Another title for this recipe could easily be: “A quick and easy pasta dinner of whatever veggies are left in your kitchen or ready in your garden.” We love this recipe (ok, more like “guidelines”) because it’s a healthy harmony of simple, inexpensive staple ingredients that is easy to make (we promise) and a great lunch leftover to bring to work.
Follow my ingredients for a delicious assortment of seasonal, healthy vegetables, or simply sauté whichever vegetables may be leftover from last week’s Farmer’s Market, or ready to pick in your garden. As for protein, vegetarians may substitute protein-rich garbanzo beans for chicken (add to vegetable sauté), or pescatarians could opt for shrimp. The options are endless; you can’t go wrong with fresh veggies over wholesome pasta!
Printable PDF recipe here: Fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta.
–Abby Gould, Sage Wellness Intern
This Fruit & Nut Smoothie is a fresh start to your day that can be whipped up in a few minutes and consumed via commute. But this is no ordinary smoothie; we added nuts for high protein for sustained energy through throughout the workday. Follow our recipe for a tried-and-true combo, or throw any fresh fruit, milk variety or 100% juice, nuts, and ice in a blender for a nutrient-packed snack or meal.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1 cup soy or rice milk
1 cup berries
1 cup diced melon
1/2 cup almonds
2-4 ice cubes
1. Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve.
Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.
We were recently treated to a sampling of chef Liz Alexanian’s fantastic quinoa tabouleh—a marriage of one of our favorite Middle Eastern side dishes with the healthy tweak of protein-rich quinoa as the grain. Quick, easy, and great as a leftover for an office lunch with hummus and whole-wheat pita bread!
Yield: 8 ¼ cups, serves 8
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
2 bunch curly parsley (chopped)
6 Scallions (thin slices)
4 medium tomatoes (small dice)
1 medium red or yellow onion (small dice)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 juice of large lemon
1 Romaine lettuce for plating
1. In a saucepan, take 2 cups quinoa and toast until golden brown at least 5-8 minutes medium to high heat.
2. Once quinoa is toasted, add 4 cups water and let it boil. Turn down heat to let the quinoa simmer until all the water is dissolved. Let it cool before you add quinoa to other ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, mix diced tomatoes, onions, scallions, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley, salt and pepper together with the cooled quinoa.
4. Serve tabouleh in Romaine lettuce leaves. Enjoy!
Contributed by Chef Liz Alexanian, 818.681.6835, email@example.com
Look for her upcoming culinary classes for adults and children at:
COOK LA, 10938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, 91604
Check out Liz’s website and Facebook page:
Full of fruit, these cupcakes are a healthier option for satisfying your sweet tooth.
For a recent post-bike ride BBQ lunch party, we grilled up cilantro-lime marinated shrimp and veggie skewers, enjoyed some nicely blackened grilled asparagus (I swear it’s best that way!) had a simple green salad packed with tomatoes from our garden and local avocados, and finished up our simple meal with the most sumptuous, seemingly-indulgent cupcakes…
…but traditional cupcakes these are not: each bite is packed with nutrient rich fruit, vegetables (carrot are veggies, ok?), and beneficial spices. Even the frosting is “healthy” or at least relative to its usual butter-filled frosting friends. Bottom line is, don’t feel guilty about devouring these carrot cupcakes, because the “sprinkles” on top are antioxidant rich pecans and beneficial coconut. Better than the other Sprinkles!
Printable PDF here: Tropical Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
–Abby Gould, Sage Wellness Intern
Summer weather is finally starting up, and accordingly, the grill needs to get fired up, too! In the spirit of summer, keep your kitchen cool and enjoy the fresh air while grilling some burgers. But not just any burgers– lean, vegetable laden, grass-fed lamb burgers! In one of my favorite better-burgers recipe, spicy curry is balanced by a cool, minty yogurt raita sauce and loads of grilled veggies. At a visit to my Sunday Farmer’s Market, a local farmer convinced me that his grass-fed lamb would be perfect for grilling, and it sure was! I picked the mint, cilantro, tomato, and limes from my garden, making for a fabulously fresh and healthy Sunday night dinner. Enjoy!
- 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lime peel
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Coarse kosher salt
Burgers and vegetables:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/4 cups chopped onion (red, white, or I prefer a mix of the two)
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- 1 3/4 pounds ground lamb
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, divided
- 3 medium zucchini (about 12 ounces), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 6 green onions, trimmed and cut into inch long sections
- 1 fresh poblano chile, quartered, seeded
- 6 small whole wheat pita breads
- ¼ cup sun dried tomato
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- Prepared hummus (I like Trader Joe’s tomato and basil hummus)
- Mix yogurt, mint, cilantro, lime peel, and lime juice in small bowl. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Cover; chill until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Burgers and vegetables:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in curry powder and stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool onion mixture to room temperature, at least 15 minutes.
- Place lamb in large bowl. Add onion mixture, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper. Blend mixture gently; shape into six 1/2-inch-thick patties.
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat).
- Combine zucchini, green onions, and chile in another large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon coarse salt, and ½ teaspoon cracked pepper; toss to coat. Place vegetables and burgers on grill. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Turn vegetables and burgers over. Then, cook vegetables until tender, about 3 minutes. Cook burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. Cut zucchini and green onions crosswise into 2-inch-long pieces. Cut chile into thin strips.
- Place pita breads on plates, slice open the pita open around about 2/3 of its edge to make a pocket. Spread hummus inside the bread, then top with burgers and tomato slices. Mound vegetables on burgers, top with sun dried tomatoes, and spoon a dollop of raita over. Fold bread up around burgers and serve with remaining raita.
- For a delicious vegetarian version, substitute Portobello mushrooms for the lamb patties. Brush each mushroom, gill-side up, with a teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ½ tablespoon of cilantro. Grill, gills up, for about 12 minutes, or desired doneness. Top with onion mixture and toppings.
Printable PDF here: Curry Lamb Burgers with Grilled Vegetables and Mint Raita
–Abby Gould, Sage Wellness Intern
Many of you enjoyed the saved asparagus salad Chef Matt prepared at our last Farm to Table event – well now you can make your own!
1 bunch asparagus
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus in to a bowl (or thinly slice). Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over the asparagus. Add the olive oil, a pinch of salt, couple turns of the pepper mill, toss and taste. Add extra lemon and salt & pepper if needed. Top with shaved Parmesan (or other hard cheese).
Chef Matt had added white basalmic vinegar and used avacado slices for the “fat” (as opposed to olive oil) – a very healthy upgrade!
Raw Cacao Truffles
Kara Brackney was kind enough to share this recipe with us for a Valentines Day treat that is sure to please.
Raw Cacao Truffles
Note from Kara: “I barely ever measure. I am a throw it in and taste kinda gal!”
Almost a cup of almond butter
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup raw shredded coconut
1 tablespoon raw cocoa nibs
1/4 agave nectar
First, put the nibs on a cutting board, lay a dish towel over them and smack them with a wooden spoon. The idea is to have different sized pieces for texture. Smack till some have turned to powder but not all.
Put almond butter, cacao powder, shredded coconut, cacao nibs and agave nectar into a bowl and mush until it’s a dark chocolate color. You may use a spoon or get your hands dirty (your call).
Take a quarter size of the mix and roll into a little ball. You should make 24 truffles.
Optional: You can roll each truffle in additional shredded coconut or you may use peanut or walnut butter instead of almond butter.
Put in the fridge for a couple of hours, enjoy chilled or room temperature!
These are best when you take little bites and enjoy by smooshing onto the roof of your mouth to get maximum flavor!
Kara Brackney is a Holistic Chef and Holistic Nutritionist living in Los Angeles. For more of Kara’s healthy recipes visit her website www.karabrackney.com.
I think this may be the perfect meal, it takes 10 minutes to make, is packed with vitamins and minerals, makes great leftovers for lunch, is inexpensive and tastes delicious! Did I mention it has peanut butter!?
1 package Whole Wheat Spagatti or Soba Noodles (I prefer the taste of the Soba)
1/4 cup or two handfuls of Arame (or other sea vegetable)**
3 Tbl Organic Peanut Butter (read the label, you want peanut butter that does not have added sugar)
3 Tbl Soy sauce
1 Tbl Agave Nectar
2 tsp Sesame oil
2 tsp grated Ginger (peel ginger and use a cheese grater to grade)
pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
3 stalks of green onion, chopped, white & green parts
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
Sprinkle on some sesame seeds
I'm a bit of a messy cook...
Bring a pot of water to boil and add noodles & Arame. Pay attention to package directions, whole wheat spagatti and arame both take about 10 min to cook, but soba noodles take about 8 minutes, so you’d want to add the Arame first for 2 min, then the soba.
Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, whisk together.
Toss sauce with noodles and enjoy. That’s it!
**Arame is a sea vegetable, like seaweed. It comes dried, in a package and you can find it in the grocery store aisle with the asian foods.
When you think about making sushi it may seem overwhelming, or at least that is what we thought. But this recipe for veggie rolls (adapted from Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal) is surprisingly simple, especially if you make hand rolls instead of cut rolls.
Nori is a type of sea vegetable that grows off the coasts of China and Japan. Traditionally it is used for sushi, similar to this recipe. As we mentioned in our January Newsletter sea vegetables, such as Nori, can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings. Adding them to your diet can also do wonders for your skin, hair and nails.
Veggie Nori Rolls
Prep time: 10 minutes
Assembly: 5 minutes
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 sheets of toasted sushi nori
fillings of your choice*
1. Mix brown rice with brown rice vinegar, brown rice syrup and sea salt.
2. Prepare your choice of fillings.
3. Lay a sheet of nori on a dry cutting board or sushi rolling mat..
4. Place a thin layer of the rice mixture covering the half of the nori sheet that is closest to you.
5. Layer 2 to 3 rows of topping on top of the rice layer.
6. Roll the nori away from you, starting with the end closest to you.
7. As you roll, make sure to keep tucking the roll under so it’s pretty tight.
8. When you get to the end, wet your finger with some water and wet the edge of the nori to make sure that it stays sealed.
9. Wet the edge of a very sharp knife and cut the roll in half.
10. Wet the knife again and cut each piece in half again.
11. Repeat process until all of the nori, rice and fillings are used.
*Sushi filling ideas
-avocado, cucumber and carrot
-daikon, cucumber, umeboshi paste, sesame seeds
-shitake mushrooms marinated in tamari and rice vinegar, blanched kale ribbons
-cashew butter, sauerkraut
-baked tofu, spinach, almonds
Hachiya persimmons are wonderful for persimmon pudding and cookies, so why not waffles? Persimmon waffles are a great addition to a New Year’s day breakfast. Plus, they can be made ahead of time and thrown into the oven to warm for a few minutes before it’s time to serve them for a no fuss morning!
The persimmon is packed with fiber and vitamin A, a great secret for this delicious treat!
2 cups water
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp of cinnamon (more or less to taste)
3/4 to 1 cup Hachiya Persimmon puree, approximately 1 persimmon (cut around the stem and scoop out the insides. Disgard the stem and the skin)
1. Heat waffle iron to medium.
2. In a blender, add the water, oats. vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon and persimmon puree. Blend well, until the mixture has the consistency of batter.
3. Add about 1 cup of the batter to the waffle iron (may vary depending on size of waffle iron).
4. Let cook for about 6-9 minutes (may vary depending on temperature). No peeking until you are sure that the waffle is done!
5. Remove waffle. Serve with organic butter and a little more of your favorite natural sweetner (maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, etc.).