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Healthy Recipes to Start the New Year
Happy New Year! Like everyone else, I ate a lot of junk during the holidays. I'm ready to be healthy again.
Sadly, that's easier said than done. Also, since I'm pregnant, a diet is out of the question. Enter Pamela Salzman with her amazing family recipes. 
What I love about Pamela is that her recipes are all easy and delicious, but made with healthier ingredients than you might make on your own. I've posted some of my favorites that my family and I will be enjoying and I hope you do as well.
Cauliflower Fritters Recipe
Cauliflower fritters 
Makes 16 patties
  • 4 cups steamed*, chopped cauliflower, about 1 medium head (you can also use frozen, steamed cauliflower, defrosted)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free flour (I like King Arthur Multi-purpose Gluten-free Flour) (you can also use all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (optional if you’re dairy-free)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley or chives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • About ¼ cup hot water
  • Unrefined olive oil for cooking fritters
  1. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and add the flour, garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and a few grinds of pepper and combine.  
  2. Add hot water a little at a time to make a batter that looks like egg salad.  I mush everything together with my hands.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  
  4. Add about 2 tablespoons oil or enough to coat bottom of skillet.  
  5. When oil is heated, take a ¼ cup of batter and form into a patty.  
  6. Cook in the oil until golden brown on the bottom.  
  7. Flip fritter and cook until golden brown on the second side.  
  8. You can likely fit 6 fritters at one time.  
  9. Repeat with remaining batter.
Notes:  The batter can be made ahead and the fritters can be frozen, too.

*To steam the cauliflower, cut it into large florets and place in a vegetable steamer over boiling water, steam, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, (about 7-10 minutes), then roughly chop, measure 4 cups, and place into a large bowl.

Hot Spinach And Artichoke Dip
Hot artichoke spinach dip 
Makes about 3 3/4 cups or enough for about 8 people
  • 10 ounces artichoke hearts frozen, defrosted or packed in water, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I do this in a thin clean kitchen towel.)
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Vegenaise or mayonnaise (I use soy-free Vegenaise.)
  • 2/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (I use Pecorino.)
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the shallots and garlic.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Place in a 9 or 10-inch oven-proof dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted.  
  5. Serve immediately.
Pasta With 5 Minute Cherry Tomato Sauce
Pasta With 5-Minute Cherry Tomato Sauce
Serves 6
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes (about 2 ½ -3 pints), stemmed and halved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • Kosher salt for pasta water
  • 1 pound whole grain pasta, such as whole wheat or spelt
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino-romano cheese (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium low heat.  
  2. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and swirl over medium until fragrant.  
  3. When the garlic just starts to turn golden around the edges, increase the heat to medium and add tomatoes and 2 big pinches of salt plus pepper to taste.  
  4. Cook tomatoes, stirring, until they start to lose their shape, about 5 minutes. Check seasoning and remove from heat.  
  5. Tear or slice basil leaves and stir into tomato mixture.
  6. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a tablespoon of kosher salt. 
  7. Cook pasta until al dente. The time will vary depending on the type of pasta you use. Remove a ladleful of pasta water and reserve.
  8. Drain pasta and transfer to the skillet with tomato mixture and toss gently to combine. Add a little reserved pasta water if mixture seems too dry.  
  9. Serve with cheese, if desired.
Brussels Sprouts with Turkey Bacon and Dates
Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and dates 
Serves 6
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds medium Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • 4 ounces nitrate-free turkey bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4-6 large, pitted dates, chopped (they’re much easier to cut when cold)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large skillet (12-14 inch is good) over medium high heat.  
  2. Add olive oil and butter.
  3. When butter is melted, add Brussels sprouts cut side down and season them with 1 teaspoon sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  
  4. Allow the sprouts to brown without burning and then turn to brown on the other side.  
  5. Lower the heat to medium and cook the sprouts another 3-4 minutes, until they soften slightly.
  6. Move the sprouts to one side of the pan and add the diced turkey bacon to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until it starts to crisp around the edges.
  7. Stir in the shallots, garlic and dates and cook another minute or so until the shallots are tender.
  8. Pour in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  
  9. Add the chicken stock and cook until just a glaze remains.  
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Serve immediately.
Chia Seed Pudding- Vanilla or Chocolate
Chia seed pudding 
Serves 2
  • 1 ¼ cups almond milk
  • 3 pitted dates or sweetener of choice, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-2 ½ Tablespoons raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (if making chocolate pudding), depending on how chocolaty you like it
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  1. Place almond milk, dates, vanilla and cacao in blender and process until dates are pulverized. A Vitamix does a great job with this. If your blender leaves the dates too chunky, you can strain the mixture before adding it to the chia seeds.
  2. Pour chia seeds into a medium container and add almond milk mixture.  
  3. Stir immediately to combine otherwise you may end up with blobs of chia seeds.  
  4. Allow to sit on countertop and stir every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, it should have thickened.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. I usually do this the night before. Stays in the fridge for as long as your almond milk would.  
  6. Optional to add toppings like fresh fruit, coconut or chopped nuts.

Pamela Salzman is a Los Angeles-based cooking instructor who emphasizes whole, seasonal, and organic foods. Besides teaching cooking, Pamela volunteers as a nutrition and garden educator for Growing Great, a non-profit organization focused on teaching elementary school children the importance of healthful eating. Pamela is also a certified holistic health counselor and blogs about nutrition and food on her website where she shares healthful, family-friendly recipes and tips.


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