This garlic scape pesto avocado pasta is a healthy, vegetarian dinner the the entire family will love.

Have you ever tried cooking with garlic scapes? They’re the beautiful, tentacle-shaped flower stems of the garlic plant and they pack a strong flavor punch. I was a bit thrown off by them at first because they can be tough and fibrous. But a little experimentation was all I needed to become a fan. Garlic scapes are wonderful when sliced thin and sautéed with vegetables. They also make an excellent base for pesto. [Read more...]

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Celebrate summer's bounty with this roasted tomato gazpacho soup recipe.

I could have been a California Girl. I’ll never forget when my parents told me that my father almost took a job in San Diego in the 1970s. Somehow it all made sense because I truly am a California girl at heart, at least when it comes to the weather. I live for spring and autumn. Where I live, winter is freezing and summer is too hot and humid, though I’ll take hot over cold any day. Last summer I visited California for the first time in years and was in awe of the weather as well as the beautiful, colorful produce everywhere. Endless fields of strawberries. Little stands on the side of the road selling bags of avocados for almost nothing. They have local fruits and vegetables all year long. We only have them in DC for part of the year and I will always resent this, knowing I could have been a California girl. The good news is that with the arrival of warm weather I can now hang out at the local farmers market and work on my modest backyard garden.  [Read more...]

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This Gnocchi with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Pancetta and Roquefort Cheese is so incredibly savory and flavorful you won't be able to put down the fork!

In my mid-20s, before culinary school, I was fairly unadventurous in the kitchen. Once I came up with a good recipe I would make it over and over again until I was sick of it. One of my favorite dinners was a pasta dish made from olive oil, basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and parmesan. Kind of a deconstructed pesto. It was delicious. I don’t find myself making it very often these days but it did serve as the inspiration for this gnocchi recipe.  [Read more...]

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Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Sauce - a simple, comforting dinner.

It is very difficult going through life as a space cadet. I am constantly emailing myself reminders because I know most thoughts won’t stay in my head for more than a moment. I’m the only person I know who can repeat the two thing I need from downstairs, out loud, all the way down the stairs and still forget one of the things.  [Read more...]

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Asian Beef Noodle Salad Recipe

As I previously mentioned, this month I’m taking part in a Kitchen PLAY campaign called “30 Days of Family Health” that will highlight a variety of healthy recipes from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). You can learn about or purchase any of these healthy cookbooks online (Use code: KITCHEN2013 for a 25% discount on all books at the ADA online store through October 4, 2013).

Asian-inspired cuisine is a dinnertime staple in our home. Stir-fry recipes, soups, rice and noodle dishes are comforting, satisfying and full of ingredients that give you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to flavor. I think we’ve all had variations of these dishes that are full of oil, but the truth is you only need a small amount of flavored oil to spice up Asian cuisine while keeping it healthy. While flipping through my second cookbook from the American Diabetes Association, Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking, I immediately landed on an Asian Beef Noodle Salad. It had all of the ingredients I love using; peanut butter, lime juice, mint, soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil… these are the flavors that make you forget about sugar and fat. [Read more...]

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