Top 10 Recipes of 2015

December 30, 2015

Top 10 Recipes of 2015


It’s the end of 2015 and well, WHOA!
Are you guys ready?
I am definitely not.
I keep hearing my friends saying things like “Next year I want to skydive in the jungle” or “I want to wrestle a lion” or “ I want to write a novel” - and I’m more like “What’s for dinner tonight?” or “Running or yoga tomorrow?
Apparently, I’m not ready for 2016.
The only thing I know is that the new year will be filled with delicious food. Just like 2015, maybe even better...if that’s even possible.

Anyways, with the year coming to a close, I thought I’d put together a collection of the 10 most popular recipes on the blog during 2015 (in terms of pageviews).
Now mind you, these recipes are ones posted from January through December 2015 — basically this an annual roundup.
It’s quite an awesome bunch and you won’t be surprised that all of the most popular recipes are savory ones.

Quinoa Avocado and Apple Detox Salad

December 29, 2015

Quinoa Avocado and Apple Detox Salad


I’ll admit it, I tried to be virtuous but I totally went overboard with eating last weekend. Faced with homemade Christmas treats, it was hard to say no.
Yesterday morning I woke up feeling absolutely terrible. I actually felt like a Thanksgiving turkey: overstuffed, bloated, and even nauseated.
I was SO ready for a major detox.

Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas

December 24, 2015

Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas

I can’t quite believe it’s Christmas Eve and I’m here writing my Christmas blog post.
Roaring fires, good food, and the air filled with warmth.
Oh man, I love Christmas.

I love it even if every year at Christmas I'm reminded how bad I am at wrapping gifts.
The presents are usually “wrapped” in some sort of way and then I pile on the tape.
Tape is amazing.
Another option is the Tootsie Roll Twist — doesn’t matter the size or shape of the present.
If all else fails: Gift bag. Gift bags are magic.

Anyways, I’m also busy whipping up a feast for my family.
This year the menu includes a beef roulade stuffed with all sorts of delicious things (I know, awesome), Garlic Thyme Potatoes Anna, Baked Spinach, Maple-Glazed Butternut Squash, Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I come from a large family where everyone loves to eat well (and drink good wine).
So yeah, a lot of pressure on Mike...

As I look back at the year gone by, there is one thing that stands out the most: YOU GUYS!
I am so very grateful that you guys read this blog, enjoy it, share it, and engage with me on here, Twitter, Facebook,Instagram, and Pinterest.
I really hope that in some way it enriches your life as much as it enriches mine to write it.
Thank you.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Butternut Squash Fritters (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

December 21, 2015

Butternut Squash Fritters (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)
Since we’re all super busy these days, I’m going to keep things simple and give you a quick and easy recipe.
Because if there’s one thing I know is that during holiday season the most valuable thing is our time. And clearing your schedule for an evening (with no work, no cooking, no phone calls) is the best gift you could ever give yourself. Imma right?

3-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge with Sea Salt

December 19, 2015

3-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge with Sea Salt


Now that we are 6 days away from Christmas, I finally got into the holiday spirit. About time right?
Decorating the apt, shopping for friends and family, and changing the playlist to some Christmas music.
I have to be completely honest here, nothing puts me in the holiday spirit quite like the seasonal sounds of festive holiday music.
So I thought it would be cool to share my top five Christmas songs [drumroll please]:

Chocolate Dipped Almond Shortbread Cookies with Sea Salt

December 16, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Almond Shortbread Cookies with Sea Salt


I firmly believe that shortbread is one of the simplest and most satisfying cookies there is.
And yet, there is a notable, sad absence for a shortbread recipe on this site and it’s like totally my fault.
But you see, authentic Scottish shortbread is made of just 3 ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour. And sugar and flour (2 out of 3) are not paleo-friendly.
Which means that shortbread is almost like paleo-poison: all one you need is one bite to be doomed for all eternity Mwahahaha Hahahaaha...

The Best Baked Kale

December 11, 2015

The Best Baked Kale


Let’s face it. Things just aren’t the way they used to be.
Life before Instagram seems like 100 years ago.
More even. Life before smartphones: was there even life before smartphones?
The first iPhone was released in 2007 — a time when dinosaurs still prowled the Earth.
Smartphones have changed the way we live, they have collapsed so many things we use every day into a little block made of plastic, metal, and glass.
They have changed the very notion of what a phone is. It's no longer a device to make phone calls: A smartphone is an all-purpose pocket-size computer we can use to direct (and control) our lives.

Light Italian Minestrone Soup

December 9, 2015

Light Italian Minestrone Soup


Let’s be real for a sec: soups are not exactly “dude food”.
Picture this: Guys get together for Football Night, Poker Night, Dude Night, whatever testosterone-filled event; maybe they went hiking/fishing/hunting and are coming back home sweaty, tired, and starving. Maybe they went to the homecoming game and are ravenous.
Whatever it was, imagine one of the dudes saying “All right boys, who wants a bowl of Light Italian Minestrone Soup?

It doesn't sound right...
By doing so, he would set himself for ridicule, disrespect, and contempt (and I’m being gentle here!)
Dude food is fall-off-the-bones tender pork ribs slathered in a barbecue sauce, meatballs, chili cheese fries, and cans of beer we can readily shotgun, then smash on our foreheads.
Soup? Doesn’t quite fit right?

Spicy Maple-Glazed Butternut Squash

December 7, 2015

Spicy Maple-Glazed Butternut Squash
I love fall. I mean, I know how unoriginal that is to say, but I can’t help it.
I just love it: leaves, hot booze, sweaters, and snuggling. Fall is definitely the Goldilocks of seasons.
The only problem is figuring out how to make fall longer than it is.
Meteorologically winter includes the months of December, January, and February so I’m not fooling myself, I’m aware that we are already in winter.
But can we pretend it’s still fall? Just for a sec...please...
And what better way to do it than roasting butternut squash - one of my favorite fall treats.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (Paleo and Vegan)

December 3, 2015

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (Paleo and Vegan)


For many in America Christmas season begins as soon as the turkey, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie have digested.
Often, the very moment our self-induced food comas begin to subside, we grab our coats to make our way to a few big box stores or to haul the big boxes of Christmas decorations in from the garage.

Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole

December 1, 2015

Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole


So I’ve been recently asked by a reader the following question “Could you describe how a casserole would taste like to someone who has never lived in America? I would certainly love to know how it actually tastes like.”
According to the Larousse Gastronomique "a casserole is a dish with two or more elements, the basis of which can be rice in combination with meat or fish, plus a sauce or gravy, and often a variety of vegetables. This one-dish-meal can be prepared in advance and cooked in a decorative casserole. (Here comes my favorite part) - Such a dish is very popular in homes where there are no servants to help prepare or serve meals."
Which explains why I make so many casseroles it’s not even funny, I have no servants.
Ha!

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce

November 27, 2015

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce


Society these days puts so much emphasis on “doing” that when I’m asked what I do with my free time, I feel pressured to say something socially acceptable like saving mankind, a new job, climb Mt. Everest, charity, school, etc — when I really want to say “Dude, I like to chill and do absolutely nothing!
But I never do.

15 Recipes To Detox Your Body

November 25, 2015

15 Recipes To Detox Your Body


Because I know I can’t compete with your grandma’s green bean casserole, Aunt Mary’s velvety mashed potatoes, or cousin Jean’s super-rich stuffing.
And because I’m savvy enough to realize that you don’t need me to tell you how to choose, cook or cut a turkey — for that and a for any other Thanksgiving situation Martha is there for you.
This year I decided to skip Thanksgiving altogether and move directly to Black Friday.
You know, the busiest shopping day of the year — where we trample people for things we don’t actually need, the day after being thankful for what we have.
Also known as the day you wake up feeling like a bloated, elastic-waistband-wearing version of yourself.

But instead of throwing yourself a pity party with leftover stuffing before you hit the stores: why not start fresh with something healthy?
I went in and selected 15 recipes from The Iron You that will help you detox after turkey-day. Most are smoothies/juices, some are salads/soups but there’s also a dessert that I snuck in too, if you want something sweet.

In the meantime I wish you guys a happy Thanksgiving. And remember, Thanksgiving is not a day to diet — for once, you get to gather ’round the table with family and friends, and eat delicious holiday dishes to your heart’s content.
Because no one wants green juice at their Thanksgiving table. No one.

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

November 20, 2015

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
This recipe is the shining example of what a few well-placed ingredients and good cooking technique can do to a plain piece of meat.
Thick and succulent pork chops are seared, baked, then slathered with sweet glaze, and roasted until perfectly caramelized.

Cauliflower Tortillas

November 18, 2015

Cauliflower Tortillas


Let’s get this out of the way up front: This recipe is for me. Not for you, for me.
The reason I’m sharing it with you today on my blog is that every time I need to make cauliflower tortillas I have to find this enchilada recipe, scroll all the way down past all the nonsense and pictures my posts are filled with, and finally find cauliflower tortillas.
And that’s just not, you know, very handy.
That’s why I wanted to post just the recipe for cauliflower tortillas.
And I did, right here. All right?

Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Almond Pesto

November 16, 2015

Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Almond Pesto



Just like any other 30-something I love going out on Friday nights.
I love being with my friends and have dinner together. Eat delicious food, chat, and laugh.
I love going out for drinks, meet new and interesting people from all walks of life.
I love going to gigs, meet other folks with a similar interest in music as me, listen to good music, dance, and have just a blast.
For me, and for many others, that’s what Friday nights are for.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Cauliflower Noodles

November 13, 2015

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Cauliflower Noodles


Let me give you the short story of this recipe.
Butternut squash, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella. Noodles, more mozzarella, Parmesan!
Now the long story.
Gluten-free+grain-free cauliflower noodles layered with a creamy butternut squash-ricotta filling and an extra-rich spinach-mozzarella filling, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, sprinkled with a bit of Italian seasoning, baked until piping hot and just starting to brown.

Easy Baked Parmesan Mushrooms

November 9, 2015

Easy Baked Parmesan Mushrooms
As with anything else in life, running has its good days and bad days. 
One day I practically fly through an easy 10 miles, and the next day I can barely push my sorry legs past the 5-mile mark.
During those time running becomes more a mental thing than a physical one.
And over years I’ve learned that the best thing I can do is to distract myself — instead of focusing on why I can’t run.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Zoodles

November 6, 2015

Lemon Garlic Chicken Zoodles


Even if you don’t believe in climate change or global warming, you can’t deny that we had, so far, a particularly mild fall — especially in my neck of the woods.
It hardly ever went below 60, most people are still in flip flops and sandals, I haven’t worn my winter running gear just yet, and man, this morning I stepped outside in my tee and denims.
Is it fall yet? It still does feel like summer to be honest.

Easy Korean Sticky Chicken

November 4, 2015

Easy Korean Sticky Chicken


For someone who talks about food like 12/7 (the remaining 12/7 are dedicated to triathlon and yoga, obviously), I have some bad habits when it comes to eating.
Such as wolfing down my food.
Seriously, I sit down at the table and stuff my mouth with food in a very ungentlemanlike manner; as if someone was pointing a gun at my head screaming “I'm going to blow your brains out if you don't eat fast!

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad

November 2, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad


I’ve confessed again and again that I’m just the kind of person that way too often hits on something that can't stop eating. For days, weeks, months.
It happened with coconut curry chicken, garlic mushrooms, creamy mashed cauliflower, and now this salad.
I’m telling y
ou, if I had a butternut squash right now at home, instead of writing this post, I’d be peeling, chopping, and roasting it.
No kidding.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup

October 30, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup


I’m totally hoarding pumpkins at the moment — I buy a butternut every time I go to the shops.
Yet not a single one of them will become a Jack-o’-Lantern (I’m so bad at carving pumpkin — no matter how hard I try they always come out lousy) nor they will be used for making pumpkin pie (I know that’s almost blasphemous to say but I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie — the texture is just way too gloppy for me.)

Italian Seasoning

October 26, 2015

Italian Seasoning


A quick post today on something I recently just made out of necessity: Italian seasoning.
I know all too well that Italian seasoning is the kind of thing that chefs and sophisticated cooks “never” use.
But as far as I’m concerned, I use it all the time — and I’m not afraid to say it.
Whenever I need to season a chicken breast for dinner, Italian seasoning is there to make it more savory.
I’m whipping up some cauliflower crust cheese pizza? Italian seasoning.
Need to add some extra flavor to my soup? Italian seasoning.

20-Minute Creamy Vegan Carrot Soup

October 23, 2015

20-Minute Creamy Vegan Carrot Soup


Because I am, in all likelihood, about 10 years old on the inside but old enough on the outside to know that it’s better not to fool yourself or others, I’m going to admit from the start that carrot soup may not be one of the most fashionable soup there is.
Take a New England clam chowder or a French onion soup for instance: They’re classy, sophisticated, and elegant. The kind of soups that would own the runway.
But carrot soup? Carrot soup is synonym for mundane, ordinary, maybe even banal. There’s nothing fashionable about it.
Yet, in all its mundanity this particular 20-Minute Creamy Vegan Carrot Soup is hearty, satisfying, heartwarming, and incredibly delicious.

Wolfpack-Style Meatballs

October 20, 2015

Wolfpack-Style Meatballs


I’d be lying if I were to say that I’m familiar with baby showers.
I mean, I know what a baby shower is: A party usually thrown by a friend or family member for the first child so that the mom-to-be can feel supported by her friends and family and obtain a few of the essentials.
There’s food, there’s tittle-tattle, there’s a lot of “Oh my God this is the cutest thing ever!”, there are usually party games organized by the host, and so on.
But traditionally baby showers are just women (though more and more are starting to have a mix of men and women) and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve never been invited to one.

Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant

October 16, 2015

Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant


I feel you guys should know that I sometimes endure physical pain in order create the recipes for this blog.
For instance, the other day I was chopping serrano peppers and accidentally wiped my eyes.
You.Have.No.Idea.
It started burning like hell, so I jumped in the shower and hosed my eyeball off for 10 minutes straight.
Those of you who have tried to soothe a salsa-scorched mouth with water know that this does not work at all. It helps for a second, and then the burn returns with a vengeance.
In fact I'm pretty sure I made it worse because when I got out of the shower my eye was still burning, and was now bright red and swollen.
The heat and pain from spicy foods is caused by capsaicin, which isn't soluble in water — so it just washes over it and spreads it around without removing it.

20-Minute Skillet Chicken Fajitas

October 14, 2015

20-Minute Skillet Chicken Fajitas
Fortunately, for like healthy eating, nutritional balance, and all that boring stuff I do, I did not entirely subsist on chocolate chip banana bread for the past few days — tempting as it may have been. 
I’ve also been making chicken fajitas like it were the 90s when I was still in high school and fajitas were the shiz - just like cronuts are today (or are they yesterday already?)

(Paleo) Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

October 12, 2015

(Paleo) Chocolate Chip Banana BreadAs Gary Jules sang, it’s a mad, mad world.
Everyone seems to be on the move. They are either coming or going. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush and it’s tempting to pile more on your plate than you can handle.
It’s become the norm to juggle an extra volunteering gig or job when you don’t even have the time to catch your breath.
I personally pride myself in being able to be occupied on a regular basis: work, blog, training, social life, helping sis with the kids, etc.

Easy Pumpkin Masala

October 7, 2015

Easy Pumpkin Masala


My favorite Indian cookbook is “Step-By-Step Indian Cooking” by Sharda Gopal.
Why am I telling you that?
I dunno, I guess I just needed to get it out there.
I guess I just needed someone else to know.
Just like I want you to know that I find this song annoying, that I would like to kill the Geico gecko, and that I’m not digging The Big Bang Theory anymore.
There, I said it. Now sue me. Or do whatever you deem is right.

Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Arrabbiata

October 5, 2015

Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Arrabbiata


You guys, this is awesome. Really awesome.
Awesome like a mug of warm mint chocolate on a chilly autumn day, like a day at the Spa, like a sink without dirty dishes, like running 10k under 35 minutes — that kind of awesome.

Provencal Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

October 2, 2015

Provencal Slow-Roasted Tomatoes


I am sometimes certain that I wait all year for the Giants to get back on the field, you know, the same way a kid waits for Christmas to arrive, niece C prepares for Halloween (are you going to be Elsa for the third year in a row?), and a “normal” person eagerly anticipates whatever sleek trinket Apple has coming this fall.
So you have to excuse my lack of focus — over the last four weeks all I could think about has been football and my fantasy football team.
But even in this ‘football state of mind’ the other night I was able to drag myself to the farmers' market at, like, 6pm and discovered that they had a ton of discounts.
I scored two pounds of organic heirloom cherry tomatoes for about 4 bucks and a bunch of other stuff for like $10 all together. I was super stoked about it.

Chia Seed Berry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

September 30, 2015

Chia Seed Berry Coconut Smoothie Bowl


To some extent, in one way or the other, we are all incoherent. I think it’s part of human nature: we say one thing and end up doing another.
A few everyday examples include: complaining about living in a mess but watching TV instead of doing chores, extolling the health benefits of biking to work then smoking a pack a day, parking the car as close as possible to the gym before going to a cardio class, wearing sports clothes but never exercising, being concerned about your health but eating a diet of junk food, etc. I could go on forever and ever and ever

Immune-Boosting Blueberry Smoothie

September 28, 2015

Immune-Boosting Blueberry Smoothie


There are many aha moments in September when you can tell summer is over and fall has begun.
The leaves are turning yellow, red and brown, the air chills and the days get shorter, the Instagram feed is filled with snaps of pumpkin spice lattes, your favorite shows are no longer repeats, and a symphony of sniffles on public transportation begins.
Which can only mean one thing: we need to start worrying about colds and the flu (sigh!)

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds

September 25, 2015

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds


Autocorrect is awesome at turning your garbled typing into coherent messages.
Except when it's not.
Take for instance my friend Shashi. For the past week or so she asked on more than one occasion how I ‘twerked’ a particular recipe — I know that she meant ‘tweaked’ but clearly her phone was acting on its own volition.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love twerking just as much as the next person (well, not really) but I honestly have no idea how to twerk a recipe.
What are you supposed to do?
Let’s not forget that twerking presupposes dancing in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
Does that mean that in order to twerk a recipe you take a cookbook and rub your booty against it?
I dunno, I dunno.
I might need to ask Miley Cyrus for guidance...she knows a thing or two about twerking, right?

Easy Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

September 23, 2015

Easy Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Turkey Chili






If you are from Texas, I apologize.
I know that chili con carne is the official dish of the state, and I know how seriously Texans take their chili con carne — so seriously that they even have weekend-long festivals devoted to its creation.
I also know that in Texas if you add things like kidney beans, bell peppers, carrots, oregano, and tomato sauce to chili con carne, you’re going to get an earful.

(Paleo) Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

September 21, 2015

(Paleo) Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
Cooking is an art, baking is a science.
A sad truth.
While I will comfortably fuss and fiddle with a savory recipe. Playing with muffins or cookies? Not the wisest idea.
Fact is, there is minimal room for improvisation in baking.
Take cocoa for instance.
Do you know that it's safe to substitute natural cocoa when Dutch-processed cocoa is listed in a recipe but it's not possible, however, to switch cocoa types the other direction?
Oh, baking, you cruel, precise science.

Eggplant Pizzas

September 18, 2015

Eggplant Pizzas
I love tweaking recipes I find by adding things that I love and that I think will enhance the outcome. Some recipes however are just perfect the way they are and need to be loved as such.
This is one of those recipes.
I've been tempted to tweak it up in different directions but each time I do, I decide against it.
Because truth to be told, there’s not much I can do to make it better.

(Paleo) Cinnamon Roll In A Mug

September 14, 2015

(Paleo) Cinnamon Roll In A Mug
The process of perfecting a recipe is largely trial and error.
It requires understanding the basic ingredients (coconut flour, what have I done to you?) and the variations for different situations (i.e., coconut flour needs more liquid and eggs than other flours), then tasting them against one’s experience in actual use.
Make, taste, smell, notice, change, repeat.
This is my mantra when it comes to perfecting recipes.

Green Goddess Quinoa Salad with Feta Cheese

September 11, 2015

Green Goddess Quinoa Salad with Feta Cheese

It seems that this blog is finally working for me: I have an archive of recipes I love, largely ones that work as they should, and the answer to “What should I eat today?” is now, quite often “Aw man those turkey koftas were legit. Let’s have them again!

Eggplant Parm "Meatballs"

September 9, 2015

Eggplant Parm "Meatballs"
Okay, I know that despite everyone being back to school, back to work (ugh!), and Labor day being but a small blink in the rearview mirror (was it the day before yesterday or like a month ago?), summer isn’t really over yet.
It’s still hot, humid, smelly, the days are still relatively long and no, I will not put my flip-flops away just yet.
But I can’t help it, as soon as September rolls around, I begin the transition from summer to fall.
I grab the cold weather running gear. I look at the plums and peaches at the Farmers’ market questioningly - I only want to buy apples, figs, and pumpkins.
And I feel the need for bubbly, filling, and indulgent meals — such as eggplant parm.

(Paleo) Kung Pao Chicken

September 7, 2015

(Paleo) Kung Pao Chicken
In college I made the stunning discovery that an order of Kung Pao Chicken, braised eggplant, and a beer water was pretty much the best weekday dinner there could ever be.
A friend and I made a weekly ritual of it; until one day we couldn't tolerate another bite — anyone with a bit of common sense would have seen that coming, not us, we were that naive.

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

September 4, 2015

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
I’m not sure if you do this as well, but I tend to go in and out food crazes — currently, the only thing I want to eat after running is garlic butter zoodles, which doesn’t sound so bad until you consider that I run every day.
I’ve gone through similar phases with scrambled eggs with avocado and feta, dinners of teriyaki glazed chicken and creamy mashed cauliflower, pan-fried dumplings with chinese eggplant, and for three tormented weeks Xi’an Famous Foods’ Hand-Ripped Noodles (so not paleo, so guilty delicious!)

Creamy Caprese Cauliflower Casserole

September 2, 2015

Creamy Caprese Cauliflower Casserole
We all love cauliflower at this point, don’t we? It has come a long way. A very, very long way.
We’ve tried it as pizza crust, bread, tortillas, rice, noodles, soufflé, even hot pockets. We blend it into mashed “fauxtatoes” and roast it until it becomes perfectly caramelized, nutty, and sweet.
Mel even makes brownies with it, Lau uses it in cakes, while Synthia blends it to create a delicious rice pudding.
But friends, have you combined it with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil to make an awesomely delicious bake?
This is my not-so-humble addition to the cauliflower craze, and it has seriously become by far one of my favorite casseroles of all time. (It might become yours too.)

(Paleo) Rich ‘n Creamy Hot Chocolate

August 31, 2015

(Paleo) Rich and Creamy Hot Chocolate


Is it too early for hot chocolate?
The answer is who cares, hot chocolate is forever.
OK, OK, OK...I know it's still summer. Hot, humid, sweaty, smelly, glorious summer — with temperatures sitting firmly planted near the triple digits.
But I woke up last Saturday morning and needed hot chocolate.
If I crave something, I make it, and eat it (or drink it in this case). It.Just.Has.To.Happen.

My Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools

August 30, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools




To be honest, I’m not really a “Buy this gadget!” kind of guy.
Sure, I’ve told you a couple of times to get a spiralizer or a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet; but I’m a firm believer that if you really want to make something, you can make it happen. No.Matter.What. There’s always a way to MacGyver together a solution to the problem of not-the-right-gear.
That being said, I’m a big fan of the right tool for the right job — especially when it makes my life in the kitchen easier and more efficient.
So I’ve put together a list of my Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools.

Tools that I use every day, that are exceptionally good at performing their given task, yet are rarely, if ever, found in a “regular” kitchen (every time I go cook at a friend's house, I'm always disappointed to discover very lousy cookware.)
Chances are, you already have a couple of these: maybe you have a cast iron skillet that was your grandmother’s, a Crock-pot you got for your wedding, a very old vegetable peeler you bought ages ago but rarely use.
But you might not have all of these. If you like cooking though, they are all worth having.

Skillet Paprika Potatoes

August 28, 2015

Skillet Paprika Potatoes

While tomatoes are getting most of the glamour these days, we mustn’t forget that this is also the height of the new potato season.
I want more people to realize how special new potatoes are — they’re one of the least celebrated foods, even in this positive era of seasonal, local produce.
There’s something amazing in enjoying a bowl of just-cooked new potatoes. And I feel you should know that.

Easy Baked Garlic Mushrooms

August 26, 2015

Easy Baked Garlic Mushrooms

Let’s start with what matters most: this is absolutely my favorite quick and delicious way to prepare ‘shrooms.
It’s an incredible, quick, easy side dish that’s ready in less than 30 minutes and that it’s so delicious it will outshine the main dish — unless the main dish is Spicy Basil Lemon Chicken, then we might call it a draw.
These Easy Baked Butter Garlic Mushrooms will make you drool in a way that only butter and garlic can, well that and sweet potato fries, chocolate chunk cookies, pulled pork, and quesadillas. Just to name a few.
It’s seriously the one side side I keep making again and again.

Cauliflower Noodle Spinach Lasagna

August 24, 2015

Cauliflower Noodle Spinach Lasagna
This, this is my culinary Himalaya.
This fifteen-layer striation of cauliflower noodles, tomato, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese, repeated three times, is so delish you won’t even believe it.
Saturday night my friends L+L couldn’t believe how delicious it was, you probably wouldn’t either.
You must though, because this Cauliflower Noodle Spinach Lasagna is homey, comforting, and a total winner.

Green Goddess Turkey Burgers

August 21, 2015

Green Goddess Turkey Burgers
I’ll say it before you do. Turkey burgers can be pretty blah.
Sure, they’re lower in fat and calories compared to the traditional ground beef burger; but it takes just one bite of a lifeless and dry turkey burger to make you miss the beef counterpart so very much.
I’ve been there many times — more than I’d like to admit.
But when turkey burgers are spiced excellently and tender and juicy, they’re awesome in their own right.
Add zucchini or apple to ground turkey and you’ve got something really good going on. So good you ever wondered why you doubted turkey burgers in the first place.

Bloody Mary Meatballs

August 19, 2015

Bloody Mary Meatballs
I was situating myself with my Kindle in seat 32C (classic “easy out” aisle seat) on my recent trip to Berlin, when the flight assistant unveiled behind the curtains the path-to-the-bathroom-blocking drink cart.
As I was spying from behind my ebook, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of people ordered tomato juice/Bloody Mary (including myself).
The old lady seated in front of me, a mom and her teenage daughter, even the hipster dude with handlebar moustache sitting next to me.
I never drink tomato juice/Bloody Mary at home, restaurants or bars. But when the flight assistant asks “What would you like to drink?”, rest assured there’s tomato juice to be had.