Quick Refried Beans

Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and benefit cholesterol control too! They can be prepared in so many different ways so experiment with them by mixing in some cheese, hot peppers or hot sauce.

You’ll Need

  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion


  • In a small bowl mash 2/3 cup of beans to a smooth paste.
  • In a skillet saute onions in oil until soft.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining beans with the water.
  • When heated through, stir in garlic, onion and oil that the onion was saluted in, chili powder, and salt.
  • Stir the bean paste into the whole beans and mix well.
  • Stir in the onion and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Mash the beans and onions up a bit more while cooking.


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Green Beans with Basil and Tomatoes

Veggies are the building blocks of the Mediterranean diet. Try this recipe as a way to savor green beans.

You’ll Need

  •  2 Tablespoons butter
  •  1 ½ pounds fresh green beans
  •  1 large tomato peeled and chopped
  •  ½ cup green onion, chopped
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1/8 teaspoon pepper
  •  ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Melt butter in medium skillet.
  • Add beans, then remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender (10-15 minutes).


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Tortellini Salad

This is a refreshing, satisfying salad all in one!

You’ll Need:

  • 16 ounces dried tortellini
  • 2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives

Dressing – you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta


  • Cook tortellini per instructions on package. The place in bowl. 
  • Add chopped vegetables.
  • Combine ingredients for salad dressing, blending carefully.
  • Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss gently.


Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This combination is so surprisingly wonderful together because you basically have a spice cake that is made moist by the zucchini and sweet by the chocolate, that’s a win-win!

You’ll Need

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and butter two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.
  • Place the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on low in 30 second increments, until the chocolate has melted and is completely smooth.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix in the zucchini. With a spatula, add the melted chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined. 
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips. Fold the flour mixture until it forms a smooth batter. 
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.
  • Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. 

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Strawberry Smoothie

One simple word sums up this recipe… YUM! It’s easy to make and is a crowd-pleaser! Take advantage of strawberry season by enjoying them in smoothie form.

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup plain yogurt

Continue reading “Strawberry Smoothie”

Arugula and Tomato Salad

This salad is a delicious complement to many meals and a cancer fighter too. Arugula is such an interesting green that can really take a salad to another level.

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of arugula
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 12 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges or  approximately 36 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Wash and dry the arugula, remove the tough stems and arrange on the outside of a platter.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the tomatoes gently in the salad dressing.
  • Place the tomatoes in the center of the arugula.
  • Drizzle the remainder of the dressing over the arugula.
  • If you would like, top with feta, anchovies, olives or whatever you see fit.


Cilantro and Carrot Rice

This recipe works well to complement some grilled shrimp or fish.
You’ll Need
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups long-grain white rice
  • 6 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Diced tomato

Continue reading “Cilantro and Carrot Rice”

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Some things are so classic that they never go out of style. You cannot lose with this recipe because strawberries dipped in chocolate (a) taste awesome, (b) are beautiful to look at, and (c) make you appear to be a far more heroic cook than you actually need to be to make these!

You’ll Need

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 10 strawberries

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk for 5 minutes, or until it starts to steam. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a small bowl.

Once the milk is steaming, pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute or so, then stir until it’s completely smooth. Stir in the Chambord and voila! – You have your ganache. Let the ganache come to room temperature.

Next, wash the strawberries, leaving the stems intact, and pat completely dry with a paper towel. Place them in a bowl. Common sense tells you that you will eventually dip the strawberries in the ganache. However, you have to let the ganache cool a bit first or it will be too runny.

Dip the strawberries in the chocolate to coat and set them on waxed paper. You can eat them at once – they taste best when the ganache is still warm and the strawberries (just pulled out of the refrigerator) are chilly. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the coated strawberries and then serve them to end any romantic meal. 


Ricotta Cappuccino

This recipe is easy to prepare yet feels like something you’d enjoy at ta 5 star restaurant!

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup sugar (or less)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon


Place sugar in a food processor and start the machine. Add the vanilla, ricotta, espresso powder, and cocoa powder. Blend for 1 minute, then stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 


Basil Pesto Sauce

Making herbs a regular part of the diet is a super idea as many are a  great source of antioxidants.

Yields approximately 1 ½ cups

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Mix all in a blender or food processor until an even consistency is reached.


  • You can add more garlic if you would like. You may want to mix it, have a taste and then decide.
  • This pesto freezes wonderfully. Place the pesto in ice cube trays and once the pesto has solidified place the blocks in a plastic bag and use it in the future. The ice cube technique it nice because it freezes the pesto in handy portion sizes.
  • The recipe can easily be doubled.
  • You can try different nuts such as pine nuts or macadamias.
  • You can try different herbs such as cilantro or parsley.
  • Serve over top of pastas, grilled vegetables, and fish. Or turn a piece of French or Pita bread into a pesto pizza. The options are endless but all are delicious.
  • Leave out the Parmesan cheese for a vegan pesto sauce.


Avocados are super for our heart and overall health.

You’ll Need

  • 1 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

It’s the easiest salad
Just mix them all together, salt and pepper to taste.

Another wonderful addition to this is coarsely chopped tomatoes and cilantro!

Greek Salad

Greek salads are so refreshing, and complement a variety of meals so well. In addition they are quite flexible so add or subtract ingredients based on what you have available. When tomatoes and cucumbers are in season, no doubt about it, it is Greek salad time!

You’ll Need
  • 3 vine tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced (more if you like)
  • 1medium cucumber cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup black Kalamata olives
  • Sliced feta cheese (as big or as small as you would like)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Combine vegetables in a bowl.
  •  In a small bowl mix oil, vinegar, and oregano then pour over salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Before serving salad place feta slices on salad.


Play with Your Food
  • Add some pepperoncini peppers or red bell pepper.
  • Try using a white onion and/or add some green onion.
  • Leave out the olives.
  • Leave out the feta cheese and serve as a vegan salad.

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