The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Kohlrabi, Apple & Mâche Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

KohlrabiTSTI decided it was time to try one of these funny-looking vegetables I keep passing by at the grocery store — the kohlrabi. High in Vitamin C and containing heart-healthy nutrients and antioxidant properties, kohlrabi seems to be gaining in popularity and attention; Time Magazine called it the next superfood. Some studies show it might even have protective benefits against certain kinds of cancer (Source: Livestrong/University of Maryland Medical Center). Kohlrabi’s flavor is somewhere between cabbage and broccoli stems, and it has a nice crunch to it when eaten raw. In terms of its appearance, I think it’s kind of an eerie, other-worldly thing:

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Dried Fig, Apple, Ricotta & Toasted Almond Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Assembling a salad from leftover ingredients in my pantry can be a risky endeavor. In my college days, one could search my kitchen and find a stash of ketchup, marshmallows, and some questionably fuzzy-looking bread (Oh, how did my roommates and I survive?). These days, I feel so grown-up to say that I can find an array of well-stocked items: a bag of dried figs I planned to use over the holidays, a beautiful bottle of balsamic vinegar I’d been meaning to open, half a bag of sliced almonds, an apple, leftover ricotta (from the Eggplant-Ricotta-Tomato Crostini that we made again as our entire dinner the other night), and some orange-blossom honey. Put them all together with some greens, and they seem like they were meant for each other, melding into a flavorful, colorful, and fresh salad. Here’s to a grown-up pantry. Enjoy!

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Spiced Carrot, Apple & Ginger Soup

IMG_6708Some days, a kind gesture means everything. After our recent six-night stay in the hospital with our little one, we came home and collapsed in a heap. I was too exhausted to even boil water. Seriously. And then, a friend stopped by with warm, velvety carrot soup. And warm biscuits to boot. I cannot tell you how utterly delicious it all was, how absolutely soothing and healing. It was a great reminder to me how a kind gesture like this — not to mention delicious home-cooked food — can make a world of difference to someone going through a difficult time. Thank you, Teresa!

I haven’t stopped thinking about that carrot soup, and now that we’re feeling better, I thought I’d try creating one with a bit of a kick from ginger and other warming spices from my pantry. I decided to add some sweetness from an apple too, and to keep it vegan (with veggie broth) and dairy-free (no cream or butter) for another healthful and soulful soup. Doesn’t that bright orange color just cheer you? Don’t forget some warm biscuits for dipping. Enjoy!

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Food Fusion: Pork Banh Mi Tacos

IMG_6335What do Vietnamese and Mexican cuisines have in common? Cilantro, which happens to be one of my favorite herbs. That’s the key ingredient here in a Vietnamese-inspired bánh mì pork rolled into a delectable taco, Mexican style. This brilliant fusion idea comes from the Lemongrass Truck, a D.C.-area food truck that serves up delicious Vietnamese fare in a different neighborhood each weekday. I’ve been dreaming of and pining for these little pockets of zingy flavors with a spicy mayo sauce and pickled carrots since we left the U.S. a long, long time ago. So here I’ve tried to create my own version. It’s not quite the same without homemade tortillas and bubble tea, but it’ll do until I’m back in the Lemongrass Truck’s radius. Continue reading


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Butternut Squash, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing

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Today I made one last Thanksgiving dish to share here that combines tart dried cranberries, mellow butternut squash, sweet apple, and a sage-parsley-thyme seasoning. It turned out so colorful, aromatic, and flavorful that I think this will be a new traditional dish for us. I’m not sure there will be any left for tomorrow’s festivities! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Continue reading


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Stopping to Give Thanks: Ginger Blackberry Apple Mini Galettes

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Five weeks and 25 posts ago, I started this adventure called The Seasoned Traveler. Having zero knowledge about how to create a blog, limited photography know-how, and little idea what I was getting myself into, Continue reading