Taking a few fresh fruits and vegetables and some left over grilled lean meat you can create a light and refreshing meal in no time.  Try grilled chicken sliced and placed on a fresh mixed green salad add fresh tomatoes, cauliflower, yellow squash, blue berries, sliced strawberries and almonds tossed with a light balsamic vinegar dressing.  Serve this with a tomato, corn and black bean salsa with some whole grain chips and ice water spiked with cucumber and strawberry slices.   I hope you will enjoy this recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research!

Tomato, Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Seeded, finely chopped  fresh tomatoes      1 cup              

Black beans, rinsed & drained         ½ cup

Frozen corn kernels,             ½ cup              

Finely minced cilantro leaves           ¼ cup              

Finely minced red onion        ¼ cup              

Freshly squeezed lemon juice           2 Tbsp

Extra virgin olive oil                        2 tsp               

Salt and black pepper to taste         

Hot pepper sauce or a few dashes of Tabasco (optional)


In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. 

Serve chilled or at room temperature.



Nutrition Information:  Makes 5 servings
Calories: 63                                          Sodium:  138mg                                  
Total Fat: 2 g                                       Total Carbohydrate: 9g
Saturated Fat: 0g                                  Dietary Fiber:  2g
Cholesterol: 0mg                                  Protein:  2g


I hope you all enjoy this cool and refreshing summer recipe served with whole grain chips!                                                    

For further information you may contact:                                     


Erin Adams, RD, LD                                                                                                                                                              

Choctaw Nation Diabetes Wellness Center                                                                                                                            

800-349-7026 ext: 6959







Southwest Bean and Barley Soup   by Mary Nell Southard, RDLD

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced to 1 inch cubes
1 to 2 large stalks celery, diced to ½ inch pieces
1 large carrot, diced to ½ inch pieces
9 cups water
4 cups (one 32 ounce carton) of regular or reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
½ cup uncooked barley
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup dried great northern beans               
1/3 cup dried kidney beans
[or you can use a multi-bean mix if you don’t keep this many kinds of beans in your pantry]
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon each of dried oregano, rosemary, and cumin or thyme if you don’t like cumin
4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and diced
2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes and 2 diced jalapeño peppers

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and carrot, cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  
Add water, broth, barley, all the beans and spices.  Bring to a bubbling simmer over high heat.  Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 2 hours (adding more water, ½ cup at a time, if necessary or desired).  Add the tomatoes and peppers, simmer a few more minutes and season with salt to taste.

Slow-Cooker:  Use 2 cups water instead of the 9 cups water and combine all ingredients in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on Low.





Vegetable Quesadilla   by Mary Nell Southard, R.D.,L.D.

1 large onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
1 zucchini diced
1 Tbsp jarred minced garlic (more if you like a lot of garlic)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small can tomatoes, drained and rough chopped
1 small can beans such as pinto, black, or red beans
1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning or mix oregano and basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Eight   6” Whole Wheat Four Tortillas
8 oz shredded low fat cheddar cheese

1.    In a non-stick pan, sauté onions, peppers, zucchini and garlic in the oil until tender but not soft.
2.    Add the bean, tomato and spices to the pan with the vegetables.  Heat just until warm.
3.    For each serving:  Place one tortilla on a medium hot flat top grill.  Allowing 1/4th of the vegetables to each tortilla, ladle the vegetables to the    tortilla. Top the vegs with 2 oz or ¼ of the cheese.  Place second tortilla on top of the vegs and cheese.
4.     Heat, flipping once, util the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown.  Remove to a cutting board and slice into 4 triangles.

Each Serving provides appx 420 calories; count as 1 veg, 1 fat, 2 meats and 3 starches.
If you need fewer starches, omit the top tortilla, fold the loaded tortilla and heat as directed.
To reduce the sodium, use salt free canned tomatoes, omit salt and use only one ounce of the cheese.






Apricot-Walnut Cereal Bars


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts, (about 2 ounces) (works well with other nuts also)
3 cups unsweetened puffed-grain cereal, such as Kashi
2 cups chopped dried apricots  (works well with other dried fruit also)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
12 ounces silken tofu, drained (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 large egg
½ cup canola oil
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large (15 ¼ by 10 inch) jellyroll-style pan with cooking spray.
2. Spread oats and walnuts on a separate baking sheet with sides. Bake until fragrant and light golden, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add puffed cereal, dried apricots, flour and salt; stir to combine.
3. Meanwhile, puree tofu, egg, oil, honey, vanilla and lemon zest in a food processor or blender until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Make a well in the center of the oat mixture; fold in the tofu mixture until combined.    Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
4.  Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars with a sharp knife.
Makes 16 servings.  Per serving: 306 calories or 3 carb servings. Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fruit and 2 fats.
Tips: Individually wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.  Thaw at room temperature or remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and defrost in a microwave.





Fruit Smoothies, by Mary Nell Southard, RDLD

Fruit Smoothies are so easy to make you really don’t need a recipe once you know the basics.
Most any flavorful fruit will work such as Strawberries, Blueberries, peaches, apricots, bananas, canned pineapple are among my favorites but you could even try cantaloupe, kiwi, papaya, or mango.   I find that the apple and grape doesn’t have enough flavor for a smoothie.

The recipe varies with the amount of servings you want to make.
Example of recipe:
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup of sugar free, fat free yogurt
½ cup apple juice
1 cup ice

Blend  everything in the blender until it is as smooth as you like.  If it is winter, you don’t have to have everything cold or even put ice in it but the cold fruit and ice are really nice in the summer. You can make it more ice and less fruit to have greater volume and control calories but still have a nutritious refreshing drink or snack and it counts to your recommended “5 a Day” for fruits and vegs and  for your intake of  healthy antioxidants.  There are so many flavors of the Sugar Free Fat Free Yogurts it is hard to name them all but choose what you like.
Sweeten to taste with the sweetener of your choice if you want it sweeter.

Variation Examples:
Strawberry, banana, Pineapple, Strawberry Yogurt
Strawberry, banana, Strawberry Yogurt
Strawberry, Pineapple, Vanilla or Lemon Yogurt
Apricot, Pineapple, Peach Yogurt
Cantaloupe, mango, skim milk or vanilla yogurt
Blueberry, Apple Juice Concentrate, Blueberry Yogurt,  plus a dash of ground cinnamon
Orange, Orange Juice,  Pineapple and  Lemon Yogurt, add more lemon juice if you want it sour



Blueberry Muffins, low cal’    by Mary Nell Southard, RDLD

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1 egg
1 cup skim milk plus 1 Tbsp vinegar or use buttermilk instead of the skim milk
3 T canola oil
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour   and    1 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. reg sugar and ¼ cup Splenda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt(optional)
½ cup well drained thawed frozen blueberries

Spray 12 muffin cup liners with non-stick spray.
Beat egg, stir in milk, oil, honey, and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients together then Mix wet and dry ingredients together JUST until flour is moistened…do not over mix.   Batter should be lumpy.
FOLD blueberries into the batter.
Fill Muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield:  12 muffins.  Serving is 1 muffin.   Count as 1 bread/starch, 1 fat and ½ fruit exchange.



Barley Soup

It is very easy to modify to your own preferences, change vegetables and seasonings and is essentially low in calories and a good sources of nutrients.  It can be served cold or hot, and can be kept well in a crock pot when you want a healthy dish to take to a community or family get-together. If you like, you can add chicken or shrimp and it becomes a dish much like Chicken Gumbo or Shrimp Gumbo.


Barley Soup by Mary Nell Southard, R.D.,L.D.

1 cup Barley

4 cups Chicken Broth

In a large pot cook barley in chicken broth for 45 minutes until tender


After the Barley is tender

Add and simmer until tender

3 medium sized chopped Onions

10 cloves of minced fresh Garlic

1 cup chopped Celery


Add and simmer

2 cups frozen English Peas

5 chopped Green Onions

3 to 4 cups large chopped Green Cabbage


Lastly add and simmer (avoid boiling or over-stirring to avoid breaking up the okra too much)

4 cups frozen or canned cut Okra

3 cans chopped Tomatoes


You can adjust ingredients to your own preferences.  For a one pot meal you can add chopped cooked chicken.

Add salt (or other seasoning) to taste

Simmer till all is hot and tender but don’t overcook or over stir.  Serve with bread or crackers or even cornbread.  You can make this dish hotter with Ro-tel Tomatoes or jalapeños and could use a Mexican cornbread instead of plain.



Cranberry and Sweet Potato Bread  by Mary Nell Southard, RDLD

Nonstick cooking spray        
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs        
2 teaspoons Cinnamon    
¾ cup Splenda Brown Sugar firmly packed                    
½ teaspoon Allspice
1/3 cup canola oil or olive oil         
½ teaspoon Orange Extract
½ cup buttermilk or ¼ cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice    
¼ teaspoon ground Cloves        
 ½ teaspoon baking powder           
1 cup cooked, mashed, Sweet Potato(or pumpkin)      
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour + ½ cup Whole Grain Flour plus
1 TBSP Wheat Germ (or use all whole grain flour)                                  

1 /2 cup Fiber One Cereal
1 cup chopped, dried unsweetened cranberries             
2 TBSP Splenda Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Milled Flax seed                          
½ teaspoon Salt (optional)

Coat a standard loaf pan (8 x 4- or 9 x 5 inch) with cooking spray and set aside.
Set oven rack in the middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, oil, sweet potato, buttermilk and extracts until well combined.
In a Large bowl, SIFT together the flour, spices, and baking soda and powder.
Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the sweet potato mixture.  Mix until just moistened(Do not over-mix or beat batter until smooth).
Lightly fold in the cranberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top of the batter with the 2 TBSP of the Splenda Brown Sugar.
Bake 50-60 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.   Start checking the bread at 30 minutes, if  the sugar on top of the bread begins to darken, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the pan to prevent burning.
Remove the bread from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a rack. Remove the bread from the pan and set back on the cooling rack to completely cool before slicing. Seal the bread tightly in plastic wrap, then foil. Tightly wrapped in foil, bread can be stored frozen for up to 1 month.
Makes 12 servings.  Count one slice as one Carb and one healthy Fat exchange.  It will  also count as a high fiber grain serving.



Black Bean and Corn Soup by Mary Nell Southard, R.D.,L.D.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ Tbsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3-4 cups Chicken Broth
1-2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can RoTel Tomatoes
1 can diced Tomatoes
1 can Whole Kernal Corn

1.    Heat oil in medium stockpot over medium heat
2.    Saute onion until lightly translucent
3.    Add garlic and other spices; cook 2 minutes
4.    Add broth, beans, corn and tomatoes and all their juices
5.    Simmer until heated through, about 30 minutes.
One cup equals about 1 starch
Try it with some whole grain cornbread or toasted whole wheat tortillas.


Crispy Herbed Tortilla Chips   by Mary Nell Southard, RD,LD

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


3 whole wheat 6 inch tortillas

Pan spray

Mix Spices: garlic powder, dried oregano, dried Italian Seasoning,

Onion powder, black pepper, and if desired hotter spices like dried red pepper

Place tortillas on cookie sheet.

Pan Spray each tortilla

Sprinkle each with the mixed spices.

Cut each tortilla into 8 triangles with a knife or pizza cutter.  Stir, spray and sprinkle again.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm or allow to cool.

Allow to cool COMPLETELY before storing in a zip lock bag.

Calories in 8 chips: 80,     Carbs: 15,  Protein:  2 grams,   Fat: 0,  Sodium:  10 mg.



Quick Yogurt Yeast Rolls


2  to 2 ½ cups  All-Purpose Flour  and  2 cups soft Whole Wheat Flour

2 tablespoons honey

2 pkts of quick acting yeast

½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups plain yogurt

½ cup water

¼ cup Olive Oil


In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour with yeast, honey, salt and baking soda; mix well.  Heat the yogurt, water and oil to 120 degrees F, but do not simmer.  Add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and blend well, then beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes.  Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.  Knead on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased or pan spray coated bowl and turn the dough over to coat the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 20-30 minutes).

Punch down the dough, divide it into 24 pieces and form the pieces into balls.  Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and lightly brush with oil or margarine or just use a pan spray to give it a glow.



New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice by Mary Nell Southard, RDLD

Beans, are an excellent source of fiber (12-14 grams per cup), they also provide essential minerals like potassium and iron, plus folate – an important cancer-fighting B-vitamin. Combine this hearty dish with a tossed green salad for a filling and wholesome meal.


2 tsp olive oil

½ large onion, chopped

½ red or green bell pepper, diced

1 mall stalk of celery, diced

3 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp. dried thyme, crumbled

1 Tbsp paprika

½ Tbsp oregano

¼ tsp cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce  and a pinch of black pepper

2 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (Option: could use black or pinto beans if you don’t care for kidney beans)

1 ½  cups fat free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups cooked brown rice

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and spices and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beans and broth. gently, uncovered, over low heat until the beans are creamy, 15-20 minutes (makes sure not to overcook them). Serve the beans over brown rice.

Option : Vegetarians can substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth, or for a richer flavor try reduced-sodium tomato sauce.

Makes about 6 servings.  Per serving: 170 calories, count as 2 carb choices, 1 meat choice, ½ fat, provided about 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Is considered  low sodium if salt is not added.



Oat Bran Pancakes with Blueberries and Bananas  by Mary Nell Southard, RDLD

Heat griddle to 250 degrees to 300 degrees F.

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup oat bran

4 pkts Truvia sweetener substitute

½ tsp baking soda and ¼ tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp nonfat buttermilk or ½ c powder milk, 1 T. Vinegar, and ¾ cup water

1 egg

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 medium banana, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Powdered sugar, as garnish ,  optional

Fresh mint sprigs, as garnish, optional

In a Medium bowl, combine the flour, oat bran, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and oil until well combined.  The batter should have the thickness of yogurt.

Spray a griddle or large, nonstick skillet very lightly with cooking spray and place it over medium heat.  When it is hot, ladle about ¼ cup of the batter into the pan, spreading it to make a 5 inch pancake. Cook until small holes appear and the bottom of the pancake is brown, about 2 minutes.  Carefully flip and cook until the pancake is brown on the second side.  Place the finished pancakes on a baking sheet (without overlapping) and set in a warm oven while the rest of the pancakes are cooking.

To serve, top with the fruit and a dusting of the optional powdered sugar. Garnish with a mint sprig, if desired.

Makes 6 (1 pancake) servings.

Per  pancake: 150 calories 4 g total fat, 28 g carbohydrates