Millie’s Black Bean Salsa

This is one of my friend Millie’s favorite dishes.  It’s a light, refreshing, sweet & savory any-time-of-the-year salsa!  It can be used as a garnish over chicken or fish and altered with a little spice.  Best of all… it is super easy prepare.

1 can of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of pineapple slices or 1/2 fresh pineapple, finely diced
1 can of corn, drained, or thawed frozen corn
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Tip: substitute black pepper for 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick!

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Incorporate well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted whole wheat chips or tortilla chips.

Zulay Santana

Food Food + Recipes

Sesame Coated Asparagus with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sesame Coated Asparagus with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 bunch Asparagus, ends cut
1 large sweet potato, coarse chopped, skin on
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tspn sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 450•

In an oven-safe dish, combine sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and cumin. Be sure to coat potatoes well. Bake for 25 min, uncovered.

In a large or medium or large skillet cook asparagus with the remaining olive oil, sesame oil and sesame seeds over medium heat. Coat stalks well. Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Tip: Snap one of the asparagus stalks in half. Wherever it breaks naturally is where you should cut the ends of the others. To make it easier, align them and then cut.

Zulay Santana


The Green Smoothie

This is a smoothie that brings you the best of both worlds- daily servings of fruit and veggies!  Feel free to add other fruit as well such as mango, strawberries, or blueberries.

1 large handful of fresh spinach, rinsed
1 cup of 2% or whole Organic milk
1 banana, coarse chopped
2 tbsp honey

Blend together spinach and milk until spinach is well dissolved.  Add banana and honey and blend until mixture is smooth.  Serve and enjoy!

Zulay Santana


Spinach Noodle Soup

3 cups water
1 chicken bullion
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1/4 tspn garlic paste or 1/2 tspn garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. Small egg noodles (substitute with whole wheat noodles of preferred

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add chicken bullion, garlic and let simmer for 5-6 min. (Until bullion is diluted).

Add noodles and cook until tender (about 6 min.).

Add spinach and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Zulay Santana


Meet Zulay Santana: Alumni Roundup Healthy Living Columnist

[Spotted on RoundupRussy’s Blog]

In the Fall of 2009 I decided that I wanted to lose at least 12 lbs.; weighed 162 lbs. By Winter of2009/2010 I managed to gain an additional 8 lbs. One of my best friends told me that as long as my jeans still fit that I’d be fine… Well, my jeans (even the “safety/fat pants”) didn’t fit well anymore… something really had to be done. And there was another issue, sometime last year I got the ambitious idea to run the ING marathon in 3 years. Yes, indeed, something really had to be done!


Chicken & Pasta Summer Salad

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR
4 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 oz. box of tri-color Rotini (also substitute with whole wheat pasta, Penne, Rigatoni or Orzo)
1 bunch of fresh broccoli, chopped
3 lemons or
4 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp kosher salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tspn garlic paste or 2 tsp. garlic powder
½ bunch of flat leaf parsely (optional), finely chopped

1. Slice large chicken breasts in half, in thickness. Leave thin-sliced chicken as it is.
2. Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag or container and season the chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic and lemon juice. For best results, let the season the chicken the day before and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil a large skillet on medium heat, stovetop grill (or counter-top grill) and cook chicken. Make sure to not let the chicken overlap. Brown each side (5-7 min). Remove chicken from pan once it’s cooked and let it sit on a plate and cool down.
3. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente (still slightly firm in texture). Drain and let cool.
4. Boil broccoli in heavily salted water for 4 minutes (until bright green). Soak the broccoli in cold water or ice water immediately after to maintain crispiness.
5. Place all ingredients in to a large bowl. Squeeze juice from the lemons over all ingredients. Season with remaining olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Toss all ingredients together with a cooking spoon, until completely mixed. Add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
6. Enjoy!!
Zulay Santana