Main Course

Turkey Chili with Kale and White Beans

April 5, 2014
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Is it chili?

Is it soup?

I really don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s so good that when I recently made an extra large batch for a dinner party hoping for leftovers for the next week’s lunches, I was left with nothing but a single bowl.

I came across this recipe at the beginning of the year while scouring Pinterest for “healthy” meals to make after the post holiday binge and used it as inspiration for this dish. While my version is different, and soupier (is that even a word?) than the original, it’s still incredibly healthy and delicious and it quickly became a family favorite.  I also chose to add kale to the recipe because frankly, most of us don’t get enough of the good stuff. Plus, I like the texture and the slightly bitter flavor it adds. This chili/soup is fresh, clean and flavorful and I hope

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Crab Cakes with Spicy Yogurt Remoulade

February 8, 2014
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Are you the type of person who if you see a particular item on a menu, you will order it without fail? Typically this is something you would never make at home, right? When I see duck with a crispy skin, there’s a 99.99% chance I will order it, but duck is something I never make at home.

If I’m ever in a restaurant with my husband and there is a crab cake on the menu I know exactly what he’s ordering. When I was a chef we had a running joke; if I saw a ticket come into the kitchen with a seared ahi and a crab cake on it for a single diner at the bar, I knew he was in the restaurant. He’s that predictable when it comes to a menu.

Crab cakes aren’t really that difficult to make at home, but I’ll be honest, they’re not …

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Kale Salad with Tangerines, Tiny Garlic Croutons, and Spicy Tahini Dressing

January 4, 2014
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There’s a lot of baggage associated with kale. We’re told it’s healthy and we’re told we should love it. Kale is trendy. Where I live, in southern California, yoga mat toting twenty-somethings extol the virtues of kale over nonfat soy chai lattes or kale laced smoothies so often it’s become a cliche or a SNL skit. The local evening news includes kale in their healthy eating segments at least once a month. So it’s normal to want to push back and ask for a triple shot caramel Frappuccino instead, because kale is so last year, right?

Not really. Kale is still right now, and last year, and even last century. There are Tuscan recipes going back to the 1700’s which use kale. Kale is here to stay and you may just find it’s something you’ll crave whether or not you are trying to eat healthy. Being good …

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Good Crud

December 4, 2013
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When I was a kid we were poor. Like welfare, food stamps, free school lunches poor. I am not ashamed of this, it helped form the self reliant and frugal person I am today.

I remember standing in line with my mother for assistance and noting that the other women and children in line did not look much like me but that was more observation than shame (Oakland CA, where we lived in the early 1970′s was predominantly African American). I remember my mom using food stamps when they were still paper coupons and not a plastic card, and shopping at the “Dented Can Store” when you could get 10 cans of corn for a dollar and who cared if they were dented? School lunch tickets were my normal.

Again, it was all ok by me because my mom was a really good cook and most of the time we …

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Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Garbanzos and Feta

November 9, 2013
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Months ago when I was researching for a series on eggs, I came across this recipe for eggs poached in tomatoes. While I didn’t include it in the series, it stuck with me as something I wanted to try, having seen similar versions on my travels in Turkey and Morocco. In Turkey this dish is called Menemen (where the eggs are usually scrambled) and in most of North Africa and Israel it’s called Shakshuka.  Even Italy has its version called Uova al Purgatorio (but without the garbanzos). 

It’s not hard to have almost every ingredient on hand to make this dish on the fly; canned tomatoes and garbanzos are staples in my pantry, as are the spices. Onions, eggs, and even feta cheese are almost always in my ‘fridge. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly, cutting it in half to serve two, and adding a few spices (the …

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Garlic Sesame Udon Noodles with Fried Tofu

October 28, 2013
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I never thought I’d like tofu. Really. There was a time in my life that I sneered at tofu as something only eaten by the tie-dyed birkenstock wearing wanna-be hippies in my university. We even had a student run food co-op on campus. So admittedly I was a little biased against tofu. I’m not sure what changed my mind. It might have been travel to places like China and Thailand and Japan. It might have been experimenting with eating vegan for 21 days (the tofu tacos are something I still eat, even though I chose not to remain vegan). Whatever it was, one day I realized, hey, this stuff is actually pretty good. When cooked right, properly seasoned, or fried with a crispy exterior and creamy interior, tofu can be a thing of beauty. Or at least an excellent vehicle for flavorful sauces and a good source of protein.…

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