The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Date & Cinnamon Baked Bananas

bakedbananasTSTA dessert to go bananas over — this is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free, but you’d never know it. Medjoul dates and maple syrup give this all the natural sweetness it needs, and the cinnamon and cardamom scent imparts comfort and warmth. Inspired by an ayurvedic recipe from Eat-Taste-Heal and a need to use up ripe bananas, this dish comes together in under 20 minutes. The toasted almonds on top give it some extra protein and a satisfying crunch. I made this for a mid-afternoon treat with my daughter, and wished I had more bananas to make it again for breakfast the next day – it’s so simple but satisfying and warming on a chilly spring day.

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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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Cardamom-Coconut Rice Pudding with Mangoes & Nigella Seeds / Films for Foodies & Lovers

CardamomCocoRicenMango You could say I’m on a bit of a mango kick lately. And coconut. Oh, and rice. So when I was dreaming up something I could bring to the online blog party that is Fiesta Friday, hosted by the lovely Angie over at The Novice Gardener, this is what came to mind. It’s a bowl of tropical sunshine and comfort to get you through another February weekend, with or without a valentine. My inspiration came from (wait for it…) Yotam Ottolenghi (I know! I have to stop stalking him, I really do…) and his Cinnamon Rice Pudding with Cherry Compote and Pistachios, but I did it minus the cinnamon, the cherry compote, and the pistachios! But I have rice, and it’s kind of pudding-like, so there you go. It’s a coconut-mango sticky rice with a touch of cardamom and a little sprinkle of nigella seeds, both of which add a subtle peppery flavor. It’s simple, delicious, and apparently makes you loopy. Continue reading


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Seared Scallops with Coconut, Mango & Kiwi

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My husband and I once traveled to a remote coastal town in Maine in search of the perfect seared scallops. Unfortunately for us, the chef was having an off night, and so the pinnacle of our scallop-tasting experiences eluded us.

But now, it just might be here, in these butter-seared scallops with a trifecta of sauces: coconut cream infused with lemongrass and ginger, a puree of mango and lime juice, and a kiwi puree. And just in time for Valentine’s Day! I hope you make this and enjoy it with your favorite one(s).

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Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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We were supposed to be in Thailand now, lounging on a beautiful beach, listening to the palm trees sway and rustle, dipping our toes into warm blue waters. Instead, our family was hit with Flumageddon and then our little one was hospitalized with pneumonia over the holidays. Alas, we decided we had to cancel the trip and focus on a healthy recovery at home.

As I hear news about protests and roadblocks in Bangkok, I wonder if it’s a good thing after all that we didn’t travel there now. Still, the allure of Thailand’s beauty, warmth, and delicious cuisine remains. For now, we’re enjoying a modest little taste of Thailand at home, in the form of chicken satay skewers with a tasty sweet peanut sauce. Here’s a toast to health and family, and the promise of Thailand another day. 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