Tag Archives: olive oil

Roasted Garlic Dip

Just the right amount of garlic in a great savory dip that is perfect for any occasion.

Roasted Garlic Dip
Roasted Garlic Dip

4 servings
155 calories per serving

2 whole garlic heads
4 T mayonnaise
5 T plain Greek yogurt
1 t mustard
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate the garlic cloves from the whole head, peel them and place in a baking dish and mix with the oil and salt. Cover with foil and bake / roast 30-40 minutes (or until very tender) and then let cool 5 minutes. Mash garlic with a fork then combine with the rest of the ingredients. Cover and chill. Sprinkle with black pepper just before serving.


Tabbouleh is a Lebonese salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, mint and bulgur wheat. It is so healthy, so delicious and so very pretty to look at – serve some up as an appetizer at your next get together.


8 servings
214 calories per serving

1 c bulgur wheat
2 c boiling water
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small bits
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped into small bits
3 scallions, chopped
1 c chopped fresh parsley
1/3 c mint leaves chopped
2 t salt
1/2 c lemon juice
¼ c olive oil

Place wheat in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak 45 minutes to an hour and then drain it and squeeze out any extra water. Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve with pita bread, pita chips or as a side salad.

Tomato and Avocado Salad

The wonderful texture of flavor of avocado shines through in this simple recipe. As well as tasting delicious, avocados are full of healthful MUFAs. This time I used all sliced Campari tomatoes for this salad – they are so sweet !

Tomato and Avocado Salad
Tomato and Avocado Salad

4 servings
161 calories per serving

2 lbs. assorted tomatoes, sliced (green tomatoes, grape tomatoes, heirlooms, etc. – whatever you have)
1 avocado, sliced
1 T Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 T chopped cilantro or parsley.

Mix all except avocados in a bowl – then add avocado and gently mix so that avocados do not break up. Serve immediately.

Asian Salad

Though the dish packs some calories, it is all good MUFA calories – olive oil, seeds, nuts. So I go ahead and eat it as a lunch instead of a side. The dressing is just superb – the soy added to the Italian dressing gives it such an Asian flair. And the added crunch from the ramen noodles make this a great salad !

Asian Salad
Asian Salad

12 servings
260 calories per serving

1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad dressing mix
1/3 c sugar
2 T soy sauce
2 3 oz. Packages of ramen noodles
2 16 oz. bags of coleslaw blend
4 green onions, sliced
½ c roasted sunflowers
½ c sliced almonds

Prepare salad dressing mix according to package instructions. Stir in sugar and soy. Break noodles and discard seasoning packet. Add coleslaw, onions, seeds and nuts, Mix and add dressing and toss to coat well.

My Salsa Verde

When I first had this in a Brazilian restaurant I came home and scoured the net to find a recipe that was similar to what I had just tasted. After much trial and error, this is the recipe that grew out of many test batches.

When this is paired with meats and fishes, it makes the meal super refreshing and turns the simplest of grilled meats into a flavor sensation – it is soooo good ! But beware – this does leave you with some pretty heavy duty garlic breath – this is not a good recipe for date nite !

Just a tablespoon or 2 served with grilled beef, chicken or fish is a taste treat you won’t soon forget !

My Salsa Verde
My Salsa Verde

15 servings
39 calories per serving
(1 serving=1T)

7 cloves garlic
2 c fresh parsley
2 c fresh cilantro
10-12 T fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
¼ c olive oil
¼ – ½ c vinegar
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Place garlic in a good processor and mince finely. Add parsley and cilantro and mince finely – so fine that the mixture is more of a paste than chopped herbs. Place in a bowl and mix with all the other ingredients. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight to let the flavors mingle.

MUFAs in Your Diet

MUFAS are monounsaturated fatty acids. They are the ‘healthy’ fats that we find in food such as avocados, olives, olive oil, dark chocolate, peanut butter, and nuts and seeds of all types. Many times people following low cal meal plans leave this out of their diets because the food items containing MUFAs are high in calories. DON’T DO IT !

For weeks I have been ‘stuck’. After dropping 30+ pounds consistently losing a pound a week, week after week, all of the sudden for a month or more I am stuck. Many dieters call this a plateau and they scream about it. I see why – here I am eating right, even lowering my daily caloric intake, my activity level is the same or higher – and I cannot continue dropping the pounds. What’s going on?

Well, I looked back and realized that I had been foregoing the MUFAs to increase other caloric intake. It was not even junk that I was adding – it was more veggies and fruits. Alas !

So last week I go back to peanut butter or yummy Barney Butter almond butter on my toast in the mornings. I add back semi-sweet chocolate chips as a nice little after lunch or dinner snack. I add back guacamole / avocado. And I add back a bit more olive oil and olives. Guess what? I’m down 2 pounds in a week !

It can only be the MUFAs ! Be sure to add them to your meal plans. As well as helping you feel satisfied (don’t all high fat items make you happy? hehehe) they supposedly also help your body flush out other not so healthy fats. Whatever the case, I am a believer – I have seen it for myself now and I’ll be making more room in my diet for the MUFAs I need to keep losing weight and reaching my goals 🙂

Sauteed Escarole

This is one of my favorite dishes at Italian restaurants. It may seem like a lot of escarole to start, but it cooks down a TON. My version is the super garlic version – feel free to tone it down by using half the recommended garlic !

Sauteed Escarole
Sauteed Escarole

4 servings
87 calories per serving

2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 c cleaned and chopped escarole
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t garlic powder
OPTIONAL – 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly so that the garlic does not burn and get bitter. Add escarole a few handfuls at a time and mix every 30 seconds or so making sure all escarole comes in contact with the bottom of the pan so it heats and wilts. Once wilted a bit, add salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking 5 minutes or until to desired doneness. You can take it off while there is still some crunch to the larger pieces, or I like to cook it all down quite a bit and serve it very wilted and cooked.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Black Beans are a great source of fiber and a great, filling addition to many salads, stews, etc. In this purer form, their earthy flavor really comes out.

Cuban Black Bean Soup
Cuban Black Bean Soup

4 servings
368 calories per serving

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 small red onion
2 garlic cloves
2 T olive oil
1 c water
1/2 c sofrito (jars are sold in the Mexican section of your grocery store – near the Goya products)
2 T cilantro leaves
8 T light sour cream (2T per serving)

Place red onion, garlic and sprigs of cilantro in small food processor and puree. Remove and set aside. Place oil in small sauce pan and heat. Add garlic and onion mix and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Place beans, water, sofrito and 1 T cilanto leaves in blender. Blend on medium speed until desired consistency – I like some big chunks left in mine, so I don’t go too crazy here. Stir into saucepan and heat through. Pour into bowls and top each bowl with 2 T sour cream and serve immediately.

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