Poached Cod in Lemongrass Broth over Baby Spinach

6– 8 ounces white fish ( True Cod, black cod, halibut, sea bass- I used True Cod in the photos)
1–2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 shallot- finely chopped ( Shallot vs. onion, makes for a more flavorful broth)
2–3 garlic cloves- rough chopped
1/4 cup tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
4 cups water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 lime- lime juice to taste, start with half a lime, taste, adjust.
5 ounces baby spinach

Optional additions- shittake mushrooms, radish, thai basil, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, cripsy shallots. Add kefir lime leaves or galanga to the broth for extra flavor.

Notes- do no cook chilies in the broth, it will get too spicy. Simple add to individual bowls at the end.

Shallot (vs onion) gives this the best flavor.

Cut fish into 2 pieces and season with a little salt and pepper, set aside.
Heat oil in a medium-large sauce pan or pot, over medium heat.

Add shallots, garlic, ginger and 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass.

Saute, stirring often, until fragrant and golden, about 4- 5 minutes. Add water, salt and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes to allow flavor to develop. Add coconut milk ( both solids and water), and a generous squeeze of lime. ( you could make this ahead & refrigerate at this point)

Gently, place fish in the simmering broth, spooning the fragrant liquid over the fish. Simmer for just a few minutes ( 3 minutes) taking care not to overcook.
Place a generous mound of baby spinach in two bowls. Carefully lift out the fish from the broth and place over the bed of spinach. Using a ladle, divide the broth between the two bowls. Top with shredded or sliced radish, sliced jalpeno or red chilies ( for heat).

Feel free to substitute other white fish – halibut, mahi-mahi, snapper, haddock, black cod, or sea bass – all work here, but baking time may increase or decrease based on thickness.

Baked Cod Recipe with Garlic and Lemon

1 – 1 1/2 lbs cod – or sub black cod, halibut, sea bass… etc.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced ( or sub celery and more asparagus)
1 large leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced into half moons
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon (or sub zest from another lemon)
1 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth or stock, more as needed
1/2 cup white wine (or sub more broth and a squeeze of lemon)
generous pinch salt and pepper
1 large bunch asparagus, cut into 1–2 inch pieces, tough ends removed.

Preheat oven 400F.

Cut cod into 4 pieces and pat dry. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, thyme and zest and toss to coat well. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in an oven-proof skillet, cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Add fennel and saute 5-7 minutes, stirring, cooking until just tender. Add leeks and garlic and continue cooking, stirring until leeks are golden and tender. Add preserved lemon ( or lemon zest), fresh thyme, broth and white wine. Stir in salt and pepper, simmer on medium low heat until liquid has reduced by half, and fennel is nice and tender, about 5 minutes.

If fennel needs a bit longer, add another splash of broth and cover pan for a few minutes, letting it steam and get tender. Once fennel is tender, add asparagus, give a stir and cook for 2 more minutes- until asparagus turns bright green. If mixture seems dry, add another splash of broth- you want this slightly wet ( ¼- ½ inch liquid in the bottom of the pan).

Nestle in the fish in the pan, scraping out any excess marinade over the fish. Bake in the oven until fish is cooked through 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness.

Divide among four bowls. Top with a sprig of thyme and lemon wedge.

Serve this on its own for a low carb dinner, or serve with basmati rice, everyday quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

Notes:

Feel free to substitute other white fish – halibut, mahi-mahi, snapper, haddock, black cod, or sea bass – all work here, but baking time may increase or decrease based on thickness.

If you like a crispy golden crust on the fish, feel free to dredge in flour or bread crumbs and pan-sear the fish first before finishing it off in the oven.

Baked Cod with Burst Tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil, more for brushing
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar
1 shallot, sliced
4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes ( mixed colors are nice here)
1 lemon – zest (set aside) and lemon slices
1– 1 1/4 lb cod fillets 4 -6 pieces ( thicker pieces work best here –1 inch thick or more) see notes
salt, pepper and Aleppo chili flakes to taste
1/4 cup basil leaves torn

Preheat oven to 425F.

Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar into a 9 x13 inch baking dish. Scatter the shallots and garlic. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and lemon slices and toss. Roast 10 minutes. Give the tomatoes a good shake.

While tomatoes are roasting, pat the fish dry and brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and Aleppo chili flakes. Nestle the fish in the baking dish, between the tomatoes.

Lower heat to 400F.

Bake the fish for 8-10 minutes then give the pan a good shake, jostling the tomatoes a bit. Scatter with lemon zest. Bake 3-4 more minutes or until fish is cooked through to your liking.

When done, add the torn basil leaves, tossing them with the warm tomatoes with tongs so the basil wilts slightly. Then garnish each piece of fish with a few wilted basil leaves.

Notes: Feel free to substitute other white fish – halibut, mahi-mahi, snapper, haddock, black cod, or sea bass – all work here, but baking time may increase or decrease based on thickness.

Seared Halibut over Zucchini Noodles

8–10 ounces halibut (or sub Salmon, Tofu, Sea Bas, Cod, Scallops, Shrimp)
1 garlic clove, smashed
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Noodles:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 fat shallot, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
12–16 ounces zucchini noodles (zoodles)
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley ( or sub 1/4 cup basil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (more to taste)
Garnish with sweet cherry tomatoes, chili flakes, shaved pecorino cheese ( optional)

Preheat oven to 375F ( or toaster oven)

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add smashed garlic clove and swirl to infuse garlic into the oil.

Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear both sides until golden. ( TIP: If you let the fish sear without moving it too much, it will form a crust and release itself naturally from the pan. If it sticks, it is usually that you are moving or lifting it too soon.) Once both sides are golden, place in the warm oven until cooked through to your liking. ( roughly 3 – 6 minutes – time will depend on thickness of the cut)

In a large skillet, heat more oil over medium heat and add shallots and garlic, stirring until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini noodles and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until noodles soften, about 4 minutes. Toss in lemon zest, fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Taste for salt and lemon and adjust if necessary. Divide among two bowls and top with the halibut.

Garnish with fresh halved cherry tomatoes, and optional chili flakes and shaved pecorino cheese if you like.

French Potato Salad

2 pounds fresh potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick (little, thin-skinned potatoes work best here)
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 large garlic cloves
Dijon Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh Herbs:

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped (or sub 1/4 cup dill or basil ribbons)
2 tablespoons fresh chives (or sub green onions), minced

Boil the Potatoes: Place the sliced potatoes in a large saucepan cover completely with cold water. Sprinkle in salt and bring to a boil. Add the 2 cloves of garlic, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.

Make the Vinaigrette: While potatoes are simmering, make the vinaigrette by whisking together dijon, oil, vinegar and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Assemble: Drain potatoes and garlic. Place potatoes mostly single layer on a baking sheet to cool. Mince the cooked garlic and add to the vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over the warm potatoes. Let sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve: Add to a serving bowl gently tossing with the chopped fresh herbs. Serve at room temp or refrigerate and chill.

Japanese Rice with Furikake

1 cup short-grain brown rice (see notes for short-grain white rice)
1 3/4 cups water – always check package instructions, as this may vary! (see notes for white rice)
generous pinch salt
2 scallions, sliced (white ends separated)
1–2 teaspoons sesame oil
1–2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 – 1 teaspoon furikake seasoning (or sub toasted sesame seeds)

Rice the rice or if you have time, soak for 20-30 minutes. Drain.

Add rice, water, salt, white ends of scallions, and sesame oil, to a medium pot, and mix and bring to a simmer.

Cover tightly, lower heat to low, and cook at a gentle simmer until the rice soaks up all the water, about 45 minutes. Check at 35-40 minutes, continuing to cook until all the water is gone. (see notes for white rice). Let stand 10 minutes covered.

Toss the rice with a couple of teaspoons of rice vinegar, and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the furikake seasoning and green ends of scallions.

Rice will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.

Asian Cucumber Salad (with Variations)

1 1/2 pounds Turkish, Persian or English cucumbers (about 5 cups sliced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4–5 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey, or sugar)
1 teaspoon red chili paste (or sriracha, both optional) more to taste
1–2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Using the tines of a fork, score the cucumbers lengthwise- this will help the dressing cling to the cucumber. (Feel free to skip if in a hurry.)

Slice the cucumbers thinly. Place in a bowl and toss with the salt to help them release water. Let this stand while you gather the remaining ingredients.

Strain the cucumbers, place them in a large bowl and add the scallions, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, optional red chili paste and toasted sesame seeds. Mix to combine.

Taste and adjust salt to your liking. Add more chili paste if you like.
Refigerate until ready to serve. This is best served the same day but will keep up to 3 days.

Optional Additions: to go with a more Thai theme you could add fish sauce, lime juice, Thai Basil, and crushed peanuts. To give it more of a Korean twist and add Gochujang. Leave out the chili paste and garlic to give it more of a Japanese spin. You get the idea.

Kung Pao Noodles with Chicken, Tofu, or Cauliflower

1 lb chicken (or sub crispy tofu or roasted cauliflower, see notes below)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
1–3 tablespoons peanut oil, coconut or vegetable oil for frying – optional, see notes.
one red bell pepper
6–8 dry red chilies (see notes)
1 large shallot, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic

Kung Pao Sauce:

2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons fish sauce ( or vegan fish sauce, or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce ( or liquid amino acids)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (black vinegar if you have it)
1 tablespoon honey, or sugar
1 tablespoon garlic chili paste (Sambal chili paste)
Serve over cooked rice noodles, soba noodles, egg noodles, ramen noodles, linguini….. or rice!

Optional Garnishes: roasted peanuts, crispy shallots, green onions (sliced at a diagonal), chili flakes or Sriacha

If making noodles or rice, start it cooking on the stove.

Prep Chicken (or see notes for Cauliflower). Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and cornstarch to the chicken and toss. (Alternately — if using cauliflower, roast cauliflower florets in a 425 F oven for 25-30 minutes, with olive oil, salt and pepper – or see notes for more options).

Chop shallot, ginger, garlic and thinly slice red bell pepper into thin strips.
Make the Kung Pao Sauce: Measure all the condiments and place in a small bowl (water, soy, fish sauce, oyster, vinegar, honey and garlic chili paste) and give a quick stir until combined.

Cook Chicken: Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat, and when it’s hot, brown the chicken, turning, tossing and cooking through about 5 minutes. (I use a metal mesh splatter guard to prevent oil from going everywhere.)Turn heat off and place crispy chicken on a plate lined with paper towels, blot.

Stir fry! Gather all your ingredeints around (including caulifower if using) Wipe out wok, add 1-2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper and sear over medium heat until tender and just slightly charred in places, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to medium make a well in the center of the bell peppers, add the the shallot, ginger and garlic, stirring constantly, (keeping them in the center), 3-4 minutes until they are fragrant and golden. You may need to add a few more drops of oil. Add the dried chilies, cook one minute (turn your fan on!).

Add the Kung Pao sauce to the wok and bring to a simmer, then add the cooked chicken (or roasted cauliflower) back into the wok and tossing well, heating it back up. Serve over rice, noodles, or add the cooked noodles directly into the wok and sear them for a minute or two. Serve immediately.

Garnish with roasted peanuts and sliced scallions.

Notes:

Notes: If subbing with crispy shrimp or tofu, prepare it in the same way as the chicken, blot, coat with salt, pepper, sugar and cornstarch , and fry in the wok until crispy. Then set aside.

CAULIFLOWER: For a lighter version, use roasted cauliflower (one small head) instead of the chicken: toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan in a 400 F oven until tender and egdes are crispy- about 30 mintues. Add it to the wok right after you add the sauce (at the very end).
Another vegan but ridiculously decadent option is use tempura cauliflower. Steam the cauliflower florets until al dente. Coat in a tempura batter and deep fry until golden and crispy. Toss the cauliflower into the wok at the last very minute into the simmering sauce.

*If you use the whole head of cauliflower, you may want to increase the Kung Pao sauce by half so make 1 1/2 times the recipe).

*Traditional Kung Pao also includes a handful of red, dried Chinese chilies (Thai red chilies are too spicy) . I usually toss these in at the end with the garlic and ginger, but in this recipe you don’t really need to because of the chili garlic paste. If you do choose to use the dried chilies, add them in right after the ginger and garlic, and decrease the garlic chili sauce in the recipe.

Vegetable Lo Mein (with Tofu, Shrimp, and Chicken Variations)

4-5 ounces dry lo mein noodles – typically thin egg noodles, but sub any noodle you like- soba, GF noodles, whole wheat linguini, etc. If using fresh noodles, weight will be different, basically use enough for two servings.

Lo Mein Sauce:

3 tablespoons soy sauce ( or GF Braggs)
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (or mirin, or sub 1 1/2 tablespoons water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon honey)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional– see notes)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup, sugar or honey
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional, see notes-but tasty)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2– 1 teaspoon sriracha ( or chili paste)

Lo Mein Stir Fry:

2 tablespoons wok oil, peanut oil or coconut oil
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup snow peas

Other options: a handful of baby spinach, bok choy, shredded veggies like brussel sprouts, bean sprouts. In spring, asparagus is nice, in winter, roasted veggies work well too!

Garnish: scallions, sliced

Optional Additions: Crispy Tofu , chicken breast, shrimp, thinly sliced beef…etc.

Set water to boil and cook the noodles according to directions on the package.
Stir together the Lo mein Sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Prep any and all veggies and set near the stove.

In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn heat to medium, add the garlic and ginger and saute 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper, carrots, cabbage and snow peas and stir often, just letting them get tender, but still crisp, 3-4 minutes.

Add the noodles and give a good stir and toss a few times to incorporate.
Add the Lo Mein Sauce and stir and toss continuously 2 minutes. If it gets too dry add a little splash of water to loosen.

Serve in two bowls, garnish with green onion.

Notes:

Feel free to substitute other veggies, keeping proportions the same.

Classic Lo Mein often includes Oyster sauce, feel free to add or leave it out. Oyster Sauce is not vegan or GF. If leaving out you could, also sub Hoisin Sauce which is usually vegan but not GF.

Classic Lo Mein has a subtle smokiness which is hard to replicate at home. It actually comes from the wok being used over a high-heat restaurant stove. A few drops of liquid smoke can really mimic this taste. Go light here. I really like it- but up to you.

If adding crispy tofu, chicken or shrimp or beef, season with salt and pepper and quickly sear in an oiled wok. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Add this into the wok with the noodles at the end with the sauce.

Greek Pasta Salad

1 1/2 cups, 9-10 oz, orzo pasta
1/4 red onion, about 1/3 cup, diced small
1 red bell pepper (or 1/2 red, 1/2 green), chopped small
2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
15 oz can chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups, drained
1/3 cup kalamata olives, sliced
2 cups thin skinned cucumber, chopped small
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup basil and/or mint for garnish if desired
6–8 oz feta cheese (sheep’s feta is the best!), optional

Greek Salad Dressing:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water. Drain and rinse with cool water and set aside.

Make the dressing by whisking together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking all the while to emulsify.

Add diced red onions and a 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette to a large bowl. Allowing them to marinate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Add bell peppers next along with oregano, chickpeas, and kalamata olives.

Add cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley. Toss altogether. Add in cooked orzo pasta, 1/4 cup more of dressing and cubed feta cheese (if using). Gently mix.

Taste and adjust flavor adding more dressing, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon if needed.

Toss with basil and mint just before serving.

Notes:

Add red pepper flakes if desired.
Salad will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.

Nordic Nicoise Salad

8 baby potatoes
1– 2 eggs (optional), boiled to your liking
1 cup snap peas
1 Turkish cucumbers (or use English)
1/2 small fennel bulb, shaved (optional)
4 radishes
1 bunch watercress
6 ounces smoked trout, smoked salmon, lox, pickled herring or smoked/cooked sardines (or sub cannellini beans or baked/smoked tofu for a vegetarian option)
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons fresh dill
Other optional additions: pickled red onions, fresh sprouts, chive blossoms, nasturtium petals, sliced avocado, blanched green beans or other veggies, a dollop of plain yogurt, toasted rye croutons, or rye crisp, crumbled.

Nordic Nicoise Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black)
1–2 teaspoons fresh grated or prepared horseradish
pinch sugar

Place the baby potatoes in a pot of water and boil, then simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Add the snap peas in the same water during the last minute to quickly blanch. Drain. Rinse under cold water.

At the same time boil the eggs, either soft or hard – your preference. Peel and halve.

While the eggs are boiling, stir the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork, tasting and adjusting.

Prep the veggies. Using a veggie peeler, shave the cucumber into ribbons (or just slice into rounds)

Slice the radishes, slice the fennel.

Assemble the salads. Lay a bed of watercress on the bottom of two bowls. Top with cucumbers, radish, fennel, fish, eggs, pickled onions, capers and fresh dill. Scatter blossoms around the top. Feel the joy.

Dress the salad right before serving.

Add a dollop of yogurt for extra richness if you like…. and serve with rye crisp.

Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Cheddar

12 extra large Eggs
1 Cup crumbled cooked bacon
1 Cup very small diced cheddar
1 Cup very small diced sweet onion
1 Cup small diced kosher baby dill pickles
Mayonnaise
salt to taste
Garish with paprika and chives or parsley

In a large pot, gently place 12 eggs. Fill pot until water covers eggs about 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat off and let stand 10-12 minutes.
Peel under running cold water.

Cut eggs in half scoop out yolks into a bowl.

Mash with a fork and add other ingredients. Mix. Add enough mayo to have a nice creamy mixture. Taste, adjust salt. Fill the eggs and chill.

Garnish with paprika and chives or Italian parsley right before serving.
Notes

*If you want to serve them whole and standing up, cut the tops off at the narrow end and cut off a tiny sliver of the bottom so they have a platform to stand on. Either scoop out the yokes with a small spoon, or gently squeeze the side of the egg, and the yokes should pop out.

You could pipe the filing into the egg whites, using a piping bag or a zip lock bag ( cut a small opening into the corner).

Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

3 ripe, delicious smelling peaches, halved
6 oz baby arugula (or other favorite green)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, or fresh mini mozzarella balls
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
10 basil leaves, cut into ribbons. Purple basil is pretty.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( white balsamic is nice, or use regular)
1 Tablespoon honey or maple
4 Tablespoons olive oil
generous pinch salt and pepper

If grilling the peaches, preheat the grill. ( You don’t have to grill them)

Mix the vinaigrette together in a small bowl or jar.

Wash peaches, rubbing the fuzz off with your fingers under running water ( or uses a dry towel). Half the peaches, scoop out the seeds and brush with a little olive oil. Grill for 4-6 minutes over medium heat uncovered until they have noticeable grill marks. Using a metal spatula gently turn over and grill one more minute. Try to keep peach in tact. Cut peaches into wedges.

Toss greens, onions, basil leaves, slivered almonds and goat cheese in a medium bowl with some of the vinaigrette. You may have some leftover. Place the grilled peaches on top, sprinkle witih optional nasturshim petals.

Cornmeal Crusted Fish with Summer Succotash

2 x 6 ounce Halibut Filets ( or seabass, black cod, or tofu filets)
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon, plus extra pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika – optional

Summer Succotash:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions- diced
10–12 fava bean pods, shelled
1 poblano, pasilla or bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves- minced
1/2 a jalapeno- finely diced ( optional)
2 ears of corn, shucked, kernels cut off
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1 lime- juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 large pinches kosher salt
Pinch cayenne, or chipotle powder– optional
2 tablespoons or more, fresh cilantro
Optional additions- bacon crumbles, butter, other veggies like zucchini, red bell pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt and spices together in a wide shallow bowl, big enough for dredging the fish or tofu.

To make fish ( or tofu) heat oil in a skillet, over medium high heat. Dredge fish or tofu in the Cornmeal mixture and place in the hot skillet, searing until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn over, turn heat down to medium. Cook 2-3 more minutes, and place in a warm oven, until cooked to your desired “done-ness”.

Make the succotash – In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add fava beans and poblano pepper and and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, lowering heat if necessary.

Add garlic, jalapeño, fresh corn and salt and spices and cook 2-3 minutes. Add broth, and simmer until reduced. For extra richness, you could add bacon crumbles or a dollop of butter.

Squeeze a half of a small lime, and fold in the cilantro.

Taste and adjust salt and lime. Turn heat off.

Divide among bowls and place the fish or tofu over top, garnishing with fresh lime and cilantro

Vietnamese Beef and Green Papaya Salad

1 lb beef (tenderloin, tri tip or flank steak)
2–3 Cups shredded Green Papaya ( or rice noodles)
1 Cup combo of fresh mint, cilantro and basil
2 T roasted crushed peanuts ( optional)
1 T fried shallots ( optional- see below)

Dressing:
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 T plus 1 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp mild red chili- finely sliced
1 finely minced garlic clove

Beef Marinade:
1/4 C pounded or finely chopped lemongrass
1/4 C garlic-finely minced or pounded
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 T oyster sauce
2 T sugar 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp five spice

Make marinade. Slice beef to 1/2 inch thick bite size pieces, toss with marinate and let sit at least 30 minutes. Or refrigerate up to 8 hours. Grill or pan fry until just cooked.

Peel and shred green papaya and place in a bowl of ice water for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you could prepare rice noodles following manufacturer’s directions.

Make dressing. Combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oil, chili, garlic.
Drain Papaya and toss(or rice noodles) with dressing to coat. Place on a plate along with beef and a combination of the fresh herbs. Top with roasted peanuts and crispy shallots. Serve with chop sticks.

Fried Shallots- can either be made from scratch, although most Asian markets offer them as a condiment already packaged, which I have found are extremely handy and tasty. They offer good flavor and texture.

Lemongrass can be found in most grocery stores, in the herb or produce section. If you find you cook with lemon grass a lot, a nice option is purchasing it in bulk, already chopped in the freezer section of most Asian markets.

Grilled Eggplant Salad with Halloumi & Tomatoes

2 medium sized eggplants or 4 Japanese eggplants
4 medium heirloom tomatoes ( red and yellow)
8 oz haloumi cheese
1/3 C olive oil for brushing
salt

Mint Dressing:
1/4 C mint leaves- packed
1/4 C Italian parsley- packed
1/4 C olive oil
1/8 C fresh lemon juice
1 T water 1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt cracked pepper
Garnish with a few mint leaves

Pre-heat grill, to med-high.

Slice Eggplant to 1/3 inch thick pieces and brush with olive oil.

Slice halloumi into 1/2 inch thick pieces, brush with olive oil.

Slice tomatoes into ½ inch slices, set aside.

Make dressing. Blend or process all ingredients in a blender or food processor…adding a little more water (only if necessary) to get the blender going. Do not blend it too smooth… you want to see pieces of the herbs.

Grill eggplant slices, closing lid, checking heat to make sure they don’t burn, rotating as necessary. Eggplant is done when the white becomes slightly translucent. Stack them on a heat proof dish and cover tightly with foil so they continue cooking through. You could place this on your upper grill rack if you have one, or just set aside, covered.

Grill the Halloumi cheese just until grill marks appear.

Arrange eggplant, tomatoes and cheese all on a platter, layering. Drizzle liberally with the dressing and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve at room temp.

If you want to serve this Napoleon Style- a stacked individual portion, layer eggplant, tomato, and haloumi spooning a little mint dressing on each layer, until 4-5 inches tall. Skewer with a skewer or sturdy rosemary sprig ( removing bottom rosemary leaves).

Egyptian Zucchini Tian

2 large onions, sliced
2 T olive oil
10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 small Lemon – zest and 1 T juice
2 tsp cumin seeds ( whole)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
cracked pepper
2 lbs zucchini or summer squash- sliced into 1/4 inch disks
1/4 C chopped Italian parsley

In a 10 inch, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet (cast iron works great), heat olive oil until hot on medium heat. Add onions and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown and fragrant. Add garlic, stirring more frequently, until garlic is golden.

Turn heat to med- low and add diced tomatoes, lemon zest and lemon juice, salt, pepper and spices. Simmer on low until tomatoes cook down a little, about 5 minutes. This will seem like a fairly “dry” tomato sauce, but remember, zucchini will release their liquids in while baking.

Remove all but 1/3 of the rustic tomato sauce, placing 2/3 in a separate bowl.
Spread the remaining tomato sauce (about 1/2 cup) evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place one single layer of zucchini in slightly overlapping concentric circles.

Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper.

Spread another third of the rustic tomato sauce over the zucchini, as evenly as possible. It won’t seem like a lot, but don’t worry.

Add the second and final layer of slightly overlapping zucchini. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the rest of the tomato sauce.

Cover with foil. Place in 350 F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and give a good shake, and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley and a give a good drizzle of olive oil.
Notes

Feel free to make this ahead and reheat.

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

4 Cups shredded Cabbage
1 Cup shredded (or matchstick) Carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1–2 Cups veggies of your choice- sliced cucumber, radish, matchstick kohlrabi , matchstick jicama, snap peas, grated turnips, or shredded green papaya, or sliced mango.
1 cup chopped fresh herbs- mint, basil, or cilantro ( a combo is nice)
1/2 – 3/4 C sliced scallions ( or chives) sliced on the diagonal ( or sub thinly sliced red onion)
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts (or cashews)

Peanut Ginger Dressing

1 Orange, zest and juice
1 lime, juice
1/3 Cup honey (or agave)
2 Garlic cloves
3 Thin sliced disks of Ginger ( about 1 ½ T)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino Acids ( GF)
1 tsp sambal ( red chicle paste) or sriracha sauce
3–4 T roasted peanuts, or use peanut butter

Place cabbage, veggies, scallions and herbs ( save a tablespoon for garnish) in a large bowl. Add peanuts, saving some for the top (or add right before serving).

Make dressing: Zest the orange, set aside, then juice the orange into a ½ cup measuring cup. Juice the lime into the same measuring cup. You should have roughly 1/3 to 1/2 Cup of fresh citrus juice. Add the juice, zest and all the rest of the ingredients except the peanuts (or peanut butter) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Finally add 3 tablespoons peanuts ( or peanut butter) blend again, adding more to desired thickness.

Dress the salad with some or half of the dressing- you may not need all – tossing as you go, adding more if necessary.

Refrigerate the salad –it likes to be nice and cold.

Garnish with remaining herbs and peanuts. Serve with the optional Sambal Chicken or Baked Ginger Sesame Tofu.

Peach and Berry Skillet Cobbler

7–8 fresh peaches – 2 lbs, peeled (optional) sliced into chunks or slices ( about 3 cups total ) or sub plums or nectarines. ( see notes)
1 cup fresh berries (optional – sub blackberries, blueberries)
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cobbler topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( or use a GF flour blend) or half whole wheat
1/3 cup sugar ( or sugar substitute like coconut sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons, or 3/4 cup ) melted, and then cooled slightly (or use coconut oil)

FOR SPRINKLING:

turbanado sugar ( optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar ( see notes) spices, salt, lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and gently fold in berries. Taste and adjust sugar, adding more, if berries are particularly tart.

Place the fruit only, in a greased 10 inch cast iron skillet, and heat over the stove over medium heat, until just bubbling and hot in the center about 8-9 minutes. If this looks overly “juicy” feel free to spoon out some of the liquid ( this mostly happens with over ripe fruit and plums).

While this is heating, make the topping. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

Mix the melted butter into the flour and sugar and combine to form a crumbly dough.

Pat handfuls of dough into 2 inch-wide disks, 1/2-inch thick. They dont have to look perfect.

Add disks to the top, overlapping a little bit if you like, sprinkle crumbles of the remaining dough, into all the nooks and crannies, and place in the hot oven and bake until bubbly, golden and crispy, about 45 -55. minutes – checking at 20-30 minutes to see if it’s getting too dark and if so, rotate or lightly cover with foil for a bit.

Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Blueberries will most likely need less sugar, start conservatively. Huckleberries are pretty tart and may need more.

To get the biscuit topping crispy, golden and cooked all the through, make sure to add it after the fruit is heated and bubbly ( either stovetop or in the oven.) Bigger dollops of topping may require you to cook longer and cover the cobbler with foil for part of the baking time, to prevent them from getting too dark.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad w/ Pickled Vegetables

4–5 ounces rice noodles
2 garlic clove, finely grated
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoon sugar (or honey)
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce (optional) or red chili flakes
4–5 cups your choice of julienned or match stick cut vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, daikon radish, turnips, cucumber, zucchini ribbons, radish, green papaya
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 cup chopped cilantro,
1 cup chopped basil or mint, or a mix.
4–8 ounces cooked, chilled shrimp, or cubed tofu (both optional)

Cook rice noodles according to directions on the package, rinse with cold running water. Alternately, pour boiling water over noodles in a bowl. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on the size, then drain and rinse under very cold water until throughly chilled.

In a small sauce pan, add garlic, shallot, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, oil, sugar, and Sriracha and give a stir, bring to a simmer. Place the vegetables in a large bowl, and pour pickling liquid over top, toss to coat well. Chill 15 minutes in the fridge, and toss again.

Add noodles and half of the herbs to the pickled vegetable bowl; toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with remaining herbs, just before serving, This salad is best served very cold, so I’ll often make it one hour ahead or the day before.

If adding shrimp, toss in at the same time as the noodles.