A not-so-complete list of what I’ve been cooking and enjoying recently.

Lemony Garlic Pasta

Is using a recipe for pasta in a buttery lemon sauce necessary? Maybe not. Did I still screw it up in a post-travel haze? Yes. It still came out fine, just a little heavy on the garlic.

Chickpea Zucchini Salad

Lime juice and zest make this zingy salad a great summer side (or meal, with some additions). I used my mandoline to matchstick the zukes instead of cubing them.

Tortellini Soup

This is basically a vegetable soup with tortellini added at the last minute. Plus a vehicle for cheese. What’s not to love? I used fennel instead of celery and it was *chef’s kiss*.

Shaved Zucchini and Fennel Salad

This salad was the perfect way to break in my new mandoline, and to start me on my “learn to like zucchini” journey. I added lemon zest, subbed in fennel fronds for the mint, and used a parm/pecorino mix. Yum!

Vegetarian Meatballs

These savory meatless meatballs are so tasty. Chickpeas, mushrooms, starch, cheese and spices get mixed together then you roll hand-formed balls into breadcrumbs, then bake. So yummy!

Popcorn Seasoning

If you have $13 to spend on a jar of San Juan Island Sea Salt popcorn seasoning, then buy it! If not, here’s my recipe dupe:

  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons TJ's ranch seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Curry Sweet Potato Soup

Time to break out the immersion blender, babes. This creamy soup’s texture comes from the sweet potatoes and coconut milk, and the spice comes from canned curry paste. It’s delicious!

Cranberry Scones

I like this method of making scones: folding the dough on top of itself to make flaky layers. I wasn’t a huge fan of the glaze, so I’ll skip it next time and increase the sugar in the dough.

Savory Tarts

If you have puff pastry in your freezer, as I did for all of December and January, then I suggest whipping up a savory tart! This tomato one from NYTimes is good, and the fundamentals apply for any veggie topping you want!

Squash with Lentils and Feta

A great side dish if made to the recipe specifications; a good grain bowl for a week’s worth of lunches if doubled!

Vegetable Soup

It’s soup season! It’s slop season! This delicious soup is full of veggies and broth and herbs. Slop it up.

Vegetarian Skillet Chili

This adaptable, easy recipe is great to keep in your cooking arsenal. Fast to whip up, delicious with any number of veggie additions or substitions, it’s a winner.

Pepper Cumin Cookies

These are a delightful addition to any cheese board (especially with blue cheese). I recommend toasting the spices, chilling the flattened cookies before they go in the oven, and making extras so you can enjoy some just for you!

Caramelized Leek Pasta

Wash your leeks well! Cut your leeks really thinly! Don’t worry about the dishes! Try to perfect your pasta twirl technique!

Citrusy Lentil Soup

This lentil soup manages to pair earthy and bright flavors together to wondrous effect. Swap in onions for jalapenos if you want a milder topping.

One Pot Macaroni & Cheese

If you have noodles, milk, and cheese (and maybe a few veggies on hand), then you can make this mac & cheese recipe. It’s so easy and comes out creamy and delish.

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower Grain Bowl

This grain bowl is very easy to make; just roast your veggies of choice (I did broccoli, cauliflower, and leeks), cook your farro, then mix everything with a tasty nutritional yeast dressing.

Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry

This recipe is low-effort but has a big return on investment. Use the full can of coconut milk and reduce the water, and don’t skimp on the lime and the herbs!

Summer Minestrone

This soup uses all the summer veggies and gets packed with flavor from a bouquet garni and fresh basil. Yum!

White Bean and Roasted Cauliflower Salad

If you can stand to turn the oven on, this vegetarian salad is worth it! Roasted cauliflower florets get combined with celery, white beans, and a dijon vinaigrette. I’d follow one comment’s recommendation to add thinly sliced fennel bulb.

Ricotta Lemon Pasta with Chickpeas, Broccoli, and Kale

This recipe uses up a lot of pans (a pet peeve of mine) but the flavors and potential to use the leftover ingredients for another pasta dish help make up for it! Make the recipe as written but save the broccoli stems to cook later and use as a mix in with the leftover ricotta and another 12oz of short pasta. Double whammy!

Corn and Basil Salad

This corn, tomato, and basil salad is the definition of reFRESHing. I added shishitos, feta, and some red onion for extra heartiness and flavor. Yum!

White Bean and Tomato Salad

No cooking required! I subbed mozzarella for parmesan to turn it into more of a caprese. Yum!

Pecan Granola

This granola recipe is a crowd pleaser! I can get 1.75 batches out of the ingredients called for, so it’s economical too. I’ve made it twice and added dried cherries the first time and sliced almonds the second, so it’s adaptable too.

Green Bean Salad

This salad features fresh green beans and tomato paired with feta, chickpeas, and herbs. It’s fresh and delicious, and it could even get the bowl treatment like the recipe below if served on top of a grain like quinoa or farro.

Roasted Potatoes with Jalapeno Dressing

This potato salad is so good! I used it as a topping on a bed of farro, and had broccoli instead of green beans (which I steamed separately). The dressing is very adaptable–I didn’t have an avocado so used some of the white beans as thickener and it was still amazing.

Corn and Coconut Soup

Put fresh ears of corn to use in this recipe! Corn kernels meld with aromatics, potato chunks, and coconut milk, then get blitzed until everything is semi-creamy. Yum!

Creamy Chickpea Pasta

Sautéed chickpeas and aromatics mingle with cream and spinach and then lovingly coat your spaghetti. Highly recommend!

Almond Cake

This almond cake was the standout on our Easter table this year. Semolina flour plus blanched almond meal get mixed with citrus zest and the wet ingredients. Once it’s done baking, you make an infused syrup of orange juice and spices that gets poured over the cake once it’s cooled slightly. Grease your pan, halve the sugar, and enjoy!

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

This slow cooker recipe yields a sweet potato curry that can be endlessly adjusted, from spiciness to thickness, based on your preferences. I made mine thick and spicy, served with rice on the side.

Sheet-Pan Roasted Broccoli Pasta

Roast your broccoli, makes your noodles, whip up some parmesan/bread crumb topping, mix everything together on a sheet pan with big spoonfuls of ricotta, then broil. Easy-peasy!

Toll House Cookies

This no-fuss recipe easily satisfies a weeknight cookie craving. It comes together quickly, you don’t need anything special, and most importantly the cookies are yummy.

Green Curry Salmon and Coconut Rice

Sauté scallions and garlic, add short grain rice (I used arborio) with coconut milk and curry paste, cook for a bit, then top with salmon fillets and cook some more until the salmon and rice are both done. Easy, delicious, done.

Marinated Celery and Chickpea Salad

Finally, a way to use up all the celery in your fridge! This salad featuring celery, chickpeas, and tomatoes is very adaptable. I used kale instead of celery leaves, red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar, and no croutons. It was still scrumptious!

Spicy White Bean Stew with Broccoli Rabe

The stew that Sean called “the best soup you’ve ever made.” The spice level is customizable: you can sub tomato paste for the harissa, or do what I did and do a 2:1 ratio of harissa to tomato paste. Yum!

Holiday Cookies

As always, the recipe line-up this year prioritized a diversity of flavors and textures, and was nut-free. I doubled some recipes so netted out making over 300 cookies!

Saka Saka Recipes

Here are the recipes for what I made from the Saka Saka cookbook, a delicious food tour of the Sub-Saharan region!

Quick Tomato, White Bean, and Kale Soup

This soup is a lifesaver! I usually have most of the ingredients on-hand, or only need to buy one or two. It makes a huge quantity, it keeps well, and it’s tasty. Win win win.

Crispy Chickpea Stew with Kale and Lemon

Don’t skip the feta! Use less than 12oz of kale if you get the bagged kind! Add tons of herbs! Enjoy!

Apple Carrot Salad

This is technically a slaw recipe (no mayo), but I subbed the cabbage for lettuce to make it a salad. I love the flavors and the crunch from all the veggies. I didn’t make my own dressing, I used the Trader Joe’s maple vinaigrette instead!

Pumpkin Curry

This chickpea curry with coconut milk, pumpkin, jalapenos, and lime is a fun twist on a common fall ingredient. I’d say don’t add the extra water until the end!

Smoky Eggplant Dip

Turn grilled, charry eggplant into a delicious dip! It’s a crowd pleaser, and I usually toss in a roasted red pepper or two to add some zing. Homemade pita chips are optional, but super fun if you have some time on your hands.

Stone Fruit Caprese

Not a tomato fan but want to eat mozzarella and basil? Enter stone fruit caprese. Peaches, cherries, nectarines, or plums could form the base of your caprese. Add lemon, salt, and sugar to let the fruit macerate, then it’s cheese and basil time!

Farro Bowls

These farro bowls with salmon require minimal cooking—the salmon steams on top of the farro in the last 5 to 6 minutes of cooking. They’re topped with a cucumber salad mixture and are a perfect WFH lunch since no one can complain about fish in the microwave at home!

Cucumber Salad

Cold and crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes come together in a zingy vinaigrette in this perfect summer recipe. I made a small batch with less oil and a bit of vinegar and harissa for kick. Delish!

Crispy Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Red Onion

This play on panzanella is very yummy! Go light on the red onion, and if you use any tomatoes other than cherry/grape then I’d recommend seasoning them a little bit first then pouring off any excess liquid before adding the gnocchi.

Spicy Corn and Shishito Salad

This salad is the first thing I’ve ever made with shishitos. I expected it to be spicier, but I learned that the peppers are generally mild with the occasional kick. Super yummy, and it makes for the perfect crunchy snack.

Olive Oil Braised Broccoli Rabe with Chickpeas

This recipe comes together so easily—the hardest part is waiting for it to come out of the oven! The broccoli rabe/broccolini comes out tender and flavorful, and the chickpeas crisp up to give delightful contrast. You can use bread to soak up the oil, or another starch. I like gnocchi!

Potato and Leek Tart

I made this recipe up based on my fridge contents. Steps: Thaw 1 sheet of puff pastry. Preheat oven to 400F. Thinly slice a potato and a leek. Caramelize your leek slices while the oven preheats and pastry thaws. Roll your pastry out a bit but keep it in a rectangle. Place it on a lightly greased baking sheet. Fold up the edges to make a border, then poke the center with holes and brush on some olive oil. Layer on your potato slices, then brush with a bit of dijon mustard mixed with water or creme fraiche. Top with your caramelized leeks, thyme, and cheese of your choice. Bake for 25 minutes.

Lemon Granita

Making my own flavored shaved ice will be the move of the summer, I can tell you already. With just a flavored water/sugar combination, a baking dish, a freezer, and a fork, I can make something delicious, like this granita.

Lightly Mashed Potato Salad

This potato salad calls for mashing some of the potatoes to lend body and creaminess to the mixture. The mustard and herbs give it some kick, and overall it’s a great side dish!

Cauliflower, Potato, and White Bean Soup

Make this in a slow cooker (or don’t!) and enjoy the sour-cream-and-onion-dip flavors. I opted to leave the final soup chunky rather than cream it, and I loved how homey and delicious it turned out. It gets Sean’s stamp of approval as well!

Salmon with Herbs

When I do cook fish, it’s usually salmon. In this recipe, the fish is marinated then broiled, and topped with an herb mixture of cilantro and sesame. It’s very yummy!

Smoky Lentil Stew

This lentil stew features leeks, potatoes, saffron, and a whole lot of flavor. It took up THREE pans (four if I had dutifully followed the directions, which I didn’t), but it was worth the effort. The leeks, tomatoes, and spices come together in a pan before being added to the brothy lentils along with the potatoes. It’s delicious!

Golden Milk

There’s a lot of golden milk powders and prepared mixes out there, but this recipe using fresh spices is so much richer (and all of the particulates get strained out, so no powdery dregs to worry about). I’ve been drinking it every day for turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, but I would drink it for the flavors alone.

Risotto Milanese

Risotto Milanese, or saffron risotto, is so delicious! I used saffron gifted from a friend teaching in Spain. The ingredients list is simple: arborio rice, shallot, stock, white wine, saffron, and parmesan. For a lowly home cook, I think I did a pretty good job! The risotto came out creamy and delicious.

Curried Carrot and Coconut Soup

This soup was so good! I doubled the recipe, and upped the spices a lot to add oomph once I blended in a block of tofu for extra protein. I ate it with freshly ground pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil, and some crusty bread to soak up the last little bits.

Holiday Baking

I made a lot of cookies this past weekend, and am here to share the recipes with you!

Chili

This recipe could be made in a crock pot, but I followed the instructions for the stovetop version. I used slightly less meat than recommended (of course, Impossible beef) and used more tomatoes in lieu of the water. The spice blend was perfection!

Korean Barbecue-Style Meatballs

I used Impossible beef to make these yummy meatballs. I hadn’t had a meatball since 2017 so I was very excited. These turned out really flavorful and moist, and the dipping sauce I made to go with them was the perfect complement!

Sweet-and-Spicy Roasted Tofu & Squash

This was the first recipe I ever used acorn squash for, and I think it turned out really well! The squash soaks up all the sauce, and the tofu gets a little browned and savory.

Chickpea Salad (Sandwich)

If you know me then you know I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches. They’re messy, they rarely feature good vegetarian options, and I would almost always prefer a soup or a salad to deliver many ingredients into my mouth. That said, I love a good chickpea salad, and will accept it in sandwich form!

Crisp Gnocchi with Brussels & Brown Butter

A weeknight standby. I grab the frozen cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s to use in this because it’s super tasty. Everything happens in one pan (a plus), there’s lemon (super plus), and it’s filling and delicious (plus plus plus).

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

This soup is super easy to make, especially with an immersion blender. I sometimes add an extra carrot or a sweet potato to lend more heft. Don’t skip the lemon (or some form of acid)! It absolutely makes it.

Sheet-Pan Baked Feta with Veggies

I love this simple recipe. It’s just feta and hearty veggies roasted for 10 minutes, stirred around, then roasted for another 8 to 10 minutes. I omit the second block of feta and throw in a few tofu slices for extra protein.

Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh that’s been thinly sliced; marinated in soy sauce or coconut aminos, maple syrup, and liquid smoke; then baked or cooked in a frying pan. It’s not exactly bacon, but it’s not bad either! It gives me the smoky flavor I miss from bacon, and the protein kick I need in the morning!

Farro with Blistered Tomatoes, Pesto and Spinach

So yummy! I added in feta instead of mozzarella because it’s what I had. The pesto and tomatoes added zinginess while the farro provided a nice earthy balance.

Chickpea Harissa Soup

Every season is soup season! (I saw an amazing swimsuit from Panera of all places called Swim Soup. I covet it.) This chickpea harissa soup helps me use up all the odds and ends left in my fridge, and it’s deliciously spiced with great depth of flavor.

Coconut Red Curry

I love red curry paste; I love vegetables; I tolerate tofu. This recipe’s flavors permeate the tofu and make it better than tolerable! Highly recommend.

Lahbco’s Recipes

Nasim Lahbichi, or @lahbco on TikTok and Instagram, writes incredible recipes that feature flavors from Iran as well as others closer to home. I love all of the recipes I’ve tried, which generally trend meatless and dairy-free. You can find the recipes online or on social if you’d like to follow along! I especially love the peanut miso noodle sauce, the chickpea salad, and the lemon tahini pasta.

Simple Crusty Bread

This recipe just requires yeast + flour + water, time, and a dutch oven. I follow commenter Scott’s recommendations for timing and proportions, and it works every time!

Pasta with Corn, Feta, Jalapeno and Basil

A fantastic use of fresh ears of corn—this recipe calls for 5. I used bow tie pasta and it was great. The feta adds amazing saltiness while the jalapenos, softened in butter, lose some of their bite but retain the acidity. Yum yum!

Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

If you can stand to have the broiler on in warm weather, this is a great use of cherry tomatoes and basil, the classic flavors of spring/summer!

Creamy Chickpea Pasta

I swapped the spinach for chopped tomatoes, which yielded a creamy sauce with a light tomato flavor. Very yummy, and all my coworkers asked me about this when I brought it in for lunches because it smelled so good.

Broccoli Ricotta Toasts

Roasted garlic mixed with creamy ricotta, all topped with browned broccoli and a sweet/spicy honey drizzle. So good! The perfect appetizer or meal on its own, honestly. Link here, PDF linked below!

Confit Leeks with Lentils

A bit more involved than what I typically cook, but I think it was worth the effort! Make sure to soak and rinse your leeks—I wasn’t very diligent with that step, and the final product had some grit that had wedged itself between the leek leaves. I used up leftover leeks from Julia Child’s Vichyssoise recipe.

BBQ Pineapple Flatbreads

A Hello Fresh recipe I enjoyed before cancelling my subscription (too expensive for too little food). Caramelizing the onions was the hardest part, and the flavor payoff was great!

Greek Vegetable Pie

Kale and feta layered into Greek filo pastry, which I had never worked with before. Next time, more butter between the layers and tighter sealing on the top!

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