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: Celebration Brussels Sprouts

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m starting to post recipes to get your collection started for the upcoming holidays. And if you didn’t already know, I LOVE!LOVE!LOVE Brussels sprouts. This one is a gorgeous mix of Brassica (the major vegetable family to which Brussels sprouts belong), grapes (for a bit of tart sweetness), and pumpkin seeds (because, well, you know). Think of me when you make these. Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red Cabbage with a Buzz

When I saw this recipe I knew it was for me. Generally speaking, cabbage is one of those foods that is very underrated — especially the red kind. This recipe is a red-green party, lunch for a week with spicy, crunchy, sour power! Make some for you, or your gang, or the office potluck! Continue reading


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: 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


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.  Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: “Party Salad” or Sweet & Spicy Kale Chips

If anyone in your house is not eating as many greens as you think they ought to be (whether it’s you, or the kids, or your spouse), then make this asap! Think of it as a kind of party salad. You’ll notice that this particular recipe uses two large bunches of kale, but don’t think that’s too much: once they shrink in the oven, they turn into a moderate-sized bowl of chips at best. Continue reading