Month: November 2019

15-Minute Cranberry Sauce

This recipe is so simple, but always gets rave reviews when I serve it at family gatherings. Even people who don’t normally like cranberries enjoy this dish!

If you’ve only ever had cranberry sauce from a can, you’re in for a treat! That stuff is full of sugar and not something you want to serve your guests. Making this recipe with fresh cranberries and fruit is quick and easy. Anyone can do it!

You only need a few ingredients: a bag of fresh cranberries, sweetener (I use stevia baking blend), an apple, an orange and a pear. Sometimes I add chopped toasted nuts, as well.

Start by boiling one cup of water in a medium saucepan along with the equivalent of one cup of sugar, which would be 1/2 cup of Truvia baking blend. (It’s great because this amount only contains 1/4 cup of sugar for the entire recipe (12 servings). Once the water is boiling, add the fresh cranberries.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

While the cranberries are simmering, peel and dice your orange, pear and apple (I used Honeycrisp) and place in a medium bowl.

As the cranberries cook, you will hear popping sounds as they burst and the liquid starts to thicken. Here is the finished product.

Pour the warm cranberries over the cold fruit and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If desired, stir in some toasted pecans.

15-Minute Cranberry Sauce

Servings:  12

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup stevia baking blend (such as Truvia)
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 apple, such as Honeycrisp, peeled and diced
  • 1 pear, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted, (optional)


Place water and sweetener in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Add cranberries, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the diced orange, apple and pear in a medium bowl.  Pour the cranberries over the fruit and stir to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Add pecans, if desired.

Immune Booster Green Juice

As winter approaches, along with cold and flu season, you may want boost your immune system with a healthy green drink. This one is refreshing, slightly sweet and sour, but balanced.

I know that when I start to feel a dry, scratchy throat, sneezing or a stuffy nose, I immediately take extra vitamins to ward off a possible virus. This drink provides essential vitamins, minerals and fiber to help keep your system running smoothly.

I find that using a high-powered blender (like the NutriBullet) is essential when making this kind of drink. Otherwise, you just end up with juice and lose all the fiber.

Here’s everything that I included in my drink (except the lime is not shown in this photo). Below I’ve listed a few of the health benefits of each ingredient.

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is also important for maintaining bone health.

Parsley can reduce cancer risk, reduce inflammation, protect blood vessels and boost your immune system.

Mint is a calming and soothing herb that has been used for thousands of years to aid with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to increase bile secretion and encourage bile flow, which helps to speed and ease digestion (and which may also support healthy cholesterol levels).

Ginger can aid in digestion, provide cold and flu relief, pain reduction, reduce inflammation and promote cardiovascular health.

Granny Smith apples can help combat against chronic inflammation, which can lead to diabetes, and are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C.

Celery is rich in vitamins and minerals with a low glycemic index. It contains vitamins A, K, and C, plus minerals like potassium and folate; it’s also low in sodium.

Lemons and limes are high in vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron from foods and supports the immune system.

To make the drink, wash the greens, then stuff them into the NutriBullet container. Add roughly chopped celery, peeled ginger, and (unpeeled) apple, as well as the juice from half of a lemon or lime, and a small amount of water.

Note that once everything is blended, it will be very thick. Feel free to thin it with more water, but I find that it helps to stir it a couple of times while drinking to keep it mixed properly. (The fibrous elements tend to rise to the top.)

Immune Booster Green Juice

Servings:  1

  • 1 handful fresh organic spinach leaves
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 small granny smith apple, cored
  • 1-2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • The juice from half of a lemon or lime
  • 1/2 cup water


Place all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender, such as NutriBullet.  Blend until everything is liquefied, adding additional water, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency.

Shrimp Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

I make this recipe quite often, using either shrimp or fish. It’s a great option when you’re short on time because it comes together so quickly. The most time-consuming part is peeling the shrimp! I adapted the recipe from one for fish tacos posted in 2006 by Cooking Light.

Start by making the Lime-Cilantro Crema. Just stir together equal amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream, a bit of fresh lime juice, garlic, salt, along with chopped cilantro and scallions.

Then, peel and devein one pound of shrimp. Note that you can use any firm fish in place of the shrimp. I prefer this recipe because it doesn’t require breading and deep frying the fish or shrimp, so it’s much healthier.

Next, toss with some oil and the spices: cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, granulated garlic and salt.

Heat a skillet and cook the shrimp over medium-high heat. They only take a few minutes to cook.

You can serve the shrimp in the traditional way, on corn or flour tortillas with some crema and cabbage. (My husband prefers flour tortillas.) Or you can have them the way I did, over mixed greens with a drizzle of crema. Believe me, the salad was rich and satisfying, with the cool greens and warm, spicy shrimp, paired with the tangy sauce. I added a few slices of avocado, too, so I really didn’t miss having any tortillas. Squeeze a bit more fresh lime juice over the top before serving.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Shrimp Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

Servings:  2-3


  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Corn or flour tortillas, optional
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Lettuce leaves or mixed greens


Place the crema ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, add the oil and spices and toss to evenly coat the shrimp with the spices.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high and add the shrimp.  Stir frequently for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp is cooked.  Remove from the heat.

Serve the shrimp with some crema and shredded cabbage on tortillas, wrapped in lettuce leaves or over mixed greens. 

Instant Pot Cream of Chicken Soup

Here is another delicious, healthy soup recipe that I adapted from Food Network Kitchen. I wanted to make it in my pressure cooker, because it’s so easy and tastes like it’s been simmering for hours. And I reduced the amount of butter and flour called for in the original recipe. Your family will love it!

Start by using the Saute function, add some butter, along with chopped onions, carrots and celery, and a bit of salt.

As the vegetables soften, add 2 tablespoons of flour, then turn off the Saute function, as the vegetables will continue to cook.

Gather some sprigs of fresh parsley, thyme and dried bay leaves and tie them together with kitchen twine. This is a great trick to make it easy to remove them later.

Another time-saving step is to use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and shred or chop the meat.

Add the chicken to the pot, along with 7 cups of broth and the bundle of herbs.

Now close the lid and set the Soup function for 7 minutes. Note that with the amount of liquid in the pot, it will take several minutes to come up to pressure, before actually starting to cook. This may be a complaint that some people have when using the Instant Pot (that’s it’s not exactly instant), but it would be the same if you were waiting for the soup to start simmering on the stove. The difference is that with the pressure cooker, the finished soup tastes like it simmered for hours, when in fact it was only 7 minutes. And you can walk away or do other tasks while it’s cooking, instead of checking a pot on the stove to see when it might be boiling, then adjusting the temperature and waiting an hour for the flavors to develop.

When the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10-15 minutes, before manually releasing the pressure with the handle of a wooden spoon. (You can drape a kitchen towel over the pot so the steam or liquid doesn’t spray out too far.)

After removing the lid, take out the bundle of herbs and discard. Turn the Saute function back on, add the cream, and some arrowroot (cornstarch) mixed with water to thicken. It only takes a minute or two. Finally, turn off the heat and add the sherry, which really enhances the flavor of the soup.

Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.

Instant Pot Cream of Chicken Soup

Servings:  6

  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf, or 2-3 small
  • 1/2 cup organic heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot (or cornstarch)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley for garnish, minced


Turn on the saute function of the Instant Pot.  Add butter and cook the onions, carrots and celery with the salt until tender.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute.

Add the broth and chicken to the pot.  Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Close the lid and lock into place, being sure that the valve is in the sealed position.  Press the button for Soup, and adjust the cook time to 7 minutes, then press Start.

When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for as long as you prefer, (at least 10 minutes) before venting the steam.

Add the cream to the pot, then turn on the saute function and bring the soup to a simmer.  Stir together the arrowroot starch and cold water in a small container, then add to the pot.  Stir frequently until the soup thickens, then turn off the heat. Add the sherry, then taste to see if additional salt or pepper is needed.  Stir to combine and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.