I was recently at dinner with some girlfriends, and one of them was teasing me about my impossible appetite. I wasn’t offended at all. In fact, it’s a badge I wear with pride. To quote my friend, I will absolutely “eat you under the table.” Food truck festivals, family-style Italian, dim sum Sundays — I do it all.
Food can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially when shared with good company. Many diet gurus and experts will tell you that when you go out with friends, you should choose light options. “Get a salad with dressing on the side,” they’ll say, “or a nice piece of grilled fish.” That may work for some people, but from my perspective… that kind of sucks.
Why drag yourself to a restaurant to order a $14 salad that you could probably make better (and healthier!) at home, while your friends and family relish more delectable fare? Spare yourself the torture; treat yourself! But do so with a few key things in mind. Read more… →
Every Sunday morning, I hop in the car with Lucas and we go grocery shopping. All of the fruits and vegetables are gorgeous this time of year. Cluster tomatoes, heavy on their still-attached vines, smell like summer sunlight. Ripe peaches are cheap and plentiful — I’ve gotten them as cheaply as 77 cents a pound. Beautiful, fresh summer produce like this deserves to shine. Gazpacho is the perfect vessel for that.
I had never made it before, but I knew the theory. Blend together tomato, peppers, and herbs, and chill. It’s really that simple. The key thing to remember when making gazpacho is that it’s served cold, and what that does to flavors: it dulls them. So, it follows that the flavors in your gazpacho need to be bigger and bolder than if the dish were served hot.
The peaches that I added to impart a little extra sweetness, but the overall feeling of this gazpacho is still zesty and bright. Oniony, garlicky, and a little acidic, it’s a refreshing dish for a hot summer day. Stir in a little Greek yogurt and serve with poached shrimp to make it more substantial. Recipe after the jump! Read more… →
It’s Tuesday night. The week has just started, and you have a million things on your brain. Between the chaos of work and the michegas that is your personal life, the whole shaved-head-and-life-of-solitude thing is starting to sound pretty good. You take a look around your messy apartment, stop at your fridge, and it hits you: you’re going to have to eat at some point. Fear not, friends. This veggie flatbread recipe is here to save you. Start to finish, it takes 15 minutes or less.
There are two shortcuts that make this recipe so speedy. The first? Store-bought pasta sauce. I know, I know — blasphemy! It’s so easy to make good pasta sauce that buying it pre-made just isn’t necessary. Still, when my hanger has reached its peak and I lack the spiritual strength to summon my inner Mario Batali, jarred pasta sauce is a lifesaver.
The other shortcut for this recipe is one of my pantry staples: low-carb lavash. I buy packs of these things two or three at a time. They’re soft and pliable, great for making wraps and roll-ups. Baked in the oven, the thin bread browns and crisps like a dream. At around 100 calories each, a low-carb lavash is a healthy alternative to a thin restaurant crust.
This veggie flatbread always satisfies my pizza cravings. Augment that jarred pasta sauce with some chili flakes and fresh basil, add some melty cheese, and finish with beautiful, fresh vegetables. As always, make whatever swaps you like — artichoke hearts, Brussels sprouts, and bell peppers would be wonderful here. For a bit of extra protein, try adding chicken or shrimp. And if you have homemade sauce on hand, all the better — use that instead. Read more… →
I have some version of this strawberry salad for lunch almost every day. I love salads like this for a couple of reasons.
1. Size matters: This thing is ENORMOUS. It’s not some piddling side salad that will leave you feeling even hungrier than you were before you ate. This is a salad mountain, my friends. After this meal, you’ll feeling full and satisfied — not deprived.
2. Looks matter too: Honestly, what a gorgeous meal. You’ll get compliments on it, I promise. And guess what? Those colorful veggies aren’t just pretty. All those beautiful colors mean nutrients. This strawberry salad will do nothing but good things for you.
3. Simple and convenient: Like I said earlier, I make a salad like this for lunch every day. I’m a working woman, so that means I have to make it travel. It’s super easy. In the morning, I toss the dressing ingredients together in a little bottle. I put the mixed greens in one container and the chopped vegetables in another. Done and done. When I get hungry, I plate it. It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper!) than that.
I really like this version because the strawberries and chopped almonds make the salad just a little bit special. In spite of the cold weather, it makes me feel like spring is just around the corner. The lemon-basil dressing is the perfect complement to the flavors of the salad. It’s bright and clean and subtly sweet — just the thing for those juicy strawberries.
Here’s the recipe. Read more… →
In the last couple of years I’ve developed a deep, abiding love for Korean food. This is only worth noting because, like pesto and hummus, Korean food is something I hated once upon a time. It’s probably because I received an intense introduction to it — I had my first bite of Korean food in Seoul. Absolutely nothing was in English (it WAS Korea, after all), so I could only guess at what I was eating.
Since then, I’ve grown to enjoy all kinds of Korean dishes. However, when I was in the Seoul, only one dish seemed safe: bibimbap. I ordered it at nearly every meal. Literally “mixed rice,” bibimbap is a homey, comforting dish. A variety of vegetables are placed on top of rice — often with meat or seafood of some kind — that has been seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. An egg (sometimes fried, sometimes raw) is the final piece. Then you mix everything together with a spoon and add Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang) to taste.
Ooo. It’s good.
If you ask me, it’s the sweetly spicy flavor of gochujang that makes this dish so delicious. You should be able to find gochujang in your local Asian grocery store. Otherwise, it’s absolutely worth ordering online. Gochujang tends to be quite high in sodium, so I recommend going for the version with the least amount possible. Most varieties range from 400 to 700 mg of sodium per tablespoon, but I was able to find a bottle with just 230 mg. The combination of gochujang, sesame oil, and soy sauce makes the dish nutty, salty, spicy, and sweet all at the same time.
Bibimbap is traditionally made with jasmine rice, but I used brown rice for a slightly healthier option. Part of the beauty of bibimbap is that you can use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge, so it’s a smart way to finish leftovers or any produce that’s on the verge of going squishy. I love it with bibimbap’s traditional add-ins like zucchini, carrots, and sprouts, but you can use whatever veggies you’re in the mood for.
Read on to see how I make this super healthy (and super tasty) dish. Read more… →