The Real Food Journal

Robin Asbell is your experienced guide to cooking and eating healthfully, sustainably, and deliciously. Her cookbooks, articles and blog are valuable resources for anyone interested in the good life with good food.

Learn to Love Eggplant in Nam Prik

Learn to Love Eggplant in Nam Prik

Nam Prik (or Phrik) is a dish with many many faces in its country of origin. Eggplant Nam Prik is a version of the Nam Prik Kapi of Central Thailand. It always contains chilies, but beyond that, the heat might be carried on a base of vegetables, fruits, nuts, even seafood. The classic balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet makes the puree into a tasty dip. In this version, I skipped the fermented shrimp and fish sauce, in favor of a simple dash of tamari.

Save Time, Shred Your Salad

Save Time, Shred Your Salad

When it’s cold outside, a bowl of leafy greens may not be what you are craving. May I suggest something heartier? My food processor makes it easy to turn some wintry cabbage and root veggies into a crunchy, riotously colorful salad that keeps for a week in the refrigerator. You can get all the benefits of eating raw veggies with your meals, and take a break from the same old mixed greens.

Kimchi Noodles with Tofu- a Riot of Flavor

Kimchi Noodles with Tofu- a Riot of Flavor

This dish is made from plants, from the grains in the noodles, to the beans that were transformed into soy sauce. That’s a given. But whenever I cook, I try to add a few more vegetables. Get that noodle to veggie ratio just right, so it feels like a bowl of slippery noodles, but it’s also a bowl of fresh, crunchy veggies. I love my carbs, and I look at them as the comforting, lovable friends they are. But the veg to noodle ratio should be balanced a little toward the veg side. This dish achieves the right mix, with just enough noodles, and just the right amount of snappy snap peas and crisp carrots.

Ditch the Chips, Dip Roasted Potato Spears in Chimichurri

Ditch the Chips, Dip Roasted Potato Spears in Chimichurri

Do you love chips and dips? Perhaps in the covid days, you’ve found solace in mindlessly crushing a bag of potato chips and some onion dip, or chips and salsa? Well, I’m here to offer you a much better option. These Roasted Potato Spears with Chimichurri Dip are just as comforting, and waaaay better than those packaged chips and dips. They even give you an opportunity for mindfulness.

Cook with Me! The Vegan Breakfast Club in March

Cook with Me! The Vegan Breakfast Club in March

Do you find yourself eating cold cereal every morning, and wishing for something more exciting?
We’ll make the Apple Breakfast Sausage Patties from Plant Based Meats, and some tender Pumpkin Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy to go with it. Then we’ll use the blender to make gluten free Oat Waffles with Maple-Peach Topping. We’ll round out the meal with a thick and creamy, spoon-able Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl with Fruit and Granola on Top.

Go Nuts for Nutty Dukkah and Gomasio

Go Nuts for Nutty Dukkah and Gomasio

Once you have these made, just store them in a jar in the refrigerator. They keep for a couple of months, if they last that long. Whether you sprinkle dukkah on a salad, or a bowl of hummus, you’ll be so glad you have it. Gomasio makes its way onto everything from a bowl of quinoa to a toasted bagel at my house. I know it will make your life more delicious, too!