Simple white bean salad with fresh herbs (gf + v)

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At my new place, I finally have a little outdoor space and can actually grow fresh herbs – so exciting! (I have grown fresh basil indoors in sunny windows in the past, but it’s not the same…) – so now I have a little potted basil plant as well as fresh parsley and thyme growing on my balcony, all which feature in this recipe. This is a quick and super tasty salad you can throw together in just a few minutes to complement any number of wonderful Mediterranean-themed meals. Definitely an upgrade from those soggy canned three-bean salads of yesteryear.

I try to always keep a can of cannelini (white kidney) beans in the pantry because they are so versatile and recipe-friendly. Though hearty and filling, their flavor is very mild and unassuming, but this salad is quite lively thanks to a variety of aromatic fresh herbs and a little bit of purple onion for bite. Serves 2-3, but can easily be scaled up for larger crowds. Can be made 1 day ahead and pre-chilled, and will keep 1-2 days in the fridge.

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Balsamic roasted eggplant (gf + v)

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Things got crazy over the past few months what with taking my boards and moving from NorCal to SoCal, but I am happy to finally be back in the kitchen cooking! I hope you’ve had a great and delicious summer! This recipe was inspired by a visit to my new local farmer’s market, where I was absolutely thrilled to find a large variety of eggplants for sale: lovely green Thai eggplants shaped like eggs, slender lavender Chinese eggplants, deep purple Italian eggplants, pale green Filipino eggplants…thanks to my husband “egging” me on, the next thing I knew I was buying one of each! Eggplant is a finicky vegetable, as I have mentioned in past recipes – the key is to cook it into sweet tender submission (undercooked eggplant is just bitter and gross!). While there are many ways to cook eggplant, my personal favorite to oven-roast it. I was very lucky to have been recently gifted a lovely bottle of seriously delicious balsamic vinegar as a graduation present from a dear coworker, so that also featured in this recipe. I hope you enjoy this versatile summer dish, which tastes great on its own, is lovely over a green salad or a bed of simple pasta marinara, or would also be great as an hors d’oeuvre served with toasted baguette slices or pita triangles. Serves 3-4.

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Raw zoodle salad with a spicy peanut sauce

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A spiralizer is a fun kitchen tool that can quickly turn an otherwise boring raw zucchini into versatile zucchini noodles or “zoodles,” opening up all sorts of low-carb noodle recipe possibilities. Here’s my version of a classic Asian-inspired peanut-noodle salad. Try this when you want a light n’ healthy lunch or dinner option. Serves 4.

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Breakfast scallion potatoes

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Clearly it’s been too long since my last potato recipe, so here’s another. Thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes oven-roasted and seasoned liberally with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and fresh scallions – perfect for your next brunch, but also works great as a dinner side dish when you want some comfort food. Serves 3-4 as a side dish.

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Stir fried baby bok choy with grape tomatoes and purple onion

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This is a colorful and flavor-packed veggie side dish that combines light, crunchy baby Shanghai bok choy, sauteed purple onion and grape tomatoes in a slightly spicy wine and soy-based sauce.  The secret here is raising the heat after you add the tomatoes, which will draw and sear their delicious juice, adding a key flavor component to the sauce. This healthy dish can be served over rice, or bulked up with some tofu into a hearty main dish. Easy enough for a weeknight! Serves 2-3, scales up easily.

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Potato latkes, oven-fried

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Hanukkah is such a wonderful holiday! A celebration of miracles. A time to light up the dark winter nights with beautiful candles, blessings and songs. And what could be better than a holiday that encourages the eating of delicious fatty fried foods? Potato latkes are a traditional food served on Hanukkah (alongside applesauce and sour cream), and though they are typically deep-fried, the idea of standing over a frying pan with oil splattering everywhere just doesn’t appeal to me. Oven-frying them gives you a very tasty result with less grease and less mess. Adapted and gluten-free-ified from this food.com recipe. One batch makes about 18 latkes. Happy Hanukkah!

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My favorite potato salad

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As someone who never developed much of a taste for classic American food, I find potato salad oddly crave-worthy (who are we kidding here, if you’ve been reading this blog you know I love all things potato). There is just something so good and comforting about consuming starchy potato in its various wonderful forms, especially in the winter time! This recipe comes together quickly, counterbalancing the starchiness with just the right amount of bite (thanks to the onions and pickles), and is finished off with fresh dill and a nice mustardy dressing. Serves 3-4.

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