This salad is so simple and so delicious! The combination of fresh spinach, basil, chopped pine nuts, turkey and Parmesan create an incredible healthy, fresh, main-dish salad. I served this salad for dinner, and it disappeared faster than I could blink. Serve it with your favorite vinaigrette or just a drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil. It has so many great flavors already, so it doesn’t need a lot of dressing. Welcome in spring with clean eating and this fresh salad.


Spinach-Turkey Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach

11/2 cups chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 pound sliced deli turkey (I used cracked pepper turkey)

1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Vinegar and oil or vinaigrette


1. Combine spinach, basil and pine nuts in a large salad bowl. Add turkey and cheese. Drizzle with dressing, tossing gently.


If you’re looking for a flavorful one-dish meal in under 30 minutes, look no further. This is a recipe I developed for Laura’s Lean Beef, and it’s really simple and has just the right spice of fresh ginger, peanut butter, garlic, low-sodium soy sauce and green onions. With only 330 calories and 10 grams of fat, you can enjoy this Asian beef dish. Feel free to use whole wheat noodles if you choose or even brown rice instead of the noodles and ground turkey or chopped cooked chicken for the beef.

Spicy Beef Noodles

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


1 pound lean ground round

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 cup low-salt, fat-free beef broth

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

8 ounces vermicelli, cooked (I used whole wheat)

1/4 cup sliced green onions

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Chopped peanuts (optional)


1. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until beef is browned. 

2. Add red pepper and next 7 ingredients and sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Toss beef mixture with hot pasta, green onions, sesame seeds and chopped peanuts, if desired. Serve immediately.

Cooking Tip: Texture is the key when purchasing fresh ginger. It should be absolutely solid — not mushy or soft. The skin should be smooth; wrinkled skin is a sign of old ginger.

Cooking Tip: Raw green onions have, in a small number of instances, been connected to food-borne illness. The only reliable way to eliminate this risk is to cook green onions thoroughly. Saute in a skillet for 2 mintues.

Low-fat, low-calorie manicotti? Is that possible? With only 325 calories and 8.5 grams of fat, I can say, yes, that is possible. This combination of lean ground beef, fat-free ricotta, egg white and fresh herbs creates a delicious and easy manicotti recipe. I developed this recipe for Laura’s Lean Beef Company a few years ago, and it has been a family staple for a few years. Feel free to use ground turkey or pork instead of beef if you choose. Also, you can prepare it a day ahead and bake it the next day.


Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 (8-ounce) package manicotti

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1 egg white

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce


1. Cook manicotti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic 5 minutes or until meat is browned; drain and let cool slightly.

3. Combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and next 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the meat mixture and set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon 1/2 cup marinara sauce in a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch baking dish. Fill manicotti shells with the meat mixture and arrange in a single layer in prepared dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles and is heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.