Healthy Recipe, Waldorf salad

This version, lightly adapted from one in “Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook” by Sohla El Waylly, pops with flavor and crunch supplied by grapes, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese. It’s a sturdy alternative to flimsy lettuce salads and a great way to use up a half-bunch of celery before it dies in the crisper. It easily accommodates leftover bits of rotisserie chicken, boiled shrimp, hard-boiled egg, or other proteins to make it a nutrition-packed meal in itself. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett Ingredients Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more, to taste
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper


  • 8 medium celery stalks (leaves plucked and reserved)
  • 1 small sweet, crisp apple, such as Gala or Fuji
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped, toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup coarsely crumbled blue cheese


  1. Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, honey, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the salad: Thinly slice the celery crosswise on the diagonal. Core and thinly slice the apple. Cut the grapes in half. Add the celery, apple slices, and grape halves to the bowl of dressing and toss to combine. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper if desired.
  3. Divide among serving plates, along with some of the dressing in the bowl. Top with blue cheese, nuts, and celery leaves, and serve. Leftovers may be stored for a day in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

Healthy Recipe, Mediterranean Breakfast Couscous

If you’re hankering for an energizing, delicious switch from your breakfast routine, Suzy Karadsheh has just the thing in “The Mediterranean Dish” — couscous! We normally think of the teeny grain-like pasta as a base for a savory stew or side dish for bold-flavored kebabs, but couscous can also stand in as a healthier alternative to sugary cereal, as this adaptation of her recipe demonstrates. Serves 4.


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups Moroccan instant couscous
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar (or to taste)
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped, toasted nuts (walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds)
  • ½ to 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apricots, sliced dates)
  • ½ cup sweetened or unsweetened flaked coconut (optional)
  • Whole milk, almond milk, or another nondairy alternative, warmed
  • Flaky sea salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the couscous, stir, immediately turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Let the pan sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, allowing the couscous to absorb the water and double in size. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet, melt the ghee or butter over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and allow it to toast for 3 to 5 minutes, flattening with a spatula and stirring until the grains crisp up a bit and slightly deepen in color.
  3. Remove from the heat and place a scoop of toasted couscous in each cereal bowl. Sprinkle each with brown sugar, nuts, dried fruit, and coconut (if using).
  4. Pour some warm milk over and dig in. Add a sprinkling of salt if you like.

Healthy Recipe, Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis