Refreshing Strawberry Aqua Fresca

Denise L. Albert, Dietitian



4 cups sparkling water

1/3 cup turbinado sugar

6 cups strawberries, hulled

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)





Combine water and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Place strawberries in blender puree until smooth.

Combine the sugar mixture, strawberry puree, and juice; stir well.

Sauté of Greens with Roasted Beets and a Maple Pecan Drizzle

Denise L. Albert, Dietitian


Greens of any kind: Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach or a mixture of them all.
Minced garlic
Olive oil
Fresh Beets
Feta Cheese or Gorgonzola would work as well.
Oak Aged White Wine Vinegar (Napa Valley Naturals)



Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Dice beets into small roasting pieces. On a sheet pan
toss beets with olive oil and place in preheated oven. Roast at 400 degrees for at
least 20 minutes. Sauté’ Greens with olive oil and garlic. Set aside.
Meanwhile make a basic vinaigrette and add maple syrup to taste. Add crushed
pecans. Salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble sautéed greens, beets, and pecans in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with feta
cheese and drizzle with maple vinaigrette.

Denise L. Albert, Dietician

Crispy Fingerling Potato Pancakes with Green Onion Aioli


4 medium Russet potatoes, shredded 2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
2 TBS flour

1 tsp baking powder fresh cracked pepper

Aioli ingredients:

3/4 C mayo, can use a low fat mayo if desired 1/4 C chopped green onion
salt and pepper


Mix all pancake ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. Heat 1 TBS canola oil in frying pan. Use a small ice cream scoop or large spoon to add lumps of mixture to hot oil. Fry, and use spatula to press into pancakes.

For aioli. Add ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth for the best results or whisk in a bowl.

Denise L. Albert, Dietitian

Butterhead Lettuce and Whipped Strawberry Cream Cheese Wraps

Denise L. Albert, Dietitian


Butterhead Lettuce

Neufchatel Cream Cheese




Wash Lettuce and dab with towel to remove excess water. Pull apart individual lettuce leaves, set aside. Whip strawberries in food processor or blender. Add dollop to butterhead lettuce, wrap and enjoy. 

Grilled Cantaloupe and Zucchini with Pesto and finished with Balsamic Vinegar

Denise L. Albert, Dietitian

This is a favorite recipe from one of Greg and my favorite restaurants in Iowa City

Iowa. An intimate little restaurant serving only local fare.


One small ripe Cantaloupe
One small Zucchini
A jar of your favorite or homemade pesto
High quality balsamic vinegar


Slice cantaloupe and zucchini into thin horizontal slices. Brush with balsamic
vinegar and grill until grill marks appear. Layer cantaloupe and zucchini one on
top of the other. Drizzle with pesto and finish with balsamic vinegar.

I hope you enjoy a little bit of the Midwest.

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Grilled Pineapple with Honey Yogurt Drizzle

  • Fresh pineapple or canned, cut and cored., then sliced into rounds

  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoonsHoney

  • Pinch of cinnamon



Place the pineapple rounds on grill, grilling pan, skillet, or even on a greased baking sheet (if using oven v. stovetop or grill). 


Grill pineapple slices until they begin to develop grill marks or slight charring. On stovetop, medium heat and about 2 minutes per side should do it.


Meanwhile, mix honey and yogurt in bowl, stirring until smooth with a spoon. Add cinnamon to combine.


Plate grilled pineapple slices and drizzle honey-yogurt mixture over.

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Parmesan Soup Recipe

2 med onions sliced
1 TBS garlic minced
4 C milk or milk alternative
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Worcestershire
Sauce Leftover cheese! (For this video I used parmesan cheese and cream cheese)


Sauté sliced onions until brown and caramelized with 1TBS olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Add milk and whisk onion and garlic mixture. Add cheese for the best consistency and flavor I would recommend at least 1 cup of cheese). Once cheese has melted add the thyme and Worcestershire Sauce.

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Easy Strata Recipe

  • Almost old bread, this recipe is ideal for the unwanted end pieces which so often get tossed

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cup milk

  • Turkey sausage: 1 C cubbed

  • 1 C chopped Kale including the stems

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Lemon zest


Tear or cut the bread into 1" or so pieces and place into a baking dish. Add eggs and milk to create a slurry. Add in sausage, kale and season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes or until a knife come out clean. Makes six or more slices.


Concentrated Tomato Hummus  Not only does this recipe contain canned tomatoes but this entire recipe includes wonder foods for our immune system. From garlic, chickpeas, sesame seed tahini, olive oil, cumin, and turmeric. This recipe has all the good stuff in it! All of these foods are shown to have a positive effect on the gut microbiome which can directly boost the health of our immune system, and we want a healthy gut flora.

Concentrated Tomato Hummus 


1 can diced tomatoes drained

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon) 1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini 1 small garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric Salt to taste 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water



Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor if you have one or you can use a blender on puree.  Drizzle in olive oil at the end to thicken mixture.  You can add a squeeze of lemon and olive oil at the end to serve. Serve this with a plate overflowing with sliced vegetables such as yellow, red, and green peppers, green beans, broccoli, squash etc. etc. etc. Place this out on the table for kids and family to graze if they are hungry. It's important to try to stay away from sugary and carb rich snacks because they have the exact opposite effect on our immune by increasing inflammation.

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Kale Strata

  • 1 bunch kale, large stems removed

  • 2 1/2 cups day-old bread, crust intact, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup grated gouda cheese


How to Make It

Step 1     Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease or line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2     Rinse kale and add to a pot over medium heat with 1/4 cup of water. Cover, and cook until kale is tender but can still hold its shape, about 6 minutes. Drain the excess water from the greens and transfer to a cutting board. Coarsely chop, add to a small bowl and set aside.


This is an easy one that can be made the night before and popped in the oven to be hot and ready for your young brilliant minds. 

Chicken Sausage and Potato Soup 


1 lb chicken sausage

1 medium onion chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

3 medium carrots chopped

4 Russet potatoes washed and chopped with skin on

32oz Chicken Bone Broth

2 dried bay leaves

fresh parmesan cheese



Add olive oil to soup pot or dutch oven.  Toss in chopped mirepoix (celery, carrots, and onion) and sauté until onion is shiny and translucent.  Add chicken sausage and brown stirring every now and then.  Add potatoes, bay leaves, and bone broth.  Simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Serve with a little parmesan sprinkled on top!

Freshly Baked Pizza



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  • In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 mins.

  • Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Fold until dough starts to form. Let rest for 5 mins.

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round ball.

  • Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal.

  • Bake in oven, turning with tongs as needed, until crisp all over (approximately 20 mins). Meanwhile, make the toppings.


  • In a bowl, add diced tomatoes and crush with a potato masher. Add additional sauce ingredients. Stir and set aside.


  • In a bowl, add arugula and drizzle with a high quality balsamic vinegar and toss.

  • Spread sauce to all edges of rectangular pizza crust. Pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to bubble a little. Dress the top with the arugula and serve. Enjoy!

Italian Street Pizza



  • 1 (.25 oz.) Package active dry yeast

  • 1 tsp. White sugar

  • 1 c. Warm water (110 degrees F/45 degree C)

  • 2 1/2 c. Bread flower

  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil

  • 1 tsp. Salt

  • Cornmeal


  • 1 can Diced low sodium tomatoes

  • 1 can Tomato paste

  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

  • 1 tbsp. Fresh chopped basil

  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  • Arugula

  • Balsamic vinegar