Coming from a heritage stemming from the southern part of Russia, the cultural traditions set on my family’s table have always been similar to the foods of the Middle East – especially Israeli and Persian food. Halvah was one of them; my favorite Middle Eastern confection. My late grandmother would keep plenty of halvah, individually wrapped Russian chocolates, sesame seed candies, and sweet meringues in a big crystal bowl ready for the picking. That and hot mint tea was the final part of most family meal gatherings.
Zucchini usually makes its’ way into my pasta meals, fritters, or simply grilled throughout the year being that it’s so readily available, but when peak season arrives (July-August), when it’s most tender and sweeter than ever I can’t think of anything better than zucchini bread. Nothing better.
Caesar salad lovers rejoice!
Has it been way too long since you’ve had a caesar salad? A real caesar salad? Me too. This may not be the real thing but holy YUM is this close. You need this in your life, my friends.
If you think about it, there is really nothing original or unusual about a caesar salad yet it has been a popular starter since the 40’s. Some romaine lettuce leaves, dressing and cubed bread, yet when made with fresh garlic, crisp greens, and the right type of anchovy you have something extraordinary. This was one of my favorite salads way back when gluten and dairy were my so-called friends. And not something that can be made on-the-fly, you know. I tried. The catch: the dressing contains gluten, dairy, and egg. Oh right, that.
Growing up, my mother would often serve big bowls of porridge with plenty of sugar on top. Even during the summer in the Catskills, but with heaping spoons of freshly picked blueberries – my favorite way. In Russian, we call it mannaya kasha, which is basically wheat semolina based Cream of Wheat, made with milk. Not exactly a breakfast of champions. What did I know, I thought it was normal to get bloated and feel the need to pass out soon after. Needless to say, this is a better porridge option without the belly-aching, sugar-crashing side effects … what I like to call the ‘new and improved’ version of breakfast porridge. A whole lot healthier and I must say, a whole lotta DELICIOUS.
My dear poke bowl aficionados are likely wondering how watermelon has anything to do with this traditional Hawaiian staple, where the heck I am hiding the ahi tuna, and hello, no bowl.
I realize you need bowls for poke bowls. But my bowls were still in the dishwasher from our oh so very delicious ice cream sundaes the night before (have you tried the cashew flavors yet? Chocolate Cookies N Cream is my favorite!!) and it was NOT going to stop me from making this the next day.
The month of June snuck up on me quick and the days seem to speed by before my eyes. School’s out and a break from the crazy school morning rush and the end of my being the annoying homework monitor, the cue that summer has begun. Michael and Ely (who go to different schools) had class parties, end-of-the-year school picnics, and culmination all last week, along with visits to a holistic doctor and an acupuncturist for the first time. Needless to say, it has been an overwhelming and exciting month so far, with many emotions and information to process.
My first complaint once ridding my kitchen of all gluten and dairy was all about the bread (it was wreaking havoc on my twins’ guts, along with soy, and other foods leaving us no choice). Back in 2007, gluten free/dairy free bread was more of a vehicle to hold some sort of substance into a sandwich. Consumed out of necessity and done so sparingly … and forget about having a good bagel with lox on a Sunday morning; that was pushing it.
Before I talk about this fried rice we had (and now obsessed with) for dinner, I want to share some exciting news with you — I’m partnering with Once a Month Meals THIS weekend, May 20-22, for their Virtual Cooking Weekend, with an Instagram Takeover starting Wednesday morning!!!!
When I first made this I was looking to create an egg-free (vegan) banana bread in addition to gluten free to serve to our plant-based friend who was coming for brunch. I played around with a Williams-Sonoma recipe and viola, after two tweaked versions (theirs is not gf, df) I was thrilled with the results. I have made it many different ways over the years and it always comes through whatever the occasion may be – school snack, entertaining, gifting, teachers, etc. – my go-to loaf for sure.