Living and Eating Well!


Spicy Tuesday – Apple Walnut Salad – Mint

There have been lots of good sales on apples recently. Stores are trying to clear out the fall 2016 apples in anticipation for 2017 harvest. So you’ll see lots of good buys on your favorite apples. This apple recipe calls for fresh apples, dried fruit and is served up with a creamy yogurt dressing, complete with the fresh “pop” of mint.

We’ve highlighted a couple of recipes that include mint lately – we love mint – and there are not a lot of savory or entrée recipes in the U.S. that use this versatile herb. We’d like to change this!

Not only is the flavor of mint unique, it is an herb that activates the salivary glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. It also is very helpful with any nausea and fatigue. A popular way to see if mint will help you is putting a few drops of mint essential oil on your pillow at night and let the smell work into your body and mind while you sleep.

Apple Walnut Salad

6 Medium Organic Apples, Mixed Varieties

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 ½ Tsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1 Cup Toasted Chopped Walnuts

½ Cup Golden Raisins

½ Cup Dried Cranberries or Cherries (Less sugar please)

2 Cups Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Grated Carrots

2 TB Mint, Chopped

1 Large Bag Baby Spinach, Washed and Drained Well

Core and chop the apples into 1” pieces. Mix with the lemon juice. Toss with spices; add the walnuts, raisins and cranberries. Mix the yogurt with the carrots and mint and then toss in the apple mixture. Serve on a bed of baby spinach.

Spicy Tuesday – Luscious Beet Hummus – Za’atar

How about a beautiful RED hummus to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Heart Health month?

Hummus is a go-to in many new millennium kitchens. We love it too – but prefer to make it ourselves. Its fast, easy and we get to control the ingredients! This recipe shakes up the tried and true just a little bit. No beans, instead we’re using olive oil for creaminess and topping our beet mixture with yogurt and Za’atar, a spice blend that may be new to you!

We’re highlighting the thyme in the tangy Za’atar seasoning blend this week. Not only is thyme an essential ingredient in our healthy kitchen but it is a nutrition powerhouse because it is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. And its volatile oils have scientifically been found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal characteristics.

Luscious Beet Hummus

2 LBs Beets

3 Garlic Cloves, grated or minced

1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 Tsp Honey

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Black Pepper

1 Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1 TB ***Za’atar

4 Green Onions, Chopped

1/4 Cup Chopped Pistachios

1/4 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

Step One Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash the beets well, and remove the roots and greens. Wrap them in aluminum foil and cook them for about an hour, or until soft. Remove and cool, then remove the skin and coarsely chop.

Step Two Put the beets, garlic, red pepper, honey and olive oil in a food processor, and puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper. Spread the dip out on a large platter.

Step Three In a small bowl, wish together the yogurt with the zataar. Swirl the yogurt mixture over the top of the beet mixture. Garnish with the onions, pistachios, goat cheese and tomato.

**Za’atar is a Middle Eastern seasoning blend that is made with thyme, Sumac, sea salt, and sesame seeds. To make your own, just combine 2 TB of Thyme, 1 Tsp of Sumac, 1/2 Tsp of Sea Salt and 1 TB of Sesame Seeds. No Sumac? Just substitute a 1/2 Tsp lemon zest.

Sumac is a beautiful red spice that is used in Middle Eastern foods. Tangy with a lemony flavor, it’s a great addition to many recipes, especially beans and other foods that need a zip of flavor and color.

We served our Beet Humus up with carrot and celery sticks – but you can make your own Pita Chips to dip into this yummy hummus. Cut a package of Whole Grain Pita Pockets into triangles. Spray or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning, salt and pepper. Our seasoning was sumac on some of the chips, and za’atar on others. Slide into a 400F oven until crispy and browned. Better than any Pita Chips you can buy!

Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Root Veggie and Pomegranate Salad – Mint

One of our most requested classes at the Thomas F Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center is Healthy Slow Cooker. We highlight recipes and ideas that make  slow cooker dishes delicious and healthy. Chef Nancy recently made this salad to accompany a lunch-full of slow cooker soups and stews. It’s a great way to highlight the luscious root veggies and warming flavors of winter.

Mint is more than iced tea and ice cream! Fresh mint adds a refreshing aroma, flavor, and pop of health benefits to just about anything. It contains beta-carotene, iron, manganese and Vitamin C. In fact, mint oil has been known to relieve GI issues as well as decrease nausea.

Roasted Root Veggie and Pomegranate Salad

2 Cups Chopped Carrots

2 Cups Chopped Parsnips

1 Cup Chopped Red Onion

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Zest and Juice of 1 Orange

½ Cup Roasted Chopped Pecans

2 TB Grated Ginger

1 TB *Pomegranate Molasses

1 TB Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

Baby Spinach

1 Cup Pomegranate Seeds

**Chiffonade of Mint

Step One

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the Carrots, Parsnips and onion together on a sheet tray with 1 TB of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Slide into the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the veggies have browned.

Step Two

Remove from the oven and toss with the zest and juice of the orange, the pecans and the ginger.

Step Three

While the veggies are cooling shake the remaining oil, molasses, vinegar, mustard and a sprinkle of salt and pepper together in jar. Put the spinach on a large platter, drizzle with half of the dressing and toss. Top with the roasted veggies and drizzle with dressing. Add the pomegranate seeds and mint.

*If you can’t find Pomegranate Molasses, use honey instead. Honey is sweeter, though, so use 2 teaspoons.

** To chiffonade mint, it is just strips of fresh mint. Stack several leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a little cigar and walk your knife through the mint to cut long thin strips.


Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Apple and Beet Soup with Orange Relish – Fennel

Here in Atlanta, we’ve been having lots of fun with the Falcons! Seems like everyone, whether football fans or not are rooting for the home team. Here’s a beautiful warming soup to share with friends and family for the big game – perfectly RED for the Super Bowl!

Not only is fennel beautiful, crunchy and slightly sweet it adds a refreshing contribution this yummy soup in the bright orange fennel relish. The fennel bulb is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals. Fennel also has fiber, folate, and potassium!

Roasted Apple and Beet Soup with Fennel and Orange Relish

Serves 6 to 8

3 Red Beets, halved

1 Large Crisp Cored Apple, halved (like Honey Crisp or Gala)

6 Green Onions, White Parts Only

1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Unsweetened Apple Cider

1 ½ Tsp Fine Sea Salt

½ Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Nonfat Greek Yogurt (if desired)

1 Recipe Fennel Orange Relish

Step One Place the beets, apple and onion on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and slide into the oven for 40 minutes, or until fork tender.

Step Two Remove from the oven and peel the beets and apple. Place them and the onion in a blender with the vegetable broth and puree completely.

Step Three Pour into a saucepan and add the apple cider, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about fifteen minutes or until warmed through. Pour the soup into bowls and top with nonfat Greek yogurt and Fennel Orange Relish.

Orange Fennel Relish

¼ Cup Fennel Fronds, coarsely chopped

½ Cup Minced Fennel

1 Tbsp Orange Juice

1 Tsp Orange Zest

1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fine Sea Salt and Freshly Ground

White Pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

***Thanks to Kristina Limoges who took the beautiful soup picture!

Spicy Tuesday White Bean and Artichoke Soup – Fennel Seeds

Tomorrow, Shayna and I are going to present one of our favorite and most requested classes at the Thomas F Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center: Pre and Pro Biotics. This time our recipes are totally different and we can’t wait to share them with you. But today we’re revisiting a recipe that will still love to pass on because its full of pro and prebiotic foods you may be familiar with, but not know much about their power to make us feel great!

When you read the recipe title below, you’ll notice it’s just a little different from the title above. Oh yes, it’s  SAUERKRAUT!  We’ve found that many people, when they see it, are convinced that they won’t like the dish. If you were in that camp – you’d be wrong.  The sauerkraut is not easily identifiable in the finished soup; it just adds a wonderful tangy flavor.

As a fermented veggie, sauerkraut has been made and enjoyed for thousands of years. Fermented foods improve digestion while restoring a healthy balance in your gut. If you have only tried to eat it on a hot dog – try this soup – You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Now that we have told you about the goodness of sauerkraut, we have to share the good news about our herb of the week, too. Fennel seeds symbolize longevity, courage, and strength. It is the seed of the Fennel plant, and has the fresh, green and licorice-y flavor that the bulb and fronds do. When you are buying fennel seed, make sure to look for green seeds. As the seed ages, it gets brown. Fennel seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch, too. They have a plethora of nutrients, essential compounds, anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. So enjoy this soup with family and friends, we bet it will become a favorite!

White Bean, Artichoke and (Sauerkraut) Soup

1 TB Olive Oil

2 Yellow Onions, Chopped

1 TB Smoked Paprika

2 Tsp Turmeric

½ Tsp Each Salt and Pepper

3 Garlic Cloves, Grated

8 Cups Veg Stock

1 LB Sauerkraut, Rinsed and Drained

2 (15 OZ) Cans Cannellini Beans

1 Cup Chopped Frozen Artichoke Hearts

1 Cup Yogurt

Chopped Dill and Toasted Fennel Seeds for Garnish

Step One Heat the olive oil in a stockpot and sauté the onions with the smoked paprika, turmeric and salt and pepper until the onions are very soft. (About 30 minutes over low heat.) Add the garlic cloves in, and cook and stir until fragrant.

Step Two Add the veg stock, sauerkraut cannellini beans and artichoke to the pot and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until warm. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Garnish with dill and the toasted fennel seeds and serve.

Spicy Tuesday – Warm Roasted Veggie Salad with Herbed Mustard Dressing – Italian Seasoning

Imagine the “oohs and ahhs” from your table when you set this gorgeous platter of color down, overflowing with flavorful greens and topped with warm veggies bathed in a tangy herb filled dressing. (Not only delectable, but beautiful too!) Welcome to our Warm Roasted Veggie Salad recipe, an entrée using whatever looks pretty in the store today and whatever’s abundant in your fridge and pantry.

For the picture above we roasted green beans and asparagus, baby gold potatoes and mushrooms…but the combinations are limited only by your imagination, Make sure to include some fresh veggies to add a crispy contrast to the roasty toasty flavors. We used grape tomatoes that we halved, but shallots, green onions, carrots, celery, fennel or sliced bell peppers would all be tasty, too.

We love anchovies and they are SO good for us, so we added a row for their heart healthy components and their protein. Tuna or sardines would be an excellent choice as well, or try one of your favorite ancient grains to make this a complete meal. Last but not least its fun to add some “briny” goodness, we did it with Kalamata olives, but capers or pickles would be good too.

The spice mix we used to pull all these ingredients together? A traditional Mediterranean blend, the easy-to-find, easy-to-love Italian Seasoning. Basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and marjoram are just a few of the power packed herbs that can make up the mix – and each brings its own flavor and goodness to the whole. For example, the basil has strong flavonoids which protect your body on a cellular level. The oregano has Vitamins A,C,E, and K when you use it generously in this recipe. And the thyme is one of our powerful anti-oxidant rich herbs. You can’t go wrong with this healthy blend of herbs!

Warm Roasted Veggie Salad with Herbed Mustard Dressing

Preheat the oven to 400F. Trim or cut your favorite veggies and divide them by type and hardness. (Baby potatoes on one tray, green beans on another, etc.) Toss your veggies onto a sheet pan with a just a Tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for 10 to 25 minutes depending on your choice of veggies. Remove from the oven, and while still warm toss with the dressing and arrange on a bed of greens. Add your fresh veggies and briny olives, pickles or capers, along with fish or grains. Serve while warm.

Herbed Mustard Dressing

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar

3 TB Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Orange Juice

1 Garlic Clove, grated

2 Tsp Italian Seasoning

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste.

Shake all the ingredients together in a small jar.

Spicy Tuesday – Cumin Bread – Cumin

When talking about Cumin in our cooking classes, we always say, “it’s the original smoky-smelling spice.” If you open a bottle and take a big whiff, the semll will transport you to another country. Why? You can be cooking almost any cuisine and see cumin in the list of ingredients. Cumin has been around for a long time, too. Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and Iran, it was mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible!

A member of the parsley family, cumin has a long history of medicinal properties within Indian cuisine. Medical research has just begun to suggest the benefits of cumin to the digestive system. The spice appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients, leading to healthier digestion. Cumin also has beneficial antioxidants like vitamin-C and vitamin-A.

Spanish and Portuguese colonists brought cumin to the Americas – the native Indian cuisines quickly adopted it to add to their cuisine. Cumin is used both in ground forms and as seeds, like we are doing in this week’s Spicy Tuesday recipe. We hope you like this quick and easy bread as much as we do!

Makes 1 loaf – Double the recipe to make a sheet tray like the picture.
3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 TB Sugar
2 TB Baking Powder
2 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Dry Mustard
1 ½ Tsp Sea Salt
2 Large Eggs and 2 Large Egg Whites, beaten together
1 1/2 Cups Light Buttermilk
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Cumin Seed, toasted in a small dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic
1 Tsp Sumac*

Step One Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper, set aside. Using a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cumin, mustard and salt, season with pepper. Using a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring batter until just moistened.

Step Two Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with the toasted cumin seed and the sumac. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes clean, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Remove the bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack before cutting.

*(Chef Nancy borrowed the idea of this quick bread from a friend, and made it better! The sumac in the recipe is a result of a class on middle eastern foods.) Sumac is a cooking essential in the Middle East. Slightly tart and acidic it adds a pleasant lemony flavor and works as a beautiful red garnish, too.


Spicy Tuesday – Cinnamon Pomegranate Oranges – Cinnamon

***I know you’re never supposed to start with an apology, but oh well, I just pulled up the Living and Eating Better website to start working on this week’s blog entry. Whoops. There it is, sitting there all by itself. Never published. The post entitled, “WooHoo – It’s the Holidays, and We Are Taking a Break!” never actually got published. Big apologies! We’ve loved our time off though…

Juicy, tart, sweet and drippy – that’s what we’ve craving after the holidays. This citrus salad is the perfect antidote to a month of indulgent treats and rich traditional foods. Easy to make, keeps great in the fridge for a couple of days and mullti-talented too. Serve it up with yogurt for breakfast, have a bowl for a snack in the afternoon, and for (more) indulgence it can even be a topper for vanilla gelato.

If you can’t find the pomegranate molasses, just double the amount of honey that you use and scatter pomegranate arils over the top. It will be SO pretty and you’ll get the nourishment of the pomegranate as well.

Cinnamon is a spice we use year-round, but in the cold damp winter its spicy goodness seems even more appropriate. Cinnamon is fabulous for taste and health benefits. It can help control a person’s blood sugars during the day. It is also loaded with polyphenol antioxidants which can help you stay healthy during these cold winter months. Finally, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that help combat low grade inflammation as well.

Cinnamon Pomegranate Oranges

8 Large Navel Oranges, Sliced into Thin Rounds

8 Large Dates, Pitted and Chopped

¼ Cup Almonds, Toasted and Chopped

3 TB Honey

3 TB Pomegranate Molasses (or to Taste)

½ Tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

Place orange slices on a large platter, overlapping. Top with the dates and almonds. Whisk together the honey, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon and salt and drizzle over the platter.

Spicy Tuesday – Pretty Pumpkin Hummus – Turmeric


Easy to make, a brilliant color and smooth creamy seasonal taste, what’s not to like about Pumpkin Hummus? We love hummus of all kinds, but pumpkin adds a unique savory flavor to the dip, so this one pops up in the healthy kitchen, often. Because it substitutes pumpkin for the oil usually found in hummus, its a super addition to the holiday appetizer table. It’s lighter but full of flavor.

There are four spices that create the big YUM in this hummus, but turmeric not only enhances the “tasty” factor, it amps up the cheerful pop of orange, too. Its not surprising that this spice goes into many of our dishes, and it’s a natural in this one too.

We love turmeric for its many health benefits. Currently there are over 6,000 peer reviewed articles, (dietician/nutrition experts look at it), explaining turmeric’s benefit to the body. Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-carcinogen. Eating the spice daily in your food can possibly help decrease joint pain, keep the brain healthy, and keep blood sugar levels under control. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Hummus with Goat Cheese

2 Cans (15 oz) Cannellini, drained and rinsed

1 Cup Canned Pumpkin (2/3 of one 15 OZ can)

2 TB Lemon Juice

2 Garlic Cloves, grated

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp Cumin

½ Tsp Turmeric

½ Tsp Allspice

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Cup Crumbled Goat cheese

¼ Cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

In a food processor add all ingredients except the goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Remove from the processor, spread on a plate and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and goat cheese

120616 Festive Brussels Sprouts Salad – Parsley


We love the traditional foods of the holidays…like Brussels Sprouts! But sometimes we just want to “shake it up”. This recipe takes one of our favorite veggies and uses it in a creative and beautiful salad. This crisp and crunchy full-of-flavor salad can convince even the sprouts haters to convert!

Parsley adds a bright green flavor to this salad, enhancing its fresh, lively taste. It also is a super powerhouse when it comes to anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen food chemicals. It can even boost your immune system  – something we all want to do! Add 2 TB to your dish today and you’ll get all the wonderful health benefits of vibrant green parsley.

Festive Brussels Sprouts Salad

4 Cups ***Shredded Brussels Sprouts

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onions

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Fennel or Celery

½ Cup Pomegranate Seeds

½ Cup Golden Raisins

½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans

2 TB Minced Parsley

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the Honey Dressing.

Honey Dressing

1⁄2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 – 6 TB Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TB Dijon Mustard

2 TB Honey

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Shake the ingredients together in a jar.

***Chef Nancy likes to use the Cuisinart shredding blade to quickly reduce the whole little heads to shreds, (we couldn’t resist the rhyme), but you can use a mandoline or even a knife.