National Nutrition Month Recipes to Personalize your Plate

March is National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Personalize Your Plate”, which emphasizes that everyone is unique. There is no “one size fits all” to nutrition and health.  It is important to tailor your nutrition and physical activity habits to your individual needs, such as preferences, age, weight goals, health, budget, and taste.

To mark the occasion, the Nutrition Department at Somerville Cambridge Elder Services is distributing the following recipes and some helpful handouts.


 Black Bean SaladBlack Bean Salad

Yield: 8 – 8 oz. servings  


2 cans black beans, drained rinsed about 30 oz.

1 15 oz. can corn, drained, fresh or frozen

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

¼ cup red bell pepper, diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

¼ cup pineapple, diced

1 tbs. cilantro, chopped

Juice of ½ a lime

3 tbs. honey

1 tsp black pepper

Pinch of cumin

1 tsp. salt (Optional, sodium below reflects recipe with No added salt)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Nutrition Information:

Per Serving: 148  Calories; 1 g Fat (7% calories from fat); 7g protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 334mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); ½ Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; ½ Other Carbohydrates.


No-Bake Turmeric  Coconut Balls                                   


1-1/2 cup unsweetened  shredded coconut

1 cup raw cashews

2 TB maple syrup

3 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional: Add soft dates for binding, or in place of maple syrup.


  1. Add the coconut to a high speed blender or food processor, and mix until it starts to get a bit oily. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until the cashews are broken down
  2. Press the mixture into balls. They will not roll into balls, so just press gently.  They will harden in fridge.
  3. Let set in the fridge for a couple hours.

Each ball will be 131 calories with 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 2.5 grams of protein.



 Baked Salmon Bites with Creamy Avocado DressingBaked Salmon Bites with Creamy Avocado Dressing 


1 lb. skinless salmon, but into chunks, or canned wild salmon

1/2 medium onion, grated

1/4 cup + 2 TB whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

3 TB minced cilantro

1 egg

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp oregano


The Sauce:

3/4 avocado, skin and seed removed

3 TB plain Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 lime, juiced

5 TB water

2 TB minced cilantro

1/4-1/2 tsp Chile powder

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350F. Coat large baking sheet with oil, spray or parchment.

Place the salmon pieces in a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped, scraping sides. Transfer to large bowl.  If using canned, add to large bowl as is.

To the salmon, add the onion, breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano.  Stir to combine.

Using a 2 TB portion of salmon mixture, roll mixture into balls.  Place on baking sheet evenly spaced.

Bake 15-18 minutes until meatballs ae firm to touch and cooked through.

Drizzle with avocado sauce.

SAUCE: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, water, cilantro, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.


Helpful Information:

Smart Tips for Personalizing your Plate 

Get the Facts from Food Labels

20 Health Tips for Eating Right