Cilantro Brown RiceThis is a great recipe to introduce brown rice to your family.  It’s easy, requires only a few ingredients, and is packed with nutrients.

Brown rice is considered a whole grain.  Whole Grains include the entire grain:  bran, germ and endosperm.  Most of the nutrition is in the bran and germ which is packed with fiber, b-vitamins, trace minerals, vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy fats.

In contrast, white rice has been stripped of the bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm.  The endosperm is mainly carbohydrates and some protein.

Studies have found that a regular diet of whole grains helps attain and maintain a healthy weight, prevents heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half our grains come from whole grains.


1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 small onion

1 garlic clove

1 cup short grain brown rice

2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth

1 cup cilantro


1. Chop the onion into small dice and finely chop the garlic.

2. Heat skillet on medium high and add olive oil.  When hot, add onion and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for about a minute, stir continuously to prevent burning.

3.  Add rice and stir to combine.

4.  Pour broth into rice mixture and heat until boiling.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 3o-40 minutes.

5.  Chop cilantro and mix into rice mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

To see video click HERE







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Baked Tortilla & Pita ChipsThese chips are more nutritious and lower in calories than regular chips.  They are higher in fiber,  lower in fat and salt and are a third of the cost of regular tortilla chips.  They are so easy to make that it’s a great recipe to make with your kids.

For Video click:  HERE



3 corn tortilla, cut into quarters

3 whole wheat pita bread, cut into quarters

Olive or canola oil spray


cayenne pepper or smoked paprika or any other spices you like



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Place toritlla and pita pieces on a baking sheet, in a single layer.

3.  Spray with oil and sprinkle with salt and spices.

4.  Turn over and spray over side with oil and add spices.

5. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, checking periodically.  Half way through baking turn chips around.  Take out of oven when golden brown and crispy.  Serve with hummus or tomatillo salsa

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HummusThis is a very basic and easy Hummus recipe.  If you want to make it more interesting, add your own spin by combining any of the following ingredients:

chopped cilantro

chopped jalapeno

chopped chipotle chiles

chopped parsley

chopped roasted bell peppers

Zaatar (spice mixture)


For video click here: How to Make Hummus




2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, if needed

small diced tomato, for garnish



1.  Place all ingredients, except for the tomato, into a food processor and mix until creamy.  If needed, gradually add water.  It should be a smooth, not-to-thick consistency.

2. Garnish with diced tomato and some olive oil.   Serve with baby carrots, cucumber sticks or baked pita chips.

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tomatillo salsa in a bowl

After long study sessions, I used to go to this tiny Mexican Restaurant called “Taqueria” in New York City. The food is authentic, cheap and always crowded. With each order you get tortilla chips with three salsas.  My favorite was always the tomatillo salsa with avocado chunks.

Tomatillos look like unripe tomatoes.  They are green or yellow in color and usually enclosed in a husk.  They are a firmer in texture than tomatoes and have a citrusy tang.  The best way to pick them is to make sure the husk is tight-fitting and intact with a light brown color. Tomatillos, which means “little tomatoes” in Spanish can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked in salsas, sauces and soups.  I think my version tastes pretty close to the one I had at Taqueria.  Regardless,  it’s delicious and so easy. Serve it with baked tortilla chips and a cold Mexican Beer. ¡ Salud!


*You will need a blender or food processor for this recipe.


5 medium-sized tomatillos

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 Jalapenos

1/3 cup cilantro

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped

1 medium-sized avocado



1. Heat large cast-iron or nonstick skillet on medium heat.

2. Remove husks from the tomatillos and rinse thoroughly.  Cut each tomatillo in half and place in skillet.

3.  Pierce jalapenos with a knife or toothpick, a few times, and add to skillet.  Add garlic and let brown, about 5 minutes. Once browned, turn tomatillos, garlic and jalapenos over.

4.  Place tomatillos and garlic in blender and let cool. Roughly chop the jalapenos and add to blender.  You can scrape the skin of the jalapenos, if you wish, or leave as is.

5.   Roughly chop the cilantro and add to blender.  Add water and start blending.  Try not to overmix the ingredients or it will become too soupy. Pour into a serving dish.

6.  Finely chop onion, place in a strainer and rinse with cold water.  Add to salsa and stir until blended.

7.  Lastly, chop the avocado into small cubes and mix into salsa.  Add salt and serve with some baked tortilla chips.







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Bulghur, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley salad

Tabouli, or Tabbouleh, is a great salad to make in the summer, when tomatoes are in season and taste their best. This salad is great to eat solo or, for a heartier meal, serve with fish or lamb.  It’s an easy dish to take to BBQ’s where people will love the fresh taste.  Bulghur and veggies add fiber and plenty of vitamins.  Sometimes, I add feta cheese for extra flavor or roasted walnuts for added crunch.


1 cup bulghur wheat

1 1/2 cup boiling water

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 scallions

1 cup mint

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

1/2 hothouse cucumber

2 tomatoes

pepper to taste



1.  Place bulghur in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it.  Add lemon juice, olive oil and salt, stir.

2.  Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.  Season to taste and serve, or refrigerate.


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Yogurt with cucumber dip

Tzatziki is normally served as an appetizer with pita bread or as a sauce for gyros or souvlaki.  It’s such a healthy and delicious dish that I serve it as a dip for tortilla chips or with my falafel recipe.  It’s a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins.  This recipe is easy to make but takes about 2-4 hours of “draining time”.


3 cups nonfat Greek yogurt, you can also use regular yogurt and strain it as described below

1 hothouse cucumber with skin

Juice of one lemon

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 crushed or minced garlic clove

1 Tbsp Dill

salt and pepper to taste



1.  If you are using regular yogurt, place it in a cheesecloth or paper towel lined sieve and set over bowl.  Allow to drain for about 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.

2.  Grate the cucumber into another sieve and sprinkle with 1-2 tsp of salt and set over another bowl.  The salt will help release some of the water in the cucumbers.  Let this also drain for about 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.

3.  After the 3-4 hours of draining time, place the yogurt into a large bowl.  Squeeze most of the water out of the cucumbers and add to the yogurt.  Add the lemon, garlic, dill, salt and pepper and stir until combined.  Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.

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