Green bean, Carrot, Chickpea Salad

When I was a kid, we used to pick green beans from my grandma’s garden in MI. I liked green beans so much so, I couldn’t wait until we got in the house to wash them, that I’d just eat them straight after picking them. My brother hated green beans, and still does to this day. So, more for me! I wasn’t a fan of green bean casserole that always seemed to make an appearance at family holiday dinners. I like my beans steamed or sauted with olive oil or butter and some lemon juice. Or, I love them raw in a salad. Originally, I was just going to do an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing, but decided upon a creamy dressing of mayo, ground yellow mustard, olive oil and lemon juice (this is the same dressing from the previous recipe here This would be a great side dish any time of the year…but, it makes me think of summer because it’s fresh and crisp.

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, washed
  • 1/2 a red onion, minced
  • 8-10 baby carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of chives

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Rinse and trim the green beans, cut them in half and put them in a large bowl. Add diced red onion, cut carrots and can of chickpeas. In a separate bowl, combine dijon mustard, mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whip together until smooth. Add dressing to veggies and stir until well-coated. Add some fresh chives too if you like.

Prince?? Really??

Dammit. I can’t wrap my head around this. Three people texted me in all caps, “PRINCE” and I checked Twitter and figured it was a hoax (a sick one), but, nope, not so much. It was true. Price was gone. When your musical idols start dying….first Bowie and now Prince. Too many people from the entertainment industry have died this year. Enough already. 2016 is the year of death. Fuck this.

His music was on my teenage life soundtrack for Chrissakes. His music made people happy and get up and dance. He was a true musical genius. Those vaults of unpublished music that we’ll never hear….Sigh. To say that he will be sorely missed worldwide is an understatement. I hope the Empire State Building is lit up in all purple tonight. Rest in Peace, Prince.

Let’s all sing….

Purple Rain

Chickpea, Broccoli and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Mayo-Mustard-Olive Oil Dressing

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Sometimes I think I can be a raw foodist, but then I remember how much I love sweet potato fries and my Mom’s homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies and I scrap that idea. I can be an occasional raw foodist, one who eats a lot of various kinds of salads, right? Right. In fact, this was my lunch today.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 C chopped carrots
  • 1/2 C broccoli florets (cut really tiny)
  • 1/4 C chopped onions

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Put chopped veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl, drizzle the dressing and mix until the beans and veggies are well-coated. I measured out the dressing and it’s about 1/3 of a cup. I did add a little more mustard because the flavor is just so nice.

Spring Avocado Basil Pesto with Pasta

I really love pesto of any sort: basil, kale, swiss chard, you name it, I’ll eat it. So, I decided to try a new recipe out that had been in my head for awhile and, lo and behold, it was delicious! Even G. loved it (he had two helpings of pasta). This dish just screams spring!

  • 1 avocado, seeded and halved
  • 1.5oz pkg of basil, washed
  • couple glugs of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Pecorino Romano (optional)
  • cooked pasta of your choice

Cook your pasta, whatever shape you decide, (I used gemeli, about 2 cups uncooked), set aside in a large bowl. Add avocado halves, basil, olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Use your best judgment with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bam, you’re done. Add pesto by spoonfuls to the cooked pasta (you don’t want to over-saturate it), and serve. I added a bit of grated Pecorino to our servings and halved grape tomatoes to mine. This goes well with red or white wine too.

Smoky Lentil Mushroom Soup

lentil mushroom soup

Nice and warm on a snowy February day.

I was in 70 degree and sunny temps in FL the other day…only to come back to 27 degrees and snow in NYC. So, why not make some soup? Not that soup fills the void of fresh Florida produce like tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes….Oh well. I think this soup would benefit from some homemade croutons sprinkled on top and a glass of red wine. Enjoy!

  • 2-3TB olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 package of white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2C. red wine
  • 1 carton of vegetable broth
  • 1 14oz.can of diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
  • 2 cans of lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1 container of spinach, rinsed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

(Use a Dutch Oven or soup pot) Heat pot first, over medium heat, when pot is hot, add olive oil and then add shallots and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and yellow pepper and cook for another few minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add half cup of red wine and stir. Let the wine cook down, then add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and then the lentils and spices, stir. Then cover and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Add the spinach just before you’re about to eat and let that get wilted. Serve with crusty bread or, make some whole wheat bread croutons* and sprinkle on top of soup. Serves 4 with some leftovers.

*To make croutons: Cut two slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread into 1 inch pieces. Heat 2TB of butter in a pan, add bread and make sure the bread is coated with the melted butter. If bread isn’t coated, then add a little olive oil. Add some salt, pepper to taste.