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Recipe of the Month

Red Lentil Vegetable Stew (Heart Healthy)

Yield: 4 cups


  • 1 cup split brown lentils (salmon colored, masoor dal)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste (garlic pureed with a little water)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste (ginger pureed with a little water)
  • ½ cup onion, small dice
  • ½ cup carrot, small dice
  • ½ cup zucchini, small dice
  • 1 cup potato, small dice
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, raw
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • To Taste salt and black pepper


Sauté onion, carrot, zucchini, potato, turmeric, cumin, cayenne and cardamom in olive oil for three minutes or until onion has become soft, stirring often so that spices do not burn.  Add garlic paste and ginger paste and sauté for another minute or so.  Add lentils and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature and simmer mixture until lentils and potato are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Add spinach leaves and turn off heat.  Stir in leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. There should be enough liquid that that you can ladle the stew over some brown rice.  If stew gets too thick, simply add a little more water.   Remember, you have this great heart healthy stew with heart healthy red lentils, olive oil and spinach; do not add too much salt and negate all of the heart healthy benefits.

Happy and Healthy Eating,
Michael Hodgins
Director of Sustainable Food Systems
Rio Salado College

Previous Recipe of the Month

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


  • Tomatillos, husked and rinsed (3 to 4 medium) 8oz
  • Jalapeno or Serrano Chiles (use 2 if serrano) 1 each
  • Garlic Cloves, peeled 2 each
  • Cilantro, 6 sprigs
  • Yellow onion, small, finely chopped 1/4 each
  • Salt


  1. Roast the tomatillos, chile(s) and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blotchy black and softening, about 5 minutes. Flip and roast the other side. Cool.
  2. Transfer tomatillos and any juice from roasted to a blender. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup of water and blend to a course puree.
  3. Stir in onion and season with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon).

Previous Recipe of the Month

Arizona Greens & Butternut with Pomegranate


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 each red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch kale, chard or mustards
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 each butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted
  • 2 Teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • to taste salt and black pepper


  1. Peel and seed butternut squash. Dice into ½” cubes. Toss squash in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and garam masala. Roast on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender. Reserve.
  2. In a sauté pan, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds and then add chopped greens.
  3. Sauté greens for 2 minutes and then add balsamic vinegar and water. Cover pan and reduce heat to medium. Let greens finish cooking for 2 minutes.
  4. Add roasted butternut squash and pecans to greens and cook until butternut is heated through. Take off heat, season with salt/pepper. To serve, top with fresh pomegranate seeds.

Note:  Garam Masala can be purchased in Indian or Asian markets. It can also be made very easily by combining ground spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

Previous Recipe of the Month

Raw Kale Salad


  • 2 bunches, kale, washed, ribs & stems removed
  • 2 each, lemon, fresh, juice of                       
  • 2 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons, maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup, almonds, toasted                                 
  • Cup, cherries or cranberries, dried
  • 1/3 cup, parmesan or romano, grated
  • to taste, kosher salt & black pepper


  1. Place lemon juice, olive oil and syrup or honey in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Massage dressing with your fingertips into kale leaves.
  3. Add fruit, nuts and cheese.  Toss.
  4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Note:  Remove kale stems in one motion by grabbing kale from one end and sliding your hand up the stem, pulling leaves off the stem as you go.

Previous Recipe of the Month

Wild Salmon Burgers


  • 1 lb Wild salmon fillet, skinned (Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch Approved)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Olive oil for brushing skillet
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger


Cut salmon into 1/4-inch dice. Gently fold together with spinach, scallions, ginger, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Beat together egg white and soy sauce in a small bowl and stir into salmon mixture, then form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Refrigerate patties for at least 30 minutes.

Cook over medium heat in a non-stick skillet, carefully turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, 7 minutes.

Serve on a Whole Wheat Bun topped with pickled ginger, lettuce, tomato, red onion and whole grain mustard or mayonnaise.

Bon Appetit,
Michael Hodgins
Director of Sustainable Food Systems
Rio Salado College

Previous Recipe of the Month

Maple Nut Granola


  • Cooking spray or canola oil, as needed
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup pecans, unsalted, pieces
  • 3/4 cup almonds, unsalted, pieces
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Use cooking spray or canola oil to lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Toss all ingredients together EXCEPT dried fruit.
  4. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet a bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally for around 30 minutes.
  5. Cool granola before adding dried fruit and storing in a sealed container.

Note:  Granola is one of few baked dishes that does not require a precise recipe.  Have fun with it!  Experiment with different sweeteners: honey, molasses, brown sugar or agave.  Almost any kind of nut or dried fruit will work (always add dried fruit after the baking process or dried fruit will get hard and burn).  Try adding different seeds such as sunflower, flax or pumpkin seeds.  Many spices work well such as cardamom, ginger and allspice to add to the cinnamon punch.  The recipe above is a basic blueprint but you can make it your own.

Previous Recipe of the Month

Asian Noodle Salad

Yield 8, 3 oz portions


  • 5 each, garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger root, minced
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil or other vegetable based oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 3 dashes hot pepper sauce or crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 (7 oz) Pkg soba noodles or other Asian wheat noodle
  • 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted)

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice, oils and hot pepper sauce or crushed red peppers. Close the lid, and shake vigorously to blend. Set aside to let the flavors blend.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add Soba noodles, and cook until tender about 3 – 6 minutes. Drain, and place in bowl to cool.

  • 3 ea  red and green bell peppers (julienned)
  • 1/2  bunch green onions, sliced

Combine noodles, peppers, green onions, sesame seeds and dressing.  Toss to coat and refrigerate until service.

Toasting Sesame Seeds:

Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Shake pan, or stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Previous Recipe of the Month

Baba Ganoush


  • 1 large eggplant roasted whole then peeled
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup of tahini paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint or parsley for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of cayenne/paprika pepper for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Puncture the eggplant's skin in a few places with a sharp knife or fork and roast it on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Then place the eggplant in a plastic bag to cool, you can peel it easier. Remove top and skin and place the peeled eggplant in a bowl. Add the garlic, lemon juice and tahini paste, blend everything in a food processor, blender or with a mortar until smooth. Season with salt and cumin powder. Spread nicely on a plate and garnish with parsley or mint and top with olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or paprika.


Previous Recipe of the Month

Cool Cucumber Soup

As seen on "Savor the Season with Michael & Josh," Summer Episode.



  • 2 cups cucumber, Armenian or other, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, first press
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 sprigs dill weed
  • 2 cups yogurt, plain
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • To taste salt and fresh cracked black pepper


  1. In a sauté pan, lightly toast your walnuts on medium heat.  Do not walk away from the pan and be sure to move them around in the pan often.  Walnuts are ready when you can start to see oils releasing and they give off a fragrant nutty smell.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  2. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds with a spoon.  If using an Armenian cucumber, there is no need to peel it.  Also, if you bought your cucumber from the farmer's market or grew it yourself, save the seeds for planting next year.
  3. Add the cucumber, garlic and olive oil to the blender.  Pulse blender until cucumbers are pureed.  You may have to stop the blender and push your cucumbers down several times.  If necessary, add a small amount of water to help the cucumber blend.
  4. Add dill weeds, yogurt and walnuts and blend for a 10 seconds or until soup is nicely pureed.
  5. Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Remember, always taste the food that you are preparing before seasoning.  Then proceed to season with a small amount of salt and pepper.  You can always add more if necessary but it is hard to remove once it is in there.

Recipe prepared by Michael Hodgins
Director of Sustainable Food Systems
Rio Salado College

Jamaican Curry Goat


  • 3 lbs. goat, stew size chunks
  • Olive oil
  • 1 whole onion, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder, Jamaican
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • To Taste salt and pepper
  • 2 whole onions, medium dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Small piece ginger, minced
  • 3 to 8 Scotch Bonnet chiles or Habanero, diced
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, Jamaican
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 6 cups water (more as needed)
  • 5 carrots, stew-sized chunks
  • 5 potatoes, stew-sized chunks

Method Of Preparation:

  1. Make a marinade in food processor with olive oil, curry powder, garlic and onion. Marinate goat overnight.
  2. Salt and pepper goat pieces before searing on all sides in hot olive oil.
  3. When all pieces are browned add onion and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, ginger and chiles and saute for 1 minute.
    Note: Scotch Bonnets and Habaneros are VERY spicy. Use enough to suit your taste.
  5. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, curry powder, thyme, allspice and water. Simmer for between 3 and 5 hours depending on the tenderness of the goat. Goat should be tender.
  6. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until tender.
  7. Check seasoning for salt and pepper.

Serve with Jamaican Peas and Rice.

Recipe by: Michael Hodgins
Sustainable Food Systems Program at Rio Salado College

Previous Recipe of the Month

Tandoori Chicken with Steamed Brown Rice, Braised Collard Greens and Kale(Makes 4 Servings)

Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (5 oz. per order)
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain, nonfat
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon achiote paste

Directions: Marinate chicken in yogurt and remaining ingredients for up to 24 hours. Grill chicken until internal temperature of 165 degrees. Chicken can also be baked in a 475 degree oven.

Braised Collard Greens and Kale Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3/4 lb collard greens
  • 3/4 lb kale
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • To Taste salt and pepper

Directions: Heat olive oil and cook garlic over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring so as not to burn. Add stock and greens. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until greens are tender. Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Recipe created by:Michael Hodgins, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at Rio Salado College

Previous Recipe of the Month

"Food Day" Autumn Squash Salad (Yield: 4 servings)

Roasted Butternut Squash Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ea Butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, melted
  • Pinch Cayenne pepper

Directions: Peel butternut squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds. Dice squash into 1 x 1 cubes. Toss with squash with butter, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Roast squash on baking sheet at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.

Local Goat Cheese Croutons Ingredients:

  • 4 slices Rye bread or other bread
  • 2 teaspoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Goat cheese (we like Fossil Creek or Black Mesa Ranch)
  • To Taste Salt and Pepper

Directions: Cut bread into 1 x 1 cubes and toss with olive oil and goat cheese. Bake croutons at 375 degrees on a baking sheet until crisp, around 10-12 minutes.

Maple Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon Heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar, white
  • 1/4 teaspoon Horseradish
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • To Taste Salt and Pepper

Directions: Whisk maple syrup, heavy cream, vinegar and horseradish in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified.

  • 1/3 cup Walnuts, toasted
  • 4 slices Bacon, diced, cooked
  • 4 cups Field greens or any greens that suit your taste

Salad Assembly:

Toss squash, croutons, field greens, walnuts, bacon and dressing in a large salad bowl. Serve immediately.

Recipe created by :Michael Colasurdo, Chef, Bon Appetit Management Company

Previous Recipe of the Month

Quinoa with Almonds and Currants (Yield: 6 servings)

This month's recipe of the month comes from Terry Walters™ book Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide To Eating Close To TheSource. This book is a personal favorite of our Director of Sustainable Food Systems at the college. Bon Appetit!

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ea red onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 3 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • To taste, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions: Rinse quinoa and place in large pot or rice cooker with water, currants and salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. In large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and spices in oil until soft (about 5 minutes). Fold into cooked quinoa along with almonds and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Note: To make this dish less sweet, cook quinoa without currants and add them at the end with the almonds and parsley.