1 large bunch of rainbow swiss chard
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/4 cup of golden raisins
3 cloves of garlic
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1. Toast pinenuts in a dry skillet for 3 minutes on medium heat. Watch carefully. Take them out of the pan when they are golden brown and set them aside.
2. Wash chard well. Separate the stems from the leaves by slicing the leaf, close to the stem. Put them in two different piles. Cut the stems into equal size pieces. Slice the leaves into strips.
3. Heat 1 T extra virgin olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium heat. When hot, add garlic cloves (diced). After a few minutes, add the stems. They will take a few minutes to become tender. After five minutes, taste one of the stems to see if it is tender enough for your liking.
4. When the stems are tender, add the leaves and the raisins. Cook until the leaves reduce and the raisins plump up.
5. Put the contents of the pan into a bowl and add the pine nuts and balsamic vinegar. Mix everything together. When plating, add shredded parmesan cheese over the greens.
You can serve this on it’s own merit as a side dish. However, it makes a fantastic entree when mixed with whole wheat pasta.
¾ cup white flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup wheat germ
½ t cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
¾ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie puree, just pumpkin)
2 t vanilla extract
¾ cup of mix dark chocolate chips & white chocolate chips
½ cup of crushed raw pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix flours, oats, wheat germ, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt.
2. In a small bowl, mix apple juice, pumpkin, vanilla extract, chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.
3. Make a dent in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix until you don’t see anymore flour.
4. Scoop batter out and smooth it into a 9X13 baking dish (coat dish with canola spray first.) Bake for 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, cut into squares and place squares on a baking sheet and put back in the oven to toast all sides of the granola bars. Bake for 15 minutes.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 1 hour
1 cup dried lentils, washed and picked over
3 1/2 cups water, coconut milk, or stock, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 medium sweet potatoes (or any potato), peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Yogurt and chopped fresh mint leaves for garnish
1. Combine the lentils, liquid, and curry powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
2. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils start to absorb the water a bit, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes and cover the pan completely. Cook undisturbed for 10 minutes or so, then stir gently and check to make sure the lentils aren’t too dry. If they are, add a bit more liquid until the potatoes are covered.
4. Add salt as the lentils become tender.
5. Cover and continue cooking until the lentils are soft and beginning to turn to mush and the potatoes are tender at the center, another 5 to 10 minutes; add liquid if necessary. The mixture should be moist but not soupy.
6. Serve and let guests season their dish with salt and pepper.
7. Add yogurt and mint as garnish. You can serve this on Naan bread or over a whole grain like cooked bulgur or quinoa.
2-3 small golden beets, peeled and grated
1 large Fuji apple, peeled and grated
2-3 small to med. carrots, peeled and grated
fresh arugula and spinach
shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or pomegranate champagne vinegar (I found it at Harris Teeter)
1T agave nectar or honey
Pinch of salt
3/4 t cinnamon
Fresh ground pepper
1. Combine grated beet, apple and carrots (squeeze out some of the liquid by pressing in a colander over the sink.) Set aside.
2. Whisk oil, vinegar and nectar together. Stir in salt and cinnamon.
3. Taste and adjust measurements for your preferences before adding to the bowl(don’t make too sweet b/c it will be sweet enough when added to beets and apples.)
4. Add dressing to bowl of veggies, stir well. Remember not to overdress the salad. First start with half the mixture and see if you want more.
5. Plate some arugula and spinach, add a few tablespoons of the beet mixture, and top with some freshly ground black pepper and a good helping of parmesan cheese & almonds.
1-2 cups of cooked brown rice*
2 medium carrots, diced small
1 zucchini, diced small
1.5 cups of parboiled & blanched broccoli**
1 medium onion, diced small OR ½ cup of diced scallions
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons of canola oil
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in large skillet on medium heat.
2. When oil is hot, add onions, garlic and ginger and sauté them until the onions get glossy and translucent. Add vegetables from hardest to softest, starting with the carrots. Let the carrots cook until slightly tender. This will take about 4-5 minutes depending on the size of the carrots. (Best to chop small for faster cooking time.) Then add the broccoli next.
3. After another 2-3 minutes, add the zucchini and rice. You may need to add a little more canola oil before the rice goes in.
4. Push the rice flat to the bottom of the pan and let it sit there for 4 minutes. Peek underneath the rice with your spatula and see if a brown crust is forming. This crust is the tastiest part. If it’s not happening, bring the heat up a little and keep checking every few minutes.
5. After the crust forms, use your spatula to push all rice and veggies up to the sides of the pan so you create a well to cook your eggs in the center of the pan. First stir the eggs up in a bowl like you’re going to scramble them. Then add a little more canola oil to the center of the pan and add your eggs. Let them be for a few minutes and watch them stiffen up.
6. When you think the eggs are scrambled to your liking, move them around the pan and mix them up with the rice and veggies. Take the pan off the heat and add the soy sauce and sesame oil.
* I find that the fried rice tastes better if you cook the brown rice a few hours earlier (or even a day earlier) and let it sit in the fridge for a bit. If you skip the boil in the bag method and make rice the traditional way, I would suggest you replace the water with chicken or vegetable broth. It will give your rice more flavor.
** I believe broccoli tastes and looks better taking this extra step. Place your raw broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately take it out and put it in a bowl of cold ice water to stop the cooking process.
1-1.5 lbs of salmon
¼ cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of white mellow miso paste (found in dairy aisle near all the tofu and soy products)
2 tablespoons of mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
1. In a deep dish big enough to hold the salmon, mix the brown sugar, miso, mirin and sesame oil. Rinse your fish and take note of the thickness at the widest point. Use measuring tape or a ruler to know for sure…it usually will measure between 1.5-2 inches. For each inch, it’s 10 minutes cooking time between 450-500 F depending on your oven. The first time you make this is your oven, you will need to check every five minutes to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
2. Keep the skin on the fillet, and place fish down with skin side up. The flesh of fish will be facedown in the dish, sopping up all the delicious miso glaze! Put the fish in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. After it’s done marinating, move your oven rack to 2 inches below the heat surface. Place the fish flesh side up on a broiler pan or a metal pan. ***Do not use glass or stone cookware…we’re cooking at too high of heat for those items.***
4. Broil the fish first for 2-3 minutes to make the miso glaze really bubbly and sweet. It will look very dark, even black when it’s done broiling, but the fish won’t be cooked yet. This is just to sear that glaze and make it perfect. With your oven mitts, move the oven rack down to the middle of the oven. Put the heat down to 450 F and make sure the dial says BAKE not BROIL. Check on your fish every five minutes. It should be opaque and not red or pink when it is done. You just have to experiment and use the rule as a guideline.
My client & friend Nomi inspired me to find a recipe that included all her favorites: pasta, veggies and beans. She’s a girl after my own heart. I made this dish and it disappeared in a flash. My 3 year old son ate three bowls of it. I had to hide the rest so my hubby could get a taste.
Box of fusilli or penne pasta
5 cloves of garlic
2 Tablespoons of butter
Salt & pepper
Can of cannellini or great northern beans (rinsed)
Water or vegetable broth
First, I want to share with you a secret to perfectly cooked vegetables. It’s the parboiling and blanching process. I only do this with really tough vegetables. For this dish, it’s broccoli and cauliflower. The recipe calls for sautéing the veggies, but before you do that, please trust me that it’s worth the extra time to parboil and blanch. Here’s the set up: a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water and cut up broccoli florets.
1. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and let it cook for no more than 1 minute. Maybe a 1.5 minutes. Then, take it out with tongs and place it in ice water to stop the cooking process. Your broccoli will be a gorgeous green color and the crisp in each bite will be worth it. There’s no chance you’ll get grey, soggy broccoli when you parboil and blanch. Ever since I started doing this, I never make broccoli any other way. You can eat it just like this as a snack when it cools, or do this method as the step before you sauté it in a pan.
2. For the cauliflower, do the same with a little twist. Add a little milk to the boiling water. It will sweeten the cauliflower and help maintain the bright white color. Also, parboil it a little longer….3-5 minutes. Then, stop the cooking process by taking it out and placing it in the ice water.
Okay, doing these two things will take about 10 minutes. If you have the time, you can do this before you do the rest of the recipe and put the veggies in tupperware in the fridge. It’s just a way to break up the steps so it doesn’t feel like you’re in the kitchen for 30 minutes straight. I would do this step in the morning and when it’s time for dinner, do the rest.
3. Next, make a box of whole wheat fusilli or penne pasta. Just follow the directions on the box.
4. While the pasta is cooking, sauté 5 sliced garlic cloves in a little olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.
5. When the garlic turns a little brown, lower the heat and add 2 Tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup of water or vegetable broth. Then, add the contents of a can of cannellini or great northern beans to the saucepan. Be sure to rinse the beans in a colander first to get rid of the sodium.
6. Let this cook for 5 minutes on medium low and watch the sauce thicken up. You can add salt and pepper at this point to your liking. When it’s done, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix up thoroughly.
7. Now for the broccoli & cauliflower! All I did was sauté them in a little olive oil for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Just until they had were still crisp, but could pierce with a fork. I like them crunchier, so I don’t let them cook too long. Just taste while it’s cooking and decide what you like best. Once cooked, add the vegetables to the pasta & bean mixture to a large bowl. Then, sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese. Start with a small amount of cheese and taste it. You don’t need a lot of parmesan to get the flavor you want.
1. Place ingredients in the blender. Blend. Drink. (Enjoy.)
(For what it’s worth: Most recipes I’ve seen recommend using one of two very expensive brands of blender. My blender is of the middle-of-the-road variety and it does just fine on the “liquefy” setting. I’m sure the other blenders are lovely to use, but they are not required by any means.
Also: Most recipes I’ve seen use sweeteners. I don’t think they are needed, but if you do, use a little honey. You can also easily skip the yogurt if you’re not eating dairy.)
Note: Apologies in advance for offering only approximate measurements of ingredients. Ingredient amounts will vary greatly depending on the size of your tortillas and personal taste, so feel free to play with the flavors and textures until you find what works for you.
Onion, green or yellow, about 1 cup
Garlic, about 2 cloves
Oil, about 1 tablespoon
Black beans and red (kidney) beans*, cooked, about 4 cups
Water, about 1/2 cup
Cumin, about 1 teaspoon
Adobo seasoning**, about 1 teaspoon
Salsa verde (or red salsa if you prefer), about 1 cup
Cheese, about 8 ounces, shredded (I used Monterey jack and Cheddar)
Soft tortillas, about 16
*Beans: I used what I had on hand, which was beans that had been cooked from dried and stored in my freezer. Canned beans (well rinsed, please!) are already cooked, and they would work just as well. Use whatever combination of bean variety you prefer.
**Adobo: If you don’t have this on hand, no worries, just use a little more cumin, some garlic and/or onion powder, some oregano–whatever spices and herbs smell good to you while you’re cooking.
1. Using a flat-bottomed pan with high sides, saute the onion and garlic in the oil until softened. Add the beans and water and allow the water to come to a boil. Using a potato masher–I like the kind with a grid pattern–smash the beans into the bottom of the pan. At first it will look like you’ve added too much water, but here’s the beauty: if you’ve added too much water, just boil it off. If the beans are getting too dry and grainy, add more water. The finished product will be thick with some chunks of bean and onion. It should have some flavor on its own; taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
2. Set up an assembly line for yourself: tortillas in one pile, pot of refried beans next, then salsa, then cheese, then a baking sheet or platter for the finished burritos.
3. Put a dollop of beans in the middle of your tortilla. How much depends on the size of your tortilla, but for a “soft taco” size tortilla from the grocery store, this will be about 2 or 3 tablespoons. Top with about 2 or 3 teaspoons of salsa verde, and a small amount of shredded cheese (less than one layer on the base of your palm). Very important: Do not overstuff your burrito or the filling will explode when you try to wrap it.
4. Fold your burrito. Mine are very ugly, and no doubt there’s a better way to do this, but they taste the same to me. I fold the left side toward the middle and then the right side over it, and then I fold the top and bottom up like an envelope. Place seam side down in the platter. Repeat until all tortillas are filled, or until you run out of fillings.
5. Burritos can be eaten like this, fresh or thawed from the freezer. Or, what I like best is to toast them in the skillet with a little butter (or oil is fine too), so the flour taste of the tortilla is less pronounced.
My grandmother used to make these cookies for us at the holidays. The cookies are light and fluffy on the inside, and just a touch crispy on the outside. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but but not mousy. Transcribed here is her original recipe; I haven’t found a way yet to make these healthier, but the fat can certainly be changed for butter or coconut oil for, at least partly. And the nuts and raisins can always be substituted for a bag of chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
2 cups shortening
16 ounces canned pumpkin (cans are smaller these days; 15 or 14.5 ounces is fine)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups sifted flour (half white flour and half whole wheat flour is fine)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 cups raisins
1 cup nuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium-size bowl.
3. Cream sugar together with the shortening. Either use an electric mixer or a whisk to make the mixture somewhat fluffy. When the texture has been lightened, add the pumpkin. Mix well. The sugar granules should be dissolved, or almost dissolved. Beat the eggs lightly in a separate bowl; fold into pumpkin mixture. Add vanilla.
4. Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture in four parts, being careful to not mix too vigorously. Once all flour is incorporated, add in nuts and raisins.
5. Scoop by spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons or less) onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cookies should be just golden on top, and should release from cookie sheet easily. Transfer to cooling rack immediately. Makes about 6 dozen.