.)  Add dressing to moisten well.  Cover add refrigerate for at least ah hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.  When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, then sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.  
I also like to add a bed of mixed greens underneath