The Antioxidant Rainbow: Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Top Three Brain Foods in One Meal! The right diet can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer. But now health experts are finding that certain foods are beneficial to brain function. There may be no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but there are foods that play a positive role in overall brain health.

Discover a healthier cranberry sauce: MORE flavor, LESS sugar

We adapted a Cooking Light cranberry recipe that features half the sugar of classic cranberry sauce. Thanks to a trio of warm spices, this recipe takes cranberry sauce out of candy-sweet territory and into the world of robust holiday condiments. While it’s perfect on roast turkey, don’t discount this sauce’s zesty punch for pork or chicken. Apples counter the tartness of the cranberries and help the sauce thicken. The rustic chunky look of the two fruits is what makes the sauce beautiful and enticing. Spiced Apple-Cranberry Sauce Active Time: 8 minutes Total Time: 26 minutes Servings: 8 (serving size: about ¼ cup) Ingredients 1 (12-oz.) pkg. fresh cranberries, divided ½ cup light brown sugar 2 ½ Tbsp apple cider ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground cloves ¼ tsp nutmeg 1 cup chopped apple 1 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar ½ tsp kosher salt ½ tsp black pepper Directions Reserve ½ cup cranberries. Place the remaining cranberries and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-low. Add apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to cranberries and sugar in pan. Cook 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in apple and vinegar. Cook 8 minutes. Stir in reserved cranberries, salt, …

Black Bean Chili

During the frenzy of the holidays, we tend to put healthy meals on hold, but here’s a delicious recipe we’ve adapted from Prevention magazine that can help out. We love that it is made in a slow cooker, so dinner is ready when you rush through the door, exhausted after a marathon shopping day!

Quinoa Pilaf with Lemon & Herbs

Yield: 3 cups total; 4 (3/4-cup) servings Thanks to our friends at Tufts University, here’s a side dish recipe to liven up your dinner tonight. This colorful whole-grain pilaf is an excellent accompaniment to fish and chicken. If you have any pilaf leftover, toss in cherry tomatoes, scallions and whatever salad fixings you have on hand, moisten with lemon juice and olive oil, and you have a delicious quinoa salad. Ingredients 2 tsp olive or vegetable oil 1 chopped small onion 2/3 cup shredded carrot; 2/3 cup rinsed and drained quinoa 1 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or dill) 2 tsp grated fresh lemon zest 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste Directions 1. Heat 2 tsp olive or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 2. Add 1 chopped small onion and 2/3 cup shredded carrot; cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. 3. Add 2/3 cup rinsed and drained quinoa; cook, stirring, until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. 4. Add 1 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth; bring to a simmer. 5. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and most of …

Banana Oatmeal Muffins: All the taste and none of the guilt

These moist and flavorful muffins make a perfect on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack. Unlike tempting, empty calorie baked goods, this month’s healthy muffin recipe is tasty and guilt-free. Yogurt replaces some of the oil in the recipe and keeps the muffins moist. Consider freezing an extra batch to have on hand for those cold winter mornings or unexpected visitors.

Pecan Encrusted Tilapia

Adapted from a Washington Post recipe, this healthy and flavorful fish dish can transform a seafood skeptic or picky eater. It features a combination of pecans and Cajun spices, which give the mild, flaky-white tilapia a crunchy crust and punch of savory flavor. Yield: 4 servings INGREDIENTS 2/3 cup shelled, unsalted pecans 1/2 sweet/mild paprika 1/4 tsp granulated garlic (powder) 1/4 tsp dried thyme 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper 1 1/4 pounds tilapia fillets 1 tablespoon olive oil DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pulse the nuts in a mini food processor or mini chopper to the consistency of very small pebbles — but not as fine as sand. Transfer to a shallow bowl or a plate, then add the paprika, granulated garlic, thyme, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and stir to incorporate; this is your coating mixture. Press both sides of each fish fillet into the pecan mixture. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the fish and cook until the underside is browned about 3 minutes. Turn them over and cook for about 3 minutes, until the …

Pros offer quick and easy veggie recipes

Everyone knows that veggies are important for a healthy diet, unfortunately, they are often neglected. Want to break out of your boring veggie rut without spending hours cooking? Our friends at Tufts University took care of the culinary inspiration in a recent newsletter. Roast them. “If you roast vegetables, it concentrates the sugars naturally in the vegetables, so they caramelize and sweeten,” says Cyndie Story, Ph.D., RDN, a certified chef and culinary consultant in Scottsville, Kentucky. “People typically like the crunch of roasted vegetables, too.” To roast vegetables, Story advises cutting them into uniform pieces (so they cook evenly), then toss them in olive oil and spices (such as oregano, cayenne pepper, parsley or garlic powder) for flavor, and spread them on a sheet pan. Bake in a 350–400 degree F oven until tender. She uses the lower end of the temperature range when it will take longer (like 30–35 minutes) for the vegetables to soften, such as sweet potato wedges. But for vegetables that cook quickly, such as kale chips that may take 5–8 minutes, she bakes them at 400 degrees F. Add citrus. “Citrus goes a long way in seasoning vegetables,” says TJ Delle Donne, a certified executive …

Chocolate Cherry Walnut Energy Balls

Americans spend billions on energy bars containing ingredients that may or may not be healthy. Here’s a simple recipe that is sweet but full of healthful protein and energy stoking ingredients. Try these in place of your typical dessert, tuck them in a lunchbox or pack them up for your next road trip. It’s a sweet treat with minimal guilt. Ingredients ½ cup natural peanut butter 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp salt ¾ cup oats ¼ cup flax seed meal ¼ cup chocolate chips ¼ cup walnuts chopped ¼ cup dried cherries chopped Directions Stir in medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Stir in oats, flax, chocolate chips, walnuts and cherries. Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, roll into evenly sized balls and place on wax paper-lined baking sheet. Chill balls 30 minutes or longer to set before serving. Recipe Notes: Energy balls can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If they don’t form perfectly right away, keep rolling them between your hands. The warmth of your hands will release the natural oils in the walnuts, which will …

Wheat Berry Salad With Dried Apricots and Spicy Citrus Dressing

Looking for a sturdy salad that holds up to any summer BBQ, picnic or potluck that comes along? We’ve adapted a recipe from Tufts University featuring whole grains and sun-kissed dried apricots in a lively dressing. This salad contains wheat berries, which are the whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat. This tasty nutritious ingredient can be found in natural food stores and many supermarkets. They are a bit time-consuming to cook, but we’ve included a time-saving method below.