Quick Cucumber Pickles

English Cucumbers

These pickles make a super fast side dish or condiment to all sorts of dishes, but go particularly well with Asian foods. I like to flavor these with a little fresh ginger and a couple of drops of toasted sesame oil, but they are just as good plain. Toss a handful across some noodles or fried rice or have a pile alongside your next sandwich. No matter what you choose to use these for, they’ll add a refreshingly tangy crunch to your meal.

Mushroom Almond Pate


This amazing Mushroom Almond Pate is a vegetarian answer to the rich flavors and textures of liver-based pate. The depth of flavor and richness of this spread belies it’s vegetarian (or vegan) roots. This is a great alternative to the more common party offerings such as onion dip and cheese balls or a fantastic treat just because. It doesn’t take much work beyond chopping the onion and mushrooms and the willpower to leave it alone in the fridge (though I won’t tell if you eat it straight out of the processor bowl–it’s pretty amazing before it’s ripened too). Have it with crackers or toast points for parties, or with chunks of french baguettes, apples and brie for a simple dinner with a glass of wine. Once you’ve made this pate it will earn a permanent spot in your repetoire and I can guarantee that you’ll be passing out the recipe afterward.

Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce

eggs tomato sauce

Eggs poached in tomato sauce is one of those really delicious dishes that you can tell came about at some point because someone was both creative and faced with leftovers that needed using up. However it originally came about, it’s a delicious combination that makes for a super easy meal any time of day that tastes like way more work than it was. I am a particularly big fan of having this for breakfast on weekend mornings or dinner when I get home from work and don’t really want to cook. The proportions I use here are rough and would feed either one very hungry person or two average people with an extra couple hunks of bread. If you want to scale it up you can bake the eggs in a casserole dish with the sauce rather than cooking it on the stove–the end result is just about the same and all methods yield scrumptious results.

Baked Kale Chips

kale chips

his method of cooking kale is my new favorite. Kale chips made by baking the leaves with a little olive oil and salt results in an almost potato-chip like treat that is genuinely good for you. You can season them with whatever spices you like or keep them simple and plain. There is no easier way to eat green leafy vegetables, or at least no way more genuinely enjoyable (and that’s coming from a true salad lover). Make a batch of these today and you’ll probably make three more before the end of the weekend. Even my dog begs for these chips, and I’m pretty sure I could convince my dad to try one too. These more than make up for the minimal effort involved in making them.

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

I adore Indian food. I don’t cook much of it at home, as even I am intimidated by the ingredients lists sometimes and the time involved so most of the time I’ll just enjoy it in a restaurant. I’ve overcome the fear to learn how to make one of the simplest and in my opinion,tastiest, dishes–Palak Paneer. Palak Paneer is a spinach curry studded with cubes of paneer cheese, a fresh cheese related to ricotta. Unlike my other favorite dishes Palak Paneer is relatively simple and doesn’t have to contain dozens of ingredients. It can be made restaurant-rich or be adapted to be a bit less of a fat bomb and still come out a winner.