YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Spinach & Chickpea Curry

Let this list of spices inspire you! Sure, you can reach for the curry powder in the spice cabinet, but wait! Don’t! You are not going to believe the difference between THAT and THIS. It’s diamonds vs. paste. Top shelf vs. moonshine. Everything you’ve ever wanted vs. anything you’ve ever settled for. You will be so grateful, and your tastebuds will, too.

If you’d like, you can serve this beautiful curry with a bowl of rice and a plateful of cucumber slices. The original recipe comes from So Vegan. So check it out.

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 thumb-sized chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
4  large tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. hot chili powder
3 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup coconut cream
3 cups raw spinach
1 handful fresh coriander leaves
pinch of salt
1/2 fresh lemon
1 tsp. coconut oil for frying
sliced cucumber for garnish

1. Add onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes to a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Crush the mustard seeds and coriander seeds until fine, either with the side of a knife blade or a mortar & pestle.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
4. Fry the cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds, and chili powder for 2 min.
5. Add the onion and tomato mixture, stir well, and simmer on low heat for 20 min.
6. Add coconut cream and chickpeas, stir well, and heat for 3-5 min.
7. Add a pinch of salt, a drizzle of lemon juice, and a small handful of coriander.
8. Add all the spinach, and stir briefly until wilted.

Serves four.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Homemade Pickles!

When I arrived home from work the other evening, what did I find in the kitchen but a few jars of beautiful green pickles! These came straight from my daughter’s kitchen garden, which has continued to supply a happy and endless bounty of gorgeous, crunchy, green cucumbers over the past few weeks. If you would like to make these pickles but you don’t happen to have your own homegrown supply, just stop by the supermarket and pick up a package or two of small pickling cucumbers. You will be so glad you did! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Three Delicious Salad Dressings

Have you ever noticed how so many different cuisines include a dish that pairs some type of greens with some type of fat? Whether it’s lettuce and olive oil, cabbage and mayonnaise (cole slaw), sauteed greens + pignola nuts, spinach with bacon dressing, or deep-sea fatty fish and seaweed (sushi), parsley salad with tahini dressing, you are apt to find green leaves combined with fats over and over again. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: End-of-Vacation Salad

This recipe reminds me of a tiny little funky restaurant that I once stopped in on my way home from southern Florida, headed home to the Great Lakes.

It was so refreshing and delicious to feel the different textures and flavors of this inspired salad in my mouth after having taken the trouble to uncurl myself from the back of an SUV where I’d sat, folded and crumpled, in a tiny little corner under an ever-shifting pile of boxes, suitcases and children, all of us trying hard not to think about the fact that we had come to the end of a long and happy vacation.

We had been driving all day. Maybe we were in Tennessee, or it might have been West Virginia. A college town clearly on break. It was almost sundown and the streets were mostly empty. Continue reading