Cranberry Gorgonzola Spinach Salad

This salad utilizes flavorful, seasonal ingredients without derailing your healthy diet and takes minimal effort to prepare. Add grilled chicken, salmon or flank steak to make it into a meal.

1 cup pecan halves
12 cups baby spinach
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup gorgonzola (or other blue cheese), crumbled (about 4-5 ounces)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes or until golden. In a large bowl, combine spinach, cranberries and gorgonzola. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small bowl, whisk in olive oil and orange peel (if using). Pour over salad mixture and toss to combine.  Add pecans, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving (chicken, salmon or steak not included):
CALORIES: 300 • PROTEIN: 6g • SODIUM: 360mg • CARBOHYDRATE: 14g • FIBER: 3.5g •
FAT: 25g • Sat Fat: 6g

Nutrition, recipes

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tomorrow’s the big game!  Need an appetizer to serve at your viewing party?  How about this BeFit spinach artichoke dip with an assortment of your favorite veggies.


1½ cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
½ cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup red pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1½ blocks 1/3 less fat cream cheese (12oz), softened
1-10oz package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
¼ tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, yogurt, red pepper, garlic, artichokes, cream cheese, spinach and black pepper in large mixing bowl and stir well until combined. Place mixture into a baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown.

Serve warm with your favorite raw veggies; carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and celery make great dippers.

Yield: About 4½ cups (or about 18 servings)

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (¼ cup vegetables not included):
CALORIES: 165 • PROTEIN: 16 g • SODIUM: 260 mg • CARBOHYDRATE: 7 g • FIBER: 1 g • FAT: 9 g • Sat Fat: 3.5 g

(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Nutrition, recipes

Strawberry Almond Spinach Salad

strawberry. Photo credit: Levi Szekeres Need a side dish to bring to this weekend’s cookout?  This quick and easy recipe combines some of summer’s freshest ingredients for a refreshing salad packed with nutrients. Just top it with some grilled chicken for a fast, tasty summertime meal!


1 pound fresh spinach, washed and dried 
1 pint strawberries, sliced, stems trimmed 
½ cup sliced almonds 
1 tbsp poppy seeds 
2 tbsp sesame seeds 


¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp paprika
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Lightly brown almonds in a small frying pan on the stovetop on medium heat until golden: about 3 minutes; let almonds cool. In the meantime, combine spinach and strawberries in a large salad bowl; whisk dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add poppy and sesame seeds to cooled almonds and sprinkle mixture over spinach and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!

Yield: About 7 servings

(2 cups salad mixture and 2 Tbsp dressing per serving)



SODIUM: 52 mg
FIBER: 4 g
FAT: 13 g
Sat Fat: 2 g 

(Recipe adapted by Ashley Reynolds, Dietetic Intern. Photo Credit: Levi Szekeres)