Balsamic-Fig Sauce


This tangy and sweet sauce is the perfect accompaniment to chicken, pork, turkey, duck, lamb and salmon.

1 cup chicken broth

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

¼ cup finely chopped Mission dried figs (About 6 figs)

1 ½ Tbs honey

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put a small saucepan on high heat and add the chicken broth and vinegar. Cook until the broth is reduced to about ½ cup.

Reduce heat and stir in the figs, honey and thyme and cook 1 minute.

Season with salt and pepper.


Halibut or Scallops with Lemon Caper Sauce


Made with just a handful of ingredients that are easy to keep on hand, this recipe is quick, easy, and loaded with flavor. If you’ve ever tried Piccata sauce at an Italian restaurant, this sauce tastes just like it….only better! And once you realize how easy it is to make, you’ll be enjoying delicious lemon halibut or scallops again and again.

This recipe is perfect for date nights or even dinner parties. And best of all, it’s lightened up from original lemon caper sauce recipes. 

Serve it with a simple brown rice medley (such as the one made by Trader Joe’s) and roasted asparagus.

Make it extra special by pairing with a crisp, fruity white such as a Sauvignon Blanc; a dry, sparkling wine (a brut using chardonnay grapes); a rosé from France’s Rhône valley or a Spanish rosé made from tempranillo grapes.

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ pounds halibut filet, cut into 4 pieces or 20 Scallops
  • 1/3 cup flour for dredging
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. capers, drained
  • 4 Tbs. freshly chopped parsley, optional
  • Juice of half a lemon, about 2 Tbs

Assemble all the ingredients near the stove.

Place a serving plate in warm oven 125-150 F degrees.

Place the flour in a shallow dish with edges and season with salt and pepper.

Pat halibut filets or scallops dry with paper towels.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat.

Dredge halibut or scallops in flour mixture and place in hot pan.

Cook halibut until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is golden, being careful not to overcook. The fish is done when it reaches an internal temperature between 130 and 135 F however, to be safe, the current recommendation is to aim for 145 F.

Remove halibut to warm serving plate and allow to rest.

Pour the broth into the pan and stir to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the butter to the broth and add garlic, capers, and parsley (if using). Simmer 2 minutes. Add lemon juice to pan, stir, and pour over halibut. Serve immediately.



Healthy Easy Dorm Room Meal Prep


Here are some suggestions for easy to prep, healthy, minimal cook foods for a dorm room. You will need a refrigerator, microwave, toaster, cutting board, knife, large mug, microwave safe medium bowl, plate and cereal bowl.

I have the meal items categorized by meal, but feel free to be creative and select any meal item for any meal.

For more suggestions go to this post about travel meals.


  • Cottage cheese and fruit
  • Egg-in-a-mug (there are lots of recipes on the internet)
  • Hot or Cold Cereal and fruit
  • Kodiak Cakes High Protein Oatmeal in a cup
  • Greek yogurt, preferably plain; add your own fruit (fresh or frozen)
  • Peanut butter (or any type of nut butter) on apple slices, whole grain bread or Triscuits
  • Cheese quesadilla, with shredded reduced-fat cheese, on a whole wheat tortilla (this brand is my favorite!)
  • High-protein iced coffee (coffee or coffee concentrate mixed with ready-to-drink protein drink)
  • Smoothie (blend fresh or frozen fruit with milk or almond milk, along with a source of protein, like Greek yogurt, nut butter, or protein powder)
  • Thin whole grain bagel topped with peanut butter, reduced-fat cheese, or Laughing Cow Light Spreadable Cheese.
  • High protein granola bar Think Thin Crunch
  • Protein bar (like Think Thin, Atkins Advantage, Pure Protein, or Power Crunch)
  • Nuts (buy in bulk and divide up into snack-size zip-top bags)
  • Toast with nut butter/yogurt, fruit, and toppings (hemp seeds, cacao nibs).
  • Microwave oatmeal topped with fruit and nut butter / nuts / seeds.
  • Overnight oats require no cooking and can be prepped ahead of time. All you need are rolled oats, a liquid (milk, Ripple, almond milk, fruit, and nuts / seeds. Put together in a bowl, refrigerate and enjoy in the morning.
  • Loaded sweet potato: Microwave a sweet potato until soft (about 3-4 minutes), then top with nut butter, hemp seeds, yogurt, Ceylon cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup.
  • Smoothies or a smoothie bowl (if you have access to blender, nutribullet, or food processor).
  • Banana boats filled with peanut butter, cinnamon, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs.
  • Nut butter and fruit wrap. Use any nut butter and fruit. Ideas: sliced apples, pears, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.


  • Shredded cheddar cheese between two tortillas makes an easy microwavable quesadilla. Top with salsa.
  • Buy pre-cooked chicken, microwave some frozen vegetables and pair with minute instant brown rice
  • Whole grain crackers (like wasa) / rice cakes / or toast topped with flaked tuna mashed with chickpeas, avocado, or hummus and Dijon mustard.
  • Mason jar salads with easy veggies (cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, carrots) and protein (canned beans, tuna, pre-baked tofu).
  • Sandwich with tuna/egg/protein, avocado, veggies.
  • Cheese toast (Make a piece of toast and top with cheese)
  • Tuna salad served in lettuce cups.
  • Frozen ready to heat and eat brown rice.
  • Bean-based soups (like black bean, lentil, and split pea soup)
  • Ready to eat Brown Rice and Lentils topped with cottage cheese or reduced fat sour cream and reduced fat shredded cheese.
  • Bagel thin pizzas (bagel thins with tomato paste, meats and veggies of choice, and shredded reduced-fat cheese)
  • Tuna, turkey, chicken or salmon salad or sandwich, made with light mayo or mustard
  • Peanut butter/almond butter and (no-sugar-added) jelly and banana sandwich
  • Smoothie: Milk or milk alternative blended with banana, nut butter, 1/3 cup raw oats, and ice
  • Turkey (or ham, chicken, roast beef, or tofu) wrap.
  • Microwave baked potato topped with cottage cheese or shredded reduced-fat cheese, and salsa
  • Microwave baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon and walnuts
  • Bean burrito (fat-free refried beans, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and salsa rolled up in whole grain tortilla)
  • Tex-Mex salad (mixed greens topped with sliced deli meat or diced veggie burger patty, black beans, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and salsa)
  • Sweet potato topped with black beans, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and salsa
  • Soup. Start with a low-sodium canned soup, then add more veggies, like baby spinach, and pre-cooked whole grains. You can find plain pre-cooked brown rice and quinoa in shelf stable packages.
  • Burrito wrap, made with whole grain tortilla, hummus, avocado, veggies, tuna, salsa, and shredded cheese.
  • Black beans and salsa
  • Southwestern stuffed sweet potato- black beans, veggies (frozen, then microwaved), salsa, avocado.
  • Microwave egg sandwich. Whisk an egg with a teaspoon of water in a small bowl or mug,  microwave for 45 seconds or until egg is firm. Add egg, cheese, salsa, and  spinach to an English muffin or whole grain roll.
  • Top salad greens with veggies, canned chickpeas, and any flavor of Seasoned Tuna Pouch with Spoon.


  • Cheese stick along with some carrots and hummus
  • Date filled with nuts or nut butter
  • Slice up apple / fruit and drizzle with nut butter and cinnamon.
  • Cube apples, add a little water, microwave covered for about 2 minutes or until soft. Top with Greek yogurt, cinnamon, and a little honey or maple syrup if desired.
  • Veggies with hummus (grape tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, carrots & celery sticks, bell peppers, broccoli, and zucchini).
  • Rice cakes with nut butter or sliced / mashed avocado.
  • Celery with peanut butter and hemp seeds.
  • Nut butter and fruit tortilla wrap. Use any nut butter and sliced fruit like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.