Healthy and Fresh Recipes

Taking an appetizer to a dinner party or picnic this weekend? If so, here's a great recipe to try that travels well too. Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab courtesy of


  • 3 long cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (use reduced fat for lower-cal version)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use reduced fat for lower-cal version)
  • 3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or tapito)
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs minced green onion
  • Garnish with chili powder or paprika if desired


  1. Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese with a fork until well combined. add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.

Experiment with different dips in the cucumber cups like hummus or a Greek yogurt spread. Enjoy!

Margherita Pizza on the Grill from Good Housekeeping

margherita pizza

When cooked on the grill, homemade pizza becomes a gourmet affair. This version resembles a margherita pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.


  • 1?pound fresh pizza dough
  • 6?ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4? plum tomatoes, sliced
  • .25?teaspoons salt
  • .25?teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • .5?cups sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1?tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • Prepare outdoor grill for covered, direct grilling on medium-low.
  • Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. On one end of oiled cookie sheet, with fingertips, spread and flatten 1 piece of dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. (Edge does not need to be even.) On same cookie sheet, repeat with another piece of dough. Repeat with a second oiled cookie sheet and remaining dough.
  • Place all 4 pieces of dough, oiled side down, on hot grill grate. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until grill marks appear on underside (dough will stiffen and puff).
  • With tongs, turn crusts over. Working quickly, arrange one-fourth of mozzarella, one-fourth of tomatoes, salt, and pepper on each crust. Cover grill and cook pizzas 3 to 4 minutes longer or until undersides are evenly browned and cooked through.
  • Transfer to cutting board; sprinkle tops of pizzas with basil, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Cut into wedges. Makes 4 servings.


Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Basil Bruschetta from's Farm Stand Recipes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill

  • 4 bell peppers halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

  • 4 thick slices whole-wheat country bread

  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Heat grill to high; lightly oil grates. Place peppers on grill skin side down; cover. Cook, moving peppers on grill as they char (keep skin side down), until skin is charred all over and peppers are crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.

  2. Immediately transfer peppers to a medium bowl and cover bowl with a towel or a plate; let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, use 1 tablespoon of oil (divide evenly) to brush one side of each slice of bread. Place oil side down on grill and cook until toasted, about 1 minute.

  4. Remove peppers from bowl and, using a paring knife, scrape off charred skin. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. In a medium bowl toss pepper strips with remaining tablespoon oil, vinegar, feta, and basil; season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture evenly onto the grilled side of each slice of bread.

Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches from

Eggplants and onions are caramelized in the oven then refreshed with a sprinkling of lemon juice and chives. For a gourmet spin on this roasted veggie sandwich, slather the bread with pesto* on one side and rosemary cannellini bean spread* on the other


  • 2 medium eggplant, quartered & cut into 1/4 inch slices

  • 2 red onions, quartered & cut into 1/4 inch slices

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons chives

  • 1 loaf sourdough or country white bread, cut into 12 slices


Preheat an oven to 450. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper or foil.

Toss the eggplant, onion, olive oil and salt together in a large bowl. Spread the coated veggies on the prepared baking sheet in 1 layer. Shake the pan to make sure the vegetables lie flat and have the maximum possible surface area exposed.

Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the veggies become soft and fragrant. With a spatula, flip the vegetables so that they brown on the opposite side. Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 10-20 minutes or until the vegetables are caramelized and browned.
Transfer the caramelized vegetables to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and chives until thoroughly coated.

Lay 6 slices of bread on a work surface. Divide the eggplant among the slices. Slather the remaining bread with the rosemary cannellini bean spread, if using, and close the sandwiches.

* See for chive pesto and cannellini bean spread recipes.

Summer Fruit Punch Cocktail from Eatingwell.comdrink

Preparation Time: about 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 cups diced stone fruit, (apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines)
  • 2 cups apricot juice
  • 2 cups sparkling wine
  • 1 cup seltzer

Combine diced fruit, apricot juice, sparkling wine and seltzer. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Non-alcoholic version: Substitute sparkling cider for the wine.


Best Vegan Mac & Cheese in the World from

Preparation Time: about 8 minutes; Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1 1/2 pounds pasta, preferably macaroni "Cheese" Sauce:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk

1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 cup water

1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce

1/4 (12 ounce) block firm (not silken) tofu

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon vegesal or in lack of fancy product, just use salt

1 dollop mustard, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil water in a big pot and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Add all of the "cheese" sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Once pasta is cooked, drain and put it in the baking pan (about the size of a brownie pan). Pour the "cheese" sauce over the pasta.

3. Bake until the top of the pasta looks slightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes.

This is very simple and tastes amazing! If you are cooking for yourself, it will last about 5 days if you eat it for all three meals of the day.

Quinoa with Blood Orange and Basil? from

Makes about 8 half cup servings

1 cup dry Quinoa (prepare according to package directions)
Handful chopped fresh Basil + some for garnish
1/2 Lemon or 1 Tbs Lemon juice
Juice from 1/2 Navel Orange (any “orange” Orange) or a few tbs Orange Juice
Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Chopped Green Onion (Scallions)
A few pinches of the following spices:
Ground Black Pepper
3 Blood Oranges: cut into small pieces with pith and seeds removed

Prepare quinoa according to package. Let it cool and toss with all of the above ingredients. Add the sliced blood orange last so they don’t break up too much when you combine. This is best served at room temperature or chilled.

1. Toasted nuts: Add some walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, almonds, etc.
2. Cheese: Top with Chevre (creamy goat cheese), Feta, good sliced Parmesan, Romano, Gruyere, etc.
3. Dried Fruit: Toss in some chopped dried Apricots, Cranberries, Cherries, etc.
4. Have a few ounces of quinoa with cheese or nuts for a mini meal.
5. Toss with mixed greens and some lean protein for a balanced salad.
6. Use as a bed under your favorite lean protein. Serve with a side of steamed veggies.
7. Use unseasoned quinoa for breakfast instead of oatmeal. Serve with any toppings you would put on your oats.


Shrimp Scampi with Linguini from


  • 1 pound linguini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.


Corn and Black Bean Salsa

1 can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, half a palm full
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, eyeball it
Cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve. The corn will also place a quick-chill on this easy side-salad as it defrosts -- no need to refrigerate!

Mouthwatering Black Bean Chipotle Burgers

Makes 6 to 8 burgers

1 1/2 cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over (*see note below for quick version)blackbeanburger
1-inch piece of kombu
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
6 to 8 burger rolls
1 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
Avocado slices, for serving (optional)

*Note:To save time, canned beans may be substituted. The HSUS suggests using 3 cups of cooked canned beans instead of dried beans, and eliminating the kombu, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of the salt. If using canned beans, skip Step 1, follow the quick version of Step 2 below, then go to Step 3.

Quick Version Step 2. Saute the onions. Put the beans, onions, chipotle powder and the pepper in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let cool.


To prepare the mixture
1. Put the beans into a saucepan or bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by about 2 inches. Cover with a lid and soak the beans for at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse.
2. Put the beans, kombu, onions, chipotle powder, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the mixture by about 3 inches and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours). Most of the liquid should be absorbed by the beans, but add a bit more water if they seem too dry. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the kombu and bay leaves.
3. Meanwhile, put the rice and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat, stir once, cover, and simmer until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender (about 35 to 40 minutes). Remove from the heat and let stand (covered) for 10 minutes.
4. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and season with pepper. Cook the pumpkin seeds, stirring and shaking the pan, until they are lightly toasted (3 to 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.
5. Combine the rice, beans, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth, adding the reserved cooking liquid from the beans as needed to keep the mixture moist enough to stick together.
6. Return the mixture to the bowl, mix everything together, and form patties about 3 1?2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.

To cook the patties
1. To bake the burgers, preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and place the burgers on it. Brush the burgers with oil and bake until browned (20 to 30 minutes total), turning the burgers halfway through cooking.
2. To pan-fry the burgers, coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for about 4 minutes per side.
3. To grill the onion slices, lightly brush them with olive oil and saute over medium-high heat, 2 minutes per side.
4. Serve the burgers on toasted burger rolls with the onion slices and avocado slices, if desired.

Adapted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York's Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright ?2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, Calif.

Strawberry Basil Sangria from

  • ? lb of fresh strawberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 ounce of fresh whole basil leaves
  • 1 bottle of Cline Cellar's Cool Climate Chardonnay
  • ? cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1 cup of white grape juice

1. Trim and thinly slice the strawberries.
2. Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.
3. Score the basil leaves with a fork (instead of cutting the leaves into strips as you do not want guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink). Simply just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.
4. Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You'll see it turn a bit red.
5. Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms over Couscous


2-3 portobello mushroom caps (stems removed)
Fresh chopped basil
Sweet corn kernels
minced garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 cup whole wheat couscous

Brush 2–3 portobello mushroom caps with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes per side in a grill pan. Mix fresh chopped basil, corn kernels, peas, and minced garlic; drizzle with olive oil. Serve mushrooms and vegetables with 1 cup whole-wheat couscous.

Eggplant Burgers with Tzatziki from

2 medium eggplants or 3-4 Japanese eggplants, peeled
1/2 red or sweet onion, minced
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 1/4 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning

Take half the eggplant (1 medium or 2 Japanese), cube it and steam in in a pot using only about a half inch of water until soft. Drain and let cool. Once cooled, squeeze water completely out of eggplant and place in a large bowl. Mash the softened eggplant in the bowl until it reaches a chunky-smooth texture)

Shred the remaining eggplant (uncooked) using a box grater and combine with the steamed eggplant. Add other ingredients into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out mixture and place in a preheated skillet sprayed with nonstick spray or olive oil. Mixture will be soft so flatten and shape using your spatula. Cook over medium high heat until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Then flip and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Serve on whole wheat toasted English Muffins with homemade tzatziki sauce.