Summer is here! My favorite season. Flip flops, the ocean, tan lines, fireflies and this grilled corn and asparagus salad are just some of the reasons why I love summer. Recently I’ve become obsessed with grilling, which is a good thing because it’s grill weather. I think, for a while, I was slightly intimidated by the grill. I always let my dad or brother do the grilling when I lived at home and when I moved out I lived in an apartment, where having an outdoor grill wasn’t allowed. Now that I have a house and my own grill, I fire it up pretty much all summer long. It’s a great and simple way to get awesome flavor into food.
For Father’s Day, I grilled some sirloin steaks with salt, pepper (and…sshhh…a little bit of butter) and everyone raved about them. They all kept asking me what I marinated the steak in. That’s the magic of the grill, and salt of course. The steaks were a hit but they shared the spotlight with this grilled corn and asparagus salad. It’s the perfect side dish for any summer dinner, picnic or barbecue. It’s also made up of only five ingredients, plus salt and pepper, which I declare freebies. (more…)
In an effort to save money I’ve been avoiding the grocery store and cooking from my pantry, of which I have to say I’m quite proud. It’s fully stocked and newly organized. It’s a walk-in pantry and one of my favorite features of the house. Sometimes, especially when the rest of my house has become cluttered, I just take a walk inside my pantry and stare at the neatly packed shelves.
The process of organizing the pantry was a lofty undertaking but a necessary one in order for me to take stock of what we actually had on hand, which turned out to be a lot. So, this week I’ve been cooking solely from the pantry, trying to use canned items, dried beans, oils and vinegars, etc. One item I’ve used twice in two different dishes is lentils.
Dish # 1 was lentils, spinach and chicken sausage. It was flavored with bay leaves and thyme and salt and pepper. Very hearty and healthy. I used brown lentils in this one. Recipe to come.
Dish # 2 was this delicious lentil curry. The dish reminded me of Indian Dahl because it utilizes some of the same flavors like garam masala, turmeric, garlic and ginger. I used a spicy curry paste to kick up the heat and added a splash of lime juice and cilantro to brighten the whole thing up at the end. It was spicy, warm and comforting, especially served with naan for dipping. I had to stop myself from going back for seconds…or, if I’m being honest, thirds. (more…)
I’m constantly looking for ways to eat more vegetables and if your curious as to why, check out my previous post and my recommendation for C.J. English’s book WTF Am I Supposed to Eat?: A Dieter’s Manifesto. I also love chili. It’s super flavorful and comes together really fast. There are lots of variations of chili from the type of meat you use, or lack of meat, i.e. a lentil or vegetarian version, to the spices, vegetables and liquids you choose to flavor it with. I love the versatility of it. This one uses lean ground turkey instead of beef and is packed with flavor from cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. It’s also full of veggies like tomatoes, beans, spinach and onions. (more…)
Let me start off by saying this is not the healthiest of dishes…Yes, it has healthy components like a whole bag of spinach and a bunch of mushrooms, but pasta is the base and it’s loaded with parmesan cheese and olive oil and pine nuts (as most pestos are). So, if you’re trying to eat healthy this may not be the dish for you. But if you’re looking to treat yourself and still want to eat something nutritious, this recipe is totally worth the calories. Also, read on if you’d like to know how to still enjoy a dish like this but not ingest a ton of calories.
I recently lost 10 pounds and have been trying to keep it up and eat healthier…but I also love food. Anyone who has looked at this blog for more than two seconds should know that. And I’ve learned that I can’t ALWAYS deprive myself of the stuff I want to eat. I’ve also learned that I can’t ALWAYS just go for it either. So, I made a bit of a compromise and for those of you who also love food and pasta but are trying to eat healthier or lose weight or cut carbs or whatever, this is what I did with this dish to alleviate a bit of the guilt. (more…)
When I’m perusing the buffet at an Indian restaurant, there are a couple of staple dishes I always get excited about. Chana Masala happens to be one such dish. When I eat chana masala, I’m convinced I could be a vegetarian. It’s everything I want in a dish. Hearty chickpeas, spicy tomato sauce. Serve it with a piece of warm naan bread and I’m in heaven.
This spicy chickpea curry is my quick and easy version of chana masala. There are tons of variations and recipes for chana masala but I promise, this is a good one. (more…)
I always do this. I tell myself I’m going to lose weight for an event and then suddenly the event is one month away and bummer, I’ve only lost 2 pounds. Needless to say, I’m in that same scenario now. So, I’m on a very strict diet/cleanse for the next week or so and I’m not going to lie to you guys, it sucks. It really really sucks. But you know what? It’s working and recipes like this spicy, braised kale make it slightly more bearable. I cheated a bit with the bacon, but 4 thin slices of bacon for 10 oz of kale is not that much right? Hmm…Maybe this type of rationalization is what gets me into trouble in the first place. (more…)
Wow…The last time I posted was in March. I didn’t even realize how much time had actually gone by since my last post. I knew it had been a while but when I logged in to write this post I was surprised at the date of my last one. Well, life has been busy, that’s for sure. Too busy for my liking. Sometimes I feel like life is a bit of a whirlwind. It’s easy to say, “Oh things have been crazy!” And that’s definitely true. But the flip side is I haven’t been as intentional about blogging and writing as I should be. It’s what I love to do and when I don’t do it I feel like something is missing. But even though I love it, it takes time and brain power and discipline. And lately I’ve been putting that time and brain power and discipline into other things. And I’ve felt drained. I haven’t had the time (or made the time) to be creative in the kitchen, to work on my writing, to read, to do many other things that make my soul so happy. So needless to say, I’m happy to be blogging today. I’m hoping this will be the start of more regular blogging once again. (more…)
Sometimes, after a long day at work, when I’m watching TV (most likely Food Network or The Real Housewives of somewhere), I like to pick a cookbook off my bookshelf and just flip through it. I do this, one, because I find it immensely relaxing, and, two, because it often inspires me to come up with new recipes of my own.
A few nights ago, I was looking through Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, Make it Ahead. All of her recipes look absolutely mouth watering, but I found I kept flipping back to one in particular, her Moroccan lamb tagine. This recipe stuck out to me because I love Moroccan food and tagines (although I don’t actually have a tagine), and also because it looked simple to make. As I thought about it more, I wondered if I could make it even simpler by making a slow cooker version. Ina’s Moroccan lamb tagine is definitely a party dish. It’s a show stopper, and although the recipe is easy enough to follow, it takes a bit of time to assemble and 3 hours to cook in the oven. It happened to be the middle of the week, I hadn’t planned on having company over, and I didn’t want to wait 3 hours after work for dinner to be ready. So, I brainstormed a bit and came up with my own slow cooker version of her recipe. I swapped out a few ingredients and traded lamb shanks for beef stew meat, but it still resembles her recipe and it definitely is reminiscent of those famous Moroccan tagines I love so much. Think of it as the weeknight version of Moroccan lamb tagine. It’s just as delicious, just a little less fancy. (more…)
This is my new favorite vegetable dish. When I started making this I really didn’t think it would turn out as well as it did. I kind of just needed to use up half a bag of Trader Joe’s kale and a spaghetti squash that had been sitting in my fridge for some time. I like vegetables. In fact, I love them, but I literally could not stop eating this. I ate it the same way I usually eat fried rice or pasta. I almost finished the entire pan in one sitting, which is okay because it’s relatively healthy. It’s salty from the crispy bacon pieces and the parmesan cheese and a little bit spicy from the red pepper flakes. It’s a veggie dish I’ll be making again and again. I know spaghetti squash is not a substitute for actual pasta but it’s still delicious in its own right. (more…)
I’m so sorry for my absence on the blog, as of late. I realize it’s been almost a month since I last posted but it’s been an incredibly hectic few weeks for me. Between the day to day grind of work and social obligations, as well as participating in my friend’s wedding and a recent trip to Saint Lucia (which I will be sharing about on the blog soon), September just flew by. BUT I have a delicious, healthy crab pasta to share with you today to make up for my lack of posts this past month. You guys, this pasta is DELICIOUS. (more…)