Miso Ginger Baby Bok Choy

Easy Miso Bok Choy Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Easy Miso Bok Choy Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

You know those recipes where you make, say, a sauce, and it is so good that you think “I’m going to put this on everything from now on?” Oh man, this is one of those recipes. I admittedly have quite a few sauces that are in this category, almost all of them Asian – this otsu sauce, this spicy and sweet szechuan chili sauce, this fresh ginger lemon sauce, and this miso sesame sauce just to name a few. But this miso ginger baby bok choy I have today has landed on the list as well, with its mild miso, hint of lime, present but not fiery ginger, and sweet mirin.

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Ginger Lemon Soba Noodles

Ginger Lemon Soba Noodles Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Ginger Lemon Soba Noodles Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks was the first food blog I ever visited. It was 2008, I was a newly minted vegetarian, and I was searching online for a good recipe involving tofu. I came across the humble gem of a recipe for Caramelized Tofu, which I still to this day love, and a love of food blogs was born. The recipe seemed to marry so many disparate things that I would never have thought to put together: brussels sprouts (shredded up, no less), brown sugar, tofu, cilantro? But the end product was so good that I trusted her from then on.

I’m no longer a vegetarian, but I still love good vegetarian foods. Today I have a different recipe that I’ve adapted from Heidi, but one that has the same ingenuity of bringing together techniques and flavors I wouldn’t have thought to do on my own. I love ginger, I love lemon, I love soba. But the dressing on these noodles also incorporates mirin, brown sugar or honey, and celery, and the resulting flavor is very unique while still seeming just right. It’s tangy and refreshing, but combined with some pan-fried tofu (or any protein of your choice) it is undoubtedly filling.

Ginger Lemon Soba Noodles Recipe on www.inthiskitchen.com

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chinese choy sum with ginger and garlic

chinese choy sum with ginger and garlic [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Sometimes you want a big ol’ cinnamon roll cake, or a toasted buttery brown sugar and oatmeal cookie, and some other times you just want a simple and pure vegetable side dish that doesn’t take much thought. Today I have the latter, in the form of Chinese stir-fried choy sum. The Chinese have certainly figured out the secret to making veggies as delicious as they should be: cook them fast and simply, and give ’em a good hit of aromatics. This is choy sum, which is easily found in the produce section of Asian food stores, but this same treatment can be given to some hardy spinach leaves too, I’m sure. The choy sum tastes to me like a blend between a bok choy cabbage and spinach, and here it’s lightly stir-fried and dotted with garlic and ginger.

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french warm lentil salad

french warm lentil salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I’ve never been to France, and I’m a little embarrassed to say it. I’ve heard people wax dreamily about it ad infinitum, almost as if there are two groups of people in the world: ones who have felt the true experience of France or Paris, and those who haven’t. The truth is, if I’d had the opportunity to visit, I would have long ago. Being well-traveled is a colossal privilege, and one I haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully experience. I’ve had some amazing trips in my lifetime: Vancouver was one of my favorite places I’ve ever been, and as a stop on a cruise I was able to be in the Bahamas, albeit only for about two hours. But aside from that, when I traveled throughout my life it has always been to various places in the U.S. where my family members lived: New Jersey, Michigan, and then Arizona after I’d moved to the east coast. All of the travel dollars and frequent flyer miles went toward seeing family instead of embarking upon world adventures, and I absolutely don’t regret that at all.

french warm lentil salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

That all being said, of course pretty much all of Europe is at the top of my “I want to go there” list. As for now, I feel like I have gotten a slice of what France must be like from food, and food writing. I loved David Lebovitz’ The Sweet Life in Paris. I’ve even read a book about how French people parent differently, despite not yet having kids or any plans to anytime soon. And of course Molly of Orangette is a great resource for stories and foods of France, and I’m so glad she shared this warm lentil salad that she says is very common in France, in an even simpler form.

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moroccan spiced roasted butternut squash

moroccan spiced roasted butternut squash [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I must admit that I have been trying to “eat healthier” lately. Before you hastily close this blog, never to return again, let me explain. For me, eating healthy cannot and never will mean sacrificing good food. I pretty much don’t do low fat (How could I? Have you tried full-fat Fage greek yogurt? God, how good it is), I don’t like artificial sweeteners, I won’t do low-carb, and the list goes on ad infinitum. Essentially, I just want to keep eating the things I love, but less of “the 10 chocolate truffles after lunch and half a large pizza for dinner” type of things I love and more of the “holy crap, roasted butternut squash is so good, subtly sweet and warming” type of things I love. It’s the same philosophy Diane Cu used and wrote about in this post, which is a wonderful read.

Leaving that aside, this roasted butternut squash is fantastic, spiced with a light hand, and sweet yet savory at the same time. It would be perfect for a side at a holiday feast, and just as perfect for the rest of winter when everyone wants healthy New Years Resolutions-friendly veggies.

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chickpea, cucumber, tomato and avocado salad

chickpea, cucumber, tomato and avocado salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Summer is here – though I’m sure most of us feel like it’s been around since mid-May or June. Because I’m an Arizona native, summer has always seemed to fall between the months of, oh, April to October. Even though I’m now in the suburbs of Washington, DC, I don’t feel like the heat is any less brutal, now that it’s combined with 70% humidity. These are the reasons we need salads like the one I’m sharing today: a jumble of chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado that gives the perfect crunchy, tangy and refreshing antidote to a hot day.

chickpea, cucumber, tomato and avocado salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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quinoa & black bean salad with lime vinaigrette

quinoa black bean salad [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I have been crazy busy with grad school the past few months, and currently am enjoying my last few days before the next (and final!) semester begins. I cannot wait to get back to regular cooking and posting – I think about it and miss it on a near daily basis. Recipes like today’s wonderful one from Gather and Dine are so simple and perfect for when you’re 1) really busy, as we all tend to be, and 2) in the dead of a cold, bitter winter and want something light and refreshing but still so flavorful and delicious. It’s a simple quinoa and black bean salad that even quinoa haters can enjoy. I’m certainly not a huge quinoa fan, but in salads like this with a great tangy vinegar-and-lime punch, I can really get into it. This salad is also vegetarian and vegan, so it’s a great dish to bring to a get-together and make everyone happy. Almost all of the ingredients can be used either fresh or frozen/canned, so the salad can be made in winter while you dream of summer.

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momofuku ginger scallion noodles

Ginger Scallion Noodles on www.inthiskitchen.com

momofuku ginger scallion noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

These ginger scallion noodles are so easy that I thought they might be boring, but that definitely was not the case. They are super, super simple but the flavors come together so well to make a great vegan/vegetarian side dish – I had no idea simple green onions could give so much flavor. If you add grilled pork or chicken, these can also turn into a main meal. They originally come from Momofuku by David Chang, which can do no wrong in my book. I recently started grad school, so I am super into very easy and delicious recipes and these noodles definitely fit the bill.

momofuku ginger scallion noodles [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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watermelon ginger mint slush

watermelon ginger mint slush [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I have been converted to a slushie lover with this watermelon slush. I definitely loved them as a kid, the crazy-colored icees at 7-11, but since then I haven’t had many because I often think they’re too sweet. After having a fantastic slush the other day at Cafe Angelique in New York, I decided it was time I tried to make one at home. I wanted the summery and not-too-sweet flavor of watermelon, mint and lime, with a little added kick of ginger. Oh how I love ginger… if you do too, make this now!

watermelon ginger mint slush [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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