Chicken Pho with Spaghetti Squash Noodles

I am a total soup fiend, I love it in all its forms and all year long. Blended veggie soups are my go to, I love congee and other porridges, tom ka gai and tortilla soup are obsessions of mine, but pho ranks up there as one of my favorites. Pho has so many complex flavors, some fresh, bright and aromatic, some rich, deep and comforting.  A dish with such complex layers understandably requires a laundry list of ingredients and hours to develop,... Read More

Long Bean and Heirloom Tomato Summer Salad

This fresh summer salad was inspired by something I had at one of my favorite restaurants, Barbrix.  The original dish was made with green and yellow beans tossed in a light vinaigrette and topped with delicious grilled octopus.  While I don’t usually make octopus at home, their preparation of green beans really inspired me to work them back into my dietary routine.  So when I saw Chinese long beans at the market I knew just what to do with... Read More

Rustic Heirloom Tomato Salad

These tomatoes don’t need much to taste good.  Sometimes I just eat them on their own, but if you are new to heirlooms and need a simple idea for how to enjoy them, try this simple salad.  It features an easy honey dressing which cuts the sharp taste of some of the more acidic tomatoes, and subtly compliments the sweeter ones perfectly.  It’s lightly tossed with fresh basil, parsley and onion in a perfect summer concoction.   Rustic... Read More

Mixed Stone Fruit Salsa

We are at the very peak of stone fruit season.  Apricots have been around for a while, peaches are just now getting good, and cherries are the sweetest they can be right this very second!  For these few weeks of the year we can see nectarines, pluots, and apriums next to white, yellow and doughnut peaches, alongside baskets of red and rainier cherries.  So I gather them all up while I can! I often think of baking them into tarts, pies or cakes,... Read More

Fresh Coconut Curry – and how to make Homemade Coconut Milk

I have been working at juice bars for over 2 years now where we make fresh coconut milk daily.  It’s a tasty treat that isn’t too hard to whip up, just takes the confidence to swing around knives large enough to crack open the young Thai coconut’s shell.  At one place I worked they required us to wear a chain mail glove on one hand to prevent the loss of any digits – a small price to pay for the light, sweet, creamy taste... Read More

Baked Eggplant Bruschetta Salad

I love bruschetta. It has tomato and basil, some of my favorite fresh summer flavors, and in this incarnation I even threw in some roasted eggplant.  But what i don’t love is trying to balance all those delicious veggies on top of a little piece of toast before it finds its way to my mouth.  I figured it would be much easier to just chop up the bread too and toss it all together as a salad. Baked Eggplant Bruschetta Salad 2 c cubed bread 2... Read More

Sweet Basil and Mint Iced Tea

Last year when I went to San Francisco to visit my friends Rose and Kim, Rose made sweet basil and mint iced tea for a picnic we had in golden gate park.  It was simply wonderful and refreshing to drink while spending a beautiful summer day outdoors. You may not think of basil as an herb you would use for tea, but being in the mint family it shares many of its sweet, cooling properties.  In Chinese Medicine mint helps to circulate Liver Qi, which... Read More

herb and corn meal onion rings

i appreciate a good onion ring when i taste one, but it’s hard to find a place that doesn’t fry them up in the same oil they cook the chicken fingers in.  similarly, the heavy all-flour batter typically used is way too thick, requiring a longer cooking, which results in an over-cooked onion inside. i took a stab at making my own with some delicious results – using corn meal instead of flour makes for a much lighter, fresher, crispier... Read More

whole roasted garlic clove focaccia bread

i love making my own bread.  there really isn’t any comparison between a fresh, out of the oven, loaf and store bought varieties.  but bread can be tricky to get right –  either it is too dense, the crust isn’t thick enough, or it comes out lopsided.  focaccia is a simple bread to make that’s always soft on the inside with a crunchy crust. adding italian herbs to focaccia is fairly normal, but i stepped it up a notch by... Read More

hemp pesto

there are two basic ways to make pesto. one is to use parmesan cheese, which was my taste preference before i went vegan. the other way is to use a type of nut–often pine nuts but i’ve heard of walnuts, almonds, or pumpkin seeds used. lately i’ve been cooking with and learning about the health benefits of hemp seeds. they are packed with omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and a good helping of vitamin A to boot. plus they... Read More