Coconut Macaroons

Part 2 of the QLK Pesach edition…

As many of you know, I’ve been testing out macaroon recipes for weeks, trying to come up with the purest, healthiest and most tasty version possible.  I’ve experimented with honey, maple syrup, and sucanat to avoid using refined sugar at all costs.  I’ve made them both with, and without egg whites in an effort to veganize things.  And of course, keepin it kosher, I’ve tested recipes using potato starch, almond flour, and in this case, no flour at all.  Believe me friends, this is true dedication.

In the end, I came up with two versions of a recipe and I honestly, can’t decide which one I like better.  The questionable variable is the sweetener – sucanat or honey?  The sucanat version turned out to be much more firm and dry, but I also added chocolate chips to these, which means they’re automatically great.  When I substituted honey for the sucanat, I was shocked at how different they turned out.  The macaroons are lighter, and have such a delicious, unmistakeable honey flavor that complements the coconut in such a perfect way.  I was actually planning on dipping them in chocolate, but they honestly don’t even need it.  These guys are just plain YUM.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably want to eat the entire batch.  By all means, DO IT.  Honey isn’t a processed, aka, bad for you ingredient.  Since it is a natural sweetener, it’s filled with vitamins and minerals, and it has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which means it doesn’t spike our blood sugar levels and cause weight gain like sugar will.  In addition, honey’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties boost our immune systems and can be a great remedy for a host of ailments.  Most importantly, honey never goes bad, so dig up that old bottle in the back of the pantry and reap the benefits!  Who would have thought that dessert could be this good for you?  Move over Manechewitz, I’m just trying to have the best Pesach ever.  Dayenu.

Coconut Macaroons

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup good quality honey
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, vanilla and honey.  Add the coconut and the salt.  Stir to incorporate.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop about a heaping tablespoon of the coconut mixture and pack firmly.  Place onto cookie sheet about an inch or two apart.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the coconut tops are golden brown.  Allow them to cool completely (about 20 minutes) before removing.

They’re going to be sticky, so peel them off the parchment very carefully to avoid breakage.  Do not use a spatula because they’re delicate and the bottoms may break off.

Quinoa Pie with Wilted Greens

Happy Pesach!  Why is this post different from all other posts?  Funny you should ask…this week the QLK is operating out of its satellite kitchen in Miami, Florida…shout out to all of our local readers!  Feel free to stop by and take advantage of this pop-up shop.  Don’t worry Elijah, we’ll save you some grub.

This week’s recipe was discovered after many of you have expressed concerns over figuring out what to prepare for a vegetarian Passover.  I searched long and hard, and I can confidently say that this recipe is a winner.  It even gets extra credit in my book because it incorporates quinoa, the grain that’s actually not a grain, and therefore suitable for Jews to consume all week long.  I don’t know how this one slipped through the cracks, but I’m certainly not complaining, and all I can say now is dayenu!

This pie is actually somewhat like a modern, crustless quiche.  It’s warm, eggy, cheesy, and filled to the brim with nutrients from the greens.  The original recipe actually called for chicory, but I took the liberty of substituting kale because it’s my fave.  Feel free to do the same, or try any mixture of leafy greens that you find in your fridge.  Take your time, get creative –  we’re not fleeing Egypt again anytime soon.

For all my sweet-toothed readers, don’t fret, this Passover edition would not be complete without a kosher dessert.  Check out Passover Part 2: Coconut Macaroons in the next post…

Greens and Quinoa Pie

(adapted from

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated aged goat cheese or swiss cheese
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Place quinoa in a small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 – 3 minutes, or until almost dry.  Add 1 cup water (I used vegetable stock), season with salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl.

Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Add kale and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently or tossing with tongs.  Add romaine, and wilt 1 to 2 minutes more.  Transfer greens to a strainer, and squeeze out excess moisture.  Transfer to cutting board, and chop into small pieces.  Stir greens into quinoa.

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute 10 minutes, or until browned.  Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, feta, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture.  Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper.

Pour 1 Tbsp oil into 9-inch, deep dish pie pan (I used a casserole dish), and place in oven.  Heat 5 minutes, or until oil is hot.  Swirl oil to coat bottom of pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula.  Bake 20 minutes.  Drizzle pie with remaining 1 Tbsp oil, and bake 20-30 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Split Pea Soup with Fresh Dill

I’ve always been a big fan of split pea soup, but this one really takes it to the next level.  I don’t use dill too often, but in this dish it adds so much flavor that I’m inspired to find more delicious dill-laden recipes and go dill crazy (did somebody say cucumber salad?!)

I had a similar version of this soup at a little gourmet cafe, Medina, last week.  It was the perfect solution to my post-illness, weak tummy predicament.  I was starving and nothing really seemed appealing, yet as soon I tried this, I was blown away.  I knew I needed to recreate it in the QLK, and when I did my research I was so pleased to find this recipe on Epicurious.  It tastes almost identical to the one I had last week and I couldn’t be happier.  Eater be warned:  this soup is extremely filling and you may just have to stop yourself before consuming too much.  Luckily, its super healthy so you won’t have to feel remorseful, should you choose to overdo it.  Dill-icious!

Split Pea Soup with Fresh Dill

(adapted from

  • 1 large onion (or 1 large leek)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup split peas, rinsed
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 5 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Over medium-high heat, saute the onions for about a minute.  Add the celery and carrots.  Saute until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add 5 1/4 cup vegetable broth and the split peas.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover for about 45 minutes (or until the peas are tender).

Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves.  Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and puree until smooth.  Return soup to the pot and add green peas, fresh dill, salt and pepper.  Garnish with dill and serve!

Pure Vanilla Extract

***This week’s food photography by Mara Rothbart***

I’ve been looking for ways to expand my repertoire of naturally sweetened desserts.  With the absence of white sugar, it seems important to make sure the other flavors are of great quality in order to achieve great taste. Thus, committed to using the best ingredients, I wanted to find some really great vanilla.  After looking in a few specialty shops, I realized most places carry the same brands.  The same $16/bottle brands, might I add.  Is this reasonable?  I guess if I want top quality, I have to be prepared to spend top dollar, but I wasn’t convinced my search was over so I let it rest for a while.

Fast forward…I go to see the New York Botanical Gardens annual Orchid Show.  It’s incredible.  They have over 300 types of orchids displayed on trellises, fountains, and chandeliers and you’re literally transported to a tropical wonderland of beauty.  Wasn’t it winter, like, a day ago?  Not anymore!  Spring is here and suddenly I’m standing in an 80 degree conservatory surrounded by gorgeous flowers.  Call me a Miami girl, but suddenly nothing could make me happier.  Humidity?  Bring it on.

Anyway, while walking through this orchid fantasy world in the Bronx, we come across the vanilla orchid.  Yep…I had the a-ha moment.  Here’s how it goes…vanilla beans are actually the fruit of the vanilla orchid.  The plant flowers and produces the pods, which hang down, ripen and are eventually harvested to make vanilla extract.  Pretty cool stuff, but you know what’s even cooler?  Making my own vanilla.

Forget spending $16 dollars a bottle, instead I’ll just spend $2 a bean.  To be honest, after purchasing all of my ingredients this actually saves me no money.  But that’s fine.  What I’m losing in dollars, I’m making up for in awesomeness.  All it takes is some cheap vodka, a few vanilla beans, and in about 6 weeks it’s ready.  It can even steep for longer if you’d like.  More soaking equals more flavor.  Mmm…this is going to do wonders for us all.

Vanilla Extract

  • 4 Vanilla Beans
  • 1/2 cup Vodka

Split each vanilla bean pod lengthwise down the middle.  Using the edge of a knife blade, scrape out the beans and place them in a jar.  Cut the bean pods into quarters and place into jar.  Add the vodka.  Tightly screw on lid and store in a dark place for 5-6 weeks.  Lasts until it’s gone!

Crispy Chickpeas

A couple weekends ago I ate an awesome 3 Bean Salad and I was inspired to recreate this masterpiece for the QLK.  It took A LOT of effort.  Wanting to give it my all, I decided that instead of buying canned beans, I would go through the process of buying dried ones, soaking them for 12 hours, and then cooking them for another hour and a half. Somewhat to my surprise, the beans came out perfectly.  In the past, a couple of my bean cooking endeavors resulted in pots of bean-mush, so when that didn’t happen, I took it as a good omen.  Not so much.

The salad was composed of green beans, black beans, and chickpeas, and I dressed it with a roasted shallot-walnut vinaigrette.  I assumed that something this simple would be difficult to mess up, especially after getting over the bean hurdle, but unfortunately I was wrong.  The vinaigrette was disappointingly boring and the salad itself was in dire need of some onion and/or fresh herbs, neither of which I had in my kitchen at the time.  Needless to say, the recipe will not be posted.

Determined to avoid complete failure, I set out to make use of the enormous container of perfectly cooked chickpeas now sitting in my fridge.  These beans would not be relegated to mere salad toppers!  I searched for recipes and I came across this one on the Food and Wine website.  It was immediately appealing because it was flagged as a staff favorite (these people eat for a living), and since I already have a high success rate with the recipes in this mag, I knew it was a safe bet.  Thus, the perfect snack was born!  The beans are coated in a yummy mix of ground coriander, cumin and salt.  Flavorful, crispy, and delicious.  Healthy?  Ehh, we all need to indulge every once in a while.  At least we’re not eating potato chips.

Moral of the story…cook your beans and then fry them if all else fails.  The end.

Crispy Chickpeas

(adapted from Jason Travi on Food and

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (either canned or dried)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil (original recipe used vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • Sea Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan for about 2-3 minutes.  Place the chickpeas in a bowl and toss with cumin and coriander.  Add the flour and mix so that they are evenly coated.  Using a mesh strainer, tap off the excess flour.

Pour half the chickpeas into the pan.  Cook for about 8 minutes until brown and crispy.  Using a slotted spoon, remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain.  Repeat with the remaining chickpeas.  Add salt to taste.  Snack away!

Coconut Date Snowballs

I sincerely believe that life isn’t worth living without dessert.  When people tell me they don’t have a sweet tooth, I look at them like they’re from another planet.  Do you really not eat cookies??  Are you not enticed by ice cream??  Liars.  That’s what all you dessert-deprived aliens truly are.  I pity you, but I don’t blame you.  The truth is that sugar is seductive and evil, and unfortunately, it packs on the pounds like nothing else.  Being well aware of these facts, I still refuse to abandon dessert and I’m committed to satisfying my sweet tooth while still fitting into my favorite jeans.  That’s right, I want to have my cake and eat it too.  Staying fit and enjoying dessert do NOT have to be mutually exclusive.

The trick, my friends, is to use natural sweeteners as much as possible (ie, honey, maple syrup, dates, etc.).  Unlike refined sugar, these substances do not wreak havoc on our bodies; instead, they provide delicious taste while also providing nutritional value.  In an effort to drastically reduce the amount of refined sugar I consume, the QLK has become a test kitchen for natural desserts galore!

Upon researching ideas for naturally sweetened desserts, I remembered loving the Glaser Farms coconut date snowballs at the Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market.  They’re soft and chewy with the perfect amount of sweetness and a hint of coconut.  I always make a point of buying a box when I come to town and I always toy with the idea of making them, myself.  Since I couldn’t find the recipe, I decided to come up with my own version, and believe me, these are good.  I know what you’re thinking…date snowballs?  Really?  YES.  I would eat these any day of the week.  Which is why I chose to begin making these badboys at 10pm on a Thursday night.  They’re that good.

So put away the cookie jar and try something new.  If it’s been approved by a self-proclaimed sugar addict, such as myself, you know it’s worth a shot.  While you’re at it, put on your skinny jeans…as long as you’re eating these, you might be able to stay in them for a while.

Coconut Date Snowballs

  • 2 cups chopped, pitted dates
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shaved almonds
  • 1 cup shredded dried coconut (unsweetened)

Place chopped dates in a small saucepan.  Add water and bring to a simmer.  Stir occasionally…as dates begin to soften, they’ll become easier to to mash up.  (You may need to add more water if they become too dry.)  Simmer for about 10 minutes until dates are very soft and thick, resembling a paste.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Grind almonds in a blender or food processor.  They should be somewhat powdery, but not too fine.  Transfer almonds to a bowl.  Add date mixture to the blender and puree to desired consistency.  (They’re much easier to work with when there are not large chunks of date.  I pureed for about 30 seconds to make a smooth paste.)

Add date mixture to the crushed almonds in the bowl.  Mix well to incorporate.  Place shredded coconut on a flat surface such as a plate or a cutting board.  Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.  Using a tablespoon (or smaller), take a scoop of date-almond mix and roll into ball shape.  Roll the date balls around in the coconut and place on cookie sheet.  When all of the mixture is used, place cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  For harder snowballs, leave in for longer.

Miso-Glazed Sole with Roasted Brussels and Cabbage Salad

Spring is just around the corner and that means it’s time to get in shape!  (Goodbye Sunday night pasta dinners…you’re so last season.) Start off the week with some lean protein and vegetables to set the tone of eating healthy and feeling great.  Eating fish is soooo good for you…its filled with iodine, zinc and vitamins A and D.  Salmon is especially awesome because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping our minds sharp.  In the past, I’ve tended to avoid making fish at home because I always felt like it’s difficult to make it as well as a restaurant does.  However, this recipe changes that notion completely.

Cooking fish is actually super easy.  Aside from marinating, it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare so you’ll be eating in no time.  Marinating is not essential, but I recommend it because you can have a flavorful, restaurant-quality meal without paying restaurant-quality prices.  Miso is a great marinade because it has a nice sweet/salty balance.  I’ve also used miso in sauces, dressings and soups and it never fails to take things to the next level.  Plus, one container lasts a long time in your fridge, so you don’t have to go on a miso binge for a week every time you buy it.  On the other hand, this recipe is so good you may just want to make it every night this week, so binge away…you have my blessing!

I found this roasted brussels and cabbage recipe on the Food and Wine website.  I love using their recipes because they’re mostly from acclaimed chefs and 99% of the time delicious.  This salad worked well with the fish because the dressing doesn’t overpower the miso flavor.  It’s an interesting dish because it has a lot going on – cooked brussels, raw cabbage, toasted pine nuts, sweet dried cranberries and creamy parmesan.  How could you go wrong?  Brussels and cabbage are also both really hearty so they’ll fill you up without the guilt.  As I mention below, I think this dish would also be great if the cabbage were cooked down and served warm.  Either way, I think it’s a winner so put on your chef’s hats and enjoy!

Miso-Glazed Fish

  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 Tbsp light yellow miso (I used white)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 lbs of your favorite fish (Salmon, Halibut, Swordfish, Cod, Sole, etc.)

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and add fish.  Coat evenly, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours max.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place marinated fish on a baking pan and for 6-9 minutes depending on size.  Feel free to also grill or pan-sear your filets.

Roasted Brussels with Cabbage and Pine Nuts

Adapted from Food and Wine, Feb 2011

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp pure chile powder, such as ancho (I left this out)
  • 1 1/2 lbs red cabbage, thinly sliced or chopped (6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • shaved parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Toast the pine nuts for about 3 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because they’ll burn quickly.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Combine the brussels with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread out on a baking pan.  Roast for about 15 minutes until the bottoms are lightly caramelized.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, honey, mustard, cayenne, and chile powder (if using).  Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with the toasted pine nuts and dried fruit.  Heat the rest of the olive oil in a small pan and cook the garlic for about a minute.  Pour over cabbage mixture and add brussels.  Toss together with dressing, add the shaved cheese and serve.

Note: This salad is meant to be room temperature, however, I think these ingredients taste great warm.  Instead of pouring the hot oil/garlic mixture over the cabbage, I added the cabbage to the pan and cooked it down for a few minutes.  You can cook it as long as you’d like.  Longer time on the stove=softer cabbage=yum.

Pureed Squash and Pear Soup with Kale

So we had one 50 degree day last Friday and everyone rejoiced.  New Yorkers came out of hibernation and filled the streets for one fleeting day of warmth, hoping that it marked the end of this painful winter.  Sadly, we were all wrong.  It’s still February, and I’m still FREEZING!  Back to the puffy jacket, hats and gloves…back to dreams of warm weather.
In light of such disappointment, I suggest cheering up with a steamy bowl of soup.  If you close your eyes, you can even pretend you’re in Miami or LA.  (For those of you who are, consider yourselves privileged!)  Soup is one of my favorite things to make because it’s cheap, filling, and one pot will last you a few days.  It’s also super healthy…you can thank me next week when you’re feeling skinny and rich!
As I always advocate eating locally and seasonally, this recipe is especially good because it incorporates winter squash.  It’s coming to the end of its season so enjoy it while you still can!  The combination of the acorn squash and pear gives the soup some sweetness, and the ginger and 5-spice add an interesting twist.  Definitely don’t skip out on the mushrooms – they’re the best part.  If you don’t have shiitakes, any variety will do.
I have to admit that peeling the squash was the most difficult part of the process, so be sure to leave yourself at least an extra 20 minutes for that step alone.  The best method is to cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, then cut it into smaller chunks and peel each one individually.  The end justifies the means, I promise.
If you’re really feeling frisky, I recommend toasting the squash seeds instead of throwing them away.  You can season them as you like and use them as a soup topping or an anytime snack.  They’re a great source of protein and incredibly tasty.  See recipe below…
Pureed Squash and Pear soup with Kale
Adapted from Veganomicon
  • 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 acorn squashes, seeded, peeled, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 2 firm pears, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 stalks of kale, stems discarded roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Preheat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Saute the onions and peppers for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the salt, 5-spice, squash, and pears and stir to incorporate the ingredients.  Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.  Take a bite…it shouldn’t be crunchy.  Puree and return soup to the pot.  (The best way to do this is in batches.  Puree half, pour it into a bowl, then do the other half.  If you’re using a blender, be careful not to burn yourself since the tops have a habit of popping off.  Trust me…squash soup explosions are painful and messy.)  Add the kale and cook until it softens.

In a separate pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil.  Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they’re soft.  Add the soy sauce and cook until absorbed.  Top each bowl of soup with some shiitakes.  Enjoy!

Variation: For a heartier soup, add one can of any type of bean.  I’ve tried it with adzuki beans and they were delicious.  White beans, red beans, mung beans would also be great.  Add them in at the same time as the kale.

Toasted Squash (or Pumpkin) Seeds

  • 1/2 cup seeds
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain seeds and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Add additional seasoning, if desired.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Carrot Quiche

What to do on a NY Saturday morning when the sun is shining and the city is your oyster?  Go to the Union Square Farmer’s Market, of course.  Never gets old.  What’s better than strolling around in the fresh air and scoring free samples?  It’s like costco – minus the microwave, the processed ingredients, and the creepy warehouse environment.  Ok, maybe it’s nothing like costco, but the fact remains, most of us LOVE free samples.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to buy everything you taste.  I found myself wandering around in circles trying to make a decision about what to purchase.  Part of the problem (or the fun) is that I had yet to decide what I wanted to make that day, and subsequently, there was no shopping list to stick to.  Luckily, the fact that it’s winter and harvests are pretty limited to root vegetables right now makes my decision a bit easier.  I committed to just picking out what looked good.  Luckily, I only had two canvas grocery bags and a limited amount of cash so I couldn’t go too overboard.  (Who am I kidding?  That has never stopped me in the past.)

The winner…CARROTS.  I bought three pounds with no idea what I was going to do with them.  Little did I know that finding a recipe that didn’t contain the phrase ‘carrot cake’ in the title would be a difficult endeavor.  Not that I have anything against carrot cake, but I know myself too well to keep one in the house.  If you’re laughing right now, it’s because you know I’ll sit around eating it all day, and you’re right, I would, so that option was out of the question.

After perusing all of my cookbooks and favorite cooking blogs, I was feeling uninspired, which is when I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I combined some recipes and came up with carrot quiche.  This is not to say that it’s never been done before, but it’s pretty hard to come across when you’re googling ‘carrot recipes,’ and after tasting it I have no idea why.  The carrots still retain their flavor while immersed in a warm eggy, cheesy mix and surrounded by a flaky crust.  Quiche is the perfect meal…it’s packed with plenty of protein and nutrients, and you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and still be perfectly satisfied.  Keeping it healthy, I opted to make a buckwheat crust, which actually worked well with the flavors.  If buckwheat isn’t your style,  any flour will do, so feel free to modify as you like.

Carrot Quiche


  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 4-5 Tbsp ice water


  • 3 cups of sliced carrots (any variety)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 springs of fresh thyme
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste

Make the crust.  Sift flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Slice butter into 6 pieces and work it into the flour until it’s crumbly.  Add the water one tablespoon at a time and knead the dough until it forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic and press into a disc shape.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove dough from plastic and roll out on a floured surface.  Be sure to flour the rolling pin first to avoid the dough sticking.  Roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick, or spread enough to fit a 9″ pie dish.  To be honest, this step was difficult because the dough began to split.  If this occurs, just piece it back together in your pie dish.   Pierce the dough about 5 or 6 times with a fork.  Place some dried beans in enough tin foil to cover the surface (or use pie weights if you have them) and bake for 12-15 minutes.  This last step is to prevent the crust from puffing up in the middle and around the sides.  Remove from oven when its slightly crisp.

Place sliced carrots in a pot of boiling water and cook until tender (about 10 minutes).  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat eggs.  Add cream, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Arrange cooked carrots in the pie dish and pour liquid mixture over the top.  Add the cheese.  Sprinkle with black pepper.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  The quiche is ready when the sides are golden brown and the middle is set.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Healthy Snacking 101: Roasted Vegetables and Nut Butters

Finding healthy snacks is pretty difficult, especially if you’re appetite is as big as mine.  Solution?  Roast up some some veggies in the beginning of the week and keep them in the fridge for guilt-free, week-long munching.  For something a bit more adventurous, I recommend making your own nut butter…healthy, filling, delicious!

Simple Roasted Vegetables

Head to your local farmer’s market or the produce aisle in your favorite grocery store and pick up whatever catches your eye. Some of my roasting favorites are carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. The best news is these veggies are all so naturally tasty that you barely need to do any work.  They’re also packed with tons of cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals so you can feel like you’re giving your body a well-needed nutrient boost after the abuse it took over the weekend.  (Hint: go for dark greens and oranges to maximize your nutrient intake.)  All you need is an oven, a roasting pan, some olive oil, salt and pepper and you’ll have a tasty treat in no time.

  • Seasonal Veggies
  • 2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop vegetables.   Try to cut them all the same size so that cooking time doesn’t vary.  If using carrots, make sure they are scrubbed and peeled.  I like to cut mine in half both lengthwise and across.  For brussels, cut in half lengthwise. For sweet potatoes, cut into equal sized wedges.  Place chopped veggies into a large bowl and drizzle with 2-4 Tbsp olive oil. Make sure they are evenly coated but not drenched.

Place on a roasting pan and roast for 20 – 30 minutes. I like to take mine out and check after about 20 minutes. Vegetables should be soft and brown on the bottom.

Note: brussels…so hot right now. These babies tend to take longer. Leave them in for an extra ten minutes until they are soft and their outer layer is carmelized. So delicious when done right.

The same goes for your sweet potato wedges.  Leave em in until they’re crispy.  This is the closest thing you’re gonna get to french fries without the calories.  Rejoice.

Cashew Butter

Nuts are a great source of protein and keep you full for hours.  Unfortunately, packaged nut butters are filled with sugar and sodium, which puts them on the list of things to avoid.  However, I assure you that making your own is so simple that you’ll never want to buy it again.  Plus, you can decide how salty/sweet to make it, and avoid loading up on those hidden calories.

  • 2 cups of cashews
  • 2-3 Tbsp flax oil or peanut oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Place cashews in a blender or food processor.  Spin until they’re finely chopped into a powder.  Add the oil and blend.  Scrape down the sides, add maple syrup if you’d like, and continue to add more oil until you reach desired consistency.  Spread on toast…enjoy!