You guys, I’m so excited. I totally saw the sun today. I haven’t worn my parka in over a week. Spring is finally, finally here. What does that mean? It’s almost potluck season. And what does THAT mean? It’s time to break out the pasta salad.
Even if you’re not potlucking it up, pasta salad is a great thing to make during warmer months, when good produce is fresh and plentiful. It’s a serious workhorse. I love to make a huge batch of pasta salad on Sunday and chip away at it throughout the week. It gets better and better the longer it sits in the fridge: tangier, zestier… pasta-ier? Ok, maybe not that last one. Still, a good pasta salad gets appreciably more delicious as time goes on.
This tuna pasta salad is a slight variation on my usual recipe. I was poking around in my pantry the other day, looking for inspiration, and I saw that I had a stack of canned tuna that was a foot high. BOOM. Protein source found.
The tuna works great in this dish — it plays nicely with the red onion and lemony dressing. To keep the tuna’s flavor from overpowering the rest of the ingredients, I added just one can and made sure to drain it well. The tuna adds just the right amount of salt and makes the pasta feel extra-filling.
Here’s how I put everything together. Read more… →
I always seem to forget how easy it is to make couscous. Since most grocery store couscous (actually a kind of pasta, by the way) is pre-steamed, it’s ready in minutes. And I mean that literally: couscous finishes cooking in five minutes. For a food that doesn’t come out of a suspect box, loaded with sodium and mystery ingredients, that’s pretty amazing.
Shrimp is another super-fast (and super-delicious) food. Shrimp + couscous = your weeknight dinner, made easy. After I made this meal, I immediately became annoyed at myself for (1) not thinking of it sooner and (2) not making couscous more often.
I love the flavors in this dish. The shrimp are seasoned liberally with a mix of dried Italian herbs and black pepper — no oil or marinating necessary. Mixed peppers add a little sweetness, while the lemon keeps the couscous bright.
This is an awesome recipe for company. “Shrimp couscous with lemon and herbs” — it sounds so fancy, right? Like the person who made it drinks wine from a stemmed glass and reads Proust! (For the record, I drink $8 moscato from a tumbler and read almost nothing but cookbooks these days. Deal with it.) Really though, it’s something simple enough for all us plebs to make. You can whip up this dish in the time it takes to watch an episode of Community. Love it.
Read the recipe for after the jump!
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Spring is officially here. Since today was still windy and cold enough for wool coats to be in order, I’m guessing no one mentioned this to Mother Nature. I’m hoping that I can summon warm weather with kitchen optimism. Case in point? These roasted baby artichokes.
Artichokes, like asparagus and sugar snap peas, are a sign of springtime. They require a little bit of work to trim, but the preparation is definitely time well-spent. Take some fresh baby artichokes, cut to them to their tender middles, and toss them with some olive oil and herbs. After a few minutes in the oven, it’ll hit you: that delicious, fruity aroma as the chokes caramelize on the pan.
These roasted baby artichokes are a beautiful side. I think they pair especially nicely with fish, like tilapia (my favorite budget fish) or sole. For an extra treat, you can shave a little parmesan or pecorino romano on top. Here’s how I put my roasted chokes together. 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… →
As you know, I love a good chicken thigh. This one-pot recipe (another of my kitchen loves) makes great use of them. I took bone-in chicken thighs, removed the skin, and braised them in balsamic vinegar and Italian herbs. Once the chicken was done, I added in a heaping bowl of chopped cauliflower and zucchini.
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