Raw Beet Salad

4 servings

1 pound beets, peeled, grated
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced (or one shallot)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine beets, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, parsley, garlic, mustard, sea salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Adjust seasonings and enjoy

Celery Salad with Dates, Almonds, and Parmesan

Servings: 6

½ cup raw almonds
8 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal, leaves separated
6 dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Toss almonds, celery, celery leaves, dates, and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan and oil and toss gently; season with red pepper flakes.

My notes – I always leave out the olive oil. I sometimes leave out the pepper flakes…

Sweet Potato Split Pea Soup

A great split peas soup – feeds a crowd


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
3 cups sweet potatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper (I like white pepper for this soup)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 pound yellow or green split peas
5 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
Tony Chacheres spice to taste (or other spice blend)
3 bay leaves


In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the carrots, celery, onions and garlic with the olive oil, spices, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add split peas, stock, water, bay leaves, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, add sweet potatoes, cover and simmer 60 minutes. Check seasonings, adjust if necessary.

At this point, you can serve it as is for chunky soup or puree part or all. (I use an emersion blender to blend it a bit.)

Avocado Soup with Chicken and Lime (quick)

Serves 4     10 minute prep      20 minute cook time


4 (6 inch) corn tortillas, julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, sliced thinly
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into thin strips
1 quart chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tomato, seeded and diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Arrange tortilla strips on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion, garlic and jalapenos in olive oil until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, chicken broth, lime juice, tomato, salt and pepper. Gently simmer until chicken is cooked, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in avocado and cilantro and heat through. Adjust seasonings.

4. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with tortilla strips to serve.