Simple Southwest Salad

By, Susan M. Piergeorge, MS, RDN

This dish is so easy and takes very little time to prepare. As far as nutrition, it’s packed with protein from the chicken, healthy fiber, protein and minerals from the beans, zesty citrus flavor and vitamin C from the orange. Parsley and cilantro make a great pair, along with onion and garlic…all of which support the health of the liver and digestive tract.

Makes 4 servings


1 can (15 ½ ounces) black beans (preferably low sodium), rinsed and drained
1 fresh orange, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
16 ounces cooked chicken, diced into bite-size chunks
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar of choice
1 teaspoon mustard
½ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dressing preparation

  1. In small bowl mix onion and vinegar with whisk or fork.
  2. Add mustard and blend.
  3. Add cumin and salt. Mix until well combined.
  4. Set aside.


  1. In medium bowl, mix black beans, orange, chicken, parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic.
  2. Add dressing and mix all ingredients until well blended.

Option: Serve atop a bed of mixed greens and pre-cut vegetables, such as carrots, jicama or celery.
Nutrition Information
Calories per serving: 421, 46 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fat, 114 mg sodium, 907 mg potassium, 3 grams sugar, 11 grams dietary fiber, 41 grams vitamin C


Susan’s Baby Boomer Banana SplitBoomerBananaSplit

By Susan M. Piergeorge, MS, RDN, Nutritionist

Who says a banana split can’t be nutritious? Many Baby Boomers are mindful of what they eat and this can fit the bill. This recipe has protein, calcium and probiotics from the yogurt, potassium, fiber and prebiotics from the banana, healthy fats from the chocolate, avocado and nuts. A great dessert (or breakfast!)

Makes 1 serving


1 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Avocado Ganache (recipe below)
1 banana
1 Tablespoon chopped nuts


  1. Place yogurt in bowl. Stir in chocolate until well blended.
  2. Slice banana and add to mixture.
  3. Top with chopped nuts.

Option: Sprinkle with cinnamon

Nutrition Information: 320 calories, 24 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fat, 90 mg sodium, 461 mg potassium, 28 grams sugar (26 grams naturally occurring in yogurt and banana), 5 grams dietary fiber

Chocolate Avocado Ganache

Servings: 20

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon


5 ounces dark Chocolate (60-70%) (cut into pieces)
1 Avocado (peeled and diced)


  1. In top of double boiler, melt chocolate over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Option #2 is to place a metal bowl over a saucepan filled about 1/4-1/3 with water and heat water to medium heat and allow chocolate to melt while stirring occasionally. Option #3 is to place chocolate in a microwavable glass bowl. Heat in 30 second increments until chocolate is melted.
  2. In food processor, blend chocolate with avocado with chocolate until smooth.
  3. Remove and place in bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1-2 hours.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and with a small melon ball size scoop or large Tablespoon, scoop mixture onto serving plate or in small bowl. These may also be made into truffles. Ganache may be frozen for up to four months.

Nutrition Per Tablespoon: 60 calories, 1 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fat, 2 gram saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 39 mg potassium, 2 grams sugar, 1 gram dietary fiber

Salmon Salad

Susan’s Salmon Salad

Adapted in part from Susan’s book, Boomer Be Well! Rebel Against Aging through Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle.

Makes 8 servings

Salmon is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and when used with the bones as in this recipe, some calcium as well.  The majority of canned salmon available these days is also BPA free.  This salad is so easy to make and can serve as either a meal or appetizer or snack. Accompany with crackers, vegetables or fruit.


1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger (or ½ teaspoon powder)*
1 teaspoon fresh minced turmeric (or ½ teaspoon powder)*
1 15-16 ounce can wild salmon with bones, drained*
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt or vegenaise)
1 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
*If using a food processor, use it to mince the ginger and turmeric as well as mix the salmon with the bones.


1. In food processor, place a chunk of fresh ginger and turmeric (about ½ to 1 inch each). Pulse to mince.  Add salmon and blend to mash bones and form a spread.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Place in bowl, cover, refrigerate and allow flavors to blend for at least 1-2 hours.
4. If using a bowl versus food processor, place salmon in bowl and mash bones. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Nutrition per 2 Tablespoon serving (made with mayonnaise): 45 calories, 5 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, 2 grams fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 490 mg omega-3 fatty acids, 161 mg vitamin D, 56 mg calcium, 154 mg sodium


Stuffed Acorn SquashStuffed Acorn Squash

By Susan M. Piergeorge, MS, RDN

Makes 2 servings


1 organic acorn squash, halved and baked, seeds removed
1 cup cooked organic quinoa
1 Tablespoon organic olive oil
1 clove organic garlic, chopped
1 organic shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh organic rosemary
½ teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
2 Tablespoons organic walnuts, chopped
2 Tablespoons organic dried cherries
Sprinkle of salt, black pepper


  1. Place squash under broiler to warm for 5 minutes.
  2. In sauté pan, place oil, garlic, shallots, herbs and heat to medium heat.
  3. Add quinoa, walnuts, cherries, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  4. Add ½ recipe to each half of acorn squash.

Nutrition per serving: 330 calories, 7 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 100 mg sodium, 939 mg potassium, 4 grams sugar, 8 grams dietary fiber

Grape TossGrape Toss

This recipe is refreshing, tart, creamy, crunchy, tangy and of course, nutritious. The grapes provide beautiful color and flavor, the blue cheese adds a creamy taste, the walnuts add crunch, the basil adds depth and the vinegar balances it all out with some tang.
Accompany this at a picnic, or with some beef, chicken, fish or tofu, or you can serve as a dessert or snack.

Makes 12 1/2-cup servings

1/2 pound organic green seedless grapes
½ pound organic red or purple seedless grapes
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar*
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
*Add vinegar to taste

Wash and drain grapes.
In large bowl toss all ingredients.
Chill for an hour or so in refrigerator to allow flavors to blend.

Nutrition per serving: 125 calories, 3 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrate, 5grams fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 1 grams saturated fat, 85 mg sodium, 6 grams potassium, 1 gram dietary fiber 15 grams sugar (naturally occurring from grapes)


Susan’s ColeslawColeslaw1

This recipe is packed with nutrition and powerful detoxifying ingredients such as cabbage, carrots, parsley, cilantro, turmeric, thyme, black pepper, vinegar, lemon juice and a touch of honey. Your liver will thank you!

Makes 8 ½-cup servings


10 cups shredded cabbage and carrots or coleslaw mix (or 1 lb./16 oz. bag)
1 cup each fresh cilantro and fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh turmeric (or 1 Tablespoon dried)
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)


¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white or apple cider or rice wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon honey


In medium size bowl, mix vegetables, herbs and turmeric together.

Prepare dressing by mixing all ingredients in small bowl and whisk together.

Pour dressing over vegetable mixture in large bowl. Toss ingredients until well coated with dressing.

Cover and refrigerate. Use within 3-4 days.

 Nutrition per ½ cup serving: 90 calories, 1 gram protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 gram saturated fat, 70 mg sodium, 297 mg potassium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 0 grams sugar


Baby Boomer Crab cakeCrabcake

An average fried crab cake has about 230 calories with 60-65% fat and nearly 500 mg sodium. At the Golden Door, we believe in keeping our guests well fueled with healthy and delicious meals. From a nutrition standpoint, crabmeat contains quality protein, along with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins such as folate (B9), cobalamin (B12) and niacin (B3), and important minerals such as zinc, selenium, potassium, phosphorus and copper.

In this recipe we’ve reduced the calories and sodium, while also lowering the fat. Serve this delicious crab cake with a mixed greens salad, accompanied with some whole grains, or make smaller (half size) portions and serve as an appetizer or snack.

Servings 30 3-ounce crab cakes


4 pounds cooked crabmeat
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning


Empty the crab into a bowl and pick through gently and remove any shell fragments.

Mix all ingredients together.

Form into 3 ounce crabcakes.

Heat oven to 350 F.

Spray oil on griddle or in frying pan. Heat to medium heat.

Brown crabcake on both sides.

Place on cookie sheet and bake in oven for 5-6 minutes until hot.

Nutrition per crabcake: 150 calories, 11 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 360 mg sodium, 172 mg potassium, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams dietary fiber.


 Spaghetti Squash Marinara Style

Here’s a great way to utilize spaghetti squash into an Italian style dPiergeorgeSpaghettiSquashMarinaraish.

By Susan M. Piergeorge, MS, RDN

1 2 lb. spaghetti squash halved lengthwise and seeded*
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Black pepper, to taste
*I suggest asking your produce manager to cut the squash for you as sometimes it can be a bit tricky.
Preheat oven to 400F.

On a cookie sheet place parchment paper (optional) and then place squash face down.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until soft. Let cool for about 20-30 minutes.

With a fork, fluff spaghetti squash into strands, scraping all of the contents and set aside.

In a frying pan, place oil, garlic, onion and green pepper. Saute until lightly cooked.

Add spaghetti squash and tomatoes. Combine until well blended and cook until some of the liquid is evaporated (about 10-15 minutes over medium heat). Toss in cheese, parsley and black pepper and mix well.

Place in serving dish.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 103 calories, 4 grams Protein, 11 grams Carbohydrate, 5.5 grams Fat, 1.5 grams Saturated Fat, 4 mg Cholesterol, 330 mg Sodium, 2 grams Fiber

Citrus Glazed French Toast

This recipe has a different twist with the refreshing taste and zest of citrus from mandarins. You can substitute any type of bread. A few accompaniments include eggs, breakfast meats, soy sausage, or top with yogurt.

16 ounces bread, sliced into 8 thick slices
2 eggs
1 cup fat free half and half
1 tsp. orange extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces lowfat cream cheese
2 medium clementines, rinsed, peeled, and minced
Unsweetened cinnamon powder

In small bowl, mix cream cheese and mandarins together until well combined. Set aside.

With knife, slice a pocket about halfway into the middle of the side of each piece of bread.

Stuff each slice with about 2-3 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture.

Beat together eggs, fat free half and half, and extracts.

Pour into a shallow bowl, or baking pan (such as an 8 x 8 cake pan) to be able to dip bread.

Coat a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat.

Dip bread into batter.

Place bread onto skillet and cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Top with citrus glaze. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Makes 8 slices

Per slice: 240 calories, 10 gm Protein, 35 gm Carbohydrate, 7 gm Fat, 137 mg Cholesterol, 392 mg Sodium, 251 mg Potassium, 2 gm Fiber, 6 gm Sugar

2 Tbsp. Citrus Glaze: 44 calories, 11gm Carbohydrate, 8 gm Sugar, 2 mg Sodium, 86 mg Potassium

Citrus Glaze
1 cup Clementine juice, with pulp (about 7 medium clementines)
¼ cup white sugar
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

In small saucepan, bring mixture to a boil. .Stir constantly and reduce heat to a simmer. When heat is reduced, stir occasionally. Cook until mixture becomes thicker and denser (approximately 15-25 minutes). Remove from heat. Pour into a heat proof pitcher/container.
This glaze will also work on pork, fish, shellfish, poultry, venison, duck, beef.

Spinach Basil Pesto

Here’s a great (and sneaky) way to get some nutrient rich spinach in a delicious pesto sauce. Pesto can be used in pasta, pizza, on a baked potato, in a tuna or salmon salad, and as a spread on sandwiches and meats. Pictured is some pesto on pork tenderloin.

Make up a batch and refrigerate up to a week or freeze up to 6 months. One tip for using smaller quantities—freeze pesto in ice cube trays.

2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup walnuts
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, washed and drained
2 cups fresh basil washed and drained
½ cup olive oil

In a food processor or blender, place garlic and blend until well minced. Add walnuts and Parmesan cheese to form a dry paste. Add spinach and basil and process until well blended. While processor or blender is on gradually add olive oil until mixed.

Makes 2 cups. Season with salt and pepper as desired, however the Parmesan cheese contains salt, so taste the mixture before seasoning.

Per Tablespoon: 53 calories, 1 gm PRO, 5 gm FAT, 0 gm CHO, 1 gm saturated fat, 2 mg chol, 35 mg sodium, 196 IU vitamin A, 238 mcg lutein and zeaxanthin, 30 mg calcium, 20 mg potassium, 72 mg omega-3 fatty acids, 12 mcg vitamin K

Sumptuous Spiced Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

These cookies may have reduced sugar, but their flavor is enhanced with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. The oats pack heart healthy soluble fiber, the 60% cacao chocolate adds antioxidants, and the walnuts add some omega-3 fatty acids. To keep them fresher longer, freeze the cookies in sealable plastic bags after they are completely cooled.

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 c. old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. butter or plant sterol fortified vegetable spread, softened
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. water
3/4 c. 60% cacao dark chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In medium bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, beat butter/margarine and sugar until blended. Add eggs and vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually add dry mixture, alternating with chocolate and nuts. Add water if mixture is dry (just enough to moisten).
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets either lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. If crisper texture is desired bake a little longer (2-3 minutes).
  8. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire racks.

Makes approximately 48 cookies. Per cookie (made with butter): 95 calories, 2 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 81 mg sodium, 4 grams sugar, 1 gram fiber.

Almond Anise Biscotti

Serve these treats with coffee or as a light snack with a glass of milk. They are lower in sugar than most cookies, yet the anise adds a sweet flavor.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground anise seed
5 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small bits
2 eggs
2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup chopped blanched almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line one cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease well.
2. Using a food processor, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground anise seed.
3. Add butter and slowly pulse to combine into dry ingredients and until texture resembles a coarse meal.
4. Blend in eggs and almond extract. Mix in almonds.
5. Transfer mixture to a floured surface and divide in half. Shape each log to at least 9 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Place each log a few inches apart on cookie sheet.
6. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes on a wire rack.
7. Increase oven temperature to 400°F.
8. Move each log to a cutting board and gently slice (with a light sawing motion-I like using a sharp bread knife) into 18 slices per log. Lay each slice cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake for about 7-10 minutes.
9. Cool. Enjoy!
Makes 36 biscotti. Per biscotti: 75 calories, 2 gm protein, 8 gm carbohydrate, 4 gm fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fiber, 2 gm sugar, 52 mg sodium.

Chewy Cherry Almond Macaroons

1 14-oz. package sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract
½ cup chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped raw almonds

1. Heat oven to 325°F.
2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or grease and flour).
3. In large bowl, blend coconut, flour, sugar and salt.
4. Add egg whites and extract and mix well.
5. Stir in cherries and almonds until well blended.
6. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned.
8. Cool.
Makes approximately 36 cookies. Per cookie: 85 calories, 1 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 3 gm saturated fat, 1 gm fiber, 7 gm sugar, 51 mg sodium.

Waldorf Salad

2 organic red skinned apples, washed and chopped
2 organic Granny Smith apples, washed and chopped
Lemon juice (about 1-2 tsp.)*
1 large organic celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried or fresh pitted chopped organic cherries
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt strained (drain in a sieve for about 20 to 30 minutes)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger)


Mix apples with lemon juice (to prevent browning).

Mix all other ingredients together.

Let sit for 1 hour or so for flavors to blend. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 145 calories, 3 gm PRO, 24 gm CHO, 5 gm FAT, 4 gm Fiber, 1 mg Chol, 33 mg Sodium, 306 mg Potassium.

*If fresh lemons are not available or too expensive, ask your grocer for organic bottled lemon juice. It does not contain added sodium, etc. It will last for months in your refrigerator (and is also cheaper in the long run). You can add it to your drinking water for a refreshing zest, use it as a flavor enhancer, etc.

Herb and Spice Blends for Grilling

Top Seasonings to add to your grilling, broiling or barbecuing



Recipe nutrient abbreviations: [PRO=protein, CHO=carbohydrate, FAT=fat, Chol=cholesterol]

Herbal Blend:

1 tsp. each rosemary, oregano, and basil
2 Tbsp. minced dried onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Per Tablespoon: 12 calories, 0 gm PRO, 3 gm CHO, 0 gm FAT, 0 mg Chol, 1 gm Fiber, 1 mg Sodium

Spice Blend

2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Per teaspoon: 15 calories, 0 gm PRO, 4 gm CHO, 0 gm FAT, 0 mg Chol, 3 gm Fiber, 2 mg Sodium

Rub/Marinade Blend

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Per teaspoon: 4 calories, 0 gm PRO, 1 gm CHO, 0 gm FAT, 0 mg Chol, 1 gm Fiber, 295 mg Sodium

Susan’s Confetti Casserole

This side dish adds color and flavor to any meal. It can accompany beef, poultry, game, pork or seafood. It also packs a bounty of antioxidants and nutrition! Another great aspect is if you are sensitive to ingredients such as wheat or dairy, you can substitute items where indicated with an *.

I small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 c. fresh broccoli florets, cut in small pieces
3 large carrot stalks, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 recipe Herbed White Sauce (below)*

2 ounces bread, dried and crumbled*
2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese*

In large frying pan heat oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat. Add broccoli, carrots, and pepper. Stir mixture to coat vegetables with oil, garlic and onion. Cook 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in herbed white sauce. Pour into 2 quart casserole dish. Top with bread and sprinkle cheese over bread mixture. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until mixture is bubbling. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serves 6.

Per serving: 130 calories, 6 gm Pro, 16 gm Cho, 6 gm Fat, 8 mg Chol, 216 mg sodium, 2 gm Dietary Fiber, 5 gm Sugar

*Gluten Free bread crumbs or rice crackers can be substituted for regular bread crumbs

*Dairy free cheese (such as soy) may be substituted for Parmesan cheese

Herbed White Sauce*

1 Tbsp. Butter
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour (gluten free flour such as rice or potato flour may be substituted)
1 cup 1% milk (gluten free vegetable broth, Lact-aid or water may be substituted)
1 Tbsp each fresh basil, oregano, rosemary finely chopped (or 1 ½ tsp each dried)
¼ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

In medium saucepan, heat butter until melted over low heat. Add flour and stir until flour is well blended. Slowly stir in milk/liquid and continue to stir until sauce begins to thicken and is smooth and hot. Add herbs and seasonings. Take off heat.

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