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Pomegranate Olive Salad

January 16, 2018
Pomegranate Olive Salad

Now that the holiday season is officially over, it’s time to get back to the kitchen to start cooking up some delicious clean healthy meals.  The following is a quick recipe that calls for pomegranate and olives adapted from Épices de Cru.  Ever since visiting their shop at Jean Talon market in Montreal, I’ve literally been in love with their product line.  Their website also boasts some interesting recipes as well.  Note, this is NOT an affiliate link.

Pomegranate is considered a superfood due to its polyphenols giving it powerful antioxidant properties.  According to Wikipedia, I know, not necessarily the highest quality reference material:

A 100-g serving of pomegranate seeds provides 12% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, 16% DV for vitamin K and 10% DV for folate (table).

Pomegranate seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber (20% DV) which is entirely contained in the edible seeds. People who choose to discard the seeds forfeit nutritional benefits conveyed by the seed fiber and micronutrients.

Pomegranate seed oil contains punicic acid (65.3%), palmitic acid (4.8%), stearic acid (2.3%), oleic acid (6.3%), and linoleic acid (6.6%).

Whatever your reasons for eating pomegranate, this recipe is delicious, refreshing, and a good way to kick start the year.

Adapted from Salade d’olives vertes et de grenade from Epices de cru

Pomegranate Olive Salad

3 cups of large green olives, pitted

1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

4 green onions, minced

2 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped

juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses, can be bought as is, or homemade by reducing pomegranate juice until thick syrupy consistency

1/2 tsp of paprika or Espelette pepper, more if desired


  1. Bath olives in a water bath for about 15 minutes, to remove salt. Drain and chop.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Season as desired.


Schubert SY, Lansk EP, Neeman I. Antioxidant and eicosanoid enzyme inhibition properties of pomegranate seed oil and fermented juice flavonoids.  1999 Jul;66(1):11-7.


Purple basil pesto

August 23, 2017
Purple basil pesto: my first attempt at a Buddha bowl

Last Friday I lunched with one of my good friends, Barnaby, at the Iron Gate Cafe in downtown Albany NY.  What a treat!  The building was originally a school and then purchased by James Holroyd, a wealthy industrialist.  He renovated the mansion adding raised oak panels, a stained glass skylight, and formal gardens.  After his death, it was used as a physician’s office.  How clinics have changed.  The building now houses the Iron Gate Cafe and Holroyd Mansion, which is available for private events and functions.


We both chose the Farmhouse bowl special, which is composed with all foods delicious.  Some call it a Buddha bowl.  Iron Gate calls it a Farmhouse bowl.  Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious.  A perfect combination of grains, protein, and veg.  And you can’t forget their coconut curry.

I vowed that I’d try to make my Farmhouse bowl.  In fact, I vowed that I’d try to make as many Farmhouse bowls an humanly possible.  Not only are these bowls delicious, they’re incredibly healthy.  Here is my first attempt: purple basil pesto, Tuscan kale, baby bella mushrooms, rainbow quinoa, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and pistachios.

Purple basil pesto

3 cups packed purple basil

1/4 cup shelled pistachio

1/3 cup Parmigiano-reggiano

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp of lemon zest

1/4 cup olive oil

  1. Chop the basil, pistachio Parmigiano, garlic, lemon juice, and zest in a food processor.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Serve or refrigerate.

I added a dollop of purple basil pesto to add flavor to my first Farmhouse bowl, but you can add it to pasta, pizza, soup, dips, meat, sandwiches, salad, etc.  Whatever your heart desires 🙂

Leave your comments below.  Tell us how you’ve used your purple basil pesto!


Caprese Salad

August 9, 2017
Caprese salad: Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, spinach, olive oil

These days it seems everything is in season.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, the list goes on.  This week, my cherry tomato plant is exploding!  So, I’ve decided to make a simple yet refreshingly delicious summertime salad: Caprese salad.  This salad consists of tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  It can be made in a pinch.  The prep work is what takes longest.  It can be served as side or as the main dish.  Some like it sliced but I like mine all jumbled up together.  To add some nutritional value and greenery, I also had a bit of spinach.


Caprese Salad

2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes

1 cup mozzarella cheese, diced

1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt-and-pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and loosely toss
  2. Season to taste.

Voila, a simple, quick, and healthy weekday meal!  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.



July 26, 2017
Ratatouille. Loving summer veg!

The farmer’s market is a beautiful place during high summer.  You can find all the ingredients to make one of my favorite summer dishes: ratatouille.  This is literally French home cooking at its best.  Fresh veg, fresh herbs, olive oil, a little heat, and most important of all… lot’s of patience!

If you don’t have all the ingredients, that’s okay.  The only essential ingredients are the eggplant, onions, garlic, and olive oil.


1/4 pint of olive oil (and possibly more, be generous)

2 eggplants, diced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

2 medium-sized zucchinis, sliced

1 large onion, finely sliced

4 cloves of garlic

3 tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced

4 springs of lemon thyme, or more to your tasting, minced

Pinch of red chili flakes (not technically French but I like the taste)

Salt and pepper


  1. Heat half the olive oil in a large cast iron pan.  Add the eggplant and sprinkle with salt.  Gently fry until tender and lightly caramelized.  The secret to an amazing ratatouille is time and generous amounts of olive oil.  Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl carefully leaving the drippings and left over olive oil in the pan.
  2. Add a little more olive oil and add both the red and green peppers.  Also add a pinch of red chili flakes.  Fry gently until the peppers are soft and lightly caramelized.  Transfer to the bowl containing the eggplant.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to the cast iron pan.  See the pattern?  This time gently fry the zucchini until soft and lightly gilded.  Transfer to the eggplant.
  4. Now gently fry the onions and garlic until lightly caramelized.  Transfer to the eggplant.
  5. Finally, fry the tomatoes until soft and collapsed.  This time transfer the eggplant, peppers, zucchini, onion, and garlic to the cast iron pan with the tomatoes.
  6. Add the minced thyme and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Gently cook, bubble, for about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve at room temperature.

Ratatouille is excellent served warm, room temperature, and even cold.  You can eat it straight or you can even use it to stuff a tart, as a topping for pasta, or to dress a pizza.  One of my favorite ways to eat it is at room temperature topped with a fried egg and served with a slice of sour dough bread.  It’s versatile and highly nutritious.

Enjoy!  Please leave your comments below.  How do you like your ratatouille?


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