Healthy Recipes

Enjoy these Healthy Recipes
for Natural Healing and
Disease Prevention

Whether you love to cook or hate it, you’ll find something to love in these healthy recipes from my own kitchen. My wife Gail and I have enjoyed these foods not only because they taste great, but also because it is such a good feeling to know we are adding health to our bodies with every bite! It’s like making deposits in a health account every time we sit down for a meal.

Some of these healthy recipes are my own invention, and some are modified from older recipes we have found. We have substituted healthier ingredients which sometimes taste even more interesting, or have brought them up to date for ease of preparation by busy working people.

Because this is a page of healthy recipes and not a medical textbook, I will not spend much time here explaining why these are so good for you. You can find an overview of my holistic medicine topics at the home page. Just know that whether you are interested in cancer prevention,lower cholesterol, or other nutritional healing, these healthy recipes are all “just what the doctor ordered.” Bon appetit!


Shiitake Mushroom Soup

This soup is one of my favorite healthy recipes and highlights the well-researched value of shiitakes for cancer prevention.

Take a large soup pot, and sautee a few slices of onion until translucent in a little olive oil; add a sufficient amount of chicken or vegetable broth for your soup, with a tablespoon or two of finely chopped ginger. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add a 2 to 4 ounce package of shiitake mushrooms sliced into bite size lengths (remove the hard stems). While that simmers, chop some of your favorite vegetables, such as cabbage, green onions, broccoli, or carrots; cook until vegetables are tender but not too soft. Season with a little salt, soy sauce, or pepper. Serve and enjoy!


Broiled Rainbow Trout with herbs

It’s easy to find healthy recipes for fish, but some are way too complicated. This makes it easy to remember to eat fish twice weekly, as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. It has the potential to reduce your chances of arthritis, heart disease and stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, many cancers, and chronic pain.

First, plan to use a cast iron griddle as your broiling pan, and place it under the broiler for 15 minutes to get it extremely hot before placing the fish on it.

Take 4 trout fillets, skin on or off, and dip in extra virgin olive oil in a shallow bowl. Then make a mixture of ¼ cup fresh chopped green onions, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro. Lay the fish out on a working surface and sprinkle the herb mix over them, followed by 3 teaspoons of bread crumbs, and pat the coating onto the fish. Season with fresh ground pepper if desired, then lay the fish carefully on the hot griddle, skin side down if your fillets have skins. Place under the broiler for 3 minutes only, then remove from the griddle and the heat, for perfectly done fillets.


Sweet Potato Soup

This soup is a great way to enjoy the benefits of a wonderful vegetable: antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and low glycemic load.

Peel and cube two large sweet potatoes, and boil or steam until tender. Take 2 cups of the cooked sweet potato and combine in a blender with 2 cups of vegetable broth and 1 cup of low fat milk (rice or soy milk can be substituted). Add ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Add a small bit of sweetener if you feel necessary, such as up to 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Blend thoroughly; then return to a saucepan to heat for serving.

This is a good time to remind the creative cooks that you can take this idea and invent your own healthy recipes using sweet potatoes and a soup stock!


Turmeric seasoned lentil soup

This really great soup combines the healing energies of several wonderful foods! You’ll find that many of my healthy recipes do just that: one “headline” food is complimented by spices or additions which have their own benefits in addition to great flavor. Lentils and garlic are both heart healthy, and the turmeric spice adds anti-inflammatory and anticancer power to your meal.

Heat to boiling in a large pot 3 cups of water, 1 cup of dried lentils, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. (If you are bothered by gas from beans, soak the lentils overnight and discard the water they were soaked in). In another large pot, sauté 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a small onion in extra virgin olive oil until golden, then add chopped green peppers and zucchini to the sauté and turn down the heat. When the lentils are tender, pour the lentils and water over the sautéed vegetables, stir, and add a few fresh spinach leaves at the last minute. Add salt in moderation to taste if desired. Serve and enjoy!


Ginger stir-fry

This terrific and spicy anti-inflammatory stir-fry will please the palate and has countless health benefits!

Take one fresh ginger root, peel it and grate about one tablespoon into a one cup glass container. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, ½ tsp black pepper, 2 tsp olive oil, and 1/3 cup of soy sauce. Mix well and pour the mixture over your choice of cubed extra firm tofu or chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces. Let marinate in refrigerator for one hour at least. Then in a large wok, heat sufficient olive oil to coat the surface, and stir fry the tofu or chicken until browned and the chicken is cooked, set aside. Then in the same pan, stir fry a mix of your favorite vegetables, pre-cut. Suggested ingredients include: onions, carrot slices, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, and cabbage. Once softened but still bright in color, mix in the already cooked chicken or tofu, stir well, and serve hot over brown rice, adding hot pepper sauce to taste if you so choose! This is one of my favorites.


Almond Apple Oatmeal!

I’m excited to provide a breakfast healthy recipe because a healthy breakfast is one of the key nutritional pieces I pass on to my patients. And this one is really easy, once you get the idea, you can make your own variation.

For one person: take ½ cup thick rolled oats, add ½ cup unsweetened soy milk and ½ water, microwave for 2 minutes in a safe dish, watching out for overboiling. Remove from microwave and add ¼ cup sliced dry-roasted almonds, ½ diced tart apple, and 2 cubes of crystallized ginger sliced thin. Microwave for another minute, stir and enjoy when cooled slightly. It will need no other sweetening if you use the crystallized ginger. This is a great low-glycemic whole grain breakfast, guaranteed to improve heart health! Enjoy!


Serving Suggestions for Sugar Snap Peas

First, a few quick facts on the health benefits of this amazingly delicious vegetable:

Sugar Snap Peas are legumes, and could just as easily be called “beans” as a member of that broad family of protein rich vegetables. Here are the highlights of their ability to protect you against heart disease andnaturally lower cholesterol. It’s a great protein substitute for meat especially for those of us looking to decrease saturated fat intake and add cholesterol lowering fiber. Sugar Snap Peas are an extremely good source of B-vitamins and folate, counteracting the effect of homocysteine which by itself can add to heart attack risk. They also give generous amounts of vitamin A (as natural carotenoids), vitamin C and Vitamin K, naturally high levels of potassium and magnesium to help regulate healthy blood pressure. You could hardly ask for a more heart healthy food, and healthy recipes for snap peas are easy to find. Here I simply want to give you ways to enjoy them without a lot of fuss.

How to enjoy them: Sugar snap peas can be eaten raw by themselves or on a salad, just make sure to snap off the stem and wash them first. Unlike regular green peas of course, you can eat the pod and all, a crunchy sweet treat. They can be boiled or steamed (please don’t overdo it, leave a little “crunch.”) My favorite way is to sauté them in some extra virgin olive oil with a mix of other veggies, maybe onions, zucchini, cabbage, or broccoli. Keep a container of them rinsed and snapped in the refrigerator, they’ll be good for 2 or 3 days. Reach for them when thinking of a snack, so much better for you than something out of a package, and just as delicious! And later, for dinner, toss them in the sauté pan with whatever vegetables you like, stir fry in a little olive oil, pepper and maybe some soy sauce to taste (low sodium if you are concerned about blood pressure). Or if you are making a pasta dish, toss some cooked sugar snap peas over or in your pasta to make the red sauce much more interesting. Use your imagination, and enjoy plenty of variety in how you use them.


Pistachio apple salad

A few words about the health benefits of pistachios before another healthy recipe. These nuts are one of the most heart healthy snacks you could find. They are the richest nut source of phytosterols and high in healthy monounsaturated fats, both good for lowering cholesterol naturally. Consider pistachios by themselves when you are wishing for a snack, and your weight and your heart will thank you!

Pistachio apple salad

Toss in a large bowl about 8 cups of organic spring mix or dark green lettuce, sliced red and yellow peppers (also organic if possible, conventional peppers are heavily pesticided), about a cup of small cherry tomatoes, one large tart apple sliced thinly, ¼ cup of finely sliced red onion, and 1 cup of shelled pistachios. Use an olive oil and vinegar dressing or other vinaigrette. Serves 4 – 6 salads.


Sweet potato with onion and spices

I’m excited to present this new recipe for several reasons. First, I just had it for lunch and it was delicious! Second, it is an anti-inflammatory and health promoting treasure chest. The sweet potato provides a generous dose of beta carotene and natural carotenoids for cancer prevention and eye health; onions are known to help prevent cancer; and the combination of walnuts (omega 3’s), turmeric and ginger is a powerful recipe for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also a wonderful way to expand your choices for how to cook a sweet potato. It’s quick too, from start to finish only 15 – 20 minutes.

First peel a large sweet potato, then chop it into thin slices a little thicker than a match stick and as big around as a half-dollar. Chop ½ a large onion and crumble a handful of walnuts. Place all into a saute pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Toss over the mix about ½ tsp turmeric powder and ½ tsp of powdered ginger root. Stir on high heat, but careful not to burn the oil. When close to done, pour in 1 tbsp dry white wine (optional, but brings out the flavors nicely). Continue stirring over heat until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to chew easily but not mushy.


This will serve 2 to 3 as a side dish, or could be served over quinoa to make a complete meal.


Cranberry Salad Recipe

This cranberry salad recipe was passed along to my wife and me not long after we were newlyweds, by a dear friend who wrote it on a 3×5 index card. It has become a Holiday tradition for our family, and either Thanksgiving or Christmas would not be the same without it.

Apple Cranberry baked salad

Mix 3 cups of diced apples, 2 cups of raw cranberries, and ¾ cup (or less) sugar, and place in a casserole dish with a light coating of canola oil. Mix a topping of ½ cup old fashioned oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, and ¼ cup canola oil, and a pinch of salt. Cover the cranberry mixture with topping and bake at 325 for one hour. Serve warm. Delicious!

More healthy recipes coming soon! Come back often.


to your health and wellness,



Robert Pendergrast, MD, MPH 

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