Ground roasted peanuts thicken this stew and, surprisingly, add a layer of flavor complexity more than a peanut taste. For nutty goodness, add more roasted peanuts to individual bowls when serving. No need to purchase specific vegetables and herbs because whatever is in your fridge works in this very forgiving dish.
dried chiles (such as chipotle, guajillo, and/or chile negro), stemmed
roasted unsalted peanuts
olive oil or coconut oil
brown rice, preferably quick-cooking rice or regular rice soaked for a few hours and drained to shorten cooking time
mixed vegetables of choice (such as mushrooms, zucchini, daikon, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, celery, and beets), chopped
fresh herbs of choice (such as parsley, mint, dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and/or thyme), chopped
Cut the chiles into strips using scissors and seed if desired. Place in a heatproof bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside.
Grind the peanuts for a few seconds in a spice grinder or blender (if you grind longer, you’ll get peanut butter!). Set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften. Add the rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add the chiles and their soaking water. Add the chopped vegetables and the ground peanuts, cover, and cook until softened, adding additional water as needed. Add the turmeric, garlic, greens, and black pepper, cover, and cook until the greens are cooked the way you like.
To serve, spoon the stew into individual bowls and sprinkle with herbs.
Chewy, tangy, spicy, salty, and sweet—what more could one ask for? Find wheat berries (which are ground to make flour) in the bulk section of well-stocked grocery stores and health food stores. Soaking them in water to cover, like you would dried beans, helps reduce cooking time. This salad is a perfect summer potluck or picnic dish.
fruit vinegar (optional)
prepared mustard of choice (such as Dijon, yellow, whole grain, sweet hot, or a combination)
fresh orange or lemon juice
green onion, thinly sliced
Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
baby arugula leaves
cooked or canned pinto beans (optional)
fresh mixed herbs (such as mint, cilantro, parsley, and basil), chopped
In a saucepan, add the wheat berries and enough water to cover (you can use the soaking water), bring to a boil, covered, and simmer until soft (they will be chewy). Move off the heat and allow the berries to absorb any leftover water. Let cool.
Meanwhile, in a measuring cup with a spout, add the raisins. Add balsamic and fruit vinegars and prepared mustard and whisk until well combined. Let stand for several minutes. Taste and season with vinegar, mustard and/or orange or lemon juice.
Add the radishes, cucumber, green onion, olives, and arugula to a large bowl. Pour in the raisins and dressing. Add the wheat berries, beans, herbs, and almonds. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasonings.
Reminiscent of succotash, this dish uses fresh or frozen corn kernels with white beans instead of lima beans. The recipe calls for snap peas or snow peas, but any peas will do. The tomatoes in the rice add a lovely tang to balance the sweetness of the peas and corn.
brown rice of choice
chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, with juices
sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
fresh or frozen corn kernels
cooked white beans
garlic, sliced or minced
fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
freshly ground pepper
hot sauce or salsa for serving (optional)
In a saucepan, cook the brown rice with less than the usual water and add the tomatoes about halfway through cooking. Add more water, as needed, until the rice is fully cooked. Keep warm.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until softened or slightly browned, depending on your preference. Add the peas and cook a minute or two. Add the corn, beans, and garlic and cook a minute or two longer. Just before serving, stir in the sage, parsley, and pepper.
Made all in one pan, this dish is an homage to spring. Although the ingredient list includes spring onions and green garlic, it’s perfectly fine to use regular onion and garlic cloves. One cup of rice will cook up to quite a bit. Fresh green fava beans have an outer pod and an inner shell, and although most recipes ask you to blanch the beans and then peel away the inner shell, you don’t need to do that extra work for this dish.
olive oil or oil of choice
spring onions, white and light green parts, chopped
fresh fava beans, pods removed but inner shells unpeeled
asparagus, bottoms trimmed, spears sliced into 1-in pieces, and 2-in tips reserved separately
green garlic, white and light green parts, chopped
mixed fresh herbs (such as mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, and dill), minced
freshly ground pepper
green chile hot sauce or salsa of choice, tamari, or balsamic vinegar for serving
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and cook for a minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and leave brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Stir in the rice, cover, and cook for a minute or two. Add enough water to cover the mixture, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, adding more water as needed so the rice doesn’t stick, until the rice is almost done.
Stir in the fava beans, asparagus spears, and garlic. Cover and cook until the fava beans and asparagus are barely soft, then add the asparagus tips. Continue cooking until the vegetables are done to your liking. Stir in the fresh herbs, pepper, and hot sauce and serve.
Definitely comfort food, this tasty dish doesn’t take long to make and can’t help but please all palates. If you don’t have time to roast fresh peppers, use jarred roasted red peppers instead.
Yukon gold potatoes or potatoes of choice
mixed fresh peppers (such as poblano, Anaheim, and bell peppers)
jalapeño chile (optional)
greens (such as chard, kale, beet greens, and/or collards), stemmed and leaves cut into ribbons
garlic cloves, sliced
smoked paprika (optional)
hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Cut the potatoes into large chunks. Add to a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid, and keep the potatoes warm.
Meanwhile, roast the fresh peppers and the jalapeño on an outdoor grill, under a broiler, or on a grill pan or over an open flame on the stove top, turning to char all over. Place them in a paper bag, close the bag, and let them steam for about 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop the flesh. Set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the greens and toss until just wilted. Add the garlic, stir the garlic into the greens, and cook, covered, for a couple of minutes until the greens are soft but still bright green. Cover to keep warm.
Rice the potatoes (with a ricer) or mash them in a large bowl, adding the reserved cooking liquid a tablespoonful at a time to reach the consistency you like. Add the peppers, jalapeño, and greens. Stir just to combine. Season to taste with paprika and serve with your favorite hot sauce.
Rainbow chard, with its multicolored stems, makes eating your greens very enticing indeed. Consider flavoring the brown rice by cooking it with a knob of coconut oil and stirring in some green onion slices when the rice is done but still steaming. Nutritional yeast sprinkled on top of your bowl adds a nutty, cheesy flavor and is worth a try. Because chard has a natural saltiness, you might not need to add any salt to your bowl, but smoked salt is almost always a good choice.
brown rice of choice
swiss chard, preferably rainbow chard
super-firm tofu, diced (optional)
nutritional yeast (optional)
sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
cilantro, chopped (optional)
Cook the brown rice according to your preferred method (see note above for flavoring ideas). Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic and set aside. Cut the stems from the chard leaves and thinly slice. Separately, stack the leaves and cut into ribbons.
In a large pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the chard stems, cover, and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly wilted. Move the chard to the side of the pan and move the pan so the chard is off the heat. Pour a little bit of oil on the uncovered part of the pan that is over the heat, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so. Shift the pan back onto the heat, stir the garlic into the chard, and cook until the chard is done to your liking. Cover and remove from the heat.
To serve, add a mound of rice to your bowl. Top with chard, tofu, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, a few sun-dried tomatoes, a handful of walnuts, and some cilantro, and you’re ready to eat.
This recipe works with yellow or green split peas, any split legumes (aka dals), lentils, or a mixture. If you live near an Indian market, you have a wonderland of dals from which to choose. Although not required, soaking in hot water, covered, for a couple of hours reduces cooking time. You can stir in the greens as detailed below, or you can steam or sauté them and serve them alongside with hot cooked rice, quinoa, another grain, or pasta.
fresh or jarred red sweet peppers, chopped
jalapeño chile or other fresh chile, thinly sliced
yellow split peas or legumes of choice, soaked in hot water and drained
fresh rosemary sprigs
fresh tomato, chopped, or canned tomatoes with juices
greens (such as beet tops, kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, turnip tops, or a mixture), stemmed and leaves cut into ribbons
balsamic vinegar or vinegar of choice (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh cilantro and/or fresh parsley
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the peppers and chile and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the legumes, water to cover by ½ inch, the bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until soft, adding water as needed to keep the legumes submerged.
Stir in the tomato and turmeric and simmer until the tomato breaks down into the liquid. Stir in the greens and cook until the greens are done to your liking.
Drizzle with the vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with the fresh herbs, and serve.
Probably the last wintery soup recipe, as spring ingredients are starting to appear at the farmers’ market. For easier peeling of cipollini onions: trim the tops and bottoms, soak the onions in hot water for a few minutes, slip off the outer skin, and chop.
fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
cipollini onions or onions of choice, chopped
green garlic, white and light green parts, thinly sliced or garlic cloves, minced
leeks, white and light green parts, halved and sliced into half-moons
fresh tomato, chopped, or tomato paste (optional)
cabbage, cut into 1-inch dice
cooked white beans, rinsed if canned
super-firm tofu, cubed (optional)
dried chipotle flakes or red pepper flakes
miso or your vegetable broth mix of choice
fresh or dried oregano
In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the bay leaves and ginger and cook for a minute. Stir in the onions and cook for a minute, then turn down to medium-low, and cook until very soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and leeks and cook until softened. Raise the heat to medium, add the tomato, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato breaks down and creates a sauce. Add the cabbage, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage wilts. Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in the beans, tofu, fennel, caraway, and chipotle flakes, and cover.
Meanwhile, put the miso in a small heatproof bowl. Add a small amount of hot water and whisk until the miso is well combined into the water. Pour the miso mixture into the soup. Taste the soup broth and, if needed, repeat to add more miso. Remove from the heat (do not let the soup boil after you add the miso).
Remove the bay leaves. Season the soup with oregano, parsley, and black pepper and serve.
Here’s a very satisfying one-bowl meal with layers of Asian flavors. If you can’t find green garlic (also known as spring garlic) at your farmers’ market, you can substitute dried garlic cloves. Use your favorite type of miso and the smallest, most tender baby bok choy you can find.
fresh ginger, peeled and minced
baby bok choy
super-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
green garlic, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and parts kept separate
hot sauce (optional)
green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Soak the rice for as long as possible, then massage it in several changes of cold water. Cook the rice with the ginger in a rice cooker or in a saucepan on the stove top until soft. Keep warm.
Pull the bottom leaves off of the bok choy and slice the stems diagonally. Swish in cold water to remove any grit. Set aside.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the tofu and cook without stirring for a minute or two. Add the green parts of the garlic and stir to mix and scrape up the tofu browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium, add the white parts of the garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
Spoon the miso into a small heatproof measuring cup, add a few tablespoonfuls of hot water, and whisk vigorously until the miso is combined with the water. Pour the miso mixture into the pan with the tofu and garlic and stir. Add the bok choy and toss until well combined. Cover for a minute or two to allow the bok choy to steam, then toss again. When the bok choy is softened but still bright green, remove from the heat .
Spoon the rice into bowls; top with the bok choy mixture; sprinkle with hot sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds; and serve.
Winter brussels sprouts are a treat because chilly weather brings out their sweetness, which is enhanced by the balsamic glaze. As a shortcut, this dish uses packaged cooked polenta that comes in a log, but you can make polenta from scratch instead.
extra-virgin olive oil
red onion, half diced and half thinly sliced
mushrooms, thinly sliced
jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (optional)
olive tapenade or chopped olives
store-bought cooked polenta in a log, cut into 1-inch cubes
fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh or dried thyme leaves
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the diced onion, mushrooms, and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. Stir in a heaping tablespoonful of the tapenade, the polenta cubes, and enough water to almost cover. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often and mashing the polenta cubes against the side of the pan, until the polenta becomes a porridge.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Toss the sprouts and sliced onions with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the brussels sprouts and sliced onions until browned in spots, about 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, warm the balsamic vinegar until it thickens slightly. Pour in the brussels sprouts and sliced onions, sprinkle with the thyme, and toss to coat.
Scoop the polenta into bowls, top with the brussels sprout mixture, and serve.