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lime

Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

When I buy a plantain, most often it gets thrown in the oven, baked until creamy, and drizzled with peanut butter and honey.

But I love pairing its sweetness with with savory elements, too.

Cilantro

Here, it compliments Cuban-inspired black beans, seasoned with cumin, a dash of spice, and some sautéed peppers and onions.

Lime and cilantro give a fresh finish, while toasted coconut flakes add some crunch.

Serve over brown rice or get creative with the grain of your choice.

Cuban Black Beans with Plantain and Coconut

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Vegan Mexican-inspired Coleslaw

Vegan Mexican Coleslaw

I love dinner parties. Call it a taco party, and I’ll love the occasion even more.

Tasked with creating something outside of a taco for a recent rooftop gathering, this light and vegan slaw was born.

Vegan Mexican Coleslaw

It calls on cilantro and lime to add a punch of flavor. You could also throw in a few dashes of cumin.

Prepare the slaw within the hour before serving. It’s best eaten at room temperature.Vegan Mexican Coleslaw

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Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

 

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

I woke up on Saturday morning realizing August was just 2 weeks away. Woah, woah, woah, hold the phone! But by all means, don’t hold the melon.

It wasn’t until I then realized I had went this far into the summer without buying my first full watermelon that the panic set in. That’s like living in the city without a bike — practically a crime, at least in my world.

I love watermelon, and how I let this much of summer slip by without eating a full half to myself is beyond me. Summers are made for meals of watermelon, right?

So of course, Saturday morning, straight to the market I went. And breakfast become none other than a huge slice of sweet, juicy summer. My favorite.

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

It’s a miracle that the other half of the melon ended up in this salad. Like a just-picked heirloom tomato, or a perfectly ripe avocado, there are some things in life that I often feel, “Why bother doing anything more than adding a fork.” Although it goes without saying, a little bit of salt can entirely enhance those first two items, and it appears a little bit of feta and basil can do the same for watermelon. Sliced watermelon is great, but so is this melon salad.

On Sunday, I also happened to be heading to a friend’s b-day brunch, so the opportunity to make something special couldn’t be passed up. If you’re a food blogger, sliced watermelon isn’t all that great when fun, food-related occasions arise. Although, the few slices you’re munching on while cooking — those speak of excellence.

Needless to say, this was a hit and a totally worthy use of an impressively ripe and ready melon. Salty feta plays off the sweetness of the melon, while a minty basil takes its natural refreshingness to a whole other level. If you want your watermelon to feel fancy, in an effortless sort of way, this is it. I’m already ready for brunch, round 2, and of course, watermelon round 2, too.

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Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

This time of year, I want ginger and lime in my cup. Preferably over ice. Preferably with something a little fizzy. Maybe (or, if it’s a warm weekend night, definitely maybe) with some kind of spirit jazzing it up, too.

I’m a sucker for ginger. And lime. So naturally, I’ll say “yes please” to that duo in hummus on my spring veggie baguette, too.

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

When early summer rolls around, my diet generally shifts to veggies, and lots of them. Why eat anything else when there’s asparagus, and arugula, and cauliflower, and maybe even the first greenhouse-grown tomato in the ground? None of that tastes as good during the off seasons – especially when we’re talking tomatoes – so, I do my best to pack my diet with it when it’s shining brightly at the farmer’s market. (Or better yet, hanging out for free in my mom’s garden.)

With that being said, however, it’s good to have something that packs a punch of protein on-hand. Active summery days call for something a little more than veggies. Something more than Ginger Lime Mojitos, too. (Sorry if that’s all you can think about now as well.)

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

Hummus is a dietary staple of mine. In all honesty, I could make anything featuring sesame tahini a dietary staple – but hummus just so happens to be a healthy and convenient choice. Especially this edamame-spiced one, which packs double the protein in a nice green package.

Ginger Lime Edamame Hummus

Compared to traditional chickpeas, edamame looks pretty good – and I mean that to extend beyond just its vibrant green color. It has slightly fewer calories, more protein, and nearly the same amount of fiber per serving. Not bad, considering chickpeas in themselves aren’t a bad choice.

Keep a batch of this in your fridge, and you’ll have the makings for a baguette, ready to be picnicked all week long. If you can, pick up some radishes to shave on top, my veggie topping of choice. Although carrots can do the trick pretty well too, even sans bread.

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Avocado Radish Toasts

Avocado Radish Toasts

You know spring has arrived when there are 7 different street festivals swarming the streets of your one city, all within one Saturday. When your local park is carpeted in pink pedals of the cherry trees after several days of showers. When you look down and notice you’ve gotten a bit of a sunburn after just 2 hours of tennis. When the first farmer’s markets kick off. And when, there, you stumble upon beautiful bunches of radishes.

Spring radishes

The weather is here. The flowers are here. And my favorite – the first smell of fresh-cut grass, a perfume I walked by literally an hour ago, has arrived and bestowed me with this evening’s biggest smile.

Radishes sliced

There are few vegetables I find more stunning than radishes. And they feel rather novel too. Rarely do I eat a radish outside of springtime.

When they are in season though, and just picked from the ground – still young, small, not fully matured – little else can beat how refreshing that crispness of theirs brings to the table. A spring rain rooted radish, yes please.

Sliced radishes

Along with all those seasonal festivals I mentioned earlier comes the arrival of countless picnic-themed holidays, on their way shortly. Next up is Mother’s Day, soon after followed by Memorial Day, and so on, and so on, and so on.

How to prepare for those occasions? Have a radish-inspired recipe you can count on. One that literally takes barely any effort at all to pull together.

Toasted Baguette

When you have quality ingredients, you only need a few ingredients to make a dish that’s memorable.

Fresh radishes. Ripe avocados. Crusty bread. Good olive oil. Coarse salt.

All favorited ingredients of my repertoire.

Avocado Radish Toasts

Pull them all together, and you create this, a recipe perfect for any picnic, potluck, or simple outdoor, light-lunch occasion. (Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly enjoy this indoors as well. But in my dreams, I’m eating outside for all 3 meals of the day.)

Avocado and lime

Sorry (but not sorry) for the photo overload. Like short and sweet recipes that can be easily fantastic when quality ingredients are involved, beautiful photos always come easier with ingredients that inherently shine.

Avocado Radish Toasts

Fun fact – most of the spice (and flavor) of a radish lays in its skin. Early season ones should be pretty tame, but later on, if you can’t handle the heat, you can always give them a zebra-striped peel.

Avocado Radish Toast

A little bit of that heat though, and the corresponding crispness, goes great with creamy avocados, so make sure to hang on to some of it. Enjoy guys!

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