Garbanzo Bean and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing

Garbanzo Bean and Spinach Salad

Although, the list of ingredients for this deliciously healthy salad seems long, it contains items most commonly found in the refrigerator and the pantry. I found this easy to make salad in Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave, The Taunton Press, 2008. Ellie used to have a show on the Food Network, featuring healthy recipes. It is a shame that her show in no longer on, because she had the only show of this type on the network!


I seem to gravitate towards recipes that contain garbanzo beans, cumin, cayenne pepper and lemon juice! This salad is a wonderful mixture of flavors and textures! Fortunately, most of the ingredients I used were organic and were bought at my local Trader Joe’s. The only change I made to this recipe was I omitted the orange zest, because oranges didn’t look great at the market. Believe me, you won’t miss it, because the salad was so tasty without it!



  • 1 (15 ounce) can organic garbanzo beans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon organic ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons organic plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon organic honey
  • 2 ounces organic baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped organic fresh mint


  1. Using a medium bowl, mix together the beans, parsley and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, zest, cumin and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over bean mixture and toss well.
  3. Using another small bowl, mix together yogurt, orange juice and honey.
  4. Serve bean salad over a bed of spinach leaves. Top with yogurt sauce and garnish with mint. 4 servings.



Healthier Iced Peach Tea

Decaf Iced Peach Tea with Stevia

With the start of summer, it is not difficult to find delicious iced tea or lemonade recipes. The problem is they are usually full of sugar and with iced tea, lots of caffeine. For the moment, my husband must avoid caffeine and we want to avoid sugary drinks, which are bad for our health and teeth. As a dental hygienist, I am very concerned about the acid content of drinks. The best drink, of course, is water, but it can be boring at times! We both enjoy water infused with fruit, but after a while that even gets monotonous. There is herbal tea, but….. So what can one drink occasionally as a treat, without too much sugar, acid or caffeine?

At Trader Joe’s I found a decaffeinated black tea, which has under gone “a very gentle process with natural water and effervescence.” I also found a peach juice sweetened with other fruit juices, instead of high fructose corn syrup. So I decided to put the two together to make a “healthier” peach tea sweetened with organic Stevia. Using 2 cups (16 ounces) of Dixie Peach Juice and 40 ounces of the black tea, the total calorie count came to 260 calories for 56 ounces of my iced peach tea!

Decaf Ice Peach Tea with Stevia


  • 5 Trader Joe’s Decaffeinated Irish Breakfast Black Tea bags
  • 40 ounces water
  • Organic Liquid Stevia (I used 12 drops)
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s Dixie Peach Juice
  • Yellow peaches slices for garnish
  • Lemon slices for garnish
  • Lots of ice cubes


  1. Using a medium pot, bring water to a boil and turn the heat off. Add tea bags and steep for 3 minutes.
  2. Cool tea and refrigerate in a pitcher until cold.
  3. Add peach juice and Stevia and stir thoroughly. Add ice cubes.
  4. Add ice cubes and fruit slices into tall glasses. Pour tea into glasses and serve.

Decaf Iced Peach Tea with Stevia

Organic Spicy Sautéed Kale and Garbanzo Beans

Organic Spicy Kale and Garbanzo Beans

Since I started blogging, I have become a lover of kale, especially when I can buy it organic, cut, washed and ready to use! In this hearty side dish, the garbanzo beans helps to balance out the slightly bitter taste of the kale along with the garlic and red pepper flakes. There are only six ingredients to make this tasty and healthy side! I found this wonderful recipe on the Williams Sonoma, Vegetable of the Day, by Kate MacMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).



  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 package (10 ounces) Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale
  • 1 can (15 ounces) organic garbanzo beans
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt


  1. Warm olive oil over low heat in a large non-stick frying pan. Add garlic and stir frequently, until soft, but not brown for a few minutes.
  2. Place half of kale in frying pan. Cover pan and let kale wilt for a few minutes. Add remaining kale and stir, until kale is coated with olive oil. Cover and cook, until kale is tender for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in garbanzo beans. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until beans are heated through. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


Chicken Quesadillas


The other day I had some delicious chicken quesadillas at the California Pizza Kitchen. I thought they would make a wonderful appetizer for our Super Bowl Party. Besides chicken, their quesadillas contain cheese and black beans. The perfect cheese to use is the organic Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese I get at Trader Joe’s, because it is just a bit spicy. I was able to use almost all organic ingredients, except for the chicken. Flour tortillas can be replaced with gluten-free tortillas. So here is my recipe for some yummy and simple to make appetizers! (This can easily be adjusted to make more or less quesadillas).




  • 6 Trader Joe’s Organic Wheat & Corn Flour Tortillas
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Organic Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
  • 1 can (15 ounces) organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 Grilled Chicken Breast Tenderloins with Cilantro and Lime Juice, chopped into small cubes (posted in an earlier blog)


  1. Spread some cheese lightly over half a tortilla. Then add some black beans and chicken. Finally, add another light layer of cheese. Fold tortilla in half. Repeat 5 more times.
  2. Using a large nonstick frying pan, place the quesadilla in the pan. When one side in golden brown, flip over and brown the other side.
  3. Cut each quesadilla into 4 equal pieces and serve immediately. Makes 6 quesadillas.


Sautéed Kale


Before I started food blogging, I really only had kale in my green smoothies. Now, I frequently eat it in salads. It is naturally high in Vitamins A and C and a great source of beta-carotene and lutein. So when I doing my bi-weekly shopping at Trader Joe’s, I bought a package of it. It was already cut, cleaned and ready to cook! I decided to sauté it like I do with spinach and it was delicious!



  • ½ package Trader Joe’s Kale or 5 ounces of salad size pieces of kale with stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Using a large nonstick frying pan, heat olive and sesame oils over low-medium heat. Sesame oil can become bitter at higher temperatures.
  2. Add ½ package, 5 ounces, of kale. Sauté, stirring frequently for about 8 to 10 minutes, until kale becomes tender. Kale has hardy leaves and takes longer to cook. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve hot or cold. 4 side servings.


Opal Apples


On my bi-weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I came across a “new” apple called Opal. It is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz and was discovered in Europe in 1999. In March 2010, the Opal brand apple made its debut in the United States and is grown exclusively by Ralph Broetje of Broetje Orchards in Washington. The conventional apples are in season from December through March, while the organic apples are available November through January. According to an article written by Tom Karst, in The Packer, Everything Produce, April 1, 2014, the Opal apple received the Non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms) verification.


What is unique about this variety is not only its sweetness and crispness, but the fact the apple does not turn brown after being cut. I must say that I have become a fan of this fruit and you can see how beautiful it is by the cross-section pictures. If you haven’t tasted this variety before, look for it the next time you are in the grocery store and buy a few. You won’t be disappointed! For more information about this yummy apple, click on the links below.


Open Face Salmon Salad Sandwich


Awhile back, I bought several cans of healthy wild Alaskan salmon at Costco. Yesterday, I finally decided to use it and made a salmon salad. Instead of using regular bread, I chose brioche toasts, which has fewer calories than bread. I reduced the amount of calories by substituting half the mayonnaise with plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Crunchy sliced cucumber took the place of lettuce. This is a delicious and light meal to whip up during the busy work week. For those who follow my blog, you know that my husband is a finicky eater and he gave me a thumbs up!


  • 1 (6 ounce) can wild Alaskan salmon
  • 2 tablespoons organic mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons organic plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 5 slices of Trader Joe’s Organic Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Trader Jacques’ Brioche Toasts
  • 24 sliced cucumbers (enough to cover the brioche toast)
  • Parsley for garnish



  1. In a medium bowl, break-up salmon with a fork. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, pickles and onion and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place 4 cucumber slices on top of the brioche, add enough salmon salad to cover the toast. Garnish with parsley. Repeat 5 more times. Makes 6 open face sandwiches.