There’s so much to love about Thailand’s most famous noodle dish — the variety of fresh ingredients, the ribbons of rice noodles, and the flavorful sauce just to name a few. This version of pad thai gets a mouth-watering tangy-sweet deliciousness from tamarind paste and lime, and lots of vibrant freshness from cilantro and mint. You could easily saute some chicken if you prefer, but I’ve used little sweet shrimp here. Some lightly scrambled egg, chopped peanuts, scallions and chives round out the balance of flavors and textures. With all the protein and fresh ingredients in this, you can enjoy a bowlful or two guilt-free.
What’s not to love about a refreshing drink that’s bubbly, fruity, deep red and zesty? I love these sparklers for their flavor, but the health benefits give them even more appeal. With watermelon, blackberries, lime and mint, you’re getting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that support a healthy cardiovascular and digestive system, plus loads of nutrients, including Vitamins A and C. Continue reading
I 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
Two things I love about Middle Eastern cuisine are stuffed vegetables and fresh herb-filled salads like tabouleh. When I found some beautiful little globe zucchinis, I thought about combining these two loves into one — zucchinis stuffed with tabouleh. This way, I can have my bowl of tabouleh, and eat it too!
It made for a striking presentation, and was quite simple to prepare. I’m going to try this out sometime at a dinner party; it would be a great accompaniment to grilled meat or kebabs — easy for the host to assemble, and fun for the guests to eat. It might also be good to serve vegetarian guests or as part of a whole vegetarian spread.
I 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:
In August, I posted the recipe for my favorite iced tea, a citrusy hibiscus tea with mint. It might seem strange that in the midst of winter I’m posting another hibiscus tea recipe, this time for a frozen dish. But even in winter, I enjoy an occasional frozen treat. It can be the perfect antidote to a rich, heavy meal — either as a frozen dessert or as a little palate cleanser between courses to refresh the tastebuds. Here I’ve combined the deep red, somewhat berry-like and floral hibiscus tea with some bright clementine and a little lime juice. It’s just a smidgen sweet, it’s refreshing, and it’s oh-so-pretty!
I was lucky enough to spend a rainy afternoon in good company sampling teas from all over the world at Steven Smith Teamaker in Portland, Oregon, a couple years ago. I came away with a clear favorite — Big Hibiscus — for its ruby red color, its slight tartness, its unexpected splash of fruity flavor, and the way it made me feel at peace while I sipped it. Continue reading
Summers in Amman are lovely. The evenings almost always cool off to a comfortable temperature, and there are plenty of beautiful outdoor cafes and restaurants where you can sit and eat and talk with friends while the stars begin to glimmer above. Jordan’s mint lemonade – the most refreshing lemonade I’ve ever tasted – brings me back to those wonderful summer evenings when I lived there. It’s tart and flavorful, and is just fine any time of day. Continue reading
Seared lamb chops get a vibrant punch of flavor with a healthy dollop of mint yogurt sauce. This is one of my husband’s favorites, so we enjoy this dish often. While you sear the lamb chops and let them rest, you can blend up the mint yogurt sauce in very little time. It’s elegant enough for date night but also a great easy family dinner with a salad or side of veggies. Enjoy! Continue reading