Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad


  • 14 oz raw top sirloin steak (should yield two 5-oz cooked servings)
  • 2 cups lettuce or mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (1 medium-large 3” x 2-¾”) yellow pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup (2 small 2-2/5”) tomatoes, wedged or sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Newman’s Own® Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Trim all visible fat from meat. Brush 1-½ Tbsp dressing lightly over one side of steak and over cut sides of peppers. Reserve remaining 1-½ Tbsp for later use. Place steak and peppers on grill, dressing sides down. Grill steak 5 minutes on each side or until medium doneness (160° F) and grill peppers 10 minutes (peppers do not need turning) or until al dente (tender-crisp). Meanwhile, place greens in 2 serving bowls; top with tomatoes and onions. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices; cut peppers. Arrange steak and peppers over salads. Drizzle with remaining 1-½ Tbsp dressing.


Nutritional Information

30 day challenge


Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


  • 1 lb (16 oz) portabella mushroom caps
  • 2 cups shredded moderate-fat mozzarella cheese (3-6 g fat per oz)
  • ½ cup (1 medium 2-3/5”) fresh tomato, chopped
  • ½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/8 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 350°F or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. In a medium-sized bowl, combine chopped tomatoes and shredded mozzarella; toss with ½ tsp of olive oil, rosemary,  black pepper, and garlic. Remove stems from mushroom caps and discard. Using a spoon, scoop out interior of mushrooms to create “mushroom bowls.” In a small bowl, mix ½ tsp olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Using a pastry brush, brush soy sauce mixture on both sides of mushroom caps. In the oven: Bake mushroom caps in oven until soft, then divide tomato and cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Cook an additional 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. On the grill: Once warm, grill mushroom caps, starting with stem-side down, 5 minutes on each side or until soft. Spoon ¼ of tomato and cheese mixture into each cap. Cover and grill about 2 minutes or until cheese has melted. (For easy cleanup, place a piece of aluminum foil directly on grill; lay mushroom caps on aluminum foil.) Garnish with cilantro. Each serving includes two mushrooms and ½ cheese and tomato mixture.


My 30 day Challenge

Nutritional Information

Paprika Spiced Cauliflower Soup


1/3 cup flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 egg
1 ½ tbsp. Hungarian hot paprika
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
1 small head cauliflower, large stem removed, cut into florets
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and finely chopped


1. Make the dumplings: In a bowl, stir together flour and salt; add 2 tbsp. butter, and using your fingers, rub into flour until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg, and stir until dough forms; refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Heat remaining butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add paprika and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, cauliflower, and carrot; season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a ½-tsp. measuring spoon, portion out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup; cook, stirring occasionally, until dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

3. To serve, ladle soup and dumplings into 4 serving bowls, and garnish with parsley.

The Ultimate Veggie Fried Rice

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, diced (¼ cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, crumbled or broken up
  • 2 cups leftover vegetables, beans, etc., optional

1. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Sauté onion, carrot, celery, herbes de Provence, and salt 10 to 15 minutes, or until well browned. Add a little more oil if pan seems dry. Add cooked rice, and stir-fry 5 minutes, or until mixture is hot and well combined.

Per 1-cup serving:

  • Calories: 189
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 308 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3 g

Twice Baked Potato Bites


  • 2 lbs. red new potatoes (about 14), halved
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup (vegan) chive and garlic cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, plus more for garnish  


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each potato half so they rest flat. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil; season with salt and pepper, and arrange bottom side down. Bake until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on sheet.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough, scoop out about a teaspoon from the center of each potato into a medium bowl. Add cream cheese and chives, and mash; season with salt and pepper. Stuff potatoes with filling. (To store, refrigerate stuffed potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, up to 1 day.)
  3. Bake potatoes at 450 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Garnish with chives.

Sesame-Ginger Steamed Broccoli

No steamer basket required for this recipe. A modest amount of liquid in a standard skillet steams the broccoli to perfection.

  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into medium florets (6 cups loosely packed)
  • 2 Tbs. mirin or sake
  • 1 Tbs. tamari
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds

Place broccoli, mirin, tamari, ginger, oil, and 1/4 cup water in large (2- to 3-qt.) skillet. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Steam 4 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender. Sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.

Per 1-cup serving:

  • Calories: 57
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Total Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 264 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1 g

Pomegranate: Fruit of the Gods… And for good reasons

The pomegranate, is a superfood with a long and rich history. Native to the East, it can be traced through historical documents as far back as 4000 B.C. The red fruit grows from pretty red flowers and is between a lemon and a grapefruit in size. The white flesh inside the thick skin is full of several hundred seeds.

The name pomegranate comes from Medieval Latin meaning “seeded apple.” It has been named in many ancient texts from the Book of Exodus in the Torah, the Quran, the Homeric Hymns, and Mesopotamian records, to name a few. The pomegranate originally came from Persia, or modern day Iran, and the western Himalayas. It has been cultivated for millennia in places such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia, and the Mediterranean region. It migrated as far east as China and Southeast Asia and was found along the Silk Road as a symbol of abundance and posterity. It is also grown extensively in Korea, Japan, and Latin America, having been introduced there by settlers or traders.

Pomegranates were highly valued in Ancient Egypt, and were part of the supply of fruits required in a pharaoh’s residence (1600 BC). It was revered enough to have been painted on walls and tombs to symbolize life after death. The pomegranate had many uses, including the fruit as food, the juice as a tonic to kill parasites, the blossom was crushed to make a red dye, and the peel was used to dye leather.

Most of us remember how Hades tempted Persephone with a pomegranate, and when she partook, it bound her to him as pomegranates symbolize the indissolubility of marriage. This is how Greek legend explains the seasons: when Persephone is in the Underworld with her husband, it is winter; when she rejoins her mother every year, we have spring.

Research and Nutritional Highlights…

The pomegranate became popular in the Middle Eastern civilizations 6000 years ago largely because its dense nutrition and juice provided sustenance for long journeys. The superfood status of the pomegranate has only grown in modern times as nutritional research has come to decipher and understand the true power of the pomegranate’s phytonutrients. India’s Ayurvedic medicine has used pomegranates as a source for traditional remedies for thousands of years. For example, the bark of the tree and the fruit rind is used to stem diarrhea, dysentery, bladder problems, mouth ulcers, and intestinal parasites while the seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart.

The seeds in their casings, or arils, are the most desired part of the pomegranate, and they are consumed raw. Pomegranate juice can be sweet or sour depending on the variety, but most are moderate with some astringent notes due to the acidic tannins. Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, pantothenic acid, potassium, flavonoids, and other natural phenols such as ellagitannins, a powerful antioxidant. The pomegranate also has unsaturated oils, fiber, and many additional micronutrients, if you eat the seeds.

Some miscellaneous uses of pomegranates many may not know include that it is often used as a bonsai tree and that pomegranate juice is sweetened and thickened to make grenadine syrup for cocktails.

Current research underway includes studies on how pomegranate components affect diseases such as diabetes, cancer, rhinovirus, the common cold, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, and brain injury.

Vegetable Broth/Consommé

2 Leeks — white part only,diced
1/2 sm Celery root (or 2 celery stalks) — peeled and diced
4 Shallots — coarsely chopped
1 lg Tomato — peeled and seeded
3 md Carrots — diced
3 Garlic cloves — coarsely chopped
3 Sprigs parsley
10 Basil leaves
10 White mushrooms — diced
1 Sprig thyme
2 Bay leaves
2 Sprigs cilantro
1 Shot of Sherry (optional)
Freshly ground Pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a stockpot, cover with 2 quarts cold water, and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a light simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep covered, and set aside to infuse for 20 more minutes. Strain the broth carefully through a strainer.

Carrot Soup


2 tsp butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1 T fresh ginger, chopped
1 lb carrots (pick a color, any color)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (white if you got it)
3 c Vegetable broth
1/4 c Orange Juice
Pinch Nutmeg, ground
4 T sour cream (optional)
Thyme (garnish)


1. Melt butter in large saucepan, Sauté onion and ginger for approximately 1 min, until ginger is fragrant. Add carrots, salt and pepper, cook and stir 2 mins.

2. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat ; cover and simmer until carrots are tender (about 30 mins).

3. Process soup in a blender until smooth. (Work in batches). Return to saucepan; stir in orange juice and nutmeg. Reheat, stir occasionally. Thin soup with additional broth, if necessary. (If you want a creamy consistency, thin with cream). Garnish with sour cream. and a few leaves of thyme.

Vegans: Replace butter with vegetable oil and omit the sour cream


Delicious, sweet yet tangy, kumquat fruit or cumquat(as the fruit generally recognized in Europe) is a winter/spring season delicacy. Although kumquats taste just like that of other citrus fruits, they are distinguished in a way that they can be eaten completely including the peel.

Kumquats are a small sized evergreen tree native to South-Eastern parts of mountainous China. A mature kumquat tree bears several hundred olive-sized, brilliant orange color fruits in the winter. The fruit resembles miniature orange with juicy segments.

The kumquat is cultivated in the United States, China and Japan. This sweet, tart fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber and vitamins C and A. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, which provides a full nutrient profile, one kumquat has 12 calories, .02g fat, 3.1g carbs and .4g protein. Kumquats also provide vitamin B, calcium, and riboflavin.

This tiny fruit is notable in many ways, but one of the kumquat’s greatest qualities is that it’s the only citrus you can eat whole — skin and all. Unlike lemons and oranges, whose white pith is unbearably bitter, the kumquat’s skin actually adds a pleasant sweetness, which is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the juicy flesh.

Kumquats are native and most popular in China, but they are also grown in the warm climates of California and Florida (among other Asian and European countries). They’re in season during the winter months, as most citrus fruits are, and add a nice bright flavor to the lineup of winter produce.

There are two main varities of kumquats — Marumi and Nagami. Marumi are less common, but if you come across them be sure to pick some up. They are round in shape, golden yellow in color and are just a bit sweeter and juicier than Nagamis. Nagamis are more oval in shape, about the size of an olive, have a deeper orange color, and are much easier to find.

One interesting fact about the kumquat: despite its resemblance to the orange, it isn’t always classified as citrus fruit. Some botanists place it in its own genus, Fortunella. Regardless of the classification, kumquats are one sweetly mouth-puckering fruit that you should enjoy all winter long.