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…)
I make this cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad, on average, once a week. It’s so easy I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s my go to healthy snack or a quick side for lunch or dinner. I’m sure hubs is sick of it at this point but he continues to eat it with a smile on his face so I will continue to make it.
I make a lot of variations of this salad but the recipe below is generally the basis. It takes 5-10 minutes to put together, depending on how good you are with a knife and prepping the veggies, which is really the only work you have to do. This recipe makes a lot but I keep it on hand in the fridge all week long and, as mentioned above, eat it for snacks or serve it alongside whatever I’m having for dinner.
FYI, this salad screams summer. It’s great to bring to a pot luck or a barbecue. It’s a perfect, easy side dish for any summer party. (more…)
I know avocado toasts are all the rage right now. They’re even on the verge of getting too popular, like kale was a year or so ago. Food, like everything else has its trends and when something gets too much publicity it suddenly becomes uncool. But I don’t care. I’m late to the avocado toast game and I’m sure I’ll get a few eye rolls for this one but avocado toasts are amazing and I <3 them. So, food snobs who are over avocado toasts, look away! Read no further!
These avocado toasts are pretty basic. I made them on Saturday morning when I wanted to eat something healthy but not too healthy and I didn’t want to make anything complicated. So, these are my semi-healthy, uncomplicated avocado toasts. (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 very rarely buy sweet potatoes. I know, I know. They are super healthy and packed with loads of vitamins and nutrients. They are really filling and great for muscle building. I know. It’s not that I don’t like them, unless they are candied and topped with marshmallows. Yuck. I’ve never been into that Thanksgiving staple. But in most cases, I like them. I guess I just find them a bit boring? Unless you eat them like this…In which case, the fat content in the rest of the ingredients probably outweighs the health benefits of the sweet potatoes. Anyway, sweet potatoes can be boring if they are baked and served plain alongside some kind of a roast. Blah. (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…)
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…)
I figured January called for a healthy recipe. After all, it is the month of resolutions and new starts. The problem is, because it’s cold, dreary and dark here in January, I never really feel like eating salad, or anything cold for that matter. Granted, there are so many things you can do with vegetables besides make a salad, but I’ve been lazy on the food front lately. But this weekend I felt inspired and on Sunday, I spent a good portion of the evening cooking. This healthy vegetable curry was, by far, the best thing I made that night. I also made a delicious beef and asparagus stir-fry for Matt, but it doesn’t really count as my recipe because I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce for the marinade. Guys, that sauce is so delicious. I rarely buy bottled sauces, because I like to make my own but, as I already mentioned, I’ve been lazy on the food front this month. If you ever need a quick dinner, marinate some meat or tofu in this sauce and stir-fry it with some veggies. It is so versatile and so delicious. But, back to the veggie curry, the star of this blog post. (more…)
Sometimes it amazes me how simple recipes turn out to be the best ones. Most people often think that complicated cooking techniques, a slew of exotic ingredients, and a lot of time make a good recipe, and sometimes they do. But many times it’s just the opposite. Dishes that utilize only a few, good quality, local ingredients can turn out just as well as the fancy, complicated ones. Sometimes, they turn out even better. And that’s what happened when I made this simple eggplant, corn and feta salad. When I took my first bite, I was honestly surprised at how good it turned out because it’s too easy! (more…)
Gnocchi reminds me of my childhood in Bangkok. Isn’t that weird? Small, potato dumplings, native to Italy, remind me of my childhood growing up in Thailand, the land of chili peppers and fish sauce. But, believe it or not, the first time I ever tried these incredible, pillowy dumplings of deliciousness was in Bangkok. My family used to eat at this little Italian restaurant and, although I hardly remember any details about the restaurant itself, I remember the happy times with family and friends and I remember the amazing gnocchi. The important stuff. (more…)