Soups, Sides, & Salads Recipes

Summer Grilled Mexican Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

We've omitted the cotija cheese and bacon for a healthier and vegetarian friendly option.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
4 ears corn, husks removed
1T olive oil
2T melted butter
Juice from one lime
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded
2 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup fresh basil, sliced

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
Prepare grill on highest setting. Brush corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap corn in foil. Grill for about 10 minutes, rotating 4-5 times during grilling until lightly charred. Grill the peppers until lightly charred on all sides. When corn and peppers are cool enough to handle, slice corn off the cob, slice the peppers, and add them to a big bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Hint: You can save time by grilling corn and peppers a day or 2 ahead of time.

How to make this recipe all year long without using a grill;

Saute 4 cups of frozen corn in the olive oil until golden.

Roast the peppers in a 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until charred and very soft. The jalapeno peppers will cook in less time.

If you'd like to add the bacon and cheese, cook bacon until crisp, then finely dice. Add bacon and ¼ cup cheese to the bowl, mix well.

Celery Seed Slaw

Bagged Cole Slaw (4 cups)
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp celery seed (found in the spice rack section)

Mixed everything together.

Hint: This Cole slaw goes great piled on top of any burger

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

½ stick of butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp golden brown sugar
1 tsp cloves
1 (2 pound) head of red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced (about 10 cups)

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar and cloves; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Mix in cabbage. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until cabbage is very tender and almost all liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, abut 30-45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Carrot and Cauliflower Puree

1 medium head of cauliflower, core removed and cut into florets
1 ½ pounds of carrots, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tbsp salted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Boil water in 2 medium sized pots. Add cauliflower to one and carrots to the other. Or you can use one pot and boil cauliflower, remove florets with a slotted spoon when done, add carrots to the same pot. Each will take around 20 minutes to be tender enough to mash. Make sure you cook separately because cooking time may vary.
Add both drained vegetables to one pan and process with a food mill right in the pan. Don't have a food mill? A good blender will do.
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat until its golden brown. Watch over the butter, it could turn black very quickly. Add butter, salt and pepper, mix well.

Sauteed Green Beans and Onions with Bacon

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and halved
4 bacon slices
1 (16 ounce) bottle cocktail onions, drained
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp dried thyme
1 ½ tbsp. cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook beans in boiling water for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain, put aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon, reserve 2 tbsp drippings in pan, crumbled bacon and set aside.
Add onions to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar and thyme, cook for 3 minutes or until onions are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to coat, stir in bacon.

Easy Garlic Broccolini

2 bunches of broccolini
6 cloves peeled garlic, sliced thin
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes

Trim the ends of broccolini. Slice in half lengthwise. Add broccolini to a boiling pot of water. Cook 2 minutes, Drain and run under cold water.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium- high heat. Add oil and garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add the drained broccolini, season with salt, cook 1 more minute. Add red pepper flakes.

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves minced garlic
½ cups 1% milk
2 tbsp light sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot boil sweet potatoes until tender, drain.
Melt the butter and sauté garlic until lightly golden. Return potatoes to pan, add milk, and sour cream. Mash until smooth and creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger

1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Canola or peanut oil
1 pound broccoli florets, bite sized pieces
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger

Toast the sesame seeds first by heating a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sesame seeds and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Place seeds in a bowl.
Mix broth, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl.
Heat 1 tbsp of peanut or canola oil in a large, coverable sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and sauté for about 1 minute.
Clear a space in the middle of the broccoli and add the ginger, garlic and a little more oil. Stir just the ginger and garlic for half a minute, then stir it into the broccoli.
Add the broth mixture to the pan, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover the pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes.
Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Increase heat to high and boil down the liquid until just a few tbsp remain. Turn off heat, add broccoli and sesame seeds to pan, toss with the liquid.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Medium sized sweet potatoes- plan on one per person
Olive oil- enough to coat fries
Preheat oven - 450 degrees

Peel and cut potatoes into fry shape- similarly sized pieces to cook evenly

Place fries onto a baking sheet, add oil and toss to coat. Bake then in a single layer for 15 minutes, flip the fries and bake for 10-15 minutes more.

If using salt, sprinkle as soon as you take then out of the oven.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

1 ½ pounds squash- peeled and ¾ inch diced
1 T pure maple syrup
2 T olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway.

Spicy Chicken Soup

1 - 7 ounce can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped green peppers
½ cup chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 - 14 ½ ounce cans chicken broth
1-14 ½ can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 - 11 ounce can of corn with sweet peppers, drained

Mince one chili from the can and reserve the remaining for another time. You can freeze them if you think you won't use them right away.
Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium- high heat. Add bell peppers, onions, garlic, and cumin and sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in minced chile, chicken, broth, tomatoes, and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.

Tip: Don't like spicy? This soup will make you sweat! Skip the chipotle chili and add 1 tablespoon of chili powder instead.

Lentil Salad

1 (19 oz.) can organic lentils, well rinsed
½ cup finely chopped organic red onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh organic cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped fresh organic basil
¼ tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. organic red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. organic olive oil


Drain & rinse lentils. Add next 5 ingredients. In small bowl add vinegar and olive oil & whisk. Pour over other ingredients.

Grilled Chicken Salad

3 cups mixed greens, 1 cup mixed vegetables (such as cucumber, bell pepper, and tomato), 5 ounces grilled chicken breast, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette, (3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, mix well).

Asian Chicken Salad

3 cups mixed greens, topped with 3 ounces grilled chicken breast or shrimp, ½ cup cucumber slices, ½ cup shelled edamame, ½ cup orange segments, and 2 tablespoons sesame dressing, (2 teaspoons canola oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce, mix well).

Quinoa Salad

¾ cup cooked quinoa, ½ cup diced cucumber, ½ cup diced bell pepper, ¼ cup rinsed black beans, 2 tsp olive oil, and freshly squeezed lime juice. 3 ounces diced cooked chicken breast, canned tuna, or cooked fish.

Avocado and Chickpea Salad

3 cups mixed greens, ½ cup chickpeas, ½ cup sliced cucumber, ½ cup diced avocado, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice or vinegar to taste.

Chicken and Avocado Salad

3 cups mixed greens topped with 3 ounces grilled chicken breast, ½ avocado, sliced, ½ cup diced tomato, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon juice to taste.

Chopped Salad with Shrimp

3 ounces cooked shrimp, 3 cups mixed greens, ½ cup chopped tomato, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ¼ cup black olives, ¼ cup chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon juice to taste.

Edamame Salad

3 cups frozen edamame (soy beans) Cook according to package directions
2 cups roasted corn ( cook frozen corn in 1 T olive oil until slightly brown)
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped yellow onions
¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 T honey
1T olive oil
½ tsp cayenne
1T cider vinegar
¼ tsp black pepper
Mix everything together

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
½ tsp salt
1 cup diced, seeded, cucumber
1 can (14.5 oz), Hunts diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained
1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives, drained
1/3 cup crumbled, reduced fat feta cheese
¼ cup chopped red onion
Cook quinoa according to package directions, adding the salt.
Combine cucumber, drained tomatoes, olives, cheese, and onion in a large bowl, set aside. Let cooked quinoa cool slightly then add to vegetable mixture, toss gently. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

1 ½ pounds beef stew meat- cut into 1 inch chunks
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup frozen corn, thawed
2/3 cup uncooked pearled barley
½ tsp each of salt and pepper
1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
2- 32 ounce containers of beef broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Spray a large slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix all ingredients except peas. Cover, cook on low for 9-10 hours. Stir in peas, increase to high. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes longer.

Spiced Cauliflower Saute

½ cup of baby carrots, halved
1 cup of cauliflower, small pieces
¼ cup water
½ cup peas
¼ cup walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of saffron
½ tsp olive oil

Lightly coat a sauté pan heated on medium. Add carrots, cauliflower, and water. Cook until water evaporates and then sauté until cauliflower is lightly brown. Add peas, walnuts, salt , pepper, cinnamon, and saffron and sauté for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, add olive oil and serve.

Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T honey
1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a non-stick frying pan to medium. Add oil, vinegar, honey, tomatoes, pine nuts, salt and pepper and sauté until the tomatoes are hot to the touch. Remove tomatoes from the pan, leaving the sauce and pine nuts. Continue to cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Pour the sauce over the tomatoes and serve.

Sour Cream and Onion Mashed Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
½ tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
¼ cup sour cream
black pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil and add cauliflower. Cover and boil until very tender, drain well.
Transfer cauliflower to a food processor or blender, add remaining ingredients, pulse until smooth.

Red Lentil Stew with Eggplant and Tomato

½ T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ cup red lentils
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. When hot, add eggplant and cook 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Asian coleslaw

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2- 16oz bags of coleslaw mix
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp pepper

Rough up the scallions a little with fingers. Toss all veggies together. Let them get to room temp. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with in one hour of mixing.

Escorole Soup

Our family's version of Italian wedding soup

2 bunches escarole
3- 48 oz cans of chicken broth
1 pound of mini meatballs
½ cup grated cheese
2-3 eggs
small pasta noodles
salt and pepper to taste

Bake meatballs in 400 degree oven for a few minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
Rip escarole into bit size pieces, and rinse them well. To cook escarole, place them into a pot of cold water and bring them up to a boil- then they're done. Drain and squeeze out all of the excess water. You can freeze them ahead of time if you don't want to make soup right away. To put soup together, bring broth, escarole, and meatballs to a boil, shut off heat. Add beaten eggs mixed with cheese to the broth.
Add pre-cooked pasta noodles last.

Spinach can be substituted for escarole and turkey meatballs can be substituted for a healthier version.

Smokey Spiced Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein

1 T olive oil
2- 15 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp smoked paprika- Don't use regular paprika, it makes a difference
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chickpeas and fry them until they start to turn golden. This will take about 5-6 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, syrup, and soy sauce. When the chickpeas are golden, pour the lemon mixture over them and stir. Cook one minute more, then add all the spices. Stir to blend everything together and cook for about 1 minute more.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup

At Commit Fitness we recommend buying a lot of veggies and lean protein for your week of meals.
But what if you overdo it and at the end of the week you have a lot left over. What should you do? Make soup!

Basic Recipe for Everything Soup
1 T Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounces of broth- chicken, beef or vegetable
4 cups of water
4 cups of mixed vegetables
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp cayenne
1 pound of cooked protein- turkey, ham, shrimp, chicken, tofu
1 cup of cooked starch- beans, brown rice, quinoa, any pasta
½ cup chopped fresh herbs- parsley, mint, cilantro or basil

In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, water, vegetables and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add protein and starch and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Stir in fresh herbs.

Black Bean Soup

1 T olive oil
¼ cup chopped carrots
¼ cup chopped celery
2 cups broth- chicken or vegetable
1-15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 T Fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the broth and half the beans. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the pan and add the rest of the beans and cilantro. Cook until heated through.

Red Lentil Stew with Eggplant and Tomato

½ T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ cup red lentils
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. When hot, add eggplant and cook 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.