“If it’s good…spit it out”

I disagree. This kind of negative view on “diet” really does bother me. I bet there’s at least 1 idea in this blog that tastes “good”.

I work with the Tennessee Coordinated School Health program and recently I’ve been participating in Chef Night. This is a night where school children and their families can come to sample tasty dishes and snacks and learn about eating healthier. My group was in charge of making smoothies but there were several other groups, all with different treats.

Fresh Fruit Salad
Spring Veggie and Garbanzo Bean Salad
Healthy Granola

Warm Kale and Green Bean Salad

Strawberry-Cream Cheese Snacks
Orange Dream Smoothie

 Fresh Fruit Salad

  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes
  • Berries (like strawberries)
  • Cantaloupe

Cut up fruit in bite-size pieces and mix together. Store in an air-tight container and keep it in the refrigerator. Perhaps you could even dress it up with a little whipped cream.

Spring Veggie and Garbanzo Bean Salad

  • 10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored and 1/2 inch diced
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and 1/2 inch diced
  • 1 yellow squash, 1/2 inch diced
  • 16 ounces can of chickpease, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups feta cheese

Place scallions, tomatoes, squash, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint and basil in a large bowl and toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil to produce an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat. Crumble feta, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss gently.

It’s okay to try out other dressings…Italian, Vinaigrette…get creative!

Healthy Granola

  • Oat and honey granola cereal
  • Craisins
  • Golden raisins
  • Dried blueberries
  • Dried apples
  • Banana chips
  • Dried apricots

To make a decent size batch for a small group of people, I would combine 4 cups of granola with a cup of each of the other ingredients.

Warm Kale and Green Bean Salad

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch kale (about 1/2 pound), rinsed, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the green beans, salt, pepper and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Try using spinach or Swiss chard instead of kale. Add a splash of vinegar for extra flavor.

Strawberry-Cream Cheese Snacks

  • 1 box of Wheat Thins
  • 2 cups of sliced strawberries
  • 8 ounces of light cream cheese or neufchatel

Spread a small amount of cream cheese onto Wheat Thin and top with a sliced strawberry.

I think the fruit infused Philidelphia Cream Cheese would be perfect or combine 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 cup sugar to the plain type.

Orange Dream Smoothie

  • 4 cups of ice
  • 1 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained and frozen
  • 12 ounces non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 6 ounces orange juice

Blend to perfection. Use a blender. There’s no way you can’t.


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