Meatless Monday: Rainbow Potato Salad

If you believe in eating the rainbow, you'll want to make my Rainbow Potato Salad! This can be a side or a meal in itself, and is perfect for Meatless Monday. If you follow a vegan diet, leave out labneh and use a combination of olive oil and lemon juice.

Rainbow Potato Salad
purple potatoes, cooked until tender, quartered
corn kernels, sauteed in olive oil with finely chopped white onion
beets, roasted, peeled, chopped
Persian cucumbers, choppped
cilantro leaves
salt & pepper
chili powder

That's all! Go eat a big salad today!


Dinner Under 15 Minutes: Salmon & Corn Cakes

These Salmon & Corn Cakes are done in under 15 minutes and use canned salmon! Serve them as a meal or make into smaller cakes for a fancy appetizer.

I suggest that you only use skinless and boneless canned salmon.

What makes this recipe a breeze and allows you to use only a few ingredients is a jar of corn salsa from Trader Joe's because it's full of flavors. {not sponsored, I just really like that product}

Salmon & Corn Cakes
makes 4

6 ounce skinless boneless salmon, drained and lightly mashed
1/3 cup corn salsa, plus more for serving
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
olive oil for sauteeing
a few splashes hot sauce or sriracha
to serve: arugula, cilantro, labneh, lemon slices

1. In a mixing bowl, combine salmon, corn salsa, egg and bread crumbs. 
2. Form the mixture into 4 cakes.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute the salmon cakes for about 4 minutes on each side.
4. Serve the cakes on a bed of arugula topped with more corn salsa, cilantro, labneh, and a few slices of lemon.

Easy. Good for you. Can be served hot or at room temperature. This makes a great Friday night dinner or a weekend lunch.


L'Shana Tova: Easy Dessert Rr Breakfast For Rosh Hashanah

Tonight marks the beginning of a Jewish New Year! Whether you are a religious or a cultural Jew, or just like good food, I have a quick and easy, but gorgeous (!!) breakfast or dessert you can make to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

It is said that you need to eat apples and honey for a sweet year to come. But what if you forgot that you were out of apples!? Well, I used beets :)

This plate above is something I made for a sweet breakfast before work today:

Homemade Labneh With Beets & Honey
1) homemade labneh
2) roasted beets (use apples or any other fruit you have: or a combination!)
3) honey
4) ginger syrup
5) roasted and salted cashews


For more traditional apple cake and honey cake ideas, check my previous posts.


Meatless Monday: Beefsteak Burger At Beefsteak In DC

Are you looking for a vegetarian burger that's light, has no beans or lentils, and is beyond satisfying? Well, then you either must go to Beefsteak, or make one at home.

Over the weekend I took myself to lunch at Jose Andres' Beefsteak and absolutely loved his tomato burger. This was my second time at this restaurant and each time I've ordered the same thing. Go before the tomato season is over. 

Beefsteak Tomato Burger 
thick slice of beefsteak tomato
pickled red onions
caper herb mayonnaise
olive oil brioche bun
extras: avocado and fresh mozzarella

What's your favorite meatless burger?


Chiko DC: 10 Things To Know Before You Visit

It took me a while, but I finally had dinner at Chiko in Eastern Market. 
CHIKO is the first restaurant from The Fried Rice Collective. Chef’s Danny Lee and Scott Drewno pair modern cooking techniques with traditional Chinese and Korean flavors, while Drew Kim provides his passion for hospitality ensuring a unique dining experience.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind before you go:

1) Show up on the early side because by 7 pm, they are super busy.

2) Chef Scott Drewno is actually IN the restaurant and doesn't simply has his name on the website. {Thanks for sending out a tray of snacks!}

3) If you can, bring friends because you'll want to order pretty much everything on the menu.

4) The name is pronounced CHAIKO not CHEEKO :) Chi as in Chinese, Ko as in Korean.

5) There's a sense of humor when it comes to the menu: the restaurant has Meatless Tuesday specials unlike the well 
established Meatless Monday.

6) You mix your own cocktails! Well, at least the Gin & Tonic that I tried (pictured below) that had lemongrass infused basil seeds in it!

7) My favorites: Wagshal's Chopped Brisket with Soy Brined Soft Egg, fuikake butter, and rice; Potato and Egg Salad, Sichuan Spicy Cucumbers; Chiko's version of street corn.

8) Leftovers make for a great lunch: make sure not to microwave kimchi.

9) Make sure to check out Chiko's specials: on Tuesday they had a great combination of corn, asparagus and pea shoots.

10) Superb service. Even better food.


Meatless Monday: Visit to Bangkok 54 and Atilla in Arlington, VA

Do you feel like you are in a cooking rut? If you answer yes, I highly recommend a visit to an ethnic grocery store. Over the weekend I visited Bangkok 54 and Atilla markets on Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA and picked up quite a few fun products that will be great for experimenting with in the kitchen, and happen to be perfect for Meatless Monday.

First up, Bangkok 54: I was overwhelmed with the varieties of rice, sauces, curry paste, spices, and soup packets. Luckily, one of the women at the store was really helpful and explained which curry paste to use with vegetables (yellow!), and also told me to never ever shake a can of coconut milk! Instead, you are supposed to use the solids to saute the curry paste and the vegetables, and only then to add the liquid! Who knew?

I picked up fresh bok choy, lemon grass, three varieties of curry paste, and buckwheat soba noodles. I also bought a jar of pickled pepper corns that are supposed to be great added to a stir fry.

I'm taking bets on how quickly I'll consume a container of Pocky dipped in chocolate topped with crushed almonds ;) 

By the way, Bangkok 54 is a great place to load up on Sriracha and sambal if you like your food spicy!

Tucked behind the parking lot of Salsa Room, where I go salsa dancing, is a Turkish market called Atilla. Interestingly enough, many of its products looked very similar to the ones you'd find in a Russian grocery store. I could not resist picking up a container of pistachio halvah as a treat with coffee or tea.

I also bought a container of labneh, a jar of roasted eggplant, and a packet of feta to top my tomato and cucumber salad. What was labeled as pomegranate juice turned out to actually be pomegranate molasses: I'm planning to use it in salad dressings, marinades, and to flavor black tea.

Finally, I bought a jar of red pepper and eggplant spread that's great as a dip or to use in sandwiches with mayonnaise.

Let's get cooking!


Dinner In Minutes: Gyoza & Vegetables Quick Soup

Need a quick dinner that will warm you up and leave your taste buds satisfied? I have just the recipe for you: Gyoza & Vegetables Quick Soup

Last night when I got home after work, I decided I did not want to do anything but sit on the couch and chill. For the entire night. And I did just that. Plus all the food! It was one of those nights.

I made a really quick soup for dinner using Thai Vegetable Gyoza from Trader Joe's frozen section, chicken broth I made in my pressure cooker from the bones of a rotisserie chicken, some vegetables and a few flavor boosters. So easy. So good. Pretty healthy, unless you follow it up with enormous amount of hummus, smoked almonds, and pistachio ice cream.

Dinner In Minutes: Gyoza & Vegetables Quick Soup


chicken broth
mushrooms, thinly sliced
peas, fresh or defrosted
red pepper, thinly sliced
Thai Vegetable Gyoza, prepared according to directions
soy sauce
lime juice
parsley, chopped

1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer. Add mushrooms, peas, and red pepper and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes.
2. Add Gyoza to a bowl, pour over the broth with the vegetables. 
3. Season the soup to your taste with the rest of the ingredients.

I know...pretty precise recipe :)



Bake a Difference with OXO for Cookies for Kids' Cancer

Welcome back from the 3 day weekend! Hope you are all rested and are ready to jump back into work...I know I'm not :/

One of the fun activities I did this weekend, other than dancing, brunch, and a visit to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, was bake Spritz cookies! This was my first time ever using a cookie press, and I loved it.

This blog post is another collaboration with oxo. As always, I'm not being compensated for this post: I received products from oxo to try in my kitchen and am sharing my opinions with you.

This year, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies fund pediatric cancer research. Visit OXO or cookiesforkidscancer.org for more information.

The Cookie Press was incredibly easy to use and clean. I liked the fact that it was simple to change the disks and ended up using four flower themed disks to make cookies. Oxo also sent me an additional set of fall related disks, which I'll have to try once the weather cools down a bit.

I was already familiar with the OXO pizza pan, and expected the same great performance from the Non Stick Pro Cookie Sheet. It has a great weight to it, is nonstick, easy to clean, and allows your baked goods to brown easily. 

Finally, even though I have plenty of spatulas, both metal and silicon, this one from oxo was the perfect size for the cookies! It's sturdy despite its little size and has a flexible edge that allows you to easily get under the cookies. Please make it in fun colors oxo!!

My friend Kate sent me a recipe for Spritz Cookies from America's Test Kitchen baking book. I also found it here. Butter, sugar, flour, and a few other ingredients are all you need, and I actually had everything on hand! 

The cookies smelled delicious, were super buttery, and not too sweet. I shared them with my friends, neighbors, and condo office workers.

Let me know how you use your cookie press!