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

Cold Noodles with Spicy Eggplant and Cucumber Salad

This recipe is really 3, 4, or 7 different recipes bundled into one package: 1. You could make just the spicy cucumber salad. 2. You could make just a spicy eggplant salad.

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.

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

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

Popcorn Mushrooms with Fried Basil

There’s a street food that everyone’s obsessed with in Taiwan, and it involves boneless nibs of chicken marinated in five-spice, battered and crispy-fried, dusted with white pepper, and tossed with fried basil leaves. How can you improve upon this irresistible snack? You can’t, really. But you can take the same formula and make other foods irresistibly tasty, too. And one ingredient that works very well with it is juicy chunks of king oyster (or trumpet) mushrooms. At least, that’s what … Read More

Persian Chicken Barley Soup (Soup e Jo)

Barley. How did we come to this? Just about the only times I encounter the ancient grain, long a staple of the Western diet, are in beer. And though we’ve been rekindling old fires with farro, spelt, and quinoa, barley seems to be left out of the next-wave appreciation, thanks to its containing an ancient boon, gluten.

Soft-Scrambled Eggs and Spinach on Toast

Soft-scrambled eggs are my new butter. They’re my new ricotta. They’re my new avocado smeared onto toast, so in fashion today. How exactly do you soft-scramble eggs to a creamy, curd-like consistency? Softly. And slowly. It’s about as easy said as it is done.

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