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: Golden Beets

Last week we went to the West Side Market and brought home a big fat bunch of gorgeous golden beets. I was so pleased with how they turned out. We had a great big bowl full of golden beets, and they lasted four days while we ate them with everything! That’s because this recipe goes great with roasted chicken, thick tangy yogurt, scrambled eggs, a bowl of lentil soup, or greens sauteed in olive oil. Basically, everything. 

3-4 medium beets
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (yes, I like more)
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
scant 1/4 cup white vinegar

Boil freshly scrubbed beets until you can slide a cake tester in and out with just about no resistance. Turn off the heat, and allow the pot to cool completely.

Peel cool beets with your fingers under running water. The peels should mostly slide off easily, and then scrape off any stubborn remaining bits with the edge of a sharp knife. Slice off the ends, and cut up the beets into 1/2-inch cubes.

Using a whisk or fork, mix together the vinegar, pepper, salt, and honey until the honey is completely dissolved. Pour over the beets, and stir well. Makes 6-8 servings.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Asian Cabbage Slaw

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending the evening with a wonderful group of new friends. The fire was crackling, the food and wine were wonderful, the company was delicious, and I had such a nice time. This Asian Cabbage Slaw was one of the inspired dishes we enjoyed together. I could tell you all kinds of reasons that this salad is so good for you, like the Vitamin C, and the heat from the capsaicin, and the benefits of acid, but the fact of the matter is that the best reason to make this is because it’s really good. Enjoy!

3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Asian fish sauce (skip this if you are vegan, and increase soy sauce to 3 tsp.)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. chaat masala (use garam masala if you cannot find this)
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 pound green cabbage, cored and shredded finely
6 scallions, thinly sliced (discard the dark green part)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped finely
1/ cup mint leaves, chopped finely
2 avocadoes, peeled, pitted, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced for garnish
1 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashews, chopped coarsely
microgreens for garnish

Whisk together the lime juice and honey in a large serving bowl, followed by the sriracha, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, chaat masala, cumin, salt, and pepper. [Stop here, and store dressing in the refrigerator overnight if desired.] Add cabbage, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, avocadoes and 1 cup of cashews. Toss thoroughly. Garnish with avocado, cashews, and greens.

Thank you to Food & Wine for this exotic and wonderful 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.

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: 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: The Simplest of Salads

Here’s what I made for lunch a couple of days ago. Its success is built on simplicity. My strategy remains similar, week in and week out. Nevertheless, it is never quite the same, and always delicious. Thank you to Alice Waters for teaching me to eat simply. This salad makes one single serving, but is infinitely flexible if you’d like to invite a friend or an army to your table to share a meal. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Rainbow Beet Salad

Beets are one of my favorite foods. Whether purple, yellow, orange, or pink-and-white, these babies are phytonutrient heaven. Some people are partial to the smaller-sized beets, considering these the sweetest but, no matter what size you like, you’ll want to make sure to get ones with firm, dark green leaves on top. Beet greens are absolutely the best! When I buy beets, I cut the green tops off right away so I can slice them into short lengths, rinse them well, and saute them quickly in olive oil. They usually get eaten fast.  Continue reading