While regular couscous is one of our household staples since it cooks so quickly, I love the chewy texture of Israeli couscous just as much. It's great warm and cooked like a pilaf, but it works just as well in a salad. Dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and shallot, the salad is rounded out with white beans, crunchy cucumber, and lots of fresh dill. I like to mix in smoked salmon since it plays so nicely with dill, but tuna would be a tasty, inexpensive substitute. This salad comes together in less than 30 minutes and keeps well, making it a perfect thing to pack for a picnic, barbecue, or satisfying lunch. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
I've really come to appreciate curries lately - I can cook protein, vegetables, and sauce together, serve it over rice from a rice cooker that I turn on before I leave the house in the morning, and clean only one pan after dinner. Who doesn't love that? As long as I have curry paste and coconut milk, what goes into it is flexible. For me, it's usually determined by what's in season or needs to be used up in the fridge.
This easy, healthy curry recipe has a creamy sauce made of coconut milk and Thai green curry. Note that Thai curry pastes vary greatly in salt and spice level. In my testing, Mae Ploy was dry, salty, and super-spicy (completely blowing out my palate when I used too much the first time around), whereas Thai Kitchen was mild and more paste-like. Whatever paste you have will work, just err on using less in the beginning knowing you can add more later in the cooking after you've had a chance to taste it. Seared tofu, shrimp, and baby bok choy simmer for just a few minutes in the spicy sauce, making this a dish you can cook in the same amount of time it takes to steam the rice you'll serve it over. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
You're probably wondering why I'm sharing a recipe for a hard winter squash when spring is right around the corner, but butternut squash is almost always present at Chez Gallary. My daughter loves soups and purées, so it's an easy thing to throw into the shopping cart and whip up. However, there's a limit to how much squash the rest of the family can eat, so I decided to treat it like carrots or zucchini and bake it into a muffin. I've long admired French yogurt cakes, a simple mixture of flour, sugar, eggs, and yogurt, since the cakes are easy to bake and delicious. The yogurt provides moisture and tenderness so you need less fat, and it's chock full of sweet butternut squash and warm spices. Since it's not too sweet, it can do double duty as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack for later in the day. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
Unless it was for work, I've only made apple pie once in my life. It was a leaf lard, double-crust beauty, but it was an elaborate labor of love. That pie isn't happening again anytime soon, so I channeled my craving for it into making apple pie pancakes instead!
To justify having these for breakfast, I use a combination of regular and whole-wheat flour, and there's a double punch of apple flavor from applesauce and grated apple. Make the easy cinnamon maple syrup to drizzle over the top, and it's a bit like having dessert for breakfast. My daughter loves having smaller versions of these moist and apple-y pancakes, and since they freeze really well, having a ready-made breakfast for hectic mornings when we need to get out the door makes all the difference in the world. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
While I love a creamy chicken salad made with mayo as much as the next person, sometimes I'm in the mood for something lighter, something vibrant that wakes up my taste buds. This recipe is inspired by the noodle salad bowls served at Vietnamese restaurants, but I've kicked out the noodles to lighten it up. Toss shredded chicken, crunchy veggies, herbs, and scallions with a dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and a Thai chile for some zing, then serve in crunchy lettuce cups with roasted peanuts scattered on top. These wraps make a beautiful (and messy!) first course or a low-carb lunch that won't make you feel like you're brown-bagging it. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
I'm a food editor and professionally trained recipe developer and food stylist. You'll usually find me in the kitchen tinkering with new ideas and recipes to share with others.