Colorful fall carrot and Brussels sprout slaw

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I was feeling a little bummed about losing my blogging momentum while traveling, but today I happily got the opportunity to help make dinner in my aunt and uncle’s beautiful kitchen. I was eyeing some lonely leftover raw yellow carrots and baby carrots that weren’t needed for soup making and decided they were destined for a salad. My aunt pulled out some brussels sprouts from the fridge and suggested making a slaw, inspiring this colorful fall side. A little improvisation, including a tangy orange juice dressing, led to this pretty and tasty result!

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Kale salad with red grapes and honey-mustard dressing

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Kale is pretty to look at and packed with nutrients, but sometimes I find it a little bitter when served raw. If you feel similarly, keep reading, because I’ve learned how to make it taste great! The trick is offsetting its bitterness with a bit of sweetness. And here’s something you should know about me: I am a total sucker for unusual fruits and veggies, which I had fun incorporating into this salad.

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Veggie maki rolls with roasted asparagus

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If you liked my roasted asparagus recipe, give this a try! Home-rolled veggie sushi is surprisingly easy to make and very gratifying because it’s pretty to look at and so tasty. Each bite-sized piece is like a kaleidoscope of veggie-ricey goodness. The nuttiness of the brown rice is a nice contrast to the slightly spicy onion and radish, and also complements the subtly garlicky roasted asparagus. Makes a light yet filling entree or an attractive appetizer. I love bringing the leftovers to work for a mood-boosting lunch. This recipe makes 6 rolls, so enough for 6 as an appetizer, or 3-4 as an entree.

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Perfectly roasted asparagus

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Asparagus is not a very finicky vegetable – I think it tastes good almost any way it’s prepared, but here is a preparation that really showcases its flavor and texture at its best. I wanted to share with you my favorite way to enjoy this versatile veggie.

After years of eating boiled or steamed asparagus, I finally was inspired to try oven-roasting it, and have never looked back! I find I get the most consistent results in my toaster oven, but the oven works just fine for this purpose too. This is another one of those recipes that’s all about simplicity: just a few select seasonings and let the veggie be the star. The high heat brings out its subtle sweetness, while the garlic-infused olive oil, salt and pepper round out the savory vegetal flavor. Serves 3-4 as a side dish, but it’s so good you might just devour it all by yourself…

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Blackberry-nectarine cobbler (gluten-free, dairy free, low sugar!)

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I am very excited to share this recipe with you, because I took some risks and it came out yummier than I could have ever imagined! Admittedly, baking is not my strong suit when it comes to the culinary arts, but every now and again I get the baking bug. I was looking to venture outside of my usual fruit-crisp comfort zone for this one, into the land of doughier desserts. I was envisioning sweet and slightly tart baked summer fruit, topped with a crumbly, flakey, not-too-sweet biscuity topping. But could it be done gluten and dairy free, not to mention low sugar?

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Scrambled tofu with veggies

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You have probably figured out by now that I love eggs, but even I need a break from them sometimes. And with a husband who doesn’t like eggs, I have plenty of reasons to make scrambled tofu every now and again. This really is a fantastic weekend breakfast:  easy to throw together, and just as delicious and satisfying as its eggy equivalent. The key here is to perk up the plainness of the tofu with mix of savory spices and seasonings so it basks in umami wonderfulness, not to mention a nice sunny yellow color. Makes enough for 2-4 depending on serving size and what else you’re serving. This would pair well with roasted potatoes/hash browns, could be served over corn tortillas with refried beans, or with any of your other favorite breakfast goodies.

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Watermelon fig salad with…pesto!

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So, as I mentioned in my last post (my pesto recipe), today I am sharing a less traditional way to enjoy your pesto. I love the sweet, summery flavors of watermelon and fig. But I also have a particular appreciation for the way that saltiness and sweetness can play off and enhance each other (so yes, I am a hopeless fan of salted caramel ice cream, dark chocolate covered pretzels etc)…I have tried some wonderful salads that juxtapose sweety juicy watermelon with sharp salty feta cheese for example. But how about something equally exciting and dairy free?

In addition to being a party in your mouth, this salad is also pretty to look at, and would make a wonderful starter or palate cleanser or even a light and unusual dessert! This recipe makes two small salads and is easy to scale up…and did I mention it’s super duper easy?

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