Beets & Greens

I am not sure what this citrus fruit tastes like. I first bought it thinking it was akin to the sweet lime (aka mosambi) I ate as a child. While it did not taste like sweet lime, it had a refreshing mix of tart and sweet finish. Although this salad is called a citrus and beet salad, the only citrus is the sweetie (or jaffa sweetie). This fruit tastes like a not-so-bitter version of a white grapefruit and pomelo. Very refreshing and bright.

Parsnip Soup

I had this soup at an outdoor restaurant a couple of weeks ago and was trying to recreate it at home. Parsnips by themselves are not a fun root vegetable to eat. This soup makes it easy to enjoy the parsnip and feel good about drinking your vegetables.

Shrimp & Spinach Curry

This week’s shrimp and spinach curry was originally made with scallops, but shrimp are the preferred crustaceans in my house. Feel free to use scallops or any firm flesh seafood instead. The addition of spinach makes it a great one pot meal with either a side of rice, farro or quinoa. (I do think rice is the perfect accompaniment to this hearty curry).

Our Place 'Always Pan'

I have had my eye on this pan for a while. Everyone has been talking about this 'Always Pan' and it has had rave reviews all over. As far as I am concerned, the proof of the pan is in cooking results achieved with it. Most nonstick pans I have used in the past, do not last more than 5-6 months and then they get used as pans to reheat food. The only set that has held up so far is a set of three pans from Henckels that have withstood a fair amount of abuse in the kitchen and still held up for cooking omelets and scrambled eggs after a couple of years.

Mini Mandoline

This is one of those purchases I made several years ago while walking by a kitchen store in the mall. Absolutely impulsive and at that time I thought I would use it to slice cucumbers really thin for my sandwiches. Little did I know that this magical kitchen tool will be used frequently to thinly slice not just cucumbers, but radishes, cheese, shallots and more.

The mini mandoline comes with two blades, but the slicer is the one I use. The julienne blade is not that great and doesn’t really serve its purpose unless you want to thinly shred garlic cloves etc.

Corn Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is one of my favorite soups because I can make a big batch and customize the toppings to suit any palate. Add some cooked chicken, black beans, roasted corn, queso, avocado, tortilla chips – everything works.

I am a bit partial to spicy soups and this one checks all the boxes. You can vary the spices depending on your tolerance level. I like my soup spicy enough to taste the ingredients without killing all the flavors. Some of my chili head friends, like an overdose of heat and love adding extra chili flakes to this soup. (You know who you are…)

Pistachio Pesto

Pistachio pesto is one of those condiments that is not readily available in the supermarkets. Changing the pesto recipe from pine nuts to pistachios transforms the taste of the pesto completely. I did not use cheese in this recipe because it was a big batch and I wanted to freeze the pesto. You can always add the cheese before eating.

Blanch the herbs and garlic before blending, they will stay green much longer.

Kale and Bean Soup

Last week I had this delicious kale and cannellini bean soup for lunch from a local restaurant. I loved the lemony creamy soup and tried to recreate it. I like kale, but I like kale cooked and this soup is perfect for using large amounts of kale (or any other hearty green like swiss chard or collard greens)

My take-out soup had carrots and celery, but I didn’t have either in my refrigerator. So, I used sweet potatoes and leeks instead and that tasted just as good.

Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Lentils soups are an ultimate comfort food. I generally use leftover vegetables that I have not had time to cook. In this soup I used four cups of finely chopped baby broccoli and baby cauliflower stalks. Generally, the stalks are left on the plate because they do not cook as quickly as the florets. Using them in the soup avoids wastage and makes it a complete meal with the lentils. This is a large batch of soup, but it freezes very well and can be used as a side dish or a main course as needed. Shwarma powder or curry powder can be used instead of all the spices listed in the recipe.