This is my easy, weeknight (and weekend) vinaigrette that I make all the time, all year round. It’s so easy to make — it only takes about 3 minutes — and you can make 2 or 3 X the recipe to keep in the fridge for the week. Some nights, even making a 3-minute dressing is just too daunting, right?
Basic White Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s brand is the best!)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes
pinch of fresh ground pepper
pinch of marjoram and/or dill
In a small glass dish, add balsamic vinegar, then slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil until combined. Finish with salt, pepper and herbs. Add vinaigrette into your greens in a salad bowl, tossing to see how much you need. Taste a leaf. If your salad has no taste, it just needs another pinch of salt and that will bring out all of the flavors.
To make a green salad special (I usually favor Butter / Bibb or baby lettuces), I often add toasted nuts and a sweet fruit like pears, persimmons, or apples. I also like the combination of scallions and avocado.
I love these shaved brussels sprouts (I found them raw in a bag at Trader Joe’s and I think Safeway now carries them too). This would be a lot of work to cut these delicate sprouts up so thinly, so I love that the prep work is already done for you. I should note that I hated brussels sprouts growing up (I think my Mom boiled them and added no seasoning) … but prepared this way (shaved and roasted), they are so tasty, delicate, salty and crispy — they are sure to turn any brussels sprout sceptic into an enthusiast.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Ingredients: Two (10 ounce) bags of shaved brussels sprouts 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Directions: Spread the brussels sprouts onto 2 rimmed baking sheets, so they have plenty of room to roast (if they are too crowded, they will steam and stay too moist). Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until nicely browned and a bit crispy. Season to taste with more salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
I’m always looking for new chicken recipes, so was excited when I found this one. It’s super easy and tastes like “fresh”, flavorful Chinese food. I’ve tried this with breasts (white meat) and thighs (dark meat) and liked both. We serve with brown rice. This was a hit with the entire family … I’ll be making this again and again.
Recipe from Food and Wine (contributed by Todd Porter and Diane Cu).
Lemony Chicken Stir-Fry
TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
“Bright and lemony, this superfast chicken stir-fry makes an excellent weeknight dinner.”
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or trimmed
thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon
finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Steamed rice, for serving
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce. Transfer the chicken to a platter, top with the sliced scallion and serve with rice.
I had been in search of the perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe for a while, so was so excited when my mother-in-law Patsy told me about this one that she found. It’s straightforward but is a little time consuming, so I would call this a “weekend” or “special occasion” soup – not one I’d whip up all the time during the week. It’s a hit with kids and always fun for people to add their own toppings. This is the perfect soup to keep you warm during the cold winter months. Enjoy!
“There are a lot of ingredients in this soup, but each one plays a part in its big flavor. To make it, first soften vegetables including onion, carrot, and bell pepper in a pot, then add dry spices to bring out their flavors. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and tortillas, then let the mixture simmer until everything melds and the tortillas disintegrate to make a thick and hearty soup. Finally, throw in shredded chicken and garnish with fried tortilla strips, or if you want to skip frying the strips, just use regular crushed-up tortilla chips.
For a thicker soup, use 10 corn tortillas rather than 8.”
For the soup:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, medium dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small carrot, peeled and medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium celery stalk, medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you want a spicy soup!)
8 cups (2 quarts) stock or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
8 to 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the tortilla strips:
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 16 ounces) (Note: I use chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken to save time!)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or more if you want a richer soup)
Freshly ground black pepper
Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
Thinly sliced scallions
For the soup:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, water, tomatoes, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, add the tortillas, and stir to combine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tortillas have disintegrated and the soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the tortilla strips.
For the tortilla strips:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (about 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer), about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, stack the tortillas on a cutting board. Cut the stack in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.
When the oil is ready, add a handful of the tortilla strips and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips; set aside.
When the soup is ready, add the chicken and cream and stir to combine. Simmer until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve the soup topped with the tortilla strips, passing any desired garnishes on the side.
I love this veggie — it’s healthy and tasty (almond coating adds a nutty taste to the vegetables) and each bite offers a different flavor: carrot, parsnip or sweet potato. Note: you can grind the almonds in a mini prep processor or I have an extra coffee grinder that I dedicate to grinding nuts and spices only. I double this recipe (you’re going to want more!) and roast on two baking sheets (you don’t want to crowd the veggies).
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the ground almonds, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Toss the vegetables in the mix and then spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp, shaking the sheet halfway through.
Certain foods are supposed to bring you good luck for the year if eaten on New Year’s Day — cabbage, black eyed peas, etc. Here is my favorite cabbage recipe that I plan to make. Cabbage is so good for you (high in lots of nutrients, filled with antioxidants, can lower bad cholesterol, and is very low in calories and fat) and inexpensive, but often gets a bad rap. It does have a strong, funky smell when you cook it (that’s how I remembered it growing up) — and it can give you gas! Just don’t eat like three servings in one sitting! This cabbage recipe is awesome though – it’s fresh and delicious. You will want more than one serving! Great served with pork chops, pork tenderloin, or grilled sausages. Note: I lowered the amount of salt in the recipe below.
Prepare leeks by cleaning them, drying and chopping them into 1/2 inch rounds. Divide cabbage into two quarters, lay them on a flat, cut side and roughly chop them into chunks, avoiding the core. Separate the cabbage pieces slightly.
Heat a 5 quart French oven or a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and heat until butter is bubbling.
Add leeks to melted butter and sauté for two minutes. Add the cabbage all at once and immediately stir thoroughly to coat the cabbage with butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Partially cover and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until cabbage has wilted significantly. During this time, quarter and core the apple and roughly dice.
Add the apple to the cabbage as well as the apple cider vinegar. Sauté on medium heat for another three minutes, stirring often. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve hot.
Note: Chardonnay vinegar can be substituted for apple cider vinegar and the whole dish would be lovely with a sprinkling of caraway seeds sautéed in the mix.