Santa Fe Tempeh Quinoa Salad

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Santa Fe Quinoa 2 cropped

Give your gut bacteria a healthy kick. This completely vegan main dish salad is super loaded with probiotic and prebiotic nutrients for a whole body health transformation. Perfect for Spring Detox!


3 cups cooked quinoa  (see below)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped 1 red pepper, diced 1 (8-oz.) package tempeh, cubed 1 cup salsa Juice from one lime 1 Tablespoon Santa Fe Seasoning (see below)

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup fresh corn (or frozen) 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro Salt and pepper, to taste 1 avocado, diced


  1. Heat the oil on medium heat and add chopped onion. Saute for 5 minutes until golden in color.
  2. Add diced red pepper, cubed tempeh, salsa, lime juice and Santa Fe spices. Cook for 15 minutes and remove from heat.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa and tempeh mixture in a serving bowl. Fold in beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and adjust seasonings if necessary with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish with diced avocado and enjoy as is or as a soft taco filling!

Cooking Quinoa:

Soak 1 cup dry quinoa in water for about 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse and simmer quinoa in a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1 ¼ parts water for about 30 minutes. The seeds will become swollen and translucent and can be used in a variety of recipes.

Santa Fe Seasoning Blend:  Premix this delicious spice mix to use as a dry rub for fish, poultry or meat or to be ready to go into a variety dishes when you want that special fiesta flavor! Just combine the following and store in an airtight container

1/4 cup cumin, 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 Tablespoon Salt, 1 Tablespoon Pepper


Crispy Baked Pumpkin Chips:

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Pumpkin Chips

What you’ll need:

1 large fresh pumpkin

Spray oil

Kosher Salt

Granulated Onion Powder

Fruit Fresh or Vitamin C powder (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, lightly spray with oil.
  2. Wash and prep your pumpkin. Trim off the stem and slice pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds.  Slice the pumpkin into 4 or 8 sections (depending on its size) so that you can work with it easily.
  3. Using hand held mandolin or mechanical slicer slice the pumpkin into slices approximately 1/16 of an inch. Cut right into the pumpkin skin (discard 1st slice) so that you produce wide, large slices from the flesh with an attractive orange rim. You can expect to see irregular shapes and thicknesses. This makes for an interesting looking chip!
  4. Place the slices on a kitchen linen (or paper towel) to help absorb some of the liquid.  Sprinkle the slices with a mixture of sea salt and vitamin C powder to help draw out water, season and preserve the golden color pumpkin color.
  5. Place the pumpkin slices on the lined baking sheets evenly and tightly without overlapping. Lightly spray with oil.
  6. Place them in the oven for 1-2 hours checking on their progress every 20 or so minutes shifting the trays around and from top to bottom .When you see then starting to brown and crisp (about 40 minutes), watch carefully. The pumpkin will  scorch as it gets close to the end of its drying time.
  7. Remove chips, sprinkle with onion powder if desired and leave them to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Baking Tip:  Prepare these in batches or add new slices to the pan as they finish cooking to save time. You can expect to have the oven on for 2 hours or so, depending on how many chips you expect to make. This is a great cold weather activity, get the family involved!

Nutrition Fact:   An average 10 pound pumpkin will yield about 11 oz of chips which is about 6 ½ cups of chips. They will contain the same calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and most nutrients as the raw pumpkin so portion them out carefully. They are tempting and delicious!

Pumpkin Harvest Salad:

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Pumpkin Harvest Salad

What you’ll need:

1 cup roasted pumpkin cubes (see below)

5 oz baby spinach

¼ cup roasted hulled pumpkin seeds

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola

¼ cup dried cranberries

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbs Pomegranate dressing (see below)


Place the baby spinach, pumpkin, gorgonzola, cranberries in a salad bowl.  Drizzle with the pomegranate dressing and gently toss until just combined. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top. Serve immediately.

Roasted Pumpkin:

3 Cups cubed pumpkin (¾ inch)

1 tablespoon oil

Salt, pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the pumpkin cubes in a bowl. Toss them with the oil and season with salt and pepper until well coated.  Place in a single layer on a lined baking tray.

Bake for 20-30 minutes turning once halfway through or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes. They are recipe ready!

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/2 cup bottled pomegranate juice

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup oil (expeller pressed canola preferred)

Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium bowl, mix the pomegranate juice, vinegar and honey, and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil and adjust the seasonings.  Bottle and refrigerate. This dressing is ready when you are for a variety of salads or as a drizzle for chicken, fish or meat.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip:

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

What you’ll need:

3/4 cup (6 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese or 1 cup whipped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup golden honey

½ tsp pumpkin pie or baking spice

½ cup cooked pumpkin


Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and using a fork or potato masher incorporate them into the cream cheese until blended.

Next, fold in the pumpkin in three batches taking care to blend well after each addition so that you do not have any clumps.  Keep working until you have a smooth and creamy dip.

Place in serving bowl and chill to set about 30 minutes. Serve with crispy graham crackers and slice apples.

Note: While hand-mixing takes a little patience and energy it more than makes up for in ease of clean up and calorie burning so that you can enjoy this delicious dessert guilt free!

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

Nicolette M. Pace MS,RD,CDE,CDN,CFCS

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Nicolette’s SuperStart Morning Granola

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Screen shot 2013-04-26 at 8.52.30 AMThis wholesome mixture of healthy grains, nuts and fruits is a good-to- go all morning breakfast or tasty after school snack. Each superfood ingredient gives a needed power burst of nutrition and flavor to an otherwise ordinary box of processed sugary cereal.

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats

1-1/2 cups wheat germ

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans

1-3/4 cups Non fat dry milk powder

1/2 cup flaxseeds

2 Tbs light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt


Wet Ingredients:

2 egg whites

2/3 cup water

½ cup maple syrup, honey or agave

1/4 cup warmed coconut oil or butter
Add ins:

½ cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, blueberries, raisins or chopped dates.

½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips.


Preheat oven to 300°F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl, stir together egg whites, water, maple syrup or honey and coconut oil. Pour into large bowl with dry ingredients and toss to combine. Leave granola mixture slightly clumpy. Spread out onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes, until dry and toasted.   Mix in dried fruit and chocolate before it cools.

Store your granola in airtight containers. Serve it with milk or layer it with yogurt and fruit.  Yum!

Eat Healthy!  Be Happy!

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Nicolette Pace’s Superfood Stirfry

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Screen shot 2012-12-27 at 12.00.05 PMMove over Chicken Soup!  Feeding your cold and fighting the flu was never easier with this flavorful, nutrient-packed dish that’s rich in Vitamin C, zinc and other key anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals that work together to satisfy your soul and boost your immune system, sending bugs packing!

8 oz cooked buckwheat noodles (soba)

½ cup cut up broccoli

½ cup asparagus sliced

½ cup julienned sliced carrots

½ cup pea pods (approx 10)

½ cup sliced shitake mushroom

½ cup julienned red bell pepper

½ cup baby spinach leaves

½ cup sliced green onions (scallions)

1/4 cup whole raw almonds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil


Cook buckwheat noodles (see below) and toss with ½ tablespoon of sesame oil to prevent clumping (may be prepared in advance). Slice or chop vegetables into bite size chunks  to allow for rapid cooking.

Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl combine lime juice, lime zest, ginger root, red hot pepper, garlic, honey, soy sauce, chili sauce and reserve.


Heat your wok over high heat until hot. Add sesame oil swirling to coat sides. Add almonds, broccoli, carrots, asparagus and green onions; stir fry for 1 minute. Add pea pods, mushroom, red bell pepper and spinach leaves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add the cooked buckwheat noodles and sauce, reduce heat and toss. Cover for 1 minute until noodles are heated through.



Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro. Serve with additional hot chili sauce for an extra kick.

Makes 2 servings.


Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbs)

1 tsp grated lime zest

2 tsp fresh minced ginger root

1 tsp fresh chopped red hot pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tablespoons honey (raw unfiltered)

2  tbs tamari or soy sauce

1 -3 tsp chili sauce Sriracha (Asian cayenne pepper sauce) to taste

Cooking Buckwheat Noodles:

Buckwheat noodles are very low in gluten so they may break apart if overcooked.  The best way to cook them involves a “simmer and shock” method that will give you a tender but not mushy noodle.

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil, add the noodles and stir to prevent clumping. Boil for 1 minute and then add about ½ cup cold water to “shock the boil” and cause a simmer. When the water boils again, add ½ cup cold water. Repeat this process until the noodles are done.   Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse (wash) the noodles thoroughly to get rid of excess starch, prevent clumping, lower sodium and balance flavor. Total cooking time with be approximately 5-7 minutes.

Nutrition Note: Buckwheat is one of only a handful of plants that are a complete source of protein. It contains zinc and is a rich source of rutin, a powerful anti-oxidant that enhances the effect of other vitamins and minerals. Buckwheat is also very low in gluten, so those with sensitivity may find that it is well tolerated.

Eat Healthy!  Be Happy!

Nicolette M. Pace MS,RD,CDE,CDN,CFCS

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Nicolette Pace’s Perfect Lunch

Classic Creamy Chicken Stew & Butternut-Walnut Artisan Muffins  

Why suffer through boring bologna or wait on line at a crowded take out restaurant when you can be enjoying a hearty & healthy, waistline friendly home-cooked lunch meal that is free of processed food additives and a great addition to a whole foods diet.

It all starts with 2 amazing D-I-Y recipe mixes that are wholesome and convenient.

Dust off your slow cooker and muffin tins and you are all set for a perfect meal for an on–the-go lifestyle!

Classic Creamy Chicken Stew

1 pound boneless chicken breast (cut in chunks)

1 bag frozen stew veggies or 3 ½ cups fresh cut-up veggies (carrot, celery, potato, onion)

1/3 cup Creamy soup/stew recipe mix (see below)

1 cup chicken broth

¼ tsp sea salt to taste


Measure out soup/stew mix and broth and combine in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes until thickened.


Simply put all the ingredients in your slow cooker before bed. Set to cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

In the AM, fill insulated mugs and seal. Makes 4 servings.

DIY Creamy Soup & Stew Recipe Mix

2 cups nonfat dry milk

¾ cup cornstarch

2 Tbs dried chopped onion

2 Tbs granulated onion

1 Tbs granulated garlic

1 Tbs dried parsley

1 tsp celery flakes

1 tsp dried basil

¼  tsp dried thyme leaves

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Use to replace condensed soup in a ratio of 1/3 cup mix to 1 1/3 cups water. If using a slow cooker reduce liquid to ¾ to 1 cup.

This blend is expertly seasoned and makes the equivalent of about 9 cans of condensed soup. It is free of sodium, fat and food additives.

Try it for veggie or meat soups, stews and casseroles and even as a base for salad dressing and dips!

Butternut- Walnut Artisan Muffins

1 egg

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbs non fat yogurt

½ cup defrosted butternut squash (available frozen)

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1 1/3 cup Wholegrain Muffin Mix (see below)


In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add water, vanilla, yogurt and butternut squash until blended.  Stir in 1 1/3 cup muffin mix until the batter is just moist but still lumpy. Fold in ¼ cup chopped walnuts.


Place foil or paper baking liners in muffin tins and fill with batter until 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Makes 6 standard size muffins.

Whole Grain Muffin Mix

9 cups spelt or graham flour (whole grain, stone ground)

2 ½ cup sugar

1 cup plus 2 tbs cup nonfat dry milk

3 Tbs baking powder

1 Tbs baking soda

1 Tbs salt

2 Tbs cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together and store in a cool, dry place.

Makes enough for 60 standard size muffins or 240 mini muffins!

This delicious baking mix takes the time out of hunting for ingredients and lets you custom design your muffin by using the wholegrain of your choice.

Be on the lookout for true artisan grains like spelt and graham flour to enjoy maximum nutrient benefit and flavor!

Look to work in all kinds of seasonal fruits, veggies or nuts to create your own signature muffin.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

Nicolette Pace

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Nicolette Pace’s Fresh Native Zucchini Boats

Light and satisfying these local summertime favorites are right at home with the natural fusion of American summer squash and protein rich quinoa, laced with Mediterranean seasonings for a healthy and low calorie, versatile menu item for an appetizer, side dish or even entrée.

  • 4 small summer zucchini (courgettes)
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small onion chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 sprigs parsley minced.
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg or ¼ cup liquid egg
  • 2 Tbs. seasoned bread crumbs
  • Spray oil

Prep :

1.    Soak quinoa in water for about 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse and simmer quinoa in a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1 ¼ parts water for about 30 minutes. The seeds will become swollen and translucent.

2.    Wash and cut each zucchini in half and then again in quarters. Take a small teaspoon, scoop out the interior of the squash and reserve. Be sure to leave a shell of about ¼ inch to hold filling.


3.    Place the zucchini boats in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain and pat dry.

4.    Meanwhile, sauté the onion, garlic and parsley in olive oil until slightly browned. Add the reserved filling and cook for 10 minutes until the liquid is evaporated and the filling is softened substantially.


5.    Remove from burner, place in a mixing bowl with the quinoa, grated cheese and egg and mix until blended.

6.    Fill each boat with the vegetarian mixture. Top with seasoned bread crumbs, lightly spray with oil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden. Delicious hot or at room temperature.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

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