Kale/Mushroom Patties with Avocado & Cilantro Topping

Delicious, filling, healthy. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Beautiful presentation with the avocado/cilantro topping. At a dinner party, Friday night, many delectable original recipes were served. This was one of them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


These kale/mushroom patties were one of Alex Hays’ favorite things to eat when he visited us in Manhattan. At any meal, he loved them. Rushing out for an appointment, he would grab one from the fridge and eat it en route.



1 cup quinoa

3 boxes cremini mushrooms (or mixed), cleaned, chopped

2 cups chicken stock or broth

4 eggs, whisked

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

3 spring onions, peeled, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced, not squeezed

Pinch Kosher or sea salt

1 bunch fresh kale, rinsed, chopped, steamed

1 cup Panko crumbs

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Topping: avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, juice of 1 garlic clove



Rinse 2 cups of quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 4 cups of chicken stock or broth. Allow quinoa to soak for 15 minutes. Then, with the lid on the pan, bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid – about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temp.


Quinoa is smaller and healthier than rice. In this photo, I’ve boiled it for 20 minutes, so it’s absorbed all the liquid. Now it’s cooling. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


While the quinoa is cooking, rinse kale, tear into small piece and steam it until it’s wilted and reduced in volume.


Steam the pieces of fresh kale until they wilt and look like this. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Sautee the chopped mushrooms in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and chicken broth or stock.


Sautee the mushrooms. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, spring onions, garlic, salt, steamed kale, and Panko crumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny. Form patties and get your skillet ready for cooking.


Here, I’ve mixed in all the ingredients except for the wilted kale, which will come next. BTW, feel free to use your hands for mixing something like this. Hands, spoons, it really doesn’t matter; just a personal choice. I figure I’m gonna use my hands to make the patties anyway, so-o why not use them to mix. Just don’t use electric beaters, because you want a certain amount of texture in these burgers.

©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here’s what the mixture looks like after adding the steamed kale, and mixing it together.


Make the patties, (by hand of course). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Cooking the patties – add more extra virgin olive oil to the pan, if you think you need it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Heat 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook up to 6 patties at a time but don’t overcrowd the pan. Better to cook three or four at a time if you don’t have a large skillet. Cover the pan and let the patties cook for 7-10 minutes until the under-sides are a deep rich brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes until both sides are nice and brown. Let patties rest on a cooling rack while you finish the next batch.


The patties were just flipped. The kitchen smells wonderful. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


BTW, never use anything but extra virgin olive oil. If the label just says, “olive oil“ or “virgin olive oil“ skip it. These words refer to the purity or lack there-of, of the oil. The FDA now regulates olive oil, so extra virgin is referring to the absence of saturated oils that may be added to plain olive oil. We’re using olive oil not just for the flavor, but for the health benefits. Extra virgin olive oil is the only one to buy. I also read about scandals connected with olive oil, so now I only buy, if it’s from California or Chile.


Just out of the pan; warm, moist but not oily, ready to serve with the avocado/cilantro topping. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


If you find you have more than you can eat at one sitting, you can freeze these patties, and take them out next week for another freshly cooked meal.


Make the topping 

Now, quickly, cut up one or two ripe avocados. You can cut them as small cubes, or you can mash the avocado, along with the other ingredients and serve the topping like that. We like both versions of the topping.

In a medium size bowl that you’ll also use for serving, add ? cup fresh cilantro, well-chopped, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, juice of 1 garlic clove. Stir these ingredients well. Add the pieces of avocado and stir slowly, to cover all the pieces of avocado. Serve right away, with the kale/mushroom patties.


What’s great about my recipe is that it works for dinner, lunch, breakfast, snacks and brunch.  Last night we served the kale patties at a dinner party. Today, we’re having them for brunch, with a poached egg on top. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Unbelievably delicious for brunch. The combo of the kale/mushroom patty and the avocado and the poached egg is the perfect weekend meal. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This chilled Pouilly-Fuisse was perfect with the kale/mushroom patties. This Louis Jadot wine is always reliable for lovely flavor. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

Kale Salad with Mushrooms, Dried Cranberries and Pomegranate Arils

This is a beautiful tasty salad, if I do say so myself. It’s easy to make. Give it a try; it’ll be worth it. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



6 cups kale, sliced or pulled into bite size, tough stems removed

2 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

2 eggs (hard boil, then use whites only, chopped)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, well chopped

1 and 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced or chopped

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon artificial bacon (optional)

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch salt

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils


I’ve experimented many times with kale salads. Forget the anchovies that you see above. Adding those, did not work out well. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Get out the bowl you will serve the salad in.

2. Do all of your chopping, grinding, slicing first.


Chopping the hardboiled egg whites. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


3. Wash kale three times. Drain three times. Pat dry with paper towel before slicing. Kale grows in sandy soil and has tiny bits of grit on the leaves. Terrible to serve a beautiful salad, only to feel your teeth crunch down on even one grain of sand.

4. Pull the leaves off the stems (throw stems away) into bite size pieces, but not too small and put leaves into salad serving bowl.


These kale leaves were rinsed three times, drained, patted dry, then allowed to air. About to be added to the egg whites in the salad bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


5. Put the chopped egg whites into the salad bowl and toss with kale.


After chopping the egg whites, they were thrown into the salad serving bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. Get out a skillet. You’re going to make a warm dressing now, over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, stir for 2 minutes.

7. Add the sliced or chopped mushrooms, combine all ingredients and cook while stirring for another 2 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened.


Above is the warmed mixture, set aside to cool off. The above iteration of my kale salad experiments, had black beans and seeded, well chopped jalapenos, which worked well, if you want to give them a try. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Mushroom mixture is added to the kale and egg whites. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


After the kale is tossed with the mushroom mixture and the egg whites, here is what it looks like. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Dried cranberries added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Pomegranate arils added. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here, the mustard is being added to the red wine vinegar, and stirred well before being added to the salad which is ready to be served. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


8. Remove skillet from heat and let it cool down. While dressing is cooling, add the mustard, 1  pinch of black pepper, artificial bacon if using, and mix it in well. Let dressing cool more, before you add the vinegar. Another option is to serve the salad with warm dressing and it will be equally delicious.

9. Toss the salad well so that all surfaces of the kale are covered with the dressing.

10. Sprinkle over top of salad the dried cranberries and arils and bring to the table a delicious and beautiful salad. At the table, give one last toss so that the cranberries and arils get tossed with everything else.




Tossed again at the table and ready to serve. Easy, healthy, light and delicious. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


A single refreshing serving of the kale salad. Best with a light wine, white, rose or sparkling. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


We’re raising our glasses and toasting our readers: Have the best August of your lives! We’ll be back after our long Labor Day weekend in September. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc .


Have a great August everyone!


Bon Appetit!


Blueberry Clafoutis

Look how moist this piece is. The last time I made a clafoutis was for a dinner party and it was apple clafoutis, a huge success. Traditionally, clafoutis is a French countryside non-pitted cherry recipe. But you know me, I respect boundaries, but I do like to see what could be on the other side; hence, I strayed to apple and now blueberry. Blueberries are abundant now and sweet. The first thought was, what new way could I use these blueberries, then clafoutis came to mind. I did glance at the apple clafoutis I put together two years ago, but changed it slightly for the blueberries. Hope you enjoy making this recipe. It’s easy and fairly quick. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Now we have a house guest, so I’m pulling out my recipes that Jules gave five stars, which are some of the favorite recipes. Here the clafoutis cooled down for 20 or 30 minutes, and is about to be served. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


The whole point of a clafoutis, is to be quick, easy and delicious. The first serving, at the top of this recipe, was for desert. This piece, above, is for brunch and wonderful with coffee or tea. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1 teaspoon butter plus more as needed

1/2 cup almond flour, plus more for dusting pan

Almond flour to roll the blueberries in before putting in cake dish

3 eggs

1/2 cup almond paste instead of sugar

Pinch salt

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup almond milk

2 cups blueberries, washed, drained, patted dry with paper towel

Powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons Amaretto


Here, checking out the ingredients, is my sous chef, Dodi. She’s blocking the almond flour and the butter. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Here’s Dodi asleep on the job, next to my computer in home office. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Prepare the baking dish you plan to use, about 9 x 5 x 2 inches, or a 10-inch round deep pie plate by smearing it with butter. Next, dust it with almond flour, rotating pan so flour sticks to all the butter.

3. Next, invert dish, over sink, to get rid of excess flour.


4. Rinse blueberries in cold water, drain in a colander, then pat dry with paper towel.

5. Prepare a medium size bowl with almond flour and roll all the blueberries around in the flour; then set aside.


Rolling the blueberries in the almond flour. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


6. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Do this by hand, not in the electric mixer. Add almond paste (or granulated sugar) and salt and whisk until combined. Add cream and milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup flour and stir just to combine, not more. Don’t stir the flour too much.


Whisk out any lumps that may form when you add the almond paste. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Just added cream and milk. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Next, adding almond flour. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Easier now, to use a wooden spoon for the final incorporation of all ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


7. Add all of the floured blueberries to the baking dish.

8. Pour the batter over the blueberries, to as close to the top of dish as you can, without the batter dripping over the side. There might be some leftover batter, depending on size of your dish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until clafoutis is nicely browned on top and a knife inserted into it comes out clean. Sift some powdered sugar over it (optional) and serve warm or at room temperature. Clafoutis does not keep; serve within a couple of hours of making it.


Pouring batter over the blueberries, until the batter comes up to the top. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


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


Just coming out of the oven. Notice, how much it has puffed up. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


9. Put a baking sheet under the cake pan, so if it drips, it drips on the sheet.


This is the second time in one week that I made clafoutis. Once the first piece is served, the rest goes very fast. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


This summer there’s a plethora of Rose wines to choose from. We tried the one above nicely chilled. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

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: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations

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!


Next Page →