Israeli Black Bean Fritters

Eat Well

I call these fritters instead of falafel because, whereas falafel are usually deep-fried – often translating to greasy + heavy – these are sautéed in a lightly oiled skillet for a (healthier) bite that’s tender + fluffy inside with a light crisp on the outside.

Calling on Israeli flavors to pair with a colorful veg chop, I incorporated cilantro, mint, cumin, chillies and lemon into the black bean base — something a bit different and unexpected for summer. In keeping with the theme, ours landed atop a mixture of spinach and arugula, fresh mint and basil leaves. Lemon-thinned tahini sauce + a sprinkle of sumac to finish.

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Smoky Ethiopian Lentils

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When the temperatures are low and the winds are biting I crave all things warm and exotic from the kitchen. Consistently better weather, minus spring tornado season, is just moments away, but while we wait, bring on the spicy complexity of North African and Middle Eastern flavors and foods.

Smoked paprika and Ethiopian berbere — a mix of spices that includes dried red chiles de árbol and a slew of aromatics — steal the show here, with red onion, garlic, spicy fresh ginger and rich sun-dried tomatoes rounding out the earthy black lentils. A splash of balsamic vinegar swirled in at the end as a subtle but bright touch bringing everything together.

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Spicy 4-Seed Gingerbread Bites

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Among the flavors that, for me, evoke nostalgia for the holidays, cinnamon and ginger dominate. The cozy-spicy duo is hard to beat — any time of the year — and even more so when the two merge in gooey, intense gingerbread bites with other warming spices, sticky dates, a hint of orange, plus four types of seeds.

I’m sharing these today not just to prolong my love of the winter season, but also because the ingredients show some serious love to your heart for American Heart Month.

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North Indian Rajma (Punjab-Style Kidney Bean Masala Stew)

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

The cuisine of the Northern Indian region of Punjab is often rich and hearty, always bold in every sense: taste, texture, colors, aromas. Rustic yet lavish dishes are cooked in ways that incorporate strong ingredients like onion, ginger and garlic with generous, but precise, amounts of spices to enhance and perfectly balance the flavors.

Among the best-known Punjabi dishes are channa masala, various veg + non-veg versions of tikka korma, and my favoritebaigan bharta. It’s also believed that tandoor cooking, and thus, tandoori chicken, originated here.

Digging deeper, I made a surprisingly excellent discovery — a darkhorse in the vast Indian menu that quickly won our hearts and minds. And stomachs.

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