YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Yellow Squash Crockpot Soup

This soup, perfect for fall days and nights, cooks up beautifully in a crock pot. If you put together all the ingredients in the morning, the house will smell heavenly all day, and the soup will be ready to eat when dinnertime comes. On the other hand, if evening time works better for prepping the ingredients, the house will smell heavenly when you wake up, and the soup will be ready at lunchtime and also keep til dinnertime.

Two strategies contribute to the flavor of Yellow Squash Soup. The first is slicing of vegetables thinly, which increases the available surface area, increases absorption of spices into the vegetables, and makes more flavor available to all the taste buds in your happy, waiting mouth. So take your time, and cut the vegetables thinly. Not paper thin, just thin. The second is slow cooking, which is a wonderfully reliable way to enhance flavor and make everything taste the very best it possibly can.

2 long yellow (zucchini-type) squash, medium
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch slices
1/2 Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced very thinly
4 stalks celery (leaves included), sliced very thinly
1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup green mung beans (hard, unsprouted)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
one whole lemon, sliced in half cross-wise
water to fill a large crockpot half way (approx 1 quart)

  1. Cut each yellow squash in half lengthwise, and slice thinly to create half-moons. Add to crockpot along with carrots, onion, celery, quinoa, and mung beans.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mustard seed.
  3. Fill the crockpot halfway with water. Allow to cook on low setting for 8-12 hours, but feel free to leave for longer if necessary.
  4. Squeeze the juice of the two lemon halves into the soup just before serving.

Hearty appetite, and happy fall!


Sweet New Year Soup

Tonight, as the sun slips below the horizon, we will begin our celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Traditional Rosh Hashanah foods tend toward the sweet and the circular: sweet for a sweet new year, and circular to represent the seasons that run one into the next, year after year, around and around. Instead of the usual braid, we even twist our challah (egg bread) into a round this time of year.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Lovely, Lovely Legumes

Many years ago, my then-vegetarian sister had a boyfriend whose mother served her “bean loaf” on her first visit to their home. Its dreadful and unappetizing name was nothing like its fabulous flavor. So we renamed it “chickpea pie,” and it ended up sticking around for much longer than the vegetarianism. And the boyfriend. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red September Soup

I am trying to keep to a new plan, which is to make a crockpot full of soup every Sunday. My hope is that it lasts far into the week, providing warm lunches or dinners to anyone in need, until it’s all gone. I started the first week with a green French lentil soup, but last week I decided to go red — red beans, red lentils, red tomatoes, red paprika.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Rice Pudding

On the day we were married, almost 36 short years ago, my Aunt Gerda showed up with a bucket of the creamiest, most extraordinary rice pudding I have ever eaten, before or since. We even packed up a small container to take on our honeymoon. You might say that rice pudding holds a special place in my heart and soul. Especially Aunt Gerda’s rice pudding. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Huevos Haminados (Slow-roasted Eggs)

Haminados are one of my all-time favorite Passover recipes! Simple, sublime and delicious, they have been a staple at the Passover tables of Mediterranean Jewish communities for millennia! Check out this recipe and you’ll see why. Whether you make this dish in your crockpot or oven, it takes just a few minutes to toss it together and get it cooking. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Chickpeas & Posole

If you have never heard of posole, you are in for a seriously delicious treat. Posole is the same as hominy, kernels of corn that have been soaked in limewater, then hulled and dried. These are whole, not like the ones that are crushed for making grits. You can get some extraordinarily good posole from Rancho Gordo in Napa, or from a Mexican grocery, or from most anywhere that beans, nuts, seeds and grains are sold in bulk. Americans eat loads of grain, including corn, but not like this. Posole is the real deal. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sweet Potato & Chickpea Soup

This post will be the third and final of YHIOYP’s one-pot Back to Life recipe series (see the prior two blog posts here and here). This time, I’m back to my old standby, my trusty crockpot, from which so many wonderful meals have come, and I’ve decided to make my own version of Gypsy Soup, originally from Mollie Katzen, the author of the famous Moosewood Cookbook. Through the years I have made so many recipes from that cookbook that it is now ancient and falling apart, even despite having been taped together with leopard-spot-pattern tape somewhere along the way). Continue reading