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.

Farmers Market Gazpacho

  • 2 cucumber (diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 3 red bell pepper (seeded and diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 3 green pepper (seeded and diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 4 celery stalks (diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 2 tomatoes (diced into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups tomato juice, low-sodium
  • 3 garlic clove (fresh minced)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (ground)
  • 1 cup cilantro (fresh chopped)
  • salt and pepper (to taste, optional)

1. Combine all ingredients except salt, pepper and lemons in a bowl.
2. Remove 2 cups of the mixture and reserve.
3. Using a blender or food processor, puree the remaining mixture in the bowl.
4. Add 2 cups of reserved mixture to the pureed mixture.
5. Season with salt, pepper (optional) and the juice from the lemons.
6. Cover mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
7. Serve cold, garnished with chopped cilantro.


Spring Risotto

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup frozen shelled soybeans
  • 3/4 taspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add asparagus, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain. Bring 2 cups water and chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in rice, soybeans, and salt; cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture; cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed before adding more (about 20 minutes total).
3. Stir in asparagus, cream cheese, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Spoon 1 cup risotto into each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly with thyme.


Caribbean Casserole

  • 1 onion (medium, chopped)
  • 1/2 green pepper (diced)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic poswer
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice (instant, uncooked)
  • 1 can black beans or beans of your choice (16 ounces)

1. Sauté onion and green pepper in canola oil, in a large pan, until tender. Do not brown.
2. Add tomatoes, beans (include liquid from both), oregano, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil.
3. Stir in rice and cover.
4. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.


Baked Pork Chops

  • 6 pork chops (lean center-cut, 1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 onion (medium, thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cupgreen pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red pepper (chopped)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Trim fat from pork chops. Place chops in a 13×9-inch baking pan.
  3. Spread onion and peppers on top of chops. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Cover pan and cook 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover, turn chops and re-cover with onions and peppers, and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Garnish with fresh parsley.


Polenta with Pepper and Cheese

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup corn meal (or polenta, uncooked)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn mixed with green and red peppers (11 ounces, drained)
  • 1 can green chilies (7 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 6 ounces cheese, cheddar, reduced fat, shredded
  • 1 can black or pinto beans (15 ounces, rinsed)
  • Garnish:
  • cilantro sprigs
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into rings)

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring the water to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal or polenta. Reduce heat to low.
2. Continue stirring; add the corn, chilies and the salt. Cook 6-8 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
3. Gently stir in the margarine, cheese and beans.
4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.
5. Garnish with red bell pepper rings and cilantro.