Cauliflower and Sweet Corn Bisque

The first cream of X soup (or “bisque”) I ever fell in love with was cauliflower. My mom and I ordered it at a diner in New Jersey once when I was little; we ate the whole cup full and had to order another (should have gotten the bowl). That creamy, white velouté was something exotic to both of us, I think, but mild and unassuming at the same time. I found an appreciation for dairy, which my young palate had been … Read More

Peachy Salad with Savory Toasted Oats

Breakfast salad. It’s not something you hear as often as breakfast sandwich, breakfast burrito, or maybe even breakfast lasagna. And no, it doesn’t have eggs to give it that smack of “breakfast” approval. I just had some beautiful peaches and nectarines, and leafy lettuce from my CSA, and I didn’t feel like eating them separately. Or having yogurt with those peaches and perhaps some granola. Then I realized that this crispy oat-flecked topping could be great on a salad instead … Read More

Summer Squash “Risotto” with Bacon and Shallot

A brief history of non-risotto “risottos”: At one point, everyone was making risotto with barley instead of short-grain (commonly Arborio) rice. This was undermining the term orzotto, a similar Italian dish made with barley. Then we began to see “risotto” being made with all kinds of other “whole grains for health,” appreciating the nuances of nutty flavor and bite from the likes of spelt, oats, quinoa, wheatberries and more—and I was not one to miss out on the fun. So then it seemed absol-otto awesome … Read More

Heirloom Bean Salad with Roasted Garlic Scapes

So after this year’s Fourth of July barbecue, where I consumed lettuce wraps packed with meat, a hot dog, a chicken burger, a kielbasa, and some wings, I decided to go easy on my lunches the following week. I propped my kitchen stool below the highest cupboards to look for some whole grains to make a refreshing salad with—maybe quinoa, maybe spelt, or some neat-o ancient grains would be found there, I thought. But I didn’t find those.

Pan-Roasted Monkfish with Spinach, Snap Peas and White Wine Sauce

It’s true: Monkfish is one of the f’ugliest fish in the world. But you wouldn’t know it when it’s served to you. Or, when you buy some fresh fillets and pan-roast them just like any other fish, finishing them with a splash of white wine and butter mixed into the pan to drizzle on top. Yes, even when you’re actually cooking a raw thing to plated dish (in mere minutes no less), you can be spared the gruesome truth of its … Read More

Shaved Asparagus and Radish Salad

In a pinch, I’m a sucker for slicing ’em up raw. No, not a raw foodist, and yes, hate it when restaurants charge $15 for a plate of a few slices of freshly shaved zucchini or mushrooms drowned in olive oil and call it something like “carpaccio” because I know they only sliced maybe a fifth of one zucchini or just one mushroom to make a whole plate of these delicate little slivers. I know it because I can also … Read More

Smoked Bluefish and Potato Salad

There’s something so Nordic and satisfying about this: boiled potatoes and smoked fish. Simple, but delish. Wholesome yet zesty, combined as one. Kind of like the Nordic pop princess, Robyn herself, whose beats I can’t resist bopping to, especially if I hear them on a car trip and my body is bored and just needs to move—a lot, and suddenly, thanks to her.

Seared Scallops and Zucchini with Avocado

Really, just those three things, plus salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh lemon. High heat, maybe, is another equal player in this equation. Plus, that makes it all the faster to throw together. I was looking for something to really treat myself with this weekend (and coming off my $1.50 meal in the last post). I just didn’t expect that it would take so little effort, and time.

Live Below the Line: The $1.50 Meal Challenge

I’m happy to be back in my own kitchen after a whirlwind trip to the West Coast and other fun adventures in new cookbook-launch land. In fact, just the day after I arrived home, I found myself in my kitchen—though not cooking just for one, but for friendly reporters from the Epoch Times’ new food website, EpochTaste. What a thrill to get to show ’em the lay of the land. But for now it’s back to the quick basics routine, and I’m equally thrilled to … Read More

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