A Love Letter to Lettuce — Strong Opinions

I always enjoy salad, but never quite as much as in the summertime, when its crisp, light, refreshing-ness perfectly fits the bill for almost every meal.

Typically, I load our salads with whatever veggies are happening at the farmers market and, as the season progresses, our own garden. But sometimes, amidst awe for the tomato and cucumber and radish and carrot, it’s easy to overlook the star of the show.

Lettuce.

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Recipe: Soba, Sesame, and Carrot Salad — Recipes from The Kitchn

Everyone needs at least one quick and easy soba salad in their lunch lineup. Soba is nutty and nutritious, and in a quick salad, it can be a worthy companion to the best vegetables of the season. This particular salad is an old favorite. It's a refreshing, addictively crunchy meal that just happens to be vegan. Quick soba noodles are tossed with sesame oil, shaved carrots, scallions, and a little soy sauce. Simple and cool.

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Recipe: Cucumber Kimchi Bites — Snack Recipes from The Kitchn

Recently, I shared a recipe for making easy cabbage kimchi, which is a staple at my house. The first kimchi I ever fell in love with, though, was oi sobaegi kimchi, or stuffed cucumber kimchi. I think of this as "gateway kimchi" — it's only lightly fermented (or not at all), so it isn't as pungent as many other kimchis, and it has crisp texture that any pickle lover should appreciate.

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Recipe: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Apricot-Miso Glaze — Recipes from The Kitchn

I have a confession: Until recently, I found the idea of grilling meat slightly terrifying. Maybe it's because I've never owned a grill of my own. Or because I usually skip over the articles about grilling in magazines. Or maybe it was due to some ingrained sexism on my part, pushing "grilling" into the "things men cook" category.

Whatever the reason, this summer I've set out to change this sad state of affairs and I'm happy to report a series of successes — including these sticky, savory chicken thighs. Glazed with an addictive mixture of apricot jam and miso paste, they are a foolproof win for first-time grillers or a tasty addition to the repertoire of veteran grill-masters.

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The Vegetable Butcher Explains Why You Should Always Wash Your Produce — The Vegetable Butcher

I know it can seem tedious, even annoying, to have to wash produce before you cook. Sometimes it feels like such a chore, an extra step, before you can get dinner on the table. However, whether you cook it or use it raw, produce always needs washing. A good scrub, run, or shake under water, followed by a thorough rinse, will remove dirt, grit, and sand that can affect the quality, texture, and taste of your finished dishes. As a safety precaution, a thorough cleaning will also help remove any potentially harmful bacteria that may be present.

Here's my guide to washing produce:

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Recipe: Mixed Mushroom Egg Bakes — But First, Breakfast!

Despite the fact we are entering one of my favorite, easy, and effortless breakfast seasons (fresh berries and yogurt, anyone?), I love any chance to work protein into my mornings, so I've been doing a version of these egg bakes for some time now. They're perfect for a weekday meal because they hold up in the refrigerator for a good five days. When baked ahead of time, you can have a brunch-worthy breakfast on an average Wednesday, and it will feel like a pretty big treat.

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