A Super Powerful Dinner: Salmon with Avocado Yogurt Sauce & Lentils with Goat Cheese

Lately I've been trying to cook/consume more power foods. A power food, also known as a superfood, is nutrient dense with vitamins, minerals and other health benefits, that promote maximum physical and mental health.  

Salmon contains a large amount of the omega 3 fatty acid, DHA, decreasing the risk of brain-related issues, including Depression, hostility and cognitive decline.  

A NHANES study, conducted from 2001 to 2008, found that people who regularly consume avocados have a lower body mass index, less belly fat and more HDL ("good") cholesterol than those who don't. 

Even though I am not a huge advocate of dairy, plain Greek yogurt is a staple in my diet. It is a great work-out recovery food thanks to it's content of amino acids. It also promotes brain and energy (metabolism) function due to it's B12 content. 

The Mediterranean diet staple, olive oil is widely known for its cardiovascular benefits and studies have shown is is associated with a decreased risk of Breast Cancer, Depression, Alzheimer's Disease and oxidative stress of the liver. 

Lentils are relatively low in calories, but high in protein, fiber and other nutrients. These legumes promote digestive health, stabilize blood sugar, and are also a good source of Magnesium and Folate, promoting heart health. 

Here is a simple dinner recipe that'll maximize your mind and body, not to mention your taste buds! 

Salmon with Avocado Yogurt Sauce

What You'll Need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • a few pieces of cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • pepper, salt to taste
  • 1 large salmon fillet (enough for 2 people)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

What You'll Do:

1. Place avocado, yogurt, juice from 1/2 lime, garlic & cilantro into food processor and blend for about 1 minute. Put to the side. 

2. Place salmon on foil baking sheet, skin side down. Brush with olive oil, pepper, a little salt and squeeze the other 1/2 lime.

The fishmonger at Whole Foods might have given me more salmon than I asked for. 

The fishmonger at Whole Foods might have given me more salmon than I asked for. 

3. Heat oven 400 degrees. Cook salmon for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness.

4. Serve topped with avocado yogurt sauce.


Warm Lentils with Goat Cheese

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic. minced
  • tarragon
  • pepper, salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 ounces of crumbled goat cheese

What You'll Do:

1. Put lentils, 3 cups water, garlic clove into medium pot. Add a few dashes of tarragon, along with pepper and salt. Bring lentils to boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes. Lentils should still have texture, not mushy.

2. Strain excess water from lentils in colander.

3. Place lentils back in pot. Add olive oil and stir in goat cheese until it is melted into lentils. Season with pepper, salt to taste. 

4. Add some crumbles of goat cheese on top.


Butternut Squash Soup

The days are becoming shorter with the temperature steadily dropping. Let's look on the bright side, it's soup season. Soup is a great way to warm up and fill up. Try to avoid cream based soups, as you will soon find that this will pack on the pounds. Instead, choose vegetable based options that provide fiber for satiety, along with tons of nutrients to keep your immune system strong.

Butternut Squash Soup has always been a favorite of mine. I used to frequently pick up a bowl from Josie's Kitchen on the Upper West Side. Since I moved to Brooklyn, it is a little difficult to access my beloved soup. Instead, I decided to make my own.  A member of the gourd family, butternut squash is a power food that is low in fat, high in fiber, packed with potassium, vitamin c, vitamin b6 and folate.  It hits the spot for those winter cravings for comfort foods, as it is naturally sweet. This specific recipe uses apples, giving it an extra kick of goodness. 


4 pounds whole butternut squash (~2 medium), halved lengthwise & seeds removed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)

2 medium Granny Smith apples

1/2 medium yellow onion

8 fresh sage leaves

2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,



1. Heat the oven to 425°F

2. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on aluminum foil on a baking sheet

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves.  Season with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

4. While the squash is roasting; peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice

5. Cut the onion into medium dice

6. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan

7.  Add the apple & onion

8. Add sage, season with salt and pepper

9. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

10.  When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool 

11. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan, along with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

12. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

13. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash (about 15 minutes)

14. Remove the pan from the heat  

15. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth

16. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed

17. Yum in the tum