Ultimate Potato Salad (Whole30 Compliant!)

I grew up eating potato salad and it wasn’t until later in life that realized how spoiled I was by my mother’s potato salad, because it seems no one else makes it quite as well. It’s always really creamy and eggy, with plenty of mayo, and the light crunch of celery and red onion. It’s on my list of top 5 comfort foods so I make it a few times a year, and I’ve added some much welcome additions to a classic favorite, like... Read More

Simple Mashed Peas with Garlic and Mint

Peas are such a simple food.  You can easily toss them in a soup, curry, pot pie or casserole, but even when you cook them up by themselves they don’t need much to bring out their flavor.  A few minutes in some boiling water or a sautee pan with soften them up, then a little butter, garlic and whatever fresh herbs you have on hand will do the trick. Unlike mashed root vegetable which can turn into a creamy texture, the less starchy peas don’t... Read More

Brussel Sprouts, Bacon and Coconut

This is the kind of side I would make for a simple weeknight meal or as part of a special dinner party.  It’s simple and easy to make yet has great texture and developed flavors. Bacon goes so well with most green vegetables and I also love the pairing of coconut and brussel sprouts.  If I don’t cook my brussel sprouts up in bacon fat, like I did here, then I usually fry them in coconut oil.  So to get that coconut flavor in there,... Read More

Super Simple Roasted Tomatoes and Okra

There are some foods that are friends, but I would call tomatoes and okra best friends. They grow in the same season, they have similar textures, they can be cooked at the same temperature, the are both easy to cook, and they taste great together! Longtime readers of the blog might remember my super simple okra and miso marinara from a back in 2009. The recipes are very similar in that both use less than 6 ingredients and are very quick to whip together.... Read More

Super Simple Mashed Cauliflower

  I have been trying out a lot of new light recipes lately and even though I tried making mashed cauliflower before without much success, I tried my hand at it again and it was amazing!  Last time I tried the recipe, I tried to mash steamed cauliflower with a food mill and potato ricer, both of which did not work at all since cauliflower is more fibrous than potatoes.  This time I tried it in the food processor and that has proven to be the... Read More

Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy with Brown Rice and Black Eyed Peas

Eating light is at the top of many people’s minds these days now that New Year’s Resolutions are in full effect.  I have been focusing on eating small balanced light meals lately but that doesn’t mean taste has to be sacrificed or that they should take a long time to make.  Most of the time I cook some sort of grain and bean ahead of time and keep them in the fridge to make meal planning a quick and simple process.  I can grab... Read More

Savory Hand Pies – with Leek, Apple and Sheep’s Cheese

I’ve been wanting to make a pie lately, perhaps in the spirit of Thanksgiving.  But I’ve been craving the savory variety and wanting them small enough to be hand-held.  I had two large leeks I knew I wanted to use and my instinct was to mix them with some type of strongly flavored cheese, which ended up being kashkaval, a hard sheep’s milk cheese I got at the Armenian market near my house, but you could easily substitute a... Read More

Stuffed Mushrooms – with Pesto, Farmer’s Cheese and Broccoli

Stuffed mushrooms are such a simple thing, yet strangely enough I don’t think I have ever made them myself.  I have enjoyed other people’s versions, with spinach and garlic, brown rice or bread crumbs, stuffed with goat cheese, cheddar, or gruyere.  There are so many ways they can be served it’s hard to go wrong! I scored a glut of mushrooms from the Armenian market down the street today, I think because they will be closed... Read More

Parmesan Sunchoke Fries with Chimichurri Sauce

Once summer has officially wound down and the fall produce begins to roll into the farmers’ market, I fondly anticipate the sunchoke’s return.  Also known as a jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, or my favorite name, earth apple, this root veggie belongs to the sunflower family.  The roots grow all summer long while the flowers flourish up top, making roots ready for digging up in the fall. They are most similar in taste and texture to a... Read More

Fried Okra with Aleppo Pepper

I tried my hand at cooking okra two summers ago with great success when I made this Super Simple Okra and Miso Marinara over Soba Noodles.  But I kept hearing that fried okra is one of the tastiest ways to prepare this veggie, which often gets a bad rap for being slimy and strange, but it doesn’t have to be! I started off with a light breading of mostly garbanzo bean flour and some aleppo pepper for taste, which is an amazingly flavorful... Read More

Roasted Rainbow Heirloom Carrots with Pesto

When these beautiful spring rainbow carrots showed up at the farmers’ market I was unsure how to showcase them.  I eat a lot of carrots but they are rarely the star of the recipe, so I needed to find a special way to highlight these beautiful shades all on their own. I first got the idea for roasting and tossing with pesto from the gastrobus at the Los Feliz farmers’ market.  They serve an organic “tapas-style” brunch... Read More

sweet pickled carrot and daikon radish

some of my favorite recipes are the ones i gather from the mung farmer i work for.  we nearly always have daikon radish and i have learned to love it raw, in stir-fry and even soup, but i was wondering how she generally uses it.  when i asked my boss, Mai, she told me this super simple recipe that she and her family use for a quick sweet pickle that goes with nearly anything!  just mix equal parts sugar, vinegar and water, pour over thinly sliced... Read More

sweet baked broccoli

when i posted about baked broccoli here before, i guaranteed that baking is the best way to cook broccoli.  it yields soft, tender stems and crunchy, flavorful florets.  and they are easy to toss in some olive oil and a few seasonings before roasting for less than a half an hour.  even better than the curry powder i flavored it with before, is a little agave, spices and sesame seeds. this sweet and savory broccoli recipe has quickly become a favorite... Read More

Parsnip Purée topped with Almond “Parmesan”

Before this year I didn’t even know what a parsnip was.  It looks a bit like a blond-colored carrot that gets much wider at the top, and it tastes a bit like a carrot too!  But it has a clean fresh note to it as well, which really creates a bright flavor in any dish you add it too.  This dish is so incredibly simple, with just a few ingredients because the flavors of the parsnip really shine on their own. This classic dish much resembles... Read More

Roasted Fennel over Couscous

Fennel is an interesting vegetable.  When eaten raw I find it to have a celery-like texture with a hint of licorice flavor, which is not my favorite of all the flavors.  But like most vegetables, when roasted it mellow out and gains a toasty and buttery quality. I don’t roast the stems because i find them quite stringy, but I do save some of the fuzzy greens to chop up and season the bulbs with while they cook.  Afterward, they’re... Read More