Chickpea Salad; A Perfect Pantry Recipe

The term “salad” does not do justice to this delicious, warm dish. It is tasty, tangy and full of the flavors of the Mediterranean. You could improvise and add a few olives, capers, or even Feta, but you may not want to; it is perfect just the way it is.

The real beauty of this recipe is that all of the items are “pantry” items; things you would likely have with no special shopping required. It is a great way to use up the last of head of celery, limp or not, carrots, fresh or not. And BTW, it is good for you!


  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 1-3 tomatoes, chopped or pureed (canned tomatoes can be used)
  • 3- 8 leaves chard, chopped, stalk included
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained  – any other kind of beans can be used in addition or substituted
  • Juice of 2-4 lemons
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish


  1. Sweat carrot, celery, chard stalk, onion, and garlic until they are slightly soft.
  2. Add wine, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add tomato, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add chard leaves, beans, and cook for a few more minutes, until chard is cooked.
  5. Turn off the heat, and add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
  6. Put in a serving bowl, and garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.


Spicy Pork Tenderloin

This is a ridiculously easy recipe. Done right pork tenderloin is tender and juicy. It is also easy-to-find, very low in fat, and quick to cook. If you have one frozen it will thaw quickly, so you can definitely consider this a Pantry Perfect Recipe! You can cook it on the grill or in the oven, it is perfect either way. It goes well with just about anything and makes great leftovers. Sauteed greens and mashed potatoes sound good to me right now….yum!


  • 2 T. Thai hot sauce (Sriracha is my favorite)
  • 2 T. Honey
  • 1 t. Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Pork tenderloin

For glaze

  • 2 teaspoons arrow root powder OR ½ teaspoon glucomannan powder as a thickener
  • 1 c boiling water


  1. Make a glaze with Thai hot sauce, honey, garlic powder, s&p. Rub all over pork.
  2. Roast at 350° until done (20 -40 minutes depending on size) or cook on the grill. Do not over cook.
  3. Deglaze pan (or use juices from grilled meat) and add thickener cook a minute then add water slowly whisking until sauce is smooth.



Burrito in a Bowl

Ok, this is not really a burrito although it does have all of the best components– minus the ones that you would not think you would never miss. It has no tortilla, no cheese, no sour cream, and does not require rice. I LOVE burritos, and this recipe TOTALLY satisfies my desires for the more authentic version. As an added bonus, I feel good after I have this one.

To start, cook up some of your favorite burrito filling (chicken, pork, carne asada (steak), beans, or even grilled vegetables). I usually make a combination of seasoned ground beef (or buffalo) and kidney beans and I always make enough so that I can have a quick lunch or simple dinner without having to cook again.

Burrito in a Bowl – serves 4


* 1 lb ground beef (substitute buffalo, elk, ostrich, or even turkey for a lower fat alternative)
* 1 15oz can organic kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
* 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or other Mexican meat seasoning
* 1 tablespoon olive oil

Other components:
* 2 cups cooked brown rice
* non-fat Greek style yogurt
* salsa (make your own or use pre-made)
* 1-2 avocados
* cilantro and minced onion for garnish – optional

-Saute onion and garlic in a skillet over a medium heat until it is translucent and aromatic.
-Add the meat and break it up into pieces. When it is about 1/2 cooked, add the cumin and chili powder.
-Continue cooking until the meat is completely cooked. Add the beans and mix thoroughly to incorporate.
-Taste for seasoning, add salt if desired.

To assemble the burrito heat the rice and put 1/2 cup (or desired amount) in a bowl. Top with 3/4 cup of “filling”. Add a dollop of yogurt, salsa to taste and diced avocado. Sprinkle finely minced onion and cilantro on top.


Turkey Patties

I am calling these patties and not burgers because they are not designed to be eaten between two slices of bread. They are delicious just as they are; on a plate, as a clean lean protein. Add some vegetables, some lentil salad, a green salad, and you have a meal that will fit in well with just about any diet plan.

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 C shredded carrot
1 small onion chopped fine
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
Season with pepper

Mix all ingredients together well and form into patties – it will make 4 large, or 5 medium sized burgers. Cook in a hot skillet the same way you would a hamburger.

Verjus (green juice). Gourmet all the way

For those of you who know me, this is not the kind of green juice that probably pops to mind; full of wheat grass and algae. This unusual culinary delight is the juice of green grapes. Its acidity makes it an ideal and rather interesting alternative to lemon juice or vinegar. For those who avoid vinegar for health reasons, this would be a spectacular addition to the flavor repertoire, and an interesting spin on lemon to flavor dishes. Find out more at

I Just came across this unusual product tonight by happy accident. I was running some errands with my son and he had to use the restroom. I took him to the nearest spot I knew (Shelton’s in Healdsburg, which is also one of my favorite natural food stores). There, was a woman demoing what I thought was olive oil. Since I was waiting, not shopping, I started talking to her about her products, which were not olive oils, but VERJUS. I have never heard of it until tonight, but it tasted familiar. I may have had some in fancy French restaurants and not known, but I will recognize it now. My first thought was that I wished I had had some the night before. I made a tomatillo salsa that was very good, but a bit too sweet. This would have been perfect to cut the sweetness. There was also another unusual grape product I had never heard of, but the flavor was also familiar. It was a sweet syrup made from wine grapes called SABA. “Sugar sweetens, but saba flavors”. It is true. I can hardly wait to try cooking with them!!