Broccoli Almond Salad

This one is super simple, but the crunchiness of broccoli makes it fun & filling.

I came up with this over the summer when I was headed out to a party and realized I didn’t have anything pre-made to bring.

Servings: 2

Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 large bunch of Broccoli
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 2 TBSP Natural Mayonnaise (if you do not like mayonnaise and can have dairy try yogurt)


  1. Remove the heads of the broccoli and cut them into small florets
  2. Place a medium sautee pan on the stove and turn on to medium high heat. Drizzle the pan with olive oil
  3. Add broccoli and sautee for about 10 minutes until the broccoli is bright green and fresh looking
  4. Remove broccoli, add 3 TSB Mayonnaise and the almond



Coconut Sauteed Kale with Butternut Squash

This is a sweet, warming meal, good for colder days. Really simple, but good.

Servings: 1-2 portions

Time: 30 minutes


  • ½ can coconut milk
  • 1 small bunch of kale
  • ½ butternut squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste if you like


  1. Chop butternut squash into 1 inch cubes and add to the sautee pan.
  2. In a sautee pan, turn to medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add butternut squash.
  3. Rinse the kale, remove the stalks and cut into roughly 2 inch squares. Add Kale.
  4. Add coconut milk.
  5. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Add a pinch or 2 of salt if you like.
  6. Cook for 25 minutes or until butternut squash is soft. 


Crispy Red Lentils in Provincial Red Wine Sauce
Why I love this

This one reminds be of being in the French countryside, enjoying simple meals with wine. For me that as a long time ago, but I can still remember it.

Red lentils are fun because they have a creamier yet spicier flavor than brown lentils and cook in about 20 minutes, which naturally I love. Here I pair them with onion and red wine over a bed of greens. This is a hearty stick to your ribs kind of meal.

Servings: 4

Calories: 500

Time: 30 minutes


  • 1lb bag red lentils
  • ½ medium sized onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bag organic baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt


  1. In a deep sauté pan, turn on to medium high and drizzle with olive oil
  2. Chop Onions & Garlic into slivers and sautee until browned.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, dump out the lentils and rinse
  4. Add lentils, 4 cups of water to the sautee pan. Combine with red wine and 2 tsp. salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and cover to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add rinsed spinach to pan and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the liquid is gone.
  7. To crisp, cook the lentils 2-3 minutes longer on high until they crisp on the bottom.


Massaged Kale Salad with Roasted Carrots, Beets, Walunts & Balsamic Tahini

Why I love this:

Raw kale is a bit chewy and bitter. By massaging the kale, it begins to soften. Adding the balsamic creamy tahini brings it down even further and creates a rich flavor with a hint of sour.

* Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin K (1 serving has 686% your RDA so don’t have too much!)

* Tahini (sesame paste) is high in magnesium which is good for energy.

* Note: Beets turn your urine orange. This is normal and safe.

Servings: Makes 1 portion

Calories: 350

Time: 5 minutes if the vegetables are already roasted (about 1 hour if they need to be roasted)


2-3 handfuls of raw kale

1 half cup beets, roasted down to 1/4 cup

1 half cup of baby carrots, roasted down to 1/4 cup

7 walnut halves

1 tsp tahini

1 tsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Pre-roast beets and carrots: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place beets and carrots in separate metal pans with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Roast for about 50 minutes or until soft.
  2. Take a bunch of kale, remove the leaves from the stalk and break apart, squeezing it in your hands until it becomes soft.
  3. Top with roasted beets, carrots & walnuts.
  4. Dressing: In a cup, combine 1 tsp of tahini, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp of water. Stir and drizzle on top of the salad.


5 Day Pre-Holiday Cleanse Shopping List

Produce – Aim for organic on all greens

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch of organic kale
  • 1 bunch of organic swiss chard
  • 1 bag of organic baby spinach
  • 1 bunch of brussels sprouts
  • 1 bunch of green beans
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 bunch of organic broccoli
  • 7 shitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 1 bag of organic carrots
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1 bunch of garlic

Proteins and Grains

  • 1 bag of walnuts
  • 1 bag almond slivers
  • 1 can lima beans – Amy’s or Trader Joes does not have BPA
  • 1 can garbanzo beans – Amy’s or Trader Joes
  • 1 bag red lentils
  • 2 servings of smoked salmon – aim for wild caught or nova
  • 1/2 dozen antibiotic free eggs
  • 1 package of rice cakes
  • 1 small, 4-6 oz package of quinoa


  • Tahini (I like Brads)
  • 1 can of coconut milk  – Trader Joes does not have BPA
  • 1 bottle of mayonnaise (Spectrum Naturals is organic)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Curry Powder
  • Rosemary (fresh is best, but dried will do.)

Snacks &Beverages

  • 5 Fruit & Nut Kind Bars
  • 2 bottles Multi Green Kombucha (skip if you are pregnant or nursing)
  • 1 box ginger or lemon tea (skip if you are pregnant or nursing)

Raw Beet & Carrot Slaw with Lima Beans & Walnuts

Why this is great on a Cleanse:

* Beets detoxify the liver  & kidneys. Note: Raw beets turn some people’s urine orange. This is normal and safe.

* Walnuts are high in Omega 3’s which are anti-inflammatory

* Balsamic is sour, which cuts sugar cravings.

Servings:  2 portions

Calories: 350

Time: 5 minutes (if you have a food processor)


2 medium sized beets (about 1 cup)

1 cup of baby carrots

3/4 cup of cooked lima beans

30 walnut halves

2 tsp of balsamic


  1. Remove the skin from the beets. Cut into quarters and throw in a food processor.
  2. Add 1 cup of carrots into the food processor.
  3. Remove and plate. Mix in the lima beans and walnuts.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


Lamb Sweet Potato Stew

It’s been snowing all day in NY and the house smells like simmering lamb stew. It’s one of those cozy warm feelings that makes winter so special.

For the past few weeks, I have been searching for a fresh winter stew recipe instead of my go to chili. Nothing was coming to me until I picked up these ingredients from my corner market and made this lamb sweet potato stew.

Health Benefits

I love lamb. Along with all meats and whole grains, lamb contains the full B-complex of 8 vitamins that are important to building cells, metabolizing energy and replenishing the body after a poor diet. It’s also milder, lower in fat and slightly salty, making it a healthier and more flavorful option than beef in many cases.

Sweet potato is a “superfood” that is high in vitamin A. It is also a good natural source of sweetness that is anti-inflammatory and rather filling. I am often asked what I think about carbs. In general, carbs are an important part of our diet. Just focus on smart carbs like sweet potato and vegetables instead of refined carbs and sugar.

Servings: about 4

Time: 3o minutes of prep time, 2 hours to simmer


  • 1 package all natural lamb sausage (Fabrique Delices brand is antibiotic free)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 medium sized zucchini
  • 1 can white cannellini beans (Eden Foods Brand is BPA free)
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • olive oil
  • white pepper
  • tarragon
  • salt


  1. On a cutting board, cut the onion in half, remove the ends and cut into long slices.
  2. Place an 8 quart or more stew pot on the stove and turn on medium high.
  3. Drizzle olive oil onto the bottom of the pan and add the onion.
  4. Chop the sausage into 1/8 to 1/4  inch slices. Once the onions have begun to brown, add the sausage and cook until browned.
  5. Cut the zucchini length-wise, then again lengthwise so that it is in 4 long pieces. Slice these into ¼ inch slices. Add to the pot
  6. Cut the sweet potatoes in a similar fashion, about ¼ inch wide.
  7. Add 8 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to medium, add sweet potato.
  9. Rinse the spinach and add it to the pot.
  10. Add 4 pinches of tarragon, 3 tsp of salt and 1 tsp white pepper
  11. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Check periodically to ensure there is enough water – you may have to add another 1 to 2 cups.




Cumin Encrusted Lamb Recipe

Why you will love this dish

As we enter deep fall, we wanted to delight your tastebuds with a dish that is succulent and grounded: Western China-inspired cumin lamb. We’ve paired it with a fresh, tangy twist on an American favorite, coleslaw, and brought in a Chinese favorite – pot stickers.

It’s also a great dish to help fortify your body for winter. Lamb is high in zinc for a healthy immune system. Tahini (crushed sesame seeds) is high in magnesium for energy and has been shown to reduce cholesterol. And, as you may have experienced, Ginger is an age old remedy for digestion.

Joanna Da Lu and Jia Huang and I created it for the 2013 Yale International Food Fight Competition that was judged by Top Chef Judge Jaques Pepin, Le Cirque Chef Alain Sailhac and Lutece Chef Andre Soltner. It won!

Total time: 1 hour. Literally, the 3 of us had 1 hour to make this meal on bunsen burners.

Ingredients: Serves 6

12 Small Racks of Lamb Frenched eg. extra fat removed from bone & sides leaving ⅛ inch fat

½ Pound Ground Lamb for the Pot Stickers

1 Ginger Root (large)

3 Pink Lady Apples

2 Fennel Bulbs (medium-large sized)

2 Large Bunches Fresh Watercress (with small leaves if possible)

4 Lemons

3 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Bulbs of Garlic

2 Shallots

Soy Sauce

Peanut Oil

Sesame Oil

Safflower or Blended Oil

Tahini (Sesame paste)

Balsamic Glaze

1 Cup Cumin Seeds

Cumin Powder

Black and White Sesame Seeds (for sesame salt)

Maldon Sea Salt

Regular Salt

Crushed Black Pepper

White Pepper


Heavy duty Ziploc bags

Cheese Slicer

Garlic mincer

1 large butcher knife

1 medium knife

1 paring knife

1 vegetable peeler

1 micro zester for the ginger

2 non stick frying pans

1 small pot with lid

5 medium sized bowls


To Encrust the Rack of Lamb:

1. Combine ¼ Cup of Cumin Seeds, with 3 tsp Maldon salt and 2 tbs Crushed Black Pepper. Crush in ziploc bag with back of a frying pan or other heavy object.

2. Separate racks into bunches of 2, as evenly sized as possible.

3. Encrust each rack with cumin and add 1 tsp of safflower or other oil each rack to help the Cumin Stick. Set to the side.

To Prepare the Slaw:

1. Core the apple and slice it into paper thin waves. Remove the tops and ends of the fennel and slice the bulb into paper thin waves (with peeler for both if you wish). Rub the fennel slices with salt to taste (to draw out the water and keep it crisp). Keep the apple separate from the fennel during this process.

2. Remove the leaves of the watercress and toss in with the apple & fennel.

2. In a small bowl, zest the ginger and add lemon, lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp sesame oil for an easy vinaigrette. Discard extra liquid from fennel, and toss vinaigrette with apple, fennel, and watercress. When plating, top with toasted sesame salt (toasted sesame seeds crushed with salt).

To Cook the Lamb Medium Rare:

1. Turn heat on medium high. Coat a large nonstick frying pan in safflower or canola oil which has a high burn point.

2. Once the pan is hot, place all racks in on one side and cook for 4 minutes. Flip, starting with the smaller racks, and cook the other side for 4 minutes. Then turn each rack onto a narrow end and cook for 2 minutes. Repeat on the other end for another 2 minutes. Total cooking time 12 minutes for a 2 inch thick rack.

To Prepare the Pot Stickers:

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with 3/4 cup boiling water and salt as needed. Stir and add more flour until a dough ball is created.

2. Pull out small pieces of dough, about 1 tbs size each, and roll into paper thin round patties.

3. Rinse the ground lamb and place in another bowl. Add 4 handfuls of watercress stems, 2 tbs cumin, 2 tsp fresh ginger, 2 tsp of fresh crushed garlic, 1 shallot, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp tahini, 2 tbs of salt and 1 tsp white pepper.

4. Place 1 tsp of mixture into each piece of dough, lengthwise down the middle. Wrap the dough around the meat and pinch closed along the top to form a ridge.

5. Turn the heat on medium high. Place a skillet or large non stick frying pan on the flame and coat the pan with oil. Add the pot stickers and cook on high for 1-2 min until the bottoms are golden. Add 1 cup water, reduce to medium heat and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes with the lid on until the water has been completely reduced.

To Plate:

1. Create a small mound of apple fennel slaw. Cover with 1 spoon of ginger dressing.

2. Slice each rack down the middle and lean into each other, creating a tee pee.

3. Place 3 pot stickers so that they radiate out of the slaw.

4. Swipe the Tahini sauce around in a crescent shape and add a drizzle of balsamic glaze to the middle of the crescent and across the tops of the pot stickers.

Serve and eat!

 Yale Food Fight 2013 Behind the Scenes

Being in the nutrition profession, I hear this over and over again: vegan, primal, gluten free  – there are so many competing theories on nutrition, it’s confusing! What should I eat?

My answer is that food is a highly personal choice. It is cultural, emotional, social, political and health related. In weighing all of these factors, you make the best possible decision for your body and your life.

That said, having studied the various dietary theories and in working with clients, there are a 3 simple principles that are surprisingly consistent.

#1 Eat mostly whole foods, focusing on vegetables with some lean proteins and whole grains like rice and quinoa. Go for foods that look close to their original form. Eating a mix of these foods, each in moderation, is the key. For example, eating too much kale can block the absorption of calcium into the body. Eating too much meat or poultry, which are both high in Omega 6, can cause inflammation. A well-balanced mix can provide a full range of vitamin and minerals while being deliciously satisfying.  Most importantly, make it fun. Experiment and discover what you like.

  • Skip most processed foods, which is anything in a can, box or bag. When choosing a processed food, read the label and skip anything with ingredients you don’t recognize. Look for non GMO or Organic.
  • Skip trans fats, which are hydrogenated oils that can be found in everything from margarines to fries to crackers. They can clog arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Minimize sugars and refined carbohydrates, which are inflammatory. Inflammation is seen as a precursor to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Sugar can also cause a craving cycle of exhaustion, hunger and moodiness. And it has been linked to weight gain.

Following this principle is huge, even 70-80% of the time. No one is perfect.

#2 Optimize your food quality by skipping pesticides and antibiotics.

  • Look for pesticide free vegetables and fruit. Swap out the most contaminated produce first, which is: salad greens, apples, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, grapes, bell peppers and potatoes. Local farm produce usually has fewer pesticides, is fresher, more flavorful and more environmental. But some farms do use pesticides so ask.
  • Focus on high quality proteins that are high in Omega 3’s, such as beans, legumes, walnuts and salmon.
  • When eating animal proteins, focus on antibiotic free, humanely raised. I don’t know about you, but I want my food healthy. Most factory farmed livestock is raised in poor conditions and as consequence is fed antibiotics to keep it healthy. About 80% of the antibiotics in the US are given to livestock. When eating meat, look for antibiotic-free on meat and eggs. This usually indicates it is humanely raised but ask for this specifically if it important to you. Organic does not necessarily mean antibiotic free or sustainably raised.
  • Farmed fish is also fed antibiotics. Look for Wild Caught and ideally sustainably fished.

#3 Know which foods work for your own body and which do not. Some people feel better when they eat meat, grains or dairy, others can’t tolerate it.

Further, many people have unknown food sensitivities that cause symptoms not typically associated with food, such as exhaustion, brain fog, pain or headaches.

To determine if you have any food sensitivities, try a 5-week elimination diet, removing the major allergens: dairy, gluten, soy, eggs and corn. Eliminate them for 3 weeks, then add each back one by one for 3 days per food and notice how the body responds.

Rustic Tarragon Tomato Garbanzo Beans

Hi Everyone,

There’s nothing better than sharing a good Sunday night cook with friends. I tend to do a big cook on Sunday nights so I have food for the week. It takes 1-2 hours and pays scrumptious dividends all week when I can just reach into the fridge and grab something that nourishes my body & soul.

Here’s my favorite recipe from last night.  I have been loving all the smoky, garbanzo bean and onion combinations showing up at nyc eateries lately. Rosemary’s in the West Village has one to die for.

Here’s my 15 minute, mediterranean inspired Rustic Tarragon Tomato Garbanzo Bean Recipe.

Servings: 2-3 as a main course, 6-8 as a side.

Calories: 1100 total, 550 per person if split 2 ways


  • 2 cans (15 oz) of cooked garbanzo beans (if you don’t want to make them from scratch)
  • a pint of cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 spanish onion, diced
  • 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 oz marinara sauce
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 pinches of tarragon
  • 4 pinches of rosemary
  • salt
  • white pepper (if you don’t have this use black pepper)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Find a small, oven safe cook pot and drizzle olive oil on the bottom.

2.Dice the onion and the tomatoes and add to the pot. Rinse the cooked garbanzo beans and add them. The pour in the rest of the ingredients – tomato sauce and all the spices.

3. Place the pot in the oven for 15 minutes until the onions and tomatoes cook down a bit.

Voila! Enjoy 🙂