summer vacation

Rice pudding on

Hello there! Have you noticed a lack of posts on the blog lately? Well, we’re taking a bit of a summer break, but wanted to let you know that we’re working behind the scenes on updating some of our older blog posts.

Here are three that have shiny new photos to go along with the previously blogged text. Enjoy!

snickerdoodles on

corn maque choix
corn maque choix on

rice pudding
Rice pudding on

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shrimp vermicelli bowl

Salads are a great no-heat dinner option during these oh so hot evenings we’ve been having lately. Noodle bowls are one of my favorite warm-weather Vietnamese foods (the other being a banh mi sandwich) and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to recreate one at home.

nuoc cham

Nuoc cham is Vietnamese fish dipping sauce. It usually comes on the side when you order a noodle bowl or spring rolls. It’s got the salty, sour, spicy and slightly sweet thing going on and it packs a giant umami punch. It’s also one of those condiments that you can easily adjust for your tastebuds: add more of any of the ingredients to make it just right!

assembled vietnamese noodle bowl

shrimp vermicelli bowl
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from  and White on Rice Couple and CookSmarts
makes: 4

1-2 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Sriracha
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup water
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 pound dried rice (vermicelli) noodles
4 handfuls of salad greens (or chopped lettuce)
3/4 pound julienned cucumber
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/2 pound carrots, grated
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced

Make the nuoc cham sauce by combining the garlic, Sriracha, lime juice, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and water in a small bowl. Set aside. Marinate the shrimp in 1-2 tablespoons of the nuoc cham while preparing the remaining ingredients. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. The best way to keep them from sticking after cooking is to run them in cold water and then leave soaked in cold water. Drain right before serving. Grill the shrimp over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side until opaque throughout. (You can also saute in a pan over medium-high heat). Divide the cooked noodles into four bowls and assemble by topping with shrimp, greens, cucumbers, mint, carrots, and scallions. Toss with as much nuoc cham sauce as desired.

Posted in rice/grain, salad, seafood | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

cuckoo for coconuts

three green meal

What’s better than grilled herb-y chicken? How about grilled herb-y chicken with coconut milk? The coconut milk adds a ton of richness and a touch of sweetness to this Thai inspired marinade that’s chock full of flavor.

grilling green

You can sear (3-4 minutes per side) and bake this chicken dish (15-20 minutes at 375) or do what I did and let the grill do the work for you! We served it with some grilled asparagus and coconut cilantro lime rice (use this recipe and subbing in the remaining can of coconut milk for some of the water).

grilled thai chicken

grilled thai chicken
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Flavour and Savour
serves: 6-8

12 boneless chicken thighs
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
12 fresh basil leaves
1 large or 2 small jalapeños, seeds removed
3 garlic cloves
1/4 inch slice of peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce (or salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish

Place the chicken in a gallon size zip-top bag. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Pour marinade over chicken, seal tightly and massage the marinade into the chicken a bit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, or simply lay it flat in the freezer and freeze for another day. When ready to cook, thaw completely. To grill: Place chicken on medium-hot well-oiled grill. Turn when chicken has grill marks (approx. 5-6 min). Cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees at the thickest part (about 7-8 minutes). Serve with lime wedges.

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turn up the beet

golden beets with mint on

I like eating traditional red beets, but I don’t love making them. Their color gets all over my hands, or on my clothes. They’re messy. And sometimes they’re downright a little too earthy tasting.

less color on the inside

Golden beets, on the other hand, don’t change my hands colors while being equally as gorgeous in color, so they’re already winning me over. They also happen to have a lighter flavor. This recipe calls for fresh mint because ’tis the season for big bunches of fresh herbs. These are a quick side dish, especially while the rest of dinner is cooking. They’re also husband approved- I caught him eating the leftovers straight out of the fridge!

golden beets with mint
makes 4 servings

printer-friendly version

1 1/2 lbs golden beets, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt

Place beets in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until the beets are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the beets and return to the pot. Add the butter and cook over medium heat until it’s melted. Add the mint and salt to the pan and toss together. Cook for two minutes to combine flavors. Serve warm.

Posted in dinner, meatless monday, side dish, side dishes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Summer is peeking through

blistered shishito peppers on

Little by little Summer is starting to appear in our lives. Stone fruits are starting to appear in markets and brighten our lives. These little shishito peppers appeared on the shelves the other day and I got really excited.

blistered shishito peppers on

lined up

Last year in NYC, these Asian peppers were popping up on menus all across town. The peppers aren’t spicy, they’re slightly sweet on their own. When tossed with a little salt and lemon juice they’re a perfect little appetizer with a cold drink or as a snack or side dish for summer!



blistered shishito peppers
makes 1-2 servings

printer-friendly version

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 container shishito peppers
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Heat a skillet over medum heat. Add the oil and peppers to the skillet and toss to coat. Allow the peppers to cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing them to blister but not burn. Remove from heat and toss with lemon juice and sea salt. Serve warm.

Posted in appetizer, dinner, paleo, side dish, side dishes, snack, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

jammin’ again

onion jam

Jam is one of those “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” foods. I mean really. You throw a bunch of fruit, or in this case, onions, into a pot, add a little of this a little of that and you cook until you get a delicious end result.

all in

This onion jam is sweet and savory and a perfect condiment for your summer grilling. You can also melt some cheese on bread and top it with this jam and call it a fancy hors d’oeuvre or a grown up grilled cheese. The possibilities are endless.


onion jam
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Marc Matsumoto

1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 large red onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat the oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine, making sure that the bay leaf and cinnamon stick are tucked under the onions. Place a lid over the pan and cook until the onions are very soft (30 minutes). Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium. Reduce the jam, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid the evaporate and the onions to further caramelize.

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thank goodness for a good mistake

garlicky green beans on

I’ve never had a problem eating my green vegetables. Honestly, I never really had a choice. Growing up the term “clean plate club” was used to nicely enforce the fact that we were expected to eat everything we were given or else we weren’t getting up from the table until everyone else was done. So yeah…those veggies were not a choice.

glass bowls

Lucky for me, I like veggies. After all, something has to balance out all the cupcakes, right? These green beans have been my favorite for forever. My mom would notoriously walk away from the pan, get distracted, and burn a few. And that was the best mistake because something about those slightly “over-browned” green beans made them work fighting for. My brothers and I would sneak them out of the serving dish one by one until we were found out reprimanded.


Also delicious was the crunchy garlic, which we nabbed out of the cooled pan after dinner. They key to the garlic is that it’s browned, not burned, and therefore crispy without being overly bitter.

I use the microwave to steam the green beans before adding them to the pan, but you can definitely use a steamer basket or blanch them beforehand instead. The whole point is to just partially cook them otherwise the garlic may burn while they’re taking longer to cook.

don't let it burn

garlicky green beans
makes 4 servings

printer-friendly version

1 pound fresh green beans, ends snipped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl with a few tablespoons water and cook for five minutes. Drain water from the bowl and set aside. Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and swirl the pan to coat. Add the garlic and saute one minute until slightly softened. Add the green beans and toss to coat in the garlic and olive oil. Turn the heat up to medium and let the green beans cook, undisturbed, for 3-4 minutes. Toss again and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Adjust the heat if the garlic starts to get too dark. Remove from the heat, add the salt and pepper and toss to incorporate. Serve immediately.

Posted in meatless monday, side dish, side dishes, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 3 Comments