Ridiculous Tahini Sauce

We often get asked what sauces and condiments can be used to dress up otherwise dull chicken breast, eggs and grilled salmon, so for the next few weeks we’re going to focus on some different recipes that will keep life exciting. They’ll all be easy to make and, better yet, pack a taste punch.

This easy-to-make tahini sauce is completely ridiculous: ridiculously delicious, ridiculously healthy, ridiculously quick. We love it on kale salads, over grilled chicken breast, over vegetables; on pretty much anything. (I’m amazed we haven’t yet drank it straight from the bowl.) If you’re looking to shake things up and get away from salsa, give this a whirl — you’ll be ridiculously happy you did.

Prep Time: 3 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Servings: 8


1/3 cup tahini, stirred
1 garlic clove, minced finely
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne, optional
2 to 6 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon cilantro, optional


Whisk all ingredients, except water and cilantro, in a bowl until combined. The mixture will be very pasty, but that is normal. Add water a couple of tablespoons at a time and whisk until you have the desired consistency. Keep it somewhat thick if making a sauce for chicken or water it down a bit more if you’re using it as a salad dressing.

Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt or lemon juice, as you prefer. Top it with some of the cilantro and dig in! Store covered in the refrigerator up to 7 days.


Mexican Quinoa Salad

It was only a matter of time that we shared a quinoa recipe and we’re surprised it’s taken us this long, especially since it’s so damned good for you. It’s high in protein; gluten-free; a good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese; and contains all nine essential amino acids, which other grains do not.

This recipe is great for week day dinners. Throw some chicken breast or salmon on top and you’re all set!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Servings: 8


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cup quinoa (we like Trader Joe’s organic tri-color quinoa)
1 can (14 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (15-oz) organic black beans
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup corn
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper to taste


1/ Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for an additional minute.

2/ Stir in quinoa until fully mixed. Then add broth, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, beans and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and avocado.

3/ Enjoy!

Red Lentil Soup

Now that it’s gotten crazy-cold out, it’s time to cook something that will help warm up your chilled (and hopefully tired since you’re coming back from working out!) bones. This is it. It takes about 10 minutes to prep, another 30 on the stove and then you’re good to go. A couple of slices of pita, a dollop of yogurt and you can call it a day.

Lentils are high in fiber (you’ll feel full longer), low calorie (about 230 calories per cup) and a great source of plant-based protein. They’re also rich in other vitamins and minerals. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 6-8


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, loosely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
16 oz red lentils
32 oz vegetable broth, preferably organic
32 oz water
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot, add olive oil and onions. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add carrots and garlic. Cook an additional two minutes.
3. Add cumin, coriander and chile powder. Cook for one minute, stirring.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for two minutes.
5. Add the lentils, vegetable broth and water. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 30 minutes until lentils are soft.
6. With a hand blender — or in batches in a regular blender — puree the soup. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
7. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Verde

A slow cooker is a wonderful thing. Fill it up with stuff, turn it on, go to work and then get hit with a blast of “OMFG, THAT SMELLS SO GOOD!” when you come home. If only everything in life was so simple and so thoroughly satisfying. 

Packed with protein and nutrients, this piquant chili verde is great for a night in at home. Have it over quinoa or riced cauliflower and top it with some scallions, avocado and a small dollop of (low fat!) sour cream and you’re good to go.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 4-8 hours | Servings: 6-8


1-1/2 pounds chicken breast
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 fresh jalapeños, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cans green chilis
1 cup salsa verde
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 32-ounce container of chicken stock, preferably low sodium and organic
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place the onion, jalapeño and minced garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add spices and mix.
2. Top with chicken breasts.
3. Add undrained cans of green chills and salsa verde.
4. Add the white beans and chicken broth.
5. Let chili simmer on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
6. Remove the chicken breasts and shred, then add back to the slow cooker for an additional 10 minutes.
7. Enjoy!

Five Minute Marinara

We understand… there are those late nights you get home and just open a jar of red sauce for over your pasta or, preferably, spaghetti squash. The problem is that many of those jarred sauces contain a ton of sugar. You’d be just as well off melting down your kids’ remaining Halloween candy and pouring it over. 

This great recipe contains no sugar, tastes great and takes about five minutes of your time. Throw in some vegetables if you want or some cut up chicken to amp it up. And you can freeze individual portions for use later, so you’ll never have to have Spaghetti alla Butterfinger ever again.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 45 mins | Servings: 4-8


1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
5 or 6 basil leaves, torn up
salt and pepper to taste


1. Over medium/high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook for one minute more.
2. Add chopped tomatoes and sauce, and cover pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Add basil and serve hot. Enjoy! And don’t forget to freeze leftover sauce for future use.

Baked Garlic Carrots

We admit it — carrots generally kind of suck. Boiled to ruin, over-buttered, bland, unappreciated. But the thing is, they don’t have to. With just a little love (or some balsamic vinegar and garlic), they can be rockstars. And it takes all of about five minutes of your time.

They’re also so good for you. They’re loaded with beta carotene, which is good for your vision. They help your skin, lower your risk of heart disease, cleanse your body, act as a natural toothbrush, and are packed with other vitamins and nutrients. Win win.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 30-45 mins | Servings: 4-6


1 lb organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic, garlic and thyme
3. Put carrots in baking dish and cover with olive oil and balsamic mixture. Make sure they’re all coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes. We like to pull them out when they’re still a little hard, around 30 mins, but keep them in for about 45 mins if you want them more tender.
5. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Dressing

A few months ago, we vowed to not eat another spoonful of riced cauliflower until at least 2017, maybe even 2018. We’re that sick of it. But, being the cauliflower lovers we are, we had to figure something else out since it’s not only delicious, but good for you — and this is it. Charred, smoky, flavorful and easy to make, we might not see the riced version again in our lifetimes.

Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous family, which includes other great foods likes broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale. Like those, it has virtually no calories or fat; is high in fiber, vitamins, folate and minerals; increases brain health; and so much more. It’s also gotten a lot of press for fighting cancer.

Let’s go!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10-20 mins | Servings: 2


1 head organic cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you wish)
salt and pepper to taste


1. Cut two thick "steaks" from the head of cauliflower slicing from top to bottom near the center. Each will be held together by the core. Save remaining pieces for tomorrow’s salad or a snack.
2. In an iron pan, heat olive oil on medium-high. Cook steaks for about 5 minutes on each side, until nicely browned and smoking slightly. Be careful not to burn, but don’t be afraid to give them some good char. 
3. While steaks are cooking, mix tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, coriander and cayenne in a bowl. If consistency is too thick, add additional water one teaspoon at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Remove steaks from pan, drizzle with tahini dressing and enjoy!

Tip: The tahini dressing is not only good on cauliflower, but also as a salad dressing or over chicken. Make double the amount for a rainy day!

Beet Chips with Herbes de Provence

Love potato chips, but hate them because they’re so bad for you? Hate beets but want to love them because they’re so good for you? Here’s your solution — beet chips. All of the crunch and flavor of potato chips with none of the funk and weirdness of roasted beets.

Beets are an excellent source of iron; have no trans- or saturated fats; are a great source of vitamins and minerals; and are helpful in preventing cancer and heart disease.

Let’s go!

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 12-20 mins | Servings: 4-8


2-3 medium beets, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Herbes de Provence (or rosemary)


1.Pre-heat oven to 375°. 
2.Thinly slice beets. If you have a mandolin, this is the time to put it to work. Toss beets in a bowl with olive oil.
3.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place beets evenly on sheets. Sprinkle sea salt and herbes de Provence on beets.
4.Bake for 12-20 minutes until chips are crisp. Check after 10 minutes because the thickness of the chips will dictate how long they need to bake.

You can store these in an airtight container for a couple of days, but they’re best eaten fresh.

Easy Peasy Grilled Garlic Asparagus

The weather has cooled a bit in the past few days, but there’s NO WAY we’re putting the grill away just yet. Perhaps when there’s a foot or two of snow on the ground or a tsunami. And these asparagus are a good reason to keep it out. They take about five minutes to make, taste amazing and are a great, healthy side dish to a grilled steak or piece of salmon. And the leftovers can be tossed in a frittata in the morning or brought to work for a snack.

Asparagus are also a superfood, loaded with nutrients. They’re one of the best natural sources of folate; are high in vitamins A, C, E, K and B6; low in fat and calories; and high in fiber. Supposedly, they’re also an aphrodisiac, but we’ll keep hush on that one.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 5 mins | Servings: 4-6


1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed off
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1/4 lemon


1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
2.In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over asparagus and mix to coat evenly.
3.Put asparagus on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
4.Turn over asparagus and grill for 1-2 minutes more. You want to brown and heat the asparagus, but not decimate them into soggy messes.  
5.Spritz with the lemon juice and enjoy!

Ginger and Balsamic Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are considered the “steak of vegetables” and with good reason. We’ve converted many a non-believer with this recipe: it’s juicy, bold and has a nice crust like a… well, like a delicious portobello mushroom. If you’re looking to cut down on meat or just feel like shaking things up at the next BBQ, check this one out.

Even better, mushrooms are also considered a superfood. They have a great deal of nutritional value, are full of micronutrients, are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They have no fat or cholesterol. Mushrooms are also the only fruit or vegetable that has Vitamin D, so add them to your regular diet.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 4


4 medium portobello mushrooms, stems removed and dirt wiped off
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Brush on both sides of mushrooms and let sit for 10 minutes.

  3. Put mushrooms on the grill gill side down. Cook for 5 minutes.

  4. Turn over mushrooms and grill for 3-5 minutes more. Pay attention not to burn the tops of the mushrooms.

  5. Slice and enjoy!

Spicy Sesame Broccoli Ceviche

You know broccoli is good for you. Your momma told you. But do you know why? Well, for starters it’s a great source of fiber and antioxidants, has a ton of vitamins (one cup of raw broccoli provides over 100% of your vitamin K requirement), and is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s also low fat and a great anti-inflammatory. 

We call this recipe “ceviche” because while the broccoli isn’t traditionally steamed or roasted, it “cooks” from the acid in the red wine vinegar. The garlic, red pepper flakes and sesame oil give it a delicious, complex flavor. We keep a bowl of these in our fridge to snack on whenever those hunger pangs strike. Trust us — you’ll be making this again.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 3 mins | Servings: 4 


2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier)
Sesame seeds 


1. Dissolve salt in red wine vinegar. Pour over broccoli florets in a large boil and toss to combine. Let sit.
2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and add garlic, cumin powder and red pepper flakes. Cook for about one minute on medium heat until fragrant. Do not let the garlic turn brown! Add in sesame oil and stir. Pour mixture over broccoli and toss. 
3. Let sit for about an hour at room temperature, sprinkle sesame seeds over broccoli and serve! Refrigerate any remaining broccoli for up to 48 hours.


Grilled Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce

We’ve been hooked on Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook “Plenty” for a couple of months now and have made this dish about 10 times. It’s insane. And since baby eggplants are in season right now, this is the perfect time to fire up your grill and get your eggplant on. Our adaption uses skim milk instead of buttermilk and non-fat Greek yogurt instead of whole milk.

From a nutritional standpoint, while eggplant doesn’t have an overwhelming percentage of any one nutrient, it does have a wide range of vitamins and minerals including fiber, folic acid, potassium and maganese; vitamins B1, B6, C and K; and contains almost no cholesterol or saturated fat. It’s also a great meat substitute.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 4

4 baby eggplants
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp za’atar (can be found in Middle Eastern supermarkets or online. If you don’t have it, use 1/2 tsp of thyme and 1/2 tsp of cumin)
1 tsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar if you want to cut out carbs)
1 tsp skim milk
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp lemon juice


1. Heat grill to medium high or pre-heat broiler.
2. Cut eggplants in half length-wise and with a paring knife, make cross-hatch incisions in the cut side of the eggplant without piercing the skin.
3. Brush olive oil on cut side of eggplants, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and za’atar.
4. Put eggplants on grill skin-side down for five minutes, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes, or until flesh is soft and browned. Remove from grill.
5. In a bowl, mix skim milk, Greek yogurt, 1 tsp olive oil, garlic and lemon until smooth. Pour over eggplant slices.
6. Sprinkle additional za’atar over yogurt sauce and then top with a little bit of pomegranates molasses (or balsamic vinegar). Serve immediately.


Chicken, Spinach and Mango Salad

This healthy and refreshing salad is the perfect dinner choice for a busy summer weeknight. If you have some chicken cooked already, you can bang this out in less than 10 minutes. It’s packed with protein (chicken); vitamins and iron (spinach) and anti-oxidants (mango). Feel free to toss in some sliced almonds or walnuts for some crunch! Enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10-15 mins | Servings: 2

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
6 ounces organic baby spinach
1 small red (or yellow) onion, sliced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs dijon mustard
1/2 tbs maple syrup
2-3 leaves basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on outside grill until cooked through (155°F), or cook on pre-heated grill pan over medium-high heat, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and let rest 5 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch strips.

2. Whisk olive olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and basil in small bowl. 

3. Place chicken, spinach, onion and mango in serving bowl. Add dressing and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Watermelon, Kale and Cucumber Smoothie

This great summer smoothie has it all: refreshing cucumber, electrolyte-replenishing coconut water, vitamin-A rich watermelon and fibrous, nutrient-dense kale. Oh, and it’s delicious! Make a batch to take to the beach or knock one back after your next workout! 🍉🌿😍

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 mins
Servings: 2


8 oz coconut water
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 cup watermelon, frozen
Handful of kale leaves, stems removed
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of ice


1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend for 30-60 seconds, until smooth.
2. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Littleneck Clams

This weekend, fire up the grill, pop some clams on it and pretend you’re in New England. Clams are ridiculously easy to grill, take about 10 minutes and are really good for you. They’re a low fat, high protein seafood with an above average amount of healthful minerals such as selenium, zinc, iron and magnesium and B vitamins like niacin. A single protein serving (~3 ounces) provides 2/3 of the amount of iron you need in a day, plus the vitamin C in the clams helps you better absorb the iron!

Here goes! 

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 4 

2 dozen littleneck clams (or more!)
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of parsley, roughly choppd

1. Preheat grill to medium/medium-high or get charcoal fire going.

2. While the grill is pre-heating, rinse clams in cold water in a pot. 

3. Add clams to the grill. The clams will begin to open between 7-10 minutes on the grill. Carefully pull clams off the grill as they open and put in a serving bowl. Discard any clams that don’t open.

4. Toss with lemon juice and parsley and serve! (If you’re feeling naughty, a little butter and white wine is delicious, too!)

Feel free to use mussels instead of clams for this recipe — or both. Serve with grilled corn and baguette slices and you’re golden.

Recipe of the Week: Summer Lentil Salad

Lentils are a staple in our diet here at IronPlate. They’re fast cooking, incredibly versatile, highly nutritious and, well, they taste great. Make this summer lentil salad a go-to side dish for any occasion or make it a meal by putting it over greens with some grilled chicken or salmon.

Lentils are high in fiber (you’ll feel full longer), low calorie (about 230 calories per cup) and a great source of plant-based protein. They’re also rich in other vitamins and minerals.
Here goes!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 mins | Servings: 4-6

1 cup dried lentils
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic fig vinegar (regular balsamic is great, too)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (can substitute yellow)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 scallions, chopped (both white and green sections)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, diced
4 mint leaves (or basil) chopped

1. In a medium sauce pan, add lentils and 3 cups water. Add garlic, chopped onion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Test lentils to make sure they’re cooked through, yet firm, then drain and rinse with cold water. Refrigerate for half an hour.

2. While the lentils are cooking, whisk together the olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Set aside until ready to use.

3. In a serving bowl, combine lentils, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions and mint. Whisk the dressing once more and add to the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper and serve!