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¡hot plate! spicy chinese eggplant

28 Jul

So it turns out the Dalai Lama has an initiative to educate the Tibetan monks in some key academic areas, including physics. Josh was lucky enough to be one of the physicists to spend a week with the Tibetan monks in Bangalore, India, where he got to eat, sleep and teach monks right in the Sera Mey Monastery.

Now Josh’s culinary preferences traditionally lean heavily toward the big-chunk-of-meat genre, but at the monastery the diet was basically vegetarian: okra, lentils, vegetable soup–and some hard-boiled eggs thrown in for good measure. A lot of us honestly wondered if Josh would survive this unplanned exercise in mostly-herbivorism, so imagine my shock when he came home and actually asked if we could try out something vegetarian for dinner!!


no animals were harmed in the making of these monks

Lucky for me, my awesome former boss Kristin is vegan AND loves Pinterest, so I immediately turned to her board of amazing vegetarian recipes for inspiration and landed on this spicy Chinese eggplant recipe. The spice level in this recipe is intense; next time I would cut it at least in half. Even so, making a legit Asian sauce was so fun, and I was COMPLETELY ADDICTED to the leftovers.

and i do mean SPICY

and i do mean SPICY

And what did Josh think? He also loved it, although he MAY have tried to sneak in a roast beef sandwich “post-dinner snack” later that night. Fortunately, I caught him in the act and convinced him to eat a super-yummy veggie sandwich instead (hummus, avocado, cheese and balsamic–what’s not to love??), so I can still say Operation Vegetarian Dinner was a success. Whew!


For your drooling pleasure, here are the other vegetarian dinners on our to-devour list. Do you have a favorite vegetarian recipe? Please share it below!

Chickpea curry w/ coconut rice

Crispy orange cauliflower

Mushroom lemon lentil salad

Roasted grape, goat cheese and honey stuffed sweet potatoes



hey, me! get back in the kitchen!

18 Jan

Hi, friends! It’s been a long time, but I’m back and bloggier than ever! I’ve got a whole host of posts a brewin’, but in the meantime, I wanted to share one of the fun foodie secrets I’ve been keeping all to myself since I’ve been away–namely that Williams Sonoma has awesome recipes, and they’re pretty delicious. Some of my favorites so far (click pics to see the recipes):

short rib tacos, williams-sonoma

short rib tacos

greek shrimp with tomatoes and feta, williams sonoma

greek shrimp with tomatoes and feta

apple-orange cranberry sauce, williams sonoma

apple-orange cranberry sauce

Needless to say, the site’s become my go-to for recipe hunting.  Discovered your own to-die-for recipes recently? Please share!

¡hot plate! thai red curry w/ shrimp and cod

15 May

I’m not what you would call a picky eater (although many of you who have dined with me might call me an inquisitive one!), but there are a few foods I just can’t stand: coconut, ginger and blue cheese–each with their own strong, distinct flavors, united by a common bond of grossness that makes my tongue want to seek the nearest emergency exit from my mouth. So no one could be more surprised than me to find myself cooking a recipe with coconut and ginger to make the most super-awesome-delicious Thai red curry EVA!!!

I have to give full credit to Savory for inspiring this one; he ordered red curry at the Cheesecake Factory and, after grimacing in disgust at seeing coconut milk listed in the ingredients, I tried it anyway. Turns out coconut milk is much more pleasant than its evil twin, aka actual coconut–who knew??

red curry ingredients

coconut milk playing coy, upper right

The original recipe calls for halibut, but I used cod instead, and if you’ve ever heard me talk maybe once or 50 times about my favorite cod book you know what a big deal it was for me to finally try the fish that changed the world (and with good reason–it’s freaking tasty).

cod and shrimp on plate

cod playing dead, left; shrimp, also playing dead, right.

What I love about this recipe even more than the fact that it is easy to make is that the yum factor never diminishes; I was equally excited each time I ate it, and may have gone through a brief period of mourning after devouring the last bowl.

red curry w/ cod and shrimp

red curry playing delicious, center


Q: What is curry made from?

A: Three spices found in most curry powders are turmeric, coriander, and cumin.

Q: What makes red curry red?

A: The main ingredients in red curry are garlic, shallots, (dried) red chillies, galangal, shrimp paste, salt, kaffir lime peel, coriander root, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns and lemongrass. My money’s on the dried red chillies and shrimp paste.

Q: Can I come over for dinner and have some of your red curry?

A: Heck yes you can!

Note: Thanks to James Dowd, Jame’s Dowd’s iPhone and Wikipedia for sleuth support.

¡hot plate! broken-glass jello

6 Dec

Okay, this plate is technically not hot, but it is cool in pretty much in every sense of the word. Before I get to the broken-glass jello, though, some background: As luck would have it, a few weeks before I moved from Florida to DC, I met a great guy named Josh who’s now my boyfriend (yay!). This is especially important for the purposes of this blog because 1) he introduced me to this recipe and 2) guys, his last name is Savory. (Yes, really, and yes, I take way too much pleasure in that fact.)

I know what you’re thinking: Gina, I don’t care if this guy has the best foodie surname on earth, I’m not taking a recipe featuring JELLO seriously–because that’s pretty much what went through my head when Josh told me about it. But then he sent me pictures, and I realized any food that can look this bright, happy and fun deserves a shot.

Broken Glass Jello--cool, huh?

Broken-glass jello is a holiday tradition in the Savory household, and I was delighted to try it out with my family this Thanksgiving. My nieces and nephew had fun helping make it, and everyone–even my mom, who hates jello–had fun eating it. This dish earns two yums up!


6 Sep

I didn’t cook this weekend, but fear not! I ate plenty, and have fun tidbits to share with you this week. In the meantime, check out these recipes (via food52) I’m adding to my “to make” list. Getting giddy just looking at these!

Chicken breast with fresh sage — (Only) five (awesome) ingredients.

Goat cheese and red pepper compote puffs — Goat cheese! Puffs! If that doesn’t earn an automatic click-through, I don’t know what does.

Corn, bacon and clam stew — Simple and beautiful–my two favorite things. This looks so good I can already smell it.

Bonus: Ashley gives a crash course on balsamic vinaigrette, aka dressing of the gods, over on Sprout.