Lemony French lentil salad with purslane

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I love salad in all of its forms, but sometimes you just want something more hearty and filling than lettuce. Hence, someone’s genius idea to make a cold salad with lentils (and the rest is history). High in protein, flavor, and fiber, this version features an up-and-coming green veggie, purslane. What is purslane, you ask? Well, you may recognize it as a weed that grows in gardens and from cracks in sidewalks, but it turns out to be a nutritional powerhouse packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and is gaining increasing popularity as a culinary green. Continue reading

Sauteed shishito peppers

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I first tasted these amazing Japanese peppers at this wonderful restaurant in San Diego, and it was one of those food revelation moments for me. Trust me, these are nothing like bell peppers. These thin-skinned peppers are such a perfect snack or appetizer (and very addictive) when sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with crunchy sea salt flakes. I have tried other, more complicated preparations of these peppers, but none are better than this classic version in my humble opinion. Fortunately, they are in season now, and I have been seeing them at farmer’s markets and even grocery stores. And even better, this recipe requires no prep work!

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Basic mashed potatoes

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I was never really a mashed potato person growing up, but my husband has taught me to appreciate this simple comfort food (he didn’t have to try very hard, since I have plenty of Polish in my DNA). So now I find myself often motivated to make this satisfyingly starchy side dish. As far as flavorings and condiments, this is one situation where I think less is more – just use high quality ingredients. This version is quick and easy, will be on the table in about 15 minutes. And hey, you can prepare the other parts of the meal while your potatoes are boiling! Vegan substitutions are noted below. Serves 4-6.

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Chopped Italian salad

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This is inspired by a heavenly salad I had at one of my favorite restaurants, Pizzeria Mozza. Here is my simplified, vegetarian (or vegan!) version. What do I love about this salad? The crispness of the iceberg lettuce and cucumbers. The vinegary bite of its dressing along with the purple onions and pepperoncinis. The hearty garbanzo beans and cheese (or soy cheeze, as the case may be). The aromatic oregano. I can go on, but you get the idea. Try it!

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Basic green detox smoothie

 

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Green smoothies are my favorite way to supplement my greens intake, especially when I’m having a busy week and suddenly realize I have not had a proper salad in days. There is something very restorative about about drinking a green smoothie any time of day, though I particularly enjoy starting my day with some chlorophyll. I will post all sorts of variations on this theme, but I wanted to post this classic simple version first. Just 4 ingredients, plus water!

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Dilly egg salad (with vegan variation)

 

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I think egg salad is an underrated food. I don’t make it very often but I always really appreciate it when I do. It’s quick and easy, satisfying and packed with protein. This version has a nice bite from the onion and pickle without being too spicy. The dill adds a great herby flavor.

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Summer fruit crisp

 

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Summer is my favorite time of year for many reasons, not the least of which is the abundance of many of my favorite fruits. Hooray for nectarines, peaches, apricots and berries! Fruit crisps are one of my favorite desserts of all time, and my favorite way to cook with these wonderful summer fruits. There is something about that combination of sweet and tart summer fruit, and the crumbly buttery oaty crust that is just perfection.

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