Category: Healthy Life Style



I love to pull a meal together without turning on the stove or oven, especially now heading into the summer season. Something quick, healthy and satisfying.

For the star protein of this meal I used a can of Genova Yellowfin tuna in olive oil. Gathered up some produce from the fridge, spring mix, green onions, grape tomatoes, roasted red pepper, avocado and clementines. Simply drain and plate the tuna, surround with spring mix, top with tomatoes, green onion, roasted pepper, sliced avocado and the clementines. I dressed the plate with cucumber dill yogurt dressing which I had previously made, it’s very refreshing! That’s it done and ready to eat!

Now there’s so many variations of this meal that you can do. Try switching out the tuna for any leftover cooked organic chicken or beef, just slice it up and plate it. For the salad part I used what was in the house. Look in your fridge and cupboard, utilize what’s available. Any combination of salad greens will work, aruggala, romaine, etc, try red onions, sliced cucumbers, beets, shredded carrots, artichokes, bell peppers, whatever you have on hand to create your own masterpiece. Add a healthy fat like walnuts, almonds, olives, sesame or pumpkin seeds. Instead of clementines try using mango, cranberries, grapes or apples.

I topped this salad with a homemade dressing that also can be used as a dip for veggies or falafel. I used 1 cup organic White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt, 3 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s real mayonnaise, 1 larger grated mini cucumber, juice from 1/2 a small lemon and lots of dill, either dried or fresh. I dry my own. You can adjust this recipe to your own taste by using more or less lemon, amount of cuke and dill. I happen to like a good amount of cucumber, makes it very fresh tasting, and lots of dill!

Until next time, ENJOY and be well!!




I don’t know about you but this shelter in place has certainly pushed me off track, I really need this reminder. It is so easy to slack off right now, not much activity going on, no one really wants to spend a lot of time shopping in the supermarket it’s more like grab and go, and have I mentioned the intense craving for comfort food? And what’s with all the snacking? Well there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but there are many beautiful, colorful, fruits and vegetables! Let us give thanks!

Photo by Foodlady7

I know how difficult it is to get frozen and canned veggies, especially canned without added salt. Stores are restocking shelves best they can, it’s like hit or miss. There is plenty of fresh produce out there so let’s take advantage of that, buy what we find and come up with creative vegetarian or veggie dinners. Find the way that works best for you to incorporate the vegetables into your meals. Make a stir fry using whatever veggies you have. How about a dump salad, use whatever produce you have on hand. Cut lettuce, chop up cucumber, pepper, radish, onion, zucchini, shaved carrot, clementine, apple, etc. Add cranberries, raisins, any type of nuts or seeds and if you eat dairy add some shredded cheese. Basically you can use just about any produce you have to make a salad. Hey, how about a veggie omelette? Once again using up what produce you have in the house, then add in some cooked sweet potato. Also you can try making a vegetable quesadilla, ole!

The idea is to try and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal, Hey, there’s more than one type of rainbow! Good luck and be safe!



Neil Miller/The New York Extra/

Whoever thought of spiralizing zucchini to be used as an alternative for pasta “noodles” my hat goes off to you! It’s a fabulous healthy idea. Though us Italians have been cooking zucchini with tomato sauce for a very long time, just not spiralized!

Using the helpful Veggetti Pro device

This is what you will need for this very simple recipe. Three medium sized zucchini, 1 cup chopped Vidalia onion (sweetens the sauce), and 16 ounces tomato sauce (I use no salt added always). Oh yes and some extra virgin olive oil, about 1/4 cup or a little more as needed.

First preheat pan (I used a large aluminum frying pan), add olive oil to pan then chopped Vidalia onion. Sautee for 5 minutes, sprinkle with salt. Add spiralized zucchini and tomato sauce to pan, stir and cook on medium low flame covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust timing less for a firmer zoodle or more for softer zoodle. Salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with fresh parsley. If you like top with a good quality grating cheese. That’s it, easy peasy! ENJOY!

TIP OF THE DAY: I used kitchen shears to cut into the raw zoodles before cooking. Otherwise I found it to be difficult because of the length to toss in pan, they tended to be bulky and clump together.

PRODUCT OF THE DAY: Maison Potier Butternut squash Pesto with carrots, pecans and Parmigiano Reggiano. Very versatile pesto, good for veggies, zoodles, pasta etc. I’m going to be experimenting with different uses, let you know if I come up with something different and yummy!


I had the pleasure of being part of a Turkish family for 8 years, I learned how to make many delicious native dishes from the matriarch herself, Of course not as perfect and some recipes were better left to the experts! The food was amazing, fresh and healthy. I came across this recipe (courtesy of PhoebeLapine inspired by The Greek Vegetarian) bringing back memories of her making it. Oh how I miss those meals!

Let’s get started. You will need 2 medium eggplant sliced lengthwise to 1/4 inch thickness (you can peel or not), 1 small diced onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic minced, one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, sea salt, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional), and a dash of cinnamon. This recipe calls for a cast iron skillet, which you can use on top of the stove for the first part then finish off with baking in the oven. I pan fried the eggplant in my Red copper fry pan then transferred everything into a casserole to bake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. LIGHTLY salt the sliced eggplant, allow to stand for 20 minutes. Pat dry and set aside. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet (preferably cast iron), pan fry eggplant 2 minutes per side until lightly browned. Continue frying eggplant, lightly adding a little olive oil between batches to prevent burning, do not heavy hand it, the pan just needs to be greased. Remove eggplant to plate.

Add onion to skillet saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, chili flakes and cinnamon. Cook one minute more then carefully pour in diced tomatoes then simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half the parsley. If using ovenproof skillet remove 3/4 of sauce leaving a thin layer in bottom of pan. Otherwise remove 1/4 of sauce to the bottom of a 8×8 or comparable casserole dish. Arrange layer of eggplant on top, slather with a layer of sauce and repeat with eggplant then sauce – like you would a lasagna. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes, until eggplant is very soft and sauce is reduced. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with remaining parsley, serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

RECIPE NOTES: I did not use cast iron and it came delicious! Actually next time I would double the recipe, it disappeared so quickly! If using as a side dish you can get 5-6 servings, as a main dish 3-4 servings. Also I omitted the 1/2 teaspoon of added salt and it was fine. If you see the sauce in the pan and think it’s not enough it will be, the finished product shouldn’t be swimming in sauce. Don’t forget to garnish with the parsley. This recipe brought back wonderful memories, can’t wait to make again! BE SAFE, BE WELL!



Neil Miller/The New York Extra/

Nowadays I have much more time to spend cooking. I’m trying to limit exposure and only going to the supermarkets when necessary, getting what I can find then using it all up! I was in a snacky mood wanting something different. I had one green plantain thinking i would make tostones but decided to try making oven baked plantain fries (which I have not done before). There was also a nice large crown of broccoli that needed to be used. Alright how about some broccoli patties? Sounds good to me!

The broccoli patty recipe was made up according to what was in my fridge. I decided to use 2 organic carrots, had no onions but found a medium sized shallot, grated pecorino romano cheese, a couple baby peppers and eggs.

I rinsed the broccoli, cut into chunks using the stem part also (no waste), wash carrots, peel if you want (vitamins in skin), destem baby peppers and peel shallot. Add to the food processor, pulse to a finer consistency rather than chunky but not mush. You will need to do a couple batches. Once processed empty into a large bowl, add 1/2 cup grated cheese (helps to bind), a few turns of the black pepper mill and I needed to use 4 eggs. Mix together well. I did not add salt because of the cheese, instead sprinkle on salt if desired after cooked. Put the bowl in the refrigerator while you preheat pan. I used a copper infused fry pan. Add oil to cover bottom of pan, I was out of avocado oil so I used coconut oil. Place a large tablespoonful of mixture into pan flattening down lightly, as many as your pan accommodates, don’t crowd pan. Fry until brown then flip over gently with a spatula. When ready place on a wire rack. Return bowl to refrigerator in between frying batches.

Time for the plantain fries. To peel first cut off the ends then make a slit running down the length of the pantain careful not to hit the flesh. I actually make 3 slits down the raised seams on the plantain. Peel by hand or I prefer to use a butter knife along the slits and pry off. Once peeled cut into 3 equal chunks then slice each chunk into fries. Place in bowl, add about 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, season to taste. I tried salt, pepper. onion and garlic powder. I wanted to keep it simple for my first time, see how they come out then adjust accordingly for future recipe. Mix together then place on a baking sheet, put in a preheated 425 degree oven. Turn after 12 minutes, cook about 8 more minutes.

You can serve these with just about any dipping sauce of your choice. Using what I had on hand, I mixed some Mr. Peppers hot sauce into Primal Kitchen avocado oil real mayo. I like a little kick! It was great with both of them but particularly the plantain fries!

All in all I was happy with the outcome. Next time I will do the broccoli patties using an onion instead of a shallot. Felt like I missed that oniony flavor. Or try using both. I’m definitely doing the plantain fries again (as in buying several on my next shopping spree!). One plantain did not go very far, my boyfriend enjoyed them too. I liked the spices that I used for the plantain recipe but going to also add some paprika next time, how can that be bad! Thanks for looking in, let’s make the best of what we have and all be safe and healthy!


COMFORT FOOD FOR A RAINY DAY by Toni Hoyos/The New York Extra/

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/The

Here we are on this rainy Sunday practicing social distancing with no place to go. Thus let the cooking begin! I needed to utilize what was on hand so I foraged the kitchen to see what was in stock. The man was craving comfort food. Found 2 different jars of tomato sauce and one bag of pasta. Luckily there actually was meat in the house, bingo! Sunday Sauce! Something I hadn’t made in years, hopefully the touch was still there.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/

I had 2 lbs of grass fed beef chop meat and a 6 pack of Premio sausage. Open and rinse off sausage, pat dry with paper towel and place on small sheet pan, set aside. For the meatballs I used a medium onion and 3 cloves of organic garlic which I pulsed a few times in the food processor. I added that to the chop meat in a large bowl along with 1 large egg, dried basil, dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste. In lieu of breadcrumbs I used 2 slices of whole wheat farmhouse bread soaked in almond milk which I shredded by hand into the chop meat mixture. Once again I was utilizing what was available to me in the house, normally I like to use fresh herbs when cooking and I improvised with the bread and almond milk, you can use any milk, bread or breadcrumbs. Mix by hand until everything looks incorporated (but do not overmix) and form into meatballs of your size choice, place on lightly greased sheet pan and spritz with oil (I used avocado oil). Place meatballs on bottom rack of preheated 400 degree oven and sausage on top rack. Cook sausage for about 12 minutes, turn over, cook about another 12-15 minutes. Flip meatballs with a metal spatula after 20 minutes and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until brown.

To start the sauce I pulsed a medium/small onion, 4 cloves of organic garlic and a small organic carrot which I sauteed in a large sauce pot using organic extra virgin olive oil over medium/low heat. Sautee approximately 5 minutes stirring when needed, adding more olive oil when needed. I’d say I used about a 1/3 a cup of oil if not a little more. Once sauteed I added the 20 oz jar and the 24 oz jar of tomato sauce to the pot then added in the meatballs and sausage. At this point it looked like there wasn’t enough sauce in the pot to cover the meat so I went searching in the cabinets to see what I could find. Found 2 8 oz cans of Best Yet no salt tomato sauce,added them to the pot along with a cup of water. Sprinkle in some dried basil (about 1 teaspoon) and let simmer for at least 2 hours stirring gently every 15-20 minutes.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/

I have to tell you the aroma of that sauce cooking was delectable, heavenly! A scent to soothe the soul. I just wanted to grab a chunk of bread and dip it in the sauce!

Once the sauce is ready make your pasta according to directions, drain, place into a large pasta bowl or return to cooking pot, toss with cooked sauce, plate and serve. I served it with salad and olives. If I say so myself it was delicious, guess I didn’t lose my touch Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, Bon appetit!


MAKING THE MOST OUT OF WHAT YOU HAVE by Toni Hoyos/The New York Extra/

Now’s the time to try and utilize what we have and not be wasteful. People are not working, money is tight, stores are not fully stocked and who the heck wants to keep making trips to the supermarket. So I looked into my fridge to see what was hiding in there. Found some leftover asparagus, half of a large cooked sweet potato and a couple tablespoons of roasted red pepper. Hence the idea of an omelette was born!

I diced up a small red onion, sauteed it in a pan for a few minutes with some ghee. Then diced and added in the leftovers, asparagus, sweet potato and roasted red peppers. Let cook for 2 minutes then sprinkle with Trader Joe’s taco seasoning, stir and add 4 organic/pasture raised eggs. Cook over med/low flame for a few minutes then flip over with a spatula. Cook for 1 additional minute. Plate it. I found some green and Kalamata olives in the fridge along with some scallions. So I diced them up and scattered on top of omelette. It was pot luck and really yummy. I was quite pleased with the outcome!

Quick Simple Healthy Meal

Welcome Back! On my quest to simplify healthy meals my first discovery is Amy’s Lentil soup, canned yet clean ingredients. All you need is the Amy’s soup, some fresh baby spinach [or veggie of choice] salt and pepper to taste and/or a little hot sauce. Shake Your Mama’s Bootie Mr. Peppers Hot Sauce Co is a great find, no preservatives, sugar or bad oils, use it on everything! [caution a little goes a long way]

Neil Miller/The New York Extra
Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Simply add soup to a pot, throw in 2 cups fresh baby spinach and heat until spinach is wilted. Season to taste. If you do dairy sprinkle with some grated cheese. As an accompaniment I used Mary’s Gone Crackers superseed everything , gluten free, crispy and tasty! Smear a little grass fed butter on them for a real treat. To finish off the meal add fruit of your choice. I used ready cut fresh pineapple and organic blueberries, delish!

This meal was really super quick, 10 minutes from pot to table. On those crazy busy days when time is of the essence ,with a little forethought and smart shopping options one can eat healthy, considering the alternatives. So don’t stop at those fast food chains or restaurants, lets shop around for healthier possibilities together. Be back soon!

Neil Miller /The New York Extra

TIP OF THE DAY: Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad dressing made with avocados is a real crowd pleaser. I use it for a dip with crudite. Plan on seeing this on future posts, I’m still thinking of its many possibilities.

2020 The Quest to Simplify Healthy Meals

Welcome 2020! May this year bring many blessings for us all! Im looking forward to new and exciting adventures and positive changes. One change I will be implementing is to SIMPLIFY. Time constraints have interfered with shopping, prepping and cook time. I usually spend several hours on my days off preparing healthy meals for the week. Well that’s not always going to be possible.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Though I always recommend first and whenever possible to eat clean, organic home prepared meals and snacks, I do realize with our busy schedules that’s not always feasible. Therefore my quest to simplify was born and it is a work in progress, Please take this journey with me. In order to simplify and as much as this pains me to say that means utilizing healthy prepared/packaged foods. It does not mean highly processed foods , preservatives, added sugars or unhealthy fats. Ha Ha,,, I know not easy.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Open the door and surround yourself with a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to grab an apple, banana or any fruit, they transport easily. Humus with Mini cukes, rainbow carrots and bell peppers are good to go. Pack some olives or raw nuts of your choice in snack size baggies. Keep a jar of seed or nut butter on hand with some precut celery sticks, a quick and easy snack.

I go forward now in search of elusive healthy packaged foods. What will I find on my journey?? Stay tuned for upcoming dinner recipes. Be back soon! Wishing you peace.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

TIP OF THE DAY: Stringless Snap Peas from Whole Foods and Galil Organic Roasted Chestnuts. Totally portable and easy peasy!!

Amazing Chocolate Seed Treat

Neil Miller/The New York Extra


My friend turned me on to this delicious chocolate treat, now I’d like to share it with you. It’s quick, easy and very yummy! Great to give out as holiday gifts or a hostess gift any time of the year. Just use appropriate holiday/occasion wrapping of your choice! This recipe is courtesy of Dr. Eric Berg DC, you can find it on You Tube. Check it out to watch his video if you like visual aspects.

This recipe calls for 5 cups of raw seeds. Seeds are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, they also do not irritate the gallbladder. If you wish you may use any combination of seeds and nuts for this recipe. I would recommend using a food processor to break down large nuts like walnuts and almonds. A quick pulse or 2 just to have smaller pieces.

You will need 5 cups of seeds [or combination seeds/nuts] , 1 9 oz bag Lilly’s dark chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons coconut oil [to thin out and make chocolate spreadable] and approximately 1 tsp pure Vanilla extract, a large bowl for the seeds and a prepared large baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Melt chocolate on stovetop using a pot with some water in it and a smaller pot that will sit into the larger one , pour the chocolate into the smaller pot and stir on medium heat until all chocolate is melted.Once melted pour chocolate over seeds in bowl, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir together. Pour seed/chocolate mixture onto prepared parchment lined pan. Spread out using a spoon or spatula to a very thin layer then freeze for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove from freezer and break into small pieces. Taste and enjoy! Careful though, I find these treats addicting, YUM!

Neil Miller ?The New York Extra

TIP OF THE DAY: These chocolate treats make for great gifts with a homemade touch. I’m making up Christmas bags for everyone to enjoy! Store in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to eat them straight from the freezer.