C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 lg. Butternut squash

Butternot lasagna
I no longer use foil pans and avoid sheet foil when possible see here

Ground ginger
Ground sage
2 Tbsp. Butter
Cut Squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and lay cut side down on an oiled cookie sheet (you can line the pan with foil for easier cleanup) Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until squash is soft. When cool enough, scoop flesh into a bowl and season with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and butter, mix well. Set aside.

4 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
Mix in another bowl, beating until fluffy

1 pkg. Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles or lasagna noodles of choice
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread a thin coating of water to bottom of lasagna pan. Lay 3 noodles evenly, spread each noodle with butternut mixture, spread a layer of ricotta and a thin layer of mozzarella; top that with 3 more noodles and repeat until ingredients are used up ending with ricotta and mozzarella.

Bake covered with foil @ 350° for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Roasted Beet Salad & Summer Squash Ribbon Salad

Beets and Squash are in abundance right now so take advantage of their healthy whole food goodness and feel good about fueling your body well. Two delicious, simple and fast recipes are featured here so get out to your local farm stand or market and grab the few ingredients needed for a great meal!

Roasted Beet Salad beet salad

6 beets – your choice of one type or a mixture of golden beets and red beets
Scallion slivers or just chopped
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Goat Cheese or Bleu Cheese
Wash beets and wrap them separately in foil – roast in oven at 425� for 1 hour. Remove from oven and slip out of skins with oven gloves or pot-holders.
Cut each beet into quarters and divide among 4 small plates. (I divided among 2 of us in photo)
Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, scallions and crumbled cheese. Serve warm.

Squash Ribbon Salad squash ribbon salad

1 Each zucchini and yellow summer squash
1-2 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
Large sprig each Basil and Mint chopped
Walnuts (optional)
Olive oil – enough to coat squash ribbons well
1-2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper to taste

With a vegetable peeler over a large bowl, peel all squash into long ribbons
Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let sit at least 20 minutes to blend flavors. Serve.

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Green Pea Hummus Dip

2014-07-03 14.49.118-oz. fresh or frozen peas
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon pine nuts, sesame seeds, cashews or sunflower seeds
1-4 Tbs. water

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Add only enough water to thin it enough to whirl in blender.
Chill 1 hour-overnight. Drizzle olive oil on top before serving. Serve with pita chips or cut vegetables for dipping.

Post-note: If you’re not a fan of green peas you can substitute them with black eyed peas or chickpeas and use in the same ways as mentioned above.

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)



Citrus fruits have many benefits including of course high vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a key role in the formation of collagen: a primary component of the connective tissue in the body strengthening ligaments, tendons, dentin, skin, blood vessels and bones. It aids in wound healing, tissue repair and helps against cell damage.

Citrus fruits are good sources of folate for new cell growth, helps the production of DNA, RNA and mature red blood cells helping prevent anemia.

Potassium, a mineral that helps maintain body water, acid and plays role in transmitting nerve impulses to muscles in muscle contraction. It also helps maintain normal blood pressure.

Phyto-chemicals (Phyto=plant in Gr.) in fruit and vegetables protect against various diseases including heart disease, cancers, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

How much do we need to eat daily? 30-200mg./day. That equals roughly 5 servings of fruit per day.

Sweet & Tangy Citrus Salad

4-6 cups greens, arugula, spinach, baby lettuces

3 cups assorted favorite citrus fruits, Clementine, orange. Grapefruit, lime, lemon,

½ cup Strawberries, sliced or blueberries or both

2 Tbs. seeds, such as Chia, Flax, toasted sesame, pumpkin, toasted sunflower


Juice of 1 lemon and ½ lime

¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine and mix with whisk or in a jar until well blended. Pour over salad.


C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Beans for Health & They’re Delicious!

newsletter_4_12_002Kidney Beans 
Kidney beans are high in cholesterol-lowering fiber, (45% RDA in just 1 cup), and are good for regulating blood sugar making them a perfect food and/or snack for diabetics and those with hypoglycemia. Kidney beans are a good source of plant protein and they are fat free.

These beans are heart healthy gems as well, not just because of their fiber content but for the significant amounts of folate and magnesium too. Folate helps lower levels of homocysteine. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. Adequate magnesium helps veins and arteries relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Kidney beans like most other beans are very versatile. You can add them to salads and other vegetables dishes, meat dishes or eat them alone as a snack, which is one of my favorite midday munchies. If you choose canned beans be sure to rinse them well in a colander to remove unhealthy sodium before using.

Kidney Bean Munchies – you can choose any type of bean in these recipes, use whatever you have on hand or your favorite – be creative!

1 can rinsed kidney beans

Your favorite spice such as chili powder, cayenne, lemon pepper, turmeric, curry etc.

Put rinsed, drained beans in a bowl and sprinkle the spice over them and toss to coat evenly. Serve.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas (whfoods.com)

  • Combine cooked kidney beans with black beans and white beans to make a colorful three bean salad.
  • Mix with tomatoes and scallions and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine cooked kidney beans with garlic, cumin and chili peppers for a delicious spread that can be used as a dip or sandwich filling.
  • Make a pot of chili, the hearty Mexican soup that traditionally features kidney beans.
  • Make tacos with a vegetarian twist by using kidney beans in place of ground meat.

Cucumber, Melon & Kidney Bean Salad

1 English cucumber, chopped bite sized
2 cups fresh melon (cantaloupe, mango, watermelon etc), chopped bite sized
½ cup red onion, chopped, fine
1 can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
Freshly ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to bowl and toss with olive oil and apple cider or red wine vinegar.
For a creamier dressing mix ½-¾ cup plain Greek yogurt with 1 Tablespoon cilantro.
Let flavors marinate 2-24 hours. Serve.

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast) · Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Roasted Garlic Soup

If you’re lucky enough to have a neighbor/farm that grows an abundance of garlic to sell/share as I am, you know how truly lucky you are. Garlic from a store is just fine if there is not a farm nearby.

Garlic is one of those super foods we just shouldn’t live without. It is versatile, always available and it tastes incredibly good. I have not yet come across anyone who doesn’t like garlic; though I’m sure that one person is out there. The trick with garlic is to make sure everyone in your group/party has some!

Some health benefits of garlic include prevention of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, some cancers, the common cold and boosting the immune system.

Garlic may help the metabolism of iron in the blood for use in the body.

Though studies are still early garlic may help regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in the body.

When using garlic you should let it sit for up to minutes before adding it to your dish in order to allow the release of its health benefits such as allicin and sulfur compounds.

Always keep garlic on hand for a quick healthy addition to any meal.

Ways to use fresh garlic:
Purée fresh garlic, canned garbanzo beans, olive oil and lemon juice to make quick and easy hummus dip.

Sauté steamed green vegetables with garlic, and fresh lemon juice.

Add garlic to sauces and soups.

Purée roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and olive oil together to make tasty garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.

Combine chopped garlic and olive oil for dipping bread or spread it over crusty bread halved lengthwise and broil until golden for fresh garlic bread.

Roasted Garlic Soup

4 heads garlic-cloves separated, unpeeled
1 large onion, peeled chopped
1 medium potato, peeled & chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 tsp. thyme or 1 tsp. fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary, finely crushed
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup almond milk, soy milk or cow’s milk
Olive oil
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional ingredients: pine nuts, pepitas, garlic infused olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

Heat oven to 350°F. Put un-peeled garlic cloves into a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper & toss to coat. Cover dish tightly. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until safe to handle.

In a large saucepan combine about 2 tablespoons olive oil with onion and potato, saute for 5 minutes then add broth, herbs and remaining 8 cloves of garlic. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes.
Meanwhile slip the garlic cloves out of their skin and save in a small bowl. After soup has simmered for 30 minutes add roasted garlic cloves, milk and heat through.

Blend until smooth and creamy in a blender or with a handheld blender. Heat through.

Ladle into bowls.
Top with pine nuts, pepitas or a drizzle garlic infused olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Crockpot Vegetable & Bean Chili

Using a crockpot offers several advantages; quick prep in the morning (or sometimes the night before if you add any meat just before cooking) allows you to come home to a hot home-cooked meal at the end of the day, you can cook a casserole in the oven and use the crockpot to keep it warm during gatherings/parties, most recipes are relatively simple, and during the colder months, using your crockpot is warming and comforting. Put your slow-cooker to work this season!
Crockpot Vegetable & Bean Chili 20170104_181612
  • 1 can cannellini beans or black beans
  • ¾ cup lentils – I used a mixed lentil trio for this recipe
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes – feel free to use fresh tomatoes but I used canned in the off season as they are canned a peak ripeness and offer more benefits.
  • 1 small-medium green pepper diced
  • 1 small-medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced fine
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • a few grinds of black pepper

*to thicken & to add protein, you can add 1/2 cup quinoa and 1/4 cup red lentils one half hour before serving. You may thicken with ground flax seed too or eat it as it is!

Add all ingredients to crockpot, stir to mix and cook low for 7-9 hours or high 4-5 hours. Sprinkle with cheddar or grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional). Add more heat of you like it super hot. Serve alone or alongside tortilla chips or cornbread.
C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Deliciously Healthy Anti-Inflammatory Vegetable Chowder


This chowder gives you creative power over your meal. Use vegetables that are in season and try to focus on vegetables of all colors – eat the rainbow.

For my stew, I used items I picked up that day from the local farm stand. I made good use of the leafy green tops from beets, celery and turnip, and I used 2 ears of freshly shucked corn. I made it creamy using almond milk but you can use any milk of choice, just remember to limit dairy products if you’re concentrating on lowering inflammation.

I used:
  • 1 lg. onion
  • 1 lg clove elephant garlic (you can use 3-4 regular cloves)
  • 2 medium potatoes with skin
  • 1 large Turnip
  • 1 large Carrot
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 1 Green or red pepper
  • 1 large Zucchini
  • 2 ears of Corn – husked and steamed for 5 minutes then cut off the cob
  • 1 can of Black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1″ Fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • Leafy greens added last, try kale, spinach, collards, cabbage, Swiss chard – I used celery leaves, beet greens and turnip greens – about 4 cups total
  • Cumin, gray sea salt, black pepper, paprika – roughly 1/2 – 1 teaspoon each
Cut all veggies into large dice.
Sauté the onion, garlic and celery in oil of choice. Add about 4-6 cups of water and add potatoes, turnip, carrots, bring up to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Add green peppers, zucchini and spices, simmer 15 minutes. Add leafy greens and almond milk – simmer 10-15 minutes longer. Enjoy!
When you make your vegetable chowder using different ingredients, just cook them in order of denser veggies first and lighter quicker cooking veggies last; the trick is to keep all nutrients in tact by cooking slow and low and for just the right amount of time depending on the item. As the fall squash becomes available, be sure to use those as they are full of fiber and dense nutrients.
No rules except fresh in season veggies!
C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Peach & Heirloom Tomato Salsa

20160822_1359233 peaches, peeled and chopped (if you leave them out of the refrigerator for a day or two, you will be able to easily section the peach into eighths and peel each section)

1-2 large heirloom tomatoes – for this recipe I used one large yellow heirloom that was about the size of a softball

1/4 cup red onion diced small

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 – 1 hot pepper, diced small – I used 1/2 poblano pepper

1 Tbs. lime juice

pinch of salt

Mix gently in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to overnight. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or as a zesty side to your healthy whole grains, prepared eggs, chicken or fish.

Let me know how you liked it and any changes you made! Eat healthy, live happy!

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Working from home? A healthy, fast lunch is easy!

20151105_124319Today I invited my neighbor, whom also works from home, over for lunch. About an hour or so before lunch time I popped a whole butternut squash, one large peeled onion and 2 large cloves of elephant garlic in a baking dish and into a 375° oven. The house smelled so good while it roasted and while I got some work done. When it was time for lunch, I took the stuff out of the oven, peeled the squash, simple when baked whole, (get rid of the seeds) and put the squash, onion and garlic into a stockpot with almond milk, salt, and thyme, I added a splash of lemon juice for brightness, about 3 sprigs of parsley and heated it through. I didn’t measure, I made it on the thick side for heartiness. When it was lightly bubbling…or in my case bubbled out of the pot a few splashes…yikes! Use your immersion blender to puree and make it smooth.’

My friend brought over a hot Pumpkin-beer bread to have alongside it and we enjoyed lunch on the back porch on this beautiful autumn day.

Don’t work at home? That’s okay, you can still bring this healthy dish into work. Make it the night before while your dinner is cooking…or make this for dinner and bring leftover soup! For dinner, while the veggies are roasting you can get stuff done around the house to lessen your chores after dinner.

Healthy isn’t complicated. Be creative, have fun and cook! 20151105_124256