The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Chinese-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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To me, the ideal summer meal comes together relatively quickly without turning on the oven. These chicken lettuce wraps are just that; the most labor-intensive part is in chopping all the fresh produce, and then it cooks up in less than 15 minutes on the stovetop. It’s a wonderful family dinner or summer party finger food. I love the vibrant colors and flavors here, especially the kick of ginger and sweet hoisin sauce and the subtle notes of orange. Some lightly sautĂ©ed bell pepper and crushed peanuts give it some lovely crunch. I use romaine lettuce as I think it stands up better than traditional iceberg to hold all that delicious filling inside and to me has more flavor. Make these fresh & vibrant chicken lettuce wraps and you won’t ever crave the Chinese restaurant ones again! Continue reading

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Simple Miso Soup with Salmon, Tofu, Mushrooms & Napa Cabbage

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Having lived in Japan for four years, I find miso soup comforting any time of day, any time of year. There is nothing quite like the earthy, rich flavor of miso and dashi combined with fresh vegetables and seafood. One spring during cherry blossom season, my parents visited me, and we toured around Kyoto, the old capital bursting with delicate pink petals everywhere. Chilled by the crisp spring air, we ducked into a restaurant specializing in nabe (pronounced “NAH-bay”), or hot pots of vegetables and seafood in a broth cooked at the table. We ordered a miso-based nabe made in the style of the northern Hokkaido region, and it came with a hearty and colorful array of salmon, shellfish, and fresh vegetables. It warmed and nourished us, and we still talk about that delicious lunch many years later.

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Tagliatelle with Sauteed Mushrooms, Pancetta & Herb Sauce

mushroomherbpastaA bowl of pasta can be so simple yet so satisfying. I love the assortment of mushrooms and herbs combined here with fresh tagliatelle pasta and some crisped pancetta. If you’re a pro at chopping veggies and herbs, it will take you less than 20 minutes from cutting board to table (or 30 minutes for slow choppers like me), so it’s a good option on frenetic weeknights or for a quick lunch. Enjoy!

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