Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life


Beth made this tasty dish for the food swap a few weeks ago.  She got the recipe from The Greens Cook Book.  Here’s what she said about this dish..

This is how the recipe appears in the cookbook, but I usually don’t do the spice roasting, I just shake the spices from their jars right into the sauteing onions so they get some heat there before I add the tomatoes.  I rarely eat this as a soup – I most often use it as a filling for enchiladas.  I throw it in tortillas, line a baking pan with enchilada sauce, pop the filled tortillas in, cover them with more sauce and sprinkle with cheese if it’s a dairy crowd. Then I bake on 350 until they’re warmed through.   I usually serve with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.

2 cups Black turtle beans
1 Bay leaf
4 tsp Cumin seeds
4 tsp Dried oregano leaves
4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Chile negro or ancho chile, (for chili powder)
or 2 TB Chili powder, or more
3 TB Corn or peanut oil
3 med Yellow onions – diced into 1/4-in squares
4 Garlic cloves – coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 lb Ripe or canned tomatoes -peeled, seeded and chopped- juice reserved
1 TB Rice wine vinegar (or more)
4 TB Cilantro, chopped

Green chiles: 2 Poblano or Anaheim, – roasted, peeled & diced
or 2 oz Canned green chiles, – rinsed well and diced
1/2 cup Grated Muenster cheese – (or more)
1/2 cup Creme fraiche or sour cream

SORT THROUGH THE BEANS and remove any small stones. Rinse them well, cover them generously with water, and let them soak overnight. Next day, drain the beans, cover them with fresh water by a couple of inches and bring them to a boil with the bay leaf. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (Or pressure cook as I do).

Heat a small heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and when they begin to color, add the oregano leaves, shaking the pan frequently so the herbs don’t scorch. As soon as the fragrance is strong and robust, remove the pan from the heat and add the paprika and the cayenne. Give everything a quick stir; then remove from the pan–the paprika and the cayenne only need a few seconds to toast. Grind in a mortar or a spice mill to make a coarse powder.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. To make the chili powder, put the dried chile in the oven for 3-to-5 minutes to dry it out. Cool it briefly; then remove the stem, seeds and veins. Tear the pod into small pieces and grind it into a powder in a blender or a spice mill. (Or use powders chile, we have lots available here)

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onions over medium heat until they soften. Add the garlic, salt and the ground herbs and chili powder and cook another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Simmer everything together for 15 minutes then add this mixture to the beans, and, if necessary, enough water so the beans are covered by at least 1-inch.

Continue cooking the beans slowly until they are soft, an hour or longer, or pressure cook them for 30 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Keep an eye on the water level and add more, if needed, to keep the beans amply covered. When the beans are cooked, taste them and season to taste with the vinegar,
additional salt if needed, and the chopped cilantro.

Prepare the garnishes. If you are using fresh green chiles, roast them over a flame until they are evenly charred. Let them steam 10 minutes in a bowl covered with a dish; then scrape off the skins, discard the seeds, and dice. Serve the chili ladled over a large spoonful of grated cheese and garnish it with the creme fraiche or sour cream, the green chilies and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

Though served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon, this chili is a great deal thicker than most soups–thick enough in fact to be served on a plate right alongside fritters or cornbread. It also, however, can be thinned considerably with stock, water or tomato juice to make a thinner but still very flavorful black bean soup. When thinned to make a soup, it can be served as part of a meal rather than a meal in itself.

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Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!  This is the best pumpkin muffin recipe ever.  I tweaked this recipe that I found at Cooking With My Kid.  Of course they taste better when served with mummy milk:)

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 10 min to 15 mins

1 1/2 cups Spelt flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 can 100% pure pumpkin
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup kiefer

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tin. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, and kiefer. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 14 minutes rotating the muffin tin half way through.  Transfer muffins to rack to cool.  Makes 30 to 35 mini muffins.

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Garbanzo Beans and Kale

Thank you Eva for providing this delicious recipe!  I’m always looking for new ways to cook kale and this one is definitely a winner.


  • 2 center-cut bacon slices
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 lemon wedges


Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp.
Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon, and crumble.
Add carrots and onions to drippings in pan, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add paprika, salt, cumin, and red pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Stir in chicken broth, water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 4 cups kale to bean mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally.
Serve with yogurt, bacon and lemon wedges.

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Apple and Raisin Stuffed Acorn Squash

Here’s a great fall recipe that Beth made for her food swap team.  She saw a version of this recipe that called for adding shredded cheese into the mixture, and also thought about adding nuts to it- pistachios, walnuts, or pepitas would be good.
  • 3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • Butter for sauteing
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the squash onto a baking sheet cut side down. Fill the baking sheet with 1/2 inch of water.
  2. Bake the squash in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Drain off any water remaining in the baking sheet.
  3. Soak the raisins (apple juice, white wine or even water will do) to plump them up.
  4. While the squash is baking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion and apple in the butter until the onion has softened and turned translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl to cool until the squash has finished baking.
  5. Once the squash is done, stir the raisins into the apple mixture. Turn the squash cut side up on the baking sheet and fill with the apple mixture. Return the squash to the oven; bake until the filling is hot, about 15 minutes.
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Orzo Salad with Radish and Fennel

Had I come across this recipe in a cookbook I would have skipped it.  Radishes just aren’t my favorite veggie and fennel doesn’t get that much action in my kitchen.  But lucky for me I got this dish in the food swap!  It was delicious.   The combination of mint, fennel & radish was wonderful.  Thanks Eva for expanding my palette!
8 oz uncooked orzo
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups diced fennel (about 1 bulb)
1/2 cup chopped radish
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp minced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook orzo pasta with 1 tbsp salt according to the package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
Combine lemon juice and next 3 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
Add orzo, fennel, and the remaining ingredients; toss well to coat. Cover and chill.

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Sunny Broccoli Salad

Thank you Beth for sharing this tasty dish! I’m always looking for new ways to get my kids to get veggies.
This is a Lipinski family favorite – it’s not a family gathering without it (and, it’s a required left-over as well, so multiplying the recipe is a must). I do a lot of eyeballing for the dry ingredients of this recipe and adjust as I taste it. 
1 bunch broccoli – cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 lb bacon fried and crumbled
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C raisins
4 Tbsp minced onions
1/2 C Mayo – do NOT use miracle whip – it won’t taste the same
2 Tbsp Vinegar (use white vinegar or it will look gross)
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp milk (I used Rice Milk for the swap)
Toss salad ingredients except sunflower seeds with marinade.  Allow to set at least 2 hours before serving. The longer the flavors blend, the better.  Toss the sunflower seeds in just before serving to keep them crisp.
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Jennie made this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated a few weeks ago.  It was wonderful!  We ate it with whole wheat pasta & sausage.  Next time she makes it I’m going to use it as a pizza topping.


For the best-flavored ratatouille, we recommend very ripe, beefsteak tomatoes.


  • 2large eggplants (about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Table salt
  • 2large zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4cup olive oil
  • 1large onion, chopped
  • 2medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2medium tomatoes (ripe), about 1 pound, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Ground black pepper


  1. 1. Place eggplant in large colander set over large bowl; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and toss to distribute salt evenly. Let eggplant stand at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Rinse eggplant well under running water to remove salt and spread in even layer on triple thickness of paper towels; cover with another triple thickness of paper towels. Press firmly on eggplant with hands until eggplant is dry and feels firm and compressed.
  2. 2. Adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and second rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 500 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.
  3. 3. Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tablespoons oil together in large bowl, then divide evenly between prepared baking sheets, spreading in single layer on each. Sprinkle with salt and roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until well-browned and tender, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through roasting time. Set aside.
  4. 4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook until they release their juices and begin to break down, about 5 minutes. Add roasted eggplant and zucchini, stirring gently but thoroughly to combine, and cook until just heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, basil, and thyme; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
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Crockpot Mexican Chicken

Monica made this tasty recipe for her food swap team last week:  
It’s the easiest thing ever! Only 6 ingredients and you just throw everything into the crockpot and voila! We usually serve the chicken inside whole wheat tortillas and add cheese, sour cream, brown rice, and veggies (sauteed onion, peppers, zucchini, or whatever we have on hand).
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (usually 2 is plenty for our family if you make burritos)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa (a fruity kind like mango salsa is best)
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 package of taco seasoning
Pour everything into the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours. Once it’s done, take out the chicken, shred, and put it back into the crockpot and mix it in with the sauce.
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Jennie made this tasty pesto recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for the food swap.  I cut up pieces of rotisserie chicken, added some leftover green beans, cherry tomatoes and mixed it all together with whole wheat pasta.  Delicious & easy!


Pounding the basil releases its flavorful oils into the pesto more readily. Basil usually darkens in homemade pesto, but you can boost the green color a little by adding the optional parsley. For sharper flavor, substitute one tablespoon finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese for one tablespoon of the Parmesan. The pesto can be kept in an airtight container, covered with a thin layer of oil (1 to 2 tablespoons), and refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to one month.


  • 1/4cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
  • 3medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (optional)
  • 7tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/4cup finely grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
  • Ground black pepper


  1.  Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes; set aside. Add the garlic to the empty skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly, then peel, and chop.
  2. Place the basil and parsley (if using) in a heavy-duty 1-gallon zipper-lock plastic bag. Pound the bag with the flat side of a meat pounder or rolling pin until all the leaves are bruised.
  3. Process the nuts, garlic, herbs, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Friday Night Pizza

Pesto Pizza

The book,  Animal, Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life  by Barbara Kingsolver, inspired me to start a Friday Night Pizza tradition.  Before baby #2 was born I was making Kingsolver’s Pizza Dough but lately I have been relying on Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.   Pizza is the perfect meal for Friday night.  After a long week everyone is cranky & tired.  Pizza is quick, easy & customizable!  Everyone gets their own section and  can add whatever toppings they desire.  Sometimes the pizza is preplanned but most of the time I take leftover veggies, add some cheese and volia- dinner is served!    Here are a few of my family’s favorite combinations:

Pesto Pizza

  • pesto
  • mozzarella cheese
  • tomatoes
  • goat cheese

Greek Pizza

  • spinach mixture ( when I make quiche I double the spinach & freeze it)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • kalamata olives
  • tomatoes
  • feta cheese

Sausage & Greens

  • chicken sausage
  • garlic
  • kale or swiss chard
  • mozzarella cheese
  • red pepper flakes

What does your family like on their pizza?