Carrot Hummus

Made of ground sesame seeds, tahini is commonly found in dishes of the Middle East, such as hummus. The addition of chopped carrots gives this hummus intensified color and sweetness.

Prep: 15 minutes Chill: 1 hour to 3 days Makes: 2 cups


 cup chopped carrots
15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
tablespoons lemon juice
cloves garlic, quartered
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon kosher salt
tablespoons chopped fresh
flat-leaf parsley


             Assorted dippers (such as toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, fresh vegetable dippers, and/or whole-grain crackers)


  1. In a covered small saucepan cook carrots in a small amount of boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender; drain. In a food processor combine cooked carrots, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and kosher salt. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Sprinkle top with remaining parsley.
  2. Cover and chill for 1 hour to 3 days. If necessary, stir in enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make dipping consistency. Serve with assorted dippers.

Nutrition facts per 2-tablespoon serving hummus:
58 cal., 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol.,
117 mg sodium, 8 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 2 g pro.


Tomatoes Stuffed with Quinoa, Cucumber, and Feta (Gluten-Free Option)

Start to Finish: 20 minutes using leftover quinoa, 1 hour if preparing quinoa

Yield: 4 servings

large tomatoes
1½ cups
toasted quinoa, cooked
½ cup 
cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut in small dice
scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon
parsley, chopped
¼ cup
feta cheese, crumbled
1 ounce
lemon juice
1 ounce
extra-virgin olive oil 
  1. Cut off the tops of the tomatoes. Using a paring knife, gently cut around the sides of the tomatoes to loosen the pulp. Gently scoop out the center of the tomatoes with a spoon or grapefruit knife, being careful not to poke through the sides. Save the pulp and juice. Season inside of the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the seeds from the pulp; chop up the pulp. Combine chopped tomato pulp, quinoa, cucumber, scallions, parsley, and feta cheese. Season with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff each tomato shell with ¼ of the quinoa mixture. 


Replace quinoa with farro, wheat berries, or bulgur.
Replace parsley with mint

To make a more substantial an entrée, add 4 ounces shredded roasted chicken to the filling. 

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
175 calories, 7 g protein, 9 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 19 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 8 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 8 glycemic load 

Grilled Asparagus Salad

Start to Finish: 20 minutes Yield: 2 servings

 12 ounces
fresh asparagus (thick spears), trimmed
1 tablespoon
extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon
kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons
lemon juice
1 tablespoon
extra-virgin olive oil
hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon
shredded parmesan cheese
  1. In a large bowl toss asparagus spears with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. For a charcoal grill, place asparagus spears crosswise on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender and slightly charred all over, turning occasionally. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place asparagus spears crosswise on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.
  3. To serve, transfer grilled asparagus to serving platter. Drizzle with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped eggs and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Broiler method:
Place asparagus on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to

5 inches from the heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, turning once halfway through broiling.

Culinary Notes:
When purchasing asparagus, look for stalks that are firm and crisp. The tips should be tightly closed and tight with no discoloration. The cut ends of the asparagus should not show any cracking or dryness. 

To store, cut ½-inch from the bottom of the asparagus; stand the stalks upright in a cup or plastic container with ½ inch of water in the bottom. 

To determine where the usable tender part of the asparagus is, hold the asparagus in your hand and gently snap off the bottom end of the asparagus. It will break at the start of the tender part.

If using extra-large asparagus, peel the asparagus stalk.


Asparagus with Pesto Vinaigrette

Stir in 1 tablespoon pesto with the lemon juice and olive oil.

Asparagus with Roasted Peppers and Spanish Paprika

Replace the chopped egg with roasted red peppers. Add 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika and a pinch of cumin and salt to lemon juice.

Asparagus with Soy Ginger Sauce

Omit the chopped egg. Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 chopped green onion, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon agave syrup. Sprinkle on hot asparagus. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. 

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
247 calories, 11 g protein, 20 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 214 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 0 glycemic load

Toasted Quinoa Pilaf

Start to Finish: 30 minutes Yield: 8 ½-cup servings

(Gluten-Free Option)

2 tablespoons
olive oil
2 cups
quinoa, rinsed, drained well
1 cup
onion, diced
1 tablespoon
garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons
thyme, chopped
2½ cups
water or stock
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and quinoa. Stir over medium heat to toast the quinoa. It will start to pop like popcorn and have a slightly nutty aroma. Add onion, garlic, and thyme; stir until aromatic.
  2. Add water; bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, let sit for 4 minutes, and fluff with a fork.

Culinary Notes:

Quinoa has a natural coating on the outside called saposin. It is bitter, so it is important to rinse the quinoa in water, then let it drain for a few minutes before toasting. If the grain is wet, it is more difficult to toast.

Quinoa can also be toasted by spreading it on a sheet pan and placing in a 350°F oven for 5–10 minutes, stirring periodically. 

It is important to let the grain sit for a few minutes once it is removed from the heat. This allows the grain to settle and slightly firm up. If you stir it immediately after it has finished cooking, it will mush up and become gummy.

This recipe can be the base for Cook Once/Eat Twice salads and wraps.


Add 1 cup diced roasted red peppers and 1 cup roasted corn; serve as a side vegetable.
Add 1 cup roasted butternut squash and 1 tablespoon parsley.
Add 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce (less if you do not like spicy foods), 1 cup diced canned green chiles, and 1 cup roasted corn.
Add 2 cups mushrooms sautéed with garlic.
Add ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 1 tablespoon basil.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
100 calories, 4 g protein, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 8.5 glycemic load

Chicken, Tomato, Basil, and Penne Salad

Start to Finish: 20 minutes, if using leftover pasta Yield: 4 servings (1½ cups each)

1 tablespoon
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon
garlic, sliced
3 cups
whole-wheat penne pasta or Barilla Plus Pasta, cooked
3 tablespoons
red wine vinegar
2 cups
tomatoes, seeded, diced
1 cup
chicken, cooked, shredded
1½ cups
baby spinach, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons
capers, rinsed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon
basil, chopped
scallions, chopped              
  1. Place olive oil and garlic in a small pan. Cook over low heat until garlic is tender, about 5 minutes. Place cooked penne in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Add cooked garlic and oil.
  2. Add tomatoes, chicken, spinach, capers, basil, and scallions. Add the remaining vinegar and toss well. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Culinary Notes:

Use leftover pasta and chicken.

If using freshly cooked pasta, after the pasta is drained, toss it with the vinegar and garlic while it is still warm.

Other pastas can be used in place of penne. Orzo, riso, gemelli, and macaroni all work well for this salad.

If the salad is prepared in advance, combine all ingredients but the spinach. Add the spinach just before serving. Also, adjust the season just before serving as the pasta will absorb a lot of salt and acid as it sits.


Add ½ cup feta cheese after the remaining vinegar is added. Do not overmix. The cheese will break apart.
Replace diced tomatoes with cherry tomatoes cut in half.
Replace baby spinach with arugula or spinach cut in 1-inch pieces.
Replace chicken with water-packed tuna.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
157 calories, 11 g protein, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 25 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 3 glycemic load

Broccoli Salad with Dried Figs, Walnuts, and Mint

Start to Finish: 25 minutes Yield: 4 servings

1 pound
broccoli, florets and stems
1 tablespoon
2 ounces
dried figs, cut in half lengthwise, then in ¼- inch pieces
1 ounce
walnuts, lightly toasted
scallions, sliced thin on a bias
1 tablespoon
mint, chopped
5 tablespoons
champagne vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fill a 2-quart pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt; bring back to a boil.
  2. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender. Place in ice water to shock. Let cool for 3–5 minutes; drain well.
  3. Peel and trim the broccoli stems. Cut stems in half lengthwise; slice 1/8 inch thin on a bias.
  4. Combine the broccoli florets, stems, and the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Toss well.

Culinary Notes:
Add the vinaigrette just before serving or the salad will discolor.
Use fresh figs when available, if desired.

Replace broccoli with cauliflower.
Replace dried figs with dried cherries or golden raisins.
Replace walnuts with pecans or hazelnuts.
Add 1 ounce goat cheese.

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
180 calories, 5 g protein, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 5 glycemic load