2014 HarbinSTRONG Healthy Cooking Challenge Winners


Erin Williams, Administration, is the winner of the 2014 HarbinSTRONG Healthy Cooking Challenge. Erin’s winning recipe is Avocado Chicken Salad. Congratulations!

Finalist photo

Finalists for the 2014 HarbinSTRONG Healthy Cooking Challenge were (L-R) Christy Ash, Rehab; Erin Williams, Administration; Tammy Perry, Business Office and Robin Hice, Administration.  Finalists received a one year subscription to Cooking Light Magazine.

Avocado Chicken Salad (Winning Recipe)


2 cups cooked chicken, shredded into large pieces

2 medium avocados, diced

2 T fresh squeezed lime juice

Salt, to taste

¼ cup thinly sliced green onion

½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

2T light mayo

Boil chicken (or use rotisserie) and shred; cube avocado, mix all ingredients, refrigerate and serve.

4 serving per recipe: 206 calories, carbs 7.1 g, fat 10.25 g (Avocados provide the good fat)

Prepared by Erin Williams, Administration

*Erin only used one avocado and served with romaine lettuce wraps. Consider substituting mayo for plain greek yogurt.

Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.


1 cup packed dates, pitted*

1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)

1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)

optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.


Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)

Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor.

Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.

Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.

Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)

Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.

Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.


*If your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will ultimately help hold the bars together better.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 bar (10 bars per recipe) Calories: 217 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 6 g

*Note that pan easily divides into 32 square bars – less than 70 calories each!

Prepared by Robin Hice, Administration

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Casserole

1 ½ lbs chicken, cooked, cut up

Spaghetti squash, cooked

1 can cream of chicken soup

¼ to ½ cup of chicken broth

2 slices Double Fiber Bread, toasted & made into crumbs

Mix everything except bread crumbs.  Pour into dish, top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Prepared by Christy Ash, Rehab

Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix


2 cans (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry

2 cups Wheat Chex cereal

1 cup dried pineapple chunks

1 cup raisins

2 T honey

2 T reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic

½ tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a 15 x10 baking sheet with butter-flavored cooking spray.

Generously spray a heavy skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray. Add garbanzos to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the beans begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the garbanzos to the prepared baking sheet. Spray the bean lightly with cooking spray. Bake, stirring frequently, until the beans are crisp. About 20 minutes.

Lightly coat a roasting pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Measure the cereal, pineapple and raisins into the pan. Add roasted garbanzos. Stir to mix evenly.

In a large glass measuring cup coming honey, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Stir to mix evenly. Pour the mixture over the snack mix and toss gently. Spray mixture again with cooking spray. Bake for about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from burning. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Prepared by Tammy Williams, Business Office

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