YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Snap Peas & Yogurt

If you’re looking for an alternative to the rows and rows of sweet, fruit-flavored yogurty products at the supermarket, you have way more options than you even realized!

Have you ever tried mixing yogurt with a combination of vegetables, herbs, and/or aromatics like garlic and scallions? It was my father who taught me how to create a major flavor celebration by mixing plain yogurt into fresh, finely chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, sometimes with a bit of green scallion. Seriously delicious. Whether it’s handfuls of chive flowers at the beginning of the growing season, or cubes of cooked pumpkin with cinnamon toward the end, veggies and yogurt are a largely untapped treasure trove of flavor and joy.

So, speaking of vegetables and yogurt, here’s a very special recipe that could serve equally as an inspired appetizer or as a meal all by itself, and it is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, no matter what the time of day.

Note: If dairy is not your cup of tea, feel free to use a thick (Greek style) soy- or nut-based yogurt.

3/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped coarsely
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground
3 Tbsp. raw, unsalted almonds, chopped coarsely

Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, mint, and salt, and use the mixture to coat the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat until a light sprinkle of water from your fingers sizzles away within seconds. Add the almonds to the dry skillet, and stir or shake frequently for just a minute or two until the nuts become fragrant and their creamy inner color begins to turn light brown. [Do not look away — once you add the nuts to the pan you are committed!] Remove almonds from heat to a small plate, and set aside.

Return the skillet to the stove, add olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat until oil is fragrant and swirling. Add snap peas and toss well until fully coated in oil. Add the black pepper and cook for approximately 3 minutes, tossing often, until peas turn bright green and begin to lose their raw crispness. Pour snap peas into the serving bowl, over the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with cooled almonds and serve.

Thank you to Cleveland Clinic Wellness and Sara Quessenberry for a prior version of this recipe.


Everything You Need to Know About Your Cholesterol

Every once in a while, a friend thrusts their latest cholesterol lab results in front of me and asks a barrage of questions:

“What do you think of these results, are they okay?”
“My doctor said the HDL is too low.”
“Why are my triglycerides so high?”
“What should the LDL be?”
“And why is the total so high if the individual numbers are good?”

This week we’re talking about what your cholesterol profile results mean, and how to make them better. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Yoga-Inspired Recipes

During the recent holidays past, I was given the gift of a yoga calendar by my beloved friend Lee. Tearing off a page every morning has now become an especially joyful and expectant way to start my days. Most of the pages are filled with beautiful messages (some of which are so very special that they get pinned to the cork board the next day), or sometimes a special yoga-position-of-the-week. Very occasionally, I find an inspirational recipe. What I find most awesome is all the different kinds of spices, and the fact that roasting them brings out infinitely more complex flavor profiles. Here, below, are the recipes I’ve enjoyed most of all (so far). Continue reading




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


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: 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