Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pesto and Pasta

A Pesto is a "crushed" sauce that usually has 3 or more ingredients and is mixed with pasta. The most familiar pesto sauce comes from Genoa, Italy and is a combination of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. These are placed in a food processor or blender and pureed into a thick sauce which is tossed with hot pasta. You can make a pesto with any herbs, nuts and cheese of your choosing. 
I am not fond of basil so the traditional pesto is one I have played with to find something I enjoy. To simplify, here are some possible ingredients for a pesto sauce. 
  • Use some herbs or greens: basil, parsley, arugula, spinach. 
  • Some garlic gloves. Raw garlic can be "hot" and strong. If you prefer a milder garlic flavor simmer garlic in a little olive oil until soft.
  • Some kind of nuts: pine nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts. Nuts should be warmed in a skillet on medium heat to bring out the oils and flavor. Almonds and pine nuts should brown slightly.
  • Some olive oil - extra virgin for a lighter oil flavor or regular olive oil for a heartier oil flavor
  • Some grated hard cheese: parmigiano-regianno, pecorino romano, asiago
You can use a combination of items in each category like some basil and some parsley or just one of them. You can use some parmesan cheese and asiago or just one of them. Experiment with flavors you like. 
One night I had a lot of fresh baby spinach so I used that, some garlic, olive oil, walnuts and parmesan cheese. It was tasty!
1. Figure of handful of greens or herbs or mix of the 2. Basil has strong flavor with a hint of licorice, Parsley has a bright, green, earthy flavor. Arugula has a peppery flavor. Spinach has a very "green" flavor.  
2. 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Use less if raw, more if you sauté it first in a little olive oil because it will be milder. But use what you want depending on how much you like garlic. 
3. 1/4 cup of nuts 
4. 1/4 to 1/3 cup of grated cheese. You will want some more grated cheese to put on the pasta after you toss the hot pasta and pesto. 
5. Some olive oil. How much you use depends on your ingredients. Start with about 1/4 cup of oil but have more on hand. 
6. You can use spaghetti, linguine, ziti - any shape pasta you like. Enough for 1 serving - about 4 to 6 ounces. 
7. Place your ingredients in a blender or food processor. A blender and food processor create a pesto differently. A processor works best, but a blender can work as well. 
If using a blender you will put on the lid, but remove the small inner cap and pour the oil through the opening. If using a processor you will use the feed tube to add the oil.
8. Put the device on puree and start drizzling in your olive oil through the feed tube or the opening of the blender lid. Stop when it becomes a thick paste but not so thick that it does not move in the blender/processor. It should be a little loose, but not runny. You want it thick. 
9. Cook your pasta. Drain it, but DO NOT run it under cold water. First, you want hot pasta and secondly you wash off the starch which helps the pesto stick to it. Don't over shake or dry the pasta when you drain it. You want it to be a little wet. And, by the way, DO NOT add oil to pasta water. It makes it slick and sauces will not stick to it. If you stir pasta in the first 2 minutes it is boiling it will not stick to itself. 
10. Return the pasta to the warm pot, but off the heat. Put in some pesto and toss. If you think it needs more pesto, add more. Serve in a warmed bowl with some additional cheese on top and a little drizzle of olive oil. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Near East Rice Pilaf

This product is a mainstay of my pantry - a go-to rice dish that is delicious. The pine nuts in this pilaf alone, if you bought them separately, would cost more than the package! When it's done remove from heat, fluff with a fork and cover with a clean dish towel. This will keep it from getting gummy if it sits very long. Makes 3 large servings.

If you want to add any herbs to it like fresh parsley or chives or some diced carrot or peas or celery that's up to you. These are added AFTER the rice is finished cooking so you would have to cook added vegetables first. You add them when you fluff the rice with a fork when it is done.

Sour Cream Noodles

This is like a stove-top mac 'n cheese, but a little lighter and tangier. 
Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 2
Tools: medium saucepan


  • 1 cup uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 inch slice of american cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper

Boil noodles in salted water, drain and return to pot. Add milk, sour cream and cheese. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Be careful not to let it stick. As it thickens it might do so. Add more milk if it gets too thick. It should be creamy. Just before serving stir in the parsley.

Creamed Spinach

An easy and quick recipe that uses milk instead of cream and tastes just as good.


  • 1, 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry.
  • 3 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk (or cream should you so choose)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional) 2 slices of fried bacon crumbled
Using Fresh Spinach: You can use fresh spinach for this recipe, but it's so much easier to buy the frozen. Frozen spinach retains most of it's flavor and nutritional value. When cooked, fresh spinach wilts and releases a lot of water. 1 pound of fresh spinach will cook down to about 1 cup of spinach! You would need 1-1/2 pound of fresh spinach to equal a package of frozen spinach. If you use regular spinach you would want to remove any tough stems. Baby spinach, which is more tender, doesn't have tough stems. Wash the spinach and place it wet in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until it has all wilted down.) Drain and squeeze out all the water.
1. You are making a roux (my cookbook, page 25). Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Then stir in the flour and let it cook about 2 minutes. 
2. While stirring, slowly add 1/4 cup of the milk until the roux thickens and is smooth. Then add another 1/4 cup of the milk and stir until smooth.  
3. Add the spinach and mix well. Any water left in the spinach will thin the mixture. Add more milk if too thick. You do not want it to be soupy or runny, but a nice consistency. Add the parmesan, pepper and a little salt (the parmesan is salty) and bacon if you wish. As it simmers it may get thicker. Add milk as needed to loosen.

A Really Good Lentil Soup

Most canned soups are pretty bland. I love a good lentil soup and I do have a recipe to make it from scratch, but Progresso makes a lentil soup that is really just as good as my homemade version. Perfect for when you are in a hurry. Just add a few drops of red wine vinegar before you eat - that's traditional. 


Salmon and Lentils

Lentils have become a very popular bean on bistro and restaurant menus. Salmon is often paired with them. Lentils have a milder bean flavor than larger types of beans and go well with the meaty taste of salmon. And like all beans, lentils are really good for you.

Servings: 2
Time: 50 minutes


     For mustard-herb butter:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon of a grainy mustard or Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
     For lentils:
  • 1/2 cup French green lentils (or lentils du puy - small brown lentils)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only) or 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
     For salmon:
  • 2 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Make mustard-herb butter:
 Stir together all ingredients with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
2. Cook lentils: 
Bring lentils, water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain lentils.

3. While lentils cook, chop leeks, then wash thoroughly to remove sand and dirt even if they don't look dirty! Sauté leeks in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes (less time if using green onions).

4. Add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

5. Sauté salmon while leeks cook: 
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Serve salmon over lentils and topped with remaining mustard-herb butter.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Best Brown Rice

Brown rice is much healthier for you because it contains fiber that is stripped away in white rice. I have bought some brown rices and always found them gummy. I finally found a brown rice that is wonderful. Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice. Not gummy, but firm and fluffy. Try it. One bag will make 2 servings.


Orange Chicken or Beef Stir-Fry

When doing a stir-fry remember to prep everything first and have it ready. 
Servings: 4
Time: 30 minutes with prep

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper sliced in 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced diagonally in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicier)
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets or boneless breasts or thighs, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips OR 1/-1/2 pounds of thinly sliced round steak or flank steak.
  • 1, 6 or 8-ounce package snow peas (stringless sugar snap peas can be substituted)
  • 1-1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice (10 to 11 ounces) or use any rice you prefer.
  • (optional) garnish with some thinly sliced green onions
RICE: generally, a cup of uncooked rice will yield about 2 cups of cooked rice. A serving is considered 1/2 cup person, but most people like a lot of rice. So adjust the amount above to your liking. The popular boil-in-bag rices will wield 3 average servings or 2 large ones.
TIP: The meat will slice more easily if about half frozen, but make sure it is thawed completely before cooking.
1. Cook rice as directed by package. When done cover with a clean dish towel and set aside. The dish towel will absorb moisture and keep the rice from getting sticky.
2. Meanwhile, add cornstarch to a small bowl. Pour in a little of the orange juice and stir until it becomes a smooth liquid. Add the remaining orange juice and soy sauce and mix to blend. Lastly, mix in the orange peel. 
3. Salt and pepper the chicken or beef strips and toss with the ginger and set aside. When the rice is about 5 minutes from being done begin the stir-fry. 
4. Heat oil in a large skillet (or wok) over high heat. Add onion, carrot and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat slightly. Stir-fry 1 minute. You should hear lots of sizzle. Keep the contents moving so they do not burn.
5. Add chicken or beef and bell pepper and stir-fry until meat is just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add snow peas and orange juice mixture. Stir until sauce thickens and comes to boil and peas are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat so the vegetables tay crisp.
6. Serve with rice. (sprinkle top with optional garnish - spring onion)

Butternut Squash Soup

A creamy soup of pureed squash and vegetables. Delicious on a cold night or a tasty lunch with some good bread. Freeze portions.
Time: 1 hour plus
Serves: 4

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 large stalk celery diced
  • 1/2 of an onion diced — about 1/3 cup 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 or more cups low-sodium chicken broth

There are 2 ways to cook the squash — boiling or roasting. Roasting gives the squash much more flavor, but takes some extra work and time.
1. Cut off the end of the squash and peel it with a vegetable peeler or a knife. Cut it in half length- wise and scoop out seeds. Cut the flesh into 1 inch cubes. If boiling the squash go to Step 2. If roast- ing see below. 
2. If you want to roast the squash place the cubes on a sheet pan and drizzle with a little melted but- ter. Toss to coat the cubes and spread them in an even layer. Place the sheet pan in a 400°F pre- heated oven. Bake the squash for 30 to 40 min- utes or until tender. Turn the squash every 10 minutes. 
3.Heat oil or butter In a large 6 to 8 quart pot. Add carrot, celery and onion and cook on medium heat until softened. Don’t let it brown. 
4. Add your raw squash or roasted squash to the pot with 4 cups chicken broth. Add spices and herbs. If using roasted squash simmer covered for 10 minutes. If using raw squash simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender. 
5. Turn off the heat. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the mixture. If it seems too thick add more broth to make it a creamy. but not too thick mixture. Taste it. Want more spices? Add more cinnamon or brown sugar. If you have an immersion blender puree the contents of the pot until smooth. If too thick add more chicken stock. Bring pureed soup to a simmer to warm for serving. 
If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a regular blender. You will have to puree the mixture in batches. You only want to add enough of the mixture so the blender is 1/2 full, no more. Hot liquids tend to explode in a blender if you are not careful!!! Remove the small inner cap from the blender’s lid and cover with a dish towel. Place your hand over the towel. Now pulse the mixture 4 or 5 times while lifting the towel slightly so steam can escape. If it is too thick add some broth. Now puree until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Continue until all the mixture is pureed and smooth. If the final mixture is still too thick add more broth. 
6. Add a serving portion back to the pot and heat for serving. Save the remaining soup in portions and freeze.

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

If you don’t scramble eggs properly they will be dry and leathery. It is easy to overcook scrambled eggs. A non-stick skillet is best. The secret to soft, fluffy and creamy eggs is to cook them on medium heat. Some people add a little water, milk or cream to their eggs. Not necessary. 

Melt enough butter or margarine or use a little oil to barely coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet on medium heat. When the skillet is warm pour in the eggs. 
Wait 15 seconds for the edges to just begin to set. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. You want them to cook slowly. If the skillet seems too hot just take it off the burner. The residual heat will be enough to cook the eggs. 
Now, using a rubber or silicon spatula, slowly keep moving the eggs around the pan until they are to your liking. Some people like them more wet and some people like them dryer. Remember that they will continue to cook a bit once they are plated. Cooking eggs on high heat will make them rubbery. 
Add any of the following if you so desire to the beaten eggs: some ham, crumbled cooked bacon, grated cheese, cooked mushrooms, finely diced bell pepper, green onion, parsley ...

Pecan Pumpkin Pie

I’m not crazy about pumpkin pie, but this recipe elevates a plain pumpkin pie and makes it something special And its very easy to make.

Time: 75 to 90 minutes
Serves: 6-8

  • 1 pie crust — the kind that comes in a foil pan 2 to a package.
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice or 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, ground ginger, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
1. Mix Bottom Layer ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour into unbaked pie crust. 
2. Combine Top Layer ingredients in same bowl and pour over bottom pumpkin layer. 
3. Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until fill-ing is set. Cool on a wire rack. 

Chicken Noodle Soup

A good chicken soup starts with simmering chicken to create a rich broth. You can’t get that from a can or box.

Time: 2 hours
Serves: 3-4
Tools: 6 to 8 quart pot, strainer, large bowl


     For the Broth:

  • 1 whole chicken cut up (you can usually find pack-ages of a whole chicken cut up at the market), OR 2 breast halves and 4 thighs with skin and bones or use 8 thighs with skin and bones. (Thighs have more flavor.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery cut in thirds
  • 8 cups water
  • salt
     For the Soup
  • 4 large carrots peeled and cut in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 stalks celery cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup dry egg noodles cooked according to package directions (will make about 2 cups when cooked)
1. Bring chicken, onion, celery, water, and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot. After it begins to boil it will develop a white foam. Skim off the foam. Simmer covered for 90 minutes. 
2. Remove chicken to a plate and take pot off of heat. Strain the broth through a strainer into a bowl or large measuring cup. Let broth sit for about 20 minutes then skim off any chicken fat that has risen to the top of the broth. When chicken cools, remove meat from bones and shred. Place in a bowl. 
3. Return the broth to the pot. Add carrots, celery, peas, thyme, parsley and garlic to the broth. Add some or all of the cooked noodles — depending how much noodle you like in your noodle soup. Add in the shredded chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes. 
4. Now taste for flavor. Does it need salt? Is there enough broth to go with the noodles and vegetables? If not, you can add a chicken bouillon cube and 1 cup water or a can of broth. If you add bouillon don’t add salt as bouillon is loaded with salt. Cook until cube dissolves. 
Freeze leftovers in servings.

Classic Deviled Eggs

Place eggs in a pot and add water to just below the top of the eggs. Bring water to a boil, but as soon as you see the water begin to boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer -  barely boiling - for 13 minutes. A high boil may crack the shell. 
When done drain the pot, add cold water. In about 2 minutes they will be cool enough to handle and peel. Once peeled let them come to room temperature so the yolk will set a bit. 
Slice the egg in half lengthwise. Gently place the yolks in a small mixing bowl.  Mash the yolks with a fork. Add some finely chopped pickle (dill or sweet) or pickle relish (dill or sweet). If using relish put it in a fine strainer and press out the liquid with the back of a spoon or it will make the egg too runny. No small strainer, wrap it in a paper towel and squeeze out the juice. 
Mix the pickle and egg together. Now add a little mayonnaise. Add just a little and see what the consistency is like. You don't want the filling to be runny, but firm. Add a little salt and pepper. Some like to add a dash of hot sauce. Crumbled bacon is also a fun addition either in the mix or as garnish on top. 
Divide the filling among the eggs; sprinkle the top with a little paprika. Chill for a an hour or so.

Thousand Island Dressing

Sure, you can buy it in a bottle, but it is extremely simple to make and so much better. Typically served on a tossed salad or iceberg lettuce wedge with some cherry tomatoes. Can also be used on a Reuben sandwich. The simplest way to make a good dressing is to use a good Chili Sauce, but if that is not on hand or available there's an alternate. 
Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2 - 3
Tools: small mixing bowl

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Chili Sauce. You can buy this at the market. Bennett’s brand is superior to all      others. 
     If you don't have Chili Sauce add the following ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (You can always add more if you like it picklier! If you don’t have sweet relish then add a teaspoon of sugar.)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced bell pepper (red is preferred, but green is fine, too.)
  • (optional) 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

If you use Chili Sauce — add 1/4 cup and mix. Taste. If you like it “stronger” add a little more. 
If you make your own sauce — mix everything into the mayonnaise and taste. Add more pickles and ketchup for a fuller taste. Many recipes call for adding sugar, but I find it unnecessary. Also, if you like it thinner you can add a little milk.

Cranberry Relish

This kicks plain ol' cranberries to another level. Relish is not just for Thanksgiving. It's always good with chicken dishes like roasted chicken, chicken and dumplings or pork dishes. 

Time: 15 minutes using canned cranberry sauce
Serves: 4
Tools: medium mixing bowl

  • 1 small can Mandarin orange slices or 1 orange peeled, sectioned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
  • 1 small can whole cranberry sauce - see NOTE below. 
  • 1/3 cup apple, peeled and cut in small pieces 
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (use whole nuts and do a rough chop, you don't want them too fine) 
  • (optional) 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam 
Mix all ingredients together and chill for a few hours to let the flavors meld.
NOTE: USING FRESH CRANBERRIES – You can use fresh, whole cranberries, but they come in a large bag and usually only seen in the market around Holiday time. This bag will make a lot of relish. You can use half a bag for this recipe or double all the other ingredients if you use the whole bag. You can freeze leftovers in portions.

First, simmer half a bag of the fresh cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of water until they start to break open. They will release a lot of liquid. Simmer until they are tender. Taste for sweetness as cranberries are quite tart (you may need to add sugar or sugar substitute) and you want them just a tad sweet without losing that sense of cranberry tartness. The remaining ingredients will add their own natural sweetness to the mix as well.

Stovetop Mac 'n Cheese

When cooking for yourself there’s no reason to heat up an oven to make a portion of Mac and Cheese. The stovetop version is almost as good — it’s just missing the crispy top, but the flavor is the same.

Tools: medium saucepan, small mixing bowl, cheese grater
Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2
  • 1/4 pound cooked elbow macaroni (1/4 of a box) 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar or a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack, Fontina or Parmesan cheese. (Use blocks of cheese, not the pre-grated stuff, they have much more flavor.)
Cook the pasta in salted water according to box directions and drain. Return the pasta to the warm pot off the burner and melt in the butter. Toss to coat the pasta. 
In a bowl whisk together all of the other ingredients except the cheese and then mix it into the pasta. Return the pot to the burner on low heat. Now add the cheese. Stir for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and it becomes creamy. If too thick add a little milk. If too thin just simmer it a little longer.
If you like a crispy top, pour it into a broiler safe dish and place it under the broiler until the top browns.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Soft-Boiled Eggs

Have problems with the whites being runny in your soft-boiled eggs. America's Test Kitchen cooked over 1000 eggs to find a fool-proof way to soft boil eggs so the yolk is creamy and the whites are set. 
Put your LARGE eggs in a small saucepan and add enough water to come half way up the eggs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover pot with a lid. Water should barely boil so adjust heat as needed. Simmer eggs for 6-1/2 minutes. I tried it and it works well. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Breakfast and Lunch

In my cookbooks I did not address the first 2 meals of the day, so here are some things to consider...


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need to begin the day. Toast is not a good breakfast unless you have some protein with it.

You want to limit the starches (sugars - white flour based foods, white bread, pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc.) as these give you only a short metabolic lift. If you do eat a starch make sure to eat some protein as well. Proteins - eggs, cheese, lean meats like ham, turkey based meats like turkey bacon, yogurt. 
Eggs: fried, scrambled, poached, soft-boiled, omelette 
Cream of Wheat 
Oatmeal - add some granola to give it crunch or fruit like blueberries or strawberries.
Cereals - look for cereals with some good fiber content. Cereals with oats and bran are best. Corn, wheat and rice based cereals are higher in starch (sugar/carbs). Even if a cereal has oats or bran in its name this doesn't mean it's the main ingredient so read the ingredients on the box. The main ingredient will be listed as the first ingredient. Often these "oat" cereals have more wheat or corn than oats. Create your own healthier cereal blend by mixing 2 or 3 boxes of different cereals like Crucnhy Bran Flakes, Oatmeal Squares and a Granola-type cereal in a large container. 
Breads: Whole grain or whole wheat English Muffins, bagels; oatmeal, blueberry or bran muffins. 
Fruit: melons, fruit added to cereal or oatmeal like bananas, apples, peaches, pears. (Bananas help reduce blood pressure due to their high potassium, unless you are, like me, banana intolerant, in which case they may cause stomach distress!) 
Meats: ham, trukey bacon, sausage (turkey based is better of course) 
Yogurt: best to buy a plain yogurt and add your own fruit, granola or honey. Honey is the traditional way Greeks eat their yogurt and it is delicious in a plain or vanilla yogurt.


TIP: If you are going to have a busy evening eat a larger lunch and a lighter supper. This will keep you from getting “drowsy” at a meeting! 
Sandwiches: grilled cheese on whole wheat; egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, pimento cheese salad, cold cuts: roast beef, turkey, chicken, ham, BLT with turkey bacon. Don’t overdo the mayo in sandwich spreads or use a lite mayo. (Recipes for sandwich spreads are in the cookbook.)

Soups: clear/broth based soups are generally healthier than cream soups. Any bean-based soup is good as it provides both protein and fiber. Look for whole wheat crackers if you like crackers with your soup. They are often more crisp than regular crackers, too. 
Salad with a light vinaigrette - add some protein: eggs, ham, chicken, beans, nuts. Mixed greens/Spring Mix or baby spinach have more nutritional value than iceberg lettuce.