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weight watchers freestyle

One-point Tomato Lentil Soup Recipe with Turmeric & Lemon

Food for Grownups
lentil soup recipe

True story: it snowed here today. Not even October and I’m pulling on my snow boots and stuffing Showgirl into a sweater.

This weather certainly took me by surprise, not just because of general weather trends that I’ve grown to trust, but my body just isn’t quite ready for below freezing temps yet. I needed to be eased into it a little more gently and ceremoniously.  Despite my goosebumps and a chill that I can’t seem to quite kick, I’m thrilled for the snow and the seasons and the winter wonderland that came early. Because it brings two truths to mind: it won’t be hot forever (AMEN!) and the holidays are around the corner (a.k.a. my favorite time of the year). continue reading

The Perfect Fall Salad: Roasted Cauliflower with Honey Tahini Dressing

Food for Grownups
cauliflower salad, fall salad

While I’m not jumping head first into a pumpkin spice latte (there’s a time and a place for that, Fierce friends, and, in my humble opinion, it happens on the first official day of fall), I’ve noticed that the flavors of summer are definitely phasing out. The offerings at the Farmer’s Market are already shifting. The merchandising displays at the grocery store have morphed into shameless autumnal extravaganzas.

With summer coming to a close, I’m thankful that I enjoyed a lion’s share of fresh tomato sauce, summer salads like this cherry tomato couscous number or my summer’s bounty quinoa salad or my farmer’s market carrot salad. I really got the most out of summer.

And I’m also looking forward to the impending butternut squash, cozy sweaters, crisp mornings, juicy apples, hot soups, and even the humble chicken stews.

But that’s a few weeks off yet. Right now, we are in that weird transitional season just before full-blown pumpkin everything. When I made this cauliflower salad the other day, I realized that it’s a great salad year round. You can easily substitute different herbs based on what’s at the store and cauliflower is a year long delight. The roasted and caramelized cauliflower brings a hint of autumn and spice while the lemon and herbs keeps it just a little bit summery.

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Roasted Radishes with Feta Mint Sauce from My New Favorite Cookbook

Food for Grownups
roasted radishes

Someone recently wrote to ask an important question, “Marie, what’s your very favorite cookbook?”

Answer: “Whichever one I just bought.”

When I buy a new cookbook, I immediately race into the kitchen and start rattling those pots and pans, eager to try out those fabulous new recipes.  Every now and again, I end up being disappointed but usually not. As an experienced cookbook buyer (and experienced cook) a few minutes spent perusing the page is usually enough to tell me whether the recipes will end up tasting as good as the pictures make them look.

Like a lot of people, I do look for recipes online. When it’s five o’clock and I’m staring into the refrigerator and wondering how I can turn a particular ingredient into dinner, online recipes can be lifesavers.  But, at the end of the day, I still love a big, beautiful cookbook with pretty pictures and pages I can touch, feel, flip through, and scribble notes in.

I also tend to drip a lot of stuff on those pages while I’m cooking. That’s a big clue as to how much I liked a particular cookbook. The more drips and spills, the more I’ve used it, and the more I’ve loved it.

Earlier this month, while participating in a charity author luncheon during my Hope on the Inside book tour, I met Alana Chernila, a cookbook author. I’d been drooling over her gorgeous cookbooks even before I met her and absolutely knew I had to have one but hearing her speech and chatting with her really cemented the deal. She’s delightful!

Alana has written three cookbooks so far. Honestly, I’d have loved to get them all. But since my suitcase was pretty full, I could only bring home one. I went with her newest, Eating From the Ground Up: Recipes for Simple, Perfect Vegetables.

I chose this book because I think vegetables are too often overlooked in cookbooks and, indeed, on dinner plates.

Vegetables tend to be relegated to the status of “sides”, which is another way of calling them a culinary afterthought, playing a very distant third fiddle to what are usually considered the stars of the meal – entrees and dessert.  That’s such a shame because vegetables are not only good for us, they’re just plain good!

But I’m not sure I knew how truly, amazingly, mouth-wateringly good vegetables could be until I bought this cookbook!

It is fabulous and I’m simply obsessed with it! Not unpredictably, my copy of Eating From the Ground Up: Recipes for Simple, Perfect Vegetables is now my favorite cookbook. I have a feeling it will stay in that top spot for a very long time.

The recipes are terrific and the pictures of inspiring, but I also appreciated the little commentaries and essays that are included with each recipes. Alana Chernila is an excellent writer as well as an excellent chef. I enjoyed her conversational writing style and getting to know more about the background behind the creation of each recipe.

So far, I’ve made….

Roasted Asparagus with Yummy Sauce (she wasn’t lying about the sauce. Yummy!)

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Shallots and Pecans,

Swiss Chard Stem, Fennel, and Salmon Fried Rice,

Cauliflower Cheese,

Napa Coleslaw with Pecans and Peas

Every one was a winner. But even more exciting is the fact that I’ve only scratched the surface. There are SO many more recipes I want to try here!

Today I want to share a recipe that really intrigued me, starring the humble radish.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had many ideas about what you could do with a radish. Sure, you can slice it up and put it in a salad, or maybe spread a little butter if you’re feeling all fancy and French. But…apart from that, what else is there?

Plenty, as it turns out.

Did you ever consider roasting radishes? Neither did I. But after making Roasted Radishes with Feta Mint Sauce, I know that radish roasting will be a frequent addition to my culinary repertoire.

Radishes have a whole different flavor when they’re roasted. They’re much less sharp cooked. The taste is rich, mellow, and even a tiny bit sweet. The mint feta sauce is really a refreshing compliment to the radishes. On top of that, they are beautiful to look at! Put a plate of these in front of your dinner guests and people are going to sit up and take notice. Not bad for a humble “side”.

Here’s the recipe.


 Roasted Radishes with Feta-Mint Sauce

  • Author: Marie Bostwick
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


Recipe is reprinted from “Eating from the Ground Up: Recipes for Simple, Perfect Vegetables.” © 2018 by Alana Chernila. Photographs © 2017 by Johnny Autry. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

“Roasted radishes are surprising — they get very juicy in the middle and sweet on the outside. Cooking radishes brings out an entirely different side of the vegetable, much mellower than the punchy bite of a raw radish. This is wonderful with standard cherry belles or French breakfast radishes, but it’s also a great way to work with mixed bunches of all different colors. Amethyst, a bright purple variety, is especially beautiful roasted. This recipe makes more sauce than you need, but you’ll be happy for the extra. Use it as a salad dressing, on other roasted vegetables or on grilled beef or lamb.”



1½ tablespoons olive oil

3 bunches radishes (about pounds), greens removed, halved lengthwise

¾ teaspoon kosher salt


6 ounces cubed or crumbled feta

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ cup (packed) fresh mint leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Chicken or vegetable stock or water


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Roast the radishes: Pour the oil onto a rimmed baking sheet, tilting the sheet to spread it evenly. Place the radishes in the oil, turning to coat them, and then arrange each radish, cut-side down, on the sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Roast until the radishes are deeply golden on the cut side, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. While the radishes roast, make the sauce: Combine the feta, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mint and several grinds of pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding up to 3 tablespoons stock to make the sauce pourable.
  4. To serve, puddle the sauce on a platter or four individual plates. Top with the radishes.

  • Category: spring sides
  • Method: roasting

Keywords: healthy sides, spring vegetables, weight watchers freestyle

Asian Pear Salad with Basil, Toasted Almonds and Creamy Ginger Dressing

Food for Grownups
pear salad

I don’t know about you, but the holidays have left me feeling like a partridge in a pear tree. And not in a good way.

With all kinds of health and wellness goals and resolutions circling around social media this days, I decided I would join in on the fun and make a healthy salad that actually tasted good.

One that I would actually look forward to making again and again instead of it serving as a repentant, guild-laden, self-inflicted punishment following the fattening flurry of gingersnaps and eggnog and cheesy green chile casseroles and homemade ravioli (more on that later!).

I know what you’re thinking. Salad can never be as good as gingersnaps.

You might be right.

Actually, I’m certain you are. continue reading

The Best Roasted Butternut Squash Salad Recipe

Food for Grownups
the best roasted butternut squash salad recipe

Two weeks ago, I promised you that I’d share the recipe for the utterly fantastic salad I served alongside the various soups at my Watch Party. I said I’d share it the following week.

Obviously, I didn’t follow through on that promise. Sorry. If you could see my kitchen right now (and there is no way I’m letting you do that) you’d see that I’m up to my earlobes in boxes, wrapping paper, and ribbons, and…Well, you get the picture. Chances are, it’s the same at your house this week.

Anyway, back to that salad. I love salad. In summer.

For some reason, about the time the leaves turn colors and start to drop, so does my interest in eating salad.  When the weather turns cold, I want my vegetables warm and start making a lot of soup. continue reading

Healthy Chicken Parmesan (only 6 Weight Watchers Freestyle Points!)

Food for Grownups
healthy chicken parmesan

When it comes to dining out, I’m a very loyal customer. Or possibly a creature of habit.

When my husband and I move to a new area, we spend a few weeks surveying local eateries, then settle on two or three that become “our restaurant.”  It’s not that we never dine out at other locations, but these are the spots we frequent on a regular basis.  The staff knows us by name, and vice versa, and we can almost always get a table, even in the high season.

One of our favorites is a delightful little Italian bistro. The food is good, the service friendly, and the prices are fair.  When we walk in the door, we’re welcomed so warmly that we feel like family. Or at least members of the club. continue reading

Perfect Make Ahead Summer Dinner Party Menu (Just 5 Weight Watchers Points!)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
summer dinner party menu weight watchers

If you’re busy (and who isn’t?) hosting friends for dinner can be a real challenge.

Unless, of course, you’re prepared.

This summer, I’ve pulled together some gorgeous, favorite recipes into an easy summer dinner party menu that can mostly be made ahead.

You know what that means, don’t you? You can actually go to your dinner party instead of spending it in the kitchen. Doesn’t that sound like a nice change? continue reading