It’s beginning to be that dreary time of Winter where it feels like the beginning of the end.  After getting back from LA over the holidays, I arrived to 20-something degree weather, and the last few days couldn't have been more dreary.  It’s easy to feel like spending all day on the couch or eating a banana for dinner is not out of the realm of possibilities.  I’m fighting my “dreary” feelings by blasting myself with brightness, in food more than feelings, but I’m working on both.

This soup, from Anna Jones’ new book, is a fresh and vibrant recipe that is remarkably flavorful despite its few ingredients. I doctored it up just barely, but it was exactly what I needed.  It uses those frozen peas I always have in my fridge, and made me feel a little more “awake” after eating it.  Bright foods for fighting seasonal depression ? I’ll take it. 

Bright Green Pea & Coconut Soup (Gluten-free, Vegan) Serves 4-6

*Adapted from A Modern Way to Cook

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 bunch of green scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2lbs. frozen green peas
  • 1 (15oz.) can of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon white or yellow miso
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (stems, too!)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped (stems, too)
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • Freshly ground pepper, to serve
  • Microgreens, to serve (opt.)

In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium high heat.  Once pan is hot, add scallions, shallots and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until ingredients have softened.

Then, add frozen peas, coconut milk, miso, salt and 3 cups of filtered water.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Stir in all herbs and the zest + juice of 1 lemon.  Transfer mixture to vitamix/blender and puree until smooth.  (*If you have an immersion blender, use it here and dirty one less dish.)  Once soup is smooth, divide amongst bowls.  Top with freshly ground pepper, micro greens and a drizzle of olive oil. 


Whenever I’m seeking comfort at dinnertime, I usually end up with a hodgepodge of quinoa, vegetables and some tahini sauce with enough accoutrements to make up for the initial simplicity.  It's a meal I have on repeat, changing up the grain or type of lentil depending on what I have on hand.  They’re uncomplicated, nourishing meals that do the trick when you need warmth (literally and figuratively) in a bowl.

When I’m really in the mode to make “weeknight” dinner into something a little more spectacular than a Topanga Canyon macro bowl, enter preserved lemons.  These salty-sweet lemons are the older/wiser cousin of fresh lemons with an almost indescribable aroma.   Although usually found at specialty food stores, it’s just as easy to make them at home (with a little or a lot of patience). You can make them authentically, quick-preserved or even “pickled” like Ottolenghi. I use them most in my self-described "hippie bowls" to add something lively (when you need some extra inspiration in your life). It's a weeknight win-win.

Grain Bowl with Preserved Lemons (gluten-free, dairy-free opt.) Serves 4

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 3 preserved lemons, rinds only & diced small (save pulp for another use)
  • 4-5 kale leaves, de-stemmed and chopped 
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
  • 8 dried apricots, diced
  • 3 oz. feta, crumbled
  • Black sesame gomasio, to top (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper

Tahini Miso Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water, depending on desired consistency

In a saucepan, add chickpeas and enough water to cover by about 4 inches.  Bring to a boil, then cover and let sit for one hour.  This method is a quick way to eliminate soaking overnight. Once the hour is up, bring to a boil then simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside to cool.

In another saucepan, add quinoa, 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 14-16 minutes or until fluffy.  Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together until smooth & desired consistency.

In a large serving bowl, add chickpeas, cooled quinoa, sunflower seeds, diced preserved lemons, kale, herbs, and dried apricot.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and mix well to combine.  Top the grain bowl with crumbled feta and gomasio (optional).  Finish each serving with a generous drizzle of tahini miso dressing.  Serve immediately!




The new year has been extraordinarily busy for me, and I haven't had a lot of time for extravagant/home-cooked meals. Most of the time, I eat on the go and get whatever I can to tide me over. The few days where I have a minute, I come back to my love of the kale salad. It is a meal I have been eating and re-working for years without ever getting tired of it. For whatever reason, kale salads can be just as comforting to me as my beloved pad thai, just with more work.

All you need to make the kale salad even more special is some spices and homemade dressing. I'm obsessed with any kind of "warm" salad, especially since it's not quite warm enough to pretend it's Spring. Needless to say, this salad is an in between and it's damn good.




1 can chickpeas, drained

1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add drained chickpease to a large mixing bowl.  Mix in all spices, sesame seeds and olive oil with sea salt and pepper.  Use your hands to make sure chickpeas are evenly coated with mixture.  Roast for 40-45 minutes or until crisp and browned.  Set aside to cool.


3/4 cup cashews, raw

1 teaspoon yellow miso

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 garlic cloves, whole

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon nori, chopped

1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons coconut cream

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon tamari, gluten-free

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 head of kale, de-stremmed and chopped

1/2 avocado, diced

1. Add the first twelve ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend  until smooth.

2.  In a large bowl, add kale, avocado and dresssing.  Mix together with your hands until well combine.  Top with roasted chickpeas and enjoy!