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 Photography by  Robert Bredvad, Words by Lauren Levinger 

It's no mystery why we chose to partner with Alissa Wagner as our first Bellies chef ambassador. The co-founder and chef-de-cuisine of our favorite downtown NY eatery Dimes, is not only one of the coolest moms we know, but also one of the most thoughtful and creative culinary trailblazers in the food space.  


After working in restaurants for years, Alissa partnered with best friend, and fellow waitress Sabrina de Sousa at Lovely Day, where the two met, to venture out on their own. The two met at LOVELY DAY, and discovered their shared love of healthy food. After years of brainstorming . The two decided TO VENTURE OUT ON THEIR OWN. THEY WANTED TO OPEN A RESTAURANT SERVING FOOD THEY, THEMSELVES WANTED TO CONSUME ON A DAILY BASIS, WITH DELICIOUS, HEALTHY OPTIONS.  They wanted to open a restaurant serving food they, themselves wanted to consume on a daily basis, with delicious, healthy options. After an inspiring trip to Patagonia, where the two young food lovers researched flavor combinations and cuisine, Dimes was born!

Since the restaurant opened in 2014, Dimes has expanded to include a grocery-cum-apothecary and home-goods shop, as well as a grab & go deli. New Yorkers go "bananas" for everything from their acai bowls to their curried quinoa, and everything in between. 

We would literally eat anything these two whipped up and put on the table, so were excited to see what they would design for all the future healthy eaters out there. Check out their recipes for "Heartiest Kale Salad", "Gochujang Stir Fry", and veggie chili!






Heartiest Kale Salad


1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

1 pink grapefruit

1 head lacinato kale, cut into 1/2 inch strips across the leaf. No need to remove the vein. Just trim 2 inches off the bottom and leave the rest in tact.

1 avocado, peel and pit removed and cut into thin slices

1 small red onion, skin removed and cut into thin slices

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/2 cup chopped almonds

salt and black pepper to taste


Sliced Roasted Chicken Breast

Sliced Grilled Steak


In warmer months, use peaches in place of grapefruit. In the Fall, use apple.


1.Place tahini and water in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

2.Using a sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from grapefruit; discard. Working over a small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze juice from membranes into another small bowl; add any accumulated juices from bowl with segments (there should be about 1/4 cup juice total). Pour grapefruit juice into tahini and whisk. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

3.Place kale in a medium mixing bowl. Pour dressing over and massage into kale with hands until all kale is tossed with dressing. Divide kale between 4 serving plates. Top each pile of kale with 1/4 of grapefruit segments, red onion, avocado, feta, and almonds.


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Gochujang Stir Fry


1/2cup gochujang (fermented chili sauce)

1cup vegetable stock or water

4tablespoons olive oil, divided

2cups butternut squash (or any winter squash), skin and seeds removed and cut into 1'' cubes

2cups brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half

2cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

115.5 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed thoroughly with cold water and drained

1/2cup parsley, finely chopped

salt to taste

Optional Add Ins:

2cups shredded, roasted chicken breast


2cups cooked shrimp


fried egg

Seasonal Notes:

During warmer months, use broccoli, peppers, and mushrooms in place of brussels sprouts and squash.


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.Make sauce; place gochujang paste in a small bowl. Add stock or water and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.

3.In a medium mixing bowl, toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Season with salt to taste. Roast in oven until soft and lightly browned about 35 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add brussels sprouts and cook until soft and nicely browned (about ten minutes). Add garlic and ginger and fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened but not brown.

5.Add chickpeas, parsley, butternut squash and gojuchang sauce. Stir until vegetables are coated in sauce and cook over high heat until sauce thickens, about five minutes.

6.Stir in chicken or shrimp if using, or top stir fry with fried egg.


Veggie Chili


olive oil

1onion, diced

6cloves garlic, sliced thin

4arbol chilies, crushed

1tsp cumin

1/2tsp nutmeg

1/2tsp cinnamon

2tsp ground coriander

1tsp cardamom

2tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

paprika to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

1/2tube tomato paste

1(28oz) can crushed tomatoes

1can great northern beans

1can red kidney beans

1can black beans

1(28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes

juice of 3 limes

1head lacinato kale, chopped and wilted

salt and pepper to taste


1.caramelize onions and garlic

2.add spices, toast

3.add tomato paste and cook a few minutes

4.add crushed tomatoes and beans, stir to combine

5.break whole tomatoes in beans and add liquid

6.add lime juice

7.add kosher salt and black pepper to taste

8.cook until thick and flavorful

9.stir in kale, cook a few minutes more

10.serve with greek yogurt, avocado and lime wedges