May 22, 2024

Nutrient-Packed Tomato Soup by Shirley Plant


Soup is a great go-to meal any time of the day! Check out this nutrient-packed Tomato Soup sure to please every member of the family.

Tomato Soup

•    1 tin whole tomatoes ( 798ml)
•    1/2 large onion, diced
•    1 large sweet potato, sliced
•    1 cup cauliflower, cut into pieces
•    5 cups vegetable broth
•    2 tsp sea salt
•    1 tsp thyme
•    olive oil
•    pinch pepper


1.    In a soup pot with a little olive oil saute onion for a few minutes.
2.    Add in all other ingredients, bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
3.    Puree with a hand held blender.


Recipe by Shirley Plant- Nutrition Coach and Author of Finally Food I Can Eat. Looking for the latest and most reliable information on all things health, food and nutrition? The Eat Real Food Summit is here. Get FREE access today. You won’t believe the lineup!

Check out her website via Follow her on Twitter via @sherrecipes

Refreshing Chocolate Smoothie by Helen Agresti, R.D.

Energizing Cacao/Chocolate Smoothie

This chocolate smoothie is long overdue.  Chocolate is our favorite superfood- thanks to cacao. The bean of the cacao plant is the main ingredient of all chocolate and cocoa products. What makes it a superfood?  It is naturally rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and fiber.  Cacao is low in calories and doesn’t contain any sugar.  We incorporated a date and some honey to naturally sweeten this deliciously energizing smoothie.  The flax meal and chia seeds offer additional fiber and staying power.  It’s perfect for refueling and replenishing after a workout.

Blend together…
•    2 c ice, crushed
•    ¾ c vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
•    2½ tablespoons 100% cacao powder, raw
•    1 date, pitted, finely chopped
•    2 teaspoons honey
•    1 teaspoon chia seeds
•    1 teaspoon flax meal
~Blend until smooth and enjoy drinking super!

Recipe courtesy of Helen Agresti, RD. Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to

Build a Simple, Satisfying Salad by Laura Maydak

Build a Simple, Satisfying Salad (& Examples to Get You Started):

It’s time to end your love-hate relationship with salads.  Learn to find the right balance between flavor and nutrition by following these tips:

1. Choose a Leafy Base (at least 2 cups)
- Darker greens are more nutritionally dense.  While iceberg lettuce isn’t bad, you get more nutritional bang per bite with darker greens.

2. Choose a Lean Protein (3 – 4 oz)
- Prepare your protein in a healthy way (grilling vs. frying), and don’t forget vegetarian sources – use these proteins alone or in combination.

3. Choose a Healthy Fat (1-2 serving – amounts vary by ingredient)
- Certain vitamins and phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables need fat for absorption – so don’t leave it out!  Keep serving size in mind, though – more isn’t necessarily better.

4. Bulk it Up with Fruits and Vegetables
- Pump up your salad’s color, volume, and nutritional value – just be cautious of the serving sizes for starchier vegetables.

5. Jazz it Up
- These toppings aren’t necessary, but they add extra flavor.  Some are higher in carbohydrates and fat than others – so consider your needs, and choose portions wisely.

6. Dress it Up
- Use citrus juice, vinegar, or olive oil-vinegar mix.  If using store-bought dressings, read the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredients to choose the best option.

Here are some examples to get you started:

- Base: Romaine
- Protein: Black beans and/or grilled chicken
- Healthy Fat: Avocado or olive oil-based dressing
- Bulk it Up: Carrots, corn, onions, peppers, tomatoes
- Jazz it Up: Cilantro, low-fat cheese
- Dress it Up: Lemon or lime juice (Bonus: This will help keep the avocado from browning!) or olive oil-based dressing

- Base: Mixed greens
- Protein: Chickpeas, tuna or salmon (Bonus: Fatty fish double as a protein and healthy fat)
- Healthy Fat: Fatty fish, olives, olive oil-based dressing
- Bulk it Up: Artichoke hearts, cucumber, peppers, red onion, tomatoes
- Jazz it Up: Low-fat/fat-free feta cheese, whole-wheat orzo
- Dress it Up: Vinegar or olive oil-based dressing

Roasted Vegetable:
- Base: Kale
- Protein: Grilled chicken or tofu
- Healthy Fat: Olive oil-based dressing or walnuts
- Bulk it Up: Roasted – Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes
- Jazz it Up: Low-fat cheese, wheat berries
- Dress it up: Lemon juice or olive oil-based dressing

Laura is currently a graduate student in the University of Pittsburgh’s Coordinated Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics program on her way to become a registered dietitian.  Connect with Laura on LinkedIn or on twitter (@lmaydak) for motivation and tips to live your healthiest, happiest life – all given with a healthy dose of humor.

Healthy Baked Potato Soup by Helen Agresti, R.D.

Healthy Baked Potato Soup

This recipe is easy, healthy, and doesn’t contain any heavy cream.  I enjoy the challenge of taking a calorie dense recipe and making it deliciously nutritious!  Potato skins add fiber and plenty of nutrients.  Enjoy the warming and comforting powers of this healthy baked potato soup.



5 lbs russet potatoes, diced not peeled
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
64 oz low-sodium chicken broth
8 oz  1/3 less fat cream cheese
3 (6 oz) low-fat plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar


Combine first 4 ingredients in a slow cooker, cook on low for 8hrs or on high for 4hrs.  Add cream cheese, yogurt, bacon bits, salt, and pepper.  Blend well with a handheld blender.  Serve warm, sprinkled with cheese and chives.

This recipe will most likely leave you with plenty leftover.  For future meals, you may want to add chicken or shrimp with vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or corn.

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to


Healthy Holiday Appetizer by Lisa McClellan

Hosting a dinner? Attending a party? Don’t panic! Here’s a simple, healthy and delicious go-to recipe, sure to please all the party guests. Enjoy!


Sweet Potato Dip Holiday Appetizer


What You Will Need

3 small to medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 15oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 T. of fresh lime juice (About a lime and a half)
1 t. Cumin
1 t. fresh ground pepper
1 t. salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 olive oil
1/4 feta cheese (optional, for garnish)

How to Make

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, place peeled and diced sweet potatoes in the water, reduce to a rapid simmer, and cook until tender, about 7 minutes and then drain. While the potatoes are cooking drain and rinse the pinto beans. Put the beans in a food processor, add olive oil, water, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin. Slowly, add drained sweet potatoes… pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It should be thick enough to scoop with a chip but if too thick add more water until it’s the right consistency.

Makes enough to feed a crowd, but can also be covered and stored for up to a week in the fridge.

You could make this ahead of time, up to 7 days before an event. To reheat, just place it in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.

Garnish with Feta Cheese (Optional)

Recipe by Lisa McClellan. For more recipes and healthy living tips follow her via