Not everyone loves Brussels sprouts but who doesn't love food smothered with Sriracha? It is, after all, the bacon of sauces.Read More
I made this recipe for my facially-injured roommate. She's one of those weirdos who doesn't really like mashed potatoes. So I improvised, treating her to this dish plus some braised short ribs.Read More
Some hummus recipes call for too much tahini. Others try to too hard and call for red bell peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. I prefer to keep it simple: chickpeas and tahini, with lots of garlic and lemon juice.Read More
Living on a budget is hard enough. If you love gorging yourself with all kinds of food, it's even more difficult to keep that wallet shut. So, in order to balance it all out, I'm figuring out cheap meal plans. But I'm done eating like a college kid.Read More
It's almost the end of summer (though you wouldn't know it if you lived in Los Angeles) and you might find yourself with a bunch of extra tomatoes. Try this fresh tomato soup. It's thick, like a bisque, but healthy, sans the cream.Read More
I found myself yearning for prosciutto. No, not those gummy, questionably shiny strips of pork you get vacuum-sealed at your local supermarket. I'm talking about dry, aged, smooth, pliable yet crumbly real prosciutto straight from Italy.Read More
Tuna tartare is one of those things that literally makes my mouth water upon thinking of it, and I never feel guilty about stuffing my face silly with the stuff. I like it with a little extra kick so I use prepared horseradish or at least a squirt of Sriracha.Read More
This Chinese shrimp dish has everything I always look for in an entree: it's crispy, salty, juicy and spicy. And -- I'm very proud to say -- I prefer this recipe over most Chinese restaurants' dishes. The addition of Szechuan peppercorns sends it over-the-top mouthwateringly-spicy.Read More
I'll admit it -- I was always nervous about cooking plantains because it's a common mistake to overcook them. But in this recipe, green plantains are twice-fried, so it can be made in a pinch.Read More
I'm always on the lookout for party food recipes, and it's an added bonus when the leftovers can be used for meals for the rest of the week. This tilapia ceviche is one of those dishes: your guests will eat bowls of it, and if you have any left over, you'll be blessed with a healthy, protein and vegetable-rich treat. It is, after all, made with fresh fish, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers and cilantro. Savory and juicy, this ceviche is a substantial yet refreshing appetizer. I like the Marcela Valladolid recipe -- it's easy to follow and isn't too juicy. I've just simplified it even further.
Serves: 8 Prep time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 2 pounds tilapia fillets (about 8 fillets), cut into small cubes 1 cup lime juice (from about 10 limes, or buy lime juice) 3 tomatoes, small cubed 1 cucumber, small cubed 1/2 medium-sized red onion, small cubed 1 green bell pepper, small cubed 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/3 of a bunch), finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional) 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced or cubed Tortilla chips (for serving, optional)
1. In a medium bowl, pour the lime juice over the cubed tilapia and mix gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the fish is white and opaque, about 1 hour. (Or, you can start this recipe a day before, and leave this overnight.)
2. Remove fish from the refrigerator and drain the lime juice. Discard the juice. Mix in the tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in the chile, if using. If desired, mixed in the cubed avocado. Or, garnish the top with avocado slices.
3. Serve with tortilla chips or corn tostada.
My Notes What I did differently: Rather than measuring out the quantity of each vegetable, I figured it was easier to go with actual vegetables quantities. It doesn't need to be precise, and it's easy to grab and chop 3 tomatoes rather than measure our an exact cup or half-cup. I also added green bell peppers -- the added crunch and color makes it a perfect addition.
Aren't you supposed to cook fish?! Technically, by immersing the fish in lime juice, you are cooking it. More specifically, you're denaturing the proteins. So don't worry -- this tilapia is cooked thoroughly. Just make sure before adding the vegetables and seasonings that it's opaque and white all over.
I'll admit it: I'm lazy. Although I try to be mindful to give ingredients the time and respect they deserve, I also try to cut corners whenever possible. This means blanching all my veggies in one pot -- regardless of color (and yes, I've blanched a whole beet, potatoes and peas all in one pot and had no trouble at all), and periodically reaching for the can of crushed garlic in my refrigerator (but don't tell anyone that shameful secret!). So I figured it only makes sense that I'd "cheat" my way through a potato chip recipe. Ordinarily, one would fry these in a big pot, but I try to bake rather than fry whenever possible. Usually, you can just leave the food in the oven and forget about it temporarily. Plus, it's healthier. When making potato chips, you have to slice the potatoes very thinly, about 1/8 of an inch. You may be able to do this with your trusty chef's knife, but I prefer to use a mandoline. It's much faster and more accurate. Just be careful you don't shave your fingers!
Serves: 4 Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients: 2 large Russet potatoes 3 tablespoons olive oil kosher salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash and scrub the potato. Leaving the skin on, slice into 1/8" rounds.
3. Soak the slices in a bowl of water for a few minutes to rinse some of the starches off. Dry with paper towels.
4. In a clean bowl, toss the potato slices in olive oil. Arrange in one layer on a silicon baking sheet mounted on a sheet pan.
5. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with salt again.
My Notes: Can I use additional seasonings? Of course! Be creative! When the chips are done baking, try sprinkling some cayenne pepper (for a spicy kick) or grating some Parmesan cheese over the top (because who doesn't love cheese?).
Kale chips -- they're delicious! I swear! Lately, I've been keeping an eye out on healthy meal choices (hence my recipe for a Green Smoothie) partly because of the disapproving looks I get from my boyfriend whenever I bury my face in a bag of Tapatio-flavored Doritos ("You're not better than me!" I cry as I return to my chips, sinking into a spiral of shame), and partly because of the super-yummy but rich and fatty dishes I've been learning to make at culinary school. I had been hearing about these crispy kale chips for awhile now. Heck, just about every food blogger has a recipe. (I'm partial to the one from For The Love Of Food, mostly because of the pictures.) I was excited to try them out, but didn't have particularly high expectations because, to me, nothing can ever replace Doritos... or Flamin' Hot Fries. And wow. Wowowow. Delish. Megish. Indeed. They're really crunchy, super light, savory, earthy, salty, nutty. These aren't lame diet bagel chips. Or bland, unsalted raw nuts. These are the real deal potato chip alternative. Without further ado, the recipe for baked kale, oven-roasted kale, crispy kale, kale chips -- whatever you want to call them:
Serves: 2 Prep time: 2-5 minutes Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Ingredients: 1 bunch kale (the curly kind, about 4-5 stalks) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt Cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start with dry kale. Otherwise, they'll turn out soggy. Either wash the stalks hours beforehand, or pat to dry and make sure there's no visible moisture. Rip leaves off stalks.
2. Toss in olive oil. The kale shouldn't be fully covered in olive oil, just a very light coat.
3. Place kale on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Bake in oven until the leaves' edges brown slightly, about 10-15 minutes. My oven tends to run a bit on the hotter side, so I bake mine for 10 minutes.
4. Set aside to cool, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and if desired, cayenne pepper.
My Notes: What if I overcook the kale? Hey, it happens. It'll have a bitter, burnt flavor. Be sure to check your kale at the 8-minute mark. When the curly edges look brown, they're done. They should have a light, crispy, papery texture.
Can I use cooking spray instead of olive oil? You sure can! Some might say this would be a fewer-calorie-alternative. I just tend to shy away from foods that come in spray cans. It's a personal bias. Plus, I like the vaguely fruity, clean taste of olive oil.
Can I use other seasonings? Yes! The sky's the limit. When I'm in need of a spicy snack fix, I dust on some cayenne pepper. If you're introducing this recipe to a reluctant friend, try sprinkling on some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
It's easy to grab a bottle of your favorite dressing or vinaigrette at the grocery but here's my problem: I so rarely make my own salad that the bottle goes bad before I finish it. A better solution? Try making your own vinaigrette. No doubt it's fresher and healthier (no added sugars and preservatives), but having a good recipe in your mental Rolodex of cooking knowledge is a must. My favorite 5-minute vinaigrette uses red wine vinegar, garlic and parsley. It's savory, salty and has just the right kick.
Ingredients 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or less, if desired) 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1-2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped About 1/4 cup olive oil (or less, if desired) Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Finely chop the parsley and garlic cloves. Whisk in with red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking throughout. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
2. Add the vinaigrette to some mixed baby greens, your favorite salad, or use it in lieu of mustard or butter on your sandwich.