Eileen’s Favorite Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad

Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad

This month I want to highlight Eileen Stellefson Myers, MPH, RDN, LDN, CEDRD, FADA, FAND, an award-winning author and speaker who helps people “uncomplicate” science to help them live with more joy.

Today, I’m sharing Eileen’s Favorite Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad. She loves this recipe because it is simple, filling and delicious either warm or cold. She can eat it alone as a meal or add the salmon or chicken or whatever else she desires.  Eileen has also added a can of tuna while the noodles were warm, which was very delish too.

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Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad
Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
  1. Set a large pot of water to boil, then cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing by combining the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a large bowl.
  3. Drain the pasta, let cool a few minutes, then add to bowl. Add spinach leaves and feta, and combine everything.
  4. Salad can be eaten as is (slightly warm) or cooled for up to four hours (more may wilt spinach) until you’re ready to eat.
  5. Grill salmon on an outdoor grill or under a broiler until fish flakes easily. Time will vary according to thickness of fish but will usually be 10 minutes or less.
Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Oldways.

Who is Eileen?

Eileen is loving life on Amelia Island.  She is currently experiencing the best balance she has ever had in her life.  She wakes up every morning by drinking coffee, enjoying news with her husband, and then heading to her desk to write in her gratitude journal.  She then gets on her workout clothes and heads out the door to run or a walk.  She still typically spends a good part of the day at her desk working on projects or committee work but if it’s too beautiful outside to resist (and she has no appointments or calls), she will scoot out for a 10-mile bike ride.  By 5:00 pm, it’s “Eileen and Gary” time again, getting ready for supper and enjoying a glass of wine.

What did you do before you moved to Amelia Island?

Prior to her move and now self-employment, Eileen had a career filled with 60+ hour weeks in leadership positions and was a pioneer in having positions and working for companies that didn’t traditionally hire dietitians.  Most recently, she retired as a Vice President from The Little Clinic (a Kroger Co.), leading nurse practitioners and dietitians in retail health initiatives. Early in her career (the 1980’s) Eileen was the RDN consultant for Piggly Wiggly Carolina for over 20 years and was the Director of “Lifestyles,” a wellness department that came to fruition because of a proposal Eileen presented to hospital administrators.  Eileen also was a pioneer in teaching RDNs about using motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral strategies for working with the eating disorders population.  She wrote the manual, “Winning the War Within: Nutrition Therapy for Clients with Eating Disorders,” which is now in its 3rd edition.

Eileen Kayaking off Amelia Island
This is a creek just off Amelia Island. It is called Lofton Creek. It was Eileen’s first kayak adventure in Florida. She has not picked her favorite place to kayak yet but stay tuned! I am sure she will have a list for us soon!
Eileen biking around Austria.
Eileen loves to cycle as shown here from her trip to Austria. Nowadays, she cycles the trails of Amelia Island with views of oak trees, beautiful homes as well as calming water views.

How do you savor and enjoy your life? 

Eileen starts each day with gratitude and allows time each morning to be out in the sunshine.  She is so grateful to be living in a place where she can walk out the door and run, cycle, and walk the beach.

Eileen and husband on Fernandina Beach
This is Eileen’s new beach – Fernandina Beach now 3 minute walk from my rental and then 10 minute walk once my new home is completed.

What is your empowering belief that gets you back in motion again?  

Setbacks are for learning and growing and they move me forward.

What did you have to let go of or accomplish to get you to where you are today?

I honestly missed some later evening fun because if I stayed up late, I wouldn’t be able to get up early and be 100% the next day.  And, I always wanted to be 100%.

Why did you become a registered dietitian?

My dad was the reason I became a dietitian.  He learned he had diabetes after going into a coma when I was eight years old.  He took a positive attitude, learned how to eat to control his sugar through balance and eating evenly throughout the day, understood the importance of moving, and yet, he never talked about should or shouldn’t; good or bad; It was just the way we lived and it was filled with good food and enjoying the sunshine.  The early years made me realize that food is powerful.  Dad lived to be 90 years old.

Do you have a favorite food and why? 

Now, my favorite food right is shrimp.  We eat it at least once a week.  We get to buy it fresh and it is so sweet, whether boiled or sautéed.

What is your theme for the year and why? 

My theme is JOY!  I learned through Chere that you get what you focus on.  It is so true!

What do you love most about being a Registered Dietitian? 

I love that I know the science and the “art” of nutrition.  I can translate science into simple concepts while using a patient-centered approach that helps people make positive changes.

What is your advice for someone who wants to get into this field? 

I believe learning the core science is essential.  Even if you don’t go in that direction, it’s that knowledge base that sets you apart from others who call themselves “nutritionists.”  And then I suggest that the person pursue their dreams.  I pursued and achieved my dream jobs throughout my career because I had a “why not?” attitude.

Eileen and Gary in Italy
Visiting Italy has been on Eileen’s bucket list since 2010 and she got there this year!

What is on your bucket list?

On my bucket list is to see one of my favorite performers in Red Rocks and to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden (in good seats).

This move to Amelia Island was also on our bucket list (we didn’t know what it was called at the time—we only knew our criteria for where we wanted to live).

Sunrise on Fernandina Beach
This sunrise picture is at the 3 minute walk to the beach – Fernandina Beach.
I take a sunrise picture about once a week; each one is a bit different. I try to catch the birds flying by and love when the sun reflects on the water.

Check out Eileen’s Book

Winning the War Within, 3rd Edition, Nutrition Therapy for Clients with Eating Disorders

Winning the War Within: Nutrition Therapy for Clients with Eating Disorders, 3rd edition; Helm PublishingEating disorders are serious issues. This book is an excellent resource for counselors of clients with eating disorders. Totally updated, this has been a popular training manual since 1999. There are 16 pre-planned therapy sessions for use with individuals or groups, along with the 72 pages of camera-ready patient education forms.

You can get in touch with Eileen


Eileen creates her day with intention.  We can’t wait to hear how you set up your day for success.

2 thoughts on “Eileen’s Favorite Spinach Pasta Chickpea Salad”

  1. That salad looks SO yummy and healthy. The next time I’m headed to a “lucky pot” outing, that will be my contributions… with some halved grape tomatoes added. Great food photography!

    1. I love that you are going to a “lucky pot” event Miriam..sounds like fun.
      Of course Eileen would have a delish recipe for us!
      Take care Miriam and thanks for writing!
      Love Chere and Eileen too!

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