it’s a dilly

having fun with my mandoline

Need a light salad for your next potluck or grill dinner? Here’s a refreshing cucumber dill salad coming your way. It’s light on the vinegar, but has tons of flavor from the copious amounts of dill. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets. Enjoy!

cucumber dill salad

cucumber dill salad
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Martha Stewart
serves: 4-6 (side dish)

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Toss in the cucumbers, red onions, and fresh dill. Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes.

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dukk, dukk, salmon

dukkah close up

Are you looking for a new way to prepare fish? We are fans of oven-baking fish to get that moist, flakey texture without much fuss. I like to have it topped with a layer of panko breadcrumbs or just seasoned with lemon pepper. But sometimes, I’m looking for something new.

a nut & spice blend

I found this container of Dukkah spice blend in my pantry, an impulse Trader Joe’s purchase, for sure. Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment made up of herbs, nuts, and spices. This version contains almonds, sesame, fennel, and anise seeds along with coriander and salt.

salmon + mayo + dukkah

I used a bit of my paleo mayo as glue before I crusted the salmon fillet with the dukkah spice blend. It made for a delicious nutty topping and was a great change of pace from our usual baked salmon.

dukkah-crusted salmon

dukkah-crusted salmon
printer-friendly recipe
serves: 2

Olive oil
2 salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon mayonaise
2 tablespoons dukkah spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small foil-lined pan with a light layer of olive oil. Salt and pepper the salmon filets and add to the pan. Smear half the mayo on top of each fillet and add the dukkah spice, pressing gently to coat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish easily flakes with a fork.

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spring has sprung

rhubarb upside down cake on

Spring! It’s here! It’s finally here! And I couldn’t be more happy to see it. For those who live in other parts of the world, you might not realize how miserable and cold this past NY winter has been, but it was a rough one. Cold, grey, so very, very long.

all right there

cut on the bias

Spring isn’t just lovely because the weather gets warmer, though. It brings with it a whole new, wonderful crop of spring fruits, veggies, and roots to spur creativity in the kitchen. And who could resist some gorgeous red rhubarb?


Rhubarb is a little bitter by itself, which is why you often see it paired with seasonally sweet strawberries in recipes. This upside down cake creates a syrupy mixture to combat the rhubarb’s taste and bring out its sweetness. The cake itself is light and airy and makes a perfectly gooey springtime treat.

rhubarb skillet



rhubarb upside-down cake
from saveur
makes 8 servings

printer-friendly version

¾ pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 ½” pieces
1 ½ cups sugar
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 6 tbsp. cut into ½” cubes and chilled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup vegetable shortening
⅓ cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup on the sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and cook until the rhubarb is tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar, salt, flour and baking soda to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and the shortening to the bowl in dollops. Use your hands to combine everything until well-combined and the dough forms pea-size balls. Add the milk and eggs. Stir until a consistent, sticky dough forms. Add the dough to the skillet in dollops and use a spatula to gently spread to cover the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Place a large plate or platter over the skillet and flip to remove the cake. Let cool completely before serving.

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food finds

cucumber and avocado salad

Do you ever get something new– a kitchen tool or gadget or a new ingredient– and then constantly find ways to use it? Well, I recently got a fancy schmancy new paring knife and wow! a sharp knife really makes a huge difference in the kitchen. I love my new knife and am constantly using this versatile tool as I prep and cook my way round the kitchen. I also ordered some Primal mayo, made with wholesome organic ingredients and without sugar, gluten, dairy, soy or canola.

food finds

So when I came across this recipe for a cucumber and avocado salad on Smitten Kitchen, I knew it would be a perfect recipe to make with both my new knife and my new mayo. And now I’m sharing it on the blog. Win-win-win.

cukes and avos

cucumber and avocado salad
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
serves: 2

3/4 to 1 pound seedless cucumber, washed and chopped into chunks
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large avocado, pitted and cubed
2 tablespoons mayonaise
Juice of half a lime
Salt and hot sauce (Sriracha) to taste
Chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl. Whisk together mayo, lime and seasonings, adjusting levels to taste. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with parsley.

Posted in appetizer, meatless monday, paleo, salad, side dish, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

all mushrooms

mushroom stroganoff on

I know we’re headed into warmer months. And I know that you want light, veggie-filled dishes. Here in NYC, however, it’s still a little chilly at night and, quite honestly, we’re not there with the light, veggie-filled entrees yet. Soon, but not quite.

no canned soup here

So here we have a hearty dish that is filled with mushrooms. Technically a fungi, but I’ll count them as a veggie for the sake of making it seem more spring-like. Stroganoff is traditionally beef in a creamy sauce, but mushrooms take center stage in this vegetarian version. Another bonus of this recipe? It doesn’t include any questionable cream of mushroom soup. That’s not easy to find in a stroganoff recipe.

all sliced up
(Of course, if you really wanted to make beef stroganoff you could just substitute one pound of browned ground beef for one pound of the mushrooms.)


mushroom stroganoff
makes 6 servings

printer-friendly version

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds mixed mushrooms (button, crimini, portobello), sliced
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces egg noodles

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion to the skillet and saute until softened. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and saute until they soften and  release most of their moisture, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and flour and toss until well distributed. Add the vegetable broth, stir, and cook until the liquid has thickened. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Meanwhile, Bring a large pot of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil over high heat. Add the egg noodles and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 10-12 minutes, or when the noodles are al dente, drain, reserving half a cup of the water. Use the reserved water to the sauce if it needs thinning. Serve the mushrooms and sauce over the noodles.

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miso hungry

Miso glazed eggplant on

I love eggplant. Alex hates it. It’s on the long and ever-growing list of foods he won’t eat. Usually I don’t cook it unless I know I’m eating by myself. The problem with this is that I only know a few ways to cook it.

Miso glazed eggplant on

Miso glazed eggplant on

This is a new way I learned. It only takes a few minutes of cook and prep before popping it in the oven. This recipe is so good that I ate the whole eggplant in one sitting. Don’t judge.

Miso glazed eggplant on


miso glazed eggplant
adapted from Pickled Plum
makes 2-4 servings

printer-friendly version

1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons white miso paste
2 1/2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score the inside into small squares. Heat a skillet large enough for both halves of the eggplant over high heat. Add oil to the skillet and place the eggplant cut-side down. Cook until browned. Flip eggplant over, cover with a lid and let cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked through and fork tender. In a small bowl stir together the miso, mirin, and sugar. Stir until well-combined and the sugar is dissolved. Brush the mixture onto the cut side of the eggplant. Place the eggplant on a lined baking sheet and set under the broiler for 4 minutes or until the miso mixture bubbles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve warm.

Posted in side dish, side dishes, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


acai bowl

Do you ever want to start your day off with a bowl of ice cream? No? Just me then… This acai bowl is the next best thing. A frozen smoothie in a bowl, topped with fresh fruit and granola. And it’s healthy and good for you! Win-win! Yay for superfoods!


acai bowl
printer-friendly recipe
serves: 1

1 frozen single serve packet pureed acai berry
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 cup liquid (juice, almond milk, etc.)
Fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, banana, etc.)
Granola, optional

Blend the acai berry, banana, and liquid of choice until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with your choice of fruit and granola, if using. Eat and feel good about yourself.

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