Staenberg Kooper Fellman Campus

Trainers in the Kitchen

Good nutrition doesn’t have to be boring! Our personal trainers share some of their favorite healthy recipes and tips.

Black Bean Brownies

(vegan friendly)

1 (15-oz) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked)
1 cup pure date syrup
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped (optional)
Vegan semisweet chocolate pieces (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (or use a silicone cake pan).
Combine the beans, date syrup, and cocoa powder in a food processor; process just until smooth. Add the oats, baking powder, and baking soda; process just until combined.
Spread batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with pistachios and chocolate pieces (if using). Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.

Recipes from

Gluten Free Fig Bars

(vegan friendly)

2 cups dried Mission figs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups gluten-free oat flour
1 cup almond flour
1 cup pitted dates
¾ cup raw cashews
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup walnuts
2 tablespoons gluten-free rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 2-quart square baking dish with parchment paper. For filling, in a small saucepan combine figs and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until figs are soft. Transfer figs and cooking liquid to a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth.

For crust, in a food processor combine the next six ingredients (through salt). Process until well combined. Add ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons at a time, and process until mixture comes together into a ball. (You may not use all the water, depending on how dry the dates are.) Press crust mixture into prepared baking dish.

For topping, in a small food processor combine walnuts and oats. Pulse a few times until mixture is small crumbly pieces. Add 2 tablespoons water; pulse three to five times or until pieces are pea-size and crumbly.

Spread fig filling over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle with topping. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes in baking dish. Using parchment paper, remove bars from baking dish. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 bars.

Recipes from


Tabbouleh Salad

½ cup chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups dry bulgur
1 package chopped fresh butternut squash (12 to 16 oz.)
1 large cucumber, chopped (2½ cups)
2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves, stems removed
½ cup dried tart cherries or cranberries
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime zest
½ cup lime juice
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan cook shallots and
garlic over medium 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add vegetable broth, bulgur, and 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until bulgur is tender. Drain any remaining liquid. Cool completely. (Bulgur can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated up to 3 days.)
Meanwhile, steam butternut squash according to package directions, about 7 minutes. Cool completely.
In a large bowl combine bulgur, squash, cucumber, kale, cherries, and cilantro. In a small bowl whisk together lime zest, lime juice, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Add half of the dressing to salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir remaining dressing into salad just before serving.

Recipes from

Sweet Potato Kugel

(vegan friendly)

4 medium sweet potatoes, orange and purple varieties, peeled and grated (6 cups)
3 tablespoons chia seeds (or ground flaxseeds)
1 medium yellow onion, grated (¾ cup)
¼ cup potato starch or matzo meal
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
6 sprigs fresh dill for garnish (optional)
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place grated sweet potatoes in a strainer. Press potatoes into the strainer to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
Combine the chia seeds and ½ cup water in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, combine the sweet potatoes, onion, and potato starch in a large bowl. Season the mixture to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and, if desired, crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well.
Add chia seeds to the large bowl with the potatoes and mix well to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil cover and bake 30 minutes more, or until the top of the kugel is slightly crispy. Cut into squares. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve with sour cream on the side.

Purple Sweet Potato Pie

1 c. oat flour or whole wheat flour
1 c. walnuts
3 tbsp pure cane sugar
1 tbsp brown or golden flaxseed meal
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp sea salt
1 ½ lb. purple sweet potatoes
¾ c. unsweetened, plain plant-based milk
¼ c. + 2 tbsp cane sugar or maple syrup
3 tbsp lime juice (preferably from Key limes)
1½ tbsp lime zest
Blueberry Sauce
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp pure cane sugar or maple syrup
1 tbsp lime zest

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Crust: In a food processor combine the first seven ingredients. Process until combined and nuts are ground. Add 2 tbsp water; pulse to incorporate. Mixture will be crumbly, but should bind when pinched. If it doesn’t, add 1 tbsp water and pulse again. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Use the bottom of a bowl to press evenly into pan. Bake 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

Filling: Place whole sweet potatoes in steamer basket over large saucepan. Add water to saucepan, just below basket. Bring to a boil. Steam, covered, 15 minutes or until tender. Cool by placing potatoes under cold running water. Remove and discard the peels. Transfer potatoes to bowl, lightly mash, then transfer to food processor. Add milk, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest; process until smooth. Spoon filling over cooled crust and smooth with
a spatula. Chill at least 1 hour.

Blueberry Sauce: Combine blueberries, sugar, and 3 tbsp water in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until blueberries begin to break down and the liquid is syrupy. Remove from heat. Stir in lime zest. To serve release sides of springform pan. Remove pie and top with blueberry sauce.

Cherry Picstachio Granola

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of uncooked white quinoa
1 cup of coarsely chopped almonds
¾ cup coarsely chopped pistachios
1 cup of pepitas
½ cup chopped dried unsweetened cherries
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ cup of cranberry syrup
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil

For Cranberry Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 water
1/2 frozen cranberries.

1. Make cranberry syrup by bringing sugar, water, and cranberries to a boil in saucepan. Let cool. Strain, reserving juice.
2. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients except for the dried cherries. Add in the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
4. Turn the mixture out onto the baking sheet and spread evenly.
5. Bake until lightly toasted and golden, stirring every 10-15 minutes, for 30-35 minutes. Let cool. Add in the cherries. Store in an airtight container for 1-3 weeks.

Zucchihi Carpaccio

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: No cooking required

1-2 zucchini or summer squash
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano
2 tbsp of mint leaves, gently torn
3 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds or pistachios
Extra virgin olive oil
Fennel fronds
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Mandoline the zucchini about 1/8” thick. On a medium flat platter, arrange one layer of the zucchini fanned out into a circle. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle some pecorino romano over the first layer. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Repeat the same process with the second, third and fourth layer.
3. On the fourth layer, repeat the same process and then garnish with torn mint leaves, fennel fronds and sunflower seeds. Serve immediately.
Note: This does not hold over well as leftovers and is best for a quick side dish for dinner!

Deviled Potato Sandwiches

Vegan Friendly
These tasty vegan Deviled Potato Sandwiches are ideal for lunches, and they’re good enough to serve a crowd at a summer party—simply cut each sandwich into smaller triangles. Think of them as a very tasty vegan variation on egg salad sandwiches. The addition of black salt (optional) adds a bit of sulfuric aroma, reminiscent of hard-boiled eggs.

1 large Yukon Gold potato (about ¾ pound), peeled and cut into 1½-inch pieces
½ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk (almond, soy, etc) or water
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
Dash ground turmeric
Dash black salt (optional)
1 can (14 oz) hearts of palm, drained and finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
9 lettuce leaves (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (optional)
18 slices whole-wheat bread

Place potato pieces in a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, 15 to 20 minutes or until very tender. Remove potato; cool.
In a blender combine potato, milk, mustard, turmeric, and black salt, if desired. Cover and pulse until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in hearts of palm, celery, and scallion. Season with sea salt and white pepper.
Layer potato mixture and, if desired, lettuce and tomatoes between bread slices. Serve immediately, or wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator
for up to two days.

Creamy Carrot & Pea Soup

2 c. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 c. carrots, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth
3 c. Yukon potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
Dash ground cinnamon
2 cans (15 oz) no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 c. unsweetened coconut milk beverage from carton (do not use canned)
2 tbsp lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 c. fresh sugar snap peas, halved

In a large pot cook onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add 1-2 tbsp of water as needed to prevent sticking. Add carrots and ginger; cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1-2 more tbsp of water if needed. Do not let the ginger burn.
Add broth, potatoes, coriander, and cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

Add chickpeas. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Or transfer in batches to a blender, blend until smooth and return to pot.) Stir in coconut milk; simmer 5 minutes. Add lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Place sugar snap peas in a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boil. Steam, covered, 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add to soup, reserving a few for garnish.

Blueberry Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette
• ½ tsp. orange zest
• 2 tablespoons juice from an orange
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon snipped fresh herbs
• 1½ teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad Bowls
• 1 small sweet potato, peeled and sliced
• 1 teaspoon orange juice
• ⅛ teaspoon curry powder
• ⅛ teaspoon paprika
• 3 cups fresh baby spinach
• 1¼ cups cooked wheat berries
• ½ of a 15-oz. can no-salt-added cannellini
beans, rinsed and drained
• ⅔ cup fresh blueberries
• ½ of an avocado, peeled, and sliced
• Optional toppings: sliced green onions,
radishes, and/or fresh orange slices

1. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange sweet potato slices in a single layer on baking sheet. In a small bowl stir together orange juice, curry powder, and paprika. Brush over sweet potato. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Cool potato in pan on a wire rack.
3. Divide spinach between two bowls. Top with sweet potato, wheat berries, beans, blueberries, and avocado. Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over bowls. Add desired toppings.

Recipe and photo from Forks Over Knives

Easy Israeli Salad Wraps

Inspired by fresh Israeli cuisine, this savory wrap is packed full of fresh produce and creamy hummus. It’s perfect for summer and makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. Lemon juice adds brightness, and chopped scallions offer a tangy onion flavor that pairs perfectly with cooling cucumber. Wraps can be made a day in advance; just cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to dig in!

• ¼ cup chopped tomato
• ¼ cup chopped cucumber
• 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
• ½ teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 eight inch whole grain tortilla
• 2 tablespoons hummus (oil free)

1. In a small bowl combine the chopped tomato, cucumber, scallions, and lemon juice. Toss gently to coat vegetables. Set the vegetables aside.
2. Spread the hummus on the tortilla. Spoon the prepared vegetables onto the tortilla, leaving room around the edged.
3. Fold the left and right edges of the filled tortilla in towards the center. Continue to roll up the tortilla, similar to how you would fold a burrito. Serve and enjoys!

Recipe and photo from Forks Over Knives

Oatmeal-Lemon Pancakes with Raspberry & Date Sauce

A delicious way to strat your day.

• 2 cups unsweetened, unflavored almond milk, extra to thin batter as needed
• 2 oz. pitted dates, chopped
• 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• ½ cup cornmeal
• 1½ teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
• Fresh raspberries (optional)

• 4 oz. pitted dates, chopped
• ½ cup fresh berries or chopped and peeled kiwifruit, peach, or mango

1. For sauce: In a blender combine 4 oz. dates, berries (or chopped fruit) and 1½ cups water. Let stand at least 15 minutes to soften dates. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into container and set aside. (Sauce will thicken as it sits. If needed, add more water to thin.) Rinse and dry blender.
2. Place oats in blender; cover and blend to a flour-like consistency. Transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon; make a well in the center. Rinse and dry blender.
3. In a small bowl combine milk and the remaining 2 oz. dates; let stand 15 minutes to soften dates. Pour milk-date mixture into the blender; cover and blend until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients along with lemon zest and juice. Whisk until smooth.
4. Heat griddle to medium heat. Pour ¼ to ½ cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook pancake 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Continue process until done. (If batter gets too thick while it sits, stir in more milk as needed.)
5. Serve pancakes with sauce. If desired, garnish with chopped walnuts and raspberries.

Recipe and photo from Forks Over Knives

Couscous Bowls

This satisfying meal is equally good made with traditional couscous or the larger, pearl-sized Israeli couscous. Feel free to experiment with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Creamy homemade Tahini Dipping Sauce serves as a flavorful finishing touch for these quick bowls.

Couscous Bowls
• 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
• ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
• 2 cups whole wheat couscous
• Sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 9-10 cups romaine lettuce, cut up
• 1 can chickpeas (15 oz.), rinsed / drained
• 1 cucumber, finely chopped (1½ cups)
• 1 medium tomato, finely chopped (1 cup)
• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, diced
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1½ cups Tahini Dipping Sauce (below)

Tahini Dipping Sauce
• ½ cup tahini
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Make dipping sauce. Combine listed ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Thin with water, 1 TB at a time, if needed to reach pouring consistency.
Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.
2. In a small saucepan bring broth and cumin seeds to boiling. Stir in couscous. Return to boiling; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide lettuce, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and couscous among eight bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice, and drizzle with dipping sauce.

Recipe and photo from Forks Over Knives

Sweet Potato & Veggie Roll Ups

These Sweet Potato and Veggie Roll Ups are a great option for your weekly meal prep. They are quick to make and a delicious way to help you get your 5 a day servings of vegetables.

⅔ cup oil-free hummus
¼ cup sliced scallions (green onions)
4 whole wheat tortillas, 6-inch
1½ cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup chopped baked sweet potato (no skin)
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons sunflower kernels, toasted
1½ chicken breasts (optional)

In a small bowl stir together hummus and scallions. Spread over tortillas. Top with (chicken if wanted) spinach, sweet potato, bell pepper, and sunflower kernels. Gently press items into the hummus.
Roll up tortillas and wrap individually using plastic wrap or reusable wrapper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Slice rolls into 1-inch pieces and serve.
Recipe and photo from Forks Over Knives

No Bake Brownies

These fudgy No Bake Brownies from the How Not to Die Cookbook are a quick and easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping it healthy.

1 cup raw walnuts
1 1/3 cups dates, pitted
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup crushed raw pecans

Grind the walnuts and dates in a food processor until finely ground. Add the almond butter and process until well mixed. Add the cocoa powder and pulse to mix well.
Transfer the brownie mixture to an 8-inch square baking pan. (If you line the pan with parchment paper, it will make it easier to remove the brownies.) Use your fingers to press the mixture evenly into the pan. (You can place a piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture as you press it into the pan to prevent it from sticking to your hands.) Once the brownies are firmly pressed into the pan, sprinkle the top evenly with the crushed pecans, pressing them into the top.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares. Note: These brownies also store great in the freezer.

Serves: 16 people
Recipe from “How Not to Die” cookbook

"No Tuna" Salad

This clever meat free recipe uses chickpeas as a source of protein. For those wanting to keep meat in the recipe, the chickpeas can be swapped out for tuna, salmon, or chicken.

Ingredients for Salad

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1⁄4 cup diced red onion
  • 1⁄4 cup diced celery
  • 1⁄4 cup diced pickle
  • 1 tsp capers, drained and chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)

Ingredients For Serving

  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced

Place chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, leaving only a few beans whole. Add tahini, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, celery, pickle, capers, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds (if using) to mixing bowl. Mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Toast bread if desired, and prepare any other desired sandwich toppings (such as lettuce, tomato, and onion).
Scoop a healthy amount of the chickpea mixture (about 1⁄2 cup) onto one slice of bread, add desired toppings and top with second slice of bread. Repeat for additional sandwiches. Enjoy!

Recipes from

Savory Tamale Breakfast Bowl

Instant polenta or grits stand in for masa harina in these bowls that get their. Southwest flavors from prepared salsa and a dash of chili powder. Feel free to swap out the kidney beans for whatever legume you have on hand (even lentils) and load the bowls up with extra veggies.

• 1 cup instant polenta or grits
• 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 cup prepared salsa
• 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced
• Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cook the instant polenta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine kidney beans, chili powder and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat 2 minutes, or until warmed through.
Divide the polenta among 4 bowls. Top each serving with ⅓ cup kidney beans, ¼ cup salsa, ¼ avocado, and a sprinkling of cilantro leaves.

Recipes from Darshana Thacker –


Chakalaka is a South African vegetable and bean dish. Serve it over roasted sweet potatoes, cooked whole grains (such a quinoa or oat groats), or part of a bowl-style meal. The recipe makes a pretty large batch- so save any leftovers for meals throughout the week.

1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 (BPA-free) can of crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp white miso paste
1 grated carrot
4 cups diced cabbage
1 medium diced green pepper
1 medium diced red pepper
1 (BPA-free) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
black pepper, to taste
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 small minced chili (optional)
Cooked Sweet potatoes

Dice the onion and sauté with a splash of water until translucent (adding more water as needed). Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, thyme, paprika, and cayenne. Stir for a minute. Then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, miso, carrot, cabbage, peppers. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Add the beans, black pepper, nutritional yeast, and minced chili. Stir through and serve warm.

Recipe from the Daily Dozen

Asian Cucumber & Sea Vegetable Salad

Sea vegetables, such as seaweed, are a great source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including iron, and calcium!

Ingredients for Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pickled ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

Ingredients For Salad

  • 1⁄4 cup dried wakame seaweed
  • 2 cucumbers, cut into rounds about
  • 1⁄4-inch-thick
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded carrots

To prepare the dressing, whisk vinegar, lemon juice and zest, sugar, ginger, dried onion, sea salt, and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds together in a small bowl. Set aside.
To prepare the salad, soak wakame in warm water for 3 to 5 minutes to rehydrate. Drain and chop, if desired. Place in large serving bowl. Add cucumbers and carrots.
Add dressing to vegetables and toss. Serve, garnished with additional sesame seeds.

Spicy Freekah Soup with Meatballs

Freekeh is a whole grain nutrient super-star that comes from smoking durum wheat grains. Find it in most health food sections.

1 ¼ ground lamb, or beef
1 small onion, diced fine
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled, cut into ½ in chunks
2 celery sticks, cut into ½ in cubes
4 large tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp tomato purée
1 Tbsp baharat spice mix
1 Tbsp coriander
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp natural sugar
1 cup cracked freekeh
2 cups beef stock
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups hot water

In a large bowl, combine meat, onion, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Using your hands, mix well, and form the mix into ping-pong size balls (about 15 total). Roll them in flour and fry in a large dutch oven over medium for a few minutes, until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove the meatballs and set aside.

Wipe out the pan with paper towels and add the olive oil for the soup. Over medium heat, fry the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 2 -3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, sugar, 2 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper and cook for another minute. Stir in the freekeh and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the stocks, water, and meatballs. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for another 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the freekeh is plump and tender. (At this point the soup should be thick.) Add a little water as needed. Adjust the seasonings. Serve with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.

Big Breakfast Burrito

Loaded with sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions, this breakfast burrito makes it extra-tasty and ultra-versatile. The filling is made by sautéeing vegetables with a few choice seasonings, and then adding some eggs. It can be prepared ahead so it’s ready to roll in tortillas on busy weekday mornings, or you can make a big batch of it for a weekend brunch. For more Mexican flavor, include some sliced tomato, onion, and avocado along with a few drops of hot sauce before rolling the burritos.

• 1 cup peeled and finely chopped  sweet potato
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion
• 1 cup chopped red sweet pepper
• 2 tablespoons dried basil, crushed
• 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
• 6 eggs
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Salsa of your choice
• 4 whole grain flour tortillas (10 inch)

In a large skillet, cook the sweet potato,onion, and sweet pepper over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
Add basil, turmeric, garlic, and thyme; cook and stir for 1 minute or until garlic is softened. Stir in the eggs and yeast, and season with salt and black pepper. Spoon the mixture and salsa onto each
tortilla, just below the center. Fold the bottom edge of the tortilla over the filling. Fold in opposite sides; roll up tortilla.

Recipes from Darshana Thacker –

Green Bean Pasta with Cashew Pesto

A tasty twist on lasagna, this vegan casserole recipe swaps out noodles for polenta, layered with a saucy filling of lentils, kale, and bell pepper. Every forkful is a delicious mix of the fluffy grains, tangy marinara, and tender veggies.


  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 oz. dried whole wheat spaghetti
  • 8 oz. fresh thin green beans, trimmed & halved lengthwise
  • 15-oz. can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

For pesto, place cashews in a bowl. Add boiling water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Combine cashews and the next six ingredients (through lemon juice) in a blender or food processor.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, adding green beans the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Return spaghetti to pan. Add pesto and cannellini beans; toss to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking water a little at a time to achieve desired texture, tossing to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with pistachios and, if desired, crushed red pepper.

Recipes from

Chickpea & Kale Curry Stew

This Indian-inspired chickpea stew features a mouthwatering combination of flavors and textures, with slightly crunchy kale complementing the more fork-tender ingredients. Taking time up front to dice the potatoes will help them cook more quickly and evenly. Note that this recipe calls for cooked rice, so be sure to have that ready to go.

• 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
• 1 Yukon gold potato, cut into ½-inch
cubes (1 cup)
• 1 tbsp curry powder
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• Dash cayenne pepper
• 2 cups chopped kale, with stems
• 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
• 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk
• ½ of a 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
(¾ cup), undrained
• 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1½ cups cooked brown rice

In a large saucepan combine the first five ingredients (through cayenne) and ¼ cup water. Cook over medium 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale, chickpeas, milk, and tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes more or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice, and salt. Serve stew over the cooked, warm rice.

Recipes from Darshana Thacker –

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with Broccoli

Spiced butternut squash blended with nutritional yeast and a little plant milk makes a delightfully rich and “cheesy” sauce for pasta and broccoli. Pumpkin, acorn squash, or delicata squash will also work in this vegan-friendly recipe.

• 1 medium butternut squash
• 1 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
• 2 cups unsweetened, unflavored plant
milk (almond, soy, cashew, rice, etc.)
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
• 3 cups whole grain penne pasta (8 oz.)
• 3 cups small broccoli florets
• Fresh basil leaves

Peel squash; halve squash and remove seeds. Cut squash into large pieces. Place squash pieces in a steamer basket in a large pan. Add water to saucepan to just below
basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, about 12 minutes or until tender. Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, thyme, and ¼ cup water to pan. Cook about 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.

Transfer onion mixture to a blender. Add squash and the next five ingredients (through pepper). Cover and blend until smooth. Pour squash mixture into a large saucepan.
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli the last 5 minutes of cooking; drain. Add drained pasta and broccoli to squash mixture; toss to coat.

Serve warm topped with fresh basil.

Recipes from Darshana Thacker –

Vegan Jambalaya

By: Maggie Thomas
“This hearty recipe not only tastes great, but it warms you up and fills your kitchen with the best smells! Serves a crowd or freeze your leftovers for easy weeknight meals and lunches.”

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 gloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp smoky paprika
½ dried cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tbs Tabasco sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups uncooked brown rice
3 cups beans (use your favorite)

Heat the oil over medium high heat and sauté onion and garlic. Add celery and peppers and sauté lightly, keeping some of the crunch. Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, all herbs, spices, and sauces. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the rice. Cover and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes on a low heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking. Once the rice is tender stir in the beans and cover for another 5 – 10 minutes to heat.

Zesty White Bean Chili

This healthy chili is a great way to warm up on a chilly Autumn night.

• 3 bell peppers (any color), seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
• 1 medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
• 3 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch dice
• 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
• 12 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons salt-free chili powder
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 3 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
• ⅓ teaspoon sea salt

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the bell peppers, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a
time, to prevent vegetables from sticking. Add the tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook 10 minutes more.

Add the beans, corn, vinegar, lemon juice, half of the cilantro, and the salt. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the chili thickens.

If desired, garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve hot.

Easy Peanut Sauce

Mix stir fried vegetables, a cooked protein source, and whole wheat noodles with this delicious sauce for a complete meal.

• 1⁄2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
• 1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1⁄4 cup brown rice syrup
• 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and whisk together well. Sauce can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

No Bake Granola Bars

“I always make a double batch and put some in the freezer. When my kids want granola bars, I feel better about giving them a snack where all the ingredients come from by cupboard!” – Maggie

½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ cup virgin coconut oil
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
¼ cup unsweetened coconut shreds
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
½ tsp coconut oil

Add peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon to saucepan on medium heat. Stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in oats, flaxseed meal, chia, almonds and shredded coconut.
Once combined place in 8”x4” baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Press firmly into pan.
In original saucepan melt ½ tsp coconut oil and dark chocolate chips. Once melted, drizzle chocolate over bars.
Cover pan with foil and place in refrigerator until hard, 30 to 60 minutes Remove from frig and cut bars.

Yield: Approximately 8 servings

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

“This is an excellent meat free option the whole family can enjoy. Play with the toppings, cheeses, and choice of bread to make it your own. You can also grill, skip the cheese and add to a salad!” – Heather

4 portobello mushroom caps
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1½ tsp steak seasoning
4 thick slices red onion
4 oz thin sliced, reduced fat Swiss
4 thin slices tomato
1/2 avocado (sliced thin)
baby spinach
4 whole wheat, low calorie buns

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil, rosemary, and steak seasoning. Place mushrooms in the bowl and toss to evenly coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, turning a few times.
Heat the grill or grill pan over medium heat. When hot, brush the grill grate with oil or lightly spray the grill pan. Place the mushrooms on the grill. Reserve marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until tender. Frequently brush with marinade. Top mushrooms with cheese during the last minute of cooking. While mushrooms cook, grill onions for about 1 minute per side. Grill the buns until toasted. To finish, place the spinach and grilled portobello mushrooms on buns. Top with grilled onions, sliced tomato and avocado.

Serving: 1 loaded burger / Calories: 295 cal, Carbs: 31g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 13g, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 6g

Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls with Avocado Salsa

1 ½ cups dry quinoa
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
1 2/3 cups frozen corn, warmed*
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, warmed with liquid then drained*
Non-dairy/vegan cheese*

Avocado Salsa
3 medium roma tomatoes, diced
1 ½ medium avocados, diced
1/2 cup chopped red onion, rinsed
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
* optional ingredients

In a saucepan stir together quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Remove from heat. Let rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a grill (indoor grill, panini press, or stove top grill pan) to 425 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to an even thickness. Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season using all of the chili powder mixture. Grill chicken about 4 minutes per side or until center registers 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover, and let rest 5 minutes. Cut into pieces. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Prepare avocado salsa by tossing together tomatoes, avocados, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide quinoa equally among serving bowls. Top with chicken, corn, black beans, cheese, avocado salsa. Serve immediately.

Cilantro-Cashew Dressing

Whip us this dairy-free dressing in 5 minutes! Use it on your salad, drizzle over a pizza, or even as dip tor tortilla chips.

• 1⁄2 cup cashews
• 1 cup fresh cilantro
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1⁄2 in. piece serrano pepper, seeded
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
• Sea salt, to taste

Using a blender of food processor, blend the cashews with 3⁄4 cup water until it reaches a creamy texture. Add the cilantro, lemon juice, serrano pepper, garlic, hot sauce (if
using), and salt. Continue blending until smooth and fully combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Recipe from Darshana Thacker

Snow Blizzard Smoothie

By: Josh Dolph
“This snow blizzard smoothie is appropriate for the season. It can be a nice change from all those kale or berry smoothies. Enjoy for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.”

2 cups plain yogurt, regular or Greek
2 cups milk, dairy, non-dairy, or almond
1 banana
1 apple
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
ice (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender. Add ice if desired. Blend to desired consistency.

"Did you know" Fun Food Facts

By: Heather Bucksner

  1. The serving size for nacho cheese Doritos is eleven chips. Eleven. Chips. Really? 150 calories.
  2. Those little fruit stickers are edible. Like the stickers on apples. Yep, apparently you can eat them.
  3. Hydrate! 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
  4. Potato skins have six grams of protein per 100 grams.
  5. Eggs have thirteen grams of protein per 100 grams.
  6. Bananas contain 450 milligrams of potassium. The recommended dietary amount for adults is 3,500 milligrams per day. Time to munch a bunch.
  7. Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.
  8. Variety inspires. Challenge yourself to eat a new fruit or vegetable each week. Find something off the wall.
  9. Apples are made of 25% air, which is why they float.
  10. Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the top of your mouth. (Yes, this is a real fear.)
  11. It may not taste as good as Yoplait or frozen yogurt, but greek yogurt has double the amount of protein in it than all those other leading brands. So, walk past the Go-Gurt and grab the Chobani. It’s worth it.

Berry Smoothie

Berry Smoothie
“Stay on top of your workout nutrition This smoothie is loaded with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and probiotics.” – Josh

• 12 ounces of water or milk
• 2 cups mixed berries
• ½ cup plain, low fat yogurt
• 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Combine all ingredients in blender. Add ice if desired. Blend to desired consistency.

Serving: 1 smoothie / Calories: 500, Carbs: 54g, Protein: 57g, Fiber:14g, Fat:11g

Pineapple Fried Rice


4 cups cooked brown rice (chilled)
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 red pepper, diced
¾ cups green peas
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
½ cups red onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp tamari
1.5 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp hot sauce
½ tsp ground ginger

Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Quick fry pineapple chunks for about 5 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
In the same pan cook the bell pepper and onion. Transfer cooked peppers and onion to the same bowl as the pineapple.
Place the red cabbage into the pan and cook until it starts to wilt. Add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.
Next add the cooked rice and peas. Mix together. Pour in the sauce and warm.
Remove from heat and add the peppers, onions, and pineapples back in. Mix together gently.
Top with fresh cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds or a splash of lime juice.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

By: Heather Bucksner
“Even my kids enjoy this low carb, healthier version of the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Plus, it is a super easy recipe. It’s great for the winter months. I use vegan meatballs, but it would work with the meatball of your choice.”

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
1-2 jars of spaghetti sauce of choice
1 lb frozen meatballs

Wash the spaghetti squash. Carefully cut the squash in half, length wise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes. Toss the seeds in the trash. Place the squash, cut side down into a large crockpot (6 qt+). Pour the sauce around the sides of the squash. Place meatballs around the sides in the sauce. Cover with crockpot lid. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. The squash is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork.  Use tongs, carefully remove the squash from the crockpot and place on a plate. Use a fork to pull out all the squash from the shell. Plate the desired servings of squash and discard the shell. Using a large spoon, scoop the sauce and meatballs out of the crockpot and place on top of the squash. Enjoy! Yield: Approximately 4 servings

Greek Goddess Pasta Salad

“Perfect for picnics, work lunches, or potlucks. This healthy salad doesn’t sacrifice flavor!” – Maggie

  • 12 oz. zita pasta, cooked 3 green onions, fine dice
  • 1 small carrot ( about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 orange bell pepper, fine dice
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, diced
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbs Green Goddess dressing (sold at any grocery store)

Cook Pasta according to instructions on package. Rinse with cold water, shake dry and place in a large bowl. Add prepared veggies (green onions, carrots, pepper, cucumber, tomatoes) to the pasta bowl. Add salad dressing. A little goes a long way, start with 1-2 tablespoons and add as needed.

Strawberry Lemonade Protein Shake

“Beat the summer heat with this nutritious but yet light protein shake. During the summer months, it can be hard to get down those hearty and heavy protein shakes with the warm temperatures. This strawberry lemonade protein shake is a great way to have a refreshing drink after a tough workout, while still meeting your protein needs.” – Josh

  • 8-12 ounces of water
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Stevia 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend to desired consistency. Enjoy.

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