Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!


March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is ‘Savor the Flavor of Eating Right’.  I believe that’s what we do everyday at Myplate2yours and it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Start with real, whole food.
  2. Create a dish that suits your palate.
  3. Slow down to enjoy your meal and the people you are eating with!

What I love about eating right is the array of colors and the sheer beauty of many of these dishes … and this one is no exception!  This is the salad I made for a family birthday celebration this weekend.  I searched for the recipe on my blog, but I was surprised to find I have never shared it with you.  Well, here it is today….enjoy!!

Citrus Salad with Baby Greens, Cucumber and Avocado (serves 6)

4 cups baby arugula, spinach and/or romaine

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup (about 1 large) English cucumber, diced

3 clementine oranges, sectioned

1 pink grapefruit, sectioned with knife

1 ripe avocado, diced

2 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds

Dressing: Mix together 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey. Whisk in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Season with dash cayenne pepper; salt and pepper to taste.

Spread greens on a serving platter. Top with cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado. Arrange orange and grapefruit sections on top.   When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.


Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is upon us!  Time with family, a break from work and school, and great food all mean that there is so much to look forward to!  Here are two new sides you may want to try for Thanksgiving:  Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad and Oven Baked Butternut Squash Risotto.  What’s unique about both of these is that they can meet the special dietary needs- gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and nut free- of anyone coming to dinner. If you are looking for something easy, yummy and good for everyone, try these!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Lemon Zest (serves 6)IMG_3114

1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup yellow raisins

2 peeled hard boiled eggs, diced (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Prepare Brussels sprouts by trimming bottoms and removing discolored or tough outer leaves. In a food processor with a grating attachment (or with a box grater), grate sprouts. Collect into a medium bowl (about 10 ounces total). Toss with sunflower seeds, raisins, and eggs (if using). In a separate small bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking to combine. Add zest and shallots. Toss salad with dressing.

This salad can be served immediately or place in fridge for up to an hour. Toss again before serving and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Adapted from

Oven Baked Butternut Squash Risotto (serves 6)IMG_3115

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1-1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and diced (4 cups)

4 cups vegetable stock

1 bunch curly kale (or Lacinato/Tuscan kale), tough stems removed and cut into ½ inch strips (about 4 cups loosely packed)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium Dutch oven or oven proof pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until edges of rice are translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add wine. Stir and cook until wine is absorbed. Add squash and stock, bring mixture to a boil. Stir in kale. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Serve hot and garnish with parmesan. Enjoy!

Adapted from Meatless by Martha Stewart


Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

Produce and eggs fresh from the farmer’s market last weekend sparked my desire to make this beloved salad.  Its roots are in Provence and traditionally is made with tomatoes, anchovies, black olives, capers, French beans and lemon juice. I prefer tuna to anchovies in my version and have opted for the olives but not the capers.  It is slightly labor intensive but so worth the effort for this main dish salad. And, because I don’t use lettuce, leftovers of this dressed salad keep nicely in the fridge for a few days.  This salad is one of the many reasons I don’t want summer to end!  Enjoy!

Salade Nicoise (serves 6)

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1 pound tiny new potatoes, scrubbed

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

2 or 3 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered

2 or 3 baby cucumbers (or 1/2 large English cucumber), sliced

3 scallions, green and white portions sliced

2, 5 ounce cans water-packed albacore tuna, drained

3 eggs, hard cooked and peeled

1/2 cup black olives


3 tablespoons good quality cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves. chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oil.  Stir in garlic and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Steam green beans for 5 minutes or until tender crisp.  Rinse cooked beans immediately under cold water to quickly cool.  When drained and dry, combine beans with the bell pepper and toss with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to lightly coat.  Set aside.

Cook potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and while warm, add a few tablespoons of vinaigrette.  Toss and set aside.

To assemble the salad, use a large platter.  Place potatoes on the platter and top with the beans/peppers.  Flake the tuna on top of the salad and add scallions and olives.  Arrange the cucumbers and tomatoes around the salad and add quartered eggs.  Drizzle the final creation with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette.  Bon Appetit!!

Mango & Black Bean Avocado Bowl


The look of my local grocery store’s produce section is changing with the season.  I have recently found sweet mango and creamy avocado which make a great pair in this dish.  Add some black beans and toss with cilantro-lime dressing, and this outstanding salad (originally inspired from one in can escort you into the summer months!  A fun twist to this recipe is how it is served….proudly in a reserved avocado shell.  Enjoy!

Mango & Black Bean Avocado Bowl (makes 4)

2 avocados (firm and ripe)

1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1, 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, zest, salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Whisk in oil until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust sweetness, if needed.

In a separate bowl, combine black beans, mango, jalapeño, and cilantro. Add dressing to taste, reserving extra dressing in fridge. Let mixture rest for 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, halve, pit and dice avocados, reserving shells. Combine avocados with bean mixture. Add more dressing, if needed. Divide salad amongst 4 shells. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Albacore Tuna, Chickpea, and Roasted Beet Salad

Albacore Tuna, Chickpea, and Roasted Beet Salad

This photo may look familiar… I sent it out last week to promote a class I was teaching.  But for all my friends and followers who do not live close enough to get to class, here is the recipe!  The premise behind this recipe is putting together a great main dish salad with ingredients you have ‘on hand’:  (in pantry) canned albacore tuna, canned chickpeas; (in fridge) roasted beets, mixed salad greens, and cucumbers.  Please let me know how you like it!!

Albacore Tuna, Chickpea, and Roasted Beet Salad with Dijon Dressing (serves 4 main dish portions)

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cans (5 ounces) albacore tuna packed in water, drained

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 ounces baby spinach (3 cups)

1 package (8 ounces) cooked beets, quartered

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Small seedless cucumber, diced

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and oil. Reserve 1/3 cup dressing and combine tuna in dressing bowl. In a serving bowl, toss together romaine, spinach, beets, cucumbers and chickpeas. Toss salad with remaining dressing and top with tuna.




Summer Salads

Summer Salads!

This fun salad was enjoyed this week at ‘Summertime Fun‘ Kid’s Culinary Camp at Marcel’s.  

Are you looking for a new & easy salad recipe for a summer BBQ or backyard party?  Myplate2yours to the rescue! Here are some of my summer favorites:

Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese (GF*)

Festive Barley Salad

Edamame Salad with Corn and Quinoa (GF)

Lentil Artichoke Salad (GF)

Caribbean Chicken Salad

Please let me know if you do make one of these.  I’d love to hear how these nutritious and delicious recipes are being shared!  Enjoy!!

*designates gluten-free 



Warm Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Apple Salad Bowl

Sweet Potato Lentil Salad

Fall flavors abound in this recipe…roasted sweet potatoes, tart apples, and earthy lentils.  It can be served either as a side dish or a vegetarian main dish. This salad was one of the recipes I taught in class this week at Marcel’s.  It was enjoyed by all!

My next class, on Tuesday, October 29th, 6:30-8pm, is a delicious combination of easy soups and quick bread just in time for these busy fall nights.  On the menu:  Pear and Pumpkin Soup, Cajun Red Beans and Rice Soup, Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves.  These recipes are vegetarian (although I will have some meat ‘on the side’ for any carnivore guests) and gluten-free, and all very delicious!  Click HERE to register….hope you can make it!

Warm Sweet Potato, Lentil and Apple Salad Bowl

Serves 4-5 (main dish), 6-8 (side dish)

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peel and dice

1 small red onion, large dice

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Salt and pepper

8 ounces mushrooms (button, chantrelle, or cremini), sliced

2 cloves minced garlic

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 small tart apples (Jonathon or Cortland), dice

1 cup cooked lentils

Balsamic glaze, if desired

Preheat oven 425 degrees.  Place potatoes and onions on baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Roast high in oven for 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms, garlic and celery in 1/2 tablespoon oil until mushrooms and celery are softened.  Salt and pepper, to taste.  Add apples and cook until just warm.

Pour contents of sauté pan into a large bowl.  Add roasted potatoes and lentils, stir to combine.

Serve in bowls and garnish with Balsamic glaze, if desired.

Asian Slaw with Sesame-Hoisin Dressing

Asian Slaw

We needed a quick side salad for our teriyaki chicken and rice dinner last night.  I had a head of Napa cabbage in the fridge and was able to quickly assemble this salad. My family voted this ‘lick-your-plate-clean’ yummy!

Asian Slaw with Napa Cabbage and Sesame-Hoisin Dressing (serves 4-6)

1 pound Napa cabbage, sliced

4 large radishes, sliced into strips

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 scallion, sliced thin strips

Dressing (adapted from

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Prepare dressing by combining ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl.

Place salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss with dressing.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Festive Barley Salad

Festive Barley Salad

Are you looking for a salad or side dish to make for the 4th of July?  This one is super easy and also travels well!  If desired, it can be made a day ahead and chilled.  All it may need is a little extra dressing, a toss and its ready to serve.

It’s also very versatile.  It can be made with other whole grains like brown rice or quinoa (for gluten-free versions) or orzo pasta.  Just substitute 3 cups of cooked grain/pasta for the barley in this recipe.  Enjoy!

Festive Barley Salad (adapted from

3 cups cooked pearled barley (pearled barley can take 45-60 minutes to cook.  I use quick pearled barley, Quaker brand, which cooks in 10 minutes)

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper

1 can corn, drained
1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Combine olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and a dash pepper. Pour dressing over warm barley; toss to coat. Cool in refrigerator.  Add corn, tomatoes, bell pepper and onions. Serve immediately or chill. Makes about 5 cups.

Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken

Asian Noodle Salad

When the weather gets warm, we enjoy cool meals.  Here is a tasty main dish salad you’ll want to try!  The salad’s crisp vegetables, delicious dressing, and soft noodles work together as a refreshing combination for a summer meal.

But, please don’t let the longer list of ingredients keep you away, there are many shortcuts that make assembly easier:

  • Rice noodles cook in boiling water for only 4 minutes.
  • The chicken can be leftover from last night’s grill meal.
  • Carrots can be bought already shredded in the grocer’s produce section.
  • Garlic & ginger both have minced versions available.
  • Fish sauce is found in the Asian section of your grocery store.  It adds a great flavor to this salad’s dressing. Light soy sauce can be used as a substitute.
  • Napa cabbage is available in the produce section.  If not, you can also use savoy cabbage or even crisp iceberg lettuce.

I hope now you’re encouraged to try this recipe.  It was recently featured in a class I taught and was enjoyed by all.  Let me know if you like it, too!

Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken  (serves 6-8)

16 ounces dried rice noodles (about 1/4-inch)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (4-5 small limes)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno pepper, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

8 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1/2 large head)

1 cup shredded carrots

1 large cucumber, peeled if desired, cut into 1/2-inch dice

5 medium radishes, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup salted peanuts (optional), coarsely chopped

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, cilantro, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and jalapeno.  Let this sit for at least 10 minutes.

Sauté chicken breast in non-stick skillet with 2 teaspoons olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  When cooked (opaque throughout), remove from heat.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add rice noodles and stir immediately.  Cook util the noodles are just tender (check in 4 minutes, cook no longer than 6 minutes total).  Drain, rinse with cold water until noodles are cool.  Drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles, chicken, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, radishes, and mint leaves.  Toss thoroughly with dressing.  Serve on individual plates and garnish with peanuts, if desired.  Enjoy!