Mediterranean Peasant Salad


1 seedless cucumber, finely diced

¼  large red onion, finely diced

3 to 4 roma tomatoes, de-seeded and finely diced

½ medium green pepper, diced

1 T flat-leafed parsley chopped

Handful of feta crumbles

A few kalamata olives


¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/8 c Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the top of the salad and stir well.
  3. Garnish with olives.

Sweet Potato ‘Fries’

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

1 T  Olive Oil

½ T cornstarch

Salt and pepper

Cooking Spray

2 t chili powder

1 t garlic powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

½ t cumin

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees
  2. Cut potatoes lengthwise into ¼ inch match sticks. Toss with oil, cornstarch, salt, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne and cumin..  Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Bake 30 minutes turning them once.


Baked Tortilla Chips


  • 1 (12 oz) package corn tortillas
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 3 T lime joice
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cut each tortilla into 8 chip sized wedges and arrange the wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  3. In a mister, combine the oil and lime juice. Mix well and spray each tortilla wedge until slightly moist.
  4. Combine the cumin, chili powder and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle on the chips.
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes or until the chips are crisp, but not too brown. Serve with salsas, garnishes or guacamole.



  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Being Afraid to Talk About Nutrition

I have found that talking honestly about health, nutrition and yes weight can be a scary topic for any dance teacher.  I also have found that it is my responsibility as a dance educator to talk about all of these things and when I don’t, that’s what makes all of it so taboo.  I’ll explain how I finally came to this decision after years of teaching, but first…..

The truth of the matter is that if your child wants to become a dancer or is even toying with the idea, they need to know certain things.  Weight is an important factor when it comes to getting a job in this field as well as the role they want in Nutcracker.  Most professional dancers weigh about 10% below the normal range.  This is important for several reasons.

  1.  It’s esthetically pleasing.  Dance is all about the lines of the body and it’s important for the audience to see those lines.
  2. Most dancers need to be lifted and partnered and it’s the dancer’s responsibility to their partner to be at a weight that is easy to maneuver.
  3. It will lengthen their career because extra weight is extra stress on the joints and tendons, especially when you’re talking pointe work.
  4. It will allow the dancer to have higher extension, higher jumps and stellar stamina which are essential to the profession.  Simply because their body weighs less; it takes less effort to move.

Yet many dance teachers fear discussing the all too important issues of weight and nutrition with their students for one major reason; we are afraid of it resulting in eating disorders.  This is NOT what we want for any of our dancers so we become negligent and don’t talk about it at all.

Read More…