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Grain Bowl (vs. say, Rose Bowl)

May 1st, 2016

GrainbowlYou know those evenings when you come home from work and the husband is out for dinner so its jut you and the dogs and you want to just chill and watch “Vinyl” but you have to eat and you’re certainly not about to make meat loaf but you don’t want to just eat Cheerios either?

That’s where the grain bowl comes in. Kind of perfect—grains, vegetables, protein—and it can be as simple or as complex as you have the energy for. (I’m a lazy ass so I go with simple.)

Here’s what I made the other night and here are more grain bowl recipes than anyone actually needs.


Jessica’s Grain Bowl

3 teaspoon olive oil, divided

2 scallions, sliced (the white and the green)

½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 cup cooked brown rice

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup roughly chopped baby spinach

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

¼ avocado, sliced

1 egg


Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small saucepan over medium low heat.

Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, about two minutes.

Add the thyme leaves, then the brown rice. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and stir to combine ingredients. Cook for a minute or two till the rice is hot, then stir in the spinach. Cover the pan and let the hot rice steam the spinach until it’s wilted, about 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat and fry the egg until it is as firm as you desire, over easy or sunny side up, whatever works for you. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Add the lemon juice to the rice mixture, stir it and place it in a bowl. Place the avocado slices on top, then the fried egg on top of that.


Note: There are infinite variations. Use black rice or quinoa or faro. You can add leftover cooked butternut squash or any other vegetable, chicken, shrimp or beef, cheese—whatever.






Gimme A Bar

April 5th, 2016

QuinoaBarsI was wishing I had one of these at four o’clock Friday when I almost bought those black Repetto shoes to wear to a memorial service but instead left the store empty-handed due to shopper shutdown. Read More


Green Food For St. Pat’s Day!

March 17th, 2016

BASIL290138Going green today with salad and soup…the theory being extra protection against assault by a leprechaun because you are green internally… in the past I have found that pesto sauce is also effective, polish it all off with a little key lime pie and those nasty buggers won’t come near you…Erin Go Bragh!CreamyDreamyFinal1photo


White Chocolate-Cherry-Almond Cookies

February 11th, 2016

BakeLessSugarI’m kind of obsessed with this cookbook my sister-in-law gave me, which is all about baking with less sugar.

I thought I’d try the White chocolate-Cherry-Almond Cookies because, like, why wouldn’t you, plus It’s nice to have a cookie in the house in case someone drops by unexpectedly. Although I’m not sure who actually does that, except that dude who rang my doorbell the other day, wanting to sell me some steaks. Or that lady who said she was a makeup artist and she was at my house for the porn shoot. (She was confused on so many levels.) Read More


Super Bowl Chili

February 4th, 2016

chiliI’m told there’s a Super Bowl on Sunday, so it’s time to haul out the chili recipe. Don’t ask me to tell you who’s playing—well, actually I’m aware that Dnver is involved—but one thing I know is that chili will be expected. Read More


Cranberry Salsa

January 21st, 2016

CranberrySalsa_4130This salsa was brought to my attention by my friend Michelle Latiolais who, having been to my house for dinner a few times, is well aware of my attitude towards complex recipes. Read More


Creamy Dreamy Vegetale Soup

January 14th, 2016

CreamyDreamyFinal1I know there is a school of cooking these days that’s all about hiding vegetables in things so you can sneak up on your kids, nutritionally speaking. But I feel the way my mother does: children should get to know and befriend their vegetables. Read More


New Year’s Resolution Minestrone

January 5th, 2016

soup3So far I have stuck to my New Year’s resolutions except for the part abut the peppermint bark. I resolved to eat nothing but healthy foods and have done so religiously since December 31st–except for the peppermint bark. I just gave the peppermint bark (what was left of it) to Aunt Christina so now I am totally on track.

I made this soup which is full of high-fiber vegetables and makes you feel virtuous even before you finish chopping the leeks. Tom and I have been eating it all weekend and we both feel as fit as say, that guy in “Creed.” (Michael B. Jordan, not Sylvester Stallone.)

I gotta be honest, it’s a pain in the ass to make but worth the trouble because you end up with enough to last for ages so it’s three meals for the aggravation of one. Plus you get all that upper-body exercise from the veggie choppage. Okay, it’s unlikely M.B.J. got those biceps by this method but still.

So give your peppermint bark to an unsuspecting relative and make this soup. You will be glad you did.


New Year’s Resolution Minestrone

(Makes about 12 lunch servings.)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 leeks (white part only), well rinsed and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

salt and freshly ground pepper

½ head Savoy cabbage, shredded

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 ribs of celery, diced

1 medium potato (any kind) peeled and cut into ¾ inch dice

1 parsnip, peeled and diced

2 quarts’ low sodium chicken broth (see note)

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juices

½ cup frozen petite peas

½ cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh if it’s summer and you’re not too crabby to scrape a cob)

1 can (15 ounces) small white bens or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Melt the butter in the oil in a large soup pot over low heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable s are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, herbs, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-low and add the cabbage. Cook, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 2 minutes. Repeat this with the celery potato, and parsnip, in that order, adding one vegetable at a time and cooking each for 2 minutes or so.
  5. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium and bring the soup to a simmer. Then return the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer it for about 1 hour.
  6. Add the peas corn and beans and cook for 15 minutes (Are you crabby, yet?)
  7. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, passing the cheese separately.



If you’re not too crabby already, you can add or substitute any vegetables for those listed, like green beans, broccoli, a turnip, rutabaga – anything your family will tolerate (or not notice). Also, at the end of cooking you can throw in a handful of diced cooked chicken or meat. You can also put a scoop of cooked rice or pasta at the bottom of each diner’s bowl and pour the soup over it.


If I’m too lazy to make homemade, I like to use Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, which is available at most Whole Foods storesl.



New Year Mimosa

December 30th, 2015

mimosa3I’m fascinated by how various cultures ring in the New Year.

I’ve heard that in Colombia, if you have an urge to travel in the New Year (yes ma’am I do), you walk around the house with a suitcase at midnight on the 31st.

In Denmark, if you have a particular wish for the New Year, you make it while jumping off a chair. (If you’ve had too much aquavit or whatever it is Danes drink, this could get ugly.)

In Venezuela, you buy and wear new yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve for good luck in the upcoming year.

Perhaps my favorite ritual is in Japan, where there’s an Abusive Language Festival:  You climb a hill to an ancient temple, screaming profanities at whoever caused you trouble in the old year.  (When you get to the temple, you chill and get happy.)  I think if I had to pick someone to curse at, it could be my cable guy, who thinks that when he says he’ll be there between 9 and 11 it includes 5:30.

Not to be greedy, but wouldn’t one greatly increase one’s chances of overall happiness in the New Year by combining these rituals?  I was thinking I could put on yellow underpants and jump off a chair while holding my suitcase and cursing the cable guy.  The trouble is, of course, my family would commit me to a mental hospital, and I’d be unable to reap the benefits of my actions.  So instead, I think I’ll stick to the American way of ringing in the New Year with a good old mimosa.

(Serves 8-10, unless you want to drink it all yourself, in which case definitely don’t jump off a chair.)


1 cup of fresh orange juice

1 cup orange flavored vodka

ice cubes

1 bottle of champagne

Instructions: Combine the orange juice and vodka in a large pitcher, and add some ice.

Pour in the champagne, mix, and serve in champagne glasses.



Beside Myself

November 17th, 2015

cranberrysauceI’m cooking on Thanksgiving, and my mom says she is bored with turkey as it is too often served in the dining room of the senior community where she lives. For her, it’s all about the sides. So I’m beside myself researching side dishes.

For starters, here are a couple of Crabby go-to cranberry sauces. These are especially good if you are going to a pot luck and are a lazy-ass cook looking for the easiest way to acquit yourself of your cooking responsibility.

These Brussels sprouts are so good, everyone will think you are Ina Garten. Or at least they will if they have had a Holiday Crantini or two before dinner.

Ok,  I’ll be back with more from my T-G menu when I figure out what the hell it’s gonna be.


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