This Thanksgiving, replace that high-sugar cranberry sauce from the can with freshly cooked cranberries, apples, and lemon zest! Plus more healthy Thanksgiving sides!

This relish will taste yummy on turkey, sandwiches, and salads!


  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1 large apple (remove peel if desired), chop into cubes
  • Finely grated peel of 1 lemon (Hint: you can use the small holes of a cheese grater)
  • ½ cup orange juice (look for no sugar added)
  • ½ cup raw sugar, or less if like it more tangy


1. Blend cranberries and apple in food processor, loosely chopped. (Hint: use a fork to mash the cranberries if you don’t have a food processor)
2. Add cranberries, apples, sugar, and orange juice in a skillet or saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until consistency is thick, almost like Jello.
4. Use a potato masher or fork to mash cranberries and apples.
5. Serve hot or chilled.

Honey Glazed Carrots with Garlic


  • 1 ½ pounds carrots, washed and cut the long way
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 sticks of fresh rosemary, chop or leave whole
  • sea salt, to taste (no more than ½ teaspoon is best)


  1. In a large skillet, add carrots, garlic, and salt in a single layer and cover with water. Bring to boil.
  1. Once the water starts boiling, turn heat to low cook for about 10 minutes (carrots will be soft, but will still have a little crunch).
  1. Drain carrots and garlic, then put them aside. Clean pan.
  1. Place pan back on medium-high heat. Once hot (but not smoking), add oil, honey, chili, rosemary and 1 tablespoon of water and cook until it starts to bubble.

Stir in carrots and garlic until coated and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

*Carrot recipe credit Whole Living

Why fresh carrots?

  • Carrots are a great source of vitamin A which is important for vision and beta-carotene which is an antioxidant

What’s an antioxidant?

  • Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical substances that help cells deal with environmental stress and damage.

 Why scrub instead of peel carrots?

  • Most of the carrot’s nutrients (the good stuff) are in the peel. By scrubbing carrots with a vegetable brush you only remove dirt and keep all the good stuff in the peel.

Spicy Butternut Squash Stir Fry with Greens


2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
½ bunch kale, chopped
6 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp cumin
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in pan. Add diced shallots and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until translucent.
2. Add butternut squash and about 1/2 – 1 cup water. Cook about 15 minutes, until tender. Add cumin.
4. Add kale. Cook 3 minutes, just until wilted.

Want to make sure you are getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients? Eat the Rainbow!
In this dish…
Orange: Vitamin A derivative and antioxidant beta-carotene, essential for healthy eyes.
Green: Folate, Iron, and Vitamin K, essential for heart and circulatory health. Iron absorption is enhanced by the Vitamin C content of the fresh lime juice.
White: Quercetin, an antioxidant may aid in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and natural antimicrobial agents abound in garlic, essential for a healthy immune system.
 More Healthy Food Colors…
Red: Lycopene is plentiful in red fruits and is essential for a healthy heart.
Blue/Purple: Anthocyanins and even more antioxidants are found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables and are vital for the basic health of all cells in the body.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you fats that are found in olive oil, flax seed, and cold water fish like salmon. Omega-3’s are important for healthy brain cells and heart cells.


Cook4Health Demo Recap: Healthy Thanksgiving!


Lisa prepares cranberry sauce

Thanks to Lisa and Anabel for another great Cook4Health Demo at the Columbia Community Partnership for Health! Participants learned how to make fresh cranberry sauce from scratch and a healthy carrot side dish to spruce up their Thanksgiving celebrations!

Two participants shared their satisfaction with the demo:

“Not only did she (Lisa) show us the recipe, but she explained each ingredient and how it’s good for you, for example I learned that carrots are good for the eyes. We eat a lot of starches so it’s really good to see recipes with fresh ingredients.” – Doris

“I think they are great recipes. I am overweight and I think I can learn to make food that is better for myself. I can see that it’s so easy to make healthy food!” – Maria

Participants sample fresh food prepared by Lisa and Anabel

Be sure to save the date for our next Cook4Health Demo on December 20th!

Lisa’s Corner – Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

Looking for a new whole grain to try? Check out red quinoa. Red quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and is a great alternative to couscous, white or brown rice. Quinoa has the highest protein content (12-18%) of any whole grain and is also a good source of fiber and magnesium.

1 cup red quinoa
½ cup celery chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 sweet pepper, chopped
1 cup Swiss chard, chopped (also try kale)
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, to taste

1. Cook quinoa in rice cooker. 2 ¼ cups water to 1 cup quinoa.
2. Heat olive oil in pan. Add celery and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes.
3. Add summer squash. Cook ~5 minutes.
4. Add greens, let wilt about 1 minute.
6. Mix with cooked red quinoa and added chopped walnuts.

This is a great dish to bring as a brown bag lunch. When classes and school get really hectic, I’ll make this on a Sunday and freeze a few Tupperware containers of this for later in the week or the following week.

Lisa’s Corner – Rainbow Vegetable Saute

Rainbow Vegetable Saute

One easy way to track your intake of vitamins and minerals is to eat all the colors of the rainbow. Ideally you should aim for five servings of fruits and veggies in one day and you should consume multiple servings from each “color category” weekly. This recipe features veggies found in your CSA box and is a great source of folic acid, vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

Colors of the Vitamin Rainbow (Veggies)

Red: Anthocyanins, lycopene (Antioxidants, heart healthy)

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes

Orange/Yellow: Beta carotene, Vitamin A (Important for eye and bone health)

  • Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Yellow squash
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines

Green: Folate, Indoles (Folate is important for prevention of birth defects and indoles may help prevent certain cancers)

  • Leafy greens: kale, spinach, collard greens, lettuce, arugula, etc.
  • Cucumbers
  • Seaweed
  • Broccoli

Blue/Purple: More anthocyanins (Important for cellular health)

  • Eggplant
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Purple grapes
  • Figs

Whites: Potassium (Important for nerve and muscle function)

  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Mushrooms (Also a good source of vitamin D)
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Rainbow Vegetable Saute

Olive oil, extra virgin and regular
1 bunch kale, chopped, separate stems
1 bunch radishes, chopped
Leafy greens from radish bunch, chopped
1 large yellow squash, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Thyme, fresh or dried
Sea Salt
Black pepper

1. Thoroughly wash all vegetables.
2. Chop onions and radishes. Saute the onions and radishes for 5-10 minutes, until tender. If using dried thyme, add now. Add small amounts of water as necessary.
3. Chop squash and kale. Add squash and kale stems to pan. Add water as necessary.
4. When squash and kale stems are tender and everything is almost cooked, add kale leaves to the pan. If using fresh kale add now. Allow kale to slightly wilt. Remove from heat.
5. Add ½ – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Serving suggestion:
Whole grain: Quinoa (I used organic Quinoa from Trader Joe’s. Follow cooking instructions provided on the box.)
Protein: Baked Chicken with Thyme.

Baked Chicken with Thyme

1 whole chicken, cage free, organic
Dried Thyme to taste
Sea Salt
The tiniest amount of honey
Dash of lemon juice

1. Place in baking dish. Slice skin and rub salt and thyme onto bird. Rub just a dash of lemon onto the bird. This helps the flavoring penetrate to the meat.
2. Bake at °450 F for 50 minutes to an hour, depending on size of chicken.

*Tip: For a leaner protein, discard skin. I like to do this after cooking.

April 17th – FPOP’s 3rd Cook 4 Health Food Demo and the CUMC Premiere of “Apple Pushers”!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012, 5-7pm
Location:Room LL 107,  Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Health Sciences Center, 701 W. 168th Street, New York, NY

Myths abound with respect to the benefits of eating a “raw food” diet, but I think we can all agree that at the heart of any raw meal is some really delicious produce. Cue the NYC Green Cart Program, established in 2008 to provide start-up support for local vendors who wish to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods across New York City. FPOP thought this would be an excellent opportunity to showcase the fruits of their labor. On April 17th, 2012, our Cook 4 Health team will prepare a raw food dish for the audience (along with a discussion about the good and the bad of raw food), to be followed by a screening of “Apple Pushers,” an award-winning documentary about the immigrant street vendors rolling fresh produce into some of NYC’s poorest neighborhoods.

Refreshments will be provided, along with tasters from the cooking demo (think zucchini spirals in a creamy cashew sauce and mango pico de gallo). Three lucky attendees will win a prize related to the demo! We hope to see you there!

Food Day Cooking Demo – Zesty Butternut Squash with Greens

In celebration of Food Day, FPOP hosted a cooking demo on October 25th in the Hammer Health Sciences Library. Using ingredients purchased at the Farmer’s market outside of Hammer, we cooked up three rounds of Zesty Butternut Squash with Greens. We distributed over one hundred fifty recipes to interested students and had a great dialogue about cooking and nutrition with many members of our audience. This cooking demo is part of the Cook4Health series initiated by FPOP last year. We will also conduct Cook4Health seminars targeted at physicians and medical students in addition to more Cook4Health demos for the general student audience. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our demo, thank you for helping to make our event a success! We look forward to seeing you there next time as we cook up more locally sourced, healthful, tasty dishes!

Cook4Health Workshop: Teaching Doctors About Food

FPOP held the pilot session of our Cook4Health initiative to teach medical providers about food and cooking. Doctors know surprisingly little about food and nutrition, which is a hindrance to their ability to treat the consequences of food-related disease. In order to address that, we are rolling out cooking workshops so that doctors can establish a dialogue with their patients about eating and cooking practices.

In order to address this deficit, we decided to go to young future doctors and give them some basic information and cooking tips, so that they could walk the talk and feel comfortable discussing food with their patients. In order for the doctors to preach, we wanted to show them that they really could create delicious, healthy dishes that were very affordable. We held the first workshop last Thursday and I’m proud to say it was a resounding success. The doctors were incredibly engaged in the material and were truly interested in learning about the benefits of foods.

Importantly, we insisted on focusing not just on nutrients (beta-carotene, for example), but on foods (carrots!). We also created dishes based on culturally-appropriate foods their patients already use. In this case, working with doctors who practice family medicine in Washington Heights, we chose ingredients and flavors that would be familiar to the Dominican population: corn, beans, yucca, sweet potatoes, lime, cilantro.

The direct aim of this program is to get doctors to feel comfortable talking to their patients about food — even using cooking practices as a “vital sign,” for example, since it’s very difficult to eat healthily on a low-income budget if you don’t cook.

The larger, indirect aim is to cultivate a sense of responsibility in the medical community for helping shape the food environment. Doctors have a notoriously large voice in shaping public opinion and public policy. If they become advocates for changes in our food system, we are much more likely to achieve the large-scale environmental change we need to ensure that the default choice is not the unhealthiest choice.