Favorite Packaged Sauces Part 1

Got your veggies? Got your protein? Are you about to cook with the same seasonings you added last week? Here are just two of my favorite packaged sauces you can find at your local grocery store.

 Favorite Sauces Part 1

I love these two sauces by Saffron Road.  I just lightly stir fry my vegetables (onions, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, snap peas, and asparagus),  and add the sauce.  I find the Lemongrass sauce to be a little lighter on flavor and not as much sauce in proportion to the vegetables as the Tikka Masala, so I add a little vegetable stock, Thai basil and Thai Keffir Lime Leaves to give it a bit more flavor and depth.  The Tikka Masala sauce is fantastic as is and requires no additional seasonings.  Enjoy!

Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce with Vegetables

 Lemongrass Veggies and Tofu

Served with Roasted Tofu

Lemongrass Veggies and Tofu 2

Tikka Masala Sauce with Veggies

Tikka Masala Veggies

Tikka Masala Sauce Veggies with Lentil Brown Rice and Tofu

Tikka Masala Veggies with Tofu

Feed the wellness in you!

In Season Wellness – Asparagus

Bunch of fresh green asparagus spears

Although asparagus is available all year long, March is its peak marking Spring is here! You’ll notice the foodie magazines will feature asparagus in a variety of recipes and featured heavily on restaurant menus. Can’t wait!

It’s a good thing I love asparagus because the word alone could trigger a traumatic memory for me. In 5th grade I won my school’s spelling bee (brag alert – AND again in 6th grade) and made it to the city championship.  I was VERY nervous and  lost because I misspelled ASPARAGUS.  Needless to say I will never forget how to spell it.

If you love asparagus you know it is crisp and sweet raw as well as delicious roasted and lightly sautéed.  It is also extremely good for you in numerous ways.

  1. It contains  many anti-inflammatory nutrients which help to combat arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
  2. It is full of antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin A (beta-carotene), zinc, manganese and selenium;  With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, asparagus is a robust fighter against bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, ovarian and other cancers.
  3. Fresh asparagus are rich sources of folates.  Folate, a B complex vitamin, is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.
  4. Asparagus is also an excellent source of Vitamin K which is also good for your bones and has antioxidant properties which preliminary studies show may help slow the aging process.

To preserve nutrients and get the most out of its antioxidant power when cooking try to roast, grill or lightly stir fry asparagus.

I’ll be posting a recipe with this star vegetable soon!

Feed the wellness in you!

Vegetable Rice Bowl with Olive Pistachio Chutney

Vegetable Rice Bowl with Olive Pistachio Chutney

A few weeks ago I was watching “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network and the theme was ‘Messy’. If you watch this series,  you can imagine that due to the theme of ‘MESSY’, there were many sloppy, delicious, gooey foods. VERY MESSY! There was one dish that Restaurant Critic Frank Bruni exalted as his favorite messy dish, the Asparagus Rice Bowl from restaurant Revel in Seattle, that I found intriguing.

The dish lends itself to be so versatile that I had to give it a whirl but MY way.  I was fascinated by the Olive Pistachio Chutney.   The ingredients spoke to my taste buds.  There are a few things that need to be prepared a day in advance but worth the effort.  You have to pickle red onions and lemon peel separately.  The asparagus was grilled and straight forward to prepare.  I have never incorporated radicchio in anything so thought this was my way of using it but also added baby bok choy mixed with the radicchio with a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Revel Restaurant tops off their rice bowl with an egg yolk that I did not incorporate.  I wanted protein in my dish so I used roasted tofu and for my husband, baked chicken. The rice base at Revel appears to be white rice and I used brown rice with quinoa.

So here’s my version of this ‘Messy’ bowl once it was all ‘messed’ up!

Vegetable Rice Bowl with Olive Pistachio Chutney1

We loved it in our household – the Olive Pistachio Chutney is the key. Even with my own improvisations it was delightful so I can only imagine the Chef’s version being over the top.  Watch the video of ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate – Messy’ episode for further guidance.  Be creative with your vegetable additions as you see fit.  The Revel version had no protein but I thought, why not?

What say you?

Feed the wellness in you!

Vegetable Rice Bowl with Olive Pistachio Chutney

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 2

The total time does not include prepping and cooking your protein of choice, and pickling the onions and lemons. The time documented here includes prepping and cooking the tofu. Pickle the onions and lemons a day ahead and depending on your protein you will add that process time to your preparation. Keep in mind you're doing several things in parallel. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 16 stems asparagus
  • 6 stems baby bok choy
  • 1 cup radicchio, shredded
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup kalamata olives
  • 2/3 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 2 tbl pickled onions
  • 1 tbl pickled lemons
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup of extra firm tofu or protein of your choice!


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. If you are using tofu as your protein drain the water out of the tofu. I wrap the tofu in paper towels and place in the refrigerator, changing the paper towels frequently.
  3. Once the tofu is drained slice it in even strips and roast in the oven with a little sea salt on a cookie sheet (I line it with parchment paper to brown evenly) for about 20 minutes.
  4. Cook your brown rice and quinoa in the vegetable stock.
  5. Slice your baby bok choy in long strips and add to the radicchio. Wash thoroughly and drain.
  6. Toss the vegetables in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar. Set aside
  7. In another bowl mix your olives, pistachios, pickled onions and lemons, rice wine vinegar, cumin and red pepper flakes.
  8. Roast your asparagus with sea salt and black pepper for about 20 minutes.
  9. In a serving bowl, layer the bottom with your rice and quinoa, then assemble your bok choy/radicchio, asparagus, protein and olive pistachio chutney.
  10. Cut up, mix up, blend all together to enjoy all the flavors!!

Roasted Vegetables with Whole Wheat Linguine

What I love most about this dish is that you can use any vegetable that you like in the pasta – Broccoli, Squash, Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts – just use what you enjoy! 

Roasted Vegetables and Whole Wheat LInguine

Roasted Vegetables with Whole Wheat Linguine

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 cup Asparagus Tips
  • 6 - 8 cups Broccoli and Cauliflower florets
  • 4 Mini Red Sweet Peppers, sliced in strips
  • 8 Campari Tomatoes, Sliced in Quarters
  • 64 oz Vegetable Stock
  • 1 box Whole Wheat Linguine
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Capers
  • Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower in equal chunks.
  3. Wash and drain all vegetables thoroughly. The vegetables should be completely dry.
  4. Put your broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl.
  5. Toss the vegetables in olive oil so that they're coated (but not heavily oily!).
  6. Sprinkle ground sea salt on the vegetables and place on a baking sheet so they are lying flat. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes. Midway you want to check to see if the bottom of the vegetables are lightly brown and turn them over.
  7. Once you place the broccoli and cauliflower in the oven, you want to prep your asparagus and red peppers to get roasted. These vegetables are not cooked at the same time as the other vegetables because their roasting time differs.
  8. Place the asparagus and red peppers on a baking sheet; sprinkle olive oil and sea salt as done with the other vegetables.
  9. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Test and taste your vegetables to make sure they are firm but cooked, and have a nice roasted flavor.
  11. After roasting is complete, place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
  12. Add the diced tomatoes and pull the leaves from 3-4 sprigs of thyme and toss in the vegetables. Cover until ready to use.
  13. Cook your pasta al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Look on the box for exact instructions for al dente preparation.
  14. In a 10-12 inch pan simmer ¾ of a cup of vegetable stock.
  15. Once your pasta is cooked, you will prepare each serving separately then serve.
  16. Transfer enough pasta for one serving into the vegetable stock.
  17. Add a balanced serving of vegetables.
  18. Add one teaspoon of capers, one tablespoon of feta cheese and mix well.
  19. Transfer to plate and top with grated parmesan cheese.
  20. Serve immediately.