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… →
I’m happy that Brussels sprouts are finally getting some of the love and respect they deserve. They’ve popped up on restaurant menus all over the place. Of course, there are some stubborn holdouts that want no part of this Brussels sprouts business. Just means more delicious sprouts for me.
Anyway, this Asian-inspired recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare them. Sautéed in a healthy oil infused with garlic, onion, and chili flakes, the sprouts take on big, bold flavor. Sugar-free orange marmalade is the key to this recipe. It adds bright, citrusy sweetness without adding a ton of extra calories. A few drops of fragrant, nutty sesame oil are the finishing touch. All together, the sauce is similar to the one you find on takeout-style orange chicken. Needless to say, this version is a lot better for you.
These spicy orange Brussels sprouts are an easy, delicious dish for meatless Monday. Most people will prefer this recipe as a side (try it with steamed fish or chicken satay), but I really like it as a main over rice or noodles. Recipe after the jump! 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… →
I have to be honest: like a lot of people, I’m not that into Valentine’s Day. It’s not so much that I think it’s a Hallmark-conspiracy or anything like that. I just think you should celebrate love every chance you get, not just for one day in February. That being said, you’ll never catch me complaining about an excuse to make (and eat) dessert.
I’m normally a super rich, molten chocolate kind of person — the richer, the better. The man in my life? He’s not nearly as big a fan of hyper-decadent desserts, so I wanted to make something we could both enjoy. This recipe, drunken strawberries with coconut cream, is the result.
Fresh strawberries are cooked down with sweet moscato and sugar, then spooned on top of thick coconut cream. The subtle sweetness of the coconut cream complements the wine-simmered strawberries perfectly. This dessert is rich and satisfying, but still easy to eat. No chocolate fatigue here!
The strawberries and coconut cream could not be easier to prepare, and they present beautifully. Plus, this dessert is all-natural: there’s nothing artificial or processed here. It’s also a great way to spoil the vegan in your life. Share it with someone special, or just treat yourself!
Here’s how to put everything together. Read more… →
I love to cook. I live for it. When I’m stressed or feeling down, cooking is what makes me feel better. That being said, I am very rarely in the mood for an involved breakfast recipe. It’s just too early in the day to be dealing with a bunch of pots and pans. On a daily basis, my breakfast is something like this apple-craisin oatmeal.
Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start the day, especially on a bitterly cold January morning. Usually I go for old-fashioned oats, but quick-cooking oats definitely have their place too. They have basically identical nutritional stats; quick-cooking oats are just slightly more processed. They are cut smaller so that they take less time to prepare. Quick-cooking oats also have a different texture — they are much smoother than old-fashioned oats. That smoothness works really well in this recipe.
Oatmeal is always a simple dish, but I think this apple-craisin oatmeal is especially awesome because you get so much flavor after putting in so little effort. It’s the fresh apple that’s the key. As it cooks down, the apple softens and imparts its delicious sweetness to the oatmeal underneath. A touch of sugar-free maple syrup brings even more warmth to the dish, and the chewy, slightly tart craisins bring everything together.
This recipe yields an enormous bowl of food for just 275 calories. Simple, satisfying, and totally guilt-free — just how we like it, right? Here’s how to put this tasty apple-craisin oatmeal together Read more… →