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30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 9: Shake up your diet

We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

It’s day 9, and hopefully you’ve worked up a few sweats by now. But being healthy doesn’t just mean burning calories; it’s also about eating right. So we’re shaking it up for today’s challenge: shake up your diet. Whether you do this by switching out your snacking with something healthy, trying a new healthy recipe, or master your fridge, try something new today!

To get things started we’ve turned to Chef Jessica Albertson to share one of her favorite recipes.

I have done many many odd jobs in the frenzied restaurant/cooking world and this one thing has become my greatest pet peeve along the way. Here it goes… divine inspiration will strike for that evening’s meal, the craving and longing for the smells from the oven will set in, but my refrigerator and pantry will not have half the ingredients I need. Alas, as a new mom, a typical day does not usually allow for an extra trip to the grocery store, bodega, or even a fruit stand, unless they sell diapers too. How have I escaped from the delivery menus and cereal for dinner cycle? Find, practice and cherish adaptable recipes.

These are recipes that give you guidelines, a method or a simple technique you can use over and over again with all the ingredient substitutions your pantry will allow. Below is one of my favorite weeknight, weekend, every day, all day recipes that is easy enough I can make it while the baby finishes his bottle.

Day 9: Shake up your diet

Stewed Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Herbs

  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 can Chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried well
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ C Basil, chopped (or any preferred herbs)
  • 2 Tbs Mint, chopped
  • ¼ C Feta cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat, add olive oil.

When oil is shimmering add chickpeas. The oil will splatter a bit. Let the chickpeas brown, stirring every 1-2 minutes, about 5 minutes in total.

Turn the heat down to medium low and add the garlic, shallot, and tomato.

Let the chickpeas stew in the liquid from the tomatoes for 7-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Turn the heat off and gently stir in the herbs and feta.

Serves 2


  • Fry or poach an egg to serve over the top.
  • Sub Black Beans, Kidney beans, Black eyed peas, Navy Beans
  • Use dried herbs or a mixture or parsley, rosemary, thyme..whatever you got
  • No Feta? Use Goat Cheese
  • Look in your fridge! Got olives, raisins or nuts? Try it out, throw some in.

The best way I know how to be healthy and take care my family is to make our meals from scratch and eat together. It is so easy to get derailed and demotivated from making your own food. Convenience will challenge my best intentions any given tough day. These simple  and nourishing adaptable recipes will save me. Follow them as they are or check out the ways you can change it up, sub out ingredients, or make it your own. Just Keep Cooking.

Jessica Albertson trained at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, and has worked in NYC restaurants Aquavit, The James Beard House, Public Restaurant, and Braeburn Restaurant. In 2011, she began working with the non-profit company Wellness In The Schools, teaching children’s nutrition education and cooking classes, and working with the NY School Food System to bring fresh foods and scratch-cooking into public schools.

What’s your go-to healthy recipe? Share it in the comments below, or with #30DaysToSummerFit

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