Eating Well: From Debbie B’s Kitchen to Yours

Posted on March 11, 2021   |   

This article was written by Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT.

Debbie B. - Connecticut State Captain This week our focus has been on nutrition. For some people living with COPD, it can be challenging to eat right and get the calories and nutrients you need, either because you don’t feel confident in your cooking skills or maybe because you don’t have much energy to cook.

If you have been on COPD360social for a while, you have probably seen posts from DebbieB.-Connecticut State Captain where she posts pictures of her yummy meals. She usually posts a food that can be made ahead of time and eaten for several meals to come. What a great idea! Cook once and have plenty for a few days – it sounds good to me!

A few months ago, I asked Debbie B. if she would help me by sharing some of her recipes with us. She was happy to help, and she sent over dozens of recipes. I am sharing a few of them here, and hope that maybe you will have some to add in the comments section.

Before we get started, here are a few notes from Debbie B.:

"We all want to eat healthy, satisfying meals. Sometimes we have to substitute canned or frozen foods for fresh. It is ok to substitute other proteins in place of meat. When reading recipes, it is important to realize that you can substitute ingredients if there are things you cannot eat or don’t like. Think of the recipe as a basic guideline. You can make adjustments to suit your needs.

On days that you feel good, you might cook a one-time meal, or you might take that opportunity to make a little extra or a large meal and plan other meals using the leftovers. You might even freeze portions to eat at a later date.

Enjoy preparing your meals as much as you enjoy eating them!"

We hope you will try some of these recipes and let us know what you think!

Remember to share your own recipes here – we love to hear your ideas!

A Few Breakfast Ideas:


Place in a blender –
8 oz orange juice
1 cup of low-fat yogurt of your choice
½ cup of berries of your choice OR ½ cup of peach slices
1 small banana, sliced
1 tsp vanilla extract
*Blend until smooth, then add 3 ice cubes. Blend until frothy.

Breakfast Burrito: (these can be made ahead of time)

Flour tortillas
6 eggs, scrambled – egg substitute
Half of a package of breakfast sausage browned, or vegetarian alternative
1 cup of shredded cheese
Onions, tomatoes, and peppers if you desire

*Crumble and brown the breakfast sausage. When it is cooked through, add the eggs, and scramble them in the same skillet. When eggs are cooked, add the shredded cheese and combine to melt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Lay out the tortillas, and scoop the sausage, egg, and cheese mixture down the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up, carefully place in an airtight container, or gallon size zip lock bag. Repeat for each tortilla. When you are ready to eat, just place one on a microwave safe plate and warm them through. You can also top them with onions, tomatoes, and peppers if you like. Serves six.

Open Face Tomato Tortillas

Top a flour tortilla with tomato slices, ½ of a sliced avocado, and 2 TBSP of shredded cheese. Broil in the toaster oven until the cheese melts. Serve with a hard-boiled egg. Serves one.


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  • Good morning, everyone! I hope we can add some "food for thought" into your lives! Please feel welcome to add your food and kitchen tips, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
  • Thank you for these recipes, Debbie! The breakfast recipes are perfect and making my mouth water. My favorite is the open face tomato tortilla, however, because it is so simple, includes my favorite ingredients, and comes with an egg. I'm going to try it. YUMYUM!
  • I need to try that smoothie. Will need to skip the banana...or wait until I buy some.

    I have made other smoothies with banana, but instead of ice cubes I cut and froze the banana slices the night before. Seemed to work well.

  • Debbie, the morning burrito sounds yummy.
  • Thank you @debbieB and Stephanie for the wonderful tips and thank for offering recipes that include options to substitute with plant-based alternatives.🌱

    The Burrito seems like a real Sunday treat if I can make it with with Beyond Meat, scrambled Just Egg and Myoko's shredded cheese... it will be be a nice break from my daily breakfast of oat groats with berries and almonds
  • I started making smoothies over 10 years ago. I'm on my 5th blender. I started with Magic Bullet, lots of pieces in drink. I graduated to a Ninja, blender & 16 oz cup. On occasion the cup would leak, and broke it. Next I got a complete Ninja system, cups, blender, food processor. That still works, but I was worried about ruining the motor. An aside, these cups the blade screws on to the bottom, if not sealed, it leaks on the motor assembly switches. I'm now using full size blender. Generally the cup made enough for 2 smoothies. Now that I’m using a blender I usually get 4 – 5 cups. I store the extra in a seal-able container, in the fridge. A little shake, pour into a cup and enjoy my midnight drink; then take my meds.

    Most tasty ingredients can go into the blender, to enhance the nutritional value:
    I use apple juice, it’s cheap and good. But any juice, milk or water would work.
    Protein powder, with flax flour & chia seeds
    Frozen fruit {I prefer triple berry, but any will work}
    Banana {2 tips, after a few days, as they ripen put in fridge; to peel, squeeze the tip and peel}
    Spinach or kale {wash, blanch and freeze OR my new method – blanch, blend w/apple juice, pour into ice cube trays, and bag for later.}
    Pineapple I prepare a fresh pineapple, cutting out all the good meat for immediate consumption. Then I take all the scrapes; core and whats left on the skin – toss in blender with juice, all into ice cube trays and freeze}
    Walnuts – your preference
    I add Ice cream as a thickener {besides Lucky anxiously awaits his couple spoons when I make them.}

    Combined, this concoction makes for both a healthful and tasty drink. To your good health! Enjoy /ed
  • Here are a couple of her lunch ideas:. Notice that the Pot Pie would be great to make once, and eat another day, or even freeze portions to have ready to go! And the sweet potato? I love baked sweet potatoes with a little plant based butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
    Give these a try 😀

    Lunch Ideas
    Easy Chicken Pot Pie
    1 2/3 c. frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
    1 c. diced cooked chicken (can use canned chicken, or fully cooked chicken strips)
    1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
    1 c. baking mix
    1 egg

    *Preheat oven to 400°. Mix together vegetables, chicken and soup in an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Stir together remaining ingredients with a fork, until blended pour into the pie plate. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Serves six.

    Easy Sweet Potato
    Wash and pierce with a fork, a medium sweet potato. Place on a glass plate, microwave until soft. Top with butter or margarine and a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon. Serves one.

    • Easy Couscous Salad
      2 cups cooked, cooled couscous
      6 scallions, thinly sliced
      2 medium tomatoes, chopped
      1 cup chopped cucumber
      1/2 cup chick peas. rinsed and drained
      1 cup chopped fresh parsley
      3/4 cup olive oil
      1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 tsp. Dijon mustard
      1 tsp. ground coriander
      Optional- Scant amount of salt and pepper
      Combine couscous, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chick peas and parsley in a large glass bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, coriander, and salt and pepper, if using. Pour over the couscous mixture and toss gently to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill.
      Serves 4.
  • Instant pot cheesecake - why use a pressure cooker to bake a cheesecake, you ask? Well if you're going to do it in the oven, you need a pan of water too. The link below has an excellent set of step by step instruction for making delicious cheesecakes. Just ask my daughter. I've only had one failure, I think I forget the cornstarch. As I always have frozen fruit on hand, for my smoothies, making the compote is easy to. Put some berries in a pan, some water and sugar. Cook it down. You can add cornstarch to thicken. While somewhat involved, it really straight forward. My biggest problem is will I be up to it when all the ingredients have attained room temp. //enjoy //ed
    • Thanks, Ed! This method of making cheesecake is something we don't usually see!
    • Good morning! Today I am going to share two dessert recipes. Easter is coming up soon! Now, we will call these splurge recipes, because we shouldn't eat too many sweets!
      These treats are my Mom's favorite!
      Oatmeal Raspberry Bars
      Remember, you can use plant butter, and substitute ingredients. I am posting the original recipe.
      1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
      1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
      1 cup flour
      1/4 tsp. baking soda
      1/8 tsp. salt
      1 cup old-fashioned oats
      3/4 cup raspberry jam
      Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8 inch square baking dish; line it with foil; butter the foil. Mix together all but the jam. Press 2 cups of the mixture onto bottom of dish. Spread jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle remaining mixture over the top and press lightly into the jam. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Cut into 24 bars.
    • This recipe is my sister's favorite! You can experiment with different flavors and fruits. Remember that dairy products can cause problems with mucus. You can enjoy this in the afternoon! This way, it won't cause mucus build-up at night.
      Fruited Ice Cream Dessert
      In a large glass bowl, dissolve a 4-serving size package peach Jell-o in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 pint vanilla ice cream by spoonfuls, stirring until ice cream is melted. Add 2/3 cup diced peaches. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with 1 cup diced peaches. Don't forget the whipped cream!
      Serves 6.
  • Happy Monday!
    As we know, St. Patrick's Day is almost here. This year, I decided to skip the corned beef. Why? Because of the sodium content, and the high prices!
    I just happen to have a pork tenderloin in the freezer. I will cut teeny slits in the pork. I will slice very thin slivers of garlic, and insert them into the slits I have cut. I will embellish the pork with fresh rosemary. It won't take long to roast this nice cut of pork.
    I got some green cabbage on sale for 19 cents per pound, and a 2 pound bag of carrots for 46 cents. Alongside the pork, I'll serve some steamed cabbage, some steamed carrots, and steamed red- skinned potatoes. I'll make a parsley-plant butter for the carrots and potatoes. I like a little white vinegar on my cabbage.
    I plan on shredding the remaining uncooked cabbage. I will have some uncooked carrots leftover. Perfect starter for homemade coleslaw. I also plan on steaming a few extra potatoes. Perfect for making potato salad!
  • MM4
    I love this idea! I could use some easy ideas to keep hungry teen boys fed. Lol If it was me and hubby, it wouldn't be so bad, but keeping up with them is another thing entirely. And I've been thinking about making some breakfast burritos to freeze.
  • There's a really easy egg sandwich idea. Crack an egg into a cup, add a little water, stir and nuke for 1 min covered. Dump on to slices of bread, or English muffin. //ed
    This week is corned beef week. I have all the ingredients, just need to make. My son and I can enjoy many meals. Probably will make in the instant Pot. //ed
  • Boiled dinner {aka corned beef & cabbage tonight!
    I tried a new approach, based on the instant pot. To reduce salt, I cooked a brisket for 10 min of pressure. Poured out that water, then started again with fresh water for 85 min. Since I was doing 6#, or 2 briskets, there was no room for vegetables. I'm making enough for 2 people. So I set the briskets aside, and cooked the vegetables in 2 batches of 10 min each {about 20 min each cycle}. Traditionally, this would have simmered most of the day on the stove, and considering the quantity I was making, may have taken 2 pots any ways. //ed
  • What's leftover corned beef? Generally there's not enough meat to use up all the veggies. But, the corned beef reheats easily in the microwave, and melts in your mouth, on a sandwich etc. //ed
    • I love a corned beef sandwich with brown mustard on rye.
    • Hey folks! Time to take that Easter Bunny platter down from the top shelf of your kitchen cabinet! Here is a quick and easy appetizer idea!
      What you'll need:
      Melba Rounds crackers
      Celery stalks, cut into 3 inch long pieces
      Grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
      Spreadable cream cheese- plain, with chives, or onion.
      Simply spread some cream cheese on the Melba Rounds. Fill the celery pieces and tomato halves with cream cheese. Arrange nicely on your platter. If you'd like, sprinkle some paprika, dill, or parsley flakes on top of the cream cheese.
      Not much clean up to do here!
    • Thinking of what you'll do for Easter dinner if you live alone? Want to make a quick, no-fuss meal for yourself? Here is an easy idea...
      Make a rub using 2 tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, and 1/8 tsp. ground ginger. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Place 2 petite ham steaks in the skillet. Brown lightly on both sides. Mix your rub ingredients together, and sprinkle half on top of ham steaks. After a few minutes, turn the ham steaks, and sprinkle remaining rub on top. Cook for a few minutes more.
      Very easy to do- Prepare a pouch of instant mashed potatoes as package directs. Idahoan Baby Reds is a good choice!
      Grab a can of green beans from your shelf, and heat them up!
      If you enjoy pineapple with your ham, simply add 2 canned pineapple rings to the skillet with the ham steaks. Cook them until lightly browned, turning with the ham steaks.
      Leftovers? Enjoy them for lunch the next day!
    • Howdy, folks! Here's a quick meal idea! Cut some boneless chicken breast into strips. Place in a glass baking dish. Cut up some peppers- red, green, yellow, orange- whichever you have on hand, into thin strips. Cut an onion into wedges. Cut 2 cloves garlic into small pieces. Toss all of the veggies into the baking dish. Sprinkle with a teeny bit of salt, if you'd like, and a grind of black pepper. Add some fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil and oregano. Pour some olive oil over all. Cover the dish with foil. Place dish in a 400 degree oven. Stir every now and then. This will be done when the chicken is cooked through, and peppers are tender. If you'd like your meal browned, remove the foil during the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. You can serve this with couscous, or a fresh garden salad.
  • Hello - I have a few more recipes from Debbie that I wanted to share with you today. These are her dinner ideas, and they also follow that plan of cooking once and having plenty to reheat for a couple of days.
    Here they are - try them out and let us know what you think!

    Dinner Ideas (Cook once, have meals for later)
    Bean and Carrot Soup
    2 c. dry Great Northern Beans
    6 c water
    1- 15oz can tomato sauce
    1 medium onion, chopped
    4 c. sliced carrots

    *Soak beans overnight. Rinse and drain beans. Place in a large soup pot. Add water. Cook for one hour on medium low heat. Add onion and carrots. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce. Continue simmering until beans and carrots are tender. Serves four.

    Italian Pasta and Bean Salad

    1-16 oz pkg rotini pasta
    Garlic vinaigrette (see below)
    1-14 oz can cannellini beans, drained
    1-14 oz can chickpeas, drained
    1-12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
    1 c. large black olives, halved lengthwise
    ½ c. sliced scallions
    *Cook rotini, drain, and rinse with cool water, drain again. While the rotini is cooking, prepare vinaigrette (recipe below). Stir in the pasta and remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.
    Adding cooked diced chicken would make this a very filling meal. Serves four.

    Garlic Vinaigrette
    ¾ c olive oil
    1/3 c. red or balsamic vinegar
    ¼ c chopped parsley
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tsp pepper
    *In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Set aside and add the pasta and bean mixture from above.

    • Good morning! Having kids over for Easter? Here's a way to get them to eat mushrooms!
      Remove the stems and gills from whole white mushrooms. Cover the bottom of a glass baking dish with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place the mushroom caps, upside down,in the baking dish. Place one small slice of turkey pepperoni in each cap. Top each with a bit of Marinara sauce. Top each with a basil leaf. Finally, top each with grated Parmesan cheese, and then with reduced-fat shredded Mozzarella cheese. Loosely cover the baking dish with foil. Place in 400 degree oven for up to 10 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked, and cheese is melted.
    • I bet alot of you will be making a ham for Easter. What do you like to do with your leftover ham?
      Split Pea and Ham soup
      Ham and cheese omelet
      Ham salad served in tomato cups
      Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
      Grilled Cheddar and Ham Sandwiches
      These are just a few ideas!
    • For the leftover ham, we make ham and cabbage soup,
    • I bet I know what you've been dreaming of!
      Just so happens that I have some in the oven as I write this. It's a good time to buy fresh asparagus, because it often goes on sale this time of the year.
      Wash the asparagus. Snap off the woody stalks. (When you start snapping, the stalks will give way on their own, so you'll know where to snap.) Place in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle a large clove garlic that has been finely minced over the asparagus. Pour the juice of one lemon over all. Drizzle some olive oil over all. Sprinkle a teeny bit of salt over all, if desired. Grind a bit of black pepper over all. Cover the dish with foil. Place in a 400 degree oven. Turn the asparagus a few times during roasting. When the asparagus is tender, it is ready to come out of the oven!
      TIP: This goes well with leftover ham!
    • Here's a blast from the past!!! 🚀 I had this recipe published in a recipe magazine, and a cookbook. This was way back in the Spring of 2002- you know, when I was just a kid. 🤫
      I will post the recipe as it was published, but certainly, we should lower the amount of salt, or omit it, if desired.
      This is a slow cooker recipe.
      One 1&1/2 pound round steak, trimmed of fat, and cut into 4 equal pieces
      1/4 cup flour
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1 tsp. black pepper
      1 tbsp. vegetable oil
      1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
      One 1-ounce envelope dried onion soup mix
      One 4-ounce can mushroom stems and pieces, with liquid
      1/4 cup milk
      1 medium onion, quartered
      Salt and black pepper to taste
      Ground sage
      Dried thyme
      1 bay leaf
      3/4 cup water
      Place steak in a large zipper bag. Close bag and pound with a meat mallet to tenderize. Combine flour, salt and pepper; add to the bag. Shake to coat steak evenly.
      Pour oil into a slow cooker. Turn cooker to HIGH and heat oil.
      Remove steak from bag. Shake off excess flour. Brown steak on both sides. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Use your best judgment on how much sage and thyme you'd like to add.
      Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours, until steak is tender.
      Serves Four
      Mashed potatoes or egg noodles go well with this. Also, a nice side
      dish of green beans!

  • Stupidly simple & quick shrimp from frozen raw, uncooked shrimp. Two methods. 1 - bring a pan of water to boil, remove from heat, add shrimp, stir - let set covered 5 - 7 min. ready to eat, or chill in ice water. Use as part of a dish, or just dip in cocktail sauce. #2 - Stove top in oil. First toss the shrimp in a bag of spices {your choice}, bring a pan of oil/butter to temp {pre-smoke}. Add shrimp, cook 2-3min on each side, serve immediately. For simple cocktail sauce, mix ketchup and horseradish. //ed
  • Ever wonder what to do with half of a leftover bell pepper? Here are some ideas!
    Chop to use for making pasta sauce, chili, chicken or tuna salad. Finely chop to use as an omelet ingredient. Use in a garden salad. You can make sautéed mushrooms, onions, peppers and garlic. How about home fried potatoes with peppers and onions? Don't forget about the classic fried egg and pepper grinder! And for a lunchtime snack, they are great on their own!
    • Why didn't I think of that. I have found when I cut into a large pepper, a coupl days later the cut edges are "glossy." I've had several peppers shrivel up in the fridge for that reason.
      I had a very simple meal tonight. Bottled pasta sauce, frozen meat balls and spaghetti. A hand full of frozen peppers would have add many nutrients to the meal. T he prep: Cook pasta, pour sauce over meat balls, nuke 1-min, plate pasta, cover w/cheese, pour sauce/balls over, nuke till cheese melts - quick and easy "baked spaghetti." //ed
    • Ed- that sure is an easy meal! 🍝