Nutrition Navigators: Mastering Healthy Cooking Hacks

Published on: 04/29/2020
Spices on wooden spoons

Embrace the flavors of spring. Focus on the fresh and flavorful.
Every season brings a variety of fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs. Spring brings a treasure trove of produce including arugula, artichokes, mushrooms, leeks, onions, and herbs. Colors are exceptional this time of year, along with the strong presence of fresh garlic…so brush your teeth often :). And be sure to get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and take in the colors of spring.
#stayhome #essentialworkers #inhale_exhale

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Greek yogurt is the secret to keeping this chicken tender. Laced with fresh garlic, basil, oregano and lemon juice, the marinade also infuses the chicken with lots of flavor.

1 1/2 pounds chicken, boneless, skinless thighs, excess fat removed
1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, plain
1 Tablespoon basil, dried + 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon oregano, dried + 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon rosemary, fresh, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about the juice from 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix yogurt, dried basil, dried oregano, fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight, mixing every so often.
Preheat grill to medium heat. Place chicken on grill. Grill for about 4–5 minutes side one and 3–4 minutes side two. Grill temperatures vary, so be sure to check for doneness. Heat thoroughly but do not over grill.
Remove from grill, place on serving platter and sprinkle with fresh basil and oregano.



I am just speaking of the plentiful variety of mushrooms out there now (in case anyone was taking it elsewhere 😉 ), from shiitake to oyster, or portobello, their shapes, sizes and various textures can be fun to meld in the saute pan.


2 pounds mushrooms (any variety desired, or keep it simple with the button basic)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
2–3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to tastePREPARATION

Place large saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and use a fork to spread across pan. Add garlic to pan to and saute about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to saute for about 7– 8 minutes, mixing frequently.🌶Place in serving bowl, mix with salt and pepper to taste. Top with a few drizzles of balsamic glaze.


​HACKS. Cooking hacks are always appreciated, especially these days, so let’s do it:

🌶Spicy Salmon — Pour your favorite salsa over salmon. Bake until done (generally at 350 degrees for 8–10 minutes). Dollop with a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt or light sour cream and/or some slices of avocado. Done and yum.

🥦Frozen Veggie Stir Fry — In a medium pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add about 2 cups of frozen veggies, for example 1/2 cup frozen edamame, 1/2 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen broccoli. Add some fresh lime juice, low sodium soy sauce, saute until done. Top with a couple tablespoons of crushed peanuts. Veggie good.

🍲Creamy is not just dreamy — you can have a cream sauce and still keep it healthy! Substitute the cream in any recipe (ie. a soup or pasta dish) with fat free half and half or evaporated fat free milk. You get the same creamy sauce without the excess fat.

“​All worries are less with wine

~ Amit Kalantri (just not too much 🙂

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With a longstanding dedication to healthy cooking and eating, I promote nutrition with a rebellious twist: the belief that perfection is not required for success on your wellness journey. 

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