Anna's California Miso Avocado Salad
Anna's California Miso Avocado Salad Anna's California Miso Avocado Salad

Anna's California Miso Avocado Salad


There is a list of impressive cookbooks queuing up for release this spring. Thoughtful, beautiful titles filled with writing and recipes that make you excited to light up your kitchen. I've been cooking from a number of these books, and can't wait to single out a few favorites in the coming weeks. First up is A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones. The book is a 352-page stunner, and an example of a first book going very right. You have Anna, who has substantial professional experience as a London-based writer and stylist (you've likely encountered her work on the pages of Jamie magazine). And she has paired up with one of my favorite photographers Brian W. Ferry. The book was published last year by 4th Estate under the guidance of Louise Haines (Nigel Slater's editor) and Georgia Mason in the U.K., and is set for U.S. release by Ten Speed Press in the United States this April. I've taken a few snapshots of some spreads down below, and thought I'd share Anna's California-inspired salad made with miso, avocado, & lima beans. It's the kind of substantial salad I love, particularly in the winter. Seasonal greens are tossed with an assertive, creamy miso dressing. There are beans, crunchy seeds, broccoli, and avocado - it all comes together into a brilliant, beautiful, feel-good salad...Continue>>

 
 
Tokyo Photos & Soba Water
Tokyo Photos & Soba Water Tokyo Photos & Soba Water

Tokyo Photos & Soba Water


I didn't take many photographs on my recent trip to Tokyo - 100, or so? As I was browsing them on the flight home it was clear that a good percentage were of the view from our hotel room thirty floors above Ginza. Spending a week in the sky made me understand why one would want to live in a high-rise, something I've never given much thought before now. The huge windows framed the horizon and cityscape, and the colors, reflections, and mood changed by the minute depending on the weather, time of day, and how the light was progressing. I wanted to share a few snapshots today, and also one of my favorite things to eat in Tokyo. Sip, is actually the better verb. It's something so simple, it doesn't require a recipe, but I suspect few of you have enjoyed it - Soba Yu.

Tokyo...<span class=Continue>>

 
 
Near & Far: A New Cookbook
Near & Far: A New Cookbook Near & Far: A New Cookbook

Near & Far: A New Cookbook


I’ve been living with a mammoth binder and a pair of double-sided bulletin boards covered with photos for the past few years. The binder held notes, recipes, ideas, and to-do lists. The bulletin boards allowed me to see dozens of photos at a glance. It’s how my next book slowly started to take shape. I'd keep the boards and binder close so I could easily add photos, move recipes, tweak, and prune as I'd go about my day.

One of the things I loved about working on my last cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, was establishing a sense of place through the photos, recipes, and writing. That book was very much rooted in Northern California, and I knew immediately upon finishing it I'd likely want to explore the intersection of place, ingredients, and recipe inspiration even further. I turned to my journals, and revisited places I loved, and began to explore this as the direction for my next cookbook. It took a while to complete, but I'm excited to share a new cookbook with you this September. The binder can't hold one more page, and the bulletin boards are have run out of space...Continue>>

 
 
 
 
Kale Quinoa Bites
Kale Quinoa Bites Kale Quinoa Bites

Kale Quinoa Bites


These little kale-packed quinoa bites came with me to Tokyo. I wedged eight of them into a structured container, tucked that into my purse, and onto the flight we went. I know some of you like to know what I bring to eat on flights, and four hours from SFO, I was wishing I'd brought more. My travel pockets were also lined with kishus (holding steady as my favorite winter citrus), a buttery, ripe avocado, and a bar of dark chocolate. The quinoa bites were nearly perfect for travel, in part because you can do most of the prep ahead of time. A week before my flight I made a batch, shaped them, froze them, and the morning of my flight baked eight - you could also pan-fry them if you don't want to heat the oven. The rest were home awaiting my return. Part of the charm here is their flexibility. Feel free to play around with the quinoa base. I went with kale, edamame, feta, because they were on hand, tasty, and needed to be used up. But there are a thousand other combinations to explore. You could do chopped broccoli with goat cheese, or baby fava beans, and chopped asparagus with lemon zest as we head into spring. Or, add an assertive spice blend or curry powder, chopped garbanzos, and green peas...Continue>>

 
 
Pomelo Noodles
Pomelo Noodles Pomelo Noodles

Pomelo Noodles


There's a bit of a joke around our house, because of a saying I have. It's more of a sentiment, actually. But I say it out loud sometimes. For example, it goes something like this - just a minute, I'm being nice to my future self, folding this laundry! That's the gist of it - being nice to my future self. If I make a big pot of soup I'm able to take to the studio throughout the week - I'm being nice to my future self. If I leave the gas tank in the car on empty, requiring an early morning stop - not being nice to future self. If I make sloppy notes related to a recipe, and have to start over. Q'uelle horreur. I wasn't being nice. It's just a general attempt to avoid screwing my future self over. Related, one of the things I like about having a dedicated workspace is packing a lunch, and sitting at the big table, or in the sunny window boxes. I don't like eating out (or ordering in) everyday. So, one of the ways I've been trying to be nice to my future self, is by prepping and packing interesting lunches, and this was one of them. It's simply noodles, salad greens, and edamame, with an easy dressing, peanuts, and pomelo. Packed in a jar you can simply turn it out into a bowl, give it a toss, and you're set.Continue>>

 
 
January Cleanses & Detoxes

January Cleanses & Detoxes


I find myself in the midst of strangers a lot, a lot - crammed onto buses, in line at a cafes, grabbing lunch at favorite spots, grocery shopping - and I can't tell you how many conversations I've overheard in the past week related to cleanses, detoxes, and diets. An unusually high number, even for January - month of fresh starts, clean slates, and focused intentions. And there seem to be two veins of conversation - the individuals excited about cleansing or fasting, and the debunkers (link, link). My immediate reaction is that you don't really need to be in one camp or the other. There might be something to inspire you in one of those programs, even if you're not going to get onboard entirely. It could be a single recipe you come to love, or a mantra you embrace. I like to look at lots of different cleanses and detoxes, because there tend to be so many positive aspects to them - I'm talking about the ones based in real, whole foods (versus supplements & powders). The menus and recipes often emphasize the power and promise of good, diverse, plant-centric ingredients, mindfully sourced. Participants end up shopping, eating, and cooking with intent - also important. And because they tend to last a week, or two, or four, they can help establish new habits. So, while extended detox stretches or diets tend not to be my thing, an overall commitment to treating your body well, in the best way you're able, is something I'm always trying to get/keep a handle on. That's a long way of saying, I find that wherever you fall on the spectrum of diets, cleanses, and detoxes, there is a lot of good content out there, particularly in January - and some of these programs can be a great source of recipes, reminders, and ideas. Beneficial, and health-promoting not just for January, but for the rest of the year as well. :) A few of the links that I've browsed this month:

- My New Roots' Winter Weekend Cleanse

- Moon Juice's Amanda Chantal Bacon does Nine Days Plant Based in Harper's Bazaar

- Detox your Mouth

Continue>>

 
 
A Simple Carrot Soup

A Simple Carrot Soup


You are looking at the simplest of carrot soups. One I love, in part, because it's an example of how a beautiful meal can come together with a bit of care, and an impossibly short list of ingredients. Carrots and onion form the base, which is spiked with dollop of red curry paste, and then pureed into silky oblivion. Once pureed, you can flare it out with whatever you have on hand for the toppings. This is a soup we make often, and it was my special request after a tooth extraction this week. I'm short one wisdom tooth thanks to a brawny, bee-keeping oral surgeon, and I ate a lot of this soup in the days following. It reminded me how much I enjoy it. If you decide to give it a try, there are a couple considerations...Continue>>

 
 
 
 

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