I have to be honest up front…this loaded Thai chicken salad is not a *pretty* dish. But it IS easy, healthy, and (most critically) delicious. No lie, the first time I made it, I threw it together while on a conference call, just putting myself off-camera every few minutes to do another step.
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It’s hard to even know what to call the dish…is it a Thai cabbage salad? A slaw? I think Thai chicken salad works nicely, though somehow under-represents the sheer volume of veggies in it. This will look like it makes a ton, but it’s really only about 4-6 servings (depending on if it’s your main dish or a side).
I’ve made a number of small tweaks to the original recipe to better suit my tastes and simplify as well. I prefer using a fresh head of cabbage (I use a half-head here), but bagged can work too. I used much less pepper, carrot, and herbs, and more chicken (to keep me full longer).
And wow, the heat from the gochujang really comes through! It creeps up on you a bit (though I’m a total baby about spice, so your mileage may vary). The recipe calls for Sambal Oelek, with gochujang as a good substitute (and what I had on-hand).
Now what I can’t tell you is that this makes perfect leftovers. It makes *fine* leftovers, but it has a tendency to get watery (which isn’t the end of the world, and you can drain off the liquid). So here are a couple tips if you’ll be mostly eating it as leftovers:
- Definitely don’t use too much lettuce, or any at all
- The red onion really takes over once it’s been siting for a while, so go really light if you’ll be eating as leftovers, or keep separate
- I found I liked to warm it up slightly…like zap it in the microwave for like 20-30 seconds. I liked it cool or room temp, but not fridge-cold (deadens the flavors)
- You also *could* reserve the dressing and dress it as you go…that feels overly complex but it would keep it from getting soggy or watery
I’m struggling to even figure out how to best explain this Sicilian cauliflower dish to help you truly understand how delicious it is…
What makes it Sicilian?? The roasted cauliflower is paired with a classic Southern Italian combination of savory, spicy, acidic, and sweet elements for a “party in your mouth” end result.
And these are all great ingredients to keep on-hand anyway (plus fresh parsley is cheap), because pine nuts are great for pesto and tossing in salads for crunch, fresh garlic is a must-have for curries and more, and golden raisins are amazing in salads, kheer, and korma. (I buy my golden raisins in bulk on Amazon)
The original recipe calls for white wine vinegar, which works well, but I’ve been using this absolutely delish champagne vinegar from Brightland. I’m obsessed with their oils, vinegars, and honeys, and using them in all sorts of recipes.
And not only that, but it’s wicked easy as well. While the cauliflower roasts, you prep a couple ingredients to toss together with it (soak some golden raisins, quickly fry up some garlic and pine nuts), and then once it comes out of the oven…VOILA!
This has become a staple side dish a few times a week, on rotation with my brussels sprouts rubble and some charred broccoli bits with Trader Joe’s 21 Spice seasoning.
I’ve shared many brussels sprouts recipes over the years, from simple (caramelized shredded) to a little more involved (maple-dijon roasted). But I realized I hadn’t shared a super straightforward recipe for how I eat them on an almost-nightly basis…BEHOLD, the best roasted brussels sprouts EVER a.k.a. “rubble”.
These balsamic-honey ones are probably the closest to these, and you can absolutely add a bit of sweet and vinegar to give it an extra layer of flavor. But these are still amazing all on their own, with only salt and garlic powder for flavor.
I discovered that this was the best roasted brussels sprout technique by accident…I used to quarter or halve my sprouts before roasting, which was often great but frequently also gave me some tough, chewy pieces. Then my grocery store started having MASSIVE brussels sprouts, and quarters just didn’t make sense.
So I halved them and then diced like I would other veggies (small slices, then turn and slice the other way). What I realized after months of doing it this way is that it is 1) wicked easy, 2) they cook way faster and more evenly, and 3) they pick up more flavor this way.
This is now my default way of preparing them when I just want easy roasted brussels sprouts on a random Tuesday. I can have them prepped and in the oven in 5 minutes (in fact I have to remember to pre-heat my oven ahead) and then they’re ready in 10-12 minutes.
Cruciferous veggies like brussels sprouts are a great source of fiber, many critical vitamins and minerals, cancer-fighting compounds, and a great way to promote gut health and biodiversity. My two main cruciferous foods are brussels sprouts and cauliflower, but I’m trying to add more into my diet.
I never quite got my membership card for the cult of the air fryer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against them at all, but I just don’t use mine nearly as often as some people do. But there are absolutely some recipes where an air fryer is a no brainer gadget—and these super crispy chicken tenders definitely qualify!
I’d been playing around with some easy paleo/keto-friendly chicken tenders in the air fryer several months ago, based on some dietary restrictions I had. They used mostly almond flour as the coating, which definitely didn’t crisp up.
So I really wanted to try getting a TRULY crispy chicken tender in the air fryer. I used this technique and *rough* recipe from The Kitchn, and played around with the amounts of panko and spices, and only used about half of the buttermilk and one egg (felt wasteful otherwise).
As I’ve made it subsequent times, I’ve adjusted the spices specifically, for a more flavorful punch…the recipe below reflects those changes. And I think it’s great!
This is my view while cutting up chicken 100% of the time…
Y’all, I have been converted to the cult of challah french toast! I truly don’t think I can go back to regular sandwich bread french toast after this.
This is the perfect lazy person’s brunch recipe, great on a weekend but even totally doable on a random Tuesday morning if you have leftover challah bread. The end result feels so much more satisfying than the 10 minutes it takes to make. This is what we call return on investment.
While you could technically use store-bought challah, I always find it drier, less eggy, and less flavorful than homemade, so the resulting french toast won’t be as good.
But I have great news—making your own challah is so easy! I have two different recipes, this easy soft challah, and this traditional one (that I did a 4-strand plait round on). Either works great for this, though I used the latter for this french toast recipe and it was AWESOME.
I’m sharing a small-batch recipe below (which makes french toast for one or two people), but it can easily be scaled up. It’s really straightforward, but the regular egg/milk foundation is elevated with a little cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and lemon zest. The zest and cinnamon really make this amazing!
Why is challah bread good for french toast?
Both challah and brioche (and even a Hawaiian roll) are better for french toast versus plain sandwich bread, or something like french bread or sourdough. This is because they are made from a richer, egg-ier dough (usually they have butter or oil, some sugar, and eggs). This brings a LOT more flavor to your french toast, plus a softer and more pleasant texture (and they soak up the egg/milk moisture better).
A couple tips to make your challah bread french toast extra awesome:
- I think that thick-cut slices are better. Like maybe an inch thick or just over that? Don’t make the mistake of cutting too thin!
- You’ll get a better french toast texture from day-old challah, and I recommend even slicing it ahead of time and letting it dry out a bit. This will help it soak up more egg mixture, resulting in a softer, custardier end result.
- Because challah is a little more dense and we’re doing thicker slices, do make sure that you let the bread soak up the liquid. Don’t just do a 2-second dunk…I leave each side in the liquid for like 5 seconds, just to make sure it’s picking up enough liquid.
I realize that “yogurt & pea pasta with feta, basil, & chile pine nuts” doesn’t exactly *sound* easy. But I promise it is. This slightly adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s pea pasta is a super simple meal with fascinating, complex flavors, all in under 30 minutes.
I’ve made a few slight changes to the recipe, mostly to simplify steps (and number of bowls/pots), ensure it’s seasoned properly (it definitely needed more salt), and adjusting a few of the ingredient amounts.
Below I’ve also included both a “full” recipe (in the recipe card) and a smaller version that’s roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of the original, adapted for 2 to 4 people—or one person plus a few meals of leftovers.
This might be a controversial take, but I actually loved this the MOST cold straight out of the fridge…or maybe zapped for 20 seconds in the microwave but still basically cold. It makes totally bomb leftovers.
Guyyysssssss. I have all the treats for us today. Several months ago I shared a totally addictive waffle recipe but my conundrum was…it made like 6 waffles which my waistline cannot handle. So today I present to you single-serving dark chocolate waffles!
Now don’t get me wrong, these still pack quite the caloric punch, but they’re one of those amazing dishes that is the perfect answer to sudden cravings.
Ten minutes later you have bittersweet, indulgent chocolate-y carbs without days of leftovers.
One thing to call out is I would recommend using really good quality dark chocolate if you can, like Ghiradelli or above. If you can cut up a bar vs. using chocolate chips that is nice too, because the chocolate chips have stabilizers on them that make them not as melty.
Either olive oil or melted butter can work fine here but I tend toward butter since it makes the waffles a little more crisp.
And this waffle iron has become my true love in the past couple years, just so easy to use, doesn’t need cleaning much, and makes amazingly crisp waffles!
If you’d told me a few months ago that cauliflower crust pizza would be making up like…25% of my diet, I’d have asked what you were smoking. And yet here we are.
This cauliflower crust only takes a few ingredients (most of which you have on hand). It’s is high in vitamins K and C, low-cal, high in fiber and antioxidants, and (like all cruciferous vegetables) good for detoxing the liver.
Your topping options are also really versatile, though I stay away from super wet/soggy ingredients. Here are a few things I typically throw on:
- I often keep cooked hamburger on hand to throw on any dish
- I use both shredded (parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella), and a soft cheese (there’s a sheep/goat one that’s AMAZING)
- I usually will throw a pan of roasted vegetables in the oven along with the cauliflower crust (brussels sprouts, peppers, and onions are my fave)
- You can use sauce, but I’m not a fan and it does make things soggy. Sometimes I will spread a bit of dijon mustard on though for extra flavor.
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Why do I call this “traditional”? It’s because it involves manually squeezing all the liquid out before mixing and baking. I’ve recently found an alternative recipe that doesn’t require squeezing (due to a secret ingredient), which I’ve been loving as well.
The thing about making a traditional cauliflower crust is that it’s not super fast. Now, it’s not HARD, it just has a few different steps and ALL THAT SQUEEZING. What I’ve found helpful in how to make cauliflower crust is to break up into a few key phases or steps so I can plan my timing around it.
- Rice/food processor your cauliflower (if necessary) and cook it
- Squeeeeeeeze your cauliflower to get all the liquid out, then mix together the dough
- Bake the dough mixture by itself, then top and bake just long enough to melt the cheese
So I’ll often do the first step earlier in the day so it can cool, then just throw the cooked cauliflower in my nut milk bag and come back to it later. Then when I’m ready to actually make dinner, I turn my oven on and start the squeezing.
I’ll squeeze once, let it rest a couple minutes, come back and squeeze some more…you want to get as much liquid out as possible.
I am a massive fan of grilling, and actually run my grill almost every night, year-round. Why, you ask? Well, 1) it’s the best way I’ve found to consistently eat healthy, 2) it’s super fast and easy, and 3) it requires very little clean-up.
Did you need more reasons than that??
Since I moved into my house a few years ago and finally got a real gas grill, I’ve been working to become a grillmaster of sorts, testing all kinds of different recipes.
So I wanted to share some of my favorite grilling tips and recipes here, particularly for grilling newbies…and I’m always looking to up my game so feel free to send me YOUR best ones too!
(I feel like I need to caveat here, that I’m not one of those amazing obsessed grilling nerds…but that’s why this guide is perfect for newbies)
What this post covers
- Grilling tools for success
- General grilling tips
- Tips for grilling various meats
Tools you need
It goes without saying that a good grill is a good starting point. I use a gas grill, so all the tips here will be geared toward that, I can’t speak to charcoal. I upgraded to a Weber recently but had a Charbroil for a few years, they’re only a few hundred bucks, and it did great.READ THE POST
These healthy breakfast tacos have been giving me *life* the past several days!
I’ve been on a bit of a “detox” the last couple weeks, nothing super extreme but the kind where you tell yourself you need to LOCK. IT. UP. I’ve been focused on eating simple, unprocessed foods as much as possible, lots of fruit and veg, largely staying away from alcohol…you know the drill.
And these easy breakfast tacos have been playing a big role in enabling my “being good”. I can be on a conference call, taking notes and speaking up, and still whip these babies up in 5 minutes. They’re a great fast lunch when on the go.
I also love how simple they are, yet how satisfying they are…I don’t feel cheated in any way, and I’m full for hours.
They’re also really versatile, so you can get as creative as you’d like with extra toppings or seasonings. Even calling this a “recipe” feels like it’s overstating things a bit—they’re that easy.
If you’re timing this, here goes…READ THE POST
I’m quite picky when it comes to pizza. But give me an amazing Naples-style traditional margherita pizza and I am in 100% of the time.
And make that a grilled margherita pizza?? ALL THE YES.
This pizza is perfect in its simplicity…it’s less of a standalone recipe than it is the sum of a few delicious components. The flavor and high heat from the grill help kind of approximate the crazy heat and fire of the traditional woodfire oven.
You can whip it up on any weeknight, something that always feels like a victory. The real problem for me is that…I’m one person. So I really can’t justify eating tons of pizza, but it’s not good as leftovers, so…
I guess what I’m saying is, my clothes are tight.
Some of the best recipes result from trying to use up an ingredient, and that’s definitely the story of this AMAZING salmon and potato hash.
I’d bought a couple giant salmon filets, but the week kind of got away from me and they were smelling stroooong. I was trying to figure out what to do, since throwing $20 worth of salmon away did not appeal. But just eating the filet itself kind of freaked me out. So I decided to just bake it up and figure it out later.
Then I got a brainwave about a salmon and potato hash, since I also had a bunch of red potatoes to use up. After looking up a bunch of recipes nothing struck my fancy, so I just made it up.
And this has become a new fave, a hearty and healthy lunch option that makes great leftovers and is the perfect way to use up leftover salmon.
The recipe is super flexible, so you can add other veggies or adjust the seasonings based on your mood. Just don’t add anything too wet (like fresh zucchini or squash)…it’s meant to be dry and get kind of caramelized.
You’ll actually notice through this recipe that I alternate between two sets of photos. I’ve made this a few times, and once I added in some roasted butternut squash that was just sitting around. Don’t let it confuse you!
I was getting ready to start my grill the other night, when all of the sudden I realized I needed a break from it. I’d grilled chicken and veggies almost every night for over a year and a half (and loved it), but it was time to switch things up. But since it was already dinner time, I had to find something fast, easy, and that didn’t require special ingredients. Oh, and healthy. And yet magically this delightful maple-glazed chicken with a nice spiced sweet potato hash totally fit the bill!
I ended up modifying the original recipe a little, specifically in how I cooked the chicken since I had tiny tenders vs. full chicken breasts. What I discovered is that the recipe is simple and flexible, so you can figure out the right proportion of stove vs. oven each time you make it. The sweet-and-savory combo was a total winner!
READ THE POST
Ever since I got my grill, it’s been tough pushing myself to try new recipes that don’t require me to just throw things on the grill, because it’s my new favorite thing ever.
But this recipe has been a staple the last few months as I’ve navigated moving, living in a temporary apartment for a couple months (with a terrible kitchen set-up), and then trying to balance the gluttony of travel and meetings with the need to fit into my clothes. The key is that it’s not just healthy, it’s YUMMY.
There’s a fair amount of “dealer’s choice” in this recipe. It’s incredibly flexible and forgiving…you can substitute different vegetables, use different grains (I use farro, but barley, Israeli couscous, wheatberries, or other similar grains would do), and I’ve even had to substitute dressing ingredients in a pinch. One time I didn’t have fresh lemons or oranges, so I used a combination of lemon juice & rice wine vinegar to get the tang and acidity, and one time left out the Greek yogurt, and it was still great.
So that’s all to say, I’ll tell you how I’ve done it a few different times, but if the spirit moves you go with your gut. Grill, roast, and drizzle your way to healthy deliciousness.
Sometimes I get obsessed with things.
Sometimes that’s just obsessed with eating something. Sometimes it’s creating something that I can’t find. Other times it’s finding the perfect version—which may mean making it a TON of times. Homemade pad thai. Black bean brownies. Dreamy scones.
This is one of those things. I love fruit crisp, but sometimes it’s not worth the effort to make a whole pan (plus, then I eat the whole pan, which…).
I first got the idea when I made a sweet dark cherry pie for Thanksgiving last year. I’d never really worked with cherries before, always sticking instead to apples, pears, and peaches. I kind of winged it (wung it?) and made up the recipe after reading a few different ones, and it turned out great. And then one night recently I was jonesin’ for something sweet, and the idea of fruit crisp hit me (I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate for some reason). All I really had, though, was a bag of frozen cherries for smoothies. I decided to give it a go, and made two—one in the oven and one in the microwave. Shockingly, I liked the microwave version and it took WAY less time.
Since then I’ve made it several more times because I couldn’t quite get the flavors exactly like I wanted. This is a pretty fluid and forgiving recipe. You can add a little honey or sugar to the filling if you feel it needs it (or are using tart cherries), but mine is plenty sweet. Also, you could make it gluten-free by using a flour alternative like oat flour, coconut flour, almond meal, etc. I tried a few different spice combinations in the filling and topping (cardamom, ginger, etc.), but ultimately found that simpler was better—cinnamon and some almond extract.READ THE POST
Simplicity, man. As I mentioned last week, I just wanted the easiest dinner possible. Something healthy, but something that didn’t require a million steps or ingredients.
Also, I’ve been on a weird ricotta kick. Like, eat it straight out of the carton with a spoon, maybe with a drizzle of honey. It’s getting weird. I used to hate ricotta and now look at me.
So I made some delicious marinated grilled (well, sauteed) chicken, and this delightful frittata.
Frittatas are such a great go-to meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re full of veggies and protein, easy, and make awesome leftovers. Basically, they’re perfect.READ THE POST
Oh boy, I’ve been wanting to try this chocolate peanut butter mug cake for quite a while, but the universe kept conspiring against me.
Mostly by making me too full after my traditional Saturday night Thai food to even think about dessert. I know, life’s rough.
But after our eventful snow day in Atlanta yesterday, I decided it was time for a treat. Yet again, I didn’t prepare for the snowpocalypse. And by “snowpocalypse”, I mean 1-2 inches of snow that literally ruined Atlanta. People stranded in their cars for 20+ hours, having to abandon them on the highway and walk to safety and warmth.
Parts of it enforced my lack of faith in humanity (yes, I’m looking at you, asshat who knowingly ran the red light and blocked a major intersection for 20 minutes), while others were pretty amazing (thousands of people offering up spare rooms, couches, bringing food to stranded drivers).
My 90-minute drive home (vs. 20 usually) looked like a walk in the park by comparison, and while I don’t have much food at home, I do have wine and I can make this amazing mug cake.
Mug cake recipes are hit-and-miss, but this one was a winner for me. First, you can never miss with (double) chocolate and peanut butter, and the texture was fudgy and creamy and awesome. The fact that it doesn’t use eggs is handy as well.
It helps to start with a super cute mug. This is one of my favorites, it actually was the first mug in my somewhat-eclectic collection. Got it in Seattle at Pike’s Place Market back in college.READ THE POST
I’m really on a roll with these easy chicken recipes. Chicken has been kind of a “meh” option for me, I think maybe I ate too much in college or something and just got tired of it.
Also I get freaked out worrying about whether it’s fully cooked or not. But I’ve had a string of awesome, flavorful, juicy, easy chicken recipes lately, courtesy of our good friend Pinterest.
My family and I tried out this recipe while they were visiting a few weeks ago. We wanted something simple and fairly fast, since we were starving. Also, we were really intrigued by the combination of honey, goat cheese, and butter cracker flavors (spoiler alert—they were awesome!), but we were also surprised by how great the kick of the red pepper was. It was exactly the touch that was needed.READ THE POST
I know I did a post on mug cakes a while back, trying out a few different recipes. And I have some new ones to try too, which I’ll get to later. But I wanted to do a separate post on this particular lava mug cake because it is awesome. It’s the best I’ve found so far, and the thing I like most is that it doesn’t taste too sweet or rich. With the dark chocolate, it’s the perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and creamy.
As I’ve established in other posts, I don’t keep desserts in my apartment, because I have an insane sweet tooth and would weigh 300 pounds. That way if I’m craving something, I either have to go somewhere and get it (which, let’s face it, I’m way too lazy to do) or make something (which takes time and energy, so I have to REALLY want it). Mug cakes fall into a dangerous area, because they only take five minutes to make, which is practically like keeping something in my pantry. But I can’t quit them.
This here bad boy is my preferred Saturday night date.
Amazing that this many different ingredients can fit into a coffee mug.
I’m one of those people who believes that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There’s always a catch.
I also love dessert, but pretty much don’t keep anything in my apartment except raw ingredients. So that way, if I’m craving dessert, I either have to make something (which takes time and effort) or go out to get something (which also takes time and effort). Probably 98% of the time I talk myself out of it by sheer laziness because I can’t decide exactly what I want, which my waistline appreciates.
So the idea of mug cakes is both brilliant and frightening, and also makes me a little skeptical. I love the single-serving aspect, since any time I bake a batch of cookies or cupcakes I end up eating half of them. I love the idea of something that takes less than 10 minutes to make. But is it legit? I decided to try a few out and see…