Glazed Carrots with Coriander and Lime

As a kid cooked carrots were on my no-fly list. Viewed with suspicion I profiled anything orange and made sure it received a full prodding with my fork before it was allowed off the plate. Chalk it up to bitter peels, varieties that sat in the supermarket for weeks without spoiling, or perhaps even mushiness, but cooked carrots were not a welcome sight at the dinner table. Then, years later when living with my grandparents while attending graduate school, I had a cooked carrot revelation. (more…)

Carrot Orange Ginger Juice

It all started with Jack Lalanne. I was in a hotel room, flipping through the channels while waiting for Mr. B and I landed on the always-running informercial for a Jack Lalanne juicer. My thumb paused over the remote as I watched Jack push an entire section of pineapple through the juicer in seconds flat. My stomach growled. Fresh pineapple juice sounded great. I continued to watch as the machine pulverized celery, melons, carrots, and anything else remotely edible stacked on the counter nearby. Mr. B walked in and asked, “What are you watching?” I replied, “I think we should get a juicer.” (more…)

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Did you know that watercress is considered one of the top super foods? It surprised me too! Apparently this tiny little green is a relative of broccoli and is filled with all kinds of health benefits, including cancer-fighting compounds, lutein, carotenoids, and a host of vitamins and minerals. In addition to what is in watercress it is also notable for what it lacks- namely calories. A cup of watercress only contains 4 calories. That’s right, 4! Of course it takes a braver dieter than I to stick to raw watercress, but even with a drizzle of dressing and sprinkling of Parmesan cheese the health benefits cannot be denied. (more…)

Salad with Pear, Pomegranate, and Blue Cheese

Just a week ago I bemoaned boring green salads. Where did that come from you might wonder? Well, I was raised in house where a green salad almost always accompanied dinner, a habit that I carried into my own home. The concept is virtuous and it does help meet the recommended daily intake of vegetables, however the practice often becomes routine. No one is to blame other than myself. Typically I find the main dish much more intriguing, spending my time and energy preparing unique and different meals. The perfunctory dinner salad, becomes just that- a last minute attempt to eat more vegetables. It is the worst in the winter, when the farmer’s market is closed and I’m left with grocery store basics. Waxy bell pepper strips, green onions, watery tomatoes, and a few token mushrooms are thrown on top of pre-washed lettuce. A drizzle of olive oil and various vinegars and the salad is ready to serve. Basic, quick, and boring when consumed five out of seven nights a week. (more…)

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Cauliflower is a reliable vegetable. One of the few hearty vegetables that can be counted on when other options are buried under a foot of snow or are road-weary from traveling across hemispheres. This cruciferous winter hero not only packs a fiber filled punch but is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin K. The only challenge is finding a healthy way to make it taste good. (more…)

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Pistachios

When it comes to vegetables that invoke strong opinions beets are right behind brussels sprouts and cauliflower- you love them or you hate them. Growing up my exposure to beets was limited to thin slices of canned pickled beets on top of a salad. To my young palate the jury on beets was still out. They were neither distasteful or delicious and I probably ate them just because they turned my salad pink (a selling feature for any seven-year-old girl). It was only years later when dining out more frequently that I began to consider my opinion of the beet. Mr. B fell squarely into the “hates them” category, declaring that they taste like dirt. However after encountering roasted beets mixed into fresh salads with goat cheese, I decided that I rather liked the earthy flavor of beets. Still, with our difference of opinions, beets never made it home from the grocery store. Then enter the CSA- otherwise known as the forced-program-to-eat-more-vegetables. Each week this summer we received a huge box of assorted vegetables that had to be eaten or face a slow death in the crisper. Since I hate to let any vegetable die a slow death, I found myself faced with the challenge of cooking fresh beets. (more…)

Garden Gazpacho

As I write this the sky is grey and half the cottonwood leaves have given up, leaving their limbed perch and floating downward to rest on the ground. Yet the garden has not quite relinquished summer to the cooler nights and northern winds. A last round of tomatoes and peppers are hanging on the vines, soaking up scattered sunshine and the final warm days of the year. While the sweaters are calling from the back of my closet I’m not quite ready to trade my flip flops for fuzzy slippers. In a last hurrah of summer I am taking the tomatoes and peppers and turning them into the quintessential summer soup- gazpacho. (more…)

Healthy Caesar Salad Dressing and Dip

When I stepped outside this morning the wind whipped past with a cold bite for the first time in months. Instead of a warm damp humidity the air has dried out along with the cottonwood leaves. Despite sunshine and 70 degree temperatures I dare say that summer is starting to slip a bit. September is always an interesting month when it comes to produce. The cooler temperatures make you think of apple cakes and warm bean soups but for gardeners and those who frequent the farmer’s market early September means a bounty of tomatoes, fall lettuce, carrots, and more. (more…)

Spiced Banana Bread (Vegan)

Spiced Banana Bread

Everyone should have a go-to banana bread recipe. Much like the ubiquitous chocolate chip cookie, the kid-friendly marinara sauce, or a family favorite grilled cheese, banana bread is a home cooking standby. (Unless of course you are one of those odd people who doesn’t like bananas. Then hang on a week or two as zucchini bread is bound to make an appearance soon!)

Making Spiced Banana Bread

It took me a while to find “my” banana bread. I dallied with orange juice filled loaves. I played with chocolate chip studded slices. I even flirted with pineapple bits in the batter but at the end of the day each version ended up slightly off. Too tropical, too sweet, too much like a muffin. The bananas took a backseat as the other ingredients stepped up front and center on the palate. (more…)

Chilled White Bean Soup with Pesto

Chilled White Bean and Pesto Soup

If you have been reading along for some time then you are fully aware of my long standing love affair with soup. If you are new here, well, consider yourself warned. The soup never stops! Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer- every season is good season for soup. Now admittedly, Summer brings on a few challenges for even the most stalwart soup lover. When the mercury rises and humidity wilts your hair into limp submission the last thing anyone wants is a hot bowl of soup. But wait! How about a bowl of cold soup?

Making the Chilled White Bean Soup with Pesto

For some reason you can’t take just any warm soup and serve it cold with much success. Cold minestrone? Cold pho? Cold crab bisque? Um yeah, no thanks. But if you break out a chilled gazpacho, a frigid melon puree, or an icy borscht, then you might get a few takers. This recipe for a chilled white bean soup with pesto, uses the best of a hearty winter soup (beans and potatoes) and swaps a sweater for a sun dress by adding a swirl of fresh pesto on top. The use of an easy homemade vegetable stock enhances the overall soup lending a subtle vegetable flavor to every bite. By keeping the potatoes in small chunks the soup maintains a substantial texture and will feel like a meal despite the fact that it only has 125 calories per half-cup serving. If the heat has you looking for relief and your soup pot is feeling neglected, then a chilled white bean soup topped with vibrant pesto may be just what you need.

Chilled White Bean Soup with Pesto (Printable Recipe)

Adapted from: Canyon Ranch Cooking, Bringing the Spa Home by Jeanne Jones

(If you are looking for a healthy and inspiring cookbook this one is my favorite!)

Serves 8 (With 1/2 cup servings)



3/4 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight in water, rinsed, and drained

2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

3 Tablespoons chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small leek, white part only, chopped

7 cups vegetable stock (homemade recipe here)

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (about two cups)

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon sodium-reduced soy sauce

pinch freshly ground black pepper


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (plus a few more for garnish)

2 garlic cloves

2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped shallot

1 1/2 Tablespoons water


Make the Soup

Place a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic, and leek. Cook stirring frequently until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Do not burn or brown the onions. Add the beans and the vegetable stock to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cook, maintaining a gentle simmer, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Once the beans are tender, add the potatoes, thyme, soy sauce, and pepper to the pot. Continue to cook the soup for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

When the potatoes are cooked through, transfer 3/4 cup of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add the puree back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Remove the pot from the heat, and let the soup come to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to chill, covered.

Make the Pesto

Place all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend until the pesto is smooth. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and keep in the fridge until ready to use

Assemble the Soup

Once the soup is cold, ladle 1/2 cup of soup in to a bowl and top with 2 teaspoons of pesto. Garnish with a basil leaf.

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