In both my personal and professional lives, I have enjoyed being a creator of "clean" food. Nutritious, seasonal eating has always been a part of my life, and I'm grateful to be able to share my delicious creations with you!

Whole grains such as quinoa, farro, millet and brown rice, with all of their health-giving properties, are a delicious back drop for what I call "Bowls Full of Goodness". Add in some nicely prepared local and seasonal veggies and greens, maybe some nuts or seeds, and a tasty dressing, and that's a satisfying meal. The combinations are endless. As with my soups, I will be utilizing seasonal vegetable offerings from local Farmers Markets, which will ensure these bowls are fresh and unique weekly.

The component tying these ingredients together will be one of my many tried and true dressings. In restaurants over the years, I have created and perfected dozens of dressing recipes, which I look forward to sharing with you, with grains, greens and veggies in delicious combinations.

These Bowls Full of Goodness can certainly be a meal on their own, but they can also be part of a larger meal. Did you find some perfect salad greens, a beautiful piece of cheese, or a nice cut of fish or meat at the market? Use this Bowl as a component in a lovely Market meal! The dressing is packed in a separate recyclable container in a generous portion. The bowls holding it all are compostable, as are the lids.

Don't worry, I will continue to produce soups as well! Warmer weather will bring lighter soups, and more that can be eaten room temperature or even cold. When the weather cools down again, we will go back to heartier offerings, based what the market gives us. I'm excited to continue enjoying the blossoming and greening of another Hudson Valley Spring, complete with warming temperatures, rain showers, and bright sunny days!

See you at the Market, with much gratitude for your continued support!

I have to admit, I do like salt. As a chef, salt is something you are constantly using, tweaking dishes with it, adjusting levels of it. In my many years in professional kitchens, I have learned about and used many different types of salts. I have had the experience of harvesting sea salt and watching it dry out. It's a beautiful process! Sea Salts, maybe you have seen in your daily grocery shopping, have become very mainstream. I am thrilled about this! Having grown up next to salt water, I can tell you that sea salt is decidedly different than kosher salt, and certainly a completely different product than iodized salt. So now we have all this fancy salt. My next experiments with it started sort of by mistake. One busy night in a kitchen somewhere far, far away (not really, but it sounded fun) a container of Turkish Aleppo pepper I had on my station for adding to one of my dishes that night tipped over into my "finishing" sea salt container. Ooops. A happy mistake that turned out to be! I mixed them up and haven't looked back! The fruity spicy flavor of the Aleppo made me think some citrus zest would elevate it's flavor even more. And it did! This became a go to for me (and for some of my co-workers who would try to steal my jar of it....) It adorns my husband's breakfast eggs and avocado (almost) every morning.

photo: Jody Hunter

This happy mistake made the creative juices start to churn, and I developed a few other combinations over the years that have become my sort of "ride or die" seasonings. The Mediterranean Herb Sea Salt is based on one of my favorite combinations known as Za'atar, hailing from the Middle East. I have a great affinity for Middle Eastern flavors -- earthy, herby, fruity and tangy. The mix I have settled on includes lemony sumac and toasty sesame seeds, which I have mixed with a variety of dried herbs and beautiful flaky Maldon sea salt from England. This combination is delightful on anything from olives, to soft cheeses (make your goat cheese fancy!), to a seasoning for turkey burgers.... It's great mixed with some olive oil and drizzled on flatbreads or pizza.

Another combination that has become a staple is the Savory Himalayan blend. Pink Himalayan sea salt is just so beautiful! It has a velvety texture, which I love. I have combined this with some of my favorite dried herbs and spices, such as coriander, rosemary and smoked paprika, to name a few. It has become a great kitchen companion as a dry rub for meats, or for seasoning soups and stews! It is especially good with earthy flavors and textures such as mushrooms, root vegetables and hearty grains like Farro.

Textures and flavors
Top: Aleppo Citrus/Left: Mediterranean Herb/Right: Savory Himalayan

Now for a little vacation.... Here is beautiful Salt Pond on Saint John in the US Virgin Islands, where you can see the salt "bloom" in action! My parents happen to live nearby this (lucky me, I know!) and harvest a little when the bloom happens, which they then dry in a sunny spot. It's delicious and very special to me.

I hope you, too, can become inspired by my sea salt combinations! Think of them as an elevation of your home cooking, a little tweak of flavor that is exciting and new!

As always, I look forward to seeing you at the Market! This weekend in Hastings, I will be bringing some very comforting soup varieties, which you can find on my site along with all of the sea salts and some other goodies!

New year, clean start. Soup is such a good and delicious way to eat healthfully! All of my soups are made by hand and from scratch by yours truly. Pick up a beautiful loaf of bread and some vegetables from the market to serve on the side, and dinner is served! Or, stock up to have some around for those days when working from home would be made a little nicer with a decent lunch. I use only fresh produce and meats in all of my soups, locally sourced as much as possible, so you can guarantee they will make you feel as good as they taste!

SOUPS THIS WEEK will include:

Chicken with Farro and Vegetables

New this week! A warming and hearty combination of shredded chicken thighs, nutty farro and a blend of carrots, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, leeks and kale. This soup is sure to bring a smile to your face on a cold day!

Chicken Legs and Thighs, Shiitake Mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms, Carrots, Leeks, Garlic, Kale, Farro, Homemade Chicken Stock

Dairy Free

Cod + Clam Chowder

A Hastings favorite! Chock full of cod and clams, my chowder is never thickened with flour or cornstarch. Growing up on Cape Cod, you just learn to make good "chowdah". (Or at least be picky about it!)

Cod, Clams, Onions, Garlic, Celery, Potatoes, Butter, Cream, Milk, Parsley, Sea Salt

Gluten Free

White Bean, Escarole + Parmesan

Just like my Nana used to make! This is a comforting and hearty bowl of bean and green goodness, with an added depth from the Parmesan cheese rinds cooked right along with the beans. Fills you up without weighing you down. White Beans, Onion, Garlic, Escarole, Sweet Italian Sausage, Thyme, Sage, Bay Leaf, Sea Salt, Vegetable Stock

Vegetarian, Gluten Free

Butternut Squash, Apple + Sage

I have had so many requests to bring this one again. I was lucky to get a beautiful bushel of butternut squash from Sun Sprout Farm last weekend, so your wishes have come true!

Butternut Squash, Apples, Onion, Sage, Olive Oil, Sea Salt

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Immunity Booster Broth

I hope you are all enjoying this as much as I am. Many people have asked for it, and have told me such kind stories of bringing it to friends who are under the weather, or if they are feeling a little under the weather themselves. It is a truly healing broth, and delicious to sip, too.

Japanese Yams, Dried Kelp, Ginger, Turmeric, Carrots, Onions, Leeks, Fennel, Garlic, Parsley, Burdock Root, Bay Leaf, Black Peppercorns, Coriander Seed, Sea Salt

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Also this week I will have my new Nut and Seed Soup Crackers! Made of almond flour, seeds and spices, these dairy and gluten free crackers go so well with all of my soups. It has been fun experimenting with them, and I hope you like them! I'm experimenting with other soup toppers... if I have some success, I will bring them as well!

Looking for some pizzazz for your own cooking?

I have several items of interest!

My Aleppo Citrus Sea Salt (left) is great to add to roasted meats or vegetables, and is delicious on just about anything, really.... eggs and avocado toast, anyone? Another spice blend I am bringing is my Savory Himalayan Sea Salt Spice Rub (middle), meant for roasted meats or protein alternatives. A lot of great flavor to add a little kick to that next roasted chicken...! New this week is a Mediterranean Herb Sea Salt (right). Reminiscent of the classic Za'atar spice of Persian cuisine, I have combined beautiful Maldon Sea Salt with dried herbs, sesame seed and lemony sumac. It is a great addition to olives, for topping pizzas, or seasoning fish or other meats, as well as sprinkling over roasted veggies! I love having this simple trick up my sleeve to make my cooking at home sing!

As always, I am incredibly grateful for your support! Here's to your health in the the New Year!