Hearty, Harvest-y ( & Eye Healthy) Recipes

Seeing the Problem Clearly-2

Autumn marks the kickoff of the holiday season- and with it, cause for feasting!  Loads of trick-or-treat candy, mounds of stuffing, and pumpkin-spice- flavored everything.  This year, add some festive, vision-boosting foods to your table …


The bad news is, cataracts are a growing issue. Clouded, “frosty” lenses interfere with daily life for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The good news is, turkey will lower your risk of this disease- as it is loaded with zinc.  So go ahead, this year- you have an excuse to heap on seconds and thirds of your favorite Thanksgiving bird!  And here’s a delicious meal to whip up with all those leftovers:


Creamy Leftover Turkey Stew



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Thyme
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups half and half
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion and celery and season with a pinch of salt. Saute for about 2 minutes, then stir in the flour and cook for one minute.
  2. Pour in the broth, half and half, potatoes, sage, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the turkey and remove from heat. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.



It’s no secret that refined carbohydrates have a negative impact on our health, and greatly increases our risk of diabetes.  What many do not realize, is that diabetes puts you at heightened risk for multiple eye diseases.

This dish is not only packed with quinoa, a healthy replacement for sugary carbs, but its butternut squash will boost your eye’s defenses, as well:

Butternut Squash & Cranberry Quinoa Salad


  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa but any type will do)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and black pepper
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned.
  3. While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook partially covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for couple hours and serve.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Sweet Potatoes…

Orange is not only a warm symbol of harvest time- it also distinguishes foods that are filled with beta carotene.  Beta carotene (which is converted into Vitamin A) is an important factor for vision and eye health.  Among its many functions, it reduces the risk of eye infections, relieves dry eyes, and protects against blindness.

Not a big fan of Grandma’s yams?  Try these scrumptious muffins:

Sweet Potato Muffins



  • 3 cups of mashed sweet potato (see below for instructions)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal (optional)


  1. To prep the sweet potatoes (this can be done a day or so ahead if you want to break up the muffin-making process): Pierce the potatoes with a fork and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, or until the inside is soft when poked with a fork. Remove and let cool. When the potatoes are cool, peel off the skin and mash the sweet potato filling with a fork or masher until any big lumps are gone. Measure out 3 cups worth of filling.
  2. To make the muffins: In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then add the sweet potato.
  3. Pour into muffin tins/cups. If using flaxseed, sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake at 325 for approximately 30 minutes.


Enjoy this cozy season with your family, and keep finding
new ways to boost your eye health!






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