Feeling like making something a little lighter, yet still comforting? Soup is your friend! Or maybe you’re looking for something to do with a random squash, like a kabocha, in your possession, and you’re ready to go beyond simple roasting. Here is a lovely and light, low-fat yet filling soup for your winter nights. Don’t skip making this topping – it is SO GOOD. It kind of reminds me of those little Asian sesame stick snacks which are my absolute favorite snack of all time – in fact, I can’t keep them in the house! And it does all this while being naturally vegan, darling. We had this with avocado toast on the side. (For avocado toast: Take a slice of hearty, whole grain toast, mash 1/2 avocado on top, and lightly salt & pepper to taste. Eat with everything!) Continue reading
buffalo cucumber salad
Ready to wake up your taste buds? Try this as a healthy appetizer at your next pre-game party. This four-ingredient winner features crisp, fresh cucumbers topped by spicy buffalo sauce, sliced green onions, and blue cheese. The recipe is inspired by a restaurant in my office building called Parm, which features classic Italian-American fare for the most part, but there was something on the appetizer list that caught my eye: Buffalo Cucumbers. Wait, what? I had to try it. I wasn’t sure if it would be a weird fried cucumber type of thing, but no, it turned out to be a fresh and spicy little salad! Continue reading
smoky little carrots in a blanket
It may not be completely obvious what these are. Because this is some next level carrot action! Have you heard of pigs in a blanket? Little smoky sausages in a crispy crust? Well, these are little smoky carrots in a crispy crust! Baked, not fried, and containing hardly any fat. How on earth did I come up with this? It falls into the category of having to find out if it could possibly work. I read the basic recipe in The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever, and having also been on a Sheet Pan Suppers bender, I decided to make them on a baking sheet instead of in a casserole dish, thinking the shallow sides would allow more air circulation to add crispiness. I also added a hit of smoked paprika, which made a huge difference in turning them into a super-savory snack. They’d be really good with some sort of dip, but we didn’t wait for that – we ate them right off the pan, standing up in the kitchen! Don’t judge us until you’ve tried this fun little appetizer for yourself!
flaky mushroom goat cheese tarts with truffle and thyme
Imagine if a pizza and a croissant had a baby. It would be a savory, flaky tart just like this! Puff pastry makes the flaky crust, topped with mushrooms, shallots, and thyme, then drizzled with a bit of truffle oil, sprinkled with goat cheese crumbles and baked till puffed and golden. This was my first time working with puff pastry and it was not as difficult as I had feared – it was actually quite easy. I always thought of it as something akin to phyllo dough, which requires brushing each layer with oil or butter as you use it, but puff pastry was much easier to work with. You just kind of unroll it and use it. What a nice surprise! Continue reading
hawaiian poke tuna
Poke (pronounced POH-kay) tuna is tuna sashimi marinated in a flavorful blend of sesame oil, ginger, garlic, lime, and soy sauce, topped with scallions, sesame seeds and nuts. I believe kukui nuts or macadamia nuts are the classic nuts to use, but you can substitute peanuts if you haven’t got any of those lying around. Although it seems exotic, this dish is actually very easy. Perhaps this is obvious, but there is no heat involved, so it’s fabulous for summer. It is usually accompanied by seaweed salad, either mixed in with the tuna or on the side.
greek-style gigante beans in tomato dill oregano sauce
These creamy white giant beans in a rich tomato dill oregano sauce are simply begging for a crust of hearty bread to swipe up the tomatoey goodness. Have you ever had these as a meze (small plate) in a Greek restaurant? I always order them when I see them, and I was excited to try making them at home. Gigante beans are aptly named – they are so gigantic that just one bean will practically cover up your spoon! This recipe does take a while, but no step is difficult, and if you’ve got a lazy Sunday afternoon to make this, your home will smell amazing. It’s the kind of dish that is delicious right away, but gets even better over the next couple of days as the flavors and richness have a chance to blend. It’s also worth mentioning for my vegan readers that this dish is naturally vegan. I made this with Royal Corona Beans from Rancho Gordo, my favorite source for heirloom beans. Check them out!