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Side dishes and Vegetables



Vegan, Raw… or plain “Fresh”? Vegan, Raw… or plain “Fresh”?

People have interesting reactions to the words “vegan” or “raw diet”. They get a tic or a twitch when they hear it. They dismiss it. They object to it. But mostly I detect their disbelief that vegans or raw dieters enjoy great-tasting food. I admit that I had the same reactions to these words in […]

Better, dairy-free mashed potatoes Better, dairy-free mashed potatoes

When I found out that I’m sensitive to dairy (it gives me rashes, nose and throat feel like I’m about to catch a cold or a flu) I realized I could not have mashed potatoes. Oy. I felt the connection between eating/drinking dairy and my symptoms only after the 3 weeks of detox. In this […]

Quick lunch Quick lunch

I am crazy busy promoting this theater play (for tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/248853) … but I wanted to give you something quick and delicious to make for lunch. It might not look like much. It might not look like something filling. But it is both. Rice and lentils, or some sort of downsized Mujadara in this case, […]

Restaurants Restaurants

I remember this night about a year ago, having dinner in one of my favorite restaurants in Capitol Hill. I remember the exact table where we sat, my husband and I, on a date night, while we were examining the menu and planning our meal. Everything sounded tasty and good. We wanted to try almost […]

Detox – what to eat? Detox – what to eat?

After 14 days of Detox I find that what I miss the most is…. extra virgin olive oil. (Even more than coffee.) From roasting, sautéing and grilling, I switched to steaming and poaching. I actually found that steamed fish gets much tender and stays moist and delicate when steamed compared to the other cooking methods. […]

Artichoke dip Artichoke dip

This… Oh. My. Goodness. This is my first attempt at making artichoke dip. We LOVE artichokes but I mostly cook them like this—well, those are fresh artichokes ($3-$4 each, anyone?). However, this time the ones I had were the packaged frozen ones so I thought about a dip as the way to go. I always […]

Why do I try so hard? Noodles with cottage cheese

I try so hard to make food that everyone will like, especially the kids. Then one day, out of the blue, I recalled a noodles with cottage cheese dish that my grandma used to make for me when I was little. Out of sheer laziness I cooked that for my kids—I had no better plan […]

Dinner tonight, or tomorrow Dinner tonight, or tomorrow

Hi, I thought I’d drop you a quick note. An idea for a quick dinner tonight. OK, you can make it tomorrow… Go shopping today. Beef bulgogi and Teriyaki fried rice. The beef bulgogi is cut into small pieces and is quickly cooked in a skillet—no need to go outside to the freezing cold and […]

Roasted red cabbage recipe Roasted red cabbage recipe

My relationship with cabbage is a turbulent one: love, desire, neglect, forgetfulness, and then… It usually ends with a reunion. Many times I walk by cabbages at the grocery store and I mostly ignore them. Only rarely do I reach my hand out to one lucky, lovely, leafy ball to take home with me. And […]

Mushroom quiche recipe Mushroom quiche recipe

OK, so we had a few distractions between the No-roll quiche crust post – because we visited Mount Rainier National Park, Blueberry Hills farm, and Lake Chelan – to the actual finished product, that is the mushroom quiche post. I’ll be honest with you… For me, making – and eating! – a mushroom quiche is […]

The slugs, the beer, and the squirrel: Part 2 The slugs, the beer, and the squirrel: Part 2

No, no beer-braised squirrel in that pasta dish. Don’t worry. I told you about my snail, beer, and a beer stealing squirrel problem. And I have received some advice. Thanks! Crystal commented that what I have are slugs and not snails and suggested “A tried and true method I have used to make a beer […]

Baked gnocchi for the lazy ones Baked gnocchi for the lazy ones

Dinner time approached. I had no plan in mind. And so, I made dishes on the go, not being fully aware about what I was doing. I took a peek inside the fridge. There were some leftovers… Chicken meatballs… Grilled chicken breast… Broccoli – we didn’t eat that for a long time (we’re just not […]

Bacon mashed potatoes Bacon mashed potatoes

Bacon. Mashed potatoes. Need I say more? OK. Bacon! Mashed potatoes! Yum. End of story? Not really. I took you down memory lane with me a while ago when we discussed Poffertjes. Remember those? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about you must click on Poffertjes and Ebelskivers immediately.) Back in 1989 I […]

Memorable meals iOba-inspired fried rice

I have a thought-provoking question for you. Na, not really, but… Have you ever had a truly memorable meal/s? Any outstanding breakfast, lunch, or dinner you had in the past that you will never forget about? Think hard. As for me, if you caught me unguarded and asked me, I would have immediately told you […]

Naked who? Whole cauliflower in marinara sauce and olives

Remember the Naked Chef? You know, the guy with the cool hair, very energetic, talks fast, cooks even faster, Jamie Oliver? About 10 years ago when he became famous, he was referred to as the Naked Chef. These days he is simply Jamie. I did not understand what the nakedness was all about back then. […]

A handsome couple Orzo and garbanzo beans

Once upon a time, in a land not far away, with a twist of a fork, two side dishes accidentally met on a plate. The first one, pasta, loved by all, orzo shaped, whimsical and a bit chewy, seasoned simply, and the second one, garbanzo beans, not as mainstream as pasta, a bit more serious […]

Minestrone time Minestrone time

This soup has been waiting to be published for a looong time. With all the holidays bustle of shopping and cookies baking, it got buried under a pile of other recipes and things to do and write about that wouldn’t wait any longer. It’s been waiting since…. hmmm, 3 weeks ago? It was freezing cold […]

Hummus, my way Hummus

Sometimes the simple things in life are the trickiest ones to nail down. Not to discourage you, but you might think that by taking a no-cooking recipe with a few basic ingredients, whizzing them all together in a food processor, then voila, you’ll have hummus? Eh, no. It doesn’t quite work that way. Life’s simplest pleasures […]

Cranberry apple relish Cranberry apple relish

Originally, I had nothing to say about it. Too easy to create, too quick to make, there was no opportunity to blurt a word out before it was done. But it’s beauty too astounding to ignore, I had to share. Its expected tart sweet gorgeous tang, I could not wait until Thanksgiving. Yes, I’m talking […]

Roasted cauliflower with apples and red onion Roasted cauliflower with apples and red onion

Sometimes I fear people might get the wrong impression about me. I am aware that some people might think that since I was a personal chef for a few years, or because I own more then 130 cookbooks (I don’t count anymore), am subscribed to 3 food magazines (well, now Gourmet is gone…), and prefer […]

Wild mushroom ravioli with kale and cream Wild mushroom ravioli with kale and cream

Sometimes unplanned dishes are the most delicious (Ooh, a rhyme!). And sometimes making pasta for dinner is actually an excuse to eat kale. Kale, chard, mustard greens, and all their green friends are new in our fridge, on our table, in our hearts, and now also in our backyard (more about it later). Those are […]

I slurp, you slurp, we all slurp for hot soup Potato leek soup

Since the movie Julie & Julia came out (Have you watched it yet? You should!), I’ve been seeing and hearing so much about Julia Child’s Potage Parmentier (potato-leek soup) and her famous  Boeuf Bourguignon recipes. A perfect timing indeed since, if you haven’t noticed yet where you live, like say in… California, fall is here. […]

Foraged wild mushrooms soup Foraged wild mushrooms soup

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. It started grayish and rainy but around 10 am the sky became clearer and bluer. That made me happy and at the same time nervous, realizing all of a sudden that summer is coming to an…. end. I had a little panic attack. Then I started […]

Israeli couscous with fresh veggies salad and… little thieves Israeli couscous with fresh veggies salad and… little thieves

An innocent and unsuspecting salad… but then… a little hand… Who could it be?

Late bloomers and Roasted root vegetables Roasted root vegetables

There’s a tree in our front yard. Every year, a late bloomer. All the other trees in the neighborhood are standing tall and proud, showing their flowers to everyone. Some trees are in the next stage of clinging to the last flowers which are peeking through the new fresh leaves that come after. The real fast ones […]

Buttery, Cabbage that is Buttery Cabbage

  What do you call the 4th addition to a trilogy? Foursome? Quartet? Freelogy? I gave you Flaky and Creamy recipe… then we had Crunchy… and then Sweet and Smoky… and now this Buttery thing. Well, when you have half a cabbage left after a crunchy cabbage salad you will need a recipe for the […]

Grilling in the Dark Marinated Lamb Kebabs with Cilantro and Honey

It’s winter. Well, you know it. But this one seems to be not just any winter, but a looooong winterrrrrrrr. And I love grilled meat! And I can’t wait ‘till the global colding that’s been going on here in the past few weeks will end. Snow in March? Com’on… I have already done some“ grilling […]

French Onion Quiche French Onion Quiche

Let’s talk about quiche. Every now and then I like to have a good quiche and eat it too. Of course. But not just any quiche. Not one with a soggy bottom, ahem ehhm, or one that is waaay too rich and makes you feel so stuffed and guilty after eating it, or one that…. […]

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Let me tell you about the crunchiest, bestest (as little kids say) cabbage salad I have ever had. Cabbage, like zucchini, might seem like a boring vegetable – at least to me, but I am now a changed woman – and so overlooked. It is not exactly the star of any meal, is it? You […]

Cute Hamburger? Black-Bean Burgers

Photo from Gourmet magazine In our efforts to eat less meat and less frequently, I made these Black-Bean Burgers about a week ago. This was a new kind of dish for me. I have never tried before to make something of this sort as beans are not very popular in house. I was skeptic about the […]

Flaky and Creamy Butternut Squash Galette

No, I am not going to give you another decadent chocolate dessert recipe for Valentine’s Day. They seem to be all over the place as it is. You don’t really need another one. Do you? On the other hand, what are you going to have for dinner before the dessert? Or is it going to […]

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: 5 Stars Dinner at Home… But Will the Kids Eat It? Onion Tart with Cantal and Bacon & Butternut Squash Salad

 Are you a foodie? Are you a foodie and a parent? Do your kids share your passion for food? Or do they give you a hard time? Watch the video: I am a foodie and a picky eater in a choosy finicky, or conscious eating way. Since we got married, I got my husband all […]

Mashed Potatoes with Cheesy Crunchy Topping Mashed Potatoes with Cheesy Crunchy Topping

Creamy mashed potatoes with tanned and crunchy and cheesy topping. A combination of all good things together in one dish. Doesn’t this make it the ultimate comfort side dish? I assume that you don’t really need a recipe for mashed potatoes, do you?! But I will share a few tips for making an even better […]

Zucchini Pancakes Addiction Zucchini Pancakes

We have two food addictions in this house. One is for Brussels sprouts (recipes here and here) – now it’s like we’re trying to compensate for all those years we thought we hated them and wouldn’t eat them (what picky eaters we were) – and a newer addiction for zucchini pancakes. Once looked upon as […]

Weekly Meal Plan – November Weekly Meal Plan – November

Dear blog readers and subscribers, It’s time for another weekly meal plan suggestion. As always, mix and match according to what you and your family like to eat. A reminder – one day left to vote for your favorite animal – is it chicken/fish/lamb/beef/pork, so I know what kind of recipes you are looking for. […]

Eat Your Brussels Sprouts Garlic & Thyme Brussels Sprouts

I used to hate Brussels sprouts, but I have already told you everything about it in Try something new: Brussels sprouts. So, let’s assume that you have tried it – as I said, and liked it – as I knew you would, and pick up from there? For the past 3 years I’ve been making […]

Leftovers: Mashed potatoes turned into Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes Leftovers: Mashed potatoes turned into Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes

I really don’t have anything to write about this recipe. Maybe except for – you can reheat leftover mashed potatoes in the microwave, or if you have an extra 20-30 minutes make these pancakes? Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes Makes about 10 pancakes 2 cups mashed potatoes 1 cup onion, small diced 2-4 garlic cloves, minced 2 […]

Top Secret Orange Marmalade Salad Top Secret Orange Marmalade Salad

10/8/2010 update: This salad has made it into the top 20 recipes selected by NY Times editors for the potluck recipe collection! Yay! *** The vinaigrette for this salad was my best kept secret. Until now. It is ridiculously good and quick to make, yet sophisticated. You won’t believe it until you try it. Orange […]

Roasted Acorn squash Roasted Acorn squash

My husband went grocery shopping and came back home with this weird looking squash. I was amazed and surprised, I must admit, about this initiative. I still remember the days when he refused to eat vegetables, and until this day I still have to shove fruits down his throat. Like a little baby, he won’t […]

A little bit of this, a little bit of that - Improvising dinner Chicken breasts, Ginger-scented rice, Haricot vert

And there you have it. A photo of raw chicken breasts on an indoor grill… eh, not the most exciting photo, you might say, but hey, this is real life… Some days I have no idea what I am going to make for dinner. Most nights I hardly have any time to cook. Dinner tonight […]

Leftover bread turned into Bread pudding with spiced rum sauce for dessert Leftover bread turned into Bread pudding with spiced rum sauce for dessert

I love bread, especially artisanal bread. And they can be quite costly ranging $3-$5 each! So, when I have leftovers, which doesn’t happen often (because I like my bread toasted so it taste fresh and crunchy even after 4 days), it will break my heart to throw it in the trash (it’ll break my grandma’s […]

Orzo salad Orzo salad

Orzo is pasta shaped like rice and is one of my favorite kinds of pasta. This salad is very easy and quick to make. It is colorful and delicious. It is festive enough to serve at a party or a holiday dinner. The recipe here is basic, but think of your favorite ingredients and play with […]

Weekly Menu Plan - September

I thought that in addition to posting recipes on the blog, I will collect a few to create a weekly menu for you. This way you can have a meal plan for the week. How easy is that? It sure does; * Save time on planning and thinking what to cook (that’s the part that […]

Love-ly Heirloom tomatoes salad Love-ly Heirloom tomatoes salad

Eating heirloom tomatoes is a summer must-do thing. It is a real treat. I saw heirloom tomatoes at the grocery store this week. They were $5.99/lb. (Yep. Ouch.). But today we went to a farm that is located 15 minutes drive from our house – how cool is that?! – for $3.99/lb. Lesson learned: shopping […]

Pork schnitzel, potato-yam mash, roasted cauliflower Pork schnitzel, potato-yam mash, roasted cauliflower

I love it when things works like this; A sunny day, I pick up the kids from school, we go to the park (preferably by a lake), come back home around 5:30, I give the baby some food, put her to sleep, and then start working on dinner. Today was a day like that. My kind […]

Eggplants in fresh herbs marinade Eggplants in fresh herbs marinade

If you think you don’t like eggplants, think again. Or, at least, give it another try, OK? Recipe for one eggplant: 1 large eggplant, sliced to 1 – 1 ½ – inch slices Extra virgin olive oil (evoo) Salt Preheat oven broiler. Brush the eggplant slices lightly with evoo and sprinkle with salt, on both […]

Brussels sprouts simplicity Roasted Brussels Sprouts

[donotprint] For many many years I hated Brussels sprouts. I didn’t want to hear about them or look at them. Not think about them eaither. But after a few Thanksgivings and Christmases, I started to have doubts. I thought that if this is a staple at the table during the holidays season, (you see it […]

Artichokes Artichokes

Makes 4 servings 4 medium size artichokes* 2 tablespoons salt 1 small lemon, juiced, halves saved 3 sprigs thyme, optional 2 garlic cloves, slightly smashed, optional 2 tablespoons mayonnaise Soak artichokes in water to clean. Shake them in the water to take the dirt out. If a lot of dirt comes out, rinse 1-2 more […]

Rib-eye steak, grits, cherry tomatoes and butter lettuce salad Rib-eye steak, grits, cherry tomatoes and butter lettuce salad

This dinner is so easy to make. It will take you 30 minutes from start to finish, or 15-20 minutes active time. So delicious, and family-friendly too. For the steaks: I ask the butcher to cut the steak, which usually weighs 1 lb. each, lengthwise to make 2 thinner steaks. 4 each ½ lb. steaks […]

Whole Roasted Chicken with Chardonnay-Tarragon Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots Whole Roasted Chicken with Chardonnay-Tarragon Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

This photo is not the prettiest, I know, but dinner was sooo delicious, AND this is the easiest meal on earth to prepare! AND, kids love it too. It’s a win-win. Whole Roasted Chicken with Chardonnay-Tarragon Sauce Makes 4-6 servings For the chicken: 1 whole chicken, about 4 lb. 3 garlic cloves, chopped ¼ cup […]

Grilled lamb with yogurt-mint sauce, potatoes, and corn

Makes 4 servings For the lamb: 10-12 lamb loin chops, or Frenched chops 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 sprig rosemary, chopped Salt Black pepper, finely ground Extra virgin olive oil Put lamb in Ziploc bag. Chop garlic and rosemary, add to lamb. Add seasonings and evoo. Let marinade overnight or at least an hour before […]

Easiest corn on the cob ever

We love corn.We love corn so much that we make it for dinner 2-4 times a week during summer. (I know it is a carb-y food, but summer is short).A few years ago, when I used to buy my produce at the local produce store, the owner once asked we if we have rabbits, because […]

Simplest vegetable salad Simplest vegetable salad

For a long time, this was (nearly) the only salad that I made for dinner. I have repeated making it so my son will get familiar with it, and hopefully, give it a try some day. For a while he only ate the tomatoes. Later on he gave other ingredients a try, and finally we […]