Blog Posts by Cheryl Tallman,

  • Thanksgiving Starter: Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup

    The bright orange color of butternut squash is a seasonal addition to your holiday meal. For families with babies over 8 months old, this soup can be easily made into baby food by thickening it with mashed rice, potato, or baby cereal. Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup


    • 1 Large or 2 small butternut squash (4 lb)
    • 20 garlic cloves ,peeled
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • ¼ cup water
    • 4 cups (32oz.) chicken broth
    • 1 can (12oz.) coconut milk or 1 cup half & half
    • 1 tsp. tarragon
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste
    • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
    • Chives or Parsley, chopped as garnish (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds and fibers. Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, remove the skin from the squash and cut the flesh into 1-inch thick slices.

    In a roasting pan, combine the squash and garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with a spoon until well coated. Pour in the

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  • Healthier Halloween

    Halloween is truly a kid's holiday -- good friends, creative costumes, event-filled parties -- all with a cool spooky theme -- who could ask for more? Oh yes, one more thing, the treats -- lots of sugary candy treats!

    With all the fun of this holiday come a parent's worst fears -- too many sugary treats in your kid's possession and the arguments that ensue over this treasured trove. If you don't feel like to contributing to the neighborhood children's tooth decay, consider giving treats that are healthier. Here are some suggestions:

    · Cheese and cracker packages

    · Naturally flavored and sweetened gun or sugar-free gum

    · Small bags of pretzels

    · Small packages of nuts or raisins

    · Peanuts in the shell

    · Fruit-Roll Ups

    · Granola bars

    If you are not opposed to sugar, but would prefer your treats to be natural or vegan, we suggest you visit your local natural food store. There are many natural candy companies that offer a big variety of candies.

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  • Baked Fish with Mango Salsa

    4 (6-8 ounces each) Talapia or Catfish fillets

    2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

    1 mango

    1 can (8 oz,) crushed pineapple, drained

    1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

    2 Tbsp. lime juice

    Salt and Pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a flat baking sheet with nonstick spray.

    2. Rinse fish and pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the prepared baking sheet. Place a pat of butter on each fillet and cook in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes.

    3. To make the salsa: Remove the skin and pit from the mango. Using a sharp knife dice the mango into small pieces. Place mango, pineapple, cilantro, lime juice and oil in a small bowl and gently toss with a spoon.

    4. Serve fish on a plate with some salsa spooned on top.

    Serves 4.


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  • Buying Fruit on a Budget

    Buying fruits can be expensive. Here are some shopping tips that will help you get them into your meals without breaking the bank.

    Buy Fruits on Sale. If your grocery store has weekly sales on certain items, take advantage of the special price. Most sale items change from week to week, so each week you can buy a variety of fruits at a great price.

    Buy Fruits In Season. Seasonal fruit is much cheaper if it's bought at the right time of year. It is also at the peak of freshness and will taste better.

    Buy Only What You Will Eat. Fresh fruits are not stock up foods. Most fresh fruits should be eaten within a few days. Buy amounts that you will eat in a few days. Follow the directions in this book for how to store fresh fruits at home. Proper storage will keep fruits fresher longer.

    Buy Frozen Fruits. Frozen fruits are just as nutritious as fresh fruits and they will keep a long time in the freezer. Compare prices and look out for sales. Frozen fruits are great to use for

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  • Toddler Treat: Pineapple Kabobs

    This recipe is super easy and tasty. Make a platter for a party or make a few for your child's snack. Mini kabobs look fancy and are fun to make - even little fingers can help assemble them!


    • Pineapple chunks (½ inch pieces)
    • Marble cheese cubes (½ inch pieces)
    • Slices of ham cut into 1-inch squares
    • Toothpicks

    Assemble the mini-kabobs on a toothpick in the following manner: Ham square, pineapple chunk, ham square, and a cheese cube.

    Veggie version: Substitute teriyaki-flavored baked tofu for the ham/cheese. Baked tofu can easily be sliced into small cubes and is very tasty with the pineapple.

    Storage: Refrigerate before serving. Mini kabobs do not keep well in the refrigerator for longer than 3-4 hours.


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  • A Taste of India for Baby: Apple Chutney Cubes

    Chutney is a popular Indian Condiment that is made from fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar. It is commonly served with roasted meats or vegetables and curries. It also makes a great snack with cream cheese and crackers.


    • 3 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and chopped
    • 1/2 cup Onion, chopped

    • 1/4 cup Golden Raisins
    • 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

    Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Let cool. Pour into a blender or food processor and process to a smooth texture. Pour the sauce into an ice cube tray, cover and freeze until ready to use.

    Serving: Remove a chutney cube from the freezer, defrost and combine it with pureed or mashed beans, meats rice or vegetables. At the beginning, try a small amount of chutney and work your

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  • User post: Dress Up Your Memorial Day Weekend Salads!

    A great tossed salad is nothing without a delicious dressing. Homemade salad dressings are simple to make, taste better, and are much healthier than the store- bought bottles.

    To make homemade salad dressing, simply start with a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the dressing ingredients from one of the recipes below to the container, cover it and give it a good shake. It's that easy!

    Classic French Dijon:

    • ¾ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
    • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
    • pinch of salt & pepper

    Creamy Dill:

    • ½ cup plain yogurt
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp chopped green onions
    • 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
    • pinch of salt & pepper

    Sweet Balsamic:

    • ½ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • pinch of salt & pepper


    • ½ cup olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
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  • User post: Mmmmm, Mangoes!

    It's a great time for mangoes! Here are some tips to help you choose and prepare them at home.

    At the market: There are many varieties of mangoes, and color is not the best indicator of ripeness. It is best to choose them by touch and smell. Select full, somewhat firm fruit. Skin should be taut, smooth and waxy. They should have a strong perfume-like aroma. Avoid damaged, bruised, or shriveled fruit.

    Storage at home: Mangoes that are a bit too firm, will ripen if left on the countertop. Mangoes that are ripe should be used, but can be refrigerated for 1-2 days.

    Preparation: Mango skin is not edible and they have a pit. The pit is not removable like a peach or avocado. You cut the flesh from around the pit. Here's how: Holding the mango with the stem end up on a cutting board. Slice one of the fat sides of the mango off with sharp knife starting about ½ inch off the stem center. Do the same to the other side. If you meet resistance, you have hit the pit, and move the

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  • Seasonal recipes: Basic steamed artichoke and dips

    Spring is here and the steady stream of fresh produce arriving into your local market is about to begin. Some of the first vegetables of spring include artichokes. Artichokes are very healthy and peeling off petals, dipping them and scraping them your teeth make artichokes fun to eat for the whole family.

    Artichokes are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. They are good source of folic acid. Here are a few pointers on picking, storing and preparing the freshest and the best tasting artichokes of the season:

    At the market: Select compact, heavy artichokes with hard, tight leaves and good green color. Avoid an artichoke with discolored leaves, black spots at the tip, or that are open.

    Storage: In the fridge for up to 4-5 days, unwashed, in a loosely open or perforated plastic bag

    Preparation: Basic Steamed Artichokes

    Cooking whole artichokes can take about an hour, but cutting them in half or quarters before cooking reduces the cooking time less than 20

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  • Heart Healthy Valentine's Day

    Give the heart closest to you a special gift on Valentine's Day by treating yourself to heart healthy foods. It's been proven that exercise and eating right are two steps can be reduce your risk of heart-related illnesses and diseases.

    Here are 3 Simple Heart Healthy Eating Habits

    1. Limit high fat foods such as red meats, cheeses, fried foods and baked goods.

    2. Eat more fruits & vegetables. Raw, baked or steamed are best.

    3. Avoid salt (aka sodium in processed foods) by eating less canned, prepared and fast foods. Stay away from salty snacks too.

    When it comes to lowering your risk of heart-related illnesses and diseases some foods do it better than others. These heart healthy foods are often called SUPER foods because they contain high amounts of the special nutrients that have been proven to be beneficial to the heart:

    · Antioxidants are nutrients that help to fight off cancers

    · Fiber which can lower cholesterol and reduce buildup of plaque in

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