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.


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.


Jewel Studded Sweet Potatoes

I got two calls this Thanksgiving for this recipe– so I think I will share it. I have been making since I was a little girl. It is easy, beautiful, and as healthy as it gets. It is full of vitamins A, C, B6, iron, calcium, as well as generous amounts of antioxidants. And, since it is a natural sweet, it will help curb cravings for the less healthy, refined sugar treats.

It takes about 10-15 minutes of prep time, and baking time depends on the size of potatoes selected. It is a twice baked recipe, but this is a huge time and oven space saver on T day since the second baking is very short.

1. Wash and scrub desired amount of Jewel or Garnet yams. Larger ones work better for this recipe.

2. Bake them directly on the oven rack at 375 degrees for about an hour and a half or until they are soft all the way through. the longer you bake them, the sweeter they will be. Tip: Put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to make cleanup a snap.

3. Remove them from the oven and let cool. This pre baking can be done a day or two ahead of time and is a huge time saver on T day. Store in the refrigerator.

4. Wash a bag of fresh cranberries discarding any that are soft.

5. Slice the potatoes into 1 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange in a baking dish so that they are touching but not tightly packed. Be sure to leave the skin on.

6. Dot the tops of the slices with the fresh cranberries pushing them gently into the potato so that they are half buried. Use as many or as few as you like– personally I like as many as will fit into the top of each slice.

7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes. The cranberries should burst and the sweet potatoes should be warm all the way through.