Living and Eating Well!


Spicy Tuesday – Sweet Potato and Red Grape Salad – Garam Masala

Slightly sweet and definitely spicy, Garam Masala is a luscious and warming ingredient for almost any dish we prepare at this chilly time of the year. Made from a combo of interesting spices, you can find this once obscure spice blend  in almost any grocery store now. If you are a reader of our blog, you know that Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay Leaves and Black Pepper are full of nutrition – and they are just a few of the ingredients contained in the many recipes for Garam Masala.

This dish combines veggies of the season like sweet potatoes, carrots and oranges with it to create not only a power-packed nutrition combo, but a powerful delicious salad, too!

Sweet Potato and Red Grape Salad

1/4 Cup Low-Fat Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Nonfat Plain Yogurt

2 TB Orange Juice

2 TB Orange Zest

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala

1 Cup Grated Carrot

1/2 Cup Chopped Celery

6 Cups Chopped Roasted Sweet Potatoes***

1 Cup Red Seedless Grapes, Halved

1/3 Cup Chopped Dates

1/4 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts

Step One

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, orange juice, orange zest and Garam Masala in a small bowl to blend. (You can prepare this dressing up to a day ahead of time)

Step Two In a bowl toss the grated carrot, diced celery, sweet potatoes, halved grapes and chopped dates. Add dressing to salad and toss. Sprinkle salad with walnuts and serve.

** To Roast the sweet potatoes, spread the chopped potatoes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 TB olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1Tsp garam masala. Roast in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are browned.

111114 – Spicy Tuesday – Seven Layer Quinoa Apple Salad – Allspice

Everyone loves layered salads – pretty presentations for a potluck, party, or dinner. We enjoy them too. But most are loaded with calories and fat! Once you whip this recipe up, you’ll find a new favorite for your family and friends. Filled with the flavors of fall, apples and squash, with a dressing full of flavor from apple cider vinegar and tasty allspice. Because its made with quinoa, you can serve it as a main course – or a side.

Did you know that Allspice is not a combo of spices, but just one? Smelling like cloves, ginger and nutmeg and cinnamon, it looks very similar to black pepper. You can use allspice one for one as a substitute for any of these spices. Because of its eugenol content, (a powerful phenylproniod), allspice has attributes similar to cloves. It’s also a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used as a poultice or in a hot bath.

Seven Layer Quinoa Apple Salad

1 ½ Cups Quinoa, Prepared as Package directs, divided

Apple Cider Dressing*

1 Cup Chopped Green Apple, skin on

1 Cup Chopped Red Apple, skin on

2 Cups Chopped Roasted Butternut Squash

1 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots or Cranberries

½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese

½ Cup Chopped Toasted Almonds

3 Thinly Sliced Green Onions for Garnish

Step One Toss the Quinoa with ½  of the dressing. Toss the chopped green apples in a bowl 1 TB of the dressing. In another bowl, toss the chopped red apples with 1 TB of the Dressing.

Step Two Layer the ingredients in a trifle bowl, starting with ½ of the prepared quinoa and then add the squash, green apple and apricots or quinoa. Layer the remaining quinoa then the red apple, blue cheese and almonds. Garnish with the sliced green onions.

*Apple Cider Dressing:

1/3 Cup Apple Cider

3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar

3 TB Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Allspice

1 Tsp Honey

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Whisk together the ingredients.

Spicy Tuesday – A New Addition!

Chef Nancy here – while we have been in the kitchen cooking – look what’s up with Dietician Shayna? Welcome Will Komar!

Spicy Tuesday – Remoulade with Crudités – Horseradish

Happy Halloween!

Don’t you love our fun skeleton? We served this up at the PINK party for a group of wonderful breast cancer survivors. Typically crudité is served up with hummus – but this Remoulade makes a super dip – and you can always add some boiled shrimp on the side for a complete dinner!

We’ve spiced up our Remoulade with a traditional ingredient – horseradish. Horseradish adds loads of flavor and cancer fighting glucosinolates. These are responsible for the characteristic hot taste of horseradish, wasabi, and mustard. Once inside the body, glucosinolates are broken down into powerful derivatives called isothiocyanates and indoles, which are believed to be the main cancer-preventive contributors of horseradish and cruciferous vegetables.

Remoulade with Crudités

½  Cup Light Olive Oil Mayo

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

2  TB Creole or Spicy Mustard

2 TB Low Salt Ketchup

½ Cup Minced Green Onions

2 Minced Parsley

2 TB Chopped Celery

2 Garlic Cloves, Grated

1 Tsp Horseradish

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Hot Sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with fresh crunchy vegetables.

Spicy Tuesday – Herbed Breakfast Potatoes – Basil

Does the idea of breakfast for dinner get you excited? Us, too! We love having multi-purpose recipes like this one that can slide easily from one meal to another, just by making a double recipe or heating up leftovers. Fast and easy, an aluminum foil lined sheet pan makes this breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner side a snap to prepare.

The spicy taste of basil makes this dish sing with flavor. There’s nothing like a combo of tomatoes, basil, olives and capers to make almost anything taste better AND be better for us. Basil is just about done in the garden so pick the last bits to use in this healthy breakfast/dinner dish. Did you know basil can protect our body from a cellular level? Yes, it has flavonoids and volatile oils that have been studied to show cell and chromosome support from environmental damage. And basil is a good to protect from bacterial growth in the body as well.

If you’d like to make this this delicious potato dish a little heartier for a big day or for dinner, it makes a perfect nest for a poached egg, too!

Herbed and Spiced Breakfast Potatoes

2 Sweet Potatoes, Chopped

1 White Potato, Chopped

1 Chopped Large Red Onion

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Chopped Tomato

½ Cup Chopped Sundried Tomatoes (Dried – not oil packed.)

½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

½ Cup Chopped Kalamata Olives

¼ Cup Capers

1 TB Chopped Basil

1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Step One Place the potatoes and onion on a sheet tray, toss with 2 TB of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide into a 400F oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and brown around the edges.

Step Two When the potatoes and onion are roasted, slide them into a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1 TB of oil. Stir together gently and serve, warm, room temp or cold.

Spicy Tuesday – Zesty and Cool Arugula Dip – Arugula

Hmmm, did we mention that October and November are two of our busiest months of the year? Oh yes, because many of the Cancer Groups we work with have survivor celebrations, the corporate world is getting all of their meetings and workshops in before the holidays, and well – its just that busy time of the year!

Thus, the late Spicy Tuesday – But it’s worth it, we promise. This dip is cool and creamy, zesty and spicy in a super-yummy-green-veggie way! With only 4 ingredients, this recipe creates not only a delicious dip, but is also great as a salad dressing, or in a baked potato, as a spread on a sandwich. It’s good on anything that needs a little zip of creamy goodness.

The bright taste of arugula is what gives this dish its flair. Arugula is also known as rocket salad because of its pop of peppery flavor. It is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as the notoriously nutritious better-known vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Studies have suggested that the sulfur-containing compounds that give cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite are also what give them their cancer-fighting power.

So keep eating these greens as we get into flu and cold season !

Zesty and Cool Arugula Dip

1 Log (8oz) Goat Cheese

¼ – ½ Cup of Nonfat Greek Yogurt (depending on the consistency desired)

1 Bag (4- 6 oz) Arugula

1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Set aside a few leaves of arugula to chop for garnish. Whiz the goat cheese, yogurt remaining arugula and lemon juice in the food processor.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Done! Yum!

Spicy Tuesday – Spicy Chicken Burgers with California Slaw – Cilantro

A better-for-you burger and slaw is dinner on a bun! When the family is craving comfort food, this sandwich will make everyone happy. Not just your run-of-the-mill hamburger, it’s packed with flavor from the tomatoes and chilies, the cheese, garlic, and chipotle chile pepper.

When we whip up this recipe for dinner, we often make a double recipe. The burgers keep super in the freezer, and the slaw is delicious as leftovers for lunch as a salad – or tucked in a pita pocket.

The grassy, sharp and pungent flavor of cilantro makes a wonderful complement to the chilies and the smoky chipotle powder. When you use cilantro you are adding Vitamin K to your body. It also has trace mineral manganese and vitamins A and B-9, known as folate, each at 1 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Spicy Chicken Burgers with California Slaw


1 Can Tomatoes and Chilies, (like Rotel), Drained well, divided

1 LB Lean Ground Chicken

½ Cup Light Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 Garlic Clove, grated

1 Tsp Chipotle Chile Pepper

1 Tsp Sea Salt

Whole Wheat Buns or Lettuce Leaves

Avocadoes as Garnish if Desired


4 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage

2 Cup Shredded Carrots

1 Cup Shredded Jicama (or radishes)

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup EVOO

1 TB Dijon Mustard

Reserved ¼ Cup Tomatoes and Chilies

2 TB Orange Juice

1 TB Lime Juice

1 Tsp Honey

Step One Scoop ¼ Cup of the Tomato and Chile mixture out of the can and set aside.

Step Two Place the chicken, cheese, garlic, pepper and salt in a bowl. Mix together gently. Form into patties and cook in a cast iron skillet until browned on both sides. Slide into a 350F oven for about 5 minutes or cooked through.

Step Three Toss the cabbage, carrots, jicama and cilantro together in a bowl. In a jar, (or with a small bowl and whisk), combine the EVOO, tomatoes and chilies, orange juice, limejuice and honey. Shake well and drizzle over the salad. Use the slaw to top the burger and as a side.

Spicy Tuesday – Safari Salad – Cumin

Olives and Grapefruit? Lemon Juice and Grapes? Oh Yes! These are the luscious and exotic flavors of this salad, inspired by the bright and delicious food of Africa.

We don’t often think of seasoning foods with opposing tastes, but this salad proves it’s a wonderful strategy when you are looking to create zest in a almost any dish. Even though the ingredients seem wildly dissimilar – when added in the correct proportions, they make the salad zing!

The olives we are using in this recipe may be a challenge for some of you to find, but they are worth it! Since we live and work in Atlanta, we can find a jar of oil cured olives in the regular grocery store. You may have to look at Whole Foods, Trader Joes or Fresh Market, or a store similar to buy them. Intensely flavored, wrinkled and slick with a coating of oil, they allow us to use fewer olives, but have a powerful, yummy olive taste in our salad.

One of the most important components of the salad is the smoky, slightly citrus taste of the cumin. It is extremely good for digestion. And did you know that cumin can help blood sugars stay in control for diabetics? There are been specific studies on the spice and people with diabetes which is amazing to think spices can complement today’s medical recommendations. Finally, cumin has a high amount of iron and magnesium in the spice. 1 Tablespoon provides 20% of your daily iron needs.

Safari Salad

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TB Lemon Juice

½ Tsp Hot Sauce

1/2 Tsp Cumin

½ Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper  to taste

6 – 8 Cups Soft Greens

4 Cups Mixed Fruit – Grapefruit, Oranges and Grapes

1/2 Small Red Onion, sliced very thinly and submerged in ice water and drained

(Allowing onions to sit in  ice water for about 30 minutes takes the “sting” out)

2 TB Each Chopped Parsley and Mint

1/4 Cup, Oil Cured Black Olives, coarsely chopped

1 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

½ Cup Toasted Slivered Almonds

Step One In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the first six ingredients to create the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the salad.

Step Two Place the fruit on top of the greens on 6 plates and top with the onion, parsley and mint, olives and goat cheese. Drizzle the dressing on top and garnish with the toasted almonds.

Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Fruit and Nut Crumble – 092314

Its getting to be that time of year…Here in Georgia we celebrate Apple Season from the end of September through mid October. Whether they are Gala, Winesap or Mutsui, we love using them in all kinds of recipes, savory and sweet.

Traditionally, apple cobbler and pies can hide a lot of calories and fats. Even apple bread that sounds so healthy can pack a punch in bad fats. But this recipe delivers the same apple deliciousness as those treats – without all the bad-for-you ingredients.

What could be a better partner for apples than Cinnamon? When the luscious aroma of this spice is filling the kitchen, we know that fall weather is not far away. Cinnamon not only makes many dishes smell and taste great it also is great to control blood sugars for diabetics. When Shayna is doing a nutrition session with a diabetic she recommends eating a small amount of cinnamon each day (in this recipe, a smoothie, on yogurt, or even on steel cut oats). And about ½ tsp per day can also lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).

Roasted Fruit and Nut Crumble

6 TB Unsalted Butter

1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar + 2 TB

1 ¼ Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

6 TB Very Finely Chopped Toasted Almonds

1 LB Ripe SEASONAL FRUIT, Peeled and Cut
into ½” Pieces and Roasted for 20 Minutes at 350F

1 ½ LB Dry Figs, Cut into ½” Pieces

Zest and Juice of 1 Large Lime

½ Tsp Cinnamon

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt for Serving

Step One Spray a 9 x 12” casserole dish with nonstick spray. Preheat your oven to 350F.

Step Two Combine the butter & 1/3 cup brown sugar in a mixer. Beat until smooth. Add 1 cup of the flour and the almonds and beat until just combined – it should be crumbly.

Step Three Place the peaches and figs in a bowl and toss with the zest and juice of the lime. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 2 TB brown sugar and the cinnamon.

Step Four Place the peaches and figs mixture in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle the flour and almond mixture on top and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve warm with the vanilla frozen yogurt, if desired.

Spicy Tuesday – White Bean Salad – Basil

Do you like white beans? Along with all different kinds of beans, we love them! In the United States, white beans are most often associated with navy beans, and a popular soup called “navy bean soup’, made with the small white soft beans. But did you know that cannellini beans are related to kidney beans, and are often called white kidney beans? The same firm texture and mild flavor as the more popular red kidney bean, appears in cannellini beans, too.

If the two of us were in Tuscany, a region in central Italy around Florence, we would be called “mangifagioli” or bean eaters. The white bean salad recipe below is called, Fagioli Toscanelli in Italian – certainly a much more exciting name than “white bean salad”.

This luscious and easy salad combines basil and parsley, two herbs that often express the flavor of Italy. Basil is our featured herb this week, and since you probably still have some in your garden, it’s a perfect dish for this time of year! Basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth in the body. It also unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found to protect cells. This salad is a win-win, enjoy!

White Bean Salad – Basil

2 Cans (15 Oz) Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TBS Lemon Juice

1 TB Lemon Zest

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste

2 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced

¼ Cup Chopped Parsley or Basil or combination

1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, Quartered

1 Roasted Red Pepper, Chopped

Heat the beans in the microwave or on the stovetop. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and pour over the drained beans. Add the green onion, herbs, tomatoes and pepper and toss. Let sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb. Serve at room temperature.