YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Vegetable Borscht

I wanted to share this vegetable borscht now(!) so that, hopefully, you’ll have time to make it the week (freeze), day (refrigerate), or at least the morning before you plan to serve it. Which means that, at the very least, you’ll want to make this recipe first thing in the morning to give its flavors time to blend. Besides its deliciousness, another one of the great things about this recipe is the fact that it meets the requirements of a great many different kinds of nutritional approaches. There’s nothing like making many people happy, all at the same time. And that’s not something that should be taken for granted, either! 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. 

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YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Hazelnut Spread (Not-tella)

A group of us went out for breakfast this past Sunday morning at one of my favorite spots, a great local place called Cafe Avalaun, and a plate of their heavenly pancakes with “not-tella” arrived at our table in short order. Not nutella, whose first ingredient is sugar and second ingredient is modified palm oil, but not-tella, which the folks at Cafe Avalaun make with real food ingredients, all of which you can find at the grocery store.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Early Tomato Salad

This is not the time of year to turn on the oven or stove. But that’s not going to stop me. The tomatoes are starting to ripen, and it’s time to celebrate. You don’t need more than a knife and a cutting board for this recipe. It’s simple, and it’s oh-so-much-more than the sum of its ingredients. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: The Barefoot Gypsy’s Tabouli

Here is an absolutely fantastic recipe for tabouli from my lucky friend Judith, who got it from her mom, who got it from her mom, who got it from her mom, and so on, which is why my friend Judith is so lucky. Pick up what you need next time you go shopping, so you can make it in time for next weekend’s celebrations!  Continue reading


2016 Memorial Day Menu

Company’s coming! and I thought it might be nice to share the menu. 🙂

My friends and family inspire me so much every day, and I am grateful beyond words. Chief-cook-and-bottle-washer is making a trip to the grocery store today to gather the necessary provisions. Judith, a fine cook if ever there was one, is bringing her extremely fine baked beans. Lori has a tomato-watermelon salad (feta optional). And there is more, much more. We will raise a toast to the magnificent new garden envisioned and then built by the team of T&J. The new bride and groom will be here. And my parents will celebrate their 60th, yes, sixtieth(!), wedding anniversary. They were actually married (in the middle of the week) on May 30th, 1956, in the years before Memorial Day was moved to Mondays! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Chicken Bone Soup

We like to make this soup a day or two after we roast a whole chicken, and it has become sort of a custom in our house, a way of getting every last bit of flavor out of the bird, and not wasting a single speck. If we’re going away or we know that we won’t have time, we might stick the carcass in the freezer until we return. But usually we just toss it into a big pot, cover it with water, and leave it in the refrigerator until we’re ready to deal with it. Then, the next day, we put it into the oven at 225F for about 12 hours, and that’s how the recipe starts. Also, if anyone in your house happens to eat a low-salt diet, this is a fantastic option for them because it is frankly so flavorful that it does not need salt. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: If You’ve Never Made Charoset…

I’ll be whipping up a second batch of this truly extraordinary charoset (kha-ROE-set) for dinner tomorrow night. In addition to the good old-fashioned, European-style, apples-and-walnuts charoset I make every year, I’ve been rotating through a series of Middle Eastern-style, dried-fruit charoset recipes every year for at least a couple of decades. But I never found one I liked enough to make it again until this year, when I served a bowl of this charoset, which was passed around and around the table until it had been almost emptied! Continue reading


Potatoes, Horseradish, and Other Gifts

Some years ago, when winter was coming to an end and spring was still soggy and cold, I discovered a lone organic potato in my kitchen. I have to specify that it was organic because conventionally grown potatoes are much less likely to root and generate offspring. This sad little potato was dried out, wrinkly, and way past edible. At least six little rootlets were beginning to form on the skin, and so I decided to try an experiment. I cut that little potato into six chunks, each containing a single rootlet. I dug a trench in the garden on the far side of our backyard, and dropped each of the pieces into the trench, about 1 foot apart. Then I covered them with dirt and waited. Continue reading