Collards with Coconut Recipe

Try some healthy local collards using this recipe from our Chef Reva! Lime and coconut make it different. Delicious cold, it serves approximately 6. We served samples of this dish at the Waltham Farmers’ Market recently.

 Ingredientscollards recipe

  • 3 Tablespoons shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 large bunch of collards, stems sliced very thinly and leaves chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of basil leaves, torn or chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes, small pinch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of half a lime


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast in oven until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Wash collards in several batches of cold water and let drain in a large colander.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat and melt coconut oil.
  4. Add garlic, salt and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add collards and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to wilt, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add basil, vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper and continue to cook a few minutes more until leaves and stems are crisp-tender.
  7. Stir in lime juice and serve collards warm or at room temperature, topped with toasted coconut.


1 cup per serving, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 55, Fat (g) 4

Saturated Fat (g) 3, Cholesterol (mg) 0, Carbohydrates (g) 4

Dietary Fiber (g) 2, Total Sugars (g) 1, Protein (g) 2, Sodium (mg) 263

Summer Teen Nutrition Class

by Yuki Wiland, Brandeis University ’15

This summer, Healthy Waltham teamed up with the Chill Zone, a hangout place for middle school kids at the Waltham Recreation Department, to continue our series of cooking and nutrition classes. Each class focused on a specific topic, such as MyPlate, and a recipe that models the day’s concept.

In the final class, Healthy Waltham’s Head Chef Reva and I worked with a group of boys to make mango salsa and no-bake granola bars. We wanted to make something naturally sweet without using heat. Summer is simply too hot to turn on the stove, and many snack foods are loaded with hidden (or not-so-hidden) sugar.

There were some groans when Reva announced that we would be making salsa and granola bars, but the kids seemed to have fun learning how to cut vegetables and adjusting the granola to their tastes. They were even pleasantly surprised how good the snacks were with only fresh vegetables and fruits. Not everyone liked what we made; however, they did try it, and that’s something.

It’s always an interesting experience to work with teens, and hopefully they will come in with more positive attitudes next time. Maybe we should bring in crazy looking new or exotic fruits and vegetables for them to try either out of curiosity or bravery. Ha ha! What if they just haven’t tasted their favorites yet?!

IMG_2002 2

Fruits of our labors – a yummy, healthy snack made with teens this summer at the Chill Zone Teen Program.

Summer Intern Speaks Out

Healthy Waltham has the pleasure of working with many interns during the summer, fall and spring semesters. Our interns have come most often from Brandeis, Bentley and Tufts Universities. One thing our interns have in common is the desire to connect with others and help improve lives in the Waltham community. Generally, they help with our programs related to healthy eating, community gardening and youth development, or special projects related to health, wellness and disease prevention. Many have gone on to work in health-related fields upon graduation. For information on interning at Healthy Waltham, or volunteering with us, please click here.

We were delighted to work this summer with Abbie Doane-Simon, a student at Northeastern University. She took a few minutes to reflect on her work with our organization.

It’s About Building Community – By Abbie Doane-Simon, Northeastern ’16

In my life, I haven’t had too many jobs so far, but there is one thing I have found to be true at every one. Regardless of the field, content, or nature of the work, the most important factor is the people. When I jibe with the people I work with, it makes all the difference.

Frankly, the people who work at Healthy Waltham are really great. They are here because they genuinely value healthy food and connecting people with healthy food. They value education and community growth and they definitely aren’t in it for the money. Being around these people has really inspired me to do what I love and surround myself with people who share that love. There were times when my position wasn’t always clear but I always wanted to be involved and part of the community this organization is building.

It’s not just Judy and the other employees here at Healthy Waltham that are so great. It’s the teachers and educators and kids in Waltham they work with. I spent an afternoon picking raspberries with three kids at Chesterbrook Housing Community and let me tell you, I have never seen anyone so excited about picking raspberries. At McDevitt Middle School, I had the opportunity to work with probably the proudest group of gardening math students in Waltham. Even just playing vegetable bingo with kids at the Chill Zone (Waltham Recreation Department’s Teen Center) was hilarious. Who knew stickers with healthy eating slogans and pictures of vegetables were such a hot commodity?

Generally, when I describe Healthy Waltham to friends I tell them “It’s an organization that manages a bunch of gardens at schools and stuff around Waltham and like teaches kids about gardening and eating healthy.” But Healthy Waltham is so much more. It is a growing community of passionate people who want to improve their town. And I think they just sprouted a new sapling.

Interns Abbie. Manny and Yuki at the Healthy Waltham table at the Farmers Market, Summer 2014

Interns Abbie. Manny and Yuki at the Healthy Waltham table at the Farmers Market, Summer 2014



Abbie chats with Healthy Waltham Executive Director Judy Fallows at the Farmers Market

Abbie chats with Healthy Waltham Executive Director Judy Fallows at the Farmers Market

Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

We have had many requests for our roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) recipe that we served at the Waltham Farmers’ Market! Use as a crunchy topping on our spicy Moroccan Chard Salad or just for munching.

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil or olive oil spray
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of your favorite spices or spice blend, such as chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, or curry powder


Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread chickpeas out on a paper towel or kitchen towel. Cover with another towel and rub dry, removing loose skins. Toss chickpeas with olive oil or coat with spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your choice of other spices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spread chickpeas out in a single layer. Roast for about 35 minutes until brown and crispy. Enjoy as a crunchy snack or sprinkled on top of salad. Cool completely and store in an airtight container to retain crispness.


Reva prepares the chickpeas for roasting.

Reva prepares the chickpeas for roasting.


Use roasted chickpeas as a crunchy topping for a salad. Keep in airtight container.

Use roasted chickpeas as a crunchy topping for a salad. Keep in an airtight container.

Farmers Market Cooking Demo

Try the spicy Moroccan Chard Salad we sampled at the Waltham Farmers’ Market! This recipe was a hit. It’s a great way to use Swiss chard, a locally grown seasonal favorite. Try it topped with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas. The Waltham Farmers’ Market is located at the parking lot of the Arthur J. Clark Government Center building at the corner of School and Lexington Streets on Saturdays 9:30 AM-2:00 PM through November 8. Healthy Waltham will be back at the Market on September 6.

Moroccan Chard Salad (serves 6)

  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ lemon, juiced (about 2 Tablespoons), or cider vinegar


  1. Heat just enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes and stir about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the chard and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until chard is tender.
  4. Add lemon juice or vinegar and cook another minute until beginning to evaporate.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chopping colorful Swiss chard for the salad.

Chopping colorful Swiss chard for the salad.