We love green food!

This simple pasta sauce contains just FIVE ingredients! Well, six if you add the optional parmesean cheese. It could not be simpler nor taste any better. Not to mention you get a full dose of immunity enhancing food power from your favorite green. In this case, KALE!

Kale Sauce pasta

adapted from the New York Times

 

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients:

  • ¼ olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 1 lb Lacinato or dinosaur kale (1 lb is A LOT – depending on the size of your bunch, it might be 4 bunches. Try to weigh it at the grocery store.) or a combo of kale, spinach, broccoli = to 1 lb. Remove thick ribs of kale and chop leaves coarsely.

  • Salt and pepper

  • ½ lb pasta

  • Coarsely grated parm, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot of water, salt generously and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Lower heat and cook gently watching that the garlic does not brown. This should take about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

  2. When the water is boiling, add the kale leaves and cook for 5 minutes. If using some broccoli, add first and let cook for 3 minutes before adding kale.

  3. Once the greens are cooked, using tongs, add to a high-speed blender, dripping wet, along with the garlic and oil and a splash of the cooking water. Blend until very smooth. You may need to add more water. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add pasta to the same boiling water. Cook according to the package directions. Save 1one cup of the pasta water and then drain. Add the pasta back to the pot, toss with ½ of the kale puree, pasta water if needed and cheese if desired.

  5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and more cheese. Freeze any leftover sauce or eat with a spoon!

Stir Fry - it's the best way to use up 

all the veggies you bought and meant to eat, but forgot about! You can add just about anything. In this photo, I used bok choy, Napa cabbage, carrots and edamame tosed with garlic, scallions, ginger and cilantro. Serve over noodles or rice if desired. I love black rice noodles. Top with your favorite sauce, like siraacha and you are good to go in 15 minutes!

Sharene's Stir Fry

Serves 2

Remember, use the veg in this recipe as suggestions. Feel free to use whatever you have in the frig.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil

  • 3 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch slices

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 6 oz shiitake mushrooms, tip of foot removed and sliced thinly

  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut thinly on the angle

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and cut into bite-sized strips, (optional)

  • 1/2 Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup frozen edamame

  • 3 bunches baby bok choy, cut into thin strips

  • 3 TB wheat-free tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce)

  • 1 TB rice vinegar

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)

  • Freshly grated ginger (optional)

  • Siraacha Sauce, red chili sauce, (optional)

  • sesame seeds and/or chopped cashews (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and add onion. Sauté for a few minutes, then add shiitake mushrooms, carrots and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, adding water to the pan by the tablespoon if the veggies start to stick.

  2. Next, add bok choy, cabbage, edamame, garlic, tamari sauce and rice wine vinegar. Grate ginger over top if using. Toss to combine and continue tossing until bok choy and cabbage has wilted and the edamame is warmed through. Turn off heat, and toss veggies with the sauce and serve over rice or noodles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or chopped cashews.

Cinco de Mayo!

Here is your game plan for the perfect dinner. Make your cilantro and lime chicken and jammy salsa inspired roasted tomatoes, punch up your canned beans with herbs and spices and make a simple guacamole. Don't forget the margarita! It's a delicious dinner all summer long. See Sharene cooking this meal on our YouTube channel, healthynowny.

Cilantro and Lime roasted chicken thighs

Serves 4

45 minutes including marinating time

Oven 400°

 

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 1 lime, lemon and orange

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil

  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

  • Handful of cilantro, leaves and tender stems chopped

  • 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 5 or 6 thighs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Paprika or chili powder, optional

Directions:

  1. Mix the citrus juices, oil, garlic, cilantro, s&p, paprika, if using and chicken in a large bowl. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for 10 minutes on the counter or 30 minutes in the frig. Meanwhile, prep the jammy tomatoes.

  2. Spray a large sheet pan with non-stick spray and add the chicken to one side of the pan. You will add the tomatoes to the other side.

 

Jammy salsa-inspired roasted tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes cut in half

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped. Add as much or little to taste for heat sensitivity

  • 1 small onion roughly chopped

  • Fresh cilantro chopped, optional

  • Salt

  • Neutral oil

  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and add to the sheet pan with the chicken.

  2. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the tomatoes and flip the chicken. Cook for another 15 minutes. Check for doneness. If the chicken is not cooked through, cook until done. If the tomatoes and chicken are not browned enough, place under the broiled for 2 to 3 minutes.

 

Simple Mexican Beans

 

  • 2 cans black or pinto beans

  • 2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

  • a couple rings of jalapeno

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder/optional

  • roughly chopped cilantro, optional

  • salt to taste

 

Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients to a saucepan and let simmer until flavors meld and the beans are tasty and soft. Mash if desired.

Simple Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 ripe avocados

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

  • ½ lime squeezed, more to taste

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped, optional

  • Minced jalapeno, optional

  • Minced garlic, optional

 

Roughly mash the avocado, add the onion, lime juice and salt. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning. Add optional ingredients if desired.

Sharene's Granola

The perfect topping for yogurt or afternoon snack, this granola is packed with crunch, protein and lots of flavor!

Sharene's Granola

 

Set oven to 300

Use 2 large cookie or half sheet baking pans

 

 Ingredients:

  • 5 cups rolled oats

  • 2 to 3 cups mix of chopped nuts or sliced nuts and ground flax.  I use pecans, sliced almonds, sometimes pistachios, cashews and pumpkin seeds.  But don’t use more than ¼ to 1/3 cup of ground flax.  If not gluten intolerant, you can also add wheat germ.  You can also add 1/2 cup oat bran to the mix.

  • 1 to 2 cups coconut flakes

  • ½ heaping tsp salt

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • ¾ to 1 cup dark maple syrup

 

 

Mix and then spread in the baking sheets.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Bake to about 45 to 1 hour.

Healthynow Green Summer soup

Perfect light summer soup using lettuce!  Yes, this is the perfect soup for when you have too much lettuce, (is that really a thing?) or just want a bright, light green soup that doesn't include the always popular hearty greens.  No kale here!

Serves 4

20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Olive oil

  • 1 leek, thinly sliced and rinsed well

  • 1 medium size zucchini, halved lengthwise and then sliced into ½ moons or ¼ moons as desired

  • 1 romaine heart, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup of sliced celery, about 3 to 4 stalks

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 cups water or broth of choice

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Gremolata

 

  • Large handful of basil

  • 2 strips of lemon peel

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts or other nut of choice, toasted

  • Olive oil and salt

 

Heat a glug of olive oil in a stockpot on medium.  Add your rinsed leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the celery and cook until softened about 5 mins.  Then add the zucchini, lettuce, water/broth, herbs and bring to a simmer and cover. Lower heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.  Add the beans and simmer for 5 more minutes to meld the flavors.  Turn off heat.

 

Meanwhile, make the gremolata:

 

Place all the ingredients on a cutting board and roughly chop together.  Taste for salt and add as desired.

 

Serve the soup with a generous topping gremolata and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Create a meal 101

Another night, another meal! Sometimes it’s easy to forget to be grateful for the tools, supplies and ability to make a meal to sustain our bodies.  Figuring out what to make for dinner can feel a little overwhelming and like just one more thing to add to the never-ending to-do list.  Ok, so we didn’t “mealplan” as we so often preach here at Healthynow.  It is 7:15 and we don’t have a clue to what to cook.  Luckily, we joined a CSA, so we have some fresh veg.  The kale will certainly work!  And how about those sweet potatoes we usually keep around? They are great for many an impromptu meal (roasted, topped with melted cheese, topped with salsa and salad or guac or heated canned beans)

Sweet potato and Kale “stir fry” by Healthynowny

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Olive oil

  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ in cubes ( or previously roasted sweet potatoes)

  • 1 large bunch of kale, destemmed and leaves chopped into fine ribbons (or use whatever sturdy greens you might have like swiss chard, collards or escarole)

  • 1 red onion OR any other onion, chopped

  • A couple cloves of garlic chopped (optional)

  • Fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil, or parsley, chopped

  • Broth or water as needed

  • 1 or 2 cans of cannellini beans

Optional toppings:

  • Ricotta cheese

  • Parmesan cheese

  • Feta cheese

  • Hot sauce

  • Chopped nuts

 

Directions:

 

1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium until shimmering. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and cook until slightly underdone, 5-7 minutes if small cubes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the red onion and sauté for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the kale, toss and add liquid ½ cup to ¾ cup. Simmer until kale is softened about 5 to 8 minutes. Then add the beans and more liquid if desired. Cook for 5-10 minutes to let flavors meld. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add fresh herbs as desired and toss with olive oil. Serve with optional toppings and a green salad.

Ok, halfway there, we have kale, we have sweet potatoes, what about a red onion, or any onion, some herbs if we have them and a can of white beans?  Yes, dinner done!  Add a dollop of ricotta or a crumble of goat or feta cheese if have some lurking on your frig and you are feeling fancy OR add a sprinkle of hot sauce.  Not to worry though, the dinner will taste just fine, or better than fine, without the extra dollops.  So maybe we didn’t meal plan, but with some pantry basics anyone can put a healthy meal on the table, yet again!

HN Cauliflower and Pea curry

Another great dinner recipe that is adaptable to whatever you have in your refrigerator and pantry. We made ours with a head of cauliflower, or use frozen chopped cauliflower, fresh baby greens or use frozen spinach and frozen peas. You could sub in a can of chickpeas for the peas if you prefer. All of this pulled togetether in a base of curry spices, coconut milk and fresh herbs. Serve over rice for a complete meal. We liked our topped with chopped cashews, an herby yogurt sauce and some chutney we had in the frig. 30 minutes start to finish!

Serves 4

 

30 minutes

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1” knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or ½ to 1 teaspoon dried

  • 1 head of cauliflower chopped into ½ “ pieces or use 1 lb frozen

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • coconut oil, olive oil or ghee

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 can of coconut milk

  • 1 5oz bag of baby greens to ½ pound

  • 8 oz frozen green peas

  • handful of cilantro chopped, optional

 

Optional toppings

 

  • Cooked basmati rice or rice of choice

  • Chopped cashews or other nuts

  • Prepared chutney

  • Unsweetened coconut flakes

 

Yogurt sauce--1 cup of plain yogurt, s&p, chopped mint or grated cucumber, grated clove of garlic

 

Directions:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until soft, then add the garlic and the spices.

  2. Let brown for a minute and then add the chopped cauliflower. Toss gently, add ¼ cup of water and coconut milk, cover and let simmer until cauliflower is soft. Taste and adjust seasoning, add more curry if you like.

  3. Then add the baby greens and peas. Stir to combine, cover and heat the peas and wilt the greens.

  4. Add the cilantro. Serve over rice and with optional toppings.

Pistachio Oat Squares

Here's a perfect portable snack; Pistachio Oat squares! Unlike “snack” or “protein” bars that are filled with ingredients only a food scientist would know, these are made with just 7! Ingredients and they are all ones you have heard of.  Simple to make and easy to enjoy, make sure these are part of your snack rotation.  Remember, if you don’t recognize the ingredients in your food, your body will not either!  If your body doesn’t know what to do with a food/chemical, it tends to put it into fat cells, which is not good for your long term health.  So eat these instead!  

Pistachio Oat Squares

 adapted from One Part Plant 

12 squares

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw, shelled pistachios

  • 1 cup raw oats

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, optional

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided

  •  

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9” square pan with parchment. In a food processor with the blade attached, process the dry ingredients, plus ¼ cup of coconut flakes, until a meal starts to form.  While the processor running, add the oil and maple syrup until well mixed.

  2. Press the dough into the pan. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top and lightly press into the dough.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the coconut flakes are golden brown and the dough is cooked through.  It will be a little soft.

  3. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently lift paper with cooked dough out of the pan and let cool.  Cut 12 even squares and store in a sealed container for a week or in the freezer for as long as they last!

This recipe is a perfect example of using what I had around to create a dish that was really yummy. I found an old looking acorn squash lurking in the pantry and while it is way past winter, the squash held its own in a cool and rainy April. I love the smoky flavor of a Spanish chorizo, but alas, had none on hand, so smoked paprika to the rescue! It's perfect for giving you the flavor of smokiness, say from bacon or a smoked sausage without the meat. The rest of the ingredients are completely adaptable to anything you have in your pantry/frig. Don't have kale, use spinach. Don't have fresh greens, no problem, use frozen. Not a fan of goat cheese, use cheddar or whatever cheese you like. Keeping it vegan. leave out the cheese. You could add mashed white beans to the mix as well. If you don't have parsley, leave it out! Sautéed peppers would be a nice addition. Run with it!

Spanish-inspired stuffed Acorn Squash by Healthynowny

Serves 2, adaptable to serve more

 

Oven @ 375˚

 

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1 bunch kale

  • 2 gloves of garlic roughly chopped

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, optional

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or to taste

  • ¼ to ½ chopped parsley

  • 3 oz goat cheese or ½ cup grated cheese of choice

  • ½ cup chopped roasted almonds or nuts of choice

 

Directions

  1. Rub acorn squash with olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet or baking dish. Bake until pierced easily with a fork about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size.

  2. Turn right side up to cool, mash a bit of the flesh and set aside in a bowl. S&P the remaining squash.

  3. Meanwhile, destem the kale, chop the leaves finely and sauté until softened in olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, Add salt to taste.

  4. Once cooled, add the kale to the squash in the bowl, along with cooked quinoa, thyme, smoked paprika, parsley and cheese. Combine well. Add more olive oil if the mixture seems dry. Add more cheese if desired.

  5. Add the filling to the squash halves. It’s fine if it overflows, those bits will be deliciously crispy. Bake in the oven until warmed through about 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and enjoy!

Spanish-inspired stuffed Acorn Squash

Not Quite Spanakopita by Healthynowny

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs yellow squash or zucchini, washed well *see note below for using baby spinach

  • 1 5 oz bag of baby kale

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • large handful of fresh dill, chopped or 1 tsp dried

  • pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)

  • 4 eggs, lightly whisked

  • 1 cup crumbled feta or favorite cheese

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs ( I used a combo of rice crumbs and chopped, raw pinenuts)

 

Directions:

  1. Turn oven to 375 degrees. Slice squash lengthwise, then again for 4 rows and slice each into thin semi-triangles.

  2. Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet, you can grease a large cassorole dish and set aside. Add onions and squash, salt and pepper to taste and sauté until softened and browned on the edges.

  3. Meanwhile, toss the breadcrumbs with olive oil and S&P and set aside.

  4. Remove skillet from cooktop, stir to release some heat. Add baby kale. Stir, and then add fresh or dried dill, pinch of nutmeg, the eggs and feta. If using a casserole, pour filling into prepared dish.

  5. Put skillet/casserole in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. At this point the eggs should be done. Top the "pie" with your prepared breadcrumbs and place in the oven for 5 more minutes or run under the broiler for 2 minutes.

 

* To use spinach only; sauté the onions until soft and slightly caramelized, Then add the spinach and saute until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add the other ingredients and follow the recipe from step 3 on.

Even though I can't eat the buttery layers of filo, I can eat the yummy filling that usually includes; onions, dill, feta, some eggs and of course, spinach. Luckily, I did grab some yellow summer squash at the grocery store which I subbed in for spinach and just for good measure, I threw in a bag of baby kale. If YOU can eat spinach, then use 2 lbs in this recipe. That will look like A LOT of spinach, but it will cook down.

 

See Sharene create this dish on our healthynowny YouTube channel.

Dreaming of Spanakopita (or spinach pie), when I can't eat wheat or spinach!

During this time of Coronavirus, I am guessing we all crave comfort foods. One of my favorite comfort foods is Greek Spinach pie, or Spanakopita. I used to buy delicious ones made by Trader Joes. They were a little bit of heaven and such an easy meal to pull together; just pop in the oven and make a green salad and dinner is done! Then a funny thing happened on the way of life; I became allergic to wheat and my husband can't eat spinach. NO MORE SPANAKOPITA! Right now, in addition to the aforementioned food issues, like you, I have to work with what I have.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

  • 6 to 8 chicken legs and/or thighs, bone-in

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice

  • 1 28-ounce can or POMI box of pureed or chopped tomatoes, with juice

 

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or 3 sprigs of thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 large cauliflower, cored, roughly chopped, tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted in 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

  • 12 kalamata olives (about 45 grams), rinsed, pitted and cut in half (optional)

  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 to 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep, heavy lidded skillet or casserole and brown the chicken, in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes on each side. Add the vinegar or lemon to the pan and scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.

  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan, and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan, until it begins to soften and it is lightly browned and very soft in about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and stir together for a minute or two more, until the garlic is fragrant, then add the tomatoes and their juice, thyme sprigs, dried oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is reduced slightly and fragrant.

  4. Add the roasted cauliflower and kalamata olives and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until flavors meld and the chicken is cooked and just about falling off the bone. Stir in the parsley, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with grains or potatoes with the feta sprinkled on top if desired.

Greek Chicken Stew with Cauliflower

Watch Sharene make this dish on our HEALTHYNOWNY youtube channel. We've adapted the recipe to make it easy to pull together for a quick meal. It's so delicious on it's own or served with rice or roasted potatoes. We loved it with a simple green salad.

Adapted from NYTimes Cooking, see the recipe here.

Green Pancakes

adapted from Jamie Oliver/food52
Ingredients
  • 1 leek sliced or 1/2 onion chopped

  • 2 colorful peppers, sliced

  • 2 cups baby spinach, baby kale, watercress, mix of herbs such as basil and parsley or your favorite green, packed

  • 3 scallions

  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (½ oz)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup flour or gluten free flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt,

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup dairy of choice

  • 1 cup cottage cheese, ricotta, or hummus

  • Hot sauce, sesame seeds, sliced avocado

 

Directions

  1. Sauté onions and peppers until soft and caramelized, set aside in a bowl. Wipe the skillet clean. Meanwhile, blend the egg, flour, salt, dairy, greens, green onions and cilantro until smooth and pourable.

  2. Heat oil in the skillet. Fry a small tester of the pancake and taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning as needed and heat more oil and fry pancakes until lightly brown on one side, flip and and fry for just a few seconds more.

  3. Spoon on some cottage cheese/ricotta/hummus and top with peppers and onions. Layer some sliced avocado and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seeds if desired. Enjoy!

Green Pancakes for dinner!

This recipe is a riff on one by Jamie Oliver that appeared recently on food52. How fun is making really green pancakes? His recipe calls for spinach; we used a combo of baby kale and watercress. He also uses cottage cheese as a filler: reemember cottage cheese? It's actually a great protein if you eat dairy. Certainly feel free to sub in ricotta or Greek yogurt or if you are vegetarian, try hummus! Make a double batch as these will freeze well and then you can one later as a wrap with your favorite fillings.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

  • 3 summer squash, diced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup COOKED quinoa*

  • ½ cup grated Gruyère, cheddar, manchego, goat cheese (2 ounces) or whatever you have on hand. Cheese is optional!

  • add 1/4 cup chopped herbs such as basil or parsley

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, oven-proof, heavy skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the summer squash, thyme and rosemary. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is tender and a bit browned but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl, and then stir into the squash mixture, add the cooked quinoa and the cheese. Mix well and season. Place in the oven, and bake20 to 35 minutes or until it’s set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot, warm or room temperature. Serve with a crunch romaine salad on the side.

 

*To cook quinoa: Rinse 1 cook quiona well, if not pre-rinsed. Combine in a pot with 2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Take the lid off and let cool. If using broth, omit the salt.

Zucchini and Quinoa gratin -- meal in one!

We love dinners that are easy to prepare and that use one pan. Sauté your vegetables in an overproof skillet, then you can add the rest of the ingredients to the same skillet and pop it into the oven for a quick bake. This is a NYTimes Cooking recipe. Here is the link. Below is our adapted version.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus

  • 2 leeks, trimmed or 4 scallions, trimmed and white and green parts sliced thinly or small yellow onion chopped

  • 2 cups frozen peas

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • 8 to 12 oz of dried pasta

  • olive oil or butter

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/ 2 cup creme fraiche/sour cream/ ricotta (optional)

  • handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, dill or tarragon (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to desired doneness. Save 1 cup of pasta water before you drain the pasta.

  2. Trim your asparagus by finding the breaking point or peeling the tough ends. Chop in small coins. Slice the leeks lengthwise and then slice again crosswise into half circles. Toss in a colander under running cold water to get any sand/grit from between the layers. Heat olive oil or butter, add leeks, turn down flame to medium and soften for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the chopped asparagus and sauté for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the frozen peas with 1/2 cup of the pasta water. No need to defrost.

  4. Warm through for about 2 minutes, then add the creme fraiche or sour cream or ricotta, OR add more olive oil. Toss in pasta and lemon zest. Heat through.

  5. If it is not saucy enough, add more pasta water. Taste for seasoning and finally squeeze lemon juice over your finished pasta and sprinkle with herbs as desired. Enjoy!

Quick Spring vegetable Pasta

Oh, the beauty of spring vegetables! After all the heavy, grounding, rich vegetables and foods of fall and winter, it's so exciting to see bright green, local asparagus, leeks, scallions, pea-shoots in our grocery stores and farmers markets. It's the perfect time to make one of our favorite dishes, SPRING VEGETABLE PASTA. It's so easy to whip up - maybe 10 - 15 minutes start to finish!

Ingredients:

  • I large head of escarole or 1 1/2 lbs other hearty greens, leaves separated and rinsed well. If using kale be sure to take the stalks out before you chop the leaves

  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 quart of chicken or vegetable broth or water

  • 2 tablespoons chopped pancetta or bacon, optional

  • parmesan cheese or chopped nuts, optional

  • olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large soup pot and heat on medium. Add the pancetta, if using. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the pancetta is slightly colored and beginning to crisp up. Add chopped garlic and toss for a minute or until slightly browned.

  2. Roughly chop the escarole leaves. It will look like a lot, but don't worry, it will cook down. Put the leaves on top of the pancetta and garlic, sprinkle some salt over the leaves and gently stir as the leaves begin to wilt.

  3. Once the leaves are slightly wilted, add the broth/water and drained beans. Season with pepper and let simmer to meld the flavors for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you used water, you may want to add more salt.

  4. Top the soup with more olive oil and grated cheese or nuts as desired.

Healthynow Escarole and White bean soup

This is a perfect pantry meal using canned beans, boxed broth (or water), garlic, and greens! This recipe adds some pancetta (or bacon) for depth of flavor, but many recipes online do not, so you can leave it out if you don't have it or if you want to make your dinner vegan/vegetarian. We also add a grating of cheese at the end, but Lisa loves to use grated nuts instead of cheese, so that's great idea to add the flavor cheese might impart but keeping the soup vegan! We love to modify, so feel free to do that too! Watch Sharene make this soup on YouTube @ healthynowny.

What to cook for dinner?!

Vegetarian Skillet Chili

by Melissa Clark, NYT Cooking (with HN tweaks)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Olive or grapeseed oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, or to taste, minced

  • 1 teaspoon chile powder (HN 1 tablespoon)

  • HN 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained

  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes Salt, to taste

  • HN Optional: 1 pepper chopped or a handful of frozen chopped peppers, 1 small sweet potato cubed, 1/2 to 1 lb grass fed ground beef or organic turkey

  • HN Garnishes: cilantro, chopped sweet or red onion or scallions, sour cream, cheddar cheese

 

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet, then add the oil. When hot, add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic, chile powder and oregano and sauté until fragrant.

  2. Add the beans and tomatoes (and other vegetables if using) and a few large pinches of salt and let simmer until the tomatoes break down (and sweet potatoes are soft) about 20 minutes.

  3. Taste and add more salt, chile and/or oregano to taste. Serve with any of the garnishes you like.

What to cook for dinner?!

Are you in a dinner rut? Bored of your meal rotation? Not to mention too tired/too busy/kids picky/empty panty. At HN, Lisa and I keep a pantry of meal staples so that we can make a dinner in 30 mins or less. How, you might say, do we do this? 3 things; can of beans, can of tomatoes and broth. With a few spices and a few vegetables and maybe some extra protein, you can make a delcious meal. This recipe from NYTimes cooking is a perfect example. Melissa Clarks' skillet chili is great as it is, but you can add your own additions based on what you have around. Read on for our tweaks.

Rigatoni with Roman Broccoli Sauce adapted by HN

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds broccoli, stems, heavily peeled and roughly chopped and florets chopped

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 5 oz bag baby spinach or baby kale

2 medium garlic cloves, chopped

4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces (butter adverse can use extra virgin olive oil)

1 tablespoon drained capers

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, divided

8 to 12 oz of ounces pasta - you can use TJ rice/quinoa or for more protein use your favorite legume pasta

1 ounce pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup), plus more to serve, optional

 

Directions

  1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Peel the broccoli stems, and chop coarsely with the florets. Add all the broccoli to the boiling water and cook until fully tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted, less time for spinach. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the 3/4 of the vegetables to a blender; reserve the rest in a bowl and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Keep the water at a boil.

  2. To the blender, add the garlic, butter or oil, capers, pepper flakes, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest and the reserved broccoli cooking water. Puree until smooth and bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Note, for best results use a high speed blender.

  3. Stir the rigatoni into the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return pasta to the pot and add the reserved vegetables, the broccoli puree, ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest and the cheese. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly and the pasta is well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

This delicious recipe from MILKSTREET is a perfect quick meal, with added benefits of lots of health-giving green nutrients. Yes! And it tastes so good!

Get your greens on!