Mediterranean Lentil Salad 

Warm Mediterranean Lentil Stew 

This is one of our favorite dishes. It's a slow cooker recipe - though you could make it on the stovetop. It is easy to make and really delicious.


·  1 3/4 cups vegetable broth 
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed 
1 cup French green lentils, picked over and rinsed 
1/4 c. white wine vinegar 
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence 
Salt and Pepper 
1/2 c chopped fresh mint 
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil 
1 garlic clove, minced 
12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered 
1/4 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped 
2 oz crumbled feta cheese (1/2 cup) 


1. Combine broth, chickpeas, lentils, 1 T of vinegar, herbes de Provence, and 1/2 t salt in slow cooker. Cover and cook til lentils are tender, 3-4 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. 

2. Whisk mint, oil and garlic and remaining 3 T vinegar together in small bowl,; stir gently into lentils. Stir in tomatoes and olives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with feta and serve. 

I have made this without the mint, I have used parsley instead of mint. Still delicious. 
From America's Test Kitchen - Slow Cooker Revolution Cookbook.

PS - Rusty says he thinks this would be even better with 2 cloves of garlic. Spoken like a true Louisiana native.

Tuscan Farro Stew 

What is farro? It is an ancient wheat grain, and contains less gluten than modern day wheat. It has a nutty taste and is very nutritious - contains magnesium, zinc, iron, fiber and protein. In our house we call it "the ancient grain". Rusty gets excited when I tell him we are having the ancient grain for dinner. This is a hearty vegetable based dish. If you want more protein, you can top it with a fried egg, or add some sausage. So yummy!


·  ¾ cup red wine vinegar 

·  3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving 

·  2 celery ribs, diced 

·  2 carrots, diced 

·  1 medium onion, diced 

·  2 garlic cloves, minced 

·  ¼ tsp. kosher salt 

·  2 Tbsp. tomato paste 

·  2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped 

·  6 cups vegetable stock 

·  1 cup semipearled farro (you could also used pearled barley)

·  1 pound collard greens, ribs removed and leaves chopped (or kale)

·  1 can white beans, drained 

·  ½ tsp. ground black pepper 

·  Grated Parmesan, for serving 


Active time: 20 minutes 
Total time: 1 hour 

In a large pot, boil red wine vinegar over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 Tbsp., about 5 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and set aside. 

Rinse pot and return to stove over low heat. Add olive oil and, when hot, add celery ribs, carrots, onion, garlic and salt. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, add tomato paste and stir until shiny, about 1 minute. Add rosemary, vegetable stock and farro and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Add collard greens or kale; cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add reserved vinegar reduction and white beans, and simmer 5 minutes. Season with black pepper. Serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan to taste. 


Citrus Glazed Salmon with Broccolini 

The sweet and spicy marinade makes this dish special and so tasty. You can make the marinade and chop the broccolini or broccoli ahead of time, then roast in the oven with the salmon and - voila! Dinner.



2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice (I used clementines - worked great!)

1/4 c plus 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon hot sauce (Like Frank's or Cholula - or use Sriracha like I did)

1 T Dijon mustard

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bunches broccolini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Kosher salt

4 (5 oz) skin-on salmon fillets


1 - Preheat oven to 375 F, with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.

2 - In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, Orange juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, the honey, hot sauce, mustard and garlic till smooth.

3 - Toss the broccolini with the remaining 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle half the marinade over broccolini and toss again, spreading the broccolini in an even layer around the edges of the pan. 

4 -  Place the salmon fillets in the center of the pan and drizzle with the remaining marinade. 

5 - Bake until broccolini is crisp-tender and the salmon is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

I have made this dish twice. The first time I used broccolini. The second time I used broccoli, cut into small pieces, and baked them for about 5 minutes before adding the salmon fillets, as I thought they might need a little longer in the oven than broccolini.

Both times the result was delicious. the marinade cooks down into a sweet sauce with a little kick to it. You can serve it with some rice or bread on the side to soak up that yummy sauce.

Recipe is from Molly Gilbert's One Pan & Done which I HIGHLY recommend. I am pretty much cooking my way through it. 


Sweet Potato Hummus 

Super delicious and good for you too!  Roasted lemons make this hummus tangy.

Sweet Potato Hummus 

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped 
4 large garlic cloves, peeled 
2 lemons, halved 
2 T olive oil 
1 t slat 
1/4 c. tahini 
1/4 cup water 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Put the sweet potatoes, garlic and lemon halves on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 t salt. Toss with hands until the the vegetables and lemons are completely coated. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake, shaking the pan every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are browned and tender, but not burnt. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. 
3. When vegetables are cool enough to handle, transfer sweet potatoes and garlic to work bowl of food processor, fitted with metal blade. Squeeze the pulp and juice from the lemons into a small bowl, pick out and discard any seeds, and add to the food processor, along with the tahini and the remaining 1/2 t. salt. Process until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed. With motor running, slowly stream in water through feed tube until the hummus is very smooth. Refrigerate in tightly sealed container for up to 1 week. 

This recipe come from OMD - Change the World by Changing One Meal A Day by Suzy Amis Cameron. (plant based recipes) 
The roasted lemons are a really nice touch. I added them to my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes along with coconut milk to make a creamy, tangy dish. 

UPDATE - I made this dish using my slow cooker. Eureka! No need to heat up the kitchen by firing up the oven during the summer. Here's how: Peel sweet potatoes. Cut them and the lemons in half, place in large bowl with garlic cloves and toss in 1 T olive oil. Wrap sweet potato and lemon halves individually in aluminum foil. Wrap garlic cloves together in 1 piece of foil. Place in slow cooker and add 1/2 c water to bottom. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Remove and let col a bit, then unwrap and place in food processor. Proceed with rest of the recipe.

Nicoise Salad 

This is a great summer meal.. uses fresh veggies and needs just a little stove top cooking for a few of the ingredients.

serves 4-6 

1 clove garlic 
Kosher salt, to taste 
⅓ cup olive oil 
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 
1 shallot, minced 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

1 lb. small new potatoes, boiled until tender 
8 oz. green beans or asparagus, blanched or lightly steamed 
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved 
½ cup black Niçoise olives 
8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced 
8 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed and drained (optional) 
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise 
3 (4-oz.) cans high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained 
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced 
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, to garnish 
romaine lettuce, washed, and spun dry 

1. Make the dressing: Mince garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle heavily with salt; using a knife, scrape garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Transfer paste to a bowl and whisk in oil, juice, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper; set aside. 

2. Make the salad: Prepare a bowl for each person.Put a bed of romaine lettuce in each bowl, arrange other ingredients over lettuce; drizzle dressing over all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with scallions just before serving.

Artichoke Shaksuka 

Shaksuka is a poached eg dish popular in northern Africa. It is often eaten for breakfast in Israel. This version uses canned artichoke hearts and is quick, easy and delicious.

Artichoke Shaksuka 
Serves 4 


2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced 
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
24-ounce jar of marinara sauce 
12-ounce jar of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered 
6 to 8 large eggs 
Kosher salt 
Ground black pepper 
1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese 
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley 


Active time: 15 minutes 
Total time: 30 minutes 

Preheat oven to 375°, with rack in center. Heat olive oil in a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and bell pepper and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add marinara sauce and artichoke hearts. Crack eggs into sauce and sprinkle with generous pinches of salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbled feta or goat cheese over pan. Transfer pan to oven and bake until egg whites are set but yolks are still slightly runny, 15 to 20 minutes. Scatter parsley over top before serving warm from skillet, family-style. 

Unbelievably good! -- Original recipe from Molly Gilbert's One Pan and Done. (which I may have to get if the rest of the recipes are as great as this one) 
Read more:


Bayou Shrimp 

This is so delicious and easy and quick to make. Enjoy!

Bayou Shrimp 

5 cups hot, cooked rice 

¼ cup butter or margarine 

1 lb. uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined 

1 garlic clove, minced (or ¼ tsp minced garlic powder) 

½ tsp. salt 

¼-1 tsp. black pepper 

1 T. Cajun Seasoning 

1 cup garden pepper or chunky style salsa 

1 cup shrimp or vegetable stock, clam juice or 1 cup water mixed with ½ tsp Penzey’s Seafood or Vegetable Soup Base 

1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles 

¼ cup water 

2 T. cornstarch or flour 

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, garlic, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning, cook until shrimp turns pink – 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salsa, stock or clam juice and chiles and mix well. Reduce heat to low, cook for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch or flour (cornstarch will give a clearer sauce that flour), blend till smooth. Add to the mixture in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Serve in bowls over the hot rice. 

Unbelievably good! 

Recipe is from Penzey’s Spices.

And here's a track from our upcoming CD to listen to while you cook:

Holy Guacamole! 

We had a blast in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico. When we weren't eating out, we made quesadillas and guacamole at our friend Emily's casa. Yes you can probably buy guacamole at the supermarket, but the fresh homemade stuff is soooo good! and healthy too. Really.

Holy Guacamole


2 ripe avocados 
1/2 small-med onion, minced 
1-2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped 
1 tomato, chopped 
juice from one or two limes - at least 2 T 
1/2 t ground cumin 
salt to taste 
chopped cilantro 

Slice avocados open, remove the seeds and scoop out the avocado. Place in bowl and mash with fork. Add the minced onion, garlic, chopped tomato and jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro and seasonings. Mix and taste. Adjust seasonings. Enjoy!

Broccoli Feta Soup 

I served this soup to our bass player Jeff Stocki at a rehearsal and he begged me for the recipe afterwards. I sent it out in my newsletter and it got rave reviews. So tasty and good for you too!

Broccoli Feta Soup 
Serves 4 to 6 


2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
1 cup diced onion 
½ cup diced celery 
2 garlic cloves, smashed 
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided 
½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided 
1 large Yukon Gold potato, skin on, cut into ½" pieces (about 1½ cups) 
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed 
6 cups broccoli florets (from 1½ pounds broccoli crowns) 
⅓ cup parsley leaves, plus 2 Tbsp. for garnish 
⅓ cup crumbled feta (1½ ounces), plus ¼ cup for garnish 
½ Tbsp. or so chopped dill, for garnish 


In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery and garlic until soft, about 8 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper. 

Add potato and stir to combine. Pour in stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli and cook until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add ⅓ cup parsley and ⅓ cup feta. 

Using a blender, puree soup in batches. Add stock or water to reach desired consistency. Season with remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with remaining parsley, feta and dill. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. 

Original recipe is from

The Best Cole Slaw 

Rusty and I traveled through Louisiana and Mississippi last month. We had some excellent meals, but every time we were served cole slaw, Rusty said "It's not as good as yours." Here is my favorite cole slaw recipe - Southern Style Power Slaw!

Southern-Style Power Slaw 

Cajun Dressing: 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1/8 cup Dijon mustard 
3 tablespoons sugar - I use a generous Tablespoon of agave instead 
3 tablespoons cider vinegar 
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spices 
1 teaspoon salt 

6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage 
4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage 
4 large collard green leaves, thinly sliced 
6 scallions, thinly sliced 

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the entire salad.  Mix well with a wire whisk until combined. 

Mix all of the salad ingredients together in the bowl with the dressing and mix until well combined. 

Put the salad in the refrigerator for about 1 hour prior to serving.  The slaw can be made one day ahead. 

Makes 8 servings. 
Variations - I often make half this recipe if it is just for me and Rusty. I add a grated carrot, and have made it with green cabbage only if I don't have purple on hand.You can use kale if you don't have collards. And I have substituted yogurt for up to half of the mayo. Any way - it's delish! 

Source: Adapted from “The Whole Foods Market Cookbook”