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Garlicy Greens

  Growing up, my grandmother would beat my greens into submission. Sitting in a big pot on the stove, they would simmer all afternoon in bacon fat, spiced to the max. By the time they were ready to eat, I was looking at a heart attack on a plate. This lovingly described “mess of greens” looked unlike anything that had grown in a field. How could something so beautiful end up, well, brown? I don’t mean to be so simplistic, but as child I was a tad confused. At the age of seventeen, I was turned on to the world of healthy cooking by my friend Malina, who is a macrobiotic chef. Over the years, I had been cooking and munching my way through life, and my weight was out of control. Although I am not macrobiotic, Malina’s ideas were down to earth, and inspired me to live a healthier lifestyle. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed the honest and delicate flavor of vegetables. Sitting down at the dinner table became a thoughtful way to nourish my body and soul. Over the years, I have brought my favorite soul food recipes up to date with a healthy [...]

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Cauliflower Bhaji with Spiced Basmati Rice

This week, a dear friend has come to L.A. to escape the cold, dark winter of London and visit with us for two weeks. Apart from seeing his lovely face again and laughing (and snorting) out loud unashamedly at his conversation, it brought back to me how much I miss the great indian food of London. Indian food is to London is what Mexican food is to Los Angeles: The can do no wrong trusted staple of each city. It’s great as fast food, can be eaten elegantly at a restaurant, or late at night after a big night out(those nights are long gone now with a ‘lil one). There is another reason I thought it necessary to post this recipe: I mentioned Cauliflower Bhaji in my “About Me ” page. It seemed unfair to tease you with something delicious, then leave you hanging. I found my favorite indian cookbook sitting in a box full of dusty books in a charity shop (an english thrift shop) off the Chiswick High Rd in London. The book is called, “Indian Vegetarian Cookbook” by Tarla Dal. I have a few indian cookbooks on my shelf, but her recipes really work and are sensational. I would [...]

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Naked Apple Pie

Dear readers, I must make a humble confession: This is not your Mama’s apple pie. As delicious as her pie may be, eating it consistently will make your rear end as big as as the state of California. Certainly, there are cultures that prize a grande derriere, but if you’re still with me, I’m figuring you are wholeheartedly off the idea of owning a “Rump Shaker.” The party track, “Wiggle it, just a little bit” is cute until it becomes depressingly clear that one owns more than a little to wiggle. How I love to watch TV cook Nigella Lawson working it in the kitchen. Artfully drizzling hot chocolate into her mouth while making “Dark, Rich, Brownies, with a Deep, Hot, Interior,” and gently groaning, ”oooohhhh.” It would take an entire fire department to put out that kind of heat. Dessert should be enjoyable, and Nigella’s books are sitting on my shelf for days when I’m feeling a ‘lil saucy. Think of my Naked Apple Pie offering as your practical and comfy T-Shirt Bra to Nigella’s naughty Deep Plunge Convertible. Thankfully, there is room in our lives for both to enjoy. My apple pie is not baked, but herein lies the magic. When I say magic, I mean the magic of [...]

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Penne with Spinach and Zucchini in Pesto Sauce

The sky is bullet grey, and the heavens have just opened up. I’m feeling particularly sloth like today. To keep my spirits up, I have thrown on a comfy oversized wooly cardie and slipped on some brightly colored Moroccan socks over my jeans. On such a day, it’s fitting to offer an easy heart warming recipe to get us all through the drab months of winter. Many of you may be snowed in or flooded for that matter. My objective is not to have you bobsledding or canoeing around town trying to find this or that. The ingredients in this recipe can all be found in one pit stop to your supermarket shelf and produce section. This recipe was inspired by my love of pasta. I adore carbohydrates. In fact, they are my very own frenemy(friend and enemy in case you were wondering). I have learned to fight the addiction of yeasty yummies by simple, wholesome, and satisfying recipes. Before we move on to the recipe, I’d like to let you in on a few of my Carbo-driven fantasies: Fantasy #1 Take the freshed, crustied loaf of Ciabatta, tear off a hunk, bathe in a pool of olive oil, and nibble away while watching Oprah. Repeat with another hunk of Ciabatta. Oprah’s show would be particularly gripping, relevant, [...]

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Tabouli Salad

There I was over the holiday season thinking I was such a baddass, eating whatever I laid my eyes on. I could work it off, right? A bit of stuffing here, parsnip mash there, roast potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie (yes, I ate my veggies: caramelized brussel sprouts and carrots sauteed in thyme). Did I really consume all of those carbs in one sitting?. The final nails in the coffin: Two glasses of wine and a few Christmas cookies. But of course. The next day I attempted to slip into my trusty Topshop jeans, and excuse me, what was that extra bit of flesh jiggling at my waist? Oh no I didn’t!! It’s hard to admit, but my age has finally caught up with me.  The first 2 years of my son’s life were so easy. All I had to do to stay fit was breast feed and chase after him. For the first time in my life I was 123 pounds. Jake will be three this year, and with all of his physical independence, I have found myself chilling out more often then not. Jake will be going to preschool in a few weeks, and gulp, I might just be in [...]

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