Three Ways to Nourish Your Heart & Soul

When people talk about nourishing, the next word I usually think of is “food.” But you can nourish yourself in a whole bunch of different ways, and I’m going to share a few with you today.

First, we nourish ourselves with downtime. Whether it’s a walk in the woods, a warm bath, a favorite daydream, a relaxing massage, a swim, a break from your iphone, a pedicure (guys, too!), a little yoga, a good book, a snuggle (with your special person), a drum circle or a prayer circle, knitting a few rows, or an earlier bedtime, these kinds of activities nourish your soul just as much as food nourishes your body. There is research to suggest that time spent out of doors in natural settings has significant beneficial effects on mood.

We nourish ourselves with activity, too. Swimming, drumming, walking, yoga. Kickball, intervals, Pilates, weights. Some people say that gardening is the key to their happiness. Sign me up!

And, of course, we nourish ourselves with food. So if you have a little time, you could try out this recipe, which was inspired by a recipe I learned this past week from another yogi.

Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas

4 tsp. olive oil
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 large, sweet, white onion (like Vidalia), peeled and chopped coarsely
2 Tbsp. garlic, sliced thinly
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of fresh water
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into ½ inch slices
1 red bell pepper, chopped roughly
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup curly parsley, chopped

Cook the onions, garlic, and olive oil in a crockpot set on high for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the chickpeas with fresh water, and add to the crockpot along with cumin, curry, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well, and add the squash, red pepper, carrots, tomatoes, and broth (or water). Reduce heat to low, and cook 6-8 hours until carrots and squash are soft. Adjust salt and pepper, and serve with plenty of fresh parsley.

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

No introduction is really necessary for this recipe. Just pop on over to the supermarket for some scallions and a little knob of ginger if you need, and make this soup with your leftovers. There’s a good chance you already have all the other ingredients. It’ll take all afternoon to cook, but only 10 minutes to throw together. The biggest time investment is looking through the bones for bits of meat. But don’t feel the need to go crazy looking for every last piece. Feel free to stop when you feel like it. It’ll be enough, and it’ll be worth it. Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Fennel Vegetable Soup

The folks where I work are always coming up with the most sublimely delicious recipes. This is one. If you’ve never eaten fennel, you are in for a delicious treat. Raw, it’s crunchy and sweet, a bit like celery with a faint whiff of licorice. Cooked it’s a different vegetable altogether. A great addition to any vegetable soup recipe, it is a total team player, happily absorbing other flavors from the pot at the same time as it shares its own. Fennel comes in bulbs, and the easiest way to cut it up, no matter how you intend to use it, is to slice it in half from top to bottom, and then to slice the half-bulb into thin blades, all of equal length and width, as you work around the bulb. Continue reading

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: Gazpacho, Gazpacho, Gazpacho!

If your counter looks anything like mine, there is only one thing to do! Tomatoes are best stored and eaten warm, so you’ll probably be starting with tomatoes at room temperature. Make this early enough in the day that it has time to cool thoroughly. It will be worth it, especially on these hot, humid, late summer days. Continue reading


If you’ve been looking for a way to branch out and eat more different vegetables, this is it. Every color in your diet represents a different phytonutrient, and every phytonutrient is like a building block for your good health. That’s why it’s important to eat the rainbow, to maximize the number of different colors on your plate, to spread your bets. If you have been feeling like you could use a little more on the red side of the spectrum, make this.
It takes just a few minutes to whip up this Red Pepper Bisque and IT IS GOOD. The original version comes from Food Babe, who has been generating terrific buzz on the subject of cleaning up our food supply and putting pressure on BIG COMMODITY FOOD to do the same. She has got it all figured out, and she’s on your side.

Continue reading


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: 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: Golden Cauliflower Soup

I’m thrilled to share with you this incredibly flavorful recipe for a gorgeous, golden cauliflower soup. It is filling, delicious and satisfying, not to mention beautiful. Pack a small thermos and pour yourself a mugful! Along with a handful of carrot and celery sticks, it makes an absolutely perfect lunch! Continue reading