Monthly Archives: August 2011

Powerhouse Breakfast Shake

Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

Powerhouse Breakfast Shake

In my upcoming book RECIPES FOR RECOVERY, I feature some recipes for breakfast drinks. I also mention that I use the Vita-mix, although the recipes can be made using a sturdy blender. I confess the sturdy blender thing gave me pause. I don’t know of any blenders comparable to the Vita-mix. So before the book goes to print, I plan to remove the sturdy blender language and just go with the Vita-mix. Then it will have the caveat that using a blender won’t produce the same results.

If you buy RECIPES FOR RECOVERY, it’s probably because you’re interested in getting back on your feet after a serious operation, a lengthy illness, or cancer treatment (radiation, chemotherapy). Granted the Vita-mix is more expensive than a blender, but isn’t your health worth it?

Here is a sample from the new cookbook of a nutritious drink. If you don’t own a Vita-mix, try this in your blender. Then log on to and order the Vita-mix. You won’t regret it!


Forget those “instant” or canned breakfast drinks. They’re mostly sugar and a little milk. Make your own!

1 cup skim or 1% milk
1 banana, peeled
½ cup frozen chopped spinach
1 cup frozen mixed fruit or berries
Honey, sugar, or sweetener to taste (optional)

Combine all ingredients in the Vita-mix in order listed (except sweetener).
Blend until all ingredients are smooth, like a shake.
Taste-test and sweeten if needed.
Drink immediately.

Yield: Two smoothies

Variations: Vary the fruit and frozen fruit but keep the milk and spinach for your calcium, protein, and iron.

Note: Don’t be turned off by the icky color. The flavor of the spinach is masked by the fruits.
From RECIPES FOR RECOVERY ©2011 Cheryl Norman

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Apple Crisp

The secret to this healthy, nutritious apple crisp is the high fiber flavored instant oatmeal. The tiny bit of butter goes a long way on flavor. I made it the first time without walnuts (see slideshow), but the walnuts add flavor, fiber, and nutrition. Next time I’ll use the walnuts.



  1 Tbsp. real butter
  1 20 oz. can apple pie filling, no sugar added
  1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 packet high fiber instant oatmeal, maple and brown sugar flavor
  1 pint vanilla ice cream (optional)

  Preheat oven to 350°.
  Generously coat the inside of a square or round baking dish
  (approximately 8” diameter) with the butter.
  Pour contents of the canned apple pie filling into the buttered baking
  Stir in the cinnamon.
  Spread the instant oatmeal evenly over the top of apple mixture. Top with walnuts.
  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Carefully remove dish from oven and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From Recipes For Recovery – ©2011 Cheryl Norman

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Five Minute Mac-n-Cheese


5-Minute Mac-n-Cheese

Sometimes you need a helping of good old comfort food. Using whole wheat pasta and reduced fat cheese, you can make macaroni and cheese a reasonably healthful dish. It’s a hasty tasty meal or side dish, depending on your appetite. ☺


Five Minute Mac-n-Cheese


  1. ½ cup skim or 1% milk
  2. 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  3. 1 Tbsp. frozen chopped onions
  4. ¼ tsp. minced garlic
  5. Pinch grated nutmeg
  6. 1 measuring cup of shredded reduced fat cheese (your choice—I like sharp cheddar)
  7. 1 cup cooked whole wheat macaroni
  8. Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Dissolve the cornstarch into the cold milk. Stir in onions and garlic.
  2. Pour the milk mixture into a one-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Quickly reduce heat and stir frequently until milk thickens.
  3. Immediately remove from heat and fold in the cheese until incorporated to make a cheese sauce. If sauce is too tight or stiff, add a small amount of milk.
  4. Toss with the macaroni, season as desired with salt and/or pepper, and serve.

Yield: 2 servings (or 1 if you’re hungry!)


From RECIPES FOR RECOVERY ©2011 Cheryl Norman

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Filed under casseroles, Healthful Eating, macaroni and cheese, pasta, Recipes