Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, Chickpea

I’ll be the first to admit, there’s nothing ‘pretty’ about this dish but it is SO delicious and nutritious!  Instead of rice or potatoes, try this as a substitute.  I eat the three ingredients in this dish separately all the time prepared different ways but I thought long and hard about combining two uniquely (I’ve had spaghetti squash and quinoa, quinoa and chickpeas)…then decided let’s just go with all three!

The ingredients are savory and unexpected with feta cheese, herbs like sage and spices like turmeric.  I made this in a muffin pan and it scoops out easily with a tablespoon and stores well.  You can also make it as a casserole if you prefer.

So if you’re watching your carbs, need more protein and fiber, give this a try!

Feed the wellness in you!

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 12


  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 12 cup non stick muffin pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bake the spaghetti squash for 45 minutes to one hour, until skin can be pierced with a knife.
  3. Cook the quinoa according to the package in the vegetable stock; should be 10-15 minutes.
  4. Blend the garbanzo beans in a blender until the consistency of hummus.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the mixture to the muffin cups. There should be generous helpings in each.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Gently scoop out with a tablespoon and serve.

In Season Wellness – Papaya

In Season for your Wellness Papaya

Papaya is in season for your wellness from December through February. This is one of my favorite fruits eaten sliced with lots of lime.  They are very low in calories and is one of the fruits with the highest Vitamin C content.  It is also a wonderful source of Vitamins A, B, and potassium.

Try it ripe, use it in salsa or add to your smoothie.

Share your ideas.

For the wellness in you!

Weekly Wellness Tip – Sources of Protein

Whole Grains

How do you get Protein in your diet?

I am often asked this question. There are so many ways!  Although I don’t have a large source at one time such as a chicken breast that gives you approximately 23 grams of protein,  I eat whole grains throughout the day, even found in my snacks such as the Carrot Quinoa Mini Muffins I recently posted.

Many of you are looking to incorporate more protein in your diet even though you eat meat and fish.  I get a lot of my protein from whole grains and beans.  Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and natural nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions.  Unprocessed, they provide you with lots of protein and fiber.

Studies also show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases.  These benefits can only be realized as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.  So, in addition to you incorporating the usual Oats or Brown Rice in your diet, consider these great sources of protein.  The amount of protein listed is based on 1 cup of cooked whole grain.

Feed the wellness in you!

  1. Amarath            9 grams
  2. Black Beans      14 grams
  3. Bulgur                6 grams
  4. Chick Peas        12 grams
  5. Farro                  8 grams
  6. Kidney Beans   14 grams
  7. Millet                 6 grams
  8. Quinoa              9 grams

Carrot and Quinoa Mini Muffins

Carrot and Quinoa Mini Muffins1

Happy Monday!  It was a great weekend.  I took my children to see the movie, Paddington, and absolutely loved what they did with such a classic story.  London is one of my favorite cities and with a mother who was born in a British colony it really tugged at me with the setting brought to life, the memories of orange marmalade and the calypso band at the end of the movie.  Another highlight of the weekend was I had the pleasure of hosting a brunch for an awesome group of women.  And they allowed me to serve an all vegetarian brunch!  This is my second time offering a vegetarian menu to guests and it’s been a big success. Both times were to support my dear friend in her business as a CAbi consultant.  She brings her charm and the clothing and I create the venue.  That’s right up my alley.

I served eggs two ways – scrambled egg whites over spinach, black beans and freshly made salsa (cherry tomatoes, red onions, scallions, lime juice prepared the night before); scrambled whole eggs over the same combination and both were topped with cheese.  I also had pasta with roasted broccoli in a tomato sauce; finger sandwiches with hummus and cucumbers; and a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, chickpeas, blueberries and barbeque tofu with balsamic vinegar.

I loved watching everyone enjoying different, satisfying options.  I placed another treat on the table after all the aforementioned dishes were out – my carrot quinoa mini muffins.  I wanted to create a muffin that my whole family enjoyed because we all like different muffins.  Whole Foods has seen the end of me purchasing mini blueberry, banana and carrot muffins!  The kids even enjoy these muffins I’ve created because of the hint of dark chocolate.  No other questions asked!  They were a huge hit at the brunch and my platter was left with crumbs.  So try these out for a change – made with whole wheat flour and quinoa gives you additional protein and the carrots are an added benefit with beta carotene and Vitamin A.

Feed the wellness in you!

Carrot and Quinoa Mini Muffins

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 34 Servings


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed dark chocolate
  • Confectioner's Sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use a non stick mini muffin pan.
  3. Whisk your dry ingredients together.
  4. In another bowl whisk the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in your wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in the carrots, quinoa, apple sauce and dark chocolate.
  7. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin cups.
  8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  9. Let cool and turn muffins out of the tins.
  10. Serve slightly warm and dust with confectioners sugar.

Weekly Wellness Tip – Healthy Salad Bar Choices



Here are just a few tips to make your trip to the salad bar more nutritious!

  1. Always skip the iceberg lettuce at the salad bar!  It has very limited nutritional value and is mostly water. Use spinach or other green leafy greens as the base for your salad to get more iron and folate.
  2. Use balsamic vinegar instead of salad dressing – it’s only 15 calories per tablespoon.
  3. When eaten in moderation and paired with healthy foods, cheese is a great source of nutrients.  Just choose a lower fat cheese like feta to sprinkle on top (about 1 ounce).
  4. Add fresh blueberries instead of dried cranberries. Although you can get dried cranberries with no sugar added, they’re not at the salad bar.  Blueberries are naturally sweet and are a great nutritious substitute filled with antioxidants.
  5. Finally, if you want to maximize your trip to the salad bar – GO ORGANIC!

In Season Wellness – Pomegranates



Pomegranates are in season for your wellness from December through February. They are a wonderful source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and a good source of potassium.  What’s also great about pomegranates is that they have a long shelf life.  If stored in a cool area they will last up to a month and in the refrigerator up to 2 months.  If you haven’t had one this season, maybe never had one, or tried it once and didn’t like it, challenge yourself and add this to your fruits and vegetables list today.  Eat it right out of the shell, add it to cereal, yogurt, salad, sauces – be creative. 

Share your ideas.

For the wellness in you!

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Chickpea and Kale Stew


I often get inspired to create dishes while perusing the aisles of the grocery store, particularly Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  I shop at other grocery stores but I really love the layout of the Whole Foods produce section.  I fill my basket with the things that I need, then I take my time and look at fruits and vegetables that are new in season and consider how to incorporate them in my food.  At Trader Joe’s I enjoy looking at the wide variety of pre-packaged and frozen goods for ideas.  They have such unique freshly packaged food, dry and canned goods,  and an array of international cuisine.

My gym is around the corner from Trader Joe’s so I went there after working out last week to grab a few things.  While in the frozen aisle I looked at their Indian meals as I often do and saw a frozen meal of chickpea and kale stew.  I have combined these two main ingredients in soup before, but I loved the new thought of this married with an Indian flare as a stew.  Therefore, I gave life to the idea with this recipe.

I really love the way this evolved with the blend of spices I chose, and the sweetness of the Roma tomatoes adds a great balance.  Very fragrant and visually enticing. It also works well as a main dish or a side dish. I served it over brown rice made with light coconut milk and a side of mixed vegetables.

Here’s the recipe – go at it! Get your fiber, protein, Vitamins A, C and K!

Feed the wellness in you.


Kale and Chickpea Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 10 oz Kale, chopped and washed thoroughly
  • 2 cans Chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup Celery, minced
  • 5 Mini sweet peppers (variety)
  • 3 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 3/4 cup Red Onion, Chopped
  • 6 oz Tomato paste
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Cilantro (optional)


  1. Cook the kale in 3 cups of vegetable stock and a teaspoon of sea salt for one hour on a medium heat.
  2. Saute the celery, sweet peppers, garlic, ginger and red onion in two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and mix together.
  3. Add the kale along with the vegetable stock to the chickpeas.
  4. Add tomato paste, paprika, curry powder, 3 sprigs of thyme and a teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes.
  6. Stir periodically and watch your temperature as the chickpeas cook the sauce may thicken and stick.
  7. In the last 10 minutes add your chopped tomatoes.
  8. Turn off after 10 minutes and let it rest.
  9. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle cilantro on top.

Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Are you ready for some football?

It’s Super Bowl weekend, the parties are planned, gathering in front of the TV will begin and the trash talking will ensue all while noshing on party food – sliders, wings, pizza, dips, chips, and perhaps chili. I’ve always enjoyed chili because of its variety and ease of preparation. I’ve had a chili bar for  small to large gatherings and it’s an easy way of satisfying everyone. I’ll have different versions of chili with all the fixin’s laid out and you just help yourself to sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, nacho chips, green onions, cilantro, avocado and cornbread. That’s my list but I would love to hear yours!!

No matter what option I serve in addition to the vegetarian chili, everyone loves the veggie version just as much as they would one with meat. My version is an amalgamation of several chili dishes that I’ve made just without the meat.  I landed on the right combination to make you enjoy it as much as you would one with chicken or beef. I named it ‘Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili because all the ingredients work in harmony, it brings people together that wouldn’t normally eat a vegetarian version, and it is adeptly named as an homage to my hometown, Brooklyn NY. Let’s not minimize how nutritious this is – lots of vitamins, protein, fiber and so much more. And wait for it…the cooking directions are simple. You put all the ingredients in a crock pot on the low setting for 8 hours. Or try it on the stovetop on low heat for 4 hours. That’s it! It can cook faster on higher heat but I recommend slow cooking so all the flavors are infused. Try it out for a change.

Enjoy your weekend! Go Seattle! #RussellWilson

Melting Pot Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Serving Size: 6


  • 2 -3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 pkg Lightlife Protein Crumbles
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Green Peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put all ingredients in your crock pot or a large soup pot.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of the vegetable stock and observe whether it is too thick or requires a bit more liquid.
  3. Stir well.
  4. If cooking in the crock pot leave on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  5. If cooking on the stove top leave on low heat for 4 hours.
  6. Check on it periodically to stir.
  7. Taste, add salt as desired.
  8. Enjoy with all the fixin's!!