I could eat coconut all day in the summertime. Cold, crunchy, spicy salads like this one with a side of coconut iced tea, followed by coconut ice cream for dessert. I ask you, who needs so much dairy when the coconut exists? (ok, don’t answer that, I know you cheese-lovers are a passionate bunch).
I’m calling this one a “Thai-inspired”dish. Jack and I are talking about taking a trip to Thailand next spring (!)… so until then, I bring you “Thai-ish.”
Coconut milk, lime and red curry are flavors that I am crazy about… and here they create a delicious and creamy contrast to the crunchy chopped veggies and cashews. Add some cold rice noodles to make this a more filling “meal” salad… or omit the tofu to make it a lighter side dish.
Go to the recipe “thai coconut cucumber salad”…
In case it isn’t obvious… I love lemons. Ending a dish with a squeeze of lemon or a bit of zest, to me, makes the whole world seem just bit brighter. And now I’m revealing my newest lemon-ey obsession… lemon thyme. I have a bunch of it growing in my garden and it just smells so amazing. Sweet, bright, fragrant… move over basil. (ok, not really).
My first thought was that this lemon thyme needs to be in a cake. But I’m not exactly Jeanine the baker, so my second thought was to make a bright summery salad with lots of lemon zest to bring out the herby flavor even more.
So here you have a lemon thyme vinaigrette that I poured over a warm salad of orzo, arugula, and bits of creamy fresh mozzarella. I added some sun dried tomatoes for tang and toasted chopped walnuts for a nice crunch. A perfect (easy) Monday meal that’ll make you forget that it’s Monday. Pair this with a nice bottle of prosecco (or a cheap one, no judgement), and you’ll really forget that the week has only just started.
Go to the recipe “orzo & arugula lemon thyme salad”…
Jack has been talking about okonomiyaki ever since we got back from Japan (2 years ago this week… time sure flies). I don’t know why it took me so long to take a stab… it turned out to be very easy and pretty darn foolproof. As well it should be, the word okonomiyaki roughly translates to “what you want grilled.”
During our trip, I did my best to avoid this Anthony-Bordain-mystery-meat-style street food until we were in Hiroshima one afternoon (there’s a sentence I never imagined I’d write) and there were no other options.
It was good, I liked it… but it was super greasy. As with all travel-inspired food, I want to make the disclaimer that my version here is probably not at all authentic. (Especially for Hiroshima, whose style of okonomiyaki also has noodles in it).
I made these lighter, smaller, and, remarkably, on the healthy side. Jack made fun of me for how green and pretty they turned out. Traditional okonomiyaki is roughly the size of a human head and is unapologetically stuffed with various meats and seafood. But I promise, this veggie version is hardly a compromise. Salty, sweet, eggy goodness… even Jack, who ate more okonomiyaki in Japan than he’s willing to admit, loved it.
Go to the recipe “veggie okonomiyaki”…
“Quick and easy weeknight cooking” hasn’t been something I’ve focused on much here. If something I’ve made happened to be quick, it was by accident more than anything else. I enjoy the process of cooking and when I’m inspired, hours can fly by. (although, I’ll add the disclaimer that recipes on this site should, by no means, take “hours”).
After a particularly stressful day last week, inspiration ran out. I was tired and preoccupied. I had a plethera of vegetables lying around the kitchen begging me not to abandon them for a restaurant. But my jumbled mind couldn’t figure out how to cohesively put them together and the idea of going to the store for any additional ingredients didn’t seem like an option.
So on the fly, I threw this together. A two-second curry-miso glaze, brushed over roasted vegetables. I love roasting because the oven does the work. While the veggies roasted, I cleaned up my little prep mess, poured myself a glass of wine and started to feel better. After the veggies came out of the oven, I glazed them once more. With the leftover glaze, I whisked in coconut milk, called it “sauce” and drizzled it on at the end.
Go to the recipe “red curry & miso veggie bowl”…
I really wanted this to be “every-herb-I-have-except-basil pizza.” I’ve been on a bit of a basil kick lately and I really wanted to give some attention to the other herbs I have growing in the new garden. But the tomatoes I had were so pretty, I just couldn’t bring myself to not match them up with basil. It would be like peanut butter without jelly… ketchup without mustard… or me without Jack (it’s ok to groan, sorry).
Basil notwithstanding, I couldn’t make up my mind on which other herbs to use so I just went out and grabbed everything that looked good – lemon-thyme, sage, parsley — chopped them all together and threw them on top of the finished pizzas.
Go to the recipe “grilled herb garden pizza”…