*LUNCHBOX—Not All Salads Are Created Equal*
Recipe: Vegetarian “Nicoise” Salad

April 12, 2013

I’m not a fan of taking a “lunch break” when I’m at work. I much prefer to eat while I’m working and then go for a walk to clear my head, get some (somewhat) fresh air—I live in LA after all—and recharge my battery for the afternoon. Because of this, I almost always bring lunch from home. In this new “Lunchbox” series of posts, I’ll share with you all the recipes and tips I’ve compiled for creating healthful and easy lunches that hold up well and are packed with flavor.

I have very strict requirements for my work lunches that I almost always follow (rules are meant to be broken, of course!). First, the lunches can’t be messy. Try eating BBQ chicken while going through your emails: this is not conducive to productivity or cleanliness. Second, they have to be some combination of low-fat, low-carb, vegan or vegetarian. I’d rather save my indulgent meals for the weekend when I can enjoy them. Third, most of the prep work has to be done on Monday when I do my cooking for the week.

Lastly, and most importantly, my work lunches have to be full of fiber. This is a trick I’ve discovered after years of experimentation. Grain- and/or protein-centric meals do not keep me full for the day. If I eat a turkey sandwich, I’ll be hungry an hour later. So instead, I generally eat salads. That may sound counterintuitive, but the right kind of salad can fill you up without making you feel groggy or adding on extra calories. Continue reading

*AN ELEGANT MEAL FOR ONE*
Recipe: Salt Crust Snapper with Mandarin-Fennel Salad

August 21, 2012

I don’t require much to be happy. A new book by my favorite author, this awesome lamp from IKEA, and—above all—an elegant meal for one made my weekend nearly perfect. This is why I think everyone should take up cooking as a hobby. There’s nothing more satisfying than using your imagination, culinary knowledge, and artistic skill to create something that pleases all of your senses. Learning to cook is practical, healthful, and a great conversation starter—who doesn’t like to talk about food?

But I imagine I’m preaching to the choir writing about the joys of cooking on a food blog. I also can’t imagine that everyone would be able to enjoy grocery shopping—the prerequisite to cooking—as much as I do.

Last week was stressful and emotionally exhausting, so on Saturday I braved the heat and walked to a nearby Korean market to peruse the fish counter and let my imagination run wild. After an hour of exploration to the soundtrack of this song on repeat, I left the store with a whole red snapper, a bag of fresh mandarin oranges, a bunch of watercress, two pounds of sea salt, a few perilla leaves, some taro root, radish sprouts, and a significantly better a state of mind (except for a slight headache from that horrible Korean pop song). Continue reading

*THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS—Composed Salads*
Recipe: Albanian Tzatziki

August 10, 2012

This week we have another guest post from Dr. Ingrid Nelson. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the story and recipe as much as I did! Ingrid’s composed salad lends itself to both creativity and the use of leftovers. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!       -Chloe

The best fish I have ever eaten was a trout simply fried served on a white plate under a tree on the roof of a restaurant overlooking a cerulean blue river from where the trout had been plucked.  The flesh was firm and tasted of cold snowpack water, bright sun, and deep misty valleys planted with walnut trees.  In short, it tasted of where it came from—high in the Dinaric Alps of Albania.

When traveling, I have noticed that the best foods taste like where they come from.  I wasn’t a big fan of figs—mushy and sickly sweet was my opinion—until I picked one off of a tree in Montenegro and popped it whole into my mouth.  It literally exploded with delicately flavored nectar, soft flesh, and crisp little seeds that crackled when I bit into them.  I looked around the garden I was standing in.  There was hot sunshine and a cool salt breeze off the ocean scented by the flowering shrubs that grew around the fig tree.  My fig tasted exactly like this.  Since then, I have searched the specialty shops of Manhattan for an even vaguely similar experience, but without luck.  I guess it’s back to Montenegro for my next fig! Continue reading

*THAILAND TOP TEN*
Recipe: Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

July 6, 2012

In September of 2009, I spent two weeks in Thailand. My friend and I flew to Bangkok, took the overnight train to Chiang Mai, and then flew to the south, stopping in Khao Sok and Ko Samui before returning to Bangkok. Here’s a list of my 10 favorite activities, sites, places to stay, and things to eat in the places I visited, along with a recipe for my favorite Thai dish, som tam.

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*SUMMER IN WINTER*
Recipe: Raw Beet and Carrot Salad

April 5, 2012

It’s a beautiful day in Southern California. The sky is uncharacteristically overcast, the weather is cool but not cold, and the light drizzle makes me feel like I’m enveloped in a cordial mist. It’s the end of winter, and as I carry home my bounty of local produce from the farmer’s market, I take a moment to imagine what my friends and family in New York are doing.

Most likely the city dwellers are shoveling wet, dirty snow from their cars and wishing they’d worn a warmer pair of gloves for the task. Or, since it’s later in the day back in my home state, they may have already shoveled out their cars and have now returned only to find that a third of the street has been converted into snow banks and they’d have an easier time finding a consistent stance in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign than a parking space.

What about the non-city dwellers? Do they have electricity? Are they huddled around their fireplaces and cursing themselves for not buying a generator?

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