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Cold Sesame Cucumber Salad

20 Sep

Cold Sesame Cucumber NoodlesMmmm, tasty sesame noodles for a rainy day. Only a slight twist to make it slightly healthier. Cucumber!

Delicious, but then again, I love everything sesame-related.


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • pinch of ginger powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 packet soba noodles (optional)
  • Sesame or black sesame seeds, for garnish


  • Peel and cut the seeds out of the cukes. Then peel and finely chop cukes into long strips, so they resemble long noodles. Cut the green onion into little rings.
  • Mix everything else in a small dish, mixing with a fork until smooth and add a splash of water if it’s a bit too thick.
  • Pour the sauce onto the cuke noodles (and cooked soba noodles, if that’s your style) and tosh until mixed evenly. Add the sesame seeds for pleasant garnishes on top. Mmmmm.

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

22 Apr

photoThis weekend, I was a single girl (woohoo!) with Rafe at home in South Carolina. True to form, however, I didn’t do much out of the normal. In fact, as usual, most of the weekend was spent either at the gym, out on the deck, or in the kitchen. The weather was beautiful (sunny but brisk, with a slight wind) and on Saturday I went for a nice like (11 miles) run in the neighborhood and around Rice University to prepare myself for next weekend’s Nashville half-marathon.

I adapted a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe to make this pretty amazing veggie entree. In the future, I might add pork/ham to give it a little more savoriness or body. This would be good for a side dish, or a main, as we ate it last night…

With all the good things in lentils, this might become a regular in our household.

There are a few awesome things about lentils, and I’ll just name a few:

  1. 18g of protein per cup! That is a ton of awesome protein to build lean muscle.
  2. Only 230 calories in a cup, much lower than animal proteins.
  3. Contains nearly half of the fiber we’re supposed to get every day.
  4. Iron. A cup contains nearly 40% of the RDA value for iron.


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (with sweet potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (with lentils)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 pinches of chili flakes
  • 2 tsp chopped oregano
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (samish size as the sweet potatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 14 oz dried lentils (~2.5 c)
  • 2 tsp salt


  • Heat oven to 400, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and maple syrup, add a little salt and pepper to coat. Roast in middle of the oven for 25 min, until fork goes into cubes easily.
  • Heat large saucepan over medium, coating with olive oil. When warm, saute onion with herbs, garlic, and chili until glassy (~5 min). Add in carrot, stirring occasionally.
  • Add bag of lentils in, and add 5 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for ~40 min or until lentils have soaked up most of the water and are soft.
  • Add sweet potatoes into the lentil mixture.

Crispy Zucchini Fries

25 Mar


Sunday morning… Beautiful sunshine and hot yoga to start the day, then picked up some zucchinis to whip up some delicious zucchini fries… Heading out to the pool in 1 second!


  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c mix of corn meal and bread crumbs
  • dash of salt to taste


  • Preheat to 425. Spray a baking sheet with Pam.
  • Trim zucchini, and cut into halves, and then cut lengthwise into strips.
  • Whisk the egg in a bowl. Mix the corn meal, brad crumbs, and salt together in another bowl. Coat each zucchini strip in egg, then cover with crumbs and lay onto baking sheet.
  • Bake for ~12 minutes or until crispy and slightly golden brown. Rotate baking sheet about halfway through. Serve with ketchup or tomato sauce. Mmmmm.

Cranberry Ginger Sauce

29 Nov

We did T-giving in SC with Rafe’s folks, which means that with every dessert buffet, there MUST be something chocolate (Rafe’s dad, Ted, is a huge chocolate fan, which I back 100%). Lacking for time, and also chocolate, we whipped up the Mousse described here, but with bourbon instead of rum. Delish.

We also made my favorite cranberry ginger sauce to go with the bird. I tend to think the more ginger, the better, but I just like the tingle on my tongue.


  • 2 bags of fresh cranberries
  • 1 medium sized ginger root (about the size of a knubby finger), peeled, grated with a microplane if you can
  • 1 peeled and chopped pear or apple
  • fresh juice (or bottle if you must) of an orange, plus the orange zest
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (white if you must)
  • dash of cayenne if you want to really shake things up


  • Place everything in medium sauce pan and simmer with a 1/3 c of water
  • Cover and let cook on medium to medium-low heat for about 20 min, stirring occasionally until all the cranberries have burst and the consistency is right– not too liquidy, but not too thick. You might habe to add a smidge more water as it cooks

Sweet Potato Galette

8 Nov

After making the regular potato galette last wkend in the cooking class, I thought that it would be fun to try this out on a sweet potato (hello, fall!)…


  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c milk
  • Preheat to 425. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss sweet potato cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for ~45 min or until soft on the inside. Take out, and reduce heat to 325.
  • Sautee chopped shallot in a bit of olive oil in a small, oven-safe frying pan. Add sweet potato (and perhaps a little more salt) and mash until only somewhat smooth. Pat down until flat on the pan. Drizzle milk on top.
  • Place frying pan into oven for ~10 min or until slightly crispy.

Sweet Potato Spaetzle

30 Oct

In the same vein as Squash Fever, sweet potato screams, “It’s fall, motherfucker!”

Sweet Potato Spaetzle, adapted from National Nosh

1 large sweet potato, roasted and peeled

dash sugar and salt

1/3 cup water

1/2 tbsp olive oil

dash each nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup grated parmesan or other cheese


Roast sweet potato, let cool, peel and take the good stuff out!

With an electric mixer, combine the mashed sweet potato with water and 1 tbsp oil, then add the flour, a little at a time, plus salt and pepper. Once flour is mixed in, add the egg, beat a little more, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Put a pot of salted boiling water on to boil. Use a spaetzle maker or colander to drop in the doughy bits. When the noodles float, they’re done. Toss with olive oil and top with a bit more parmesan or other cheese. Really, any cheese will do, and the cheesier the better.

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

30 Oct

Mmmm. I love love LOVE fall with its squash and its pumpkin ales and its crispness. On Sat, it got down to the high 50s in Houston here, and my toes froze at the Halloween 5K. But I knew that I was ready for squash again.

For dinner tonight, we made a variation on Noble Pig’s recipe, which is itself adapted from Real Simple.

1 medium acorn, halved, seeded & sliced 3/4″ thick
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400o F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the oil, thyme, plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, especially on the top.

Roast the squash until golden brown and tender, 20-30 minutes. Will depend on your oven.

We served it over a simple fall salad of greens, chopped red cabbage, cuke, and red pepper, and sliced grapes and cherry tomatoes. Delicious!