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This Week's Healthy Recipes

The star of our basket this week is Escarole!

Escarole is just as good raw as it is cooked. Here are a number of easy recipes that show its range.

Meal 1

Wilted Escarole Caesar Salad


Makes 8 servings


1/2 loaf country-style bread (about 8 ounces), crust removed, torn into 1" pieces (about 5 cups)

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1–2 anchovy fillets packed in oil

1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons (or more) white wine vinegar

1 large head escarole, outer leaves removed, inner leaves torn into large pieces


Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss bread and 3 tablespoons oil on a large rimmed baking sheet, squeezing bread so it absorbs oil evenly; season with salt and pepper. Spread out bread pieces in an even layer and bake, tossing occasionally, until crisp on the outside but still chewy in the center, 10–15 minutes. Let croutons cool.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add anchovies and, using a spoon, mash into oil. Add red pepper flakes and remove skillet from heat. Add vinegar, scraping up any bits; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, toss escarole, croutons and warm vinaigrette in a large bowl until escarole is slightly wilted; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Croutons and vinaigrette can be made and escarole can be prepped 1 day ahead. Store croutons wrapped airtight at room temperature. Let vinaigrette cool; cover and chill. Gently reheat vinaigrette before using.

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Ingredients for Tomato Avocado Salad:

This salad is loaded with veggies; juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber, creamy avocado and the cilantro and lemon juice make the whole salad so fresh and flavorful!

P.S. If you aren’t keen on cilantro, fresh dill is a good substitute

Our classic cucumber and tomato salad just got better with the addition of avocado, a lemon dressing and fresh cilantro.

Author: Natasha of

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: Varies by season $5-$7

Calories: 261 kcal

Servings: 4 (as a side salad)


1 lb Roma tomatoes

1 English cucumber

1/2 medium red onion sliced

2 avocados diced

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)

1/4 cup 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 tsp sea salt or 3/4 tsp table salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

US Customary - Metric


Place chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro into a large salad bowl.

Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Toss gently to combine. Just before serving, toss with 1 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper.

Recipe Notes

*Note: if you aren't keen on cilantro, fresh dill is a good substitute


Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings 1x

Category: Dinner


Lentil Ingredients:

2 medium yellow onions, fine dice

1 celery rib, fine dice

1 carrot, fine dice

2 cups uncooked brown lentils

6 cups water (or broth)

1 cup vegetable broth*

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

Herb/Spice Ingredients:

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cumin

2 Tablespoons dried minced onions

2 ½ teaspoons sea salt (+/- ) *

¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)

Other Essential Ingredients:

8 – 10 Russet potatoes (enough to line a 10 x 13 x 3 baking dish), sliced 3/4 inch thickness

Sea salt (+/- to taste)

1 – 1¼ cup tomato juice (divided), possibly more depending on the size of the dish – see Notes

6 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley (fresh), chopped and divided

5 medium tomatoes, thick slices, approx. 3/8 inch thickness


In a large ceramic/enamel-lined Dutch oven or similar stock pot, add the finely minced vegetables (onions, carrots, and celery) and sauté until they begin to soften, approx. 4 to 5 minutes. If needed to prevent sticking, add 1- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth or water.

Add in all the remaining “Lentil Ingredients” and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are soft. The liquid should be absorbed into the lentils.

In the meantime, peel 8 to 10 Russet potatoes, then cut into thick 3/4 inch thick slices. Place the potato slices in a bowl of cold water until you are ready to assemble the Potato-Lentil-Tomato Bake.

In the meantime, start checking the tenderness of the lentils around the 30 minutes. We have found that it typically takes about 40 minutes for the lentils to get tender. Once the lentils are soft and the liquid is pretty much absorbed, remove the lentil mixture from the stove, using an immersion blender, blend the lentils until a paste forms. You are looking for a paste-like mixture with some elements of the lentils still visible, forming a very thick paste. If your lentil mixture is not thick, then place it back on the stove to evaporate more of the liquids. (You want the lentil mixture consistency to be slightly similar to tomato paste or mashed potatoes, but less thick than tomato paste as you need to spread it easily when layering the dish – keep that in mind) when using the emersion blender except do not break down all the lentils into a paste, leave some partially visible. If unsure, it is always better to blend more than less).

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Create the layered dish: Take 3/4 cup of the tomato juice and line the bottom of a 10 x 13 x 3 inch baking dish. (you may need to add more to cover the bottom of your baking dish).

Then remove and thoroughly drain the water from the thick-sliced potatoes. Place the potato slices on top of the tomato juice in an organized fashion with the cut side up/down. Cut additional potatoes to fill in gaps like a jig-saw-puzzle. (You may have left over potato ends that you can boil and use later as a snack.) Lightly sprinkle/season the potato layer with some sea salt.

Place the remaining ½ cup (or more if needed) of tomato juice on top of the potatoes. (Again, reference the picture so you get an idea. You want them just barely covered in tomato juice, but not swimming).

Then sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.

Next, gently place the lentil-paste mixture on top of the potatoes/tomato juice/parsley layer. You want to place dollops of the lentil-paste mixture in 8 large spoonfuls across the top in different sections of the dish. This is so it is easier to spread the lentil-paste without mixing the tomato juice into the lentil-paste layer.

Once you have all the lentil-paste mixture in the pan, gently spread the lentil-paste mixture to even it out across the top, moving it to cover the entire baking dish. Note: Make sure you cover the entire dish all the way to the edges without leaving any gaps or holes. This helps seal in the potatoes to ensure even baking and tenderness.

Sprinkle the lentil mixture with 2 Tablespoons of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.

Cut the tomatoes into 3/8 inch slices. Then place them across the top of the dish. (Note: You may have left over ends that you can cut up and place into a salad for later).

Lightly sprinkle/season the tomatoes with a tiny bit of sea salt.

Sprinkle the entire top of the dish with 2 Tablespoon of freshly cut flat leaf parsley.

Cover tightly with foil.

Place the covered Potato-Lentil-Tomato Bake into the oven and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 F. Remove the foil and immediately bake for 15 minutes uncovered (the oven temperate does not have to reach 400 F – remove the foil and place immediately back in the oven). Note: The tomatoes will release a lot of water while baking. This is fine. When you place the dish back into the oven, most the juice will be evaporated and absorbed back into the dish, and will continue to absorb after you remove it from the oven so don’t worry if you still have some water sitting on top of your dish. It will get absorbed while resting on the counter. This will ensure a moist and tender dish when served.

Test the potatoes for tenderness. Simple slide a knife into the dish, make sure you hit a potato. If the knife slides into the potato very easily, then the dish is done.

Remove from the oven – allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes to settle before serving.


*Tomato Juice: Reference the photos, the tomato juice should just cover the potatoes. You may need slightly more than one cup (or less, largely dependent upon the size of the pan you are using).

*Small Brown Lentils (Pardina/Spanish Brown): You can substitute any type of lentil for the brown lentil (other than red); however, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Small brown lentils typically cook a little faster than green lentils. We have found that the Small Brown Lentil works beautifully with this recipe.

Apple Banana Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Author: Natasha of

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $6

Servings: 24 muffins


2 apples peeled, cored and finely diced

1 cup ripe mashed bananas

1 ¼ cups white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs at room temperature

2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature 10 tablespoons or 1 ¼ sticks

¼ cup buttermilk

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda


Pre-heat oven to 375°F and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Mix together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the 1 1/4 sticks of butter and 1 1/4 cups of sugar together on medium speed until it has a light and fluffy texture.

Without reducing the speed, add 2 eggs one at a time, add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of buttermilk.

Finally, beat in the flour mixture.

Use a spoon to fold in the apples and banana.

Fill the lined muffin cups about half-way.

Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe Notes

If you only have a 12 count muffin pan, you can fill it first and bake the rest in a small baking dish.

Meal #2

Summer Twang




2 cups chopped cantaloupe

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons honey

2-3 ounces club soda


Purée 2 cups chopped cantaloupe, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and 3 tablespoons honey in a blender.

Strain into a measuring cup or bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids.

Divide among 4 Collins glasses filled with ice and add 2-3 ounces club soda to each. Garnish with cantaloupe wedges

Sautéed Escarole With Leeks

Gentl & Hyers

Hands-On Time

20 Mins

Total Time

20 Mins

Other Time


Serves 8


November 2010


1/4 cup olive oil

4 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into half-moons

4 cloves garlic, sliced

2 heads escarole, torn into 3-inch pieces (about 20 cups)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

kosher salt and black pepper

Nutritional Information

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 2

Add the escarole, red pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook, tossing, until tender and beginning to wilt, 3 to 4 minutes.

Classic Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

Posted by Casey on December 10, 2015





3 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

Egg Replacer equivalent of 2 eggs (such as Ener-G Egg Replacer)

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 Tbsp. unbleached flour

Oil for frying


• Grate the potatoes and squeeze out the moisture. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes with all the remaining ingredients, except the oil. • Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet. Place 3 Tbsp. of the mixture into the skillet for each latke. Use a spatula to flatten the mixture to form the latke. Fry over medium heat about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with apple sauce or soy sour cream.

Homemade Applesauce

Author: Cookie and Kate

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 cups 1x

Category: Side

Method: Stovetop

Cuisine: American

Learn how to make delicious homemade applesauce! This easy applesauce recipe can be chunky or smooth. It’s also naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey, to taste. Recipe yields about 4 cups.


1 1/2 pounds Gala apples (or any other variety of sweet red apple, about 4 medium)

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (or Golden Delicious, about 4 medium)

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, more to taste

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Peel, core and chop the apples into 2″ chunks. In a medium Dutch oven or large stainless steel saucepan, combine the apple chunks, water, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cover and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher or the back of a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon to break it up to your desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, blend it in your food processor

Meal #3

Grilled Escarole





This is spectacularly easy, quite mouthwatering, and works as both a first course before an entrée or as a side dish. Escarole is part of the chicory family and has a pleasant bitterness to it. Note that while the outer leaves of the escarole are not used in this preparation, they should not be discarded.


4 servings


10 minutes


20 minutes


1 head escarole, outer leaves removed and saved, thoroughly washed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

1/2 cup pitted, crushed green olives


Get your grill going. If you’re using charcoal, you’re looking for a not-too-hot fire (I like to think of the coals as being “soft,” which is to say they should be halfway through burning). If you’re using a gas grill, set the heat to medium. If you’re using a grill pan indoors, set it over medium-low heat.

Shake the escarole dry. Cut it lengthwise straight through the core into 4 wedges. Drizzle each wedge with plenty of olive oil, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per wedge, and season aggressively with salt. Grill the wedges, turning only once, until wilted and charred in spots, about 10 minutes altogether.

Transfer the escarole to a serving platter, give it a healthy drizzle of olive oil, and scatter the olives over the top. Serve immediately.

Easy Guacamole and Chips

Recipe By:Denise Goodman

"Simply a quick recipe for tasty guacamole! Great with tortilla chips or as a topping for Mexican foods!"


2 avocados

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ripe tomato, chopped

1 lime, juiced

salt and pepper to taste

Tortilla Chips


Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper. Season with remaining lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for half an hour to blend flavors.

Serve with Tortilla chips or fresh veges

Escarole Soup

Escarole is a popular green in Italian cooking and is used in this recipe to create a light soup that can be served all year round.



1/4 lb. dried white beans

5 c. vegetable stock

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. minced garlic

1 small white onion

2 c. chopped escarole

Salt and pepper to taste

GET INGREDIENTS Powered by Chicory


In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, combine the bean and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover lightly, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan, and sauté the garlic and onion until the onions are translucent. Add the escarole, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the escarole is well wilted. Add to the beans, recover, and continue to cook for about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Fruit Smoothie - Cantaloupe Banana Apple Orange


1 Cantaloupe, small, ripe 2 Bananas, medium 1 Apple, large 1 Orange 2 tbsp. Flaxseed, whole (optional) 1-1/2 cups Ice (To enlarge the photo of the fruit smoothie, click on the photo or link)


We prepare our fruit smoothies in our Vita-Mix, but they can be prepared in any blender on high speed. If your blender container is small, or if you are preparing a fruit smoothie for one person, cut the recipe in half.

Begin by thoroughly washing all the fruit.

Cut the cantaloupe in half and then into wedges. If you're using a Vita-Mix or other high-powered blender, the seeds may be included in the fruit smoothie; otherwise, remove them. Cut off and discard the rind from each wedge, and place the cantaloupe in the blender container.

Add peeled bananas to the blender container. Cut the apple into quarters, cut out and discard the core, and add the apple to the blender container. Peel the orange, remove any seeds, and add the orange to the blender container.

Add the flaxseeds and ice, cover the container, and run at high speed until the smoothie is thoroughly blended. Serve immediately.

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