YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Feminista White Beans

Here’s a recipe served throughout the Middle East by families, the families who love them, and the families who love to feed them. All kinds of families.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, peeled & minced (approx. 1 med-large onion)
  • 1/2 cup celery, rinsed & minced (approx. 2 medium stalks)
  • 16-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 3 cups canned white beans (navy beans or cannellini), drained and rinsed well
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Heat olive oil to medium-high in a large, deep skillet. Add onion and celery, lower heat to medium, and sauté until translucent and turning golden.

Add crushed tomatoes, honey, and paprika to the skillet, and stir gently until mixed. Continue to heat until mixture is simmering. Stir in the beans. Add a pinch or two of salt and a few shakes (or grinds) of black pepper.

Cover and simmer over very low heat for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and basil just before serving. Serves 6-8 hungry feminists (and their families).

A prior version of this recipe was published at www.vegkitchen.com. Thanks!


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.

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YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Judith’s Eggplant Caponata

We went to a dinner party last week and ate the most elegant dinner, courtesy of my wonderful friend Judith, who mixes a mean martini, makes magic with shallots, has a good knife, and knows how to use it. I highly recommend you give some thought to adding this eggplant caponata to your upcoming holiday celebrations. It’s quite spectacular. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Fresh Herbs with Cannellini Beans

What makes this an unusual salad is that the herbs in this recipe play a leading role, complementing the cannellini (small white) beans as equal partners instead of minor players. Think of the herbs in this recipe more as greens than flavor enhancers. It’s a great way to use large amounts of fresh herbs from the garden. It’s super easy, super delicious, and super nutritious; herbs are known to have extremely high levels of phytonutrients. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Slow Chicken & White Beans

In honor of the upcoming marriage of HLJ to ESS:
Here’s a magnificent recipe, inspired by the fact that this year is the #Year of the #Pulse! You know how much I love beans and the flavors developed by slow cooking! Try putting it up right now, and you’ll have a very special, delicious and nutritious meal for dinner tonight. Of course, if you’re me, you might decide to make it tonight instead of in the morning, so it will be ready just in time for breakfast tomorrow.
Whenever food cooks in our slow cooker through the night, it gives me delicious dreams. Sometimes it even wakes me up, a few times for a few moments, to savor the smells. Then, when morning comes, I can barely get myself up and dressed fast enough in my hurry to get downstairs to eat my yummy breakfast from the crockpot! I’m not kidding — consider yourself forewarned.

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YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Spring Greens & Grains

This is one of those recipes that gives you a chance to feature whatever grain you feel like eating today, whatever greens are in season, and whatever other vegetables you are in the mood to sautè. Take a deep breath, saunter through the kitchen to see what’s there, and then gather your goodies and start to chop. If you get everything ready early in the day, you can throw this together pretty quickly. And if you make the grains ahead of time, you’ll feel like a real pro when everything comes together in just minutes! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Black-Bean Quinoa Salad

Take this fresh, crunchy crock of BIG FLAVOR  to a spring potluck, or serve it to friends at a celebratory luncheon, or pack a bowl for lunch at work, or fill up a large, colorful pottery bowl for the middle of the dinner table, along with a big bowl of tomato soup. Yes, it has a lot of ingredients, but that’s how you make the magic. You cannot go wrong with quinoa, and you cannot go wrong with this meal-in-one. I’m also sure you’ll be glad to know that it will keep in the fridge for a few days. You can make it as simply (canned beans, quinoa pre-made, store-bought lime juice) or as involved (heirloom beans, red quinoa, organic limes) as you like. It’ll be delicious either way — promise! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Quinoa, Squash and Bean Soup

Here’s a great, simple recipe from my friend’s friend’s daughter-in-law. We’re practically family! Check out Marci’s blog at veggingattheshore.com. You can say that YHIOYP sent you.

P.S. Note the regionalism in her blog title: that kind of talk is something you’ll hear only in Philadelphia and South Jersey. If you live in that part of the country, you would never say that you’re going to the beach. It’s “down the shore” for you! I have so many great memories of the Jersey shore, where the food is great and the living is easy. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Tomato & Fennel Pasta Sauce

Two of my favorite things: tomatoes and fennel! This is totally the “sauce of the season,” with fresh herbs and a simple strategy for bringing out the natural sweetness of all the ingredients. If you are not a big fan of pasta, then try cooking some turkey meatballs in this sauce, or pour it over a little pile of tofu cubes, or poach a few eggs in it. Then again you could serve it with a pan of polenta or a bowl of quinoa, or use it to make a tray of lasagna. You choose! Continue reading