Healthy Cook

Lemon Aid

by Kate Sherwood, May 2011

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Fresh lemon juice makes the vegetables in these recipes sparkle. Any of them could be a main course, but also makes a great side dish. Just serve with a tossed salad and some quickly sautéed fish or grilled chicken.

Green Pea Falafel*

dry green split peas
½ cup
green peas, thawed from frozen
1 ½ cups
onion, chopped
sprigs Italian parsley, leaves chopped
cloves garlic, minced
whole wheat flour
1 Tbs.
ground coriander
1 tsp.
ground cumin
1 tsp.
cayenne powder
¼ tsp.
fresh lemon juice, divided
3 Tbs.
kosher salt
½ tsp.
2 Tbs.
extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs.

Grind the split peas in a food processor. Add the green peas and pulse several times. Add the onion, parsley, garlic, flour, spices, 1 Tbs. of lemon juice, and salt. Process until well blended. Form into 12 patties (about ¼ cup each). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make the tahini dressing by whisking together the tahini, remaining 2 Tbs. lemon juice, and 2 Tbs. hot water until smooth. Add more water as needed to thin the dressing.

In a non-stick skillet, sauté the falafel patties in the oil in 2 batches until well browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Drizzle with the tahini dressing. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (3 patties)

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 12 g
  • Sat Fat: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Sodium: 290 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 11 g

*plus 1 hour chilling time.

Artichoke Sauté

frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained, and patted dry
9 oz.
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 Tbs.
shiitake mushrooms, caps sliced, stems discarded
8 oz.
can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz.
cloves garlic, chopped
scallions, sliced
sprigs Italian parsley, chopped
fresh lemon juice, more to taste
1 Tbs.
kosher salt
½ tsp.

In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the artichokes in 1 Tbs. oil until browned. Remove from the pan. Sauté the mushrooms in 1 Tbs. oil until browned. Remove from the pan. Sauté the chickpeas in 1 Tbs. oil until lightly browned.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, stir in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Return the artichokes and mushrooms to the pan and heat through. Add the scallions and parsley. Season with lemon juice and up to ½ tsp. salt. Serves 4.


  • Calories: 290
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 310 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 10 g

Asparagus Risotto

cloves garlic, minced
scallions, whites and greens separated, thinly sliced
1 bunch
extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs.
short-grain brown rice
1 cup
dry white wine
1 cup
boiling water
5 cups
asparagus, cut into pieces
½ lb.
lemon, zested and juiced
grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup
kosher salt
½ tsp.
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large, deep skillet, sauté the garlic and scallion whites for 1 minute in the oil. Stir in the rice to coat evenly with the oil. Stir in the wine and simmer until absorbed. Stir in 3 cups of boiling water and simmer, stirring occasionally, partially covered, until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of boiling water. Simmer while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and more boiling water if the rice is dry. Cook until the asparagus is tender crisp, about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and the Parmesan. Season with up to ½ tsp. salt and plenty of black pepper. Garnish with the scallion greens. Serves 6.


  • Calories: 260
  • Total Fat: 10 g
  • Sat Fat: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 280 mg
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 3 g


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