Beth Baldino, MSW, CHHC
Certified Holistic Health Counselor
(973) 979-6951

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Homemade Muesli

This is a very easy substitute for cooked oatmeal at breakfast. It is especially nice in the warmer weather when hot cereal may not be as appealing. Children may enjoy being involved in putting their own bowls together the night before and are more likely to be open to something new if they have participated and selected their own toppings. Of course if many people will be eating it, it may be more convenient to make one bigger batch and let everyone choose their own ingredients as they make their bowls in the morning. And if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, don’t let that stop you — improvise and use what’s on hand.

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 1:25 mins)

Beans Bolognese with Pasta

Let the beans replace the meat in this heart-friendly, hearty version of the classic pasta dish


1 14-ounce can salad beans (mixed beans) or can of your favorite bean rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat or brown rice pasta of your choice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 56 secs)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

A twist on the classic version for when you want something special. Great as a dip or a spread for sandwiches or wraps.


2 cups chickpeas/garbanzos (1 cup dried or 2 15-oz cans drained)
6 cups vegetable stock or water (for cooking beans)
2 bay leaves (for cooking beans)
1 teaspoon cumin seed or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium red bell pepper
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or ¼ cup soft silken tofu
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 60 secs)

Basic Hummus


4 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzos (3 15-oz cans drained or 2 cups dried, to be soaked and cooked as instructed)
½ cup sesame tahini
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, if using canned.
  2. Combine chickpeas with remaining ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor or blender container. Blend to a rough puree texture adding a little more water if necessary. The mixture should not be totally smooth.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil.

Chunky White Bean-Avocado Dip

Great as an appetizer with crackers or vegetables, or as a spread on sandwiches or wraps.


Two ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
½ cup white beans
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, combine avocados, white beans and garlic. Mash with a fork until chunky. Fold in cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Braised White Beans and Escarole


2 cups white cannelini or great northern beans (1 cup dried or 2 15-ounce cans)
3 cups water
2 bay leaves (for cooking beans)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ head escarole, cleaned and chopped
½ cup water
½ cube vegetable bouillon or other vegetable seasoning (such as A. Vogel organic herb seasoning salt, used to taste)


 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 34 secs)

  1. Prepare beans according to bean chart directions (using bay leaves and adding ½ teaspoon salt to beans at end of cooking and cook for additional 5 minutes) or drain canned beans.

Leafy Greens & Beans


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups kale
2 cups water
1 15-ounce can or approximately 1 cup fresh cannelini beans
¾ cup chicken stock


 Read more... (Estimated reading time: 39 secs)

  1. Wash kale and strip the leaves off the stalks. Discard stalks and roughly chop kale.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a 10-12 inch skillet that has a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Add the kale and cook, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and drain, saving the cooking liquid to drink (for a really healthy, vitamin and mineral rich green cocktail known as “pot likker”).