Dana Slatkin

Kamut Pasta with Vegan Roasted Broccoli Lemon Pesto, White Beans and Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Broccoli

My first trip to Las Vegas was in college, a weekend bender with my dorm buddies. The city was unlike any I’d ever experienced, and being a save-the-world student from UC Berkeley, I was simultaneously dazzled and depressed. Back then, Vegas dining meant over-the-top buffets, mediocre corporate restaurants, and greasy fast food. But for a vegetarian like me, the most exciting option was a soulless hotel salad bar. My friends and I took in three days of shows, glitz and hotel-hopping. But I couldn’t wait to get back to my humble Bay Area hamlet, where I detoxed on brown rice and beans for a week. Many years later, with two young children and a baby at home, my husband and I escaped to The Wynn for one night of marriage maintenance. … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Farmgirl!

When I started this blog five years ago, it seems like an auspicious idea. My cookbook was coming out in a couple months, and my editor at Clarkson Potter suggested getting the word out by sharing a few of the recipes. I had no clue what a URL was. I’d never even had my own domain. But I liked the idea of having one. So I started with what I knew. I cooked and I wrote. I blogged about everything from last night’s dinner to the latest family drama. It wasn’t easy to come up with new and exciting recipes each week. And sometimes my hectic, juggling-act life just didn’t seem inspiring enough to write about. But I learned to embrace my new realm…despite its weekly demands and frustrations. My cooking and writing both seemed … [Read more...]

Get Fresh, Get Lean: Get the Recipes

Dana with chef Drago

Giacomino Drago is executive chef and partner of Il Pastaio, Piccolo Paradiso, Via Alloro, Panzanella, and several other restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Chef Drago creates healthy and hearty, flavor-charged Italian dishes from the freshest ingredients of the season. If you were not able to attend my last class, Light + Easy Italian with Giacomino Drago, but would like to learn some of Giacomino’s secrets, it’s not too late to order the recipes. For $9.99 you will receive all six recipes, including his famous Salsa di Pomodoro and Eggplant Parmigiana, along with a 90210 Farmgirl shopping pad! All you have to do is fill out the order form below. Once you submit your mailing address, you will be directed to the Paypal payment page. More … [Read more...]

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto


I wish you were here in Los Angeles last weekend. Warm breezes blew gently across a cloudless electric blue sky, and there was a palpable exuberance in the air. It was the perfect time to welcome a certain well-seasoned New Yorker, one with a mega presence and a delicious agenda. Mario Batali, proprietor of 19 restaurants, Iron Chef, author of eight cookbooks and television superstar, came to town. On tour to promote his latest book, Molto Batali, Mario breezed into our boardwalk café, Coast, for a sold-out lunch that included samples of several recipes, accompanied by wines from his Bastianich label.   It was a meal to remember, not as much for the food, which was tasty indeed, but for the outsized personality that jumped out … [Read more...]

Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce


A new year can seem like a mixed blessing. It’s 12 more months to accomplish our dreams, to matter more, to shoot for the moon. But from here it looks dang overwhelming. The holidays are over, and the next vacation seems miles away. Only a few weeks in and I am already snowed under. So I remember the words of my mother, the best pep-talker in the world: “Take small bites, and your plate won’t seem so full.” Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get organized, go meatless, or just be happier, take it one morsel at a time. One of my goals for this year is to help my kids learn to love what’s good for them. So I came up with this vegan pasta dish. The appealingly pink sauce uses no butter or cream but is rich, creamy, and properly … [Read more...]

Vegan Kale Pesto with Whole Grain Spaghetti

Vegan Kale Pesto

Curious what I crave after a week of abstinence from bread? You guessed it. The minute Passover ends, I head to the market to replenish my supply of pasta. But after a fast of any sort, it’s wise to choose the virgin meal judiciously. Especially when sharing it with a crowd of tough culinary sophisticates (i.e. my toddler, ’tween, and teen). While taking a wander in my garden this week, I discovered a huge crop of lacinato (flat) kale ready to be harvested. Given its versatility and numerous nutritional benefits, kale has always been one of my go-to greens. But in my household, it’s not always an easy sell (with the exception of my Parmesan Kale Chips). Just then, I had an epiphany…or so I thought. I’d … [Read more...]

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Lentils and Spinach

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Lentils and Spinach

When it comes to eating, my girlfriends and I love to compare notes. Best meal of the week? Home-run dinner recipes? Latest orgasmic restaurant feast? We need to know! It turns out birds of a feather tend to have similar appetites. When my pal Jessica reported she had been hungering for a big bowl of spaghetti with lentils and spinach, I couldn’t help drooling. With the chill of fall in the air and the imminent pressure of the upcoming holidays, we were both hankering for the hearty reassurance of this vegetarian dish. Inspired by a delicious menu item at a local Italian trattoria, Locanda Veneta, it makes a perfect meatless weeknight meal. The lentils lend a rib-sticking wholesomeness to the rich sauce without requiring much of your … [Read more...]

Spaghetti with Tofu Bolognese Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

This is the dish I always turn to the morning after a late night of revelry, especially when there are leftover bottles of red wine. I wouldn’t say it cures a hangover or sleep deprivation, but it sure is comforting. If you prefer, substitute ground beef for the tofu, but you’ll need to add it after you have caramelized your onions and garlic in step 2, and the sauce will take a lot longer before you can get it on the table (about 1-1/2 hours). I recently taught this healthy vegan recipe to kids in a cooking class, and there wasn’t even a noodle left (Sshhh!). Learn how to clean mushrooms. … [Read more...]