Summer veg coconut curry with chickpeas

summer veg curry

After a week of hot, steamy, 90+ degree weather, the last couple of days (in the mid-60s and 70s!) have been refreshing and downright heavenly. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever felt chilly outside – in a t-shirt – in NYC the middle of July!

We slept with the windows open last night! (which generally never happens between late June and mid-September). It’s been a slightly bizarre but much-needed break from summer-in-NYC type weather, and most importantly the cool has made me actually want to cook again.

There are a lot of curry recipes on this site, because curry just so happens to be my favorite quick dinner. Curries are the perfect way to use up those odds and ends from the crisper drawer, which might be looking less than stellar, and leftover roasted chicken or other proteins. And with a can of coconut milk and jar of curry powder stashed in the pantry you’re always curry-ready. For this summery version I used summer squash, sweet corn, and baby spinach in addition to the usual onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño, and added raw cherry tomatoes to each bowl for a juicy, summery element.

Finished with lots of lime juice and gomasio (nasturtium blossoms optional, but highly recommended), this is spicy, creamy, coconutty comfort food at its finest.  Read More


Matcha Dark Chocolate Truffles

matcha truffle close up

Well hello there! Long time no see. I posted these matcha dark chocolate truffles on instagram weeks ago and intended to share the recipe here in no time. But then things got crazy with our new website + online shop, lots of gomasio-making kitchen shifts, prepping for the NYC fancy food show, fulfilling our first wholesale orders… and these little green balls totally slipped my mind.

Luckily I got a gentle nudge today from the folks over at feedfeed who inquired whether this recipe had been posted. Eeeeek, no, I remembered. So here it is!

These truffles are rich and satisfying, not too sweet, and have lovely grassy, herbal undertones from the matcha powder. I can report from firsthand experience that one or two of these melt-in-your-mouth treats is the perfect antidote for an afternoon energy slump.

I use culinary matcha powder for my truffles (and for my matcha cooking and baking in general), since it’s much less expensive than ceremonial matcha, which I reserve for drinking straight-up or in matcha lattes. And although I boosted this batch with collagen peptides (great for gut, skin, hair & nails), you can easily omit the collagen for a veganized version.

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Weeknight Coconut Chickpea Curry with Spring Vegetables

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There are two pantry staples that I try to never be without: canned coconut milk and canned chickpeas. With just these two humble ingredients on hand, you’re halfway to a delicious and easy to make curry, any night of the week! Just add some aromatics, whatever veggies you happen to have on hand — I like to mix it up each time depending on what’s in season — and you’ll be sitting down to a belly-comforting meal before anyone can say “what should we order tonight?!”

This verdant, spring-y version is loaded with spring garlic, shallots, asparagus, broccoli, spinach ginger, turmeric, and fresh curry leaves. I also added a Japanese sweet potato, so didn’t even need to make a grain to go alongside since the starch was already built-in, so to speak. Sugar-snap peas or green beans are great in this, too, and I love to add fresh-off-the-cob corn kernels when sweet corn is in season. Sometimes when I have leftover roast chicken or salmon I’ll shred or flake it into bite-sized pieces and add that for the last couple minutes to heat through.

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This curry has become one of my favorite feel-good meals: creamy, satisfying and flavorful but not too rich or heavy, it’s also packed with green goodness, immune-boosting spices, and healthy complex carbohydrates. And an added bonus — any leftovers reheat beautifully for dinner the next night, and also pack up easily for a work or school lunch.

If you’re ever in an Asian or Indian specialty shop and see fresh curry leaves in the refrigerated section — get them! They freeze beautifully, so you can grab a few leaves at a time and throw them into your recipes as needed. I simply freeze them right in the bag they come in.

Curry leaves are wonderfully fragrant and add a more nuanced and complex flavor to Indian-style curries, soups, and sauces. I buy mine downtown at Dual Spices, which is a super fun little herb/spice/tea shop to check out if you happen to find yourself in the East Village with some time to kill.  Read More


Roasted asparagus, sweet pea + spring garlic soup

asparagus_pea soup

I love a green soup this time of year. Creamy, cozy, comforting and cleanse-worthy all at the same time — can’t go wrong with that! When I returned from my weekly greenmarket trip with a bunch of the season’s first asparagus in my bag I knew an asparagus soup would be on the menu soon.

Doing a quick, high-heat roast on the asparagus brings out its natural sweetness and preserves its vibrant green hue. I like to reserve some of the tops to garnish each bowl.

Sweet peas (I used frozen, since they’re not quite in season yet in the northeast) add sweetness and a silky texture to the soup, so cream, butter, flour etc aren’t necessary.

With these mild, sweet green vegetables I like to pair an allium that’s gentler than the usual aged garlic — and spring garlic or green garlic is perfect. (If it’s not available, shallots, scallions or chives are good stand-ins).

Swirled with a spoonful of plain coconut yogurt and topped with the reserved asparagus tops, microgreens, and gomasio or flaky salt, this sprightly soup is a fantastic way to start a spring meal. I like it served warm, but you could also serve it chilled on a hot day.  It also looks lovely in espresso cups or shooters if you’re fancy like that, and reheats well, too.  Read More


Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake { gluten-free }

lemon poppyseed cake

Every cook – whether they consider themselves a baker or not – should have one go-to cake recipe up their sleeve, don’t you think? The classic lemon olive oil yogurt cake is mine. Versions of this humble cake have appeared in all corners of the interwebs; the roots seem to be the Gateau au Citron, a simple, French-style yogurt cake infused with lemon, in which the ingredients are, most charmingly and efficiently, measured in a 125-mL glass yogurt pot.

I first saw a version of this cake years ago on Orangette, then came across Ina Garten’s classic, glazed version, followed by Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry-studded iteration. And because 1) if given the choice I will always go for a citrus dessert, and 2) I’m an incredibly lazy baker, so I appreciate a delicious, easy cake that doesn’t require separating eggs, doing anything over a double boiler, or dirtying every bowl in my kitchen, it’s become my very own only-cake-I-ever-make.

My version calls for extra-virgin olive oil in place of the vegetable oil that most recipes call for, both because I love the subtle flavor that olive oil imparts and also because I try to avoid vegetable oil (it’s high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can drive inflammation in the body). I also use a combination of GF flour and finely ground almond meal in place of AP flour, since we mostly try to avoid gluten (though we’re not religious about it).

I often use unrefined coconut sugar in place of refined white sugar, which gives the cake a rich, golden hue and in combination with the olive oil creates an incredibly moist and flavorful crumb. (Though when I’m making this match-swirled version, I use lighter-hued organic cane sugar — otherwise the darker color of the coconut sugar obscures the lovely pale green of the matcha.) I’ve made various versions with plain yogurt, thicker Greek yogurt, and coconut milk yogurt (for a dairy-free cake), all with top-notch results.

For this year’s Easter dessert I decided on a lemon poppyseed version drizzled with a lemon-poppy seed glaze (my friend Shahla likened the look of the poppy seeds to tiny pearls, which I love!). I used fragrant Meyer lemons (a variety that originated as a cross between a lemon and a mandarin) since the natural foods store near me happened to have some real beauties in stock the day I was shopping; but if Meyers aren’t available you can use regular lemons (preferably organic since we’re using the zest here) for the cake and glaze. Happy baking! Read More


Breakfast tacos with crispy fried eggs, shiitakes + quick-pickled shallots

breakfast tacos

When you’re in the mood for a sunny-side-up kind of breakfast, but with a twist: breakfast tacos with crispy-edged, ghee-fried eggs, seared shiitakes, quick-pickled shallots, avocado + hot sauce! Easy to make (and with just one skillet involved for quick clean-up), these make a delicious and satisfying savory breakfast that’s perfect for a weekend morning. Just add coffee (or matcha latte…or yerba mate latte, my latest beverages of choice since I’ve been trying to quit my cappuccino addiction).

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently (because I post a lot of crispy eggs over in IG-land) is how to get that browned, crispy bottom on your fried egg. The trick is to start with a screaming hot skillet (I use ceramic nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron) and don’t be afraid to use plenty of fat — you want to see the egg white start to bubble, hiss and puff up as soon as it hits the pan (if it doesn’t, the pan wasn’t hot enough). I usually allow my pan to heat up for a solid 5-plus minutes before I crack in the egg (maybe even longer if I’m using a heavy cast iron skillet). I’ve also been frying my eggs in this garlic-infused ghee lately, which makes them extra flavorful (can’t recommend this stuff highly enough — love their vanilla bean variety, too).

Once we’ve got our perfectly crispy-bottomed eggs in place, our tacos go NEXT LEVEL as the kids say, with the addition of pan-seared shiitakes for chewy, umami richness, quick-pickled shallots, creamy avocado, thinly sliced jalapeño and tangy fermented hot sauce. And, because in my opinion no meal is complete without some G, a generous hit of my Everything Gomasio (toasted sesame salt) with crunchy garlic, onion, and poppy seeds (which will be available again very soon; we are finalizing packaging as I type these words).

And one last tip to ensure that your breakfast taco game is as strong as can be: to get the most out of your store-bought corn tortillas, toast them over an open flame (stove burner, if you have a gas cooktop) until they’re slightly charred around the edges. Game changer!

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Kale, fennel and red cabbage salad with miso-ginger-lime salmon

salmon kale salad

The ultimate feel-good meal: lots of colorful, crunchy, nutrient-dense veggies (hello, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants!), omega-3-rich wild Alaskan salmon, and some lactofermented veg (beets, in this case) for probiotic power.

Packed with so many good things, this one also checks the boxes on all the “-frees”: dairy-free, gluten-free, gluten-free, grain-free, free of added sugars (not even honey or maple syrup). So it’s perfect for a cleanse or reset meal when your system needs a break. Like the beginning of Spring when, despite the snow that might remain on the ground, we’re starting to crave meals of the lighter and brighter variety.

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Sweet Potatoes with Scallion Miso Butter (and a Giveaway!)

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With recipe ideas bouncing around into my brain on a pretty much constant basis (and demanding to be tested immediately, of course), I find that I rarely have time to try anyone else’s recipes these days. Our fridge is covered with stickies on which I’ve scribbled various meal ideas and flavor combinations (legible only to me). But on those days when the culinary inspiration doesn’t flow so easily – or I’m simply bored with my own cooking style – I am so grateful to have a carefully curated selection of great cookbooks on hand.

So I was elated when Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino offered to send me a copy of their recently released, allium-focused cookbook, Onions Etcetera. I am a self-professed alliumphile; it’s a rare dish that emerges from my kitchen without a good dose of onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, chives, shallots, and their pungent brethren. As soon as the cookbook arrived I stopped in my tracks, plopped myself down on the sofa and pored over its pages for an hour straight, drooling and dog-earing recipes along the way.

Kate and Guy are enormously talented, and their cookbook is filled with gorgeous photos and a nice balance of recipes in which alliums are the star of the show, along with dishes where they play more of a supporting role. I love that the recipes are divided into allium-themed sections that roughly correspond to the seasons, so in winter I can easily flip to the sections on yellow and white storage onions, sweet onions, and shallots and leeks, and come spring (I am counting the days… seasonal allergies be damned) I can get right to the recipes featuring green garlic, spring onions, ramps, scallions, and chives.

All of the recipes are creative and inspiring, and also super accessible for the home cook — pretty much the cookbook trifecta, wouldn’t you say? So far I have made the roasted sweet potatoes with Scallion Miso Butter and also the French Onion Soup with Gruyere Toasts (so good!). Also on my list are the Farro and Vegetable Salad with Charred Onion Dressing, Winter Caprese, Green Gazpacho with Almonds, Grilled Delicata Squash with Shallot Agrodolce, and many more.

 

 

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But let’s get back to that swoon-worthy scallion miso butter. Have you tried miso butter yet? If not, you need to get on this ASAP! The savory, umami-rich miso paste and sweet, creamy butter combine in a magical synergy, and in this version the addition of finely chopped scallions provides the perfect amount of onion-y bite to balance the richness and take this combination over the top.

There is no better topping for a tender, sweet-earthy, roasted sweet potato; and for that matter, this miso butter would be great melted over corn on the cob, green beans, grains or lentils, stirred into a pot of mashed potatoes, or simply slathered on a slice of good, crusty bread and topped with a soft-cooked egg. Once you’ve tried this stuff there is simply no.going.back. So get ready 🙂

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And, I am so excited to be giving away a copy of Onions Etcetera! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment here or on my corresponding Instagram post (posted today, March 16th) by Sunday, March 19th at 11:59 PM. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, March 20th. Good luck and happy cooking!

Sweet potatoes with Scallion Miso Butter

Miso butter recipe reprinted with permission from Onions Etcetera, by Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino

For the miso butter (makes about 1/2 cup)

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

1 tablespoon sweet white miso paste

4 scallions, finely chopped

Mash together butter, miso and scallions until combined. Place mixture in a ramekin or roll into a log and wrap with waxed paper. Keeps for about 1 week in the fridge.

For the roasted sweet potatoes:

Serves 4 to 6

4 medium sized sweet potatoes (I used a variety of types/colors, including regular orange sweet potatoes, red-skinned white Japanese sweet potatoes, and purple Stokes sweet potatoes), scrubbed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon fine-grained Celtic sea salt or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment.

Prick each sweet potato a few times with a sharp knife. Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle all over with salt. Bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the potatoes and rotating the pan halfway through.

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and smear each with a spoonful of softened miso butter.


Chocolate Chip Honey-Orange Bundt Cake

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We were expecting the arrival of an epic March snowstorm today, but overnight the blizzard lost some of it steam, dropping just a few inches of snow and then evolving into that good old “wintry mix” that we’re oh-so-familiar with in the northeast. Even though we didn’t wake up to a foot of snow, the winds are howling and it’s quite a mess out there. Definitely a day for comfort food. I’m thinking turkey chili, cornbread, maybe a cake.

We’ll see on that last one, because I just remembered that I have a few slices of this honey-sweetened, orange-crumbed, chocolate-chip-studded bundt cake squirreled away in the freezer precisely for days like this. And all those thick slices need is a few minutes in the toaster oven to bring them back to life. Freezer cake for the win!

Simple loaf cakes are usually my thing, but a bundt always feels a bit more festive so that’s the shape I went with this time around. This cake brings together my all-time favorite flavor pairing, orange and chocolate, in a moist and tender crumb that’s rich with coconut oil, yogurt, and vanilla.

I added an orange glaze and dark chocolate shavings to fancy this version up a bit, but the cake would also be lovely finished with a dusting of powdered sugar. An homage to this almost-blizzard of almost-spring.  Read More


Coconut green curry soup with brown rice noodles and greens

 

soup

This winter just will not stop messing with us.

The latest trickery: March came in like a Lamb (73 degrees on March 1 here in NYC), and then immediately went into Lion mode; the temperature plunged 40 degrees in 36 hours and we’re back to full-on winter. I don’t know about you, but my body cannot handle 4 seasons in less than a week.

Right on schedule, I was knocked down by a head cold, and for the last few days I’ve been on a regimen of bone broth, soup, and turmeric ginger tea (this one’s my favorite – all of Organic India’s holy basil-based tea varieties are wonderful). I’ll just consider it a ‘seasonal cleanse.’

For years I’ve been making my own bone broths, buying pastured chicken’s feet, necks, and backs from a farm stand at my local greenmarket. And although I love the rich flavor and freshness of homemade broth, I don’t love turning my cozy NYC apartment into a meat sauna. So I was thrilled when a new butcher shop opened in my ‘hood and started selling housemade, 48-hour simmered bone broth that’s so gelatin-rich it passes the upside-down test with flying colors.

A couple of thoughts on bone broth. Although I eat a largely vegetable-focused, meat-sparing diet, I’m an omnivore. I try to listen to my body to find out what it needs at any given moment in time. Sometimes that means animal protein, but more often it means getting in a cup or two of nutrient-dense bone broth, or a bowl of bone broth-based soup.

Bones and cartilage, and by extension bone broth, are amazingly rich in collagen, gelatin, and minerals like calcium — nutrients that most of us don’t get enough of in our modern diets. A long-simmered bone broth is healing for the gut, the immune system, the skin – you name it. It also takes advantage of animal parts that have been largely wasted in a food system that has come to value easy-to-prepare muscle meat over more nutrient-dense (but less aesthetically pleasing) organ meats and bones.

Okay, so there’s my bone-broth spiel. Having said all that, if you’d prefer a plant-based version you can of course substitute homemade or packaged veggie broth for an equally delicious version.

Now onto something to do with that magical broth, other than sip it from a mug (which is also quite nice) — soup, of course.

I threw this little pot of soup together with some of my favorite immunity-boosting foods: garlic, ginger, chili pepper (jalapeño in this case), carrots, and leafy greens, adding silky and soothing brown rice noodles to bulk it up. Coconut milk and green curry paste infuse the broth with sinus-opening, belly-warming flavors. I always crave Asian flavors, particularly Thai curries, when I’m under the weather, hence the focus here.

With a simple, brothy soup like this I am all about the garnishes, so I pulled out all the stops for this one: pickled ginger, radish slices, avocado, gomasio (a homemade version based on my Two-Tone Gomasio, with dulse and dandelion leaf), purple basil microgreens from Good Water Farms, hot sesame oil, and lime wedges. So good.

So get that soup pot ready, winter’s not over quite yet.  Read More