Category Archives for Side Dish

Black Lentils over Baby Arugula

​The truth is I have been meaning to post this recipe for months.  It has great texture and flavor combinations.  It is sweet and bitter, warm and cold, crisp, soft and chewy. Give it a try this week and let me know how you liked it.  

Note:  Black lentils may be found in a store such as Whole Foods or online at​


1/2 cup black lentils, raw, rinsed clean

1 clove garlic, raw, finely chopped

1 small sweet onion

1 T low sodium vegetable broth or water

1 1/2 cups low sodium, organic vegetable broth

1 t balsamic vinegar

1 t extra virgin olive oil

to taste salt

to taste pepper

2 cups baby arugula, washed, and ready to serve

Simple Steps

Step One:

In a medium stock pot, saute´ onion and garlic in vegetable broth or water until soft.

Step Two:

Add lentils and vegetable broth to pot. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until broth is absorbed and lentils are al dante´.

Step Three:

Season lentils with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Step Four:

Serve warm lentils over a bed of baby arugula and garnish with fresh chopped tomato.

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Apple with Cinnamon Almond Butter

Barrel_of_apples_Clip_ArtHooray for apple season!  Fall is one of my very favorite seasons of the year.  The markets are full of delicious foods such as apples, butternut squash and several varieties of pumpkin.  The apple itself just may be one of nature’s perfect foods.  It is truly nature’s candy!  I love to eat apples plain but I really love to eat them with just a bit of Cinnamon Almond Butter. This recipe is so simple and just maybe a little bit on the decadent side.

Eat this with caution as it may be highly addictive!


1 Apple
1 T. Natural ground Almond Butter
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of smoked sea salt

Simple Steps
1. Core and slice apple into sticks for dipping.
2. Mix together almond butter, cinnamon, and smoked sea salt.
3. Dip and eat!



Cherry Tomato and Zucchini “Pasta”

Cherry Tomato and Zucchini "Pasta"

Cherry Tomato and Zucchini “Pasta”

This recipe is a take on the classic roasted tomato pasta and replaces processed ingredients with whole raw foods.  If you do not own a spiral slicer you can always cut the zucchini into strips using a peeler or mandoline and then slice lengthwise into linguini shaped pasta. This recipe serves one and makes a delicious light lunch.


3 small zucchini, spiralized or sliced into strips
1/2 sweet onion sliced thin
4 basil leaves, sliced thin
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 T chopped walnuts finely chopped
1/2 t pink Himalayan sea salt


Simple steps

Toss all ingredients together.  Let set in refrigerator for 10 minutes to let juices release.  Serve chilled.

Living in the South for the Summer

Chanterelle with Purslane

Chanterelle with Purslane

Living in the South for the summer has proven to be a culinary artist and a plant-based eater’s dream. Meeting the local farmers and fellow local foodies always makes me appreciate and feel grateful for having access to such wonderful fresh foods. Last Thursday afternoon I went to the local farmer’s market located in Ooltewah, TN and found some extraordinary produce which included beautiful golden chanterelle mushrooms, organic heirloom tomatoes and fresh harvested organic purslane.  I was so excited I was not sure what I was going to create. The quality was so good that I kept it simple and ended up with a sort of tapas or antipasti for dinner. Here is how I prepared these simple delicious and nutritious ingredients:



2013-07-18 17.55.04

Sauteed Golden Chanterell Mushrooms

First, I created a garlic infused olive oil.  I took approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan and placed 2 slightly crushed garlic cloves in the olive oil.  I brought the oil up to a slight bubble and turned off the heat and set it aside and just left the garlic in the warmed oil to infuse the flavor.

I placed a very small amount of the garlic olive oil in a skillet and heated on medium and tossed in a pint of slightly torn golden chanterelle mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cooked until tender.


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Tomato Salad with Basil

I  prepared a tomato salad with basil by simply cutting a large beautiful locally grown heirloom tomato cut it into bite-sized pieces.  Next I turned to my mini garden from our balcony and tore up some fresh basil tossed it in with the tomatoes, seasoned the salad with salt pepper and drizzled some red wine vinegar over the top. Simply delicious!




2013-07-18 17.53.10Purslane Salad

Purslane is a dark green “exotic weed” and can be eaten as a vegetable in salads or can be stir fried or used in soups. It has a slightly sweet and sour taste and is absolutely delicious!  Not only is it tasty it is packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and protein!

I tossed it with shaved sweet onion, salt, pepper and drizzled it with a bit of aged balsamic vinegar.



What is the most delicious food you have found at your local farmer’s market recently?  Do tell……..

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean SoupBlack bean soup is one of my very favorite one-dish meals.  This method of cooking keeps it simple and very economical. I purchased a one pound bag of black beans for under $2. Not only are black beans economical but they are also very nutritious.  Black beans are high in protein and fiber which helps keep us full for hours. Black bean soup freezes well for up to 3 months.  I freeze it into single servings (smaller portions) to heat and eat as a quick and easy mid week dinner.



Serves 6

Soup Ingredients:
2 cups whole dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth, organic, low sodium
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups filtered water
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium-stalk celery, chopped
2 clove garlic chopped
2 tbsp black rice (may substitute white rice)
1 tbsp crushed red chili flakes
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano, dried
1/4 tsp epazote dried
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper, black, ground

1 medium green onion, finely sliced
1 pepper jalapeno, raw
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced*
Lime Wedges for serving

Recipe Directions:

Add all soup ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, utilizing an immersion blender process until smooth. Replace lid and prepare garnish.

Ladle piping hot soup into warmed bowls and garnish with fresh chopped green onion, jalapeno, cilantro, avocado and juice of one lime wedge.

Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 330.4
Total Fat: 6.3
Saturated Fat: 1.0
Trans Fat: 0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 459.8
Carbs: 55.6
Fiber: 14.6
Sugars: 7.1
Protein: 16.3

*For individuals who are on a low fat diet simply omit the avocado in the garnish.


You can purchase a handy immersion blender here:

Cuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome

French Lentil Soup

This recipe is based off of basic traditional French Lentil Soup replacing chicken stock with vegetable stock.  It actually turns out like more of a hearty stew. Feel free to add more water or stock if you like it soupier. This recipe can be low maintenance as I created it using the slow cooker to keep things simple.

Eat more greens and pair this one with a nice mixed green salad!

Equipment Needed

Slow cooker
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Wooden Spoon
Serves 4


1 cup dry French lentils, rinsed well
4 cups organic, low sodium vegetable stock or broth
2 cups carbon filtered water
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 T shallots, raw, chopped
1 onion, sweet, raw, chopped
3 medium carrots, raw, medium, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, raw, chopped
1/4 cup white rice, long grain, raw
2 each bay leaves, whole
1 t dried thyme
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1 T fresh sliced tarragon leaves
1 t fresh thyme leaves
2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cups chopped kale, raw
2 T fresh chopped parsley

Recipe Directions:

Add rinsed lentils, vegetable stock, water, tomato paste, shallots, onion, carrots, celery, rice, bay leaves, dried thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Add the fresh tarragon, thyme leaves, sage and kale.  Stir in to incorporate throughout soup.  Cook on high for 10 – 20 minutes until kale is fully wilted.  Serve hot and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with a nice mixed green salad.

Nutrient Analysis per serving:
Calories 320, Total Fat 1.3, Saturated fat 0.2, Trans Fat 0.0, Polyunsaturated fat 0.0, Monounsaturated Fat 0.0, Cholesterol 0.0, Sodium 636.9, Carbs 62, Fiber 20.5, Sugars 12.3, Protein 16.9



Red Cabbage and Apples

Red Cabbage with Apples

Red Cabbage and Apples paired with the acidity of the red table wine immediately brings your taste buds to Eastern Europe.  Flavors are sweet yet tart.

With no added oils, this dish is not only low-fat but gluten free too.  It is easy to prepare just let the small slow cooker do its job.

Go ahead and serve this one with Uzbek Vegetable Stew to make a complete meal.

Download and Print Recipe


Equipment Needed:

Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Mixing Spoon
Small Slow Cooker


1/2 head red cabbage, raw
2 medium apples w/skin, raw, chopped
1 onion, sweet, raw, chopped
1 tbsp sugar, brown
1 tsp salt, kosher
1 tsp pepper, black, ground
1 tsp mace, ground
1/4 cup wine, red table
1/2 cup apple juice

Recipe Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve hot.

Serves 4
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 139.4
Total Fat: 0.5
Saturated Fat: 0.1
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 311.2
Carbs: 32.0
Fiber: 4.7
Sugars:  23.1
Protein: 2.0