You soak the berries. You whip the cream. You eat it.
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I’m calling this recipe a party trick and not a recipe because it doesn’t require much effort and your guests or (or best friends you forced over for an afternoon of binge watching) will appreciate your classiness and creativity.
If you were to ask me which character from The Office I am most like, I’d probably say Angela (hard worker, cat-lady), whereas my co-workers would say I’m more of a Kelly (bubbly, social, and sometimes a space cadet). Unfortunately, being bubbly on the surface doesn’t necessarily mean feeling amazing on the inside, and as every single commercial playing in 2019 will tell you, “wellness starts from within”.
Recently - after feeling bloat-y and “grossy”, I alongside my cheerleader of a health coach, took on the challenge of eating plant-forward, or as some call it, flexitarian. This means plant-based meals with a side of meat, not meat-based meals with a side of (fried) plants. Growing up the child of a Midwestern woman and a Caribbean man in the American South, meat was basically served on a spit on the dining room table and served with buttered and battered carbs. It was awesome (to me). At nearly 25 years old, I am starting to undo that, but I’d be lying if I said I’d ever go fully plant-based. Ain’t happenin’, there are too many carne asada tacos at steak 😂
Notwithstanding the above, I have fallen in love with plant-based, specifically “raw” dishes. It’s fun to see how I can mold and bend and stretch flavors without using any heat. As a person who eats most of her vegetables fried or sauteed in too much Kerrygold butter, I am loving the challenge that comes with turning raw produce into a filling, complex meal. I’ve been working on this carpaccio for weeks, before it was carpaccio and it was just me trying to use up a bunch of Persian cucumbers before they went bad. Now it’s something I’m proud of and I’d love to see more of on restaurant menus. Fresh, seasonal, simple, and unique. I hope you enjoy it too.
2 small Persian cucumbers
2 red radish
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sweet rice vinegar (mirin)
splash of water
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp pink peppercorns
2 tbsp sliced chives
1 oz feta cheese
Wash and, if desired, peel the cucumbers and radishes.
If you have a mandolin, put the cucumbers and radishes through it. Otherwise, carefully and thinly slice them.
Layer the cucumbers and radishes on plate or in a shallow bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, mirin, and splash of water.
Crumble the feta cheese over the cucumbers and radishes, then add the chives, and sprinkle with salt and peppercorns.
Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve immediately!
My perfect food day back home in Atlanta starts with a trip to Lee’s Bakery. It’s in a strip mall full of other red signs atop local treasure troves, and if you drive too fast up Buford Highway, you’re sure to pass it.
The second you walk in you’ll be tempted by take-out ready egg rolls, fried to perfection. At the same time you will be rushed to a table by a small Vietnamese man or woman, yelling out orders to “to take a seat!”. One can’t help but notice all the condiments on the table.
I get the same thing every time I go to Lee’s Bakery. A pho tai (rare beef) soup and a small banh mi (pork BBQ sandwich). The idea of two meats in one meal always seems kind of daunting, but rest assured that I’ll always make room. Always.
The second the plate arrives patrons are usually overwhelmed with all the accoutrements for the soup. ‘Am I really supposed to eat all these bean sprouts?’ You might think. Well I certainly think it’s worth a shot. Between palette cleansing sprouts and lively Thai basil, I could eat the toppings and die happy, but the soup calls my name. Remember the sirens in all those mythology stories? Basically that’s the steam coming from the bowl of pho. The soup can be best described as “salty” while the banh mi is straight up layered decadence. I usually alternate between my soup and my crusty, messy sandwich until I can’t anymore. The soup always wins, because noodle soup is supported by what feels like 5 gallons of broth. It’s overwhelming, in a good way, to never run out of broth...
You can’t be pho real?
Oh, I can. It’s that good. This recipe is adapted from a fabulous recipe I’ve been playing with from The Kitchn. You can find it here if you want the real deal with great tips, techniques, and explanations. Below is my version which has got some tweaks, some additions that reminded me of my absolute favorite pho at Lee’s Bakery back home in Atlanta. (Can you tell I love Lee’s Bakery?) Pho is the ultimate comfort, and the noodles aren’t even the star of the show, it’s all about the beef broth baby!
Makes 2 generous servings (lots of broth)
6 c beef broth (not low-sodium)
1 lb sirloin steak or stir fry beef strips
2 pieces (about 2 oz) dried vermicelli noodles
½ small white onion, sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp white pepper
2 whole star anise
Fresh bean sprouts
In a large pot, bring the beef broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin, garlic, ginger, white pepper, star anise, lime juice, mirin, and sliced onion to a boil on high.
Once boiling, drop the vermicelli noodles into the broth, and cook for one minute or according to packet instructions, using chopsticks to break up the noodles
Drop in the sliced beef and cook for another minute (or more for well-done beef)
Serve in large bowls, topping with fresh mint, basil, scallions, and bean sprouts. Spoon extra broth over the fresh herbs to wilt them down. Msssssss
Toward the end of 2018 when it was getting reaaaaalllyyy chilly up here in NYC, I going out for ramen twice a week, and when it was getting hard to keep my pants button I wanted to swear it off. Being the kitchen solutioneer that I am, I decided to riff on ramen with something Thai insipired, with less salt, and NO MEAT?!? I’m just as surprised at myself as you are, but trust me when I say this bowl will have you satisfied.
Serves: 1 | Time: 20 minutes
- 1 c coconut milk
- 2 c vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 oz dry ramen noodles
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 c scallions
- 1/2 c sweet corn
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp grated garilc
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- sriracha, to taste
- black pepper (optional)
- red chili flakes (optional)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- fresh lime (optional)
- Bring the the coconut milk and broth to a simmer in a large pot on medium low.
- Add everything but the optional ingredients and the ramen noodles to the pot, stir and cover.
- Once everything comes to a really aromatic boil, add your ramen noodles and cook as directed (usually 3 minutes).
- Serve soup immediately with pepper, chili, flakes, sesame, lime, and scallions as a garnish.
Easy, breezy, beautiful shishito peppers.
Steak n eggs is my favorite thing to order at brunch, especially when made with my favorite cuts, skirt or hanger steak. It’s super indulgent and they almost never give you a big enough piece of meat so you’re left wanting more. When you make it at home you save some change, and you can put your own spin on it. For me, that spin is lots of garlicky, herby butter. If you haven’t made my five ingredient whipped herb butter yet, try it now!
1/2 lb hanger steak
2 large eggs
1/4 c whipped herb butter
2 tbsp oil
salt + pepper
bread for toasting
On a clean cutting board, liberally sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, covering both sides of the meat
Melt half of the butter in a cast iron skillet on high heat, until it starts to bubble
In a separate small non-stick skillet, heat the oil of your choice on medium high and sprinkle the pan with salt
Throw the steak into the screaming hot cast iron skillet and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, basting in butter repeatedly
Simultaneously, fry the eggs in the hot oil, only flipping them once when the outsides start to crackle
Once the steak has developed a nice crust, remove it from heat and place it on a clean cutting board. Allow the meat to rest while you finish the eggs.
Toast the bread and smother in the remainder of the butter.
Slice the steak and serve with your fried eggs and toast, and possibly more butter if desired...enjoy!
This herb butter can go on bread, steak, pasta, fish, and even your fingers!
A riff on a classic...grilled salted peaches and cream. 🍑
For all the other days I’m craving well-dressed chopped goodness, I have this Tuscan kale chopped salad with sweet basil vinaigrette -- and now, so do you!
Summer in a bowl. People, I now present to you delicious ataulfo mango with avocado, tajín, and queso freso. Enjoy!
Eat em with steak, eat em with fish, eat em with forks, or chopsticks, or nothing at all. These cold and refreshing ramen noodles are gonna be your go-to side dish all summer.
- 4 packs dried or fresh ramen noodles
- 1 c chopped scallions
- 1/4 c light sesame oil
- 1/4 c mirin (rice wine vinegar)
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 shallot chopped finely
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and cook the ramen according to the package instructions
- When you strain the noodles, reserve a little water and place them in a bowl to be refrigerated.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, shallots, garlic, honey, sesame seeds, and the ginger. cover and refrigerate immediately.
- After about 30 minutes or when the noodles and vinaigrette are cold, carefully toss the noodles in the dressing.
- Serve with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Spread pesto inside ramikens, getting high up the sides and making a nest for the eggs
- Crack an egg in each ramiken
- Sprinke with kosher salt and black pepper or red chili flakes
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes for runny eggs and 25 minutes for well-done eggs
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pesto (I made walnut pesto from)
- Non-stick spray or butter
In addition to being wild about great food, I'm also an extreme hydrator. A gallon a day keeps the doctor away, am I right? For many reasons, I drink a lot of water...OK, maybe it's just so I can "flush" out all the junk food.
What I'm calling the zinger is an easy-to-make drink that'll satisfy your lingering sweet tooth (guilty) but give you a little kick, too! Think of it as having the foundations of a mojito but a distant cousin of a kombucha drink. Sponsored by Greenboxed!
The perfect lazy breakfast for the perfect lazy day.
Dinner doesn't always have to be meat, veggie grain, sometimes it can be a bunch of good stuff thrown together in a skillet and that's totally OK. It's not lazy to want all of your food cooked in the same pan, and if anything it makes for a harmony of flavors with easier cleanup.
Going dairy free for the month of January meant getting creative, and it's challenged me to come up with recipes that'll make me feel full without shaving 1/2 a pound of cheese over everything. Getting my fat from other sources like avocados, coconut milk, and cooking oils is a nice change from the ordinary cream sauces and wintery-baked dishes.
If you've ever had fried cabbage, this skillet kind of invokes the same feeling of nostalgia. It's got bacon and red chili flakes which my mama usually adds to her fried cabbage, but I've added paprika and candied pecans for sweetness, and garlic and dijon for a savory spiciness.
You can easily throw this skillet together in under 15 minutes and eat it on its own, but it works great as a side dish accompanying some grilled chicken breast, steak or even salmon. I hope you enjoy it like I did.
- 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved
- 4 strips pork bacon
- 1/4 c candied pecans (if you can't find them in stores you can make them)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp minced or fresh garlic cloves
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- In the skillet that you'll cook everything else in, fry the bacon strips on medium-high until they're cooked but not completely crispy, then set them aside on a paper towel.
- With the skillet still on medium-high, toss the sprouts in the oil, along with the dijon, garlic, paprika, and salt.
- Cook for another 7-10 minutes, splashing the skillet with apple cider or other vinegar if the pan gets sticky.
- Top with crushed candied pecans and red chili flakes then serve.
Think comfort, but healthy.
An easy no-bake recipe for the cookie-deprived. You'll go nuts for these balls.
Fall is almost here which means I get to overdose on pumpkin spice-flavored everything...