Sure, bottled salad dressings are quicker and more convenient. But homemade salad dressing tastes SO much better and fresher. This one takes 5 minutes to assemble, uses heart healthy condiments most people have on hand, and isn’t full of the scary preservatives found lurking in most bottles. This tart, lemony vinaigrette keeps for about a week in the refrigerator and can be tossed with salad greens, drizzled over steamed green beans, or even used as a marinade for meat.
Read more: Easy salad dressing recipe: Garlicky Lemony Vinaigrette
Cypress Grove Creamery’s Cheesemaker Mary Keehn started raising goats in the 1970s, but didn’t begin making her magic until 1983. Immediately, her passion turned into winning awards for her now-famous chevre-based goat cheeses like Humboldt Fog, named after northern California’s weather phenomenon in Humboldt County. Today, to focus her energy on cheesemaking, she no longer raises the goats and the milk comes from local sustainable farms that partner with Cypress Grove. Her success has revitalized the farming community by creating opportunities for small dairies to thrive. The initial concept for her amazing Truffle Tremor, back in 2009, involved flavoring fresh goat cheese with truffles, but Keehn thought the truffle overpowered the young cheese. She felt the truffles pined for the complexity of a ripened cheese so she went that route instead. To introduce the namesake umami-ness, Keehn experimented with a variety of truffle products, including truffle oil, before settling on a canned grated black truffle from Italy.
Read more: Good enough to eat with a spoon: Truffle Tremor cheese from Cypress Grove
Dark meat chicken gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s a tiny bit higher in calories but chicken thighs and drumsticks boast more flavor and juicy, savory goodness. Plus, they’re not going to set me back as many shekels. In this jerk chicken recipe, the Caribbean seasoning rub includes the earthier scents of nutmeg and allspice, which melds well with this fattier meat. This super fast, super flavorful recipe takes about 5 minutes to prep and 1o minutes to cook, so feel free to whip it up for a weeknight meal.
Read more: Recipe: Quick, delicious thighs, Caribbean Jerk Chicken of course
I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t like licorice. Black or Red. Groan. No… it goes beyond that. It makes me nauseous… unhappy and desirous of fleeing. So it wasn’t until well into my adulthood that my love affair with the fennel bulb began. Before I discovered this root vegetable, I assumed fennel arose from the same family as anise, which is the base flavoring of licorice (or, at least, it’s supposed to be but today’s chemical candy is anyone’s guess). It’s certainly related to anise but fennel bulb is the milder-flavored underground portion of an herb, which, coincidentally, is the basis for the controversial grog Absinthe. I’ve already posted a main dish using this root veggie, Spicy Shrimp with Sauteed Fennel, but this super-fast side can give you all the mild, delicious flavor without the hassle of cooking. I re-created this salad recipe after enjoying it at a Tampa restaurant and now it’s a staple in my salad arsenal.
Read more: Healthy side recipe: Fennel salad with mustard dressing
This recipe can be thrown together as soon as your feet hit the welcome home mat. Takes about 10 minutes to make and 30 minutes to cook. Earthy, savory and filling, this stew cures what ails you, warms the cockles (whatever those are) and leftovers freeze well for the next rainy or cold day.
Read more: Simple weeknight recipe: Smoky garbanzo and spinach stew
Since moving to California almost two years ago, I’ve craved quite a few tasty morsels hidden in the folds of Tampa’s food underbelly. On a recent trip back east, I undertook the momentous effort of packing all these culinary cravings into one very short gorg-cation. The result was not only weight gain and stomach bloating but often reminiscent bliss beyond compare. The details are too delicious and would be mean to share completely, but the highlights are the best restaurant meal destinations a person can have in Tampa in four days.
Read more: What I did on my Christmas vacation: The Tampa best food and wine edition
Growing up, our poor excuse for a Thanksgiving cranberry side was opening up a chilled can of cranberry sauce. I was never a fan… tasted like (and I imagine it still does) aluminum flavored, jellied cough syrup. It was one of the items I pushed around the plate until no one could notice I didn’t eat any. This recipe is nothing like that horrible memory.
Read more: Thanksgiving cranberry: A chutney alternative to the dreaded canned sauce
Huzzah… this is a tasty good quinoa recipe! I’ve been exploring this fashionable “superfood” in the past few months… buying it by the mega bag at Costco and seeing how I can stretch its recipe legs. A versatile, high-protein grain, quinoa can play cold salad, warm side dish made like rice, or the main course like this faux risotto.
Read more: Recipe: Wild mushroom red quinoa risotto with chicken
This recipe is one for the home cooks who love throwing a few, uber high quality ingredients together to form a perfect union. In this tomato salad, the ingredients absolutely make the difference and if skimping is the only option, you might not experience the ethereal feeling which comes from a ripe tomato. My husband thinks I’m a bit of a lunatic when it comes to tomatoes but biting into a mealy, flavorless piece of fruit just isn’t my idea of good eatin’. So shop carefully if you can’t grow them yourself. Note: You don’t have to use “heirloom” tomatoes for this recipe but ripe is crucial.
Read more: Recipe: Super simple fresh heirloom tomato salad with feta
Ground turkey is one of those ingredients that sounds ssoooo healthy yet tastes pretty much like nothing. Not even sawdust. The meat is so lean, it doesn’t really stay together by itself in a burger, requiring other ingredients to keep it from falling apart like a sandcastle. So I tend to use it in other recipes, surrounded by other flavors which make it taste great, kinda like tofu. Ground turkey absorbs liquids and flavor like a sponge. It’s versatile that way. So… it’s perfect in lettuce wraps where it can soak up all those fresh, pungent ingredients. This recipe does have some luxurious additions to a traditional Asian lettuce wrap recipe, like bacon, but that’s how I roll… bring on the flavor.
Read more: Recipe: Low fat, healthy Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps