Dear friends:

As you may know, I am a certified personal trainer. I possess an understanding of the functions of the body and its dietary needs, such as the six essential nutrients, nonessential nutrients, and sports nutrition, I am not yet a certified nutritionist. While I will be sharing some recipes and explaining my personal cooking strategy for making healthy meals at home, this page will also include healthy recipes from Chef Ron.

Chef Ron’s Mission: “I love to teach people about food and cooking, and about living a healthy lifestyle through eating properly. By knowing food and cooking for yourself, you can avoid preservatives and the toxic man-made ingredients from prepared foods and fast-food restaurants. Also, you can live healthy and support your local farmers by visiting farmer’s markets and stores that carry foods from local producers.” To learn more, go to

Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil

I have put in two methods of incorporating basil into this recipe, you can do both (dried and fresh), or increase one or the other based on what kind of basil you have available.  Of course, I prefer fresh basil, which should always be added towards the end or it will become bitter.  You can also skip the milk and increase the chicken stock, but the milk will add richness.  One last thing, you can add other herbs to this recipe such as rosemary and thyme, fresh or dried for an entirely different flavor.

3#            Plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

8 TBSP      Olive oil

3 TBSP      Fresh Garlic, minced

1 TBSP      Dried Basil

1/4 tsp      Dried crushed red pepper (or more, but watch the spice level)

2 cups       Whole Milk

4 cups       Chicken stock or canned low-salt broth

6 TBSP      Fresh Basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated juices to food processor. Using on/off turns, process until slightly chunky.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds (do not burn!). Stir in milk and dried basil, allow to steep on low-heat for 10 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and dried crushed red pepper. Add chicken stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until soup thickens slightly, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm soup over medium-high heat before continuing.) Stir in fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Optional: Serve with fresh homemade croutons or crostinis.


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