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!


Like everyone else in the world, I'm starting my year off trying to eat purely and detox from screens.  Although I've already failed my "no phones after 7pm" rule, I have read more in the last month than I did in the last 6, so that's something.  So far, so good?  And now on to my favorite breakfasts of the year so far / a Morning Meals round-up:

DETOX GREEN SMOOTHIE (gluten-free, vegan) SERVES 2

  • 3 cups organic spinach
  • 1 cup frozen organic mixed berries
  • 1 cup frozen mango or peach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • Small handful of fresh parsley or mint
  • Pomegranate seeds for topping

Add all ingredients to your blender.  Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until well blended and thick.  Garnish your smoothie with pomegranate seeds and more fresh herbs.  Eat with a spoon and enjoy!


  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 4 oz. raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds 

In a small bowl, mix together spices and sugar. Set aside.

Then, in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium until melted.  Add pecans, then slowly add spice mixture making sure to nuts are coated evenly.  Add maple syrup and up the heat to medium high. Stirring often for 3-4 minutes or until mixture begins to smell nutty and more syrupy.

Remove from heat and add in an even layer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool. (For immediate cooling, add to freezer for 5 minutes.)

Once pecans have cooled, top greek yogurt with them and a few tablespoons of pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

MINI DILL FRITTATAS (gluten-free, dairy-free) SERVES 2-3, Makes 12 mini frittatas

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Baby arugula, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, garlic, shallot, almond milk and dill.  Zest approximately 1 teaspoon of zest and the juice of half a lemon.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Combine well.

Use olive oil to grease your mini muffin pan.  Ladle in egg mixture up to the top.  Season with flaky sea salt. Bake for 22-25 minutes.  They will puff up slightly when done.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve on a bed of arugula drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  Enjoy!