May 25, 2022

Recipes for Health by Susan Irby

Fall is in the air and the holiday season is just around the corner. Often times the holidays also mean extra stress and weight gain. Work healthy ingredients into your dishes yet still maintain delicious flavor. A super non-grain-grain like quinoa brings rich, savory flavor and also adds key nutrients like protein, fiber and minerals.

Here are a few delicious recipes for fall and holiday season:  


Quinoa with Roasted Pine Nuts and Cilantro

Pine nuts have a nutty yet almost sweet flavor that’s delicious with tangy, fresh cilantro, quinoa, and other key flavors that give a metabolism boost in this dish: lemon, cayenne, and coriander.

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Serving Size: 1 cup

Each serving has:
142.6 calories
3.4 g protein
11.1 g carbohydrates
10.2 g fat
1.4 g fiber

1 cup pine nuts
1 TB. Olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
½ TB. Chopped garlic
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth
1 ½ tsp. fine lemon zest
½ tsp. cayenne
¼ tsp. coriander
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. In medium sauté pan over medium heat, heat pine nuts, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn pine nuts. Transfer toasted pine nuts to a bowl. And set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add yellow onion and garlic, and sauté for about 1 or 2 minutes.
3. Stir in quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove quinoa from heat, and stir in lemon zest, cayenne, coriander, sea salt, and black pepper. Top each serving with about 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, and serve. (Copyright Susan Irby The Bikini Chef 2012)

Note:  Pine nuts are the edible seeds from the pine tree. Rich in flavor and nutrients, pine nuts are high in vitamin E and monounsaturated fats (the good fats), and they’re naturally gluten free.


Gluten Free Quinoa Pumpkin Bread

Quinoa flour, coconut oil, and spices of nutmeg and cinnamon give this pumpkin bread a fiber and flavor boost! Other great tips… add orange and lemon zest for a flavor “pop” and for nut lovers; mix in a quarter cup of chopped walnuts for the ultimate super food boost.

Makes 2 loaves
Serving size: 1/10 of loaf
Calories: 226
Fat: 10.75g
Carbohydrates: 32.2g
Protein: 4.45g
Fiber: 2.05g
Sodium: 73.1mg

1 ½ cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal mixed with enough hot water to make ½ cup
½ cup coconut oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin (or canned)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans with a little extra coconut oil and dust with a little quinoa flour. Tap out excess flour.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, quinoa flour, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix well.
3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin, coconut oil, flaxseed, and water until blended. Using a wooden spoon, incorporate the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in egg whites. Do not over-mix.
4. Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Copyright Susan Irby The Bikini Chef 2012)


Radicchio Cups with Quinoa and Citrus Salsa

Radicchio has a bitter flavor that provides balance to the nutty flavor of quinoa and a sweet citrus salsa of mango, lemon, lime, cilantro and pepper.

Yield: 8 radicchio cups with ½ cup quinoa each
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 1 radicchio cup with ½ cup quinoa

Each serving has:
170.9 calories
4.0 g protein
23.9 g carbohydrates
7.2 g fat
3.6 g fiber

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth or water
½ TB. Fine lemon zest
1 TB. Fresh lemon juice
¼ TB. Fine lime zest
2 TB. White wine vinegar
2 TB. Olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium mango
1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and diced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
½ cup diced avocado
¼ cup plus 2 TB. Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 medium radicchio leaves

1. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed. Transfer quinoa to mixing bowl, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, lime zest, lime juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
3. Dice mango by taking a sharp knife and slicing lengthwise through mango on each side of seed. Make 4 or 5 lengthwise slices on each mango half. Make 4 or 5 crosswise slices on each mango half. Carefully slice along skin of mango and underneath mango “cubes” to release diced mango. Place diced mango on a cutting board and chop into small chunks, as you would for a fresh salsa.
4. Toss diced mango into mixing bowl with lemon zest mixture. Add red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, avocado, cilantro leaves, and quinoa, and toss well to coat.
5. To serve, place 1 radicchio leaf on each of 8 medium serving plates or bowls. Spoon ½ cup quinoa mixture into each radicchio cup, and serve.  (Copyright Susan Irby The Bikini Chef 2012)
TV, Radio host and multi-published author, Susan Irby The Bikini Chef, hosts Bikini Lifestyles on national public television and AM 790 KABC radio.  Specializing in healthy, flavorful recipes as found in her books  The Complete Idiot’s Guide Quinoa Cookbook (July 2012 Penguin Publishing), Substitute Yourself Skinny, Boost Your Metabolism (Adams Media 2010).  Among media appearances, The Bikini Chef has been featured on FOX11 Good Day LA, KCAL9, CBS2, ABC7.  NOW AVAILABLE!  The Complete Idiot’s Guide Quinoa Cookbook Follow Susan on Twitter, and become a fan of  the Bikini Chef on Facebook

Budget-Friendly Healthy Eating by Keri Gans

Question: I’m on a set financial budget every month. How can I eat healthy without breaking the bank?
-Robert, FL.


Here are 5 budget-friendly tips for healthy eating:

1. Load up on canned beans! Inexpensive AND packed with nutrients. Add beans to pasta, green salads, and soups for added fiber and protein.

2. Buy frozen veggies. They are frozen at peak ripeness so can be just as nutritious as fresh. Buying frozen is also a great money-saving tip as you don’t have to worry about spoilage.

3. Buy in bulk and freeze in individual portions. For example, purchase chicken breast in family size packs, even if you are shopping for one. You’ll find the price is always lower when buying in high quantity. Individually wrap each piece and freeze and defrost as needed.

4. Look for in-season fruits. Buy on sale! For example, apples in the fall are going to be a lot less expensive than berries are.

5. Switch to store-brands. In many supermarkets their own label is as nutritious as name brands. Read the nutrition fact label and ingredient list and compare.

Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, Nutritionist in Private Practice in NYC, Media Spokesperson and Author of The Small Change Diet (Gallery, March 2011) For more information, Follow Keri on Twitter @kerigans and join her Facebook community via

Don’t Miss these Nutritional Benefits

Don’t Miss these Nutritional Benefits
Have you overlooked one of the most nutritious winter vegetables? This time of year is ideal to stock up! You’ll be saving money and saving your health. According to Dr. John La Puma, the carotenes found in pumpkin are converted to Vitamin A, which is essential for a strong and healthy immune system. One cup of pumpkin a day will get you to the recommended daily dose.

Dr. La Puma is twice a New York Times best-selling author, a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and professionally trained chef. He leads a national movement to help you get stronger, leaner and healthier with what you eat.

Dr. La Puma’s Pumpkin Soup
This pumpkin soup recipe from Dr. La Puma ( is so easy to make and delicious, you’ll want to freeze it to always have on hand.

3 lb pumpkin (such as Sugar Baby)
3 cups chicken stock
1 onion, halved and roasted
3 garlic cloves, roasted
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut the pumpkin in half and roast it for 45 minutes, face down.
Scoop out the seeds and set them aside.
Scoop out and place half the pumpkin flesh into a blender jar along with the roasted garlic, half the onion and half the chicken stock, with more if needed to blend. Blend to your desired consistency.  Pour into a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Repeat. Bring to a simmer, and season to taste. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired. ©  Chef Clinic, Inc.

The leading practicing physician voice for healthy food in health care, Dr La Puma is also an award-winning TV co-host for Lifetime TV’s “Health Corner” with Joan Lunden, host of “What’s Cooking With ChefMD?” and the PBS Special “Eat and Cook Healthy with Dr John La Puma!” Read his blog at and get his free monthly newsletter, or join his Facebook page at He has appeared on Dr Oz, Today, Good Morning America and NPR and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. Repeatedly named “One of America’s Top Physicians” by Consumers’ Research Council and called a “Secret Weapon” by The Wall Street Journal. He is based in Santa Barbara, California.