I use to look at leeks and wonder what to do with them. Of course, I knew of leek soup but I always thought there must be a higher purpose for leeks. It took me a while (actually, a few years) but I found the perfect use for leeks in a side dish I call Baked Basmati Rice with Leeks and White Beans.
A while back, the New York Times printed a recipe for “Baked Rice With White Beans, Leeks, and Lemons” because commenters “have gone wild for this easy, hands-off, vegetarian main course…” That’s all I needed to read before deciding this was it. However, I had to figure out a way to make this recipe plant-based and a bit healthier: greatly reduce the olive oil (from 5 tablespoons to a few sprays), replace the white Basmati Rice with Brown Rice Basmati for more fiber, and ditch the parmesan (and use vegan parmesan made from cashews, sparingly). Read more
One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish I call “Pasta Roni” which is a play on the classic decades-old “beefaroni” dish made of macaroni, beef, and tomato sauce except that my version tastes better, is plant based, and more nutritious! Oil and dairy free, Pasta Roni is the dish everyone wants on a cold night when nothing but a tummy-warming bowl of pasta will do.
Inspired by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe for Lentil-A-Roni in Isa Does It, the Pasta Roni recipe showcases whole grain pasta, lentils, tomatoes, and greens for a delicious and nutritious meal. Isa uses raw cashews that have been soaked in water, drained and then blended with vegetable broth in a high-powered blender to make the sauce creamy but I am not a cream sauce person so I don’t use cashews. If your preference is for a creamy sauce, then by all means, soak 1/2 cup of raw (not roasted) cashews in water for a few hours and then blend away before adding to the sauce.
But first, a few words about other ingredients: Read more
Kale is one of the most nutritious greens we can eat but the leaves have a bit of a bitter flavor so there are two things you can do to get your kale and enjoy it, too. First, remove the leaves from the stems (throw the stems out; but don’t put them in the sink disposal) and rip the leaves (or cut them) into bite-sized pieces. Place the shredded kale in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Massage the leaves (I always count to 100 and that seems to work). You will notice the leaves will darken as you massage. This is good.
The second way to make kale more palatable is to mix these super greens with bean and vegetables. Pick your favorites or just choose whatever is in the refrigerator or pantry. In less than 15 minutes, a scrumptious, super healthy salad will be ready to devour! Read more
In the plant-based world, there is a common phrase “eat the rainbow” that is a constant reminder to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. With that in mind, the following recipe for a salad combines greens (microgreens), fruits (apple, peach, and mango), vegetables (broccoli and carrots), and beans (garbanzo) along with lemon juice, dill, and pink peppercorns to make a delicious and nutritious super colorful salad that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. From start to finish, the salad takes about 15 minutes to make and looks as beautiful as it tastes. Read more
Finding P.S. Kitchen in New York City is definitely on my top ten list of notable discoveries in 2019. That the restaurant is in midtown (246 W 48th Street between 7th and 8th Ave) makes the discovery surprising because I rarely venture into midtown Manhattan when I visit the city: too many people, too many lights, too much noise. But, on a recent visit after an afternoon matinee on Broadway, I walked a few blocks and secured the front table by the window – an incredible table if you can get it. Walking in at 4 pm – an off hour – definitely increases your chances of snagging this front row light filled beautiful table with a cushioned bench and chair surrounding a picture perfect white table (below right in photo). Read more
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and pasta are not two foods that people think about putting together but if you’re looking for a fresh delicious new take on a summer pasta salad, look no further. Chickpea pasta is delicious, has a slightly heavier texture and heartier flavor than white pasta, and is infinitely more nutritious with 12 grams of protein and 1 gram of natural sugar per serving.
Full of greens, vegetables, and beans, the Chickpea Pasta Salad doesn’t need any oil or sauce to bring it together. Instead, the addition of an avocado (chopped) and the juice from a fresh lemon add a creamy tangy texture to the salad. Read more
Millet is a mild-tasting grass although the texture is that of a grain which means millet goes well with all sorts of vegetables, especially greens and beans. Often referred to as pearl millet, the small grains look like little yellow pearls and cook in about 15 minutes.
The following recipe is a variation of a recipe (Millet Vegetable Fattoush) from the Purple Carrot. The low-sodium vegetable broth adds some flavor to the millet while the vegetables give the salad a delicious crunch. Beans add some depth to the salad along with the avocado and walnuts. I prefer a lemon vinaigrette sprinkled very lightly over the salad. Read more
In my quest to eat at least a cup of beans a day, I created this recipe that combines beans with vegetables, fruit, and fresh dill to make a delicious bean salad, worthy of any lunch or dinner plate. Easy to make, Bean Salad takes about 15 minutes to put together and easily serves four, but you can keep it all to yourself and snack on it throughout the day.
Crunchy, creamy, and delicious, the beauty of this salad is in the different textures, flavors, and nutritional content. Full of fiber, this salad also fills you up leaving you very satisfied. Read more
Kale and Mushroom Pita is a super easy way to get that all important dose of greens and fiber in your diet. Whenever I don’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking, a Kale and Mushroom Pita is on the menu.
With just 4 ingredients: dark green lacinto kale, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and whole grain pita bread, the Kale and Mushroom Pita takes about 10 minutes to make. The biggest time sap is cleaning and cutting the mushrooms and kale which can be done ahead of time (or buy pre-washed baby kale), covered and refrigerated until later in the day. Read more
Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Beans, and Veggies is a catch-all name for an entree that has it all: potatoes, beans, greens, carrots, and mushrooms. Although the star of the show is the sweet potato (three different kinds), the other vegetables and beans add a lot of flavor (and nutrients) to the dish.
Two helpful hints: don’t skimp on the seasoning. Although the vegetables are delicious together, a few teaspoons of dried spices can really add a lot of zip to this dish. Read more