Cranberry Salsa

Canned cranberry sauce looks gross to me until I eat it with the rest of the holiday meal. I prefer the Cranberry Salsa compared to a homemade cranberry sauce. This recipe is a dish that refreshes the palate in between the starchy flavors of mash potatoes, squashes, and stuffing. Use the food processor for the cranberries only. The various sizes of the other ingredients gives this dish a slight crunchy contrast to mushy textures. With flavors such as orange, ginger, and mint, I find this cranberry dish complements many holiday meals. It’s a healthy sidekick to a roasted turkey. Alternatively, serve it with tortilla chips.

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Arroz con Pollo served with a Green Salad

Next to Southern dishes, Mexican cuisine is my other comfort food. When my boyfriend and I started dating, I told him I love Spanish food. Instead, we ate at a Puerto Rican restaurant, New York City style. I was a bit confused, because I wanted enchiladas or tacos. Then, I realized his comfort food are Dominican and Puerto Rican cuisine. Now, when he says, “Baby, I’m bringing home Spanish food. Did you want a plate?”, I know what to expect.

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Vegetable Chicken Soup with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

This week, being conscious of our expanding diets, I visited the farmers’ market to pick up carrots, leeks, fingerling potatoes, zucchini and basil. The local grocery store yielded a few out of season tomatoes. The taste will probably be pale, but I’ll add a bit of balsamic vinegar to sweeten them back to their sweet destiny. I’ve been consciously avoiding starches and sugar; justifying my consummation of a cornucopia worth of food. Below is a recipe for Veggie Chicken soup. It’s light and tasty until heavy Thursday arrives.

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Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Shrimp

This is my first Sunday meal after moving in with the boyfriend. The kitchen is finally a quarter decent to finally cook a meal. It’s still unfamiliar territory, yet the benefits are worth taking the time to familiarize myself in our new home. A larger kitchen; a sit down mini table for eating and rolling out dough; amble counter space; a new fridge in the near future; and dreamy decorating ideas making cooking meals a comfortable affair. After we completed our grocery shopping in the late evening, we were a little hungry. Thinking up a good, quick light dinner for our first meal here, I was going to prepare for a salad and a risotto. I overheard another shopper ask her boyfriend to pick up the spaghetti squash. I quickly changed my menu and picked another one for myself. Initially, I told my boyfriend the new dish, and he quickly replied, “Yuck.” An hour later he was helping himself to seconds.

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Roast Japanese Eggplant

Roast Japanese Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. rice-vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • (Optional) A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower or safflower oil
  • 5 Japanese eggplants; chopped into about 1-in. pieces
  • Garnish: Thinly sliced scallions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with foil for easier clean up.
  2. Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, salt, both peppers and oil to make the sauce.
  3. Toss the sauce with the chopped eggplant.
  4. Place eggplants in the oven and roast for 35 to 45 min or until they’re just starting to brown.
  5. Garnish with sliced scallions and serve.
Japanese Eggplant