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!


Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup

Everything Yotam Ottolenghi touches turns to gold. If you don’t already have one of his cookbooks [Ottolenghi (2008), Plenty (2010), Jerusalem (2012)] in your home, prepare yourself. YO takes flavor to the next level. Look at this list of ingredients – I’ve used them all, but never to such glorious effect. And it’s not just flavor. He takes texture to the next level, and color. Surely his kitchen has more than three dimensions. Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Recipes to Watch the Leaves Fall By

Any day now, our kitchen counters will be covered in pumpkins and onions, and this week I have two simply extraordinary recipes for you to try. Both make a meal very special: if you’d like to test them in the next few weeks for any upcoming fall celebrations, go for it. Also, although it’s not essential, if you have time to make the onions the day before, then I highly recommend it. As fabulous as they taste on day one, they taste even better the next day! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Spinach Pesto

Here’s a special pasta dish with a gorgeous rainbow of colors that is perfect for when you want to make a good impression on someone special. And not only is it beautiful, but it’s so, so good for you. Each and every color represents a different phytonutrient, a building block for your good health. Nourishing yourself well is like playing roulette: you’re a lot more likely to win if you spread your bets all over the table. So think of each color as a different bet. And enjoy! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Mario Batali’s Radishes Al Cartoccio

I’m gonna take a guess that you’ve always eaten your radishes fresh and raw, like in salads. I can certainly promise you that was the case for me up until just a couple of years ago. But then I began to cook them, and it was a whole new game. Like onions, cooked radishes release their bite to ease into a lovely, complex kind of sweetness with an entirely new set of flavors. Continue reading



YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red Lentils & Sweet Potatoes

I’m on a kick here. I think it might be the spinach. Or maybe the garam masala. It might be the orange vegetables and their phytonutrients. This recipe is slightly simpler than the chickpea-spinach curry one I posted a few weeks ago, but it’s also out of this world. The leftovers are so fantastic that you may decide to eat them for breakfast AND lunch, both.

1 small-medium sweet potato, peeled
1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (use 1/2 tsp. if they aren’t super fresh)
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups fresh spinach
a pinch of salt 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. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Haminados for Passover

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 things cooking. Continue reading