Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RECIPE: Veggie and Fruit Muffins

•1/2 cup – flour, whole wheat
•1/2 cup – flour, all-purpose
•3/8 teaspoon – baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon – salt
•1/8 teaspoon – nutmeg
•1/8 teaspoon – cinnamon
•1/4 cup – sugar
•2 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
•1 large – egg
•1/2 teaspoon – vanilla extract
•1/2 medium – zucchini
•3/4 medium – carrot
•1/4 medium – apple
•1/2 medium – bananas
•1/16 cup – apple juice
•1/8 cup – applesauce, unsweetened
•1/8 cup – yogurt, plain / buttermilk

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.In a medium size bowl, mix together flours, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3.Soften butter.
4.In a mixer or another bowl, mix the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
5.In a food processor, combine zucchini, apple, apple juice and applesauce.  Pulse until thoroughly mixed.
6.Shred carrots.  If you don’t want the shreds in your muffin, combine your carrots with the rest of the fruits and veggies in the food processor.
7.Combine the fruit and veggie puree, carrots (unless you already added them with the puree), and yogurt, into the wet ingredient mixture and beat until mixed.
8.Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined and wet.
9.In a muffin tin, place muffin papers or spray with cooking spray.
10.Scoop the mixture into a prepared muffin pan.
11.For mini muffins: Bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes for mini-muffins
12.For regular size muffins: Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.
13.Bake until the tops are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean or they bounce back when you touch them with your finger.
These freeze great! Put them in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

RECIPE: Succotash with Parsley Drizzle

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears corn, or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 medium zucchini (about 1/2 pound) quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Parsley Drizzle:
1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, as needed to slacken


If using ears of corn, cut the kernels off and set aside. Discard the cobs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the corn, lima beans, zucchini, and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.

Stir the vinegar and basil into the succotash, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve. Garnish with Parsley Drizzle.

Parsley Drizzle: Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.

RECIPE: Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage

3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 star anise, broken in half
2 teaspoons soy sauce (more to taste)
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 small cabbage, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch shreds
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne
 Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced chives, Chinese chives or cilantro

1. Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and star anise in a small bowl. Combine the soy sauce and wine or sherry in another small bowl.
2. Heat a flat-bottomed wok or a skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. 
2. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. 
3. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and star anise. Stir-fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the cabbage and carrots. 
4. Stir-fry for one to two minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the salt and wine/soy sauce mixture. 
5. Cover and cook over high heat for one minute until just wilted. 
6. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then stir in the chives or cilantro and remove from the heat. The cabbage should be crisp-tender. 
*Serve with rice or noodles.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RECIPE: Stuffed Peppers

  • 8 medium bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, white and palest green parts only, chopped and well rinsed
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 4 cups diced zucchini
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or more, to taste
  • Crumbled sweet Italian sausage (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the peppers in half; remove the seeds. 
  3. Arrange peppers in glass pyrex casserole dishes.
  4. Heat the oil with two tablespoons of water in a large skillet. Add the leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat, covered, lifting the lid to stir occasionally, until the leeks are tender.
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.
  6. Distribute the stuffing among the peppers. Top each with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.until the peppers are tender but not collapsed. Keep warm until ready to serve.

RECIPE: Creamy Jalapeno-Cilantro Sauce

- 5-6 jalapeños (depending on heat and personal preference), stemmed, seeded, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (I use grapeseed)
- 3/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

1. Pulse jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, and salt in a blender or food processor until puréed.
2. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until a thick sauce forms.
3. Add cilantro and pulse a few times until chopped and incorporated.
5. Taste and add more jalapeño, if necessary.

*Preparation note: Properly emulsifying the oil is key!

*Serving suggestion: This tastes great on burgers, tacos, sandwiches....

RECIPE: Tomato Mint Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, chopped
3l arge tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 c chopped mint leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, toss together the cucumbers, vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature for an hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Add tomatoes, onion, mint and oil to cucumbers and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

RECIPE: Crustless Spinach Quiche

  • 8 eggs or 2 small cartons of egg beaters
  • 1/2 container of low fat whipped cottage cheese or fat free ricotta (about 8 oz. total)
  • 4 oz. low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Cabot chipotle cheddar cheese or pepper jack, shredded
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of spinach, stems removed and chopped (or 1 bag of pre-washed baby spinach, chopped); note: you can also use chard or another leafy green
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (or cooking spray)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large ceramic fluted quiche dish or glass pie dish with cooking spray.

  • Heat olive oil (or cooking spray) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Reduce heat to medium and add red peppers. Once peppers have softened, add chopped spinach. Sauté until spinach is completely wilted and most of the moisture has cooked off. Cool vegetables slightly.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg beaters, cottage cheese and shredded cheeses. Either mix the cooled vegetables into egg mixture or if vegetables are still very warm pour egg mixture over warm vegetables in bottom of quiche dish to prevent hot vegetables from cooking the eggs.

  • Place quiche in center of oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling, center is firm and top is golden brown. Cool slightly before cutting into eight wedges and serve warm.

RECIPE: Vanilla Pear Muffins

For the topping:
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. chopped walnuts, ground (see note above)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (if available)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or walnut oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 or 5 firm, ripe pears, 2 lb. total, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 14 standard muffin cups with butter.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, walnuts and cinnamon. Set aside.

To make the muffins, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla until blended. Add the flour mixture, stirring just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large silicone spatula, gently fold in the pears and walnuts just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. When mixing, take care not to break up the fruit. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them level with the rim. Sprinkle the muffins with the topping, dividing it evenly. Fill the unused muffin cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the pan(s) to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the muffins onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 14 muffins.

RECIPE: Ginger Pear Smoothie

 2 pears, chopped
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Some people like this warmed in a sauce pan... I drink it as is!

*Note: recipe makes two smoothies.  It can be halved for one.

RECIPE: Cinnamon Baked Pears

2 large ripe pears
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 c crushed walnuts
Optional add in: handful raisins
Optional toppings: yogurt, vanilla ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Slice pears in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet, flesh side up. You can cut the skin side, as well, so they stay flat.
3. Scoop out seeds
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add walnuts and raisins. Drizzle honey on top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes

6. Let cool (they come out very hot!!), and serve plain or with your favorite topping.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

RECIPE: Ratatouille

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup tomato puree. (I used Muir Glen tomato sauce)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, thinly sliced then cut in half. It's ok if the pieces come apart. I used a mandolin for all the vegetables, to get thin even slices.
1 small eggplant, sliced. Cut slices in half, if needed. Or you can use a smaller Italian eggplant, if available.
2 small zucchini, sliced thinly
3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly.
2 small yellow squashes, sliced thinly
2 red peppers, sliced thinly. I cut my pepper in half, sliced it thinly, then used 1-4 pieces when layering.
1-2 tsp. thyme- you will sprinkle over the top
1-2 tsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Pour tomato sauce in the bottom of a round, oval or square baking dish. I used a round one to create the spiraled effect, but any type of dish would work. My dish measures 10 1/2 inches across
Add the minced garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil into the tomato sauce. Stir to blend and season with salt, pepper, and a small sprinkling of basil (approx. 1/2 tsp.)
Wash all of your vegetables, and dry thoroughly. Trim ends.
Using a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer, or a very sharp knife cut the onion, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and peppers approximately 1/16-inch thick.
In your palm or on your cutting board, layer your vegetables in a pattern. This was my pattern, eggplant, tomato, onion, yellow squash, red pepper, zucchini, tomato, eggplant...repeat.
Once I had a sizeable stack, I placed it on its side in my dish. The purple side of the eggplant should be up. I started on the outside of the dish and worked my way in.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of your baking dish and tuck in the paper around the edges. This will help seal in steam.
Bake for 35-45 minutes.
We sometimes top with mozzarella cheese and call it dinner! You can also use a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. Spoon over cous cous, rice, or quinoa for a heartier meal.


YIELD: 4 bowls

·       6 small to medium carrots with tops and roots
·       2 tablespoons butter
·       3 tablespoons white rice
·       2 large leeks, white parts only
·       2 thyme or lemon thyme sprigs
·       2 tablespoons chopped dill, parsley, or celery leaves
·       salt and freshly ground pepper
·       6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water


Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrot greens off their stems. You should have between 2-3 cups, loosely packed. Wash, then chop finely. Grate the carrots or, if you want a more refined-looking soup, finely chop them. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot tops and carrots, rice, leeks, thyme, and dill. Cook for several minutes, turning everything a few times, then season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked, 16-18 minutes. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and serve.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RECIPE: Classic Wedge Salad


Iceberg Lettuce, cut into wedges of desired size and additional mixed greens if desired
1-2 large Cucumbers, cut in quarters and sliced
1 medium Red Onion, diced
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves and quarters
4-6 strips of Bacon, diced and rendered in a pan, optional
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper


1.      Combine blue cheese, olive oil, the juice of one lemon and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix with a whisk until combined and creamy dressing begins to form.
2.      Rinse and chop vegetables according to the directions above.
3.      Arrange iceberg wedges on top of mixed greens (if using) and scatter cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes and bacon on top.
4.      Dress with blue cheese dressing.

RECIPE: Summer Farro Salad

 3 tbsp olive oil, + more to taste
10 oz farro
2 small zucchini or squash, sliced into 1/2" half moons
1/2 lb green beans, chopped into 1" pieces
2 ears of corn
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 cup roughly chopped or torn basil leaves
Fresh mozzarella in chunks or small balls
Chili flakes to taste
Salt + pepper to taste

1. Cook the farro per instructions. Set aside.
2. Boil unsalted water in a large pot. Once boiling, add ears of corn and cover. Cook for ~10 minutes, drain, and let cool enough for handling.
3. While corn is boiling, mince garlic.
4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook til fragrant.
5. Add green beans and season with salt/pepper.  Cook for ~1-2  minutes.
6. Add zucchini and squash and cook, stirring frequently, for ~ 6 minutes or until done but not mushy.
7. Season with fresh oregano and remove from heat.
8. Add farro to a large bowl. Lightly cover with olive oil, roughly 1 - 2 tbsp.
9. Cut corn off cob. Add to farro.
10. Add zucchini, squash, green beans, basil and mozzarella.
11. Season with chili flakes and serve!

*Serving suggestions: This dish works cool or heated. I prefer it slightly warm. To make it a filling meal, top with a fried egg.

RECIPE: Zucchini and Fresh Corn Farmers' Market Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

This no-cook, raw salad gets its spunk from a garlicky-lemon basil vinaigrette and chunks of goat cheese that lightly marinate the thin squash peels and freshly shucked corn kernels.

1 small or medium zucchini
1 small or medium yellow squash
1 ear of corn, shucked and cleaned, with the kernels cut off the cob
1 ounce goat cheese
Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few leaves of fresh torn basil
*optional: A few tablespoons of toasted pine nuts

For the Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
½ cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove minced fresh garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the Salad
With a wide vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini and squash lengthwise into long ribbons (discarding the middle — you'll know when you get to it, because the squash will get too thin and watery.) Place the ribbons in a good sized bowl or plate, alternating so you can see equal amounts of green and yellow. Add the corn kernels and about 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Toss. Add salt, freshly ground pepper and chili flakes to taste. Add the goat cheese and garnish with fresh torn basil.

For the Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
Add all of the ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake well. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Note: You'll have vinaigrette left over to use on other salads, or make this one again!

Monday, July 31, 2017

RECIPE: Zucchini and Basil Slow Cooker Fritatta

10 eggs

2 small or 1 medium-to-large zucchini

handful of chopped or torn basil leaves

1/4 cup almond or dairy milk

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

parchment paper

optional add ins:  greens, tomatoes, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella...the list goes on!

1. Chop the zucchini in half, then into quarters.  The slices should be about 1/4" thick.

2. Lightly oil a skillet and sautee the zucchini and dried oregano for ~ 5 minutes, until lightly done.  If adding greens or other vegetables, sautee them as well.  Set aside and let cool.

3. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper til frothy.

4. Line a slow cooker with parchment paper for ease of removal and ease of clean up.  If not using parchment, generously grease the sides of the cooker.

5. Pour egg mixture into the slow cooker.  Add the vegetables and any other mix-ins.

6. Add basil to the top.  Ensure that it's semi-submerged in the egg mixture.

7. Cook on high for 2.5 hours or until it looks set on top.  

8. Remove from cooker using parchment paper.  Let rest on a cooling rack until desired temperature.

Serving notes: Make it a meal by adding a simple green salad.  Also makes great pack-ahead lunches and breakfasts!

RECIPE: Green Beans and Bacon in the Crock Pot


~1 lb green beans

6 slices of bacon

1 diced clove of garlic (optional/to taste)

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

fresh ground pepper

Place bacon at the bottom of the crockpot

Place other ingredients on top of the bacon

Stir to combine

Cover and cook on low for ~6 hrs.

RECIPE: CSA Summer Salad

Greens of your choosing. A mix of leaf lettuce and arugula or mixed greens works well.

2 golden beets

1 cucumber

1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin

1 ear of corn, cut from the cob and sautéed in pan with butter or olive oil

Goat or feta cheese (optional)

Seeds or nuts of your choosing (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon or Red Wine Vinegar

Cut kernels from 1 ear of boiled corn, sautée in pan, preferably cast iron, with butter or olive oil until beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.
If using nuts or seeds, roast in a pan on low heat until fragrant and beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.

Rinse and dry greens and cut to desired size.

Rinse beets, cut into quarters and thinly slice.

Cut cucumber into quarters and thinly slice.

Mix greens, beets, cucumbers and red onion. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and acid to taste. Add corn, nuts and goat cheese and mix gently until combined.

RECIPE: Cucumber Mint Water

Infused water is a great way to use CSA herbs and vegetables and have something refreshing and delicious to drink on hand in the summer. Cucumber and mint are gray together but use whatever veggies, herbs and fruit you have and like! Water and produce can steep in the fridge for about a day or two before you should throw the produce out and start over.

1/2 Cucumber sliced

15-20 Mint leaves

Pitcher of water

Combine and let sit in fridge. Serve alone or on ice. Pour into an ice try and freeze for fancy ice cubes for summer cocktails.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

RECIPE: Cherry Banana Smoothie

1/2 cup pitted cherries

1/2 cup raspberries

handful of blueberries

1 frozen banana

1 cup of almond milk (chef's choice!)

2 - 3 tbsp hemp seeds

optional additions: 

1/4 oatmeal for fiber and carbohydrates

1/2" knob of ginger, diced

Blend to combine.  Serve cold and enjoy a health breakfast or snack!

RECIPE: Chopped Roasted Beet Salad with Feta Recipe  

Yield: Serves 2

This beet salad is great chilled or at room temperature. If you normally like your salad with lots of vinaigrette, then feel free to double the lemon zest vinaigrette recipe. The beets can be roasted or microwaved a day or so ahead of time if it is easier for your schedule.

for the beet salad:

1 pound fresh beets

2 ounces crumbled feta

1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) minced parsley

1/8 cup slivered or sliced almonds (you may add or substitute pecans, walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, or pistachio nuts)

Double quantity of Lemon Zest Vinaigrette (you can cut it in half or use some for this and save some for later):
2 med cloves of garlic, minced or crushed

2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil

1 tablespoon (15ml) balsamic vinegar

finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon

2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon (5ml) brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste

fresh cracked black pepper to taste


1.    Place the beets in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of water to the bowl -- 2 to 4 tablespoons should be enough. Cover the dish and microwave the beets on high until they are easily pierced with a fork. Depending on the size of the beets and the power of your microwave, the beets should be ready in 10 to 15 minutes. Always use beets of a similar size to ensure even cooking.

2.    If the beets are fully cooked, the skin should slip off easily. Allow the beets to cool for at least five minutes before you attempt to peel them. Peeling them can be messy, so wear an apron to avoid staining your clothes. Slice off the roots and stems before attempting to peel the beets. Hold the beet using a paper towel or rubber gloves, then rub the beet to peel away the skin. If the skin doesn't come loose easily, the beets could probably use a few more minutes in the microwave or you can use a vegetable peeler.

Cut beets into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Make the Lemon Zest Vinaigrette dressing: In medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients (garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper).

Toss together chopped beets, vinaigrette, feta, parsley, and almonds until everything is combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

RECIPE: Rainbow Chard Strata from Much Ado About Stuffing

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1/2 bunch Swiss chard



2-1/2 cups shredded cheese

4 eggs

1 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry Swiss chard. Cut off the very ends of the stems. Roughly chop (leaving stems intact) the chard.  In a sauté or frying pan add onion and chard to the oil and sauté until stems are tender (do not overcook). Salt and pepper to taste. Grate cheese to make 2 1/2 cups. Use whatever varieties you want/have. Be creative! I used Swiss, Cheddar, and Parmesan. Whisk eggs. Add milk and cheese. Fold in the onion/chard mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Pour into a Pyrex rectangular baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and no liquid seeps out when knife is inserted. Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

RECIPE: Beet greens, sauteed in olive oil


·       1 pound beet greens (2 large or 3 small bunches)

·       Salt

·       1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste

·       2 garlic cloves, minced

·       ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)

·        Freshly ground pepper    


1.   Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem the greens and wash the leaves in 2 rinses of water. When the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, until tender. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water, then drain and squeeze the water out from its leaves. Chop coarsely.

2.   Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and hot red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and translucent, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the greens. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the greens are nicely seasoned with garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and serve. 

Tip: Some people enjoy a few drops of lemon juice with their cooked greens, so you might want to pass a plate of lemon wedges.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

RECIPE: Lightened-Up Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto (no oil added)


·            1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

·            1/2 large ripe avocado

·            2 cloves garlic

·            2 tablespoons pine nuts

·            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

·            3 tablespoons water, plus more if necessary

·            1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

·            sea salt, to taste


1.  Add basil, avocado, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or until pesto is chopped. Add in water and process again until completely smooth. You may need to add more water to get it to your desired consistency; I like mine a little on the thicker side. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

2.  Store in an airtight container or sealed mason jar and refrigerate. Pesto is best if used within a few days, otherwise you can freeze it for several months.


Toss in 1/2 cup spinach for extra nutrition

You can omit the pine nuts, but I think they add a nice flavor.

New to pesto? Here are some delicious ways to enjoy it:

-Toss 1/4 cup in with some whole grain or gluten free pasta for an easy weeknight dinner. Add chicken for extra protein.

-Stir into cooked quinoa and add a few cherry tomatoes for an easy weekday vegetarian lunch.

-Spread it on toast and top with a few other extras like sliced tomatoes, avocado, sprouts and chia seeds

-Use it as a sandwich spread for your grilled cheese; it’ll add a ton of flavor!

-Toss in 1/2 cup spinach for extra nutrition!

RECIPE: Basic vinaigrette for the perfect summer salad

Difficulty level: Easy

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pinch of sugar (or honey, brown sugar, agave...)

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Optional: minced garlic, shallot or fresh herbs. Substitute different vinegars or lemon juice. Add Parmesan or blue cheeses.

Combine ingredients and shake in a jar!


6 Servings

30 minutes or fewer

Don't be fooled into thinking that a great-tasting homemade soup needs long, slow cooking to prepare. This satisfying soup is ready in just 15 minutes.

·                                 2 tsp. olive oil

·                                 1 small onion, finely chopped

·                                 6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

·                                 7 cups vegetable broth

·                                 5 cups chopped escarole

·                                 1 9-oz. pkg. mushroom tortellini or tortelloni, cooked (I substitute a lb. of tofu that I press for 20 minutes)

·                                 grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1.                             In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

2.                             Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add escarole and cook 2 minutes. Add cooked tortellini and heat through. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan if desired.

RECIPE: Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing

Serves: 6-8
  • ½ cup cashews
  • water for soaking
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  1. Soak the cashews in water to cover for at least an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  4. Process the dressing. Slowly add in the olive oil with the processor or blender going.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a bottle.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy!

Friday, July 14, 2017

RECIPE: High Protein & Oil-Free Basil Pesto

This is far from a traditional tasting pesto, but it’s so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it! The navy beans replace the typical cup of oil in this pesto recipe, making it not only oil-free, but high in protein as well. Nutritional yeast adds a cheezy taste while packing protein and B12. Enjoy this pesto spread on sandwiches, pasta, or even use for a dip for vegetables or chips. Spoon feeding encouraged.

Yield: 1.5 cups


1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves (don’t be shy- really pack it in!)
1 garlic clove
1 15-oz can navy/cannellini beans (1.5 cups)
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon) I used 3 tbsp
1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt (I used 3/4 tsp)
You can add olive oil to taste if you prefer!

Directions: Add garlic clove to processor and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients to taste and process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

RECIPE: Crispy, Roasted Cabbage Steak

Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks provide everything you love about roasted Brussels Sprouts but made even easier here with cabbage. No need to trim a whole bag of Brussels Sprouts when you just need to make a few cuts to a head of cabbage. Plus the presentation value of the cabbage steaks is great.  For plating I usually either serve it as an intact steak, cut in half in a half circle (use a good spatula to lift intact) or using a fork to twirl it into a pasta-like pile of delicious-ness.
Cabbage gets such a bad rap as far as vegetables go. Not a lot of people see it on menus and say “oooh let’s order a side of cabbage with our short ribs” but if you were to try this side dish, I promise…you’ll be a convert. In fact the first couple of times you make it you can even get away with taking one for the team and eating all those extra browned outside pieces… here’s a secret… They are the best part! They’re super crispy and delicious, and sometimes if I have a few extra minutes I let more of them crisp up.
Ok fine, truth? Sometimes I snack on the outside rings and put the tray back in for a few more minutes to get more of them browned. And no one is ever the wiser.
Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks
Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks make a great side dish for any meal in just 20 minutes. You'll never boil cabbage again.
 Prep Time 2 minutes
 Cook Time 20 minutes
 Total Time 22 minutes
 Servings 6 servings
 Author Dinner, then Dessert
·                            1 head cabbage , dark loose leaves removed
·                            Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
·                            2 tablespoons canola oil

1.                   Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2.                   Slice the cabbage into 1/2 inch thick steaks
3.                   Brush with oil on both sides and place onto cookie sheet.
4.                   Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper (I used 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
5.                   Roast for 17-20 minutes or until caramelized.

6.                   (Psst, save the super crispy dark edges for yourself, they're the best part!!)