SMART's Featured Recipes

We at SMART are committed to sharing nutrition information, healthy cooking techniques, healthy adaptations of traditional ethnic dishes and low-cost recipes with anyone interested in learning to prepare healthy delicious meals on a budget. All recipes featured below are devised by our Culinary Director and Chef Nutritionist, Tawnya Manion, who leads our cooking and nutrition workshops. 


General Tso's Tofu Stir Fry with Vegetables

"In this recipe, I dry fry the tofu! Dry frying creates a crispy crust on the outside of the tofu, but with no oil. This keeps the saturated fat low in this recipe. I used spinach and zucchini, you can use any vegetables you have on hand." 

Equipment: Cast iron skillet (any skillet will work), spatula, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons, mixing bowl

Ingredients: Brown rice (cooked according to package directions), tofu, 12 ounce extra firm tofu, 1 teaspoon salt

Sauce: 2 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoon cornstarch, 2 large cloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon ginger, minced, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water

Stir Fry: 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I like avocado oil), 1 zucchini (Julienned), 1 ½ cups spinach (stems removed), 1 bundle green onions (bulbs removed, Julienned), 4 dried red chilies (optional for heat)


  • Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel or in paper towels and place between two plates. Place a saucepan with water, or teapot, or brick on top of the plates. Set aside for at least one hour. 
  • While tofu is pressing prepare the sauce by combining the sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger, rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, and water in a small  mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Unwrap the tofu and and cut into ¾ inch pieces. 
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Let the pan get hot.  Carefully, place  half the batch of tofu. Do not let the pieces of tofu touch. 
  • Sprinkle salt onto the tofu.
  • Press the tofu down. 
  • Flip to other side, once the tofu releases from the pan (about 5 minutes). 
  • Remove tofu from the pan. 
  • Stream the vegetable oil into the pan. Add the zucchini and green onions and saute for 2 minutes. 
  • Pour the sauce into the pan. Add the spinach and toss until the spinach wilts. 
  • Toss the tofu into the pan. Stir until the tofu is coated in sauce.
  • Serve with brown rice and chopsticks.

Asparagus Phyllo Tart

"Phyllo sheets can be found in the freezer section of your local grocery store. This crispy tart contains loads of asparagus. Asparagus is loaded with vitamin K, folate, b vitamins, and vitamin C."

(Serves: 8-10 slices)

Equipment: 400 degree oven, baking sheet, parchment paper, basting brush, vegetable peeler, mixing bowl

Ingredients: ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese, ¼ cup fresh parsley (minced), 1 ½ tablespoon 1% milk, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 garlic clove (minced or grated), 1 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt, 12 (14 x 9 in.) frozen phyllo pastry sheets (thawed), ¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil, 1 ½ pounds asparagus spears (trimmed to a length of 6 ½ inches), ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Stir together the ricotta, parsley, milk, thyme, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Place 1 phyllo sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush phyllo sheet with oil, and top with remaining phyllo sheets and oil, reserving 1 teaspoon oil to brush on asparagus. 
  • Spread ricotta mixture on phyllo stack, leaving a ½-inch border. 
  • Arrange asparagus spears side by side over ricotta mixture. 
  • Brush asparagus with remaining 1 teaspoon oil. 
  • Sprinkle remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. 
  • Top with shaved cheese.  


Golden Beet Nachos

"Beets substitute tortilla chips in the ultra nutritious version of Tex-Mex nachos. Beets are loaded with folate, which supports heart and brain health, and is important in fighting birth defects in pregnant mothers. I used a mandoline to thinly slice my beets, but you can just slice them with a knife too."

(Serves: 8 people)

Equipment: blender or food processor, platter, mandoline (optional), 2 medium mixing bowl, wooden spoon, medium size spoon

Ingredients: 1 15-ounce can unsalted pinto beans (drained into a bowl with bean water reserved), ¼ cup bean water from can, ¼ cup light sour cream or 2% Fage plain yogurt, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 garlic clove, ½ avocado (diced) 2 tomatoes (diced) 2 tablespoons chives (minced), ¼ cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (minced), 3-4 small to medium sized beets (peeled and thinly sliced), 1 ½ ounce goat cheese or Cotija cheese (crumbled), 1 jalapeno (thinly sliced, optional)


  • Place bean in a food processor or blender; pulse until finely chopped. Add sour cream,¼ cup bean water cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper, and garlic. Process until smooth (add 1 tablespoon of bean water, if necessary to yield a smooth consistency).
  • Add tomato, avocado, chives, lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of salt and black pepper to a medium mixing bowl; stir until well combined. 
  • Thinly slice beets. 
  • Arrange beets on a platter; dollop bean mixture evenly on beet slices. 
  • Spoon salsa evenly onto nachos; sprinkle with cheese and jalapeno slices. 

Craving More Recipes?

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