YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Creamy Dreamy Hummus

Did you know that chickpeas are a bean? And that edamame, lentils and peanuts are also members of the legume family? It’s not just kidney beans and black beans you’re after, it’s all of them! Remember that variety is an independent value when it comes to nourishing yourself. What’s the best bean? One you haven’t eaten for a while. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Spinach & Chickpea Curry

Let this list of spices inspire you! Sure, you can reach for the curry powder in the spice cabinet, but wait! Don’t! You are not going to believe the difference between THAT and THIS. It’s diamonds vs. paste. Top shelf vs. moonshine. Everything you’ve ever wanted vs. anything you’ve ever settled for. You will be so grateful, and your tastebuds will, too.

If you’d like, you can serve this beautiful curry with a bowl of rice and a plateful of cucumber slices. The original recipe comes from So Vegan. So check it out.

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 thumb-sized chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
4  large tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. hot chili powder
3 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup coconut cream
3 cups raw spinach
1 handful fresh coriander leaves
pinch of salt
1/2 fresh lemon
1 tsp. coconut oil for frying
sliced cucumber for garnish

1. Add onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes to a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Crush the mustard seeds and coriander seeds until fine, either with the side of a knife blade or a mortar & pestle.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
4. Fry the cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds, and chili powder for 2 min.
5. Add the onion and tomato mixture, stir well, and simmer on low heat for 20 min.
6. Add coconut cream and chickpeas, stir well, and heat for 3-5 min.
7. Add a pinch of salt, a drizzle of lemon juice, and a small handful of coriander.
8. Add all the spinach, and stir briefly until wilted.

Serves four.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Brigid’s Chocolate Chip Goji Berry Gluten-free Muffins

I happen to have the privilege of working with some very talented people, and Brigid Titgemeier is one of them! Brigid started a blog this year to share her expertise as a registered dietitian, and you must check it out. This past week she posted her recipe for Chocolate Chip Goji Berry Muffins, which she describes as “the perfect way to combine the nutritional benefits of eggs and oatmeal in one delicious muffin!” No complaints here. The nourishing, high-quality ingredients add up to a spectacularly gorgeous, delicious, and satisfying yum! And so much better than a “breakfast bar.”

Goji berries are a long, slender, red berry that you can pick up in the dried foods section at many grocery stores. You don’t need a special recipe to eat them; they taste good straight from your palm, too. Rich in vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients, you can be sure that you are nourishing yourself with these sweet little babies.

Ghee, if you are curious, is simply another term for clarified butter. You can buy it, or you can make it as follows: Gently melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Within minutes, the butter will separate into 3 layers, with foam on top, milk solids on the bottom, and clarified butter in between. Spoon off the foam, discard, and then, without disturbing the bits of milk solids resting on the bottom of the pan, pour the clarified butter into a clean glass jar. That’s it!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup oats, certified gluten-free
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • a dash of sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed ghee [or cold-pressed coconut oil if you avoid dairy]
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • cold-pressed coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. To prevent sticking, rub a bit of coconut oil into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients (chickpea flour, almond flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt).
  3. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and mix well (eggs, banana, peanut butter, vanilla, maple syrup and ghee [or coconut oil]).
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and goji berries.
  6. Spoon batter into the muffin cups to 2/3 full.
  7. Bake 14-16 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown.
  8. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Lemon-Sesame Kale Salad

A kale celebration for kale lovers everywhere (!). If you don’t happen to have any kale right now, you can still make this salad with any other greens growing in your garden or sitting in your fridge. Radicchio is a good addition, too. Do I post a lot of recipes for kale? Maybe. But I know hardly anyone who eats enough green, leafy vegetables. What’s the deal with green leaves? They’re basically a nutrition powerhouse, with loads of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, you name it. Exactly like taking a multivitamin. But without the constipation.
  • 1 head of kale
  • 1 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced 
  • 2 cups (1 can) chickpeas, rinsed well and patted dry
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds (shelled) for garnish
Dressing:
  • 1 /2 cup tahini 
  • 3 /4 cup water
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove (med-large), minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the veggies and beans, and toss into a large bowl.  Set aside.
2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, adding a bit of water drop by drop (one teaspoon at a time) if necessary. Remember the water in the veggies will thin the dressing further.
3. Pour the dressing into the vegetables, mix gently, and serve immediately.  Garnish with sunflower seeds.
A prior version of this recipe comes (with many thanks) from Angela at vegangela.com.

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: I Can See a Rainbow Salad

DEAR READERS:

AFTER 7 YEARS, AND MORE THAN 600 (!) POSTS, BEGINNING THIS COMING WEEK I WILL BE TAKING A BREAK FROM WRITING THE WEEKLY ESSAYS SO I CAN GET STARTED WRITING A LONG-AWAITED BOOK TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS AND HOPES FOR YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS! WE WILL CONTINUE, EACH AND EVERY WEEK, TO POST SCRUMPTIOUS, GORGEOUS RECIPES (LIKE THE RAINBOW SALAD RECIPE BELOW) TO KEEP IN TOUCH AND CONTINUE TO MAKE DELICIOUS AND NOURISHING FOOD TOGETHER! Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Chickpea (Nahit) Celebration!

Last Saturday our friends welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world and everyone, (especially the two big sisters of this sweet, lucky little boy) is ecstatic. In my family, it is traditional to serve chickpeas to celebrate the birth of a newborn child. The dish is called nahit. 

Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Zucchini Fries

If you’ve never eaten chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, this is a great recipe to start with! Not only is it super flavorful, imparting a wonderfully nutty flavor to these zucchini fries, but chickpeas are also packed with protein and fiber, for a dish that sticks to your ribs and makes your heart sing for joy. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: All About Beans PLUS Recipes

Many years ago, my then-vegetarian sister had a boyfriend whose mother served her “bean loaf” when she went to their home. Its dreadful, unappetizing name was nothing like its flavor, so my sister and I renamed it “chickpea pie.” The chickpea pie recipe stuck around for much longer than the vegetarianism (and the boyfriend). I wish I could find that recipe again. Chickpeas, like peanuts, are yet another type of bean. Continue reading