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Aviva's Blog

Healthy Halloween Recipes: Witches’ Fingers and Terror-ific Tomato Soup

While this might seem rather gruesome, you can serve this with a free conscience as no witches were harmed in the making of this recipe.  In fact, it's completely vegetarian -- and a hearty healthy Halloween dinner to serve before trick-or-treating.  This smooth and creamy soup, from Six O'Clock Scramble editor Kathryn Spindel, tastes like a fresher version of the classic Campbell’s tomato soup I loved as a child.  Serve this or other healthy Halloween recipes with Witch Finger breadsticks (see recipe below).

Creamy Tomato Soup with Basil

Prep + Cook Time: 25 minutes

2 Tbsp. butter 1/4 yellow or white onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup) 2 Tbsp. flour 4 cups low fat milk 1 bay leaf 2 tsp. sugar 1/2 tsp. salt (optional) 1/2 tsp. baking soda 28 oz. crushed tomatoes, with their liquid 1 - 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped In a stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir occasionally until the onions are softened but not browned, about 3...

Healthy Halloween Recipes: Spider Black Bean Dip

Black beans, fresh tomatoes, and vegetables (spiders optional) make this a healthy yet deliciously fun dip for a Halloween party or as a meal before heading out to Trick or Treat.  Serve with cheese cut like pumpkins, our homemade tortilla chips, and your favorite veggies -- fresh sweet peppers, blanched green beans, jicama, celery sticks, carrots for a healthy Halloween recipe.  This might become your favorite Halloween recipe.

Black Bean Dip Prep (10 minutes) Makes about 2 cups of dip, 8 servings, 1/4 cup each 15 oz. canned black beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. orange juice 1/2 lime, juice only, about 2 Tbsp. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or use 1 clove fresh garlic, minced) 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients. If too thick, and 1/8 – 1/4 cup water.  For spicer flavor add 1 chipotle pepper or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper....

Summer Potluck Recipe: Corn, Tomato and Bacon Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing

I think corn and tomatoes are a perfect pair. They ripen at the same time of summer and the tangy sweet flavor of tomatoes complement the crisp juiciness of the corn kernels. Here, with a creamy basil dressing and a smattering of bacon, it’s downright irresistible. I think you’re going to want to make this dish a summer potluck staple. “I couldn't believe how easy it was to throw together! It was absolutely delicious. I'd definitely make this for a summer potluck!,” according to recipe tester Nikki Wolf.

Try two other great summer potluck recipes:

Roasted Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Luscious Chickpea, Avocado and Cucumber Salad Corn, Tomato and Bacon Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing Prep + Cook = 25 minutes 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each 4 ears corn 6 strips bacon, pork, turkey or meatless 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream 1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. minced...

Smoothie: Blueberry, Basil, and Lemon Smoothie

This flavor combination is summery and refreshing, perfect before or after a workout or a walk. The herbs make it extra fragrant, and the yogurt and banana make the smoothie creamy.

. Blueberry Basil and Lemon Smoothie Makes 4 Servings, 1 cup each 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek or traditional) 1/2 cup water 2 cups frozen blueberries 1/2 lemon, with the rind if you have a powerful blender (if not just use juice) 1/2 cup fresh basil 1/4 cup fresh mint 1 small cucumber, halved (about 6 inches long) 1 banana, preferably frozen 1-3 Tbsp sugar, to taste (optional) Puree in a blender until smooth. Get more healthy smoothie recipes your whole family will love here: Nutritional Information per Serving (% based upon Daily Values): Calories 122, Total Fat 2.5g, 4%, Saturated Fat 1.5g, 7%, Cholesterol 8mg, 2.5%, Sodium 31.5mg, 1.5%, Carbohydrate 24g, 8%, Dietary Fiber 4g,...

Zucchini Recipes: Stuffed Zucchini Gondolas

Summer’s the season of bounteous crops of zucchini and yellow squash, which is also affordable because it’s so plentiful and easy to grow. I don’t find zucchini to be the most flavorful or exciting vegetable, but I love it as a crunchy crust stuffed with flavorful filling. I was going to call this zucchini boats but our son Solomon saw them and said they looked like canoes.  Recipe tester Samantha McKenzie’s 10 year old son said, " I don't generally like zucchini but this dish was great!" Serve it with garlic bread and grape tomatoes.  Add this to your repertoire of zucchini recipes.

Stuffed Zucchini Gondolas

Prep (30 min.) + Cook (10 min.) 6 servings

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 3 medium zucchini, 8 – 10 oz. each 1/2 bell pepper, any variety, finely diced 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced 1 tsp. minced garlic, about 2 cloves 8 oz. lean ground beef, turkey or meatless crumble 1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 2...

Grilled Vegetables: Grilled Asparagus as a Delicious, Simple Side

Grilled vegetables are easy and delicious side dishes when you've already got the grill fired up. Grilled asparagus is so easy to make, and the slow heat concentrates the flavors and makes a beautiful presentation.  If you can’t grill, then broiling works well, too!  For more recipes and tips about grilling, click here.

Grilled Asparagus Prep + Cook Time: 20 minutes 1 lb. asparagus 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove) 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. salt-free lemon pepper seasoning Preheat the grill or broiler. Trim the ends of the asparagus spears and lay them in a flat dish. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon pepper seasoning. Drizzle the oil mixture over the asparagus and stir them to coat. Grill them on a vegetable or fish grilling tray or broil them on a baking sheet for 10 - 15 minutes, flipping once, until they are tender.

Vegetarian gluten free recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

This is such a pretty salad that would be great to bring to a gathering. You can cook the quinoa and make the dressing while the potatoes are roasting, then throw it all together and serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days. This vegetarian gluten free salad has a wonderful sweetness.  You might also like it topped with a little sour cream or plain yogurt.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each Prep + Cook = 30 minutes 2 sweet potatoes, about 10 oz. each, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. smoked paprika 3/4 cup quinoa 1/2 tsp. salt 1 lime, juice only, about 1/4 cup 1 Tbsp. honey 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed, or use 1 1/4 cups cooked 4 oz. fresh spinach or other mild greens, coarsely chopped 2 Tbsp. chives of scallions, finely chopped Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with...

Superfoods: Carrot Ginger Fruit Smoothie Recipe

This delicious blend of superfoods tastes refreshingly sweet and thick.  Think pink with a tinge of orange. Carrot Ginger Fruit Smoothie 2 large servings 1/2 cup coconut water 1/2 cup lowfat pomegranate kefir, or any fruit flavored kefir 1 Tbsp. chia seeds 2 Tbsp. goji berries 2 – 3 carrots (depending on size) 1 tsp. ginger, peeled 1 cup frozen strawberries, or use fresh 1/2 lemon, juice only 1/2 cup ice Puree all of the ingredients in a blender and enjoy! What's your favorite fruit and vegetable combination in smoothies? What should we try next?

Vegetarian Main Dish for Thanksgiving: Baked Risotto with Spinach and Cremini Mushrooms

Perfect risotto without having to stir it for 30 minutes straight!  This is a wonderful version, adapted from my friend Debbie Lehrich's recipe.  Even my husband, who doesn't normally like risotto much, had three helpings!  Try this as a vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving. Baked Risotto with Spinach and Cremini Mushrooms  Prep Time: 30 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 60 minutes 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 6 oz. baby spinach 24 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 8 oz. sliced cremini or baby bella mushrooms 1/4 tsp. salt-free lemon pepper seasoning 1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving 1 Tbsp. sherry, (optional but great) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large oven-proof stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook them for about 5 minutes or until they...

Kale Balls with Creamy Dill Dip: Healthy Appetizers

Kale Balls with Creamy Dill Dip Prep (15 min.) + Bake (20 min.) 4 servings, 5 balls each I started seeing frozen spinach and kale balls (like meatballs but with greens instead of meat), and then I started obsessing about making my own. These cuties make a fantastic healthy appetizer or a fun little side dish. Don’t be daunted by the use of the food processor, it makes the whole mixing and chopping “process” take about 1 minute instead of 10. Serve it with cucumber slices and grape tomatoes which are also good dunked in the creamy dip. 1 lb. kale, or use spinach 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 piece wheat bread 1 egg, beaten 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 scallion, chopped 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. white or black pepper Dill Sauce: 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise 1/4 cup fresh dill, minced, or 1 Tbsp. dried 1 clove garlic, minced Preheat the oven to 400...