Cabbage Salad with Ginger and Carrot Dressing is a colorful and crunchy mix packed with antioxidants.
Cabbage Salad with Ginger and Carrot Dressing is a colorful and crunchy mix packed with antioxidants.

Healthy and tasty: Our 2019 summer recipe series with TMC experts

Texas Medical Center nutritionists and dietitians offer some healthful and delicious options

Healthy and tasty: Our 2019 summer recipe series with TMC experts

7 Minute Read

This summer, we will be sharing recipes from Texas Medical Center nutritionists and dietitians to give our readers some healthy and tasty options. Bookmark this page and circle back for new dishes, desserts and beverages every few weeks. Also, follow the series via #TMCsummereats on social media.

NEW POST (August 5, 2019):

As summer winds down, we are sharing our final recipe for the 2019 Summer Recipe Series, Chef Wesley McWhorter’s Chocolate Hummus. This light and fluffy sweet treat is light on sugar and packed with nutrients.

“When you think of sweet dishes, you don’t normally think of a hummus,” McWhorter said. “We are making it sweet by adding in some  cocoa powder and a simple syrup, but not using as much sugar as you would have in a sweetened dish or a chocolate pudding.”

The chocolate hummus is made with a base of chickpeas and black beans, therefore it is loaded with vitamins, protein and fiber making it the perfect summer snack.

Chocolate Hummus


Chocolate Hummus

Serves 8


½ (15 oz can) Black beans (rinsed)

½ (15 oz can) Chickpeas (rinsed)

¼ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup Simple syrup 

3 tsp Canola oil

1/8 tsp Kosher salt

¼ cup Water (for thickening if needed)

Assorted fruit for dipping


Combine black beans, chickpeas, cocoa powder, simple syrup, oil, and salt in a food processor. 

Blend until smooth. Add water if needed. 

Serve with fruit.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to one week. 

*To make simple syrup, simply combine ¼ cup of brown sugar with ¼ cup of water in a small pot over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

NEW POST (July 23, 2019):

Take a chance to cool down with this deliciously refreshing Cabbage Salad with Ginger and Carrot Dressing.

This colorful and crunchy mix, created by chef and UTHealth dietician Wesley McWhorter, is packed with nutrients and can be served as a main dish or as a side for a summer barbecue.

“I love cabbage because it’s one of those vegetables that literally lasts forever,” McWhorter said. “If you’re like me and you buy salad greens and you look in the fridge the next day and they are already wilted, this will not happen to you. You can buy I before Christmas, go on vacation, come back and it’s still a wonderful vegetable—tons of antioxidants.”

For a sweet and tangy finish, McWhorter includes an entire carrot and loads of ginger in the salad dressing. Carrots are also rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin A. Ginger has been credited with aiding digestion, reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular health.


Cabbage Salad with Ginger and Carrot Dressing

Serves 4


For the dressing

2 carrots (rough chopped)

1 Tbsp. ginger (peeled)

½ Tbsp. curry powder (low-sodium or no-salt added)

½ cup rice vinegar

⅓ cup canola oil

2 tsp. soy sauce (low sodium)

2 tsp. sesame oil (toasted)

1 tsp. honey

For the salad

½ head of red cabbage (finely shredded)

½ cup peanuts (roasted and unsalted)

1 cup edamame (thawed and shelled)

1 red bell pepper (julienned)

1 cucumber (julienned)

1 cup kale, broccoli, or cauliflower stems (diced) 

¼ cup sesame seeds

Optional: celery leaves to taste


Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth.*

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

*Dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.


NEW POST (July 1, 2019):

This holiday week, we are presenting two recipes: the Blended Burger and a Summer Refresher Drink.

Burgers are a celebratory staple for the Fourth of July. Dietitians in the Nourish Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) School of Public Health have created the Blended Burger with healthier contents than an all-beef patty.

“A blended burger is a better alternative to a traditional burger because it contains less animal fat, so you’re reducing your unhealthy fat intake. By substituting some of the meat content with beans and mushrooms, you’re also boosting the fiber content and getting all the advantages of legumes and vegetables,” said chef and UTHealth dietitian Wesley McWhorter. “The mushrooms are a great way to add moisture and avoid the common problem of your burger drying out in the grilling process. They also build a meaty flavor, while the beans help to balance your budget because they’re less expensive than meat. Overall, you’re achieving a healthier balance without compromising on taste.”

To accompany the blended burger, Stacey Beer—a senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital—has created a festive and nutritious Independence Day beverage. Her three-ingredient Summer Refresher Drink is full of fruit and antioxidants, offering the perfect cool down for a hot summer afternoon.


Blended Burger

Serves 4


4 oz. Cremini mushrooms

1 cup black beans (~½ can)

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. chili powder (salt-free)

1 tsp. Kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

12 oz. ground beef (90/10)



Place mushrooms in a food processor and process until mushrooms resemble ground beef.

Heat pan over medium heat and sauté mushrooms for about five minutes until moisture is reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork.

Add mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper and beef. Mix thoroughly.

Portion into four equal-sized patties.

Cook patties on a grill until the internal temperature of each reaches 155°F. Make sure to not flip them too many times, which could break up the patties.

Serve burgers with favorite toppings on a whole wheat bun.


Summer Refresher Drink

Serves 1


1½ cup frozen blueberries

1½ cup frozen strawberries

1 can of seltzer water



Mix all ingredients in blender and enjoy!


NEW POST (June 24, 2019):

This week, we are sharing Lindsey Wohlford’s Mediterranean Nachos.

Lindsey Wohlford, MD Anderson Cancer Center employee wellness dietitian

“This is a delicious, cool summer dish that can be served as an appetizer or a main course. It is loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients to help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases,” said Wohlford, an employee wellness dietitian at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Not only does this dish offer a lower-calorie Mediterranean spin on a Tex-Mex favorite, but also is a plant-based option that is full of fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants from fresh summer produce.”

Mediterranean Nachos

Serves 4


3 whole wheat pitas, cut into triangles

Olive oil

1 medium cucumber, diced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

½ red onion, diced

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

½ cup hummus (homemade or store-bought)

½ cup feta cheese

¼ cup kalamata olives, chopped



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay cut pita triangles on a sheet pan in a single layer.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake 6-8 minutes or until crisp.

Layer chips onto platter.

Top with hummus, cucumber, tomato, and onion.

Squeeze lemon juice on top.

Sprinkle olives and feta.


ORIGINAL POST (June 17, 2019):

First, we are featuring a corn and tomato salad from registered dietitian Roberta Anding, who is also a sports dietitian and an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

This wonderfully light salad packs a load of nutrition. Corn is filled with zinc, magnesium, copper and iron as well as fiber—which aids in digestion. Tomatoes have vitamins A, C, and K along with potassium, which can help control blood pressure control and prevent heart disease. Together, they create a healthful and delicious base for this salad to start the summer, which officially begins on June 21.

Corn and Tomato Salad

Serves 4


5 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon of lemon zest

½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of honey

2 ears of fresh corn, grilled

2 cups cherry tomatoes

⅓ cup red onion, diced



For the dressing

Mix lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, basil leaves, black pepper and honey together with a whisk.

For the salad

Grill ears of corn.

Combine grilled corn, cherry tomatoes and red onion together with dressing.

This salad is vegetarian and can serve as a base for a protein.

1 cup diced chicken
1 cup of black beans
1 cup of crab or cooked shrimp


The first dish of our 2019 Summer Recipe Series is a Corn and Tomato Salad from registered dietitian and Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor Roberta Anding.

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