YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Andrew Weil’s Tofu Salad

Vegans coming for brunch? No problem! Make a bowl of this tofu salad to serve alongside the egg and tuna salad. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, will be oh so glad that you did!

1 pound firm tofu
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
3 tbsp. celery, chopped fine
3 tbsp. onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. sweet red paprika
1/2-1 tsp. salt
hot sauce (optional)

1. Drain tofu well and mash it roughly with a fork in a medium bowl.

2. Add turmeric, mustard, sweet pickle relish, celery, onion, parsley and paprika, and salt.

3. Mix well, mashing more as you go. Serve with hot sauce to taste.

Thank you Dr Andy Weil for this recipe!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Party Salad — Sweet & Spicy Kale Chips

If anyone in your house is not eating as many greens as you think they ought to be (whether it’s you or the kids or your spouse), then make this asap! Think of it as a kind of party salad. You’ll notice that this particular recipe uses two large bunches of kale, but don’t think that’s too much: once they shrink in the oven, they turn into a moderate-sized bowl of chips at best.

Make sure to set the oven temperature below 250 degrees, because higher temps will burn your kale chips! It takes a little bit longer to reach optimum crunch factor at a lower temp, but you’ll be glad you waited because the flavor and crispness will be so worth it. Thank you to nourishingmeals.com for an earlier version of this recipe.

2 large bunches kale, rinsed well
1 small lime, juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter (tahini or sunflower seed butter are also good)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (less if you are squeamish or sensitive)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (see the recipe* below)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Use a knife to slice out the thick rib in the center of each kale leaf. Chop the leaves into large pieces and place in a large bowl.

Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, almond butter, maple syrup, chili flakes and salt in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the kale and use your hands to massage the mixture into each and every cranny of each and every leaf.

Spread kale in a single layer onto one large (or two medium-sized) cookie sheets. Bake 40 minutes until crisp. Remove pans a few times to flip and stir the kale leaves. Remove from oven, allow to cool, transfer to a bowl, and serve. Yum!

*Recipe for seasoned salt

  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/8 cup dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried kelp

Add entire list of ingredients to a mini-food processor, process until well mixed, and store for use as desired. Don’t stress if you happen to be missing a couple of the ingredients. Just carry on!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Roasted Carrots with Lemon

Expect your taste buds to go crazy for this recipe! Something sweet, orange, and delicious turns carrots into candy when they are roasted at high heat. Add garlic and preserved lemon peel, and magic is guaranteed to happen. 

Maybe you’ve never heard of preserved lemon peel? This is what happens to lemons resting in salt long enough (approx one month) for the peel to turn translucent and develop an intriguing complexity that rests gentle on the tongue. Traditional in Moroccan cooking, they are easy enough to make with a few lemons, some Kosher salt, and a glass jar. You can also buy a jar of preserved lemons at the store (usually near the olives), but they are a little pricey, especially in comparison to putting up a jar yourself. But preserved lemon is spectacularly delicious, goes well with tons of different kinds of veggies, fish, poultry, and meats, and will pretty much never go bad. I highly recommend you try it. 

3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 whole preserved lemon
1/2 fresh lemon

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Boil 6 quarts water. Add carrots plus a teaspoon of salt, and cook 10 minutes, until carrots are beginning to soften but still a little firm. Drain thoroughly.
3. Add carrots to a medium bowl, toss well with olive oil, allspice, salt, and pepper, and pour onto a baking sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes, shaking often, until beginning to brown in spots.
4. Meanwhile, remove one whole preserved lemon from the jar, remove and discard the inner pulp, rinse the peel under cold water and chop finely.
5. Remove carrots from the oven, add garlic and lemon, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the carrots, and toss to combine. Serve warm, hot, or at room temperature. You can’t go wrong.

Thank you to splendid table for a prior version of this splendid recipe!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Lentils, Grapes & Hazelnuts

You know this recipe comes straight from your dear friend who can cook incredibly authentic Lebanese food like nobody’s business (because she learned it from her own beloved mother of blessed memory) when she tells you exactly which type of green lentil she prefers for this salad and you’ve never even heard of it. Carry on. Any green lentil is better than none.

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YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Cookies!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday, and that you find yourself surrounded by at least a few simple things to nourish body and soul, like kind people, blankets, hummable music and, of course, good food. Just in case you’re looking for one more cookie recipe, I recommend this one. Enjoy to your heart’s content. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Coconut Curry Lentils

Here’s what I love most about this recipe from Julia Turshen, a genius in the kitchen and author of a very fine cookbook, Small Victories. Julia says dried spices are just “sleeping in the cupboard,” and that a hit of hot oil is just what they need to get them to “wake up.” In her curried lentils, the spices (cumin seed, coriander, and turmeric) are roused from slumber for 10 minutes, which is a pretty long time in comparison to other recipes. That’s why she adds them right at the beginning, along with minced garlic, shallot, and ginger. Not to worry, though. This dish comes together in 30 minutes, which gives them enough time to blend with the aromatics (garlic, shallot and ginger) and make the lentils taste earthy and “deeply curried.” Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Citrus Chicken

Something about winter cries Vitamin C(!), and I’m pretty sure that C stands for citrus. Oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, kumquats, pomelos, tangelos, clementines, mandarins, and navels all start to call my name ’round about now, and here’s a great way to get some more! This simple recipe is a great choice, whether for company or a Sunday dinner at the end of a busy weekend, and it serves four easily. You’ll be happy to have this recipe up your sleeve when you need it.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: These Chickpeas Bite!

Looking for something special to share with a group of friends this holiday season? Here’s your answer! Chickpeas are amazingly delicious, nutritious, and full of flavor, and you can double down on all those descriptions when you add some creamy, nutty tahini, umami-rich miso, and bright lemon juice, along with some powerful sriracha! Now that’s a recipe guaranteed to satisfy all your tastebuds! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sparkling Delicious Lentils

Here’s a wonderful recipe to start your week right! Especially after the food extravaganzas (yeah!!) of the past few days, this salad may be a really great idea for helping your digestive system to get back on track. Add a serving to the bottom of a Ball jar or two, fill to the top with freshly washed-and-dried greens, and you’ll be ready for the week with a couple of lunches-to-go-go! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Thanksgiving Brownies Times Two!

It’s holiday season! And you’re probably trying to figure out how you’re going to get through them with more success than in years past… Here’s one way. Make these recipes, bring these recipes, serve these recipes. I’m not a fan of self-deprivation. Enjoy everything on the table, and know that these brownies are not only entertaining (like all good desserts), but also nourishing. I LOVE beautiful orange sweet potatoes, rich creamy tahini, thick delicious almond butter, and CHOCOLATE! I’m sure you will find something that you love, too, in the recipes below. Enjoy, and have a happy Thanksgiving! Continue reading