Tag Archives: Dinner

Easy Indian cooking…Yay for Chhole!

5 Aug

This dinner is one of my FAVORITES to make mainly because it’s super easy to make, low cost, healthy, and can be made in under 30 minutes!  It’s the perfect weeknight meal and is a great vegetarian dish.  Punjabi Chhole is an Indian dish made of chickpeas and spices. The spice packet can be made by combining spices you may already have but because I’ve yet to master the perfect blend, I purchase the Punjabi Chhole spice packet for $4 at fresh market.

Punjabi Chhole


  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 15.5 ounce cans chickpeas
  • 1 15.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet Punjabi Chhole spice packet (Arora Creations)
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium high heat
  2. Add onion and fresh ginger until translucent (about 2 minutes)
  3. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and cook until chickpeas are cooked through (about 5+ minutes)
  4. Add spice packet, tomato sauce, and water and stir to combine
  5. Turn heat to low and let simmer 5 minutes
  6. Garnish with cilantro

Serve with brown rice, naan, or whole wheat pitas. Serves 6.


The color purple – Eggplant Sandwich with quick Basil Aioli

15 Jul

Recently, I was hanging out with a group of friends when the topic of cancer came up. One my friends recently suffered a bout with cancer (he’s free and clear now) and another friend’s father was recently diagnosed with cancer (his prognosis is good). We immediately started to speculate on what could have caused these cancers. Was it the non-organic milk we drank as children? Or maybe it’s all the red meat and potatoes we eat? The conversation quickly shifted to prevention. One thing that stood out to me in our conversation was the quote, “My doctor told me the best things to eat are foods that are purple.” When you first hear this, you might think, HUH? But within seconds I started thinking of purple foods and how I could see these foods being cancer fighters. I recalled that deep red, blue or purple foods are known to be high in antioxidants. This conversation was the inspiration for an Eggplant Sandwich (since I still have the color purple on the brain).

Eggplant Sandwich


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • grape seed oil
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3 eggs (or egg substitute equivalent)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons light mayo
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
  • sliced tomato, lettuce (for garnish)
  • 8 Arnold Select Sandwich Thins


  1. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices and lay flat on wire rack
  2. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let sit for 30min to 1 hour or until water is beading on top of eggplant
  3. Rinse eggplant in cold water and pat dry
  4. Dredge eggplant in flour, then egg, then panko. Shake excess.
  5. Heat large skillet over high heat and lightly coat skillet with grape seed oil
  6. Add eggplant to skillet being careful not to overcrowd pan
  7. Cook until light golden brown color is achieved, approx 4 minutes per side
  8. Remove from pan and pat excess oil
  9. Serve on toasted Arnold Select Sandwich Thin with tomato, lettuce, and basil aioli

For Basil Aioli, whisk to combine mayo, lemon juice and basil.

Serves 8

Enjoy with a glass of red wine and a handful of fresh blueberries for dessert!

Skinny Spinach Calzones

12 Jul

Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I always feel really good when I’m able to put together a filling, nutritious, meatless meal.  This entree is my version of an old recipe I stumbled upon in a book my mother almost threw away! How healthy you want to make this dish is up to you. I like to leave a little fat in this recipe so as not to totally sacrifice taste. In parentheses, I’ve added ways to make this meal even healthier (if you wish).

Skinny Spinach Calzones


  • 3/4 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese (healthier option: fat free ricotta)
  • 2 tablespoons commercial pesto (healthier option: 1 tablespoon EVOO , 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon minced garlic)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can Pilsbury thin crust pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup baby bella sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (healthier option: fat free mozzarella)
  • Tomato Basil Garlic jarred pasta sauce
  • Small bowl with water for dipping finger tips


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Add ricotta, pesto, spinach, salt, and pepper to food processor and pulse till combined.
  3. Unroll pizza dough and cut into 4 sections on cookie sheet (spray sheet with cooking spray to avoid sticking)
  4. Divide spinach mixture between 4 dough sections
  5. Top spinach mixture with diced mushrooms and mozzarella
  6. Dip fingers in water bowl and seal edges of dough together to form squares
  7. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until light golden brown
  8. Serve warm with pasta sauce