Parade’s Community Table: Kick Winter’s Brutal Weather with a Robust Italian-Inspired Salad

Italian-Inspired Salad Plate
As I write this, there’s snow falling outside the window. The wind chill is colder than the air’s temperature (it cuts through the warmest coat). I run from one heated indoor destination to another. The subway commute between home and work changed from a quick route of waiting outside to a longer time inside a warm station. It’s basically a brutal winter. Continue reading Parade’s Community Table: Kick Winter’s Brutal Weather with a Robust Italian-Inspired Salad

Parade Magazine: Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Growing up, tacos were filled with ground beef or shredded chicken, and they were topped with chopped tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and shredded mild cheddar cheese. Mom deep fried corn tortilla shells and asked everyone whether they want soft or hard taco shells. Back then, tacos were simple, and I still love my childhood version today for nostalgic reasons.

Today, an online search for tacos yields more than lettuce and tomatoes. Tacos are topped with pickled vegetables and authentic Mexican cheeses. They’re filled with meat slowly simmered in mole sauce, quinoa and spicy roast vegetables. And, some people buy tortilla presses to make their own corn tortillas. Personally, my taco shells aren’t deep-fried, instead a little oil is added to a hot skillet as a tortilla shell is flipped over several times for a few minutes.

In this autumnal taco, butternut squash is roasted with warm spices and toss with shredded chicken. The meat and squash filling is placed over a corn tortilla and before its folded in half to enclose it, pineapple salsa is spooned on top for a fresh and sweet taste. Of course, no taco is complete without cheese. In this version, only a mild flavored cheese is needed, such as Cotija (think of it as a Mexican version of the Italian Ricotta Salata cheese).

There’s memories surrounded by tacos. Since, Dad was ‘The Cook’ in our house, we were excited when Mom decided to make one of her few dishes, which were tacos. For the record, even though I strive to eat healthy most of the time, I always prefer her deep-fried taco shells.  Continue reading Parade Magazine: Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Lemon-Sage Chicken Served with Scallions and Pine Nut Rice

Lemon-Sage Chicken served with Scallions and Pine Nut Rice
Lemon-Sage Chicken served with Scallions and Pine Nut Rice

The Lemon-Sage Chicken served with Scallions and Pine Nut Rice is one of those recipes that almost didn’t make it online. It is too simple of a good dish. It’s so simple that it didn’t call for a post. There are no stories behind this recipe. Perhaps, the exception is the boyfriend firmly insisted I write about it. Why? He thinks this is one of the best dishes. He savored every bite. It caught him by surprise to learn this dish wasn’t being posted. Continue reading Lemon-Sage Chicken Served with Scallions and Pine Nut Rice

Hurry to D.C. Curry Chicken Salad

Washington, D.C is always a pleasant road trip from New York. If we don’t encounter traffic along the way, it’s even a better drive. Road trips provide a chance to have “catch-up” conversations, read a book and relax. Most of all, seeing family is always fun. At our destination, my sister served strawberry margaritas, and she cooked breakfast the next morning. It was a relaxing vacation from my kitchen.

Continue reading Hurry to D.C. Curry Chicken Salad