Quinoa Salad with Apple and Fennel Three Ways

This salad is light and nutritious.  It’s also loaded with fennel—three versions:  the raw feathery fronds, braised bulb and toasted seeds.  For those less enamored with the licorice-like flavor of the raw vegetable, use more of the cooked bulb, and less fronds. Taste as you toss the salad, and let that be your guide.  Substitute candied nuts if you enjoy a hint of sweetness—I keep a bag of Trader Joe’s Candied Walnuts on hand.  No need to toast them; they’re ready straight out of the package.

Quinoa is an excellent vegetarian source of protein—and a complete one, unlike most other grains.  It offers a wide range of minerals and nutrients as well.

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Ruby Smoothie

This vegetable and fruit-packed drink can be made in either a blender or a juicer. In a blender you’ll get a thicker mix, peppered with tiny vegetable bits that lend texture and substance. In the juicer the drink comes out thin and smooth — more palatable for kids (and the kale-wary) but you’ll lose some of the fabulous fiber to the filter. If you don’t mind dirtying another appliance try half-and-half — purée the ingredients in the blender, then put half of it through the juicer. Or put the kale through the juicer and most everything else into the blender, and mix together in a glass. Any way you choose to mix it this rose-hued drink is not only beautiful, but packed with vitamins and minerals, plus a kicky hint of ginger and refreshing mint. During berry season pop a few red ones into the mix. Continue reading

Apple, Onion and Potato Tart

This tart riffs on the popular dessert we make constantly at our house during apple season. Instead of the usual sweet version, this savory tart joins apples with onions and potatoes (in French called pommes de terre – literally apples of the earth). You could add or substitute peeled, sliced celery root, parsnips or carrots if you like.


  • One medium apple
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One sheet frozen puff pastry
  • Goat cheese, optional


  1. Defrost pastry in the fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Thinly slice apple, potatoes and onion. Heat some oil in a sauté pan, then add onion and cook until just starting to brown. Add potatoes, thyme sprigs and a bit of salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes until onion is soft and potatoes are almost cooked. Add apples and cook for a couple more minutes. Stir gently so slices remain intact. Remove from heat. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as necessary.
  3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Lay out pastry on top of paper. Cut pastry sheet into 2 strips about 4-5 inches wide. Separate from one another by at least an inch.
  4. Lay potato-apple mixture on top of pastry in a thin layer. Leave at least ½ inch border of pastry uncovered around the perimeter of each rectangle (this allows the pastry to puff up). Crumble a bit of goat cheese over the top, if desired. Place into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven, cool slightly, cut into slices.

Café Gratitude Style Summer Rolls

Collard wrapped Summer Rolls

Makes about one cup sauce; summer roll servings vary

Café Gratitude is a natural foods restaurant with locations in San Francisco and Berkeley.  A favorite dish is their collard-wrapped summer rolls.  This is my approximation.  You can improvise the fillings—mix and match as you like.  Choose raw items that offer a range of textures, with plenty of crunch.  Kids will enjoy wrapping their own green bundles.  By the way, the dipping sauce makes a great sandwich or veggie burger spread, too.


  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (from Whole Foods)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut, cashew or almond butter
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • handful fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil or arugula)
  • drizzle of honey or agave (optional)
  • collard leaves, stems cut off
  • any of the following, cut into long matchstick lengths:  apple, peach, plum, carrot, cucumber, celery, radish, jicama, pear, raw beet, raw turnip
  • ripe avocado, cubed
  • strawberry halves
  • sprouts such as sunflower, pea shoots, radish
  • herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, dill or arugula (optional)


  1. For dipping sauce, blend first 8 ingredients (up to collards) together in a food processor until very smooth.  Taste, then add the agave/honey if you like a hint of sweetness. Refrigerate.  This step can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  2. Steam collard leaves until dark green and just pliable (less than one minute).  Rinse under cool water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Lay a leaf out on a cutting board.  Place a small amount of julienned fruits and vegetables or other ingredients on each leaf.  Roll up to create a fat cigar-like shape. Repeat with each leaf.  Serve with dipping sauce.  Best eaten shortly after assembly.