Light, refreshing and creamy with cool flavors from mint and dill
You don’t normally think of soups in the summertime, especially not in Texas. However, this COLD cucumber and avocado soup hits the spot with its refreshing ingredients. It’s creamy, with a slight heat from the garlic & serrano. It gets layers of flavor from the fresh dill and mint. Contrary to traditional hot soups, this chilled soup is absolutely delightful on a hot summer afternoon on the patio (margaritas recommended).
I was inspired to create this soup when a friend put me up to a food challenge. Her criterion was “cucumbers” and “chilled.” This was out of my comfort zone. Normally, my recipes pack heat from various spices and they normally involve a protein of some form. This was such a fun challenge, because it was so easy to make with relatively few ingredients that I would never think of combining. More than likely, most of these ingredients are already in your fridge.
Anyways, give it a shot (before the summer ends!), and let me know how it turns out 🙂
You will need:
2 cloves garlic
2 english cucumber (peeled)
fresh mint (1 bunch)
fresh dill (1 bunch)
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 1/3 cups greek yogurt
1 cup vegetable broth
Combine all ingredients above in your blender.
Puree to a fine, creamy texture
Add salt, black pepper to taste. I topped off with some smoked paprika for a little kick 🙂
That’s it! Easy peeezzyyyy 🙂
Let me know how it turns out, would love to hear from you!
This technique will help your herbs last over 2 weeks in the fridge!
I hate buying fresh herbs.
I mean, for nearly the same price as you would pay for an ounce of herbs in the refrigerated section, you can buy an ENTIRE PLANT. Kinda ridiculous, isn’t it? Dried herbs just don’t do the trick for me since they lack the robust flavor and plants die when you don’t water them… so I end up falling for the grand scheme – refrigerated herbs.
Sometimes, it truly makes sense to buy herbs, especially when they are hard to come by fresh. Take for example, Thai Basil. Extremely rare herb to find fresh, and can completely alter the taste of your Thai dish (if you’ve been cooking Thai all this time without FRESH Thai basil – you’re not doing it right, FYI)
Recently, I came across Thai Basil at the local Central Market, and I was thrilled to say the least. I grabbed the remaining bunches and brought them home to save for another week, without the fear of them dying on me.
Normally, herbs last 4-5 days in the fridge (if you’re lucky). With this technique, I have had herbs last me for over 2 weeks.
Lets get started!
Start by prepping your fresh herbs. This means, remove all the dead leaves and pat them dry.
Find a nice little container to fit them. Nothing fancy, but nothing you will need any time soon. Fill it up with 3/4th’s water
Now find a plastic bag to cover. You can normally use the same plastic bag that came with the herbs in the grocery store. Loosely cover the herbs with the bag
Voila! Now you are ready to refrigerate your bouquet of herbs until you use them next.
Hopefully, this helps increase the longevity of your fresh herbs! Let me know how long you manage to make them last 🙂
Looking for a creative spin on traditional guacamole? Look no further. This recipe is bursting with flavors from your traditional guacamole – garlic, onions and cilantro… while keeping it “fresh”. This guacamole gets an element of salty crunch from the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and robust full-bodied flavor from the cotija cheese. This recipe is sure to be a hit with your guests.
How to make quick easy scrambled eggs with veggies and cheese
Despite the title, eggs are an all day food. Breakfast eggs, Lunch eggs, and Dinner eggs – this is the typical diet of my vegetarian friends. Eggs come in so many different forms as well – scrambled eggs, eggs benedict, eggs over easy, fried eggs, omelette… the possibilities are endless. This particular recipe will hopefully inspire your creativity with eggs and help you incorporate a lot of great veggies into your diet.
-Eggs (2 )
-Garlic (1 clove)
-Bell Peppers (1/4th)
-Parmesan cheese (handful)
-any other greens of your choice (kale, swiss chard, asparagus etc)
*Optional: Morningstar Veggie Sausage
Start with a little olive oil. Add your favorite spices when you heat the oil. I use a dash of basil, oregano, salt, pepper, chipotle/paprika/cayenne (one of these)
Once fragrant, add in your chopped vegetables. Cook for at least 5 mins
Add in the eggs
Make sure you are cooking on LOW heat. This is key to avoid overcooking your eggs and keeping them moist. Cook till the eggs are scrambled, but still a tad runny
Now add in the Parmesan cheese. You can turn off the heat and cover till the cheese is melted
Tequila is reasonably versatile, contrary to popular beliefs. Most people think of one thing when they think tequila… shots. Get it over as quickly as possible. I am here to convince you that tequila can inspire your creativity as much as any other type of liquor.
I find that silver tequila is the best for infusions. Of course you can infuse with pretty much anything, however, I find that tequila + spice creates a smokiness to the drink that is unique and refreshing. I love smoky tequilas especially mezcal, and I find this to come close to the same effect that mezcal has in cocktails/margaritas.
What you need:
Jalapenos ( 3-4)
Silver Tequila (30 Fl oz)
an air tight container ( I used a decanter, but you can use an old liquor bottle, mason jars, old wine bottle)
Slice the jalapenos as finely as possible. Save the seeds!
Add the tequila
Infuse as long as you need. The longer you keep it in the more concentrated it gets. I don’t ever take the seeds out, since I like to dilute it with other liquors. Some prefer to only infuse for a few hours to make it a stand alone liquor.
Easy to make from scratch using all natural ingredients
How to make your own jalapeno infused watermelon margaritas from scratch. If alcohol could be healthy, this recipe would be it. With no added sugar and packed with Vitamin C from the fresh juices, this drink takes away the guilt of drinking.
This recipe is inspired by a friend who shares my passion for creativity and making the most of all natural ingredients. Mixology to me, is more than just making great tasting drinks that subdue the harshness of the alcohol. To me, it’s an art, experimenting with delicate floral notes, or using a complementary alcohol to enhance the flavor profile of a fruit. There’s nothing I appreciate more than a well made drink that isn’t full of additives, preservatives, coloring, and high-fructose corn syrup. With that said, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do… and drink with caution, they will sneak up on you.
1 ripe watermelon
1 bag of limes ( you will use 1 full lime per drink)
jalapeno-infused tequila ( you can make this at home, recipe for this coming soon)
your favorite Orange Liqueur
your favorite Silver Tequila
Salt- rim ingredients:
salt of your choice (i prefer a sea salt or himalayan pink salt)
paprika or pepper of your choice ( i prefer a smoked paprika)
Use your blender to puree the watermelon and make watermelon juice. Use a large sieve to filter out the pulp.
2.Once you have a pitcher of fresh watermelon juice, you are ready to start your drink.
Pro-tip: Start by rimming your glass with your salt-zest mix
3. Add juice of 1 lime in a glass
4. Add 1/2 oz (this is about half a shot) of jalapeno-infused tequila
5. Add 1 oz (this is 1 shot) of regular silver tequila of your choice
Thai food is my second favorite cuisine (next to Indian, for obvious reasons). The dishes have complex layers of flavors that are packed with heat, saltiness, tanginess and subtle sweetness.
Luckily, not all of this complexity needs to be made from scratch. A lot of the ingredients used in a traditional green curry paste are rare and hard to find. This is why I will be sharing ready made, all natural sauces and pastes that you can “cheat” with.
Heat up some coconut cream (about 1/4 th cup). The coconut cream naturally floats to the top of the can if you don’t shake it
Blend the chilies, garlic and ginger into a fine paste
Once the milk starts to boil, add in the green curry paste and the chili paste from step #2
Once it cooks in, the oil starts floating to the top. At this point, add in the chicken
Cook until opaque. Then add in the rest of the coconut milk
Boil for a bit, now add in the soy sauce and the sweet basil chili paste. The soy sauce makes a great substitute for the salt, so you don’t need to add any additionally
Add in the quartered thai eggplants
Cook for a few mins, and add in the fish sauce. This is up to your taste, but it gives the curry such a great flavor so I tend to go overboard with it. I use up to 4 or 5 tbsp, but you can use less if you prefer
Serve with thai basil leaves as a finishing touch. This is rather hard to find, especially when it’s out of season. I used cilantro as a substitute and sprinkled some lime juice for additional flavor!
Pro Tip: When you cook the jasmine rice, throw in about 2 tbsp of butter and a sprinkle of salt. I promise it makes all the difference 🙂
Pasta can be flavorful… and healthy
This spicy, garlic pesto shrimp pasta is packed with mouth-watering flavors. Its still creamy from the pesto yet light without all the heavy cream that is typical of pasta dishes. The charred broccoli in the dish brings a great crunch to complement the shrimp. This dish is truly the best of both worlds… flavor and health.
I used an orecchiette pasta from Italy for this dish, but feel free to incorporate your favorite type of pasta. I have tried this recipe in the past with angel hair pasta and spaghetti.
Garlic (A TON, around 10 cloves)
Parsley (a handful)
Shrimp (1 lb)
1/4 th cup pesto ( used this pre-made italian version which can be found here )
dash of black pepper
dash of dried basil
dash of dried oregano
dash of red pepper flakes
Broccolli florets ( I used broccolli, but this would also go great with mushrooms, asparagus, or zucchini)
Parmesan grated (for topping)
Pasta ( of your choice, I used orecchiette )
Grind the garlic, parsley and jalapeno into a paste
2. Heat olive oil in low heat, and add the parsley pesto blend (from step #1) into the pan
Add in the shrimp to this mix
Cook on low heat for a few mins. Add the lime, salt, and black pepper at this point. You want to heavily coat the shrimp with the black pepper.
After cooking for 5-7 mins, add the broccoli florets, pesto, and all other spices. Stir in and cover for 5-10 mins.
Once the flavors are cooked into the shrimp and the veggies, it will form a gravy. At this point you can add in the pasta.and stir. You can avoid overcooking the shrimp by turning off the heat before the shrimp start to form into circular rings.
Top with a heaping spoonful of Parmesan, and serve! Voila!
1 Green smoothie a day (probably) keeps the doctor away!
Okay, fine, maybe not… but it sure keeps the caffeine intake at bay. Green smoothies every morning give me the energy to cut down on coffee. Smoothies are not only easy to make, but you can put your Ninja or Vitamix to great use by making this healthy recipe!
Personally, I was never a smoothie junkie until I started working at Whole Foods. A lot of my smoothies/juices were inspired from the juice bar we had in the store. Unfortunately, a smoothie a day can really add up when you’re purchasing from the juice bar; so, I invested in the Vitamix (which I ABSOLUTELY adore, Vitamix recipes to come…). This was one of the best decisions I made this year. Not only do you have the convenience of making top-notch smoothies/juices at home at a fraction of the cost, BUT, since you’re blending vs. cold-pressing, the smoothie ends up being more nutrient dense than a cold pressed juice.
This smoothie was inspired by my lovely friend who loves incorporating greens with a variety of fruits and soymilk in her smoothies. This ends up being a healthy green smoothie that is also flavorful and creamy.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
Spinach (2 handfuls)
ginger ( 1 inch)
parsley (small handful)
Silk Soymilk ( 2 cups)
Using your Ninja or Vitamix, add all of the above ingredients
Optional: Add a scoop of protein powder to make this a complete meal
As always, would love your feedback if you tried a recipe and loved it. Otherwise, share how you made the recipe yours 🙂
There’s nothing more delicious and satisfying than a spicy red chilli chicken gravy. There are so many different varieties within chilli chicken. There is the Chinese chilli chicken which is more savory from the soy sauce/oyster sauce and there’s the Indian Chilli Chicken that focuses predominantly on spice and heat. Then, there’s variations with both; you can make chilli chicken gravy or you can make it dry. You can also make chilli chicken deep fried or make your chilli chicken recipe with no frying at all. How you personalize is based on your preference.
My personal recipe preference is based on how easy it is to make, and how healthy I can make it. This cuts the deep frying out of the equation, WITHOUT compromising taste. Since I can’t choose between Indian Chilli Chicken or Chinese Chilli Chicken, my blend is the IndoChinese chilli chicken and it truly offers the best of both worlds.
chicken ( I prefer dark meat like chicken thighs for this) 2-3 lbs