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.

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Recipes to Watch the Leaves Fall By

Any day now, our kitchen counters will be covered in pumpkins and onions, and this week I have two simply extraordinary recipes for you to try. Both make a meal very special: if you’d like to test them in the next few weeks for any upcoming fall celebrations, go for it. Also, although it’s not essential, if you have time to make the onions the day before, then I highly recommend it. As fabulous as they taste on day one, they taste even better the next day! Continue reading


If you are looking for something warm, toasty and filling to make for dinner next weekend, give this pumpkin chili a try. Try to make it the previous day if possible, or maybe in the morning. If there’s time to let it simmer on a very low heat for a few hours, do so. When it’s done, just turn off the heat, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then serve. It is a perfect October meal-in-one, the cornmeal is already built in, and it’s rich in beans and veggies, my two favorite foods! Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Cauliflower-Pumpkin Swirl Dip

Nothing like recipes for the season! I’ve got 3 perfectly beautiful pumpkins on the table outside just waiting to be turned into something yummy and Octobery. This recipe goes together very nicely, but I do recommend that you measure out all your ingredients in advance. Continue reading