Tomato Pasta Salad

This is a great summer dish when you can get your hands on really great quality tomatoes. My mother in law Atsuko used to make this simple tomato pasta salad really often which was really refreshing and a hit with kids and adults alike.

The better the quality of your tomatoes – the better this dish will taste. You will have to adjust the quantity of tomatoes according to the type you use. I usually use heirlooms or new jersey tomatoes but you can also use super sweet cherry tomatoes, plum or Roma.

You can choose any kind of pasta though I prefer the the shorter tubular ones, farfalle or fusilli. Always use a good quality EVOO – I personally love Brightland. 

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Vegan Beet Poke Bowl

This vegan beet poke bowl recipe is one that I have been most excited about recently. 

My daughter discovered it from Feasting at Home and made it for dinner one night and I’ve been hooked ever since. 

The beets add such vibrancy both in flavor and color – you do not miss the fish at all. I just love the zesty sauce that goes with it and always make extra as everyone loves to douse their bowls with it.

This is the first time we made a poke bowl at home and it just opened up a whole slew of ideas where I’ve made several iterations of them since – some veggie and others with sashimi. It’s such an easy, quick and super healthy meal to put together and it looks just gorgeous. You can play with colors and ingredients as you wish and can serve this with any kind of noodles, rice or just greens too.

 

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Grilled Asparagus, Ramps, Scallions & Zucchini

It’s grilling season and as exciting as all the meats are to cook – for me there’s nothing tastier than throwing a whole lot of farm fresh veggies on the grill. This mix of seasonal greens served as a perfect accompaniment to our bbq pork. 

The fresher your vegetables, the less intervention they need. Just a brush of olive oil and some salt and pepper. I served them with a homemade ramp chimichurri but you really don’t need a sauce to go with these.  Just putting those grill marks and some char on those veggies takes them to the next level.

I chose a combination of ramps, scallions, asparagus and zucchini- as that was part of my veggie haul from Union Square GreenMarket and The Queens County Farm.

 

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Kale Keema Fried Rice 

A while back I posted this recipe for a keema (minced meat) with kale. Here is what I did with the leftovers. I just stir fry it with rice – kind of like a desi version of fried rice – dollop some ghee on top and you have a band new dish. Here is the recipe for the keema with kale. Serve this rice with my Beet Raita.

You can adjust the quantities in this recipe as per how much you have leftover.

 

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Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

This might be one of my favorite ways to cook chicken tenders. It’s quick, crispy, delicious and doesn’t require deep frying. Sit them on large platter of anything – I used salad greens and roasted tomatoes but you can do sautéed veggies, rice, baked fries and so on. This chicken goes really well with a spicy hot sauce.

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Ramp Pesto Tartine

It’s ramp season and I went a little crazy at Union Square Market last week buying bunches of them. I’ve been experimenting a lot with them, adding them to this and that. I made a really nice pesto with ramps and pistachios and have been making gorgeous layered breakfast tartines with it.

I found a really good recipe by Kim Severson for a ramp pesto which can be used in several dishes.

It’s really easy to make a layered tartine – at the very least you could just do pesto, avocado and some greens on top. There are so many variations you could do – mine really depends on what I have in my fridge. I keep things like hummus, babganoush, labne, ricotta on hand and when in doubt just top any tartine with a fried egg. Use your imagination, tomatoes, cucumbers, mint – just about anything can make this even more really delicious. Also, the better the quality of bread – the better your tartine will be.

This one is with fresh ricotta, avocado, a beet puree, ramp pesto and some microgreens.

 

For the beet puree, I just roast or boil the beets till cooked, add some salt, pepper and olive oil to it and puree in a food processor until the desired texture is reached.

Just look at the beauty!

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My Simple Soup

Rainy days and yummy soup go hand in hand! 

I love Asian inspired clear broths. There are a few pantry items I always keep on hand so I can make this quick soup anytime. They are frozen dumplings, tofu, broth (homemade or store bought), a bottle of hon tsuyu and noodles (any kind). Greens are a great addition – I use anything from bok choy to spinach to kale. Pick any leafy green – you just have to cook the tougher greens a little longer. 

This soup is really just a matter of combining all of these ingredients together. I do different variations   – tofu and greens soup, dumplings and greens or sometimes I put everything in – tofu, dumplings, noodles and more.

I usually put a lot of ginger in my broth. If you are using a store bought broth, you can shave a few pieces of ginger in and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Here is my simple soup recipe.

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Sweet Potato Chips

I love sweet potatoes and the simplest way to cook them is to bake them. I make all kinds of baked fries with them. When I’m feeling extra lazy- I just slice them up in my food processor into thin chips and bake them.

Be careful as you bake these as they can become black and crisp very quickly but you do want to mix in a few of the crispy ones with the rest as it really adds a nice crunch to the chips. You can eat them straight out of the oven but if you wait a little and let it cool down – they tend to get crisper. Top them with any of your favorite seasonings.

 

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Sheet Pan Gobhi Kathi Rolls

Recently I made a really easy sheet pan cauliflower (gobhi). Here is what I did with the leftovers the next day for lunch. I rolled them up into a Kathi roll – threw in some condiments and it was a totally transformed dish.

I always make a concoction of sliced onions, lemons and chili to put in my Kathi roll but this time I had some purple cabbage lying around which I added to this mixture and the results were just brilliant. The cabbage added and a really nice crunch and made them that much healthier. If you have some mint chutney on hand, serve with the rolls – it will really kick the flavor profile up a notch.

If you wish to keep the roll vegetarian just skip then egg in the roti. Here is a link to the recipe for the sheet pan cauliflower. 

 

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Farro w/ Roasted Broccoli

I’m all about quick and healthy recipes. I always buy a bunch of broccoli, chop it up and keep it in my fridge to throw into any dish I can. I had some leftover farro and decided to combine the two. 

I stir fried some hot peppers with garlic to give this dish a kick but you can skip the heat or use sweet peppers instead if you don’t like the spice. 

When cooking the farro, follow instructions on your package – I generally add just a little less liquid (like maybe 1-2 tbs less) than is suggested so that it doesn’t turn out mushy. Also cooking it in broth makes it much more flavorful. 

I roast the broccoli with olive oil in the oven and add it in at the end. You can choose steam it too but the char does add a nice flavor. Always use a good quality extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish off with – it makes all the difference. 

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