Easy Back to School Recipes

Julie Fortenberry, RD, LDN

Back to school can be a tough transition for both kids and parents. Many parents have to struggle balancing their kids different schedules and their own lives. However,  it is still important to squeeze in a healthy, delicious meal for your family. Here are a few quick, an easy Back to School recipes for your hectic schedule.

Sauteed Eggplant

This dish is perfect for the end of summer and beginning of fall months when all of the vegetables you need are in season and can be found at your local farmers market! This dish freezes well for those upcoming busy school nights.


1/2 cup water
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, diced
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced


  1. Heat the water in a large pot and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until eggplant is just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in bell pepper and zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.  This dish goes very nicely with baked chicken or grilled shrimp.

Sausage, Spinach and White Bean Soup


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked chicken sausage, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups baby spinach


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Place sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano and bay leaves into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth and 2 cups water until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  4. Serve immediately.

Julie Fortenberry is a registered dietitian at Touro Infirmary. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Julie believes that lifestyle changes and wholesome nutrition are obtainable, and brings real-life understanding to wellness and nutritional counseling.

Poached Redfish with Citrus Salsa

Liz Cabrera, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC

Our favorite New Orleans food are usually the ones that are not so good for our bodies and our health. Dishes like seafood po’boys and creamy pastas are the biggest culprits of unhealthy eating. Small changes in your eating plan can decrease the risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

Poached Redfish with Citrus Salsa

courtsey of Brennan Restaurant Group

Servings: 1

6 oz. redfish fillet
4 oz. Jazzmen brown rice blend
3 oz. peach salsa
1 pinch micro greens for garnish
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
2 cups citrus courtbouillion

Season the redfish with the Creole seasoning and poach fish in barely simmering courtbouillion for 8 minutes or until done. Mold the rice in the center of the plate. Top with poached fish and peach salsa. Garnish with micro greens.

Peach and Citrus Salsa

1/2 peach, peeled and diced
1/2 Meyer lemon supremes, segmented
4 leaves cilantro, chiffonaded
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom vinegar

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Citrus Courtbouillion

1 gallon water
1/2 cup Meyer lemons, peeled
1/2 leek, rinsed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 bunch cilantro stems
2 cups white wine

Place all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes, then drain and place liquid back on the stove until ready to serve.

Jazzmen Brown Rice Blend

1 cup Jazzmen brown rice
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1/2 cup mixed peppers, roasted, peeled, deseeded and diced small
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice

Sweat shallots and garlic with the extra virgin olive oil until they are translucent. Grate ginger into the water. Add water to the shallots, add salt and bring to a boil. Stir in rice blend, remove from heat, cover tightly and let steam for 20 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Per serving: calories 521, protein 39g, carbohydrates 53g, total fat 14g, saturated fat 2g, fiber 5g, sodium 559 mg.

Liz Cabrera, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC, is the Lead Clinical Dietician for Touro Infirmary with over 25 years experience. Liz has advanced education and extensive experience in nutrition for a broad range of health conditions for which she provides nutrition support. Liz provides comprehensive nutrition care for inpatient and outpatient departments at Touro. In addition, Liz leads monthly healthy lifestyles community seminars and a nutrition after cancer cooking class.

Healthy Recipe for the New Year

Monica Taylor, MS, RD, LDN

The New Year is a great opportunity to cleanse your palate of holiday indulgences and renew your commitment to healthy habits. Many of us choose to set a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ and end up getting side tracked or burnt out and not following through.

A tip to incorporate health and wellness into your new year is making half your meals out of a variety of fruits and vegetables. They add color, flavor, and texture plus vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your plate.


Superfood Crunch Salad with Homemade Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette

3-4 small bowls
Prep Time
30 Minutes
Cook time
0 Minutes


For the dressing:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, or to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

8-10 cups destemmed and shredded Lacinato (dino) kale (2 bunches)
1 pear, thinly sliced and chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup pepita seeds
3-4 tbsp large flake coconut
1-2 tbsp hemp hearts (optional)
1-2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (optional)
Sprinkle of cinnamon


In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Adjust to taste if desired.

Remove all of the stems from the kale leaves and compost the stems (or if you are hard core you can save them for smoothies). Finely chop the kale leaves into tiny “shredded” pieces. The smaller the kale more tender the leaves will feel. Wash and spin dry. Place kale into a large salad bowl. You should have about 8-10 cups of kale for this salad.

Toss the kale in all of the dressing until everything is coated nicely. The kale will reduce in volume substantially.

Add the toppings (as much as you want – I recommend lots!), sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve immediately. Or let the dressing marinate the kale for a half hour or so. This salad is best served fresh, but it will keep chilled in the fridge for a day. if you don’t think you will eat that quickly, I recommend making a half batch at a time or simply store the kale and dressing separately until ready to mix and consume.

Recipe from OhSheGlows.Com

Monica Taylor, MS, RD, LDN Monica Taylor, MS, RD, LDN is a Clinical Dietitian at Touro Infirmary. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She also received her Masters of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She has experience in medical nutrition therapy, clinical nutrition, nutrition education and nutritional counseling.