Jeanette’s Loaded Turkey Taco Nachos

Jeanette Chen of Jeanette’s Healthy Living Blog shares these loaded turkey taco nachos, which are fun food for a hearty after-school snack or entertaining. The key is in the toppings. More the merrier depending on the crowds preferences. We topped with tomato, red onion and peppers but black beans and fresh chopped avocado would be great toppings too. Enjoy!

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Eila’s Black Bean Hummus

highres_bbhummus-webBridging the gap between New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and Super Bowl celebrations when healthy eating is not exactly the focal point, we have a new recipe from Eila, the full plate blog, that serves both purposes . . . This month, she shares a simple, healthy, delicious dip with Walter Stewart’s customers, Black Bean Hummus.
“Whether you’re looking for a nourishing snack for the kids when they tumble off the school bus, in need of a make-ahead appetizer the night you’re hosting book club, or asked to bring something crowd-pleasing to a Super Bowl party, you’ll be a hit with this super easy, healthy dip,” says Johnson. “This zesty black bean version of traditional hummus (which is made with chickpeas, sesame, lemon juice and garlic), is pureed goodness and can be made as mild or spicy, garlicky and tangy as you like!”
Black Bean Hummus
(Makes about 2 cups)

  • one 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • one jalapeno, seeded
  • 2 limes, juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions, white part only, rough chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini*
  • water (optional)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. You may add water, one Tablespoon at a time, if you want to thin the dip, until you reach desired consistency. Serve with your choice of tortilla chips, pita chips and/or veggies. Dip can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to one week. Have just a little dip left?  It makes a great sandwich spread!
* Tahini is sesame paste, and can be found by the jams/jellies/peanut butters  at Walter Stewart’s Market.
New Canaan mom, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ Top 100 Sites for Women, Forbes’ Top 10 Parenting and Homemaking Sites, and was ranked in the Top 5 “Foodie Mom Blogs” on a major parenting site in both 2012 and 2013, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends.

Beef, Mushroom & Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Parsley Thief – Beef Stir Fry

When Katie, “The Parsley Thief“, saw this recipe in Bon Appétit, she thought she’d give it a try. It looked so good and she knew her family would love it.

“Stir-fries are generally easy to make, quick-cooking & healthy. In the past, I’ve made chicken stir-fries, this delicious spicy tofu one, veggies only varieties…but, steak? Never made one. Maybe because I think of them as being healthy…a lot of the time, diet worthy. Somehow adding red meat to the mix seems counter productive. But, I live in a home with three boys…and, my boys love steak. The original recipe didn’t really need any tweaking, but I did change a few things to suit my taste. It called for using shiitake mushrooms, which I love. But, I decided to add in some portabellas too, because I love the combination of steak & portabella mushrooms. I also substituted sugar snap peas for snow peas…I’m not the biggest snow pea fan.

While making a stir-fry is quick in the pan, it usually requires a bit of effort in the prep department. This one is no different. But, once you get everything washed, peeled & chopped, the actually cooking part is super quick.”

Beef, Mushroom & Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2010 by The Parsley Thief
Serves 41 tablespoon minced ginger
12 ounces mixed shiitake & baby portabella mushroom caps, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound NY Strip steak, cut into 1/4″ thick slices
8 ounces sugar snap peas, cut into small pieces
1 bunch scallions, sliced {divided}
1 cup cilantro leaves {divided}
5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sriracha chile sauce {or, to taste}
1/4 teaspoon 5-spice powderSeason the beef with salt & pepper. Combine the hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha & 5-spice powder in a small bowl. Whisk to combine & set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the mushrooms & minced ginger. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid & begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add in the beef; cook until the beef is browned, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the snap peas, half the scallions & half the cilantro. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the snap peas are just tender. Add in the sauce, and stir to combine & heat through. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving bowl, scatter the remaining scallions and cilantro on top & serve.
Note: I recommend adding 1/2 the sauce to start & then adding a bit more, until it’s well coated. Serve the remaining sauce on the side. For kids, you might want to take some of the stir-fry out before adding the sauce, as it’s a bit spicy.


Fiddlehead Ferns with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Fiddlehead Ferns with Yogurt SauceIn addition to being a Certified Health Coach and culinary instructor, New Canaan mom of two young children, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ Top 100 Sites for Women and Forbes’ Top 10 Sites for Parenting and Homemaking, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends.

Eila recently spotted fiddlehead ferns in the produce aisle of Walter Stewart’s and was excited to make them for her family. Not sure how her 6-year-old would respond to the new (rather funny looking) veggie, she opted for a kid-friendly preparation… simple, with a dipping sauce. When in doubt, Eila always offers up a dipping sauce! The verdict? Both kids loved the strange look of the ferns (“like snails!”) and taste (“like asparagus”)… and the fact that they got to eat them with their hands!

Fiddlehead Ferns with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
(Makes 6 servings)
1 lb fiddlehead ferns (tight, bright green coils)
½ cup Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Ojai Cook Lemonaise (condiment aisle)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-teaspoon horseradish
Zest of 1 lemon
1-bunch scallions, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, place the fiddlehead ferns in a bowl of cool water, and rub the dry brown casing off each fern. Once the water is boiling, place the fiddlehead ferns in for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a colander under cold running water, to stop the cooking. Serve warm or room temp with yogurt dipping sauce.
For dipping sauce:
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Sauce is also excellent with grilled veggies, chicken, pork, fish or beef.

Fiddlehead Ferns 1Fiddleheads 2Fiddleheads 3Dipping SauceDipping Sauce 2Fiddlehead Ferns with Yogurt Sauce

Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole Recipe

Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole (1)Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole
(gluten-free/dairy-free adaptable):
Jeanette Chen, a resident of New Canaan for 20 years, is the busy mom of 4 boys and author of a popular health and wellness food blog, Jeanette’s Healthy Living. She was recently nominated for Best Health Blog by Healthline and is always looking for ways to make healthier meals for her family and friends. The Strawberry Banana French Toast Casserole she’s sharing is perfect for Easter Brunch, and is easily gluten-free and dairy-free adaptable.

  • 8 slices bread (whole grain or gluten free), crust trimmed, cut into cubes
  • 2 banana, mashed
  • 12 strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup low-fat milk or non-dairy milk (almond, soy, rice)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • maple syrup for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking dish with spray oil (for a more elegant presentation, use individual ramekins). Place cubed bread in baking dish(es). Mix mashed banana, strawberries, milk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Pour milk mixture over bread cubes and toss gently until bread is evenly coated.
  2. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Serve with maple syrup.

Key Lime Bars – Spring Recipe

Key Lime Bars - FinalSpring is in the air and our guest contributor, Katie Vitucci, from the food blog, The Parsley Thief is thinking spring sweets. These Key Lime Bars are a sophisticated treat to serve guests or as a delicious Easter dessert. The original recipe suggests to cut the bars into 2″ squares, but Katie always prefers to slice them into little bite-sized bars. Either way, they are delicious!
Key Lime Bars 
Makes 64-1″ bars {or 24-2″ bars}
I have listed the quantities for the lime zest & lime juice according to what regular {Persian} limes would yield…as Key limes are not always available. If you can find Key limes, use the alternative measurements that I’ve given.
For the Crust:
5 ounces animal crackers
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
2 ounces {softened} cream cheese
zest of 3 limes {or 1 tablespoon}
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 {14 ounce} can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk juice from 3 limes {or 1/2 cup}
1 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut {as an optional garnish}
non-stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Coat with non-stick cooking spray & set aside.
For the Crust: Add the animal crackers to the bowl of a food processor & pulse until finely ground. Add the brown sugar & salt; process until combined. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs & pulse until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, leaving the oven on.
For the Filling: Add the cream cheese, lime zest & salt to a mixing bowl. Stir until softened and smooth. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk until no lumps of cream cheese remain. Whisk in the egg yolk. Add the lime juice; whisk until incorporated & the mixture has thickened. Pour the filling over the cooled crust & use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is set. When done, the edges will puff up slightly & pull away from the edges of the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Use the foil overhang to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into 1″ squares using a sharp knife. It’s helpful to run the knife under hot water & wipe it clean between slices. Sprinkle the bars with shredded coconut before serving, if desired. To Make Ahead: The bars can be stored, refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Being a mom of two boys, her blog, The Parsley Thief, focuses on family friendly, made-from-scratch recipes. The Parsley Thief has been named one of “50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading” by Saveur magazine and was named one of the top 100 Mom Food Blogs by the family website, Babble.
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Featured Recipe – Gluten-free Quinoa Porridge

OatmealGluten-free recipes have been in the media a lot recently. Lisa Corrado, a nutritionist living here in New Canaan, has responded with healthy and delicious recipes to address this dietary concern. “We are seeing more clients who are sensitive to gluten and this breakfast alternative helps them start their day off right.” Lisa is the author of A Moment in a Busy Life blog Busy Life blog  and owner of Lisa Corrado Nutrition.
Quinoa Porridge
Try this in place of oatmeal. Quinoa (say keen-wa) is a wheat-free grain that’s high in protein. The energy boost you’ll get from this breakfast will power you through your day.
Makes 1 serving, easily multiplied
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Combine cooked quinoa and almond milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the quinoa has absorbed some of the milk and you’ve reached a porridge-like consistency. Stir in raisins, cranberries, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Spoon into a bowl, drizzle with maple syrup and savor every last bite.
Here is her handy downloadable recipe for shopping! []

Valentine’s Recipe – Strawberry Jam-Filled Scones

Strawberry Jam SconesNew Canaan mom of two young children, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ Top 100 Sites for Women and Forbes’ Top 10 Sites for Parenting and Homemaking, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends. This month, Eila is sharing her favorite Valentine’s treat, Strawberry Jam-Filled Scones. “I’m not a huge baker,” says Johnson who loves to come up with delicious, whole foods options when it comes to entertaining and feeding her family, “but I have a few special treats I always come back to. Everyone absolutely loves these scones, and they make a perfect classroom treat if you’re on snack duty!”

Homemade Strawberry Jam-Filled Scones with Lemon Glaze

(Makes 28 3” scones)

For the scones:
2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups King Arthur 100% whole wheat flour
1 cup Turbinado (or raw) sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
12 Tablespoons organic butter (1 1/2 sticks, cut into 1/2″ pieces)
2 cups organic heavy cream
lemon zest (optional)
1 cup strawberry jam
For the glaze:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
vanilla (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375. In a Cuisinart, pulse the flour, sugar and baking powder until combined. Add the chilled butter and pulse until it’s the consistency of coarse meal. Add the cream and pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to counter, divide in half and roll the first half of the dough to 1/4″ thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shape and place scones on parchment lined baking sheet. Make a small indentation in the center of each scone with your thumb or a spoon, and fill with a dollop of jam. Roll the remaining dough, cut into same shape and place a second scone on top of each one. Gently press down the top scone down on the bottom one. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes, then top with glaze.
Prep 1Prep 2Prep 3Prep 4Prep 5

Super Bowl Side – Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

iStock_000021952159Small (1)Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Lisa Corrado, a long-time resident of New Canaan, is the owner of Lisa Corrado Nutrition  and author of a Moment in a Busy Life blog. This week, she shares a great cornbread recipe that will be perfect for your Super Bowl Chili. You can make this cornbread as hot or not as you like. Heck, leave the jalapeños out if you want. What she loves about this recipe is that it is much lower in fat than regular cornbread and very delicious. It freezes well too.
Serves 8 – 10
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ cup sweet potato purée (try baby food)
1/8 cup canola oil
2 jalapeños chopped (remove seeds for milder heat)
1 cup shredded part-skim sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare an 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan by spraying with cooking spray, or lightly oiling with oil. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, sweet potato and oil until frothy. Stir in jalapeños and ½ cup cheese. Sift the dry ingredients together into a smaller bowl. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Pour into prepared baking pan. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Winter Recipe – Warm Kale, Farro & Winter Fruit Salad

Farro Kale Winter Salad_edited-1Jeanette Chen, a resident of New Canaan for 20 years, is the busy mom of 4 boys and author of a popular health and wellness food blog, Jeanette’s Healthy Living. She’s off to a healthy start to the New Year with this kid approved Warm Kale, Farro and Winter Fruit Salad, packed with goodness. Farro is a whole grain that looks a little like barley, and retains a soft but chewy texture when cooked. It is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Warm Kale, Farro and Winter Fruit Salad
Yield: 6
Use your favorite vinegar and dried fruits. Fresh cut apples or clementines would also be nice.

  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar or your favorite fruit flavored vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled aged goat cheese or regular goat cheese


  1. Place farro and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20-25 minutes until tender (but still chewy). Drain, rinse and drain again. Place in a large bowl and toss with vinegar, honey, dried cranberries and dried figs.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and add kale leaves. Saute 1-2 minutes until kale is just tender. Add to farro, along with salt, pine nuts and goat cheese. Toss well and serve.