Roasted Asparagus With A Fresh Spin

So delighted to discover the well known and just happens to one of my favorite NYC restaurants, ABC Kitchen shares some of their recipes through their website. Enjoy this simple spring side dish: Roasted Asparagus with Nicoise Olives and Basil

Colorful and bright and ready to roast


2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and peeled

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, julienned

½ cup Niçoise olives, pitted and halved

¼ cup sliced fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 450F
Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss and turn to evenly coat. Sprinkle the garlic, olives, and basil all over. Roast until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the basil wilts, about 8 minutes.
Drizzle with a little more oil, garnish with fresh basil, and serve hot with lemon wedges

ABC Kitchen recipe

A Bed Time Story

My sweet friend sent this video to me and it is worth sharing. The Great Realisation is a beautiful and touching video by British poet Tomos Roberts who posts online under the handle Probably Tom Foolery.

“a world of waste and wonder” “we’d forgotten to run” but then 2020″they remembered how to smile” the world we found” “and dream of tomorrow”

A Comforting Side Dish, Roasted Vegetables with A Caper Vinaigrette

For the past few weeks, I have been on a vegetable cooking journey with Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty. A vegetarian cookbook that delivers flavors that will ignite your taste buds. This book is a visual piece of art. Beautiful food that captures your attention. You can easily pair Ottolenghi’s lovely dishes with a meat or fish if you are so inclined.

This recipe, I have made multiple times. It is a true favorite in my house. I love the simplicity of this recipe and how the flavors come alive. Leftovers taste even better the next day for lunch!

  • 4 parsnips (1½ lbs total)
  • 4 medium red onions
  • 2/3 olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1¼ lbs total)
  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp small capers (roughly chopped if large)
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel the parsnips and cut into two or three segments, depending on their lengths. Then cut each piece lengthways into two or four. You want pieces roughly 2 inches long and ½-inch wide. Peel the onions and cut each into six wedges.
  2. Place the parsnips and onions in a large mixing bowl and add 1/3 cup of olive oil, the thyme, rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Mix well and spread out in a large roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. While the parsnips are cooking, trim both ends of the sweet potatoes. Cut them (with their skins) in half, then each half into six wedges. Add the potatoes to the pan with the parsnips and onion and stir well. Return to the oven to roast for a further 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. When all the vegetables are cooked through and have taken on a golden color, stir in the halved tomatoes. Roast for 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, capers, maple syrup, mustard, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Pour the dressing over the roasted vegetables as soon as you take them out of the oven. Stir well, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Scatter the sesame seeds over the vegetables if using and serve at the table in the roasting pan.

Last Night’s Beautiful Couscous Is Today’s Lunch

  • 1 cup couscous
  • ¾ cup boiling water or vegetable stock
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 fresh green chile, finely sliced
  • 1 ¼ cup arugula leaves, chopped
  • Place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water or stock. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fry the onion in the olive oil on medium until golden and completely soft. Add the salt and cumin and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.
  • To make the herb paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  •  Add the herb paste to the couscous and mix everything together well with a fork to fluff it up. Now add the cooked onion, the pistachios, green onions, green chile and arugula and gently mix. Serve at room temperature.

Find Your Strength In Walking

Walking is one the easiest ways to connect with your mind, body, and soul During these difficult times, I have found that I appreciate walking more than I ever could have imagined. To be able to enjoy the outdoors rain or shine is an absolute mood lifter. Spring has not stopped. The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. Everyone needs to find their own way to navigate this challenging time. Here is an article from Prevention magazine. It may just be the push you need to slide into your sneakers. Walking alone can powerful. A time to tune into yourself and savor the moment with gratitude.


Walking is good for the body and the soul. How do we know? Well, there are the piles of research studies that reveal its health benefits: weight management, a tougher skeleton, a stronger heart, a sturdier brain. But we also heard from more than 1,500 readers who answered our call to tell us why they walk—from staying fit to healing a broken heart, the reasons are both simple and moving. Let their stories inspire you, then follow our practical tips for your own walks.


“Last year, I had a pretty bad injury and had to spend a lot of time resting in my college dorm room while all my friends went out and had a good time. I noticed that my mood drastically changed—and even when I got better, I was still depressed and didn’t leave my dorm once I was able to.

Now I get up before dawn every morning and walk without my phone; I can be with my own thoughts and appreciate what’s around me. I’m able to mentally prepare for the day (while getting a little exercise in too!), and I’ve noticed such an increase in my mood. Walking has so many benefits—why wouldn’t I walk?!”

—Terri Lavelle, Brooklyn, NY


You’ve heard that 10,000 steps a day is the magic number, but even logging just 3,500 daily steps can lower your risk of diabetes by 29%.


“I never used to be much of a walker, so I’ll be the first to admit that when my doctor told me to walk each day, I was less than thrilled. On that first walk, I decided to take my 8- and 10-year-old grandchildren with me. As we walked, they pointed out different things they thought were beautiful, like flowers and trees.

I love our special time together, and I’ve begun to see the world through their eyes—it’s made me realize how much of this world’s little beauties I’ve been missing.”

—Rhonda Nichols, Seattle

Meditation doesn’t have to be done in the solitude of your bedroom.

Laurie and her grandkids’ routine of taking in the world around them, a.k.a. being mindful, is a main component of it. Try this 10-minute walking meditation from the experts at

As you begin your walk,

hold your arms in a comfortable position. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your feet; notice how your legs stride. If your attention wanders, shift it back to your bodily sensations—this first step is all about you.

After a few minutes, turn your attention to the sounds around you.

Do you hear birds chirping? A lawnmower whirring? Take in every sound, both pleasant and unpleasant.

Now shift your awareness to smell.

Perhaps you get a whiff of earthy mulch or the gentle scent of fresh-cut grass. Breathe it all in.

Move on to vision.

Take in the colors, objects, and scenery around you. Maybe you notice your neighbor’s new flower bed or you realize the trees are finally in bloom.

In the last few minutes, bring your awareness back

from your surroundings to your body.


Michelle and Betty are on to something with their commitment to walking at every stage of life—here’s the research that proves them right:


One study found that adults who walked for 30 minutes five times a week had more energy to get through the day, felt healthier, and were more confident than people who walked less frequently.


If you have a sweet tooth, lace up your sneakers. Research suggests that walking can curb cravings for sugary snacks, likely due to the endorphins (feel-good chemicals) physical activity releases.


One study found that people who took a.m. walks fell asleep faster and slept more soundly.


Among 1,002 study participants, just 20 minutes (or more) of aerobic exercise at least five days a week resulted in 43% fewer days spent sick than for those who exercised only once a week or less. And the walkers who did get ill were sick for less time and had milder symptoms.


Walking this long most days of the week drastically lowers your risk of heart disease.


“My good friend Betty is 87 years young. Why do I say that? Because while others her age are shuffling about in walkers or using scooters, Betty is booking it across the streets, trails, and beaches of sunny San Diego. I’m only 49, but her fast gait is my inspiration. I once asked her how she was still so agile at an age when many people weren’t. She said 

That stuck with me, so now I walk to ensure that I too will thrive in my golden years, as fully and joyfully as Betty does.”

—Ellen Habart, West Newton, MA


“Eight years ago, I unexpectedly went into renal failure, and it turned my world upside down. After two years on dialysis, I was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant from a 20-year-old man. I’m so grateful to his family for their kindness that gave me this lifesaving gift, so I affectionately call my kidney ‘Dude.’ And each day, I walk for Dude. 

I walk to deal with the challenges the rejection medications can cause, and I walk to live. I am 67, and I want Dude and I to live to see 100 together. When I walk, I see my life at 70, at 80, and beyond, and guess what—future me is still walking.”

—Laura Osika, Western Springs, IL


Walking for about 40 minutes three times a week increases the size of brain regions associated with memory and planning.


“I was a 30-year meth addict. I’ve been clean for a decade, but seven years ago I had a stroke, developed many health problems, and gained 150 pounds. I changed my diet and started walking on a treadmill for just 20 minutes each day. Then I moved my walks outside. I’ve dropped 100 pounds and counting. Walking helps ease my depression and steady my moods and does wonders for my physical health and self-confidence. It helps me stay clean, because I don’t ever want to return to my previous life. Walking also gave me my fairy-tale ending: I’m 61, and I have the love of my life back after losing him 25 years ago. I truly believe that if I hadn’t chosen to walk that first day, I would not still be here. I am still determined to make my life better every day, by walking every day.”

—Ashley Andre, Davenport, IA


Walking for this long throughout the week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%.

—Julie S., Mount Pleasant, SC


“I’m lucky I can walk. Decades of obesity destroyed cartilage in both my knees, and carrying around that extra weight can make moving pretty hard. But instead of giving up, I lost 100 pounds—now I walk to maintain that weight loss, and I walk because it helps keep my remaining knee cartilage healthy and strong.

(nothing beats the feeling of breaking in a new pair of sneakers!) that I dubbed 2019 the year of the 5K. I signed up for one 5K each month, and if I couldn’t find a local one, I signed up for a virtual one. I crossed the finish line of all 12 races, and my family even started joining me. Fit time has become family time, and there’s nothing better than that!”

Pump Up Your Walk!

Start wherever you are, like Lori and Melissa did. When you’re ready, these easy tips from Brian Zehetner, director of health and fitness at Planet Fitness, can help you torch calories and tone up.


“Do a light warm-up, then walk at a pace that is comfortably hard (conversation should be difficult) for about 20 minutes or as long as you can. Drop back to an easy pace for a cooldown,” he says.


Whether you prefer music, podcasts, or audiobooks, all can help you walk longer. “Distractions like music can help you forget about the stress your body is under, and quite a bit of research shows that it can improve your performance during exercise,” says Zehetner.


Plan out a walk that includes “tools” like hills, lampposts, fire hydrants, and even traffic lights. Walking uphill will spike your heart rate and push your muscles harder, and you can use these regularly occurring features to do intervals (warm up, then alternate between speed walking and a slower pace each time you pass one).


If you can’t walk outside, hopping on the treadmill is a good alternative that doesn’t have to be soul-crushingly boring. Try incline intervals, in which you do a few minutes at an easy pace, then jack up the speed and incline for a few minutes before dropping back to an easy pace, repeating as long as you’d like. Or try an interactive walking experience—many treadmills offer them on built-in screens.


If the incredible women on the previous pages have you wanting to lace up your shoes to change your life, sign up for the Prevention Virtual Walk on May 2! Here’s everything you need to know to take part.

Committing to a 5K is a powerful way to get healthy. “We’re more likely to reach our goals if we get specific,” says trainer Amy Schemper, founder of Body by Amy and host of the Prevention DVD 10-Minute Pilates. She created an exclusive six-week walking program for the Virtual Walk. “I love the training phase,” she says. “It feels purposeful and less overwhelming with a plan.”


The Prevention Virtual Walk is a 5K you do wherever you are on May 2. Last October, we had more than 2,500 people commit to taking part, in every single state (and beyond: hello, South African walkers!). You can do the walk wherever you’d like, outdoors or on a treadmill, by yourself or with whomever you please. Dogs are welcome! It’s free to sign up, but for $35, you’ll get a T-shirt, a bib number, and an “I Did the Prevention Virtual Walk” sign. (Every registrant will get emailed the sign—you can print it out too.)


Jennifer Walsh, founder of Walk With Walsh and a Virtual Walk ambassador, suggests using the Virtual Walk as an opportunity to invite a friend or neighbor to join you—and asking him or her to invite folks you may not know. “It’s a great, healthy way to explore and get to know one another better,” she says. Even if you do the Virtual Walk by yourself, though, you won’t be alone: There will be thousands like you walking too.


By signing up, you get access to our exclusive Virtual Walk newsletter, which is how you’ll access Schemper’s training plan. “It’ll include walking days, low-impact strength training days, and some flexibility/mobility work,” she says. “I will give you the structure, with options depending on your personal fitness level. The goal will be to get moving and feel good!” We’ll also share other tips from Schemper and fellow walkers on staying healthy, losing weight, and making the most of every step.


Get out there and walk! Fill out your “I Did the Prevention Virtual Walk” sign with something personal to you: where you walked, your time, whom you walked with, how you feel, or anything else you’re inspired to share! Post those pics on Instagram (tag @preventionmag and use #virtualwalk), or email them to us at Plus, if you email us that you completed the event and share your time, we’ll include you on our official finishers list!

Wishing everyone good health and positivity!

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Pasta In A Flash

Thank me later folks. This beautiful dish from Food52 is a winner winner. So easy, so quick, one pot to clean and the family will love it .

Last night I came so close to ordering take-in. My energy level was low. But I had one last night to make the last dish on my 4 day pre-planned menu. Not by design but I saved the easiest recipe for last. This 6 ingredient pasta dish will leave you with leftovers. Whoop Whoop lunch for the next day.

I made one little addition: added lemon zest from a whole lemon to the preparation of the garlic and oil then took that lemon and squeezed the fresh juice into the completed pasta along with the freshly grated cheese. Delicious!

Next time: double down on the broccoli

1 pound pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the rabe)
1 pound broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections (I attempt to match my pasta in length)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)

To serve: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (omit, of course, if keeping the dish vegan)

Bring a huge pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain rabe and pasta together and pour into serving bowl. In the same pot or a tiny one, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Shower with freshly grated cheese and eat at once.

FOOD52 Wins Again!

(pics via Food52, I forgot to take a picture. We were busy eating:)

Useful Quarantine Tips For Your Kitchen

I don’t think anyone has quarantine down to perfection. It is not the time to waste food, over spend, and certainly not a time to be greedy. You also don’t want to be running to the grocery store daily. So I have been looking for some helpful guidance to help me make wise and smart choices for our home.

Stocking up on pantry stables can be daunting. Here are a couple of sites that you may find helpful.

Pic from Ina Garten’s Insta

Ina on insta is posting daily simple pantry meals to whip up. Here is an Ina’s quarantine pantry via Food52. FYI you will find yourself going down the Food52 rabbit hole of tasty recipes.

Good House Keeping also shared some helpful tips.

Epicurious shared a lovely 14-day meal plan of pantry-sourced dinners.

My tip: Take an inventory of what you have first by cleaning out your pantry and refrigerator before shopping. In your free time scan instagram. Lots of chefs are sharing easy recipes that are tasty, minimal, and economical.


Inspirational Words For This Sunday

Poem by Kitty O’Meara

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

May you find peace and comfort with Kitty’s poem. An optimistic silver- lining. Stay positive, healthy, and strong. We will heal together! xo Jenn

One For The Pot: Creamy Braised White Beans

Creamy Braised White Beans from NYT Cooking is a satisfying dish with just the right amount of comfort for a mid- meal. Sometimes to my surprise, I do have everything in my kitchen to whip up a quick meal. Making more vegetarian dishes these days means beans and lentils are always at the ready. Just a quick pop to the local bakery for fresh crusty bread.

Note: I should have simmered the dish a bit longer to really get the garlic to soften. It would have created a smoother spread for the bread. I also recommend mashing the garlic with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and a dash of chili peppers for a little extra zing. Served with a fresh herby salad.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • 1 thyme sprig, 2 sage leaves or 1 bay leaf
  •  teaspoon ground nutmeg, allspice or garam masala
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 slices crusty bread or thick toast
  •  Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  •  Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
  •  Aleppo pepper or red-pepper flakes, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, chickpeas and their liquid, white beans, thyme and nutmeg and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan (you don’t want it to come to a full boil), reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and tastes great to you, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Use a fork to remove the garlic halves from the beans. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then use the fork to remove the cloves from the skins. Spread the cloves on bread or toast.
  4. If you would like the beans to be more stew-like, mash some of the beans using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Serve beans and milk in bowls. Garnish as you wish, with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a pinch of Aleppo pepper and black pepper. Serve with the bread alongside for dipping.

Make It Tonight: Cumin Roasted Salmon With A Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas

Sharing two flavorful dishes that require a quick run to the market and a small amount time to prep. A healthy meal that will leave you feeling good. Discovered from NYT Cooking and Gwyneth’s It’s All Good cookbook. They are winning recipes, worth your efforts, and pair so nicely together.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe (the mustard dressing makes this salad and works well with the salmon flavors)

1 14oz. can: chickpeas, rinsed, drained & dried in a kitchen towel
1 hd: cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 tbsp: dijon mustard
1 tbsp: seeded mustard
1 tbsp: white wine vinegar
¼ cup: chopped Italian Parsley
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400º

1. Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and ¼ cup olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper.

3. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley.

4. Serve at room temperature.

Salmon Recipe (the flavors come alive and you will want to make it again!)

(don’t mind the quality of the pic the dish is amazing!)

New goal for isostilo: learn how to shoot good pics of food!