Growing up in Ukraine, cucumbers and radishes were staple summer vegetables in my life. But when I met fennel - which was, sadly, all too recently - I was like, "Damn, girl. Where you been all my life?" Fennel doesn't typically get a whole lot of play on restaurant menus or in food media and I wonder why. Is its anise flavor off-putting? Are people confused by what to do with its ample stalks and fronds?! What do you think, people? Do you cook with fennel? Fennel's fresh floral taste and crunch is the perfect complement to grilled meats or fatty fish (like salmon), . . .
Have you ever tasted fried capers? If not, prepare your mind and taste buds to be blown by tiny, salty, nutty flavor bombs. Although capers are widely used in Mediterranean cooking, somehow, they never quite get the same spotlight as, say, garlic, olive oil or even stinky little anchovies (no offense, guys). But I would like this post to serve as the official announcement of my caper advocacy. Capers' lemony, briny flavor has the power to brighten and add complexity to many a dish, and at under $2 per jar at any supermarket, why wouldn't you give them a try? Like . . .
If you would have told me I'd be eating (and enjoying) "ricotta" made of soaked cashews a few years ago, I would have laughed you straight outta here. But when you eat a mostly plant-based diet and work at a health-focused culinary school, foods like shiitake "bacon" and cashew ricotta start to become wildly appealing. I'm not saying these imitations are better than or the same as their originals - rather, they are highly satisfying and nutritious substitutes you can actually feel good about eating. Thanks to the silky texture cashews take on when soaked, and the . . .
Whoever's idea it was to serve boiled broccoli to humans with functioning taste buds deserves to be put in a corner to think about what he did. To ruin such a versatile, nutritious, and yes, delicious food for the masses is nothing short of a crime. Same goes for the guy who served steamed broccoli. Yuck. Just like kale needs to be massaged to be palatable, broccoli needs to be charred. Charring broccoli (cooking it on high heat until blackened around the edges) brings out a bold nuttiness, as well as a smokey umami flavor usually reserved for juicy seared . . .
It is a rare occurrence to come across a truly great salad and this, ladies and gentlemen, is a truly great salad. Here's how it all goes down: you begin by shredding kale and massaging it until softened. Slices of sweet-tart apple go in next, followed by crunchy Parmesan chips (also known as frico), which provide the salad with a strong umami note. A creamy and nutty tahini dressing ties all the elements together to create a highly satisfying, delicious and healthful salad. Trust me - you're gonna want to try this one. Kale-Apple Salad with Parmesan Chips and . . .
A few weeks ago, my good friend Michelle and I spent an afternoon in the kitchen taking some photos. Because you are not a health food blogger until there's a photo shoot of you making a salad, amiright? I decided to make this awesome quinoa and black bean salad. Although super easy to make, it is packed with good-for-you ingredients and a variety of vibrant, Mexican-inspired flavors. Scroll down for the recipe! . . .
The summer before my junior year of college - what now seems like lifetimes and galaxies away - my best friend Sofya and I studied abroad in Paris for one month. Our class, where we surveyed the literature of 1920's American expat writers, took up only a few hours each day, leaving us the rest of the time to stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg, picnic on Champ de Mars, drink tequila-flavored beer at sidewalk cafes, and mingle with French boys. It was my first time in Paris, an event I had excitedly awaited for years. The trip exceeded all my expectations; it was . . .