YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Stogie’s Belize Hot Sauce!

When I was a kid my parents had friends who grew hot peppers on their farm in Muncie, Indiana. When we stopped in Muncie for a visit, on our way across the country to the Twin Cities, Ted laid out an array of peppers on the kitchen counter. I tried every one. They were spectacular, and I was hooked. Forever after, he called me “Hot Pepper.” I’ve never met a hot sauce I didn’t like. 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


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Watercress-Grapefruit Salad

Make yourself this sweet little salad, just for you or just for two. It’s an exotic bunch of ingredients, so it’s unlikely that you will have all these ingredients in your kitchen when you’re ready to put it together. And it will probably help to take the recipe with you when you go to the grocery store to collect your ingredients. But here’s a trick: you can make this salad two different ways, one easier and the other more involved. Buy all the ingredients for the fancier version, or skip over the [bracketed ones] for a simpler version. Either way, it’ll be [simply] delicious. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Zucchini & Dill Soup

This is such a good project for the abundance of zucchini in your friends’, neighbors’ and coworkers’ gardens! You can make the soup now, with fresh zucchini, or you can make it in a few more months with frozen zucchini. Then again you can make soup now, and freeze that instead of raw cubes of zucchini. If you use frozen zucchini, remember to saute it a little bit longer. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Strawberried, Blueberried Salsa

The Free Dictionary defines salsa as a spicy sauce of chopped (usually raw, but not always) vegetables or fruit, especially tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. You may not have realized, however, that salsa doesn’t necessarily mean tomatoes. In Spanish, salsa means, simply, sauce, and salsa comes in lots of different versions, such as negra (black, with dried chilis) and verde (green, with herbs and tomatillos), not to mention, of course, roja (red, with plenty of tomatoes, onions and garlic). This particular salsa features berries to grand effect! Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Garlic Asparagus with Lime

If it’s spring, it’s asparagus time. Unless your hens got into the asparagus bed at the end of last summer and dug it all up, like happy pigs. In which case it is still asparagus time, but —  this year — at the supermarket. And it is back to the drawing board for your own asparagus bed, which took the requisite three years to mature and was started in 2012. Which would have made this year number four. Just saying. 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: Scrambled Eggs and Broccoli

After the requisite amount of hemming and hawwing, I picked up a copy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything as a shower gift for our young cousin and his beaming Australian bride-to-be. When they opened it, he quipped “Well, we won’t be needing any other cookbooks.” True dat! Try this broccoli beauty for starters. Or dinner. Continue reading