Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Eat, Drink and Be Merry with some new recipes for the New Year

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Bon appetit !

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Well, hard to believe it’s the week of Christmas. I love trying out new foods and recipes around this time of year because I’m motivated to find things that are tasty and low-cal since it’s easy to pack on the pounds during all the festivities. Here are some delicious recipes:

Debby Doktor’s Turkish White Bean Salad with Colored Peppers and Herbs (Piyaz)

2 cups (3/4 lbs.) dry white, navy, pea, Great Northern or kidney beans

(I used 2 cans of cannelloni beans rinsed in cold water and drained; I often use the smaller cannellini bean)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Juice of 2 lemons

Aged Balsamic vinegar – 2-3 tsps.

1/3 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup EVOO ( I don’t use nearly this much oil ad mix different oils – Spanish, Sicilian, garlic or herb oil – whatever you want)

3 garlic cloves, minced (I lightly sautéed the garlic in oil then minced the cloves and used the oil for the salad)

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. each fresh mint and dill

1 tsp.  minced fresh oregano (I use 1 Tbsp.)

1medium – large red onion, grilled, finely diced

1/2 each red, yellow and orange pepper, grilled, finely diced (or some green pepper)

Optional on the side: Kalamata, Nicoise and/oror mixed Greek olives;  3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1. Pick over white beans, discard stones.  Cover with water and soak overnight.  Next day, place beans in a saucepan with enough water to cover by 2″.  Simmer uncovered until skins begin to crack, 40-60 mins.  Drain.  Place in a bowl, drizzle with 1/2 of lemon juice; let stand 20 mins.  I do that with canned beans, too.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, olive oils, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  (I don’t do this – first I add some lemon juice, some balsamic, and some olive oils to the beans, give them a gentle toss, then add all the herbs and toss gently again, add a little salt & pepper, toss again, then let it sit for at least an hour.  Taste and add lemon juice, oils, Balsamic, salt & pepper.  Use more fresh herbs, too, than stated above – according to your taste.


Liz Schaefer’s pumpkin muffins

1 can pumpkin puree (not the kind used for pie)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 large eggs (I used eggbeaters)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (or more)
1]  preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2]  grease muffin paper cups (i sprayed) and place in muffin tin.  that way the muffins don’t stick to the paper.
3]  combine first 4 ingredients.
4]  mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt till smooth.
5]  fold in chocolate chips
6]  bake for 18-20 minute.
7]  enjoy!
Toby Dondis’ Fritata  serves about 10

 4 cups grated zucchini

2 cups bisquick

8 eggs

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1T snipped parsley

1 tsp each : Oregano, dried or fresh basil, chopped

1 cup veggie oil

I clove crushed fresh garlic

Dash of tobasco

Mix all together , spray 3qt baking dish with Pam and bake uncovers in 350 degrees

for 45-50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling  let stand 5 minutes


Cover and refrigerate overnight and uncover and bake for 60 minutes if from cold

Let stand 5 minutes

Bon appetit !

Also freezes very well if making in advance for a crowd


Ellen Cohen-Kaplan’s middle eastern lentil soup
3 garlic cloves
2 cups red lentils (can use black or green)
32 oz of organic vegetable broth ( I like Pacific low sodium)
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vidalia or red or yellow onions
1 cup diced red, green, yellow or green pepper
1 medium peeled eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbs dark brown sugar
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice or ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to taste
1 tsp salt to taste
4 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley or chopped fresh mint for garnish
1 tbs greek yogurt for garnish
Rinse the lentils, put them in a large pot with the vegetable broth and apricots, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low to simmer, for at least 20 minutes, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and saute 4-5 minutes, along with pressed garlic ,until onions are translucent. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley and yogurt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 10 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the lentils, and simmer for another 30 mins, making sure the lentils are tender. Adjust seasonings, and if soup it too thick, add more broth or water. Feel free to freeze the soup. As the flavors blend, it’s even better the next day. Enjoy !
Happy holidays to all and the very best of new year’s !

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