The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Avocado, Mango Salsa & Sambal-Lime Mayo

FishTacosTST2Our family doesn’t have a regular taco night, but we’re thinking of starting one after having these. Just look at all those colors and textures on the plate — the slightly spicy and zesty mayo drizzled over pan-seared mahi mahi, a bright mango-cilantro salsa, some crisp red onion and raddichio and soft slices of avocado. Playful, flavorful and healthful, these make a great quick meal for a summer evening with family.

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Aromatic Beef Noodles with Cucumber & Mint

BeefNoodleTST6I have a growing collection of international food staples bought online. It started with spices and teas, then expanded to various grains and flours, and then bloomed with an assortment of oils and pastes. My husband barely raises an eyebrow now when he lugs home a 3-lb. jar of coconut oil or a pallet of rice flour and I gleefully add them to my stash. I’ll say, Just wait til you see what I make with this!

This bowl of noodles started with a little jar of tamarind paste that I ordered online. I had just read The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, Christina Arokiasamy‘s tantalizing account (and recipes) of growing up working in her family’s spice stall and kitchen in Malaysia. Her recipes are rich with exotic and aromatic spices and ingredients, including some unfamiliar ones to me, such as tamarind. Then Bon Appétit featured this mouth-watering spicy tamarind skirt steak, and Steve at Oui, Chef followed suit with this deliciousness; I knew I had to give tamarind a try. Continue reading


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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sweet Peppers

RedThaiCurrywShrimp&PeppersIn the time between winter and spring, I crave warm & hearty food one moment, and bright & zesty flavors the next moment. This Thai-style red curry satisfies both those cravings, with enough heft to be filling and enough heat to chase away the evening chill, yet with vibrant lime, ginger and cilantro to keep the flavors fresh. This can easily be adapted for chicken, scallops, or a vegetarian version; here I use shrimp and sweet red bell peppers.

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Ginger, Lime & Cilantro Shrimp Noodle Bowls

IMG_6400This  holiday season, amidst all the shopping, the snow shoveling, the gift wrapping, and the party-going, why not sit down to a warm bowl of rice noodles with shrimp for a quick energy boost? This one contains lots of vibrant zesty flavors of fresh ginger, lime, cilantro & scallions. You can keep it basic or add in a mix of your favorite veggies (bell peppers and shiitake mushrooms would be great). Best of all, it’s ready in about 15 minutes. Continue reading


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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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Warm Ginger-Sesame Chicken Over Carrot & Radicchio Salad

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Maybe it’s in anticipation of The Big Cooking Day next week, but lately I’ve been drawn to fresh and light meals that are easy to prepare. This bright salad combines a spectrum of flavors and colors to please the palate and the eyes. Continue reading


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Spicy Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle-Tomato Sauce

IMG_5825Luisa Weiss’ memoir, My Berlin Kitchen, contains a number of recipes inspired from around the world that I couldn’t wait to try. The braised leeks were so silky and scrumptious that I was eager to try more from Luisa’s collection. Let me tell you, these spicy meatballs are just what I needed to turn my week around and get my kitchen mojo back. Continue reading


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Thai Coconut & Lemongrass Chicken Soup with Fresh Herbs

IMG_4982In fall, my dutch oven resumes its nearly constant place on my stove to cook up roasts and stews and other foods that warm and comfort us through the cold weather. On a chilly, drizzly autumn evening, I can’t think of a more comforting one-pot meal than Thai-style soup, Continue reading