Parade.com: Broccoli and Pear Salad with Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette

Broccoli and Pear Salad with Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette

After a few years, it finally caught me. A type of cold that makes your muscles ache, gives knock-out headaches, and a non-stop running nose. There’s only so much chicken soup, orange juice and ginger tea I can take until my body starts feeling better. In between all the bland and mushy food, here’s a crunchy salad with sweet pears, lightly steamed cold-fighting broccoli and toasted almonds. Drizzle the spicy and immune building Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette over the salad to finish this dish. With plenty of sleep and more good eating, I can’t wait to finally end this cold and (hopefully) escape it for a few more years.  Read more

Parade.com: Blackeye Pea and Kale Salad with Chickpea Dressing

Black-eye Pea and Kale Salad with Chickpea Vinaigrette

We went dessert crazy at Thanksgiving. The Holiday office party served extra sweets and more weight was gained. There was plenty of champagne on New Year’s Eve, and we woke up to the realization that the dried black-eye peas weren’t soaking. A crazy dash for the grocery store was made for collard greens, and the produce shelves were bare. If Southern tradition of eating black-eye peas and collard greens are strictly followed to bring good luck, a dismal year could happen.  Read more

Parade.com: Citrus Orzo Salad with Smoked Salmon

Citrus Orzo Salad with Smoked Salmon

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I ate four slices of my dad’s German Chocolate Cake, half of his sweet potato pie, one slice of my aunt’s famous buttery two-layer vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, and another piece of celebration vanilla cake. Of course, those were just the desserts. The following Monday, I was in the gym running, lifting weights, and stretching my body into redemption. There’s the traditional reason for this type of gluttonous eating during this time of year: The body needs the extra fat to keep warm during the colder months. Then, there’s the modern reason: Guilty am I of being greedy.  Read more

#HealthyHoliday Soul Food Blog Carnival: Mediterranean-Inspired Salad with Cauliflower Couscous

Mediterranean-Inspired Salad with Cauliflower Couscous

Everyone has their own definition of what being healthy means. For me, it’s enjoying mostly–within my budget and whenever possible–organic food my body allows in moderation. Sure, organic cow’s whole milk is used when cooking, but drinking a glass of whole milk isn’t for me. White sugar is gradually being replaced with coconut sugar (I’m giving away the white stuff). Wheat doesn’t affect me at all, but I’m experimenting with coconut flour. And, there’s plenty of soul recipes on this site with healthy alternatives, such as Black-eye Pea and Wild Brown Rice Risotto with Seared Baby Lamb Chops and Saute Swiss Chard, Duck and Turnip Stew with Dandelion Greens and Red Beans and Chicken with Wild RiceRead more

Parade Magazine: Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette
Photo by Bill Kontzias at http://www.billkphotography.com

Farmer’s markets have many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and they’re expensive because of high demand. However, when I see them, they bring memories of tomatoes growing in my father’s backyard. Their irregular, bulbous shape with a fresh cut strong stem indicates a juicy tomato ready for picking. It didn’t matter if they were mild green for frying in cornmeal or fiery red for a garden salad. Today, those same type of tomatoes still grow in my father’s backyard for free. Since, he lives a few states away, I purchase them for too many dollars per pound at fancy markets in New York. Regardless of price, I continue to buy them, because their sweet taste reminds me of home. As a New Yorker, I’m influenced by diverse cultures, including adding tons of ginger, a hint of fresh mint, rice vinegar and a dash of sesame oil to a vinaigrette traditionally made with a no-frill oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper that is tossed with green beans and tomatoes. Since most of the ingredients are in my pantry, the vinaigrette is cheaper to make versus the price of a large heirloom tomato. Only in New York…  Read more