My 19 top favorite recipes

I am retiring at the end of this year after 42 years with Kaiser Permanente. It's been such a pleasure to share recipes over the last decade of my career with this organization. Although it's hard to choose my favorites, I wanted to highlight some of them. Next week, I'll write a few "good bye" comments. Even though I am moving on, I am happy to report that this blog will continue, under the new name of "Food for Health." So, look out for new, healthy recipes from my colleagues in 2014. Putting this list together, I tried to stop at my top 10 favorites but I just kept finding recipes I have really loved over the years. They are all easy to make and great to share with family and friends. A recent great find was Mussels with Cauliflower, an unlikely combination that really works. Spicy Black Bean Soup v1.2 is quick, easy, tasty and provides a lot of good nutients.  Serve this with a salad and maybe a cold Tecate. This Black Bean Salad is perfect for feeding lots of people at picnics.  You will like the chili lime vinaigrette The Spinach and Persimmon Salad works well for winter holiday dinners. And who doesn't like a Caesar salad -- try this Full Belly Kale Caesar using kale from Full Belly Farm, one of the most beautiful places on the planet if you like fruits and vegetables. Americans like their pizza --- Pizza with Prawns, Leeks, and Feta is my all time favorite. Fresh Tomato Salsa is a perfect starter recipe for kids.  They love to chop tomatoes. The Bitter Greens Salad gives you the chance to use stuff you aren't used to and like it. White Bean and Greens Soup is perfect for cold nights. In mid summer, this "Freestone" Stonefruit and Berry Crisp captures the essence of California sun. Lentil Soup with Spinach is another quick hearty meal. As I have moved more to a vegetable based diet, the the Rainbow Chard and Roasted Cauliflower Pizza has become part of the meal rotation. Pasta Puttanesca is a basic recipe that can always be made in minutes and is particularly good when tomatoes are in peak season. These Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw are wonderful. And you can't leave summer behind without having a Farmers Market Greek Salad. Grills are not just for burgers anymore.  Try Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Vegetables. When the ground temperature hits 65 degrees in Fresno in the early spring find some organic asparagus and try Roasted Asparagus with Feta. For those of you that like turkey, Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers are an incredibly wonderful variation on the burger theme. And for whatever you like to eat for dessert, top it with Roasted Strawberries when they are in season.

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD