Kitchari: Adapted from Several Pakistani/Indian Recipes

Kitchari means mixture, usually of two grains. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This is a delicious vegetarian dish that stands alone or with a salad. However, you could serve it as an accompaniment with fish or poultry. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Jules and I love Kitchari. It can be varied in a multitude of ways. Here, above, is our latest meal that we shared with our son, Alex who, like us, gobbled it up. The Kitchari is served over basmati boiled in chicken broth (instead of water), with a garnish of sweet mango, yogurt and mango chutney. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 cup Basmati rice or short-grained brown rice, rinsed twice

3 Tablespoons ghee or butter or extra virgin olive oil

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled then grated

4 cups stock or broth (veggie or chicken broth), extra for cooking rice and lentils

1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds, toasted

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted

1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped well

2 large carrots, roughly chopped

1 sweet potato, cubed

1 pinch kosher salt or 3 anchovy fillets mashed with 3 garlic cloves

1.5 cups yellow mung (yellow lentils) beans

1 Tablespoons turmeric

1 Tablespoon coriander powder

12 more fresh garlic cloves sliced

10 fresh garlic cloves, leave them whole

1 bunch kale, ribs removed, sliced into ribbons

1 large onion, diced

1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnish

Zest of 2 fresh lemons

2 fresh lemons, juiced

Cashews, toast them in oven or in skillet on stove (optional)

Plain full-fat yogurt (optional)

Mango chutney


If your local store doesn’t carry some of these spices, you can probably get all of them on Amazon. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Follow the directions on the package of mung beans and cook now. With some, you will soak the moong beans (yellow lentils) in water for 2 hours before cooking. Cook in broth, even though the directions won’t say to do this.

2. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or in a saucepan on the stove (cook in broth: veggie or chicken broth).

3. Rinse the kale and cilantro twice and drain twice, then pat dry with paper toweling.

4. Do all your peeling, grating, toasting, mashing, chopping slicing, etc.


Grinding up the anchovies and garlic cloves in my mortar and pestle. This piece of equipment is not the latest fad in cooking; or mainly for gourmet chefs. In fact, it’s one of the oldest (if not THE oldest) item used in kitchens. When I use it, I’m always impressed that here in my own kitchen 21st century kitchen, we’re using the exact technology that dates back to approximately 35,000 BCE. You’ve got to have this. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping and/or slicing veggies all at the same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Add two Tablespoons of butter or ghee or extra virgin olive oil, to a large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir and let it sizzle for one minute, then add the jalapeno and the sliced garlic. Since I’ve made this recipe more than once, I’ve used butter, olive oil and ghee. We prefer olive oil because it’s healthier and doesn’t affect the flavor one bit.


Toasting the mustard and cumin seeds. Consider using a cover while you toast the seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, they can jump out of the pan. You don’t want to get hit in the face or eye. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Seeds are done, so slowly adding more, stirring everything together. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Add the carrots, sweet potato and anchovy/garlic, to the pot, and saut? for three minutes.


Adding the carrots and sweet potatoes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


7. Add the yellow mung beans, turmeric and coriander. Stir and cook for approximately one minute.


Adding the mung (yellow lentils) beans and spices. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


8. To the pot, add four cups of broth. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Add the whole garlic cloves and stir in. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the mung beans have fallen apart.


Broth has been added, plus garlic. Now, will cover and cook for 20 minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


9. Toss the kale in the pot and simmer for 10 more minutes with the lid on.


Adding the kale. Notice how much thicker the rest of the stew has become in the 20 minutes of cooking. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


10. While the kale is cooking, grab a small saut? pan and heat the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil, or butter or ghee. Add the onions and saut? until deep, golden brown. Throw in the cilantro and stir.

11. Transfer the onions and cilantro (plus any juices) from the pan to the pot and stir to combine.

12. Let the stew simmer for five minutes, then add the lemon juice and stir to combine. If you’re using the cashews, add them now and stir into the Kitchari. Remove the pot from heat and let stand for a few minutes.


Simmering. Just about ready to serve. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


When ready to serve, add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of cooked brown or white rice to a soup bowl or plate, and add 2 or 3 Tablespoons of kitchari on top of the rice. Next to the kitchari, add some plain yogurt and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.


Have Mango chutney on the table and extra yogurt


Read more


Here is the first delicious Kitchari meal: Kitchari over basmati plus some veggies roasted on a baking sheet with olive oil drizzled over the veggies. We love Kitchari and plan to have it often. The next morning, I weighed less. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


At another meal, we had Kitchari over saffron rice, roasted veggies and chicken thighs. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We started this meal with icy Pouilly-Fuisse in chilled glasses, warm pita bread and garlic hummus. Next came the Kitchari with basmati rice, yogurt and mango chutney (we didn’t add cashews). For dessert, (see above) fresh red seedless grapes and vanilla Tofutti (soy) ice cream. We felt happy and healthy and knew that when we got on the bathroom scales the next morning, we’d still be happy. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This icy white wine in pre-chilled glasses, was a good pairing for the Kitchari.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


If you’re not familiar with Pakistani or Indian food, you’re in for a real flavor treat in which you can adjust the spiciness to suit your taste. My first experience was when I was living in London, having dinner at a restaurant with friends, I could not believe how hot my mouth got. I ended up drinking a whole pitcher of ice water, before I felt like myself again. You do not need to go through that, if you’re doing the cooking. Most restaurants now ask if you want your order hot, medium spicy, mild or very mild. In your own kitchen, you customize all recipes.


In my early twenties, when I was doing a lot of yoga and living in Manhattan, I was also well acquainted with Swami Satchidananda (we called him Swamiji), where I attended his many lectures and often spent time in his kitchen, with others like Peter Max, where he taught me how to make curried cauliflower with potato. We became such good friends, that we invited him to come for a long weekend to our summer place in the Adirondacks, on the shores of a large lake. At the time I was driving a diesel Mercedes with a stick shift. He loved to drive it with his left leg in the lotus position and the other leg in driving position. When we went sailing, he would stand on the bow, gripping the mast, like a living figurehead, his saffron robes whipping in the wind. He was really something to behold; a very special person.


Swami Satchidananda (aka Swamiji


Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!


Tilapia Florentine with Green and Red Grapes

We could not believe how good this recipe turned out. It is healthy and absolutely delicious. In just a few seconds, Jules gave my new recipe a thumbs up, five stars. We’re making it again, for a house guest. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


If you don’t have tilapia in your neighborhood, use any white fish, light in texture like Dover or fillet of sole, etc. but check the sustainable fish list, created by Monterrey Bay Aquarium:

Farmed tilapia are okay to buy. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Not only is my recipe really tasty but the presentation is colorful and appealing. A big plus for tilapia, it’s on all the responsible lists of sustainable fish. When you check these lists, take note, fish are often okay to eat, based on where on the planet they come from. Also, some fish go by more than one name, for example Mahi Mahi are also called Dolphinfish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 onion, chopped

1/2 pound tilapia fillets, don’t worry if it goes over 1/2 pound

10 green seedless grapes cut in half, set aside

10 red seedless grapes, cut in half, set aside

3 anchovy fillets, mashed with 3 cloves garlic

12 more fresh garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup fresh Italian-leaf parsley, chopped

1 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/4 cup Sambuca liqueur

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 heaping Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

2 large shallots, chopped

2 scallions, chopped (save some green for garnish)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 and 1/2 or 2 pounds baby spinach. Save one uncooked leaf for each person to be served.

Mix together 1/4 cup sharp cheddar (grated by hand) and ? cup feta cheese, grated by hand, then set aside


I love experimenting with new combinations and have been waiting for the right time to add Sambuca (licorice flavor) liqueur. If you read the recipes in our newsletter, you know I’m also having great results by using mashed anchovies and fresh garlic in many recipes, instead of salt. I have also begun trying out crickets and cricket products in recipes as a way of introducing a protein that leaves basically no carbon footprint. Of all the cultures that eat insects as a regular part of their diet, the favorite are the crickets. When I was much younger, and my favorite grandmother turned 99 (she lived to be 101), I baked her a cake with 99 candles and gave her a gift of chocolate covered ants. She loved them and passed the box around to all guests. It was like eating a chocolate covered rice crispy cake – delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


To Cook the Tilapia

1. Cut each fillet in half, lengthwise

2. Dip each fish fillet (both sides), first in: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon almond or coconut milk.

3. Then cover both sides of the fish with the following mixture: 1/2 cup Panko mixed with 1/2 cup parmesan & 1 heaping Tablespoon cricket flour


About to mix the Panko, parmesan and cricket flour. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Tilapia has been rolled in the egg mixture, now the Panko/Cricket crumb mixture, before cooking. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Cook in skillet with 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, no more than 1 minute on each side.


Cooking the tilapia. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Put fish on paper toweling and set aside.


Tilapia is done and draining on paper toweling. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Directions for Spinach Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Oil a baking dish that can go from oven to table.

Do all your chopping, grating, slicing, mashing, zesting, etc. before anything else.


Cheese has been grated and/or crumbled and set aside. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Getting ready to mash the anchovies and garlic. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cut grapes in half and set aside in a handy measuring cup. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chopping everything at once. The lavender section are the shallots. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Even with baby spinach, you’ve got to do a lot of rinsing. So, rinse the baby spinach two times and let drain, two times. Paper towel dry before cooking. For all other spinach, rinse three times, draining each time as well.


Save a few uncooked baby spinach leaves for serving the fish on, later. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


7. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and saut? onions, garlic, mashed anchovy/garlic, scallions, shallots in oil, until onions and garlic become golden.


Cooking everything in step #5. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


8. Reduce heat to medium and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, dill and all seasoning and spices; add the toasted sesame seeds.


If you wish, you can zest the lemon directly into the skillet, or elsewhere. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Adding lemon zest and lemon juice to the skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Adding all chopped herbs to the skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Adding all spices to the skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


9. Now, add the spinach, cooking until wilted over medium to low heat. Then add the sambuca and stir in well. Make sure the sauce is nicely heated.


Add the fresh spinach. It looks like a lot but will wilt down in a matter of minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here the spinach has wilted down and has been well combined with the other ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


10. Add all the red and green grapes and stir in for 30 seconds.


Stir the grapes into the spinach mixture. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


11. Finally, distribute the crumbled or grated feta & cheddar, over the spinach mixture


Cheese mixture has been evenly distributed over the mixture. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


12. Add the tilapia over the cheese in one layer and bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Bring to table, serve and enjoy!


To serve: On each plate, place 1 or 2 (depending on their size) raw spinach leaves. Onto the spinach leaves put one serving of the fish & spinach sauce. For garnish, add some chopped scallion and 1 red grape half and 1 green grape half.


Another way to serve, without using the oven: Keep the spinach sauce separate from the skillet cooked fish and add both cheeses to the skillet combining well, into the sauce. Put the raw spinach on each plate. On each leaf place 1 tilapia fillet. Spoon the spinach sauce over each fillet and then add the scallion/grape garnish.


Best Choices to Substitute for Tilapia in the Recipe 



Mahi Mahi or Dolphinfish (US handlines)

Seabass (farmed)

Tilapia (Canada, Ecuador, Peru & US)

Trout: Rainbow/Steelhead (US farmed)

Tuna: Albacore (trolls, pole and lines)


Pollock (Canada longlines, gillnets & US)

Flounder (farmed)



Seabass (farmed)


Dover sole


Everything disappeared fast. This baking dish was empty in no time. Yum! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuisse went well with the Tilapia Florentine . ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

Creamy Stuffed Portobellos

I divided the stuffing in half. One half got an egg yolk (this photo) and the other half got turkey sausage. Those with egg, got a cilantro leaf on top. Jules gives this version the highest score.  I love both. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This photo is the stuffed portobello with chopped turkey sausage as one of the stuffing ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but where I want to get a certain depth of flavor (umami), I substitute anchovy fillets, for salt. There is never (so far) the least little hint of fishy taste. Not only is the flavor enhanced, but anchovies have a lot of Omega3, found in fish. Here is a healthy delivery system for Omega3. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 pound Italian Sausage, casing removed

1 Onion, minced

2 scallions, chopped

3 anchovy fillets + 3 fresh cloves garlic: mash in mortar & pestle

10 fresh garlic cloves, chopped (not pressed)

2 heaping Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 heaping Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 heaping Tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon curry

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch black pepper

12 Large White Button Mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped, then remove the gills, by scraping with a teaspoon or smaller, from inside the mushroom cap

1 Tablespoon extra virgin Olive Oil

1 container Tofutti

1/4 cup gruyere cheese, grated by hand

1/4 cup buffalo mozzarella, grated or shredded by hand

1/4 cup fresh parmesan grated by hand

1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated by hand

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped well


As you can see in the photo, the Portobello stems have been removed and chopped and the inside of the caps have been scraped out. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Put Tofutti on counter and let it reach room temperature

3. In a mortar & pestle, grind the anchovies with 3 garlic cloves


This little bowl is about the size of my mortar & pestle set. The anchovies and garlic were simply mashed with a fork. This combo has become the little secret for many of my recipes. Keep in mind, not only does it add flavor depth, but it also substitutes for salt and contributes Omega3, each time it’s used. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Do all the chopping, slicing, grating, scraping


Chopping everything at once. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Grating all of the cheeses. Don’t buy pre-grated packaged cheese, marked fresh; they all have a certain amount of preservatives. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. In a small bowl, put all 4 cheeses, mix together well and set aside.


Combining all the cheeses in a bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Chop the sausage.


Chopping the turkey sausage. Use your favorite sausage. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


7. In a large (oven proof) skillet, with handles on both sides, cook the sausage on medium-high heat. When the sausage is nearly cooked through, add the diced mushroom stems, garlic, jalapeno, scallions and onion and continue to cook until they soften a bit.


Cook the mushroom/herb mixture with the sausage you select (or none at all). Consider adding eggs instead, at this point. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


8. Next, to the pan, add all herbs (fresh and dried), all spices and seasoning and stir until all ingredients are well combined. Cook for 1 or 2 more minutes.

9. Transfer the mixture from the pan to a large bowl. Add the Tofutti and stir it into the mixture, while it’s still warm.


Just added Tofutti. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


10. Don’t wash out the pan, but with a spatula, scrape all little bits into the bowl.


Here, half the mixture, without sausage, got egg yolks, combined well with the rest and used to stuff two of the portobellos. Jules requested no sausage in his portobellos. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


11. Next, stuff each mushroom with the mixture, as high as it will go without falling over or crumbling. Put the stuffed mushrooms back into the bowl.

12. Just before you pop the pan back into the oven with the stuffed mushrooms, take fingers filled with the grated cheeses and put on top of each stuffed mushroom. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


Going into the oven now. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Serve nice and warm, with a vegetarian entr?e like spinach pie, serve with pasta, chicken, fish, seafood or serve as an appetizer.


Delicious Sunday brunch. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Because of the richness of the stuffed Portobellos, this shiraz went well. We love this vineyard run by the same family for two or three generations. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

Jackson Pollack Salad

This week. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Two weeks ago. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Three weeks ago. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 


Four weeks ago. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc. 


Yummy salad; we ate this all weekend. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1/2 head red cabbage, shredded with mandolin

1/4 head green cabbage, shredded with mandolin

1 and 1/2 carrots, grated

2 heaping Tablespoons parsley, chopped

3 heaping Tablespoons dill, chopped

1 large shallot, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, pressed

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch chili flakes (optional)

1/2 teaspoon agave

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 Tablespoons sour cream

4 Tablespoons Kraft mayonnaise


This salad has been evolving for ten years and will continue. The next time I make it, I will add 3 mashed anchovy fillets (mashed with the garlic cloves), instead of any salt. As well as being salty, the anchovies add that umami flavor. However, I promise you, that this iteration of the Jackson Pollock salad, will be filled with awesome flavors. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Do all cutting, shredding, slicing, chopping so everything is ready to add when needed.


Chopping the dill, parsley and shallot, at the same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


I wouldn’t have the patience to do this salad without the mandolin, which I got at Williams-Sonoma. The cutting board under the mandolin is specially tempered clear glass. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


I graduated from art school, before I went to Columbia Univ (grad & undergrad) and always wondered how I would combine my psychology credentials with the art degree. As the founder of THI and also of the ON TARGET newsletter, I guess that’s the combo. Anyway, I digress. I really love color, so when I had the chance to paint with veggies, as in this salad, I couldn’t resist the homage to Jackson Pollock, a wild genius, if there ever was one. I know he would’ve liked the idea and loved this salad.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


2. Put the first five ingredients in a large salad serving bowl and toss well.






3. Put the next eleven ingredients in a smaller bowl, starting with the chopped shallot, and mix well


I added all the dressing ingredients to my large measuring cup. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Added the dressing and ready for 3 minutes of tossing all ingredients so well combined. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Having tossed well, refrigerate this salad for about 2 hours before serving, so all of the diverse flavors have a chance to mingle.


Oh, how good this combo was: very fresh shrimp (Whole Foods) sauteed in a little oil and garlic, with the Jackson Pollock salad; Yum! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This chardonnay was perfect for the seafood and JP salad at lunch and another meal of saut?ed chicken thighs & pears, with JP Salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

Blue Wave Brownies

These brownies are so healthy and delicious, I had one with my coffee Sunday morning. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


If we shared some with you, and asked whether you liked the chocolate, you would give a positive reply, not in the least bit cognizant that two of the ingredients are black beans and avocado. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


These brownies are one of the healthiest desserts I have ever made. Think about it: dark chocolate, avocado, black beans, walnuts: all heart healthy foods. Easy to make and because they’re so healthy, you’ll be making them all the time now; hopefully! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1/2 cup unsweetened Belgian cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of your best vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 can black beans, rinsed very well and drained, then lightly paper toweled

3 large eggs

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 pinch Kosher salt

1 cup dark Belgian chocolate chips, measure them out and set aside

1 large ripe avocado

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup walnuts


Easy ingredients to find. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Toast the walnuts then chop them coarsely and set aside.


About to toast the walnuts. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After toasting the walnuts, chopping them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


3. Measure the chocolate chips, then set aside


Starting to measure out the chocolate chips. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. With coconut oil, oil a square baking dish, about 8×8, or a small rectangular dish

5. Into a food processor, add all the ingredients, except for the two above, the walnuts and the chocolate chips. Set the nuts and the chips aside


My food processor makes my recipe world possible; without it, most of my recipes would take much too long. We’re so lucky to have it. This whole recipe, pretty much depends on this precious piece of equipment, since all but two of the ingredients, simply get tossed in the processor, pulsed, blended and that’s it! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Growing up, I cooked in the kitchen with my mother, and really enjoyed it. My father thought I should go to the Cornell School of Home Economics (now gone & I went to Columbia University instead). My specialty in those days was creating salads and the dressing for roast turkey and chicken. My mother’s sense of whimsey made preparing food fun. A banana cut in half, sliced, with skin left, became a banana boat with men in the boat. A hot cooked cereal called wheatina, became tiger cereal when raisins were added. You get the picture, the kitchen was a fun place for me. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The unbelievable becomes believable, homemade brownies made with avocado. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


And, the chocolate batter is done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This chocolate batter is as finger-lickin’ good as it was in the kitchen of my childhood. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Pulse all the ingredients until you get a nice smooth chocolate batter

7. With a spatula, scrape and pour the chocolate batter out of the food processor and into the buttered baking dish.


Adding the chocolate chips. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


8. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and with the spatula, mix the chips into the batter. Sort of swirl them around.


Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top of the batter and bake, watching carefully that nothing burns. Each oven is different. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


9. Over the top of the batter, sprinkle the chopped walnuts that you have toasted.


Good around the clock: dessert, snack, breakfast with coffee, take to school or to the office. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


10. Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes, and check with a toothpick to see if they’re done. If toothpick doesn’t come out smoothly and clean, bake for another 10 minutes and test again. If not ready, bake for another 5 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with no batter sticking to it.

11. When you take the brownies out of the oven, don’t serve them right away. Let them sit in the baking dish, on top of the stove, to cool down for about 30 minutes.

12. Serve plain or with ice cream, whipped cream, low calorie cool whip, etc.


This is the piece I had with my coffee, Sunday morning. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


One of the best Pinot Noirs around, Paul Hobbs, Napa Valley. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We started with the Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, baked zucchini sticks and a salad. Then curried cauliflower over saffron rice. Finally, dessert, the unbelievably (low calorie, and healthy) delicious brownies with cool whip on top. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!


Bon Appetit!


Summer Shrimp Cakes, Beyond Delicious

On Their Own with Mango Garnish

With Dipping Sauce

With Avocado/Mango Salsa

With my Jackson Pollack Salad

Oh Lordy, are you lucky! There’s a secret here, with a trail of memos to back it up, plus more than one witness. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


These shrimp cakes are unbelievably good! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Just cook on your outdoor grill, grab one out of the bowl and you have a world-class snack! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Morning, Noon and Night! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Roll in your hands a smaller appetizer size and serve to your guests, with a dipping sauce. They’ll be gone in 5 minutes, so make double the recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


To the right is my Jackson Pollack salad. To the left is the avocado/mango salsa. On top is the dipping sauce. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Venture a bite and you won’t be able to stop. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Double the Yum Factor! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


OMG! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


My Jackson Pollack Salad! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Avocado/Mango Salsa. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Serve with Tacos and Salsa. What’s really good is to add a little salad to the warm taco with shrimp cake and then dribble dipping sauce over the taco. Um um! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We’ve been eating shrimp cakes all week, as I experimented with the herbs and seasoning. Jules, who doesn’t usually like shrimp that much, gives this dish five stars! I happen to love shrimp (low in calories) and I agree with him! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



2 pounds shrimp

10 fresh garlic cloves, large slices

4 Tablespoons chopped scallions

1 teaspoon curry powder

6 Tablespoons diced celery

Pinch chili flakes

4 Tablespoons chopped parsley

3 teaspoons lemon zest

6 Tablespoons Kraft mayonnaise

2 cups Panko

2 eggs, beaten

3 anchovy fillets, instead of salt

Pinch black pepper

Tabasco sauce to taste

2 Tablespoons, vegetable oil like peanut oil


The umami secret is in the little glass jar, behind the egg. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Do all your chopping, peeling, cutting first, and do it all on the same cutting board.

2. Beat the eggs


Getting the chopping done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Beat the eggs with a fork or whisk, before you add them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


3. Clean, peel, devein shrimp. Divide the shrimp in half. Hand chop 1/2 of the raw shrimp and put into a large bowl.


Chop by hand, 1/2 of the shrimp. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Put the other half of the shrimp, in food processor, with the sliced garlic, the anchovies, black pepper, chili flakes and slowly pulse until you get a more finely chopped raw shrimp than the hand chopped, but DON’T LET IT TURN INTO PASTE. With a small spatula, scrape every last bit of the shrimp mixture, out of the food processor and into the large bowl with the other shrimp.


The umami secret: the 3 anchovy fillets, went into the food processor first. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


On top of the anchovies, put 1/2 of the shrimp, into the food processor. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Into the bowl add the scallions, celery, parsley and lemon zest. Stir in mayonnaise, Panko and the eggs, and beat with a whisk or wooden spoon until everything is evenly distributed.


Chopped veggies go into a large mixing bowl.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


All the shrimp and anchovies go into the mixing bowl.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Add the beaten eggs, all the spices and seasonings, don’t forget the tobacco. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Panko and mayo are added last. Stir well with a wooden spoon. However, mixing with your hands works very well also. Consider wearing thin clear plastic gloves. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ready to get this mixture into shape. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Make shrimp balls with your hands that you slightly flatten after you put them into a large skillet.

7. Heat the peanut oil, then cook the shrimp until both sides are nicely browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve on a green leaf, like romaine, spinach, etc, with fresh pineapple chunks or circles, grapes, thin apple slices (skin on) and tartar sauce.


Cook over medium high heat. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Flip over and cook until they’re all golden brown. Don’t try to squeeze all of the cakes into the skillet at the same time. Cook in batches. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


8. When the second sides have been cooked and are a golden brown, put the shrimp cakes on a double layer of paper towels to drain off the cooking oil.

9. Make the shrimp small for appetizers or large for an entree.

10. Serve warm with dipping sauce, salsa, salad, warm tacos and an icy white wine, like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, Pouilly-Fuisse.


Shrimp cake on a bed of Jackson Pollack salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Icy Chardonnay was perfect with the shrimp cakes and all that went with them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Spring Asparagus Cheese Pie

Experimented with many times, this version of the asparagus pie has the onion/garlic mixture on the bottom. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This entree size slice of the asparagus cheese pie, has no onions in the bottom layer. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This entree slice does have a bottom layer of onions, garlic and mushrooms. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here is a brunch slice of the asparagus cheese pie, with a smoked salmon layer. You can’t see the hot home brewed coffee made with freshly ground (French roasted) coffee beans. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Another brunch scene at our house. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Appetizer size: a delicious way to start any dinner. The garnish on this version, is crunshed Nori. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



9 or 10 asparagus, washed, dried, stalks trimmed

1 cup ricotta

4 eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 onion, chopped

1 scallion, chopped (white part in recipe, green for garnish)

10 cloves garlic, sliced

1 anchovy fillet, well chopped (instead of salt)

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped well

1 pinch black pepper

1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds

Zest of 1 fresh lemon

Juice of 1 fresh lemon

1 cup sharp cheddar, grate it at home

1 cup gruyere, grate it at home

1 cup buffalo mozzarella, shred or grate it at home




1. Do all cutting, slicing, chopping, grating

It’s a little extra work, but try to do all of your grated cheese at home. Although, it’s not found on each label, most store-bought cheese has a little something extra added to keep it fresher longer. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Oil a pie baking dish

4. In a skillet, cook the onion, garlic, scallions, jalapeno, mustard seeds, anchovy mashed.

Just starting to cook the onions, garlic, scallions, mustard seeds, jalapeno. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. In a small bowl, add the ricotta and beat eggs, one egg at a time, into the ricotta. Stir to combine well.

Beat in the eggs to the ricotta, one egg at a time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. In a skillet, cook the onion, garlic, scallions, jalapeno, mustard seeds, anchovy mixture, seasoning, lemon zest, lemon juice. Cook until garlic is golden.

7. In a large bowl, mix all cheeses, including the ricotta/eggs, yogurt and sour cream

Mixing all the cheeses with the ricotta & egg. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc .


8. In the oiled baking dish, with a spatula, scrape everything out of the skillet and into the baking dish. Smooth this out.

9. Pour all of the cheese mixture, over the onion mixture.

Pouring the cheeses & eggs mixture over the onions & garlic. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


10. Place all of the asparagus, in a circle, on top of the cheese mixture.

The final touch: Adding 10 fresh asparagus on top and in a circle. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


11. Bake until cheese is golden and asparagus tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Just out of the oven. You should allow this pie to cool down for about 15 to 30 minutes or the cheesy custard will not have time to set. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


12. Remove from oven and let the pie cool down for15 to 30 minutes. When we tried to cut slices, too soon, the cheese mixture did not hold its shape. You need to wait for the cheese/egg mixture to solidify as it cools down.

One of many options: Serve with a garden salad and maybe fish, like salmon, or not. Maybe, fillet of sole sauteed with garlic butter and green grapes


We had the asparagus cheese pie as the centerpiece of dinner and also served fresh broccoli sauteed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic slices. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


In addition to the broccoli we had a new recipe I’m experimenting with, stuffed mushrooms. Will share when ready. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This is a light and luscious entree. Not sure which is better, with or without the more savory bottom layer. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Simply delicious and so pretty for Springtime! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Louis Jadot produces a consistently delicious Pouilly-Fuisse, which we serve over and over again. If you’ve never tried it, go ahead. Perfect for Spring and Summer. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This weekend, we saw a beautifully acted, highly stimulating play, Dan Cody’s Yacht. It’s playing at the Manhattan Theater Club on West 55th Street, one of the theater clubs where Target Health is a Patron. We recommend this play because it is fine theater.


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Simple Spring Salad for Four (with 4 special ingredients)

We had some people over for dinner and a movie. We started with icy chardonnay and the garden-fresh salad above. We also served warm mini corn tortillas, salsa and sour cream, if anyone wanted to make a taco. Next, a new recipe for chicken casserole, that I’m working on. Cake and dates for dessert. The movie was, Phantom Thread, recently nominated for an Oscar and starring the great actor, Daniel Day-Lewis. We all recommend the movie. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.




Mini Corn tortillas, warm just before serving

3 hard-boiled eggs, use the white only

2 avocados

2 large ripe tomato

2 Tablespoons black beans, from can

2, 3 or 4 Tablespoons yellow corn kernels

1 orange Bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped

4 Tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 fresh lemon

2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 fresh garlic cloves, mashed with 3 anchovies

2 pinches chili flakes (optional)

2 pinches black pepper

A few leaves of kale, baby spinach, or arugula, for crisp texture. Wash, dry and break into small pieces.

1/2 to 1 sheet of Nori, crushed in your fist, then sprinkled over the salad.


If you don’t have fresh corn in your neighborhood, use frozen corn kernels instead. Let them thaw, squeeze them a little in paper towel, so they don’t add water to the salad. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Chef’s note: As you are aware, the CDC has put out a strong warning not to buy romaine lettuce wrapped in plastic, (and raised in Arizona) because quite a few people have become very sick after eating romaine tainted with E. coli. Although, we’ve made this salad many times, the first time using romaine, we did take care to use romaine from Whole Foods, with fresh leaves and not contained in plastic. We also checked with the veggie manager re the CDC warning. However, since that first time, we have only used fresh arugula and baby spinach in this salad recipe. The recipe is equally delicious with a few leaves of other greens, as well as Nori seaweed, which is loaded with umami, our fifth flavor sense. In case you haven’t tried it, Nori is a wonderful topping for many recipes, as well as being extremely healthy. This wrapping of delicious sushi rolls can be bought in flat sheets. The way we use it at home is beyond easy. Just take as much as you need, then crunch up in your fist and sprinkle the Nori over practically everything. I use it over salads, over casseroles, over cauliflower mashed “potatoes,“ and much more. Now, that you’ve read today’s Quiz and know how healthy (low-cal) Nori is, go for it. Nori is very tasty (umami) as well as healthy for your biome.


Chef update: As of Thursday 17 May 2018, FDA has given the “okay“ to dine on romaine lettuce; joyful news for everyone who loves Caesar salad.



1. Have a salad bowl ready.

2. Take eggs out of fridge and let them reach room temperature before you boil them for 8 minutes, then put immediately into ice water. Remove and shell. Then remove yolks and use for another recipe. Chop the white part and set aside. This is one of the special ingredients, not usually found in a salad.

3. Scrape the kernels off the corn cob.


Lucky to have a neighborhood store that purchases from local farmers. New York City is known for its many locations where local farmers come into the city and sell their produce directly to the consumer and/or restaurant chef. One such location is Union Square in Manhattan. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


4. Get out a mortar and pestle and mash the garlic and anchovies until you get a paste. Set aside. These are two of the special ingredients, not usually found in a salad. This is the umami part, the anchovies, that is. I have started to use anchovy fillets, in place of salt, in my recipes, when possible. When a few anchovy fillets are mashed and used in a recipe, the result is that umami deeper flavor. There is no fishy taste, in any recipe, after using mashed anchovy fillets; plus there is omega 3.


I used to think that anyone with a mortar & pestle, was a highly sophisticated chef. But now I know that it makes sense for anyone in the kitchen to have this item, simply because it makes mashing something like the garlic and anchovies (above) easier. Its small size makes it a cinch to break up things like fennel seeds (not in this recipe). I got mine at Amazon where the price is right, and the choices are many. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Draining the black beans, after rinsing them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Add the zest and the fresh lemon juice, olive oil and the mashed garlic with anchovy and mix the dressing together until it becomes smooth.

6. Remove yolk from hard-boiled egg, chop the white and put in salad bowl.


Chopping egg whites and tomatoes at the same time. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


7. Cut up the avocado and put in salad bowl

8. Chop the tomato and put in salad bowl

9. Add the black beans and corn

10. Add the orange chopped pepper


Chopping the orange pepper. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


11.  Add the green leaf pieces

12. Toss everything together and enjoy

13. For variation, you can spoon the salad onto a corn tortilla and eat it that way.

14. Sprinkle with crushed Nori (this is the 4th special umami ingredient)


Warm corn taco, good any time, but especially good in hot summer months when you don’t want meals too complicated. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Although, we did manage to serve Pouilly-Fuisse when relatives came over for dinner, we’re still enjoying our recent discovery of The Vice, a delicious chardonnay, brought to us by a dinner guest. Did I say, the price is astoundingly, right? ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This weekend, we raise our glasses in a toast to the FDA and the CDC, for keeping our food safe! Funded by tax payer dollars, these agencies are a part of our historically rich Democracy and we salute them!



Have a great week everyone!


From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Hollandaise Sauce with a Zillion Uses

Delicious, easy and just right with tender Spring asparagus, which is still at its peak. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Serve tender stalks in a crepe or on a pancake with yummy Hollandaise. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Asparagus with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg, Hollandaise Sauce

This was a tasty lunch last week. It could easily be Sunday brunch or a wonderful appetizer with a chilled glass of white wine. Here, smoked salmon was wrapped around each asparagus stalk. A poached egg was placed on top of the stalks; then the hollandaise sauce was carefully spooned over the egg. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here is an appetizer, where the effort of wrapping the salmon around each stalk was avoided. Fresh smoked salmon was placed on the plate, followed by two tender stalks of asparagus that had been sauteed for one minute. Next, a poached egg, drizzled with freshly made hollandaise sauce. This was so delicious, that instead of an entree, more appetizers were quickly assembled. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here’s what this recipe looks like, a few minutes after serving. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Of course, there’re always variations on Eggs Benedict to try out with the hollandaise.



4 egg yolks

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted

Pinch chili flakes

Pinch salt


This is an easy recipe to shop for. Tender local asparagus is everywhere. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Melt the butter in a small pan over lowest heat, then set aside


I’ve had this little pan for many years; it’s perfect for many things. Here, for melting butter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


2. Squeeze the lemon juice, so it’ll be ready when you need it.


Use a lemon squeezer that catches the pits and squeeze the juice into a small cup. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


3. If you don’t have a double boiler, use a steel bowl.

4. Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl. Keep whisking until you feel like your arm will fall off, or until the mixture is thickened and still has become twice as much liquid. It could take 5 minutes.


Here is what the consistency should look like. And, yes, your arm will feel a temporary ache. (sorry) ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. If you don’t have a double boiler, find just the right size saucepan, add water to the bottom of this pan. On low heat, bring the water to a simmer. If you do have a double boiler, then do all the egg yolk whisking in the top of the double boiler.

6. Now, place the mixing bowl with egg & lemon, over the saucepan with simmering water. The trick here, is do NOT let the simmering water touch the bottom of the bowl, or the eggs will cook more than you want them to and you will have to start all over again. You do NOT want little particles of cooked egg floating in this sauce, or all your time will have been wasted.

7. Continue to whisk rapidly. And continue to watch that the eggs do not get too hot or you will have scrambled eggs and not a sauce.

8. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. You do NOT want the heat from the melted butter to cook the eggs in any way. That’s why you must add the melted butter in a very slow trickle.

9. Remove from heat, whisk in chili flakes and salt.

10. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the asparagus and eggs. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.


If you don’t have an egg poacher, fill a small saucepan with water and add a small glug of white vinegar or apple vinegar to the water. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


11. Swirl the water & vinegar around and bring it to a simmer.

12. Break an egg into a small cup, to be sure that the yolk will not be broken before you add it to the pan.

13. Then, carefully slip the egg into the simmering water.

14. Keep your eye on the yolk. In about 2 or 3 minutes the egg will be done, with a semi-soft yolk.

15. If you like a more runny yolk, keep it in the simmering water for 1.5 to 2 minutes.


Have ready and next to the stove, the plate with asparagus and/or asparagus with smoked salmon. With a slotted spoon, remove the poached egg, when done. Allow the water to drip from the spoon, before you place the egg over the asparagus or over the smoked salmon. After placing the egg, have the hollandaise ready to spoon over the food you’ve prepared, then serve immediately.


The only limit to the use of Hollandaise Sauce, is your own creativity.

  1. Consider serving hollandaise over broccoli sauteed with sliced garlic; or spinach.
  2. Serve hollandaise over any fish cooked the way you like it.
  3. Serve a poached egg on avocado toast, then spoon some hollandaise over this yummy combo.
  4. Serve shrimp over saffron rice and hollandaise over this dish.Etc. Etc. Etc.


Hundreds of options for eggs and hollandaise sauce; veggies and hollandaise, etc.

On a medium size plate, place one pancake. On top of the pancake, put two or three big whole asparagus. Over the asparagus add one or two poached eggs. On one side of the asparagus pancake, put a turkey sausage or regular sausage (optional). Over the top of the egg, spoon the Hollandaise Sauce.


Springtime and Stag’s Leap Cellars, go together. Chilled, light but distinctive, this sauvignon blanc went well with all the uses of hollandaise, on this recipe page. The recent Napa Valley fires came very close to this vineyard, which is one of our favorites. Here’s hoping there was minimal to no damage. We’ll drink to that. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We saw our last opera for the season, Romeo and Juliet conducted by Placido Domingo. We were in tears when the curtain dropped on the last act.


Have a great week everyone!

From Our Table to Yours

Bon Appetit!


Refreshing Leafy Salad with Melon, Pistachios, Cheese, Cranberries and a Light Citrus Garlic Dressing

A Perfect Summer Salad!  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Salad Ingredients


2 cups, assorted baby lettuce, shredded, approximately 5-6 ounces

2 cups, baby spinach, shredded

2 small to medium cucumbers, peeled

1/2 cup very fresh mozzarella, cubed

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup pistachios

1/4 of a melon (you decide), cut bite-size


Dressing Ingredients

2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 or 2 fresh garlic cloves, squeezed

Juice from 1/2 of an Orange

Juice from 1/2 of a Lemon

Pinch salt

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes


Fresh summer ingredients.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Ingredients getting cut up. Notice how little dressing is needed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Make enough; this salad will go fast!  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This meal was a delicious low calorie comfort food fest with some of our favorite dishes. First we clinked our glasses of chilled Vice chardonnay, just because we were enjoying being lazy, this weekend.


The recipe above was the first course and a delicious change from our usual tomato/avocado salad. Then we had eggplant parmesan, a recipe that was shared on this newsletter, long ago. Easy to prepare, simple but good, baked garlic-y mini red potatoes. For dessert, home-made black bean brownies with cool whip on top.


A treat for New Yorkers was not only a second Tosca at the MetOpera, but the amazingly beautiful voice of soprano Anna Netrebko, singing with her husband, Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov.


Below is Netrebko singing one of the most sublime arias ever written.  Each time I hear it, I tear up. I’ve heard all the great sopranos sing Vissi d’Arte and IMO, this is the best recording.

Anna Netrebko – Vissi d’arte (Tosca, Act 2) by Giocomo Puccini


This long weekend was good for us and we hope for you also.


Icy Stag’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


From Our Table to Yours!

Bon Appetit!


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