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Healthy cooking from new book, 'Cook Smart, Eat Well'

Author Jennifer Welper is the Wellness Executive Chef at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Healthy food doesn't have to be tasteless or bland, and a new book is full of recipes to prove it.

It's called "Cook Smart, Eat Well."

Author Jennifer Welper is the Wellness Executive Chef at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and she joined KARE 11 Saturday to cook and share delicious recipes.

Grilled vegetable kebabs


Wood skewers, zucchini, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, red onion, garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme


Olive oil, salt, pepper


1 medium zucchini, sliced into circles ½ red bell pepper, cut into chunks ½ yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks 1 pint cherry tomatoes 10 cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered 1 red onion, cut into chunks 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


Soak 6 wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes while you wash and prepare the vegetables. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, or use a grill pan that can accommodate the full length of the skewers. Place all vegetables in a large bowl. Add the garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Skewer the vegetables and place on the grill (or grill pan). Turn every 2 minutes until fully cooked, totaling about 5-8 minutes. You can also partially cook the skewers on the grill, giving them great grill marks and flavor, and finish them later in a high-temperature oven. Serve with your favorite lean protein or whole-grain entree. 

Blackened fish tacos 


Mahi-mahi, flour tortillas, avocado, feta cheese, fresh pineapple, red bell pepper, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, red onion 


Paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, honey, cooking spray 

If mahi-mahi isn’t available, you can make these tacos with any other whitefish, such as cod or halibut, or even shrimp. 


4 (3-ounce) mahi-mahi fillets, or bigger fillets cut into 3-ounce servings 1 tablespoon blackening spice (see below) 4 flour tortillas, warmed 1 cup roasted red pepper pineapple salsa (see below) ½ avocado, chopped ¼ cup feta crumbled cheese 


BLACKENING SPICE | 16 SERVINGS 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon ground dried thyme 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon ground cumin 

ROASTED RED PEPPER PINEAPPLE SALSA | 6 SERVINGS 1 cup cored and cubed fresh pineapple ½ cup roasted and chopped red bell pepper 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro ¼ cup chopped red onion ¼ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons honey

BLACKENING SPICE Mix dry ingredients together in small bowl. Store remaining spice in an air-tight container. 

ROASTED RED PEPPER PINEAPPLE SALSA Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

TACOS Preheat the grill. Rub mahi-mahi with blackening spices for at least 4-5 minutes. Lightly coat with cooking spray on each side of fish fillets. 

Grill fish for 3-4 minutes a side, depending on size of fillet, until you reach an internal temperature of 140 F. 

To assemble tacos, place a warm tortilla on a plate. Top with 1 ½ ounces fish, ¼ cup roasted red pepper pineapple salsa, ¼ of the chopped avocado, and 1 tablespoon feta cheese.

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