Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash adds flavor and color to this classic fall recipe. Since butternut squash is naturally creamy and non-fat, it creates the ‘risotto’ texture without relying on Mascarpone that is extremely high in saturated fat. Frozen butternut squash puree can be found in most freezer sections of your local grocery store.

Gingerbread Cookies

Sesame seeds add a delicate crunch to these spicy treats. I like it when the cookies soften up as they are stored, but my husband is a crisp cookie fan, so I reheat them for a few minutes in a warm oven before serving the second day.

Shallots and Green Beans

Shallots belong to the family of chives, leeks, garlic and onions. I think they look like tulip bulbs and taste a lot milder than garlic and onions. They lend a gentle onion flavor to vinaigrettes and are a great substitute for raw garlic that can sometimes be hard to digest

Fast and Flavorful Side Dishes

I want to start eating more vegetables! That’s what many of my friends say – but with hectic works schedules, kids and households to care for, it can be tough to squeeze it all in. Yet getting more veggies onto your dinner table can be effortless when you learn to switch up the flavor profile and keep it fresh. Take these four scrumptious flavorings – garlic, ginger, onion and salsa – that you can mix and match (or find your own favorites)…

Chicken Enchiladas

Traditionally, enchiladas are soft tortillas dipped in salsa, filled, and then baked. In my version, chopped tomatoes mix with spinach and jalapeño to make a savory ‘salsa’ on the inside. Enchiladas are a great dish to make-ahead dish that can be gently warmed before serving

Zucchini Salad with Lemon and Ricotta

Zucchini is such a tender vegetable, you can enjoy it without even having to turn on your stove. Eat it raw during the summer, when zucchini is at its peak. If you want to make this ahead of time, combine all the ingredients, but save the ricotta and fresh herbs to use right before you serve it.

Garden Veggie Bowl with Shrimp and Corn

Shrimp add flavor and low-fat protein to this easy veggie side dish. It’s a fast way to use up the best a summer vegetable garden has to offer. Enjoy a slice of cornbread or toast some whole wheat pita to make it a main course for two.

Grilled Jalapeno Flank Steak

My neighbors Claudio and Bernadette love marinating their flank steak with pickled jalapenos, which add lots of flavor without too much heat. I added garlic and more herbs to their version of this simple grill-ready recipe.