I feel almost silly posting a “recipe” for this dish. It’s literally just quinoa with a few ingredients I had on hand at the end of the week. As you know, you can add all kinds of stuff to quinoa to make it a more substantial dish. I went a bit more sweet over savory with this one with the addition of fruit. Feel free to add.. well.. anything you want! lol.
Seriously though, I’ve been a huge advocate of quinoa for years thanks to its (a) health benefits, (b) versatility, (c) quick cooking-ness, (d) yumminess. I saw this article a few months ago on the uncertain sustainability of quinoa; the future of which could depend on diversifying where this beautiful crop is grown (i.e. outside of Bolivia). Just some ‘food for thought’ worth sharing as we start to hear more about this topic.
Tri-Color Quinoa (1 cup)
Carrot Greens (Bunch)
Raw Sliced Almonds (Handful)
Red Seedless Grapes (Handful)
Salt + Pepper
Cook the quinoa according to package.
Roughly chop up the carrot greens and sauté in a pan with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt + pepper. Cook until wilted.
In a bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with sautéed carrot greens, raw sliced almonds, red seedless grapes, and orange slices. Season with salt + pepper (as needed) and mix well until fully combined.
With Spring fast approaching (hard to believe, right?), you should revel in winter produce just a little bit longer. Get good use out of your oven you’ll say good bye to once the temperatures rise.
I’ve often proclaimed my love for raw brussels sprouts which still holds true, but if you’re not feeling up to the shredding challenge, here’s a quick & easy side dish. Just combine the ingredients below and roast away! If you’re feeling extra lazy, you can even leave the brussels sprouts WHOLE.
Your kitchen will smell amazing and your taste buds will dance with joy. This is the perfect side dish to get your spirits up .
New Jersey tomatoes at their peak are sweet, juicy, and plump. Soft to the touch, they should be bright ruby red when you cut into them. Their smell should waft throughout your kitchen. They come once a year, and for that we patiently wait. You can make this simple dish with home grown tomatoes as well. The key is simply to harvest tomatoes at their peak and enjoy them in simple dishes like this one where you allow the fruit to shine.
Jersey Tomatoes (2)
Basil (1/4 cup)
Garlic Clove (1)
Pine Nuts (1/3 cup)
Salt + Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F for the tomatillos.
Remove the husks off of the tomatillos, wash them well, cut in half and place face down on a baking sheet.
Roast the tomatillos in the oven until charred and bubbling.
In the last few minutes your tomatillos are cooking (give them roughly 15-20 minutes, maybe less) toast the pine nuts in the oven as well.
Place the roasted tomatillos and pine nuts in a blender or food processor.
Squeeze into the blender the lemon.
Chop up the basil, scallions, and garlic. Add these chopped ingredients to the blender along with olive oil, salt + pepper. Blend until smooth.
Dice up the tomato into bite-sized pieces and serve with the tomatillo pesto.
I have a confession. Up until I made this dish, I had never self-prepared raw fennel. I know! Why did I wait so long! I think I was scared that it would be extra potent un-cooked, but I was surprised by the delicacy. Shaved thin and soaked in a cold water bath, it almost resembles cabbage but… much more interesting and flavorful .
The combination of the bright fennel pairs well with the sweetness of the figs and pear and saltiness of the capers. The simplicity of the lemon vinaigrette breaks down the fennel just enough to soften its edge.
Fennel Bulb (1)
Anjou Pear (1-2)
Capers (2 tbsp)
Fresh Herbs – Parsley/Mint/Basil (1-2 tbsp)
Salt + Pepper
Trim the fennel bulb and carefully (using a mandoline slicer) shave vertically into thin strips. Place the shaved slices into a bowl of water and allow them to sit while you prep the rest of the dish.
Drizzle some oil into a pan. Cut the stems off of the figs, slice in half, and place them flesh down into the oil. Raise the heat to medium and let the figs caramelize in the pan for about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt + pepper in a salad bowl.
Quarter, core and thinly slice up the pear into bite-size pieces (peel on or off) and place into the salad bowl. Toss with the lemon vinaigrette.
Add the capers and chopped fresh herbs into the bowl. Toss well with the pears.
Drain and pat dry the shaved fennel. Add to the salad bowl and toss.
Searching for a fast, simple, healthy, tasty side dish for your next dinner? Look no further! I’ve got one for you that takes advantage of the bounty of summer green beans in your garden, at your farmers market, or on sale at your local grocer.
All you need to do in composing this dish is taking a few minutes to clean and chop up the vegetables, and another few minutes to create the vinaigrette. So easy and can be done in advance and kept in the fridge too! All of that simplicity and you’ll still find plenty of textural contrasts and flavor profiles to satisfy your taste buds.
Enjoy those warm summer nights while they’re still here .
Broccoli (2 crowns)
Green Beans (Large Handful)
Sliced Almonds (1/4 cup)
Miso Paste (1 1/2 tbsp)
Honey (1 tbsp)
Balsamic Vinegar (2 tsp)
Salt + Pepper
Chop up the broccoli and place in a salad bowl. Slice up the stems as well and add to the bowl with the crowns.
Trim the ends off of the green beans and cut any long pieces in half. Add to the broccoli and toss.
Place in a blender or food processor sliced oranges, miso, honey, balsamic, oil, salt + pepper. Purée until smooth then pour into the salad bowl.
Mix together the broccoli and green beans; cover all pieces with the dressing.
Mmm raw salads are perfect for hot, humid summer nights pushing 90+F temps. I posted another savory cantaloupe salad the other day but yearned to do something more with the abundance of this succulent, sweet fruit. So this time around I paired the cantaloupe with some jicama and a yummy pistachio vinaigrette.
One of my biggest goals, aside from sticking to the whole foods credo, is composing dishes that I have never tasted before. This is an example of that and I was so pleasantly surprised by the outcome! This is one of those #lickthedishclean meals.
Here’s a play-by-play. Cantaloupe is juicy and incredibly sweet. Jicama is starchy with sweet undertones, but needs the juice from the cantaloupe to bring out its flavor. The two therefore go hand in hand. The pistachio vinaigrette adds a pop of citrus, texture, and acts as a great bind for the jicama. The capers tie the dish together with hints of salt.
Capers (1 tbsp)
Raw Pistachios (Handful)
Honey (2 tbsp)
White Balsamic Vinegar (2 tsp)
Water (2 tbsp)
Salt + Pepper
Remove the skin off of the jicama, cut in half or quarters (up to you!), and use a mandoline slicer to create thin slices.
Place the jicama slices in a bowl.
Place in a blender the raw pistachios, honey, lime, white balsamic, water, salt + pepper and purée until smooth. The pistachios won’t and don’t need to grind down smoothly; I like the crunch that results from the bits being left.
Pour the pistachio vinaigrette over the jicama and gently toss to coat the slices.
Add the capers to the jicama, do another toss, and allow to sit for a good 20 minutes. This will allow the starches in the jicama to break down and soak in the flavors of the vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, slice up the cantaloupe.
Plating – get creative! I started out by creating a gallette out of the jicama slices and topped with cantaloupe.
General rule of thumb for vegetables is that they taste better and are more nutritious in raw state. Cabbage is no exception, but unlike some other vegetables, tastes just as great and almost like a different vegetable when cooked through. Putting a little heat through cabbage allows you to get creative and compose fun dishes given its natural ability to suck in other flavors.
An example of flavor that pairs well with cabbage? Spice.
Once in a while, I get strong cravings for Indian food. BUT it’s always the same routine. I go to a restaurant to fulfill my cravings and leave feeling so utterly full those cravings don’t come back for a good month. It must be all the rice, naan and fritters that do it.
Luckily, I’ve found a dish that kills those cravings without the aftermath of glut.
To pair with the spiced up cabbage, I’ve added some creamy avocado and summer sweet orange. A dish sure to warm your soul but keep things fresh through the heat.
Green Cabbage (1 head)
Curry Powder (3 tbsp)
Turmeric (2 tsp)
Soy Sauce (2 tbsp)
Julienne the cabbage.
Drizzle oil into a large sauté pan and add the cabbage. Raise the heat to medium and allow the cabbage to cook. Season with salt + pepper.
Add to the cabbage curry powder, turmeric, and soy sauce. Mix to combine and add more spices if necessary. When the cabbage cooks, it will become more “glassy” and should take on a orange-y hue due to the curry.
Remove the skin off of the orange and cut up the flesh into cubes. Add to the sauté pan and mix into the cabbage.
Cube up the avocado as well and add to the pan. Again, mix into the cabbage and oranges and sauté everything together. Continue to season with salt + pepper.
Maybe I have the Easter bug, but I’ve been seriously obsessed with carrots as of late. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dining at the renowned ABC Kitchen in NYC and their Roasted Carrot Salad inspired me to go home and roast my own carrots. The salad at ABC Kitchen had a bunch of other fancy fixings in it, naturally, but the real star was certainly the beautifully and perfectly roasted carrots.
I kept my side dish simple and stuck with just carrots. They were gone within minutes. Seconds.
Leaving the skin on the carrots is important because roasted with the marinade, they emit this awesome crust.
They could almost pass as a dessert… Go make these now and then make them again for Easter brunch!
Whole Carrots (Bunch)
Maple Syrup (2 tbsp)
Balsamic Vinegar (2 tsp)
Meyer Lemon (1/2)
Herbes de Provence (1 tbsp)
Salt + Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients – maple syrup, olive oil, juice of the meyer lemon, herbes de provence, salt + pepper – until well combined and the oil has emulsified.
Wash the carrots and cut off the long stems; leave the skin ON.
Place the carrots in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade atop. Brush the carrots with the marinade until fully covered.
Place the baking dish into the oven and let the carrots roast – a good 25-30 minutes. Turn them halfway through the cooking process and re-coat with marinade as necessary.