Sephardic Spinach Patties

Just thinking about this recipe makes me want to light a candle in the kitchen when the sun has set early in the evening and dinner feels much later than it actually is. This recipe was shared with me from my mother-in-law approximately one million years ago – or more specifically just a few weeks after our first wedding anniversary as we prepared for Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if it’s origin, but I suspect it is from the Moosewood Inn cookbook, but has evolved over time in her kitchen and in mine. This recipe pairs well with couscous with vegetables and chickpeas, rice with dried apricots and pine nuts, rice and lentil stuffed bell peppers, spiced potatoes.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs fresh spinach, stemmed, cooked, chopped, and squeezed dry (20 oz frozen,   squeezed dry)
  • 1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
  • about ¾ t salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ t grated nutmeg or 1 ½ t cayenne
  • substitute for 3 eggs (I use Just Egg or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer)
  • oil for frying
  • lemon wedges for serving


  • Heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft—about 5 min.
  • Remove from heat and add spinach,bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg or cayenne. 
  • Stir in egg substitute.  If the mixture is too loose, add a little more bread crumbs.
  • Shape the spinach mixture into patties.  In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat.  In batches, fry the patties, turning, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. 
  • Drain on paper towels.  Serve warm with lemon wedges

butternut squash soup

It’s late summer and the butternut squash are in a familiar place – piled up in a box in the utility room waiting to be turned into my favorite fall recipes — like this one. I’m eyeing the forecast waiting for the first hint of fall in the air. When it arrives (soon I hope!) I will be bring the golden relaxed vibes to the dinner table with ginger butternut squash soup.

This is an elegant soup with a lovely texture, but don’t be fooled, it’s little more than chopping, sauteing and cooking it down. The garlic, ginger, and onion will immediately put a smile on your face. Note, in a hurry I have been known to saute the onion and garlic for about five minutes, throw in the rest of the ingredients and boil the hell out of it because I was in a hurry to put something warm on the table. While the texture suffers a bit and the flavors are less developed, but no one around the table seems to notice.

There are many ways to make a meal out of this soup – here are a few of my favorites:

  • Simple spinach salad on the side, toasted sourdough, with a swirl of olive oil and sprinkle of hot pepper
  • A plop of vegan butter and salt atop the soup, toasted with smashed avocado
  • Olive oil and swirl (or two) of sriracha for the soup, crusty bread pan fried with a little butter with either jammy tomatoes or a thick slice of fresh tomatoes. There are almost always some large Cherokee purple tomatoes on the vine when I make my first batch. If opting for a fresh tomato, a thin layer of vegan mayor and a little salt will brighten and deepen the flavor profile all at once.


  • 1 large butternut squash, scooped and chopped
  • 1 small/medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary (off stem, chopped)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4-ish cups veggie broth (though, I have used water and extra herbs in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • In a large pot, saute yellow onion, apple and squash, olive oil and salt over medium heat until the onions are translucent,8-10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, and rosemary and stir for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add a veggie broth and bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until squash is very tender.
  • Uncover and let it cool slightly before pureeing – I prefer the immersion blender because it is one less thing to clean up!
  • Add small small amounts of vegetable broth to achieve the desired texture.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.