Category Archives: Spring Recipes

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian pasta dish served with chicken in a lemon, butter and caper sauce. The chicken is pounded thin, lightly breaded and browned in a pan. Pounding the chicken thin is an important step because it helps cook the chicken more evenly. The drippings from the chicken are used to make the savory pan sauce which, in my opinion, is the highlight of the dish. The sauce is a simple combination of white wine, butter, lemon, and capers. Making everything only takes about half hour so this is a great meal when you’re short on time for dinner!

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Tofu and Chickpea Curry with Green Peas

Curries usually take a bit of time and effort to cook so I wanted to try one that didn’t take too long to make. This curry was easy to throw together and the cook time was pretty fast.  I used a basic blend of turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, fenugreek, cloves, bay leaves, and coriander for the curry seasoning.  The half teaspoon of turmeric was all it took to turn this dish into a bright yellow curry!  The flavors were as vibrant as the color and the tofu, chickpeas and green peas worked great together. The milk and cream gave it a richness that heightened the curry flavors.  The creaminess reminded me a lot of Thai coconut curries, just without the coconut flavor.  The recipe worked nicely with a side of rice which I spooned into the bowl generously!

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Turkey Burger with Caramelized Onions, Gruyere and Sage Mayo

Turkey burgers are the perfect alternative to beef burgers because they are versatile and have great flavor.  I had never tried turkey burgers before and I was surprised by how tasty they were! This recipe ended up being a celebration of the end of summer and a good way to tie two seasons together. The burgers were juicy and charred, and went perfectly with the caramelized onions and smoky gruyere. I chose sweet potato fries for a side and they were really good with the burger. The sage mayo was another great accompaniment with the turkey burger as well.  The recipe is similar to last Thanksgiving’s Roasted Butternut Squash recipe with caramelized onions and gruyere. The sandwich reminded me of a summer version of Thanksgiving dinner, and just as tasty too!

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Corn Esquites Salad with Avocado (Mexican Roasted Corn Salad)

When I came across the recipe for corn esquites salad I took one look at it and knew I had to give it a try. This salad is basically Mexican elote which is roasted corn on the cob seasoned with cayenne, butter, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese. The corn in this recipe is cut off the cob and pan roasted until the kernels char and caramelize. Then the corn is mixed with the elote ingredients, garlic, lime, jalapeno, and cilantro. I decided to kick it up a notch and add sliced tomatoes and avocado to the salad. It was so tasty! The combination of ingredients was sweet and spicy from the corn and jalapenos yet creamy and tangy from the lime juice and cotija cheese. It ended up being the perfect topping for tacos!

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Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Curry Lemongrass Tofu

Ever since I made a version of a Vietnamese Noodle Salad I have been taken with this dish and all its variations. This time I decided to try it with sauteed tofu in a curry lemongrass sauce.  The sauce was sweet and spicy and tasted great mixed into the rice noodles.  My favorite part about Vietnamese food is all the tasty condiments that go along with the dishes.  I chose sliced carrots, persian cucumbers and bean sprouts for the veggie garnishes and mint leaves, basil, green onion, and cilantro for the herb garnishes.  All of these condiments came together really well.  The last garnishes included a tablespoon of spicy Sambal Oelek I made the night before and a few tablespoons of crushed and toasted peanuts–two delicious final touches!

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Achiote Black Bean Tacos with Grilled Avocado and Goat Cheese

Who knew you could grill avocados? I had no idea until I read the recipe for these tacos. I loved the idea of tangy goat cheese coupled with the avocado slices and honey lime dressing.  It sounded like the perfect quick summer meal so I knew I had to give it a try!  I thought a good spice blend of black beans seasoned with achiote seed, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika would be a great addition to these tacos.  The avocados had a slightly different flavor after grilling that was unique and hard to describe.  I guess the flavor became a little more smokey with a stronger avocado smell.  The tacos were really good! I especially liked the simple honey lime dressing to give the filling some brightness.

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Rhubarb Crisp

For Mother’s Day I wanted to post my mom’s rhubarb crisp recipe I enjoyed every summer as a kid. In the backyard there was a big rhubarb plant and once the stalks were ripe she would cut some off and make rhubarb crisp! Her recipe is easy and not including the rhubarb you probably already have the ingredients at home. Oats, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon cover a layer of chopped rhubarb. Then it’s baked in the oven and the result is soft and melty on the bottom with crispy oats on the top. I topped the crisp with fresh whipped cream. Mom’s recipe is a winner!

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Korean Grilled Chicken Burrito with Pickled Onion & Cucumber Relish

For Cinco de Mayo I have been trying some tex-mex dishes with an injection of Korean flavors. So far I have been enjoying these recipes a lot.  This recipe is all about the combination of spicy and sour flavors.  The grilled chicken and salsa bring the spiciness while the cucumber relish brings the sour and sweet.  The creamy avocado and queso fresco mellow everything out and the result is a really tasty burrito.  It wasn’t hard to assemble but prepping the fillings beforehand does take time.  To make it easier, I made the red salsa days earlier which shortened the prep time by an hour or so. I would recommend marinating the chicken for a few hours before grilling so the flavors can come together. Garnishing the burrito with a little lime juice at the end helps prevent the avocado slices from browning.

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Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Grilled Chicken

It feels like Spring in Central California and I wanted to have a meal that fits with the seasonal transition.  This salad was the solution as it perfectly balances wintery beets and goat cheese with fresh greens and grilled chicken.  For some added flavor and color I threw in some sliced red cabbage and red onion as well.  The greens can be red leaf lettuce, spinach or mixed greens but I went with the red leaf lettuce.  The result was a delicious salad and all the flavors worked so well together!  The tangy grilled chicken and creamy goat cheese made a great pair.   This salad was a great way to bring winter and summer flavors together.  I drizzled the salad with balsamic vinegar for a little more tanginess, but this salad would work fine without salad dressing.

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Israeli Couscous Greek Salad

I had the idea of using couscous in a warm Greek salad for a while now. I decided on Israeli couscous just because the pasta is larger and works better as a salad. The recipe reminded me a lot of the Lebanese Tabbouleh, though the flavors are definitely grounded in Greek cuisine. The recipe resembles a classic Greek salad as it contains olives, lemon juice, feta cheese, tomatoes and red onions. What gives the recipe a twist is that the salad is warm and the onions and tomatoes are lightly sauteed. The result was a delicious side dish that was great with the Chicken Kalamaki.

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