Papaya Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lime and Basil Dressing


Making salads with Quinoa to take to a friend’s backyard party or just to have in the fridge is a sure-fire way to make sure that you are getting some plant-based protein into your diet.  Adding papaya to the mix will boost your fiber, vitamin C, iron and potassium and this simple recipe will help you do just that!

2 cups cooked quinoa – follow package directions but remember to rinse before cooking

1 cup of fresh papaya diced

1 lime juiced

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons of fresh basil minced

1/4 teaspoon of salt

pinch of ground nutmeg

Mix together in a small mason jar the lime juice, zest, honey, basil, salt and nutmeg.  Shake until honey is incorporated.  Toss cooled quinoa with papaya and dressing, chill and serve!  Light refreshing and oh so versatile.




Spring Garlic and Lemon Pepper Asparagus Soup!

It’s Spring and although we still have a few snow piles here and there and the temps haven’t stretched into the 50’s yet, I’m not going to let that get to me! Asparagus is out in full force in the markets and I’m going to eat every one of these luscious organic, tender, green vegetables I can get. (Even with the smelly pee comments from the hubs!)  I got a version of this recipe when I was cooking with my sister at an Easter dinner in NJ.  We love roasting veggies and this easy recipe was a perfect start to a Spring dinner. I guarantee that the color alone will put you in the warmer weather mood!

Healthy Living Market

Asparagus on ice at Healthy Living Market

You will need:

20 spears asparagus, trimmed

1/3 cup unsalted cashews

4 cups veggie broth

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper

olive oil

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

2 fresh lemon slices


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a parchment lined baking sheet layout the asparagus with lemon slices on top and cover with garlic.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle generously with lemon pepper and sea salt. Roast for 30 minutes remove from oven and cool. For garnish, cut off some of the asparagus tips and set aside.  In a blender add the rest of the cooled asparagus, cashews, the lemon slices minus the rinds and veggie broth.  Blend on high until smooth.  Taste to see if more salt and pepper is needed.


Reheat to serve but also nice served room temperature.  Garnish with reserved roasted asparagus tips.  Serves 4


*What we love about asparagus is its vitamin content. Full of K, E, C, B6 and A. It’s full of fiber as well as iron, copper, calcium and protein.  It tastes great and is easy to prepare.  Asparagus is a natural diuretic and it helps to remove toxins from your body hence the “smelly pee”. It’s just doing its job! So, grab some goodness next time you’re at the market!


Warming Vegetarian Curry Stew


Whenever I post pictures of this dish on social media, I get requests for the recipe so I finally decided to get off (or on) my duff and write it all down. This satisfying plant-based curry recipe is a one pot dish that can easily serve a family. Any leftovers can be frozen to pull out for an easy quick dinner later on.


2 tbsp. canola oil

2 sweet onions diced

2 minced cloves garlic

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 jalapeno pepper finely diced

1 ½ tbsp. curry powder

½ tbsp. red curry powder

1 can fire roasted tomatoes with juice

½ cup smooth peanut butter

4 cups low sodium veggie broth (more if needed)

3 cups diced butternut squash

1 can low sodium chickpeas drained

1 head cauliflower cut in bite size pieces

2 cups fresh greens such as kale, spinach or chard

Sea salt to taste

How to:

In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat canola oil and sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic, jalapeno, curry powders and ginger. Cook 1 minutes.


Stir in broth, tomatoes, and peanut butter. Add in squash, cauliflower, chickpeas and greens. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cooking for about 20 minutes until veggies are tender to the tooth. Add salt to taste. Serve over cooked rice or quinoa.

Perfect for those snowy days! Enjoy Tracy!

curryI would love to hear your thoughts on this dish.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe


It’s pumpkin season again and I know…It’s really pumpkin everything again!  When it comes to lowfat baking, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin!  It can take the place of butter, eggs or oil in a recipe to lighten it up.  1 cup of puree = 1 cup of oil,  3/4 cup of puree = 1 cup butter and 1/4 cup puree = 1 egg.

In this pumpkin bread recipe I didn’t use any oil (except for preparing the pan), butter or eggs.  (I added a little bit of white chocolate chips for my hubby, but he’s spoiled!)



2 Cups whole wheat flour – I used 1 cup spelt and 1 cup whole wheat flours

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbls cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup shelled unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/2 cup white chocolate chips (very optional!)


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray of choice. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, set aside.

In a mixer, cream together pumpkin and sugar. Add vanilla. Gradually, add in the dry ingredients alternating with the almond milk.  Fold in pumpkin seeds and if you have a spoiled person you’d like to accommodate, by all means add in 1/2 cup of white chocolate or caramel chips!

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 55 minutes, bread will be done when the enter springs back to the touch. Its a good idea to tent with foil for the first 40 minutes and then uncover for the rest of the baking time to prevent the top from getting overly browned.

Cool completely on a rack if you can wait!










Leon’s Mexican Restaurant – A Great Move

margaritas2 leons

Last Saturday evening, my hubby and I were going to SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater for an 8:00 curtain.  We thought we’d grab dinner out before the show.  Leon’s Mexican Restaurant was a standard in our dining-out repertoire for more than ten years. In the last 9 months and 9 weeks the restaurant has moved from Saratoga to Ballston Spa and we hadn’t ventured to the new place to see our friend and the owner, Roberta Acosta, and knew we had to stop in.  The reason I mentioned the 9 months and 9 weeks time period is because while Roberta was moving to her new venue, she found out that she was pregnant…..with twins!! We got to meet the beautiful 9 week old boys who were in the office under the care of their older sister, Luchiana.  Roberta, not only a great mother and restaurateur….. but a Superwoman!! (more…)

Quinoa Salad with Fresh Peas, Mint and Honey

Potato salad, macaroni salad, and pasta salad can get a little boring at all the cookouts this summer, not to mention time-consuming and covered in mayo.  I thought I’d give a fresh, simple and healthier quinoa salad a try.  (more…)

Rhubarb Ginger Cod Over Minty Spaghetti Squash

Recently, Rachel, my friend and Managing Editor of EdibleIndy, asked me if I would contribute a Pescetarian dish for her magazine’s website, it was a challenge I couldn’t resist!  (more…)

Leftover Cornbread? Orange Cornmeal Pancakes

Vegetarian cornbread

I am no stranger to cornbread!  The family restaurant served corn sticks, by the mass dozens, all my life and still does.  The smell of baking cornbread brings me back…..I can see Mr. and Mrs. Doescher, the bakers, pouring the rich batter into the antique cast iron baking molds. (more…)

Sweet Beet Hummus

Spring has sprung but it’s going to be a long time before we see fresh Spring veggies at the Farmers’ Market unless our farmers are utilizing their greenhouses. Fortunately, we still have our root veggies in abundance.  I made this hummus (using this term loosely) without tahini or sesame oil but added a few cashews to compliment the beets and to lighten it up for Spring snacking.  It’s lemony and sweet……so worth the stained fingers!Beet dip 3 (more…)

Fat Free Raspberry Scones

Scones last


I was instant messaged this morning by a long time friend, Sue, who sent me a recipe for Downton Abbey scones. The recipe was published in a New York Times special edition in honor of the series final season, premier episode, tonight on PBS.  If you are a baker or just enjoy a scone or two, you know how much butter is in the recipe and this one was no different.  Normally, I would jump on the idea of baking these scrupulous pastries (thanks Sue) but it’s been a long holiday season and my scale is feeling the pain!  Years ago, I visited a local bakery where they made a fat-free scone filled with berries and fell in love!  I researched recipes, tweaked them and finally came up with this one and I think you will agree it’s pretty good!

1 cup of oats

1 ½ cups of flour

2 ½ tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg white

½ teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup of fat-free Greek yogurt like Fage

1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix all dry ingredients and add egg white, vanilla and yogurt until combined.  Gently add in raspberries.  Form dough into a ball and place it on baking sheet and flatten the ball into an eight inch circle.  With a large floured knife, cut dough into eight pieces and pull apart about an inch in between.

scones prebake

scones prebake 2

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Get ready for the show! Pull out your china cups, bake up some scones and make a pot of tea.  You’ll feel like a Crawley with no regrets!