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… →
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… →
Just this week, I realized that I am truly, madly, deeply in love with figs. I have no idea how their wonderfulness escaped my notice for all these years. Now that I’ve discovered them, I want to put them in everything. Cue this fig and escarole salad.
This salad is equal parts beautiful and delicious. I love it when that happens. Like, chocolate bread pudding is amazingly tasty, but it can look pretty unappetizing sometimes. This fig and escarole salad doesn’t suffer from that problem at all. It’s colorful and vibrant, and the flavors are perfectly balanced. The slight bitterness of the escarole is tempered by the mildness of the romaine, and the sweetness of the figs is enhanced by the saltiness of the piave. The radishes bring great crunch to the dish; the tomato and cucumber are refreshing and light. A simple three-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette brings everything together.
Sounds pretty good, right? Read more… →
This weekend I finally made it over the Indian grocery store in my neighborhood to pick up some spices. I left completely inspired, with a bag full of fragrant spice blends and curries in hand. I also discovered a new favorite frozen food — vegetable masala burgers. They are unbelievably tasty AND cheap; I highly recommend them.
Anyway, I was eager to put some of the spices to use in a dish that would be cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. Using a traditional raita as my inspiration, I put together this masala-spiced cucumber and tomato salad. It makes a great light lunch or side dish. Use it as a topping for grilled fish, chicken, or even on a sandwich — I bet it would go wonderfully with some toasted ciabatta and alfalfa sprouts. Here’s how to put this simple salad together. Read more… →
Goi ga (Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad) is one of my favorite comfort foods. Even though my background is Filipino, not Vietnamese, all the flavors are very familiar to me. Cabbage, fish sauce, and sriracha? Yes, please!
One of the nicest things about goi ga is that it improves over time in the fridge. As the salad marinates in the dressing, the flavor continues to develop, growing deeper and more complex. I love to make goi ga on Sunday afternoon to have for lunch during the work week. It’s also incredibly good for you — it’s nutrient rich AND incredibly flavorful, all while keeping fat and calories to a minimum.
This recipe is my own concoction, so I fully admit that it may not be the most authentic goi ga recipe out there. Still, I tried my best to replicate the goi ga from my favorite Vietnamese place, and I think it’s a pretty close match. Here’s how I put my goi ga together.
Read more… →