Your favorite foods can be more nutritious with the right preparation and cooking methods. Sometimes changing a couple ingredients – such as the type and amount of oil you use – can make a big difference in the overall nutrition of the dish. Healthy recipes can be quick, simple and affordable to make.

Spring Vegetable Sauté

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion (sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 3 new potatoes (tiny, quartered)
  • 3/4 cups carrot (sliced)
  • 3/4 cups asparagus pieces
  • 3/4 cups sugar snap peas, or green beans
  • 1/2 cup radishes (quartered)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill (dried)

1. Heat the oil in a skillet. Cook the onion 2 minutes, add the garlic and cook another minute
2. Stir in the potatoes and carrots. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook until almost tender, about 4 minutes.
3. If the vegetables start to brown, add a Tablespoon or 2 of water.
4. Now add the asparagus, peas, radishes, salt, pepper, and dill. Cook, stirring often, until just tender – about 4 minutes more.
5. Serve immediately.


Summer Squash, Italian Style

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 summer squash (large, thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sweet basil, fresh
  • 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese (grated)
  • salt and pepper (optional, to taste)

1. Using a large, ovenproof frying pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil to medium high.
2. Arrange squash in pan, add water and season lightly with salt, pepper and basil.
3. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until tender crisp.
4. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with remaining oil. Place under a preheated broiler and broil until cheese melts and browns slightly.
Tip: Add cut up fresh tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, eggplant, onions, or other vegetables in season.


Italian White Beans and Rice Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked or 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern or cannellini white beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Cook rice according to package instructions.
2. While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add garlic, onion, and celery and cook until soft, for about four minutes.
3. Add stock, tomatoes, and seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir in the beans, and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the cooked rice and serve. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Turkey Stuffed Cabbage

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion (small, minced)
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread (stale, crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (16 oz)
  • 1 onion (small, sliced)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 carrot (medium, sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons corn starch

1. Rinse and core cabbage. Carefully remove 10 outer leaves, place in saucepan, and cover with boiling water. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove and drain cooked cabbage leaves on paper towels.
2. Shred 1/2 cup of raw cabbage and set aside.
3. Brown ground beef and turkey and minced onion in skillet. Drain fat.
4. Place cooked and drained meat mixture, bread crumbs, water, and pepper into mixing bowl.
5. Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid, and add 1/2 cup of tomato juice from can to meat mixture. Mix well; then place 1/4 cup of filling on each parboiled, drained cabbage leaf. Place folded side down in skillet.
6. Add tomatoes, sliced onion, water, shredded cabbage, and carrot. Cover and simmer about 1 hour (or until cabbage is tender), basting occasionally.
7. Remove cabbage rolls to serving platter; keep warm.
8. Mix lemon juice, brown sugar, and cornstarch together in small bowl. Add to vegetables and liquid in skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and clear. Serve over cabbage rolls.


Spinach and Meat Cakes

  • 1 pound ground beef, or turkey, 7% fat (93% lean)
  • 2 bunches spinach (washed and cut into pieces may substitute a 1-pound bag of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained)
  • 1/2 onion (small, finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • black pepper (to taste)

1. Preheat frying pan (no oil).
2. Combine all ingredients except brown rice in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
3. Form mixture into 12 small balls. Place in frying pan and flatten into patties using a spatula.
4. Cook over medium heat until cooked on both sides.
5. Serve over brown rice.