Weekly Menu Inspired by the Dole Bloggers Wellness Summit

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan

A month ago now I attended the Dole Bloggers Wellness Summit hosted by Dole at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village. I sat and listened to the nutrition advice that was being dished out in support of fruit and vegetables, a recommended 7-10 servings which reduces inflammation. We were told that 33% of women and 50% of men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and that 80% of cancer is caused by poor diet, inactivity and not taking care of your body. We talked about resistant starch in bananas and artichokes and phytochemicals in cabbage, and we were served meals full of heart-healthy whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

One of my favorite parts of the summit was our tour of the California Health & Longevity Institute. The institute focuses on a 360° approach to wellness. So, after a nutrition consult and a relaxing body exfoliation and days of eating well, I returned home to four sleepless nights, a consistent lack of sleep and a very poor diet that was mostly coffee and chocolate. It’s funny how when caring for others, we often forget to take care of ourselves.

As we here return to some normalcy, even a new normalcy, today’s menu inspired by the Dole Bloggers’ Wellness Summit with an emphasis on getting a plate loaded with vegetables, plenty of sleep and also time to focus on that lovely thing we call work-life balance. You may have noticed it was a bit quiet last week, as I was trying to catch up in all my other work so I could stop fretting about being behind on deadlines and spend some time engaged with those four little people who need me as much as I need them. Today it starts with a menu. On Monday of all things.

Who else went? Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen, Jen from Savor the Thyme, Carrie from Deliciously Organic, Rachael from La Fuji Mama, Liza from America’s Host, Kathy from The Lunchbox Bunch, Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks, Katie from GoodLife Eats, Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer, Anne from FANNEtastic Food, Maria and Josh from Two Peas & Their Pod, Jenny from Picky Palate, Marla from Family Fresh Cooking, Gena from Choosing Raw, Shanna from My Favorite Everything, Amanda from Kevin and Amanda, Lori from A Cowboy’s Wife and Susan from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic.

Thank you to Marty Ordman, Jackie Kahn, Jennifer Grossman, Bob Ochsner, Chris Yemma, Cielestia Calbay, Heather Bandura and everyone else from DOLE and DGWB for a fantastic trip and a wonderful experience.

One of the things we strive for when planning our menus is making everything fit together into one nice, neat little package. We look to use ingredients in different ways throughout the week so that we’re benefiting from the ability of do-aheads and being able to buy in bulk. We also benefit from a well-stocked pantry.

Monday – Quinoa, Clementine and Pomegranate Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

Tuesday – Mediterranean Bean Salad on Naan

Wednesday – Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini

Thursday – Chicken Cranberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Friday – Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika and Cilantro Cream

The Preparation Shortcuts:

1. While you’re roasting your squash on Monday, include the butternut squash for Wednesday.
2.Use the same peppers in both the bean salad and the soup, and make extra naan for soup night as well.
3.Use cilantro, parsley, onions, lemons and more in multiple recipes.
4. Make extra chickpeas on Tuesday for both the bean salad and the butternut squash salad.

The Shopping List:

2 chicken breasts
4 sweet dumpling, carnival or acorn squash
1 medium butternut squash
11 red bell peppers
2 lemons
2 limes
1 sprig rosemary
1 bunch basil
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1 large shallot, diced
3 heads romaine lettuce
4-5 scallions
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 small jar tahini
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
4 Cuties clementines or mandarins
1 large pomegranate

Pantry Items:
half and half
Greek yogurt
active dry yeast
dried cranberries
garbanzo beans
white beans
maple syrup
vegetable broth
olive oil
dry sherry
tomato paste
apple cider vinegar
white wine vinegar
poppy seeds
bay leaves
salt and pepper

Last week from Food for My Family:

Top 10 Kitchen Gifts this Holiday Season
Magnolia Bakery’s Peppermint Ice Box Cake
Holiday Baking Tips from Magnolia Bakery’s Chief Baking Officer Bobbie Lloyd
Metrodome Collapse Video: The End of the QB Dog?
Cheater Chocolates: Easy Oreo Truffles in Peppermint and Orange
Homemade Gifts: Hot Chocolate
Holiday Season Traditions with My Family

For more menu plans:


  1. Such a healthy and delicious menu!

  2. That food is beautiful!! The roasted red pepper soup sounds so good to me (and that’s coming from someone who isn’t even that big a fan of soup!). 🙂

  3. Excellent menu & I love your planning ahead ingredient list. So healthy, just the way we like to eat over here. Awesome seeing you on this informative trip. . .what next for us?? xo

  4. Great menu! It was fun seeing you at the Dole event. Hopefully we can meet up again soon!

  5. even though it takes more time to plan your meals, i’m convinced that is the only way to avoid eating mindlessly and to get better nutrition from the foods we DO eat . . . not to mention cheaper at the grocery store armed with a list. nice menu Shaina!

  6. Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! I lurve you & your brilliant menu’s! I do not, however, appreciate your free use of that nappy picture of me. You are in so much trouble. 😉 XO

  7. Beautiful menu!Can’t wait to sink my teeth in!

  8. Looks delicious Shaina, especially the Quinoa, Clementine & Pomegranate Stuffed Squash! We loved having you and are so glad you enjoyed your time with us. Hope to see you soon.

  9. How you’ve prepared such a delicious menu Shaina, do you have any hand out for that..

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