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Sundried Tomato Hummus


1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 minced garlic cloves

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

12 chopped sundried tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Tahini

Juice of 2 Lemons

Salt to taste


Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until nice and smooth, tasting as you go along. Add more salt, lemon juice, Tahini, and sundried tomatoes as you see you fit. 

Hummus is great for sandwich wraps along with veggies or pretzels for a snack.



Egg Sandwich: Kale, Balsamic Red Onions, & Romano

With leftover balsamic red onions and sauteed kale from the other night, another delicious breakfast sandwich creation was about to happen. 

I steamed the kale that I had sauteed in olive oil with garlic the day before to reheat it.  I also reheated the balsamic red onions that I had broiled the night before.  (note: both of these recipes for sauteed kale and balsamic red onions have already been posted on my blog, so just search for them).  I thinly sliced Romano cheese to place on the toast (Bread Alone has the most delicious whole wheat sourdough), followed by the re-heated kale, balsamic red onions, followed by a poached egg.  




Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Leeks

Max out the natural sugars in brussel sprouts by roasting them with thinly sliced leeks.

Cut and remove the ends of the brussel sprouts, then cut them in half.  For every 2 cups of brussel sprouts add 1 thinly sliced leek (just into the light green area of the leek).  Toss the vegetables in a tablespoon or so of olive oil, add 2 minced garlic cloves, along with  salt and pepper.  Place the vegetable mixture on a baking pan and place in a preheated oven at 375 for 35-45 minutes, stirring halfway through the time. 



Smoked Mozzarella Spinach Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is great for parties and buffets.  A favorite in my family, especially for great summer lunches and picnics.  This recipe serves 8, but I will usually double it for parties and family gatherings.

Ingredients for the Parmesan Dressing:

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Directions for the Parmesan Dressing:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the dressing is smooth.

Ingredients for the Salad:

1/2 pound penne pasta

2 cups packed baby spinach, washed and stemmed

2 small jarred roasted red peppers, diced

1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, diced

Directions to prepare the salad:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is al dente.  Drain the pasta into a colander, run cold water over it or submerge it in ice water until chilled through, and drain well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers, and smoked mozzarella. 

Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately. 

*This recipe is from The Whole Foods Market cookbook.*



Bok Choy, Broccoli Rabe, & Shitake Mushroom Dish


2 Tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil

1 medium-sized garlic bulb for roasting

1 small head bok choy

Half a medium bunch broccoli rabe

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

10 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Roasted whole cashews

Chinese-style dark sesame oil

Chili oil


Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 375.  Line a small baking pan with foil and drizzle with a little of the oil.  Trim the tips of the garlic, then stand the bulb upright on the oiled foil.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the bulb feels soft when gently squeezed.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  When comfortable to handle, break the bulb into individual cloves and squeeze the pulp from the skins.  This will be a slightly sticky process and the bulbs may break apart a little—-all of which is fine. 

While the garlic roasts, prepare the bok choy and broccoli rabe.  For the bok choy, trim and discard the tough bottom 1/4 inch or so, if necessary.  Remove and coarsely chop the leaves, and cut the stems into 1-inch pieces.  Keep the leave and stems separate.  Trim the tough ends from the broccoli rabe and chop the rest into 1-inch pieces. 

Place a large, deep skillet or wok over medium heat.  After about a minute, add the remaining oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Turn the heat to high, add the onion and shiitakes, and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to brown.  Add the bok choy stems and the broccoli rabe, sprinkling in the salt.  Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, or until the stems are just tender.  Toss in the bok choy leaves and about 1 1/2 Tablespoons water, then immediately cover the pan.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 2 more minutes (lifting the cover to stir just once or twice) until the stems are tender and the leaves wilted.

Add both the fresh and roasted garlic, tossing gently.  Cook and stir for just a minute longer, until the garlic is fragrant, Season lightly with freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately over rice, topped with roasted whole cashew, if desired. Pass around shaker bottles of Chines-style ark sesame oil and chili oil for a finishing touch.

*This recipe is from The Vegetable Dishes I can’t Live Without*



Sauteed Kale and Garlic Pumpernickel Sandwich with Queso de Murcia

I tend to use up vegetables in the fridge by creating a sandwich of sorts. By either sauteeing, roasting, and/or steaming the vegetable needing to be eaten.  I had a dense, rich pumpernickel bread  leftover from making avocado reubens the other evening.  I toasted the pumpernickel bread, while sauteeing a chopped, stalk removed bunch of kale in chopped garlic and olive oil til tender.  I put the kale on top of the toasted pumpernickel bread, followed by a sliced  meltable cheese which I proceeded to broil for a moment.  Delicious.



Garlic Bread

Garlic bread just tops off an Italian feast, so for a lasagna dinner I prepared last  night, this was an absolute must!  I used a crust rosemary ciabatta bread, slice it in half lengthwise, then slather it with this butter spread. Other bread options are a loaf of Italian or French bread, depends on how crusty you like your bread.

1 stick softened butter

2 minced garlic cloves

1 heaping Tablespoon chopped parsley

1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan

Dash of salt

Heat oven to 350 and spread the butter mixture on the 2 large slices of bread.  Cook for 10 minutes, then broil for a minute or two for extra crustiness. Slice and serve.



Sauteed Baby Tomatoes

Again, another simple and flavorful side dish-pretty much anything involving olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper is going to be dreamy to the tastebuds.

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Add 2-3 chopped garlic cloves and stir.  After a couple of minutes, add 2-3 cups of rinsed and halved baby tomatoes.  Stir then add salt and pepper to taste.  Continue stirring until your ideal tenderness.



Baby Eggplants

The other night we were invited to dine at our friend’s lovely Ft. Greene home.  This is a treat within itself, and as I love cooking, we decided upon a collaborative feast.  They had picked up baby eggplants from the Ft. Greene Park GreenMarket-check out the link:

Roasting vegetables makes a tasty meal. Add a nice tossed salad along with rich cheeses, bread, and wine….and you have yourself a feast! 

Roasting is so simple, and it really brings out the flavors of the vegetables.  Wash the baby eggplants, cut in half, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a few chopped garlic cloves, and cook at 375 in a roasting pan for about 30 minutes or so. 



Sauteed Bok Choy with Garlic and Soy Sauce

I trimmed off the ends of the bok choy and rinsed it under cool water.  I minced two garlic cloves and heated it in 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil until they started to sizzle, then I added the bok choy stirring often.  Once the leaves started to wilt, I added a splash of soy sauce and a little salt and pepper to taste.