Toss in and walk away broccoli rabe and baby zuchini weekday dinner!

Ora's Amazing Herbal

Got your attention didn’t I? That gorgeous brilliant green in a setting of rustic homey and wholesome cast iron did it. Well I hate to tell you, this is no knock out recipe. Since our business has been growing, I have been finding myself taking the softer easier way when it comes to food prep. I suppose my background in holistic nutrition and whole foods preparation makes my easier softer way meal look like a gourmet meal compared to a Wacky Mac  kitchen adventure, but still I feel the need to confess last nights dinner. I put it all in the oven and walked away to “do homework with kids”. Translation: play with essential oils so finalize next product formula by deadline while yelling from my home office “Stop goofin around and do your homework!”

Preheat oven to 425.

Salmon, picked up from fish store on way home from driving carpool. Midpiece, 2 #. Not the tail, it’s dry. Put in baking dish, slice across 3-4 times to allow seasoning in, pour on some soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder and squeeze 1/2 lemon on it. Plop in oven.

Red potatoes. (Organic important) Wash, put in baking dish, cover with lid or foil. Plop in oven.

And now the moment you have all been waiting for.

Broccoli rabe and baby zucchini. Open package of broccoli rabe, run water over it while checking for aphids, this season, not aphids so far. Place in cast iron skillet. Cut open package of baby zucchini. Fill package with water and drain repeatedly 2-3 times or until emotionally secure that we can pretend its been really washed. Place in pan with broccoli rabe. Peel a few cloves garlic and put them is. Sprinkle some sea salt.  Drizzle some olive oil. Shmoosh around with fingers. Plop in oven . Walk away.

Come back when it all smells good.

Run some water over some organic (tomatoes are on the dirty dozen now) grape tomatoes and pour into a bowl.

Bring out some organic butter and sour creme if desired for potatoes.

There! I made a multicolor fresh meal and spent 10 minutes in the kitchen.

Hey, maybe we’re not doing so bad after all.

Nori Roll

Itʼs official. It was one of those days.

It rained all day. Our lip balm tubes decided they didn’t fit into our pouring trays, and after hours of shoving them in anyway, we realized that after we made it work, the caps would now be impossible to remove. 

Now we have to send the tubes back and it’s holding up production for at least a week. 

But regardless, the kids got hungry at dinner time. I tried to avoid this as much as possible by letting them snack on dried mango and whatever else they could. It didn’t work, though, so I heated up a big pot of chicken soup and experimental Gluten-Free kneidle I had made over the weekend. I have made very delicious GF kneidle before, but these were not it.

So they had some soup but were all still hungry. Which brings me to the point. How many last minute dinner ideas are in your cabinets?

Not enough, I bet.

Well, here is another one. Not totally guilt free, but actually not so bad. I always happen to have a pot of organic brown rice in the fridge. I probably make something that goes with rice at least once a week, so I always make a little extra. 

This way when everyone decides they want something else, we just make nori cones. 

The reason its so delish is the sauce. Now, the first time we had nori cones was at the local, awesome, Teaneck Fish Market, and the sauce was actually a complex and high quality teriyaki. This is not what I make. I just pour soy sauce and maple syrup into a bowl in about equal amounts,  sometimes I drizzle a little toasted sesame oil or olive oil in there too. Mix it up in a small bowl . Then make the nori roll.

All you do is take a sheet of nori – yes, the seaweed used to make sushi – and fold it in half so you have a rectangle. Then you roll it into a cone shape. Start with folding one corner in and roll. It may crack a little as you go but just ignore it. Remember, you are just pretending to make diner at this point but really you are just filing up those little tummies so you can get them into bed. Then while holding your nori cone, stuff it with rice, and spoon on some sauce.

My picky eater will eat 3 or 4 of these.

Now how bad is this as a dinner in the grand scheme of things? Nori is super packed with minerals, has some significant protein, anthocyanins, fiber and so on. Brown rice is at least whole grain, and gives them enough calories to make it to breakfast, has good B vitamins, and fiber and so on. Anyway, it’s no wacky mac, and it’s super quick and a sure bet in my house.

Warning: All quantities are estimates:

  • 1/4 C cooked organic brown rice
  • 1 sheet nori

(you will have some left over unless you let your kids have a party with it)

  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (gluten free if you need GF)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 

Done! Bedtime!

Dinner: Cheaters’ Broccoli, 10-Minute Chili and More


We eat dinner every day. When I was exclusively a stay at home mom, I always cooked.

Some green leafy veggies, some protein source, you know the drill. I would start cooking at 2:00pm every day so I could put a nutritious whole food dinner on the table before meltdown time.

Now that I am working, I must admit that the standard has changed. Do I feel guilty? YES! Some days I cook and get such happiness watching my kids eat healthy food. All is right in the world on those days. Other days I work until everyone is melting down hungry and we boil some whole grain gluten-free or whole wheat noodles – depending on who has already filled up on dried mango or pretzels for dinner (aaaaah!). On those days, I have to make a decision to forgive myself; that being a mother is not only about food.

Today was the best of both worlds! Sure, the dinner was not all grown in the garden, but it was a delicious vegan, relatively well rounded meal that everyone loved and I seriously whipped it up in 15 minutes – no joke.

I was so impressed with the outcome I decided to post it. It fed all six of us nicely, with one kid taking the leftovers for lunch in a thermos.

Cheaters broccoli

Put oven on broil.

Open a bag of frozen organic broccoli florets.

Dump it on a baking sheet.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and good quality salt and mix.

Place in oven at bottom of oven, away from the flame – you donʼt want to burn the oil.

Let it roll for about 5 minutes depending on your oven. I like to let it brown a teeny tiny bit.

Dump into a bowl.

Put in a big spoon. 


10 minute chili (I admit I used canned beans and sauce but at least I didnʼt just order a pizza)

Everything is organic which is GMO free (supposedly) and BPA free cans so keep those eyebrows down all you crunchy yoga moms!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

one large onion, diced as ine as you have patience for

pinch of good salt

2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced

3 cans organic black beans, drained sort of

1 can organic tomato sauce (BPA free can)

1 bag frozen organic corn 

2 Tablespoons organic molasses

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

[disclaimer: all spice measurements are estimates; I didn’t really measure]

Heat a large pot at medium, add olive oil, and onion. Stir every so often till transluscent.

Add garlic after onion gets translucent, let it go till onions are slightly browned but not burnt. Add everything else, stir every so often in between stopping to yell at kids to come set the table, and checking other kids homework, so nothing burns.

Cook till bubbly. Done.


Cut open avocados, cut into cubes, put in bowl. Sprinkle with a little good fine salt. 

Squirt some lemon juice. Mix.


Cube some nice fresh tomatoes. Put in bowl.

Sprinkle some garlic powder and tiny pinch of salt. Mix.


I served it with some taco shells and some whole grain wraps on the table so everyone could make what they wanted out of it. Itʼs a nondairy, gluten free, vegan meal but some kids ate it with cheese and some went and got some plain yogurt to garnish, which is nice for the probiotics.