Tag Archives: dieting recipes

Trader Joe’s Lentil Dip




If you have followed me or you know me, you know I am often inspired when I walk into a Trader Joe’s. I love it and love their products. I sometimes think I am their biggest fan.

I had the opportunity to sample this Trader Joe’s recipe at one of my local Trader Joe’s some time ago, and I decided to recreate it at home and serve with all natural plantain chips. The original recipe calls for plain feta, but as the suggestion of a Trader Joe’s crew mate I used Mediterranean feta instead. This could be served over fish or chicken, or as a side dish as well as a dip. It was so delicious, both James and I loved this dip and we will be having it again. We killed it!!



1 package Trader Joe’s Steamed & Fully Cooked Lentils, rinsed to remove extra sodium

1 package Trader Joe’s Mediterranean feta cheese

1 container (7.25 oz) Trader Joe’s bruschetta Sauce



In a medium bowl, combine steamed lentils,  Mediterranean feta and bruschetta sauce, then stir. Serve cold with homemade or store-bought plantain chips. Trader Joe’s has two types of plantain chips and both only have two ingredients, a clean eating win. I am absolutely hooked on this healthy dip as I know you will be as well.  

You can treat your body as a temple and still enjoy the pleasures of life. Healthy does not equal boring.  As with everything I practice portion control.







I remember when my whole family went to Boston for my cousin Joseph’s big Italian wedding to Nicole, and my husband and I drove from Connecticut to join them. When we arrived my Mother had cooked Pasta Fagioli in my Aunt Terri’s kitchen, and tasting it brought back so many lovely memories of home and family. My Mother is always in my heart, even though miles are between us. Cooking her recipes makes me feel a bit closer to her and cooking Italian food seems to be in my soul. I am on a quest to recreate all the traditional Italian meals I grew up on, healthy style of course.

Since I began My Change for a Ten I have not been cooking as often, and cooking a one pot meal is a seamless way to make a delicious meal. Pasta Fagioli is simple, fast, and healthy and great for sharing with loved ones. One thing my Mother always taught us, there is always enough food if someone shows up hungry on your doorstep. Sharing was always a given in our household.

This soup is delicious and you can always splurge with a little Italian bread warmed in the oven, or garlic bread. It is super easy and healthy, except the Parmesan cheese; but I will be watching my portion size so I should be fine. Sometimes a little splurge is ok as long as you do not eat two or three bowls, which my husband always does and he does not need to lose weight. Go figure.

You could even drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on a whole garlic head, wrap it in foil and roast it on 400 degrees for about thirty minutes. That is absolutely delicious on Italian bread. I  like to dip my Italian bread in garlic infused extra virgin olive oil with Parmesan cheese, but I am being good as of late so I will skip that little indulgence. After all I weigh in tomorrow. I will only have once cup. 🙂

Here is the fantastic recipe, simply divine. I make this all the time.

You will need:

1 large onion

Cloves of garlic, I use tons!!

2 large cans crushed tomatoes plus one can hot water

2 regular cans white cannelini beans, do not drain.

1 large Parmesan cheese

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

dried or fresh oregano

Half of box of ditalini pasta cooked  al dente’ and drained. I like to find whole grain pasta if possible but once in a while it is ok to have the white stuff. 🙂

Saute’ onion and garlic in a large pot in olive oil.  I always season my veggies as they are cooking. Cook until the onions caramelizes.

 A few minutes later add 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes plus a can of hot water and simmer covered for forty minutes. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.

Add the 2 cans of cannelini beans and simmer another twenty minutes.Do not drain.

After simmering, mix in the Parmesan cheese, using most of the can. Then mix in the cooked pasta with  a bit more salt, pepper and oregano and voila you have  my Mother’s Pasta Fagioli. This soup is a big pot of Italian goodness. Mangia!!

Looking at bright fresh flowers when you are cooking makes the experience much more lush. Food, flowers, music, it all feeds our creative senses. I found this little pitcher and it was just shouting for come colorful stems to marry.  Mission accomplished, thanks to Trader Joe’s. I play some swing music and my whole apartment looks, feels and sounds festive. 

Just because I am dieting does not mean I cannot enjoy the pleasures of life. I am seeking balance as I continue on this quest to change myself and help others in the process. I totally believe you can achieve a mind and body connection.  

I am overflowing with gratitude for life and loved ones, and the opportunity to live La Dolce’ Vita, the sweet soulful life. I wish you the same abundance and more. Happy Sunday
Love and Light