Green Tea Ice Cream
I acquired a love for green tea during my first winter at college. I say acquired because I neither did I grow up with tea or like it at first. I mean, I grew up in an hot and humid island, where the only source of caffeine, or hot drink for that matter, is espresso, short and dense. The first couple of sips of tea seemed bitter and pungent, but as temperatures dropped, tea seemed to be the only...
Roasted Radishes and Tahini
By the end of this week I will be on my way to the Northern parts of Italy. Consequently, my mind is set on leaving, more so than on anything else. As I begin to make my bag and think about this beautiful country I am travelling to, I cant prevent myself from reminiscing on the good old months I lived in Rome. I was, for the first time in my life, carefree, and truly thankful of everything the...
Melt in your Mouth Green Quinoa
Today is Tasty Plan’s second birthday. To this date I have posted one hundred and thirty seven recipes, discovered at least twenty new ingredients, snapped thousands of photos and inspired you (I hope!) to cook more. Within these two years, I have become more passionate about cooking, and learned to respect photography as a difficult art to master. I now know that no matter how good it tastes,...
Roasted Cauliflower and Beluga Lentil Salad
I woke up with a good feeling yesterday. The Greenmarket was calling my name, and I had to answer. After several weeks of an overabundance of potatoes and onions and a scarcity of anything worth my time, I was surprised to find ramps, ramps everywhere. Because they are only available for a few weeks during the early days of spring, I like to stock up on them and use them on everything while they...
Sweet Pea Soup
If you have been following my blog for a while, you might have probably picked up on the fact that (1) I love cauliflower, and (2) I love sweet peas, and (3) they are a match made in heaven. Cauliflower is a fantastic ingredient to master. It is neutral in flavor and can therefore absorb whatever spices you through at it. It is also hearty enough to make salad a robust meal. You can roast it,...
People of my generation grew up with fast and processed foods. We thrived on convenience foods, Lunchables, and Doritos. I was lucky to have parents that believe that home cooked meals, sitting around a table, and sharing stories is the best way to encourage family bonding. Every night, no matter what, we would wait for each other and eat together. We would share both the good and bad parts of...
Spring Asparagus Potato Salad
Several weeks ago I was craving spring, this week, I am making it happen. I am bringing spring to the Northeast, no matter what! Even if takes cooking a potato to find it. Earlier this week I read a compelling article, which encouraged readers to start cooking as it were spring, by using local winter vegetables, or non-local spring vegetables. This recipe makes use of such brilliant...
Pistachio Ice Cream
Ice cream has always been my favorite dessert. I mean, who doesn’t love ice cream? Ice cream is sweet, it is creamy, and it is decadent. It takes me back to the ice cream trucks and the gelato stores in Italy, childhood and college. It is instant gratification. Bliss. I started making ice cream a few years ago because I found out how much I enjoy the process. It takes time, and...
Citrus Chia Seed Pudding
I ask myself why I blog all the time. It takes time, effort, and a lot of enthusiasm. The benefits are neither immediate nor evident. Sure, taking sexy images is fun, writing is incredibly stimulating, and sharing my passion for food and healthy eating is priceless. Nonetheless, my indisputably skeptical self questions everything. What am I learning? How am I changing? How am I inspiring...
Sexy Banana Date Muffins
A good banana muffin should be moist. It should be sweet, but only just enough. It should be hearty, and belly warming. It should feel like comfort food, and remind you of home. And while I think good banana muffins are delicious, the addition of mejdool dates makes them decadent, in a lush, and extravagant kind of way. I mean, dates are sexy! So, why not revamp a comfort delicious dish...
White on White: Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
This time of the year is almost over, and I am ready to welcome spring with arms wide open. Nevertheless, I will miss the snow. The pretty side of snow, the one that stays white, the one that is silent, the one that engulfs you. Having lived in a tropical Island most of my life, I remember the first time I saw it, the first time it tingled my cheek as it fell from the sky. I ran outside,...
I am craving spring, blue skies, fragrant blossoms, and crisp air. I am craving tender young vegetables and green stuff. I am craving garlic scapes and asparagus, sweet peas and radishes. Instead I get snowcapped mountaintops, an empty fridge, and uninspiring farmer’s market, and zero motivation to cook. So where do I go in search of spring? The coldest place in this apartment, of course! Frozen...
Leek and Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower is a staple in this house, especially during cold, gray winter months. There is something about it that is just special. Maybe I just love it for its capacity to go with almost anything. Or maybe, I just love it because it is versatile, and can be cooked in a million different ways. Or maybe I just love how easy it is to make, or how much nutritional bang you get for your buck. This...
Chocolate Chip Bliss Cookies
I live above a bakery. For the most part it is a good thing. The smell of freshly brewed coffee wakes me up on the weekends, and the always on ovens keep my apartment warm hot. But, the industrial sized dish washers steal my hot water in the morning, making the showering a experience choreographed dance, into the water, out of the water, one-two, one-two-three! But most importantly, the smell...
Not my grandmother's lentils
I cheated on my grandmother’s lentil recipe. There, I said it! Phew. It had been a while since I started flirting with the idea of making dal, a year to be exact. I remember that day perfectly. We had been living in our Brooklyn apartment for less than a week. We woke up at four in the morning to take a four-hour bus to Cambridge with the objective of to bringing back everything that we had...
Fennel and Orange Risotto
I have made a lot of risotto in my life. It is my go-to entertaining dish of choice. Risotto is a classy dish. It is the kind food that is elegant, tastes great, but is also budget friendly. A little bit of Arborio rice goes a long way, and if you add a lot of suff, every bite can be different, and special. The best part about risotto is that it can be made throughout the year using whichever...
Clean Vegetable Pho
Asian food is fascinating to me. I can only describe it as complex and mysterious. Dishes are flavorful and layered. Recipes have long ingredient lists and many steps resulting dishes that are sweet and savory, bitter and sour. I am not trying to make generalizations. I know that there are a million different cuisines that can be categorized as Asian. Growing up I only knew of two: Chinese (oily...
Crunchy Chocolate Granola
I have been posting a lot on granola, mainly because it is one of those foods that you can really play with. The combinations are endless, and it is a great alternative to cereal. Granola is typically made using rolled oats, nuts and dried fruits. These dry ingredients are then soaked in a delicious concoction of sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, and/or sugar) and oils, then baked until crisp....
I think everybody in my family agrees that my mother is a rice-making queen. Every time family comes over for dinner, she whips up some crazy combination of ingredients, transforming ordinary rice into a feast worthy side dish. One of my favorites growing up was simpler in nature, but equally tasty. This dish doesn’t really have a name, but we usually ate alongside braised chicken. To make...
Sweet Potato Fries & Ginger Beet Ketchup
Happy New Year! Just because the Holidays are almost over, and we have to go back to work tomorrow doesn’t mean that we have to give up on eating tasty foods. Lets celebrate the first day of the year with a delicious and healthy alternative to one of this country’s most notorious foods: fries and ketchup! There are a million things to love about fries. They are hot, salty, and crunchy....
New Year's Eve Cleansing Slaw
I have been going to the gym religiously for almost four years. I am amazed at what happens on the very first days of each New Year. An unexplainable sense of commitment, fight, and courage to change fills the fitness clubs I go to. And while this feeling is contagious, it is disappointing to see the crowds die and the lines shorten after just a couple of weeks. Changing our habits, as hard and...
Red Wine Chocolate Cakes
I wanted to share one last Christmas post right before the holidays are over and it is time to start thinking of the New Year. Made with lots of chocolate and wine, these cakes are super moist, almost spicy, and decadent; a delicious addition to your recipe repertoire. I have been daydreaming of concocting a red velvet gluten free cake for a while. It was not an option to use dyes, as it is one...
Christmas in a Jar, two ways
The holidays are upon us. There meals to plan, gifts to buy, and flights to catch. Because I battle with the often misinterpretation of the meaning of Christmas I wanted to share with you two delicious homemade gift ideas. These are non-generic meaningful gifts made by nobody else but you. Anybody that receives them will love the fact that you took the extra step, and spent some time in the...
Sweet Potato Soup
The best things in life are usually the simplest. I try to apply this rule to everything, from what I wear, to the few things I get to design, and especially to what I cook and eat. During this time of the year I try to keep things classic and comforting, simple and guilt free. Comforting, healthy, and easy to make do not have to contradict each other as most people think. So this week, I am...
Millet Winter Salad
I tried making millet for the first time a couple of days ago. It was a disaster. The millet was gummy and undercooked. I made the rooky mistake of thinking it was more like quinoa and less like rice. I open it while it was cooking, I stirred, I added too little water. A disaster. So I took it upon myself to master this grain, as it is a tasty (gluten-free) alternative to rice and quinoa when...
The Humble Pumpkin Pie
I should have posted this recipe last weekend, when everybody was getting ready for the big feast. When people were excited about what dishes to prepare, how to cook them and what ingredients to buy. I should have written about what a crazy year this has been, and how thankful I am for having survived it. I should have written about how I am thankful for my family, friends, and co-workers, who...
Sprouted Chickpea Salad
For past couple of months I have been yearning to rediscover my passions. Days are long and stressful, and the meaning of life seams to slip away, like butter on a grill. Everything starts to blend into itself, the good and the bad, the personal and the professional, the joy and the dissatisfaction, the overwhelming and the underwhelming. There is little time to think about the future, as we get...
Right before Sandy hit the northeastern shores, I found myself remembering the Hurricanes of my childhood. Us Caribbean people are experts when it comes to hurricanes. We know which canned foods to buy, how to cook on small gas stoves, and even barbeque rice and pasta when power goes out for weeks. We know how to board up our windows to prevent objects from flying through our homes. We know how...
Pumpkin and Celery Root Soup
In the eve of a perfectly stormy Halloween, I bring you a recipe that has a lot of orange (pumpkin) and a bit of scary (celery root). This soup is velvety smooth, comforting, and sweet. Made using just a couple of ingredients, it is perfect for weeknight dinners and stormy afternoons. If you haven’t heard of celery root, don’t fret it is a strange vegetable that I’ve just recently...
Saffron Basmati Rice
A while back I read about Yotam Ottolenghi, a non-vegetarian chef who cooks vegetables dexterity. His café’s are infamous, and his recipes exotic. Having never tried one of his esteemed recipes, I was excited to stumble across an exotic rice dish laden with crunchy nuts, dates, and infused with the aromatic smell of saffron. While the origins of this recipe are Syrian, it can be integrated into...
Asian Broccoli Salad
When it comes to cooking I usually find it easier to get inspired by ingredients that I have never used before. For example, my recent experimentation with spaghetti squash, celery root, pumpkins, and peppers has lead to some pretty interesting recipes. And as much as I love classics, it is just so much more fun to play with the “new”, dive into the unknown, and discover the unexpected....
As nights grow longer, and the air gets crisper we crave foods that are heart warming and belly settling. We crave things that remind us of home; we crave things that comfort our soul. We crave recipes that call for mild flavors and hearty textures. As fall comes around we crave squashes, potatoes, cauliflowers, and hearty greens. With an abundance of such vegetables it is inevitable to fall into...
Concord Grape Almond Cake
I think I got it! I finally got it! After months of experimentation, tasteless cakes, and dry batters, I achieved perfection in the form of a sweet, moist, delicate gluten-free almond cake. Infused with lemons, this cake is filled with delicate concord grapes, and topped off with the simplest of glazing made with Greek yogurt and a tiny little bit of swetener. This cake is delicate and decadent,...
Day’s Homemade Cumin Scented Popcorn
I do all the cooking at home. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am convinced I won my man’s heart through his stomach, with my cooking. In Italy, at the early stages of our relationship, we would go to the market together, and buy ingredients for lunch. I would, of course, eat a salad, but I made these sandwiches with mustard, arugula, Pamegiano, and cured meats in pane di pizza for him. What...
Deconstructed Tzatziki Salad
When in comes to salad dressings I stick to good olive oil and rice vinegar: simple, clean, and delicious. Nevertheless, something drove me into making a yogurt based, light, tangy dressing. I had a bit of Greek yogurt left from when I made mint-chocolate frozen yogurt, and did not know what else to do with it. Like always, I had come home late from work and crabbing something light and...
Rustic Mashed Potatoes
It has been a busy summer; a good summer nonetheless. I have worked a lot, but I also partied a lot. I went to plenty of outdoor concerts, big and small. I danced. I swam in a waterfall, and camped with friends and strangers. I had picnics, and threw a couple barbeques. I cooked plentifully and shared beautiful meals with beautiful people. I ate the ripest of vegetables, the sweetest fruits as we...
Raw Corn and Walnut Salad
Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure to meet the amazing Sarah B, author and photographer of My New Roots, as part of a series of cooking classes. If you are a habitual reader of this blog, you know how much I love her blog, and everything it stands for. Real, whole foods, deliciously prepared, and beautifully presented. Like her, I don’t believe in branding myself as a vegetarian, or...
Mint-chip Frozen Yogurt
Our neighbors, who have been living at their place for over ten years, have a beautiful little garden on our shared rooftop terrace. When we moved into our apartment this patio was bare. Pots scattered everywhere with nothing but dust and dirt. As winter became spring these empty pots blossomed into beautiful vines, sunflowers, and herbs, lots of herbs. Fragrant basil, thyme, rosemary, and mint...
Double Chocolate Power Cookies
With eyes wide open, sometimes we can’t see the potential in something that could be good, even great. We see things as they present themselves to us, without questioning their purpose or qualities. With a little bit of curiosity, research, and experimentation we can transform ourselves into people that can see beyond the surface, we can transform ourselves into interested people. And in the...
By the time this recipe reaches its final destination in a small corner of the web, there will be a hundred different versions of it. This recipe is one of many that belong to the endless cycle of discovery and adaptation. The blogging community is unintentionally producing an amazing catalogue of recipes that range from healthful to indulgent, simple to complex. As an avid reader of blogs...
Kale Stuffed Roasted Red Pepper
I promise I will shut up about peppers already. I promise I will stop trying to convince you about this vegetable’s versatility, flavor, and aroma; about how delicious it is both cooked and raw; and how its alluring colors, shiny skin, and smooth texture makes peppers one of natures most seductive products. I promise I will stop, as soon as pepper season is over. In the mean time, here is...
Sweet Pepper and Tomato Salad
Peppers are underused and underappreciated. They get little to no recognition, even though they are used in almost every Latin stewed dish I know, a lot of Asian dishes, and everywhere throughout Europe. They are the underdogs of underdogs, responsible for giving flavor to foods, alongside onions and garlic, while getting none of the credit. Sure, there are those of old school camps that still...
Raw Raspberry Cake
They say crisis motivates people to innovate. And while this statement infuriates me, I know, it is, to some extent, a truth. The thing is, I graduated from undergrad at the cusp of the recession, and entered an optimistic grad school that preached architectural innovations would solve world problems. And while there were opposing camps, the majority always seems to favor the optimists. I knew...
I must be hardwired to love rum, to love mojitos. It must be the Cuban genes. And while I have had plenty, no mojito tastes better than the ones made with love, one at a time, with freshly picked mint, ground in a mortar with a pestle, using dark brown sugar, and sweet limes (or lemons, whichever you have handy). As a teenager, my friends and I would go bar hoping in Old San Juan. We would...
Did someone say Summer Tacos?
By the time Friday comes around, all I want to do is plop on the couch, and remain motionless for hours, doing absolutely nothing, especially things that involve thinking. I guess this is what real life feels like. This is what the “real” world feels like. And these long lasting heat waves are just helping to my cyclic search for idleness. I’ve put teaching on hold. It was fun while it lasted,...
The Casey Hughes Citrus Earl Grey Cupcake
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when it doesn’t give you bergamot, make earl grey cupcakes. The inspiration for this tasty cupcake came to me via Casey Hughes. Ever since Tasty Plan started, he has been asking for a bergamot cupcakes to be named in his honor. I had never heard of a bergamot before Casey’s request, and because I love the thrill of the hunt, I agreed to his...
Herbed Rice and Sprouts
Rice was part of my past, my roots, and my origins. I ate it every day, with a slab of meat. I loved it so much, that I would crave it above anything else, especially the rice that coked along the edge of the pan. Crispy, salty, and fatty, burnt from cooking. And while I loved rice so much as a kid, I developed some sort of aversion to it throughout my late teen years, and well into my early...
Two-Faced Carrot Soup
I like recipes that are flexible. Recipes that adapt, transform, and become whatever you want them to be. Recipes you can heat up, or cool down. Recipes you can eat for lunch or dinner; recipes that are for you, and your constantly fluctuating moods and cravings. I wanted to share with you before the weekend gets here, just because it is fun to make, and has a weekday mood. The best part is that...
Sticky Nut Bars
Since our big move to the big city, we have found solace in remote locations, away from crowds and smog, to find ourselves sleeping on morning dew, waking to the chirps of birds, reaching high altitudes, and dreaming of escapes. I am not an outdoorsy kind of person. So, when I find myself in the middle of the desert, jungle and forest, repeatedly, I know something is up. I guess, when you...
Aromatic Cauliflower Pilaf
I am about to blow your mind. But I warn you; you might become addicted to this delicious recipe, once you realize how healthy (and low in calories!) it is. This dish will remind you of rice dishes, maybe quinoa dishes, or even risotto. But it is none of the above. To be honest, I am not really sure how it occurred to me to make this. But I am glad I did. When I thought about it, it felt like one...