Archive | April, 2021



3 large pita bread rounds

½ C cucumber (peeled, seeded and diced)

2 C grape tomatoes (halved)

¼ small red onion (slivered)

1 clove garlic, minced

3 T fresh mint, chopped

3 T fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

1/3 C high quality olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 t ground sumac (optional)

2 C arugula

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the pita rounds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and crisp. Alternately, place pita in toaster and toast briefly.  When cool enough to handle, break into irregular, bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, place tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers.  Add 1 ½ t salt and gently toss to combine.  Allow vegetables to rest and release their juice (this should take about 15 minutes.) Pour the liquid from the bowl into a measuring cup and set aside – you’ll use it later in the vinaigrette.

Make the vinaigrette:  Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and sumac (if using.) Gradually whisk in 1/3 C of reserved tomato/cucumber water. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.

Add arugula, mint and parsley to the bowl with the tomatoes, red onion and cucumber. Pour in half of the vinaigrette and toss lightly.  Add the toasted pita pieces and more of the vinaigrette and toss again.  Note: I prefer a drier fattoush salad so I use less of the vinaigrette. Using more of the vinaigrette will allow the pita to soak up more of the flavorful dressing but makes them softer and your salad will have less textural contrast. 

serves 2



1 C reduced fat Greek yogurt

3 T tahini

2 t sesame oil

2 T chopped fresh dill, mint, parsley (any combination)

1 t salt

Pinch of sugar


1 can garbanzo beans, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T grated ginger

2 t cumin

2 t paprika

2 t turmeric

1 t cayenne (more or less or to taste)

2 T olive oil

1 small zucchini, diced in ½” cubes

2 pita rounds, toasted or warmed on grill

Garnish with thinly sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced pickled red onion, cilantro, or arugula


Prepare the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.  Set aside.

Prepare the filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees or heat grill to medium.

Place the drained garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Add spices and olive oil and toss to combine.  Use a fork or a potato masher to crush the beans slightly, leaving about ¼ of them whole (you are aiming for a chunky, jagged texture.) Add cubed zucchini and toss again and then turn mixture out onto a foil-lined rimmed sheet pan. Taste for salt and pepper.

Roast garbanzo/zucchini mixture for 15-18 minutes until slightly charred and heated through. During the last few minutes of roasting warm pita breads on grill grates or in oven.

Spread reserved sesame yogurt sauce on pita and divide the garbanzo bean mixture between them.  Top with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, arugula and red onion. Fold burrito style and wrap in parchment paper or paper toweling for easier eating.  Serve any extra sauce alongside.

Serves 2 generously



4 oz                         ground pork, chicken or turkey

2 cloves                   garlic, minced

1 ½ t                        fresh ginger, grated

1 T                           brown sugar

1 T                           soy sauce

½ #                          spaghetti

2 T                           sesame oil

3 T                           low sodium soy sauce

1 ½ t                        sesame seeds

1 T                           hoisin sauce

3 T                           tahini paste

2 T                           peanut butter

2 t                            granulated sugar

2 T                           unseasoned rice wine vinegar

1 T                           chili garlic sauce (or more to taste)

½ – ¾ C                    hot water

1 bunch                   scallion, sliced thin on bias

2 T                           peanuts, chopped

Pinch                       ground Sichuan peppercorns

3 T                           dried crushed red pepper

¼ C                          vegetable oil


Prepare hot chili oil: Heat oil in a small skillet until barely smoking. Remove from heat and add crushed chili flakes and Sichuan pepper. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Strain and store in a clean glass container under refrigeration.

Prepare Sauce: In a medium bowl whisk together soy sauce, sesame seeds, hoisin, tahini, peanut butter, vinegar, sugar, chili garlic sauce and hot water until smooth.  Start with ½ C hot water adding additional water only if needed to achieve the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside.

Cook Noodles:  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add noodles and cook until tender.  Drain and toss with sesame oil. Set aside.

Cook pork: Sauté garlic and ginger in a medium skillet over medium high heat until fragrant.  Add ground pork and cook through until pork is no longer pink.  Add brown sugar and soy sauce and cook until liquid has evaporated and sugar caramelizes the pork slightly.

Add sauce to skillet and warm slightly and then toss with drained pasta.  Top with sliced scallion and chopped peanuts serving reserved chili oil on side.

serves 2