vegetarian

Steam / Sautéed Vegetables - The Easiest Way to Prepare Flavorful, Al Dente Veggies

Steam / Sautéed Vegetables - The Easiest Way to Prepare Flavorful, Al Dente Veggies

The best things often happen out of sheer necessity, or like I've said before, laziness :) I grew up being told that boiling vegetables took all of the nutrition out of them, and so as I got older and started to cook for myself, I started cooking vegetables this way. I would heat a large skillet with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, add my vegetables, and a few splashes of chicken broth (always keep a few cartons stocked!) and seasoning. I would cover the vegetables so that the broth would steam the veggies and give them a bit of a "head start". This worked - steaming them for a few minutes would cook them just through, and then I would remove the lid and sauté the veg to get some color on them. 

To step it up, you could use this basic method and switch up the seasoning or sauces you use. My favorite combo is to skip the salt and add oyster sauce while the vegetables are steaming. Once the broth evaporates, the oyster sauce cooks down and helps to add nice toasty, flavorful bits to the ends of your greens. I've also used this method to cook Maple Glazed Carrots in minutes on the stove for the holidays. In that recipe, you steam the carrots in broth and salt, and then sauté with some maple syrup, black pepper, flaky sea salt, a bit of butter, and finish with parsley. You get the idea - this is a simple master recipe that you can use and adapt to your liking. 

Little did I know that this seemingly made-up method of cooking vegetables is known as steam/sautéing. I am glad that it's actually a thing! I hope you give it a try - here's a quick video recipe and guide! Let's get cookin

Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet Potato Toast is amazing!! It's so vibrant and colorful, and is a nutritious alternative to your regular wheat toast - not to mention it's paleo and gluten free! There are endless topping options, and today I'm sharing some yummy ideas with you to get you inspired. Sweet Potato Toast works with sweet or savory ingredients, and is so satisfying that a few of these make a wonderful meal. I'm all about using whatever you've got in the kitchen already, and the hearty, sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes is a great vessel for tons of versatility.

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

This is a bright and zesty recipe to enjoy some of summer's best produce!! It can be enjoyed with chips as a dip, or eaten as a summer salad. Golden brown kernels of corn come together with tomatoes, creamy avocado, red onion for bite, black beans, and tons of fresh cilantro in minutes, and are tossed with the most amazing Honey Lime Vinaigrette. This combo is seriously delicious - the combination of lime juice, earthy, warm cumin, honey, and extra virgin olive oil is the absolute perfect way to bind these ingredients together. The best part is that the flavor of the dip gets better as it sits - so it's great to have out during an event, or to make ahead for lunch! Let's get cookin! 

Smashed Avocado Salad

Smashed Avocado Salad

This is my go-to. My Smashed Avocado Salad is the perfect base salad for any time of the day. Top it off with your favorite protein and you have a filling meal that's easy on the calories. Who would have thought that dressing-free salad could be so delicious? Smashed avocado, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper are all you need to cut out those crazy calories that come from just a drizzle of bottled dressing. 

Maple Glazed Carrots

Maple Glazed Carrots

An oldie but goodie; simple Maple Glazed Carrots are a delicious side dish perfect for any holiday meal. The natural sweetness of the carrots are enhanced, and fresh parsley, a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper balances it all out. These are the simplest veggies to make! Seriously they took about 15 minutes from start to finish...and I gobbled them all up right after shooting :) The crisp-tender carrots aren't too sweet and are a wonderful accompaniment to savory entrees. Plus, carrots are super cheap! You can also use colorful heirloom carrots to add more beautiful color to your table. Let's get cookin! :) 

Chilled Ginger Sesame Soba Noodles with Grilled Tofu

Chilled Ginger Sesame Soba Noodles with Grilled Tofu

Indian Summer is here and the weather is gorgeous out here in San Francisco. I have been craving a big bowl of cool soba noodles with tons of junk inside! The junk is often the best part of any dish. My favorite thing about this one is how bright and colorful it is. I'll show you how to whip up an absolutely delicious sesame dressing that is savory, with a kick from freshly grated ginger and lemon zest. All the veggies can be substituted with your family's favorites, but edamame, carrots, Shiitakes, and Persian cucumbers are full of nutrients and keep this dish nice and light. I love adding thin strips of fishcake and slivers of green onion to finish it all off. Let's get cookin :) 

Watermelon Radish Salad with Sesame Lime Ginger Vinaigrette

Watermelon Radish Salad with Sesame Lime Ginger Vinaigrette

How gorgeous is this salad?! I found that putting together this recipe was so therapeutic…almost like creating a piece of art. Not only are the colors stunning, but the flavor combinations in this salad are unreal as well. Beautiful curly tendrils of peppery arugula are tossed with bright, crisp slices of watermelon radish. Sweet Cara Cara orange supremes and the slight saltiness of crumbled feta are the perfect addition. Drizzle a little homemade Sesame Lime Ginger Vinaigrette and you have the most beautiful spring salad to celebrate upcoming Earth Day…or any day. This salad would be the perfect base of a grilled piece of fish or even with chicken..but for now, let’s just marvel at how simple this dish is…because the ingredients are so naturally beautiful, any way you toss them together, it looks like a gourmet meal. 
Watermelon radishes’ flesh is white closest to the exterior and becomes bright, with circular striations of pink and magenta toward the center. The flesh is tender crispy, succulent and firm. It has a mild, slightly peppery yet mostly sweet flavor. They come in a variety of sizes, from golf ball to soft ball size. They can be used fresh or cooked, and pair really well with fennel, apple, cheeses such as feta or chevre, white fish, vinaigrettes, citrus…the list goes on. They’re also wonderful when pickled! With that said, here is a recipe for a wonderfully simple salad that according to my taste-testing friend was like “an explosion of flavor in your mouth” :) Let’s get cookin!

Crispy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey

Crispy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey

The other night at dinner my friend and I were talking about how much Brussels Sprouts have made a huge comeback. When we were kids, I hated them and avoided them at all costs. Maybe that’s because they weren’t dressed in duck fat (Barbacco in SF has the most amazing Duck Fat Brussels), tossed with bacon, or covered in cheese. These days, Brussels Sprouts are on menus everywhere, in every which way. Just this last week, I had some amazing ones with cinnamon, radishes, and an over-medium egg. Another night, my friend made some with simple olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper, Parmesan, and lemon juice. They were delicious and made me want to play with another recipe using these lil addictive veggies. 
I roasted these Brussels after tossing them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. They get golden brown and crispy in the oven, and this is one of the easiest ways to prepare brussels sprouts! Balsamic vinegar brings a slight tang to the crispy little guys, and a drizzle of honey after roasting balances everything out. Hope you try these out - they’re the best snack or side for dinner ..they’ll even convert the biggest nay-sayer! Let’s get cookin :) 

Fresh Nectarine, Basil, & Fried Mozzarella Stacks with Balsamic Reduction

Fresh Nectarine, Basil, & Fried Mozzarella Stacks with Balsamic Reduction

As summer winds down, my kitchen is stock full of stone fruit. Nectarines, cherries, mangoes, apricots, peaches and plums all fall under the name “stone fruits” because of their large hard seeds. They are native to warm climates and are at their peak from June through September, so enjoy them while you can! :)  

I have a batch of beautifully ripe nectarines. I love them for their smooth outer skin, and incredibly sweet flesh. They are beautiful to cook or bake with because of their color, and I couldn’t wait to work on a recipe celebrating the nectarine. 

Cheesy Polenta with Lemon Thyme Mushrooms

Cheesy Polenta with Lemon Thyme Mushrooms

Polenta is a delicious gluten-free addition to any menu. It’s so versatile! You can bake it, grill it, fry it, or serve it creamy. Recently I ordered a wonderfully gooey Jalapeño Cheesy Creamy Polenta at a restaurant and it inspired me to start exploring different ways to serve this yummy dish. The great thing about polenta is that it takes on the flavors you infuse it with quite easily. It’s simple to make and can be tweaked to your families’ tastes!