Category Archives: Mains

Cold Noodles with Snap Peas

Cold Noodles with Snap Peas

Some nights all you want to do is throw stuff into a pot and call it dinner; this recipe fits the bill. Fresh, early summer snap peas don’t need much tinkering.  Here they are just lightly blanched in the same pot as the noodles, then everything is tossed in a silky sesame-tamari sauce. The result is a light and healthful, yet totally satisfying meal– pronto!

1 (8.8 oz) package of noodles (I used black rice)
1-1½ cups fresh snap peas, cleaned and trimmed
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp hemp seeds
handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

For the sauce, whisk together/shake in a jar:
3½ tbsp tamari
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
small squirt of agave

  • Cook noodles in salted water according to package directions. At the last minute of cooking time, add the snap peas, cook for remaining minute, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Add sauce and toasted sesame seeds to the noodles and snap peas, mix to combine. Sprinkle on the hemp seeds and garnish with fresh basil.

Yield: About 3 servings


Lemony Pasta with Kale & Walnuts

lemony pasta with kale and walnuts

New York is in full bloom. Dogwood, cherry blossoms, violets, geraniums, marigolds, tulips, daffodils, begonias, and lilacs burst forth onto the sidewalks, filling the air with color and good smells. Once again my windows are pushed wide open and my sandals have made their way out of the closet. (My dresser, however, still bulges with my heaviest sweaters and I haven’t really put away my snow boots. Wasn’t it freezing last week?) I’ve been reveling in the warm weather and plentiful hours of daylight, and craving nature like crazy. Still, it’s all a bit bittersweet. April and May bring their annual jarring heartache– and yet I cannot even begin to comprehend the turmoil that must be Nepal. It is a terrible, terrible reminder of every cliché about appreciating what you’ve got. To not only practice gratitude but embrace it. I’m working on it.

tree blossomsN. Moisongarlic

A huge part of nourishing our souls is taking good care of our bodies. I can’t think of any food more comforting than a big bowl of pasta, especially when topped with garlicky greens. Walnuts provide protein, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and earthy richness; lemon brings the sunshine.
*If your kale seems very tough (like if you’ve had it awhile), you might want to boil it first (before braising), for about 5 minutes.

1 12-oz package pasta
½ cup walnuts, chopped
olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch of kale, rough stems removed, chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste
zest and juice from ½ medium lemon
extra lemon slices for serving, optional

  • Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat walnuts over medium heat, keeping a close watch, until toasty and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer nuts to a bowl and set aside, and carefully wipe the pan with a dry towel.
  • Add a bit of olive oil to pan and cook garlic and red pepper flakes over medium-low heat for a few minutes, watching closely and agitating pan frequently until fragrant.
  • Stir in kale and splash with some water. Cover, turn heat up to medium-high, and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water as necessary to keep from burning. Lightly charred in spots is ideal. When kale is done, add the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper.
  • Mix the kale and the drained pasta, sprinkle on the lemon zest and walnuts, and drizzle with a tiny bit more olive oil. Serve garnished with lemon slices if desired.

Yield: About 4 servings



Chickpeas, Spinach, & Tomatoes

Chickpeas, spinach, & tomatoes

While the nights are still cool, I give you another warm and homey beans and spinach bowl recipe, one of my favorite easy, pantry-friendly meals. It’s a family dish– one which I learned from my mom, who got the recipe from my sister Norah. Norah likes it with couscous, my mom with pasta, and I love it best over quinoa with a dollop of hummus on top. All three ways are delicious.

olive oil
½ smallish onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 oz spinach, thawed if using frozen
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (and their juices)
1 cup cooked/14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
juice from ½-1 lemon, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
hummus, lemon wedges, hot sauce for serving (optional)

  • Cook the onion in a bit of olive oil in a large wok/pan/skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, watching closely, until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and let cook for another couple minutes, letting reduce just slightly.
  • Stir in the spinach and then the chickpeas. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and cook for just another couple minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes for best flavor.

Yield: 3-4 servings

Anytime Black Bean Bowls


This is my go-to recipe for black beans and rice: easy to throw together, lightly fragrant but not too spicy, tasty in its own right but straight up delicious when topped with salsa and avocado. Steamed spinach further ups both the nutritional content and the coziness, making this one very nourishing meal.
*For best time management, start the rice first.  When it’s about halfway done, start chopping and prepping the other ingredients.
*Or skip the rice and use the beans as a filling for tacos.  Phil and I really dig these sprouted corn tortillas.

onion, garlic, spices

black beans and rice

¾ cup brown rice (dry measure) (I like basmati)
olive oil
½ small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp dried Mexican oregano, crumbled with your fingers (optional)
1/8 tsp ground chipotle
1 cup cooked/1 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
splash of red wine vinegar
steamed spinach
diced avocado or guacamole
lime wedges (optional)

  • Cook rice according to preference.
  • Cook onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown.
  • Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add cumin, oregano, and chipotle, and stir to evenly coat onions and garlic.
  • Stir in black beans and some salt, lower heat, and cook for a minute or two. Turn off heat, splash with a little vinegar, and let sit a few minutes before mixing with rice.
  • For each bowl, scoop in some beans and rice, spinach, and toppings of choice.

Yield: 3-4 servings


Roasted Squash Quinoa Bowl with Arugula Pesto

Roasted Squash Quinoa Bowl with Arugula Pesto

Who doesn’t love a good, cozy bowl? This one will fill you right up with beans, quinoa, roasted butternut squash, and a creamy, dreamy, slightly peppery pesto. The three year-old I care for during the week gave this dish two thumbs up and described it as “magical.”  (Okay, so she may or may not have had princesses on the brain.)
*The recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto, a little more than needed for this dish. Enjoy any left-overs on sandwiches, sweet potatoes, scrambled tofu, or pasta.

Arugula Pesto

For the arugula pesto:
2 cups arugula
½ cup chopped pecans
1 clove of garlic
1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and black pepper, to taste

Use a food processor fitted with a steel blade to process the arugula, pecans, garlic, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper, until relatively smooth, scraping the sides as needed. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add the nutritional yeast, and pulse to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.

Butternut Squash

Everything else:
1 cup quinoa (dry measure), cooked
1 medium butternut squash, cubed and roasted
1 cup cooked/14 oz rinsed and drained can of beans (borlotti, chickpea, great northern, etc.)
couple handfuls of arugula

When the butternut squash is fresh from the oven, toss it with the beans. Or, if the squash has been made ahead of time and has cooled down, gently reheat it with the beans on the stove for a few minutes, until hot. Serve squash and beans over quinoa with pesto spooned on top and garnished with a few arugula leaves.

Yield: About 3 servings.

Roasted Butternut Squash